Stairwell Upgrade - Molding Details

Our stairwell received an upgrade just after the painting was finished. Of course, that timing was completely wacked because I should have done the molding before the painting. Whoops. As a result, I did a lot of painting of the new trim in the evenings but it went pretty quickly so it was worth it.

Here's our stairwell before.

This all started because my brother added beautiful molding to his stairways earlier this year. It looks amazing and after visiting them (and our new niece!) I decided that we HAD to it too. Handy Hubby was ready to break out the miter saw so we dug into it the following weekend.

And here's the finished stairway. I LOVE it. It was really worth Handy Hubby's hard work. I really only painted it so all of the credit goes to him.

That mirror was a great clearance find from Target last summer.

Paint: Walls - Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter; Trim - Sherwin Williams Toque White


New Paint Reveal - Finally

We had the house painted over the summer and I have spent a lot of time rethinking a lot of things in my house since then. Everything is painted Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, perhaps the most overused color in the blogosphere but it's a fabulously versatile color. Here's the long overdue reveal. Apologies for the sometimes not so great pictures - these were taken on a gloomy, rainy Sunday. Also, I cleaned up the major clutter but the toys and kitchen stuff is the stuff that is always on my counters and I chose to leave thing as they are so you can see how we really live (sort of - it's usually way messier!!).

Pot of chili bubbling on the stove on a rainy, cool fall Sunday afternoon - nothing better.

And our family room which is the hardest room to photograph in the house. So many windows and views into other spaces. I never put the curtains back up and I still love the open feeling, especially on the back doors.

Here's the living room. The color really works well with the wheat colored furniture and brass accents. I would love to replace the coffee table but haven't found the right thing. I may change out the art over the fireplace with another piece that I already have.

Perhaps my favorite shot of this reveal is this one of our front door. The new paint color really sets off the painted front door. I loved it before but now I love it even more. This is also a very accurate depiction of how the color looks in person, in case you are considering it for your own space.


Our Florida Beach Condo: TV Stand Picture Wall

I just realized I never wrapped up our Florida beach condo makeover posts from May. Whoops.

The last thing we worked on after I stripped the wallpaper border in the kitchen and spiffed up the balcony was the picture wall in the living room. I have always loved Mrs. Limestone's TV wall at her shore house and have wanted to create something similar in my own home. I don't have a spot for it at our house but this wall in our condo in Florida was definitely calling out for some love!

See? Not cute - and so boring compared to everything else we have done there. I found some clipart online that I modified and play with to recreate an image I had in my head of what this wall should look like. I printed them on regular paper and slapped them in these frames (from Target).  I would really like to get some chairs to use here in lieu of the extra dining room chairs. They are really not very attractive in here. 

On the opposite wall, I further refined my photo wall to include this awesome wood fish Ipurhcaserd at HomeGoods or Marshalls for about $10.  Now if only I could convince Handy Hubby that the leather couch needs to exit.

So those are the updates for now!! Enjoy your last few weeks of summer  (if you have a any left!)



"We can either paint or move. You pick."

I uttered those words to Handy Hubby a few months ago. He quickly said that painting was a good idea. Of course he hates moving and I know that so it was a slam dunk (and, no, I really don't have any desire to move). I love yellow but I was just tired of being hemmed in by a somewhat specific color (although if you like warm colors then it's a great, versatile option). I felt it wasn't working with the direction my decor was going, and I was feeling bored.

I sampled a ton of paint thanks to the generosity of friends and clients with lots of gray and taupe paint samples. I finally decided on Revere Pewter. Actually, it was an easy choice. As soon as I put the sample on the wall I liked it so it quickly became a contender. I also liked Sherwin Williams Alpaca and a few others but Revere Pewter had the right mix of gray and tan, and it also worked really well with blue.

I also felt like it was a color and not just a variation on white which was my goal. Although I do like white... maybe my next paint job.

And here's how it looks today.

It has been 2 weeks since it was finished and I love how it came out. I am so glad we made this change. It has also been a great opportunity to rethink my art choices and various accessories. Any time you take everything out of a space, it's an opportunity to think again about how you want your rooms to feel. This time my dad put the blinds back up but I decided to leave the curtains off for a while and see how I feel about it. The curtains were weighing the room down and who needs a heavy-feeling room in the summer? 

Of course, this has led to several more projects. More to come!


Our Florida Beach Condo: Balcony Updates

One of the best features of our Siesta Key condo is the balcony (or lanai as most people there call it). It's fully screened but small - about 5'6" x 11'. That's not a ton of space. Our first priority was to have a table for eating which I purchased in March when we bought the condo. The table that was there was a plastic table like you would buy at a drugstore and not something that was sturdy enough for daily eating. Most of our renters are going to want to take advantage of the warm days and evenings and eat outside. Fortunately the chairs were fine but just need a little cleaning.

Here's where we started on the lanai back in March. 

And a few hours later during the cleanup, I had barely touched the balcony except for removing the table cloth and directors' chairs. At the point, I was going to leave the table but by the end of the day, I realized that the table had to be replaced with a glass top table.

 By the time I left the unit on April 1st, this is what the lanai looked like:

It's certainly a nice place to eat but it's nothing memorable.

When Handy Hubby and I had our Memorial Day escape to Florida, I really wanted to add a light fixture so people can eat out at night. It gets dark early especially in November and December. I also lugged down a little "Life is better when you are at the beach" sign I found at Marshall's for $9 a while back. I picked up some cute new throw pillows at HomeGoods for $18 per pair. The light fixture is from World Market and we were able to wire it in using a plug light (also from World Market) with a switch on the end. Now it looks completely refreshed! It really needs a rug of some sort, and some chairs for relaxing (scored last night at World Market - 75% off all outdoor furniture!). 

I wanted to note the adorable dishware. I was not originally planning to get new dishes but wanted to live with what we had. But, the dishes were not very beach-ish and I didn't really have to do very many kitchen investments other than some glassware, knives and toaster. I decided to go with a cute Corelle pattern that I found at Walmart. I was originally resistant to Corelle but then I saw how cute this pattern was and you really cannot beat its durability when you have renters. The silverware was in the unit - there's tons of it and it's in good condition so we kept it. My mom scored the plastic wine glasses at a yard sale for a buck. Love my mom and her bargain hunting.

Here's the view for your breakfast...


I think we achieved the goal of sprucing things up on a budget. Total investment here was about $200. I still need to get a rug but I am hoping to find one in the end-of-summer sales which seem to be in full swing even though summer is just beginning. Uh... Target... why is all of the back-to-school stuff out?!!!!  I nearly flipped out. Our kids don't get back to school until after Labor Day in Virginia!! I'm surprised they weren't putting Christmas lights out on the back wall. 

Enjoy your summer no matter what the big box retailers are trying to tell you!