Painted Kitchen Door

I have mentioned that there isn’t anything particularly spectacular about our kitchen. I am so grateful for it. It’s spacious and has plenty of storage and the cabinets are sturdy and fairly new. The appliances work great. But it’s not my style. I can live with it, quite happily, however. It helps me make food to nourish our family, and it can hold plenty of people.

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But I recently did a little update that is adding some “happy” to my space for less than $5.

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Back it up. I had been really inspired by colored pantry doors like this and this.

We don’t have a pantry door, but we do have a basement door in our kitchen. But it looked like this.
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That hole had been there since we moved in. I kept thinking we would have to get an entirely new door, but then I realized it wouldn’t take that much work. So I picked up some wood filler, the only thing I had to buy, and patched that hole in no time.

Then I wiped down the trim with soap and water (amazing what that will do), and tried out three sample colors that I already had.

From top to bottom: Knoxville Gray (Benjamin Moore), Valley Hills (Valspar), Gibraltar (Sherwin Williams)
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Then I chose the only color that I had enough paint left to use without buying anything new. The middle. Valley Hills (the same color as our upstairs bathroom).

I removed the doorknob, taped over the hinges, and used a foam roller brush to paint it down. It was really easy! And really low commitment. If I want to paint it back later or paint it a different color, it hardly cost me a thing!
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Have you painted any doors lately? I’m thinking about doing ALL the doors in our house a medium gray. I think it adds some sophistication and character. What do you think?

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DIY Industrial Coffee Table & Basement Inspiration

This past weekend, my handyman was especially handy. He built us a coffee table!
Industrial Coffee Table - All Precious & Pleasant
This is where we left off with the basement last time you saw it (back in January).
BEFORE

We had a friend living with us for a month whose bed was squeezed into this room, so it got us thinking about rearranging things, and this is the set up we landed on. I quite like it, but this room has a LONG way to go in the decor department!
Industrial Coffee Table - All Precious & Pleasant
Industrial Coffee Table - All Precious & Pleasant

I’ve been inspired by coffee tables like this one from Restoration Hardware.
Industrial Coffee Table - All Precious & Pleasant

So we found several tutorials on Pinterest for industrial coffee tables.

And Jeremy went to work. I absolutely LOVE it. It may be my favorite thing he has built so far! I’m not going to go into a detailed tutorial because there are plenty out there, but I will say that it was really fairly easy once we figured out the right materials that we needed (and went to three stores to find the right parts in stock).
Industrial Coffee Table - All Precious & Pleasant
The top stain is miniwax dark walnut, and I like the way that it plays with the color in the rug.

So, let’s talk about plans for this room. We are currently renovating our garage and converting it into our new master suite. I’m SO excited about that! And there will be lots to share very soon. But once that happens, the rest of the basement will be converted into music studio space which means this little couch area will become a sitting area for the studio and moonlight as our hang out space.

I am so inspired by rooms like this and this.
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But both of these rooms have something that our space lacks: ample natural light. We do have one basement window on the other side of the space, but it is in the carport so it lacks a lot of sunlight. So…maybe we need a little more color to brighten up a sometimes gloomy space with very little architectural interest.

Link
West Elm inspiration
Inspiration
Link

So here are some personal goals for this space:

- Add some color to the room with art on the walls
– Replace/cover the current couch pillows
– Accessorize!
– Decide whether to paint the room or leave it white.
– Possibly paint the end table

More to come…

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Bedroom Update & West Elm Crush

I have a story about how things are not always as they seem…

You see. Our bedroom looked really good the last time I showed you.

Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog

But the truth about that gorgeous blue Anthropologie comforter wasn’t quite as pretty.

It pulled apart easily, had loose threads everywhere (I had to repair it several times), had a patch where I spilled bleach, showed cat hair like crazy, was incredibly difficult to wash, and made me frustrated daily. I was getting so fed up with it constantly looking dirty and hairy and having to repair the tufts that one day I woke up and decided to buy a new comforter.

Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

Enter: leftover Macy’s gift cards from our wedding two years ago and a West Elm bedding sale.

Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

The day I decided to get something new, Jeremy and I picked up an amazing Calvin Klein Down Alternative Comforter at Macy’s with a gift card I found hiding in my wallet. Then we hopped over to West Elm to pick something out on a whim. I normally spend a really long time deliberating choices, but the hubs and I worked together to pick something out in a matter of minutes.

