Chalking up the TO DO List

Hope you all had a great weekend! It was a really cold one here in Upstate NY – it fell below 20 degrees and we had about an inch of snow.

Anyway with it being cold outside I decided to improve our TO DO list in the house and make it more visible for all of us. I think I mentioned it a couple of times that this fall the homework level for our kids has been really high and we are all struggling to try to stay on top of things. We live in NY State and I am not sure if you have read or heard on the news about the Common Core curriculum but we are a part of that…

Weekly calendar - web

So our little calendar in our mudroom is not cutting it anymore. I tried keeping track of it on my calendar but that was great for me to see but not my kids or the hubby.

I have not written about our kitchen yet. That will come in the new year as we are tackling some great projects in our Kitchen in 2014…But with our open floor plan concept we don’t have long walls to hold a big calendar for us all to see.

So I decided to Chalk up our door to the basement and have that be our TO DO list for the week ahead.

Door organizer web

Before it housed two organizers for the kids and we moved them to behind the door…the Hubby even said, and I would agree, having them out of plain view makes the kitchen feel larger and less cluttered.

kids buckets on back of door web

It is amazing how such a small change can have that effect. I don’t think it will hurt the easy flow at getting to the key essentials like head bands, phones or accessories that are there now.

Since it was so cold out and there were snow squalls in the area I decided to check out Wal-Mart which is just down the road for chalk paint. They carry a Disney line of paint. It is made by Glidden and I went with Black, but they have different colors. I purchased more rollers as well.

The directions called for cleaning the surface of the door which had a lot of clear tape and a couple of dings that I filled in with wood putty. Then I was off to the races with painting the door.

Chalkboard paint door coat one web

Since the door was white it took 3 coats of paint to get the finish I was looking for. I always wanted to try chalk paint somewhere in our house since the kids were little and I am not sure why I waited until they were teenagers to do so.

Basement chaulk door web

All of us love it! And it is amazing how this little change affects the space – it is really black now and for 8 years we are used to the door being white.  Now when we walk by it is a bit of a surprise!

chernee on the chaulk door web

Right now I divided the door up into two sections: one for Emma and one for Peter – even though it is a short week they both have tests before the holiday so I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.

door open to the basement web

Plus I can’t wait to try out different colors as well.  All we had around the house was white chalk.

How was the weather this weekend in your neck of the woods – did you get any snow? What fun things did you do around the house?

Linking up to Give me the Good’s Link Party


“BAM!” – I took my Feature Wall up a Notch!


Did you ever watch Emeril on the Food Network? My kids loved watching that show and hearing him say “BAM!” when he added some spice.

left angel of the hall way web

Well this summer I painted my upstairs hall wall, which runs the length of my second story entry to my house. You can see the post about how I transformed the space here.

I have really enjoyed the wall being a different color than the rest of the area and creating a little more drama when you enter the house. But, I have to be honest, the wall needed more that just paint and a different color – it needs some texture and depth.  It needed some spice!

When I stenciled my downstairs mudroom I really fell in love with stenciling and how the room really looks like wallpaper, but with paint.  After I finished the mudroom I had to stop myself from stenciling the whole house…even I knew that would be a little too much.

I want to share my plans of what is going to be happening in our entry wall/hall. Last year my parents gave me this awesome sign. It is the sign that hung over my Great Grandfather’s shop for over 50 years…. When I started my Recruiting business 12 years ago this month I picked Whiting as the name for good luck – and I have to say it has brought me that…. So when I closed my office I did not know where to hang the sign. Even though my house is an open concept I don’t have very long walls, except for in our entryway, big enough to handle the sign.


The sign is very Rustic and has a ton of character – my concern with hanging it in our entryway is I did not want to give off a vibe of our home being too country – there is nothing wrong with that style, it is just not for me. So to offset the rustic feel I thought I would make the hall wall more formal in nature – thus the idea of a stencil.

The look I wanted to go for was high-end texture glossy wallpaper…with a bold flower or geometric paper that was silver in tone but also very subtle, like here and here. I looked into a silver grey paint and felt the pattern would come across too bold and strong. So while I was at HomeDepot I spoke with the person about glaze. Martha Stewart has a line of glazes and we opened one up and looked at the texture and it was the perfect silvery eradecent look I had in my head.

