Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Because One Project at a Time is Not Enough

 One project at a time is actually plenty but that doesn't seem to be how it goes around here!

I had my #thethriftedporch refresh challenge going on in May along with my 11th One Room Challenge. But a very special opportunity also presented itself in May and I jumped in to a big, messy project alongside the others. 

I was home alone for the entire month of May. Well, Cooper was here but Mollie and her dad went to Florida for the whole month for his sabbatical. That meant I could tackle the worst, junkiest room in the house. It had gotten out of control and was causing me a good bit of anxiety. Really. I didn't even take a true "before" picture. I knew this project would create a big mess in the rest of the house so having 30 days to accomplish the big clean out was going to be perfect! Spoiler: I didn't finish it. I worked on it continually but it was a lot of moving stuff, sorting, purging, etc. before I could even start to paint and deal with the old carpet in there. It dragged well in to June (and still going strong OY!!) but I'm so relieved I didn't give up!

This room is labeled "Living Room" on the original floor plan. When we moved in my husband needed an office with easy access to the front door. I insisted on French Doors immediately so that his stuff would be behind closed doors. I love those French doors in our entry.  My mom made curtains to cover the glass and then years later I did a faux antique mirror finish on the panes. Then my husband went to work for a company and traveled extensively. He didn't need the big space and I took it as my craft/scrapbooking/studio space. I enjoyed it for years and then it just started to be where we stashed stuff we didn't know what to do with and things for our little vintage business Elizabeth and Payne. I kept saying I was going to clean it out and use it more as a studio "when I had time." Guess what?? I had lots of time last year and I didn't clean it out, use it or get back to painting! Obviously having "enough" time wasn't the issue. I had also been thinking that we needed a bed on the first floor because we have a lot of steps but I didn't want the room to look like a bedroom. I wanted it to look nice, have more than occasionally being a bedroom as the function. I've also always loved a sunroom but this house doesn't have one, we aren't going to build one at this point (plus we have a fabulous screened porch we use non-stop across the back of our house.) This room does get great afternoon light and would be a good place to overwinter the plants that don't fit in the greenhouse and moving the daybed in our seldom used guest room would be a great way to have a non-bedroom looking place for someone to sleep. 

Whew- that's a lot of info but that's where this is coming from. And I wanted to use furniture, decor, fabric, paint that I had on hand. The budget was basically zero. Game on. 

This is what was floating around in my head...

The room is fairly large and the floor still had the original builder beige carpet. (We kept the French Doors closed and never let anyone in the space -it was that bad!!) Our house is not charmingly old, just middle aged and all that implies, and the carpet had to go. Remember: zero budget plus the fact that lumber has almost tripled in cost this Spring. There is a post-pan demic shortage. So what is the most economical decorating tool out there (and my favorite!)?? Paint. 

The plywood subfloor was in excellent condition except for a couple of spots and also confirmed my belief that wood quality has gone down over the last few decades. This subfloor had as good a finish as the "finished" plywood we purchased for our ORC flooring project

The "shove stuff around and work in sections" method is not one I recommend but it is the only way I could make this project happen. Also, every time I pull up wall to wall carpet I realize that I just need to have wood floors and rugs because I obviously don't vacuum often enough!!!

I love a black and white check floor, it fit the "sunroom" aesthetic I was aiming for and I had the paint on hand. Let the taping off begin!!

There was also a gallon of light blue paint sitting inside the doorway of the room
 so I took it as a sign to paint the ceiling blue!

Already in the room as well - 2 bamboo shelves on each side of the French Doors.  My plan is to gather up and/or thrift enough vintage wicker and rattan storage items to store the reduced amount of paint, ribbon and crafty supplies I do want to keep. And now that the doors will show from the inside the faux mirror overspray will have to be painted over. I'm thinking I might use an accent color instead of going with white. TBD.

