External and internal decorations

"A designer knows when he has reached perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away."

Antione de Sainte-Exupery

home gym before - 8

The only progress I made in the home gym this week was to get the room completely cleared out. That was a much bigger job than I had anticipated. I’ve started on clearing this room out several times this year, only to bring more stuff in later. And evidently, every time I brought more stuff into the room, it was the stuff that didn’t have a home anywhere else in the house. So as I took it out this time, I had absolutely no idea where to put it. Most of it can probably be thrown out or given away, but that’s an hours-long project for a later date. Right now, it’s all been divided between my little studio storage room and the sunroom where it will live until I’m finished with the home gym. And since the next project on my list is to finally finish the studio, those boxes and stacks of stuff will have to be dealt with at that time. But for now, it’s out of my way at least for this project. And now with all of that out of the way, I can show you exactly what I’m working with, and the several challenges […]

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house 2021 - finished rooms in our home

I have felt a huge shift in my mind over the last few weeks towards our house, and it’s been pretty amazing. My mindset started shifting as I was finishing up the living room and the hallway, and the music room was so close to being finished. For the first time since we bought this house in 2013, this house finally started feeling like home to me. It’s a feeling that almost brings tears to my eyes, because it’s something that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Each place where Matt and I have lived for the last fifteen years (starting with the condo, and now this house) has felt more like a project to me than a home, and for very good reason. They’ve both been projects where we live on site. And while our condo was a very fun project for me, it was never completely finished, so it never really felt like home to me. It was always just a project. The same has been true of this house. For the better part of the last seven-and-a-half years, I’ve viewed it not as my home, but as my project. There was always a constant presence […]

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home-gym-walls-option-2-1

I’m finally starting on our home gym today! My goal over the next couple of days will be to clear out the rest of the stuff from the room (my paint cans, tools, and scrap wood from other projects always seem to land in that room), get all of the lights installed (six recessed lights and one ceiling fan/light combo), get the walls and ceiling primed, and then get the rest of the hardwood floor in the closet area installed. But as you might expect, it’s not these basic projects that occupy my mind. It’s the fun stuff — the colors and designs that will go into the room. So this past weekend, I tried to finalize the design for the walls. I was having a hard time visualizing things in my mind, so I went to my favorite free floor planner, drew up a quick floor plan for the room, and saved some pictures of the room in the 3D view. Then I used my photo editing software (I use Paint Shop Pro) to add some color and design to the walls. First, here’s the two-dimensional look at the room. When we made the hallway smaller to square up […]

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side table before and after

Yesterday, I took some time to refinish the side table in our sitting room. After looking and looking for a side table to go between the chairs in this room, and having absolutely no success, my mom gave me this table that she was no longer using. It’s an Ethan Allen table that had a very thick and dark factory finish on it. And those old, dark factory finishes are just not my thing. I had thought about painting it, but this room already has lots of painted wood, and it doesn’t have any natural wood other than the window shades. So I decided to refinish the table instead of painting it. Actually, all I did was strip off all of the old finish and leave the wood natural. The wood underneath all of that heavy, dark finish was actually quite pretty on its own. It doesn’t actually have any kind of finish on it right now. It’s just bare wood. My plan right now is to use my favorite water-based clear coat — General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in a flat finish. But I’m going to wait for the new rug to arrive before I make any definite decisions. […]

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new sitting room rug - 4

I had hoped to have the sitting room (aka, breakfast room) completely finished by now, and be well on my way to having lots of wide angle pictures of all of these finished areas to share with you by now, but as always seems to be the case, I hit a little snag. I think. I’m actually not 100% sure. But first things first, I made a little change in the entryway. When I originally finished this area, the rest of the room was pretty far from being finished. Since the wall wasn’t balanced with anything on the other side of the room, I did a gallery wall with 12 framed bird images. I loved it as long as that was the only finished area in the room. But ever since I finished the rest of the room, I’ve wanted to pare down the number of pictures and add mirrors that will reflect more light into this end of the room. So I went on the hunt for interesting mirrors, and finally decided that I wanted arched mirrors. I finally found these mirrors on Amazon that were a pretty reasonable price, so I went for it. I like the calmer […]

