As the colder weather approaches and the holidays are in sight, what is better than cozying up around the fireplace? The sounds, the glow, the warmth- you really can't beat it. Right around this time of year, we start using our fireplace pretty much daily. Not only is it efficient on the cold winter days, but it just looks so pretty! As a stylist, one of my favorite areas of the home to decorate for the holidays (and in between) is the mantle and fireplace surround. Not only is it a focal point, but there are so many ways to style and restyle this area of your home- and you don't need to break the bank doing so.
Some of my go-tos when it comes to styling our fireplace: (and yours!)
BRING ON THE COZY
Blankets, pillows and poufs. You need 'em! Not only do they add texture and comfort, but they can be such an easy and affordable way to change out your vibe for each season. You can never have too many! (Just don't ask my husband...)
PUT THE FUN IN FUNCTION
Be realistic. While you obviously want your home to be a show stopper, you DO still live there- so it should be 'functional decor'. What do I mean by this? For example, a fireplace cover. Not only are they recommended for safety reasons, but they can be super fun and stylish as well.
SWITCH IT UP FOR THE SEASON
Add seasonal decor. During the autumn months, I love to decorate with muted florals, pumpkins (lotsss of pumpkins...), and yummy scented candles. A great way to add color and texture to your mantle is by adding floral garland!
KEEP IT ORGANIZED
A great way to keep the clutter to a minimum is to make sure everything has it's own place. Those throw blankets we talked about? Keep them in a stylish basket. Have a wood burning fireplace? Stack the logs in a modern wood rack and refill as needed.
Is your home in need of a restyle? Luckily for you, I have already done the leg work and rounded up some of my favorite items from Wayfair. Feel free to shop the items below and give that fireplace the cozy refresh it needs! Happy Sunday, friends!
Welcome back, friends! I am back with another thrifty before and after- everyone's favorite! Not long ago, I shared our entryway transformation (new wallpaper, furniture, wall decor, etc.) and the only thing that was still left to do was update the u-g-l-y floor tile. I figured it would be a project that we would take on a few years down the road because new flooring isn't cheap, and it wasn't a huge priority either. But once the new wallpaper was hung the flooring stood out so much more than before and I just couldn't take it anymore... so I went the thrifty route. I painted it.
I had heard of people painting flooring before but was always a bit skeptical for obvious reasons and our high traffic entryway definitely worried me as well- so, I did some research, read A TON of reviews, and finally settled on the Rustoleum Home "Floor Coating" Kit. This paint kit has great reviews and is under $40! Muchhh more affordable than new tile work, and I also love that it comes in a wide variety of color options.
Note: if you have a specific color in mind that they don't offer, the white paint is tintable which is another great selling point.
I will also note: I went into this with the mind set that if for some reason this DIY project is a flop down the road, we can always go with plan a- and spend the money on new flooring... but for now, this is an easy and quick fix.
Our flooring before was a fugly brown and tan ceramic tile, and I liked the idea of painting it dark because not only would it hide the dirt, but I figured it would also help hide any imperfections. I went with the 'charcoal gray' color option in the semi-gloss finish (they also offer a matte finish).
Now if I am being honest, I don't feel like I can offer a complete review on the product just yet, seeing as I don't know how well it will hold up in the future- but I will say this:
I followed the instructions very carefully. I'm talking, read them and then reread them about five times before finally pulling the trigger. I vacuumed, mopped, and then used the included floor cleaner and made sure to wipe down each and every inch of our entryway. I also purchased the exact type of paint rollers that are recommended under the product description (everything I used will be linked at the end of this post).
Once the floor was clean and dry, I used painter's tape to protect our molding and then went around and painted all of the edges using the gray base coat and an angled brush. I then used the 3/8 inch nap roller to apply the base coat. Rustoleum claims that only 1 coat is needed most of the time, but I did end up having to apply a second coat for even coverage.
After letting the gray base coat dry for over 24 hours, I then used the 1/4 inch nap roller to apply the clear top coat. The instructions do say that 24 hours after applying the top coat, you can resume light foot traffic but that the floor system is not fully cured for at least 7 days. Now, in my experience I have always found it better to wait even longer than the recommended time when it comes to painting anything, so we waited a few days for foot traffic and about 10 days before putting the furniture back.
I dropped a small metal basket on the flooring around day 5 and it chipped a small spot of paint off, which had me pretty worried but I am hoping it is only because it was not fully cured yet. (I touched up the tiny chip marks right away).
Pretty dramatic difference for a great price, right? Fingers crossed it holds up well, but so far, I LOVE IT. Let me know what you guys think and be sure to check out all of the links below!
Striped door mat linked here
Entryway makeover linked here
Since we moved into our 1930's Colonial nearly a year ago, I have slowly but surely started sharing more and more photos of our home on Instagram, but the one area I have waited to share is our entryway. The 1980's wallpaper and flush mounted boob light fixture (forgot to take photos of it but trust me it was bad) were just not internet worthy if ya know what I mean. I knew when we bought this house that we would eventually switch out the wallpaper but it was not a top priority. Not only is wallpaper pricey, but I had such a hard time choosing what to put in there. I can't even tell you how many wallpaper books I brought home from Sherwin Williams before deciding on one. I wanted something colorful and crazy but then changed my mind because I got cold feet and figured something timeless would be better. I mean, you can always add color in other ways, right? Which is exactly what I did.
