Home Details

Painted Kitchen Door

I have mentioned that there isn't anything particularly spectacular about our kitchen. I am so grateful for it. It's spacious and has plenty of storage and the cabinets are sturdy and fairly new. The appliances work great. But it's not my style. I can live with it, quite happily, however. It helps me make food to nourish our family, and it can hold plenty of people.  photo naturalarearugs1_zps8fb9b08c.jpg

 

But I recently did a little update that is adding some "happy" to my space for less than $5.

 photo painteddoor7_zpsf3f36b67.jpg

Back it up. I had been really inspired by colored pantry doors like this and this.

We don't have a pantry door, but we do have a basement door in our kitchen. But it looked like this.  photo painteddoor4_zps436beb8f.jpg

That hole had been there since we moved in. I kept thinking we would have to get an entirely new door, but then I realized it wouldn't take that much work. So I picked up some wood filler, the only thing I had to buy, and patched that hole in no time.

Then I wiped down the trim with soap and water (amazing what that will do), and tried out three sample colors that I already had.

From top to bottom: Knoxville Gray (Benjamin Moore), Valley Hills (Valspar), Gibraltar (Sherwin Williams)  photo painteddoor6_zpse0b0a41b.jpg

Then I chose the only color that I had enough paint left to use without buying anything new. The middle. Valley Hills (the same color as our upstairs bathroom).

I removed the doorknob, taped over the hinges, and used a foam roller brush to paint it down. It was really easy! And really low commitment. If I want to paint it back later or paint it a different color, it hardly cost me a thing!  photo painteddoor1_zps2e6c842d.jpg

 

Have you painted any doors lately? I'm thinking about doing ALL the doors in our house a medium gray. I think it adds some sophistication and character. What do you think?

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Bedroom Update & West Elm Crush

I have a story about how things are not always as they seem... You see. Our bedroom looked really good the last time I showed you.

Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog

But the truth about that gorgeous blue Anthropologie comforter wasn't quite as pretty.

It pulled apart easily, had loose threads everywhere (I had to repair it several times), had a patch where I spilled bleach, showed cat hair like crazy, was incredibly difficult to wash, and made me frustrated daily. I was getting so fed up with it constantly looking dirty and hairy and having to repair the tufts that one day I woke up and decided to buy a new comforter.

Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

Enter: leftover Macy's gift cards from our wedding two years ago and a West Elm bedding sale.

Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

The day I decided to get something new, Jeremy and I picked up an amazing Calvin Klein Down Alternative Comforter at Macy's with a gift card I found hiding in my wallet. Then we hopped over to West Elm to pick something out on a whim. I normally spend a really long time deliberating choices, but the hubs and I worked together to pick something out in a matter of minutes.

And we took it home and it was all wrong.

So we took it back and got the Steven Alan Stripe Duvet in Golden Gate.

Then I loved it, but I second guessed myself for two weeks so I ordered a solid white duvet and waited for it to come in. Because I LOVE solid white bedding, am I right? And it's the most versatile.

But then I put it on the bed and it just wasn't right. We needed some interest and color!

So, here is where we landed, and I love it more every time I look at it! I love the touch of masculinity, the addition of the golden yellow into the room, and I really like it in conjunction with the Organic Sparrow Song shams. Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

Mittens loves it, too.

Steven Alan Golden Gate Duvet from West Elm

It may not be as versatile as a solid white duvet, but I'm gonna enjoy the fun pop of color and the gorgeous fabric.

So what do you think? Fun, patterned bedding or plain romantic white? Which do you prefer?

Also, West Elm is still running a 20% off all bedding sale. And there are about 20 duvets that I wanted. I wish we had a 20 bedroom house. Well...not really. But seriously, now's your chance to update your bedding. I am not compensated by West Elm. I just have a big crush on their style.

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Whitewashed Faux Pallet Wall & Office Update

My dear readers, Let me tell you. This summer has been a good one. I have been busy living and enjoying life, family, and friends, so house projects/this blog have suffered. I keep telling Jeremy "I miss my blog." This is my stress-free creative outlet, and I'm not giving it up, but I have slowed down temporarily because I have been so busy on weekends which is my prime, non-working time to get things done.

But I'm back on the map this week with a project that has been in the works for a long time. I have had the materials for many months, but I just hadn't taken the time to put everything together. When all is said & done, however, this is a pretty simple project, so I happily introduce to you, my whitewashed faux fireplace pallet wall.  photo fauxpalletwall1_zps0cf74648.jpg It isn't actually attached to the wall. It's attached to a cheap piece of plywood. And it cost me about $15 to make. And I think it makes such an impact where there used to be just blank space!

Materials needed: - a piece of plywood cut down in store to fit behind the mantel - pallets (I got these for free by just asking around. I asked on Facebook and a friend was getting rid of some. I asked at Home Depot a bunch of times and one time I got lucky, and the guy passed some along. You can also check craigslist). - A circular saw (for cutting boards) - Liquid nails (which I already had on hand) - Paintable painters caulk - Flat white paint (I picked up a sample pot from Home Depot for $2.98). - Paintbrush - Water - 80 Grit Sandpaper (and a sander if you want to spare yourself some heartache.)

1. Cut down the pallets into strips.

First Jeremy used a sawzall, but I think he realized a circular saw was the way to go on this. Basically we just cut in between the edges and center strip. One cut on each side of the nailed down sections, and you have a handful of strips from each pallet, and it's much easier than taking pallets apart and removing the nails.  photo fauxpalletwall10_zps2343891e.jpg Also, Jeremy's face. Also, this was in the Fall. That's how long ago I started this project.

2. Lay out the boards  photo fauxpalletwall7_zps4dce4380.jpg Just lay everything out on your pre-cut piece of plywood (I got mine cut down in store at Home Depot. Make sure you leave a few extra inches on each side larger than the space you are trying to fill.) It would be fun to do a herringbone or chevron pattern, but it would be important that each board be the exact same length and width. For the sake of ease, and because I had so many different boards, I decided to keep it simple.

Make sure you vary colors and textures for added interest.

3. Glue down the boards

I used 1 and a half tubes of Liquid Nails, and it worked like a charm. I just picked up each board as a I went and squeezed it on in a zig zag pattern.  photo fauxpalletwall8_zps5391004f.jpg 4. Sand everything down.

Because pallets have usually had a rough life, you will probably find lots of jagged edges, splintered wood, and uneven surfaces. I gave mine a good sanding with medium/heavy 80 grit sandpaper and my handy dandy orbital sander. I just wanted to rub out any loose wood splinters and rough edges.

