Thursday, August 25, 2016

From Partridge Family to Dove

Hi everyone!

I have been itching to share this transformation with you for awhile now and today is finally the day.  Can I get a woo hoo?

Several years ago, I dipped my toes into the chalk paint waters and decided to use it to paint my chipping, black kitchen chairs.  It was 2014 and heck, everyone was doing it, so why not me?

Well...a few things went wrong with this project.  First, my love of color led me to the decision to go rogue and paint the chairs each a different hue.  Also, the paint did not adhere in the least, and I ended up having to sand and prime - the two things I was trying to avoid by using this stuff. Ugh!  I tried to convince myself I liked the result.  I spent my life savings buying all of this xyz chalk paint...

Maybe when I applied the dark wax and stapled on the pretty fabric I painstakingly picked out for the seat cushions...

Oh yeah, that's a winner....NOT!!!!

It was a horrible, no good, very bad disaster.  Even the Partridge Family bus had more class than my kitchen chairs. (No offense to Shirley, Keith and the rest of the group - they are one of my faves!)

So, I lived with it. For a long, long time.  But then, this summer, I had had enough.  I removed the seat cushions and sprayed the chairs all the same color - Heritage White.  Ahhh.....from psychedelic 70's to soothing doves! 

I also took the opportunity to recover the cushions with a quieter pattern - just a simple Waverly check that practically reads a solid.  Again, much more peaceful and definitely more harmonious with the nearby pair of club chairs.

I also decided to add a rug that I picked up for a super deal from At Home which recently opened near us.  For now, I am leaving the table black.  I think it is a nice, yet simple contrast with our white cabinets and ties in with the black granite as well.

Finally, my rooster has something to crow about - still colorful, still lively, but a calmer look in the kitchen.

I still love my autumnal color palette, but I am learning that I like a little neutral thrown in to tone things down just a bit.  A tiny bit. A wee bit. A bitty bit.

Thanks for stopping by,

Come with me to these fun parties:
Grace at Home
Thoughts of Home
Amaze Me Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
The Scoop
Make it Pretty Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Sizzle Into Summer
Party in Your PJ's

Simple Summer Smile

Hi everyone!

With the end of summer coming at me like a runaway train, I was thrilled to have a surprise delivery show up at my door last week.

My sweet niece-in-law sent me this pretty vased bouquet of summer flowers!  (Love that girl!!!)

They were gorgeous for nearly a week, but started showing their age (like me!).  I was able to save some of the blooms and make a simple arrangement with them for my kitchen windowsill.  Aren't they sweet?  I love the hot pink and lime green together.

Nature's artistry never ceases to amaze me.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my simple summer smile,

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Staircase Makeover

Hi everyone!

This post is so overdue, but I have been struggling with my new camera and I am not winning at the moment. I really want to share my basement stair project with you and I was hoping for breathtaking, professional looking photos. Unfortunately, instead I will be showing you the end result with photos that look like they were taken with a 1965 Kodak Instamatic! 

If the above didn't make you click to a different blog, I thank you for your loyalty (and sheer bravery)!  

So, on to the real reason for this post. This big lug of a guy is terrified of our finished lower level and has never been down there. Ever. He wants to, but he just can't muster the courage to do so. I thought it might be the wooden stairs.

Or the incredibly ugly wall color and decor.  I actually sold all of the decor LAST summer and...

The stairs have looked like this: horrifying, bare and man and beast.

What's a girl to do? I found a terrific shade of brown to paint the cheap paneling our builder installed when we built our home.

Then I gave the stairs a painted "runner"  and added braided stair treads that I picked up for a song on Amazon. The walls got three coats of creamy white.

Mr. Bluebird put his electrical wiring skills to use and installed a super cool new light fixture. Can you say A MAY ZING????? I love this light fixture. It really adds an old time charm, combined with an industrial vibe.

This is a horrible picture with the light  on, but I wanted to try to show the cozy glow of the bare Edison bulbs. I made a coat rack with some scrap wood and clearance hooks from Menards. It will be a great place for guests to stash their coats when we entertain downstairs.

Since Mr. Bluebird is an avid outdoorsman, I've decided to embrace it in our lower level. I was trying these past few years to offset the outdoor decor  he loves by incorporating a wine theme as well. This, it goes without saying, turned out to be a hot mess and neither of us liked the way the lower level looked. So, hunting cabin,  here we go!

I bought the stack of vintage coffee tins specifically for the Parker House tin. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the other three, but I think they make a fun look piled on top of each other. I will share soon about why I  wanted the Parker House tin.

