Friday, June 17, 2016

Front Porch

We recently spruced up our front porch.  The exterior of our house has been a work in progress for the past year or so and the porch really needed a little boost.
Last fall, we replaced our old shutters with custom built (by me) cedar shutters.  I built them from cedar fence boards, sanded and stained them with MinWax Provincial stain and then two coats of MinWax Helmsman Spar Urethane.  They really changed the overall look of the house.  I wish I had taken a "before" photograph of the porch, but the one above is the best I could come up with.  You can see the traditional white columns just weren't cutting it with the new stained shutters, so our next project was to replace them with stained posts and porch brackets.
We priced cedar posts and they were pretty expensive.  My dad suggested we use treated pine posts.  Good move.  The four 6"x6" treated posts were around $20 each.  We ended up purchasing two additional 6"x6" posts that my Dad used to make the porch brackets.  After we installed them, we let them "dry out" for a month or so before we stained and sealed them the same way we did the shutters. 
I built this table from 2"x3" boards for the base and 2"x6" boards for the top.  It was my first furniture build and was fairly simple.  I love the way it filled the space to the right of the front door.
I filled these great planters I found at T.J. Maxx with variegated ivy and geraniums. 
I've always wanted a haint blue porch ceiling, so we repainted the bead board with Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue (HC-144).  We also added patio string lights at are from Wal-Mart's Better Homes & Gardens line. 
These planters aren't technically on the porch, but the side of the house, but I couldn't exclude them.  I found these really big containers at Big Lots and filled them with sun ferns, variegated ivy, geraniums and sweet potato vine. 
And finally, we also gave our old mailbox a redo too!  I stripped the paint from the post and stained it to match the shutters and porch posts.  I gave the mailbox a fresh coat of black paint and added brushed nickel house numbers to the post. Then a sun fern and variegated ivy in a pot finished it up. 


 My girl is 12.  On the verge of being a teenager.  Sigh....
I get beside myself thinking we only have 6 short years before she will be off to college. 
We needed photographs for her advertisement for her dance studio's recital program.  My sweet friends at CGL Photography captured her personality perfectly in these photographs.  I love her so much and am so proud of the beautiful young lady she is becoming.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Mini Mantel Makeover

This year when the Christmas decorations came down, I felt like the mantle/fireplace in our living room needed a little sprucing up.  I decided to plank the space above the mantle and add tile to the fireplace surround.
I love the way it brightened up the space and added a little more of a focal point to that wall.  The windows on each side of the fireplace and built-ins have always made this wall a little busy.  The height the planked wall added definitely helped with making the fireplace the feature of the wall.
I made a small box from some recycled pallet wood my neighbors were throwing out.  A little greenery, a few antique books and a wicker basket were the perfect fit for the box.  I picked up the wicker mirror and glass lanterns from Ross.   
I found these pretty glass tiles at Home Depot to add to the surround.  I like the way it pulled all the colors in the room together. 
I used 4' long craft boards from Lowe's for the planked wall above the mantle.  I needed to find thin boards since they would meet the crown molding at the top.  Our local Lowe's had a great sale after Christmas so I was able to get them for next to nothing. 

It's been a while....

I'm back!
One of my New Year's resolutions is to be better about blogging.  So, I'll begin with sharing some recent photos of the kiddos.