I haven’t posted any pictures of what our entire house looks like since we moved in and it was empty. I thought after over a year and a half of living here, it was time for another house tour. I always love seeing how homes and their decor evolve over time. I took these pictures in November, but with Thanksgiving, finals, Christmas break and all that the holiday season entails, I’m just now getting this post together. Our house has been tweaked a little in several rooms since these were taken though, so this is not 100% what it looks like right now.
Our House Tour — November 2012
This is our foyer now:
The aesthetic of this room is one of my favorites in our house. I like that it has a good mix of traditional, contemporary, and cottage/farmhouse. I love that it has pops of color, but the color isn’t overwhelming (like in some other rooms in our house). I love how light-filled this room is. Because of the amount of sunlight this room gets, it has the most plants of any room in our house (although almost every room in our house has at least one plant — only the bedroom and laundry room don’t). It is also the most multi-purpose space in the house — foyer/entry, dining room, and Drew’s office.
Curtains are from Pottery Barn Teen (looks like they are on sale right now!), plant/console table we built ourselves, dining room table is from the Nashville flea market, dining chairs are from Drew’s mom (originally belonged to a family friend), rug is from Target, baskets on the console table shelves are from Target, milk glass on console table, small white cabinet and desk chair are thrifted, Drew’s desk is from Craigslist, black lamp was given to us by Drew’s mom, Self-Portrait woodcut is by me, other art are framed engagement photos taken ourselves, and the glass jar candles on the table and console are from our wedding.
Things on our to-do list for this room: sand and paint the little white cabinet (I like it white, but the paint is old and chipped/peeling), sand and either stain Drew’s desk a darker wood tone or paint it (I’m not a big fan of blonde wood), hang art above Drew’s desk, and create a little entryway/mudroom area right inside the door (on the side with Drew’s desk) with a little bench, a mirror, and maybe some coat hooks or something.
Looking from the foyer into the living room before:
Looking from the foyer into the living room now:
Living room before:
Living room now:
Couch and loveseat are from Compass Furniture in New Orleans, television/media cabinet is from Target (can’t find a link for the same one), black coffee table was thrifted years ago (it used to be in my bedroom in my parent’s house), white bookcase is from IKEA, painting was a wedding gift from my sister and her husband (by New Orleans artist Adam Hall), gallery wall photos were taken by me, curtains I made out of drop-cloths, crocheted blanket was made by my mother and I (directions here), most of the couch pillows were made by my mother, “Give Thanks” pillow from here, light blue pedestal side table from Nadeau in New Orleans (love that place!), cream and white damask throw, wire basket (filled with yarn on bookshelf), and wooden @ symbol from TJ Maxx, floor lamp is from Lowe’s, silver table lamp is from Compass Furniture (scored it for $15 with a Living Social Deal!), 8×10 area rug from Lowe’s (scored it for $15!), glass candy dish and basket (on the floor at the end of the loveseat) were thrifted, basket (with magazines in it behind the french doors) was a wedding gift, painting on the bookshelf was a wedding gift (painted my Drew’s mom’s good friend and my 8th grade teacher!), globe was mine from when I was little bought for me by my Mamaw, and the chalkboard message board was from our wedding (originally from here).
Looking down the hallway from the living room before: (This hallway, right off the side of the living room, runs all the way down the house. The kitchen is the first door on the right, my office/studio is the second door and then at the end of the hallway is the laundry room. At the laundry room, the hallway turns to the right with the bathroom straight ahead and our bedroom to the left.)
The hallway now:
Hallway bookcases are from IKEA, little cabinet of drawers was thrifted on a vacation in Savannah, GA, LOVE painting was a bridal shower gift from my friend Tonya, streetcar cross-stitch and ROWLAND sign (made out of photos of tools) were gifts from Drew’s mom (both made by her), small country scene painting was a gift from Drew’s mom (painted by her friend/my 8th grade teacher), the rest of the pictures are either wedding photos (by Stephanie of Stephanie’s Photography), small paintings my me, or random things like framed fortune cookies, a painted piece of wood (not sure why that’s up there actually), or prints collected over time (a couple are from our honeymoon).
On our to-do list for the hallway: we actually bought paint last summer to paint this room and still haven’t done it (a light grey color, to still keep it neutral, but lighten it up and break up all the tan in this house) so we need to get on that, we’ve thought about extending the frame gallery down the wall on both sides because we have a lot of art to hang, but still haven’t decided if we’ll do that for sure or not, and I really want to find a pretty hanging light fixture for in here (maybe thrifted and refashioned).
The kitchen before:
Our kitchen now:
Kitchen rug is by Dash and Albert, checked hand towels are from Target, green utensil holder is actually a plant pot from Hobby Lobby, glass pasta jars, ceramic apple and stool are from TJ Maxx, artwork above the sink is from here, cookbook holder was a wedding gift from Target, baking station cabinet is from Nadeau in New Orleans, small table on the other wall was thrifted.
On our to-do list for the kitchen: curtains! This room is seriously lacking in that department. I want to make some roman shades as soon as I find the right fabric. On the wall with the small wooden table, I would like to find or make a cabinet of some sort that has better storage than the current situation. I would love to have a cabinet with an open shelf or two to display my cookbooks and pretty kitchen things. We are also thinking about making some sort of a hanging spice rack to go on the wall between the pantry and the windows. We don’t have a lot of storage in here and we need a better way to access our spices (right now they are piled up on one tiny shelf inside a cabinet and they are overflowing and hard to get to).
My office/studio before:
My office/studio now:
My desk is from IKEA, desk chair is from World Market, white bookcase is from IKEA, baskets are from Target, tufted pink chair is from World Market (on sale right now), rug is from Target, curtains I made from Heather Bailey’s Pineapple Brocade fabric, white pedestal side table is from TJ Maxx, easel is from Hobby Lobby (I stained it darker), pink curvy glass lamp is from Home Goods (got it on vacation years ago in Charleston, SC), standing lamp is from Target, table printer is on is thrifted, shelf brackets/wood shelves from Lowe’s, big white ornate frame is thrifted, tiered cake stand was made out of thrifted vintage plates for our wedding, elephant print from this Etsy shop, Live Simply print from this Etsy shop, green elephant piggy bank is from Urban Outfitters (on sale now), jewelry stand was a Christmas gift from my little sisters years ago (was from Urban Outfitters), and all the artwork hanging everywhere is by me.
