Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reduce, Reuse, Reupholster

So about two and a half years ago (according to this post), I was driving in my Nissan Maxima (in the rain) and spotted some chairs alongside the road. This means only one thing: they had done their duty, served their purpose. It was time for furniture heaven (aka the landfill). By the look of the chairs sitting out in the rain, it was high time (probably past time) to put these puppies to rest. That's what some people would think, at least. Not me. What I saw was a pair (seriously, how often does that happen?) of antique chairs that had great shape to them, cute wooden legs, and shoot, they were free.

Do you see what I saw?? POTENTIAL, baby! Mitch rolled his eyes as I trucked these puppies back to our house, storing them in our basement for the last two and a half years. Others laughed...thought I was crazy (seriously go read some of the comments on this post)(sorry...some of the inspiration pics aren't showing up). But others (some long-time readers who get me and are as crazy as I am) knew I had a couple diamonds in the rough on my hands.

Well the day came (a couple months ago) when I dropped these puppies off at the upholstery farm (same lady who did Finn's chair). Yes, my upholsterer lives on a farm and yes, I have a farm for pretty much everything I could possibly need/want. It's similar to having a genie in a bottle. And we just picked up those same chairs yesterday from the farm. They're done. So can I just show you those "ugly" chairs now?? They're hanging out in our living room.

One detail that I LOVE is the contrasting piping. EEK! Details like this make me smile.

They look a little different, huh??

I got the light blue velvet fabric at a fabric outlet a few years ago. I loved its soft color. Didn't have a project in mind for it then, but I'm glad I bought it when I saw it. I ended up not having enough of it to reupholster both chairs, but when I was talking with my upholsterer she said she had some stuff she was wanting to get rid of. And she pulled out the vibrant floral fabric. It's called Silsila Curry by Braemore Textiles. I knew as soon as I saw it that it would compliment my blue fabric perfectly. My upholsterer gave me the fabric. As in--it was free. Then the angels sang. It felt like Christmas morning. 

It ended up costing about $150 per chair to get reupholstered (which is a really good price). I'm so excited to have a pair of antique chairs that I saved from the landfill. Seriously, isn't it cool to give something that looks like crap a second chance at life?? 

There's an ottoman for our bedroom that we got reupholstered too...I'll show you that soon!

Wilbur Chocolate Giveaway

Good morning, guys! Just wanted to give you a head's up about a giveaway going on RIGHT NOW over on Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees' Facebook page. Go over and check it out and enter for a chance to win this deliciousness:

Wilbur Buds (AKA the best chocolate that ever passed your lips)

What are you waiting for? This is CHOCOLATE we're talking about! Get goin'!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Mantel

Hey guys! Just dropping in today to show you my summer mantel. Well, I call it my mantel, but it's really just a shelf that I bought at a yard sale a few years back (for $5!). I like to think of it as my mantel 'cause I dress it up like one. I like changing it up according to the seasons. So here she is--all decked out in greens and blues--a very summery look if you ask me.

The old glass insulators add a fun touch and some more of that watery blue-ish green color. (they're actually my neighbors' and they're for sale, so if you're interested--shoot me an email)

The woven demijohns add some nice texture, as do the antlers. Gotta have antlers in there... :)

Thanks for dropping by today. Hope you're enjoying your summer. The boys are currently outside setting up this contraption. (looks like Bryce is trying to suck out the last drop of water from the nozzle)

Happy Monday.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Laundry/Mudroom Reveal

We finally got around to finishing up our laundry/mudroom. Well...if I were completely honest, there are still a couple things (adding some trim & painting) left to do yet so we can't completely check off this area just yet. But I thought you guys would enjoy seeing it anyway. It's come a long way, baby.

This is where we started--remember our renovation included converting our two-car garage into more living space. That Craftsman-style door was added and brings you into our mudroom.

Here was the inside after Mitch framed it all, added plumbing for the washer, and added the electrical lines. (There's the backside of our mudroom door.)

And this is where we added the mudroom closet.

