Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Living Room Makeover

Do you ever think you need to spruce things up but don't want to just ditch everything? Or, maybe you do want to ditch everything but can't afford to do it all at once... Well, that is what I was faced with when a friend asked for help in her home. She will be hosting a bunch of guests in the upcoming weeks as her daughters graduate; one from grad school and the other from high school. I had a $1000 budget and went to work.

A few weeks ago I shared with you the fireplace makeover. This was an inexpensive update and an easy-peasy DIY project that took less than a day. The brick is actually brick-face and the surround sported a dated brass finish. Originally, I thought the style to be 1970's-ish but have since learned the house was built in the 60's. I do think all this was original and thus in desperate need of a face lift.

Without making the room look overdone she wanted a feel of the ocean in the room. I chose a soft shade of gray/beige for the walls. It reads more gray but browns work well with the color, too. I used Sherwin Williams Grayish for the walls and Sherwin Williams Pure White for the trim. I carried the color down the hallway and stopped at the adjacent dining room wall (for now). First, let's take a look at some BEFORE photos.

The living room has a large three piece picture window. Privacy is an issue. For convenience, maintenance, and economical reasons I chose faux wood blinds in a chestnut color. These were ordered to fit inside the framing. I purchased them on line through Home Depot. I framed them with four curtain panels. I reused her curtain rod and fed the panels to hang on either end as well as where the windows divided. These provide color but don't need to be moved as the blinds are more than adequate to provide privacy.

The mantle, purchased on line through Home Depot, was not finished as I wanted to try to finish it to compliment the blinds. I applied Minwax English Chestnut and two coats of polyurethane, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

I purchased an 8x10 area rug from Lowes. In my local store they have a section set up that has curtains, rugs, accessories and paint all displayed in complimentary groupings. This makes it super simple for people who are afraid to make those decisions.

Family is extremely important to my friend and she wanted to be sure her photos were a part of the space. There were over 30 photos! Frames can be expensive. I shopped in Walmart and craft stores for inexpensive frames. I did not want them to all be the same, I chose three colors/styles; black, white and gray.

I found a television cabinet on a local Facebook page for less than $100. I loaded that puppy up in the back of my SUV, brought her home, cleaned her up and she was ready for the new room.

Simple candle sticks and candles from a discount store adorn the mantle. I had a jar I filled with purchased 'beach glass' and some silk hydrangea from the craft store.

Soon there will be a family portrait above the mantle painted by one of the daughters. Presently, it is in an art show so I lent my framed poster print by Edward Hopper. I think it's called Coast Guard Station. I cut the poster to fit my frame and it hung in my bedroom for about ten years until I just recently redecorated in there. I think it stands in nicely until the permanent artwork is available.

I bought a throw blanket to bring some of the colors in the curtains to the other side of the room. A tray (which was actually a unclaimed lid to a box at Home Goods that I got for a few dollars) and a fake plant sit atop the two footstools doubling as a coffee table. A couple homemade art pieces rounded out the accessories in the room. A galvanized letter for the family's last name and galvanized clock are incorporated into the gallery wall over the television.

Eventually, my friend will purchase new furniture but for now this will work. It looks neat, clean and comfortable. She is happy with the results and so I am, also. As finances become available we can move into other parts of the house but for now we can all agree that this was a welcome and much overdue makeover.

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read through this post. If you enjoyed visiting with me please consider subscribing by email or following along on social media. All the links can be found in the column to the right.

Hope you have a great day! ~Jolena

* This post was in no way sponsored by any of the companies or products mentioned in the post. Although, I would not be adverse to considering an affiliation. :)

Parties I attend: 
The Chelsea ProjectCedar Hill FarmhouseCoastal CharmI Should Be Mopping The FloorSkip To My LouCreatively LivingPlucky's Second ThoughtStrangers and Pilgrims On EarthA Stroll Thru LifeOur Home Away From HomeDucks n'a RowThe DIY DreamerSavvy Southern StyleHome Stories A to ZThe Newlywed Pilgrimage, The Dedicated House, My Thrift Store AddictionMad In CraftsThe Crafty Blog StalkerLou Lou GirlsCelebrate & DecorateDIY By DesignGratefully VintageGingersnap CraftsMom SkillsThe Vintage NestJoyful HomemakingHave A Cup Of Mrs. Olson, The Pin JunkieA Delightsome LifeMy Repurposed LifeImparting GraceThe Charm Of HomeUp To Date InteriorsOur Hopeful HomeKatherine's CornerCraftberry Bush, French Country Cottagethe DIY VillageLife With LorelaiThe Boondocks BlogShabby Art BoutiqueThe Cottage MarketDIY Vintage ChicOlives N OkraMs ToodyGoo ShoesPieced PastimesOne More Time EventsFinding Silver PenniesNifty Thrifty Things, Reasons To Skip The HouseworkDIY ShowoffCreate With JoyRe Do It YourselfStonybrook House, Frugal Mommas, Life On Lakeshore Drive, My Pinterventures, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, I Should Be Mopping The FLoor, Plucky's Second Thought, the Newlywed Pilgrimage

