Fireplace Transformation

It has been a while since I have shared a house renovation project, but I am so excited to share this new one with you all.  From the first day we walked into this house when we were trying to find a house to buy, I have hated the fireplace with a passion.  It is one of the first things you see when you walk in the front door, and it was such an eye sore to me.  It looked like something straight out of the 80’s even though this house was built many years after the 80’s ended.  I just cannot explain how much I hated that thing.  Not only did it have the ugliest green marble around it, but it also had gold accents.  It could not be farther from my style or more outdated.  Before we bought the house, I told my husband that it had to go right away.  Unfortunately, other projects took center stage like our hardwood floors, my closet, and our kitchen cabinets. The fireplace just kept getting pushed back, but my disdain for it continued.  I mean just look at how horrible it is! 

I have had to live with looking at that thing for over a year now, but the time finally came to get rid of it last week.  We had a guy that was coming out to do a few small projects, and we started talking to him about the fireplace.  I showed him some pictures I found on Pinterest to give him an idea of what I wanted.  The more that I talked with him, the more I could see that he truly got my vision. I started to get super excited when we decided he was our guy and we were going to move forward.  First and foremost, I wanted the green marble and gold accents gone.  I also wanted to update the mantel to make it look a little more modern and to extend it up to the ceiling with sort of a ship lap look.  Yes, I was channeling my inner Joanna Gaines! Ha ha! I also wanted to go with a marbled tile with shades of white and grey in place of the green.  I could just imagine in my head what it would look like, and I couldn’t wait for the renovation to begin.  

The first day they showed up to work last week was such an exciting day for me.  It was the day the green marble got taken away and the mantel came down.  I can’t explain how happy I was when I walked in the room to see the blank wall with no mantel or marble.  It already seemed to brighten up the room completely.  They were able to save the original mantel and use it in the final design with some minor adjustments.  Each day they were here I could see the progression and my vison coming to life.  I was so eagerly awaiting the finished product. We did have a small issue trying to find the right marble tile that I liked, but thankfully we were finally able to find something that I am in love with.  I am beyond happy with how it all came out. It look exactly like the vision in my head   It is so amazing and is now a great focal point when you walk into my house.  I just keep staring at it because it is just so beautiful now. 

What an improvement, right? Isn’t it gorgeous? I am in love! The pictures don’t even do it justice. It’s so much brighter and beautiful in person. I couldn’t be happier!


Office Makeover

We have now been in our new house for almost 2 months, and we still are not completely unpacked and settled.  Life and lack of motivation have kept us from finishing.  We did get a lot done this past weekend because we forced ourselves to work on it.  Most of the main level is done except hanging pictures and my husband’s office. Everything upstairs is done except hanging pictures as well.  The basement on the other hand is another story.  It is a complete disaster of unopened and half opened boxes.  You can barely walk through where the girls’ playroom/rec room area is.  There is stuff everywhere.  Then there is the wall of teacher stuff that I never finished going through.  The media room is mostly done, I think.  We just have to make ourselves get it done. I know we will all be happier once it is finished.  No one wants to go down there now to do anything because it is such a mess. While the task is a little overwhelming, we all know that it needs to be done and done soon! 

My next project and area of focus, though, is my office down there.  It is also a complete disaster that you can barely walk through. I have a small area on the floor  carved out where I have a floor chair so I could make the shirts for my daughter’s cheer team a couple of months ago.  The room needs a lot of work.  The previous owner used it as a woodworking shop so the walls have a coat of saw dust on them that doesn’t just wipe off.  He had these big wooden shelves bolted to the walls to hold lumber that are still there and will need to come down eventually.  The walls will need to be repaired to cover the giant holes from the bolts. Plus, there is also a hole in one of the walls that also needs to be repaired. Once all of that is done, we can begin painting the walls.  We did have carpet installed over the concrete floor, which is nice.  I tend to work on the floor a lot so I wanted something soft to sit on.  I am not sure how far down the road it will be before we can get the walls done, but I can’t leave the room the state that it is in much longer because I cannot find anything.  Plus, you really can’t get to the walls to make any repairs at the moment! That leaves me to the project of unpacking and going through boxes upon boxes of stuff that hasn’t been unpacked or seen since we moved almost a year ago from Georgia.  

