Projects

Metallic Bathroom Gallery Wall

I've had plans for a gallery wall in the main floor bathroom ever since the paint transformation and shelf/key projects. I didn't purchase many things for this gallery wall. I've simply collected pieces over time, and I pulled several together to make an eclectic, metallic based wall. I love the way the gold frame, silver mirror, and antique brass colors all create a cohesive yet eclectic look. Metallic Themed Eclectic Gallery Wall

For hanging the frames, I used the same technique I did on our living room gallery wall, so head HERE for more details on the process.

I have found the most effective way to hang a gallery wall on the first try (without performing nail acupuncture all over your nice smooth wall) is to make replicas of the frame shapes out of paper (I used newspaper), and then tape them to the wall to test out placement. Then take down each paper substitute as you nail the actual frame.

Metallic Themed Eclectic Gallery Wall

Some of my favorite pieces are these monogram plaques (which I made...tutorial to come tomorrow).... Metallic Themed Eclectic Gallery Wall

and this amazing chalkboard art that my cousin made for one of our wedding showers. I have waiting to find a perfect place to display it. While it isn't metallic, I like the balance that the black and white brings to the table. Metallic Themed Eclectic Gallery Wall

The metal tile in the top left corner was something that Jeremy & I found at an antique store years ago, and it has followed me through 3 apartments and now our first house. The wooden door art was a gift from my mother-in-law, and the mirror and hook on the far left were gifts from my mom.

Tip of the day: I believe the key to a great gallery wall is choosing between variety and uniformity and sticking to it. I love gallery walls with matching frames and a uniform look like this one from John & Sherry. Gallery Wall

But, the other route to take is the one I chose which is by having so much variety that everything has a different purpose, like this one from Liz Marie. I love the different shapes, textures, colors, etc. Gallery Wall

In my opinion, anywhere in between uniformity and eclectic can easily feel unintentional.

So, here is one final look at the finished bathroom. I think I am calling phase 1 complete. Still to come (hopefully) is replacing the tile floor. But for now, the vision is done. I think that's the first room I feel that way about!

Metallic Themed Eclectic Gallery Wall

Back tomorrow with more on the DIY Monogram art!

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Bench Reupholstery Before & After

If you missed it last week, I'm running a contest. Take this survey for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card. It only takes a couple minutes! More details here.  photo bench2_zps5fff0846.jpg

This project has been a long time coming. Last summer, our church moved into a building for the first time after meeting in a restaurant for several years. The building was a gift from another church, and it was nothing less than a blessing from the Lord. After we got the building, we did several months of renovations, and there were a lot of old items like books and candles and furniture that were donated and sold. One of those items was a tired old piano bench, and I gave it a home with intentions to recover it for the end of our bed. It's finally done!  photo bench5_zps0ab60f7d.jpg

I picked out a simple pinstripe gray fabric as per my mood board.  For local readers, I purchased it at Brentwood Interiors. I started by removing all of the nailheads from around the bench.  photo bench8_zpsd43949e4.jpg

Next, I was planning on taking off the existing fabric, but I found the foam underneath was in such crumbly and terrible condition that I decided to leave the existing fabric on and just recover it.

The original fabric was cut off around the bottom and fit exactly to the top. I thought I could do the same thing, but the gray fabric is such a different texture that it started to fray at the bottom.  photo bench9_zps7f94353b.jpg

So I messed up the back corner, unfortunately. So, if you happen to come to my house, don't look too closely at the back corner of the bench in my bedroom. As I'm sure you're apt to do otherwise. :-)

After that, I decided to fold the fabric and staple underneath. I folded every corner identically.  photo bench6_zps69426b3e.jpg  photo bench7_zps6f9fb144.jpg

After that, I put the same nailheads back into the fabric with a hammer and a little elbow thumb grease. It isn't perfect, but I'm pleased with the way it came out and the way it looks in our bedroom.  photo bench3_zps2563d8e5.jpg

Sometimes some new fabric and a couple hours work is all you need.  photo bench_zps7365c55f.jpg

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Clean your room first.

I have a backlogged list of house projects to get started on. I mean; have you seen this list? Furniture to buy. Rooms to paint. Wood to cut. The list goes on and on. I'm chomping at the bit to get started on another beautifying project, but I have discovered a new vital truth. Sometimes you have to clean your room first.

I spent the weekend re-organizing and cleaning out storage spaces in our house.  Several hours and dozens of trash boxes left, we had a freshly organized pantry, office closet, garage, home improvement closet, and laundry room. Phew!

Check out some of the progress. These before pictures are embarrassing!

Garage... (I just realized these are the first ever blog pictures of the garage. Check out some of our future plans for this place here.)  photo organize_garage_1_zpsd72787ae.jpg  photo organize_garage_2_zps26ac86ec.jpg

This is the closet where I store all of our tools, paints, and project supplies. I was having trouble finding anything before! How does this happen?  photo organize_garage_3_zpsf80bcd1b.jpg

Laundry room...  photo organize_laundry_before_zps1a4bef97.jpg  photo organize_laundry_after_zps602d0839.jpg

I also worked on the pantry and the closet in the office, but I forgot to take "before" pictures (#badblogger). Also all of these pictures are terrible iphone quality. I need to stop apologizing.  photo organize_pantrycloset_zpsff1612a8.jpg

The moral of the story is that not everything you work hard on has a beautiful and stylish reveal. Most people who come over will never even see our storage spaces, but it's in the day-t0-day, the organization, the un-glamorous storage spaces, and the grunt work that a home is really made.

Do you have an organization overhaul in your future? My advice? Take the bull by the horns and get it done. You will feel better, and it will make room for all the prettier projects up ahead.

