Lean Back - Entry Way Update

A couple of weeks ago I talked about wanting to update our entryway. I wanted our entryway to have personalty and flow better with our living room. It was BLAH and unwelcoming. Well I'm happy to say it's updated and so pretty! I love sitting on our sofa and glancing over at the huge difference it makes in our house. Here's a sneek peek at our updated entryway.

Pictures leaning back

New Rug

Chic White Wreath

Every since I made a spooky black feather wreath for Halloween, I was looking forward to making a Chic little white wreath for Christmas to hang over our mirror in the living room. While on a recent trip to the Dollar Tree Store I bought a white styrofoam wreath to start my project. At Michael’s Craft store I picked up three feather boas for $1.99 each - each boa is 6 feet in length.

I begin my project by using my glue gun and attaching the end of the boa around the wreath and then wrapping. It's amazing how quick the wreath starts to take shape and look so pretty and chic!

I keep my wreath simple and just use left over white ribbon from my wedding to hang the wreath. I decided to hang our wreath over our SUPER large mirror. I love how the wreath is so fluffy white and delicate.

Total Wreath Cost: $ 6.97

$ 1.00 for the Styrofoam Wreath
$ 5.97 for three White Feather Boas
Free White Ribbon, had on hand

Holiday Shopping

Have you been to your local Dollar Tree store lately? If not you'll be amazed by all the great holiday ornaments they have. The have a great selection of traditional holiday ornaments and contemporary color ornaments: whites, gold’s, silver and purple and much more. I picked up a box of delicate glass ornaments with snowflakes on them. For Christmas we love decorating our house in silver, white and teal blue. I was really happy to find they had our colors! I also found some simple teal blue and silver ball ornaments and some snowflakes.

My favorite find of the day are these little white birds! There are so cute, I might have to go back and get some more. I also picked up a white styrofoam wreath for a DIY holiday wreath.

Pillow Fever

I'm pretty sure I have pillow fever, I adore how pillows and how they dress up a sofa in an instant. Pillows can be daring, bold, muted but there all lovely - except for the tacky frumpy grandma ones. So not my stlye. I did a pillow count the other day, we have SEVEN pillows, yes SEVEN pillows in our living room alone. All my pillows are solids except for some bright yellow ones I found at Target. After much considerariton and to the likly dismay of Mr. CHL I decided our room needs two more pillows. Lumbar pillows to be exact. The lumber pillows will replace the excisting pillows that came with our armless chairs - we don't currently use those pillows. I think the fabric is too chucky in texture to be used as a pillow. The current pillow cover is also badly made and when it sits on the chair it looks mushy and misshapen.

I was thinking of just buying new pillows, but after a little looking I didn;t like the price for them! you can call me cheap, or inventive. So I decided to make new pillow covers for the current lumbar pillows. I wasn't sure if I wanted yet another solid color or something with pop. If I was going to a solid, I was just going to play it safe and go with white. But while I was shopping for fabric for my piano bench, I came across this amazing fabric white and yellow fabric. I'm in love.

Here's a teaser picture, my mom and I stopped in Calico Corners after seeing New Moon (yes I held this bit of information back from Sundays post!!)

Now I (we) paintely wait for my fabric to arrive for 10 long days, so I can get down to business. I leave you with these amazing pillows on simple clean lined sofas with plush pillows.

I hoping with some new pillows and rehanging our artwork, adding more textures...our living room will pop more like the ones above.

{ these picutres are from various google searches before I started blogging - Unknown sources }

Prime Time

I’m finally starting on our Dining Room Redo. The first thing was to pick a paint color. We decided to go Woodrow Wilson Putty by Valspar; it’s the same we used in our bathroom and we love how it looks even though there’s only a tiny bit of light in there. I think the color will look even better in our dining room since we get so much sun in there.

Last night I cleaned and primed the walls and baseboards. I strange thing happened while I was priming; it looked like I pushed the walls of the dining room OUT. My dining room literally grew in size from the white primer. I was floored! Our dining room was painted a buttery off white, who knew that color would make our dining room appear so small.

I finished painting the walls this afternoon after I got home from watching The Twilight Saga: New Moon (loved the movie) with my mom. Our dining room now looks fresh and open. Up Next painting the baseboards and bringing in furniture and much more.

Keep it Level

One of my biggest pet peeves is hanging pictures straight. For me getting pictures to hang level is one of my biggest challenges, I second guess myself when our little level says everything fine. For the longest time we used a simple small 12 inch level got us along just fine while we loved in an apartment. But hanging anything like floating shelves that hidden brackets more 12 inches apart creates a problem.Prefect to mark holes

Last night while Mr. CHL and I were at Wal-Mart I stopped in the tools clearance section. I'm always looking for a good deal! I came a across a clearance level that is special. Yes levels can be special! This level is made from Black & Decker it’s called the Accu Mark Gecko Grip - say that three times fast. The first thing I love about this level is the size its 36 inches - long that's three feet of creating a perfect line. It has a great level mark, where you can make perfect mark the surface where you’re hanging. There have been so many times I've made a mark to hang something, only to find out one side is not even...so frustrating.

