Housewarming Party

This Saturday we hosted our friends and family to our house for our official housewarming party. Although we’ve been living here since November, I wanted to get as much of the house decorated as I could before opening our doors to show it off. If you remember, we literally had no furniture prior to moving in, so furnishing our house has been a big undertaking for me!

My approach was pretty unorganized. I knew what my overall style was (cottage, country, shabby), and basically just started buying things I liked and hoped they would go together. Thankfully, I think for the most part it did all come together. I had some organization with the help of excel spreadsheets and Pinterest, but the for the most part I just had a mental vision for each room.

By far the hardest part for me was picking out suitable rugs for each room. Since our house has hardwood throughout, each and every room needed a rug. I tried it both ways, picking out the rug first and decorating around it and picking out the rug last to compliment the room. Both were hard and I second-guessed myself a lot! Thankfully my rug go-to’s RugsUSA.com and Wayfair.com made the price of the rugs more palatable, so I didn’t feel too much pressure with each purchase.

Since I didn’t show you guys the outside of the house (for safety issues because this blog is public), I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures of the inside. My goal with this house was to have a mix of vintage, to go with the 1880 build date, and modern fun. Everything in the house also had to be toddler-friendly, meaning not cost so much that I would freak out if it got ruined. Nearly everything is washable, including all the couches/chairs!

Okay I’ll stop rambling on and on, here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Living Room: This is the first room you enter in our house. I wanted it to be the most “grown up” room in the house. The couches are Wayfair custom upholstery in Carly. They are slipcovers that can be dry cleaned, which is good for toddler life.

Blue, gray and cream living room slipcovered couch and chair

This gold bookshelf is actually a $70 IKEA hack. I spray painted the IKEA Vittsjo bookshelf with hammered gold spray paint and voila!  IKEA Vittsjo hack
This is the kitchen and back entrance. The previous owners did a fabulous job opening up this space, so we can enjoy an open concept with the old house charm. The counters are a white speckled quartz, the backsplash is mother-of-pearl and the cabinets are a deep brown.

Open kitchen and dining room

The chandelier and table are from Wayfair, with the addition of an IKEA kids chair. The mirror is an antique store find for $30!

white dining table Barn door on bathroom

Wallpaper in bathroom
Off of the kitchen is a sitting room with built ins and a bar. Yes that is a kegerator! Probably my favorite feature on the first floor in this tucked away nook that is perfect for Lila’s toys. I painted her that little table out of an IKEA $20 kids table. 

Built in bar First floor toy storage
The TV room has original doors from 1880, but otherwise, I wanted this to be our fun, casual family hang out area. I got the white Ektorp sectional from IKEA and the entire thing is machine washable/bleachable, making it perfect for kids. The rug is another favorite of mine and is from RugsUSA.com. We repurposed Luke’s old trunk from his days as a bachelor for a coffee table.

IKEA Ektorp white couch IKEA White Couch Rugs USA colorful rug
The house originally was a duplex, but the previous owners restored it to a single family home. While they did it, they exposed this beautiful brick.

Exposed brick in house batman Quote

When we moved in, the stair railing stopped in the middle of the stairs, leaving a big opening at the top.  I was worried Lila or another child could fall through, so we had this piece of glass fitted for the spot. Glass stairway

At the top of the stairs is a giant window that originally made me fall in love with this house. We turned the space into a sitting room, where my painted chair and an antique trunk now sit. The rugs upstairs are from Wayfair.com and the buffet is from an antique store.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.03.01 PM

Painted upholstery with chalk paint

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 2.59.22 PM
In our master bedroom, I wanted the focus to be on the beautiful antique bedroom set we received from Luke’s parents. It used to belong to Luke’s Aunt Lynette and is in perfect shape.

Custom Etsy Blackout curtains Antique bedroom furniture White bed
Lila’s room of course needed to be PINK! so I chose a very pale, pretty pink that she could grow into. Her shag rug is from RugsUSA and the furniture was picked up at a local antique store.

Pink girls bedroom Pink and green girls bedroom
Here’s our itty, bitty guest room. Too small to even really photograph, but still cute!

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 2.59.38 PM
Lila’s playroom is pretty much all IKEA. The IKEA daybed is awesome because it opens up to have a second twin bed and drawers for storage. This room gets A LOT of use. :)

Green and blue playroom IKEA playroom storage
The fourth bedroom is currently being used for Luke’s office. He rocks the stand up desk, so there wasn’t a need for much office furniture. One thing we got him that he loves is a beverage cart from IKEA that he uses for coffee and tea. And that’s an upstairs porch off his office, which will get a lot of use this summer.

Yellow home office

The upstairs bathroom (yes that is singular!) has the classic black and white tile floors with some great modern updates like the built in storage, pretty sink and white subway tile in the shower. Eventually we will outgrow this one bathroom up situation, but for now it’s working just fine. The IKEA cart provides some great extra storage and acts as my rolling vanity.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 4.05.15 PM Black and white bathroom tile
Speaking of porches, here is the back porch on our first floor. My next project is to paint that table with chalkboard paint on top and blue on the bottom!

