Home Details

The Kitchen Nook Pt. 2

We have been busy little bees at the house, but I have failed to post many updates because most of our projects are in the middle stages and not ready to be revealed.  Also, the house is just too messy to take pictures because we are still partially living out of boxes. Oops. In the next few weeks, expect a deluge of reveal posts.

One thing that is ready for an update post is our adorable little kitchen nook that has stolen my heart and many of my evenings. We left off here with a completed but not-yet-painted bench. And here is what it looks like now.

 photo IMG_5589_zpsb7fcd7ce.jpg

I won't feel like it is truly complete until I clean up the edges a bit and make a cushion, but this is where we have landed until I can save enough pennies to buy 3" foam.

I used some wood putty to fill in the cracks by the wall and the nail holes. This took me much longer than I anticipated.  photo 3D60E19B-1987-4F86-B2ED-CA09AB23F628-3515-000001F78FBE9648_zpsd1af5135.jpg I taped everything off with painter's tape.  photo FD360992-C742-4926-8DB4-00F89A436325-3515-000001F785DE0F8B_zps585dfa2a.jpg I sanded everything down with 220 grit sandpaper.

I primed. Twice.  photo FED3A9B3-1208-4DB9-ABF0-F0AB57551458-3515-000001F781DAF16B_zps09980e59.jpg

I sanded again using our handy-dandy sander (which has stolen the title of favorite tool from my staple gun).  photo IMG_5552_zps72607e28.jpg I painted two coats of semi-gloss white paint.  photo IMG_5551_zps6bd6391d.jpg I ripped off the painter's tape which accidentally removed some paint, said "uh oh," and corrected my mistake. I didn't take pictures of that because I am embarrassed.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

I realized that the edges look a little rough and I need to find a way to correct that.

But that is for another time.

So here is how it looks now! The white is crisp and clean and a great backdrop! Most of the pillows are just forms; I will be sewing pillow covers soon.  photo IMG_5595_zpsdfc6bf5c.jpg To give you your bearings and a little bit more perspective, here is a comparison shot from the day we moved in.  photo banquetteprogress_zpsfb692d9d.jpg

And a little sneak peek at what it will look like with the chairs I am currently refinishing and reupholstering. More details to come!  photo IMG_5598_zps22d252b9.jpg

Going Gray

Gray is the new tan. Haven't you heard? Gray is the "it" home neutral right now, and I am 100% on board with that. I love the versatility and modern edge that gray brings, but choosing a gray is no easy task. It seems like there are endless gray paint options out there, and it can be overwhelming to begin to choose the right shade. Grays can have blue, green, or purple undertones, and every room wears those undertones differently.

We painted our bedroom Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore color matched to HGTV paint from Sherwin Williams (see our House Tour for an overview picture). It is the perfect gray for that room. It has slight blue undertones and is a wonderful calming bedroom color. (  photo IMG_1427_zpsbe561b74.jpg Update: Master Bedroom Reveal - All Precious & Pleasant Blog

But picking the right living room color was trickier. I took advantage of sample pots of paint and tried five colors on the walls. I painted swatches in several places around the room and watched them in different lights at different times of day over the course of several days.  photo goinggray_zps7f6c54ec.jpg The colors are all by Benjamin Moore (from the top): Stonington Gray Gray Owl Covington Gray Revere Pewter Smoke Embers

There seemed to be a pretty clear winner for us from the beginning. Covington Gray and Smoke Embers were too dark. Stonington Gray was too blue. Gray Owl was too green. That left us with a color I have been eying on Pinterest for months: Revere Pewter. It is a very warm gray that almost looks taupe at certain times of day. It's a beautiful transitional color and makes a great background. It looks beautiful with our new entertainment center, chairs, and tan couch. It also works well in the kitchen.  photo IMG_5471_zps718cae8b.jpg Here it is on empty walls after we took the plunge. We had it color matched at Lowes to Olympic One paint in Eggshell. If you've never color matched before, Lowes has most colors from all different paint brands programmed into their system, and you can just tell them what you want and they can mix any brand color into their paint! That works great for newlyweds like us who want Benjamin Moore colors but don't want to pay the prices of Benjamin Moore paint.

