Monday, June 30, 2014

Spray Painted Barstools

Hi, y'all! I recently decided to spray paint my barstools. I was totally inspired by Richella's post HERE. We bought these barstools 14 years ago while we were having this house built. I remember we were so happy to find them in a maple color that matched our cabinets exactly. :)

Here's what they originally looked like in all their maple glory...

Once we painted our cabinets white, I wanted to update our barstools too. 

And here they are now...

I used Rustoleum spray paint in Heirloom White (my favorite spray paint color) 

Bonus points if you can spot the cat toy in the pic below. :)

I cleaned out Home Depot's supply of heirloom white...

I think I actually only used about 3 cans. 

Here's a close up of the fabric. We've had this fabric on them for about 5 years. I was going to replace it, but never found what I was looking for, so I never did. I still may replace it eventually, but I don't mind it as much now that the barstools are white.  

While I was at it, I decided to replace the felt protectors on the legs. Here's what I used...

It's just felt pads that you cut to size and stick on the bottom of the legs. 

 I know they will eventually get scratches on them because they are heavily used. I plan on waiting until that happens, then I'll distress them around the edges so the scratches (hopefully) won't stand out as much. :) I was worried about the cross bars at the bottom the most since that's where everyone's feet will be, but then I remembered we all remove our shoes upon entering the house, so it should just be "sock feet" on them. :)

Have y'all spray painted anything lately?

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Fourth of July Decorations

Hi there! I can't believe we're already getting ready for the 4th of July! I hope the summer doesn't go by too fast. :) We got some much needed rain yesterday and I'm so thankful. We needed it badly. While it was raining, I spent the day inside cleaning my house and washing sheets. Then I spent 5 hours getting four posts ready for the blog. I recently painted my barstools, so look for a post on that soon. Anyway, I finally got my patriotic decor up, so I thought I'd share it with you.

This is our welcome sign by the front door. 

The entry was kept pretty simple. I just added a couple of stars to the top of this cloche.

The mantel got minimal decor too with a wooden star, a metal "God Bless The USA" heart and a couple of patriotic bears. 

patriotic mantel

dollar tree patriotic bears

This little pillow is hanging on our armoire in the living room.

It was literally pouring down rain right before I took this pic, but here are a couple of flags I added to my gomphrena flowers on the patio. 

It's a little hard to see, but the ivy on top of the fridge is holding a few flag pics. 

I love this dishcloth with the cupcakes. :)

This is my lone decoration on the buffet in the kitchen. 

And that's it! Do you decorate for the 4th?


I'm joining this party: From My Front Porch To Yours

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Daily Life and A Birthday

Hi everyone! I thought I'd put together a little post of what's been going on around here. We recently celebrated one of my son's birthdays. Summertime is filled with family birthdays for us. :) Here are a few pics of the decor...

lillian vernon welcome sign with holiday attachments

birthday mantel

I've gotten a few emails lately asking if I still like my elliptical. The answer is YES!! I talked about my exercise routine HERE. When I first got the elliptical in March, I had it set on a level 4 (it goes from 1-14) and I was doing it for 25 minutes. Now I've bumped it up to a level 9 for 25-30 minutes. I still do 200 crunches with my ab roller too, but instead of doing four sets of 50, I'm now doing two sets of 75 and one set of 50. Does that make sense? :) Here's a pic I shared on Instagram recently...

I burned 374 calories on the elliptical that day and it was all due to Justin Timberlake. ;) You see, I had just made a new workout playlist on my phone with lots of J.T. songs. There's just something about his music that makes you want to workout longer. Lol! Seriously though, I work out much longer when listening to music. Sometimes I'll put on a dvd or watch tv while working out, but I find that I go a lot slower vs. when I listen to music. 

We're still feeding the stray cats, Gladys and Rocky. And apparently at night, we're also feeding the opossum population around here. They come at night and eat the leftover cat food. 

Sorry about the grainy pic. It was taken through the glass at night with my phone. 

And here's how little Holly cat is spending her summer...

She's definitely mastered being lazy. :)

Okay, do y'all remember the fern I showed you back in March? It froze down during the winter and looked like this...

Here's a close up of the teeny tiny
 sign of life...

And here it is today...

Not a big change, but it's certainly starting to come back. I spray painted the pot oil rubbed bronze, but it really needs to be replaced. 

I finally got my 4th of July decor out yesterday. Hopefully I'll get a post up soon so I can share it with you before the holiday is over. :)

What have y'all been up to this summer? Any big projects going on at your house?


