Building Built-ins in our Den

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Hey, y’all!

I hope you are having a great week so far!  :)

Today, I wanted to share with you the new bookcases we built in our den!  

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We have had this project completed since last fall, but I never got around to decorating them the way I wanted and taking pictures. MAYBE because I spent a good bit of time in Los Angeles last fall, plus traveled across the world for our adoption.  If you follow my blog, you know that it was cray-cray in the Hutcherson House last year!  :)

I found some o”before” pictures that I snapped on my phone, and I wanted to show you where we started.  Sorry for the poor quality.  

We had this blank wall right beside our staircase that was kind of awkward.  I tried putting some furniture there, but it looked weird, so I thought I would do a gallery wall instead. 

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But I never got around to doing a gallery wall, and then when I was looking at it one day, I said to Cy, “Honey, I think we need to tear down that header that we just built last year and build some bookcases.”  (I’ll leave out his response.)  ;)

But after I showed him some inspiration pics from Pinterest, he agreed it would be a good use of space, and we got to work!

 

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Cy built a frame for our built in bookcases…

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I wanted some picture lights on the top of my bookcase, so we left some room on top for wiring. 

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This is what it looked like before we added the shelves and painted…

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And this is what it looked like painted without the lights installed yet, and random stuff from around the house thrown on the shelves.

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I ordered some brass picture lights online and Cy installed those, so our built in bookcases now look like this….

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I am SO happy with how they turned out!  I love how they fill that awkward space up and look like they were meant to be there.

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I went around the house and collected anything that I had that was navy blue or aqua.  I found several blue books that I could add to my shelves as well.

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Then I tried to stay with other pieces that were warm and had texture like baskets and candles.  I also added a lot of little touches of greenery.

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I know I will enjoy decorating these shelves throughout the seasons.  This was a very difficult project, but I think it made a big difference in the look and feel of our den.

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What do you think?  Do you like them?  Is there a space in your home that you would like to build some built-ins?

Have a blessed day!

 
 
*This post was sponsored by Lowe’s.  All ideas and opinions are 100% mine.

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How to Build a Barn Door

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Hey friends!

Today I am going to share with you the barn door we made for the mud room in our entry way.  Do you remember that room?

Here is what it looked like when we started building our new front porch….

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This is what it looks like now…

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To begin building our barn door we bought 10 2×4’s from Lowe’s for the main structure of the door.  Be sure your boards are straight before you buy them. :)  You could also use a thinner board, but we wanted our door to be thick and substantial.

how to build a barn doorYou may need more or less boards depending on the width of your doorway.  We cut them the length we needed for the height of our doorway and laid them out flat on our front porch and pushed them as close together as possible. 

To hold them together, we added 1×4 trim around the edges and for the “X,” and 1×6 for the middle of the door. 

Cy measured and cut the lengths we needed for our trim and then applied Gorilla glue to the boards where we were going to nail the trim on.

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Before nailing the trim to the 2×4’s he made sure the bottom was even.

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Because the width of the 2×4’s didn’t cover our doorway opening completely, Cy allowed for a little bit of an overhang with the trim pieces so that we could cover the door opening completely.  

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He nailed the outside trim work to the 2×4’s with 18 gauge, 1 3/4 finish nails and his nail gun.

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He repeated the process on the top, sides, and bottom.

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We glued and nailed the 1×6 to the middle of the barn door.

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For the “X” at the bottom of the door, Cy cut and measure a board the length of one corner to the other by lining up the middle of the 1×4’s in the corners.

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Then he just pencil sketched where he needed to make his cuts.  He said he could have used a framing square to be more exact, but he was able to do it this way.

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He did a great job because it was a perfect fit! 

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He applied gorilla glue to the back of the first half of the “X” and then nailed it to the door.

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He measured and cut the second board in half so that it would fit as the second leg of the “X.”

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Once the door was complete, Cy sprayed the knots with primer specific for covering pine knots.

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After we primed all of the knots, we painted two coats of Valspar white paint on the door in semi-gloss.

