Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Living Room Farewell Tour

The living room wraps up the main floor of the farewell tour. If you haven't been with us for this to tour, here is a brief description. My family lived in this 1970s colonial style home for a year. The home had belonged to my parents. It was a fixer upper in need of major help. We thought it was going to be our forever home, so I really got to work. After a year, things changed and we had to move out of the home. This tour is before and afters of the progress made. None of these rooms are complete, they just show what was done and explain what had been done.

If you missed the previous stops, you can view them at the links below.

Family Room                                       Foyer

Laundry Room                                     Dining Room

Powder Room



The living room was probably the least worked on room, as far as the actual room goes. There was a huge misunderstanding when we had people helping us move. As you probably have noticed, these rooms were left packed full of stuff that I either had to pack and get to my mother or figure out what to do with. Our plan had been to get the stuff that wasn't ours out, and then move our stuff in. Well, our helpers thought it would be better to do this in the opposite order. So, all of our stuff got piled on top of what was already there. The living room was stacked wall to wall and floor to ceiling with stuff and boxes. Thank goodness my husband at least was able to get the dog urine soaked carpet out beforehand. Since most of the rooms in the house weren't usable, it was very difficult to empty out the boxes of stuff. Basically, I had to clear rooms out, and then check the boxes that I could access to see if anything could be put away. After about a year, most of it was cleared up. Things that were left either belonged in the room, or in the playroom we had intended in the basement, but then the basement ended up not being usable, and it wasn't completely corrected by then.

Once everything was cleared out, it was mainly just really dusty. I wiped things down and began priming and painting. The room was painted Kennebunkport Green, a very lovely shade of green. We planned to install hardwood floors and make a window seat cushion for the large window. Nicely arrange some furniture and art and get a rug. I would have loved to see this space come together.

This is a beautiful picture I found at a thrift shop for $7. I liked the picture and the frame was gorgeous. It had a paper label on the back and I was able to find out the frame was made probably in the very early 1900s. No idea about the picture, but I call her my 'pretty lady.' She is hanging on my Kennebunkport Green wall. Below her is a chair I still need to work on. I bought a matching pairs for very cheap at a thrift shop that were labeled as 'King's Chairs.' They look really cool, but the are missing the back and the seat! Hopefully will be able to correct that this summer.

The corner is opposite from the other one. It has the other King's chair and a Martha Washington picture that belonged to my father.

I painted late November, so here I have a small table with my Gramma's chalkware Nativity set on display.

Well, thanks for helping me complete the tour of the main floor!

Have a creative day!

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Entry Table

Have you ever felt silly for holding on to something for a long time, but then finding the perfect use for it?
I didn't hold onto this item for a real long while, but it did cross my mind several times that I should probably get rid of it, but then I never did.

When we moved into my parent's house to make it our own after my father passed away, we had a lot of work ahead of us. One seemingly impossible room was my youngest brother's bedroom. We had to get the room cleared out so that our two girls had a bedroom. Amidst everything else, we found a small dresser. My brother didn't want it anymore. It was filled with computer parts that I didn't know what to do with so it sat it the hallway for a good while. Eventually, I cleared it out and decided it try it out at the bottom of the steps in the front entry area.

I really hated this dresser. It seemed to be made of simple scrap wood and had an orange toned stain. However, it was a weight and size that gave it many possibilities. It was always my intention to do something with it. Then, we moved. A bunch of smaller furniture pieces sat in the garage waiting for a home. I wanted to make our front entry a little more substantial so I added it there. It was driving me crazy seeing it there every day in it's orange glory. Then, one day I took it apart, and I just started painting it. First I spray painted some gray primer on. It already looked so much better! The I painted on a few coats of leftover Benjamin Moore Black paint I had on hand. Next, a few coats of polycrylic were applied. Finally, I reused the knobs that had been on the powder room vanity at our last house.
It doesn't even look like the same piece of furniture! So glad I held onto this piece. It was completely free, too! It is perfect in our entry. Have you ever waited for the perfect spot for something?
Have a creative day!
Let's party together!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bed for the Master Bedroom?.....and a New Sofa

I should probably wait to share this, but I just couldn't! This past weekend we went to an Estate sale. I've been to my fair share of rubbish estate sales, but this one wasn't it. I debated on if I wanted to go or not. I saw an ad for it on Craigslist, and it was about a half hour drive from where we live. It caught my eye, however, because they had an abundance of Duncan Phyfe style furniture. If you've read some of my other posts, you know I really like that style of furniture.
So, finally around 3pm I decided to go. On the way I was worried all the pretty furniture was gone already since it started at 10am. They had a Duncan Phyfe sofa, and I figured if it was still there, it was waiting for me.