Bathroom Updates: Wall Shelf & Antique Key Hook Towel Rack

We are almost finished with Phase 1 of the main floor bathroom makeover. All that's left is to put a little more art on the walls and I think I will call it complete. Phase 2 will involve some new tile, but we are going to leave that as is for now. Just as a reminder, we started here. Just a basic boring tan on the walls and nothing more. I have since painted and frosted the shower window.  photo bathroombefore_zpsf3ec5262.jpg Last week we finished up a couple more character adding touches.

Here is where we are now. Bathroom Updates It is already looking so much more complete!

Guess how much money I have spent? $40. That's right, folks. Just 40 smackaroos for a facelift on this tired bathroom. Let's break it down: - 1"x8"x6' board for the shelf and the towel wall board: $8 - Paint for the walls: $10 (They messed up my first order and gave me an entire gallon of bathroom ready paint for $10. I've barely used a quarter of it.). - Shelf supports: $10 total ($5 a pop at Lowe's). - Antique Key Towel Hooks: $10. ($5 each at the Flea Market). - Picture frame: $2 at Goodwill. I already had the art. - White paint and primer for the boards: something I keep around the house anyway.

I purchased a 6 foot 1"x8" board at Lowes and had them cut it down in store into one piece for the back wall and one piece for the shelf. I lucked out and 6' was the perfect size for both.

I primed both with Zinnser primer and then painted several coats of plain jane white paint.

For the shelf, I purchased a couple of decorative shelf brackets, and Jeremy installed it on the wall above the toilet. Simple as that. The art above the shelf is a beautiful print of a painting by my grandfather (G-daddy, as we call him). He is an incredible artist, and this is one of two prints I have from his collection. They are so special to me! The other is on our gallery wall. Bathroom Updates For the towel rack, I was inspired by these amazing antique key hooks. Aren't they gorgeous? I immediately knew that a wood plank on the walls and a couple of hooks would bring both functionality and style to the room. There used to be a standard bar towel rack on the wall, but I just don't like those. We have been hanging our towels to dry on the back of the door, but they don't dry well there. Bathroom Updates

So after painting the plank (I decided it would be easier to paint before mounting to the wall, and I'm glad I did), Jeremy used a stud finder to mark the studs in the wall and measured things out so that everything would be straight and symmetrical and awesome. Bathroom Updates Then we used standard drywall screws to attach it to the wall. I decided I wanted something heavier duty than nails for such a large board.

Next I used some painter's caulk from Ace Hardware to fill in the gap at the top of the board similar to the way that John & Sherry over at Young House Love show in this video about their board and batten install. Bathroom Updates I also used standard spackle to cover up the screws as best as I could and went over the board with one final coat of paint and some Miniwax Polycrilic (DON'T use oil based polyurethane on white paint. I repeat. Don't do it.)

Finally, we installed the hooks. They didn't come with matching screws, and standard silver screws would have been a bit of an eye sore, so I used some leftover Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint to coat the tops of the screws.  photo BathroomUpdates5_zpsa727798f.jpg And there you have it!  photo BathroomUpdates6_zps731f2071.jpg I'm thinking of doing a gallery wall above the towel rack. Something like this? What do you think? Bathroom Updates

{source} from Chris Loves Julia Bathroom Updates

{source} from Holly Mathis Interiors. Signature

Basement Stair Makeover Part 2 - Chair rail & paint pick me up

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs. ~ Vance Havner

I worked last week to transform our basement stairway into something more exciting. (See more about painting the steps dark gray, see part 1 here.) Something that says to the guests who enter through the basement, "Hey welcome to our house. Come on up and make yourself at home."

And I think it's getting there.

It is amazing what paint and stain can do. Just to remind you, here is what it looked like before. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog I started by replacing the handrail. The old banister had been chewed by a dog or some other such nonsense, and it was worse for the wear. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog So I headed over to  Lowe's and picked up a 12 foot banister and had them cut it down in store to 9.5 ft. It was about $30, and they had a wide selection!

Then I set it up outside with our sawhorses. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Here are my supplies. I had everything already, so I didn't spend money on anything except the railing! Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog First I applied a wood conditioner and let it set for between 1 and 2 hours. Wood conditioner evens out the tone of the wood and allows the stain to go on more evenly.

The method I have determined works best for us when staining raw wood is to apply and immediately wipe off first in order to test the color. Raw wood soaks the color in immediately. So Jeremy applies with a sponge brush and I come behind with a stain rag to wipe off. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog We did this about three times until we got to the color we wanted. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Then two coats of Miniwax Polyurethane finished it off.

Having this beautiful freshly stained handrail already made such a difference! Then I painted the inset part of the wall behind the rail and the opposite wall for some added appeal. It really makes the baseboards pop! I used Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore...our favorite color choice throughout the house (see our House Tour to see it in the living room, kitchen, hallway, and office)...and had it color matched to Olympic One in Eggshell. It's subtle in these photos, but it definitely makes an impact in person. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog

Next on the list is to hang some white curtains over that basement for some texture. They also will provide some privacy in the basement at night! I think the walls might need some art now too...

And one more look at the finished product. Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog

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Basement Stair Makeover Part 1

The basement stairs have been begging for repair. In fact, every time I step foot, they whisper, "Will you just paint us already?" And I plug my ears and run up quickly. It's bad, y'all. Indeed, our basement staircase was pretty banged up, scratched up, and messed up. In order to get them to pristine condition, we would pretty much need to replace them. That didn't seem necessary, so a quick paint job seemed the more reasonable approach. They are still a little uneven and rough, but I say that adds character. And a couple coats of dark gray paint brought SO MUCH life to these steps. basement stair paint - muted ebony by valspar

This stair makeover was done in just a few simple steps. No pun intended.

