Friday, December 9, 2016

Christmas Tour (part 2)

Shall we head a little further in to Schrallville? Yes. Let's. 

This past weekend we hosted a party for our Sunday School class. Perhaps the biggest compliment I could have gotten, aside from that our house was very homey, was that it smelled good. I know that's weird but when you have 3 dogs, a cat and two little boys, that's a huge deal! 

I took you through the foyer and kitchen in my last post. Next is the dining room...

The mirror has greenery, the manger scene is set and in the mirror you can see a Christmas ornament ball wreath is hanging in the window. I made one a few years ago in golds, oranges and teal blues to coordinate with our colors. 

I also have an authentic wooden carousel from Germany. My parents brought it back from one of their trips and it's always fun to show the kids how the heat from the candles turns the carousel. 

My table this year is filled with mercury glass - ornaments, candles, trees. With a little pop of red thrown in for fun. 

I love the mix of sparkle and shine and it doesn't compete with the other colors in the adjoining rooms. 

I put our Christmas tree in a different spot this year. It's usually over near the couch but I thought I'd switch it up. While I like it here, I like it better tucked over near the couch. This blocks too much view in an already divided house. You can see what I mean in the pictures below. 

The living room always has a little something on the table tops...a Santa here...a reindeer there...

I love our coffee table this year. I bought a round wooden tray to add to the mix and with some fresh greenery and a few books, it looks very cozy. 

Some find it crazy that we have so many things "within touch" with kids. I've always had it that way. The boys have learned from a very young age that there are things they can play with and things they can't. Now it's not a big deal and they appreciate the decorations. 

The mantle this year is simple. With the TV and now soundbar, there's not but so much room to put decorations. But it's balanced and has a touch of sparkle without overwhelming it. 

The rest of the house has touches of Christmas. The main bathroom has a festive shower curtain...the "man room" has little pops of cheer spread around...even the boys have a little tinsel tree and some matching red garland along their windows. 

So thanks for taking our little tour. Our house is always open and we hope it always feels welcoming to all who enter. 

Merry Christmas! 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Tour 2016 (part 1)

Well I did it folks. I broke my own rule. I decorated for Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving. Yep. I went there. Now for many, it's what you're supposed to do. For me, I like having a Thanksgiving table ON Thanksgiving. But this year I knew with our schedules that I needed some extra time to decorate and get organized. I didn't want to kill myself trying to fit it in the weekend after Thanksgiving especially since we planned to put up a fence that weekend (more on that later). 

So here's the first part of Schrallville at Christmas...Let's get our jingle on, shall we?  

The front door is always festive with flowers, a lit snow man and Santa. This year, the Hubs also added a projector on the larger brick wall by the steps. It says "let it snow" with snow flakes twirling around. It's sort've hard to capture so I didn't bother. You can just use your imagination. 

Speaking of outside, we also have a new fence we installed last weekend, mentioned earlier. It's adorned with lit cedar garland and red bows. Probably one of my favorite additions this year. Wonder if can keep the garland up all year? 

The front yard also includes several inflatables that include Rudolph, Santa and Olaf. No, they are not small. The Hubs is committed to adding one new inflatable every year. <insert sigh here>  If you can't beat them, join them. 

Moving on in, there's our foyer. It's small but it has a welcoming touch with tidbits of Christmas. A basket of ornaments, greenery over the pictures, our stockings and a few touches here and there. 

The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms to decorate. I don't know why but I truly love adding touches to it. Maybe because that's "my room" in the house. On the way to the kitchen you pass our advent calendar. It's a kid favorite, purchased from Pottery Barn, and is filled with dark chocolate and candy canes. I had one my aunt made growing up and I still have it. I have such fond memories of waking up in December to have a piece of candy.  

In the kitchen the theme is red and green. I have a more whimsical look in here since the kitchen is neutral and can handle it. I also have a delicious McIntosh Apple candle that fills the whole room with delicious warmth. 

