Apartment Guide Sweepstakes

I always feel like I am in the middle of changing one of my spaces, but in reality I guess I always am.  We've been working on our home office for about a year on and off and really haven't gotten too far.  It's a tricky space since it serves as an office for 2 people (me and my hubs) and it doubles as our guest room.  This bookshelf lives there now as well as this desk.  We're getting there slowly but surely.

It was perfect timing for Apartment Guide to contact me in regards to their "Your Picks.  Your Place" Sweepstakes.  Right now they are in round three of their sweepstakes - HOME OFFICES.  I loved all of the choices, but one in particular really gave me inspiration!  Check out the sweepstakes here.  Can you guess which one?  Check out the official information below and enter to win one of their eight $250 weekly prizes or their grand prize of $10,000.  All you have to do is vote to be entered to win! 

About the Apartment Guide “Your Picks. Your Place.” Sweepstakes
Is your place in need of a style update?  Apartment Guide has partnered with TV host and design expert Kim Myles for the second annual Apartment Guide “Your Picks. Your Place.” Sweepstakes.  From now until August 14, visit YourPicksYourPlace.com to vote once per day for your preferred room design showcasing furniture and home décor items selected by featured bloggers.  The site will feature four different room designs every two weeks. By voting, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes to go towards your own selections for your home. While you’re on the site, you can find design and décor tips from Kim Myles, Apartment Guide and featured bloggers to help you design a room that’s uniquely you.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends @ 9:00 PM on 8/14/12, subject to Entry Periods outlined in Official Rules. Must be a US legal resident of the 50 US or DC and 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes subject to full Official Rules available at www.yourpicksyourplace.com. Void where prohibited.
Disclosure Statement:
Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partner with bloggers such as me to participate in blogger programs. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any products and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendation.

Update on Dining Room and Life in General

Hi All,
Our camera has been out of commission for about 2 weeks now.  We'll have it back on Sunday and I can finally post some of the projects I've been working on.

Remember the dining room chairs that I wanted to recover and I gave you a few of the fabric choices I was thinking of in this post?  Well I didn't go with any of them.  It is so me to narrow them all down and then change my mind.  But in the end I am soooo glad I did.  I chose this fabric from Fabric.com and it is awesome.

The fabric is LAMINATED so its perfect for our dining room.  EM has "put her mark" on every chair and now all I have to do is wipe it down.  Its amazing!  I can't wait to post about the finished project!  Sunday cant come soon enough.

I am also overhauling our entryway and these colors (and maybe even this fabric) will be back if I can figure out how to sew a custom cushion for an entertainment center turned bench I made.  My sister created this awesome art for me to hang in either the entryway or the dining room.  There are 4 in total--but I am only sharing 3 since the 4th is our current address (and its a shame that I don't want any stalkers or weirdo's showing up because its my favorite print)!  How amazing are they..and she!!  They are going in white frames with white matting.

I also have our new TV stand that we made from an old vintage typewriter crate.  It looks awesome in our living room so look for that project coming soon.

I am looking forward to sharing all of my projects with you soon!

Recovering Chairs...(again!)

I have had my chairs recovered for almost a year now, so what else is there to do besides re-do them, right?  Here is where I originally mentioned them.  I still am happy with how they turned out, but we added a Cowhide Rug from Kinetic that we purchased from a HauteLook sale about 1.5 yrs ago.  Ours is a little more brown/less white, but pretty similar. 

In the room we also have my Hutch which I just love.

So...now that you see what has to stay in the room I need some opinions on new fabric for the chairs. 
Here is what the chairs look like now.  I'm not opposed to painting the chairs bright white or keeping them off white depending on the fabric choice.

I've pulled 5 I like from Fabric.com.
Here is the Option 1--

image via fabric.com

Option 2

image via fabric.com

Option 3

image via fabric.com

Option 4

image via fabric.com

  Option 5

image via fabric.com

 Any thoughts?

Living Room Decorating (on a BUDGET!)