Step 1: Sand down existing stairs with 80 grit sand paper to smooth out as best as possible to remove some imperfections.

I gave these stairs a serious rub down with our orbital sander (still a favorite tool) and buffed out some of the imperfections. The stairs were already pretty rough, I just made them a little rougher...and smoother at the same time (how is that possible?)

Step 2: Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth everything out.

This is pretty self explanatory. I used 120 grit.

Step 3: Remove chipping caulk from the edges.

I used an exacto knife to cut away a lot of the old caulk that was separating from the steps and looking very tacky. I didn't get any pictures of this step, and I actually didn't opt to replace the caulk either. I bought some, and then decided I was ok with a little bit of gap between the wood and the baseboards. Call me crazy. basement stairs - muted ebony by valspar Step 4: Sweep and wipe down the stairs.

Step 5: Paint 2 coats of Porch & Floor Paint from the top down and let cure for a full 24 hours.

I actually didn't tape the edges on this one, I just used my handy dandy short handled cutting in brush to go around the edges and a foam roller for the main parts of the steps.

Tip: wipe the steps down as you go. Even though you've already swept and wiped them down, they will get dirty as you go, so keep a rag handy and wipe as you go.

Tip: Start at the top, but plan an escape route. I've also heard tell that it is a great idea to paint every other step, let it cure, and go back and paint the other steps. This makes a lot of sense. If you are in a situation where you can't get out of your basement or your stairs are the only way upstairs, you may have to try this. Because we have a walkout basement, I painted everything at once and then just walked around the house to get back upstairs :-)

Tip: Use porch & floor paint. You can't use just any old paint for this. Make sure you use paint that is formulated for walking on. I used Valspar's Porch & Floor Paint in Muted Ebony. Also, I could have done the entire staircase with a quart. I bought a gallon and I have SO MUCH leftover! I may have plans for some of that :-) For stairs, you can buy an additive for your paint that will make it a little bit rougher and keep you from slipping down your stairs, but our stair wood is so rough that I didn't do that.  photo stairs2_zps638fab26.jpg So, there you have it. A simple and very impacting update. We use these stairs all the time, and it's the first thing we see when we come in the house from the carport, so it is going to make a big difference!

Stay tuned for what is going to happen with that hand rail...and the walls could use some love too.

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A Little Bit of Fall: Inexpensive Decorating With Painted Glass Bottles

 photo fallbottles7_zps9f3bc874.jpgI've got Fall on the brain. You with me? I just love this time of year. The Lord is so faithful even through seasons of change, and the crisp autumn weather, transforming watercolor trees, and farmer's harvest reminds me of that truth.

I digress.

I have been itching to decorate my house for this glorious season, but I am saving my money for so many projects that I want to make little changes with just a little money. My first fall decorative project cost me $3.00. I can work with that.  photo fallbottles5_zps389899f0.jpg Here's what you need: - Empty glass bottles (wine bottles, old soda bottles, salad dressing bottles, etc. Just whatever you have laying around the house) - Gold acrylic paint (which I already had) - Twine (also already had) - Hot glue gun - Wheat cattails or some other fall floral (I got these in the Kroger floral dept. for $2.99)

1. Use painters tape to mark where you want the painted stripes and paint inside the lines. It's not going to look perfect, but that is part of the charm.  photo fallbottles6_zps5445e102.jpg 2. Remove the tape and place in a cold oven. Heat to 325 degrees with the glass bottles inside. Then bake for around 20 minutes once it heats up, turn the oven off, and let it cool down. Baking the paint will make it more durable and long lasting.  photo fallbottles3_zps1eff8977.jpg 3. Use a spot of hot glue to start the twine in place, wrap to your hearts content, and then finish it off with another hot glue dot.  photo fallbottles4_zps6a05cc24.jpg 4. Use your florals to fill the bottles and complete the look of fall.  photo fallbottles1_zps8a825c92.jpg 5. Enjoy them on your mantel.  photo fallbottles2_zps246c7aac.jpg

Happy Fall, Y'all!

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FEATURED: Decorating by Answers.com - Flea Market Windowpane to Chalkboard

Today I am celebrating my first ever FEATURE! I recently transformed an old windowpane that I picked up at the flea market for $5 (you may remember here) into a chalkboard for the office redo, and I am pleased to announce that it has been featured on Decorating by Answers.com. You can check out the full post here with more details on how I took this falling apart windowpane to something useful for our space! For now, here are a few photos!

windowpane to chalkboard before and after

windowpane to chalkboard before and after

Be sure to check out all the details on decorating.answers.com.

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Bedside Table Redo & Master Bedroom Plans

Ever since we got married, Jeremy has been begging for a nightstand because our furniture set only has one. After over a year of putting his drink and book and phone on the floor, it was time for a new set of nightstands. I found this pair at a thrift store for $20 a piece. They are pretty and in great shape. Someone obviously put a lot of work into them, but they aren't exactly my style. So I decided to try my hand at distressing for some antique white, lightly distressed bedside tables. bedside tables I tried out a few shades of gray, but it just wasn't quite right.

These are laminate, and you can see my complete tutorial on painting laminate here. And another example of laminate painting here.

The absolute key is Glidden gripper primer. I swear by this stuff when it comes to painting laminate. Here were the steps I took... 1. Two Coats of Glidden Gripper Primer 2. Two Coats of Antique White by Valspar 3. Distress 4. Two Coats of Miniwax Polycrylic

So, here is the key to simple distressing...