5. Fill in large gaps with painter's caulk.  photo fauxpalletwall5_zps8318f534.jpg I used the basic white paintable caulk from Ace Hardware. I didn't fill in every gap, but because of the varying board sizes, there were some pretty large spaces, and since I wanted this to look like a more permanent fixture, I filled in the spaces.

6. White wash! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SQqXR-y-CQ&w=560&h=315] Here is a little tutorial on how I white washed the boards :-) I really got dolled up for the camera, as you can tell.

7. Cut down the edges to be flush with the original plywood board.

8. Install!  photo fauxpalletwall9_zpsf640d5ec.jpg We simply placed this behind the farmhouse mantel that I got on Craigslist last year. I originally thought we may have to secure it to the wall somehow, but it was light enough and the mantel heavy enough that simply placing it and putting the mantel in front seemed like enough!

That's it. It makes such a subtle impact, and it really makes that mantel feel more intentional!  photo fauxpalletwallbfaft_zpsc9daa357.jpg

Stay tuned tomorrow for a full room tour of our office progress!

Thanks for coming back, y'all! I missed hang out!

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Houses are for living {guest room changes}

I have a new house motto. It's unofficial, but here is what I believe: Houses are for living and loving. 

It's that simple. I'm starting to sound like a broken record because I've talked about this concept quite a bit, but I just feel so grateful to have a home because it means we get to make it our own in order to live life together and love each other and others. 

As a result, it is a priority for us to have a good space for guests to visit. That was the basement, but since we moved the home studio into what was the guest room and have yet to finish out the garage (contractor came Friday to give us an estimate!), the guest room has moved upstairs into what was just our spare room (where I keep all of my clothes since this old house has tiny closets.) I don't want it to stay here simply because there is only one bathroom upstairs and it's nice for guests to have their own space, but for now it will do quite nicely.

So, here is a look back at the stages of this room... Guest Room Progress - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Wow! What a difference, right?! Guest Room Progress...All Precious & Pleasant Blog Guest Room Progress...All Precioius & Pleasant Blog Guest Room Progress...All Precioius & Pleasant Blog This is a temporary and incomplete set up, but I already love it. Here is what I did:

- Painted the walls Chelsea Gray and the ceiling White Dove by Benjamin Moore. - Moved the bed up from downstairs - Used existing french provincial furniture (belonged to Jeremy's mom when she was younger) - Used existing wingback chair (one of my favorite furniture finds) - Used existing curtains (Home Goods...and not the right length.) - Shopped the house for a side table and accessories. - Used existing bedding.

So, moral of the story, all I've done is use things I already had and paint the room. But it already feels like it's starting to be guest ready with just that!

Here are some plans for the space:

- Get a white duvet cover, white shams, and throw pillows to accent the bed (this will eventually move with the bed down to the basement when the guest room opens back up down there) - Paint the black bed frame white - Get matching curtains for both windows (probably just white. The existing curtains will likely be used for throw pillow covers because they are too short for the windows and came from home goods so I won't be able to find them again.) Eventually bring in a day bed for this room once this bed moves downstairs - Art for the walls.

The wall color is Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore, and I already want to find another room to paint this color. I LOVE it! It is such a good, rich gray. I'm sorta wishing our whole living room/kitchen was this color, but it is a bit dark. Maybe bottom cabinets someday when we paint the kitchen cabinets?

Just for a reminder, here is what the guest bedroom looked like in the basement... Guest Room Progress...All Precioius & Pleasant Blog

I think I would love to add some mint or navy accents in accessories around the room in addition to the coral quilt. I love the contrast of the white and gray with pops of color for a guest room.

Here are some inspiring photos (click for sources)... Guest Room Progress...All Precioius & Pleasant Blog Guest Room Progress...All precious & pleasant blog Guest Room Progress...All precious & Pleasant Blog

 

And one more progress pic for good measure...  photo guestroom3_zps8b3ce028.jpg

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Make Your Home Happy

Is Spring/early Summer as busy for you as it is for me? As God breathes warmth back into the earth, we come out of our winter hibernation and whir back to life. I blogged last week about embracing imperfection in our homes. I think I have been writing more about such topics because in the midst of my crazy schedule, I feel like I should maybe give you guys an excuse as to why I haven't had any major before-and-afters to show since last month or so. Note to self: I don't need to make excuses for living life. 

Today is not about an excuse. It is about ways we can love our homes even when we don't have the time or money to make big changes.

Maybe you are discouraged because your home just doesn't feel homey. Or because you are renting so you can't make any big changes. Maybe you are paralyzed by a fear of making the wrong choice, so you don't make any choices. 

First, read this book (I mentioned this last time).  photo nestingplace_zps78412bd2.jpg This is not just a decorating book. It's a book about loving your home. Thank you, Nester, for inspiring me and making me love my home even more.

Secondly, find some small changes today that make you happy and lift your spirits. It doesn't mean you have to build furniture or completely make over a room. Here are some ways I made my home happy this week:

I changed out broken mini blinds over the kitchen sink for this Roman shade. Then I cleaned my kitchen and cut some fresh Oak Leaf Hydrangea  to put in this new vase I got from an antique store this weekend. I think this may be the start of a milk glass collection for yours truly.  photo kitchen2_zpsa87ce682.jpg  photo kitchen3_zpsd7f53565.jpg  photo kitchen1_zpse44d6a74.jpg My sink area is happier. The cabinets are still too orange for my taste and the counters are still Formica, but I get to make the choice whether that affects my happiness in my home.

Also, the coffee. The coffee makes me happy.

I spruced up my mantel for summer with a new chalkboard quote, old books, some hydrangea, and that awesome metal orb compass thing that I got at the same antique store for a steal.  photo simple1_zps25ed3402.jpg And I hung a mirror over my keyboard which is now in the office (more on that move later; I've been doing some furniture re-arranging).  photo simple3_zpsc9049582.jpg

So, what are you going to do today to make your home happier? Homes are for living and loving. So light a candle. Or hang a piece of art. Or re-arrange your furniture. Or buy something small to display on a shelf that other people may not notice but that makes you smile every time you see it. Or bake cookies just because you like the way it makes your home smell.

It doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming to make your house happier. 

Happy Summer!