Side note: We chose Olympic brand paint because we love John & Sherry at Young House Love, and they used Olympic in most of their house.  Also, we experimented with Sherwin Williams in one bedroom and Olympic in the other bedroom, and we actually liked the consistency, coverage, and outcome of Olympic even better than Sherwin. And the price is great. Winning.  photo IMG_5472_zps030eab85.jpg

I love the way it pops against the white trim. I just have a few small things to tweak before I will post some progress updates on the living room!

In the mean time, here are a few of my favorite Pinterest photos of the color.

reverepewter1 reverepewter2

P.S. Lots of progress has been made in the living room! Here is an overview of the space so you can see what the color looks like on the walls on a larger scale! For more photos, visit our House Tour living room tour  photo Signature_zps48867f61.jpg

The Kitchen Nook Pt. 1

You may remember from this post that I really wanted a kitchen banquette. Well, the in-laws came in town for Easter weekend, and my father-in-law is a handyman extraordinaire, so he and Jeremy spent 15 hours Saturday building the nook. We are not wasting any time on this house! I have yet to paint the seating, but I thought I would go ahead and post some updates on our really cozy, unique bench seating in the kitchen. This is the perfect space saver for any kitchen with limited dining space. I love rooms that have an eclectic feel, but that can also be terrifying because it is hard to know how to be eclectic without looking like a mess or like an unintentional collection of whatever you had on hand. Lord help me; our kitchen nook is going to be eclectic. I am loving the industrial look that is popping up all over the place, and we purchased the Jackson Dining Table from World Market. I bought some mid-century style chairs to refinish and recover. And pillows and a bench cushion will make everything feel pulled together.

The men worked hard to create the perfect space. They cut wood in the carport.  photo B3553357-8365-4031-907C-E41E41C0D79E-13466-000003A80DEA55A5_zpsc9246caf.jpg  photo 31E7F9AE-CD1C-46FA-9321-D0F045C40D9B-13466-000003A7EB3DDBFE_zps257fc9c7.jpg Installed the bench inside.  photo B2D7E9C0-3CE3-4F6A-8B50-551673CB176F-13466-000003A7D9E164BD_zps264ca6b2.jpg Cut the base molding to create a seamless look with the wall.  photo 79736EC7-B666-4691-9B7B-8895C833E1B8-13466-000003A71D254A6A_zps14825a58.jpg Moved a wall outlet to the side of the bench for added functionality.  photo 2F03AD8D-C31B-4244-85F7-7D7979DB79B6-13466-000003A761F63142_zps0124c746.jpg Redirected air flow from the floor to the outside of the bench with a vent.  photo 39574538-8FC8-4A10-BC49-AA9EE1413375-13466-000003A78C08400B_zps97c61362.jpg  photo B543E3BC-98D8-46C3-A82F-F5BD9BD89CF2-13466-000003A714D04AF4_zps6dd467fb.jpg Installed a hinge top for loads of storage.  photo A97DAEC8-A6E7-4606-831F-ED7A01573B2E-13466-000003A6F0D551C0_zps4a9dc68d.jpg And rested after a good day's work.  photo 915F0F89-2EFA-419F-B2FA-D6B0658FD939-13466-000003A70DA8E18A_zps8069fcd5.jpg Doesn't it look beautiful? It is comfortable too. Come have dinner with us!  photo IMG_5524_zps77bbdcd5.jpg  photo IMG_5522_zps6e3e94ae.jpg I can't wait to paint it and add pillows. I will be back with another post after more progress!

Check out our progress: Painted white With mid-century modern chairs

 photo Signature_zps48867f61.jpg

Mood Board Mondays: The Master Bedroom

Since I have become a regular reader in the home decor blogosphere, I have become well acquainted with mood boards. I love the idea of planning what a room will be like and testing out colors and patterns on the computer before beginning to play around with real life. I thought the easiest room to start with would be our master bedroom because I already have most of the basics. In our humble 1959 ranch, there isn't anything particularly "Master" about the bedroom where we will sleep. It is just a really small cozy 12x12 box with one reach in closet. This is a design challenge of sorts, and I am up for it.