Paint a coat of brown underneath the the primer and paint. In my case, the brown on the existing paint served as that coat. Then use a medium grit sandpaper to rough around the edges just enough so that the brown shows through. bedside table redo In my case, all the rounded edges and nooks and crannies were the perfect spots for distressing. bedside tables This is all a matter of taste and eyeballing to get exactly the look you want... bedside tables Finish it all off with a couple coats of Miniwax Polycrylic for a long lasting finish! *Tip: Don't use polyurethane on white paint. It WILL turn yellow. Polycrylic works great because it is water based instead of oil based and will not yellow over time. It goes on milky white, but it dries clear. bedside table redo So there you have it. We did a little rearranging in the room to open the space up a bit. I think the lamps at Home Goods are a good start...we are on our way to a stylish bedroom. Here are some of my future plans: bedside tables - Install Curtains over the windows - Reupholster a bench for the end of the bed - Find a rug - Style the nightstands - Art for the walls - More decorative pillows for the bed

Stay tuned...

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Glass Frosting

 photo windows7_zps5c83a6a6.jpgThere's something a little unsettling about a window in a shower. Even if you know that the angle of your house prevents the neighbors from peeping in, I still feel a little awkward about it, and I don't really like looking up from the backyard and seeing shampoo bottles on the window ledge. Time for a solution.

Enter: Rustoleum Frosted Glass Spray Paint. Say WHAT?! Spray paint for frosting glass? It's true, my friends. So very true.  photo window1_zps371cb6c0.jpg So first things first, there was a large space on one side of the window, so my handy husband caulked it.

Then I used a razor and some baking soda/water mixture to clean off the muck from the window frame. In 50 years of existence, it had gotten very mucky. I'm sorry you had to see this.  photo windows6_zps5bd8e829.jpg Next I taped around the metal frame with some painters tape and sprayed away! It really is that simple. I just sprayed about 12 inches away from the glass and did about three coats.  photo windows5_zps9e4aecc1.jpg When I first sprayed it, it was looking a little splotchy and inconsistent, but after letting it dry for about five minutes, it evened out. Be patient. The longer I waited, the more even it looked.  photo window2_zps5aa040fe.jpg My only problem is that with these windows being so old, I think there were some flaws and inconsistencies in the glass that left a few strange marks in the frosted glass, but other than that it is very smooth and the perfect amount of transparency to let light in but no peeping toms.  photo windows4_zps7c1626c9.jpg

After a couple of showers, it has stood up to the moisture very well! And it is wipeable, but easily scrapes off with some effort so that if I get sick of it, I can remove it.

For about $4, you can't beat it.

Spray paint for the win.

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DIY Terrarium

DIY Terrarium - all precious and pleasant blogThe word "Terrarium" sounds a bit like a home for monsters that hide under your bed, but in fact it is a home for pretty plants that live inside a container.

I am assembling our little home office space, and I seem to have pulled together a lot of square things with pretty sharp lines. There is a lot of mid-century influence in that room, and mid-century furniture tends to be square. As a result, I need some round shapes to balance out the rectangular chairs, tables, ottoman, bookcases, and mantel. I plan on someday getting a circular rug, circular mirror for above the mantel, and circular art for the walls. For now, I am adding some soft lines with this little round glass DIY terrarium. And I am loving it.

So, here is how you too can create your own little plant home.

I did a little research and learned that for non-desert plants like ferns, it is good to get a jar with a lid for your terrarium; however, succulents like the ones that I picked do just fine in an open air container. So inspired by this pin, I found a little glass bowl/vase at Home Goods.

Then I went to Lowe's and picked out three little succulents that complemented each other in texture and color. There were so many to choose from! This is less than half of what they had. DIY terrarium - all precious and pleasant blog

Most terrariums use rocks in the "landscaping" and we have no shortage of rocks outside the kitchen door, so I collected some rocks and some dirt from the backyard.

DIY terrarium - all precious and pleasant blog

And filled the bowl with some dirt. I have read that it is good to get special cactus soil, but for such a small little bowl, I didn't want to buy a big bag of cactus soil, so I just scooped up some soil from my flower beds. DIY terrarium - all precious and pleasant blog Then added in the plants. And I had to remove some of the dirt because the plants take up a lot of room (who knew?!). I watered the plants a bit before the next step.

Then finally the rocks. Which was kinda tough because my hand barely fit into the bowl. In retrospect, it would have looked nice to start with some rocks at the bottom as well for layering effect.

And there you go. DIY terrarium - all precious and pleasant blog Note to self: I will use less dirt next time. And I might try to find rocks with a little more contrast for more noticeable layering. But this was free.

So there are my little plant babies on my little flea market table. Every room could use a little green. DIY terrarium - all precious and pleasant blog Signature

A Lot On My Plate: How To Hang a Vintage Plate Wall Without Plate Hangers

vintage plate wall without plate hangersI love the juxtaposition of modern, rustic, vintage, and classic in home decor. That's why I thought a classic white plate wall would be the perfect accent above our kitchen banquette with industrial table and mid-century modern chair set.

I collected white plates of all shapes and sizes from thrift stores, yard sales, and Home Goods. But here's the thing: plate hangers get expensive quickly. And when I spent an average of 2 bucks per plate, it wasn't worth it. So, I did some research on how to hang plates without purchasing plate hangers, and I discovered Gorilla glue.  photo IMG_5889_zpsb6352125.jpg

AND THEN I WOKE UP THE MORNING AFTER HANGING THE PLATES TO FIND TWO OF THEM HAD FALLEN OFF THE WALL!!

