Goodbye, house.

My parents sold their house this week.
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I must have been around eleven years old when my Dad drove us out to the new property he and my mom had just purchased. I was going through a phase in which I determined to be disgusted by nature. Bugs, sticks, and vines were a recipe for disaster, but this trip to the property was worth it. Strategically placed on a cleared patch of land in the middle of the woods were wooden stakes driven into the ground with strings linking them together to form an uneven grid pattern that represented our future home. Like a settler in the old west pridefully showing his bride his plans for their log cabin, my Dad carefully followed the blueprint from our architect and measured out the main level floor plan of the house they had been dreaming about for years. It was my mom’s dream to live on a private piece of property with room for us to play and her to garden and private views from the back windows, and my Daddy gave her that dream. One of his favorite songs is “In My Dreams” from Josh Turner, and he loves to say “In my dreams, your dreams come true.” I felt safe knowing how much my Daddy must love my Mommy. He still does.

Over the next year or two, my parents self contracted the building of that house. They picked out every light fixture, baseboard, sink, and paint color. They dragged me and my sisters along to tile showrooms and wholesale warehouses as they curated every corner of the house to my mom’s specifications. For health reasons and job reasons, that was one of the toughest times I can remember, but we made it, and we moved into that little dream. By the time we moved in, I was in the throes of adolescence and the youngest days of childhood were behind me; however, I still feel like I grew up at that house in the woods. I made lasting memories with friends and formed new and stronger bonds with my sisters. I had some of my biggest fights with my parents and some of our best late night talks in which they imparted important wisdom that I would not appreciate until later. I had my first crush, my first boyfriend, my first heartbreak. I taught myself  how to play the guitar and wrote some of my earliest songs. I spent hours journaling, reading, praying, and studying the Bible in my corduroy bedroom chair, and my relationship with God came alive in a new way. I tried my hand at interior decorating as I attempted to create a “New York Loft” style bedroom in hues of reds and browns with broadway show posters and accents of cheetah print on the sheets and the bathroom wallpaper border.

My parents built that home with the prayer that it would be a ministry. They are leaders in our church youth group, and there have been innumerable gatherings of students at that house for dinners, swimming parties, Bible studies, driveway pickup basketball games, and weekend retreats. It is a place where people felt safe; I saw my parents touch lives over and over.  Teenagers came for my Dad’s homemade burgers, the pool, or their friends, and they left feeling loved and accepted.

The summer of 2010, my dad determined to finagle a way for my then-boyfriend Jeremy to live in Houston. Jeremy had already passed the initial Dad interview test (another story for another time), but over a year later, my Dad wanted to know him a little more closely. Jeremy and I interned at our church, and he lived a few minutes away with another family. Nearly every morning, Jeremy met Dad and a few other brave souls to do P90x workouts in our garage at 6am in the intense Houston summer heat. I would wake up at a slightly later hour and come to the kitchen to find them sweat-drenched and desperately downing ice water congregated around the island or swiveling on the barstools. Jeremy became part of our family that summer, and I fell in love with him with my parents’ home as the backdrop. Our love story was pieced together with chilled watermelon and Blue Bell mint chocolate chip ice cream outside on the porch, family water volleyball tournaments in the pool, game nights in the room above the garage, and goodnight kisses on the driveway.

In a similar way, that summer was a chance for all of us to get to know a freckled faced kid named Timothy Goodwin who had been friends with my younger sister, Sydney, for years. Tim and Jeremy instantly became buddies, and that summer Jeremy coached Tim on the ways of dating a Roberts girl. In my family, we were not allowed to date until our senior year in high school, and that summer was Tim’s chance to win Sydney’s heart. He told her how much he liked her on the wicker bench on the front porch while all of us sat inside and tried to discreetly peek out and spy on the conversation. A little over three years later, we all spied once again while he got down on one knee in that same spot on the front porch and put a ring on her finger.

I searched through my digital archives for photos of the house and regretted not taking more pictures of what now seem like important moments. But the memories we all hold onto are not captured in pictures. They are the things that made the house into a home.

I will remember the sound of a thunderstorm from the safety of the wide covered porches. The times I, my friends, and my sisters grazed garage doors and trees with our bumpers and side mirrors while backing out of the driveway in our early days of driving. The cozy dormer window in my bedroom where I penned frantic journal entries and songs in my teenage angst. Waking up to the whirr of the lawnmower on Saturday mornings. Afternoon adventures in the treehouse in the backyard. The time my sister asked for goats for her thirteenth birthday and we ended up with pygmy goats for pets.