I ended up settling on a neutral but fun geometric pattern from Thibaut and I loveee it! It is classic yet funky and perfectly neutral. I am so happy with how much it has brightened up this little space!
Instead of buying a new chest, I used some leftover dark teal paint I had and spray painted the hardware. Now as I look through these photos I am realizing how bad my paint job is and YES I will be fixing it, but I just couldn't wait to get these photos up.
(I don't know the exact paint color but it is VERY similar to Benjamin Moore's "Dark Teal". )
Add some wall art and fun accessories and wah-lah- a completely new space! Speaking of fun accessories... have you seen my mini Turkish rug from Krazy For Rugs? I am OBSESSED. The colors and quality are SO. GOOD. and her selection is insane. If you are in the market for a show stopping rug go check out her website!
Now for everyone's favorite part: the before and after photos! Let me know what you think, and be sure to check out the product links at the end if you like what you see.
This light fixture is e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g!
Chandelier linked here.
My exact wallpaper can be found here.
A similar teal chest can be found here.
Swivel brass hook can be found here.
Galvanized wall planter can be found here.
Mini Turkish rug can be found here.
So, that's it guys. Short and sweet filled with photos- the kind of blog posts that I like and I'm sure you do too. If you liked this transformation let me know in the comments and be sure to follow along on Instagram for more daily inspo.
Board & Batten Accent Walls
Hey guys! If you are anything like me, quarantine has your head spinning and thinking of all the things you want to get done around the house... Truth be told, my hubby and I are not the handiest people (about average I would say) and sometimes he gets a little annoyed with my millions of ideas, but he almost always ends up jumping on board and loving what we are doing in the end. These projects were no different.
I was pretty impulsive when tackling the wall behind our bed, as I often am. I mentioned what I was picturing a few times, and then after skimming a few blog posts one morning, I came home with all of the lumber and products needed.
If you are looking at this post and thinking that it looks cool but there's no way you could do it yourself, I promise you can. After learning a few tips throughout the process I believe I could even tackle this on my own now if I HAD to. If you can use a paint brush, pull a trigger, and know how to use a tape measurer you can figure this out.
YOU WILL NEED:
(all sources listed at end of the post)
A few things: We went for MDF because it is much more cost effective, and we knew we would be painting the wall white anyway so that fact that they are already primed is fantastic. However you can use real wood instead if you choose!
For our bedroom wall we used 1" x 3" x 8' boards, and for the living room wall we used 1" x 4" x 8'.
What I did not know...
1"x3" is just the common name but in actuality the board is .75" x 2.5" and the 1"x4" is actually .75" x 3.5" so keep that in mind when doing your measuring!
BUT before you fill your shopping cart you need to do a few things... Draw up a plan. Skim the internet, brainstorm, whatever- but you need to determine what design you want and then draw it up/do the math (the hard part for me, lol). For our bedroom, I knew I wanted just vertical planks but because of my impulsivity, my actual plan changed more times than I can count.
You will want to measure the entire length of the wall, and then decide how far apart you want your boards to be to decide how many you will need to purchase, etc. I went ahead and bought a few extra boards just incase and I am glad I did, because when we were all said and done we ended up placing the vertical boards much closer together than I had originally envisioned. With our master bedroom project I purchased 19 boards at less than $2 a piece and we did not use them all.
Once you have decided what look you are going for and have purchased all of the necessary products, the first step is framing out the wall. What this means is securing the 2 horizontal trim boards first, and then the 2 vertical boards- essentially building a "frame" around the wall. This is where my impulsivity got me into a dilemma. When initially measuring my bedroom wall, I completely ignored the fact that our 1930's plaster walls and ceilings are NOT square and are curved at the top. I also did not realize that if we were to frame out the wall all the way to the top like the photo above, we would then have to mount our curtain rods into the MDF board and I was not loving that idea.
Now, for a seasoned carpenter the curving of the wall would be no problem, but we are amateurs, remember? Anyhow, I had a solution. I decided we would lay the top horizontal board in line with our window trim, instead of the crown molding. This in turn was much easier and I actually like the fact that there is a gap up top now that it is all said and done!
Once all 4 framing boards are up, you are ready to start measuring and cutting the vertical boards. Be sure to measure each and every spot that you will be placing a vertical board because no wall is exactly level or square so there will be slight variances. (If there are minor gaps it is okay because you will be caulking later.)
I had my husband cut me a few boards to start with and then before actually securing them onto the wall, I played around with their spacing to see what looked best (remember the whole 'not good at math thing'... ha! With that being said, each and every board is not the exact same distance from the other, but they are all within an inch or less of difference and it is not noticeable to the naked eye. (They ended up being around 9" apart.)
Once you are happy with your spacing, you are ready to fire up that brad nailer (I had way too much fun with this tool!). Be sure to check, and then double check that each board is level before you actually start nailing.