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DIY Antique Piano Desk

Let me start by saying that I can't take credit for this project. This is all compliments of my handsome husband. We are both musicians, and one of the reasons I have been a little quieter on the blog-front is that I have been spending time writing and creating music. Jeremy is an audio engineer, and as I have been writing more songs, he has been anxious to create a space in our home to easily demo those songs and work on his production skills.

His first goal was to find a studio desk, and he had the idea to find an old piano and convert it. I absolutely love the way it turned out. So, basically, I am the messenger because all this is his idea and execution!

DIY Antique Piano Desk.

 

We found an antique upright piano on Craigslist for $30, and we recruited a few of Jeremy's friends to help us load it up into a trailer. Four guys could barely move it into the trailer. It is unreal how heavy they make these things.

DIY Antique Piano Desk

So here are the materials we used for this conversion: - MDF - Plexiglass (from Lowe's. Cut to fit in store) - White paint - Screws

Simple list!

1. Gut the piano by removing the top front panel & hammers.

This was easier than we expected for the particular piano we have. The front panel removed easily, and taking out the hammers just took a little investigation and unscrewing a few knobs. DIY Antique Piano Desk DIY Antique Piano Desk

2. Cut MDF to fit, paint, and install as shelves.

Jeremy created two shelves. There is a top shelf for the computer monitor and a bottom shelf for some of the other audio gear and panels. Jeremy bought a big thick sheet of MDF and measured pieces to fit the two spots. I primed and painted them a basic white.

DIY Antique Piano Desk

In between the two shelves, he cut a small piece of wood to act as a stabilizer and screwed it into both the top and bottom.

DIY Antique Piano Desk

3. Install plexiglass over keys.

What is a piano without keys? We loved the vintage patina of the old and cracking keys. They aren't ideal for a functioning instrument, but they are great for a desk.

Jeremy had a sheet of plexiglass cut down in store to fit over the keys. Then he screwed into black keys on each end of the keyboard to hold it in place. This allows him to use the keys as another usable desk surface. DIY Antique Piano Desk

4. Dampen the strings

Rather than have the entire chamber of the piano reverberate with every sound, Jeremy dampened the strings by threading simple felt from Walmart through the strings below the main opening so it wouldn't be as visible. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of this part!

5. Install interior lighting.

For $6.99, Jeremy purchased this 3 pack of battery powered tap lights and installed them on the lid of the piano.

DIY Antique Piano Desk And that's it! It was much simpler than we anticipated. Jeremy rolled the piano from the garage to the studio room (thank goodness there were no stairs involved), and the room is starting to take shape!

A little before and after... DIY Antique Piano Desk

DIY Antique Piano Desk

 

We may eventually try to paint some of the chipping parts of the piano, but for now I kinda love the worn look. It gives it character. Jeremy is planning on getting speaker stands and moving the speakers out of the desk. But for now, this has functioned quite well.

DIY Antique Piano Desk

Excited to show you some changes to our new guest room soon!

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Shine A Little Light (in the kitchen)

I've said it before, and I will say it again. Lighting matters.

It just does.

We are lights of the world. Light conquers darkness. Light makes us less afraid. Light reveals flaws.

And lighting does a lot for a room.

Here is where we were with the lighting in the breakfast nook. vintage plate wall without plate hangers

Not offensive. Just a simple and functional ceiling fan. But it wasn't centered over the table, and it definitely didn't look intentional. So, I wanted to find something to make a statement.

I fell in love with this light from a Young House Love house crash of Kristin at Restored Style. (In fact, I fell in love with pretty much everything about this house crash). The fixture is from Ballard Design, but it was just a little bit out of my price range.  Not outrageous, but I love to do things at a bargain. Restored Style

 

Then, one day in my regular internet searching, I came across this light from World Market. And I did a little dance. At least my fingers did a little dance across the keys and pressed purchase. Because it was only $99. On sale for $70. With free shipping. And it was on backorder for just 2 weeks (I think it is on backorder until October now), but it came eventually and yesterday we hung it up.

Four Sided Glass Pendant Light from World Market over Kitchen Banquette. All Precious & Pleasant Blog

I know, right?

I'm so happy with the way it transformed this area from just being a table and a banquette to more of a defined dining space. I also have some Roman Shades on order from JC Penney to replace the mini blinds on the surrounding windows.

Also, we just used a swag hook from Lowe's to drape the light directly over the kitchen table. It's a simple way to put a light in the right spot without having to move the electrical box.

While we're talking dining...there is another small change to the room. The barstools we had sitting at the peninsula were borrowed from a table and chair set that we are selling, so we needed to replace those barstools. I brainstormed all kinds of ways to make cheap barstools look higher end because I didn't want to spend much money, but then I stumbled across the perfect fit on Craigslist for $20 a piece.

Sometimes Craigslist is a royal pain, and things fall through and people are weird and you have to wait and search for ages, but sometimes you find the right thing for the right price and pick it up the next day from some nice people at a beautiful house in the country on a perfect Sunday evening with your husband before a nice date.

And that's what happened.

All Precious & Pleasant Blog. Pendant Light with Wicker & Metal Barstools

 

I like how the wicker fits in with several other design elements in our room. And I like the industrial look of the metal legs that ties into our industrial kitchen table. They are deceitfully heavy. I feel good about the quality and sturdiness.

Just a reminder with some terrible photos of where we started (tip: bad pictures make the reveal better) before

And what it looked like this morning... (Ignore the cleaning products on the kitchen table. Although I do recommend Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation. For the record)

Four Sided Glass Pendant Light from World Market over Kitchen Banquette. All Precious & Pleasant BlogI'm not thrilled with the way the Morning Light was messing with my photo. I will try to replace with a better picture soon :-)

I love you all! And I can't wait to share Jeremy's antique piano turned desk later this week.

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Basement Bath Board & Batten Makeover Reveal!

It's a big reveal day on the blog today! I have so many details to share about the steps we took to take our basement bathroom from zero to hero with a few wooden boards and lattice strips. But, first, here is a little photo tour. We started here (photo from the house listing)... simple board & batten

And now... DIY Board & Batten DIY Board & Batten Tutorial DIY Board & Batten Tutorial DIY Board & Batten Tutorial DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

All my plans came to life and I am thrilled with the result. I want to give a good explanation of our personal take on board & batten, but I will say that the tutorial we found the most helpful and followed the most closely is over at Young House Love. 

They also seemed to have a much smoother time with it than I did, so maybe you should listen to them, but I will share my process anyway. This is wordy. Hold onto your houses, ladies and gents.

