Friday, June 27, 2014

Basement Makeover Progress

This week has been a rough one.

My son and my husband both underwent surgery, and we spent a lot of time at the hospital. With such unexpected chaos, I was not exactly on top of my parenting game.

My older kids were basically at home fending for themselves. I'm sure they were playing too many video games, watching inappropriate movies, eating junk, and staying up too late. (One night they went to the movies and ate candy for dinner.) I wouldn't have minded so much except that my best friend's son was visiting from Arizona. I'm not sure he showered or had a home-cooked meal his entire visit.

That, my friends, is the kind of week it was.

Thankfully, we leave for vacation tomorrow. Hallelujah!

But, before I sign off for a bit, I wanted to share an update on our basement makeover.

Remember this big, ole' oak media cabinet? ...

Well, I finally finished painting it…

The cabinet was originally built to accommodate a large TV, and when the TV bit the dust, we were left with a big, gaping hole.

We built a shelf, so our smaller TV would fit and we could store the components below it.

Below you can see that I removed the glass cabinet doors in favor of open shelves. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in "French Linen" and "Old White."

The top shelf had molding with a clock in it, and was covered with fabric...

We removed the ugly fabric and replaced the "clock" molding with a plain piece of wood for a simple, updated look.

My next step will be to add a piece of plywood behind the media components to hide all the ugly wires. I also need to add hardware.

Since this area of the house is primarily the kids' domain, I decided to accessorize with some of their favorite Lego creations.

I'm really pleased with how the media center turned out.  I originally wanted to rip it out, but once again, the power of paint prevailed!

I'm another step closer to finishing the basement. I have a few more changes to make, and it'll be ready for the big reveal :)

Hope you all had a better week than we did! Can't wait to be on vacay. You can follow my travels on Instagram.

Take care!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Exterior Paint Color Inspiration

Good Monday morning! Hope your week is off to a great start. I know Monday is typically a day most people dread. But this is one Monday that couldn't get here fast enough.

First of all, my 8 year old has an infection, and I am anxiously awaiting the test results. Of course, you don't get test results on Saturday and Sunday.

Second, on Saturday night my husband stabbed himself in the finger while trying to pry apart frozen hamburgers with a knife. He is pretty sure he cut a tendon, but the Hand Center isn't open until Monday. Perhaps he should have gone to the ER, but we are reluctant to go there ever since Spring Break when we had a $1500 middle-of-the-night ER visit with child writhing in pain, only to discover he was constipated.

I'm telling you, if my kids are going to develop strange medical conditions or have reactions to medication, or split their heads open, it is never during our pediatrician's office hours. 

At any rate, if I can keep my family healthy and injury-free this week, I might get back to choosing a paint color for my house.

It's a big decision. 

If I lived on a beach down south, I'd paint it these colors and call it a day...


But, the reality is that I live in the Midwest burbs.

I've been researching paint colors, and here are some that have caught my eye.

BM Timid White...


SW Tony Taupe with SW Black Fox shutters...


BM Winter Wheat with BM Texas Leather shutters...


The Southern Living Idea House in SW Intellectual Gray...


C2 Paints "Wood Ash" color matched by Benjamin Moore…


BM Ballet White with SW Attitude Gray shutters…


SW Rare Gray…


Obviously, I haven't decided if I want to go slightly darker or lighter than my current paint color. My plan is to choose 3 potential color schemes, paint larger areas of the house and shutters with the 3 options, and make a decision. Sounds easy, huh? Ha!

Wish me luck… and as always, if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em!

Have a pain-free Monday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Choosing Exterior Paint Colors -- Help Wanted!

Hello friends! How is summer treating you?

I've been spending the majority of each day behind the steering wheel, shuttling kids from swim team to tennis lessons to band camp to baseball practice, etc, etc… I'm so thankful my husband helped me plug all the activities into my iPhone calendar so I can keep track of where I'm going every day.

While driving around town is not my favorite pastime, it has been good for one thing. I am able to check out the paint colors of the houses I pass.

