Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fireplace Facelift

Our new house has a fireplace, which we like, but it was in much need of a little TLC.  The mantel was warped and not very well made and the bricks were coming loose from the wall and missing mortar in a few spots.  It was also sporting some really dated burgundy terracotta tile on the hearth.  Overall, it was really dark and dingy and kind of made our living room feel a bit like a cave.

We decided to update the fireplace by painting the brick a bright, crisp white, changing out the painted white plywood mantel for a natural, solid wood version (which Daniel made from heart-pine salvaged from an old house in Raleigh), and cover the ugly tile with some beautiful stone.  The stone really brings out all the colors in the room from the new paint on the walls (pictures coming soon) and the wood tones in the new mantel and hardwood floors.  I think it looks a lot more fresh and gives the room more of a cottage feel.

Here's a little picture chronology to show our progress to date on the fireplace facelift:




I apologize for not having posted anything in such a loooooooong time.  It seems these projects always take so much longer than you think they will.  I'm currently in the process of painting the living room, (you can see my teeny-tiny paint swatch in the corner on top of the mantel) and Daniel is currently in the process of finishing off the trim around the fireplace and sealing the stonework and putting a coat of poly on the mantel. As soon as we get it all finished and dressed, I'll post an update on our progress. More to come soon! :o)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crafty, Creative, Custom, Cute Curtains

You like my use of alliteration there, don't cha?  Eh?  
So I have been jonesing for some yellow curtains for my dining room.  Here's my inspiration pic:  see the tiny sliver of curtain over on the far left?  

 Something similar to this, but I wanted it bigger and with square edges:

But alas, I couldn't find anything that came close to the picture in my head, and the nearest store that sells fabric in my area is really expensive ($25/yard... yikes!)  Since it takes at least 2 yards of fabric per curtain panel and I didn't care to spend $100 on 1 window dressing, I decided to make my own yellow curtains.

The previous owners had left behind several plain white curtain panels.  I took 2 of these, some yellow spray paint (Krylon's 'Bright Idea'), and painter's tape to create one of a kind curtains to meet my exact specifications.  Here's how I did it:

I laid out a design on my curtain panels with my painter's tape.  You can be exact with this and measure to make sure your lines are all straight, but I'm too lazy and too impatient for that, so I just eyeballed mine.  (That's also why my lines are a lot little crooked.)  You could also get fancy and use a stencil with the design of your choice, but I didn't want to spend more money and time searching for the perfect one, so I just came up with this and used what I had on hand.

Then, my handy husband rigged up some rope and knots (his specialty: rope-ology)  to hang them on so I could spray-paint them.  It took 2 cans of spray-paint per panel to get them fully covered.  Then, I simply removed the tape, and voila!  Customized curtain panels in my perfect shade of sunny yellow!

Here's the cost breakdown:
2 curtain panels: Free (left behind by previous owner)
4 cans of spray paint: $15.84
Blue painter's tape: $2.97

Saving $$ makes me happy  :o)