And we took it home and it was all wrong.

So we took it back and got the Steven Alan Stripe Duvet in Golden Gate.

Then I loved it, but I second guessed myself for two weeks so I ordered a solid white duvet and waited for it to come in. Because I LOVE solid white bedding, am I right? And it’s the most versatile.

But then I put it on the bed and it just wasn’t right. We needed some interest and color!

So, here is where we landed, and I love it more every time I look at it! I love the touch of masculinity, the addition of the golden yellow into the room, and I really like it in conjunction with the Organic Sparrow Song shams.
Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm
Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

Mittens loves it, too.

Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

It may not be as versatile as a solid white duvet, but I’m gonna enjoy the fun pop of color and the gorgeous fabric.

So what do you think? Fun, patterned bedding or plain romantic white? Which do you prefer?

Also, West Elm is still running a 20% off all bedding sale. And there are about 20 duvets that I wanted. I wish we had a 20 bedroom house. Well…not really. But seriously, now’s your chance to update your bedding. I am not compensated by West Elm. I just have a big crush on their style.

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6 Dating Habits That Helped Our Marriage

Today is my birthday, and it also marks three years since Jeremy proposed and I said “yes.” So, I am all mushy and sentimental thinking about our dating years, and how wonderful our two years of marriage have been (better than our dating years by a long shot). This sent me into a reflection on what we did in dating that I would recommend to someone else who was seriously dating a potential future spouse. If that’s you, or if you want some dirt on our relationship, here’s the scoop.
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Let me tell you about how I ruined the first time Jeremy said “I Love You.”

Back up. When we were still “just friends,” he told me he had never told a girl he loved her because he was saving those words for the girl he wanted to marry. He got about five times more attractive in my eyes when he told me that. I’m all, “Hello, super cute guy with a lot of integrity.” *whistles*

Fast forward a couple of years. We had been dating for a year and a half. He knew he wanted to marry me within a few months of dating, but I asked him to wait to say those sacred words because I wanted to be confident that I could say them too, and I wanted it to mean something. I had subtly given him the ok, so he began to plan when he would give me the news about his feelings (as if I didn’t already know).

Fast forward again to early June, 2010. I had just landed in Houston from three weeks in Africa for a study abroad/mission trip that wore me out spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The 20+ hours of travel to make it back only compounded the feelings of exhaustion. I was at my emotional tipping point. Jeremy met me at the baggage claim and we hugged and waited for my bags. As we were standing by the carousel watching the suitcases roll down the track, he leaned over and whispered “I missed you and I love you.” 

Screech. Halt. Tired brain can’t process.

He thought picking me up from the airport and saying he loved me was like something out of a movie. I didn’t pick up on the romance.

Me: “Wait, did you just tell me you loved me…in the baggage claim?”
Jeremy: “Yes,” with a sheepish expression. “Is that ok?”
Me: “I mean that’s fine. It’s just not how I pictured it, I guess. I mean, thank you. I mean, I’m sorry I’m just so exhausted I can’t process this. And…well…we’re in the baggage claim.”

Crickets chirped.
And he looked at me in silence as a tear rolled down his cheek.

I stumbled over my words a little longer and then starting sobbing. I guess we picked up my suitcase at some point, and the tears kept flowing. He was trying not to cry too because he wanted the moment to be perfect. I kept apologizing because I already ruined it, and saying “I love you” back now would be weird and why do i ruin everything and i’m so tired and i wanna go home and i love him too but i should wait to tell him now and i broke his heart and everything is all wrong.

Moral of the story, our dating relationship was pretty much perfect, and we never miscommunicated. Obviously. 

There are certainly things I would do differently were I to do it all over again,  but despite little hiccups, there are a few choices that we made that have been vital in the success of our marriage thus far. Because when you are dating, no matter your intentions, you are laying building blocks in the foundation of your future marriage.

Here are a few practical building blocks I would lay again.
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1. We didn’t separate our spiritual lives from our dating life. 

If you grew up in church, you have been told to keep God at the center of your relationships. I love that advice, but it’s kind of hard to know what that looks like practically. The best way I know how to describe it is that we didn’t separate spiritual from relational.

If you are a believer, your relationship with God should inform every other relationship you are in. So in dating, that means that every step you take together, every habit you form, every choice you make is first informed by scripture and your relationship with God.

