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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Storybook Cottage One Year Later and a Few Sneak Peeks

Almost one year ago to the day Mr. Décor and I had boarded a plane in our home in Phoenix bound for Texas. It was a whirlwind trip in which we needed to find a home for our upcoming move  to D/FW. We saw house after house. Houses lasted on the market for mere hours. Our realtor saved one house for last. It had been on the market for over 40 days. One of the very first posts I did of the house which became our home was a video tour of Storybook Cottage. When I look at the videos now it is truly amazing just how much we have accomplished in just one year.

One tends to focus on what still needs to be done and not appreciate all that has already been accomplished. 

The house itself is large. I have decided it will be the largest home that I will ever own. This decision was probably based on the fact that I painted 90% of this almost 3000 square foot home by myself. It took the last week of September and the first two weeks of October to do so. This was due to the fact that some rooms required the removal of several layers of wallpaper or three coats of paint to cover the dark colors.

The first room I chose to makeover was the family room.

Every square inch of the sun faded wood paneling was primed and painted.

As well as the bead board wainscoting, trim and built ins.

New blinds were hung, old drapes were repurposed and the entire space was filled with meaningful mementoes.

DTA Summer Tour 2015 002

The kitchen was next.


It too received a paint job on the ceiling, walls and cabinetry.


Then a few months later new countertops and a backsplash was installed.


The adjoining pantry/laundry room was also transformed by covering the badly damaged walls with bead board.

A repurposed curtain rod, a birdcage turned light fixture and heirloom accessories created a happy yet hardworking space.

Inventive storage was also created.

Next came the guest room.

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Paint once again came to the rescue and simple accessories created a welcome retreat for holiday guests.

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Later in the spring simple drapes were embellished with applique and a custom headboard cover was created.

The Little Things 088

The beast of a living room was tackled in April.


Paint and accents of green and deep aqua helped to enliven the space.

Decor To Adore ORC Reveal 029

The hearth itself is a continuing journey.


I tried to do my best with the ginormous space in December. Looking back, it’s like a big Pinterest FAIL. :)

Decor To Adore Fireplace Mantle 002-001

Since the mirror only reflected a ceiling fan I sold it on Craigslist and bought a painting from Pier One. The mantle also received a coat of paint. It was getting better.

Decor To Adore ORC Reveal 158

A big improvement was the removal of the asymmetrical shelves. They were replaced with built in cabinets.


I also showed you our master bedroom.


It’s been temporarily decorated until I can find the direction that I want to go in.


In addition there have been many other bits of bliss added such as a new color for the front door.

Decor To Adore March 050

We continue to work on the exterior of the house….

…and the gardens.

All the while seasons have come…

and they have gone.

Holidays have been observed….

…life moments have happened.

Some sad….

…others very, very happy.

So we begin our second year at Storybook Cottage.

I am currently working on the sunroom. Here’s a sneak peek of the theme.

Those who follow my Instagram page have seen what I am doing with these grand guards.

A tutorial for some darling pillows I created from souvenir tea towels is coming next week.

Wiser 099

There is also a chandelier I have transformed….

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As well as some fun Fall themed projects.

I am so glad I took the time to take a look back. As women we tend to beat ourselves up for not doing enough. Somehow in the midst of all these projects I have also completed six university classes and created things that soothed my soul. Writing this post truly has made me….happy, content, and perhaps a wee bit proud.

Tomorrow I will turn another year older. I shall embrace my new year with open arms.

May it be fully lived.



GSGreatEscaper said...

Dear Laura, congratulations on a successful year. Your efforts have been truly herculean. The house, especially the kitchen, looks 5 times better. I hope you are proud of yourself; you deserve to be.

We just moved into an almost 3k sq ft house with those same horrible brown colors everywhere. I'm sure this post will be my go to as I convince everyone that white and bright is the way to go. You are an inspiration! Thanks.

Jan Tanis said...

What a whirlwind year you've had! Your home looks absolutely beautiful! Happy Birthday Laura!

Jan ♥

Angela D. Boone said...

Your home looks as amazing as its owner! You have done so many wonderful things in just a year! I am so glad I found your blog (and your friendship). I truly enjoy you, sweet friend.

By the way, I'm not really keeping up the personal blog anymore. My home blog kind of took off and I was having a hard time balancing work, home, kids, and two blogs. :)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Just a fabulous, beautiful and inspirational job Laura! You deserve a big pat on the back.
Hugs friend and Happy Birthday too,

Stacey said...

Laura, your home is beautiful. To have the vision you've had and to be able to carry it out is something to be so proud of!! I love that your home has the cottage look with all of your personal touches. It's really pretty.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Happy Birthday Laura! Your cottage now looks like you home. So glad you did not paint the fireplace, love the contrast brick with the white. Hope tomorrow is a wonderful day.

crisdsanchez said...

The transformations so far are amazing! I so enjoy seeing what you do. Have a wonderful birthday!

Prettypracticalhome said...

I'm so impressed with what you've accomplished in a year! We reach the year mark in our home in just a couple weeks. I agree about beating ourselves up about not getting enough done. Maybe if I look back like you've done I can see the progress more clearly. You should be proud of what you've accomplished. The house looks lovely!

