A Few Living Room Updates

living room with fireplace 1

I don't know if you noticed, but last week when I posted my finished fireplace, I strategically focused just on the fireplace and didn't show any of the rest of the room.  That's because the rest of the room looked like a tornado went through.  I had furniture shoved up against the walls, tools spread out everywhere, random piles of rogue tiles here and there, paint cans, and much more. I … [Continue reading...]

That Time Nothing Went Right And I Gave Up (aka, Yesterday)

antique screen doors

Once again, we had gorgeous weather yesterday, and I was determined that I wanted to get an outdoor project done...or at least get a good start on one.  The project I had in mind was installing two screen doors on the front doors. So let me back up a bit. We have one of those houses that has two front doors.  When we bought the house it looked like this... I hated the two front doors, … [Continue reading...]

Why I Chose To Seal My Hardwood Floors With Waterlox Instead Of Polyurethane

repairing a scratch in hardwood floors 2

I wanted to quickly share a follow up on my refinished hardwood floors, and my decision to use Waterlox to seal them rather than polyurethane. And let me make this perfectly clear -- this is not a sponsored post. The good folks at Waterlox don't know me from Eve, and I didn't receive any free products from them. I simply did my own research (lots and lots of research) and considered … [Continue reading...]

My Curb Appeal Plans: Beautiful Mailboxes, Mailbox Posts, and Mailbox Landscaping

mailbox post from grandin road

The weather here in central Texas has been so beautiful lately, and it looks like it will continue to be beautiful (with the exception of a day here and there), so I've had outdoor projects on the mind. Our house is desperately lacking in curb appeal, and there are so many things I can't wait to tackle this spring and summer...and in the years to come.  If you'll remember, this is how it looked … [Continue reading...]

My Impromptu Kitchen Remodel (Foreshadowing Of What’s To Come)

floor plan before

I have a confession. Since we moved into our house mid-October of last year, I haven't cooked a single meal in our kitchen. Not one. We actually didn't even have a stove until about two weeks ago, and quite honestly, I wasn't in a hurry to get one. Not only do I hate cooking, but I was also not anxious at all to have to use our kitchen. It was the most inefficiently arranged room I had ever … [Continue reading...]

Artwork Options For Above My Fireplace (It’s a Personal Thing!)

artwork for mantel - 2

Way before I built my own fireplace, I started gathering ideas on how I wanted to decorate my mantel and the wall above my mantel. You may have noticed that I'm not a seasonal/holiday decorator.  :)  There are no seasons or holidays that I decorate for personally, and I decided a few years back that I wouldn't force myself to do so just for blog fodder.  So I needed something that was more of a … [Continue reading...]

DIY Fireplace — FINISHED!

fireplace - final 2

I was beginning to think I'd never be able to say this, but the fireplace is finished!  I finished the final bit of painting at 12:18 this morning.  :~D  (Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish up the trim on the wall, but I'll get to it.) Now I feel like every big "It's finished!" post I do comes with a few "well, except for..." items, and this project is no exception.  I still need to … [Continue reading...]

The Unattainable Goal Of Magazine Perfection In HGTV Timing

fireplace with window unit air conditioner

When I work on projects, I have a lot of alone time and quiet time.  It's just me and my thoughts.  And what I've been pondering lately are the ideas of magazine perfection and unrealistic timelines. Last night when I was working on my fireplace (which I'm so close to finishing!), my eyes kept drifting over to my window unit air conditioner. Not too long ago, I posted an update on a … [Continue reading...]

DIY Fireplace Part 5 – Trim, Grout, and Mantel

fireplace 50

Well, y'all, I've let you down.  And I've let myself down.  I was sure that I'd be able to finish my fireplace this weekend, but try as I might (and believe me...I tried), I just wasn't able to get it done. Sometimes I forget what a tedious and time-consuming task it is to do all that wood-filling, sanding, and caulking.  And because I hate it so much, the caulking seems to last the longest.  … [Continue reading...]

Q & A – How To Decorate The Ledge Above A Front Door?

reader question - how to decorate ledge above front door

This reader question comes from a fellow blogger, Lori from The Stonybrook House.  And her problem in one that many, many homeowners have -- the really high decorative ledge above the front door. Here's what Lori said: What should I do with this space??? It's hard to reach, except with a ladder. I'm not going to want to go up there and change is seasonally. It's like a ledge above the … [Continue reading...]

