Monday, February 28, 2011

Kitchen & Dining Room Makeover

I've now painted the kitchen/dining room twice since we've moved in.  It's gone from a mint green and mustard yellow combo (from the previous owners) to artichoke green, to a soft pewter gray.  Since my family and I spend probably 90% of our time in this room - I really wanted to make it cozy and inviting.  Minimal natural lighting made the artichoke color choice too dark, and a new, light paint color a no-brainer.  The gray makes the whole room look bigger and brighter - precisely what I was going for.  I also found a really neat stencil on another blog and "painted wallpaper" on an accent wall.  This makeover is still a work in progress (I'm planning on finding something to cover up that ugly air conditioner, painting the dining room table and chairs a crisp white to match the wood trim in the room, painting the baseboards white, changing out the chair coverings with a new fabric, buy (or make) curtains, find barstools at a steal, and the list goes on and on...) Below are the before(s) and after pics, and a sneak peak at the room now.  Please keep in mind - its all still under construction!

 (Original "mint" kitchen color, check out that light fixture!)
 (Original "mustard" dining room)
 (different angle of the dining room)

(Artichoke green shade from makeover #1 - sorry I used an old pic)
 (Pewter gray shade from makeover #2)
 (stencil I used to create the "painted wallpaper")
(stencilled wall before paint)

(stencilled wall after paint)

I love how this turned out, but truth be told, it took me FOREVER to finish.  I was able to get everything sketched out in 1 "day" (day meaning 2 naps and then a few hours at night before I decided to hit the hay myself).  The painting took me about two and a half weeks.  I guess that isn't too bad considering "naptime" only lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour if I'm lucky, and I only had a few nights that I had a stretch of time (3 hours at most) that I was able to paint paint paint uninterrupted.  Here are a few tips if you decide to give this a try:
  1. Start in the middle of the wall and use a ruler to measure where your next line of stencils should start.
  2. Use a light colored pencil and don't press down too hard when sketching the stencil.  The pencil will show through the paint, and you will have a difficult time getting the marks off the wall especially if you pressed down hard on the pencil when sketching (like I did, eek! lots of erasing is in my near future).
  3. Use a flat paint brush that is the same thickness you want your lines to be.
  4. If you use paint from a bucket, or from a small sample tub (like I did) make sure you pour a small bit of paint into a separate container.  Use this container to paint with to avoid having all your paint dry out.  Mine got really dry and sticky, so I needed to buy another sample tub to finish.
After all is said and done, I'm so glad that I decided to take this project on.  In total it only cost me $6.00 to do.  I simply used the sample tubs of paint from Home Depot that you can get for about 3.00 each.  Had I have taken my own advice and used a separate container when painting (to avoid premature paint drying), I would have only needed 1 tub.  Ah well what can ya do?  I'm really happy with the results and if nothing else, this wall is now a conversation starter.  I've had a few requests already to do the surrounding walls, and I have considered it.  However, I have a few other things I want to try out before I invest another 2 or more weeks (gasp) on that!  Next up - giving an old chandelier (or two) new life.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fireplace Facelift

Lucky for me, our house was in need of some serious updating when we bought it.  One eyesore that screamed makeover was the gigantic fireplace in our living room.  Here it is before:

I wanted to make the room brighter and more unified, so I painted it bright white. (the trim, baseboard and walls are also painted, more on that later)  Here it is after:

 Since buying a new fireplace screen wasn't in the budget, I decided to just spray paint the one we had with heat resistant paint. (The big black box on the mantle is our TV).

Dream Headquarters

It only makes sense to start in the room that makes this whole blog possible...the nursery. Put on your sunglasses...Here it is before:

And here it is after:

I absolutely love the calm feeling I get when I'm in this room now.  I used "Livable Green" from Sherwin Williams on the walls, and added soft pink accents to set the tone.  In the future I'd like to add a chandelier in the dormer above the changing table.  I think I'll make one.  Stay tuned for that...