1. Replace the medicine cabinet with a larger mirror.  DIY Board & Batten Tutorial The tiny medicine cabinet mirror was driving me crazy. Way too small, and the little shelves inside weren't very useful anyway, so we pulled the medicine cabinet out of the wall, covered the giant hole with a piece of plywood, and hung a new mirror that I picked up at home goods over it.

2. Paint the top half of the room.  DIY Board & Batten Tutorial I think you could easily do this before or after the board and batten project. I had to touch up around the edges once I was done anyway, but it was nice having it painted once I finished the project. The color is Gibraltar by Sherwin Williams color matched to Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Satin for bathroom durability. We just used a quart, and it was just the right amount. Don't you love the rich navy? DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

3. Add the horizontal boards. 

We used 1x3" pine boards, and I learned a few very important lessons along the way.

1. 1 inch boards are actually only 3/4 of an inch in width. WHAT?? This ROCKED MY WORLD. And messed everything up. I measured for the room based on 1 inch boards fitting perfectly together, and then I had them pre-cut in store. Then I got the boards home and every.single.one was too short. AH! I was able to exchange one uncut 6' board for an 8' board, re-cut everything, and finally end up with the correct measurements. In retrospect, I wish we had just cut the boards down at home to begin with instead of trying to get such specific measurements (Like 34.25", etc) in store. Lesson learned. 

In total, we used three 8' boards and one 6' board.

2. Make sure you let your wood acclimate to your house.  We let the boards sit somewhere between 3 days and a week in the house before we used them on the wall because they will expand and contract based on the atmosphere in your house.

3. Uneven walls can create problems.  Let me explain. After reading the Young House Love description, installing pine boards to the wall sounded like a cinch. Of course they had a pneumatic brad nailer (which we didn't have), but still, I felt confident that with some liquid nails (heavy duty glue) and some long skinny nails, we could make this happen pretty easily.

That was before I realized that the floor is very un-level and the walls are bowed. The floor is SO un-level in fact that from the left side of the room to the right side is a 2 inch difference!! Also, the wall is really wavy. Thank you, poorly finished basement in an old house.

I will save you the gory details, but after some tears and frustration and the boards falling off the wall like this... DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

I realized that I was going to have to use screws. I really wanted to stick to nails because they are so much easier to cover up, but I had to use screws into the studs on the wall. I chose some 2.5" drywall screws and some skinny wood screws. And with the help of a friend (Jeremy was out of town), and a lot of frustration with our electric screwdriver, I finally got them mounted. PTL. DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

Also, because the whole room is uneven, as I mentioned, I had to align the main back board with the vanity instead of being actually level. It's a mind trick, because it looks level, but this is what the level has to say about that. DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

Fooled ya.

So, in the end, we installed the boards by cutting pine boards to fit, leveling according to the vanity, and using screws into the studs of the wall approximately 3 feet from the baseboards (give or take 2 inches :-)). 

4. Install the vertical battens. 

As per the Young House Love suggestion, we used lattice boards from Home Depot. These are sold by the foot, and I got them cut to 3 feet in store. Sixteen total.

Here we run into the problem of the uneven floors again. And here is where I realized how uneven they really are. I had to cut over an inch off of some of the battens, and I had to ADD length to the battens on the other side. I just cut an extra amount to fit in the space, glued it on with liquid nails, and filled in the gap with spackle. DIY Board & Batten Tutorial DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

After measuring the correct lengths, I placed them 18 inches apart (just a personal preference thing), and taped them up onto the walls to hold into place. All of the studs aren't exactly symmetrical, so I wasn't able to mount each batten to a stud, so I used a combination of liquid nails and skinny nails to attach them to the wall.

Side note: John & Sherry at YHL used a board to double check their spacing as they went. I wish I had done that because one of the boards got off in the spacing and is a little bit wrong. I won't tell you which one; you may not even notice. But once you attach with liquid nails, it is nearly impossible to move without pulling off drywall. So be very certain of your spacing as you go! DIY Board & Batten Tutorial DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

If I was mounting to a stud, I didn't use any liquid nails, but on the other spots, I squirted a bit of liquid nails on the back and then used 3 nails each. No pneumatic nail gun = use a hammer. It took longer, but it was a lot cheaper than buying a nail gun for this project.

Once I got the battens mounted, I got really excited. The stress was over (did I mention the tears and frustration from this project), and it was really starting to come to life. Also, we had guests coming, so I cleaned up and left it this way for several days. DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

5. Fill the spaces. 

Next, I used some basic spackle to fill the nail holes on the battens and the screw holes on the boards as best as I could. I didn't get all of the screw holes filled perfectly. Any tips for making screws disappear into wood? DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

Then, I used some paintable painter's caulk along the top edge and around any of the battens that weren't flush with the wall. This is an important step to making the wood look level with the wall. Because of our uneven walls, this was really important, and I had some very large gaps to fill in certain spots. DIY Board & Batten Tutorial

5. Prime & Paint

This part is pretty self explanatory. I used a foam roller and a hand held brush for cutting in around the edges. 2 coats of Zinnser 1-2-3 stain blocking primer, and 2 coats of White Dove by Benjamin Moore.

I love the warmth of White Dove, and I already had the paint from painting the spare room in the basement but it doesn't match the baseboards exactly...which is something I didn't think about at first. I may go back and paint the baseboards and the door/door frame. I haven't decided.

Finally, I touched up with the blue around the edges of the boards, and voila! I'm so pleased with the result. It is exactly what I wanted.

After some serious blood, sweat, and tears (Did I mention I stepped on a massive glass splinter in the process that was stuck in my foot and caused intermittent bleeding for a full week. That's where the blood comes in), I have come away with a bathroom makeover that makes a serious statement and is the start of bringing our basement from boring to awesome.

And here is a final little before and after...  photo bathroom2_zps666fc83d.jpg

 

Next, I need to add some more storage and accessorize! For now, I will just enjoy this little basement oasis.

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Boring to Beautiful. Little changes for when you don't know how to start.

 photo wheretostart3_zps22f09a67.jpgI showed you all my master bedroom reveal a couple of weeks ago, so I figured I would take a day to talk about some things I learned while updating the space. This wasn't a major overhaul with any architectural or structural changes to the room. This was just a matter of updating. Something anyone can do with any room to take it from A to B.  photo wheretostart6_zps2219349b.jpg Lots of things matter. Color scheme, accessories, paint color, etc. But here are a few places to start when you don't know where to start.

How can you take your room from boring to refined? Here are a few little tips.