As far as furniture for the room, I already had a worktable that houses my heat press and silhouette machine.  I also have a small, old desk that actually belonged to my mom when she was a kid and that I used growing up. I have mainly used in the past just to store things because it doesn’t really work for me as a functional desk.  It needs a new coat of paint and some repair as it has been moved around for many years and is not the most stable desk in the world. Oh, and I also have a small cube shelf that I picked up at Walmart a couple of years ago for more storage. Other than that, I had no other furniture to fill the large space or a decent desk for me to use. My husband has a nice cherry, manly desk that we have had for years that goes in his office. I have never really used it other than to store notecards and the printer.  I’ve never had a desk that was just for me since we got married, and I feel like I need one to keep me more organized. Ikea to the rescue! We made a trip to Ikea this past weekend to shop for office furniture for me.  I ended up getting a customizable desk so that I had the space and added storage that I need.  Basically, I chose a large tabletop with two different storage units to act as the base of the desk.  One storage unit has 5 drawers and the other has 4 drawers with one drawer being for hanging files. I didn’t want anything overly fancy.  I wanted something that was functional for my needs and that didn’t cost me a fortune.  I chose to do it in all white for a clean, modern, and sleek look.  I also purchased this drawer unit to store all of my vinyl for crafting projects. I would eventually like to also get this taller drawer unit and something similar to this shelving unit to go behind my desk. Those are definitely purchases for down the road, though. Of course, since I got a new desk, I also had to get a new chair. I really need a chair that is comfortable. I sat in several chairs before choosing.  It felt like the one I chose had good back support for me while still being comfortable. Because of the carpet, I also had to get a plastic mat to go on the floor so the chair will roll.

Now that I finally have a desk, I am feeling a little more motivated to tackle the room and the boxes. I can’t put the desk together until I clean out the space to make room for it. I totally have a vision for the space, but it is going to be a long time before the full vision comes to life.  My wallet (and husband <wink>) will only allow me to do a little at a time. I cannot wait for it all to come together, though. I will be spending a lot of time down there so I want it to be perfect. I have to get out of this recliner in the family room where I have been sitting to work everyday.  It is killing my back and hips! Plus, I feel like there will be less distractions when I am working in my own office that just contains the things I need to work on.  I will be keeping you all posted with the transformation so that you can see how I organize everything.  It will definitely be a work in progress for many days to come.


Final House Renovations

We have officially had two nights in the new house, and I can’t tell you enough what a relief that is. Yes, we are still living out of boxes and stuff is everywhere, but I am trying to focus on one room at a time and not kill myself.  We are slowly getting there, but it is going to take some time to find a home for everything.  The kitchen and dining room are finished.  The master bedroom is done except the closets and putting things back into drawers. The guest room is completely finished.  The formal living room was done, but now it is currently housing everything that goes in my husband’s office. The rest of the rooms are still works in progress in various stages.  I know it will all get done, and I am surprisingly not stressed about it.  I think I am still so exhausted from the actual move and renovations, that I am just happy to be here.  I am sure my OCD will kick in over the next couple of days, and I will be back in panic mode to get it all done.  Anyway, I promised you all an update on the renovations completed with pictures, so here it is! I know that you have seen some already, but I wanted to put them all here in one place to show the completed projects. All of the before pictures were from the original house listing by a professional photographer. Clearly my after pictures are not taken by a professional!


As I have mentioned before, I really wanted darker floors than what was in the house originally.  I just felt like the color that they were to begin with was a little outdated and not as warm as I would have liked.  While the whole process what a disaster with all of the dust and mess it caused all over the house, the end product is well worth it. I am so in love with the floors. They turned out just like I wanted.  You can read more about the floor renovations here.