I've had the wooden goose for ages and he has spent a long time stored away. I just never could bring myself to get rid of him. I think now he has the perfect place to nest.

This is a view looking up. The black shelf came from Hobby Lobby, but it has a very convincing vintage look. It weighs a ton! I think it's heft gives it a masculine feel.

I love the old, brown peanut butter tin I've placed on an old child's chair. The rolled rag  rug gets placed on the landing  when we are trying to entice the dog downstairs!

One last look at the new and much improved basement stair  area. I am tackling the remainder of the lower level next! I will share some of my ideas for that area soon.

And the dog?  He still hasn't ventured downstairs!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Finally: Master Bath Reveal

Hi everyone!

I kinda, sorta unintentionally took July off from blogging! I spent the month of July cleaning, sorting and purging closets and our basement and honestly, it just didn't make for any interesting blog posts. Thankfully, most of those visually boring and daunting tasks are behind me, and I am here today with the long promised reveal of our master bathroom! Can I get a hoo-ray????

This is where it all started:  faux black granite counter top, golden oak woodwork, etc. All perfectly fine, but my tastes have changed over the years and truthfully, this room has not been by friend from day one.  I don't know, it seems like everything I tried in here was a big fail.  But, that has all changed.  I think I can finally say I love this room!

The first change was to the vanity cabinet.  Our original vanity was well made and the style was simple, so I decided to paint it a deep, chocolate brown. It really works well with our dark bedroom furniture.  Even more, it took the paint so beautifully and the results far exceeded my expectations! We also painted the walls in a very light cream color, and freshened up the trim with glossy white.

So, come on in!  Now, I am the first to admit that it is not the Taj Mahal of master baths.  (You know that saying, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?") However, I think it has definitely improved by leaps and bounds! When it comes to master baths, this is teeny tiny - a simple vanity, toilet, linen closet and shower are  all squeezed into the space.

I am pretty darned smitten with the light fixture and the exposed Edison bulbs.  It took me a long time to make a decision on this fixture, but I am so happy with the final choice.  The hanging lantern has a Luminara timer candle in it and looks so cozy throughout the night. I also think the indoor/outdoor braided rug speaks to the style of the rest of our house.

We used old ceiling tiles to cover part of the wall behind the toilet, with the lower 3/4's done in beadboard wall paper.  Most of the accessories for this room were purchased from with a gift card I had been given by my employer. I shared that with you all here.

There was a piece of ceiling tile left over, so I decided to hang my Billy Jacobs farmhouse print on it, along with a vintage key from the old Goldblatt's Department Store in Indiana. I think the picture on the tile is so cute and has far more presence than if it had been hung by itself.

We covered the fronts of the open linen closet shelving with wood trim.

A vintage Blue Willow pitcher with a fern cozy up to the hand towel holder.

I have seen this style of mirror/medicine cabinet maligned many times over the years on various blogs, but I decided to keep it (and gave it a paint job) because I wanted the storage and really, it's pretty plain and fits right in.  A new, one piece sink and vanity top, along with a bronze faucet and this room is complete!

I really tried to keep things streamlined and uncluttered in this room since it is so small.  Uncluttered for me any way, lol.  I think the simple design and color palette will lend itself to easy accessory changes down the road. We do have to finish trimming out the window, but if I waited for that to happen, who knows how much longer it would be before I could show you? So, close your eyes and imagine....

I am very happy with the results.  This room finally "fits" the rest of our house and provides a welcoming atmosphere to begin and end our day.

I've included a list of the products we used in the re-do, in case any of you have questions.

sink/vanity top - Imperial Colonial  VWC4922SPW 
faucet - Tuscany Parthenon Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucet  3142ORB
light fixture - Westinghouse Deansen Oil Rubbed Bronze Fixture 620212449-ORB

existing vanity - Dimensions Ground Coffee
walls  - Dimensions Milk Paint
trim - Dimensions Gloss White
existing hardware - Rustoleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Canyon Black

*braided rug
*shower curtain
*hand towel holder
 tin ceiling panels (EBay)
*soap dispenser & tray
*robe hook
 Luminara candle (Hobby Lobby)
*Billy Jacobs print
 washboard behind toilet (vintage)
 multi-hook towel holder (Hobby Lobby)


Phew!  It was a long haul, but worth the time.  I have more changes around here to share with you and will be getting some posts up soon.

Thanks for stopping by,

Join me at:
Wow us Wednesday
Share Your Cup
Sizzle Into Summer
Share Your Style
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday