Painted Stripes

It happened a while ago, but I spent a few weeknights painting all the brown trim in our family room (by "all" I mean every single window frame, door frame and piece of molding) a creamy white. Along the way, I also painted and spruced up the half bathroom. On a whim I painted horizontal stripes in the same creamy white as all the trim and a super light tan that went on the family room walls.

Before (horrendous photo quality):



Family Photo Wall

One of the most neglected projects on my list has been organizing all of our family photos. We have photos everywhere, nothing is categorized and I'm petrified we're going to accidentally lose precious baby photos somehow. So, over the past few months, I've been tackling this seemingly monumental task and decided to frame and hang some of my favorites.

The metal "N" is from a little antique store in New Hampshire, the "&" is from Michael's and has been "antiqued" by yours truly and the horseshoe is one of the many we've discovered in the old barn behind our house.


Kitchen Facelift

Wow - I haven't posted anything for almost a year!?!? I did NOT mean to do that. Luckily, just because this blog has suffered some abuse, doesn't mean our house has too. We've actually been really busy fixing things up and I have a lot to post.

Starting with...the kitchen! Since we'll eventually build a new one when we add on to the back of the house, I just wanted to refresh things in the existing kitchen so it was more functional, brighter and was more my speed, style-wise.

When we moved in, there was wallpaper (which I loved, but it was old and falling off the wall in places), a bunch of mismatching cabinets and the lighting was horrible.

Some before shots taken with a horrible camera phone:


 Halfway through!

Since this is a temporary solution, I had to stick to a budget (boo). But, I did it (yea) and I'm really happy with how it turned out.
 I stripped the wallpaper, repaired the walls and painted it 'You Are My Sunshine', Benjamin Moore.
 Since the cabinets didn't match and it was driving me crazy, I painted the builder-grade walnut cabinets and replaced all the hardware. A new schoolhouse flush mount ceiling light makes it nice and bright when the sun's not shining.
 Behind the sink and the stove, I put up Roth Allen textured wallpaper and painted it with Martha Stewart's metallic silver paint. I sealed it all with a Martha Stewart gloss coat. The end effect is pretty close to how a tin back splash would look a portion of the cost.
 New curtains and a cute sign found at a local antique shop.
 The shelf was already there, so I just spruced up the baskets and framed a favorite card. One of the major splurges was on new stools from Ballard.
 The baskets under the kitchen island hold grocery bags and recycling. I hung tin buckets from IKEA next to the stove for all the cooking utensils.
 A new blackboard wall with chalk holder (Home Depot paint tin). It's a hit with the kiddo.
 Close-up of the back splash and more IKEA hardware to hang sponges and keep odds and ends. To give the walnut cabinets a bit more 'oomph', I put up paintable bead board wallpaper (more Roth and Allen) in between the side molding.

All in all, I only bought two gallons of paint and one of primer, a few things from IKEA, the wallpaper and metallic paints for the back splash, three stools (on sale and with a coupon), fabric for curtains, hardware and bead board wallpaper. Total cost: $560!!!


No Committment Wallpaper

Wallpaper is making a major comeback in a big way, but the thought of messy paste, aligning edges and shelling out a lot of money for something I may not like in a few years is daunting. Enter...temporary wallpaper! I've noticed a lot of new brands over the last year or so, but nothing has made me want to take the plunge. Until now.

Surprisingly, Sherwin Williams has a line of temporary wallpaper that has gotten great reviews (see here) and - although tedious - there are a ton of options. Here are some of my faves:

The best part is that it's super affordable - two rolls average about $60. What do you think? Should I give it a shot? Would you put up temporary wallpaper?


Weekend, Schmeekend

Due to torrential downpours and hurricane-force winds, most of our weekend was spent indoors driving each other crazy. P successfully covered an ENNNN-TIRE wall with a crayon masterpiece (sounds cute and funny, but really wasn't), G combined all our iTunes accounts (this is, apparently, very difficult to do) and I started about ten projects and only finished two (lame ones, at that).

The first...well, I bought this cute shirt. I took it out to wear for the first time, stuck it under the iron and the material just melted. It actually disintegrated before my eyes (evidence pictured below).
Rather than tossing, I decided to find a cool applique to cover the hole. I mean, I haven't used an applique since Girl Scouts, but I was pretty sure fabric stores sell some pretty trendy ones. And, I was right! I actually like the shirt better now than before. However, it will be forever wrinkled since I won't be ironing this bad boy again. (Note: This was actually an iron-on applique. So, I used only the tip of a warm iron without steam.)
And, the second...our bathroom mirror in the master bath just does not fit. You know what I mean? It's a fine mirror, it works, it looks OK. But, it just doesn't have any charm - it would fit just as well in a chain hotel bathroom. Buying a new one isn't in the cards, so I added a little bling-da-bling.

It's nothing drastic, but it makes a huge difference - just makes it look less blah and more, I don't know, vintage-y, one-of-a-kind. If you've got a BORE-ing mirror in need of a jazzy makeover, make your way to the scrapbook aisle at a craft store, find the adhesive "crystals" and adhere to mirror with Elmer's glass glue (also found at craft store). I measured and marked where I wanted them beforehand with a permanent marker so they weren't positioned all honky-donkey. Only apply a teensy-weensy of glass glue to the back of the crystal - the smallest amount is enough to make it stick for the next decade (and you clean them and the entire mirror with glass cleaner, no problem).

Hope y'all made it through the storm without any damage and have a beautiful last-week-of-summer!

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