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.

Chalk Paint Bookcase 2

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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Beginning My Autumn Decorating

With temperatures still hovering in the upper 80’s and 90’s I am really struggling to find my fall decorating mojo.  Despite things going slow around here I did sit down to craft a little “wreath” for our fireplace in the living room last week.

Using an old picture frame (that was originally painted red), an adorable little elf, wheat, wooden sprigs, berry garland along with a small pumpkin and pinecones, I managed to assemble a sweet and super simple little piece that has my soul bursting to add even more autumn touches around the house!

Nothing like getting down and creating something no matter how simple it may be!

Nothing like getting down and creating something no matter how simple it may be to get you in a festive spirit!

After spraying my formerly red frame with Gold Krylon stone textured finish paint I picked up off the clearance rack at Michael’s, I let it sit 48 hours to completely dry.  Southern humidity has a way of messing with paint, so I didn’t want to take any chances with my frame.

I didn’t have a huge amount of accents to add to my frame.  I wanted to keep it simple and festive, so that is exactly what I did.  Using a hot glue gun to attach elements, I created a corner of autumn accents that featured my little elf as the centerpiece.

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My floral elements were all found at Michael’s Craft Store and were marked 40% off.

I attached my elf using floral wire that wrapped around his waist under his jacket as to not damage him when I take the wreath down at the end of the season.

I debated quite a bit about adding ribbon, but after looking at the partially finished wreath decided that a festive bow in the top corner finished it off quite nicely.

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As I previously mentioned, I am just getting started on my decorating this season.  Our fireplace area is quite large and does not have a mantle, so the “wreath” seems a little lost.  I am busy trying to come up with a few ideas to highlight the area and make it a focal point as we entertain this season.

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If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!  Decorating a hearth can be a challenge when it doesn’t have a mantle.

OH! If you like my little Elf, he is by a company called Raz.  You can purchase them online (trendytree.com), but I found mine in a sweet little holiday shop in downtown Hendersonville, NC.  I love to shop local, so I will be returning for more holiday goodies as the seasons change.

I hope that you have a fabulous week!

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A Little Indoor Garden

After oh-so-many false starts, it seems spring has sprung bringing April showers and what appears to be hope for gorgeous May flowers.

While recovering from surgery I have truly missed playing in my gardens; pruning rose bushes, weeding beds and planting early spring blooms.  Audley has been a gem keeping me occupied and distracted from some of the things I would really rather be doing, and has even gone so far as to tackle some of my favorite spring activities himself.

But one of the sweetest things he did for me was to bring a little gardening in the house for me to enjoy.

Spring blooms for an indoor container garen to brighten someone's day.

Spring blooms for an indoor container garden to brighten someone’s day.

Choosing a few early spring plants that included miniature daffodils, primrose, African daisy and a silver leaf annual, I was able to play in the dirt and enjoy a bit of gardening without putting myself in a position that the doctor definitely would not approve!  Making an indoor garden box was super easy and fairly quick to put together.

Creating an easy indoor garden

For this little project I took a tool caddy that I assembled & stained from a kit that Home Depot donated to the attendees at last years Haven Conference in Atlanta.  Audley drilled holes in the base of the box for drainage purposes.

Creating a means of drainage in container gardening prevents water from remaining inside the pot/container and souring or causing your the roots of your plants to rot.  The stentch is ridiculous!

Creating a means of drainage in container gardening prevents water from remaining inside the pot/container and souring or causing the roots of your plants to rot. The stench is ridiculous!

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First, I added Miracle Grow potting soil about 2/3 of the way full.

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I removed the plants from their pots and broke up the compacted dirt and roots from their bases before planting them in the little tool caddy.

Breaking up the roots just a little to stimulate growth.

Breaking up the roots just a little to stimulate growth.

Finally, I arranged them in a way that I found appealing, watered well, and then placed them on my coffee table to enjoy the blooms for a couple of weeks.

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By using a mixture of perennials and annuals, I can plant the daffodils to bloom out in the yard next spring, and add the silver-leafed foliage to other container gardens to last throughout the summer.

That’s it.

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Easy, Peasy.