This green shelf was also in this room before - on the opposite wall. I moved it over here because the daybed is going on the opposite wall. We had the opportunity about 40 years ago to take trim and a few other items from a 100 year old home in the Noonday area of our county that was slated to be demolished. This shelf is one of the items I saved. I love the hand cut scallops and I'm often amused when I read articles saying "scallops are the newest/latest design trend" or that they are "in" because this cute, scalloped shelf is over 100 years old. 

I had to purchase the bamboo blinds. We have bamboo blinds on all of the rest of our windows so it was past time to get them in here. I order them from Amazon and recently it has been difficult to find certain sizes in stock. I like to order these because I like the valance that covers the hooks at the top. I do have both kinds in the house and the difference isn't really that noticeable once the curtains are hung.

The daybed was an amazing GW find several years ago and was in a guest bedroom that I zhushed during a One Room Challenge. I wanted to give it a fresh coat of white paint. It had the original finish which was either off white or had yellowed slightly.

Unexpected, unforcasted rain caused us to move the bed inside while still not completely dry so it had to be set up in the room beforethe floors were finished so that it could dry without ruining the paint. 

    I found the mirror at GW several weeks ago for $1.99. I would like something a bit bigger with the same ornate look but for the price I grabbed it as a placeholder until the right one comes along.
I have a fun DIY planned for that big white cabinet on the back wall. It is just a storage cabinet from a big box store but it needs to stay. It holds a ton of stuff.  I have this idea in my head and I'm excited to try it. Stay tuned.

I honestly thought I'd have a finished room and a "big" reveal by now but I'm excited about where this room is headed and the really slow, hard work like pulling up carpet and painting every surface is behind me. The prettier, more fun part is just ahead! 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Love for Tennis

Wimbeldon begins today and I'm excited that it is going to happen this year! 


This has always been my favorite sporting event to watch on TV. I'll watch the Opens but Wimbeldon is quintessentially the epitome of traditions and classic style merged together in a sporting event played by world class athletes. It's a piece of cultural heritage and has almost a cult like following in it's avid watchers (many who do not even play tennis!)

I played tennis in high school and proudly wore my Varsity letters from both High Schools I attended. That was a long time ago but the love for the game has not diminished. 



I still love classic tennis whites and really like my tennis shoes to be solid white #oldschool


It's hard to beat tennis whites with a lightweight v-neck sweater. In my day we were all about the Izod pullover! (the Wimbeldon dress code states white tennis wear and goes on to say "White does not include off white or cream."

One of the Wimbeldon traditions to stand the test of time is that spectators enjoy strawberries and cream as the number one refreshment. How lovely (in comparison to nacho chips with fake cheese on top that is offered at every event in the US!!)

I'm kicking off the first day of matches with some strawberries and cream om my porch with Round One playing on the TV! It's been two years so I'm here for every round!

The courts at Wimbeldon are free of advertisements and it is the only Grand Slam patronized (without fail) by the Royal family. Apparently, they are ardent fans. 

We love tennis on this side of The Pond and quite a few US Presidents have been tennis players. JFK and Jackie reportedly loved to play tennis as did most of the Kennedy family.

U.S. Presidents Who Played Tennis


I'm excited to see the "classiest international sporting event" kick off this week and I plan to enjoy some strawberries and cream while I watch. What about you? Are you a fan of Wimbeldon? Will you watch and eat strawberries and cream or maybe the Pimm's Cup cocktail that is also synonymous with Wimbeldon is more your speed! Whichever way you go the world definitely has a LOVE affair with Wimbeldon!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

My Garden "Friends"

 My collection of bust or statue planters get a lot of attention when I post them on Instagram. And my collection is "growing!" I started out with just a couple but I keep finding more "friends" along the way.

They are a LOT of fun year round. 

Right now they are filled with all kinds of beautiful plants for Summer. 

Some of these guys are going to need haircuts soon!

Back in the early Spring I found forced bulbs at Wal Mart for $1.00 per so I filled the planters with lots of blooms. It was so much fun to have all of those blooms in the early, early Spring and since they were up on a table I didn't have to worry about Cooper eating something harmful! Always something I have to consider when choosing what I plant.