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Cy snapped this picture on his phone and sent it to me after he had painted one coat…

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We installed our door with a rolling door kit (that I will tell you about in my next post.)  And now it looks like this!…

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I love it soooo much!  It is the perfect door for this space!  And I love how I can close it when our mudroom gets a little messy.  :)

Here is a peek into the mudroom…

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Since this barn door is in our new entry way, and I just finished decorating that space for Christmas, I added a little wooden star ornament to the handle. :)  

Love it?  Pin it!

how to build a barn door

 


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Dresser Makeover {for our girl’s room}

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Hey friends!  I hope you are doing well!  

I haven’t posted in a week!  YIKES!  {I told y’all it was going to take me a while to get through the loads of laundry! ha!} :)

I’ve been super busy doing things around the house….cleaning out closets and drawers, putting summer clothes away and getting fall clothes out, re-arranging furniture, trying to get some pictures on the walls…..

I finally figured it out over the weekend…I’m in nesting mode!   Our sweet girl will be back home with us soon, and I am like a pregnant woman running around trying to get everything ready for her arrival!  I also think that with the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve been itching to get things in order before the chaos begins.  :)

Anyway, I wanted to drop in and show you the dresser makeover I did for our girl’s room.  I completed it in May, before our girl arrived for the summer, but I am just now sharing it.  I was trying to be extra frugal with her room, so I decided to use an old dresser of my mom’s that had been in storage.  It’s a cherry dresser, and I know that some people cringe when they see someone paint a cherry piece of furniture, but believe me y’all, my mom would TOTALLY want me to paint this dresser and use it in our girl’s room.  Unpainted, it would have sat in storage for years.  Plus, I LOVE having something of mom’s in my girl’s room.  :)

I shared this photo on instagram in the spring…
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I removed the hardware and drawers and lightly sanded everything with a  fine grit sanding sponge.

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Now, this is the part where I would show you a step by step tutorial of how I completed this makeover.  But that’s what really good bloggers do.  :)  I’m just going to tell you the steps, and you can picture it in your mind, and it will be fabulous!!

I painted everything with one coat of KILZ primer, and then I painted two coats of basic white Valspar paint.  Next, I spray painted the hardware an oil rubbed bronze and reattached them to the dresser.

Voila!  I love how the painting it white shows off the curvy detail at the bottom of the dresser.  I think it makes it look more feminine.  

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The lamp was a Laura Ashley find at Goodwill for $6.00, and the pink flowers are from IKEA.  I got the frame for her picture half off at Hobby Lobby.DSC_1016

This dresser was/is absolutely perfect for our girl!  The small top drawer holds her hair bows, clips, nail polish, and lip glosses.  The other drawers hold her undergarments, shorts, and pajamas.  I can’t wait for her to be back home with us using this dresser each day!  

 

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Have a blessed day, friends!!


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Adding a Front Porch to a Brick Ranch

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Hey friends!

Thanks for all of your sweet comments about my post yesterday.  I loved creating that gif to share with you.  However, I had some of you ask me to create a post with static pictures, so here ya go!  :)

I added some hyperlinks to some older posts that share more about the whole process of transforming our brick ranch into the cottage of our dreams. :)

I was looking through old pictures of our home when we first bought it, and I have to be truthful that I didn’t really have any good shots. I have this one picture below….

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As you can see, we tore down some trees on the left and right of our house.   This gives the front of our house a much more open look and allows you to see our house from the road. 

We also tore down the very ugly screened in front porch.  (I think we did that within 24 hours of moving in!  We were dying to get rid of it!!)

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For the time being, Cy built to new columns on the front porch because we knew it would be a few years before we could build the front porch we were dreaming of. 

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I found this picture of when we began the addition to our home about 6 months after we moved in.  The original ranch was only 1400 sq foot, and we desperately needed more space.