Tools I used for the steciling project


For a pattern I really loved the stencil from downstairs and every time I would look at a stencil I was being pulled back to a Macron look – and I did not want to repeat the pattern in the house – that would be too weird. So I was looking at damasks as well – but the patterns were too big – then I really liked Royal Design Studio’s Khanjali Ikat Stencil – it was not too flowery, had some great shapes and felt that it would do the job.

 Close up of the stencil web

I went with their small stencil so the pattern was not too big and bold. For the one wall it took about 4 hours over a couple of days. Since I was working with glaze – which I really enjoyed, it took a little bit longer to dry than paint.

Chernee stenciling upstairs hall web

What I liked about the glaze is if I screwed up which I am not perfect and did twice – I could just wash it right off – and off it went from the wall…no repainting or starting over.

Chernee hard at work stenciling web


So now I just need to get some scaffolding and a couple of strong men to help the Hubby hang the sign and our entryway will be off and running!

View of the wall from Emma's side of the hall web


Hall by our door stenciling web

View of the hall to the left web

What is left for the hall in my mind:

–       Remove carpet and put down hardwood

–       Replace the silver lights with more formal lighting

–       Buy a really cool runner with the colors of the space

Have you ever thought a product was finished and then lived with it for awhile and realized you needed to take it up a notch? Were you happy with the results?….Are our projects ever really done…..



Bring on the Fur!

Last week I am sorry that I was MIA. Our family was hit by the stomach bug – one of those that hit every 24 hours, so I was down for the count for a couple of days.

Chernee in Banana Vest - by Peter web

But by Friday I was ready to go out and I was tired of wearing yoga pants and my fleece. I love to be comfortable but sometime this girl needs to get dressed up. I am a big fan of the Fur vest – I think I have 4 of them in various colors. They are definitely one of my go to accessories to leverage in the winter.

This season Banana Republic has some awesome vests and I could not resist the temptation of buying yet another one.  I love the rich black/greyish color and it has deep pockets for a lipstick or your phone. I bought it on sale for 30% off the sticker price, that is one of my goals this year – since the stores are always having incentives I am trying not to purchase clothes at full price – so far I am doing pretty good.

The hubby and I were going out to one of our favorite restaurants with friends and the atmosphere you can either go high or low with the type of outfit you wear. I decided to go in the middle of the road and bring out the fur.

Close up on the vest web

It was a nice cool fall night so I did not have to wear a coat. I decided to pair the vest with another one of my staples: the turtleneck from Banana Republic – I think I have one in every color. It is a nice silver/grey color that looks great with anything.

Banana Republic Vest - hanging on dresser web

I wore dark straight leg jeans from Ann Taylor – to make the outfit a little more casual, and really high black booties from White House Black Market  – they were from last year…Boy did people like them, my sister took them actually off my feet…And they are super comfortable.

My black booties web

Finally, I went light on the accessories. I found this great silver necklace this year from the Loft, and paired it with a vintage silver cuff. Finally, to add a hit of color and also to match my lips – I wore Sexy lips (which is a red color) from Laura Mercier, I added a red clutch!

Steve was traveling home from Boston so my son took this really cool picture that I used at the beginning of the Blog.  I know the light is a little bit different but I really like the effect that it has on the image.

What are some of your go to staples for going out in the winter? Are you a fan of the fur vest too?

Here are the links to the items:

Vest – Banana Republic

Essential Turtleneck – Banana Republic

Modern Boot Cut  Denim Jeans – Ann Taylor

Bootie – White House Black Market – Last season

Necklace – Long Crystal Charm Necklace – Loft

Lips – Sexy Lips

Why Does Laundry Get its Own Room?

There is one chore that never seems to get done – Laundry. With kids and especially kids involved in sports, I feel like I complete 3 or 4 loads of laundry, and then turn around and there is another pile! Now I am lucky in the fact that my Hubby, Steve, is actually a laundry snob. He loves doing laundry and actually folds very well –he may need to improve on putting items away – it is kind of a scavenger hunt looking for where he has placed an item- but I shouldn’t complain since he ACTUALLY does do laundry.

view from the hall web

I think it is so funny that Laundry gets its own room…Our room is on the first floor though the Hubby would love to have it on the second floor – I think that would be distracting – our machines beep when they are finished, and I like quiet when I sleep. Plus, I would always be afraid of a leak and water going through the ceiling – which our current machine has done.

counter and skirt web

Our laundry room is rather small and it is multifunctional. It holds our cleaning supplies, all our sport bags, extra backpacks, light bulbs, batteries – bills – you name it, it could end up in the laundry room.So I am tired of the room feeling cramped and would like to change it up a bit.