Q & A – How Should Preethi Accessorize Her Bedroom?

reader question - preethi's bedroom 1

Today's reader question comes from Preethi, who has made a great start on her bedroom, but needs help finishing it. Here's what she says: I really love your diy projects, I would really appreciate if you can give me suggestions on how to decorate my master bedroom. I have attached the pics. I was not sure on what color accessories and throw pillows to get that would go with the … [Continue reading...]

DIY Fireplace Part 4 – The Finished Brick Fire Box And Mosaic Tile Surround

fireplace 35

I'm starting to feel like building this fireplace is the never ending project.  But I'm at least starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel.  Here's how it looked Wednesday night when I finished sanding the "bricks." And here's how it looks right now. If you've missed the previous posts about this project, you can them here:  Part 1 (construction of the main structure), Part 2 … [Continue reading...]

DIY Fireplace Part 3 – Creating A Faux Brick Fire Box With Drywall Joint Compound

fireplace 27

When I was in the planning stages of this fireplace project, I had decided that I would do a fancy faux brick interior on the fire box using joint compound. Then I started building the fireplace, and it took way more time and effort than I had planned, so I decided that I would probably forgo the faux brick fire box and just paint the whole thing a solid black. Then I read this comment … [Continue reading...]

Do Individual Colors Really Ever Go Out Of Style?


A couple of weeks ago, before I repainted my living room and I posted all of my paint options on my Facebook page, I had a professional interior decorator insist that I paint my room green instead of blue because "blue has so been done." When I responded that I wasn't really concerned about trends, and that I just wanted to use a color that I loved, she actually got angry with me, posting a … [Continue reading...]

DIY Fireplace Part 2 – The Basic Structure Finished

fireplace 17

I didn't get as much done on my fireplace yesterday as I had hoped, but I was able to get the basic structure completed. Here's how the fireplace looks now that the basics are complete. If you missed Part 1 of this project, you can click here to see it. Now let me emphasize that this fireplace is electric.  There will be no actual flames (which is why nothing has to actually be … [Continue reading...]

I Finally Started Building My Fireplace!

diagram of my building plans for a fireplace

This fireplace project was one of those that seemed to take me forever to actually get started on.  There were several reasons for that.  First, actually coming up with the plan -- complete with all of the very specific measurements and detailed building plans -- kind of intimidated me.  So I procrastinated on that.  But one morning last week, I finally made myself do it.  And yes, it took me all … [Continue reading...]

Q & A–Decorating Ideas For This Small Living Room?

reader question - living room ideas

Denise is looking for some help with her living room... Here's what she says: I have a very small living room and I've been thinking of ways to make it functional. I'm not sure what colors to choose or decor that would fit great in the space . Any tips would be very helpful. Kristi's suggestions: First, it looks like you already have dark plum/burgundy, orange, and green in the room.  I … [Continue reading...]

Q & A–What Foyer Paint Color Will Coordinate With This Living Room?

reader question - entryway paint color - 3

Victoria is having trouble choosing a paint color for her foyer in her new home and is hoping that we can help her out! Here's what she says: Normally I don't have much problem landing on that ONE color I want to use in a room - and I'm not afraid of color - but I'm drawing a complete blank on this one. We're buying a 1898 Victorian home and I love the house, love the colors in most of … [Continue reading...]

How To Paint Anything And Everything

Painting questions are the most asked questions I get.  I can understand why painting confuses people so much -- there are so many products and brands available, so many different types of things that people want to paint, and different things that need to be considered for each.  What kind of paint should I use?  Does it need a clear top coat?  How do I apply it?  Roller?  Brush?  What kind of … [Continue reading...]

A New Media Console For My Mom (Antique Buffet Before & After)

buffet after 2

My mom now has a new media console in her living room -- this antique buffet that I refinished for her this weekend, just in time for their Super Bowl party last night. It started out looking like this... And now it looks like this... The paint color is called Frontier Shadow by Behr.  The stain color on the top is Dark Walnut by Rust-Oleum.  (To answer the question … [Continue reading...]