Hello! It was waiting for me! Above is a picture of it in our driveway. Since this picture I polished all the wood with a product called Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner Beeswax and Orange Oil. The wood frame was already in great shape, but this made it even better. I also polished the claw feet. Now it sits in our living room, waiting for some reupholstering. I've never upholstered something as big as a sofa, but this was worth the effort. My husband even talked down the price so we got a great deal.

However, if you didn't guess from the title of the post, this is not where the story ends. We bought the couch the day we were at the sale (Saturday.) However, we did not have the space to bring it home with us, so my husband said he would pick it up the following day when the sale reopened. He picked up a friend and drove over to pick up the sofa. When he got there, he saw that they were marking things down for day 2 of the sale. He picked up a little side table for $5.

It is one of the ones with the leather top and it has pretty little designs around the top edge. Not sure what I will do with it yet. It needs a little cleaning up, but I am getting used to that!
Then there is this -

My husband said he had seen me looking at it, and it was down to $35, so...he bought it. Then , he left quickly before he bought anything else. He said he wasn't sure what I would do with it, but he couldn't pass for the price.
Now, what to do with the bed? That is the question. We already have a bed in our master bedroom that I still really like. It is our first bedroom set we've had and we purchased the set from a local furniture store. It is too big for the space, but we are just renting this house, and hopefully will buy another home someday.
Our room doesn't quite look like this, but I wanted to show the bed.
I really like the bed I have and we have all the matching pieces in the space, so if I switch out the bed I don't know if it will look weird. The dressers, nightstands, etc. all have the metal scroll work on the bottom and the furniture store wood is darker brown that the solid mahogany bed, though I do have an antique mahogany settee in the room and I think it looks fine. Plus, I can keep my eye open for more pieces of this color and style, but I dread the awkward in between stage.
The 'new' bed is lower so it wouldn't be blocking the window like this one is. This is the only wall in the room that doesn't have a door on it, so it is the only wall with enough room for the bed. It also will take less space up width wise. Our current bed is a queen; new bed is a full. It seems like our queen mattress will fit, but the bed is pretty much as wide as the mattress, where our current bed has the added posts that make it wider.
If we don't use the bed ourselves we may use it as our son's 'big boy' bed, but that will mess up some plans there.
Decisions, decisions. All because of a $35 bed! It is so pretty, though. What do you think, old bed or new bed? Or I suppose I should say current bed or new-to-me bed, since the 'new' bed is definitely way older than the current bed. What do you think?
Have a creative day!
Let's party together!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Farewell Tour - Dining Room

Today I am sharing the work I did when we lived in the 1970's colonial style fixer upper. I am showing a different room of the home every week on the Farewell Tour. None of these rooms are complete.
If you missed our previous stops you can view them here.

Family Room
Laundry Room
Powder Room

This was towards the very top of the list of most disgusting rooms I had to deal with. So gross, I had to wear a mask. It was very filthy and disgusting. There was tons of stuff that I was left to deal with. The carpet was covered in dog urine and bile, and spilled dirt. Instead of cleaning said messes up, a box of baking soda was dumped over them. Because that works, right? I'm guessing by the smell it didn't. There was a door put up to close this room off from the kitchen and filthy, dark draperies covered the window to keep anyone from seeing in.

I removed the door and the draperies. I eventually replaced the draperies. I removed all the stuff. My husband removed the carpeting. I sprayed the sub floor with a bleach/water mixture to get by until the sub floor could be replaced. There was wall paper border in this room that I had to remove, and then I primed the walls. I painted the walls Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray, and the trim Benjamin Moore Monterey White. The area above the buffet I painted Benjamin Moore Phillipsburg Blue. I painted the buffet in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. The top of the buffet I sanded down and stained with Minwax gel stain in mahogany. The light fixture was taken down (I changed it up and used it in the breakfast nook) and put up a different one we already owned.




I decorated the top of the buffet with my Ballard Designs mirror and entomology plaques I had from out previous home. On the buffet top I put my white ironstone soup tureen and Staffordshire lions. I didn't have buffet lamps, but I found these at a thrift shop for $5 each. I spray painted them and bought them new shades at Lowe's.

The computer armoire was removed and replaced with an antique china cabinet I found at the Salvation Army for $90. Inside the cabinet is my parent's first 'real' set of dishes, white ironstone, and a few pieces of blue transferware I have collected. The oil painting on top belonged to my father.