In our experience, using 2 inch brad nails and caulking the edges was enough to be sure that the boards are secure and not going anywhere. However, if you can make it work, it is always better to secure the boards to studs using a stud finder and/or use some sort of adhesive to attach the boards to your wall before nailing. I personally did not want to use adhesive out of fear that we would mess up and need to remove the boards which would create a much bigger problem. I DID plan to add a few spots of caulk to the back of each board however, and forgot. (I. AM. TOO. IMPULSIVE.) With that being said, caulking each and every board's seam will also help keep them secure. Do what you think is best!
The short pieces under the window sill probably should have been angled at the top instead of a straight cut, but after they were painted and caulked they looked better. We also have drapes covering them most of the time. Live and learn! (we corrected this mistake in our living room project, however.)
Once all of the cutting is done, and the boards are all secured, it is time to start filling your nail holes. Take a small amount of wood filler on your finger tip and cover each little brad hole. This dries quickly. You can then run a piece of sandpaper over each spot to smooth it out.
Once that is complete, it is time to caulk. I found this part fun and therapeutic but also very time consuming. Put on some good music and zone out. You will want to run a small bead of caulk along each and every edge of each board and then with a finger, smooth out the caulk. Tip: keep a wet rag or two nearby for easy clean up.
Once your caulk is dry, all that is left to do it paint. We used "Pure White" by Sherwin Williams.
The living room project was more of the same. The only difference was that we had square walls this time, larger boards, and added horizontal pieces in between to make squares. The only dilemma we ran into, is that we had to configure a small puzzle piece look on one edge because of the way our molding stuck out. This was no big deal since it is not obvious once caulked and painted.
Once again, we played around with the boards and spacing and they are not perfect. In fact, instead of an exact square, the top two rows are 23" x 24" and the bottom row of squares are 23" x 25". I bet you couldn't tell though, right?
In this space we ended up using only 15 of the 1"x4" boards which are under $5 a piece.
So, what do you guys think? Would you believe me if I told you that the bedroom wall was around $40 in lumber and the living room around $75? YUP. A pretty big impact for a pretty small price tag if you ask me!
Thanks for stopping by, and if you enjoyed this blog post let me know in the comments below! You can find all products used below and all of my home decor items listed here. Happy shopping!
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more inspiration!
Hey you! It has been a minute since I have sat down and delivered a blog post, but I am happy to be back at it! If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know we have relocated back to Michigan, and I have been on a mission to make our 1930's Colonial "our" home. And like many of you, going on month two of quarantine has my head spinning. I am constantly throwing ideas around in my head of what we can or should do in each room of our house but am often left feeling defeated because well, money.
(Oh, and if you aren't following me on the 'ol IG then you should be! Click Here)
As many of you are aware, wallpaper has made a huge comeback since the 90's and is such an awesome way to make a bold statement in a space, but it can be e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e! Not only is it pricey, but I for one am not ready to attempt installing said wallpaper unless it is on a straight, blank, windowless wall and then maybe, just maybeee I will think about it.
Although I may not be up for installing the paper myself, I am constantly looking at different patterns and ideas because I just love the impact it makes. Luckily being on lockdown got my creative juices flowing and I thought to myself, "I could just paint that". So that's what I did. I hand painted faux wallpaper onto our tiny bathroom walls. The entire process took me about 2.5 hours to do and get this- I did it for under THREE dollars. Take that, wallpaper.
(all source and paint colors listed at the end of this post.)
What I used:
If you are thinking to yourself, "This sounds super intimidating." then well, you are right. It SOUNDS super intimidating but I promise you it is easier than it looks. First things first, you need to practice the design you are going to do. I drew out a couple of ideas with a sharpie on a piece of paper, and then used a big piece of cardboard to practice on with the foam paint brush. That's it. 5 minutes later I took the brush to the wall and winged it. I wasn't scared because I knew if I hated it that it was JUST PAINT after all, and if worse came to worst I could always paint back over it. I will admit, I did about 2 rows of the design and didn't like how the lines turned out so I hurriedly grabbed a baby wipe and wiped the paint away. I ended up using many baby wipes throughout the process when I didn't like how the technique turned out, and I found it very reassuring knowing that was an option.
By the way, I am totally kicking myself for not videotaping or documenting the actual process of this! My impulsivity was on overdrive and I was thinking way too far ahead but I PROMISE that there will be photo or video proof next time!
The design I chose here is pretty self explanatory but I will tell you what tips I have and what worked for me...
That's it! Use your imagination and remember it's just paint. I cannot tell you how many people thought this was actual wallpaper in our bathroom and when I tell them that I hand painted it they were left speechless. The first thing I always say? "It was easier than it looks!". Oh, and "It was less than $3 to create!". Have fun and if this inspires you to create your own faux wallpaper, please be sure to share with me. I am already thinking of my next wall to tackle. Happy painting, friends!
Original paint color: Benjamin Moore "Classic Grey"
Unfortunately I do not know the exact name of the accent paint I used on the walls & shelf but it is VERY similar to Benjamin Moore's "Dark Teal" or "Deep Sea Green".
Shop the post here:
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