Stylistically, I  love it when feminine meets masculine. Soft meets bold. Classic meets eclectic. This reminds me an awful lot of when Chandler met Jeremy. Perfect.

Here is my mood board.  photo MasterBedroomNumbered_zps83906ae4.jpg 1. Wall color: Stonington Gray by Sherwin Williams; 2. Bedspread: Navy Rosette bedding from Anthropologie (I got it on clearance several years ago) 3. Curtains: West Elm (there is no way I can afford these; they just inspire me to find something similar); 4. Gold lamps: I have a couple of lamps I plan on giving a face lift, and I love the gold accent; 5. Dresser: ours is similar to this one and was a gift; 6. Pillows: West Elm (love the pillows; hate the price. I can be much thriftier) ; 7. Nightstands: I am not sure what I am going to do with our night stands, but I really like this two-tone night stand from The Hunted Interior, this silver leaf nightstand I found on Pinterest, and campaign style nightstands. 8. Jute Rug:

So there you have it. A little dream board.


Closing Day House Tour

We moved into the house today thanks to the help of great friends, and the place is already changing. These photos are examples of what it looks like untouched by us! Eventually, I will put a house tour on the "Our Home" section of the blog, but I will wait until we have a few progress pictures to show you. For now, here is a little photo house tour (for my friends and family who have been asking) with pictures from move in day and the house listing.

To better understand this tour, be sure to check out the floorplan I created.

Front View  photo 1-Frontofhouse1_zps78a61466.jpg Living Room (angle from the front door and angle standing in the kitchen)  photo livingroom_zpseb76f193.jpg Kitchen  photo 4-Kitchen4_zps002558e0.jpg Master Bedroom  photo master_zps0add3a24.jpg Upstairs Bathroom  photo 7-upstairsbath7_zps9773b811.jpg Second Bedroom  photo spare_zpsa3d8dfce.jpg Office Room  photo office_zps84ecec77.jpg Basement main space  photo 11-Basement_zpsdb68cb55.jpg Basement bedroom  photo 12-Basementbedroom_zps4c35060f.jpg Basement bathroom  photo 13-Basementbath_zps6cf98d33.jpg Back of house/Backyard.  photo 14-backofhouse_zps82bc0557.jpg  photo 15-Backyard_zps56a474f5.jpg

 photo Signature_zps48867f61.jpg

We Are Homeowners!

Today was a monumental day. I have been counting down for two months, and I am just over the top excited. Today we closed on our house. Jeremy and I are such novices when it comes to home buying, and I have heard horror stories, so I was holding my breath until we signed all of the documents because I was anticipating a loan issue disguised as a bandit to jump around every corner. But he never did. We feel so blessed, and we know this is where God wants us right now. That is a really reassuring feeling.

Warning: there are lots of really big, cheesy smiles in these photos.

Here is us in front of OUR house this morning.  photo 532842F2-4267-4DAF-8199-D8AB47DB06D3-2728-0000026185EE176D_zpsddb5eeaa.jpg And me squealing in the car.  photo 18330144-B6CD-470D-8B7D-D2485BE36F7F-2974-00000279CDD1F542_zps9e0b23b9.jpg  photo 0B7E5312-9280-41CE-9981-8A8C96853C50-3214-0000029519E701FB_zps652901b7.jpg And prepping to sign a million documents in the realty office.  photo 0AECC079-C326-4703-8061-084B60C86ABC-2974-00000279CE227E12_zpsdbea8fa7.jpg And Jeremy dangling the keys and then using them like mistletoe over my head.  photo C61AF0A5-A2FF-4908-88DC-D7A653FC7456-2974-00000279CF53AF06_zps8769e7bc.jpg  photo 1E70BD2B-3B00-4584-ADB1-74F31988D658-2974-00000279D2E04992_zps1dc33da5.jpg

We didn't get a picture of us actually signing the documents. But I promise it happened.