My heart warms with memories of my dad coming up behind mom in the kitchen to kiss her cheek as she scrubbed plates. Long talks with my mom sitting in her favorite living room chair or on the end of my bed. Gilmore girls marathons with my sisters. Sleepovers with cousins and friends piled on air mattresses and in bedrooms. Musical theatre chords and melodies filling the house from around the piano in the living room. The time that I broke into uncontrollable sobs when my missing cat, Tabby, came home, and my parents delivered her to me while I was practicing guitar.

Holidays at home will always be special. The smells of roasted turkey, herb filled dressing, and my family’s traditional corn pudding wafting through the house as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents came through the front doors and the bells on my mom’s artificial evergreen wreaths clinked politely with each new guest.

Jeremy and I visited Texas last weekend, and we slept in that house in the woods the last night before my parents moved out and the movers came to pack up the memories. Dad and Jeremy loaded into the car for the airport in the morning, and I took one last walk inside and said, out loud, “Goodbye, house” with tears in my eyes.

It’s true that I am sentimental to a fault, but for anyone who has built memories in a special place, saying goodbye stings a little bit. My parents are thrilled about the new home they bought across the creek, and they are ready to have a smaller property with less maintenance. The timing is perfect, God is faithful, and the new family that is moving in will fill the house with their own joy and memories.

The moral of the story is that houses are made for memories. I want to remember that as I build memories of my own in our little brick ranch. Houses aren’t for keeping; it’s good to let go of material stuff. But, I’m thankful for the meaning of a house when a family makes it a home.

The details don’t really matter. I don’t love that house because it is beautiful (although, it is). It is not special because of the chandeliers or the paint colors or the furniture. It matters because of the people.

So, goodbye house. I’ll keep the memories.
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DIY Upholstered Wingback Headboard

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If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably seen the room reveal that I recently did of our garage to master bedroom. Today I’m sharing all the details of how we made our king sized tufted wingback headboard. This is your chance to learn from my mistakes…because I definitely made a few mistakes! It isn’t perfect, but I’m really proud of the way that it turned out and it was definitely a learning experience.

Step 1: Make a Plan

We have a king sized bed with a platform frame, and getting very specific measurements is key. The bed frame is 78 inches wide, so the headboard needed to be one inch wider in order for the frame to slide comfortably inside. This is the drawing I created of the plan.

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Step 2: Gather Materials
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This is a picture of the day I went to home depot on my lunch break for lumber in heels and a dress and got a lot of strange stares. Why can’t a girl in a dress buy lumber and know what she is doing? I digress.

So, here was my full materials list.

(1) 4×8 piece of 1/2 in plywood (I ended up getting MDF instead and regretting it)
(1) 10’x2’x6′ piece of lumber
(1) 10’x1’x6′ piece of lumber
(1) 10’x1’x4′ piece of lumber
4 yards of fabric
4 yards of batting
30 buttons
Approximately 500 nailheads
1.5″ foam
Upholstery thread and upholstery needle

Step 3: Draw A Grid and Build a Frame
First, I very specifically followed my pre-determined plan and mapped out the tufts on the mdf. I decided to do a grid tufted headboard as opposed to diamond tufted. I did 9 buttons on each row with just three rows.
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After I drew the grid, I pre-drilled all the holes. Then I created a frame using 1″ boards and reinforced the center. I used wood screws to drill the boards in from both sides. It is helpful at this point to pre-drill holes in the sides for the arms (see below).
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Step 4: Cut Foam to Fit

Foam can be a very expensive purchase, so I scoured all around for a cheaper alternative. Here is my suggestion: a memory foam mattress topper! This was around $30 at Walmart and more than enough foam to cover my king sized headboard.
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I had to cut it into two pieces, but I was able to cut it to fit and used a few drops of craft glue to allow it to stick while I flipped it over in order to do the batting.
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Step 5: Batting

I didn’t get pictures of this process, but I covered the whole thing in batting and stapled tight.

Step 6: Tufting

This is definitely the most daunting part. After covering 27 buttons with fabric, this was certainly a two person process. Jeremy sat on the back side of the board while I sat on the fabric side. We loosely wrapped the fabric around but did not yet secure it. Jeremy used a large upholstery needle and threaded it through the pre-existing holes from step 3, and I caught it on the other side and threaded it through the button. Jeremy caught the string and needle on the other side after I pushed it through and stapled it. Be sure to pull tight to avoid unnecessary fabric bunching…something I did not successfully accomplish.
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The problem we encountered is that MDF would not allow the staples to insert firmly, and we had to staple it to the nearest piece of wood and then fill the holes. This made me wish we had used plywood instead of MDF!
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Finally, tightly secure the fabric to the back of the headboard using as many staples as necessary.

