Monday, September 29, 2014

The Evolution of Decorating

When I first started living by myself, I would say that I could put a room together and have it look decent. It would flow and it had a theme. My "style," if I had one, consisted of easy and safe colors. Lots of wood, maroons, greens, browns, and darker blues. Neutral colors were definitely my go-to. Don't get me wrong - I have always loved where I lived and felt it was cozy and homey and neutral colors are always a great way to go.
Things started to change when I discovered blogs. Blogs changed my life because they taught me how to do things I would never have tried before. They also taught me about products I would never have known existed because I hadn't ever stepped foot in a home improvement store before, at least not for things like chalk board paint or painter's tape.
The first thing I ever tried was a gallery wall.

It turned out OK. I remember staring at the wall - it was nothing special looking at it now-but I remembered thinking, this is so cool. it has so much style! From that point, I started off painting small things like vases and lamps. (I was pretty proud of this last one, actually).

Once I started buying the paint, I would have paint leftover from a project and I would say, "What can I get my hands on to paint now?" I started painting old picture frames and cookie jars. Then, people started asking if I wanted their old furniture because they had seen I had been learning how to redo things. I always loved getting hand me downs (still do). I love breathing new life into something someone has used and now I get to love it and use it. Every single room at my house has something someone has given me or something I've purchased at a garage sale and redone. Over time, the projects became larger and I started taking more risks with color and style. Really, all of this started because Jason and I had no money and I wanted some new things but couldn't afford to pay for them brand new, so I started visiting garage sales. I still love visiting garage sales. I don't think that will ever change.
I used to think I could never have been a decorator and I could never do what they did. But the more I painted and the more I came up with ideas, the more that started to change. One of my bigger projects was redoing the dining room table and chairs my parents gifted to us. It was the first time I had used wood stain. This was still one of my most favorite "afters" I've ever had. It took me days and weeks to get all of that finished and after I was done, I had this feeling of such accomplishment. It really looked great in that house.

Anyway, over time, I've been more willing to take risks and use colors and patterns I would never have used otherwise. My navy blue room is a great example of that - it was a dark color to choose but it worked out so wonderfully.

Well, I've another vision for my living/dining room -

It will really be gray with splashes of yellow but I just can't wait to get started. These rooms need TONS of attention.
Something like this...
Or this...
I am just feeling the inspiration now.
I guess I wrote all of that to say - my, how things change. I get told constantly, "I could never do that!" Anyone can do that, but not everyone likes to do that. I used to think I couldn't so I just never tried. Now, it's one of my favorite thing to do. Not so much painting, but after it's over, it's great.

I can't wait to get started on this one though - I am excited to see where it will take me!

What's been going on?

It has been a super busy few weeks!
I have been overwhelmed with positive feedback on my room and it's so encouraging! I appreciate all of the great comments. I am working (mentally) on the next space in my home that will be redone! It's going to take some motivation to get going on it, for sure.
Let's see - what else has been going on lately?
Donut Day...

Loving our hat...

Working at the office with mom...

Pajama day at school....

Flight of the Monarchs with Colbi...

And first time singing in Kids Choir at church!

Probably the most notable event was this...we have an elevated flower bed in our front yard and Jason accidently left a soaker hose on in it overnight. I showed up the next day around noon to this....

The whole front yard had water everywhere. I didn't really think anything of it because by the end of the day, it had dried up. The next morning, by sheer luck, I walked into Jordan's room to squishy carpet. Apparently, the water had saturated the ground so much (the flower bed shares a wall with his room), that the water came up through the cracks in the concrete and completely flooded his floor. So, we spent a whole day doing this.

Thank God I walked into his room when I did. And thank God we have a steam cleaner that was able to vacuum the water up. There was so much of it. The smell was pretty bad that next day and since we caught it fast, we don't have a mildew problem to deal with! I am also borderline excited because I learned how to rip up carpet and now, I will learn how to install laminate. So, as a DIY girl, there are worse things that could have happened!! Right now, it's just concrete. Just tearing up the carpet took us all day, installing laminate is another large job that we just haven't had time for.
Have a great week everybody!

Friday, September 19, 2014

FINALLY - Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal!