You see, it's time for us to have the exterior of our house painted, and I've got a big decision to make… What color??

Here's what I'm working with. (I took some of these pics in the Fall. Hence, the pumpkins :)) As you can see, we've got some brick on the front and side of the house that I'm not planning to paint. Here's a closer look…

The back of the house has a lot of wood, which makes choosing the right color very important.

I'd hate to sit outside surrounded by an unfortunate color choice :)

The house is a nice neutral that I rather like, but I have no idea what it is. It was painted by the previous owners and I don't have any old cans of it. I'd have to have a color match done.

I like the idea of trying something a little different though. I'm definitely over the green doors and shutters, so those will be changed.

I've started painting sample swatches around the house. Shown here on the house from top to bottom are BM Copley Gray, BM Bennington Gray, SW Tony Taupe, SW Intellectual Gray, SW Rare Gray and BM Chelsea Gray.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards Tony Taupe or Intellectual Gray with SW Urbane Bronze shutters. But, that is subject to change at any given moment.

I've been pinning inspiration photos like crazy, and will share those with you soon.

What do you think? Any suggestions? Do you have a favorite paint color you think I ought to try? Would love your help!

If you need me, I'll be in my car ...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fabric Fairy Tale: Happy Ending

I just love a happy ending, don't you?

Thankfully, the main character (a rather unattractive chair) in my "Fabric Fairy Tale" lives happily ever after.

She has been transformed from an ugly duckling...

into a beautiful swan...

Okay, well, maybe she's more of a quirky, fun, whimsical swan.

She's now the belle of the basement in her recovered cushions.

And, she fits perfectly with the vibrant kid-friendly (and dog-friendly) room.

To remind you... this is how the basement looked when we began...

Quite serious, wasn't it?

Our basement transformation from serious to fun is in the homestretch. Stay tuned for more updates.

Also, if you want to know more about this chair makeover, check out Act 1 and Act 2 of this little fairy tale.

Hope your day has a happy ending!

Sharing at Wow Us Wednesdays

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

All Decked Out: An Outdoor Room

I may have mentioned just a few times that this past winter was pretty brutal.

So when warm weather finally arrived, I was ready for it. I wanted to spend as much time outside as humanly possible.

To take advantage of the great outdoors, I wanted to turn our deck into a "room" where we could entertain and relax.

For years our deck furnishings consisted of a table and chairs, two wooden Adirondack chairs and a grill. It was fine for dining al fresco, but it didn't offer much in the way of comfort. When the Adirondack chairs fell apart, we wanted to replace them with something super comfortable.

Enter new outdoor furniture from the Provence collection at Restoration Hardware...

A sofa and two lounge chairs provide the perfect place to kick back and relax.

It's no big secret that my thumb is not green. My flowers always start out looking good this time of year, and I always vow to keep them looking good through the hot summer. My success rate is dismal. Maybe this year it will be better.

One of my favorite things I planted this year is a mini succulent garden.

I found this shallow limestone planter at HomeGoods, and filled it with soil, sand, rocks and a variety of succulents.

I don't know why, but it makes me so darn happy!

The teak coffee table was a steal at a local hardware store, and the teak side tables I moved outside from my sunroom. They will eventually weather to a gray patina.

Our teak dining table and chairs were damaged in a hailstorm last year, and I'm in the process of sanding them.

I used to oil them to keep them brown, but it was way too much effort. I'm embracing the gray, weathered look from now on :)

On top of the table, I potted a citronella plant. It smells wonderful, and supposedly rubbing the leaves on your skin keeps the bugs away. We'll see about that.

Here's a little tip for my fellow lazy gardeners: buy a beautiful hanging basket, plop it into a planter and cut off the hanging wire...

Our deck gets pretty hot during the day, so umbrellas are essential. The large one over the lounge chairs was from the Frontgate outlet a couple of years ago. I found the smaller one at Lowe's last week. I think they coordinate rather well.

We are really enjoying our new outdoor room! Hoping Mother Nature gives us plenty of nice days to enjoy it.

Have a great day!!

Sharing at Wow Us Wednesdays