On our to-do list for my office/art studio: goodness what isn’t on my to-do list! This room is a wreak! Since this is my studio, where things get sewn/painted, etc. it is a catch-all for incomplete projects. There isn’t enough storage, so I don’t have places to put everything (which is why things are piled up in the corners!), so tackling better storage/organization is on my to-do list. The curtain rod needs to be hung higher and I need three curtain panels instead of two. I want different curtains anyway, these ones are too colorful/busy for me in this room. (I actually just made new curtains for this room this week that I need to share soon! I also had Drew move the curtain rod up) I would also like to put nice wooden blinds in this room instead of the cheapo plastic ones that are in here. We hung the shelves on that wall right after we moved in, before we really knew what we needed in this room. They aren’t anchored into studs (the walls in this house are crazy), so I’m afraid to put too much weight on them (I’m scared my sewing machine will topple at any minute! ) and they aren’t really very functional. I’m thinking about taking them down and DIYing a whole wall of built-in bookcases along that nook area. I actually already hung a different painting in here (that fits the scale of the room better) above the white bookcase on the other wall. I had to hang that clothesline up to hang up paintings that I was working on for one of my painting classes, so now that can be taken down. I do want to hang up more of my artwork in here (in a more professional looking way), but the walls in this house are crazy and I can’t get any nails into the wall by my reading chair, so I need to come up with a different way to hang things there. Right now this room just looks like an explosion of mess and color, so I’d like to just work on everything about it. (I also took this picture right as I was heading into finals, so excuse a little of the chaos for that reason alone)
Laundry Room before:
Laundry Room now:
The curtains in our laundry room are the same ones that used to hang in my freshman dorm room (originally from Wal-Mart), the laundry basket I’ve had forever (I think it came from Wal-Mart when I was in middle school), the ironing board and cover are from Target, ladder from Lowe’s, vacuum cleaner my mom bought for me several years ago (originally from Sears), my dad bought the washer and dryer for me (they were from a friend from our hometown that used to live in New Orleans –she was moving from New Orleans and didn’t need to take them with her), the deep freezer is from Lowe’s, the rug and the wire baskets on the shelves are from TJ Maxx, and the shelving Drew and I bought from Lowe’s.
On our to-do list for the laundry room: I’m just so happy that our apartment has a laundry room! The shelves were the best thing we ever did in here, they add so much extra storage room for everything — lightbulbs, toilet paper, paper towels, tools, iron, candles, batteries, laundry stuff, cleaning products, etc. Even though they look messy, they are actually organized pretty well. I do think we could pare down our cleaning products a bit though so they didn’t take up so much room. This room is tight, so eventually I might need to add some other forms of organization for things stacked in the floor — like leftover wood scraps and paint cans. The bi-fold doors in here need to go back on my office closet (they got broken when we had guests staying in there). I would also maybe like to add some cheery artwork to the walls in here. Other than that, this room is functional as is.
Shower curtain from Target, creme-colored rug from World Market, coral-colored bath mat, flower painting, towel rack, and magazine rack from TJ Maxx, and still-life painting and houses plant pot from Drew’s mom.
On our to-do list for this room: everything!? We haven’t really done much in here. I bought the magazine rack to cover up a drywall patch, but it needs to be organized a little better. I want different artwork, but haven’t figured out what to do in here (its a bathroom, so it gets a lot of moisture that would ruin most artwork). This room overall really has no direction. I need to figure out the artwork, then go from there. My favorite thing about it right now is the plants. They give so much life to this room (quite literally, but they also add a cozy factor that makes it feel like a real room rather than just a functional space).
Our Bedroom before:
Our Bedroom now:
Headboard made by us from an old door, floral pillowcases made by my mom, sheets from Target, coverlet/bedspread and lamps from TJ Maxx, dresser from Drew’s childhood bedroom, curtains from the pergola at our wedding (originally from Target), rug from Target and stitchery made by me (in the hallway coming into our bedroom).
On our to-do list for this room: sand/stain/refinish Drew’s dresser (I want it all back to the original wood). FIND NIGHTSTANDS! Nightstands have been on our list for forever! Since this room is small and they have to fit underneath the overhang from the headboard, they have to be a really specific size and I haven’t found the right ones yet. Hopefully soon! I would like different artwork on the wall with our engagement photo on it (the wall with the guitar leaning against it), perhaps some botanical or watercolor prints or sketches. I would also like different lamps, but since these are perfectly functional, I probably won’t get new ones unless they are a super great deal. Overall, I think this room just feels a little blah. It just needs a lot of little tweaks.
It is so neat to look back and see how far our house has come in the last year and a half! We’ve still got work to do though!
I love houses. I love houses like most men love sports. I’m obsessed with them. The architecture, the styling, the character, the colors, the decor, the layout, I love it all. I am obsessed with home blogs, books and magazines. People renovating their homes, people decorating their homes, how people live in their homes, make the most of their spaces and how people bring their own style and sentiment to their homes.
We live in houses, we share moments and memories in houses. They are safe havens, spaces to relax, spaces to craft, cook, work, sleep, play and live. The spaces inside them bring people together. Growing up in them, they help build us and shape us into who we are. We attach memories and times of our lives to them. There is such a complex network of things that houses allow.
Anyway, lately I’ve discovered something that is like dessert to my love of houses & my love of decorating my own — estate sales. For the past few weeks, Drew and I have been spending our Saturday mornings going to tagged estate sales. I love adding things that have history and character into our home, and I also love vintage things and pretty, old, well-made things. Since estate sales are generally for homes of older people that have passed away or are downsizing to a living facility or something, estate sales really offer unique and vintage finds and more often than not, they have real wooden furniture and things that are older and much more well made than some newer things today.
I do like going to them to look and see if I can score any good home finds, but I also love going to them to see the homes as well. It is so interesting to me to see how people live in their houses, how they decorate and furnish them, and to imagine what lovely memories took place inside those walls. I think it is neat to see how much a person’s home tells about their character and what they were like. You can imply a lot about a person by the things that they own. I love walking through and trying to figure out what the person was like that lived there and what these items meant to their lives.
Although, I always get kind-of sad walking through a house and seeing the remnants of a person’s life. It always makes me wonder what happened to the person and why their family doesn’t want to keep more of their belongings. If I do buy something, I feel like I’m providing a good home for something that used to be meaningful to someone else. I love feeling like I rescued some well-loved possession of theirs that is now going to live in my home and add to my life story. I love beautiful things that have a history.
At one sale, I got most of the items in this post. I immediately fell in love with this vintage crewelwork embroidery and the beautiful frame that it is in. I wonder if the lady that lived in the house stitched it herself? I added the glass to it, to keep moths from continuing to destroy it. You can see they they had started to eat away at some of the stitching. It was $5.
I also immediately fell in love with this adorable little tulip-shaped, white, floral plant pot. I need to figure out where in my house I want to put it so I can check the lighting conditions and find a plant for it.
We don’t have any napkin rings, so when I saw these beautiful wooden ones, I had to get them. Aren’t they so pretty next to our white dinner plates and our brightly colored napkins?
These pink, purple and green floral cloth napkins were a dollar or something, so I bought them (a set of six). I thought they would be cute with our white plates for a springtime brunch.
I love this cute little lace pillow I found there as well!
These vintage sheets were a dollar or two, so I picked them up as well. I thought the pattern was cute and I could use them as fabric to make something. Pretty cheap for the amount of fabric.
