Monday, October 29, 2012

Beadboard's A B!#*%

I've recently discovered that painting beadboard is one of the worst experiences one can tackle in the home improvement arena. Ideally, I would have painted it before it was installed or, better yet, I should have paid a professional painter to do the job! 

Hallway Entryway Beadboard

I did hire someone to install the beadboard and molding (EB Homeowner Services for you local people) to give my entryway a more substantial look. The bare walls looked a bit institutional and I also wanted the area to be more functional by adding hooks on either side.

Hallway makeover using beadboard

I LOVE the way it turned out but the process of painting each and every one of those little grooves was extremely tedious. I did several searches online to try and find the best way to paint (other than painting it before installation) and came up with everything from using a brush in each groove, followed by a roller, to dipping a rag in paint and working it into the grooves.

My biggest issue was putting enough paint on the brush to actually make it into the grooves but not so much to cause drips!  Only after painting did someone suggest using a foam craft brush to more easily get paint into the grooves...maybe next time!  Ha ha ha...ya right (there won't be a next time)!

The wall color is Big Chill by Sherwin Williams, a light gray that keeps the hallway light and airy. I just used a standard semi-gloss white paint on the beadboard, also from SW, to match the existing molding. The hooks were $4.77 each from Lowes. I love the square shape and brushed nickel finish...

The bench in the hallway is from Ikea and is actually intended to go with my dining set.  Its low profile, however, makes it the perfect fit for the hallway. Since this is a high-traffic area, I found an indoor/outdoor runner with a pretty trellis pattern! The gray totes were in the dollar section of Target.

Next up, hanging square silver frames w/black and white family photos on either side of the hallway!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Easy Gift Wrap Bow

This weekend I went to a surprise 30th birthday party for one of my sweetest friends! 
Another friend and I went in on a gift together and I was in charge of wrapping...

Pinterest to the rescue! Found and pinned this tutorial for making a ribbon-curl bow out of a scrap of wrapping paper!  Super simple and inexpensive way to add 'prettiness' to any gift!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall is Here

I recently went on a lovely long weekend away with some of my best buddies from college! We took our third annual drive up the coast of Maine to my parent's beach house 'Down East'.  Along the way I was scouting the roadside for pretty little handmade bittersweet wreaths that are usually for sale here and there...and I found what I was hoping for:

The orange of the bittersweet berries contrasts so nicely with the crisp black door. I'm glad I waited to buy one of these natural beauties instead of shelling out $25+ for an artificial wreath.  I plan on using a spray to seal the wreath, as suggested by the people who made it, which should make it last for a few years to come!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Santa Came Early

My house is 1 year and 3 months old. While I've been diligently nesting on the inside, the outside has been severely neglected.  I don't have much of a green thumb so the thought of doing any landscaping made me feel very overwhelmed with where to start!  While the house sits on about two, mostly wooded, acres I wanted the areas near the house to look 'finished' instead of like this hot mess...

This summer I did make a vain attempt to start a bed on the other side of the porch...Unfortunately this is as far as I got as I ran out of motivation (and money) to finish this project!

I did manage to put up a few decorations and potted plants on the porch this summer 
but that was about all...

Then my most generous mother and step-father offered to give me the gift of landscaping as an early Christmas/birthday present (my birthday is December 20th). You know you're a grown up when the thought of landscaping as a gift delights you to no end!  Their friend Ed Bush, of Bush's Bushes, came over and worked his magic...

 Some features include three high-bush blueberry plants, ornamental rocks, and several other varieties of pink, purple, and yellow perennials. I'm so excited to see what Spring will bring!

A couple 'before' and 'afters':

The landscaping makes the house look so much more 'finished'.  Now that it's done I know I can manage the upkeep of the beds without that overwhelming 'where to start' feeling!

I'm so grateful and delighted!!