Help Me Pick a Mirror!

After a failed wax ring around our half bath toilet and subsequent water leak, we found ourselves with a decision to make. Replace the ugly vinyl plank floors with more ugly vinyl plank floors, or re-do the whole thing. We picked the latter and got busy.

Here is the before –

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We have successfully removed popcorn and refinished the ceiling, stained the vanity, removed old trim, removed the big old builder-grade plate mirror, painted, and now are installing floor tile.

We are planning on keeping the bar-style horizontal lighting in this room since I don’t want to deal with drywall patching issues. I have picked out a fixture set for the towel ring, paper holder, etc. however I cannot decide on a mirror shape! The original mirror I picked out was rectangular and mother-of-pearl but it ended up too ivory for the floor tile.

HELP! Oval or rectangle?!?

Here is the design board (made on handy Polyvore) for our downstairs half-bath.

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Most of this is the exact items going into the room, with the exception of the vanity- this is just an example of the wood tone we are using. Wall color is BM Normandy.

The Chrome and Porcelain Fixtures are Gatco Franciscan Collection.

Here is a close-up. This porcelain and chrome is the design of the TP holder, towel ring, shelf unit, and mirror.

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I like how the Franciscan collection’s porcelain details feel kind of Victorian to me – especially paired with the pinwheel mosaic floor tile.

Gimme a hand here people!

 

 

 

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Inexpensive Art

Back when we were still living in our apartment I found myself looking for a fun piece of kitchen- or food-themed artwork to hang in the dining room. Everything that I liked from PB or BD or HD etc. was way too expensive unless I was going to get a poster print and that just didn’t fly. I, like everyone else in the world, wanted an expensive looking piece that wouldn’t break the bank.

I explored my options, and finally resorted to my old standby, eBay. I ended up finding a sweet little vintage Spanish advertising print (not Italian, thanks Jean for the tip!) for around six bucks. It features a cute pheasant, pretty colors, and bright red tomatoes. Perfect. It arrived on thick quality paper, with bright colors, and I was really excited about it. I think it is an advertisement for a canned tomato product.

We brought it to Michaels and used one of those 50% off custom framing coupons that they have every so often, but it still ran us about $200. Thats right, $6 art in a $200 frame and mat situation.

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Call me crazy, but I think it was worth it. This could have cost $5-700 without the Michaels coupon and if I had paid for legit art, or an original version of this vintage advertisement in good condition. Also, The frame and mat look so expensive and nice that I am sure we will decorate around it for the rest of our days. It is our favorite thing in the house, and makes me unexplicably cheerful.

I am going to employ this cheap decor strategy again very soon with this vintage ad that has the perfect colors for our living room! I am in love with the little dogs.

Plus, you can buy frames and mats at Michaels or many other places and DIY it for WAY WAY less than what we paid and it would look just as awesome.

Tips for today:

1. Buy cheap art on eBay! I have never had a bad experience. If you want, you can splurge on a gorg frame. Or not!

2. Vintage advertisement reproductions make fun, playful, colorful art for any kind of decor. As an added bonus, using ads in different languages can make you look worldy! 😉

3. Don’t think you have to spend a ton on ANY kind of decor to class up your home. Think inexpensive and you will be way happier in the end because you can spend more on shoes.

 

DIY Old Ceiling Fan Refresh

Jered put on Barefoot Contessa and went upstair to take a nice little afternoon nap. So, since both my guys are down for the moment, I figured I would show y’all another one of my recent projects!

Remember that gorg ceiling fan I showed you that plugged into the wall? The one in the front room? With the swag kit? It was terrible.

Turns out that there really isn’t an electrical box there (I don’t know why we thought there might be one). This means that until we have worked an electrician into our budget, we are stuck. Instead of taking it down, we have decided to leave the monster up for the sake of Caseybear in the hot Texas summer. I couldn’t just leave it looking like that though, so I reached out to my BFF. Rustoleum ORB spray paint.

A few coats later, and some switched out glass shades, and you MIGHT not be able to guess upon FIRST inspection at least that its like fifteen years old. It was a pretty straightforward DIY that didn’t really SAVE us a lot of $$ since ceiling fans are pretty cheap, but I really didn’t want to invest in a second wall plug-in fan.

DIY Old Ceiling Fan Refresh

First, before you try to refresh any old ceiling fan, MAKE SURE that the power at your breaker is switched off.

This is important if you don’t want to (maybe) die. Even though I was well aware that our fan was plugged into a power strip (that when unplugged could not POSSIBLY have any power in it), I was still scared during the wiring bits of this.

Next, unscrew and remove the fan blades. Then remove whatever housing and light kit you’re having to deal with, ours removed with just a few small screws.