So here is what is on my mind. First things first, I would like to replace the white shelf with actual cabinets. The shelf really limits my storage and I don’t like seeing all the cleaning supplies, they can live behind closed doors going forward.

the famous white shelf web

We have been looking at unfinished cabinets and I think I have found a set I like at Lowe’s; believe it or not they have a good product for an inexpensive price, cheaper than Mr. Seconds. My plan is to paint the cabinets, and I was planning on pulling this pretty turquoise color from the fabric and have Sherwin Williams match the color.

Color of the cabnet web

I think it will compliment the wall color as well and add some charm to the space. Plus I bought these fun knobs this summer at Homegoods – and they will look great on the new cabinets.

Secondly, I would like to change out the light. It is the standard silver light fixture we put in our house in every space that needed one. I found this cute, wicker looking fixture a while back and I think it reminds me of close pins – did you ever hang clothes up on the line? I sure did growing up – my Mom never used the dryer – it was the line in the summer and the clothing ranks in the winter – too much work for this gal!

shelves open laundry web

I am also thinking about what to do in this opposite wall area. Though I like the floating shelf look – I think I could add more storage here too! Whether that be another set of cabinets – which I think would make the room feel too small – so I might be leaning towards open shelving like I have in my office from Ballard Design’s and add a third shelf. For the background on this wall I am also tossing around adding some tile. We don’t have any backsplash in this house – I remember a blog post that Centsation girl did in one of her bathrooms where the wall was tiled. I really love the glass tile look – and my sister knows how to do tile. Not sure about that idea – but it is in consideration.

I probably will have to repaint the walls once all the work is done – I am going to paint it the same color – I really like the clean feeling this color gives the space and I think it makes the space appear larger than it is. I have already updated the fabric in this space. I made a new skirt for the storage below the counter that I have in the room – by the way, I may need to weed through all this stuff….I updated the fabric for the window treatment as well – I am still debating if I am going to make a fake roman shade, add a real roman shade or leave it as is. In an earlier post I shared how we made the skirt for the utility tub. All I need to do is gather a team to hang the cabinets (well I guess I need to paint them first)…

What are your thoughts on the laundry room – is yours a catch all space like mine has become? What decorating ideas do you have for this area?

Emma Voices her thoughts on her new room

Happy Friday everyone – boy did it feel like a long week. Are you a fan of day light savings? I am not a fan of it getting dark so early in the evening – but I have gotten some good sleep this week.

I thought it would be fun to have Emma talk about her room in her own words (maybe a little coaching from Mom). So here is my little Emma – she is so much like her father a ham for the camera – talking about what she loves most of about her room and the design…. Emma take it away.



Next week I will be sure to write a post about all the accessories we pick out for the room and where we found all these fun teenage items. Till then have a wonderful weekend – do you have any great plans this weekend – working on a any great projects around the house?

Vintage Finds Make This Teenage Room

Emma on her bed web

Emma’s room has been an adventure! And an enjoyable one at that….We are finally done with her space ….it took a while to finish up some of the accessories that we were looking for within the room.

I would describe Emma’s room décor as eclectic. NONE of the furniture matches. They are all vintage finds and each piece was no more than $50.00 (some were even free)– so vintage fits any age – even the teenager!

Emma's dresser wall

As I mentioned before Emma’s room is all about color. Each piece of furniture has a story and a different color choice. She has a couple of different focal points depending on where you look in the space – but the anchor in her room is her GIANT dresser we found this summer for $25.00 dollars– I can’t tell you how much I love this dresser – it is solid wood – it has awesome storage to hold her clothes so they no longer reside on her floor!

emma's dresser up close web

I distressed her dresser using Annie Sloan paint and spray painted the knobs silver – you can see all the great details here. This by far is the piece I have loved the most since starting the blog!

Emma room 2 windows web

Then on the next wall area of the room we have a desk/vanity area  – now that we are a Tween – Emma now cares about her hair and putting on make-up. I do have to say I sometime stand in the doorway and watch her play in the mirror – it is pretty cute.

Up close Emma's desk

We picked up the desk and chair at a Vintage shop in town. The desk was in pretty bad shape and in need of some tweaking and Emma and I updated the color and put on these awesome glass knobs from Anthropologie. Emma loves her stuff so this desk offers a ton of storage for her books and papers and her make-up and hair supplies too.