1. Hang those curtains high and wide. 

This makes me feel like I should be at a line dance, and instead of "swing your partner side to side," I click my boots and say "hang your curtains high and wide." I'm from Texas. Maybe that's why.

But have you seen this diagram?   photo wheretostart2_zpsa11d75ab.jpg

Curtains make a big difference. In our room, I chose some simple white curtains from Home Goods for around $12 a panel. It's more difficult to find curtains at longer lengths (I think these are 95" panels), but Home Goods usually has some good neutral options. Then, I replaced the generic mini blinds with bamboo blinds from Home Depot. I had no idea what a big difference it would make (and I didn't get a good "before" photo of the windows), but wow! Floor to ceiling curtains and anything but mini blinds automatically make the room feel grander and more put together.

2. The Two Little Shelves   photo wheretostart7_zpscc4942eb.jpg

Bring life to walls with shelving instead of traditional art. It is a great way to draw attention, showcase curios, and combine art with functionality. The best part is that you can generally shop your house. I didn't buy anything new to fill these shelves!  photo wheretostart4_zps6a3f9690.jpg Some of my favorite items from the shelving: 1. Piano art. Many of my favorite local coffee shops in Nashville showcase local artists, and I spotted this gorgeous piece several years ago when Jeremy & I were still dating. I called the artist on display and ordered a custom mounting of the photograph as a birthday gift for my (then) boyfriend. It's really special! 2. Painted empty frame. Thrift store frame. Removed the glass. Spray painted gold. That's all. 3. Gold and blue canvas. I found this canvas in a stash of old art supplies and pulled out some spare paint I had on hand. I did this in about 10 minutes while talking on the phone. That's how easy it was. You could do it too. 4. Hydrangeas. These are dried hydrangeas that I clipped from our backyard last summer. I love how hydrangeas dry! They have brought me joy for months and months, and I have moved them around from room to room. 5. Peony art. This is the front of our RSVP card from our wedding. The peony was the theme flower for our wedding, and my sweet best friend hand watercolored that flower as part of our stationery. I treasure it, and I love the pop of color it adds to the shelves. 6. Iron bird. Flea market find. 7. Books. One of my favorite decorating tips. Use old books in your color scheme. I have them all over the house. 

3. Lighting Matters. 

It is incredible what a $12 lamp shade did for our little room. Sometimes the light is one of the last things you think about when it's bland or outdated, but it makes a huge statement when it is updated. **This photo is pre-curtains and art on the walls, but it is a good showcase of the ceiling light.  photo IMG_7250_zpse28edcf7.jpg

4. When in doubt, get a rug.   photo wheretostart5_zps29ac6ff0.jpg

I lucked out with a gently used $320 Dash & Albert rug for $50 at a yard sale. Seriously, it was one of my favorite finds ever. I had no plans for a rug in our room, but once I placed it under the bed, I realized how much rugs matter. It grounds the room, brings everything together, and makes a subtle statement. That has been the case with every rug in our house. Hard to bite the bullet and spend the cash, but worth it. So worth it.

I also scored a West Elm rug for $50 a couple of weeks ago. Can't wait to show you where that is going!

So, let's recap. When you don't know how to breathe life into a room, here are a few ideas.

1. Curtains. Hang 'em high and wide.  2. Wall shelving in lieu of just art  3. Update your lighting.  4. Get a rug. 

Done. And done.

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Master Bedroom Reveal

If you've been keeping up with the blog of late, you've seen several updates to our master bedroom. I made a few more changes, and I think I can officially call this a "reveal" as all the boxes have been checked and I am calling it done...for now. You never know when the mood for change will strike once again!Today, I'm going to let the pictures do all the talking. Later, I can share more details about how each part came together.

Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant BlogSources: Wall Color: Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore Ceiling Color: White Dove by Benjamin Moore Ceiling Light Shade: Home Goods (See DIY) Rug: Dash & Albert  (Found at a yard sale) Starburst Mirror: DIY Bed & Dresser: Hand me downs Bedspread & Navy Shams: Anthropologie Rosette Quilt  (Color no longer available) Euro Shams: West Elm Organic Sparrow Song Rectangular Throw Pillow: Home Goods Throw Blanket: Pottery Barn  Curtains: Home Goods Bamboo Blinds: Home Depot (Providence) Bench: Free & DIY Reupholstered Nightstands: Thrift Store/DIY Lamps: Home Goods

Just for a little reminder about the progress of the room...  photo before1_zps715b68b6.jpg  photo progress_zpsf3ae3b27.jpg

This Little (Inexpensive) Light Of Mine...

You may have the same problem I have. Boob lights.

You know the ones. These.  photo ceilinglight2_zps3dcec9e6.jpg

That is the official DIY blogger term for these simple flushmount lights that are so popular with builders and budget renovations. I get it, they are cheap and they get the job done. But they are so not awesome. And I like awesome more than not awesome. And I light my light fixtures not to resemble awkward anatomy.

So I fixed the boob lights in our bedroom and hallway...for less than $15 a pop. There are two ways to do this, so let me share.  photo ceilinglight13_zps078fefd8.jpg

I purchased two drum lamp shades at home goods on clearance for $12 a piece (originally $14 & $16, so even without the sale they won't break the bank). One is a cool white and the other is called "gray" but it is really "greige." It is important for converting a boob light to a flushmount drum light that the shade be a spider shade. That means it has the rods that criss cross across the top of the drum.  photo ceilinglight3_zps13e21e16.jpg

Option 1: Just screw it.

For our bedroom, I decided a filter wasn't really necessary, so I went the easy route. I removed the glass on the light, just like I would if I were going to change the light bulb.  photo ceilinglight10_zps5f4563d4.jpg

You should have a little nut that was threaded onto the metal pole, holding up the glass.  photo ceilinglight14_zpsbed6e07e.jpg

All I did was screw the shade onto the pole with the nut (too many awkward words).

That is all there is to it. The threading on the metal went all the way up, so I just tightened it until the shade sat right below the light bulbs. If you look underneath, you can see the bulbs, but with the layout of this room specifically. it isn't noticeable, and l like the grayish color inside the shade shining through.  photo ceilinglight4_zpsa55c9e89.jpg

Total cost: Shade: $12  photo ceilinglight5_zpsfa49bcaa.jpg

So many projects in the works for our bedroom!  Those Euro shams and gold link pillow are new. Stay tuned!

Option 2: Put a filter on it.

If you want a little bit more finished look, it's easy peasy and doesn't add much cost.