Monday, June 23, 2014

Touring Through Blogland

Hello there! Today is a fun day because I'm participating in a blog tour. I was invited by Kelly at The Essence Of Home. I love Kelly's blog and cottage style decorating. She is a pro at decorating with a neutral palette, yet still incorporating subtle touches of color with flowers and pretty decor items. In fact, Kelly's beautiful home is one of the reasons I've been leaning toward more neutral colors in my own home lately. I love having a neutral base to work with when decorating. I'm finding it's really easy to change the feel of a room just by adding in different pillows, flowers, etc. Kelly is also the mom to two boys (just like me) and both our husbands are fire fighters, so we have a lot in common. :) 

Now for the tour...

kitchen makeover reveal

Here are the four questions I'm supposed to answer:

1. What are you working on right now?

Well, right now I'm working on getting a home tour up on my blog. I really want to add a "home tour" tab at the top so people can get a quick glimpse of what my decorating style is. I started working on it right after the holidays, but then I had the feeling we would be doing a couple of major projects soon, so I decided to wait. As it turns out, we DID do a couple of major projects like Painting Almost The Entire Interior of Our House a Lighter ColorDoing a Makeover on Our Master Bedroom and Bath, and most recently, Painting Our Kitchen Cabinets White. We've had a busy year! The only other major project I can think of that's on the horizon is replacing our kitchen back splash with subway tile. It might be a few months before we get started on that though.

2. How does my work differ from others in this genre?

Hmm...that's a tough one. I'm not really sure, but I can say that I'm really just doing this for fun and I love making new friends through blogging. I love the interaction with readers. I've gotten so much inspiration from others and it really makes my day when I get an email from a reader saying I inspired them in some small way. I don't think my blog is all that different from other home decor blogs, but I do try to inject my personality into it. And of course, my blog includes the adventures of the one and only Holly The Cat. ;)

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

This kind of ties into my answer above. I think the main reason I write what I do is because I'm hoping it will inspire someone else. I can't tell you how many ideas I've gotten from other blogs. I've also saved a lot of money by learning how to diy things from other bloggers. When I find a good deal or an easy and inexpensive way to update my home, I can't keep my mouth shut. :) I'm one of those people who feels the need to tell everyone I know about a great sale or easy home decor project. I could never keep all that to myself. :)

4. How does your writing/creating process work?

When I first started blogging, I would have probably a month's worth of blog posts in draft. I had every post scheduled for the next 3-4 weeks. Of course, things would always come up that I wanted to share, so I'd end up doing "filler" posts in between those scheduled ones. As time has gone on though, I've started blogging more "in the present." I don't have nearly as many posts in my draft folder as I used to. I sort of have an idea of what I want to write about, and sometimes even jot the order down on a piece of paper, but mostly I go week by week now. I try not to stress if I don't have the entire week planned out. :)

Now it's time for me to spotlight the three wonderful bloggers I've chosen. They will all participate in the tour next Monday, June 30th, so be sure to look for that. I'm very confident you'll love all three of these ladies. They all have such wonderful ideas and are just the sweetest bloggers!

1. Selene at Restoration Beauty

Selene is on a mission to add some style and personality to her cookie cutter home in the form of diy projects and crafts. She's also obsessed with homemade natural cleaning solutions and organizing. As long as something is being restored back to beauty, she is a happy gal!

2. Maria Elena at Our Home Away From Home

Maria Elena started her blog a little over two years ago. Although her career has been in Early Childhood Education, she has always loved to decorate. Her blog is mostly about home decor and diy projects. She loves sewing and crafts and her husband's hobby is to build furniture and make home improvements, so there's always something happening at their home. 

3. Stacey at Poofing The Pillows

Stacey's blog is all about home. She enjoys decorating, gardening, and good home cooking. She loves to spend time with her husband and two grown sons. 

I hope you'll visit these wonderful ladies. I've been following their blogs for a long time and am constantly inspired by them. :)

Enjoy your day!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Living Room Furniture

So, we finally got new living room furniture! First I'll show you a quick pretty pic of the new stuff, then I'll show you why we had to get new furniture, then I'll show you the new change to the mantel, and finally, tons more pics of the new furniture. :) 

Ready??? Okay. Here's a pretty pic of the new stuff...

Do y'all like it? I'm totally in love with it! I've wanted a new sofa and loveseat for a long time now. 

Okay, now for WHY we needed new furniture. We used to have this leather below. Doesn't look too bad from a distance, does it?

Let's get a little are you beginning to see the problem? Keep in mind this leather was ONLY 5 years old...