Main Staircase

I know that I have already shown you the stairs, but in case you missed it, here they are again. As you can see in the before picture, these stairs had a carpet runner and the wood was stained a light shade.  I really wanted darker floors and my husband really wanted the carpet gone.  I am so happy with how well they turned out. 


When we looked at this house from the very beginning, the one major thing that I disliked was the kitchen.  I didn’t like the color of the cabinets in conjunction with the floor.  I also didn’t like the color of the countertops or the backsplash.  It just didn’t go together to me.  I really wanted to do a full kitchen remodel, but my husband and budget didn’t allow that. Once the floors were darkened, the cabinets really didn’t match.  I hated it. Rather than buying and installing new cabinets, my husband and I compromised and agreed to paint them white. We were both a little nervous about painting them ourselves, but we decided to give it a try anyway.  You guys, with the cabinets painted white and the floors darkened, it looks like a totally different kitchen.  While I still don’t love the counter tops and backsplash, they both look a million times better with the white cabinets.  I can live with them for a couple of years! I am just so excited about how it all turned out.  I think it looks amazing, and I love it so much!


Two of the bedrooms HAD to be painted because they were painted bright colors that just weren’t our style. One had a wallpaper border and the other had sponge painted flowers and butterflies on it. My youngest daughter picked out new bedding for her birthday present and was allowed to choose the color she wanted her room painted.  She chose a coral-pink color to match her bedding.  It would not have been my first choice for bedding or paint color, but we felt like it would help her with the transition if she was involved in choosing what she wanted.  We painted the other room a warm grey which I love.  Then we allowed my oldest to choose the color she wanted in her room. Of course the child that is interested in interior design and architecture chose three different shades of teal.  She wanted her room to be ombré! Her father shockingly agreed to this. Guess what, though? He wasn’t the one who was doing the painting! It was all on me! I convinced her to only do one wall in the three colors and she chose the middle shade for the rest of the walls.  I ended up watching several videos on Pinterest and YouTube to figure out how to do an ombré wall.  Let me tell you…NEVER try to do it yourself! I think I painted the dumb wall like 9 times trying to make it work right using 9 different techniques.  I wish I would have taken pictures of each attempt because it was so bad, but I only ended up capturing the last attempt which was the best looking of all the attempts.  It still looked HORRIBLE, though! The picture even makes it look better than it was in reality. I finally gave up and convinced my daughter that I couldn’t do it, so I ended up just painting three stripes. I actually think that the stripes look good.  I think she is happy with it despite it not being exactly what she wanted.  At least she knows better than to complain to me about it after I worked on it for three days straight!


I did a whole post about how we turned an awkward sitting room into my dream closet with help from Closet America.  You can check it out here.  I just wanted to show you a picture of what it looks like at the moment while I figure out how I want it organized. It’s a mess!  Clothes were hung with no rhyme or reason. You all know that I like things color coded by style so that will definitely have to be fixed. My antique vanity hasn’t even made it in there yet because there is too much stuff in the way.  I cannot wait to get it all organized just the way I envisioned it! 


Unfortunately, I did not get a before picture of the mud room. It originally had a nook of wire baskets on one side and a low down coat rack on another wall. The walls were painted white but had scuffs and marks all over them. It almost looked like someone had colored on the walls with crayon. Anyway, we had the baskets taken town and the coat rack removed. Then we painted the walls a light grey and had Closet America install a storage bench with shelves and hooks when they installed my closet. I plan to add a cushion on the bench and put baskets on the shelves for storage. It is an awkward space that we turned into something useful.


The pantry had some great storage in it already and was very spacious. However, something had been spilled all over the walls that wouldn’t wipe clean. We ended up taking all the shelving out and painting the walls the same light grey color as the rest of the kitchen. Then we put all of the shelving back in, and I added my basket organization system. Some of the baskets still need labels since I was able to add more with the larger pantry, but I am very happy with how it is organized. You can read more about my pantry organization system here.