Now, excuse me while I go paint a few rooms. I will be back tomorrow with some photos of the new digs.  photo Signature_zps48867f61.jpg

P.S. Big shout out to our amazing realtor Allen Perry and the whole team at Nashville On The Move. I recommend them to anyone interested in buying a house. They made every step of the process a breeze and a blast. We could not have been in better hands! They also gave us this adorable housewarming gift.  photo C3A14687-6076-4BBE-A12E-E790449493B0-2974-0000027A8408D63E_zpsd9a74313.jpg

A First Time For Everything: Chevron Living Room Chair Redo

I am determined to be handy, creative, frugal and a go-getter when it comes to decorating. My first attempt came in the form of two stained, bruised, and outdated chairs that I picked up at a favorite thrift store and gave a new life. They will find a home in our living room, and I am so thrilled with the way that they turned out. Get ready: this was a long process, and this is a long post. photo beforeafter_zps85bf51d6.jpgThere is a first time for everything.This was my first time to disassemble any furniture, reupholster, shop for fabric, use stain, polyurethane and a staple gun, and strip wood. I guess you could say I'm a newbie. But now I feel like I have at least moved up to amateur status--maybe even intermediate level.

Here is a collection of my tools of the trade. I don't recommend this stapler. See later where I bought a new one. I ended up with different stain too.   photo IMG_5260_zps087ef172.jpg

I break down the process into four major steps:

Step 1:Dis-assembly

Take a good look at the situation. Every chair is assembled differently, so you will have to figure out what it takes to remove the upholstery from the chair. Lucky for me, both the seat and the back were completely removable in my case. For the seat, I simply flipped the chair over, removed a few screws, and removed the seat.  photo IMG_5256_zps7f60d24d.jpg

For the back, I was completely stumped by how to get around the furniture plugs that covered up the screws I needed to remove. I had no idea how to get them out without breaking them. Tip: You have to break plugs to remove them. This is probably common sense, but I was completely unaware. I nailed into them, broke them, and used a flat head screwdriver and pliers to take the pieces out of the 1/2" holes. You can buy a new pack of furniture plugs at Home Depot or Lowe's for about $3.00 and stain them to match (more on that later).   photo furnitureplugs_zps27a239fe.jpg

During the process I came across some gum stuck underneath the seat and arm. What a lovely treat, right? I dampened it and it was old enough that it just scraped right off. Yum.  photo IMG_5248_zps1059687d.jpg

Here comes the part I hated the most: removing the staples from the upholstery in order to remove the original fabric. This really was a case of trial and error. I wound up using a really skinny flat head screwdriver and needle nose pliers. I believe you can buy upholstery staple removing tools at sewing stores, but I didn't want to spend any more money than necessary.  photo IMG_5266_zps2c19741c.jpg Once I figured out the best angle to pry the staples up and invested in a pair of work gloves to save my hands from blisters, the process went much more quickly. Removing all the staples from both chairs still took me at least 5 hours (while watching Jane Austen movies of course). Tip: Save the original fabric. The end result was highly satisfying, and I was pleased to discover that the original padding was in good enough shape that I wouldn't have to replace anything.

Step 2: Reupholstery

I laid the original fabric down (see why I told you to save it) on top of the bolt of upholstery fabric and cut out around it like a pattern. Tip: Be sure to leave a couple of extra inches on each side so you have some wiggle room when you are covering the cushions. Because my chevron pattern has linear zig zags, I cut it right side up to be sure I was cutting straight.  photo IMG_5290_zps4b676062.jpg I used 5/8" staples and a staple gun on the new upholstery. I bought a staple gun that doubles as a brad nailer so that it will hopefully come in handy for future home improvement projects. I started out with a Stanley gun, and it didn't have enough power to go into the plywood and almost every staple went in crooked or not at all, so I returned it and got this Dewalt gun. I highly recommend it. It packs a powerful punch.  photo reupholstery_zps7287ca53.jpg

Be sure to pull the fabric tight and turn the seat around every once in a while to check that it is flat and even. On the seat, staple close to the edge, and cut excess fabric once everything is nice and taut. For the back cushion, I was careful to fold the fabric so that it looked nice since the bottom of the cushion is visible if you are looking up at it from the floor. The back cushion took a little more experimentation to get the folds to turn out correct and the fabric to lay the way that I wanted.  photo IMG_5293_zps080ba80e.jpg

Once I finished this, I set the cushions aside and moved on to the wood frame.