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The boys’ rooms and bathroom are upstairs in the addition, and the master bedroom and bath are in the downstairs of the addition.  In the future, we plan on adding a wrap around porch on the 1st floor of the addition.  We have french doors in our master bedroom that will lead out to that porch.  You can see them a little in the picture below…

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Last year, we finally painted the whole house white!  It still looked like “a ranch with an addition stuck to the side,” but at least it was all the same color.  I knew that we would eventually get it looking like we wanted it to. :)

Painted brick exterior

So the house started looking more cohesive once the whole thing was painted, but I was still dying to get started on our front porch.  (Notice we didn’t paint the chimney because we knew we would be eventually tearing it down.)  We also added new shingles to the roof to match the ones on our new addition.

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For our new front porch, we enclosed the old front porch and then built a gabled roof out from there.   Luke helped Cy build most of the front porch out.

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We laid insulation on the part of the front porch that we were going to enclose, and then built the new front porch out from there.

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I LOVE the new entry way and mudroom that was created when we added on our new front porch! You can read more about that space HERE.

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We wrapped the new front porch with the same hardyboard siding from Lowe’s that we used on our addition. 

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We painted the whole front porch with White Dove (or dove white) by Benjamin Moore.  We had it color matched at Lowe’s and used Valspar exterior paint.

We also installed new doors (more details about that tomorrow,) lights, and gravel walkway.

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We added new mulch to the front of our house, but we haven’t planted anything yet.  We may plant a few things this fall, but most of it in the Spring. 

I am so, so happy to finally have a front porch to decorate for all of the seasons!

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*This front porch transformation was sponsored by Lowe’s.  We came up with the idea for our front porch and collaborated with Lowe’s to complete it.  Lowe’s is always our first choice when looking for quality products and supplies to use in our projects.  We have a genuine, authentic love affair with Lowe’s.  {I work exclusively with Lowe’s for that very reason!}  #lowesgirlforlife


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How to Lay a Gravel Walkway

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I am in LOVE with older homes…like 100 year old homes. Unfortunately, our brick ranch was built in the 1970’s, so it didn’t come with the “older home” character that I was dreaming of. Over the past four years, we have been renovating our home and trying to add some farmhouse character to the interior and exterior.

We recently built a new porch on the front of our ranch home. When trying to decide what type of walkway we wanted leading up to our front porch, I was drawn to the look and feel of a gravel walkway. They are definitely characteristic of old farmhouses, and they take me back to my childhood. :

Here are the reasons we love gravel walkways:

  1. They are easy to install.
  2. They are inexpensive.
  3. They are a fluid walkway material that won’t crack or break in colder temperatures.
  4. They can take on any shape you desire.
  5. And they are beautiful and charming!!

See why we chose gravel?!   It was the perfect solution for us!

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We followed 5 easy steps to

complete our walkway in one day.

 

 
STEP ONE: Dig the shape of the walkway.

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First off, you need to mark out the desired shape of your walkway before digging. We used line-marking paint to mark our walkway. It’s basically like spray paint, usually orange, that you hold upside down as you spray and mark your line.
You could also mark your pathway with a rope or even a water hose. Make your walkway as wide as you want it. We made ours a little wider since we were lining it with pavers.
Use a square-edged spade to dig your walkway a depth of four inches. You will want to check the depth of your trench with a tape measure as you go. Be sure to smooth walkway with a steel rake and then compact the soil with a dirt tamper.

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STEP TWO: Add crushed stone to your walkway trench.

Once the dirt in the trench is raked smooth and compacted, line the trench with about 2 ½ inches of crushed stone.  We used Class 1 Sand from Lowe’s.  
Crushed stone is a mix of ¾-inch stones and stone dust and will give your walkway a compact base.

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STEP THREE: Lay Landscape Fabric
Next, roll out a layer of landscape fabric over your walkway.
You will be able to cut the fabric to match the shape of your walkway. To hold the fabric in place, you can use landscape anchor pins or spikes.
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STEP FOUR: Install edging.

For our edging, we used pavers. We installed the pavers along the edges and used a rubber hammer to compact them.

The pavers we used are called “Allegheny” from Lowe’s.

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If you do not want to use pavers, you can install edging. I suggest a galvanized steel edging, but you can use what will fit in your budget. If your edging does not come with spikes like the edging below, you can use a soft hammer or a wood block/hammer to install the edging.