I love vintage Christmas and I have a Santa on the wall. I need to find more. The 1950's Santa's were so cool.

The top of the fridge even has a touch of Christmas... 

Perhaps a favorite are the sparkly balls that hang over the kitchen sink. With a little greenery on the light fixtures, it really makes the room feel festive. These are simply held up with thumb tacks and I knew I had to use them when I found them a few years ago at Hobby Lobby. 

You may have noticed there have been some changes in the kitchen. More on that in a future post. We had some upgrades to the house recently that we are very excited about and made a huge difference. 

Well folks, that's just a brief glimpse in to our home. I'll take you on a tour of the rest of the house soon! In the meantime, I hope you take time to enjoy the season and all it means. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to stop and enjoy it. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

From Chewed to New

It's no secret that our house is a little chaotic farm-like...but located in the city. We've adopted a new kitten or rather he adopted us by climbing under my car and taking a ride with us around town. Ryder he is aptly named.

Then we also have 3 dogs...all rescues and 2 of 3 are barely over a year old. Yes, our house is at times a circus when you also throw in an almost 5 and an almost 6 boy.

One said dog who shall remain nameless but not blameless (hint: he's black, steals anything and everything to chew up and is a furry mess) decided that our coffee table would be a good chew toy.

Enter evidence:

Not to mention the table was already a little scratched from years of wear around toddlers. But I just couldn't trash it. I loved the style, loved the size and it was still very sturdy. So off to work I went.

First I used a jigsaw to cut off the chewed corners. I essentially angled all four legs (2 were chewed) that used to be round to be more diagonal.

Cole then helped me sand them down to be a tiny but smoother on the edges.

Then it sat in my living room just like that...for months. Note the winter clothes above. We're now at the end of summer and I just finished the table. Yep, it sat cut up for many, many...many months.

Finally last weekend, as I sat on the couch completely exhausted from starting Kindergarten - I decided to get off my bum. And yes, I totally struggled with the new schedule. I mean that one extra hour earlier near about killed me. Needing to be out the door at 7:10 to walk to school? Murder. I'm pretty sure I struggled the most out of all of us.

Anyway, I digress.

I pulled out my Annie Sloan chalk paint that I've had for awhile. Sadly it had settled so I had to really stir and shake...stir and shake...until it was revived. I used Country Grey since it's what I already had on hand.

I did not sand it but I did wipe the top down with Windex to remove any oily residue...just in case. Here it is with two coats of paint:

While cute, it's sort've boring. So I set off aging it. I used a sandpaper block and went around all the edges and corners playing around with what I liked and where it might age naturally.

I of course forgot to take a good picture of the waxing process so we won't consider this a true tutorial. However, I put 1 coat of clear wax and then one coat of dark wax to darken the color a bit, using cheese cloth to do it. You only need a thin coat. It's sort of like rubbing in lotion in a way.

I'm so happy with the finished product! You can't even tell that they legs were chewed anymore unless you really inspect it. The aging process really helps to deflect and now it just looks like a cool distressed table.

I think I may apply the same concept to the back corner cabinet at some point when I feel about 8 months.

Pretty cool, huh? Didn't cost me a dime and I just repurposed what I already had. Oh and for those of you curious, it took me just a few hours (due to a little drying time) then I let the wax set overnight.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

House Tour 2016

Hey y'all! Come on in! Welcome to Schrallville! It's so good to see you!

Since it's been awhile since I've shown the house and I'm constantly tweaking things, I thought now would be a good time to show you our current house before the holidays hit. So with that, let's start the grand tour. 

First, outside, specifically our front yard, which looked like this when we first moved in: 

Clearly in need of some curb appeal! 

Last fall I designed and planned the front beds with a variety of shrubs and perennials that would do well in the hottest place on earth Columbia, SC. As you can see, we chose smaller shrubs due to cost but things have done quite well and we have a new colorful front yard. 