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music room

A couple of days ago, I posted the final before and after of the music room remodel. But just like the living room, a simple before and after didn’t seem to do justice to the process that this room has gone through over the last seven-and-a-half years. The music room didn’t go through nearly as many changes and stops and starts as the living room. I never really seemed to get started on the music room, but I sure had lots of changing plans over the years! I did have a couple of major projects that I did and then changed my mind about, though. One particular project (the pony walls) is still mentioned by readers who, to this day, wish I hadn’t changed it. But if you’ve read my blog for long, you know how that goes. Don’t hold on to anything too tightly, because it could all change at a moment’s notice until the room is finished. And even then, nothing is really safe. 😀 So here’s the process that the room went through over the years… August 2013 This is what the room looked like when we bought the house. Like most of the rest of the […]

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music room after - 9

The music room is finished! This room took just as long as the living room (which I showed you a few days ago), but it didn’t go through nearly as many changes as the living room over the years. But it has been “in process” for years now, so it feels amazing to finally have this room finished. When you walk through the front door of our house, this is the room you see straight ahead. And if we travel back 7.5 years, this is what it looked like the day we were handed the keys to the house… This room had the same green carpet, old cracked drywall, ivory walls, and polystyrene ceiling tiles as most of the rest of the house. And just like the rest of the house, this room got stripped down to the studs, ceiling joists, and original hardwood floor that was hidden under and protected by that green carpet. This room also got some extra attention, like a stenciled wall design, picture frame molding and a chair rail, built-in sidelights (from unfinished French doors) to separate this room from the living room/entryway area, and a wood slat ceiling. And to replace the original sliding […]

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dining room picture frame moulding and trim progress - 20

Last week, I shared lots of before and after pics of our newly finished living room. I always love a good before and after, but those often fail to convey the struggle in getting from the before to the after. And while some rooms are pretty straightforward in the path from the original state to the finished state, that doesn’t describe my living room at all. There was nothing straightforward about the journey from original to finished in this room. I took so many winding paths, had so many failed attempts, and experienced so much frustration along the way. It literally took years for me to find my vision for this room, and I know many of you can relate to that. So I wanted to take a look back and not just compare the original room to the final room, but actually take a look at the process along the way. It’s a very winding trail, and even this is only part of the story. These are just the highlights of years of misdirection, indecisiveness, failed attempts, all mixed with some true progress and necessary steps (like new drywall and lighting) all along the way. August 2013 Here’s how […]

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hallway and music room and kitchen - comparison of old and new lighting

Remember the days when we all used incandescent light bulbs in everything? Things were so easy then. We could pick up light bulbs at the grocery store, the home improvement store, the corner convenience store. They were pretty much all 2700K (did we even know about that color temperature scale back then?), so the only real decision we had to make was how bright we wanted the bulb to be. Easy peasy. Now there are so many decisions. Halogen? Fluorescent? LED? How bright do you need it? 60 watt equivalent? 150 watt equivalent? And what color temperature do you want? 2500K? 2700K? 5000K? ? Y’all, life is complicated enough. Did we really have to go muck it up even more with the additional stress of making all of these light bulb decisions? 😀 Over the last five years, any time I needed new light bulbs, I’d purchase GE Reveal bulbs, which are LED bulbs rated at 2850K. I’ll admit that I chose Reveal bulbs because I was swayed by another blogger who was paid to use and promote that product and convince her readers how wonderful they are. Her paid promotion clearly worked on me, because I’ve been replacing old […]

The post Why I Spent $507 On All New Light Bulbs (Ge Reveal vs. GE...

finished living room - 19

The living room is finally finished! That doesn’t mean I won’t make a few tweaks here and there in the future, but this is the first time in our 7.5 years in this house that I feel like this room is actually finished. I have no idea why, but this room has been the most difficult room I’ve ever done. Ever. I had so many starts and stops, so many different directions and ideas I tried (even trying to turn the room into a dining room at one point), and it was a source of continual frustration for me for so long. But it’s finally finished, and I now have a living room that I absolutely love. We don’t have a separate entryway in our home, so the front door opens up right into the living room. So I used the furniture arrangement to create the feel of a separate entryway and living room in the one large room. Here’s a peek at the area behind the sofa. You can see that there’s still plenty of space between the back of the sofa and what I call the entryway wall (i.e., the teal wall on the far right) for a […]