Well, it's finally finished. At least, finished for now. I have a bad habit of loving something for a few years, then completely changing it.
The picture below, I did NOT love that.
Don't get me wrong - all of that stuff served us well for the first two years we lived here. It all matched, but there was just no, style, you know?
This room is very large. It has these gorgeous French windows, with lots of crown molding, white doors, and white trim. Can you tell in this room? Nope. Those black curtains, while VERY dark at night, also covered those windows up most of the time. They had no flow, no va-va-voom.
With the three French windows, I also have a door that leads to the sunroom. I haven't had a curtain rod long enough, so I just put cheap blinds on the windows for night time. It didn't do that door justice.
Everything just seemed to be bland and blend together.
We have talked about redoing this room for two years. Two years, we've lived with the so-so and been perfectly content. But we always talked about what we would do if we could change it up? We really didn't have a lot of ideas, but we both knew we didn't want anything super girly, it had to be serene, stylish, and fluffy. We wanted a fluffy bedspread, fluffy pillows, fluffy blankets. You know, like how beds and rooms look in showrooms? We also knew we needed some new bedroom furniture, but we had been shopping for about a year all over the place and couldn't find anything we liked. We went into a store one day and fell in love with white furniture. I have never really liked white, I always thought it looked cheap. But this stuff didn't look cheap. It looked awesome. I started thinking about all of the white and thought, "How great would dark paint look on the walls with all of that white?" I looked up some images of navy rooms and loved how in the right space, it actually opened things up instead of making it feel dark. And this is my vision come to life:
I could literally talk a novel about all of the stuff I got for this I will try to keep it to a minimum.
I bought those beautiful silver lamps at one of my favorite thrift shops in town. They are real metal, not painted that way. They came with different shades that were very dingy and put off a yellow-ish light. These shades came from clearance at Target for $13 each, which is great. I love the pattern. Those mirrors were $1.99 at Ikea. For $8, they make a huge impact, don't you think? All of the pillows came from clearance Steinmart and I LOVE them. The shams and navy blanket at the end of the bed are DD's Discounts, kind of like a clearance Ross (if you can imagine) and they were $10.99. YES!!! The white comforter was a wedding gift and we love it - perfectly fluffy!

The chairs you see below I got from a friend for $40. It also came with an ottoman that I moved out of the room. I got the chair covers from Sure Fit on clearance for $30 each, the pillows and throws came from Ross. The love all of the patterns in this room! Very geometrical.

I think the way the windows look is my favorite after. I had been eyeing those curtains at Target for months and when I finally went in to by curtains, these were 30% off. It was a sign. I love how they bring out the beautifulness of the wall. The shelves on either side, I've had forever, I painted them white. The candles on top came from Dollar Tree. The curtain rod I needed for this space would have been really long and really expensive, so great tip: buy two rods from Family Dollar for $10 and just add them on to each other. $20 curtain rod that is 166 inches long isn't bad at all!

These shelves had been in my brain for months. I wanted to make faux built ins and had really thought I would have to get the billy bookcases as Ikea for $25 a pop. It's almost impossible to find two identical shelves at a garage sale or thrift store, let alone 6. The same day I got Jordan's furniture at our neighbor's estate sale, they sold me these beauties for $5 TOTAL.
One day I will do a tutorial on painting wood white. It's not easy. Don't use spray paint, you will never get it white enough. I got two quarts of white for $8 each and used a foam roller that was AMAZING. I put two shelves together to create thickness, and used tape to paint the stripes. If you look super close, these are particle board shelves and the backing is basically cardboard. The stripes help to camoflauge it. Don't tell anyone. The wreath is my coffee filter wreath that literally cost me $1 and has lasted a long, long time. The mirror is the same mirror above, just painted white. I have painted each of those items below on the wall at least once, if not more. I like to recycle.

Here is a close up of the lamps...beautiful! We've never had two matching night stands, ever.

This big TV was just a treat for us. I love the dresser too. I'd like to say I refinished that, but no way.

I love this room SO much. We just love sitting in it and not letting kids in! (Just kidding. Kind of!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Picture Purge Tuesday

Here are just a few pictures that I found that I don't think I've shared yet!! Enjoy!