The final renovation that we did was adding carpet to the room in the basement that will eventually be my office.  The previous owner had used it as a woodworking shop and the floor was just concrete. I like to sit on the floor when I am crafting so I wanted soft carpet.  I know it’s not the typical office floor, but I don’t think it is going to be your typical office.  This room still has more renovations to go, including repairing drywall and painting. Unfortunately, they will have to wait a little bit.  

Well, that is all of the renovations in a nut shell. I really love how every project that we did turned out, and I cannot wait to get started on the next set of renovations once we save up some money.  I will keep you all posted when we start something new. Right now, the focus is just getting things unpacked and put away.  Then I will be back to sharing organization posts with you. I would love to hear what you think about what we have done so far.  


More Renovations

Main Entrance Before and After

To say that I am over the renovations is an understatement.  I am so ready to be done and moved in.  This whole move has been anticipated for so long, and we are all just ready to get there.  The hardwood floors are finally finished including the staircase and all of the handrails. It looks AMAZING! I am so happy with how it turned out.  This picture does not do it justice! It really changes the whole look of the house.  The kitchen cabinets are almost done.  The cabinets themselves are done, so we just have to finish with the final coat on all of the doors and drawers and rehang them.  My youngest has surprisingly been a huge help in the cabinet renovation.  She may be little and only 11 years old, but she sure knows how to work a paint roller. Those of you that know her may be shocked that she has the focus and willpower to actually do that, but it is true. If you give her a job so that she feels like a part of things and you give her lots of praise, she really can do good things.  That’s the kind of stuff that she thrives on.  The past two nights, I have painted the trim, and she has rolled the backsides of every single cabinet door. I must say that it looks really good. She has really been pushing back about the move because change is really hard for her. Having her take part in making the house our own is really helping calm her anxiety. 

The carpet was installed in my new basement office yesterday, and it looks so good. Even with no furniture in there, it has already helped with the sound in the room.  When it was just a concrete floor, it was very echo-y in there. I know some of you are wondering why I went with carpet instead of wood or laminate floors.  The answer to that is that when I am crafting or doing projects for my vinyl business, I sit on the floor. That’s just how I work best.  I wanted something cushy to sit on.  Plus, being in the basement means that it is typically a little cooler down there than it is in the rest of the house, so I didn’t want to be sitting on a cold floor. There is still a lot left to do in that room, but it is going to be a long-term project.  The previous owner had used the space as a woodworking shop.  There are large wooden shelves bolted to the walls, which will eventually have to come down. Then the walls will have to be repaired where the bolts were, along with another hole that is in another wall.  Once all of the walls are repaired, we will paint them. I am thinking about a nice warm grey color.  My dream is to have some built-ins for books and storage along one wall and a counter top with cabinets along another wall to use as workspace for my vinyl cutting machine and heat press.  I also have to get a desk for myself.  I have one already picked out from Ikea, but we just haven’t gotten it yet. We have a nice executive desk that will go in the office on the main level. That will be my husband’s office and a space where he stores all of his Navy plaques and memorabilia.  I have never had my own office so I cannot wait for it all to come together. 

Next up is painting the girls’ rooms and the guest room.  Those are the only rooms we are painting for now.  I am hoping that we can get all three done before we start the move-in process on Sunday, but my husband doesn’t think it’s going to happen. I am certainly going to do my best to get it done. It will be so much easier to paint all three rooms with no furniture in them.  My youngest has picked out her color (a light pinky coral) to match her new bedding that she got for her birthday.  My oldest has chosen three different shades of teal for her room.  She wants the main wall in her room to be painted all three colors in an ombre’ effect. That should be interesting since none of us have ever done that before.  I was shocked when my husband agreed to give it a try! I am already picturing in my head how badly this is going to go!  The rest of the walls will be just one of the colors.  We haven’t decided if we are going to use the lightest color or the medium color, yet. The guest room will likely be the same grey that the rest of the house is painted in.  It is pretty neutral.  It isn’t my first choice of greys as it is more of a cool grey and I like warm greys, but it will have to do. 