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finished hallway 4

The hallway is finally finished! It’s been a long road, and we lived with an unfinished hallway for well over a year, but i put the finishing touches on it just last night and snapped some pictures to show you. I’m pretty excited about how it turned out, and I actually love the new, smaller hallway much more than I did the much larger and more spacious hallway. Here’s the new and improved (albeit, smaller) hallway. For reference, this is what the hallway looked like the first time around. The wall with the two bedroom doors was set further back, and there was much more room between the bathroom door and the master bedroom door (i.e., the door on the right on that wall with the two doors). Now the door that went to the master bedroom is gone and that whole wall has been moved forward about three feet. Even though the hallway is now smaller, removing that door left room for a much longer table (a DIY project that you can find here), and now rather than the table being on a side wall, it’s on the wall where you can see it straight on from the music […]

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wall mural for bathroom - 3

Just like every single project I take on, my hallway is taking longer than I had expected. I thought I would be done with it last week, but as much even with as much trim installation, wood filling, sanding, caulking, and priming as I’ve done in my two decades of DIYing, I always seem to be surprised about just how long all of that stuff takes with each new project. But I’m finally past the slow part. All of the trim is installed, wood filled, sanded, caulked, primed, and painted. The last big thing I need to do is to paint the light gray stripes on the wall, and then I’ll be ready to bring in the new console table and the decorative touches. By the way, if you missed the new DIY console table, you can click here to see it. I made it by repurposing the edge grain plywood herringbone coffee table top that I made in 2019. Anyway, I’m anxious to see the new console table in the “new” (much smaller) hallway. But before I can count the hallway as finished, I’ll also need to do some paint touchups on the doors, install door hardware on the […]

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DIY two shelf console table - 28

In December 2019, I made an edge grain plywood herringbone coffee table for the living room. I made it a very specific size so that it fit the furniture arrangement that I had in the room back then, so it needed to be long and skinny. It ended up being 52″ x 18″. If you missed that project, you can click here to read how I made the original DIY edge grain plywood herringbone coffee table When I rearranged the furniture, this long and skinny coffee table no longer worked in the room. But I had spent so much time and effort on that herringbone top, and I loved how it turned out, so there was no way that I was going to give this piece away (which is usually what I do with the things I made and no longer have use for). I decided to repurpose it for the “new” hallway instead. Our original hallway had three bedroom doors, as well as the double doors on the bathroom. So I built a small console table to use in the small area to the left of the bathroom doors. But that small console table wouldn’t work in the “new” […]

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Yesterday, I shared that our breakfast room will now be a sitting room for the foreseeable future (until we build the addition on the back of our house). If you missed that post, you can click here to read all about it. I had been contemplating a rug for the room for a few days (ever since our recliners arrived and I put them in the room) since it’s not a room where Matt will need to use his wheelchair, and last night I decided that the room definitely needs some color on the floor. So I went to my go-to site for rugs to see what I could find. I always go to Overstock for rugs because they carry a large selection of Safavieh area rugs. That’s the brand that I have in our living room, so I know it’s a tried and true brand for me. I like that they have a large selection of colorful rugs that are polyester (which last a long time and are easy to clean) and are very low pile (which is good just in case Matt wants to roll his wheelchair onto the rug). Plus, they’re not expensive. I would never pay […]

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breakfast room turned sitting room - 3

After a year of using the breakfast room as a bedroom, Matt and I were finally able to move into the guest bedroom about a week after I refinished the hallway floor. In the weeks leading up to that move, I was dreaming of having my breakfast room back. I had given away our dining table that I had used in the room before, so I was also dreaming of either purchasing or building a new dining table. After finding a beautiful unfinished pedestal, I decided that that I wanted to purchase that pedestal base and then build the top and finish the whole table. Well, that’ll have to wait now, because just a couple of days before we moved into the bedroom, Matt threw a wrench into my plans with his announcement that he wanted a recliner where he could sit during the day. I’ll be quite honest. I heard the word “recliner” and my heart sank. First of all, where would I put it? And second, that word “recliner” brings about an involuntary feeling of dread. As I’ve been remodeling and decorating the house, I’ve asked Matt every step of the way what he needs and wants. He […]

