September 30, 2011

Updating Your Fireplace (without touching your brick!)

or stone...or whatever else your fireplace is actually made of.

Cuz this easy update only has to do with one thing...
it's removable and totally easy to update from blah (or just ugh) to fan-lovely-tastic!!

I'm talking about this little monstrosity:

I know some people totally embrace that brass but it literally was sucking the life out of my narrow living room.
The whole fireplace was dark and the brass faceplate just immediately drew your eye to it...and away from my lovely blue walls and pretty little mantle :)

Something had to be done.

See what I mean about just sucking the life out of the room?
It stuck out like a sore thumb...

The fun part was getting the thing off.
Who knows how long it had been stuck on that fireplace?
Trust me, it was kinda gross when it finally let itself become unstuck.
I vacuumed for quite a while. Ick.

Though it was a sight to see Hubby halfway into the fireplace with his drill trying to pry the thing off.
I really hope Santa doesn't come down that chimney...shudder.

So he finally decided to cooperate...

Some of my lovely followers commented during my fall mantle week saying that the perfect solution was High Heat Paint!!

We must have totally been on the same wavelength cuz this was my last summer project back in August.
And I totally used that amazing high heat paint by Rustoleum.
So I was right there with ya, guys :)

This stuff is awesome.
Not too terribly pricey and it made my nervousness about painting something that liked to flirt so close with fire.
I love to curl up next to our fireplace during the winter with a book...I'd rather not have any scary explosions, you know?

Turns out after doing a bit more research that the flames don't actually get near enough to the faceplate for it to really matter.
It does get warm, but not enough to become flammable.
And I was only painting the outside, not the inside part that attaches to the fireplace anyhow.

But just to be safe...check this stuff out :)

I, of couse, stuck with a pretty white since it's right next to the kitchen and all our new trim is a fresh glossy white.
It took several coats to get it even but it looked amazing...I had a hard time waiting for it to dry :)

I taped newspaper onto the glass to keep them from getting painted.
And then, right after it was done drying, hubby forgot to bring his drill home from work.
So it sat for like three days before he decided he'd stick his head in the fireplace again to re-install it.

And here he is looking all glamorous in his new white coat!!
You can't even know how much of a HUGE difference this made in our living room.
It seems so much more fresh and alive :)
And it completely makes me happy to see the fireplace now.

And...he's sporting new ORB handles.
Uh oh, Watch out.

I love having our exposed brick so painting that was never an option.
But this was such an easy fix and it's never looked better :)
No couldn't have looked good in the sixties either.
It was meant to be a glossy white color!

It's hard to tell in the pictures, but there's some great detailing punched out along the top that looks so much better in the white than it did in the brass.
Easy, peasy fireplace update.

Gotta love an update that comes in a can.
I mean, what are they going to think of next?
Welp, the glitter spraypaint just came out so, seriously, what can top that?
Oh yes, Krylon...Rustoleum...Valspar...that would be a challenge.

Top glitter spraypaint?
Silly spraypaint companies... :)
They think of everything.

What do you guys think?
Need to run & update your fireplace now??

Is it fireplace weather where you are?
Arkansas is still in the 'can't get out of summer' phase and I'd welcome some cool-ish weather if anyone is taking orders :)

Happy Friday ya'll!!
...Have a fabulous weekend...

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September 29, 2011

Harlequin Pattern in Decor: Guest Post

A special treat for you guys today- a guest post from Susi at Arcadian Lighting.
You know how much I love me some harlequin patterns so I hope you enjoy today's fun post :)

See ya guys tomorrow with a fun how-to on updating your fireplace!!


Today's guest post is from Susi, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a company known for quality light fixtures and lamps, and is one of the top online home lighting retailers. Check out their blog and website for more information!

Harlequin pattern is a bold diamond pattern that is a nice twist on checkerboard. The elongated squares have a more elegant feeling than the traditional checkerboard. Harlequin patterns can be used on floors, fabrics, furniture and decorative items. Here are eight great examples of harlequin pattern in décor. Enjoy!

Harlequin Inspired Decor

Harlequin pattern painted pumpkins are the inspiration for this article. The simple diamond pattern is so charming in black and white on the pumpkins.

Harlequin Inspired Decor

Black and white harlequin pattern on furniture is chic and stylish, and makes a bold statement. This dresser would look great in a living room or entry as well as a bedroom.

Harlequin Inspired Decor

A small version of the harlequin pattern in black and white marble decorates the floor of this chic entry. The smaller harlequin almost looks like a houndstooth pattern; very traditional.