You may have noticed that the front porch is different. In fact it is...more on that later but needless to say, it's one of my favorite spots to sip coffee or have a cold drink. 

Let's walk on in to the "man room" which is just off the front porch and the main room we tend to hang out, especially in the evenings. It's also my home office. Before it was an overload of wood...wood paneling, wood windows, wood trim, wood everything. 

And today it looks a lot like this...

It's probably the least completed room in the house. It has to house my home office, the cat litter (hidden strategically in the dog crate to the right until the kitten is older and said litter box can go away), movies, books and Daniel's home theater system. So to me it tends to feel a little disjointed. But for now, it works and maybe in time we can find better storage or furniture options. 

Let's move in to the dining room/living room which are connected. Again, before...

And now, what I hope is a cozy but colorful main living area...

view from the front door/foyer

view from the dining room

Much of the furniture in the living room and dining room have been re-purposed or salvaged. Let's focus on my newest addition, the striped chair to the left (above). I literally pulled that off of a friend's trash pile as they were moving. Daniel doesn't even really blink an eye anymore. I got the "am I really supposed to take this chair home?" but he already knew the answer. A little updating and a trip to the upholsterer and voila! a cool new chair. Both chairs below were salvage (one from Goodwill for $5) and were aged and covered in the same fabric. 

The kitchen is perhaps the biggest transformation but it's also still IN transformation. Before...

And as of today...

We recently had the lower cabinets painted a "greige" color because I was tired of wiping down white cabinets. I love white in a small kitchen but with 3 dogs, a cat and 2 always felt dirty. I love how the color helps recess the appliances and the island stands out a little more now. Soon additions will be made to include:

  • Tile backsplash (white subway tile) with grout to match the lower cabinets to tie it all together
  • Can lighting 
  • Venting the microwave OUT of the house. Another lesson learned in reno. If it doesn't already vent out, make it so during initial reno. 
  • Change out the overhead light to one from my grandmother's house. I'm so excited about this I can't even explain! 

You'll see from this picture that I've recently created a command center in the hallway. We needed a place to keep school papers and dates for all to see. A table from another room and a few organizational pieces and we were set. 

Let's head down the hallway, shall we? 

And in to the boy's room which looked like this initially...

But now and with some recent additions, namely a larger red rug, it looks like this: 

That pile of toys you see is a dragon lair. Just in case you were wondering. The dragons are sleeping and the soldiers have been fighting them most of the afternoon...well until big brother came home from school. I didn't even bother to photograph the closet area that houses toys and their arsenal. It's a train wreck right now. 

The larger rug in here makes the room actually feel so much larger and they love having a softer place to play (we put carpet pads under the rug). 

The guest room recently received a makeover to accommodate an office/study area for Daniel. He starts back with seminary next week after a 5.5 year break and needs a place he could study...and close the door from 2-legged or 4-legged visitors. 

I was so thrilled that the bed, rug, desk and desk chair came from consignment. Then we simply used what we had for the rest of the room. He loves it and it feels much more put together to me too. 

And finally our bedroom...complete with country blue wallpaper before we moved in.

And now...

I probably should have paid attention to the lighting in my photo but oh well. You get the gist. There are plans to paint the tall dresser at some point. The top of it is damaged and a coat of paint would really update it. I would also like to repaint our bedside tables. They have a case of "spray paint gone wrong" and need changing up too. 

The bathrooms have undergone minimal updates. They are the one area of the house we've put off for now, mostly because they are so expensive. Our bathroom before...

And now...

While pepto pink is not my first choice, at least it ties in with the colors of our quilt on our bed so it's not completely awful. And clearly I need to straighten a picture. Details. 

And the guest bath before...

And now...

So that's it folks! Thanks for stopping by and taking a tour of Schrallville! As we undergo some updates (hopefully in early fall), I'll invite you back in again to see what's changed. 

Until then, pop on over and sit with me if you're in the area! Or call, I can still sit here. Either way, I'll be right here when I have a spare moment.