Between two different sales we went to that day, I amassed this collection of vintage Reader’s Digest books. I’ve always loved them and I’m so happy to have some in my home. Aren’t the covers just gorgeous? I love those patterns and colors! The spines look so pretty on a shelf as well. I think they were maybe 50 cents or a dollar a piece. The dates on them range from the 1950s through the 1980s.
One of the sales we went to was the estate of an old watchmaker. His house was so interesting. The office where the man used to work was just full of neat tools and watch parts and lots of really cool things. He had also fought in WWII and there were piles and piles of love letters that he and (his wife I’m guessing) wrote back and forth to each other. How sweet! There was also a Nazi flag, some huge bullets from some kind of crazy tank/gun or something, and lots of other war history memorabilia. Much of it belonged in a museum. It was so neat. We ended up buying a couple of the Reader’s Digest books there and also this beaker and Erlenmeyer flask. Drew bought them to use in his homebrewing, but how cool and unexpected would it be to use the Erlenmeyer flask as a vase to hold flowers? It totally brings back memories of high school Chemistry class.
I think we spent maybe $30 total on all the items that we bought in this post. Pretty good for all those lovelies, huh?
We didn’t end up buying anything at a few of the other sales we’ve been to lately, but the houses have been just as neat. The last one we went to was the home of a former interior designer and her house was so awesome and eclectic and had so much character! I fell in love with it and wanted to buy it so bad! (except for the fact that it was already sold and had sold for almost $400,000!) But it was a really neat one to go and see and I ended up with some old magazines and wallpaper samples that were free. Another one we went to had an awesome ornate mirror that I fell in love with, but someone else got to it before I did. It was sad. It would have looked awesome in the little welcome/entryway area I’m trying to create in our foyer. Another house was right off St. Charles and had the most awesome rooms with 13 foot ceilings and amazing high-end wallpaper. It was gorgeous.
I can’t wait to visit some more next weekend and to figure out where I’m going to hang my crewelwork embroidery! How about you, score any great vintage finds lately?
***Rhoda from Southern Hospitality does Thrifty Treasures posts with great vintage/thrift finds from different people. I’m linking up there, you should check them out, here! There are always such neat treasures!
Or as we like to call it, our “foyer plant table.” Yes, the whole idea for this table came about because we needed a long, skinny table to go underneath the arched windows in our foyer to put several of our houseplants on. They weren’t getting enough light in other places in the house and these are the only windows in our house without window treatments on them. So we did indeed build an entire table for our plants (that would also provide much needed storage for Drew’s office and electronic equipment). I think it turned out pretty awesome. In fact, it might be my favorite home project we’ve done so far.
My first thought was that we might be able to make the top out of old, long shutters. But thinking upon it further, we didn’t think that the slats in shutters would be a good idea to hold any weight for the top of a table. Since we just finished updating our old door headboard, we thought about using an old door or maybe cutting one in half to work for the skinny top. Then we remembered that many old buildings in New Orleans have two skinny doors that open instead of one big one, so we were hoping that just maybe, we might be able to find one of those old doors.
Around the 4th of July, Drew’s parents were in New Orleans visiting us and Drew’s mom mentioned that she was needing some white subway tiles to do a project with the kids in bible school. I told her that instead of buying new ones, she should check out The Green Project here to see if she could find any used ones instead. The Green Project sells reclaimed materials taken out of or donated by people from homes in New Orleans. They keep those materials out of landfills and allow others to purchase them cheaply to reuse in other projects. They have old doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, paint, tiles, etc. The next day we headed out there to look for her tiles and I remembered my door table idea. I took off for the door section and found this beauty:
It was in great shape. I don’t know what it might have been used for before, but there were no hardware holes and the wood was unfinished. It only had a few dings in it and was super dirty. They did have several other options that were more rustic and had actually been used as doors, but we thought this wood was more of a blank canvas for our project. For $28 and an uncomfortable ride home (with 4 people in the car with it), she was ours.
Then came time to draw up plans for a pretty new foyer table:
I sketched this out, Drew and I talked about different ways we could construct it, then we measured our foyer windows to see how tall we wanted it, came up with some measurements and decided how much wood we would need and then we set off for the hardware store.
Of course, the saw in our local Lowe’s was out of order again, so we ended up buying the wood, then having to cut it at home. In case you are new to this blog and missed the makeover of our old door headboard this summer, we realized when doing that project that we didn’t have any plug-ins on the outside of our house to use for construction projects. We live on the second story and an extension cord long enough to reach out our windows and down to the front yard was going to cost us almost $100, so this entire project — cutting wood, sanding, staining, sealing, painting, etc… all took place inside our house in our foyer. (Talk about a huge mess!)
Anyway, here are the measurements for our finished table, in case you decide to follow along and make one yourself:
Final table measurements: 35 1/4 inches tall, 58 inches long (top) or 55 inches long (leg to leg — length of base of table) and 16 inches wide (top) or 13 inches wide (base)
Door top: (we cut it down to) 58 inches long, 16 in wide, 1 1/4 in thick
Legs: we used 4 (1×3′s) and 4 (1×2′s) all cut to 34 inches long (or whatever height you want your table to be minus the thickness of the top)
Top runner/support beam: 2 (1×3′s) cut to 13 inches long & 2 (1×3′s) cut to 56 1/4 inches long ***as you will see in the instructions below, we actually made a mistake and in order to fix it, did this backwards, but it would look better if using these measurements***
Shelves: 2 (1×12′s) cut to 53 1/4 inches long
Underneath supports for top: 2 (1×2′s) & 1 (1×3) all cut to 11 1/4 inches (or whatever width your shelves are)
Shelf supports: 4 (1×2′s) cut to 11 1/4 inches (or however wide your shelves are)
***Keep in mind that a (1×3) board is not actually 1 inch by 3 inches. In reality it is more like 3/4 inch by 2 3/4 inches. Same with a (1×2). Our (1×12) shelf boards that are essentially supposed to be 12 inches wide are in fact 11 1/4 inches wide (hence the measurements above), so be sure to take the actual measurements of the wood into consideration when deciding on your final table measurements. (We found it was actually easier that we cut all our wood at home that way we could visualize how long each piece needed to be and everything before we cut it — as opposed to handing a list of cuts over to the Lowe’s employee to cut for you.)
Perhaps this image will help all those details above make a little more sense:
For determining the size & measurements of your table: First off, find your top. If you can’t find an old door that fits the size you want, you can also buy a different kind of wood and rip it to fit your desired measurements. Whatever you end up deciding to use, cut it to whatever size you want it to be. Then decide how tall you want your table to be. Make sure to subtract the thickness of the top of the table from whatever your desired height is and that is how long you should cut all the boards to make your legs. Also remember when deciding on measurements for your base that for the table to look nice, you want the top of the table to overhang the base by a little bit. I chose to have mine overhang 3/4 of an inch on each side.