And I had already scheduled this post, so I took it down and went to the store to get some super glue. Real life. So, try super glue and some picture hangers. vintage plate wall without plate hangers I planned out the picture wall using paper towels and a sharpie. vintage plate wall without plate hangers Trace the plates on the paper towels and cut to size. Then mark on the paper towel where the nail should go based on the hanger on the back. vintage plate wall without plate hangers Then you can hang your paper towel forms on the wall and hammer the nails where the sharpie dots are. vintage plate wall without plate hangers Tip: hammer the nails in at an angle to make the plates less likely to fall off the wall. vintage plate wall without plate hangers And there you have it. vintage plate wall without plate hangers Here are a few tips to making an interesting white plate wall:

- Don't be afraid to add in a small touch of color with a white plate wall. I chose one plate with blue flower accents and a platter with a silver rim. - Choose plates with a variety of sizes and shapes - Don't hang the plates symmetrically. You only live once. Change things up a bit. - It's ok to mix cream with white.

Who came up with the idea to hang plates on a wall anyway? I don't know but I like it. vintage plate wall without plate hangers

update: See how the plates are holding up after several months of use! State of the Household

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I'll Stencil You In: Moroccan Stenciled Hallway from Royal Design Studios

tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway Most 1950s ranch style houses were built without entryways. You simply walk into the living room. In our case, you walk into the living room and look straight ahead into a hallway. I really wanted to spruce up the first thing you see upon entering the house by doing something creative with the hallway.

I had ordered the Large Marrakesh Trellis Moroccan Stencil from Royal Design Studio not knowing exactly where I would use it, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. The hallway was already a neutral tan color (that the whole house was originally painted when we moved in), and I thought I could use the gray paint (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter) from the living room on top for a tone-on-tone look that visually tied the hallway with the living room.

Before, it was all like "Welcome to our house. The living room is pretty nice, but don't look much further because there isn't anything interesting over there." And now it's like, "Welcome to our house. You may like what you see in the living room, but if you look straight ahead you'll notice that the party continues into the hallway" -- in a very subtle, unassuming way.

tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

Word to the wise: this was not a simple project. It took me three days of on-and-off work and probably around 7-10 hours if you include wait time while letting paint to dry. And in the words of the old adage, "It's like watching paint dry" -- that means boring, y'all.

But I think the results were well worth the effort.

I'm not going to go into a full on tutorial on stenciling because if you order a stencil, they will provide basic instructions, but I will share a few tips and tricks I learned by trial-and-error along the way.

So, although our hallway has a pretty small wall surface area (which I thought would work to my advantage), the problem is that there are SO MANY DOORWAYS to work around. Six doorways. That's a lot for such a small space. But that's what hallways are for right?

So to save myself some heartache, I decided to paint the ends of the hallway solid gray because the space around the doorways was so small which I knew would be difficult to stencil.

So, first I taped everything off. This is very important. Without the tape, I would have had quite the mess on my hands. This picture doesn't show the ceiling tape wrapping all the way around, but I added that later. tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

Tip #1: Start from the top. On the first wall that I did, I started from the bottom, and when I got to the top it was very difficult to make a clean line along the edge because the stencil didn't line up correctly. It's much easier to maneuver around the baseboards than along the ceiling line.

So the first time I awkwardly crushed the ceiling edger up on the corner because I started from the bottom .... tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

But the next time I started from the top and it made life easier. tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

Tip #2: Use a foam roller.

If I had tried to do this whole project with a stencil brush, I would still be painting the first wall. Use a foam roller, but here's the key! Roll the roller over paper towels a few times to ensure that all excess paint is off and to prevent the paint from running behind the stencil and messing up your clean lines. tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

Tip #4: A fan may come in handy.

You want to make sure that the paint is mostly dry before you move the stencil to the next spot. Since you will be painting such a thin layer, it should dry quickly, but I also jimmy rigged a bit of a quick dry system. tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

Tip #5: Edges are tough. Be patient.

Excuse the blurriness of the picture below. I simply want to illustrate that edges are tough, but you just have to be creative and continue the consistent pattern. tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

Tip #6: Don't do a hallway.

Of course, I did. And it looks awesome. And I think it was worth it, but man it would have been so much easier if I had started out with a flat wall that didn't have SIX doorways to work around.

Tip #7: Use a level, and check every once in a while to make sure you are lining up your stencil level so that you don't end up gradually creating a swooping patternYour stencil will come with marker lines on the plastic that help you to match up the edges of your stencil, but it is still easy to wind up with a crooked pattern.

Tip #8: Choose your colors wisely.

I read about one blogger who stenciled with a dark brown on a white background, and she had to do THREE COATS OF PAINT. After the time and effort that one coat took, I can't even imagine. Because I chose a tone-on-tone look, I was easily able to do one coat, and then I simply touched up the paint later with a sponge brush in spots where it needed a second coat. Be careful of really contrasting colors or light colors on dark backgrounds.

Tip #9: Choose a simple pattern.

Because the Moroccan pattern simply repeated over and over again, it made my job much easier than if I was working with a grandiose pattern that had lots of variety.

Tip #10: Royal Design Studio is great. If you are looking to order a stencil, check them out first. They have such a wide variety of options, and my stencil came with a bonus stencil, a stencil for the ceilings and baseboards, and great instructions on how to use it. It is also very well designed to make the stenciling process easier.

So, that's a wrap.

And here is one more before and after and a close-up to show off the work. tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway tone-on-tone Moroccan stenciled hallway

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Gallery Wall 101

After 2.5 months of new-house livin', I am finally starting to get things onto the walls. It automatically feels more like a home! The space behind the TV was begging for some love, and a gallery wall was the perfect solution. Here is a little look into my gallery wall hanging process and the stories behind each of the pieces.Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant First I collected items that I wanted included in the set. I tried to find a mixture of colors, textures, and sizes.

