Friday, November 13, 2015

The Great Fireplace Remodel: Planked walls, Beam mantels, Built-out surrounds, and all that jazz.

Who's ready for some eye candy?  I finally pulled it together and cleaned up well-enough to snap some photos of the finished fireplace!  Well, it's not completely finished.  I still need to caulk some seams, but it looks done enough for now.  And here it is!

Isn't she lovely?  Before I show you any more, let's take a walk down memory lane.  This is what the house looked like when we signed our offer papers.  Peach.  Green marble.  Shiny fake yellow brass. But that light!  We knew it had potential.

Phase 1 was getting rid of that peach paint and ripping out the carpet.  It was brand new and pretty when we moved in, but the dogs trashed it very, very quickly.

Phase 2 ... we have a new laminate floor!  And curtains!  Those two things alone were a huge improvement, but when I pulled out the fireplace insert to paint over the brass, and then painted over the green marble, the room sky-rocketed out of 1990s and into 2015.  The mirror removal was an interesting process, and made me happy that we were planking above the fireplace instead of trying to perfectly repair all of that drywall.

I took measurements and meshed them with the vision I had stored in my brain in order to draw up the plans.  Brian made a few adjustments that would make the build more practical for himself along the way.

Brian worked so hard on this project.  I am kinda picky about things being just how I planned, and was such a trooper throughout the process.  For example, the mantel.  I wanted it to look like a beam from the front and sides, and he did a beautiful job!  

Eventually I'll share photos and descriptions of the process, but for now, let's all just look at pretty pictures.

I think Brian would say that his hardest task was running all of the wires behind the walls and through the fireplace surround.  I think I'm going to paint this old nightstand from Brian's Grandma that will house the electronics.  It needs a hole cut in the back so that we can actually put the electronics inside, but that'll happen eventually.  

Speaking of things that will happen eventually, we still have some caulking and paint touch-ups to do, but I can live with those for now.  Especially because when you stand back, you notice nothing but the beauty of the overall situation.  

Having the TV mounted on the wall frees up some floor space.  Seating arrangements in this room can sometimes feel tunnel-ish, but with the fireplace finished, the TV above it, and the couch and chairs facing each other, it feels like a cozy place to gather.  

It feels lovely.  And bright.  And cozy.  All of the good things!  It's so nice to have a space in the house that feels like "us".  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Project 365: Week 32

Fuzzy photos, cute photos, kids' photos.  A little bit of everything this week, friends!

October 24 - Cell phone snap of big man's school photo.  Adorable!

October 25 - Pumpkin patch.

October 26 - Kids.

October 27 - Silly brothers.

October 28 - Pumpkin carving.

October 29 - Layering jewelry.

October 30 - Hanging out with Great Gram.
(Please excuse that horrible mustache on my husband's face.  It was a Halloween thing.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Project 365: Week 31

Whew, time to play catch up on Project 365 posts ... and maybe the type of post that you can read too.  I really need to buckle down and write!

October 17 - Soccer stud.

October 18 - Birthday boy.

October 19 - New appliances!

October 20 - Snuggles compliments of Mommy's phone.

October 21 - Thanksgiving decor.

October 22 - Carnations.

October 23 - Apple orchard field trip.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Perfectly Imperfect


Is this thing on?

Hiya friends!  What's shakin'?  

It's been waaaay too long since I've actually written something here.  In the last few weeks, I've had 4 different people tell me that they like to read updates here on the blog, and that kinda lit a fire under me to actually post something other than Project 365 updates.  

So, let's start small.  We've been really busy with projects around the house.  The fireplace is done! And it's stunning.  The bad news is that I don't have photos.  Our TV died, and Brian hung an old TV in it's place, so we have wires and cords running everywhere.  I'm going to try to make it pretty enough to take photos so that I can share some with you. 

For now, you'll have to settle for some teasers.  Check.Out.That.Mantel.  Are you drooling?  You should be.  I had so much fun throwing some pretty fall decorations on that guy for the first time.  It increased the cozy factor in the Family Room by one million.  

Do you decorate for fall?  With all of the renovations and just the busy factor of the fall, I took a few minutes last weekend to get out my box of 'fall-ish' stuff and spread it out a bit.  I'm not big on 'cutesy' decorations.  I mean, I like them, but I tend to lean toward fall decor that's a bit more neutral and subtle, yet big on texture.  Old books, rocks, textured pumpkins, wicker, pine cones, soup crocks ... they're all favorites of mine!  Honestly, I would keep this kind of decor year round.  It just kinda speaks to me.  

I love how easy it is to add 'fall' to a room.  Adding a cute gold pumpkin and an acorn bundle to the candle, lamp, and slate coasters that live on this end table pumps up the cozy factor a bit.  Now that the boys are a little older, I'm not afraid of putting decorations at low heights.  Of course, I choose things like foam pumpkins and disposable candle jars to put within reach.  Nothing too crazy!

Sometimes bringing fall inside is as easy as plopping down a pumpkin and adding some baby's breath to a jar.  Boom.  Done.  Also?  As referenced by not one, but 2 of the photos in this post, lampshades in my home are never ever ever straight.  Ever.  It's just a way of emphasizing the fact that our lives are perfectly imperfect.  

And sometimes that perfectly imperfect factor is emphasized when I get lazy so I throw a bunch of crap on a shelf and call it a day.  Because why not?  Home should be comfortable, cozy, and easy.  Is it the prettiest little vignette ever?  Nope.  But it's fall-ish and it works.

So that's how we're celebrating fall in our home.  That, and keeping sick boys comfortable.  As much as I love fall, it inevitably brings sickness.  Blegh.  Stay healthy, friends!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Project 365: Week 30


October 14 was NEW CAMERA DAY!!!  I did nothing fancy, just snapped away inside my house with my boys in their PJs, hanging out and playing their video games.  And I was still completely smitten with the camera.  Weeeeee!  

Alright, on to pictures so I can get back to taking photos...

October 10 - Mr. Beckett's shy soccer face.

October 11 - Watching the helicopter land by the hospital.

October 12 - Cell phone snap - Snuggles.

October 13 - Cell phone snap - Waiting for brother Selfie.

October 14 - NEW CAMERA!!!  Kiernan is not impressed.

October 15 - Jump!

October 16 - Handsome birthday boy.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Project 365: Week 29

Once I ordered my new camera, I felt inspired to keep clickin' with my trusty old one.  Crazy how that works, huh?  These are all still with the old camera and a few cell phone snaps.  Next week will include a few with the new camera.  I'm like a kid in a candy store!!

October 3 - Cheese.

October 4 - Construction!

October 5 - Painted the front door, now we need to get the landscaping ready for winter.

October 6 - Late bloomer.

October 7 - Halloween = Done.

October 8 - Pumpkin patch pickin'.

October 9 - Red Wings opener!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Project 365: Week 28

I know that I've been blabbing on and on and on for weeks (maybe months?) about being in a rut.  

I'm still deep, deep in that rut.  It's painful.  I'm so uninspired by the photos that I actually do manage to take, that I just avoid editing.  Hence the reason I'm posting this several weeks late.  

Soooooo, in order to deal with my 'blergh' attitude, I ordered a new camera!  It should be here by the end of the week, and I told myself that I would catch up on editing by the time it gets here.  Weeeee!

 September 26 - A little post-soccer nature walk.

September 27 - Back yard fishing.

September 28 - Pretty.

September 29 - Building a mantel!

September 30 - A screen shot - the only photo of the day.

October 1 - No makeup selfie (for a skin care regimen).

October 2 - Beautiful sunset.