 I showed you what our living room looked like before we moved in in THIS POST.  I mentioned we lived in a historic home with TONS of wood!  Like tons of it...wood windows--CHECK, wood floors--CHECK, wood walls--CHECK, wood beams--CHECK.  And honestly...I love it.  Its too beautiful and historic to paint so we need to be creative in our decorating.  We are not there yet, but here is an IN PROGRESS pic..

She is the cutest, right??  Especially in her Dora PJ's!

We tried to lighten things up as much as we could.  Any parent will tell you that having light ANYTHING with kids is hard, so we are doing our best.

Here is the before one more time..

As indicated above, there is still many things to work on.  We are in the midst of building a TV stand out of an old Remington Typewriter crate.  I love it...just a couple more things and it will be ready to go.  The side tables are obviously there just to give our lights something to sit on.  They were never meant to be a part of this room and with the Provence Paint (Annie Sloan's) on them...they don't exactly match...

Apparently we have a things for ceramic animal heads.  The dear head is up and we have a moose head that still needs to be hung.  The papasan chair is also a filler--we purchased this to go in our daughters room, but for now its in the living room.  Eventually we will replace with the matching loveseat for our couch...but you never know with us.  We are always changing.

Here is a view looking the other way...like I said..animals have a big part in our decor...just a coincidence I assure you.  My husband LOVES the fish above the mantel.  I always try to get rid of it, but now that its painted white (he first painted it silver) its growing on me.  We are in desperate need of replacing the ceiling fans in the entire house.  I hate ceiling fans, but the Tennessee weather screams for ceiling fans, so finding the right one that fits our taste and goes with the house will definitely be a challenge.  

The desk in the corner may also be repainted.  I blogged about that desk HERE.  I love it...I got it for only $25.00 and its awesome.  The CHAIR (my very first post...$2.50!!) will be repainted and recovered to fit in the space as well.

Before & Progress (not after...)

Here is a breakdown of our items and how we did this on a budget.  

Couch--WEST ELM - $699.00
Chair - PIER 1 - on sale for $169.00
Rug - RUGS USA on sale for $150
Curtains - TJ Maxx $19.99 each set so about $40.00 total
Lamps - Home Goods - $39.00 each
Tables - Goodwill & Flea Market (although they aren't staying) $10.00 and $15.00
Moose - Z Gallerie - $49.00
Deer - Z Gallerie - $49.00
Fish - On clearance at Pier 1 for $5.00--just painted with Rustoleum Sun Yellow
Soda crates - Flea Market - $10.00

This room (as with all our rooms) is a work in progress, so be kind on your critique!

How do you decorate on a budget?


Linking up to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Creative Inspirations @ Embracing Change

Children's Desk

I found this piece at my favorite thrift store for $19.00.  I scooped it up thinking it would make a great child or teen's desk.  When I found the desk it was covered in carvings from some kid--I don't know if this was used in a school or a home...most likely a school with the sheer amount of carving to the desk.

 I used A LOT of wood filler on this desk and did A LOT of sanding!

I had a small amount of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Duck Egg left over from another project and thought this would be a good neutral color for a boy or a girl since its a really light blue.  Two coats and this is what I had...

 I purchased these hand painted drawer pulls and replaced the old wooden knobs.

Not bad for $19.00.  I'm selling this piece so hopefully some child/teenager gets a lot of use out of this!

I know this isn't a good "BEFORE" pic, but you get the idea!'


Linking up to:
Nifty Thrifty Sunday @ Nifty Thrifty Things
Twice Owned Tuesday @ House of Grace
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Manic Monday Link Party @ Serendipity & Spice
Be Inspired @ Elizabeth & Co
Chalk Paint Link Party @ Elizabeth & Co
POWW @ Primitive & Proper
Whatever You Want Wednesday @ Free Pretty Things for You
Power of Paint @ Domestically Speaking
Creative Inspirations @ Embracing Change
Under $100 Link Party @ Beyond the Picket Fence
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Furniture Friday @ Decorating Insanity
Thrifty Things Friday @ The Thrifty Groove

DIY Tile

I'm so excited to share a friends DIY kitchen tile job!  Tile is always so intimidating to me and Jen and Scott handled it like pro's!