Step 3: Wood Refinishing 

This part totally depends on the state of your chairs. For 85% of the chair, a light sanding to remove the varnish and a few coats of stain was perfect, but the arms gave me grief. In my case, I made two big mistakes: I didn't sand down far enough on the parts that were really beaten up and I bought the wrong color stain to begin with.

I discovered that unless you are going to completely sand down/strip your piece or it is in good shape to begin with, you should really buy the same color stain as the original color. I bought a darker color thinking that when it mixed with the existing red mahogany, the color would be just what I wanted, but the problem came when the Dark Walnut stain hit the gashes in the arms that I didn't properly smooth out, it turned them black, and I was left with black gashes all up and down the arms. I did the only logical thing. I PANICKED!  photo IMG_5306_zpsa87c7035.jpg

I talked to the nice man at Lowe's who gave me confidence and looked at my sad pictures of the chair arms, and then I invested in some heavy duty sandpaper (36 grit). I completely stripped the arms, smoothed them out with fine grit sandpaper, and started fresh. This photo was in the middle of that sanding process. I had to keep going to get rid of some more of those black marks.  photo IMG_5305_zps54863b1f.jpg

Then when I used the dark walnut stain on the stripped wood, it turned completely the wrong color. I PANICKED AGAIN! Then I calmed down and bought red mahogany stain to match the original color, realized I should have done that to begin with, and I finally got to the right color a couple of coats later. I actually love the way that stripping the wood brought out the grain and gave it a little more of a distressed look. It certainly isn't perfect, but people pay lots of money for things that look a little distressed these days. In hindsight, some wood conditioner and stripper could have been helpful.  photo IMG_5315_zps90d98f63.jpg

Mmm. I actually love how warm the wood turned out and the way that you can see the grain on the arms.

Finally, I sprayed three good coats of Miniwax Clear Satin Fast-Drying Polyurethane in a well-ventilated area, let them sit for several days (24 hours would have been fine, but I was waiting for some husband help), and moved on to step 4.

Step 4: Re-assembly

This is pretty self-explanitory. Put it back together the way that you took it apart. Here is my handsome husband lending a hand. He is better with power tools.

 photo photo_zpsd896e0eb.jpg Tip: Make note of where the original screw holes were if you cover them with fabric. This would have saved me some struggle. Once I found them, I got these little wood plugs and stained them and hammered them into place to replace the plugs I broke earlier in the project.  photo photo-3_zps4bc0876f.jpg

Voila! My finished chairs! DIY is great because not only do you save money, you make memories and create something you are truly proud to display.  photo photo-5_zps81f5d8d6.jpg

Bring it on, little house. I'm ready for you and all of your DIY glory.

Budget breakdown (rounded to the nearest dollar):

Two chairs at Our Thrift Store in Franklin, TN: $30 Two yards of upholstery grade fabric from The Fabric House: $24 Stain: $12 (I had to buy two different colors...and I bought too much.) Polyurethane Spray: $8 Wooden Furniture Plugs: $3 Sandpaper: $12 

Total: $89 ($44.50 per chair) 

I'd say that's pretty good! To be fair, I also spent money on a staple/brad nailer for the upholstery and work gloves--both of which I will use for many future projects so I didn't include the cost. I also bought way too much fabric (much to my dismay), but I will be using it for other projects down the line and didn't include that cost here just to be fair to those of you who want to tackle a similar project but will be wiser about the amount of fabric you need. Tip: When your husband says there's no way you will use six yards, even though the chart on Pinterest says you will, trust him. Sorry, Jeremy.

