Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fluffin' It Up

A few months ago, I was collecting money for a fundraiser for a local couple who was/is trying to raise money to adopt a baby. It was one part of a Vintage Sale in which I was participating. Each vendor of the sale paid money for a table (to sell vintage things on) and that money, as well as all money collected at the food stand, went directly to the couple. In addition to that, I was also campaigning around my "neighborhood" trying to raise money from local businesses. The participating business would be featured on a poster the day of the sale. 

Okay...got all that?? Good.

So my brother's best friend has a local business. Seth sells hearing aids. And of course, being my bro's BFF, I was gonna hit him up. So in I went and after some slight arm-twisting (jk...he was very gracious), Seth donated what ended up being the biggest monetary donation we received. Anyway, I say all that to say this: that day I went into his office was the first time I'd ever been there. And well...I couldn't get past the way it looked. It looked like...well...like a man decorated it. Let me show ya. (and sorry for the picture quality...these are just iPhone pics)

There were product posters on the walls, acting as art (never a good idea), his credentials looked like two postage stamps being swallowed up by one massive off-white wall, and there wasn't any fluff. Ya know, like flowers or vases, or baskets, or ANYthing. Bare bones, baby. Like I said...like a typical man threw it together. Bleh.

So of course I couldn't leave well enough alone. Something had to be done. Here's his sad coffee station.

So on a limited budget and plan (no painting of walls, furniture had to stay, etc), I "fluffed" the place up a bit with thrifted (and free) items as well as some things that were sitting around my house. I added some much-needed color to the plain walls and brought in some...well...fluff. Some art and accessories can add a lot to a space, so that's what I did.

The bamboo screen was the first purchase I made. It was $25 and brings some much-needed texture to the room. And it serves double duty as well. Many of Seth's clients would try to exit the room using that door behind the screen (which is a closet door). It now blocks that doorway, making it less confusing but also brings in some character and visual height as well. The bamboo plant stand was at our house (seen here in our mudroom), but I felt like some "greenery" was needed, thus a potted plant that Seth already had, sits on top. 

I found this bright canvas at a sale for $5. It was a fun pop of color and cheap...two requirements. SOLD.

I bought these "shutters" off a friend. They were just plain wood that I had her paint and distress (for added character). I think that they bring such a happy bolt of color into an otherwise bland space. (thanks, Lorna! You did a great job!) I staggered them on the wall to mix it up a bit. 

The mid-century coffee table was a free find along side the road. I really wanted to add a coffee table (or rug) to this space, but it really wasn't in Seth's budget. No sooner had we discussed it, that I was headed to my friend's house one night and saw this little guy with a "free" sign on it. I seriously love it. Isn't it cute? I added the duck dish that's full of mints (the dish came out of the same box that the boys' light was in.)

The floor lamp was from my house. There's nothing more cold to me than florescent overhead lighting. I brought in the floor lamp (as well as a table lamp I found at Goodwill) to make the space more home-like and warm. Sure, the overhead lights still need to be on (this is a business after all), but at least they aren't as in-your-face as before.

(This side table I scored for $5)

I brought in a chalkboard (that I made here), moved the clock up further, and added a placemat and vase to warm up this side a bit. Would love to get rid of that ugly coat tree, but alas, it does serve a purpose.

So that's it. A inexpensive makeover that I think makes a big difference in this once dull-looking space.

What have you guys been up to lately? Have you made over a room with thrift store finds? That's the story of my life. HA. Follow me on Instagram in between posts!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sidelights Schmidelights

About that door up there...there's a story. And I think it's a pretty good one. You see, we've been looking for a door to replace our current front door. And this is purely for practicality's sake, because if you've read this blog for any time, you know I'm in love with our front door. Stylistically, anyway. I love that it's an antique oak door with a beveled glass inlay and it lets so much light into our living room. I seriously love it. BUT...that thing not only lets in tons of light; it also tends to let Arctic-like winds whip through our house as well. We can literally scrape thick frost off that window any given winter's day. Even in this picture, you can see we have a towel stuffed in the lock hole. Yeah. How's that for energy efficiency...ha.