Then I set it out on the ground like I thought I wanted it on the wall. Yea...didn't really end up like that. Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant

I traced each item onto newspaper or packing paper and taped the forms on the wall so I could envision what it would all look like without hammering any holes into the drywall.

Then I looked at it for a few hours (Some people let it sit for a few days. I'm not that patient) and moved things around a few times. Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant I measured the back of each frame for where the nails should go, transferred the measurements to the paper forms on the wall, marked the spots with a purple marker, and hammered away. Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant Even once I got it up on the wall, I made a few small adjustments before calling it done.

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1. My G-Daddy (mom's daddy) is an amazing artist. He creates beautiful paintings of scenes he has visited around the country. I grew up in a home filled with his artwork, and I looked forward to the day that I could have one of his pieces in my home. This beautiful print is G-Daddy's handiwork.

2. This antique ceiling tile was one of the first antique items that Jeremy & I bought together. In our early years of dating, we were shopping at an antique store in Texas when we stumbled across this, and Jeremy convinced me buy it. It has followed me around my last 3 apartments and now to our home.

3. This is one of the first wedding photos I have hung in our new home. The rest are sitting in their frames waiting to find a spot in the house. This frame was a $2 Goodwill find.

4. I loved the texture and interest of this metallic mirror from Home Goods. That store is quickly becoming one of my very favorite places to shop.

5. Someone gifted us this framed wedding invitation as a wedding present. I thought that was such a sweet and sentimental idea.

6. A round plate was a nice balance for all of the rectangular items. This was a thrift store find as well.

So, there you have it, folks. Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant Signature

From Free to Fabulous: Gold Dipped Dining Chair

Gold-dipped dining chair tutorialIt is a well known fact that anything dipped in gold becomes immediately luxurious. Seriously...when have you ever seen something that was gold-dipped and wasn't fabulous? Well...don't answer that. I can think of some things that shouldn't be dipped in gold...but a dining chair is not one of them.

Back in March, I stumbled across a dining chair and a nightstand being thrown out at a dumpster. I immediately texted Jeremy because somehow they ended up in my car. Oops.  photo null_zpsa049f40b.jpg The chair turned into the perfect addition to my sewing table and also can be moved around the room to my keyboard when I sit down to write songs. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial I chose the lazy-girl's route to a painted chair. I didn't prime. I didn't do multiple coats. I simply: 1. Lightly sanded the chair with 220-grit sandpaper 2. Wiped it down 3. Spray painted one good coat

Doesn't get much simpler than that! I chose Valspar paint + primer which made my job so easy. I originally envisioned a dark gray color, but I didn't see a good charcoal at Lowe's in the Valspar spray paint, so on a whim I chose the color Cobalt Cannon. I tend to love gray-blues, and this one is indeed lovely. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial For the gold dipping, all it took was some of Martha Stewart's Metallic Gold Craft Paint, a small craft paint brush, and some 3M painter's tape. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial I measured 5 inches from the bottom of the legs and wrapped the tape all the way around the leg. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial Then using a simple craft paint brush, I painted the gold. It took three good coats. I let each dry about an hour in between. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial Immediately after applying coat #3, I removed the tape.

The tape removed a bit of the gloss from the spray paint. I might go over it with a glossy top coat in the future, but it is barely noticeable, so for now I am leaving it.

I mostly use this chair with my little sewing table, so I decided to gold dip those legs as well using the same method. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial The result is what I had hoped for! Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial Now that I have gold-dipped once, maybe I can find other things that need some glam. Like a vase.  photo golddippedvase_zps5b24d2fc.jpg Or an entire dresser. Gold-dipped dining chair tutorial

Until next time,

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Goodbye Big Blank Wall

We have lived in the house for over two months now, and most of the walls have remained blank canvases...waiting for me to put my creative stamp on them once I feel more confident in the direction I want to take the room. One of my goals with owning this home is to really take the time to make it exactly what we want rather than just put things in place for the sake of having something there. Since the basic bones of the living room are in place, it seems like it is about time to hang things up! I had grand plans of creating some wooden stencil art to hang above the couch. I knew I wanted a large piece of statement art that pulled color into the room rather than several smaller items. Then, Jeremy & I visited Old Time Pottery on a whim, and he found this: building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog Eureka! Beautiful colors, lovely city scape, perfect size, and something that brings life to the wall without being too busy. The price tag said it had been discounted from $79.99 (not a bad price to begin with) to $17.50. We'll take it. It was discounted because of a badly scratched frame, and we knew that was an easy fix. The frame was a color and material I didn't like anyway...so it didn't really matter that it was scratched (although my wallet thanked me profusely). building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog So we brought it home and got to work.

We knew we needed to remove the existing frame and build a new one, and rather than paint wood white, we decided to buy already white trim to create the frame.

So we picked up the trim we liked the most and got two 8 foot strips of white trim at about $9.00 a piece. $18.00 is not too bad for a 40"x40" frame.

Lowes will only cut straight lines in the store, so we purchased a miter box kit which included a miter box and a saw to cut the trim at 45 degree angles. building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog'building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog

We knew we needed the inside of the frame to measure 34" square for the size of the art, so Jeremy measured, and I helped him cut the parts.

tip: be sure to pay attention that you keep the same side facing out on all sides. Otherwise you will cut one with the outside facing in and have to go back to the store and get another strip of trim. Not like we know from experience or anything...*cough*

After all of the strips were cut, we assembled the frame with our handy dandy staple gun. We simply stapled over the corners. It was not very sturdy, but we knew once we attached the art it would be sturdier. building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog Next, I flipped the frame around and removed all the staples holding the art to the existing frame.