Another great feature I like about this level is the grip assists, you longer have to worry about a level scraping your painted walls. My husband and I went to pay for our item and found out the level was on clearance for $16.00 great price (there was no price on the level). Levels that size are easily $24 and up.

We debated whether or not we should buy the laser level, but decided against it, we didn't want to worry about replacement batteries or it getting lost (they are the size of tape measures, which always get lost in our home).

We have a few hanging projects to do this weekend, I can’t wait to sue this special level, and take action shots of us hanging up some great buys I found to spruce up our entryway.

So many uses

Furniture Reincarnation

I believe in furniture reincarnation, finding a piece of furniture and re-doing to compliment your home. I bought a small piano bench from an antique store years ago, since I've owned it has had several reincarnations. It's past lives include: a bench at the foot of my bed, chair to sit on for my vanity, a dumping spot for clothes and much more

When I first bought the bench it had its original green flowered print upholstery. I recovered the bench with a purple flower satin fabric and purple cord. So my style in 2003 - I love the color purple, just longer on my furniture or bedding.

Here's a picture of the piano stand today. I love the legs on the bench there so detailed and pretty. The back of the piano stand has a delicate scroll design.

The latest reincarnation I want complete for my little piano bench, will bench a sitting bench for my bedroom. I want to use the bench to sit on while I get dressed in the morning. I plan on painting the bench white or grey and recovering it with a nice modern print fabric.

I went shopping at Calico Corners on Sunday and fell in love with a few prints that will look perfect in our master bedroom. If you never been to Calico Corners, it's a great place to find amazing fabrics. The fabrics are a little pricer but they have a amazing selection.

Here's a few fabrics I have in mind, I'm thinking a fabric in the light blue family or grey family. As I said the fabric is pricer, but I only need 1/2 a yard so that helps alot. The one downside about the fabric is it's cut to order, but they offer free shipping. I'm going to order the fabric this week, I also found amazing fabric to make pillow covers for my living room couch pillows. Can't wait to share.

This is pretty damask print, very pretty

I love the geometrice design

This print is so pretty!! Full of flowers and birds.

This reminds me of shiney silver forest so amazing in texture.


Yesterday my girlfriend and I spent the day shopping at two Home Goods / TJ Maxx stores. I found some great decor items and good prices. Happy Dance.

In a few days my entryway will be done, I can't wait to see how it turns out and share the details. I also found more items for our dining room!

Upon Entry

A few days ago I revealed our living room ReDo. We still have a ways to go be I feel the room is more finished: more artwork, accessories, rug etc. One area of our living room that's really boring me is our entryway. Our home has an 'Open Concept' entryway my fancy way of saying you walk straight into our living room. There's no cute hallway or amazing staircase to look at when you first enter....just our living room and a short wall that leads to our dining room / kitchen. Our entry wall is BLAH there's no artwork hanging, no cute bench to sit on, no cute table to place our keys at...just BLAH. Well I plan to change all that and make it charming and chic. The entryways below inspire me for several reasons:

I like the funky rug on the hardwood floors and the bench that serves many purposes, the tree rack is also fun. This entryway has personality.

This entry is amazing! I like how the space was used, its also very similar to how you enter our home (minus the chandelier, perfect wood floors, lots and lots of light - now I sound depressing). I like how the sofa is positioned looking into the living room. I'm going to have to move our furniture around and see what happens.

This is simple and crisp, again like how you enter our home, you can even see into the living room. I like that there's just simple LARGE artwork on wall.

My girlfriend and I are doing a 'girls shopping' day on Satuarday -so this will be a perfect weekend to look for items to enhace our entryway. What have you done to enhance your entryway or is it still WIP - work in progress....?

{ pictures: Martha Stuwart.com & Country Living }

Quick Change

Sometimes you buy a piece of furniture and it needs a major overhaul: sanding, primer, coats of paint and patience. Other times you buy a new piece of furniture that just needs a small tweak. After months of searching we finally found the right TV stand for our living room. I knew the TV stand had to be a certain size (for a future upgrade flat screen) and style to get our living room closer to our after.

I was so excited when the box arrived and convinced MR. CHL that putting the TV stand together at 9:30 at night would be quick and fun. Nope, not quick and not fun. In a rush to be helpful I put the TV stand together wrong, my loving husband kindly took over and put us back on track. After our TV stand was put together, I instantly knew the cheap plastic handles had to go.