Monday, May 8, 2017

My Dreaded Chore; A Work Of Delight

Spring time for me is like catching your breath after holding it for sooo long. I can't wait til the days are warm enough to get outside and start the clean up. Garden beds need dead leaves removed, old stalks cut back, weeds pulled and a good basic cleaning. I am not a fussy gardener. I am rather lazy, truth be told. I like to plant something once and leave it-hence the lazy part.

As much as I love the color that comes alive and the flowers that come in an out of season there is one thing about all this beauty that I dread.... weeding! Weeding. (sigh) I know that weeding is going to make my hands hurt, the next day I am not going to be able to walk right because of all the kneeling and deep knee bends. I'm going to be dirty, sweaty, my eczema will blow up on my hands and wrists from the work gloves, and I will have heebie-jeebies thinking deer ticks are hiding on me. I'll be scratched and pricked from rose thorns and cactus. I will attempt to do everything in one day because I know that it will be so unpleasant that I will not want to go back at it the next day. That only adds to the pain.

But...as I am on my hands and knees, lamenting the fact that I should have let my city-boy husband just pave the whole thing when we moved in, God is faithful to meet with me.

Each blade of unwanted grass is a reminder of the curse. Because of Adam's sin the ground was cursed. Why is it so hard to pull up? Thoughts of my own sin creep in. Why is it so hard to let go of some of the things I struggle with? Why can't I just repent of them and be done with them. They hold onto me tightly not wanting to be eradicated. At times, the best I can manage is to pull the tops off but the roots are left to spring up anew; much like this  ajuga weed that pops up everywhere.

Why do the weeds grow up in the midst of my flowers? How do I get them out without disturbing or pulling up the things that are meant to grow there? I think about how Jesus said the the wheat grows up with the tares (weeds).

Matthew 13:24-30 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The lesson here is plain, right? But God pressed and I considered how wheat and tares grow up in my own heart. The good things I do are intermingled with my sinful desires and attitudes.  My motives, good and bad, are thriving together in the same soil. My flesh, old nature, old man is the enemy of God and loves sin. Like Paul I can bemoan my condition: 

Romans 7:18-20 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Each spring I come to my gardens and see things growing that seem pretty, good to the eye. Sometimes I don't know they are weeds until they reach maturity. Sometimes I suspect they may be weeds but I take a wait and see attitude. And, sometimes I know they are weeds but I leave them because I like their beauty. 

Hebrews 11:24-25 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Weeds can be beautiful and sin is pleasurable...but that is part of a master deception. Weed's beauty and sin's pleasure are fleeting- they don't last. They have no eternal worth. The fact of the matter is that they are destructive, eternally destructive left unchecked. Weeds, no matter how beautiful, will only grow more weeds. When left to their own they will choke out or overtake a bed of beautiful, cultivated flowers. While the weeds are growing up next to my flowers, herbs and vegetables they are stealing the good food from the soil that is meant to nourish my beloved blooms. As sin in me is left unchecked or allowed to flourish it, too, will only serve to overtake the good things that God has worked in me.

As master of my gardens it is my job and joy to tend my gardens just as it brings God delight to tend to his children. It grieves my sinful, broken heart to see all the mess of these early spring beds but how much more does it grieve my holy, perfect, heavenly Father to see the weeds of sin that have sprung up in me?  In my garden it is at my discretion to allow the weeds to grow with my plants so that I do not destroy the good just as God does with us. Occasionally, I have to make the hard decision to turn the whole bed over and remove the good with the bad.... This is also God's prerogative. 

I pray that as I spend the next few months tending to the gardens and enjoying the sunshine that God will continue to meet with me there. I pray he continues to pluck up the weeds of sin making way for the beauty, cultivated by his hand, to flourish. As he does this in me I pray that I can be faithful and not fearful to share with you what the Lord is teaching me, that it might also bless you.  I praise my God that even in the chore I dread he is so gracious to turn my thoughts to himself, while on my knees he feeds my soul, and he makes my work a delight. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Brick & Brass Fireplace Makeover In A Day

This quick update is a one day commitment and can cost $30 or less, depending on what you have on hand.

A friend recently asked for help in her home. She and her husband work and have two daughters. Time is a commodity and her home has not had much updating since she moved in. She wants something light and fresh, maybe with touch of coastal/beach. (Insert; me happy dancing!) Her oldest is graduating college and her youngest is graduating high school in June. There will be parties and visitors and the clock is ticking. While she would like to do the kitchen, dining and living room we have decided to focus on the living room for time and budget sake.