The art was simply adhered to a piece of cardboard, so it was easy to move the cardboard over to the new frame and staple it to the back of the frame. building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog Then I added picture hanging hooks to each side of the frame.

And enlisted my handy husband to hang the completed art! building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog building a frame out of trim - all precious and pleasant blog The room is really starting to come together! I'm really excited about the colors this adds to the room without overpowering the space! And the white trim frame pops perfectly against the wall. I like it ten times better than the original frame!

Next stop...gallery wall behind the TV.

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Painting Laminate #2: Garage Sale Find to Beautiful Blue Desk

For a more detailed description of how to paint laminate, see my first painted laminate dresser/tv stand project here.Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog This desk was one of the simplest painting projects I have done so far because it was all one color, I had painted laminate furniture before, and using a darker color is generally easier than the last few white painting projects I have tackled because it coats so quickly.

I found this desk at a garage sale without a price. I could tell the seller was anxious to get rid of it, so I offered 10 bucks and he took it. It is very sturdy and compact but with a lot of surface space, so it works well in our little office space. But when I purchased it, it was pretty beaten up and needed a lot of work.

Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog

Here is the before and after. Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog

I removed the drawers and sanded everything down with our orbital sander and 220 grit sandpaper. I especially smoothed out the corners that were chipping and tried to sand  down major scratches the best that I could without taking off too much of the laminate veneer. Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog I used Glidden Gripper Primer which is the key to painting laminate successfully. I love this stuff! Two coats of primer. Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog And two coats of this lovely gray-blue color. It is Magnet Dapple by Valspar. I think I even could have gone a shade darker and been happy with it. Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog Gray-blue desk transformation - All Precious And Pleasant Blog

The total cost for this desk was $22.00. $10 for the desk and $12 for the paint. I already had the primer and the rollers. Also, I only used about half the paint, so it will save me money on a future project whenever I decide to use the rest of it!

Jeremy is working on his masters, so I hope this will be a lovely place of contemplative study.

We plan on painting the walls Revere Pewter just like the kitchen & living room spaces. I have grand plans for a stenciled accent wall, colorful rug, and cozy study chair in the room.

More office updates to come!

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Spring Pinterest Challenge: Floating Console Table

I was inspired to start this little blog space of my own because I began following other bloggers who were doing creative things in their homes. Some of my favorite bloggers have established something called the Pinterest Challenge. Find inspiration on Pinterest, attempt to try the project yourself, and live to tell about it. Check out those fabulous bloggers and their challenges--links are at the bottom of the post. Here is our first PINTEREST CHALLENGE! (**cue superhero music and imagine me and Jeremy running out in capes to tackle the challenge**). photo springpinterestchallenge_zps3a089f4d.jpg

For today's challenge, I actually commissioned the skills and brains of my favorite handyman, Jeremy Guyton Quarles.

I gave him the idea, but he did a lot of the leg work on this one.

We were inspired by this pin on Pinterest. All Precious & Pleasant Blog - $22 Floating Console Table using a board & L-brackets

Our living room space is pretty tight, so we thought it made all the sense in the world to install a console table behind the couch rather than end tables on either side of the couch. It is the perfect place to have lamps for reading light and to set a drink down during the football game. It was really affordable and could be completed in an afternoon.

Jeremy found the most beaten up piece of wood at Lowe's since he knew he wanted it to look rustic and worn. It is 1" high x 12" wide x 6' long.  photo IMG_5485_zps7a8d3c08.jpg

Then he attached three L-brackets to the wall along where he found the studs. He used some tips and tricks from Young House Love ( found here) to make the wood look even more worn. He sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper and our handy orbital sander.

Next we applied Miniwax Stain in Red Mahogany. I applied and he wiped off immediately because the raw wood soaked up the color so quickly.

I finished it off with two coats of gloss polyurethane, we installed the board to the L-brackets, and voila! It turned out every bit as lovely as we hoped, and personally, I like it even more than the original Pinterest pin! All Precious & Pleasant Blog - $22 Floating Console Table using a board & L-brackets

Two mercury glass lamps from Home Goods and some accessories made it feel even more personal. All Precious & Pleasant Blog - $22 Floating Console Table using a board & L-brackets I stacked our wedding album, our Young House Love book, and a couple of old books from when we cleaned out the church library on one end and put a simple silver tray and candle on the other end. Just imagine what it will look like with some art up on that wall--a project I will be tackling in the next couple of weeks. All Precious & Pleasant Blog - $22 Floating Console Table using a board & L-brackets Here is what it looks like underneath with the L-brackets for those of you who were trying to figure out what is going on under there. All Precious & Pleasant Blog - $22 Floating Console Table using a board & L-brackets Also, Jeremy created a little video of his creation of the shelf. I love this guy. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPTCupQ6JJs&w=560&h=315] Cost Breakdown: 1"x12"x6' piece of wood from Lowes: $11 3 L-brackets: $9 Screws: $2 Stain: already owned Polyurethane: already owned

Total cost: $22

For a shelf that is both functional and stylish, I'd say that's pretty good. It definitely beats what it would have cost to purchase a console table or two side tables.

We would like to thank the Academy and Sherry, Katie, Emily & Renee for inspiring us to rise to the challenge.

