Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Updates in the Livingroom and Kitchen.

Not much has changed really in our home, we did upgrade the free sofa to a Craigslist IKEA sectional. I have re-arranged some of the wall decor and chairs. Added some beachy/summer stuff to the mantel.


 My slipcover does fit better on the sofa it was meant for. It came with the ottoman, and I haven't decided to keep the black, or buy a different cover.

 Mantel is filled with rocks, shells, drift wood and sea glass my boys found on the beach, along with a couple of large shells from my childhood in Mexico.

 Changes to the dining room include the chairs I bought off craigslist for $50. I painted them with Duck Egg blue AS Chalk Paint. They are a smaller scale and I can fit two on one side without table leaves. I think they are cute, but I have kept the originals, I'm not sure these will be kept if we move the table later.

Touches of fresh flowers from the yard. I put them all over the house to enjoy.

4th of July Front Porch: 2015

Posting an update of what the house is looking like this summer. We had family visit for the 4th so I actually did some porch decorating for the holiday.

 A couple of big changes to the front. We have started painting the trim and doors. The garage doors were teal/french blue. As is the window trim. We plan to change all this to just the crisp white. I think I will keep the nautical navy on the door. The other change is the new garden fence and gate you can see to the left of this photo. It still needs stain and the tops finished, but it looks great and keeps the deer from eating our garden.

For the first time I actually have a large "old fashoned" coverd porch. I decided that some classic buntings would be the perfect touch for an island style 4th.

 Simple red flowers next to the blue of the door, and moving a metal star to the door looks patriotic without spending much money. Everything here I already had.. just added the fresh flowers.

 My pots are not looking super lush this year.. probably because it's abnormally hot and dry this summer. I'm going to have to break down and buy drippers and install them all over the yard.

 Of course by the end of the week the porch was covered with sand, wet swim suits, towels and coolers... but that is summer life.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

White Wash Brick Fireplace Makeover

Decided to breakdown and try a paint wash on the fireplace brick. The brick has a vintage/rustic feel to it.. like the used reclaimed brick, and the mantel was bespoke made local. Here is a "before" photo, it shows the fireplace insert before I gave it a paint makeover. You can see that HERE.

The orange finish on the fur mantel combined with the dirty brownness of the brick was not doing much for me. I had to think long and hard about putting paint on the brick, as you really can't go back once it is done. I decided to use some of my Country Chic chalk paint in "French Linen" It's a very light gray.. I diluted it to about 40/60 paint and water. Chalk paint dries fast, and I wanted it to go on light.

I painted the wash on with a regular paint brush, then used  an old damp towel to blot the excess off. Work in sections and if you take too much off, just put more on and dab again.

Now you can really see some progress.. all that is left is the right side, and the bottom hearth. It really brightend up the brick, but it still looks like brick.

The last step was to put on a few coats of glossy trim paint on the mantel.. and it sure looks like a different fireplace. The gray cast to the brick has more of a "stone" look. You can still see some of the rustic tones of the brick though it.

The room feels lighter and brighter already with just this small change. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Home Tour 2014

Welcome to my 2014 Christmas home tour. 

I didn't get everything done that I had planned this year. Between the fall down the stairs and then the cold and bronchitis, I just decided to make due with what I have gotten up and chill with it. I planned for more fresh cut greenery... but I have quite a bit of faux greens from living in the desert. So I'm just sticking with no fuss. My dept. 56 village is still boxed up, it can join us next year.

So come on in out of the cold and take a tour of our beach cottage in the woods.

Come on into the entryway...
I'm pretty fond of this garland from Costco. It's huge, full of lights, and looks great after three years of use.

Our first room is the den. We chose to put the tree up in here, it shines through the front windows and has great atmosphere for family Christmas movies.
We love to snuggle up in here with the stove running and the Christmas lights on inside and out.

A cozy room for book reading or movies.

Next room in the tour is the living room. The big fireplace and the view of the winter woods give this room a cabin feel. I played that up with some decor in deer themes. I also added some vintage wool throws. The brown one on the chest is a vintage blanket from an airline and the plaid is a vintage Pendleton, both thrift store finds. 

 Our mantel features a couple of DIY projects that I actually got done. One is the stocking sign: our mantle is quite narrow, I knew that my stocking holders wouldn't fit with the garland. I found this cedar board in the garden and painted the signs and added hooks for the stockings. I think this is actually more secure than stocking holders. No more kiddo's with bloody heads after pulling their stockings down. (Yes, that happened)
The other project was adding custom burlap cuffs to our Pottery Barn stockings. I wanted a new look, but didn't want to buy new stockings.

Next up is the kitchen and dining area. 

I used some left over burlap from the stockings to make a simple no-sew runner. 

Take a break for a cup of tea and some chocolate chip banana bread.

Our last stop is the master bedroom. A simple addition of my Pottery Bard winter cardinal duvet and a thrif store wreath make the bedroom a snug winter retreat.

The winter light comes through the windows with a view of the treetops. 

That ends our tour this year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Linking up to these parties:

House Spy Friday: Seattle Arboretum Craftsman

I have a soft spot for Craftsman cottages.. they were so very common in the northwest, but over time are slowly disappearing. Often they are smaller footprints than most modern families want, so if they are in good neighborhoods they get remolded or removed to make way for a bigger investment, if they are in a poor neighborhood they are often run-down from years of neglect and rental. So it's always fun to find a craftsman with classic appeal. Seattle is actually a good place to find these examples.

So my sneaky house tour this week is this gem near Seattle's Arboretum. It has been modernized but still has so much of it's original features, it's really quite lovely.

I love the dreamy dusty blue and white paint. It has the curb appeal of a tiny cottage, but the looks is deceiving, the house is actually over 3,000 square feet. It has a basement apartment, which could really be a boon for a homeowner who is looking to rent space in this neighborhood, so close to the university.

Living room is done in soft textures and warm colors, and the orginal windows are so large and pretty with the mullions above.

Classic craftsman fireplace with built-ins and more leaded glass. I'm loving these blue velvet chairs.

The dining space has more leaded glass windows.

The kitchen looks vintage...but I'm thinking these cabinets are more from the 50's.

It's actually looks to be quite a large eat-in kitchen. It has a vintage "farmhouse" feel. Including the cool vintage step stool. My great grandma had the exact same stool in her craftsman kitchen.

The bathroom looks quite original, the hexagon tiles on the floor, the sink, tub and built-ins, all look period. So nice to see a house with it's original character

The bedrooms are done soft and sweet. The blue in here is perfect and the chair rail with white is perfect.

Perfect cottage style room.

This attic room looks very large, I would love to have skylights like that.

I was so happy to find a craftsman that still has so much of it's original goodness and obviously well cared for I had to add it to my blog.