When you get the housing for the light kit off, it will more than likely be hanging by some wires. unscrew the plastic caps the hold the wires together, and set them aside. Wrap all of your wire ends with electrical tape, so as not to get spray paint on them later. Stuff scrap paper or newspaper in any crevices you don’t want painted, so as not to get those electrical bits covered in paint. (If you do, you can use a pair of wire strippers to remove the ends and reveal a fresh connection.)

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Remove whatever cage is around the base of the fan from your ceiling, and you should be left with a stub of a fixture. I taped and papered all around this thing so that my precious popcorn ceiling would not be compromised by ORB (what a shame that would be.) A few spritzes of spray paint should do.

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MASTER TIP: Use a box or large piece of cardboard/styrofoam to hold behind the fixture while you are spraying to catch the excess paint. You don’t want to end up with speckled furniture or rugs.

Open your windows and let this dry.

Lay out all other visible pieces that you have removed and give them a few coats of ORB, letting dry in between.

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Piece that franken-fan back together and enjoy that you have now marginally improved one part of your room. Lol. When reattaching wiring, remember righty-tighty lefty-loosey when swirling the wires back together. “Swirling” sounds pretty pro right? Im practically an electrician.

So it kind of seems like a lot of work, but I have enjoyed the improvement without any real cost until we can find a better way! I stole a better set of glass shades from another room that we barely use, but if you don’t have extra you can purchase them for not very much at any home improvement store!

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Easy peasy.

Not too long ago we had our first experience with scraping popcorn ceilings. We are planning on accomplishing MOST of the scraping within the next year. PROGRESS ❤

 

 

A New Light

I have been a lazy bum recently. I apologize. Jered is off for the summer and I have found myself wrapped up in the glory that is getting to spend time together. So sue me. 🙂

Lots of stuff getting done, but not a lot of sharing, which needs to change.

Therefore, today I bring you one of the easiest room “makeovers” you could do; the entryway! Reimagining an entryway/foyer can bring a whole new feel to your home, and its the first thing people see when they walk in. Don’t you want that first impression to be welcoming? It would appear that the answer, for the former owners of our home, was a resounding “NO.”

If you read ANY of my other posts you probably saw me complaining about the sad excuse for a light fixture that existed in our foyer. This “chandelier” was only the first issue. The stair rail was in bad shape, there is terrible linoleum tile, it just wasn’t perty.

Wasn’t. 

But now, its better! The linoleum is still hangin’ on, but I’d say we have made some great improvement in a short few months and for little effort and $$.

The first and most exciting thing in my eyes is that new light. We found this chandelier, (but in the five-light version that now appears to be discontinued), at Home Depot for like $150. We picked out a nice simple ceiling medallion, and let our friendly AndyOnCall guy install it for us for a small fee. Seriously we were NOT gonna do this ourselves, the height of the foyer made it too intimidating. I didn’t even think they made ladders this big.

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(Also, they are so nice and always do a great job! I highly recommend them!)

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I am so excited with the switch, I cannot imagine keeping that old weird fixture as the first impression of our home. It just wasn’t happy. This 16$ ceiling medallion (also from Home Depot) will look great with our one-day-to-come crown moulding! But thats another day.

Another project that I took on was staining the hand rail going up the stairs. The existing finish was in bad shape, dull, cracking, and that ugly orange honey oak color everyone loves so much.

After some research online, I decided on a gel stain. I took a chance, against everyone’s recommendation, and went with Minwax Gel Stain in Hickory. I just didn’t want to wait to get the General Finishes option shipped to me, though I hear it’s fantastic.

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I could not be happier with how it turned out. After a light sanding, and wiping with a wet cloth, I simply put on some rubber gloves and a lint-free sock over my hand and wiped it on. I used a small foam brush to get the tight corners. Like some, I didn’t like the shade of the coat when wiped off, so I decided to put on a VERY thick single coat without wiping the stain off. I will warn that it took like three weeks to dry to the point that it wasn’t tacky. I did pick a very humid week to tackle this though, I am sure this didn’t help. Here are some before & afters for you! Whole project cost like $15! Plus I have enough left over that I can stain all of our three bathroom vanities! (I think.)

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We found a silly little indoor-outdoor rug on sale for $26 on Wayfair that echoes the design of the ceiling medallion and had some great color in it! It has held up very well so far. Little stool is from target. I also sprayed the door knob ORB until we can get a new paneled door for that closet. I’d say the feeling of our foyer is just a little more welcoming now. 🙂

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Sorry that first pic is grainy, it was a photo from the listing when we bought the house. We also found a fun LARGE woven basket for that empty, bare, 80s plant shelf above the closet door.

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Target had it priced at maybe $40, about HALF what I was finding elsewhere online for similar baskets. I love the texture it brings!

