Category: Home Decor

I am definitely not a home decorating expert or even aficionado, but I do love it with a passion!! I am a serial wall paint changer, curtain buyer, and area rug obsessed to boot. All of those things add up to a big annoyance for my husband, but he’s a great sport about it!

When you buy a new house, the list of things to do seems endless.

At least to me. One of the things that sold me on the house was the cool double-sided fireplace that is showcased in both living rooms! I’ve never heard of this feature before and I think it’s so fun. My friends and family all joke with me about my love for fireplaces. “You live in Florida, you goose!” I’m not saying that I want a roaring fire going in July, but the chance to decorate two mantles was too good to pass up. However, I am NOT a fan of the outdated brass features. No thank you.

I have some ideas on new mantles and tile/brick on the outside to replace the current white tile, but for now I just wanted to get that brass metal covered up. So a quick one day project was born, just in time to decorate for Christmas! Here is the finished product:

The process was easier than I thought! I bought some black HIGH HEAT paint. That is the most important detail, you can’t just slap any paint on a fireplace or you’ll end up with a mess and hazard on your hands. I found the paint at Lowes or Home Depot, I can’t remember. Just ask the clerk, they’ll help you find it! I bought an actual paint brush, but then lost it in a sea of boxes, so I used a wide craft brush that I found in my craft bin. It worked great! The last thing you’ll need is tape, so that you can get both sides of the hardware on the glass doors.

To start, I took the doors off and taped BOTH sides. You can’t just paint the front, because you’ll see the brass on the other side and it will look unfinished. Tip: you’ll want to wait a couple of hours between coats. This paint dries very slowly, and if you do one coat after the other, it will just slide the paint all over the place and take longer to get the desired effect. It also dries to a very sticky consistency before it’s fully cured. I ended up doing three coats, but if you wait a good amount of time between coats, you may be good with just two.

After one coat of paint

Done and ready for Christmas decor!

 Sorry for the bad pictures. I still can’t find my camera (I’m sure it’s in one of the 1000 boxes in my closet) so I took these on my iPhone. BUT – I love how it turned out! The fireplaces look way more modern and clean. I can’t wait to share more holiday decor posts once I’m all set up! I cannot believe that December is two days away. 2018 is going to be here before we know it!

Have you ever had really unrealistic expectations of what you can accomplish in a given period of time? *raises hand, hangs head

We finally closed on the sale of our first house and on the purchase of our new house last week. It was a chaotic week for sure, but nothing compares to the chaos of packing, moving, and unpacking an entire houseful of crap! We moved because quite frankly, we outgrew our sweet little house! It was a bittersweet experience, but I’m excited about the possibilities with the new house. I had all these grandiose ideas about redoing the kitchen, all three bathrooms, redoing the fireplace built-ins, and on and on. Reality check number one: money and time dwindles quicker than you know it! Have you seen the price for 60″ fans these days?! Or new handles and deadbolts? Good grief, Home Depot and Lowes could support their businesses just off the Hill Family.

But I thought it would be fun to share some before pictures and our plans to update our home. The house was built in 1990, and the previous owner took AMAZING care of the house. Everything is original, and although I automatically think of 1990 as being 10 years ago (anyone else? just me then?) the reality is that 27 year old appliances and fixtures just don’t do it for me. Our last house was built in 1968 and renovated in 2005, so this is a similar thing that we’re trying to accomplish. One of the best parts about the house is that Michael and I went from a tiny master bedroom with a tiny adjoined bathroom and closets…to a gigantic master bedroom with a huge walk in closet (MINE) and nice big master bathroom. Not loving the vanity, hardware, and friggin’ CARPET in this space, but I have lots of ideas on updating.

My original plans were to remove the sliding glass door in the master bedroom, all new built ins on either side of the fire place, continuing the new bamboo floors in the kitchen and tiled spaces, new shaker style kitchen cabinets, new counter tops and back splash, all new hardware and fixtures, and new bathroom vanities and fixtures in all three bathrooms. We’re going to have to take our time in renovating, but it’s been such a fun process so far. I’ve picked out everything for my home office and will share pictures when it’s complete. I painted the room yesterday, the first pink paint that I’ve ever used in my life, and it’s the most perfect muted Blush color. It’s going to be our guest room as well, and I found a really plush futon bed since all of the sofa beds that I found were too big for the small space. I can’t wait to transform this house into our home over the next few months! Have you ever tackled a full house renovation? Any tips to help Michael and I not crazy-murder each other during the process?

 

Have you ever toured a house and loved the physical layout, but hated the fixtures or coloring?

When we bought our house three years ago, I knew that I had to put in some major work to make it a home that I loved. The wall paint was pretty easy, albeit time consuming. I’m honestly such a control freak that I couldn’t give that task to anyone else, so I spent about a solid 2 weeks painting bedrooms, our living room, dining room, and the hallways.

But the KITCHEN. That kitchen was the bane of my existence. I hated everything about it, the yellow cabinets, the orange tile, the awful white appliances. And that dark brick colored paint, I hated most of all. The problem was, I couldn’t find a single color that I thought would at least compliment the other strong earth tones in the kitchen! Did I mention that I loathe earth toned paint? I’m a cool pallet gal all the way. Flash forward to January 2016 (and our tax returns) and we had finally had it. We knew from the start that we wanted to redo the kitchen, and I put together an idea board wayyy back in January 2014. I knew that I wanted white cabinets and counters, dark wood floors, and a grey pallet for the color scheme. We purchased our tile back splash thinking that we would be redoing the kitchen much sooner, and all of the tiles sat in our garage for 2 years while we waited for our opportunity.

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The first thing I did was order our flooring. Since the tile was basically stuck in there for life, it was more cost effective to do an overlay of flooring on top of the tile. We contracted this part out, and chose a luxury vinyl plank tile. It’s more durable than wood floors, because in wet areas the wood always has the potential to swell. Because we had already purchased the back splash, we really had to design everything around them. I wish that I hadn’t done this because I’ve always lusted after white subway tile, and I’ve seen some gorgeous white kitchens lately. White subway tile is super trendy right now, and I keep telling myself that my kitchen is at least a little more unique. I’m still sad about it though!

I think that the hardest part BY FAR was choosing a durable cabinet paint, and then actually painting the cabinets. This took FOR-EV-ER. In reality it was about 2 months, but it really dragged on for us! Between two full time jobs, two kids, and all kinds of life happenings, painting our kitchen cabinets really sucked my soul out of my body. I’ll never do it again. We used General Finishes Milk Paint and Top Coat, and while it’s a bit pricey, the durability is definitely worth it. We have some chips in the paint that we have to touch up, but this is due to child locks that had scrapped the doors for the past 6 months. And because kids. But I would most definitely recommend this paint to anyone looking to paint their cabinets!

We also replaced all of the hardware, the fixtures, and the appliances. Y’all…it was so much work. But I am so happy with how it turned out! I waited for two years to have this kitchen, and I really am proud of all the work we put into it. Gone are the dark walls, the yellow cabinets, the awful flooring. I finally have the airy kitchen I’ve always wanted, and it’s even sweeter that Michael and I did it together. Kidding, we were ready to rip each other’s heads off at the end of the two month process. Like our personalities, our work style definitely is OPPOSITE. Michael is a power-througher with little attention to detail. I am a detail-freak who takes way too long to finish projects because I hone in too much. But now that we’re done I can look back and laugh about it. In the moment I definitely had thoughts of throat-punching him. But hey-that’s normal, right?