Step 7: Install Arms

This can be a complicated process. I started by screwing together a 1″ piece of wood and a 2″ piece of wood to make a 3″ arm. Then before the fabric is secured
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Then I used 4 inch wood screws to adhere the wooden arms to the main base at a 90 degree angle through the batting and fabric already placed.
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Then the fabric must be wrapped around tightly, folded on top, and secured to the back.

Step 8: Nailhead Trim

After securing all of the fabric and cutting off excess, it came time for the nailhead trim. The bane of my existence!! I purchased 200 nailheads and soon realized it was going to take hours, never look perfect, and take far more than 200 to complete the project. So, I bought a roll of pre-assembled nailhead trim as I have seen so many bloggers use, and I was very disappointed in it. It looked cheap and very DIY in my particular situation.

So I bought 300 more nailheads and spent the length of several movies and gilmore girls episodes nailing each one into place in as straight a line as possible.
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And I’m so glad that I did.

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Finally, after much frustration and many promises never to attempt such a large upholstery project again, I called it done. And I’m so glad I did it!

It’s a perfect statement peace for our bedroom. To see more photos of the whole room, click here.

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Budget Breakdown:

Fabric (4 yards from Brentwood Interiors) – $38.25
Batting – $13.18
Foam – $29.98
Cover Buttons (Walmart) – 10.02
Thread & Needle – $4.05
MDF Board – $24.47
1x6x10 – $11.91
1x4x10 – $7.61
2x6x10 – $7.80
Upholstery Tacks – $37

Total: $184.27

Compared to this one for $511 and this one for $700, I feel pretty good about that price! It definitely isn’t dirt cheap. There are a lot of materials that go into it. Am I happy with the way it turned out? yes. Is it perfect? no. Would I do it again? Maybe.

Now is your chance to learn from my mistakes. Here are the things I would do differently next time around.

1. BUY Plywood and not MDF!!!
I made a gametime decision at the hardware store to buy mdf, and I regretted it. Mostly during the tufting process as the composition of mdf is not conducive to upholstery.

2. Put glue in the buttons before installing the backs.
I have had a couple of buttons come apart after the fact, and I wished I had put a spot of glue in each as I prepared them.

3. Pull material tighter while tufting.
This was my main regret. I smoothed the fabric as I went along, but I didn’t pull the fabric tight enough to keep the fabric from bunching a bit where I wished it hadn’t.

In the end, I’m proud of this project and I absolutely love the way it fits in our bedroom.

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A tale of two tables…

One of the best ways to add interest to your decor is to think outside the box when it comes to furniture function. Need a side table? How about a tree stump? Looking for a new coffee table? What about an oversized drum?

For our new master bedroom, I really wanted to be creative with nightstands. I didn’t want them to match, and I loved the idea of using something unexpected. So, I hit the bricks…er, the antique store…in search of something interesting that would be a good height next to a platform bed. For those of you who live in Nashville, one of my favorite spots is 8th Avenue Antiques.

On my hunt, I found two things that fit the bill! First, this bar cart.
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It looks nicer in this picture than it actually was. The shelves are thing particle board with a layer of wood grain paper on top, and the “wooden” arms were actually stick on…yikes. Just recently I visited Graceland…the home of 1970s decor (and Elvis Presley), and this bar cart would have fit right into that tacky 70s shrine. But I saw sparkle in its future.
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Did you know you can buy mirror pieces at Lowes or Home Depot and they will cut them for you in store? I found a mirror for $12 that was the exact length and exactly twice the width that I needed to replace the “wood” particle board, so I had them cut it in half in store, took it home, and stuck the pieces on the cart. Then I scraped off the “wood” sticker arms, and voila. Done. Easiest transformation ever! No tools and no paint, and I ended up with a fantastic nightstand alternative for less than $50.