Anyway, let’s get on with the actual building process: (disclaimer — we were building this in the evening, so sorry for the not-so-great lighting of these photos and our less-than-glamorous mess of a foyer)
Here is our door, ready to be cut. We used our dining room table, lined with towels and clamps to keep it from moving while being cut. As you can see, the door we bought had a longer space at the bottom and a small little inset area at the top. Since I wanted the top of our table to be symmetrical, I cut those parts off. That alone determined the 58 inch length of our table top.
Here you can see my cut line all marked. I used a t-square ruler to make sure that all my lines were straight and the angles correct.
Here it is all cut! Drew used a simple jigsaw to make all the cuts we needed during this project. He kept the cuts really straight for a jigsaw! (If you have a better workshop or an outdoor space, a circular or miter saw would have probably been more ideal.)
Another cut on the other side and we have a lovely top for our table!
Then, of course, we had a million other cuts to make before we ended up with all our boards ready for assembly!
Just a quick note on types of wood to use. So the basic grade pine (regular 2×4 stuff) I’ve found to be a pain to work with a lot of times. It is a harder wood, but it is generally really knotty (which sometimes makes it hard to cut/screw) and it tends to be really bowed and mis-shapen. It is impossible to find nice, straight-ish boards to build something out of. For this project, we upgraded (which cost a little more) to poplar boards. They are a bit softer of a wood, but they are much easier to work with, are much easier to find boards that aren’t so crooked, and I think they lead to a nicer, finished product. For this table, since it isn’t holding a ton of weight, poplar is fine. If you really want a top-of-the-line, as sturdy as possible table, then go for oak boards (since they are nicer boards and also a harder wood). Just be aware that you will be paying quite a bit more for oak.
Anyway, now that all of our boards are cut, on to assembly:
Drew started by making the legs. To end up with wide v-shaped legs like these, we attached a (1×2) and a (1×3) together at a right angle. Drew clamped them together to get them all lined up and then just put in several screws all down the length. Do this with all 4 legs. Make sure to be consistent and keep the (1×3) for the front of each leg and the (1×2) for the side of the leg.
A small side note on screwing as well: to aid in a better looking finished product, countersink your screws. You can get a special bit for that, or you can just use a smaller drill bit to make your initial hole, then use a wider one to create a little dip at the opening for your screw to sit into. This allows the screw to be deeper into the wood and makes it easier to putty over your holes and sand down for a flush, seamless finished product. (If you still don’t know what to do — just google “countersinking screws” and I’m sure you can find a better explanation than mine.)
After all four legs are made, next comes time to attach the legs to the top runner/support beams. To make sure we had our measurements all correct, we laid one of our shelves on the ground and build this part around it. That way we knew for sure that everything was the correct distance apart to fit our shelves. As you can see above, the legs just get screwed into the runner/support beams.
The same with the runner/support beams on the short sides. Here is where we made a mistake with our cuts (and I put what the actual measurements should have been in the list of measurements above). I wasn’t thinking and I forgot when we cut the longer runner/support beams that they should overhang the legs on each side to allow the end/short side support beams to fit inside the overhang. It wasn’t a big deal and we just cut the shorter ones to overhang and line up with the front supports, but I think the finished product would have looked a little nicer if the front runner/support beam was seamless instead of having the seam where the side runners met it.
Once we got all those attached, we were getting excited that it was actually starting to resemble something!
Then we flipped it over, right side up. We still kept the shelf board sitting on the ground in the middle to make sure everything was the correct distance apart. Keep in mind that shelf isn’t attached to anything yet.
Next came time for the shelf supports. This part is totally up to you to determine where you want these to go and how far apart you want your shelves to be. For the height of my table, I had the bottom shelf be 3 1/2 inches off the ground and I allowed 13 1/4 inches between each shelf. Keep in mind when attaching these shelf supports that the actual shelf will sit on these, so when determining your measurements and making your marks, you want this support to be underneath the measurement for where you want the shelf to be. For example, I wanted the bottom shelf to be 3 1/2 inches off the ground, so I made my mark for 3 1/2 inches up, then another for 3/4 inch down from that (the width of my board) and those are the guidelines I used for where the support should go. Also make sure that you use a level when attaching these! You don’t want these to be crooked.
Bottom shelf supports on!
Working on second shelf supports! Keep in mind that since our shelves were 11 1/4 inches wide and we had a 13 1/4 inch gap between each shelf, we could easily turn the shelves on their side and slide them in through the side opening to put them in place. If you build a shorter table with less space in between each shelf, you might have to add each shelf in before placing the other shelf supports on or you won’t have any way to get your shelves in!
Shelves all in! We didn’t actually screw the shelves themselves in, because I thought it would be easier to paint them if they weren’t attached and I could remove them and paint them separately. Even after I painted them, we still didn’t screw them in. They fit really snug and are weighed down by anything sitting on the shelves, so there really isn’t any reason to have to attach them. If you are worried about it though, you can easily screw them in from below through the shelf supports (just make sure that your screws are the right length and aren’t going to go through to the top side of the shelf).
The base here is pretty much complete. We had to stop there for the night, since we live in an apartment and didn’t want to wake the neighbors by making too much noise late at night.
The next day we finished up the last little bit. Here is one of the top supports clamped in place. Drew actually had to go get longer screws to be able to screw these into place. In the measurements list above, I said to use (1×2′s) for these. You can do that, or we actually ended up using two small pieces that we cut off the end of our shelves to make them the right length. Since they were already the width of the shelves, they were already the perfect size.
Eek! You can see how much of a mess our foyer was during this whole process! I highly recommend completing this project in a garage, carport, outside, etc. Pretty much anywhere other than in your house. The entire room was covered in a thick layer of dust from all the cutting and sanding that took place to make this table happen.
Once Drew got longer screws, he screwed in those top supports and then attached the top to them from below. He also included one extra (1×3) support underneath the middle of the top of the table and attached it there too. Sorry that I don’t have pictures of that. He actually finished that part while I was out of town visiting family for a couple weeks. As you can see from this picture above, he also started puttying in the holes and sanding them down smooth while I was gone. Starting to look good! Even in this picture, before paint or anything, you can’t even tell where the screw holes were after they are puttied and sanded!
Once I was back in town, I gave it a little more putty, sanded a little more and then gave it a good cleaning. Make sure you have every bit of dust off before you start painting/staining. Also make sure that you lightly sand down the entire table, even parts that you didn’t have to putty, before starting to paint or stain. Lightly sanding takes off any rough edges, wood bits sticking out, etc. and really helps to lead to a smooth finish in the end.
Now on to the finishing process! (all the staining/sealing/painting took like 5 times longer than the actual building process!)
I decided to paint the base of the table, since all the putty holes wouldn’t have taken stain as well and would have stood out. But since the top of the table had all been attached from below and didn’t have any puttied holes, I decided to bring out the pretty wood tones with some dark stain.