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STEP FIVE: Fill walkway with gravel.
This is the fun part! There are many different types and colors of gravel that you can use for your walkway. Pick one that matches the style of your home (or your personality if you choose.) :)
You want to lay enough gravel to come about ½ inch shy of the top of the edging.
Be sure to rake the gravel out evenly so all of the landscape fabric is completely covered.how to lay a gravel walkway

If desired, you can landscape around the path with flowerbeds, sod, or lighting.  I’m loving these lights from Lowe’s!

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Your new walkway will require very little maintenance. You may need to rake it smooth occasionally and add more gravel if needed over time.
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(Confession:  We have NOT covered our crushed run with gravel yet.  We did our steps a little differently.  We put our crushed run over our landscaping fabric because we knew we wouldn’t be able to add the gravel just yet.  I am hoping to add the gravel in November.)

I am super happy with my new gravel walkway!  I know it will look even better once we lay the top gravel and add some new landscaping in our mulch!

how to lay a gravel walkway

 

*This post was sponsored by Lowe’s!  All design ideas and product opinions are 100% mine.  #lowesgirlforlife


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Gravel Walkway Inspiration {For our Front Porch}

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Happy Monday, friends!

Hope you had a great weekend!  If you are on the east coast, I know you have been battered with a ton a rain.  I am praying for your safety.  

It has been dry and sunny over here on the west coast, and I have to admit that I am missing the cooler temps and the feeling of “fall.”  My time here is half way over, and guess what?!!! I get to see Cy and my boys this week!!!!  They are flying over here on Wednesday night!!!  YAY!  Please pray for their travel safety.  

I cannot wait to hug their necks!!!  

And I have got some more good news!!!!  Things are moving quickly on our adoption.  Yesterday, our sweet girl’s foster family got a visit from a lady from the government and found out that we are officially wanting to adopt her!  We didn’t expect this to happen so soon, so we are hoping this means that we may be flying over there to get her in November!!  Again, there are no guarantees because sometimes things get tied up in the court system, but so far, we are excited about how quickly things are going. :)

Here is a fun collage of her visit with us this summer.  I did it in pencil sketch since I can’t show her true picture yet online. :)

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Now to today’s post!  

I have a deep love for older homes.  Especially farmhouse style homes.   Something about them just warms my soul.  :)  So when adding on our new front porch, I wanted to give it an “old” farmhouse feel.  I started looking on pinterest, and I started noticing that many of the pictures I was drawn to had one thing in common….

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Many of them had gravel walkways leading up to the front porch…

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There is something so simplistic and rustic about a gravel walkway.  It seems that you usually find them in gardens, and they seem to always lead to somewhere magical.

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 I have always loved the crunchy sound that gravel  makes beneath my feet.  

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The more I looked at these pictures online, the more I knew I wanted a gravel walkway leading to our front porch.  I showed Cy some of my inspiration pictures, and he loved the idea too.

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There are many different types of gravel walkways that you can create, and I think they even look beautiful on newer homes too…

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My favorite look is light gray gravel lined with pavers, so this was the route we decided to go.  Something similar to this pic….

 

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Before I left town a couple of weeks ago, we finished our front walkway (sort of.)  We have filled our walkway with a layer of very fine crushed run to give our gravel a good sturdy base.  When I get back, we will be getting a little larger gravel to layer on top of our crushed run.

Tomorrow, I will share with you what it looks like so far!  I am very happy with how it has turned out.

So!  What do you think about gravel walkways for a front porch?  Yay?  Nay?

 


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Farm Table Makeover {Miss Mustard Seed}

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Happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Today, I am so excited to have one of my very dear blog friends here today, Marian from Miss Mustard Seed.

Haven Conference 2015

Haven Conference 2015

Marian and I started blogging around the same time many years ago.  I loved following her blog because she had the best style and made things beautiful for less. It has been fun to watch her blog “blow up” over the past five years.  She has been featured in practically every magazine on the planet, written a home decor book, and has her own line of milk paint products!  {And that’s only the half of it!}

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She’s a rockstar, y’all!