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master bathroom floor plan - 3D - 2c - with mural and wainscoting on all walls - white

Twelve days. That’s how long I have to finalize the decisions on our master bathroom project, because we now have an actual start date for this project. The fun begins May 10th. So I’ve been trying to get all of the details worked out in my mind before I meet with our contractor next Monday to go over all of the finalized plans. A couple of weeks ago, I shared a few wall murals and wallpapers that I could use as a jumping off point in this master bathroom design. You can click here to see the fifteen finalists. I’ve finally selected the winner, and it’s this mural from Photo Wall. With that decision made, I needed to decide exactly how I want to use it. I took all new measurements of the room to be sure that everything was accurate, and then I used this free online floor plan tool to create a 2D and 3D floor plan of the bathroom. I started with my original plan of having the bathtub in its own little alcove like this… The 3D walkthrough option of that tool makes the perspective look a bit off, but this kind of gives an idea […]

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diy faux marble coffee table top - before and after

A couple of months ago, I purchased a new coffee table for the living room. I decided to get a new one when I rearranged the furniture to its current layout and realized that the edge grain plywood herringbone coffee table that I had made was way too skinny with the furniture arranged in the new way. (It will make an appearance in another spot, though.) So after looking at probably hundreds of coffee tables, I kept coming back to this mid-century modern coffee table with a stained wood base and white top. The choice was uncharacteristic for me because mid-century modern generally doesn’t appeal to me, and yet this is the one I kept going back to. I found it in several different stores online, but I ended up purchasing it from Amazon, which had the lowest price and free shipping. The table had consistently high ratings with rave reviews, with the exception of one thing. Almost every review mentioned that the table top is NOT white. It was described as anywhere from off-white to a yellowish color. That made me hesitate and continue to look. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I’d love a table with a […]

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hallway progress 4-20 - 3

Matt and I have finally moved from our temporary “bedroom” that we had set up in the breakfast room into the guest bedroom. That took way longer than I had intended, but the craziness of 2020 really got my focus off of house-related projects. And then at the beginning of this year when I finally did finish the bedroom, Matt reminded me that we still couldn’t move into the bedroom until I finished the hallway floor. So after finishing the floor in the hallway and giving it about a week for the polyurethane to cure, we were finally ready to move in. It’s going to take some getting used to. The breakfast room has three big windows, and the room always seems very bright during the day. Here’s how the room looked right after I finished it a few years ago… But the bedroom has only one window, and it’s shaded by the huge oak tree in our front yard. The room is very bright if all of the lights are turned on, but if we’re only wanting natural light (which we both prefer to turning on lights), it’s a much darker room than the breakfast room. So that will […]

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wall mural 1a

Our master bathroom remodel project is quickly approaching, so I’ve been spending some time in the evenings to try to put together my plan for that room. After looking through hundreds of pictures of master bathrooms to narrow down exactly what I want for that room, I decided that I wanted to start our master bathroom design by finding a nature-inspired wall mural or wallpaper to use as a jumping off point for the rest of the room. I envisioned putting an amazing nature-inspired wall mural or wallpaper on the vanity wall. As a refresher, this is what the bathroom layout will look like… That wall is 12.5 feet wide, 8 feet high, and has a window right in the middle. And as y’all know, I absolutely love nature-inspired designs that specifically include trees, flowers, and/or birds. I also love designs that are reminiscent of geodes and natural stone, and pretty much anything that looks like watercolor. So after searching hundreds of designs, I narrowed down my favorites to these fifteen murals and wallpapers. Most of these are from one particular website, but I don’t have any kind of business relationship with that store. They just happened to have thousands […]

The post Fifteen...

refinishing the hallway hardwood floor - attempt number 2 - 9

As you know, my attempt last week to finish the hardwood flooring in the hallways was a disastrous fail. It didn’t dawn on me that the hardwood flooring in my house may have changed color just a bit over the years, so instead of color matching the new floor to the old floor, I just ploughed forward through the project using the exact same process, products, and colors that I used when I refinished the floor a few years ago. That resulted in this catastrophe. If you want to read more about my stubbornness and determination to push forward even though my eyes could see that things weren’t working out with every new step, you can read that here… Hallway Flooring Progress (And Disaster) So this past weekend, I had to correct that awful mess. It took hours of sanding (more on that in a minute) and some careful color matching, but it worked out great this time. Here’s the floor as it looks this morning… Isn’t that so much better?! It’s not perfect (it was never going to be perfect with a brand new finish next to a years-old finish), but I’m pretty thrilled with the results. (Note: If […]

