Showing posts with label home projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home projects. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Porch Story {simple living inspired}


Well first, hello friends. I've taken an unexpected break from blogging, but I'm so very excited to be back! You should know that I struggle greatly with balancing a simple lifestyle and the duty of blogging. Sometimes I find myself wondering how the two, blogging and living the simple life, can ever possibly survive within one woman. I confuse myself at times and that's usually when I take a little rest from blogging.


Do you often feel that your life is way too overloaded and running at a pace that leaves you nearly breathless, but you worry that you'll let others down if you don't keep up with this harried pace? I used to feel that, that sense of obligation to others over myself and my family. Over the last few years, I've managed to whittle down my obligations and learn to not feel as guilty. Now, I very carefully consider what goes onto my calendar.


Living simply not only affects my time, it has spread into all parts of my life, all parts of me. My home looks different today than it did just six months ago, I've taken a much closer look at my decor and asked myself if a certain item is really working for us, or is it simply clutter. I've moved things around and some pieces have been purged completely. Our outside spaces get a whole lot of traffic in the warmer months and I really wanted them to be simple and functional.


That gets me to the point of this post, sorry, my wandering brain, our porch. I started by completely emptying the whole porch, it drove me batty for it to be empty, but I felt like all the stuff on it cluttered my mind and I just couldn't think. I wanted it to be neutral and calm and uncluttered, I also wanted it to have a vintage vibe, of course, not too many plants, uh the upkeep when it gets really hot here in the summer months, so I looked for one outstanding basket and just a couple other little tidbits. I repainted my old metal chairs and our porch swing, added an old school desk for a coffee table, and I was done. Now it greets visitors in simplicity, but still maintains the vintage vibe that we have throughout the rest of our home. I've spent way too many mornings on it already and one cup of coffee quickly turns into two!


While I've been away from the blog, I've been focusing a bit more as time allowed on my Instagram account. I tell ya, it's way simpler to come up with one liners than entire blog posts! If you're on Instagram, I'd sure appreciate the follow and leave me a comment to introduce yourself if you don't mind. You can click on my Instagram feed in the sidebar to hop right on over {click on the word 'Instagram'}.


Thanks so much for allowing me some space to disappear sometimes and still being here when I return. Y'all are the absolute greatest! I've missed y'all so much! Happy to be back this morning!
xo,
Amy

Sharing Here:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Dining Room Change-Up


Happy Wednesday sweet friends! If you happen to follow me on instagram {what? you don't follow me on instagram??}, you may have seen a little sneak peek of our dining room. There have been a few changes over there.




I really needed our house to work for us more efficiently and authentically. I wanted it to truly reflect us as a family. I wanted to embrace all the warm tones that this old house has, and I did all this while knowing that everyone else out there is white washing everything in their homes. It's okay to be different! I love different!




I moved some furniture around and shopped the basement as usual, emptied out some cabinets to fill the shelves and went back to all natural, thrifted, mismatched chairs. This works so much better for us. There's something so warm and welcoming about old wood, don't you think? And I want that, I want our home to be welcoming to others. Real life happens here, and this dining area is often filled with messy little hands, spilled watercolors, the occasional chicken {smile}, it's a real workhorse of an area. It's our gathering space, my favorite kind of space.
xo,
Amy

Sharing At: In The New House Designs  Cozy Little House  A Stroll Thru Life

Monday, February 1, 2016

Another Slow Redo {kids bathroom}


Whether you live in an older house or newer model, you're probably no stranger to the redo. I've written a bucket full of times about slow and intentional living and redo's on a shoestring budget because that's just how we live. And you know what, I wouldn't want it any other way. Slow anything means that you've put a considerable amount of thought into the situation and you're not going to make as many mistakes or have regrets. Slow means that you're going to be pleased as punch with the end result and that's all good, right? Right! 
While we're on the subject of slow, case in point, our kids bathroom, or the cave as I like to call it. I've always hated this room because it's so dark and gloomy. It's on the very back corner of the house, tucked away, and not really on my radar, this poor little room has been ignored, totally ignored. Do you have a room {or two} like that in your house? This bathroom is the achilles heel of our house, it really is. But no more, it's time has come. Amen and Hallelujah!

It's so beige y'all, and not in a good way. It's mismatched, oh so dark, broken, design flawed, it's a colossal mess, but we're ready to take it on. This bathroom is stuck in the 70's, but no more, we've declared war on the bathroom. 

Here's what you'll see with this redo:
  1. Only changes that we can afford. None of that borrowing from Peter to pay Paul stuff. This means that nothing is going to be ripped out. You'll see small changes that will have a big impact on the look and feel of the space.
  2. We'll be replacing the old stained linoleum with vinyl and we'll be doing the labor ourselves. We have the piece already and it was a remnant from a friend of my husband's that does flooring professionally. It was free y'all, cha-ching! Would I prefer an awesome vintage tile perhaps? YES, but I'm not going to let my budget get in the way of fixing up this little space.
  3. Paint! Lot's of re-painting. Paint is so inexpensive compared to other big dollar changes you can do around your house, never be afraid to re-paint an object or a wall. Repeat after me, paint is my friend. 
  4. I've been scouring online sales for months now at higher end stores I love but can't afford {#urbanoutfittersiloveyou} and I've gotten a couple of really sweet pieces. 
  5. Did I mention how slow this project will be? It's gonna be so slow, you'll probably forget that I ever mentioned that we were doing a bathroom re-do. I promise, I'll pop in with little updates along the way so you {and me!} can see that we're making progress.