Here are the products that I used– Pre-stain wood conditioner, Dark Walnut stain, and a water-based satin finish polyurethane. I find it easiest to apply all these products with simple, cheap, foam brushes (make sure you use a different brush for each product!).
One coat of pre-stain wood conditioner, dry time, and one coat of stain later — we are getting somewhere!
Here she is after two coats of stain!
After applying 1 coat wood conditioner, 2 coats of stain, I applied 3 coats of polyurethane. Follow all the directions on your products and do it how they say, making sure to leave the correct amount of dry time in between each coat. You can see, I also started my first coat of paint on the base here. I went with the same color as I used on our refinished headboard – Valspar (from Lowe’s) paint and primer in one in “Wedding Bells.” I think it is a really pretty soft, creamy white color.
You can see in the picture above how pretty the polyurethane made the finish on the top. I’m so happy I went with the satin finish. Personally, I think it is the perfect finish. Not as dull as a matte finish, but not as overly shiny as a gloss finish.
When painting the base — make sure that you lightly sand the whole thing down after your first coat of paint dries. I cannot stress this step enough. It really is essential to having a nice, smooth finished product. When applying the first coat of paint, little wood hairs get stuck in the paint and you can run your fingers over it and feel — it will have a grainy texture. You don’t want that. After it dries, lightly sand it all with 220 grit sandpaper until it is smooth to the touch. It will look so much better in the end.
Starting to look good! After sanding down your first coat, clean the whole thing with a wet rag to remove any dust then add your second coat of paint. Since my paint was paint & primer in one, it covered well, so I only did two coats total. Depending on the paint, you might need a third coat. Same with the shelves. Make sure to also sand those after the first coat as well.
Since I didn’t show it above during the building process, in the photo above you can better see the underneath top supports.
After all the painting, sanding, staining and sealing (that took much longer than implied by this post) I put my shelves back in, let all the paint cure for a few days (my polyurethane recommended that I let the top cure for 7 days before use), then got to work incorporating this piece into our home. Ready to see more of the final pictures?!
I love the way it looks in our house! It fits our style perfectly and is so meaningful since we designed and built it ourselves. It will definitely be a piece we treasure forever.
I love how functional it is as well! It works so great for several of our plants that need lots of light, it is great for storage for Drew’s electronic/office equipment (in the baskets from Target) and the whole shelf above is great for open storage as well.
I love that it also helps to define this room as an entryway of sorts. The little milk glass container on the top of the table I got for a few dollars at a thrift store and it works great for holding Drew’s keys, business card holder, etc that he takes out of his pockets when he gets home. I love that they have a place now instead of getting lost all over the house.
You can also see in these pictures how the soft white base of the table is more of a creamy white than a bright white (in comparison to the milk glass container).
I’m just in love with how awesome the wood finish of the top of this table came out! Isn’t it gorgeous!? Dark Walnut is my new favorite stain color. I love the caramel undertones in it. (I previously used Providential for staining my office desk and several other things and it has a slightly more reddish undertone than I like.)
I’m also thrilled with the fact that my foyer is clean and pretty again! I love the finished product of this table, but I’m so happy to be done with it! I hate when the whole house is a wreck while projects are being done! We can actually eat dinner in here again!
I love that it is visible from the living room as well!
Skinny old door: $28
Wood for building table base: $108
Paint for table base: $15 (I didn’t have enough left from our headboard makeover, so had to buy more)
Stain/Wood Conditioner/Polyurethane/Foam Brushes: $29
Wood Putty, Extra Screws, Sandpaper, etc… $10
TOTAL: $190 (just for table, storage baskets were an additional $58)
Not the cheapest project we’ve ever done, but one of our favorites for sure. Probably the most work of any project so far. Similar console tables from other stores can be several hundred dollars more, so I’m pretty pleased with ours.
Good luck building! Let me know if you end up making a table from these plans! I would love to see your finished product! :)
We’ve made quite a few changes to our bedroom in the last month! Of all the rooms in our house, it was probably the room that we had decorated the least since we’ve lived here. I’ve had plans for a while, that after we got married, we would makeover our bedroom to make it feel more peaceful and relaxing and make it more “us.” So, as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, we got started on it!
First, we decided to paint the walls. Our landlord told us when we moved in that we were free to paint any walls, as long as whenever we moved, we left the leftover paint/paint can so he would have the color to get more paint mixed for future touch-ups. The existing color wasn’t horrible, but every room in our entire house is painted that color (except for the bathroom and laundry room which are both white). We really wanted to change up the color a bit and since our bedroom is a relatively small room, we thought it would be an easy room to change up with paint. Our bedroom also doesn’t get a ton of sunlight because of the dark wooden blinds on the windows (that are necessary to keep all of our neighbor’s porch/house lights out of our faces while we sleep), so we wanted to lighten the room up a bit with the new paint color.
Here you can see how splotchy the wall looked before we painted it. It had been touched up many times over the years and all the touch ups stood out.
Here is our room all cleared out (except for the bed and dresser in the middle of the room) and ready for paint! You can see in this picture that even though we have all the windows open and more sunlight is coming in than normal, the wall color still looks kind-of dark (and a little too orange-y for my taste).
The color we picked for the walls is “Sugar & Cream” from Valspar at Lowe’s. It is paint and primer in one and covered the walls really well. We had just enough paint in one gallon to do one coat and we decided it didn’t need more than that anyway. I don’t have any great pictures of the new color on the wall until the final afters of this post, so you’ll have to wait just a minute for those. :)
After we got the walls painted, before we even started to bring our stuff back into the room, I noticed something else I wanted to fix while we were at it — our headboard.
You can read all about how we got and attached this old door to our bed frame in this post. We had lived with our old door headboard in its natural state for about 8 months and I finally decided it was time for a change. Overall, the character of the natural wood in the door was interesting, but the color really clashed with the darker wooden blinds and darker wooden dresser in the room. It just looked really dingy and dirty. In a different house somewhere, it might have looked more shabby chic, but to me, in here, it just looked shabby.
I thought painting it would be the best idea, since I thought it could benefit from lightening up, but I figured I should at least try staining it first, so I could be sure that painting was the way to go. It is always easier to paint over something than to strip painted wood back down to stain it.
So I grabbed my can of stain, the same one I used to stain my desk in my office and about a million other smaller things. One coat of stain later and I was left with this HORRIBLE mess:
Instead of a pretty rich wooden color like my desk, this old door soaked up the stain completely different and just looked horrible. Some parts were kind of reddish, but most of it turned a darker grey color. I thought this new look just make it look even dirtier.
So, on to painting it was. Before painting it though, I decided that we should add a little bit of molding to the old door to make it look a little more “finished.” I had always wanted to do that and even mentioned it in this original post about the headboard, here, but we never added it because we had left the wood plain and if we added molding out of a different type of wood than the door, we knew we would have to paint it all to look seamless.