The recently purchased their first home which was built in the 50's.  The kitchen came complete with indoor/outdoor carpet...eek!!  Jen said once Scott spilled a gallon of milk on the floor they knew it was time to budget for a floor remodel.  They set aside $600 and got to work!!

Here is a picture of the before..looks like quite the project!

First, they ripped up the old flooring and put down hardy backer board using a pre-mixed thin set mortar and screws.

 Here is the backer board in place..

 They decided to use an 18 x 18 inch porcelain tile.  Using the same pre-mixed thin set mortar they used for the backer board they set the tile. One of their biggest challenges was cutting the tile.  I give them a lot of credit for that...I think that i the part that intimidates me the most.

Jen's dad gave them a bit of advice in the above picture--"Cross your fingers" is right..the tile is definitely more delicate than it looks and you have to be very careful in cutting it.  Once the tile was down they waited a few days and then grouted and sealed it.  How awesome does it look??

 Here is a before and after of the floor!  Their kitchen is still a work in progress according to Jen & Scott, but I'd say this change is definitely a step in the right direction. 

Thank you so much, Jen & Scott for sharing your story.  You really can tackle projects like this on your own with the right tools, materials and some guidance.


CeCe Caldwell Painted Dressers

A client contacted me to refinish 2 dressers she received for FREE from a friend.  These dressers will find a home at her new beach house once its completed this summer. I am disappointed to say that I can't find a before of the first dresser.  This is definitely my favorite.  This dresser had a Cherry Stain with Large wooden knobs.  I sanded the entire piece and painted with CeCe Caldwell's Young Kansas Wheat Paint.  I love CeCe Caldwell's because it is a GREEN paint!  Their website says, there are "no Volatile Organic Compounds, are non-toxic and have no odor. The paint contains NO acrylic co-polymers, solvents, formaldehyde, ammonia, ethylene glycol or toxic heavy metals.  The minerals are clay, porcelain clay and chalk blended into a water based solution.  The paint is packaged in recycled plastic containers".  I think this paint is a win for everyone!

I switched the hardware out for acrylic knob and I really think this made the transformation.  I gave it a light distressing and am happy with how it turned out.  I'm just upset I wasn't able to get a higher quality photo before my client picked it up. 

This next dresser was a really tricky piece.  Probably one of the toughest piece I've done in the couple years I've been working on furniture.  Here are the before pics--the dresser was covered in black paint with a high gloss finish.

The handles don't come off and made it difficult to give it a true transformation.  I worked with CeCe Caldwell's Cottonwood Sienna for this piece.  Compared to the other CeCe's paint I have worked with, this was by far the most thin and hard to work with.  I coated this dresser with anywhere from 4-6 coats depending on the location--and this is with completely sanding it!  I think it was a combo of the thin paint and the harsh finish that was on the wood before I received it.  Before putting the water based polyurethane the dresser had a very matte/chalkie/dull look to it.  The poly really helped in adding texture to the finished piece and giving it a wood grain look---harder to see in the pics than in person-especially since these were taken quickly with the iphone and not my usual camera.

***Also, the top right hand corner of the bottom drawer is still wet in this pic, so please forgive the slight difference, but I wanted to grab a pic quickly!**

I love redoing furniture for other people.  I hope my client is happy with how they turned out and that they love their new home at the beach!


Our Living Room BEFORE we moved in!

Hi All,
Sorry for the short hiatus...life just happened!  We've been traveling for work and all kinds of craziness, but I do have lots of things to share.  Let's start with our Living Room.  We moved into our house a little over a year ago.  We LOVE it here.  I know I've said it before, but our house is wood...all wood!!  It's an historic house built in the 30's and we couldn't be happier here, but a house of all wood does present some challenges in the decorating area, but we love a challenge.

Here are a few pics of our Living Room right before we moved in...

A lot of wood, right?  Wood floors, wood walls, wood windows and a manly stone fireplace (which is amazing, just hard to make look pretty!).  This week I'll show you how we made this very masculine cabin into something that works for both me and my husband.  Here is a sneak peak of our couch and rug--

Our couch is from West Elm and we picked up our rug online at RUGS USA

We love how the room is coming together.  I can't wait to share our progress with you all!