Fall Front Porch & a Wishlist

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Where did the month of October go? The days flew by and before I knew it the month was over! My husband and I have been really busy with careers and degrees and just life in general, but I have been really determined lately to get back on track with some home projects!  I REALLY wanted to have a cute porch for Halloween since our neighborhood is basically bombarded with children each year.

We went to a pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago and bought some pumpkins for our porch. We bought 3 bigger ones for our stairs, but I also wanted to get 2 little ones to go in our planters with some flowers.  Earlier this fall I had planted golden yellow mums in our planters, but the blossoms died & I didn’t realize they wouldn’t re-bloom until next year! I was so disappointed. I dug those up, headed to Home Depot, and browsed their garden section. As soon as I saw these Hen & Chick plants I knew they were exactly what I wanted! And, I bought all 18 individual plants for $10!

 

I think they turned out pretty well. And, the best part is that these plants should survive the winter and I’ll be able to replace the pumpkins with other pieces of decor!

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I also wanted to make a burlap wreath for the door. I bought the wire frame, burlap, and pipe cleaners from a craft store, but the chevron burlap ribbon I bought from Walmart’s Halloween clearance!  I didn’t take any pictures of how I made the wreath or bow, but here is the link for the Youtube video I used to create the wreath, and here’s the blog link for how to make a perfect bow!

On Halloween night we set out a pallet & hay bale as well.  We bought this adorable Frankenstein from Amazon & put out our candy in a big cauldron!  He did a great job guarding the bowl.

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Now, let me by honest. I absolutely love this home, but I can not stand the colors of this porch!

Here’s my wishlist for the porch:

-Give all the siding a new coat of paint in the same color.
-Repaint all the trim from off-white to white.
-Repaint the front door white so it’s clean & door wreaths pop against it.
-Repaint the porch a deep charcoal color.
-Buy a new doormat!!!!
-Buy some furniture!
-New kick plate in nickel.
-New, more modern sconces.

It’s a big list.  We’re hoping to get all the painting done in early spring of 2015!

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Our Living Room Transformation

Living Room

Our living room transformation has been in the process for a long time.  Before we even moved into our home last September we had painted all the walls and changed all the flooring (admittedly, we did not install the new carpet ourselves).  Our beautiful light gray wall color in this room is Manhattan Mist by Behrand we used this color in a lot of the rooms on our first floor.  Our carpet is a really dark grey, but for some reason it has a green hue in certain lighting.

Anyways, I am so happy with how this room turned out!  We bought a new sofa and chairs this past winter and they are SO COMFORTABLE.  We eat most of our meals on the sofa because it’s just so darn comfy.  We bought and hung new blinds, and started decorating!

The old window frame above our fireplace mantle came from Chartreuse & Company in Frederick, MD.  They are open once a month and sell the most adorable vintage & antique goods.  A lot of items in our house came from there!  Here’s their Facebook page where you can find their calendar (they also have a blog).

The yellow crock on the floor by our fireplace came from Target, on clearance! I had been eyeing that for a while and I scooped it up as soon as it went on sale!  The off-white crock is a real antique given to us by my dad.  I have a small obsession with water fowl (I have a lot of swan decoys around the house), and these charming decoys belonged to one of my uncles.

Our coffee table was upcycled from an old dining table one of our neighbors threw away.  That was a long process in itself!  The white trays on top came from CB2, found here.  Also from CB2 are the floor lamp (here) and the white table lamp (here).  The table lamp I have had for a LONG time & I still love it dearly.  The floor lamp was a gift for our wedding!

I made the floor ottomans & the chevron throw pillow covers (if interested, those posts can be found in my July archives!).

The little yellow side table came from Target and I painted it yellow.  If you like the style of the table, here it is!

The last part of the process was creating the small print gallery above the couch.  It took me a really long time to figure out what kind of artwork I wanted to hang there (just too many options!).  Finally I remembered that inside my super nerdy collector’s addition of  The Tales of Beedle the Bard (children stories from Harry Potter), there were a set of prints.  Well, I took those prints to the closest Michaels, found some clearance frames that I could use, and got those suckers hung up!  To be honest, I might end up taking down my gallery in the future and hanging it somewhere else in the house (but then I would be back to square one in terms of couch artwork).

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Super Easy DIY Envelope Pillow Covers

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Over the winter we bought the world’s comfiest living room furniture set.  The cushions are super deep and so soft.  So soft and comfy that the line is actually called “Cloud.”  I think the name says it all.