I can't wait to get these little chairs into place in the new house! Stay tuned for pictures!

update: See the chairs in place in our living room.


 photo Signature_zps48867f61.jpg

My Top Ten To-do List

Since we haven't closed on the house yet (one month from today!), I can't actually begin making changes to our future little abode, but that doesn't stop me from making plans. Almost every day, I come up with another idea of something I want to do to personalize the space, and I'm sure that list will continue to grow as long as we live there. I know once we move in, I will change my mind, and I will only be able to move as quickly as time and budget allows, but here is my current top ten to-do list. 1. Reupholster these chairs. In this photo they look like they belong in a hospital waiting room...complete with old gum under the arm. Not exactly the look I'm going for, so I am giving them a facelift. Right now they are in about six pieces in the apartment, but soon they will look lovely. Before/After photos and a tutorial post to come!

 photo IMG_5243_zpsca1e247a.jpg

2. Banquette in the kitchen. JQ is going to put his handyman skills to work and build corner bench seating in the kitchen to go with the rustic, industrial table that we recently saved our pennies and purchased. I am so excited about this one! Doesn't this banquette just make you want to cozy up on a rainy saturday morning and enjoy a delicious breakfast and a cup of coffee with someone you love? Me too. And I have just the person in mind.

 photo banquette_zpsb51c09b2.jpg

3. Paint the walls. The whole main floor of the house is currently a pleasant, natural beige color. I am thankful we aren't dealing with any splatter painted teen rooms or floral wall paper, but I do want to paint a few of the rooms so that they conform with our style and make more of an impact. The basement is white, and the basement bedroom is windowless and a little hospital-esque, so I plan on putting a fresh coat of something welcoming on the walls before we move the furniture. I am going to take my time on the main floor, but I already have some ideas. Here are some of my favorite colors.   photo FavoriteBMcolors_zps08b40a11.jpg 4. Get organized. I can be a bit cluttered. I am sentimental to a fault and I hang onto things that don't matter. Since we will be doubling in space from our current apartment to our house, I'm hoping it will make it easier to be less cluttered. But here are some Pinterest inspirations for getting more organized in the future. Jeremy always tells me "I don't want there to be too many things everywhere." I think that is his way of asking me not to be cluttered.  photo organize_zpsd9f4bc90.jpg

5. Fix the basement ceiling. When the basement was finished in 2009, a large portion of the ceiling was made to hang down really low (it is only 6 ft high in one spot). We don't really know the reason or what lurks above the ceiling dip, but my handyman intends to cut a hole and find out. And we want to get that fixed so the basement feels more open!  photo 11-Basement_zps1671e295.jpg

6. Make a cozy study space. Jeremy is a grad student, so he has requested that the room we turn into an office space be a great place for him to study. I have dreams of putting in an antique mantel, creating a wall of books, and getting a really comfortable study chair. This photo below just makes me want to learn.  photo office_zpsc2372e48.jpg

7. Curtains in the guest bedroom. The aforementioned basement bedroom is windowless and will need some love to make it feel warm and welcoming to our guests. I love the idea of hanging floor-to-ceiling curtains on both sides of the bed to make the ceilings appear higher, add some texture, and make it look like there might be windows behind those curtains.  photo bedcurtains_zps1237c4ba.jpg

8. Refinish a dresser. I am turning one of the bedrooms into my "getting ready room." We are hoping to put a daybed in it along with a beautiful wingback chair I recently snagged. I plan on using the room to get dressed, read, write songs, and do other such solitary things. But for the getting dressed part, I could really use a dresser. I want to be as frugal as possible, so I will try to find one that needs some love and bring it back to life.

How pretty is this blue painted dresser?  photo dresser2_zpsd084a3b9.jpg 9. Dress up the living room. Things we are bringing with us for the living room: couch and coffee table. That is a short list. Now that I am reupholstering the chairs above, they will finish out our seating, but I have so many dreams for dressing up the first room you see when you enter the house.  photo livingroom_zps6f0006ac.jpg

1. Bamboo blinds and airy curtains.  I love the pairing of the textured blinds with the simple white curtains. With all the patterns I plan on using in the room, I think this will be the perfect neutral backdrop. 2. a cool piece of furniture as a TV stand. We will be on the hunt for something used to up-cycle. Obviously this Neiman Marcus beauty is about as close to our budget as Tennessee is to Hong Kong (as in nowhere close). 3. patterned navy rug. I just love this trellis rug! 4. Tufted ottoman. I plan to DIY one of these.

10. Paint the basement stairs. I saw another blogger do this, and I was inspired. How cute are these numbered, painted steps?  photo basementstairs_zps58690507.jpg

 photo Signature_zps48867f61.jpg