When I say "we've been looking" you realize, that we're cheap-o's and don't want to drop a million dollars on a piece of wood (or fiberglass, in this case) that swings on a hinge. So we've been checking out Craigs on a pretty regular basis. We did find a door we liked (Craftsman, like our orange door), but it was above the price range we could afford. Plus, we've learned over the years to just wait. Yes, it's hard sometimes and super annoying, but I'm always amazed that if we're just patient, God brings us pretty much the exact thing that we've been wanting/looking for, at a fraction of the regular price (because, really, who can afford a $2,000 door?) 

And that's precisely why I shop Craigslist, thrift stores and auctions. 

You'd be amazed what you can find if you dig a little. When you think outside the typical box-store "box", there are some pretty sweet deals to be had. 

So there's an auction place near us that auctions off building supply inventory. Contractors dump their extra stuff  here, or "regular" people get rid of that random window, door, or heck...I even saw a Krispy Kreme display case at the auction this time! You just never know what will be there. But if you're looking for really anything house-related, this auction is the place to go. It's the same place where I got our back door. (You can read that fun story here)

So I went to inspect the doors the day before the auction and I saw this Craftsman there.

Cue angels singing 

Obviously it got my attention, since we love that style door. This was exactly what we wanted--another Craftsman. BUT it had sidelights. Two of them. So I walked away sadly and went looking (without any luck) at the other doors. There was nothing as charming as the Craftsman. Dang it. But I decided to go back the next day (auction day) anyway. I was hoping that my dream door would have been dropped off after I left the day before. No luck. So as I was about to leave the auction, I was standing in front of the two-sidelight Craftsman and decided to give our contractor friend a quick call. See, when I originally saw this door, I thought that since it had the sidelights attached, if we tried to remove the sidelights, that it would compromise the structure/energy efficiency of the door. But after that quick call to our friend, he assured me that if each sidelight was framed out individually, he could easily pop those puppies off and install just the 36" wide door to the front of our house no problem. Boom. Done. I was sold. Well...IF the door didn't go for a million dollars, that is.

So after waiting a while for the auctioneer to make his way to "my door," it finally came time to auction it off. It was just me and one other bidder interested. But I was well aware that you only need two bidders and the price could sky rocket before ya know it. Thankfully the other guy wasn't too interested and dropped out after only two bids. I got the door for $100. I was thrilled, to say the least.

So now we're waiting to get it installed. We'll probably have our friend put it in for us. But I'm hoping it gets done soon. It's been chilly in these here parts lately! And I'm cringing not only with cold, but also the thought of our electric bill (we have baseboard heat). 

Let me show ya what I'm thinking. Actually, Mitch was the one to suggest we add something a little different when we install our door--to mix up the look a bit. So we're thinking about doing two panels on either side of the door. They'd resemble sidelights, but since we don't have the room to use sidelights, these would act like dummy sidelights, you know what I mean? It would look like this, minus the glass in the sidelights. (Yikes...how many times can I use the word "sidelights"?)

See what I mean? So we'd use Azek or something similar around the door (like what we used here under our windows) to make "sidelights." I like the idea of white on the surround with a different colored door (like that black or Dragon's Breath...surprise, surprise)

Like this, but we would keep our existing light that hangs from above

Cute, right? It'd really beef up the look of our front entrance

That's what's brewing in these heads of ours lately. So, what are you guys up to these days? Find any deals lately?? It was funny--I posted that picture of the door on Facebook right after I won the auction asking how much you guys thought I paid for it and the majority of you thought I got it for like $2. I was dying laughing. I may find some deals, but I'm not that good, people! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Makeover Story: Dresser Edition

Once upon a time there was a sad, lonely no-frills dresser

that needed some TLC

Sure, it had great hardware

But even that hardware needed a new look

So off it came

And it was sprayed gold

While the dresser was painted green

And now its home is in Ryder and Bryce's room
(with Finn keeping an eye on things)

We also added some hooks for the boys to hang up their church bags (a place for everything, right?)

