Repurposing a Room

I've had a lazy morning today.  My patio set is waiting for me outside, but I've been caught up in blogs and catching up with sites I haven't visited in awhile.  

Do you follow The Inspired Room?  I know for me, it was one of the very first blogs I started following.  I was tinkering around on Melissa's blog this morning which got me thinking about "authentic living".  What's authentic living, you ask?

In Melissa's words, "Authentic Living is living a life that really works. It is focusing on things that are appropriate for me and the season in my life.  It is about letting go of pressure to live out a life that isn’t really “me.” And this includes creating a home that may not look like the cover of a magazine, or just like my neighbors’ home, but one that nurtures my family and reflects more on WHO I AM than WHAT I HAVE."

Too often I find myself decorating like a magazine, creating little displays with completely useless stuff (usually things that create more dusting for me and more crash hazards for the little peeps!)  Melissa's approach to decorating is inspiring!  She uses basic everyday things that are beautiful instead of following trends or buying non-functional decor.  Go here to read more about how she finds her style, establishing a purpose for a room & a focal point, and creating mini-destinations within a room.  I really enjoyed re-reading this information and it has me thinkin'... (uh oh, she's thinkin' again!)

Here is our formal dining room, aka "the dust bunny room" because the only reason I go in there is to dust or mop.  We eat in here maybe twice a year!

(Eek, sorry for the yellowy picture!  This is an older photo when I was still learning my new fancy camera!)

In the spirit of authentic living, I'm really feeling like I want to repurpose this room to something we would actually USE.  So, what to do with it....hmmmm.....

It needs to look "presentable" since it slaps you in the face as soon as you enter the front door.  I'm thinking maybe it would work better for our family to create a sitting room, a place where we can have conversation away from the family/TV watching room and a place to read.

The room has lots of elements that I love.  The walls are painted a bittersweet chocolate color called "Tribal Pottery" from Ralph Lauren.  It has crown moulding and 3 windows that let in lots of light.   

I love the chandy...

the shell canvases...

and the curtains I made myself...

I have 2 bookcases that could go in the room that are currently in the foyer.
Look at all that "un-authentic" crap!  Ha!

Thoughts?  Ideas?

I think I'll be starting this after the patio is complete (hopefully by the end of this week! Knock on wood....err.....bamboo!)



Welcome to "NEWBIE" Wednesday!

On a tip from Meg at House Notes, I am proud to be featuring
Karrie from The Brick Cottage!

Karrie and her husband, Bryan, purchased their first home in Knoxville, TN in August, 2008.  The 1945 brick cottage was perfect for them and their love of old homes.  Karrie got the front porch she dreamed of and Bryan got a workshop!

The Brick Cottage!

  They began transforming this house into a home, but life threw them a curve ball!  Karrie lost her job when the company she worked for went out of business. With time on her hands and a small decorating budget, Karrie turned to blogs for affordable decorating tips.  After becoming completely obsessed with reading blogs instead of completing projects, Karrie decided that starting her own blog would be a great way to hold herself accountable with house projects.  What she didn't expect was that complete strangers would read it and get inspired!  She gets excited when she receives comments from a reader who likes something she shared.  

Karrie and Bryan share their brick cottage with a feisty, but sweet dog, Bindi.  They've had her since she was two weeks old (after caring for her dog mommy & the entire litter of pups!) and are absolutely smitten.  She keeps them entertained on a daily basis. 

Meet Bindi!
Karrie describes herself as an eclectic decorator; she has an appreciation for vintage, contemporary, mid-century, you name it.  She describes the brick cottage as "traditional with a twist!"  Karrie and Bryan are still figuring out what they like and are learning a lot about compromise (if Bryan had his way, everything would be Craftsman style and if Karrie had hers, all of their furniture would be painted).  

Here's a peek inside The Brick Cottage!

Don't you just love Karrie's fresh decorating style?!  Look at the labeled handles on the buffet! I can't wait to see her next project!

Karrie's mission is to create new looks, spend as little as possible & use what she has around the house (a girl after my own heart!)  

Check out some of these beautiful budget friendly projects!

This is the coolest project!  Flower store vases (we all have tons of those!) transformed into chic hobnail vessels using spray paint & puff paint.  Wow!  Check out how she did it right here!

Roman shades made from existing blinds!   This project has been on my "honey do" list for awhile now. Don't they look great?

Dropcloth curtains with ribbon trim!

Hobby Lobby Plaque re-do becomes mudroom showstopper!

Olive oil bottle & cork becomes container for mouthwash!

And I'm really excited to see the attic transformation happening at The Brick Cottage courtesy of the DIY Network!  

So go visit Karrie at The Brick Cottage and follow the play-by-play on her exciting renovation!

Thanks for stopping by and see you next week for more NEWBIES!


Painting, repainting and staining....how's your day?

I am in patio furniture Hades!  Good thing it's such a beautiful day and I'm enjoying the sunshine, all while cursing!