What about now?? Can you see how cracked and worn it is? I really debated on whether or not to share these pics with y'all, but it's real life and maybe someone can learn from our experience. :) 

About 5 years ago we decided we really wanted leather furniture. Like, really good leather. We figured if we spent a lot of money on it, it would last 10-15 years. We listened to all kinds of advice on buying leather...people said to make sure the WHOLE thing is made of leather and not just the arms or seat. Check. Ours was made entirely of real leather. 

Another piece of advice we got was to check and see if the back of the sofa was made up of several "sections" of leather. Apparently if there's one big section of leather on the back, it's not real leather because there's no cow THAT big and that means parts of it are fake. Well, this sounded pretty comical and I have no idea if it's true, but we checked and yes, ours was made up of SIX sections of leather on the back. So, we thought we were doing all the right things and we'd have furniture that would last and last. 

Umm...does that pic above or below look like it lasted very long? No. It's really depressing because what we paid for it, would have covered an entire semester of college for my son. Live and learn, I guess. 

In the pic above, you can see what happens when you keep throw pillows on either side of the sofa. People tend to just sit in the middle. Yep, obviously there was someone sitting in the middle most of the time. Hence the worn middle cushion.

And yes, we did condition it regularly. We used the bottles of conditioner the delivery guys gave us, but obviously it didn't work very well.

Now this pic below is the one I really didn't want to share because it's so bad. But, here it is anyway...

That's on the loveseat. See where I wrote the word "tear?" That just happened recently. First it was just cracked there, but then all of a sudden a tear popped up. That was pretty much the final straw. You can see how cracked the whole thing had gotten. And remember, this furniture was only 5 years old!! Ugh!

So, the lessons we learned were...#1 don't pay a fortune for furniture because it probably won't last as long as you think it will, (and even if it does, trends will change and you probably won't like it for more than 10 years anyway) and #2, we'll never buy leather furniture again. :) for a small change I made to the mantel. This is a before pic of the Tuscan style print we had above it.

Here's another "before" pic obviously taken around Valentine's Day. I liked the Tuscan look, but I just don't think it goes with our decor anymore. Now that we've painted almost the entire house a much lighter color and gotten rid of the leather, this picture just didn't seem to mesh very well with the other decor in here. 

So, here's the new lighter and brighter look. 

Remember when I mentioned that I hung the mirror my hubby made in the foyer? Well, here's where the original foyer mirror ended up. I just turned it horizontally instead of vertically and added this wreath to it. I used some burlap ribbon to hang the wreath. Love burlap!

hanging wreath on mirror

Here's a close up of the detail on the mirror frame. 

And here's a closer look at the wreath. I love this wreath! It'll definitely carry me through from Spring to Fall. 

Okay, now on to the big furniture reveal... Here are lots more pics of the new furniture...

By the way, I'm going to eventually replace that wing chair with something more neutral, but just haven't done it yet. I'll probably just wait and use Christmas money for it. :) And while we're on the subject, that wing chair is a piece of furniture that actually DID last a long's almost 20 years old and has been recovered once. It was a Lane piece from the J.C. Penney catalog. :) 

lighter brighter living room

As you can see, I took your advice and wrote "cozy" on the chalkboard basket. Thanks again for the suggestion! 

I love that the sofa and loveseat came with these pillows too! The other side reverses to the same material of the sofa. 

When buying new furniture, I had a list of things I had to have. Number one was a FABRIC material. No more leather for us. :) I also wanted a very neutral color and I wanted wooden feet on the bottom. I figured with the sofa and carpet both being a neutral color, I wanted dark wood feet to kind of separate the two so the furniture didn't just blend into the floor. And I really wanted the back cushions to be attached, so they wouldn't slip around on me. On the one we bought, the back cushions are attached, but the bottom ones are loose so they can be turned over if needed. 

It was just a bonus that I actually liked the pillows it came with. :) Another big bonus was that both the back cushions and the seat cushions have hidden zippers so you can re-stuff them if they get worn down. I loved that about them! That's something I didn't even know I wanted. :)

Here's a close up of the material.

I think it's so much lighter in here now. That leather was a little too manly for me and kind of reminded me of a man cave. Lol!

These pics were taken before I switched out that red platter above the armoire. :) It's now gone and the pale yellow one is in its place.

I think the mirror helps to brighten it up a bit too. 

Well, I know that was a very long post and thanks if you made it down this far! :) Have any of you had bad luck with leather? I'm beginning to think we just got a lemon. :)


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