The post My Finished Hallway Floor (Color Match New Hardwood Flooring To Match Original...

refinishing the hallway red oak hardwood floor - 10

I finally had a chance to get back to the hallway flooring project. I was determined to get the floor stained and at least one coat of polyurethane on by last night. Well, I met my goal, but with pretty horrible results. But let’s back up a bit. When I last wrote about this hallway flooring, I was dealing with a paint stain from where Cooper knocked over a quart of blue paint on the unfinished floor… After reading all of your suggestions, I decided that paint remover was the way to go. I was concerned that other options like wood bleach would bleed over onto the unaffected areas and lighten the wood that didn’t need to be lightened. Paint stripper seemed like the safest option. So I covered the area with Klean Strip paint stripper, let it sit a few minutes, scrubbed the area with a wire brush, cleaned it up with Klean Strip After Wash, and let it dry. I did this about three times, sanding between each application. After the third time, I decided it was good enough. After sanding the entire floor with 34, 60, 80, and 120 grit sandpaper on my handheld belt sander (which […]

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freestanding bathtub from home depot

Remember in my last post how I said that we had signed Matt up for home health services, and how I hoped that would get Matt some quality professional medical and physical therapy help while freeing up some time for me? Well, that didn’t happen last week. After four different intake meetings on four different days with four different people in four different positions (intake nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and Matt’s regular nurse), Matt and I were both so exhausted. Hopefully things will start to get a little easier as we settle more into a regular schedule with them, and as Matt continues to improve and doesn’t need me to help him communicate with people anymore. (His speech was greatly affected by his being sick, but it’s getting better each day.) But all of last week, I kept wondering how in the world I was ever going to get any work done. We are very thankful for the extra attention he’s getting, though. And he and I are very excited about the occupational therapy and physical therapy he’ll bet getting on a regular basis. So we had a steady stream of people through our house last week, and very […]

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oak tree - being cut down - 2

We finally decided that the time had come to get rid of the huge oak tree in the back yard. This is the oak tree that was dangerously close to the house, and became even more of a concern after we had the carport built. I had hoped that we could keep it, but when it started dropping pretty big limbs (one of which poked a hole in the roof of the carport) and it began showing signs of rot, it had to go. That tree was so massive that it could have taken out half of our house had it fallen in that direction. Here’s how it looked before they got started on Friday (ten days ago). This picture doesn’t do the tree justice because the leaves were only just starting to bud. Here’s how it looked in the summer when we were having the carport built. (Note: If you’re reading this post on any website other than Addicted 2 Decorating, that means you’re reading on a site that is stealing my blog content. I hope you’ll consider joining me on my actual blog by clicking here.) This tree towered over our house, and was way more than double the […]

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Y’all, Matt and I (but mostly Matt) have been put through the wringer these last few days. It all started last Wednesday (the 17th) when I was at my mom’s house for our usual Wednesday family lunch, and I started coming down with what I thought were allergy symptoms. That would make sense with spring in the air and the trees and plants coming back to life, right? I got a little worse Wednesday night, and then Thursday, those allergy symptoms had turned into what I thought was a full-blown head cold with a bit of chest congestion. It was a pretty miserable day, but I started taking all of the appropriate anti-viral supplements as soon as I got home Wednesday, and by Friday, I was pretty much back to normal. Then Friday, Matt started showing the same symptoms, and I figured we were in for a rough ride. When most people get sick with a cold, it’s miserable, but we can handle it. Matt is a different story. Since he has multiple sclerosis, any little sickness wipes him out completely. It’s about 1000 times worse for him than it is for me because his M.S. already renders him weak […]

