Sunday, March 29, 2015

How to Change Your Home to Look Like Your Pinterest Boards

Also, How to Declutter, Lighten & Brighten Your Home.

Also, How to COMPLETELY Change Your Home Decorating Style

See if this sounds familiar to you.
I was looking at my Pinboards--two in particular. One was titled A Home: Shabby, Vintage & Timeworn. The other was A Farmhouse Home. These boards are where I collect all the photos of homes that I admire. THESE are what I want MY life to BE like!

As I was looking through them, I noticed something. Something disturbing. These photos did not look much like my own home. In fact, my house didn't look like these at all.

Now, I understand that my modest under-100k house is not going to look like a castle or mansion, but a lot of these photos were not unattainable. In fact, a few simple changes, a coat of paint, and I could probably DO this. I was surprised at all the changes that I COULD make... but just never did.

That's when I decided to look up things like, "How to Change Your Decorating Style" and "How to Lighten and Brighten Your Home." While I found a few interesting articles, there really just wasn't much out there. I wanted REAL advice. I wanted BEFORE & AFTER photos of someone who had done this. What I got were lots of text-heavy articles with no proof, no pictures. Or else I got lots of lovely "after" photos without much explanation of how to get there.

That's when I decided to CHANGE things myself... and write about it. And post pictures. You are benefiting from my breakdown. Enjoy!

Find these photos and their links here












So, how DO you turn those pinboards into reality? I began by asking myself a few questions. And I was surprised by the answers.
1. Take a look at your favorite pins of rooms you admire. What color are the walls?
In almost all my favorite pins, I was surprised to find the walls were white. Not only the walls, but also the trim around doors and windows. "But I like color!" I said to myself. "I like natural hardwood floors and trim." And yet, all my Pins told another story. Apparently, I like white more than I realized. It makes a nice, neutral backdrop for adding subtle color. It also lightens and brightens a room! Who knew?

2. What are 5 features/items that you like about your pin rooms?
These were my answers:
-Textures: stone, worn wood
-Linen - raw, homespun, natural fibers
-Beadboard/Weathered Wood - natural, white and clean
-Light/Airy Feeling - from the walls to the curtains, to the slipcovers.
-Space Open but Cozy - light and airy, but also cozy (not cluttered!) showcasing vintage pieces
Find these photos and their links on my pinboards:

3. What DON'T you like about your current space? 
For me, this was primarily my dining room. My computer is also in this space, along with six (yes SIX) cupboards. I don't like the clutter (although I love all my knick knacks, but a girl has to choose). I don't like the dark wood floor and trim (but painting isn't an option as we might very soon be moving to another state, and I don't want to put that much work/time/money into it).

My dining room had a LOT of orangy wood in it. Not to mention serious clutter.

4. What DO you like about your current space?
I'd already begun the Great Pinboard Revolution in my dining room. I'd traded out our old, dark wood dining table for a thrift store fixer-upper, which I refinished myself. I'd also painted our walls five different times before settling on a vanilla latte color--it wasn't exactly white, but it was close. Finally, I'd traded in my heavy, dark draperies for sheer whites. (Click here for my post about rag garlands for curtains.) It was a good start, but my work wasn't done yet!

This was my dining room after PHASE 1. I updated the table and cleared some clutter. This was a good look for me, but I had to get rid of that desk and fake tree.

5. Now COMBINE these to make yourself a plan!
So, what can we learn here, kiddos? Apparently, I like white walls and trim. Unfortunately, this isn't an option for me right now, but I CAN bring more white into my space. Also, I like stone and worn wood. I like raw linens, beadboard, a light airy feeling and above all... a clutter-free space.

I took a look around my dining room and made a plan. First, I vowed to eliminate ONE of those SIX cabinets. This would help cut down on clutter. I also vowed to BOX UP some of the stuff in my room. I didn't have to donate it (although I probably should). But I could STORE it in neat little plastic tubs and cycle it out as the year went by, switching out one candlestick for another. You get the idea.

Also, why not paint one or two of those SIX cabinets white? It would add some white to the space, tone down those heavy woods and also lighten and brighten! Sadly, there's not much room for linens in my dining room, so I would need to save those for the living room. I would REALLY love to put up a beadboard celing with some reclaimed wood beams, but time and budget won't allow. Still, I have a plan!

My Plan:
-Declutter. Pack away extra items.
-Eliminate one of those cabinets.
-And paint one or two of them WHITE. I can DO this!

I'm hoping to implement my "plan" after our move. I'm looking forward to that clean slate, and I intend to do things differently this time.
  • I vow to take charge of my own space. If I want light, airy, painted wood, then I'm going to GO for it. No more of mom's voice in my ear saying, "You can't paint WOOD!"
  • I will remember how I like a few vintage showcase pieces, not eight-million knick knacks cluttering up my house.
  • And I won't let myself be lazy and just let a space sort of... happen. I will decide! I can DO this!

So can you.

BEFORE (or actually, mid-makeover).

AFTER (or actually, as much as I can do in my current home).

Vintage elements (not clutter): old suitcase (hiding all my books) and of course, my signature birdcage. ;)

I eliminated a cabinet! I am SO proud of me! I get a cookie.

Things are still a bit cluttered, but one step at a time, right? :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Media Cabinet Makeover

Even before spring officially arrived, I'd been chomping at the bit wanting to do a new Porch project. I've got a pile of things in the basement, and technically I'm supposed to be stopping the madness to get our house ready to put on the market, but I admit it. I have a problem. I see something cute and I just want to make it cuter!

Like this TV cabinet for example.

I love, love, LOVE curvy little legs and cute little doors with tiny little knobs and well... I saw this baby's potential and wanted to make her SHINE.

My original plan was too ambitious for hubby. I wanted to gut this cabinet and add barnboard shelves and a beadboard back, but it wasn't to be. Hubby is maxed out with his own work at the moment, so I had to settle for what I could do on my own, mainly painting.

So, I started with Zinsser primer. It sticks to everything and is essential if you don't want to sand. Next came a couple layers of a country white latex paint. After that, I scraped and sanded away at the edges to give this cabinet a chippy, vintage look. Finally, I brushed on a walnut stain/sealer and wiped it off with a cotton rag.

Actually, it was hubby's shirt. If you're going to steal a cotton shirt out of your husband's drawer and use it for staining furniture, I highly recommend doing it when he's at work. Fighting is bad for a marriage, so let's just avoid it.

This little lady is still drying, but I'm hoping to get her out onto the Porch and take some nice photos with a little natural light to really show her off!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easy Spring Flowering Branches

Easy Spring Flowering Branches
If you're like me, you LOVE the look of flowering trees... those bare branches with the tiny, perfect flowers--no leaves to get in the way, just pretty perfection! However, I've tried cutting a few to bring into the house. Sometimes they are perfect and wonderful and last for days. Most times, though, they die quickly, are hard to work with and usually come with little "residents" in the form of spiders and other nasty visitors.

Solution? Make your own! It wasn't hard to find a few broken branches in our yard after a long, snowy winter. I went to the thrift store and bought a couple old bouquets of white flowers. They even came with some mossy grass that made a very nice faux bird nest! Some hot glue and voila! Spring has sprung!