We were super super brave & bought 2 bright white beautiful chairs.  The chairs each came with 2 matching white pillows, so we mixed and matched the blue and white pillows on all the furniture.  The only problem was that we were so afraid to use the white pillows!  Well, mostly I was afraid. I was worried about smearing my make up on the beautiful fabric, or spilling food, or just doing ANYTHING to them to make them dirty.  So I decided for practicality purposes I needed to put another cover on these pillows so they’re actually usable.

Our Refinished & Fabulous Buffet (& how we made our own chalk paint!)

 

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This was a really fun project that turned out way to be way more time consuming than we originally planned for!  We bought this buffet for a really awesome price at a local antique store that’s open once a month.  If you’re ever in the Frederick area, you should definitely check it out!  It’s called Chartreuse and you can click here for their FB page.

Once we got it home and set it up in our dining room we decided to change some of the parts.  The handles were really rusted, and my husband didn’t like their shape (he wanted some “manlier”), so we replaced them with these from Home Depot.  The only issue was that even though our new handles were pretty large, you could see still some of the outline from the old handles, so we then decided to repaint the entire buffet.

We wanted to use chalk paint, but we refused to pay a lot of money to buy the popular chalk paint you see in stores.  So, we decided to try to make our own and it turned out perfect!

How we made our own chalk paint:

Materials required: a bucket, Plaster of Paris, flat interior paint (in the color you desire), water, and something to mix it with.

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You’ll need 3 parts paint and 1 part Plaster of Paris (mixed with water) for your project.  I recommend first mixing the amount of plaster of paris you’ll be using with water until it’s completely smooth.

Once it’s smooth you can mix it with your flat paint (we used Stealth Jet by Behr).  I used a small bucket I bought from Home Depot to mix everything together.

When it’s completely mixed together you can go ahead and use it! I sealed mine overnight with a piece of plastic and a rubber band.  I wouldn’t make too much at once, try to make enough for your project and a little extra for touch ups, but I’m not sure how long it will stay good!

Anyways, when we were painting we also decided to replace the top of the buffet.  The original top had a huge crack down the center, making it uneven, and also one of the corners was completely smashed.  My husband used some pieces of MDF wood in the basement to create a new top.  We painted that white and here was our current progress on the buffet:

0510142224It looks pretty finished, right??

Building a Bench

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We recently bought a dining room table and 4 chairs from Craigslist for our dining room.  Once we got it home we realized that 4 chairs was definitely not enough for this table: it’s huge!!!  So, we decided the best solution was to create a bench for one side of the table.  It would help fill the space and would let us seat a lot of people for dinner parties!

My husband claimed he was good at wood working and could easily make a bench.  I was only slightly skeptical…but, he pulled it off and our bench is AMAZING.

We decided that we wanted to design our bench to match our dining table.  Both the dining table & the bench have 45 degree chanfer corners.

Our Bachelor Table Turned Chic

One of the very few pieces of furniture we brought with us to this house was the breakfast table my husband bought while living at his previous residence.  It was a PERFECT bachelor table: dark wood with black leather seats.  However, it wasn’t exactly what I pictured in our home.  But, it worked out because he was very happy with the idea of changing it!

The picture show in the “before” image is one from the internet-we didn’t take a picture of the table while it was at his condo, and we didn’t put the table together in the new house until we had already painted it & reupholstered the seats.  The only picture we have of it from his condo is one the photographer took to showcase the area around the table when it was listed on the market (as seen below).

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Of course, we felt the need to change EVERY aspect of the table.  We decided to change the fabric on the cushions and change the color of the table.  This was actually one of the first projects we did here, but it just took so long to get the finishing touches done!

I reupholstered the cushions using the same steps as I shared in a previous post about our dining rooms chairs (found here).  Again, especially with clean cushions, it’s possible to just staple your new fabric on top of the old fabric.  That saves so much time because you don’t have to remove all of the old staples.  However, since these seats had piping we had to take the old fabric off.  This was a much cleaner process than it was with our dining chair cushions!

We had originally covered all four cushions in the circular print, however, once we brought the chevron fabric for our dining chairs we couldn’t decide with fabric to use on the breakfast table.  We liked the circular pattern because it added a little bit of color, but we also liked the idea of having the matching cushions in both the dining room & breakfast nook.  I changed the fabric to chevron on two of the cushions for comparison, and we just decided to keep both of them!

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