Now this is what everything looks like:

Right from the get-go I wanted wood planks on the wall for durability's sake (plus I love the way they look). There's no way a hole is going to happen in this wall. Not even a steel-tipped boot (which Mitch wears to work) could do that. And with three boys, durability is always a top priority. Planks are painted in Behr Swiss Coffee in semi-gloss finish.

Since we were limited with square footage, we needed this space to be multi-functional. What was needed was a place for shoe/coat storage, a small entry table, "hidden" storage in the form of a closet, and also it had to function as our "laundry room." Well I can proudly say--this space does it all. (read more about the entry table makeover here)

The little entry table houses a collection of eclectic decorative pieces that change with the seasons and also functions as my charging station for my phone. I recently framed an envelope that had beautiful handwriting on it (our name and address). It was from a wedding invitation and was too pretty to throw away, so now it lives in a frame on our entry table.

I picked up this sweet cross-stitched picture last weekend while out thrifting. This purchase is what kicked the whole "let's finish 'er up" into gear. I decided to do a little gallery wall here in the entry with other items I had around.

I initially had this generic "home" saying written on the chalkboard, but it didn't feel right so I changed it. Not that there's anything wrong with that particular saying, but I love making things personal in a space, ya know? Decorate with things you love, even sweet/funny quotes from family members.

Fresh flowers always put a smile on my face. These are from our own yard. I'm determined to use flowers more in my home this summer. They're too beautiful just to be admired in your garden...bring them inside and enjoy them throughout your day! 

Okay, so getting back to the functionality of this space: here is one of our "storage areas." Of course having an entry means having a dumping ground for "stuff" somewhere. If you have a designated spot to dump stuff, the less visual clutter there is. I picked up this piece of driftwood a couple summers ago on Block Island. Mitch added the Pottery Barn number hooks to it and now we have a place for the boys to hang their hats. Or lanterns...cause you know how important it is to have a place for your lantern. Okay, whatever, so I styled up the place a tad for the photos;)

And this bigger coat rack Mitch made out of a cool piece of lumber that was on a pallet he took apart. As soon as I saw this weathered board, I knew I wanted to put it to good use. So we got some hooks from IKEA and Mitch attached them to the board. Love it.

There's also one other key element on that side of the room: our chicken nesting boxes. I saw this puppy for sale alongside the road months ago, and knew I needed it. It was just too cool to pass up. And I knew exactly what I was going to use it for too: shoe storage. It's perfect. Prior to this, we had a small bench in this area that the boys never used to put on their shoes. And under the bench was a metal basket in which to throw shoes. Well the thing was always overflowing. So now, each person has his/her cubby where they can throw their shoes. It's perfect. I added some chalkboard sticker labels to the front of each one.

And it's the perfect size, as demonstrated by my model here. Now there's no excuse for the boys to not put their shoes away. (BTW, Finn is really good at putting shoes away now. He even knows which shoes go in which cubbies.)

Now flipping over to the other side--the "laundry room" side. There's the closet that's filled with shelves, baskets, and all things storage. And the laundry sink, which is a necessity in this house. We have a little stool pulled up to it for the boys to wash their hands when they come in from outside. I've been known to bathe a kid or two in there as well. It's a workhorse, for sure. From washing hands, filling up buckets, to rinsing out paint brushes--this sink does it all. The light is from Pottery Barn and I scored it on major clearance at the Outlet years ago. Mitch got the green bench (which was previously used under the coat rack) for me for Christmas a couple years ago. It's now downstairs...I just used it here for staging purposes:)

Now moving on to the washer/dryer situation. So...when you're designing a room in your house that's non-existent (remember--we came up with the layout and placement of everything in here), it's easy to overlook little details. But to me, the little details speak volumes. And we really failed when it came to the location of the washer/dryer plumbing & electrical--we put the hookups right in the middle of the wall. And all I could ever see when I looked over there were those darn things glaring back at me. I hated it. Let me show ya.

See? Not pretty. But it wasn't an option to relocate them since Mitch had already tiled that wall. So I thought and thought about what we could do to "hide" those eyesores. It had to be something that could be easily moved so we could access those pipes/ we made a sign. 