We didn’t pray together every day or have weekly boyfriend/girlfriend bible studies. But, for us, it meant being in constant communication about our spiritual walks, talking about hard spiritual concepts, praying individually and together for wisdom in our relationship, finding and serving in a church together, and allowing our faith to inform all aspects of our lives.
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2. We sought out Godly mentors 

After we had been dating about a year, we read a book called Boy Meets Girl by Josh Harris, and our main takeaway was that we needed mentors. We lived far from family, and we wanted people who were older and wiser that could speak into our dating relationship. We were taking things very seriously, and we wanted to do things right.

At Jeremy’s prompt (bless him), we asked our pastor and his wife to mentor us in our relationship, and for the next few years, we met together for dinner, had coffee with each separately, and allowed them to speak truth and answer questions about our relationship. That same pastor did our premarital counseling and married us. I don’t know if they know how much their investment in two little college students meant to us, but (Mike and Tab, if you’re reading this), we are still impacted and influence by their guidance and example.

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3. We talked about hard stuff, disagreed, and worked through it. 

We argued. Quite a bit. Especially in the first year of dating. We are both stubborn and opinionated, and I had high expectations for everything that were unable to be met by a mere mortal.

Some of our arguing could have been curbed, but we made it a point to learn to disagree well and communicate openly and honestly about our feelings. We didn’t shy away from conflict, but we prayed for humility and understanding in getting to the other side.

I sometimes got frustrated that we couldn’t live in la-la land like some of our other dating friends. I wanted to be one of those couples that looked dreamily into each other’s eyes and never disagreed. But we miscommunicated a lot at first and had lots of long talks to understand each other better. We worked through things with resolution in mind, and I am so glad we embraced conflict and allowed ourselves to be refined in the fire in the dating years because it has made conflict in marriage so much less surprising and so much more easily resolved. Notice that I didn’t say that conflict in marriage is nonexistent, but the key is learning how to selflessly, lovingly and productively resolve conflict.

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4. We kept our friendships with each other and with others a priority. 

My dad once remarked to me that he liked seeing young couples that were such good friends that you didn’t even notice they were dating in group settings. There is something refreshing about a couple who cares for each other and loves each other selflessly but is able to maintain an obvious friendship with each other when in a group setting.

I’m not suggesting you should ignore each other in public. Especially now that we are married, a rub on the back and a smooch on the lips is very healthy even when hanging out with friends, but when we were dating, we really worked on being the kind of couple that never made anyone feel like a third wheel and that kept our friendship as a focus.

Friends laugh when milk comes out of their nose. Friends don’t always have to look “put together.” Friends encourage each other and build each other up. Friends don’t need constant affection. Friends make others feel included. Friends goof around. Friends put up with each other’s quirks.

When we are 85 years old and arthritic, and we’ve weathered life’s storms together, I hope our friendship will be the thing that is constant and keeps our love alive.

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5. We saved sex for marriage. 

I won’t harp on all the nitty gritty of this one (but I can suggest some great books or take you out to coffee to share my thoughts if you want). If you’ve ever been in a youth group or read the Bible, you’re probably clear on this subject. And there is a reason God did it that way!

We didn’t handle every aspect of our physical relationship perfectly, but we established from the very beginning that sex (and anything resembling sex) was something that is sacred for marriage. We are so thankful that we saved it for our wedding night and that we were both able to experience that for the first time as husband and wife. God designed and commands it that way, and the rewards are great.

There was enough to figure out when we were just dating without adding that to the mix. Also, it’s fun to be married and know that all is permissible and pleasing to the Lord. So parrtayyyy.
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6. We kept marriage in mind. 

When Jeremy first asked me to date him, he said, “I would like to start dating you because you’re the kind of girl I want to marry someday.” Talk about serious.

We established (even at the age of 18) that we were dating in order to determine if The Lord would call us to be married, and we would break up at the first sign that God had other plans.

Dating with this intention made everything matter more. The design was to protect our hearts. I think this mindset is what drove us to read dating books, ask for mentors, value our parents’ opinions, and continue striving to resolve issues and understand each other better even when it was difficult. We felt that we were called to love each other, and we listened attentively to God’s voice in case he called us to stop dating.

——-

There are so many other helpful things that contributed to us as a couple. We have amazing parents who invested in our relationship and really cared about and prayed for our future spouses. And ultimately we owe everything to The Lord anyway. Also, we are still newlyweds and have so much to learn about love and marriage. But, I hope these few nuggets of advice will be an encouragement and challenge if you are young or dating.