Emma's mirror web

The mirror above her dresser comes from this cute shop that my girlfriend took me to in CT – loved all the vintage finds…sure wish that store was closer – but then again my wallet sure does appreciate it. The store was all shabby chic décor and my girlfriend bought Emma this cute trash can there too!

Her nightstands came from different shops around our area.

zebra lamp and bed wall web

We had first painted them pink – then when Emma changed her room color the pinks did not match. We decided to paint them Crocodile Smile  by Signature and then Emma had the idea to leave the tops pink – it ties the two pieces together even though they are nothing alike – their common interest point is how we used the color. I flagged the bed with each side having a nightstand – plus more storage for my dear daughter.

Emma's little nightstand web

The bed was originally going to have an upholstered headboard in purple – but when we were in the basement Emma saw our old guest bed – which was my parents bed growing up.

Emma's bed side of the room

I loved all the details that the bed has ….so we decided to spray paint it torquois – I love this color combination with the pink! The bed turned out awesome and reminds me of some of the beds you see in Garnet Hill magazine or on pages in Pinterest – now we have one in our very home! Love it!!!

Closeup of Emma's bed web

We created a reading corner for her from a chair with bought at Justice a couple of years ago – no surprise Emma loved the fur! I am in the process of looking for a cute round stool to add to the area – and I used this old wicker trunk that was actually in my room growing up for a place to sit her animals or a computer!

Emma's reading corner

Finally in the corner is this great spindle bookcase that we found on Craigslist. This is the second color that we have painted it in less than six months. At first it was pink but it blended too much with the room.

emma's bookcase web

I decided to paint it the same color as the nightstands and now it stands out! I love how the spindles tie in with the desk legs and it has such great storage for her to use throughout the years. This bookcase was $30.00 plus paint. I do have to say it was a pain to paint because of the open shelving and the spindles but totally worth it for the look and feel of the room.

So it took me about 4 months to collect the various pieces of furniture for this space. All from different stores and from different time period and style – but with the use of color and various shapes within the pieces they all seem to work within the space.

Next blog – Emma is going to give you all a virtual tour of her room and talk about the items she likes best – it is really cute so be sure to check it out!

We are linking up to Give me the Goods Link Party Today

Houston There is a Problem – Wrong Paint Color

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know I promised two blogs last week about Emma’s room….I think I spoke too soon – there was a problem – a big problem with the paint!!

So here is what happened. We painted Emma’s room labor day weekend and then school, soccer and cheerleading hit us with a ton of bricks and I forgot  I had a couple of minor touch ups I needed to do on Emma’s wall especially near the main light switch in her room. So I grab the gallon of paint that we had made for this occasion and put it on the wall…when I put it on the wall – it did look darker but I was thinking it would dry lighter… so I went in to check a couple of hours later and it was the wrong color.

Paint error Emma's room web

I drove into the city later in the week to buy more paint…and then they mixed me up another gallon – got it home…it looked a little darker but I made sure they mixed the Pink Carnation color and put it on the wall…this time it was even darker…and I was really upset – I did not want to have to paint the wall over again and could not understand why the color was not coming out right…

Even darker the wrong color in Emma's room web

We have a local Sherwin Williams store in town. I called then up Friday, explained my situation and ask them what did I have to bring with me to have a color match done. The gentleman told me that if I brought in a chip from the wall about the size of a quarter he would be able to match it. Since I was über organized when we painted Emma’s room I used up all the open paint and threw everything away in that week’s trash – thinking the extra gallon I got would be fine. So I had to take the color from the wall itself. I got a screw driver and went to a corner of the room where a piece of furniture was blocking the wall and gently made a hole and created a quarter size mark and pulled off that section of paint.

paint sample in emma's room web

I went down to the store – the man said that should work and they would try a section of the paint for me before we left to make sure they got it right.

wall sample web

Here is the piece of wall that has both the old color and the match color on it–perfect match – Whooh!

Wall sample w match web

I asked him how to properly go over the darker color – he said make sure to not put too much paint on the brush and dry brush over the section a couple of times verses putting a lot of paint on for a thick first coat.. I took his advice and put about 3 coats on the darker section and it worked great! I can’t tell you how relived I was – I did not want to have to move all the furniture and take down the artwork on that wall and start over…

Fix wall in Emma's room web

So I owe the folks over at Sherwin Williams big time and owe you guys some good posts this week.