Well, there you have it, the beginning of another slooooow redo. Pray for patience for me! I struggle sometimes with slow! It's going to be a little chaotic over here for a while and sometimes that drives me a little bonkers.

I beg of you, don't not start a home project because it seems too mighty, bite off a small little chunk and work on it slowly. Is there a room in your house that's driving you nutty? Why not start a slow redo?

xo,
Amy


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Winter Kitchen


This winter, each room in our house is getting a few tweaks for the season. Winter can be so dark and dreary, so with that in mind, I set out to lighten and brighten our tiny kitchen space. First up, curtains down.  Oh wow, what an unexpected delight! I knew it would be a little brighter without the curtains in there, but holy moly y'all, it's such a huge difference. 




If y'all have windows that you're not worried about anyone peering in, take those curtains down, at least for the winter. You'll be so surprised at the difference- I promise. It's a real mood lifter. I reorganized my open shelving with all my baking bowls too and it's so easy to grab what I need for baking now. 




Don't have open shelves? Neither did we. A simple removal of a few cabinet doors, and voila- open shelving. It really lightens and brightens your kitchen space. Never feel like you're stuck with your house just the way it is- think outside the box a little- you can thank me later! 



Anyway, these tiny changes in the kitchen have made a HUGE  mood lifting impact. I'll be posting on more free and on the cheap changes you can make around the house for the long winter ahead that will keep you feeling your best this season. The tiniest changes can make such a big impact. Y'all stay warm............

Linking At:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Embrace


That's it. That's my word. Embrace.  Do y'all have a word for 2015 yet? I've spent years reading other blogs and all the women with their 'word' for the year- I've yet to join the trend. A secret about me- I'm always late. Appointments, self imposed deadlines, trends- always late. With trends, I'm a bit slow to warm to new ideas. I have to 'sit' with a thought or new decor idea for a while before I decide to jump on the bandwagon. So, this year, 2015,  I'm joining the 'word of the year' trend- better late than never I suppose.





Why now? Well, this winter I REALLY need this word. Dreary winters always take such a toll on me mentally, so last fall, I began to think of a new way of approaching this winter before it takes a hold of me and pulls me under. Embrace. That word is a big part of my change in perspective. That word is helping me see this season with new eyes. Winter is so beautiful and quiet and serene and rather than closing my eyes really, really tight and holding my breathe till it passes, I'm going in with eyes wide open. I'm excited for the season of hibernation and slow growth. Did I just say excited? Why, yes, yes I did!




How does that look? Lots of small changes around the house. I'm so excited about them all and I'll be doing lots of little posts about them this month. When Christmas came down, winter went up, and an attitude of embracing filled me to the brim. Take a peek at some of my inspiration- check out my 'A Warm And Cozy Winter' Pinterest board....




So, have you picked your word of 2015? Maybe you should. I'd love for you to share your word with me and tell me why it's important to you this year. Penny for your thoughts..........


Linking At:


Friday, December 5, 2014

A Merry Little Porch




I'm just overflowing with joy y'all to share our Christmas porch. Every Christmas for years, I head to my favorite blogs waiting with anticipation for those ladies to fill me with inspiration. This is my first Christmas being a blogger, I still have to pinch myself sometimes when I say that out loud. It doesn't even seem real sometimes that I spend my days writing and sharing and meeting some of the kindest folks on earth. I'm so grateful to be on this journey. Okay, enough rambling, on to our Christmas porch. Christmas is no excuse around here to spend wastefully, so I always do my best to use as many God given natural elements as possible, translation-FREE! I love using as much fresh magnolia, juniper, and nandina berries as possible! Welcome to our porch........





I kept the porch as simple as possible so that it would easily transition to a winter-time porch as well. My husband made the little fur covered bench for me and it doubles as a little table by the sofa. I recovered the sofa cushions with some recycled toile curtains that used to call the living room home and made a few more pillows in some grays and icy blues. 




 On the other side of the porch, I have another little sitting area with our swing and my favorite old afghan. I've had that blanket for years and I just love all it's bright happy colors.




I added pine cones to a twig wreath that I use in lots of seasons. And here's some pictures from our little side porch that gets the most traffic at our house. We're totally back door kind of people y'all! 



I was determined to stay simple and uncluttered this season using as many natural elements as possible. I thank y'all so much for coming by today for a little tour of our Christmas porches. Have a very Merry Christmas!


Linking At:



Saturday, November 15, 2014

On Decorating For Renters


I have some new friends here on the blog, and I thought I'd re-post one that's near and dear to my heart. Never let your current circumstances get in the way of decorating your home. Whether it be that you're a renter like us, or feel that you just don't have enough money, there are always little, inexpensive things you can do to make your home your own!