Love you, JQ.
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Office Happiness

We call this room the office. It’s really more of a reading/writing room. Whatever it is, I love it. I love it the most of all rooms in our house. Because in the mornings, I get just the right amount of light streaming in that window to sit in that comfy chair and read my bible and journal. And in the evenings I can write a song on the piano. And it just feels like a room that doesn’t need clutter or a lot of use.

Yesterday I updated you on my faux pallet wall, so today I thought I would give you a good overview of how the room is looking as a whole.

This is how the room started. Just a basic beige like the rest of the house.

House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant

So, we have painted everything Revere Pewter at 50% strength, brought in a desk that we have since moved to the basement, purchased an antique mantel from Craigslist, installed a pallet wall, accessorized, brought in an arm chair, ottoman, side table, and lamp, hung white curtains, taken down the mini blinds, accessorized the book shelves, and moved my keyboard into the room to make it more of an intentional music space. My favorite update was the industrial light that we installed.

Come on in!

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So, now, the main thing that is missing is a rug, but I can’t decide what size and where it should go. I love the way Dana from House Tweaking uses Turkish Kilim Rugs all the way through her house. They are to die for! But they also make my wallet want to die! Any tips for a good deal on a Kilim rug?

I mean look how beautiful the richness and colors. I feel like that could be what this room needs.

deskrug6

So, give me your rug shopping tips. Or just give me a rug.

Source list:
Paint Color: Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore at 50% strength.
Mantel: Craigslist
Chalkboard: Flea market DIY project
Globe figurine: Antique Store
Ottoman: Nashville Flea Market
Side Table: Nashville Flea Market
Lamp: Garage Sale
Curtains: IKEA
Stripe Blanket: IKEA
Bookshelves:  hand me downs

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Whitewashed Faux Pallet Wall & Office Update

My dear readers,

Let me tell you. This summer has been a good one. I have been busy living and enjoying life, family, and friends, so house projects/this blog have suffered. I keep telling Jeremy “I miss my blog.” This is my stress-free creative outlet, and I’m not giving it up, but I have slowed down temporarily because I have been so busy on weekends which is my prime, non-working time to get things done.

But I’m back on the map this week with a project that has been in the works for a long time. I have had the materials for many months, but I just hadn’t taken the time to put everything together. When all is said & done, however, this is a pretty simple project, so I happily introduce to you, my whitewashed faux fireplace pallet wall.
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It isn’t actually attached to the wall. It’s attached to a cheap piece of plywood. And it cost me about $15 to make. And I think it makes such an impact where there used to be just blank space!

Materials needed:
– a piece of plywood cut down in store to fit behind the mantel
– pallets (I got these for free by just asking around. I asked on Facebook and a friend was getting rid of some. I asked at Home Depot a bunch of times and one time I got lucky, and the guy passed some along. You can also check craigslist).
– A circular saw (for cutting boards)
– Liquid nails (which I already had on hand)
– Paintable painters caulk
– Flat white paint (I picked up a sample pot from Home Depot for $2.98).
– Paintbrush
– Water
– 80 Grit Sandpaper (and a sander if you want to spare yourself some heartache.)

1. Cut down the pallets into strips.

First Jeremy used a sawzall, but I think he realized a circular saw was the way to go on this. Basically we just cut in between the edges and center strip. One cut on each side of the nailed down sections, and you have a handful of strips from each pallet, and it’s much easier than taking pallets apart and removing the nails.
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Also, Jeremy’s face. Also, this was in the Fall. That’s how long ago I started this project.

2. Lay out the boards
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Just lay everything out on your pre-cut piece of plywood (I got mine cut down in store at Home Depot. Make sure you leave a few extra inches on each side larger than the space you are trying to fill.) It would be fun to do a herringbone or chevron pattern, but it would be important that each board be the exact same length and width. For the sake of ease, and because I had so many different boards, I decided to keep it simple.

Make sure you vary colors and textures for added interest.

3. Glue down the boards

I used 1 and a half tubes of Liquid Nails, and it worked like a charm. I just picked up each board as a I went and squeezed it on in a zig zag pattern.
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4. Sand everything down.