Harlequin Inspired Decor

Tone on tone harlequin pattern creates a more subtle pattern on the wall. Painting in a flat paint and a gloss of the same color can achieve this look. Doesn't it look stunning in the light from slender lamps on the foyer table?

Harlequin Inspired Decor

This tonal harlequin pattern is achieved with shells. This sophisticated lamp by Murray Feiss would look wonderful in a chic beach inspired décor.

Harlequin Inspired Decor

Black and white harlequin pattern on the walls is bold and graphic. This look can be achieved with paint and a stencil, or wallpaper. And it doesn't always have to be black and white. Any color and white works for a classic combination, or mix up colors for a really bold look. The black ceiling light placed above the table is a nice added touch.

Harlequin Inspired Decor

Large black and white tiles set on the diagonal create a harlequin pattern in this traditional kitchen. Black and white tiles are a classic harlequin pattern. Loving the pendant lights over the central island.

Harlequin Inspired Decor

Colorful harlequin patterns in fabrics make bold accents in curtains and pillows. Harlequin pattern can work in both modern and traditional style decors.

If you liked this post and are interested in more design ideas for your home, check out Arcadian Lighting Blog for more inspiration!
Images ( 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 ).


Hope you guys enjoyed this post!!
For some fun harlequin inspired ideas right here, you can check out my yellow harlequin table and patterned pantry doors :)

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September 27, 2011

Those Thundercloud Days (& a Free Printable!)

You know some of my best printables come from my most off days :)

We think of them as our thundercloud days around here.
Because it feels like one is following you around.

This week is challenging me in all kinds of ways.
There is so much to get done.
And not enough hours in the day.
So much riding on certian decisions.
And feeling so rushed to make them.
Feels like there is too much to really ever handle.

In the end, when things feel impossible, it's nice to know that nothing is impossible for the One who holds it all in His grasp.

So here is to not having to always have it all together.
Sometimes it's so nice to lay it all down at His feet and know that it's so much better off there.

Remember to breathe.
And remember these words...

And because I love you, there are nine different colorway options!
Click on the links below to download :)

*created using the fabulous Pattern Pieces collection found here*
*Quote from Pinterest*

Most Capable Print in:

As with all my free printables,
these are for personal use ONLY.
Please do not claim them as your own or alter them.

*Let me know if there's a custom color you'd like and I'd be happy to try and make it for you!*

I hope you enjoy them :) 

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September 26, 2011

Painting my Cheap, Laminate Cabinet... A Miracle Makeover

I thought we'd take a quick break from Fall and do something different today :)

I enjoyed sharing my fall mantle with you guys last week and have some other fall goodies to show you but I thought maybe you'd like a good ole furniture redo today.

I say 'good' and really mean 'the worst, most painful furniture redo to date'.
Mostly because I'm impatient and stubborn.
So really, it might not be the furnitures fault.
Although it is it kinda is.

Here's my little nemesis:

This is one of those cheap, laminate, build-your-own cabinets from Target that we got when we first got married.

I used it forever to store some of little man's toys and it's not terrible.
But it's terribly blah and not so fun to look at.
But it's the perfect size for that area.
It sits in the corner of our back living room so it needed a little facelift.

I decided to add a little something to the top to make it have a little bit more detail.
It was seriously lacking in that department.
I had a scrap piece of beadboard that I attached to the top.
Then I added some molding all around the top for some more visual interest.

You can see all the random pieces of hardware I pulled out to see what would work with it.

This is when we were still somewhat friends.
After adding molding and beadboard to the top, I filled in the original hardware holes and sanded it down a little.
You can tell how cheap the laminate is by all the crazy scratches that were left by my light sanding.

This is when things went terribly awry and pictures pretty much stopped.
The important key to painting laminate is a good primer.
We had none. And I decided to be stubborn and paint anyway.
Don't. Do.That.
Or else get dangerously close to losing your sanity as I did.

It bubbles and peels.
*And painting in 103 degree weather isn't the best either...but you can't do much to avoid that in Arkansas, besides waiting til winter. No thanks.*

After about, what seemed like, 100 coats I finally got it to stick.
Albeit, not the most beauitful, smooth coverage you've ever seen.
And I'll fully admit that.
This was not a perfect furniture redo.
But somehow, it turned out :)
After my arm about fell off.
But I wouldn't try selling it or anything.

My favorite part was the change in hardware.
I love these old handles that I switched them to.
So pretty.


