Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

A Room for Baby

In anticipation of our first baby boy, I wasted no time dreaming up, preparing and decorating a nursery for him. I had plenty of energy to invest with all the extra napping and free hours on my hands. However, I’ll admit, this second time around has been a little different. I kind of dreaded cleaning out the “dumping grounds” that our guest room closet and bookshelves had become. Furthermore, I wasn’t too sure how to combine the purposes of a guest room and nursery into one lovely space. But mostly, I’ve just been trying to keep up with the ball of energy that is my two year old toddler.

Needless to say, I put off preparing a room for our second baby for quite some time. But then a wise and creative friend reminded me that the second baby doesn’t deserve to feel like “baby #2”, with all the leftovers and none of the effort! She also made a recommendation that I feel like made all the difference for the dynamic of the room, she suggested I paint the wall behind the bookshelves a color that had some pop to it and remove some of the extra shelves. It really became my favorite part of the whole room.

So now I’ll stop rambling and share some photos of baby’s room, ready just in time for him to arrive…


That sweet little baby crib in the corner was passed on to us from friends


Bookshelf transformation with a little paint and some rearranging


Love the colorful throw pillows from Castaway Cove Decor, on Etsy


Had this lamp from Home Goods and found the perfect nightstand at Target


Painted and older dresser and turned it into a changing table


Had fun working on some art and a mobile to add some color to the wall


Closeup of mobile, made from sticks, string and patterned paper


Close up of whale painting


Baby’s initials. The little wood animal cutouts and letters came from Michael’s


I love the dresser pulls from World Market, and the yellow tulips from Aunt Leslie

Thanks for checking out the baby’s room! We’ll put him in our room if you’re needing a guest room to sleep in 🙂



Around the Home

DIY Entertainment Center Project

You know how it goes, you buy that beautiful flat screen TV and are so excited about it! But then it sits on the floor for couple of weeks while you figure how/where to mount it and how/where to hide all those crazy looking electronics and wires that no one really wants to look at. This was where we found ourselves not too long ago. Routing wires behind the wall wasn’t really an option because (as you may notice) there’s a gas fireplace beneath the flat screen. Given that it’s a gas fireplace, which doesn’t give off a ton of heat and there’s a bit of a gap below the TV screen, we’re thinking (and hoping!) it won’t get fried.

This is what our wall looked like before our project began:


Husband & wife pondered this wall for quite some. First, the wall was painted in Potter’s Clay, for a slight tonal difference.

While trying to determine the best solution for what would inevitably be the focal point of our home, I did what I do whenever I need a plan. I sketched a picture…


My Aunt Leslie is an interior designer and suggested we have some shelves running up either side of the wall, so I went with it.

Once we decided to try and build shelves and cupboards, we went where many might go for a project like this…Home Depot. We bought a bunch of unstained wood, nails, screws, sandpaper and hinges. Then hubby began to build. Hooray for being married to an engineer who likes to figure out “puzzles”! I might also mention that  David covered those orange looking tiles along the bottom with a white washed/grayish wood laminate (also from Home Depot).


Shelves and cupboards in progress. All this wood was cut with a hand saw!

So once the building was complete, it was time for me to take over with the staining. I used two coats of Weathered Gray by Varathane. It’s a stain and sealant in one, so it gives the wood such a nice finish.


Next it was my job to stain.

We chose some door pulls from World Market, aren’t they fun? This is what the stained wood looks like up close. There’s a bit of shine to the finish.


Close up of the cupboard doors (where we’re hiding all those unsightly cords and electronics).

Once we stained everything, David bolted the whole unit to the wall and screwed in the long shelf running along the top. The whole thing is solid! It’s not going anywhere. And then of course we made a little trip to Home Goods for a few finishing touches (the bonsai tree, yellow lantern and tulips). The painting above the flat screen is something I found a while ago at Bed Bath & Beyond. I just loved the colors in it and touches of gold. Helps bring it all together, don’t you think?


Is that little bonsai tree in the corner not the coolest?