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.31.34 PM
So there you have it! Thanks for going on this little home tour with me. It’s still a work in progress, but I am really happy with how it’s all turned out so far. It’s nice after many years of renting furnished places, to finally live in a home that is exactly our style with our stuff.

If you’re curious about anything in the house, leave a comment and I’ll share a link to where I bought it or how I made it!

 

 

Sick, Sick, Sick

Our family was hit last week with a nasty head cold. One that I was silly enough to think I had successfully escaped with the help of my friends vitamin D, zinc and vitamin C. Sadly I woke up Monday blasted with all the mucousy, sneezy, headachy fun that comes with this bout of the cold, and come Thursday, I’m still down for the count.

Thankfully Luke has stepped in to take over more of the child care while I rest. There is something so seriously heart-melting about overhearing your husband and daughter chase each other around saying “zoom zoom! Super Lila!” Lets just say the little girl giggles were out of control.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.18.50 PM

Tuesday night, after spending the afternoon with Lila, Luke said that when they were watching Daniel Tiger before bed, Lila snuggled up to him and said “I love you daddy. Give me a kiss.” I must admit I was a little jealous that he got her first real “I love you.”

But that jealousy very quickly changed to happiness that they have such a tight bond. The whole daddy daughter relationship is something special, and these two sure do love each other.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.18.15 PM

It’s been pretty cute when Lila comes and visits me in bed and says “Mommy’s sick. Rest is best. It’s okay mommy, it’s okay” while patting my arm. Or when she brings over her doctor kit and gives me a shot in my ear or puts the stethoscope up to my eye. She’s also asked to do a lot of cuddling with me while we eat sore throat suckers.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.38.52 PM

I’m hoping this is the only winter sickness our family gets hit with. From what I’ve heard there are some bad flus and colds making the rounds among my friends. Lets just say hand washing and healthy eating are going to be my MO from here on out.

I hope you’re all staying healthy this winter, or at the very least have someone to help carry your load so you can rest.

 

 

 

 

How to Paint Upholstery With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

It’s been just about two months since we moved into our new (old) house and little by little, it’s starting to feel like home. I have most of the big furniture done and now am moving onto the smaller details.

One spot in our house that left me a little perplexed was the landing at the top of our stairs. It has this giant picture window that I love, but I wasn’t sure how to utilize the space. I decided after doing some Pinterest sleuthing that it would make a nice, bright little reading nook.

The thing is, I did not want to spend a bunch of money on a chair for this spot, since it likely will not get used all that much. I had heard that you could paint fabric through this Facebook Annie Sloan Chalk Paint project group I joined. “At first I thought – painted fabric?? Won’t that be super crunchy and crack?”

But after seeing some great before and after photos, I decided to give it a whirl. Keep in mind this was my FIRST ASCP project ever. I convinced Luke to go to Goodwill with me to pick out a cheapo chair. We snapped this red one up for $15!

Painting fabric How to paint a fabric chair

That combined with about $60 in painting supplies I picked up from Pottsies and I was ready to go.

Now before we go any further and you immerse yourself in learning this process, keep in mind the results are amazing. Here’s my before and after…

painted upholstery with annie sloan chalk paint

Pretty crazy, right? Okay now that you’re visually convinced, here’s the process.

Supplies You’ll Need

Here’s what I used to do the job:

- an old moving blanket to protect the basement floor
- painters tape
- 220 grit sand paper
- Paint jug to mix the paint
- 1 liter pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue (I used 80% of the can)
- 1 small tester container of ASCP in Pure White
- ASCP clear wax
- 1 paint brush from Lila’s painting kit (no joke)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- and old t-shirt for the waxing part

How to Paint Fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I started off by cleaning the chair with a spray disinfectant and a good vacuuming. Then I mixed some of the duck egg blue paint with about 20% water. This helps the fabric soak up the paint. Before I started painting, I sprayed down the whole chair with water until it was wet but not dripping. This again helps the fabric soak up the paint.

Then I just started painting! I really wish I had taken pictures throughout the process, but I was in my zen mode and completely forgot. It really is relaxing to paint.

While painting, I didn’t really follow any direction. I just made sure the coverage was even and I used my brush to work it into the stitching, crevices and piping. I didn’t even tape off the legs either. ASCP wipes off easily while wet and otherwise you can just paint over it, like I did with the pure white.

After the first coat, I let it dry 24 hours, then ran the sand paper over it lightly to soften up any rough spots. Then I wiped it off with a rag and repeated the whole process from the day before. Spray the chair, water the paint down 20% and paint a second coat.

If you’re painting a light colored chair something darker, two coats may be all you need. Since I was going from red to light blue, I needed a third coat and then some touch ups to get complete coverage.