New Sleek Hardware

A better view, I was to lazy too pick the mess for a quick picture

Pulling it Together

A few days ago I shared my ideas of how I want to transform our dining room. I found this great oval mirror on clearance for $10.00 at Ross. The mirror was pretty banged up appearance wise. I didn’t matter to me, because I knew I was going to paint the mirror white. I like the beaded trim around the mirror.

The saw horses were a big help while I spray painted the mirror white

I stopped in Kohl’s on Saturday night and came across some the prefect gallery metal frames for 55% off. I bought a few for $11.99 each. The ones I originally loved are from Pottery Barn and they start at $34.99 for a 4x6 - OUCH!

Pefect, large matte and 5x7 opening - LOVE IT

Over the weekend I was also in search of the perfect dark wood stain. Three trips to later (back in forth between Lowes & Home Depot) I found the almost perfect color. I say almost because the color I really wanted was Jocobean by Minwax but the color was no longer available at Home Depot and Lowes had no dark wood stains without red undertones. I ended up choosing Dark Walnut by Minwx which is very similar to Jocobean.

Can you tell why I liked Jocobean? Yup the color is just a little darker and richer...oh well.

Dark Walnut


Living Room Reveal

Our living room has come a long way from of move in day. We've cleaned, painted and decorated, turning our living into a chic place to land.

Here's a reminder how our living room looked a few days after we moved in.

Our living room today

There's a few items I want to add to make our living feel more 'finished' - find an area rug, restain our hardwood floors a deep walnut, add a photo gallery wall, find more artwork. For now I'm in love with how fresh and invinting the room now feels. I like how the yellow and blue colors pop off each other in a unexpected way.

{ I took this photos in the evening time, right before the sun went down, so yes I used the dreaded FLASH }

EDIT: The lighter wall colors are actually cream not yellow! I'll take better picutres soon

Dining in Style

Right now my dining room is the furthest you can get to dining in style, any style for that matter. Our dining room & kitchen is an open kitchen style all in one TINY room. If our house was bigger I would consider the space to be a breakfast nook. Alas the tiny space is our dining room. I often wonder what the builders 1956 were thinking building a home with such a tiny dining room. My guess, most people who bought their home in my area in the 1950’s must have used TV trays – so not me.

Even though our kitchen and dining are combined into one room and I want the dining room to feel like its own amazing space that flows into the kitchen seamlessly. I want to be able to entertain family and friends. Eat waffles on Saturday morning, and then host a Fab dinner party that night in our dining room/kitchen. Right now our the room looks purpose; its main objective right now is the dreaded dumping ground: groceries, my purse, mail.

Here are a few dining rooms that inspire me.

I love dining rooms with dark tables and parsons chairs and intesting light fixtures. I'd love to have a fireplace in my dining room! { our a fireplace in my home for that matter, yup we are oneof the few homes built in the 50's with no fireplace }

I like the idea of mixing chairs and having the light fixture be the focal point in the room, swoon

I love the artwork and high ceiling in this space + I'm loving the super large vases on the table....hmm they would also look nice on a dining room floor.

{ images for bhg.com }

Here's my how I plan to have my family dining in style soon (and on a budget)

My Objective
  • Sand and restain dining room table a dark color, our current dining room is simular to Pottery Barn version above.
  • Sand and paint buffet a semi gloss white. I like the one above, but ours will do for now
  • Find the perfect drum shade ligth fixture of our dining room, at a good price
  • Paint our walls Woodrow Wilson Putty - they color is more grey then biege
  • Buy 4 parsons chairs from Ikea
  • Find oval of round Mirror for dining room - maybe paint white?
  • Gather frames for gallery of photos on wall
  • Find a simluar style rug in our price range
  • Find affordable laminate flooring for our kitchen & dining room
  • Curtains, simple Ikea curtains

Curb Appeal Redo: Quick Fix

Here's some quick fixes we did to our the front of our house to create some Curb Appeal. To make our windows pop from the street, we added black shutters.

Next up was changing our basic light fixture to a chic black one

We changed our mail box soon after we moved in, we painted the bottom portion black to go with our accent colors more. We also changed our basic house numbers to sleek brushed nickel.

Curb Appeal Redo: Making Flowers Grow

I love flowers. I couldn't wait to add some to our front year for added curb appeal. For a simple fix I thought hanging flower pots over our front porch would add color and drama. I found simple chic charcoal ceramic planters from Ikea for $14.99 a pop.

Even before I found the perfect flowers for the pots, I was already in LOVE with how they looked.

Just a few weeks after I planted the flowers

The pretty potted plants today, I used 'Mircle-Gro Plant Food' once a week and it made a big differance. I'm not big on measuring plant food, so I brought the Mircle-Gro Singles packet. It's so easy to use; I just poured the packet into the watering can and watered the plants.

Even from a distance they make an impact when walking up to our front door.