So thats what I’ve been up to. Happy hump day y’all! Thanks for reading!

90’s to New

Happy Superbowl! Hope its nicer wherever you live than it is here. Wind, sleet, and freezing temperatures have kind of dampened our spirits. Not feeling very well at all and had to stay home from work with a fever, but its nothing that greasy food and beer can’t fix I’m sure, right?!

I’ve got a short one for you today.

This is the first project that I embarked on when we arrived at the house and boy am I glad to have it out of the way. The super 90’s brass fireplace that I mentioned in my last post was beat up and sad, and looked like it wanted a facelift. After some research online, I came across what I figured was the easiest, cheapest, and most stress-free way to get a new look that I could love. SPRAY PAINT! Who knew that $7 at Home Depot could change my life?? The internets knew.

In particular, I was inspired by a post by Kim over on Sand and Sisal about how she gave new life to some assorted decorative accessories. Her stuff turned out awesome!

I poked around some more and determined that I loved the “ORB” look, and that I would make my weapon of choice the same can of glory that she had used.

RUST-OLEUM Universal Advanced Formula Metallic Paint & Primer in One…

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Nifty graphic, eh? This stuff was AMAHZING and worked so well! Nice and easy to spray, with even application and not too much blowout. The ORB color looks EXACTLY as the top of the bottle, kind of a black with the tiniest specks of varied metallics. It dried to the touch in about 15 minutes.

I had taped scratch paper around the mantle and hearth of the fireplace, took a deep breath, and sprayed.

I think being a little nervous caused me to make a few too many spray trips across some of the larger flat surfaces, and I ended up putting WAY too much paint on.

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Fortunately, the paint evened out for the most part while drying, and with some SUPER fine sand paper and touch up sprays, these drips met their doom. Learn from my mistakes people. Be confident that the coverage from this spray paint will get the job done, you don’t need to go over it a million times!

Without further ado…

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(I think you can click that and make it bigger if its showing up small.)

BTW this stuff is definitely as fume-y as the bottle warns, so when spraying a fireplace indoors like this, I recommend opening all possible windows and doors.

I am saving the FULL “after” of this fireplace for when we get the surround and hearth improved in the near future thanks to some cool cheap and easy updates. Let me know if you have any ideas!

Thanks for reading y’all! Go Broncos! 🙂

Offensive!

I told you I would be posting more often! Ok don’t worry, I don’t expect you to read this EVERY day. I was feeling inspired. 😀

Since we are in the middle of a few projects right now, and I don’t have a completed start-to finish for you, I thought I would give y’all a few of my “top offenders.” That is the top 5 items on our list to fix.

I would describe our preferred style as traditional as far as home architecture goes and traditional/transitional for interiors.

Though I expected newer homes to have been built with the character of their time, I never expected a home that looked so downright traditional on the outside to be so offensive on the inside. So now we begin the task of updating our interior! Or… un-updating it? Replacing the existing finishes and fixtures to reflect a more “classic” design POV and removing the 80s/90s junk. NOTE: These projects aren’t ranked in any particular order of offensiveness, they’re all pretty bad.

WARNING… these pictures are disturbing and may be offensive to some audiences.

1. The awesomely dated brass fireplace.

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This thing MAYBE wouldn’t have been so terrible if it didn’t have rusted out spots that were SO visible. A la…

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As you can see, the monster is pictured here shortly before meeting its bitter end via a can of ORB (oil rubbed bronze) spray paint. More on that to come!

2. The winningest wood-look floor, cabinet, and countertop combo in existence.

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This is in our kitchen! And that is a chip in the laminate tile. ‘NUFF SAID.

3. The saddest entryway “chandelier” in existence.

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This thing has been on my list since day 1. Its the first thing you see when you walk in, so… 😦 Also, popcorn ceilings get an honorable mention here.

4. Number four is a glorious ceiling fan. The previous owners did not see importance in putting the cord in the ceiling, so this baby’s chain is elegantly draped across the living room ceiling and down the wall to an extension cord.

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It should be noted that all of the ceiling fans in the home are dated, and mismatched. This is the first one you see, and the only one with a visible power supply. Why?

5. Number five is a wall-mounted fire alarm strobe (or something completely different?) that is conspicuously centered on our living room wall. RIGHT where every person in their right mind would want to place a large piece of wall art or a painting of some sort over a sofa.

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Anyone know WHAT THIS IS or how we can get rid of it? Plan at the moment is to procure a large piece of wrapped canvas art.

So there you have it! Some of the love-to-hate-it parts of our new home. We are so excited that these things are all fun changes that we can do in the near future. I feel like small changes here will make a HUGE difference, and I can’t wait to share the process!

If anyone has any suggestions or stories, please feel free to share!!