My dad's grandfather clock fit perfectly in the corner across from the china cabinet. Originally, my mom said I could keep the clock. She didn't like it, but my dad had loved his clock. After I owned it for about a year, my mom found the original receipt and sent her boyfriend into the house to remove it so they could sell it for money. My husband paid him not to take, because he knew it would break my heart.  : ( I feel terrible about it, but am glad we got to keep it. It really reminds me of my dad and reminds me of him as he was living.
My husband I had started a gallery wall, which we planned to tweak and add another picture to, but never got a chance. The oil paintings on the left, right, and top center, were all thrift store finds. The center lower picture was another one that had belonged to my dad.
Here is a fall tablescape I made. The curtains weren't up yet in this picture.
So, what would I have done, had we stayed? Replacing the sub floor and installing new flooring were the main thing. We were planning on hard wood in this room. Maybe crown moulding, definitely needed to get some new hardware purchased and put on the buffet. I planned to fix up the table and get new fabric on the chairs. That's about it.
Thank you for joining me on the tour! Here are a few places you can find more details on the dining room.
Removing stinky odors
Removing wall paper border
Dining Room Cabinet
The dining room buffet
Fall Tablescape
Dining Room Buffet Before And After

Have a creative day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy April Fools Day Cake

Happy April Fool's Day! Did you do anything for the day? If you have Google+, you probably noticed David Hasselhoff really celebrating the day! We didn't do anything this year, but I thought I would share something fun I did back in 2011. My oldest daughter was about 6 at the time and I kept telling her we were having cake for dinner. She kept saying "Really?! No we're not!"
Then she came to the table for dinner not knowing what to expect and found this.

Who doesn't want cake for dinner?! This was a lot of fun. I just doubled my favorite meatloaf recipe and baked it in 2 round cake pans. I frosted it with mashed potatoes and decorated it with peas and corn.

What do you think? Have you done anything fun like this for April Fools?
Have a creative day!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Banana Split Torte

I'm sitting here dreaming about warmer weather and thought I would share a spring recipe. Technically I don't know if it is a spring recipe, but it always has been for me.
This was one of my favorite desserts as a little girl. One year I kept asking my mom when we could have it again. I suspect in the hopes I would forget about it, she told me we could have it in the spring. Well, I didn't forget, and every year when the weather started warming up I started asking for this dessert!

This is a no bake dessert and the only thing that needs to be prepped in advance is that you need to thaw out the whipped topping.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 sticks of butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 bananas, sliced
1 large container whipped topping, thawed
1 small jar (6 oz.) maraschino cherries
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
chocolate syrup
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. Melt one of the two sticks of butter. Mix with the graham cracker crumbs and pat down in a 9"x13" pan.
2. Cream powdered sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pour over the graham cracker crust.
3. Pour the drained pineapple mixture over the top and spread into a layer across the previous layers.

4. Cover the pineapple layer completely with sliced bananas.

5.Cover bananas with a layer of whipped topping.

6. Top with chocolate syrup, cherries, and nuts, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I hope you enjoy it! It is so easy to make and so tasty. Have a great day!

Party time!! Sharing here:

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Living Room Chairs

Today I thought I would share a little project I've been working on.
Awhile ago, probably last fall or so, my husband and I stopped at a moving sale. I don't think this was the first one they had, because not much was left. However, my husband found a couple small things...and I found a Duncan Phyfe style table with two chairs. You know I have a weakness, was just $15 for all three pieces.  Sold!
Of course, you get what you pay for, and these weren't in the greatest condition. Not too long after I got the pieces, I tried a quick fix for the table. You can read about that  here.        

The chairs ended up in the dining room, but were not used, because they just that bad. We moved and they waited in the garage for a place to go. I decided I wanted to use one as a desk chair for my desk I had put in the living room. The other chair I stuck across the room.
Now that these chairs had ended up in a heavily used room, they moved up the list of projects. The desk gets used frequently and needed a clean chair to go with it.

The hardest thing was deciding what to do with the frame. I love mahogany wood, but these chairs were in horrible condition. Here is just a tiny sampling.

That's really not that bad, but I assure you some parts were much worse, especially on the legs. I can't imagine what these poor chairs had been through.
Anyways, I actually thought about it a few days. Yes, I did. I tend to over think things. Then, I just grabbed them one afternoon, sanded down the worst spots, wiped them down super good, and started painting. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Country Gray. It is one of my most favorite chalk paint colors, right up there with Old White. I'm not too exciting when it comes to furniture paint colors!
I usually don't distress pieces too much, but with these I tried to slightly distress, especially on the backs. I'm still not sure if I like it or not. I then waxed everything.
Next, it was time for the actual seats. I had a bunch of fabric, that had been bought for the last house, but hadn't been used yet, and then we moved. We had bought fabric for making a cushion for a window seat in our old living room. Now that we didn't need it, I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it on these chairs. I also put in fresh batting.

So, how do they look? Do you like the distressing or do you think it would look better if the backs were all painted? Have a great weekend!

Let's party together!

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The Scoop
Wow Us Wednesday
Treasure Hunt Thursday
April Before and After