The only other project that I am really pushing for that my husband thinks we can wait on is the fireplace. I think I have told you all before that I hate it.  It has marble around it and a marble slab on the floor in front of it.  I have nothing against marble in general, but I can’t stand this one because it is an ugly green color.  It totally clashes with my décor.  I would love to add some stacked stones or white tiles. I also would like to get rid of the gold pieces as well. What I would really love and know is never going to happen is to cover that wall that the fireplace is on with shiplap. I think it would look so good!  I guess I am going to have to live with the green marble monster for a while, but I certainly am not going to be happy about it! 

We have been working so hard to get this new house the way we want it.  We are all tired and ready to be done.  I know it is miserable now, but I also know that it will all be totally worth it once we are moved in and living in it every day.  It will soon be our home.  I cannot wait! 


Renovations: Hardwood Floors

Well, my purge has temporarily been halted yet again.  I have been spending all day, every day at the new house this week because the guys are here refinishing the hardwood floors.  I will say that it has not been pleasant, but I am trying to make the most of it.  I have been confined to the basement as they have blocked off all entrances to any other room in the house on the main level and the upstairs (one staircase is getting refinished as well and the other is blocked).  Mind you, we still haven’t moved anything over here so I am set up with a small card table and a tailgating chair and that’s it.  The first day was miserable because they were sanding all day.  It was very loud and the amount of dust it generated is indescribable.  I had a headache by the time I left that evening, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe for most of the day from inhaling all the dust.   Yesterday, there was a little more sanding, and then they began the staining process. It also had a really strong smell that gave me another headache.  I think I have mentioned before that strong smells are one of the big things that trigger my migraines.  Needless to say, the sanding smell and the stain smell were very strong, even down in the basement with the door closed and the entrance down here sealed with plastic. I have had to go around to the back of the house and down to the basement door in the backyard to even get in here.  I’m just so thankful that I have that option because I don’t know what I would do if I had to sit upstairs in the midst of it all.  

If the smells triggering the headaches wasn’t bad enough, they have had the heat turned off while they are working (1stday was so it wouldn’t stir all the dust around) and multiple windows and doors open the entire time.  It is still pretty cold here (currently 29 degrees), and I am in the basement so I have been freezing to death every day.  I had one blanket here on Monday just because I thought it might be cold (I had no idea they would have to turn the heat off), but it didn’t make a difference at all.  I was so cold. Yesterday, I brought another blanket and dressed warmer.  It still didn’t help.  It was miserable.  I looked like an Eskimo all wrapped up in my blankets.  When I got here this morning, the thermostat in the house said it was 42 degrees on the main level so I am certain it is even less than that in the basement.  I thought I was being smart today and found an old space heater that we had years ago and brought it with me.  I am sad to report that it no longer works!  So much for that brilliant idea! I guess I’ll just be cold again today.  

Despite all of the challenges, I couldn’t be happier with how it is going.  See, I am choosing to find joy in the misery! LOL!  The workers have been extremely nice, despite the fact that they don’t speak English very well, so I have to keep asking them to repeat themselves a million times.  I know they have to be annoyed with me, but they don’t let it show.  They have done an amazing job so far.  I am so pleased with how it is turning out. When we bought the house, there was a large section of the hardwood in the sunroom that had been destroyed by the previous owners, and it had to be fixed.  We decided not to ask the previous owners to fix it themselves and instead took some money off of our offer so that we could get the floors done ourselves.  We figured if that part had to be redone anyway, why not redo all of it and stain it a color that I preferred.  It was a light brown color that I really wasn’t fond of.  The front staircase also had a carpet runner through the center of the steps that we wanted removed. As soon as we closed on the house we hired someone to get the job done before we moved in.  I really wanted the floors stained a dark color.  Let me tell you that picking the color from a small square sample is very nerve wracking.  I didn’t want it to be too black, but I also didn’t want it to be too brown like it was.  I know that doesn’t make sense, but it was so hard to choose.  I finally settled on a color and just prayed that it would turn out the way I envisioned it in my head. When the guy called me upstairs to look at it yesterday once they had completed the sunroom part, I was so nervous.  You guys, I am obsessed! I love it so much.  It looks amazing! The finished product is going to be so worth the misery I have felt while it was being done.  I cannot wait to see it all completed. It is going to totally change the look and feel of the house for the better. The pictures below don’t even do it justice. It is so pretty!


