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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This Living Room Is Going To Get Done!!!

It’s hard to believe but somehow six months have come and gone and it is time once again for the spring edition of the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda at “Calling It Home”.

This time I will be working on finishing the entryway and living room at Storybook Cottage.

Storybook Cottage Living Room by decortoadore on Polyvore featuring interior, interiors, interior design, home, home decor, interior decorating, Pier 1 Imports and living room

It truly is a bit of a challenge to try and complete a room design in just six short weeks. Particularly when you have just moved into a 30 year old that needs A LOT of work! But we’ve been so pleased with how our first challenge, the family room, turned out.


So let’s start off with a few “before” pictures of the living room space. This was how the previous owners decorated the room.



dining room

Since we moved in 6 months ago the space has remained virtually empty.


That’s not so great since it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the front door.


There is also the issue of the ginormous fireplace. It is so large that you can’t get its complete height all in one shot. Not to mention the oh so wrong mantle.

Decor To Adore Fireplace 004

This huge, hulking, overbearing elephant takes up one complete wall in the room.


The current built ins join the long list of a string of previous owner DIY disasters. They are truly poorly executed with unsanded wood topped with globs of dripping paint followed by massive amounts of caulking to try and hide the imperfections. They need to be ripped out and so they shall.

The wood storage area underneath is no longer necessary as the previous owners turned it into a gas fireplace so that black hole also needs to be dealt with. 

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I do like the idea of a set or two of cabinets like what Joni, from Cote De Texas, did. But perhaps with glass insets.


Now longtime readers may recall that I shared an inspiration board for the space back in January.


I did paint the walls “Cottage White” by Behr and that helped to brighten up the room since there is very little natural light. The Ektorp couch, which is currently slipcovered in Tygelsjö beige, is still too dark for the space. I also sewed the Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon in the Alabaster color way. They did nothing for the space. (So sad because I loved them.) The room needs a white slipcovered couch and brighter pillows.

Also, the red lantern for the entry turned out to big a big “NO!”

I ended up creating a verdigris finish on a HomeGoods candle holder and wiring it with lighting from Goodwill .


The hutch, yep, it still sits there, unpainted.


The simple linen panels that were hung are still not hemmed and remain uninspiring…six months later.

I need the One Room Challenge as a motivator to just get it done ALREADY!

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Other challenges are a miniscule budget…about $3,000. When you are talking about custom cabinetry, rugs, artwork and 3-4 major pieces of furniture that are still needed for the space it will go quickly.

But I have a plan and hope to transform the space in just 6 short weeks. Storybook Cottage Living Room by decortoadore on Polyvore featuring interior, interiors, interior design, home, home decor, interior decorating, Pier 1 Imports and living room

I will leave you with a question. What would you do to this fireplace/surround if your husband didn’t want you to paint it?



Next week: rugs, furniture selection and other disasters.

Monday, March 30, 2015

How To Create a Smooth Painted Finish on an Exterior Metal Door

The main entrance at Storybook Cottage features a metal door with a long oval window. While this style of door would not be my first choice, I knew I could make it look better with a new paint job.

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When we bought the house the door was painted a sort of “Cherries in the Snow” red. On it’s own it was a nice enough color. But it did not compliment the coppery pink brick that covers the house at all. It was a case of a cool color paired with warm colors.

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Not to mention that as you moved further away from the house the entry became sort of a dark hole. It just didn’t feel friendly or welcoming.

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In addition there were a few areas on the door that the paint had flaked off.

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As well as spots that needed sanding down.

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I bought the paint on Friday afternoon, gave the door a light sanding and washed it thoroughly. On Saturday morning I had Mr. Décor remove the hardware from the door as this makes painting so much easier. If you are unsure how to do this you can find several easy step by step videos on Youtube. Another option is to tape around the hardware.

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Because it has been windy and the air is full of springtime pollen we opted to remove the door so I could paint it indoors to reduce the dust settling on the door while painting it. Dust and paint do not mix well. (By all means you can also opt not to remove the door.)

You simply remove the door by hammering the pin out of the hinge with a metal pin punch (they can be found at any hardware store). This is easier/safer if a second person holds the door in place while the other person does the hammering.

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The door was laid on two sawhorses set on top of a few drop cloths.

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The baby gate shown above is for these two fur kids who insisted on “helping me” at all times. :)

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Now there are two rules of thought when painting the entryway door. Some people opt to paint the door trim the same color of the door while others select a different color. Either way is fine, it’s a personal choice. We decided to paint the trim the same color to give the doorway area more presence and because the old trim featured two different beige paint colors and a host of dents and gauges. All were filled in with putty and sanded smooth.

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Because we opted to paint the trim we removed the weather stripping (a form of insulation) as well. It is easy to remove and reposition back into place once you are finished painting.

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Just a tad more sanding…

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As well as another quick wipe down.

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I used a bit of frog tape around the white edge of the door even though I have a fairly steady painting hand.