Bright and cheery.

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And if your aren’t supposed to be doing certain chores, you can have your kiddos do most of the clean-up which makes it even more fun!

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What I liked best about this quick little project was that not only was it easy and enjoyable, it would make a great gift for someone else to enjoy if they are having to stay at home and recover from an illness or surgery.  It’s a cheerful and lasting gift.

As for me, I was released from the doctor three days ago for light workouts and housework.  While I am sure my version of light and the doctor’s are not on the same wavelength, I do plan to ease back into the things I enjoy, including outdoor gardening!  Audley and I are planning to attack our raised beds this weekend, so stay tuned for a little herb and vegetable inspiration!

Happy Wednesday to you!

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Master Bedroom Reveal

Over the weekend I shared a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes of our recent master bedroom makeover.  It is something  Audley and I are both extremely excited about and love the way it turned out!  After ten years of mix and match bedspreads and clutter, we have cleaned up, painted, and decorated a fairly minimalist and elegant space that I have enjoyed oh-so-much in the last two weeks!

In case you haven’t seen it, here is the before:

PicMonkey Collage

I saved myself the embarrassment of showing our cluttered dresser  and chest, but as you can see there was nothing welcoming, cozy, glamorous or special about our master bedroom.  In fact I avoided our room as much as possible.

At last, though, we have a space we are absolutely smitten with that only involved one weekend of painting, replacing the negatives and styling.

"Centre Stage"..... not to be confused with "Center Stage" which is school bus yellow!!

First up was color …. “Centre Stage” by Behr paint from Home Depot. We used a gallon and a half of Behr Premium Plus paint for our room.

Audley and Bradley hanging the 75 pound mirror that I also found at Costco.

Audley and Bradley hanging the 75 pound mirror that I also found at Costco.

Prints to go on the wall

Prints to go on the wall; numbered collectable pen and ink sketches from the Biltmore.

While I have not adhered to this philosophy as I would like (mainly because I get caught up in other things way too easily), I firmly believe our homes and especially our bedrooms should be a haven from the world, a place of beauty and peace to reflect who we are.  We all have different styles that represent this for us.  In our case and at least in this space our style was a clean, minimalistic, and relaxing room.

Keeping our existing furniture (that we did not want to paint), working with a strange colored carpet (that I actually like), & having a smallish budget, here is our new master bedroom.

Our new sleeping accommodations

Our new sleeping accommodations

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Simply styled nightstand. The little clock was purchased from Pottery Barn and the vase is from the Biltmore Home collection.

I wanted our room to look put together, but at the same time I wanted anything but a cluttered space!  I am really so over clutter and at the end of the day, peaceful is all I require.

 

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The matching lamps were found at Costco for 70.00 as was the mirror.

 

 

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Believe it or not this bedding was purchased at Costco as a set for 125.00. I actually thought it perfect the first moment I saw it! All of the picture frames on the dresser and nightstands were purchased over timw from TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. We actually used a lot of things we already had in this project.

 

My organized dresser; I also took this time to clean out my drawers of tee-shirts and other clothes I no longer wear.

My organized dresser; I also took this time to clean out my drawers of tee-shirts and other clothes I no longer wear. The “form” for my necklaces was found at TJ Maxx, as was the decorative jar (for loose change). The candle lanterns were purchased at Chrysalis in Chattanooga, Tennessee a couple of years back.

One of the worst features in our room were these horrible swingy blinds that came with the house over a picture window.  Instead of keeping he window covered with blinds I chose white draperies from Bed, Bath & Beyond to keep our room feeling bright and clean.  We have a smaller window as well, and I used the same style curtains on them.

 

Clean and neat

Clean, neat, and “airy” We found our white draperies & hardware at Bed, Bath & Beyond; I used a couple of 20% off coupons (and checked out multiple times) to keep the cost down.

We added a book-case to house some of our favorite reads, then also  mounted a television.  I never thought I would have a television in our room, but Audley had a plan.