UPDATE: Check out how this project is holding up after a year of use!  photo Updates3-ConsoleTable_zps1368b2b3.jpg

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Throwback Thursday: Our First DIY Project

I am just starting several painting projects that aren't ready to post yet, so I thought I would share a little throwback on the blog today to pass the time. In our first apartment, we were blessed to have been gifted quite a bit of our furniture, and I had to do very little DIY. I knew we weren't staying there long, and we had too much furniture for the little space already so I refrained for the most part. That was one of the reasons I was itching to get into a house where I could keep busy with projects.

The one furniture transformation we tackled at the old apartment happened within our first month of marriage, so I thought I would do a little throwback to the corner shelf that, unbeknownst to us, initiated what I believe will be many years of DIY love.

We were looking for a corner shelf to hold some of our glassware and random decor that we didn't have space for, and we found one from a little girl's room on craigslist. As per usual, I requested a lower price, got it, and then painted it.

Here was the before and after.  photo 547810_4362746917553_930737245_n_zps5946b48c.jpg

And another angle in our old apartment.  photo cornershelf_zps64d69d02.jpg

And here it is now in the basement guest bedroom. The interior color almost matches the walls exactly.  photo IMG_5532_zps8950186e.jpg

This little corner shelf started it all.

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Before & After: Mid Century Modern Teak Kitchen Chairs

You have seen the evolution of our banquette, so you've also seen our lovely rustic/industrial table from World Market. The only thing we needed to finish off the set were three chairs. In my dream world, I pictured tufted upholstered dining chairs, but you can barely find them for less than $150 a chair which translates to $450+ for just three chairs which is way out of the budget we set.

I have recently fallen in love with mid-century modern style furniture. The vintage feel, the clean lines, and the simplicity make me drool. I thought a mid-century teak dining chair set could be the perfect fit for our little nook.

Teak is an expensive wood, and I found prices ranging from $100-$400 per chair. This did not solve my problem.

Then the stars collided and the heavens opened up and shone a light on my little Craigslist app. A set of 4 Teak Mid-Century Style Dining Chairs AND small table on Craigslist for $75 TOTAL. I sent an email and asked if she would take $50 for the chairs and leave out the table. She said yes. SOLD.  photo IMG_5547_zps7ae2c466.jpg

That's right, my friends. $12.50 a pop for the exact style of chair I had been hoping to get. All they needed was a little TLC.  photo beforeafterkitchenchair_zpsd9ccea7b.jpg

Goals: - Stain the wood darker to match the table. - Recover the seat with a simple gray fabric and install new foam for the cushion.

1. Stain the Wood Darker to Match the Table

Wood conditioner makes a huge difference.

I wanted to darken the wood just a little bit, so I used a dark walnut stain over the existing color. After sanding with 100 grit to remove the varnish and then 220 grit to smooth it out, I applied the stain, and it fell into the crevices and looked pretty uneven. I like the rustic look but wanted to preserve the smoothness of the teak. On the remaining three chairs, I used wood conditioner before stain, and it made a huge difference.

The one on the left is with wood conditioner, the one on the right is without.  photo IMG_5606_zpsea98386c.jpg

The Dark Walnut stain added just the right amount of dark color to make the wood look more cohesive with the table.

Finally, I sealed everything with a gloss polyurethane, thought it was too shiny, and sanded everything down with 220 grit again before calling them finished.

2. Recover the seats

The original upholstery job was worse than I thought. I started with this rather tacky, very poorly upholstered blue vinyl fabric. I figured I would just remove it and move on.  photo IMG_5554_zpsecac67a5.jpg Then I found this.  photo IMG_5611_zpsc6041381.jpg Then I found this.  photo IMG_5560_zpsba02cec9.jpg Then I found this.  photo IMG_5612_zps17a9f55a.jpg It was like a really gross onion. (You know...layers. Shrek, anyone?)

I used my tried and true method of small flat head screwdriver + needle nosed pliers (see my first upholstery job here) to remove the staples and original fabrics. Then I pulled up the original stained, gross foam. I had to use a knife to scrape some of it off the wood of the seat.  photo IMG_5559_zps5359c580.jpg

I purchased 2 yards of 1" foam from Joann Fabrics during their 50% off foam sale and cut it to fit each seat.  photo IMG_5609_zpsfd6d6a51.jpg

Then I covered it in this lovely, sturdy, textured gray fabric. I was sure to mark where the screw holes were with a sharpie and then I cut the fabric around them once I was finished stapling.  photo IMG_5566_zps8bf9293e.jpg

VOILA!  photo IMG_5620_zps5b2cf84a.jpg

Put everything back together and presto--the perfect, small scale chairs that add character without taking away from the statement of the banquette and industrial table. The mid century style also helps to add a touch of modern to our space.  photo IMG_5622_zpsfaa928ed.jpg

Here is a rough price breakdown: 4 Chairs on Craigslist: $50 1.5 yards of fabric from The Fabric House: $17 2 yards of 1" foam from Joann Fabrics (50% off): $16 Miniwax Polyurethane: already owned Miniwax Dark Walnut Stain: already owned Sandpaper: $4 Wood Conditioner: $13 Foam brushes: $3

Grand Total: $103 ($25.75 per chair)

My budget for 3 chairs was $100. I got 4 out of the deal (one is going to be a desk chair in the office).

Just to make myself feel better, here is a set of 4 Vintage Danish Mid-Century Chairs on Etsy for $1,650. I'm not sure that mine are actually vintage, but I think a $1,547 savings is pretty good.  photo etsyvsmychair_zps9a2dd15f.jpg

And just one more picture for grins.  photo c4d35bf7-71a8-430f-83e9-5b7c88e1886f_zps5ef3b5eb.jpg

Dinner party, anyone?

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