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The box that says “Antiques” is what I use to store what I would normally put in a nightstand drawer, and on top a couple of picture frames, books, and a lamp from home Goods finish out the simple styling.
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For Jeremy’s nightstand, I found a mid-century side table that was a little scratched and dated, but I knew some paint would spruce it up, and the size and scale were perfect. It sits across from a mid-century dresser, so I like the combination.
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I just painted three coats of Glidden Gripper Primer (for more on painting laminate furniture, see this post) and two coats of plain white semi-gloss paint. It doesn’t look perfect, but as The Nester would say, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
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So think outside the box when it comes to accent furniture. You never know what you might find!

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Garage to Master Bedroom REVEAL!

Over six months ago, we started deconstruction on our garage in preparation for a new Master suite. Today I am sharing the AFTER! Keep scrolling for some long awaited photos and the biggest reveal this blog has ever seen. This is the first time I have waited until the decorating was complete to share “after” photos, so the last you saw, the room was still a construction mess. Let’s go on a little journey….

First of all, I will show you the walk out basement floorplan that I made when we first moved in to give you a feel for where the garage was situated in the house.
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We have never once parked a car in the garage. We park in the carport, so the garage was just extra storage space. It looked like this for about a year and a half…
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The construction was so poorly done to begin with that it was best to start from scratch, so we stripped it to studs and installed a window…
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Then we installed drywall, installed recessed lighting, raised the height of the air duct, divided the room to build a closet, and spent months on construction. All the little things take time (especially when it was pretty much just my husband by himself and me when I could be useful). For more construction details, see here.
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And when I last left you, it looked a little bit like this.
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After lots of paint, accessories, DIY projects, and furniture shopping, it is now officially DONE. Drum roll please…
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Tada!! I’m sure I will tweak things over time like adding throw pillows to the bed and such, but for now, I am calling it done. I wanted sophisticated neutral, I wanted it to feel like things had been collected over time, and I wanted the contrasts of light and dark and vintage and modern. I think it was accomplished!

This room was especially fun because we pretty much started from scratch on everything. We didn’t reuse a single piece of furniture. Every other room in our house started with hand me down furniture. This one started with a blank slate. After two years of living in our home, I feel like I know better than ever what my personal style is…and this room embodies that well. We were still working with a definite budget and did a lot of DIY and bargain hunting, but I enjoy being creative with the confines of a budget.

You ready for the grand tour?

When you first walk in from the basement, you will see this.
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I painted the walls a very pale gray, and I wanted to highlight the contrast of dark and light neutrals everywhere. The white bedding against the charcoal headboard (which we made ourselves!!! Full tutorial to come…), the contrasting colors in the map on the wall, the dark floors with light walls, the gold against the gray on the card catalog, etc. I used creams and whites and tans and grays. I love coordination without being matchy matchy.

Now here is the view from the master closet (which I will show in a future post. It isn’t quite ready for a closeup)
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Once again, contrast. Vintage style rug against modern platform bed. Cool metals against warm woods and grays. Traditional plates hanging above mid century modern dresser. Also, notice that I worked hard to balance colors and shapes around the room. The round plates play off the round mirror opposite and the round lamp shade. They all stand in contrast with the sharp lines of more modern furniture. White lamp shade and mirror balance with the white bedding.

Now here is the view looking from the window.
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To give you your bearings, the door on the left goes into the extra large walk in closet (seriously…it’s like a room in there. It even has its own window. I will show more soon). The door on the right goes back into the basement den. There is a bathroom off of the den by the outside door. It would have been nice to connect it to the bedroom, but it would have required a lot more work and money, so we just walk around which doesn’t bother us.

The column in the middle of the room used to be a metal pole, so we encased it in MDF and added trim to make it look like an architectural feature. And the dip in the ceiling used to be twice as low. The air ducts are housed up there, and Jeremy cut them and rerouted the pipes to raise the ceiling. Yes, my husband is a stud.
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See that built in bookshelf next to the dresser? That is actually a door! Behind it is more storage space which is a complete disaster right now. Jeremy custom built the bookshelf to function as a door. Did I mention he is a stud?
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On the right above is the vintage bar cart that I converted to a nightstand. I picked it up at an antique store for $30 and had mirrors custom cut at the hardware store for the shelves for $12. I will do another post about that one soon.
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Now the bed…
 photo bedroom10_zpsisp6i8i7.jpgWe just upgraded to a king sized bed for the first time, and we love it. We got our mattress on Overstock of all places, and it was shipped to us vacuum packed. The bedding is simple. I can’t even decide if I want to add throw pillows. I wanted it to feel like a hotel. Crisp and clean. There is gray scalloped piping around the shams and duvet if you look closely.

The headboard was a major labor of love, and I will share more soon.