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Because you can see that the previous owners didn’t use tape and had an “oops” moment.

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Believe it or not the previous steps only took a mere 30 minutes. But it is time well spent to ensure an almost perfect paint job. Now it was time to paint. I opted to use a 4 inch foam roller made specifically for doors and cabinets. This provided the majority of the paint coverage. A small filament bristled brush for trim and cutting in was used in the crevices and hard to reach areas.

Painting a metal door is a bit of a challenge. Unlike wood the paint does not “sink in”. The best remedy is to paint 2-3 very thin coats. This is the first coat so that you can see it is not thickly applied. Bits of red still peek through. I let it dry for one hour.

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On the second coat I used the brush first and then the roller to ensure I could get the finish as smooth as possible. I let it dry for two hours.

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Since I was going from a dark to light color I opted for a third coat to ensure that none of the previous red would bleed through. This coat was left to dry for three hours before the door was rehung. My patience paid off as the finish is smooth as silk.

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Because taping an oval shaped window is pretty difficult I opted not to do it and simply used a scraper to remove the dried paint off of the glass.

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I just love how the soft green now compliments the color of the brick instead of fighting with it. If you remember I asked DTA readers to vote on the color we should use.

“Kind Green” by Sherwin Williams (SW-6457) won by a landslide based on blog, twitter and Facebook comments. I used an exterior latex paint in a satin finish.

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So what do you think?

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I think it’s so much better than the “before”.

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Even from far away the doorway seems to beckon everyone with a kind welcome.

(Mr. Décor is systematically replacing the weeds with grass hence the dirt section in the front left. )

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It’s been a bit of a challenge to find a wreath/door treatment that worked with the oval shaped window. I found the grapevine bunny at At Home.

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Of course I had to embellish him with a bit of “Spring”.

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One last “outtake” to bring a smile to your morning.

I bring you Franz the sunbathing frog boy.

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Signing off as I need to “hop to it” on several other projects.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pedal To The Metal

Earlier this week I was almost mowed down in a grocery store parking lot.

Pushing a cart of groceries across a highly visible crosswalk I was enjoying the clear, sunny day. As I moved towards the center of the crosswalk a van came squealing around the corner and continued to escalate toward me. I had to run to get out of the way. The drivers window was open and I yelled out a loud “Hey!” He looked at me and continued on his speedy path turning into the parking area.

I wasn’t really angry, merely irritated by what had just occurred. It’s happened before and no doubt will happen again.

I just kind of shook my head in disbelief at this idiots actions. 

As I resumed the walk towards my car I saw him pull into the parking spot next to mine. The driver was coming around his van just as I reached the open trunk of my car. Again I looked at him. He looked at me and said nothing. I noticed he was wearing a large silver cross around his neck and the back of his van sported a variety of bumper stickers proclaiming he was “Not of this World”.

That’s when my mere irritation transitioned to getting REALLY mad!

Because as a Christian I know that I might be the only contact someone not in possession of faith might encounter.

I have to be diligent to make sure my light is well lit.

The driver of the van, well he got a big fat “F” in that department.

Because imagine if I wasn’t a Christian?

What impression am I left with?

Christians are selfish jerks.

For those of you unfamiliar with the NOTW symbol or terminology it references the bible verse John 18:36.

“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Which is His response to a question posed by Pontius Pilate in the previous verse, John 18:35 “Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?"

Today is Palm Sunday. A time of jubilant celebration of when Jesus entered Jerusalem.

But just a few days later Jesus would be delivered to Pilate who ultimately would make the earthly decision to send Him to His death on the cross.

His death meant eternal life for us. The ultimate sacrifice. The ultimate gift.

Let’s share the gift, not shame it.


“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bits of Bliss

I can’t post as much now that I am in school full time. But my very wise friend Miss Marty recently said to me “Your posts don’t always have to be epic.”

Happiness, beauty and little bits of bliss all still occur during the week in small doses. So I thought I would start sharing what brings a smile to my face each Friday.

Pretty pastel pretzels.

(For local D/FW peeps~ Central Market.)

I am one step closer to completing the laundry room.

Following up on my kitchen curtain saga there are now delightful white smocked drapes.

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Farmers markets are back!

Organic strawberries are red through and through and need nothing to sweeten them.

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Lastly, my niece “Birdie”, who visited a few weeks ago, is a young member of the National Audubon Society. Her birding journal could rival any aviary loving adults. Wanting to connect with her I cleaned up an old bird feeder, filled it with seed and positioned it in front of the kitchen bay window. 

A gift for her has turned out to be a gift for me.

Since I have begun a routine of spending my mornings at the kitchen table studying art history I have also become enchanted with the colors occurring right outside my window.

Introducing…my blue jay mama Beatrice...

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…Mr. Sidney O’Hara and his wife Scarlett…

Northern Cardinal male, Cardinalis cardinalis

and Rockwell the young robin.

What is making you smile this week?