And I added some of those brackets you have that go behind certian knobs to the corners.
I think it gives the feel of having some vintage hinges.
Love how it turned out :)

Here's the little bugger after all my crazy work on it...
I used a random oops Sherwin Williams yellow that I got from Habitat.

You have no idea how relieved I was that this turned out at all.
I really thought I was going to have to give up and throw it out halfway through.
I'm glad I stuck with it though.

I painted the inside a gloss white to contrast the yellow.
So much better than opening it up to a dark brown faux-wood :)

Like I said,
it's not the prettiest paint job ever.
And it has multiple flaws in it.
Part of my solution was to sand the edges and give it a more rough and distressed look than most of my pieces.
This allowed it to have a more old-world antique feel and not just a crappy paint job look to it :)

Although it's not my best piece,
I still love it.
And I definitely feel happy every time I walk by it...
pretty much just because I stuck with it and manged to salvage an, what looked like, unsavable piece.

Not too shabby for a cheap little laminate cabinet, huh?
You gotta see the side by doesn't even look like the same piece :)

I'm loving the hardware changes- I think it adds the most :)
So... now do you know why it's my 'miracle makeover'??

A really good lesson on being patient and getting the right supplies.
I would have had a lot less of a headache :)
Oh well. Live and Learn, right??

I hope you guys have a great Monday.
Mine is great just in the fact that my research paper that I worked EIGHT hours on on my Saturday is finally being passed on to someone else to look at.
Not done.
But done for now.

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September 23, 2011

Fall Mantle Reveal!!

Ack!! It's finally Friday and I''m so excited!!!

Not only does that mean I finally get a break from classes (but sadly my research paper will be with me all weekend...) but I finally get to show you my Fall Mantle!!
I've been dying to share it with you guys.
Mostly because it's pretty much completely epic to me.

Not only did I change what's on top of the mantle...but several little things on the actual structure changed that made a HUGE difference.
Can we even say it enough?
{Paint makes all the difference in the world}

I've been showing you sneaks all week about some of the decor going on it ...
so I can't wait to show it to you all put together...
this is where you hear the drum rolls, peeps.



I decided to go with brighter fall colors this year.
I added a few splashes of my aqua I love along with the traditional oranges and browns.
Add weathered wood and some wheat...and it's saying 'fall' all over :)

My 'Clover Hill Farm' sign fits in perfectly :)

And remember my sneak peek from yesterday?
I told ya there was some loveliness hidden in there.

I added a pretty coat of gloss white and gave them a good sanding.
I love the different heights of each of them- they're so purty together :)

I hung my glitter wreath from a thumbtack I put in the tallest door.

I'm so excited with how it all came together.
It's amazing how much your style can change in a year.
Last year was pretty sad :/

This year... well, I'm not sad I took down my spring decor anymore.

The weathered wood adds just the right amount of rustic charm to balance out the white and glitz.

I found this awesome antique Clorox bottle at my favorite antique store a few weeks ago.
I thought it'd be perfect for throwing some wheat in.
That amber color is perfect for fall :)

Although the opening to the bottle was smaller than I expected so I couldn't get in as much wheat as I was hoping.
But it still looks pretty together. Win.

The number is a random mailbox letter that I got at the same antique store.
I got a whole stack :)

My little H pumpkin is sitting on a plate with a couple of my cute Hobbly Lobby pumpkins surrounding it.
That awesome disc is some sort of antique cover that I found for 3$.
I couldn't resist it for some reason.
Love the typography. Love the old wood.

My favorite part is all the layering.
The glitter gourds and farm sign help add to that :)

I really was nervous about taking my spring mantle down but now that I see everything together,
I totally don't regret it.

I"m loving how light and fresh everything looks.
Especially with my chevron rug :)
I'm still loving that summer purchase.

How do you guys like all the cars piled into my blue vases on the hearth?
Just keepin' it real, guys.

Just for a good reference point,
here's the side by side of what the mantle has always looked like and what it looks like now.
See the epic change now?

See what I told you about not just the decor changing?
I also painted the fireplace faceplate and added some much-needed molding around the whole mantle.

Don't worry, I'll be sharing how I did the faceplate soon :)
So easy, guys.
And it made all the difference in the world.

What do you think?

**I'd love to see your beautiful fall mantles or mantle inspiration. Jump over to my Facebook page and share them there!!!**

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Linking to:
Remodelaholics Anonymous @ Remodelaholic
Sundae Scoop @ I Heart Naptime
Sunday Showcase @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Amaze Me Monday @ Ditttle Dattle
Craft Catwalk @ Embellishing Life
Mushki Loves My Stuff @ Mushki Loves


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