Once you are satisfied with your coverage and the chair is completely dry (24 hours), you apply the wax. I just used an old t-shirt to dab on some wax, rub it in and then wipe away any excess. This is the part in the process I wish I had not rushed because there are some spots where the wax is definitely thicker than others now that it’s dry.

So lesson is to take your time waxing and make sure the coverage is even. After the wax dries 24 hours, you can buff it if you want a slight sheen to the fabric.

After the fabric portion of my chair was done, I flipped it over and painted the legs with Pure White. The great thing about ASCP is that you don’t need to prime wood at all. Just start painting. I was done with the legs and distressed them lightly with sand paper in about 20 minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.17.22 PM

How Does it Feel / Hold Up / Not Rub Off?

The first question you probably have is how does the chair fabric feel now that it’s painted? To me it feels like a soft pleather. Cool to the touch and smooth. Not crunchy or hard at all!

Painted fabric with chalk paint

Then you might wonder how it holds up over time? Well the jury is still out for me as my chair is only two weeks old. I will say, a painted chair probably is best served for a low-traffic spot. I’m not sure I would want to have it be my “comfy” daily use chair. That’s why I put mine at the top of our landing.

Finally, does the paint rub off? No siree! The wax acts like a seal on the fabric keeping the paint intact. It also serves as a waterproof base to make clean up easy. I think of it as almost like scotch guard. I have done several “butt tests” in my black leggings and nothing has ever come off on my pants (if you consider leggings pants like I do :).

I’m happy to say my painted chair has found itself quite at home on our landing. I paired it with a rug from Wayfair and an antique trunk I got at our local antique store The Vault for $25. I just have to dress it up with a cute pillow and decor, then it will be complete.

Painted upholstery with chalk paint How to paint fabric with chalk paint Annie sloan chalk paint on upholstery

I have been so thrilled with how easy this whole process was. Again this was my FIRST project with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ever. I have already begun scouting other things in our house I can paint. This little step stool from IKEA was my latest project done in the span of one nap time.

ikea Bekam step stool painted

If you have any questions about how I painted this chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, leave a comment and I’ll answer.

Happy painting!

 

Three Stories from 2014

I sat down to write a post recapping 2014 today, but what came out was either negative in regard to all the stress our family went through this year with our move, botched house hunting, miscarriage, moving again etc, or overly “look on the bright side of things.”

If you’ve been reading my blog this year, you pretty much know what has gone down, so instead of recapping the year – highs and lows – I’m going to share some stories from the past few weeks. Just small moments that have made me pause and smile.

Luke and I were both raised with religion, and we are raising Lila Catholic. We pray before bed and at other random times, but admittedly we are not very good about praying before meals.

Well last night as we sat down to eat our sloppy joes over mashed sweet potatoes, I was about to dig in when Lila said “lets pray!” Then she put her hands together in what can best be described as two claws next to each other and sang “Jesus loves me this I knoooow. Amen!”

Our girl is quite perceptive and picked this song and habit up from spending the week with her Grammie & Gramps (Luke’s parents). It was a sweet moment and a reminder to slow down.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.35.54 AM

Okay story number two. When I first met Luke’s family, it was over Thanksgiving at their house about six or seven years ago. I wanted to learn as much as I could about Luke, so I asked to see childhood photos or videos. Felicia put on a video from Christmas past when Luke was about 7 or so.

In the video Luke is shown opening a pack of baseball cards he apparently wanted desperately. After opening them he runs over to his mom and says “THANK YOU MOMMY!!!!” It was so sweet!

This Christmas, I thought of that video when Luke came over to me, his voice breathless “I’m really excited about all my presents! I just want to spend all day playing with them.” He was half joking, but I could tell he really was amped about his heart rate monitor, money clip and other presents. I love how Christmas can bring the giddy out of a 32 year old man.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.36.07 AM Last story. Last year was Lila’s first Christmas not as a newborn, so I was thinking a lot about what traditions I wanted to start for her around the holidays. Growing up, Luke’s Grandpa would dress up as Santa on Christmas day. He still does this every year. Go Grandpa Batman!

Well, knowing my Dad and his proclivity to be a good sport, I proposed he start this tradition for Lila and the grand babies. He was all in. This year was our second annual visit from santa and Lila’s reaction was too funny not to share.

From the moment I said “Oh, look! I think someone is at the front door.” Lila immediately bolted to my mom, climbed into her lap and buried her face in her neck. Santa came in the front door and Lila peeked a look at him before covering her eyes with her hand. The horror of this man in red!!

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.51.04 AM

She didn’t cry or anything, and of course she gladly accepted his presents (before whipping back and burying her face in my mom), but I think it’s safe to say Lila was happy to see Santa GO! Maybe next year St. Nick.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 9.41.44 AM Sometimes the big events – happy or sad – take up the most space in our mind when we look back on the previous year, but sometimes its nice to remember all those small moments that make a day, a year or a life. 2014 was filled to the brim with these small, sweet but gone-in-a-flash memories. They are what I’m holding onto most from this year.

Thank you all for supporting me and lifting me up this past year. I am thankful for you all!