About seven years ago, our life changed drastically, and we found ourselves looking to rent a home. Our decision was God led and was one of the most beautiful moments of our life together {that story is another whole post on it's own!}. For the sake of this post, I wanted to share some things I've learned along the way about being a renter but still having fun decorating. Bloom where you're planted people! Bloom!


Fortunately, we are blessed to have a landlord that has been like a father to our family, as I said, this was a God led path, and God placed us in our little Garden of Eden. I had dreamed my whole life of a home like this, but never dreamed how the path would be laid out before us. It was bumpy and paved with rocks boulders at times. But here we've landed and here we pray we will always stay.


Renting can be extremely challenging as far as decorating goes because there are such limitations. Even here, in the best scenario imaginable, I have limits that I just can't get around. Our living room space has wood paneled walls that would be just dreamy painted a crisp white. But that's something I just can't do. Same with the dark wood kitchen cabinets. I would love to paint them, but again that's a biggy for a renter and I feel it oversteps our boundaries. Our landlord has been very gracious and has allowed us to paint walls and change out lighting. From that point I had to learn how to brighten any other dark areas with a little illusion. I began painting some things everything light, cool colors or white.


This chest of drawers, for example, was a thrift store find, but it was a dark cherry colored wood. I painted this piece Benjamin Moore's "Bird's Egg", and I lightened up an otherwise very dark entry wall. This visually tricked the eye to seeing more light where there was previously darkness. Don't be afraid to paint your furniture. Google repainting furniture and learn how to spice up your old, lifeless pieces.


This piece was once a dresser with attached mirror and was given to us by our landlord's wife.  Once again, dark wood. I removed the mirror, repainted it a buttery yellow with white distressed drawers and it's now the buffet I always wanted in our dining area. Thinking outside the box works every time.


We've had this armoire for years.  It, too, was dark wood, so white it went. This was the first piece of furniture I painted. I've never regretted that decision. Please remember that EVERYTHING we do here is on a shoestring budget and took many months, even years to match my vision. Don't not start because you can't see a finish line. Just work on one piece at a time,and keep trucking along. I learned that a can of spray paint is my best friend. I repainted a thrift store lighting fixture with just a bit of spray paint. I've done this to every fixture in the house! Everything here was 1970's brass and that just didn't cut it, but I wasn't about to go out and buy all new!



I've pretty much painted everything in our home {not much has escaped me}. But, it makes such a huge difference.  Your home should reflect your personality. It is your blank canvas. Another big help, are throw rugs. Begin slowly collecting light, bright one's and change your space from the floor up.


Another biggie, if you have very dark surroundings, is to change your upholstered furniture. If you're like us, sometimes new is not an option, so learn to slipcover. Of course I couldn't afford to have someone make them for me, so I began to search online for how to sew a slipcover. I found a fabulous e-book, "The Lazy Girl's Guide to Making a Custom Slipcover" at http:/pinkandpolkadot.blogspot.com. This helped hugely and gave me the confidence to drastically change our surroundings. I'd dreamed of going white with our furniture and this allowed me to begin. After much saving, we were able to purchase a new couch to replace a very old and sad one. Finding the best deal at IKEA, we purchased a white slipcovered sofa from their EKTORP line and I'm still over the moon with it! We have four kids and six house dogs, and we entertain A LOT. When it gets dirty, I throw it right in our washer, then hang it to dry and voila, like new again. Going white with our furniture has made a huge difference. 


I think this will give you an idea of how lightening your furniture can really have an impact on a room. That coffee table was a Re-Store find for ten dollars and yes, those precious little casters are original to the piece. This was also a dark colored wood originally, and got a thorough sanding and a coat of B.M's "Bird's Egg" also {I just LOVE that color, can you tell?}. Don't forget your walls.  Lighten and brighten there too!



Renting doesn't mean that you're stuck with someone else's stuff, it just means that you've got to think outside the box a little. It's still your home, enjoy where you are right now!

Enjoy


Linking At:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How About A Little Fall Inspiration???


September is moving right along and I've been trolling Pinterest for some fall porch inspiration. Wow! There are some great ideas out there. Let's take a look at a few, and see if you are feeling as inspired as I am!



I'm in LOVE! This porch from The Maine House has me swooning! All the lights are fantastic. Don't you think so? I could just linger there for the longest time! Oh, and that screened door....


Don't you just want to have a cup of coffee there? It's so inviting. This porch is from Common Ground.


This porch from Our Vintage Home Love is simply beautiful. Just look at that painted porch floor and those stenciled burlap pillows.... love!


Show your door some love, from Horse Country Chic. I love the unexpected. Using a live plant as door decor instead of the regular fare... wonderful.


Perfect door color for fall! This porch is from Organized Clutter. Ever thought of painting your door for the seasons? Maybe?

Feeling it yet? These are some great inspirations! If it EVER cools down here in Georgia, it might help me to feel a bit more fall-i-er, that's a word right? I hope that these porches are getting you in the mood for fall. Remember that it's not all about going out and buying new. For me, it's always about shopping my house and moving things to new places like my front porch. Think outside the box a little, and a new fall porch might just be in your near future. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Blogging tips