So there ya have it, folks--a makeover story: dresser edition 

It never ceases to amaze me what an impact paint can make.
(check out the gold light DIY here)

In between posts, you can find me on Instagram.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Family Photo Shoot

Oh hey there. Yeah, it's been a while, hasn't it? I'm not even going to make excuses...but just in case you were wondering...I've been busier than ever with these boys of mine. Seriously, you'd think a girl would get some extra free time since Bryce is in pre-school a couple days a week, but no. There's much to be done. Plus--don't even get me started on my laptop, because you will see some Jersey come outta me. Thankfully it's currently working so I'm doing a quick post here.

We got our family pictures taken. We can cross that one off the list. 

This was no easy feat. Three boys with three different personalities...Bryce saw a pear on the ground (my neighbor has a pear tree and these pics were taken in their backyard), so he started chomping away at the beginning of our session. Perfect.

Finn had just woken up from a nap, so he was super happy. Kidding, of course.

But ya know--we got some nice shots 

(despite Ryder's duck face)

My heart is just so full when I look at these pictures of our boys.

We are so blessed

And yes, even with Ryder's obnoxious face...

I wouldn't change them for the world

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful boys You've blessed us with. What an awesome responsibility and honor it is to raise them!

Pictures taken by the lovely Rebekah Viola Photography

In between posts, you can find me on Instagram here or Facebook here. Follow along!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Our Deck Makeover

A couple months ago, Mitch came home from a Home Depot run. I think he originally went there to pick up some insulation for our attic (we've been steadily adding more R-value to our once heat-escaping attic, hoping that this winter's heating bill doesn't kill us like it did last year). When he came in, he had a folder of info that he promptly plopped down on the kitchen table. After a while I took a look at the bundle of information. It was all about painting a deck with a product called Behr DeckOver. Mitch was itchin' to do something to our deck and thought painting it with a heavy duty, durable deck paint was a great choice, and might last longer than a typical staining job (which he's done several times to our tired-looking 9 year old boards). 

Then a great idea popped into my head, and after thinking about it for a half second, I said to Mitch, "Ya know...I'm just going email Behr and see if they'll give us the paint if I do a follow-up blog post about our deck makeover." Surprisingly, it worked. That was the first time I ever did that--contact a company and ask them to partner with me in a project. I've done it before with giveaways for you guys, but never for one of our own projects. So I was very impressed with Behr's customer service and the overall experience.

I don't have a total "before" picture for you, but as you can see, our deck needed some help. The color we chose was Cape Cod Gray and the 5 gallon pail was more than enough for our 16x12' deck.

Before starting with the paint, Mitch pressure washed the deck to remove any/all dirt and build-up.

Bryce also helped. He actually is a great worker and loves to help. He loved washing the deck!

We started with the railings, which did take a while--we ended up stretching out the job over the span of several weeks. But once we got to the floor, things picked up quickly since we were able to use the roller.

We put on two coats on the railings and three coats on the floor. And of course I staged the whole thing. There's a greenhouse down the street, owned by a Mennonite family. Briar Rose Greenhouse (they don't have a website, but here's a FB page about them) let me use their mums, pumpkins, planters, etc. so I could take some pretty pictures. (Check them out if you're local--they have a great selection of plants all year round and they're a friendly family-owned and operated business.

They had a vast array of pumpkins and gourds, as well as tri-colored mums, and fun accessories like a "spider" holder that I used to stack up pumpkins on. How I love the colors of fall!

They also have some beautiful hanging planters. 

I've had my eye on globe string lights for a while so we finally took the plunge and ordered them from Target. I love the ambiance they bring...it makes our deck more of an outdoor room to me. Love it so much. So much so that the other evening we had friends over and I made us all sit out on the deck wrapped up in blankets. Ha. 

(Side note: I love how festive our orange door looks this time of year.) 

So overall, I like how the paint really transformed our deck--it spruced up something that looked dated and worn and made it into a brighter, fresher space.


It's a great place to curl up in a blanket and drink a cup o' joe, while looking at the surrounding cornfields.


It feels great to have this project completed. It was one of those that was hanging over our heads for a while, so it's awesome checking one more project off the to-do list. And I think it looks great!

Have you guys ever painted a deck? It's a lot of work, but once it's done, it looks like a million bucks. The only downside of doing this project this time of year is that it's getting cold FAST! What's up with these 30 degree nights?! But the good thing is that come spring, our deck will be ready to go. 

Blogging tips