Each day I have made my stint in the basement a little more comfortable.  Today I have my two blankets and warm clothes, food, water, tissues, music playing, and my diffuser going with a nice refreshing blend (I am hoping it will help with the smell of the polyurethane today and keep me chill). I’ve got my computer for working, my iPad to watch a show if I run out of things to do, and I have my book club book that I am trying to finish up before Friday’s review.  As I sit here now waiting for the guys to arrive this morning, I am thankful that my husband went along with my crazy idea to stain the floors darker, and I am daydreaming about how it is all gone to look once it all comes together with our stuff here.  I am also secretly planning out the renovation of my new office down here in the basement (shhhh…don’t tell my husband). Haha! Just kidding! He knows that I am scheming, but I know that it has to wait a while.  I can still dream, though, right?


Organization: Closet Makeover

The day has finally come where I reveal my new closet! I know you guys are probably getting tired of hearing about it, but I can’t help it.  I am so in love.  I will start by saying that I highly recommend Closet America.  They were so great to work with from the designer to customer service to the installers.  It was a great experience, and I would totally use them again.  The finished product came together last week, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  It looks exactly the way I had envisioned it in my head.  It is going to make organizing all of my things so easy.  We went with white for a couple of reasons.  One is that I like the nice clean look of the white, and the second reason is because it was the least expensive.  The natural light from the windows in the room in conjunction with the white, really brightens the space. 

As you walk into the room, you see the island and shoe rack right away.  I am so obsessed with the island.  There are 4 drawers on each side of it, and I am not 100% sure what I will put in all of them yet. I am thinking it will probably hold jeans, leggings, and t-shirts. The top drawer on one side has double layer jewelry trays.  It is one of my favorite things in the room.  All of the drawers have the slow automatic close when you push them slightly, which is really nice. Then the giant shoe rack is right behind the island between the two windows.  I am super excited about it.  My shoes are going to look so good displayed on it.  

The wall to the immediate left (same wall as doorway) when you walk into the room is currently blank. It will be the location of my antique vanity with a mirror.  It fits perfectly into that space.  The left side of the closet contains shelving and clothes racks for various lengths of clothes.  The shelves are adjustable so I can make them larger or smaller depending on what I decided to put there. Again, I am not certain how I will organize everything until I get it all in there and see how it flows.  I may remove one of the bottom shelves and use that space for my tall boots.

The wall to the immediate right when you walk in (same wall as doorway) has a tall tower of shelves. This is where I plan to put my purses and bags for display.  There is also a pull out valet rod for hanging clothes for when I am pulling outfits to photograph or to prepare for then next day or even when I am packing.  

The right side of the closet contains more hanging space with a few shelves. This is where the bulk of my clothes will be hanging.  As you can see the racks are various lengths to accommodate dresses and things that are longer and things that are shorter in length.

The whole system is very clean, neat, and modern looking.  I really love that there is still plenty of space even with the island. I was worried that it would take up a lot of space and it would feel cramped, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. Of course there are a few things that we still need to do to the space for it to be complete.  At the top of the list is to put blinds on the windows so that I don’t give everyone in the neighborhood a good morning show every day! The second thing is to install some kind of chandelier because there is no overhead lighting in the space.  There is great light in there during the day from the windows, but I definitely need some lighting for the evenings or early mornings.  The one other thing that I want is a large, full-length mirror. Obviously, it is not going to be in there because there is no place to put it, but I need a full-length mirror somewhere.  Overall, I am very happy with how well it turned out and I can’t wait to get all of my clothes and accessories in there to see how it all comes together.  It really is an organizational freak’s dream come true! LOL! I absolutely love it!

Anchored and Organized,