Let me tell you the story about this here sign. One day a couple months ago, I overheard Mitch talking to Ryder about bullies at school. And he went on to say, "Don't worry, Ryder, someday you'll be much bigger than those kids." (side note: Mitch is 6'11" for those who don't know, so my boys are going to be BIG boys) He went on to tell Ryder that even though he will be bigger than the other kids, he needs to treat people kindly and be like Jesus to them. He said,
"Use your bigness for good."

I thought it was great advice and told Mitch later that I'd love to make a sign with those words on it. It's a great reminder to us all as we're walking out the door--be kind to those around you, stand up for what's right, use your bigness for good.

And really I think it's a great lesson for anyone--use whatever your strength is, for good. Girls, use your beauty for good. Are you an Einstein? Then use your smarts for good. Artistic? Use that for good by painting something beautiful (as opposed to something evil). Are you a kick-butt baker? Bake something for someone who is lonely, sad, or new to the area. Use your butter, sugar, and eggs for good! Even things that could be a weakness--like anger--use it for good by being passionate about an injustice or wrong. So what's your fill-in-the-blank? Make a sign to remind yourself to use it for good!

Okay, my mini sermon is over:)

This is the view from our dining area (which is also open to the kitchen). It's my view most of the day.

And that's about it, folks! Thanks for coming along on the tour of our mudroom. Hope you enjoyed it. 

Inside of door painted Benjamin Moore Dragon's Breath. 
Runner from Crate&Barrel (it's currently on sale now!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Parade of Homes House

Last week was The Parade of Homes here in Lancaster County. We only made it to one of the houses, but it just happened to be the house that really jumped out at me when I was looking through the POH magazine we got in the mail. It's a cute little 1 1/2 story charmer with lots of character (at least from the outside). The builder of this house is Landmark Homes.

I don't really like development houses (or subdivisions, for all you mid-westerners). Most of the time they're your basic cookie-cutter home with beige siding. And to me that just screams "boring." I love houses that have detail to them. Give me chunky moldings, shake siding, bolder siding colors (dark blue, red) that's something that I could fall for.

I couldn't believe my eyes when we pulled into this development Sunday afternoon after church. It was a feast for the eyes! And so not-typical here in PA. The entire development was Craftsman style.

I LOVE when two different materials are used as siding--most of these houses had shakes as well as your typical vinyl siding but in your not-so-typical colors. I'm all about mixing it up when it comes to exteriors. Look at the gorgeous chunky white trim details on these houses! Some windows had shutters and some didn't. Loved that.

Such a cute little development

So, going back to the one we walked through--the inside was okay. Definitely not my style, but it was nice. Here's the living room.

I didn't take any pics of the kitchen because I thought it was ho-hum. Dark cabinets, granite-like counters...your basic "upgraded" kitchen. (i.e. lacking character)

Dining room with board and batten walls...that was a nice touch

Master bedroom. The wall color was nice...a greenish gray...perfect color for a bedroom.

I loved this chair

I thought it was interesting that there was baseboard in the garage. I can't say if I've ever seen that before. I asked Mitch what he thought and he said, "It looks finished." Guess I never thought of a garage as needing to look finished before. It was weird to me. I don't know--does your garage have baseboard trim around it? 

There was a nice-sized basement with big windows in it. It was ready to be finished off.

And there was this cool crawl space on one side of the basement. The boys were saying how that would be their hide-out room. I know I'd dig it as a kid.

The rest of the rooms (bedroom, bathrooms, & bonus room upstairs) were okay. Nothing spectacular. But one other thing I thought would be awesome to have (one perk of living in a community) was the club house. We didn't tour it, but I'm sure there was a gym and other amenities inside. In the back was a pool. How awesome would that be? Hang out by the pool all day (I'm really craving a pool these days) and not have to maintain it--that's perfection in my book! But alas, this development was a 55+ not any time soon for us.

What do you guys think? Do you/could you live in a development? I used to live in one and it was nice...just very "typical." I'm all about character-oozing homes. I guess that's why I love my little white rancher...even though it was a basic box of a house, we've added our touch/put character into it. And I have a feeling she ain't done yet.

Tour another POH house here.

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