For the hallway, I purchased half a yard of white muslin fabric for less than $2 at Joann Fabrics, and a roll of piping (or ribbon that looks like piping.)

First, iron the fabric and cut it slightly larger than the circumference of the bottom of the shade.  photo ceilinglight7_zps1e2dcfe6.jpg

Then, use some Craft Glue and line the rim of the shade.

Then lay the fabric on top and pull tight. The fewer wrinkles the better. Let it set for a few minutes to let the glue dry.  photo ceilinglight8_zpsa0462a4b.jpg

Next, pull down the edges and glue the piping/ribbon down for a finished look. I had to cut around the edges a little more so that the fabric could hide behind the ribbon.  photo ceilinglight9_zps776143ec.jpg

Tip: line up the start of the ribbon with the part of the shade that fold on top of each other.

Some shades already have piping when you purchase them, in which case you could easily just remove the existing piping and then reapply.

Finally, to get the shade onto the light fixture, you will need to attach the little nut that came from the fixture to the hole in the "spider" part of the shade with a sturdy glue that will bond metals (like heavy duty super glue).

I just flipped the shade upside down and glued them together (you want the nut to be below the shade so that the shade rests on top).  photo ceilinglight15_zps55be2715.jpg

Let it set for a few minutes, and then screw that shade onto the pole (you will probably have to twist several dozen times to get it up far enough.)

To change the bulbs, I plan on just lowering it a bit and changing them from above.  photo ceilinglight11_zps766e7b26.jpg

Total cost: $15 Shade: $12 Fabric: $2 Ribbon: $3

For comparison, here is a ceiling light from Lowe's next to my creation.  photo ceilinglight1_zpse8574879.jpg

Pretty simple, huh? I would love to be able to exchange every boob light for a beautiful, unique creation like the one in the office, but this simple fix is a major update on a dime, and I am happy with that!  photo ceilinglight13_zps078fefd8.jpg

What do you think?

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Things Are Looking Up

Thanks to all of you who put in your two cents about what color I should paint the ceiling in our bedroom. I sort of ignored every suggestion and painted it white.

I know, sounds boring, right? But, ah, I'm already loving it.

You see, our house was bought by a contracting company after a foreclosure in 2009 before the previous owners purchased it, and they did pretty much all the renovations to the place...including some silly ceiling height choices in the basement, weird placement of electrical outlets in the guest room, and painting all the walls and ceilings in the main floor a light shade of tan. Man, this before is not good. I still have so much work to do in this room! House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant

Why tan ceilings? Ugh.

The tan walls were not my style...but a neutral. I get it. But could you not have painted the ceilings white like most people do? I have just been living with it, and the warm gray that we put in the main space makes the ceiling almost blend in, but in the bedroom, the cool gray (Stonington Gray) against the tan ceiling was making me twitch. So, I thought it needed color, but then I realized I wanted the room to feel bigger and brighter and I didn't want the ceiling to be a focal point.

So, duh. It needed to be white. And I didn't realize how bad the tan ceilings were until white took over.

I'd never painted ceilings before. Ouch, my back.

This is what the color was before...  photo ceiling1_zps37a7193e.jpg

Then I took out most stuff and covered everything with cheapo painting tarps and cute kittens who photobomb everything.  photo ceiling2_zpsf5e2b595.jpg

Then I rolled most of the ceiling and used my a 2" angled brush around the edges.  photo ceiling6_zps6446b291.jpg

And now... the color is White Dove by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic One ceiling flat paint.  photo ceiling9_zps2f8f7e84.jpg

Doesn't it just make everything feel brighter and better??

I can't wait to show you the whole bedroom once it is done! I have several projects in the works...including a DIY fix for a silly boob light, new curtains and blinds, shelving, etc. Oh and repainting those newly painted nightstands. Oops.

Also, look at that Dash & Albert Rug? Eeeks. Garage sale find for...get this..$50. I know. Love. Hearts. Swoon.  photo ceiling10_zpsc784a162.jpg

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State of the Household Address

I spend a lot of time talking about the projects I complete...right after I complete them when they are all shiny and new. Over time, things wear off, so I figured I would share with you how some of my top viewed projects are holding up. 1. Stained & Painted Laminate TV Stand - Grade = A-

This is by far my most viewed post ever. People ask often how the "stained" laminate top is holding up. The answer: very well. Over all, the whole piece is in very much the same condition as it was when I posted about it nearly a year ago. There is a small amount of wear on the top, but it isn't noticeable unless you look close. State of the Household 1

I would not recommend using this technique on a surface that gets a lot of heavy use like a kitchen table or dresser drawers. It works great on a TV stand because most things on top are stationery, but I could see how it could possibly wear off with more heavy use.

The paint on the laminate has stayed strong! Overall, I give this project an A+ on staying power! Gallery Wall -  All Precious & Pleasant

2. Plate Wall - Grade = A+

This is the other post that is searched for daily. I hung the plates without plate hangers, and they have held up really well. We haven't had any issues with them falling off the wall or anything! I still love the way they liven up that corner. State of the Household

3. Revere Pewter Walls - Grade = A+

Many of you were interested in how we chose our paint color in the main living space of the house. It was a tough call, but we finally chose Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, and I haven't regretted it for a second.

I love the way it's cool in the day and warmer in the evening light. It is a great neutral backdrop, and we have since used it in our office, hallway and basement stairwell. State of the Household

4. Banquette - Grade = A+/C

The kitchen nook was one of the first things we tackled when we moved into the house. My, how much I have learned since then. Luckily, my father-in-law was the mastermind behind this one, so the structure of the banquette has held up beautifully. It is just as functional as we had hoped. I LOVE the way it makes use of the small dining space we have. It is one of my favorite things in the house! State of the Household

I was in charge of the paint job, and it is obvious. In my novice hands, it looked great at first, but I would do things a little differently now. I used wood filler instead of caulk along the edge, and I didn't seal the paint with polycrilic. This is the part of the project that gets a "C"

It is starting to wear if you look up close, and I will soon be painting another coat, sealing it, and replacing the wood filler with caulk. State of the Household

5. Sprayed Frosted Bathroom Window - Grade = B-

I tried using spray paint to frost our bathroom window, and overall I would give the process a B- in light of the cost and ease. The left window looks just like it did when we did it, but the right side window has a few chips. I think with another coat of spray paint, it would fix it. I would say it has held up decently in light of being in a spot where it gets wet daily.  photo Updates5-FrostedGlass_zpsef7d77ce.jpg  photo Updates5-FrostedGlass2_zps10e40ec4.jpg

I may not use this method on a really prominent window, but it is just fine for a shower window.