The best part is she is humble and grateful for all of the blessings her blog has brought her.  Plus, she knows from whom all blessings flow!  {wink}

Thank you, Marian, for sharing this beautiful project with us today!!

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Would you believe that this…

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…started out as this?

table before | miss mustard seed

I was hunting for a really great, large farm table, but everything I found was just a bit more than I wanted to pay. So, I decided to open my search to include new, solid wood tables that could be refinished to look old. That search yielded this newer table that had a great shape, but the shiny, orangey finish wasn’t the look I was going for.

I tried stripping off the finish with a chemical stripper, but it only took a little bit of the shine off. So, we had to go to sanding. Kriste sanded off the finish one afternoon when it was pretty and the table could be carried outside of the studio. It took some time, but she was able to get it down to the raw pine boards. Now it looked like a brand new, unfinished table. I wanted it to look old and worn, so I abused it with various sharp and blunt objects…denting, dinging, scratching and poking it.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

I tried to be random with the marks, except for clusters of pinholes I made with a nail, meant to look like worm holes.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

I wanted to give the wood a rich patina and a finish, so I slathered on some Antiquing Wax.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

When the excess is wiped away, the Antiquing Wax stays in the dents, dings and “worm holes”, simulating the look of age, wear and patina. It’s not quite as warm as pine that has been aged over decades, but it’s a great option for instant age.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

Here is a quick video on the finishing process, so you can see it in action.

The cool thing about using the Antiquing Wax is that it’s one step. It’s the technique and the finish all in one. I only applied one coat, buffed it by hand and then buffed it with a buffing pad on my orbital sander to make it smooth and slightly shiny. It’s not glossy, but the buffing pad brings out a luster.

And I love how it turned out. When I showed it to Kriste she said it didn’t even look like the same table.

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

We lightly sanded the table base and applied a coat of Lucketts Green followed by a coat of Ironstone. We then distressed and left the paint unfinished. (I say “we” because Kriste and I both worked on it during various stages.) I like the two-tone look for the legs, because it’s pretty common to see that on old tables. It also gives the legs some visual texture, since they are pretty smooth to the touch.

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

 

Check out  more of Marian’s amazing makeovers by visiting her blog….

miss-mustard


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Gorgeous Sunroom Makeover! {Jenna Sue Designs}

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summer spectacular

I am so excited about our guest poster today!!!  I found Jenna Sue’s beautiful blog a couple of years ago, and I immediately fell in love with her style.  Her blog is probably one of my absolute favorites right now, and if you haven’t ever visited it, you are in for a treat!  Today she is sharing with us her gorgeous sunroom makeover!  Enjoy, and give her lots of Beneath My Heart love.  

 

 

 

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Hello and happy summer, Beneath my Heart friends! This has always been my favorite season—though I live in the mountains of California now, I’m a tropical weather and beach girl at heart so I have very fond memories of our home back in Florida.

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My favorite room from that house and the biggest transformation was our sunroom. It was the embodiment of the eternal summer coastal Florida vibe and held many great memories for us.

We renovated the space over a five week span using lower cost materials and plenty of DIY, just in time for our official summer kickoff party.

Here’s how it looked before we bought the house:

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Then after we threw some furniture in:

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We broke this project down into several stages.

Phase 1: Building a secret cat outhouse:

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built in cat outhouse

 

Phase 2: Tearing out the ceiling panels, adding insulation and a new humidity resistant drywall ceiling (with recessed speakers and lights)

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humidity resistant drywall
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Phase 3: ‘Wood’ tile flooring

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Phase 4: Building the beds, coffee table and console table

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Phase 5: Accessorizing

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Compass and Coordinates Nautical Art
Art can be purchased here and here

We were so in love with the after.

A sunlight filled room where we could look out over the pool or catch the turtles swimming in the lake…

The perfect place to take an afternoon nap or cool off from the summer heat…

A lookout point for our kitty to observe birds and lizards…

Or just a restful retreat for guests to relax in when visiting.