Because pallets have usually had a rough life, you will probably find lots of jagged edges, splintered wood, and uneven surfaces. I gave mine a good sanding with medium/heavy 80 grit sandpaper and my handy dandy orbital sander. I just wanted to rub out any loose wood splinters and rough edges.

5. Fill in large gaps with painter’s caulk.
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I used the basic white paintable caulk from Ace Hardware. I didn’t fill in every gap, but because of the varying board sizes, there were some pretty large spaces, and since I wanted this to look like a more permanent fixture, I filled in the spaces.

6. White wash!

Here is a little tutorial on how I white washed the boards :-) I really got dolled up for the camera, as you can tell.

7. Cut down the edges to be flush with the original plywood board.

8. Install!
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We simply placed this behind the farmhouse mantel that I got on Craigslist last year. I originally thought we may have to secure it to the wall somehow, but it was light enough and the mantel heavy enough that simply placing it and putting the mantel in front seemed like enough!

That’s it. It makes such a subtle impact, and it really makes that mantel feel more intentional!
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Stay tuned tomorrow for a full room tour of our office progress!

Thanks for coming back, y’all! I missed hang out!

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All Pretty & Planned Weddings: Lauren & Mike

**All Pretty & Planned Weddings is the little wedding coordinating side-business I started. For more info, see here.  – Chandler

If you’ve ever clicked on the “Our Wedding” tab at the top of the page, you may have picked up on the fact that weddings make me giddy. I love the excitement and joy that comes with a wedding day and seeing a new couple make a lifelong covenant with one another. I love everything that marriage represents. I love the picture of Jesus Christ with his bride that is played out in the beautiful details of a wedding.
The smiles on the faces of the couple and the guests
The gathering of families and best friends
A bride in her white dress who always looks like the most beautiful woman in the world
The excitement and hope for the future
Fresh flowers
The scripture read over a couple as a reminder of the meaning of it all
The details that are unique to the people they represent.

But, in the midst of all those details, brides can easily become overwhelmed and lose sight of the joy of the day.

That’s where I come in.

I have started a little side business of helping brides with coordinating their days. I think every bride should have a day-of coordinator. Even the most organized and detail oriented brides need someone to take the load off their shoulders when the actual day comes.

So I thought I would do a little feature on one of the first weddings I got to help with on March 1. Meet Lauren & Mike Chapman.

I can’t take credit for the ideas behind this one. Lauren is bursting with creative ideas and event planning know-how, so she made my job easy. We met several times before the wedding to discuss her ideas and my responsibilities and look at the venues, and it was my job to take the load off her shoulders once the weekend came.

I coordinated with the vendors to make sure everything was at the right place at the right time, I delivered all the reception decor to the venue and set up everything on the table centerpieces and around the reception, and I worked directly with the videographer and photographer on the day-of to make sure people were where they were supposed to be. Basically, I was the point person on the wedding day for all details so that the bride and her mom could just enjoy the emotion of the day.

All of these photos are compliments of Lovinggood’s Photography. And the amazing video is from FocalPoint Cinematic.

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Lauren was an absolutely picture perfect bride. She was calm, joyful, and pulled together. There was such a serenity over the whole day because everyone there knew that Mike & Lauren are a perfect match. The love felt throughout the whole event was palpable.
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And look at that gorgeous wedding party. Seriously.
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What a dream day. Lauren and her family kept the guests in mind throughout the whole day and truly threw a party that no-one will soon forget. Lauren is from a small town in Ohio, and I think the entire town made the trip to Nashville to celebrate this vivacious and delightful couple. Lauren’s parents rented THREE 50 PASSENGER BUSES to transport the guests from the hotel to the reception. They really went out of their way to show people a good time. Everything went off without a hitch and even a seven hour reception flew by!
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{photo above is a still shot from wedding video. See below}
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One of my FAVORITE ideas Lauren came up with was to use photos of every guest as her escort cards. She scoured Facebook and old photo albums for a photo of every single one of the 200+ guests and wrote their table number and a personal note on the back of each. I hung them that day on twine with mini clothespins, and guests found their photo to find their table. The following photos are stills from the video below.
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Congrats, Mike & Lauren! Thanks for letting me be a part of your day! It was an absolute joy!!

Check out this video from FocalPoint Cinematic to relive the day. I even made an appearance at the beginning!

Michael & Lauren :: Highlights from FocalPoint Cinematic Weddings on Vimeo.

And if you know anyone who may just need a wedding coordinator, send them my way!
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