Easy Bookshelf Makeover

Writing has not been at the top of my agenda these last two and a half months since moving and I apologize.  In between traveling for wedding showers and Proms, arranging our new home (thankfully all of our painting was finished before we moved in), graduation events, final wedding plans, helping the boy with his Marine recruitment (I’ll tell you about that later), and single mommin’ it while hubby is in Savannah for three months I’ve actually been having fun with a couple small DIY projects.

Bookshelf Styling

All of these projects have been fairly simple; mostly involving paint and organization.  I don’t know about you, but that’s my kind of stress-free DIY and a great way to take a break from the craziness of teenage mom life!

My favorite makeover project was a bookcase that I have not loved for many years now.  Before we moved I shared a picture of it on Instagram and asked opinions for making it over.

Before Project

My monstrosity of a bookshelf that desperately needed a little TLC

Overwhelmingly the response was PAINT IT!  Painting a piece of furniture is such an easy and inexpensive makeover when you are redecorating.

So, before unpacking the first round of books, I painted it.

Using Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White and waxes that I already owned, this midnight project (I don’t sleep well when hubby is gone) paired with Netflix took about three nights to complete.

Chalk Paint

I painted three coats of the chalk paint which is rare when using chalk paints, but the shelf had only ever been stained without a sealer.  This caused the paint to really soak in!  Who knew that made a difference?

Chalk Paint Shelf

After my coats of paint were completely dry, I used a soft cloth to apply a layer of clear wax and followed it with antiquing wax 24 hours later.

Chalk Paint Project

Using a soft cloth really made waxing the shelf easier in my opinion.  I’ve never been able to master the art of waxing with a brush, but I like the look of the wax having been rubbed on and blended so much more.

I love to organize my books by subject or theme, so it only seemed right that this shelf should hold my largest collection of books; my cookbooks.

Chalk paint Bookshelf

Our wall color in the den is marigold, so I am using accents with blue and white.  For this shelf I used my English tea pots and plates for decorating.

I don’t like to cram books into a shelf so that it looks stuffed, so this was perfect for holding all of my cookbooks as well as a little decor to compliment them.

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A glimpse of the 1940’s sofa that will also be in this room

Right now this shelf is in our den.  The rest of the room is not really together as it houses furniture from the 1880’s, 1910, 1940’s, 1960’s, and a couple of modern pieces, so now I am tasked with pulling it all together! That ought to be a challenge and may actually involve rearranging a couple of rooms to make it all work.  Many of these pieces are family heirlooms, so they aren’t something I want to paint.  Hopefully it’ll all be together soon and I can share a finished room!

If you want a glimpse of all the excitement going on in our lives right now, be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook!

Until next time,

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“Do Not Disturb”

“I didn’t have very much to do this evening, so I thought I would touch up a few things.”

“Do you have to paint everything in sight?”

“I didn’t paint everything in sight.  I painted a breadbox, an end table & that chair you’re sitting on.”

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“I’ve just got to get that house in order.  Are there any other antique dealers that we might visit today?”

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via Getty Images

Anyone that knows Audley and me could totally imagine that these are conversations between us as we are working to put our new house in order.

{All four of our kids will attest to this.}

In fact I am positive we’ve actually had these conversations before… on more than one occasion.

In reality, these are lines from the extremely cheesy and comical 1965 Doris Day movie “Do Not Disturb”.

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The subplot of the movie is Doris Day’s character trying to decorate the new home she and her husband have moved in after transferring with his new job.

{Sounds familiar, right?}

moving in

You would think after fourteen moves I would have the art of decorating and organizing a home nailed.

My reality is quite the opposite.

unpacking the house

I’ve always managed to have two or three main living spaces mostly put together in our home, but the remainder of the house stays partially complete.  For example, we didn’t have curtains in our living room of the house we just moved from until this past December (just before a large Christmas party we hosted); we found out we were moving early January.  Our master bedroom wasn’t complete until we lived in the house for three years (and I was having major surgery that would have me confined to the bed for quite a while).  I redecorated the kitchen three different times because I couldn’t find something that spoke to me without a massive overhaul that just wasn’t possible because we were leasing.

You get the picture.

I’m really bad at putting it all together without doubt in my mind, and extremely bad in finding a way to pull my eclectic style together.

Peak of new dining room

Our antique dining room suite

I’m constantly saying, “I’ve just got to get that house in order” and then heading off to do something else.

paint project

I do have a paint project in the works… and I can’t unpack certain boxes until it’s completed.

Mainly because I don’t know what I want or doubt how to make it happen.