 

Head on over to the Sunroom Reveal post for more After photos plus a complete source list and price breakdown! I hope this makeover can bring some inspiration into your own summer decorating. Soak up every drop of this beautiful season while it lasts!


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Lowe’s Spring Makeover REVEALS!

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I am so excited to be participating in the

Lowe’s Spring Makeover Reveal Tour!

You guys are going to be blown away with these makeovers!  Seriously, I think my jaw dropped on each one of them!!!

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 Lowe’s rounded up a team of all-star bloggers this past Spring to help bring some much needed cheer to some of the hardest hit areas of the US from the harsh winter weather. 

But these bloggers could have never completed these projects in two days without the help of the amazing Lowe’s Volunteers!

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These volunteers were ROCKSTARS!!  It is amazing what you can accomplish as a team!

EEK!  I cannot wait for you to check out all of these makeovers!  You will be soooooo inspired!  Be sure to check on each of the pictures below to view each beautiful makeover!

 I am going to start with my exterior home makeover just in cased you missed it a few weeks ago. :)

 

Beneath My Heart‘s Exterior Makeover

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 Cy and I headed down near Nashville, Tennessee to brighten up the exterior of this basic brick ranch.

 

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Brooklyn Limestone‘s Outdoor Oasis

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 I am so in love with pergola’s after seeing this makeover!  And the beverage station is adorable!

 

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The DIY Playbook‘s Patio Refresher

i5yMzGsVWV8pjF5fy54PQtug8vDM5wgRgxjUkpxcYUEIt is amazing what you can do in a small space!  Bridget and Casey hit a home room with this makeover!
 

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The Golden Sycamore‘s Bathroom Makeover

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 This bathroom makeover is absolutely beautiful!  Allison took this bathroom from blah to AAAHHHH!

 

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Our Fifth House‘s Spectacular Pool/Outdoor Makeover

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I kept scrolling back and forth on Carmel’s post comparing the befores and afters!  It is A-Ma-Zing!! 

 

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City Farmhouse‘s Breathtaking Outdoor 

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 Jen has CRAZY good design style!  This makeover looks like something right out of a magazine!!

 

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Pretty Handy Girl‘s Front Yard Transformation

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 Brittany killed it on this front yard makeover.  It went from dry and dull, to va-va-voom with color!!

 

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Liz Marie Blog‘s Cozy Sunroom Makeover

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Liz turned this little sunroom into a beautiful, relaxing space for these homeowners! 

 

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Home Stories A to Z‘s Inspiring Sunroom and Deck Makeover

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Beth spruced up two spaces in her makeover.  I LOVE how she took the sunroom from dark to bright and airy!

All Things G&D <— Reveal coming soon! Dusty headed to Maine last weekend for her big makeover and she’ll be sharing all of the details soon. Can’t wait to see what this talented Midwest gal comes up with for the coastal homeowners!

Just A Girl Blog <– Reveal coming soon! Chris has been forced to delay her makeover because of weather issues. Once she reveals the makeover, we will add it to the line-up. And if this makeover is anything like her previous projects, you will definitely want to check it out.

 

Thanks for stopping by!  

 

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How to Build a Window Box

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I wanted to share another project we completed during the Lowe’s Home Makeover in Nashville last month!

How to Build a Window Box 1

I have always loved the look of window boxes!

So I was thrilled to hear that our homeowners in Nashville wanted window boxes on their windows too!  It gave Cy and I a chance to make some, and it gave us practice for the window boxes we will be making for our own home soon.  :)

They are so much easier to make than you would think.

Here are the supplies we used:

 1×8 poplar boards

1/4 x 2 inch poplar trim piece

18 gauge nailer with 1 1/4 inch nails

wood glue

compound miter saw (to cut wood pieces)

Black support brackets (we got ours at Lowe’s)

 

Important tips that are not included in the video:

1.  Be sure to drill holes in the bottom of the window box to allow for water drainage.

2.  Be sure to let the glue completely dry and set before adding the dirt and flowers.   

3.  You can use “liquid nails” and screws instead of nails to increase the durability of the window box.

 

 


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