Jeremy’s nightstand was another antique store find for $25. I painted the top white and left the legs brown. The nightstand lamps were reused from when our master bedroom was upstairs.
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Thanks for touring the room with me! I have never been so excited for a blog post before. We saved our pennies for about a year before we started, and we have been working on this room for 6 months, so it feels like such a thrill to finally call it done.

All told, we did all the construction and renovation on this room for around $3000 (not including furniture and decor). We are pretty stoked about that cost. When we first had a contractor come look at the space, we were quoted around $2000 JUST to remove the garage door and put up the outside wall and window (not including materials). That didn’t include any of the other construction we did! We finished the window and wall the first weekend and still had months left of work on our hands…imagine how quickly labor costs would have added up! So Jeremy rolled up his sleeves and did the work himself. It took longer, but it saved us so much money which allows us to continue saving for future renovations.

Because we saved a little bit each month over nearly a year, we had enough to do everything we wanted to do and get the furniture we needed without breaking a sweat. We are both budgeting people, and it is a great feeling to be able to make a vision a reality with money already set aside. No stress! Then we bargain hunted and found some amazing, one of a kind pieces that I know we will treasure for years to come.

For those of you who like all the details, here is a complete source list. If that’s not you, then thanks for reading and talk to you later :-) xoxo.
Wall paint color: Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore (lightened by 50%)
Floor paint color: Gray 2121-10 by Benjamin Moore
Platform Bed: Ebay. Painted Graphite by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint with one coat of clear wax.
Headboard: DIY. Fabric from Brentwood Interiors. More details to come.
Mattress: Overstock. Slumber Solutions 10-in gel memory foam mattress.
Sheets: Home Goods
Blanket: Macy’s – Martha Stewart
Duvet Insert: Home Goods
Duvet Cover/Shams: Home Goods
Mirrored Nightstand: DIY from an Antique Store find
Round rope mirror: Kirklands
Rug: Home Goods
Nightstand Oil Rubbed Bronze Lamps: Home Goods
“Antiques” Box on nightstand: Home Goods
Card Catalog: Antique Store…painted Graphite by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (more info)
Large Map Art: World Market
Curtains: IKEA
Left side nightstand: Antique Store
Round clock on nightstand: Home Goods
Mid-century dresser: moving sale
Large rectangular mirror: came with dresser
Plates: From my grandmother. Hung with this method
Lamp: Target
Various picture frames and accessories: from my mom, antique stores, thrift stores, and shopped from my home

I’m noticing a pattern…I like to shop at Home Goods. :-)

Thanks for reading this far! I have received some positive feedback on the blog recently, and I can’t tell you how much every single compliment means to me. Thanks for blessing my heart!

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Posted in Before and Afters, House Tour, Projects | 4 Comments

Springtime Living Room & Coffee Table Update with Annie Sloan

Our living room was the first room that I “finished” when we moved in. But when is any room ever really finished?I have continued to make updates a bit at a time in the last two years. New pillows, updated accessories, etc.

This past week on social media, I posted this picture of our living room and took a poll on what I should do with the coffee table. It was a hand-me-down from a family member that was originally in Jeremy’s college apartment, and while it looked okay from a distance, it was pretty sad up close. Scratched, warped, dented, etc. I knew I either needed to paint it or strip and refinish it, so I polled the great people of the internet.
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The safe choice would have been to keep it wood. Everything blended together nicely and the wood played off the other wood in the room, but it was too matchy matchy for me. I wanted a pop of contrast. So while I took those opinions into consideration, in the end I went with my gut…
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Charcoal gray! I had some leftover Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Graphite from the card catalog  and bed frame I painted recently. It took two coats of paint and 2 coats of wax, and it is all done (side note: I can’t believe I was able to do 3 substantial pieces of furniture with one quart of chalk paint. A little goes a long way!)
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I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, and despite the fact that we are having yet another snow day here in Nashville, I spruced up the room for Spring with some fresh flowers. Let me show you around!

I’m dying to paint those cabinets in the kitchen. I’m hoping to get that done by the end of April. White kitchen here I come!
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We love our record player! There’s nothing like the sound of a record spinning while I’m cooking dinner.
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I love our cozy corner banquette! One of my favorite projects to date. The light is from World Market, the roman shades are from JC Penney and the plates are from various thrift stores.
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With the sunlight streaming in, you wouldn’t know that it’s about 15 degrees outside and snowy! But I’m pretending it’s Spring…

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3 Steps to an Updated Dresser

Have you ever been shopping at a thrift store or yard sale and passed by a piece of furniture that you loved because you assumed that it would take too much work to make it look shiny and new? Sometimes, it is too much work. If it has whole pieces of wood missing or is just plywood covered in cheap veneer, it might be time to say farewell. Other times, a piece of furniture just needs a few simple steps to make it something special.

