Outdoor light makeover

imageI decided to give these ugly outdoor lights on our house a makeover. Although the style is not what I would choose were I buying new ones, the price of two cans of spray paint was much better than new lights.imageimageI bought two cans of oil rubbed bronze spray paint and went to work. I knew I didn’t want to go to the trouble of taking the lights off the side of the house, but more importantly, I couldn’t get them down without a struggle because the screws were pretty reluctant to come out. Instead, I created a cocoon of newspaper around the lights, taping it off around the base of the light.  (Note: if you’re going to do this same technique, be sure the fold the newspaper up and tape it at the bottom to create a trough to catch drips)

After! The improvement of how the lights look is so huge. I don’t even mind them at all anymore, and I love how they blend in with the house and create a layer of colors on the house.imageIf there are any small projects that you want replaced like lights, spending the few dollars on spray paint is a great way to make it look better and buy some more time before upgrading.


Home Office

I work from home so one of the first spaces that I really wanted to be completed was my office. Our living room is L shaped and the small end was originally a dining space, but Zach and I decided that we didn’t need two dining spaces. Since I didn’t want to be shut up in one room of the house all day while working and watching our dogs the extra dining space was the perfect solution.


Here is my handy man figuring out how high to hand the shelves. He cleverly figured out how to mount the shelves to white boards that he had attached to the walls directly to the studs. That way we didn’t have to worry about making sure that all the shelf mounts were lined up with studs and offset the placement. With his mounting system we made sure that the shelves were centered like we wanted.IMG_6402 Ikea Besta storage systems on the one wall create the perfect place for me to my office and craft supplies, and display plants and photos.IMG_6404IMG_6408

I liked the paint in the entryway so much that I decided to use it for two walls in my office. I left the third wall white because it connects with the living room and I will eventually paint it the color I do the rest of the room. I love how it turned out. IMG_6423_2

After going crazy sitting all day, I decided a desk that I can stand up at while working is a must. I got the Ikea Finnvard trestle legs and by mistake I grabbed a top that was a little too small but it was only $5 and I have plants to eventually replace it with a great cut of wood.

Zach cut this piece of walnut out in his Grandpa’s woods after finding the tree down. It was not perfectly level so he had left it in his shop for ages where I found it. The second I found it I pounced on it and asked if I could keep it. Zach didn’t care because he told me he could get me a better piece eventually. After sanding it for ages with a belt sander and then using a clear varnish coat on it, its now one of my favorite pieces and a lot of people ask about it. Zach was even surprised how well it turned out.IMG_6431

IMG_3379Although this is before painting, this is usually how things turn out while I am working. I never work alone!



Front Door Inspiration

If you read my entryway makeover I already mentioned that I want to do a new front door fairly soon. I painted our entryway a deep charcoal gray, which I love, but I now really want a new door to let in more light.

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Our current front doors are double, which is pretty unnecessary. We have used them both on a couple of occasions when moving initially into our house, but otherwise we mainly use one side.

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I would love to do a really wide front door with windows on either side, maybe some windows above the door or in the upper half of the door. Since the house doesn’t have air conditioning (which I like a lot of the time) a screen would be nice to get a breeze through the house. Ideally I would want a door with a screen for summer and glass for winter so we could leave it open at times for full light.

I have been looking for inspiration for the front door and I found some via Pinterest and some blogs that I think could work for our slanted roof over the front door and would get more light into the entryway. These are from a great blog SL by Stephanie Lynn who put together 55 front doors from various magazines.


The height of the windows on this door is along the lines of something I would do, although I would never choose the glass designs like this example. To me intricate glass pains take away from the door being the focal point, and its too old fashioned for my taste. The window height is great however, as the idea of someone on the other side being able to see right in even if you don’t necessarily want them to is not what I am looking for.small-changes-front-door-de

This door shows the same type of window height-wise as the last one, with a lovely bold color and no glass designs. The three long windows are really nice to let in some light without being too revealing, and the cheery color of the door makes it pop against the smokey blue of the house.