So I got the 2nd coat of turquoise spray paint (Valspar Mediterranean) on the bamboo dining chairs and encountered a problem...
Can you see the white spots?  It doesn't matter how many times I spray over it they come back.  Okay, so what does a girl do?  Ya just "go with it", right?

So, I went in to my painting tub of tricks and found some dark walnut stain, which I proceeded to wipe haphazardly all over the chair (you would be laughing at me -- I used an oven mit to apply most of the stain and a toothbrush to get into the nooks & crannies!)

And here's the result...
The chair I experimented on has a rung missing in the back....imperfectly beautiful, just like me, ha!

So what do you think?  Hot mess?  I think I may go back with some umber paint and really darken it up in spots.  

These chairs are going to look like they came out of an old, crusty barn when I'm done with them!

Oh and I ran out of turquoise paint (imagine that!) so I'm thinkin' I may just stain the table, to provide some contrast.  Good?  Bad?

And finally, I ordered the glass top for the table today and I'm still looking for cushions, but I'm thinking about a white background with a coral print or maybe even something very natural looking like burlap.  Leave it to me to do things backwards!  Should have found the cushions first!  

Oh and here's a funny sidenote (I think I'm rambling which is probably due to the spray paint fumes!) -- I went to Garden Ridge a couple of days ago to see about replacement cushions for my patio furniture and they had crap for selection.  So disappointed in them in the last couple of years!  I did, however, find a really cute bronze lantern for $12 and I got suckered in to buying 4 patio lounge chairs for $30 a piece!  Great deal, but the chairs look...well...like patio chairs and totally don't fit into the Indian/beachy/bohemian oasis I'm envisioning, like these... 

 So, the "I'm going to be lazy & not think" chairs are going back to the store tomorrow.  I'm such a sucker for a sale!  You?

Hope everyone is having a great day!



Patio makeover tease!

The patio makeover is getting off to a slow start.  It was windy yesterday so I couldn't do any spray painting (well, I could have but then my red brick house would have splashes of turquoise paint....not a good thing!)  

I started spray painting this morning and wanted to give you guys a sneak peek!  

The bamboo dining set will be TURQUOISE!  I appreciate everyone's comments and turquoise was the response I got most.


How do you like my spray painted grass?!  Oh Mr. FYN is going to love that one!  

I like the way it's turning out so far; this is the first coat.  At first I thought I wanted a lacquered look, but I kind of like the way the bamboo shows through the paint.

So, what do you think so far?



Shop The House Sunday!

"Shop" your house (in your pajamas if you wanna!) and create something for free!

Projects can be ANYTHING,  like repurposing an item, moving something to a different room for a new look, a recycled project, painting projects, organizing projects, tablescapes, rearranging furniture...the sky's the limit.


We're sharing projects that cost NO MONEY.  

Can't wait to see everyone's ideas for FREE decorating!
Link up and party!  
1.  Use the link for your POST, not the link for your blog.
2.  Link back to this party, with the button on the right side or a text link.

Linky will be up through Monday morning, to give everyone time to shop, create, show and tell!


The Week in Review!

Happy Friday morning everyone!  Does everyone have big plans for the weekend?  Ours will be filled with a football game, baseball game, dinner club and patio overhaul, oh my!  Here is my week in review and it was a busy one!

Lots of talented bloggers linked up this week and here are my favorite ideas!

A beautiful "Spring without being pastel" mantlescape from Leanne from Organize & Decorate Everything!
I love the little birdies and eggs!

Michelle at Happy Hodgepodge Home gave new life to a worn out kitchen mat by handpainting a new picture!  Bravo!

Easter blocks made from old wood trim destined for the dump!  Check out how Carrie made them at Dittle Dattle

Here are some interesting things I found this week while tooling around!  Some of these are oldies, but I just found them when looking through some of my fave sites' archives.

Copper Penny lined candle jars at The DIY Showoff.

Beachy Mason Jar at Completely Coastal.

Burlap Wrapped Candles at The Country Chic Cottage.

Decal covered ceiling at Apartment Therapy

Filled mason jars at Bspokeblog

Freehand Frame Wall at Tutus & Turtles

White Table with driftwood at Life in the Fun Lane (Whiteberry)

If you are featured in this post, be sure to grab an "I Was Featured" button on the right side of the page.

Okay, well I'm off to look for cushions for the patio makeover I'm tackling this weekend!  

Have a wonderful day and don't forget to link up to Shop the House Sunday this weekend!



Patio update - look what I just scored on Craig's List!

I'm so pumped!  I was just browsing Craig's List for outdoor furniture for cheap and look what I bought!

Bamboo dining set for $45.  Okay, she's ugly in her current state but with a little paint, won't this be cool?
I'll have to get a piece of glass cut for the top and some fun cushions for the chairs.

I need everyone's opinions on paint.  

I'm going for a zen/buddha/indian feel on the patio.  The colors will be turquoise and burnt orange with hammered bronze accents.  Should I paint this set:


Keep in mind, the patio floor is stained pretty dark.

Let me know what you think!


Search my archives for more great ideas!