I was blown away by how well David constructed this whole thing. Thank you, My Love!

So there you have it folks. If you’re ever feeling as crazy as us and want to attempt something like this, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. We’d be glad to share from our DIY experience!


Around the Home

From House to Home

What really makes a house a home? I think that mostly it’s the people that live in it, and the people you welcome in. I also think  it’s not necessarily having the most expensive furniture or perfect color schemes, but it’s the time, care and personal touches you add to it, as well as making everyone who walks through the front door feel like it’s their home too.

This weekend was fun and full of activity. My Mom is turning sixty very soon, so we decided to hold an early birthday celebration at our house. This is mom receiving her birthday cobbler (she’s only turning sixty, but the only birthday candles we had were the numbers “72”):


Realizing her candles said “72” not “60”


Isn’t she lovely?

It was great to have Mom and Dad over for a visit. I also had started working on the living room last week, mainly painting a set of bookshelves white and getting some photos ready to hang on the wall. So Dad was gracious enough to help Husband hang all the photos on our wall. I just love how the photo wall turned out!


Artwork by Uncle Mark, David and the Ladies, Art by Laurel Sherrie, Our wedding photo, Photos from New Zealand, Photos of our families at our wedding

So this is what the living room looked like before the “freshening”:


Living room before it got a facelift

I just wasn’t very excited about the dark bookcases, it made everything else feel dark to me. And I wanted the colors to be a bit softer. So I painted the bookcases (it felt like it took forever!):


Bookcases went from black to  Polar Bear White

We also made some repairs to the futon and I painted a white strip around the base of it to help it tie in with the shelves a bit better. I just love how it all came together. So welcoming, don’t you think?


After the facelift

This house has definitely become our home, and I’m looking forward to all the memories yet to be made and all the people yet to be welcomed through our door.


Linking up with Welcome Heart today!

Around the Home

Kitchen Update; Goodbye Cupboards!

My husband and I are rather tall people. There was a row of cupboards in our kitchen that we were always ducking our heads for so as to avoid injury. They felt unnecessary with all the other kitchen storage space and made the kitchen feel more closed off from the rest of our house. So hubby and I decided to remove them. Hubby did all the work though 🙂 I just took the pictures!


Here’s what we started with


As you can see, the three cupboards blocked the line of vision and communication between the main living space


A drop cloth on the counter was a good idea

I was so impressed with how David took the cupboards down fully intact and with such a clean break. Now we can us the cupboards in the garage, where we really need the storage.


Look at that! The cupboards can still be used


The ceiling, wall and side of the single cupboard need some painting…

Once the cupboard was removed (with a crowbar and lots of patience), it was time to do some painting.


There was also a nice little hole in the wall. David patched it up like new!


The end result? An open kitchen with plenty of light from the sliding doors.


Ahhh. You can see right into the kitchen (and out). Guess that means I’d better keep it clean.


Love the open feel.


Project complete. Great work, hubby!

Around the Home

Master Bedroom Makeover & Nightstands

The last two days I devoted some time to “sprucing” up our master bedroom, which was in need of some attention. I was so thrilled to get my work up on the walls of Linnaea’s for this Friday’s Art After Dark, that I rewarded myself with a bit of decorating time (one of my others loves!). As you can see, the little extra attention made a difference. It seemed important to me for our room to become more like a sanctuary, a comfortable and refreshing space.

Before I worked on putting our room together, I needed to figure out a solution for nightstands. Ours first ones were very mismatched and a bit too low. I wanted them to have drawers for some storage. And I loved the idea of similar but different. So I found two small dressers at TJ Maxx that were both made in india, with the same height and same amount of drawers. The finishes and hardware were very different. So I did what I normally resort do, I spray painted them…

before&after_nightstandAs you can see in the photo on the right, I also spray painted some matching black lamps we already had. I just used the same color as on the night stands and it really brought it all together.

dresser_before2Next I brought the finished nightstands and “new” lamps into the room and set to work.