6. Floating Console Table - Grade = A+

This Pinterest challenge is one of my favorite projects ever. It is a huge asset to our living room, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. There isn't much to say except it rocks my socks.  photo Updates3-ConsoleTable_zps1368b2b3.jpg

7. Jute Rug - Grade = A 

We went back on forth on what rug we wanted for the living room. I was afraid jute would not wear well and would shed everywhere. We finally decided on a jute rug from Natural Area Rugs, and I could not be happier. We don't even have a rug pad underneath, and the rubber backing has kept it from sliding on the floors and held the fibers in nicely. No shedding here! It hides dirt well, always looks great, and the texture is exactly what I wanted.

There have been a few frays, and that is the only reason this didn't get an "A+"  photo Updates7-rug2_zps94b8161d.jpg

Thanks for keeping up with all of my projects! A new projects page is coming soon to make checking out all the projects even easier!

I got that super basement.

We have recently made a few changes to the basement, and all of a sudden it shifted from a space that we only visit when guests come over to a favorite movie watching spot. Thanks to a few extra odd jobs and some Christmas money, we were able to purchase a new TV and an electric fireplace media stand. With a little bit of furniture rearranging, the room feels like a brand new place. This is what it looked like before...  photo IMG_5543_zps8d4837ce.jpg  photo IMG_5544_zps115df002.jpg And now...  photo basement1_zpsfd56521c.jpg  photo basement4_zps69a797b7.jpg We also installed curtains over by the stairs.  photo basement3_zps2532568e.jpg

Isn't that electric fireplace so welcoming? It may not be a real flame, but it still produces the cozy effect. After MUCH belabored searching for the perfect fireplace (we searched just about everywhere), we landed on this one from Walmart, of all places. It was the best price, had the most features, right color, and right size. Unfortunately, we bought it less than a month ago and they are already sold out with no sign of coming back in stock. When I found it, they were sold out online and sold out at the four closest stores, so I quickly ordered it at a store across town and drove to get it. After months of searching for a good quality electric fireplace in our price point, I wasn't about to let this one go.

It has lived up to its good reviews! It really warms our otherwise chilly basement, was easy to set up, and looks great. It has a timer, remote control, four fire settings, and a temperature controlled heater which can be turned on or off. When we installed it, one of the side doors was broken, but I called the company and they shipped me a new door for free no questions asked!

We got the TV at Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day when they opened at 6pm, and it was a great deal.

I still haven't done much decorating. The walls are bare, and I have yet to decide on a true color scheme. Also, we want to replace that pretty white coffee table (It is for sale. Any takers?) with something a little bit more rustic/industrial. Maybe something like this?  photo coffeetable_zpsa9dcf6b0.jpg I also want floor to ceiling board and batten all along the back wall. I plan to keep everything white, however. The ceilings are low, and I don't want it to feel any smaller.

I am so inspired by rooms like this and this.  photo basementinspiration_zps2851eb95.jpg  photo basementinspiration2_zpsf7466448.jpg

Ah, someday.

For now, come on over and watch a movie on a chilly winter night. We would love to have you.

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Master To-Do List

It's list-making month. We make to-do lists, year wish lists, self improvement lists, and thankfulness lists for the year we just left. Today, I am sharing my house master to-do-list. So many things have changed in our house in nearly 10 months living here, but there are still a lot of plans we want to accomplish. I'm sure as soon as this list is complete, we will come up with even more ideas. But for now... If you are new to All Precious & Pleasant, be sure to see more before and progress house photos in the House Tour section.

House To-Do List

Living Room living room tour -       Paint the room Revere Pewter -       Find/update TV stand -       Living Room Curtains -       Find full length sheer curtains -       Redo chair set -       Gallery Wall -       Art for the walls -       Floating Console Table -       Sew couch pillows -       New couch pillow inserts -       Accent chair for next to the TV stand -       Add crown molding -       Living room rug -       Art behind the couch -       Find small table for between the chairs

Kitchen/Dining my kitchen - all precious & pleasant blog -       Build banquette -       Paint banquette -       Pillows for banquette -       Cushion for banquette -       Refinish banquette (I have learned a lot since this first project in our house) -       Find industrial kitchen table -       Find/refinish kitchen chairs -       Window treatments/new blinds -       White plate wall -       Kitchen rug -       New basement door -       Paint inside of outside door -       New counter tops (phase 2) -      Paint cabinets white (phase 2)  -      New backsplash (phase 2)

Office House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       Paint room -       Find/paint desk -       Find mantel -       Fix mantel -       Find study chair -       Ottoman -       Side table -       Install curtains -       Organize closet -       Install something behind the mantel (in progress...stay tuned!) -       Artwork for above the mantel -       Style bookshelves (these are sorta styled, but could use more work) -       Terrarium -       Round rug -       Install industrial light -       Update window frame -       Recover ottoman (maybe?) -       Art above the desk

Hallway House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       stencil entire hallway with Moroccan stencil

Main Level Bathroom Bathroom Updates -       Paint walls -       Remove towel rack -       Art above the toilet -       Shelf above the toilet -       Glaze windows -       Caulk window -       New towel rack -       Gallery Wall -       Replace tile (phase 2)

Master Bedroom House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       Find nightstands -       Re-do nightstands -       Install curtains -       Find lamps -       Gallery wall -       New pillows -       Recover bench for the end of the bed -       New pillows to update bedding -       Accessorize room -       Art above the nightstands

Second Bedroom House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       Get dresser set -       Install curtains on the second window -       Paint room dark gray -       Get quiet time chair -       Paint/gold dip sewing table and chair -       Hang art

Basement stairs

Basement Stairs - All Precious & Pleasant Blog -       Paint gray -       Paint accent walls light gray -       Install new stair railing -       Install curtains on the window -       Art above the staircase

Basement main space House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       Get Moroccan shag rug -       Board and batten the back wall -       Find a shoe rack -       Hang curtains over window -       Install coffee bar -       Hang art behind the couch -       Purchase TV -       Purchase electric fireplace -       Get a coffee table -       Rearrange furniture

** A lot of these things have actually been completed, but I haven't posted about it yet. Stay tuned!

Laundry room

photo

Excuse the last minute iPhone photo. I have yet to do much with this room, so I have yet to get any decent pictures. It does look pretty dire, though, doesn't it?