My first hurdle was one wall in the living room. It is covered with faux bricks and an off-centered fireplace with a dated brassy-gold metal surround.

                                              *Sorry for the bad photo. I used my phone.

The family cleared the living room and took off to visit colleges leaving the room for me to work in for two days. First up was that brass surround. I tried to remove it-that was plan A, but no luck. It wouldn't budge. Okay...I am not deterred. Plan B- I taped of the glass on the fireplace screen and taped paper around the brick to protect from over spray. I put a paper inside the fireplace in case any paint made it through the cracks. I put down drop cloths (-everywhere!!) and grabbed my high heat Rustoleum spray paint. ($7) I used black.

Product Image 1

This took 3 coats. If you are attempting this here are my pointers: Open windows between coats (to prevent the paint from blowing around). Follow the directions and allow each coat to dry. Three thin coats are much better than a thick coat that may run and ruin your project. Start spraying on the paper then in a back and forth motion spray your frame, being sure to keep the appropriate distance. Take your time.

Now to tackle the rest of the wall. There were bricks that had come dislodged. I reapplied them with Liquid Nails and taped it in place to dry. Some of the bricks were cracked. I used spackle (I had this on hand) and a small putty knife to fill the cracks. I was not too concerned about smooth surfaces. Once the cracks were spackled over I grabbed my white and off white chalk paints.

I used Folk Art Home Decor Chalk paint; purchased at A.C. Moore. They were on sale and I picked up three colors for $21. While it did take all the white I purchased, I used very little of the off white and taupe/gray color.


I poured some of both whites onto a paper plate. Using the same putty knife I dragged the paint onto random bricks. After the paint and spackle were dry I used a sanding block to knock down and edges or marks not consistent with the look of the bricks.

Using a 1:3 ratio I mixed white chalk paint with water. That is 1 part chalk paint to 3 parts water. Stir, stir, stir and then stir some more. you will need to continue to stir as you are applying as the paint tends to want to settle. Now the messy part. I used a chip brush, nothing expensive, and worked in about three foot square sections. Brushing on the paint is messy and drippy. The bricks are porous and take the paint quickly. The grout was a little more resistant but I got the hang of it. I used a rag to dab and rub to my liking. There is no right or wrong way to this.

Standing back, I like the look, I think. I will keep going to get one coat on everything. At this point I realized I should have protected the fireplace surround I had just painted so I had to stop and cover it. (I just get so excited when I get something done that I like to look at it but now was not the time.)

I liked this look but we were going for something different based on photos my friend/client had found on Pinterest. While this dried I got a coat of new paint color on the walls.

The brick was dry. I grabbed another chalk paint in a tan color mixed in the same 1:3 ratio. I brushed this on random bricks. And, that did it. That was the look we were after. I used the sanding block and sanded through some of the paint wash to see a bit of the brick color in some spots but ever so lightly. Depending on the look you're after you can sand more. the chalk paint is easy to sand through.

The colored bricks on top need a little white wash and a sanding to match the bottom ones.

I removed that paper and tape from the fireplace. This part of the project took only a few hours but I did paint the walls and got a coat of paint on the trim the same day. I'll come back the next day to give the walls and trim a second coat but the fireplace is done... Now it needs a mantel ....

Stay tuned.... 
and yes, I am still working on my own house!

Linking up to these parties:
The Chelsea Project, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Skip To My Lou, Creatively Living, Plucky's Second Thought, Strangers and Pilgrims On Earth, A Stroll Thru Life, Our Home Away From Home, Ducks n'a Row, The DIY Dreamer, Savvy Southern Style, Home Stories A to Z, Mad In Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Lou Lou Girls, Celebrate & Decorate,
DIY By Design, Gratefully Vintage, Gingersnap Crafts, Mom Skills, The Vintage Nest, Joyful Homemaking, Have A Cup Of Mrs. Olson, The Pin Junkie, A Delightsome Life, My Repurposed Life, Imparting Grace, The Charm Of Home, Up To Date Interiors, Our Hopeful Home, Katherine's Corner, Craftberry Bush, French Country Cottage, the DIY Village, Life With Lorelai, The Boondocks Blog, Shabby Art Boutique, The Cottage Market, DIY Vintage Chic, Olives N Okra, Ms ToodyGoo Shoes, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, Reasons To Skip The Housework, DIY Showoff, Create With Joy, Re Do It Yourself, Stonybrook House

Monday, April 17, 2017

Antique Farmhouse Master Bedroom

Ya'll, my bedroom is done! I have been dying for warmer weather so I could strip off those flannel sheets, dress her up nice and show you! Hang on!