When we closed on our house several weeks back and moved in two and a half weeks ago, Audley suggested that I not waste any time and put our house in order; to do what I needed to do to make our new house a home without doubt or fear or procrastination.

new furniture

Our new sofa from Ikea

So that’s what I’ve done.  Staying within a budget we set, box by box, room by room, and shopping expedition by shopping expedition I’ve been slowly turning our new house into our new home.  We are so close to the empty nest, things that I’ve not done because I didn’t think it was kid/family friendly, or didn’t want the kiddos to mess it up are no longer valid excuses.

accessorizing

Pillows… Plants… Color…

Colors for the walls were done the week before we moved in, we have curtains hanging in every room, big pieces of furniture arranged, and I think that I have a grasp on how to make my eclectic style work with our not quite empty nest.

on the mantle

Working on the mantle… Mixing it up with antique books

We shall see and hopefully in the coming weeks I will share a little of what Audley and I have pulled together.  Until then I hope you enjoyed a few glimpses of what we’ve started on and will stop back by as we finish!

flowers on the mantle

For now, “Do Not Disturb.”

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Decorating Lessons from the Biltmore Estate

One of the highlights of the holiday season each year for me is a trip to the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.  Every year the mansion is completely decked out from basement to attic with festive trees (there are over 70 of them!), garlands, lights, and other delightful frivolities.  It’s truly a magical experience for everyone in the family.

After so many holiday visits to this lovely home, you can’t help but pick up a few things that you might want to add in your own home.  It’s only natural!

So, today I am sharing ten Christmas decorating lessons I’ve learned from the beautiful Biltmore Estate.  I apologize for the quality of photos; they have just now allowed visitors to take pictures in the house and I had the rely on my phone as my camera had the wrong lens on it for great shots.

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1. Deck it all.  Seriously, go all out!

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The beautiful view looking up the grand spiral staircase; trimmed out with live garlands and ribbon.

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2. Mantle decor doesn’t have to be symmetrical.

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3. Use a lot of natural elements.  biltmore-christmas-8-ohfiddledeedee-com

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Could you imagine over 1,000 scattered throughout your home?

4. Add bling and a lot of twinkle lights…  Everywhere!

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5. Multiple trees are highly recommended; maybe even throughout one room!

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The beautiful tapestry room had four trees all decked out, one representing each season!

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The “winter” tree in the tapestry room

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6. Dress-up everyday ordinary items or use unexpected items to decorate with.

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These books looked so lovely tired up in colorful ribbon

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Feathers and roses help make this a stunning tree indeed!

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7. Deck the bedrooms. After all, the children shouldn’t be the only ones nestled in their cozy beds.

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Mrs. Vanderbilt’a beautiful bedroom with not one, but two gorgeous trees!

8. Take your time.

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Decorating just one room in the estate can take up to ten hours!  We may not have a design team in our own homes, but there are no rules that say it all has to be decorated in one day!

9. Use your imagination

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The “naughty & nice” list running down the tree is such a cute idea for your children or grandchildren

10. Make decorating a BIG deal and a celebration itself within your family

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The grand banquet hall tree arriving at the Biltmore Estate

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of the Biltmore Estate at Christmas and found a little inspiration for your own home.  If you ever want a fabulous holiday get-away I highly recommend that you  slip away to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.  We are all decked out here in the Jones home and are ready to kick off the month of celebrations with a Christmas caroling party this weekend!  I’ll be sharing our decor over the next few days and hope that you will stop back by.

Have a blessed day!

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A Blue Willow Autumn Tablescape

Happy Fall Y’all!  Are you all decorated and ready to kick off the flurry of holidays?  I think we are all set in our home, so next comes the fun of opening our home to friends and planning company dinners.

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I’ve always loved to set a pretty and often over-the-top table for our family at random times, so when company is coming it’s just natural to do a little more!  Setting a pretty table is my way of creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  Our guests are very special to us, and I try to show that feeling by the little things that can make dinner intimate and unique.

Nature and traditional color associated with autumn was my inspiration for the table.  For this particular setting I decided that a little nontraditional blue was the perfect combination for those traditional and vivid fall colors.

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I love to use real pumpkins in my decorating because they fit any fall theme, but I can also cook with some of them as needed for Pumpkin pies and the like, so they are useful as well!

This centerpiece was so easy to put together!  Using a variety of pumpkins, I arranged them on top of the table around an old tobacco jar that was picked up at Scott’s Antique market in Atlanta filled with $5 grocery store flowers and cut greenery from the yard.

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The Dutch blue and white candle sticks were from a local thrift store.  Final touches of a leafy garland and deer antlers add more layers of natural elements to pull it all together.

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When I put together a large centerpiece on the table as I did here, it is generally because I am also setting up a buffet to serve from.  It allows the table to be pretty, and people can spend more time enjoying their meal instead of constantly passing food around!

The Blue Willow china was handed down from my mom, while the blue transfer-ware plates are from a local antique/thrift store.

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The crystal has been our favorite for many a dinner party for 21 years now. We didn’t want folks spending a lot of money on something that could be considered frivolous when we married, so Audley and I picked out this Longchamp Crystal that is beautiful and definitely affordable!

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I love using thrift store finds in my decorating as it goes to show that you do have to have expensive dinnerware to create a warm and inviting table.

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Well, our first autumn themed table of the season is set and ready!

How are you decorating your table this year?

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