Friday, October 21, 2011

don't waste your space: our new house.

i love to decorate. i may not be the best or the most creative but i definitely enjoy it. it has been so fun to see all our furniture in this house look so different simply by being in a new space. when we discussed moving i told justin that where we lived really mattered to me. after living in the river house i know now that i do better in a place where i feel comfortable. a place i am proud of and excited about. somewhere i want people to be. what i love is that it is not about having a big brand new fancy house...just a home. a simple place we love to be. the location is perfect. it is a fun area with character and lots of life. students. professors. families. young couples. i really like it here.

i have loved the process of making this house into our home and the decorating process along the way.

the first room we will look at is our living room.

i am sorry i did not take any pictures of the projects along way. only the final product. i will work on that for next time. also our camera lens is getting fixed so all the pictures were taken on my iphone. i have never claimed to take good pictures but seriously the lighting and the quality are pretty bad.

i have bought nothing new for this house...yet. but used all our furniture. just changed it up a bit.

1. the bench (bought at a thrift store last year. painted it white and changed the fabric on the cushion. the trick is having an eye for what something that could be.)  it used to be used at our kitchen table covered in a cream and red damask print. but in this house with a new color scheme we covered the bench with a cream and yellow stripe. it was pretty easy.

*measured the surface.
*bought the fabric and stapled it over the old cushion. i did take the damask off because it would have showed through.
*the trick is to hold the fabric tight before you staple to keep it from rippling (it may take two people) and it's done.

2. next thing we did was re-purpose one of our espresso bookcases from target. we were given two as a gift from justin's mom when we moved to chesapeake. there original purpose was being used on either side of our t.v in our condo. we put pictures, books, and decor on them. in the townhouse they were used as nightstands in our bedroom. in the river house they were used in ava's room for her books and pictures. now they have been split up. one is the living room and the other is in the basement.

*measure the back of the bookshelf.
*bought fabric. i found an inexpensive piece that was not enough for anything big but perfect for the bookcase.
*came home cut the exact size i needed and we taped it around the back. what was nice about these bookcases is that back of the shelf was very easy to remove. just unscrewed a few screws and screwed it back on. we chose to tape it on so that i can easily change it up as i want to.

3. spray painted two glass lamps. we found these lamps last year for like $3.50 each and just bought new drum shades for them. my sister in law, sara painted them red for the river house. i am not using any red in this new house so i knew i needed to change the color. i was not really worried about this project because sara did it no problem last year.

not the case this time. not at all. it was a huge hassle.

finally decided on a color. i chose slate blue. my mom said make sure you spray lightly or else it will drip. i didn't listen. i sprayed too much and too close and ruined them. so i had to used cheap black spray paint and painted over it and then with paint thinner wipe all the color off the lamps. i used a little sand paper too. they were then the original gross tan color. this was challenge because the lamps are glass and therefore you need a specific type of spray paint. because the slate blue paint did not work i choose to go with the exact brand we had used for spraying them red. my color choices were real limited. but i did want a pop of color so i went with bright yellow.

*started with the original glass lamps. no paint on them
*use painters tape to cover the hardware.
* sprayed them with light coats of yellow. i needed two cans because i had a hard time getting it even and bright enough.

although these ended up being way more work than i had anticipated i love the color and did not have to buy new lamps. love it.

4. bar stool. our good friend susan got us this bar stool for extra seating on the porch at the river house. we covered it first with red fabric and then covered it with this yellow chevron. i love this fabric. i bought it a while back from a clearance bin at a fabric store. it was an odd shape but i bought it anyways and it works perfect for the stool.

*we cut the size we needed and holding it very tight to keep it from rippling we stapled like crazy. done.

the two benches and the bar stool have been perfect for us since we often have a lot of people in our living room and it is not that big. we put felt pads on the bottom of all our furniture so we can easily slide them and move them around as we need to and the hardwood floors stay protected. for example, yesterday morning at 7am we had area prayer here for young life with some of the leaders and we had 20 or so people in our living room. the extra seating is nice and they serve dual purposes. they are cute. the large bench has storage under it and the small bench is great side table to set things on. the bar stool is really just another place to sit. but i can't get over my love for chevron.

5. curtains. i did not like any of the window treatments when we got into this house. so i gently folded them up and placed them in a bag and set them in the attic. we are renting this house so all the decor we are doing is simply cosmetic. things we can take with us when we leave or minor inexpensive options. i could not afford window treatments for the entire house so we needed to prioritize. thankfully all the windows have the privacy shutters that i think are quaint and cute. i decided that treatments on the large bay window in the living room would be the most important area for curtains. we first bought some tan drapes from bed bath and beyond. i sometimes buy things because they are a good price. not because i love them. i have decided that it is important to love something. by no means do i have much money for decorating. so i am very cost savvy. but i do not think that means using items you do not love.

*measured window treatments.
*bought fabric. awesome waverly fabric from the clearance section for $5 a yard. that is real inexpensive for good legit fabric. i went bold. way more color than i tend to use. but i am trying not to be scared of color.
*bought real cheap curtain rods from walmart for 97 cents.
*sewed. my mom did it but taught me on the way.
*then hung them up.

5. little bench. i bought this bench from country boy in norfolk, va. i love it. my friend ali introduced me to it. it had a real cute floral print on it. real antique looking. but they were not my colors. so we recovered it.

*used left over green and white fabric from the bookcase.
*we add a little more cushion with an old towel.
*we stapled the new fabric right over the old fabric. real tight. trying to keep the pattern straight.
i love a staple gun. everyone should own one.

6. pillows. we did not make any but we bought them this time. but my mom did add a cute button to add some flare. the pillows are from target. the red was only $4.50. great deal for a pillow. they are perfect because i wanted to bring in some of the colors from the floral curtains.

7. bird cage. i think they are cute and kind trendy right now. i bought it at a thrift store this past spring. it was red and black. perfect for our place on the river. then my friend borrowed it for a wedding and painted it cream.  i love the color so it was one less thing to paint when we arrived. my mom bought hydrangeas from micheal's and placed them in the bottom of the cage in the colors from the curtains. i bought the little bird from a store called a ten thousand villages. this place has a great mission. i thought it was cute so she hangs in the birdcage and ava is obsessed with it. i try and tell her not to touch it but she does anyways. i really don't care. pick my battles.

the mantle is not done.
yup we like large prints of ava. seriously. we do. no art work really for us. not that we do not like it or appreciate it. but with a photographer in the family you can't pass up the stunning pictures she has taken of ava over her little lifetime.

what i love about our home is that it feels like us. i think you can create a space that reflects who you are and not spend a lot of money. it is so thrifty to use spray paint to switch something up or use new fabric for a quick and easy change.

sneak peek of a project in the guestroom. i think i looooooove the color.

don't waste your space & enjoy the weekend.

ava is getting some extra special attention from her roma this week who came in for the week from ky. they have been crafting, baking, going for walks, and reading a ton. nothing like time with your roma.

Sometimes you can find a Kmart coupon for a lot of these cute decorating ideas.


  1. You are so talented, would love to hire you when we move to our new house in December :) Everything looks so pretty!

  2. I love all the yellow touches. You are making it your own.

  3. Loved all of the pictures!! You've inspired me to make some updates in my own home. Love your blog ... Laura

  4. so cute and totally homey, your coffee table..where'd you get it!?


i read every comment. so please leave one. i love it.