So off to Lowe’s it was to look for wood. We originally thought about putting crown molding along the top of the door, but in order to do that, we would have had to buy more power tools to cut the molding correctly. I also kind-of thought it would add too much of a traditional feel and I wanted something a little more simple. We decided instead on just a simple trim using 1x2s and 1x3s to frame out the top and two sides of the door.
Then onto our next set of challenges. Usually when we’ve bought wood for other house projects, we’ve just had the people at Lowe’s use their saw in store to cut our wood down to the sizes we needed. This time, however, we went to two different Lowe’s and both of their saws were out of order. We don’t have our own power saw because we don’t really have room to store it and we’ve never really had to have one before. Luckily though, Drew got a jigsaw from his grandma as a wedding present and we thought we might be able to get all the small, straight cuts we needed for this project from that.
Once we got our wood home and took all our supplies outside to make the cuts, we realized that the outside of our house doesn’t have any plug-ins. We didn’t have an extension cord long enough to reach out our second story window to the front yard either. As a last resort we even tried to use the converter box in Drew’s car to plug the saw in, but it didn’t give out enough power to run the saw. So, we were left with having to make all the cuts inside the house.
Luckily, the saw worked perfectly to make the cuts we needed and it didn’t actually create as big of a mess as I thought it would.
We were really only left with a minimal amount of sawdust from the wood. Thank goodness.
We brought our headboard and wood into the hallway and set up shop there to get this makeover started.
For our makeover, we decided to add 1x2s to the front of the door on the top and both sides, then add 1x3s to the outside of the top and both sides as well. The top of the door headboard before had some notches in it where the door hinges used to be and was old and worn and not at all straight and finished looking. We basically just wanted to frame out the door a little more to give it a more finished look. We let the 1x3s on all the sides come out over the 1x2s about a quarter of an inch or so for a layered, stair-stepped look.
After getting all our trim attached it was time to get all the holes puttied up and the seams caulked for a smoother, seamless finished product.
Sometimes things have to get a little uglier before getting better, right?
Then we had to sand everything down to make it smooth again. Side note that we learned from this project — caulking is not sand-able like wood putty is. It doesn’t sand down smoothly, it just balls up and peels off, so if you use caulking for the seams, make sure you have them perfectly smoothed out with your finger before letting them dry. Lesson learned.
I wish I could say that the sanding step went just as smoothly inside as the wood cutting, but it did not. Sanding makes a mess, so hopefully if you attempt to make a project like this, you have outside plug-ins. If not, prepare yourself for a really dusty house and have your vacuum cleaner nearby to keep the mess under control.
After all the sanding, we re-attached the door to our bed frame to make it easier to paint.
I chose a soft, warm, white paint, called “Wedding Bells” (how fitting!) from Valspar at Lowe’s for the door. I just got a quart and again it was paint and primer in one so it worked well for this project.
I worked late into the night to get the first coat of paint on. (We had to sleep on an air mattress in the living room for a week while we were painting the walls/staining then painting the headboard in here, so we were anxious to get this project finished and be able to get back in our own bed!) Once I was finished with the first coat and stepped back, I was a little dis-heartened. Our sanding job on the seams in the wood of the door was really bad and made the whole project look like crap.
So the next day, back to sanding it was. Unfortunately, that meant we had to get yet another part of the house messy and covered in dust from the electric sander.
But in the end, making sure that all your holes and seams are sanded smoothly really gives a much better looking product in the end, so it was all worth it. I also ran (by hand) a piece of fine grit sandpaper along the entire surface of the headboard as well. It is always essential when painting wood furniture that you lightly sand between the first layer of primer/paint for a smooth finish in the end. It really makes a big difference.
Finally, two more coats of paint later (and a little extra on the seam parts since the first coat was sanded off) we were left with a pretty, clean white headboard!
I am really impressed by the transformation that the extra molding around the edges and the crisp, white paint added to this headboard! It just looks so much more crisp and clean. I love the updated look. So simple and pretty.
Ready to get to some real before and afters?
This is what the old door headboard looked like in the room before:
And now, with a lighter wall color and some new bedding:
It makes the room feel so much lighter and airier! I also think it makes the room feel a little more young as well. I love taking something old and giving it a whole new life and purpose!
As you can see, we have still yet to find the right side tables for in here. I’ve been on a search like a madwoman for them! I just can’t find what I want (for an affordable price!). Plus the headboard is slightly larger than the bed and hangs over about 6 inches on each side, meaning I have to find sidetables that fit underneath it, so the tallest they can be is 26 inches high.
You might have also noticed a few other changes in here as well. The new sheer curtains in here are ones we bought and used on the pergola at our wedding that we got married under (I have lots of wedding pictures to show you soon!). They looked so pretty on the pergola at the wedding and I’m so happy that we got to re-use them in our bedroom. I’m super sentimental, so I love little things like that. They add such a pretty layer of softness to the room that I love. There are 8 panels total, so 2 on each end of the window. (They are the 95 in length bought online at Target, here)
We also have some new bedding in here as well. The previous mattelasse that we had on our bed (in the before picture above) was from my dorm room a couple years ago and was a full size (meant to hang far over a super tall twin size college bed). It was pretty, but too small for our queen size bed. I prefer my coverlet/comforters to hang farther over each side of the bed, so we really needed a king size coverlet. It was also ivory, and I really wanted white to go better with our new light and bright bedroom feel.
Over a year ago I posted about Restoration Hardware’s bedding with a rose window design on it that I loved. At $279 (without tax or shipping) for the coverlet alone, it definitely wasn’t in our bedroom bedding budget. However, while shopping at Marshall’s the other day, I found this king size white coverlet with a really similar design for just $49! It is so soft and much lighter than our old mattelasse, which is great because Drew is a giant heater at night. I really, really love the circular rose window design on it, better than the one from Restoration Hardware actually. If you look closely you can also see little fleur-de-lis’ in the design as well! Perfect for our life in New Orleans!
Drew hated the pillow shams that matched our mattelasse before, so with the new coverlet, I decided not to buy any matching pillow shams. Instead, I decided to go with king sized pillows in back, with two standard sized pillows in front. I love the layered look that adds without putting too many pillows on the bed. The king sized pillows fit perfectly across the width of our bed and I think they also make it feel a little wider as well. They are also nice for an added cushion behind my back when I’m sitting in bed doing my bible study at night. The white and cream patterned pillowcases are from Target.
We also bought this new rug for in here as well. The wood floors in here need badly to be refinished. They are rough and splintering right at the end of the bed. I had to walk really carefully across here to my side of the bed and be watchful of getting splinters in my feet. We had been looking for a long time for the right rug, and for $80 from Target, this one works just fine. No more splintery floor on my bare feet! (You can also see in this picture that we need to move up our curtain rods a bit to keep the ends of the curtains off the floor!)
Another addition to my bedside table (and an up-close view at the curtains) is this picture frame (on clearance from Wal-Mart) that we used on the guest sign-in table at our wedding. It goes with the colors of the room perfectly! I can’t wait to print out one of our wedding pictures to put in there.
Overall, I love the changes we’ve made to our room in the past few weeks! The wall color (although much more yellow than I expected it to be) makes the room a little brighter and cheerier, the rug is great, the curtains look much better in here than our old ones, I love the new bedding and pillows, and I absolutely love our made-over headboard!
Next on the list in here are definitely side tables, re-finishing Drew’s dresser, new sheets (already on this — the current ones are looking a little too orange in here now) hanging a big wedding picture above the dresser, and possibly new table lamps (the ones we have are from Drew’s old apartment and aren’t really my style and don’t really go in here — when the lights are off, the shades are grey which clashes with all the white, brown, and creamy yellows in here). We’ll get to all that eventually!
Oh, I almost forgot! Here is what our budget breakdown looks like for this project:
-$15 door from flea market
-$10.81 for wood/bolts/screws to attach door to bed frame
-$30 in poplar boards (1x2s & 1x3s) from Lowe’s to trim around door
-$13.01 in sanding pads for our electric mouse sander (had to buy several extra with all the sanding we ended up doing — still have some leftover though, so those can be used for another project)
-$15.00 quart of paint (Valspar Paint & Primer in one, in “Wedding Bells” from Lowe’s) to paint headboard
-$2.78 for Caulking to make seams nice and smooth
-$4.98 for Cabinet/Door paint roller (I actually didn’t use this much, found a small angled paintbrush was easier for me)
TOTAL: $91.58 (We actually spent the $15 for the door years ago and the $10.81 in wood/bolts/screws to attach the door to bed frame almost a year ago, so technically we only spent $65.77 on the actual headboard makeover.)
Not bad for the completely different look the headboard gives our bedroom! Buying any bed/headboard elsewhere would be much more than that! :)
Today is an exciting day! It is reveal day of the Summer Pinterest Challenge! If you aren’t in the loop about it — it is a challenge dreamed up by two pretty amazing bloggers, Sherry of Young House Love, and Katie of Bower Power (two of my favorite blogs!) to get people to start creating amazing things based on all the million things we are always pinning on Pinterest. It isn’t sponsored by Pinterest or anything, but it is a pretty cool idea to make yourself get to working on some actual projects from all the inspiration you can find on Pinterest.
Each season, Sherry and Katie host a Pinterest Challenge and team up with a couple other big bloggers to do so. If you want to check out what each of the challenge team created this time around, you can check out Sherry’s project here, Katie’s project here, Michelle from Ten June’s project here, and Kate from Centsational Girl’s project here.
Now on to mine! I decided to play along with the challenge as well! I had the perfect project already in mind. I originally saw this idea on one of the blogs I read, pinned it from there, and it has been sitting open in a tab on my computer waiting for the day when I would actually complete a project like it. Here was my inspiration — a tutorial on fabric covered photo mats from the blog, A Bit of Sunshine.
I had the perfect frame mat in need of a little help:
Please excuse the awkwardness of the current state of this frame gallery. I told you it needed some help! This is in the hallway that runs down almost the entire side of our apartment and we are trying to brighten it up with some of our art in bright white frames. (the rectangle painting on the left side is a painting I did in one of my painting classes in school, the streetcar art is a framed cross-stitch my mother-in-law made, the small square painting on top is a country barn scene painting that was done by my 8th grade math teacher, who is also one of my mother-in-law’s best friends, and the last two frames on the right hold prints by Katie Daisy of The Wheatfield on Etsy.) We still have a few spots that we haven’t filled in yet and a couple of the frames fell down when we were hammering into the other side of this wall to hang things and we haven’t quite gotten them back up yet. Sorry that the lighting is also bad here — this hallway doesn’t receive much natural light!
Anyway, this is the art that I really wanted to address. This print is the only piece of artwork that Drew has shown his own interest in. He bought it online and the day it came in, he was so excited to have picked out something for our house. I like the subject matter of the print, but I wish they had used a brighter color ink for the outline of Louisiana. It is too light, in my opinion. We placed it in this frame (leftover from the frame gallery in the living room) because it was the right size, but I didn’t like how the mat was more of a cream color that didn’t look great with the crisp whites of the frame and the print. It also didn’t help the print to pop any more either. I had tried looking at Michael’s for a pre-cut mat in this size in a brighter color, but I had no luck finding any that I liked or that were this size (it is a 10×13 frame matted to an 8×10).
Then came in this fabric to save the day. I have a huge collection of fabric, so making anything with fabric is a project that I love. This particular fabric I had leftover from an apron I made years ago and it seemed to have the right colors in it to go along with other art in the hallway and it had some greens in it to hopefully pull the green outline out of the Louisiana print a little more. This fabric is by Amy Butler and you can still buy it here.
This project is really easy! These are all the supplies you need — frame mat, fabric, fabric cutting scissors, spray glue adhesive, an iron and ironing board.
I started by laying out my fabric, ironing it, and setting my mat on there to make sure that the fabric scrap would be big enough. You only need an overhang of an inch or so outside the mat.
Once I had made sure that the pattern on my fabric was lined up straight, I trimmed the fabric to about an inch all the way around the outside of the mat.
Then make sure to turn your fabric over, so that the wrong side is facing up. (I forgot this step and totally did it backwards at first! Luckily the spray adhesive wasn’t set yet and it peeled off!) You will spray the spray adhesive on the right side of the mat and place in face down on the wrong side of the fabric and smooth it down. Once you’ve smoothed the mat to the fabric, cut out the center part of the fabric inside the mat like shown above. make a cut into the corners of the mat. Also trim off the outside corners of the fabric like shown above.
Then spray the adhesive on the back side of the mat and neatly fold over and press down the fabric overhang. Be careful when you are working with the spray adhesive, it is super sticky and will get all over your hands and on whatever else is around where you are spraying it. You might want to spray it outside and even use rubber gloves to keep your hands from getting sticky.
Cutting the outside corner of your fabric off and making the cut towards the mat inside the fabric should make your fabric fold over and lay really neatly.
Then you are left with a finished fabric covered mat! Make sure to let the rest of the exposed mat with spray adhesive on the back dry completely before you reassemble it back into your frame.
It makes the print look so much better! Fabric covered mats can really add a lot of interest to a frame. It also helps to showcase some of your favorite fabrics.
All framed back up!
Here it is back in the hallway. Although this frame gallery is far from finished, I think this does really add a lot of interest to the collection of art here.
I love the pretty pop of color this adds! I think it would be great paired with a black and white photo or another colorful print. This would also be great in a kids room. I will definitely be doing this again to show off more of my fabric stash!
To save you from having to scroll up again to see the before and then the after, here is the before again:
And the after:
So that was my first Pinterest Challenge Project! (although I’ve made quite a few recipes and other things inspired from Pinterest pins before). Be sure to check out the original inspiration post this was inspired from, here. You should also make sure to check out the other Pinterest projects going on! It is a big link party so there are lots of projects to check out. See Sherry’s project here, Katie’s project here, Michelle from Ten June’s project here, and Kate from Centsational Girl’s project here. :)
One of the biggest decor-related projects that I did for the wedding was decorate tons of glass jars for candles to be placed in on tables around the winery for the wedding reception.
This was a big impact project, but was actually really inexpensive. It would have been pretty to use mason jars, but those can get kind-of pricey when you are talking about 150+ of them. So what we did was have all of our closest family and friends collect used glass jars for us– jelly jars, pickle jars, spaghetti sauce jars, peanut butter jars, applesauce jars, etc… (Jars that most people would just be throwing out or recycling anyway!) Once these were cleaned, the labels were taken off and the remaining glue from the labels was scraped off (plan to use lots of GooGone!) they are really pretty and you can’t even tell what their previous life was:
I definitely recruited the help from two of my best friends and bridesmaids, Tonya and Jessica, to help me clean and decorate them. I also really loved how different the shapes and sizes of all of them were. I think it made the project look even better than if we had just bought mason jars. Plus it was really sweet that my they were all collected and given to me by my friends, my friend’s roommates, my cousins, my sister, my mom, my mother-in-law, my mother-in-law’s friends, etc. It was definitely a group project. (Plus, my friend Tonya is reusing them in her wedding next summer!)
The next part was fun and it was a nice time I got to spend with my close friends/bridesmaids the week before the wedding. I had a big collection of different types of ribbons, laces, trims, burlap ribbon, jute twine, etc and a few hot glue guns and we just glued and decorated to our hearts content.
Since we had over 150 of them to decorate, we just kept it simple and didn’t worry about having them perfect or anything. We did make sure that if the jar had a logo or name or anything printed on it that we covered that up with ribbon or something. I think they turned out really pretty!
On the morning of the wedding, once we had them all out at the venue, we filled them with a couple inches of sand and then placed 2×3 inch ivory pillar candles (ordered from here) in them. We scattered them randomly all along the tables inside and out and they looked so, so pretty lighting up the evening.
I was running all around the day of the wedding, so I didn’t take any pictures of that part. I still haven’t gotten our pictures back from the photographer to show you those either. Until I get those to show you, here are a couple from my friend’s Facebook wall (thank you Jaclyn!) of pictures she took at the wedding:
Not the clearest picture to show you how they looked, but you can see how they let off a beautiful glow both inside and out.
We also used a couple of the decorated jars to hold bookmark favors, pens, and ribbon streamers on the guest sign-in table (pictures of that from the photographer too hopefully!) I loved the way they turned out and the best part is that a few of them are great to display around the house with candles or something else in them as a memento from the wedding!
Even if you aren’t getting married anytime soon, this would still be a cute project to do a few to decorate a porch, sunroom or deck for an outdoor summer party or to use to put candles inside the house too. A great way to re-use all those leftover glass food jars!
Today we purchased our first original piece of fine artwork — a painting by my absolute favorite artist in New Orleans, Adam Hall. I shared his work before in this post a long time ago. Every month, we go to the Palmer Park Arts Market and look through his booth of paintings. I’ve wanted one for a long time, so I’m so excited to brighten our home with one of his colorful New Orleans works of art.
My older sister and her husband gave us money as a wedding gift and before it all got spent on wedding expenses, we wanted to put some of it aside to make sure we bought something as a wedding gift from them. I love art and Blair and her husband collect fine art, so we thought a painting would make the perfect wedding gift from them.
We missed the Arts Market last month (they switched the weekend because of Jazz Fest and we didn’t know), so we e-mailed Adam to see if he would be showing his paintings anywhere else in the next few weeks. He e-mailed us back and said he would be more than happy to bring some of his paintings over to our house for us to look at them. (How nice!) We told him the average size and price range that we were looking for and he brought over about 15 paintings that fit in that range. They were all so beautiful!! We spread them throughout the living room and foyer and quickly paired them down to our top favorites. I wish we could have bought more than one!
I forgot to snap a picture of them inside, but here they are about to be loaded back up into his car:
And for the one we chose, here it is:
Isn’t it gorgeous? The colors are amazing and I love the impressionistic quality. The scene is so pretty and cozy, I would love to be swinging on that porch swing! The title is “The Light Behind the Columns.”
I love the pop of colors it brings into our home and I love that it can be enjoyed from both the living room and the foyer. This picture makes it look small, but it is really 24×36 inches (2×3 feet). It will definitely be a family keepsake for us and is an amazing wedding present! (Thanks Bob & Blair!!)
Anyway, if you live in the New Orleans area, check out Adam Hall at the Palmer Park Arts Market, the last Saturday of every month in Palmer Park. If you aren’t from New Orleans, definitely check out his website or contact him about other paintings. He is a really nice guy and does absolutely amazing work.
Our foyer is probably the most decorating neglected room of any in our house. This is especially sad because it is the very first room you see and walk into when you come in our little home. I think the main reason we haven’t done much to it is because it functions for a lot of different things, so it is hard to get the right pieces and create the right balance in there. It functions as an entryway/mudroom, a dining room, and also as Drew’s office.
Here is all we had done to it so far:
This room is not so bad compared to how it looked for the first several months we lived here:
All last summer we just closed this room off from the rest of the house and didn’t use it. Then we put up the blinds, got our dining room table, refinished this lamp for in there, and put some plants in there. That was about it. The rest of the room was storage/piling place for things that didn’t have a place.
We are trying to change that and finally give this room some love. (Slowly, but surely!)
We thought the best way to spruce this room up was to add some patterned curtains to the windows. (the regular ones, not the arched ones) I looked for months for curtains online and at the few fabric stores that New Orleans has to find some pretty drapes or fabric to make some. New Orleans is severely lacking in the fabric department, so no luck there. I found some pretty options online, but a lot of them seemed expensive and many didn’t come with 96 inch length options.
Finally, for Valentine’s day we decided that instead of buying each other gifts, we would both go in together and buy something for our home. Foyer curtains seemed like the perfect thing that we had been needing, so we went with these:
These are these curtains from Pottery Barn Teen actually. When I was in middle school and high school I loved looking through the pb teen magazine at all the amazing kids/teen rooms. I hadn’t paid much attention to them in the past few years, but I’m glad I revisited their website to check out their curtain options! I love the geometric pattern of these!
Based on the pictures on the website, I expected them to be more like a printed heavyweight cotton. However, they are made of a much thicker fabric and the gray pattern is very textured and more like velvet. It was unexpected, but I like the more heavy lush quality of these. I really like the warm gray color as well (Although they have several other color options). For the curtain rod, we went with the same one we used in the living room, since the rooms are side by side and you can see them from both rooms.
They definitely add much needed softness and texture to the foyer. They make it look so much more home-y and put together already! (Putting away the bicycle and other storage in there also helped) Now we can move on to other updates in there! Next on the list is a better work/office area for Drew!