At Christmastime I used my extra clippings of magnolia, holly and a few "faux" evergreen trees and topiaries to decorate my garden friends. (And the weather had been mild so far which meant my native, perennial ferns were still green and full!)

I never got a great evening shot with the lights on (and there were some things on the porch draped for the Winter so it's not an awesome image) but it was fun to have all the greenery during the Winter months.

This angel is actually something that used to hang on a brick wall but I added her to the mix.

I didn't do anything in the fall with pumpkins or mums for my collection of garden friends because I was all about my chinoiserie pumpkins and my collection of terra cotta jack-o-lanterns! I think that might change this Fall! 

This guy (Socrates, maybe??) isn't a planter but he hangs out on the porch surrounded by plants!

This little gal lives inside.

This large bust planter hangs out in our downstairs powder room.

She got a little seasonal change for the holidays as well.
Real magnolia but faux poinsettia because it was low enough for Cooper to reach it (Poinsettias are poisonous to dogs!)

These bust planters are great "Garden Friends" but they are a lot of fun inside the house as well. I have gotten feedback that they seem 'creepy' to some people but I like the 'classic' vibe I think they give off - think Roman and Greek statues in the garden. I am enjoying them each season and it's fun to add to the collection. What do you think? Like them or pass?

I've found mine in a lot of different places but here are a few I've found online if you want to find some "Garden Friends" of your own!

This one is just like one I have and if you have Prime that helps with the shipping on something this heavy!

Another bust planter for a good price from Amazon.

I love this one from Breck's. I'm very tempted!!

And this one is from Kroger!! Who knew!

Those are all great options if you don't find any locally but be sure to check out thrift stores and local garden centers and concrete "yard art" places! 

Friday, June 25, 2021

One Room Challenge Week 8 - The Hall of Mirrors Reveal

 I'm back! I was determined to finish up this ORC despite all of the unexpected delays that came my way - being hit on Memorial Day, a totaled car, wearing a walking cast, dealing with insurance, 3 sick Cooper visits to the vet in one week plus all the normal stuff we do like eat, go to work, grocery shop, water the garden... you know! I hate to admit it but all that "stuff" messed with my mojo and momentum!! I thought I was going to wrap up the details on Friday and Saturday of Reveal Week and post a completed project but that is not the case!! More bumps in the road and I refuse to stress or rush through the curtain project - If I messed up my gorgeous pagoda fabric by hurrying I might cry!! 

A few progress shots:

 This wasn't going to be a big big splashy ta-da anyway,  like so many of the ORC reveals (and I have my favorites) but the thing that is important to remember in all of this is that it isn't a competition and everyone who has participated has been motivated to improve a space in their home. That's a big W in my book. We never really thought much about how dingy and uninspiring this space was - we just walked through on our way to whatever room. Now we have each said, "Wow! This is so much nicer!" It's definitely prettier - and healthier too. We removed the old, old carpeting that retained so much more dust than I realized. 

I like how bright and fresh it is. I think it makes a great transitional space for all of the rooms that feed off of it and I love the fabric we used to hide the laundry closet. You can read about the awful janky bifold doors that used to be there here. The details of the flooring project are here and  here

So even unfinished we are glad that it is as improved as it is. I will finish, post here and on IG and hopefully you will give it a look!

Thank you to Linda and Better Homes and Gardens for hosting the best motivator for me in all of IG Land!! 
Check back soon :)

Thursday, June 3, 2021

One Room Challenge Week 5 - The Hall of Mirrors


As stated above, it could have been much worse and we are healing but... now I'm dealing with the business end of being in an accident. I want to say that my agent/insurance company has been very helpful but the insurance agency that needs to take care of our needs on behalf of their driver has been awful so far. 

So, no fun ORC stuff going on this week. See you next week with a Week 6 update!!

I will be checking in to see what everyone else has accomplished here.