Often when purchasing a fixer-upper the master bedroom is the last room to see some lovin'. In hindsight it should probably be the first room to get done so that at the end of a long day there is a beautiful space to retreat to.

When we purchased our home fourteen years ago there was little money to do much more than necessities and paint. We painted the room a warm, sweet yellow. We were not planning to redo our bedroom but this happened!


Our bedroom furniture has been with us since we got married; when sleigh beds were all the rage. It has moved with us four times since then and has the scars and scratches to prove it. that being said it is still in good shape and I didn't really want to have to replace it. I did want to remove the foot board on the bed, though. Mister brought home a queen-sized hollywood frame that someone was tossing out. He used parts of it to support the foot of the bed frame, securing it to the side boards. 

Now, a bit of a disclaimer. Don't fuss at me for not putting the bed in the right spot. I know it is customary to position the bed so that you see it full on when entering a room but we don't have the luxury of an uninterrupted wall; meaning no windows or doors. The longest stretch of wall is the wall the entry door sits on so that is where we placed the bed. It used to be placed between the two short windows. 

The walls were painted December Starlight by Valspar. It is my go-to white for all the trim in the house. While not a pure white, it has a little warmth to it, it does read white in spite of this photo looking more off white/beige. 

My inner Joanna Gaines wanted a farmhouse feel and shiplap for this room but that didn't quite work out. You can read about it here. My solution was something that is popping up all over decorating blogs now. 

This photo was also floating around the internet and served as my inspiration for this room. 


This was my version of an inspiration board...

The wood piece was given to us a loooong time ago. One of those things you hold on to but don't know why. (Closet hoarder.) I still don't know what this was supposed to be in it's first life. If anyone has a clue please contact me. I put in two small nails to hold the wire basket. I lined the basket with moss I had in my stash and inserted a foam block. Using my 50% coupon from the craft store,  I purchased some fake greenery and inserted it into the basket. Wah-lah!  Voila! I have an art piece over the head board on my faux shiplap wall. 

The curtains were from my living room.

I won't be using them there again and they added just the right touch of airiness to the bedroom. I cut a little slit in each end at the top and fed them on as rod pocket curtains allowing the tabs to flop over as a sort of ruffle top. 

My chandelier was a super affordable find. You can read about the search here. 

Most the bedding was purchased at Home Goods over the past five years! The only things new are the gray and white pillow cases and the fur pillow. Oh, and the gray thermal blanket from Walmart for $20. The throw blanket I borrowed from our office. 

My rug was purchased online at Rugs USA for less than $120 (source). The bed skirt was purchased from Amazon (source).

The lamps were repurposed from the living room. Remember when I was painting everything with my homemade chalk paint? 

I did purchase the little side table on the left at an antique store. I thought I would paint the base but when I got it in the room I just couldn't do it. It is the sweetest little table and I was surprised to realize it is a tilt-top! 

A little zhushing and this room is a peaceful breath of fresh air. Have a look around...


Chalkboards say "farmhouse" to me. 

My (free) roadside vanity fits right in. I used a piece of faux fur to cover the seat of a bistro chair. And, my Brimfield mirror purchased on a trip with mom years ago is perfect for this space.

This room is done. I am thrilled with how it turned out. I used a lot of things I already owned; a testament to buying what you love. You'll always find ways to use and reuse them.

Cost of this remodel: less than $400 
Value of the remodel: inestimable considering the downstairs is STILL a mess! 

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Attending the following parties this week:
Pluckys Second Thought, Strangers and Pilgrims On Earth, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Skip To My Lou, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, A Stroll Thru Life, Cupcakes and Crinoline, Creative Living, Home Stories A to Z, Lou Lou Girls, Celebrate and Decorate, Our Home Away From Home, Ducks n a Row, The Newlywed Pilgrimage, My Repurposed Life, Savvy Southern Style, DIY By Design, The Vintage Nest, Joyful Homemaking, Have A Cup Of Mrs. Olson, The Pin Junkie, A Delightsome Life, Imparting Grace, The Charm of Home, Katherine's Corner, Up To Date Interiors, Our Hopeful Home, French Country Cottage, The DIY Village , Life With Lorelai, Olives-n-Okra, Shoestring Elegance, Chic On A Shoestring, Remodelaholic, Craft Dictator, The Cottage Market, Shabby Art Boutique, DIY Vintage Chic, The Boondocks Blog, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, Re Do It Yourself, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes, The Chelsea Project, DIY Showoff, The Painted Hinge, Life On Lakeshore Drive, Create With Joy, The Stonybrook House, Reasons To Skip The Housework, My Pinterventures, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Gratefully Vintage