Another “before” shot. I absolutely adore those windows and the view!


I wanted something soft with a lot of neutral colors. Those curtains are from World Market and we used them in our old house. I love that we can use them here now.


I found that fun little tray at Ross. It was a nice spot to put my “dust collectors”


We hope to mount this on the wall soon. It’s the directional sign I painted for our wedding to direct people to the parking lot!


You can see that David’s nightstand is a bit different from mine, but I love those pulls. Note: His nightstand doesn’t have any flowers, simply functional with an alarm clock


The book corner.


The bathroom. At least it’s clean now 🙂 Needle point hanging on the wall was done by our dear friend, Kate Hasson.


And here’s the finished product. Ahhh…much better.


Around the Home, Art & Creativity

Furniture Refinishing Project

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the process of taking an old piece of furniture, or one that isn’t quite right but has potential and turning it in to something new…something YOU. Having just moved into a new house a couple weeks ago, we’ve been working hard when we have moments of free time to make it feel like home.

I had been looking for a piece of furniture to go in our main living area. You know, something that would be stylish and functional all at once with the perfect amount of storage for mail, papers that need sorting and stuff like that. I had such a hard time finding something that was the right size and shape for the right price. But then, there it was a Target, the perfect piece (minus the faux finish that I wasn’t a big fan of). I also felt this item needed to have some color and pizazz in order to stand out against the white walls, something modern and fun.

So here’s what I did:


I started with this cabinet ($150 at Target).

1. Removed all doors and drawers, as well as hardware and lightly sanded.
2. Applied several light coats of satin gray spray paint to cabinet, door and drawers.


Drop cloths always come in handy!


I wrapped a drop cloth around the base so as not to get spray paint on it.process3Rust-Oleum is fabulous and I only needed two cans for this, plus a clear protective coat.

3. Applied a couple thin layers of clear protective sealer within 30 minutes of applying color (can be found with the rest of the spray paint at Home Depot).

4. Added lovely hardware/pulls from World Market.


A little bit of silver and a little bit of color (World Market)

5. Applied some silver coated Contact Paper to the top of the cabinet for a little extra bling (Home Depot).


Just cut your contact paper to size, peel of the backing and stick into place.

All finished! And now those unsightly stacks of papers, mail and coupons have a place to live.


Perfect storage space


Isn’t she pretty?

Around the Home, Uncategorized

Sprucing Up for This Weekend

It’s finally here! This weekend we’ll be opening up our home for Open Studio Tours, 2013 and there has been plenty to do in preparation. It has also been fun receiving extra copies of the Tribune Article from friends and family, now I can finally add a proper “press page” to my website. So very grateful for that opportunity!

Wednesday and Thursday were spent hanging paintings, shopping for some last minute items, yard beautification projects, etc. I had some help from my Aunt (who has a great eye for interior/exterior design and aesthetics!). Here are some photos of a few things I worked on around the house this week:

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I love these grasses and planters, we were really needing a little “extra” in the front.

We picked out these grasses at The Farm Supply, off Tankfarm Rd. I think they’re beautiful and add a lot of texture. We also found these wonderful angular planters at Tuesday Morning for 90% off! The original colors were quite hideous, so I spray painted them with some Rust-Oleum Metallic Carbon Mist spray from Home Depot. Pretty sharp, huh?

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These plants are on either side of the front of the house now.

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Aunt Leslie picked out these beautiful flowers in mixed reds for the planter

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A sneak peek at some of the artsy set up inside

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There are about 22 of my original paintings on our walls now for the show, very colorful!

DIY – The Chair Planter

This is a little project I’ve been wanting to finish up for a while now. I had painted our little picnic table with some wood stain in Kona, from Home Depot. I wanted to fix up a tired chair as well and use it as a planter, so here it is:

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Before it got a coat of stain

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Stain and some chicken wire were added

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The finished product. We’ll see how those flowers do in their new habitat.

OK, that’s about all for today. I hope you’ll come by for Open Studio this weekend if you’re in or near the area!