This door is fabulous, although the wood is a little on the red side which might not go with all house colors. This door is unique how it simply knocks out the top two panels on a standard door and replaces them with glass. The side windows being divided into panes mimics the look of antique windows and brings a timeless elegance to this entryway.traditional_door_300

This door shares the antique side panel window look with the previous door, but keeps things simple with black and white paint which creates a timeless color pallet that is still quite a pretty combination. The design on the door is a little different then most which keeps it feeling classic and still unique. Ultimately for our door I would still want some windows in the actual door.

untitled-4This window shows the option of doing a small curved window above the doorway, combined with side panel windows that don’t go all the way to the floor. With three dogs in the house, keeping the windows above nose height is a serious practical consideration in anything that we do with our entryway, so this door is a good example of what we could do that would still allow maximum light. The class storm door is a nice addition and the subtle coloring of the storm door is great because it doesn’t stand out much from the actual front door. This would definitely be something I would try to do with ours if we did a storm door to keep it from taking over the focal point of the entryway. which would allow us to leave the front door open entirely and let in full light. There would still be the dog nose prints to deal with though…

The over the door window would be tricky because of our slanted roof line. This low profile curved window would likely be the only window that might fit over our front door. Ideally I would combine side windows, windows in the upper third of the door, and the curved window at the top. That would let in a ton of light and give me the bright entryway that I have been hoping for!


This inside view from House of Turquoise is almost exactly what I want. I even love how they painted the door a bright color to pop on the inside. So many times we put all the touches on the outside and forget about inside. That would let in a ton of light and give me my bright entryway!


Our home has certainly been a slow process in making it over. In a lot of ways thats a good thing because it allows me to have a lot of time to decide on exactly what I want to do. In a lot of other ways its a little frustrating too.

Our entry way needed some serious attention. After my mother-in-law removed the terrible old wallpaper the walls were rough and covered in old wallpaper adhesive.  I really wasn’t looking forward to sanding the hole thing but it turned out with a coat of Zinsser paint primer and a little light sanding, the texture disappeared under the three coats of dark gray paint.


The walls before priming and painting. The wallpaper did a real number on the walls.

The walls were uneven so I quickly did a light sanding over them to work out any of the really rough patches.


After the coat of primer the walls already looked so much better. Check out my styling linoleum…



When I first started painting I send a picture to my Zach while he was at the hospital. He nervously texted back, “Are you painting the walls black?” “It’s charcoal gray,” I replied. “It will look good. Trust me.” This is usually how our interactions go as far as home decor.


After finishing the entire entryway, the hanging lamp got some new life. Something about the color scheme I went with (and a thorough cleaning) made the light suddenly look pretty good. Instead of feeling like I needed to replace it immediately, I actually don’t mind it at all in the space and that gives me more time to find exactly what I want for the right price for its replacement.


I’d really like to get the front doors replaced soon and do a large door with side panel windows to let in more natural light. IMG_6069

I love how striking the color is from down the hall. You can see my weird lighting plug-in system in this photo. It is the oddest thing. IMG_6158



Without meaning to I started a collage of mirrors on the wall above our entryway console. Zach purchased the antique desk at an estate sale for me as a gift after I graduated with my Bachelors degree. Although it doesn’t functionally work for me as a desk, I love it in the entryway.

The photo collage that spells our last name was a wedding gift from a dear friend and my former piano teacher. We have a coat closet in the hallway, but I know Zach well enough to realize that we needed some places to hang things easily without using hangers, or they would just end up draped on furniture. Some antique cast iron hooks underneath that were my grandma’s were the perfect solution.IMG_6171_2 Here is a better view of the desk that acts as a console. I found two vintage school chairs at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for $5 and the mint green goes perfect in the entryway, and makes the floor more tolerable.IMG_6181The finished result got Eddie’s stamp of approval, which is of course the only opinion that truly counts.