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I have finally started working on the floor in the hallway and home gym. Since I decided to use foam mat flooring in the home gym and forgo the refinishing process on the hardwood flooring in that room, that meant that I really didn’t need to waste time and money renting the big drum sander since I only needed to sand the small hallway. That’s a job that I can do with my hand held belt sander. Because this flooring has been sitting here unfinished for over a year, I had two spots that needed some extra attention. One was where Cooper knocked over a quart of blue paint that I was using in the guest bedroom, and the other was where I had knocked over a quart of polyurethane. On both areas, I thought the best way to handle it was to let the paint and polyurethane dry completely, and then see if I could get it off of the floor. I figured if I tried to clean it up when it was wet, I’d just smear it more and make an even bigger mess. That actually worked well for the majority of the paint. Once it was completely […]

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metal and glass side table makeover - before and after 1

My cute little settee for the music room arrived a few days ago, so I took some time to get this area of the room all set up and finished. Well, it’s finished for the most part. The pillows you see on the settee probably aren’t going to stay there. Probably. Maybe. Heck, I don’t know. Anyway, part of getting this area finished included a side table makeover. Here’s how my little side table turned out… If you’ve been around here for a while, you may recognize that table. I got a pair of those tables free from Overstock soon after we moved into this house. They were originally black metal and glass tables that looked like this… I ended up painting the metal on the tables with gold spray paint, and I used them in the living room for a while. Then during the original kitchen remodel, I did a little back-painted glass experimentation on the tables (because I was considering back–painted glass as a backsplash in the kitchen), and then I never used the tables again. They’ve been sitting in the sunroom (i.e., my storage room). So when I pulled them out to consider using them in the […]

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We are very excited to be part of this new project to extend and refurb the Ezra community centre in Woolwich, working with the Royal... Read more »

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paint color selections for home gym

Last week, I posted my preliminary plan for the colors and wall design for the home gym. I had decided to go for the bold look of stripes on the walls and ceiling in an ombre rainbow sort of design using stripes that were at least eight inches wide. If you missed that post, you can find it here… My Inspiration & Plan For A Colorful Home Gym I was pretty excited about that plan, and after doing some quick math, I determined that I’d need 27 colors to do the striped walls, not including the solid end walls. So in all, I’d need 29 colors. I headed to Home Depot and picked out about 100 colors, brought them home, and started eliminating and arranging that selection to get to 27 colors. I took a few pictures along the way so that as I arranged, I could have a reference to go back to in order to remember the arrangements I really liked. This was one such arrangement, although I’m missing a few colors, and it looks like there are some repeats. When I thought I had the colors just right, it dawned on me that these colors represented actual […]

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diy frostred front door with house numbers - 14

I’ve mentioned several times that I rearranged the furniture in the living room (which I will show you very soon!). Now that the back of the sofa creates a more defined entryway, that means that any time I sit on the sofa (my favorite place to sit in the living room), my back is to the front door. There was just something very unsettling to me about having my back to a full glass front door, especially when sitting on the sofa at night. So I decided to frost the front door and incorporate our house number. Here’s how it turned out… I used my Silhouette to cut the house numbers out of Gila privacy frosted film, which made it incredibly easy and accurate. If you don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut, you can cut the numbers by hand. It would be a tedious job, but as long as you use a brand new blade in an X-acto knife, and take your time to get the numbers precise, it’s doable. But I took the easy way. I made a rectangle about 11.75 inches wide and 6 inches high, and then filled it with large numbers using the Arial Black font […]

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rainbow fence from At Home With Ashley

In my last post, I shared with you the plan for the layout of our home gym that I’m currently working on. If you missed that, you can get caught up here… Home Gym — The Current View & The Plan While I had the layout pretty clear in my mind, I wasn’t so clear about how I actually wanted to decorate the room. Colorful? More subdued? Most of you seemed to agree that our home gym should be colorful. I was hoping y’all would say that! After looking at so many home gyms online, and seeing that most of them were very neutral and almost void of any color at all, I knew that I probably wouldn’t be happy with that kind of colorless room in our home. So I went to the place where I always go for inspiration — my Instagram account where I have saved probably 300+ colorful rooms for inspiration. And I started scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling, to see if one particular photo caught my eye for inspiration. And sure enough, one did — this ombre rainbow fence from At Home With Ashley. I have loved this fence ever since she revealed it on […]

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Garage Doors

Environmental Restoration

Asphalt Paving

Elite Fence

Floor System