-       Get more storage & organize -       Paint or stencil the walls -       Craigslist freezer -       Get a clothes hanger/drying rack

Basement bedroom House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       Art for the walls -       White duvet cover -       Shams -       Hem curtains -       Spray paint the bed frame black -       Added rug to the floor -       Hang curtains -       Get a colorful quilt -       Paint the walls a neutral color -       Update nightstand -       New lamps -       Get a dresser and antique chair -       Accessorize room -       Convert to music studio (Phase 2; once the garage becomes the guest room)

Garage

-       Organize/clean up clutter with plastic bins -       Finish out room with bay window -       Stain concrete floors or install new flooring -       Build large closet ** This garage is going to undergo a major overhaul. Hopefully this year! We can't wait to turn this into our bigger and better guest room so that the current guest room can become Jeremy's music studio.

Also, I don't have ANY good pictures of the garage yet. Excuse that. I promise I will be taking some soon.

Basement Bathroom bath mat -       Board and batten on the walls -       Paint dark, moody blue or gray color -       Install rustic mirror over existing mirror -       Replace metal storage unit with wooden storage unit -       Accessorize

Backyard  backyard-allpreciousandpleasant -       Clean out flower beds -       Plant butterfly bush -       Transplant mom’s plants -       Build back deck -       Clean out around the big tree -       Transplant lairope around the trees -       Transplant elephant ears

Front Yard House Tour - All Precious & Pleasant -       kill vines -       Weed around rosebush -       Plant hydrangea -       Plant a hosta or nandina in barren spot -       Transplant hydrangeas (I tried...it failed) -       Plant clumps of white/green plant in a row along the edge -       Move rocks from backyard around rose bed

Christmas House Tour 2013

Come on in. Are you new here? Let me show you around and pour you a cup of hot cocoa or coffee. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas Tour 2013

This is my first year to really get to decorate a house for Christmas. Over the years, I have helped bring Christmas cheer to dorm rooms and apartments, but this year, I had a fresh new pallet to paint on, and it has been so much fun.

I am going to be back with posts over the next few weeks with details on some of the projects I have done, so I will let the pictures do the talking today. Most of the decor is stuff I found around the house, bought at thrift shops, and got for free. It is proof that CHEAP and EASY can be beautiful.

I've stuck with the "natural neutrals" theme for the most part this year. Lots of greenery, gold, silver, browns, and pinecones. I have also confined most of the decor to the main living spaces. There are hints of Christmas in other rooms, but they are hardly worth noting. If you haven't seen the rest of the house before, be sure to check out the house tour page.

Taking pictures was a struggle for this because it has been so overcast for days, and it gets dark so early! I did my best.

The front door is simply decorated with a live fraser fir wreath that I embellished with some ribbon and glittery pinecones. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013

Welcome to the living room. Our Christmas tree makes a big statement, and I have also added some holiday cheer with garland on the TV stand and some Christmas vignettes sprinkled here and there. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 Now let's step into the kitchen. The table is set for four. I love the boxwood wreaths I made from clippings from the yard (more on that later). The candlesticks in the middle of the table are from our unity candles at our wedding. I used some leftover chalkboard under the centerpiece and sprinkled around some pinecones and fraser fir branches. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & pleasant - Christmas Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant - Christmas Tour 2013

For the rest of the kitchen, I simply added a few touches of Christmas here and there. All Precious & Pleasant - Christmas Tour 2013 A wreath I made from Christmas tree clippings on the basement door. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013

A chalkboard vignette with Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book that I found for 2 bucks at a thrift store. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 A little tea setting for some Christmas tea and a nativity to remember the real reason for the season. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 Christmas village as gifted by my mom and Grandma. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 In the office, the stockings are hung by the chimney mantel with care. I made the mantel feel a little more complete (more permanent project on the way) with another real fraser fir wreath. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013

A few more detail shots. All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 All Precious & Pleasant Christmas House Tour 2013 Thanks for taking our Christmas house tour. Come back soon!

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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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Three (or Four) Words...

Lately, I have been doing a lot of reflecting. Autumn will do that to you, won't it? Maybe it's the change ruffling in the air that makes me reflect. I don't know. Not only have I been asking myself questions like, "Am I a good wife?" "What can I do to make the most of my life?" "What are my long term goals?" "How can I love others more fully?" "What does it mean to follow Christ?" and other such brain benders, I have also been thinking about the more fluffy topic of my design style. Questions like "What do I want my house to look like in a year?" and "What are my decorating priorities?" have been mulling in my head like apple cider.

On that note, Sherry from Young House Love recently did an audio interview with Jonathan Adler (catch it here), and she asked him something like, "What advice would you give someone who just bought a house about knowing how to start decorating?" My ears perked up as he answered "Think of what three words you would like to use to describe your house, and start from there." He said to think of words before you even begin picking color schemes and decor.

So I started reflecting again.

Three words, huh? What three words do I wish people might use to describe my house?

I made a long list of positive words I might use to describe a space. I looked at pictures of rooms and homes I loved. I consulted dictionaries and thesauri. I thumbed through magazines and catalogs. I took this seriously, y'all.

After making a very long list of words that could be used to describe any house, I narrowed it down to words I might use to specifically describe my house. But what three would I choose?

I want my house to feel like... your favorite pair of jeans a refreshing glass of lemonade a weekend getaway to a new city holding hands with the person you love an eclectic mixture of textures a family reunion of young and old reading through an old journal a classic novel and a cup of hazelnut coffee a piece of jewelry passed down for generations

And I think I have arrived at my three words. Except I just had to make it four. - Elegance - Character - Welcoming - Storytelling

Here are some rooms that remind me of my words, and what I would like my house to feel like over time.

I love rooms to feel like there is story in everything. And for the eclectic use of various styles and eras to add character to the room.  photo dreamroom1_zpsa39365ee.jpg

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It would be a dream to have a room like this someday. I love the textures and the elegance of high ceilings with wooden beams and wide plank floors.  photo dreamroom3_zps09184790.jpg

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A roaring fire, leather chairs, a huge floral display, and white beadboard walls just welcome you right in.  photo dreamroom7_zpsf80051ab.jpg

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A more colorful and eclectic inspiration photo...

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Of course my mid century ranch really doesn't look like any of these pictures, but there is style there that I want my home to evoke. I love neutrals with pops of color and beautiful fabrics juxtaposed with metals and rich woods. I could go on, but I think I'll leave you once more with my four words.

A welcoming home that tells a story with elegance and character.

What are your three four words?

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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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