Jeremy and I stumbled across a moving sale one day, and an arsenal of items we didn’t care about was sitting on top of a beautiful mid-century dresser without a price tag. The woman said she would love to sell it and that it belonged to her parents in the 1950s. I offered her $50. She took it! Compared to the $300-$500 price tags I have seen on mid-century dressers on Craigslist, I was pleased as punch to shell over 50 bucks.
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I wish these photos could better show how dirty and gross it was. It had been stored in a garage and definitely had some water damage going on. In fact, we don’t use two of the drawers because they are hard to open since the water damage. But for $50, it was worth it.

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Mittens loves this dresser…
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If you pick up a dirty, old piece of wooden furniture, here are 3 quick steps to making it shiny and new. Assuming it is real wood and that you’re just dealing with dirt, grime and minor scratches, I guarantee a “wow” result.

1. Wipe everything down with soap and water

Give it a good, old fashioned cleaning. It’s amazing what dirt and grime can hide on wooden surfaces.

2. Use Mr. Clean’s Magic.
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A Magic Eraser really is that. There were water rings on the top that I thought would never come off. Marks and stains magically lifted. It’s gross what is hiding!

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3. Use Restor-a-finish

 photo dresser6_zpsca4024be.jpgRestor-a-finish is like watered down stain. Not as difficult to use or messy as stain. It can be found at Home Depot (I haven’t found it at Lowes).

This is just a wipe-on product that helps to mask little imperfections in wood. I was shocked by what a difference it made!
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Voila! 3 steps and done!

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Styling is still underway, and I can’t wait to show you what this baby looks like in light of the whole room! Room reveal coming soon!

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Posted in Before and Afters, Projects | 2 Comments

Snow days and a clean house…

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It has been a strange week in Nashville. This is my seventh winter in the great state of Tennessee, and in all that time I have never gotten more than one day off per winter for weather. Usually, we get a few dustings of snow every year–the kind that looks beautiful in the morning and melts by noon. This week, however, we got an inch and a half of ice on Monday followed by snow on Wednesday morning, and we haven’t left the subfreezing temps all week, so nothing is melting, and everyone has been stuck in their houses! I didn’t leave from Sunday night until Wednesday afternoon. Now I am back to work, but it’s still been a strange week. Wednesday night it got down to something like -2 degrees. We just don’t handle that well in the south, y’all.
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All you northerners are rolling your eyes at me. Go ahead and roll those eyeballs all you want. But, Nashville doesn’t have the right equipment and ice is downright dangerous,  y’all.

So while the world has been stuck in a FROZEN state, I said to my husband, “Do you want to build a snowman?” and Jeremy replied “let it go, honey.” So, instead we decided to take care of our own little fixer upper and did a complete organizational overhaul for the first time in forever… or at least since we started this renovation. Now we are waking up to a clean house, and these few snow days turned out to be even better than vacation days in summer because when you stay at home with your honey, all you can say is that “love is an open door.” 

Wow. I just wrote that paragraph. And it’s actually true. Fist bump, Disney fans. (If you have no idea what I just referenced above, go watch Frozen).
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So, now I ask…is there anything better than a clean house? I am not naturally tidy. I wish that were not true. When I get busy, I get messy. But, I am starting fresh with our new bedroom.

Starting fresh with a clean house on these snow days got me thinking about how we need to start fresh in many areas of our lives. I was feeling so overwhelmed before this storm hit. My brain was foggy. We have had a lot of change in our lives lately, and I have just felt the weight of stress on my shoulders. God knew what I needed because he trapped me and my husband together in our house.

While I opened up closet doors and reorganized what I was hiding back there and swept up dust bunnies and vacuumed furniture, my introverted little self was being revitalized. I found time to spend alone with God and a cup of coffee. I held my husband’s hand on the couch. I was refreshed both physically and emotionally.

What do you do to keep yourself tidy emotionally and spiritually? How do you unwind and keep your focus straight in the midst of life’s little tasks?

And, on a practical note, do you guys have any tips for keeping the house clean? Do you do a daily cleanup routine?

The cold never bothered me anyway.
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