 We completed our bedroom flip the weekend before I had surgery two week ago.  He knew I would be spending a lot of time resting in our room as I was on virtual bedrest for one solid week and now on limited activity.  He wanted me to enjoy movies and show I liked. This was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture as I know my kiddos have their favorite shows as well and didn’t want to feel like I was the TV commander just because I was “sick”.

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My dad built this bookcase 46 years ago when he and Momma first married. I found the mount for hanging the television at Target for $40. The plants and pot were purchased at Home Depot.

 

 

Final touches included an orchid on the night stand and a large potted plant.  I’m all about green plants in the house and feel like every space deserves to have greenery.  Audley and my Bradley put together a combination of a couple of plants to fill a pot that complemented our room.

When it came to designing our master bedroom I had a few must-haves and definitely wanted to share my version of what makes a perfect master bedroom:

1. Three Sources of Light.  In the bedroom lighting is important for a multitude of reasons.  Natural light from windows is perfect for cleaning and day-to-day tasks.  It’s soothing and a way to bring the outdoors inside.  Soft beside lighting from lamps helps to create a peaceful mood as you are winding down for the evening.  The third source of light should be your more powerful overhead lights.  These are necessary when you are getting ready in the mornings or even later in the evening as well.

2.  Window treatments that block light.  Windows treatments are the icing on the cake when it comes to finishing a space, but you want them to be more than decoration, you want them to be functional as well.  I use lined draperies as not only do they keep the room dark for you to sleep at night, they also allow you to sleep in a little longer on those days when you don’t have to set an alarm clock.  Lined draperies serve a second purpose as well; they act as an insulation on cold winter and hot summer days if you chose to keep them pulled.

3.  Luxury bedding.  Now let me be clear here, you can have luxury bedding and not spend a fortune.  Choose good quality sheets of 500+ theadcount for soft sheets that will last longer.  You can find these at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx, or hit the White Sales at your favorite department stores.  Also make sure you have a good mattress that both you and your spouse can agree on so that you will enjoy a more restful nights sleep.

4.  Color.  Choose a color that is relaxing and peaceful to you.  Our bedrooms should be a place we can escape at the end of the day so bring in sea, ocean and earth tones for color that will create a tranquil space.

5. Rugs or Carpeting.  Nothing is more of a harsh wake-up call than to set bare feet on an ice cold floor in the mornings.  If you have hard-wood flooring add a few rugs around the bed to keep your feet cozy and add a little pop of color too!

6.  Personal Items.  Adding personal touches of your life around your bedroom truly makes it yours.  Since our master bedroom is a shared space, I have wedding pictures and other photographs from special moments in our life framed around the room.  Antiques, mirrors, and even figurines that represent the space also make fabulous items for personalizing a bedroom.  We DO NOT have pictures of our kids in our room; simply put, this is our space to retire from the hectic reality of parenting and work.  I don’t want those things to be last on my mind when I lay down at night.

7.  Organization.  An organized space is probably the most important element of a master bedroom.  Keep everything neat, tidy and in its designated space to help eliminate stress and encourage peacefulness.  Purchase pieces for your room that will help with organization, or designate space in your closet for keeping clutter put away.  We have night stands with a “hidden” drawer which is perfect for storing extra phone chargers as well as a notebook for jotting down thoughts or things to do for the next day.  In our closet we have shelves for shoes, and clear boxes for small items we only use occasionally.

8.  Music.  Music is totally optional, but I absolutely love music.  Country, Pop, Classical, Jazz, Broadway, etc…. I enjoy almost all varieties.  And I love to have music available in my bedroom.  I use an iPod, so a docking station is just perfect for projecting music, but with all of the creative ways furniture is made now you can also hide a stereo if you chose.  Music is a great way to set the mood for whatever you are up to.  I love music I can dance around to when I clean.  I enjoy a little Doris Day or Frank Sinatra when I am ironing and in the evenings when I read or am trying to wind down I love soft relaxing music.

I am so happy with our new bedroom space. It has truly been the restful room we wanted as I have spent a lot of time in there to truly experience it.  We also stayed within reason on our budget which makes me like the space even more.  For product info check below the photos of the room.

What do you think?  Do you have any bedroom must-haves?  

I would love to hear them!

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