Jennifer Schmitz said...

Wow your home has come a long way. I LOVE all the work you've done to it. Painting that wood in the family room really brightened it up and updated the room. And the flowers you planted are so pretty too. I bet you feel proud when you look back at all the work you have done. Sweat equity!

Sue said...

Amazing transformation in such a short time! Happiest of birthdays to you Laura.

ellen b. said...

Wow. A year already! You have made some great transformation choices. Lots of hard work and it has paid off. Well done!

Karen Hess said...

Your home reflects every bit of your creative and magical touch! It's become a showplace, Laura, and I'm sure you are thrilled with the results!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

It's amazing how much you have achieved in one year - as well as keeping so many other balls in the air. You have a beautiful home that reflects your creativity, energy, wonderful sense of style and love. An impressive, well deserved outcome. xxx

Vel Criste said...

I can't believe that it's been a year already Laura! Congratulations on making this house into your beautiful home and I know despite the ups and downs of decorating and life in general, the best is yet to come for such a wonderful lady like you! CHEERS!

Lillibeth said...

Happy Birthday! I love what you have done to your house! Very inspiring!

Anita Diaz said...

Happy Birthday Laura!! How much you all have done is just amazing!! What fun it must be, though, to be making a new house your own:-)

Sarah said...

Laura, you should be more than just a wee bit proud. Wow, what an amazing transformation, and congratulations on the university work, which is no small accomplishment. Happy, Happy Birthday! Hope you plan to celebrate!


Happy Birthday!! Your storybook cottage is lovely! You have done a wonderful job of making it a HOME.

Rita C. said...

Laura, Wishing you a very happy birthday, and a quiet, rested mind and heart. Your capacity to be a great mother, daughter, student, wife, homemaker and blogger is immense! And you said our booth moves made your head spin?! Your last year was like a tornado - F5. I wish you good health to keep doing all the things you love (and maybe don't love, but keep pushing yourself to do).

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

You have done so much it is hard to believe you have had time to sleep Can't wait to see what all you have on your endless to do list. Also, I miss not being with you for you Birthday. So Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday Dear Laura, Happy Birthday To You. Love you tons. Marty

Kelley Dibble said...

First of all, a very delightful birthday to you, dear Laura.

Next, can I watch it again? And again. A.MAZE.ING. Positively amazing. You sure have a lot to be grateful for. Your precious family most of all.

Truly décor to adore.


Janet Garon said...

Happy Birthday Laura! I wish I had a tenth of your tenacity and energy. You are inspiring!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Happy Birthday! I hope that it is wonderful! You have certainly brought the storybook cottage a long way in a few months! It doesn't even look like the same house!!

Lana L. said...

First of all, happy birthday! You have done such a beautiful job with your new home - it is truly lovely. I apologize for my lack of commenting lately - there has been so much going on in my life, that I've had to take a bit of a break!

Kirby Carespodi said...

Happy, happy! And the house is fabulous!

Linda said...

Happy Birthday, Laura!! ♥
You should be proud - you've accomplished an amazing amount of work during the past year. We've been in our home over 15 years and there are unfinished or projects that need to be started everywhere. In our town, however, homes sometimes take years to sell and house values have fallen tremendously, so anything we do at our place is simply for us since there will likely never be any return for our investment here and therefore we overlook a lot.

All of your home looks beautiful, just like you are. Have a great day!

Lisa said...

You have created such a beautiful home for your family! You have such vision and impeccable taste and your home showcases both. Well done Friend!!!!!

Bonnie said...

You should be VERY PROUD!!!! You have not only accomplished amazing things but done it beautifully and quickly. I would still be recovering from the first room! Not to mention completing classes and blogging. Whew!
Happy Birthday to you and many more. You are special!
Blessings to you today.

Jaybird said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!
Oh SHOULD be proud and everything is looking so beautiful!! I have accomplished O this summer...Grandma camp happened in two sessions...we had a ball, but this ole' grandma is pooped!! Last evening I did manage to cut some new drapes for the MBR, but that is the extent of my creativeness!!
I do work full time and am a church music minister, so I really haven't loafed away the entire summer, but I haven't done any "house stuff", and that is my favorite thing to do!! I will live vicariously through you!!!
Blessings to you and your family.......don't work too hard, and good luck with school too!
PS: I am so proud to call you friend!

Latane Barton said...

Happy Birthday. I stand in awe at your talent, energy and determination.

Auntie Em said...

Happy Birthday!!! What a year it has been for you folks. You have truly turned your little brown empty cottage into a warm and welcoming home. It is really going to deserve it's Storybook Cottage name with your style and design throughout. I love how much brighter it has become.
Thank you for sharing and hope your day is extra special and as wonderful as you deserve! {{{hugs}}} :)

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

It's just amazing the amount of transformation in your cottage in just one year! Happy birthday!

Carol said...

I haven't been able to visit in awhile, Laura, and it was so much fun to catch up on all that you've accomplished with your new home. It really is very, very pretty. You definitely have the decorating talent gene!

Fox and Finch Antiques said...

One of the hardest things for most people is being able to see what a house could be in their mind's eye. You were able to do that and do it very well. That is a lot of work to get done in a year and I applaud you and your success.