Small updates can make a big difference!

The past few weeks have been busy with updates, big and small, around here. I’m working on one project which I HATE, so it’s taking me forever to do that! It’s stenciling curtains so what could really take me a day has taken me about 2.5 weeks or longer. I’ve finish the fireplace make over last night (click here to check out phase one!) I’ll be posting phase two this week. In a few days we’ll be laying down the pergo floor in the family room. But in the meantime, there are really quick and easy ways to spruce up exsiting pieces in your home that could change the look of the room!

I had bought a curtain rod at Ikea. The finials were pretty boring. I had found a pair on clearance from West Elm that I couldn’t pass up! When I got them in the mail, I realized that the finials from West Elm were screw in and I didn’t have anything to screw them into. So, my dad pulled a pretty clever MacGyver move!


So, what he did was just snap off the original finial and drilled a small hole to screw in the new finial…


Another small change we made was reusing the gift that keeps on giving around here. My teal paint by Benjamin Moore that we first used for the front door makeover (click here) and then used for my coffee bar cabinet (click here). I had this big mirror that my mom had given me that was a goldish color and not really my style:


Since I gave the paint to my mom so she can paint her front door, she used it to repaint the mirror frame for me. All you would need to do is tape around the edge of the frame so it doesn’t get on the mirror.


Here she is!

How about you? Any small updates you’ve done lately? Any big ones your tackling? Any that you’re half way done and putting off like me? 😉


How to tile (Fireplace Makeover – Phase One)

I’m almost too embarrassed to show this picture but there is NO way you can really and truly appreciate the progress so far without seeing the ugliness that was my fireplace. So, here is a before picture when we first saw the house:


EEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW. Yeah, you can say it. I’m saying it. This is literally the focal point. Looking like that, it’s more like the focus-on-anything-but-the-focal-point-point. In the meantime, the mantle looked like a very waxy brown. So, I painted it the same color as the trim which we’ve repainted (Swiss Coffee by Behr). The pink marble still looked really gaudy but it was already better.

So, let the tutorial begin. Let me begin this with a little disclaimer. I’ve never tiled before. Ok, so that’s a huge disclaimer. But it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It’s labor intensive and it’s messy but I think I was probably too excited to really care. Also, really really make sure you have everything if you don’t live nearby your local hardware store. Luckily, we’re about 5 minutes from home depot. Which is good because we went four times. We started by taking off the tile and by “we” I mean hubby:

Image Afterwards, my dad and hubby took off the marble. Most of the drywall came off with it:


Peel off all the drywall so you can start fresh.


When replacing the drywall make sure it is firegrade drywall. This means it’s 5/8″ thick. It was screwed in with drywall nails.

Image Looks better already, eh? I’m not too sure on how to cut. My dad gave my husband a quick tutorial to using the wet saw and my hubby did all the cutting. We laid all the tiles down first before setting to see how it would fit. My husand laid all the tiles on the front part. You’ll need ceramic tile adhesive and a notched trowl. Spread the adhesive on the location it will be placed and used the jagged edges in that area to create line effects. Repeat the same steps but place the adhesive on the back of the tile. Make sure when you keep placing that you clean out the adhesive in between the tiles because you don’t want it obstructing where the grout will go. Place two spacers on each row (two on the sides and two on the top/bottom). When I tiled the top, it was a bit of a pain because the base was unlevel. So, I used a level for each tile and if it wasn’t level, I would just glob on more adhesive. The adhesive must set for 24 hours before you can grout. Hardest part.


To lay the grout, you’ll need a grout float. When you wipe it off, go against the direction of the grout line. When wiping off the grout on the smaller tiles, it obviously was easier said than done. So, I just wiped in circles. You’ll have to keep cleaning the water you use to clean the grout too because you’ll just end up using dirty water to clean, which doesn’t really work! The next day the tile was all white and cloudy. It’s normal, just give it a quick wipe down.

Remember the eyesore gold-brass trim? GOODBYE, thanks to spray paint. But you can’t use any spray paint. You need high heat spray paint by RustOleum. Here’s a quick screen shot of some of the materials:


Click Here for the tile that we used.

Here is our fireplace now:


We can’t stop looking at it! The best part? We’re not done yet! This weekend, we’ll be building a box surround and next month I want to make some built-ins on the awkward left side of the fireplace. See that little peak of my rug? I just got it today! Got a groupon and was a bit hesitant to get such a bold pattern but my mom, who is always pushing me to be more bold, and thankfully so. It was love at first sight. I think I may even sleep on it tonight. I kid, I kid…or do I??? At the end of the month we’ll be laying some pergo flooring down so make sure you stop by again soon for that and how we came along with building the box surround!

First Impression {Front Door Make Over!}

I’m pretty sure I had one of the ugliest front doors out there. In a lot of ways, that door was like me on the weekends after cleaning house and running after a two year old. Make up smeared on my face, hair frizzed and coming out of my pony tail, bags under my eyes and nail polish chipping. Pretty picture, right? But come the week, hair is smoothed out, make up is in place and my nail polish is nice and fresh. That’s what my front door needed. It’s such a cute little patio with nice blue-gray slate and two big columns flanking the solid wood double doors. However, it is not easy on the eyes!

After a million paint swatches, I finally settled on a nice deep and saturated teal, appropriately named “Teal” by Benjamin Moore.  There are a lot of tutorials on how to paint a front door. The majority of these involved taking off the door. Let’s be honest, I live in Florida. It’s August. I’m doing this by myself. I have a toddler. Not happening. So to do this the most efficient (not lazy!) way, I did a quick cleaning on the door and sanded everywhere. I taped the edges and around the door handle because I couldn’t be bothered to take that off either.  My favorite tape to use when painting is Frog Tape.  I used a small foam roller and then a brush for the edges.

World, Meet my new front door:

I created some vingettes on either side of my front door to help created a more warm and lived in feel. On the left side I have mona lavender in a white ikea pot. After eyeing this cute little bunny rabbit for a long while, I finally snagged him from Pier1 last year.

On the right side, I have mint, cuban oregano, ivy, and my beloved hosta.

Much better! I can’t help smile now when I walk to my front door! I’m on the look out for a new doorbell since mine is old and gross. Anybody have any suggestions?

Well, off I go! I have some a fireplace to make over!

Easy Peasy

I figured my first posted project should be something that wouldn’t scare away anybody. This is probably one of the easiest and cheapest projects! What you need is a vase (bought or one you own), paint, and a paper plate. I got this vase at the dollar store. Not super impressive but had cool wave lines so I could see some potential. Cost a dollar. Ikea has another cool small vase that I got for .79 – awesome! I got the craft paint at Michael’s Craft store. They always have really good coupons so thanks to their 50% off coupon I got the paint for .50 cents! Side note – if you download their App on your smart phone, you can access their coupons from your phone and never have to worry about printing coupons. They scan it right from your phone. Gotta love the 21st century!

First step is to pour some of the paint in the vase. You’ll want to put just a tad of water to help the paint move easier. Roll the paint around until it’s completely covered with the paint. Keep adding more paint in there as needed. Then you place it upside down on the paper plate to let it drain. The most important part is to let it dry. It’s also the hardest because I was so excited to turn it right side up and put it in my entertainment center. Ok, so I did that for my other vase that I’m not showing you. You’ll get gross streaks. Trust me, wait. You’ll want to do more! It’s such an easy and cheap project and it’s a great space filler.

So, what are you waiting for? Let the vase transformation begin!