Changes in the Ottoman Empire

This weekend I finally decided to take the plunge and start painting furniture again. I  was painting out in the garage and since it has been such a cold winter I really have not had an opportunity to do so….But this Saturday was a really snowy day and I was stranded home and decided to bring this bad boy in from the garage.

before the paint coffee table

I actually started this coffee table in the summer. I picked it up on Craigslist for $75 dollars, I remember it was a hot day when I got it, and one of the few pieces of furniture that the Hubby gave me push back on buying…the plan was just to flip it and move on.

It was originally this cherry color wood – which I really am not a fan of but had awesome storage that would be great for any family room with kids.

So I started painting this piece Grafite by Annie Sloane, since it was a darker hue underneath I thought it would distress really nicely. I would bang it out and be good to go. Well I am not sure if Grafite and I work well together. It did not distress really well, it would leave these white marks on it and when I would buff it out it would look ok, but not really create the effect I was going for. I put two layers of wax on top and then for some reason got side tracked with other projects and this one got pushed to the back burner.

I would think about it from time to time when I would walk by it in the garage and think “what should I do with this thing?”  So, on Saturday with the cold and snow I got inspired, and decided to try to two-tone the piece. I really do like the look.

Since I bought the piece, I have not been happy with the ottoman in our space. It is a dark brown “leather” looking piece and it left the TV side of our great room looking way too brown and dark. My original plan was to recover the ottoman which I might still do down the road. I spent a couple of hours looking at fabrics and was more drawn to blue colors than I was to greens. Since I am not sure if the great room is going to stay in the current color zone forever, I did not want to invest in really expensive fabric for the ottoman if I was going to change color directions down the road.

So I pulled out Country Grey by Annie Sloane chalk paint that I bought this summer and had not had the opportunity to try. I started painting the side of the piece and fell in love with the color as well as the look. It only took an hour or so to paint the two coats. That is what I love about chalk paint; it covers so well and you don’t have to sand. Since I was painting by the fire I did not want dust everywhere in the house.

upclose of coffe table

Since the top is distressed I decided to keep the bottom of the piece a solid color. The piece came with two really big drawers for storage and the more and more I looked at the piece and the dark brown ottoman I asked the Hubby if he wouldn’t mind if we moved the dark ottoman down to the basement and try this new one in the TV area. We would still have storage for the kids games and it would be a smoother service for food and drinks than the ottoman.

coffee table center of room

We gave it a whirl and lo and behold I like the piece there. The only thing we had left to do was put handles on the piece and it was as good as new.

showing the distress of hte coffee table web

I found these vintage drawer pulls this summer, I love the detail on each pull; they look great with the grey and the black. They were perfect.

Steve making sure they are even coffe table

The hubby just had to get out the drill and within 10 minutes we had 4 really cute handles on the piece.

upclose of bird on coffee table

Finally I just had to wax the bottom half of the piece and we were as good as new.

Have you ever had a project sit for a while and then it gets reinvented? What was your inspiration to get started on that project again?

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Bringing some of the Outside In…..

I don’t know about you but I am ready for this Arctic freeze to change direction and go home! I don’t remember it being this cold ever….Luckily our house is insulated well and we are nice and toasty warm….but still it is a negative 6 degrees outside today.

Since it has been so cold I have been craving signs of Spring to have around the  house. Last week I went on a Homegoods run and they had some great artificial plants available for the picking. If you follow me on Instagram you could of seen my shopping cart fulled with plants. Even though I can arrange flowers, for some reason I have a hard time keeping plants alive inside. So, I opt for really good artificial plants to accent the house.

plant by chair web

I noticed this tall plant, I loved the variegated leaves and it was the perfect height to hang out in our bay window.

plants w the chest web

Then I came across this awesome duo. I just love this plant, my girlfriend had one similar that I have always admired.

One of the house plants homegoodsSo of course I only bought one, got it home found the perfect spot for it and realized I needed another. Luckily one of my good friends was heading in and saved my butt and picked up another plant for me.

plants on top web

another view of plants

I just love how they look on top of our entertainment center. It really needed some green up there.

plamy on coffee table

Finally I found this nice little number which sits on top of the coffee table. I love the container and it is just the right height to sit on top of the coffee table. It does not obstruct the view at all. So for $90 dollars I changed up the view around our living room and brought a little bit of the outside in…..

Do you prefer real plants to artificial and where is your favorite place to buy plants these days?  Are you counting down the days to spring?   I think there is about 50 days left….I know I am counting!

50 Shades of Gray…….

OK – I am sorry, I know an over used title, but I could not resist. Even though I think I am one of the few people in America that did not read the series.  I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was another cold one in my neck of the woods and for about an hour a blizzard with whiteouts went through our area….

I got a lot done this weekend which felt great – and even got some painting done which felt even better – more on that later.

So, if you can guess based on the title, I am going to paint our bathroom a couple of shades of gray. I did not realize that there were so many shades of gray out there. I love the color gray for clothing and wear it often, especially in the winter – there is nothing like a nice pair of gray slacks or a light gray sweater for a staple in your wardrobe – but I have to be honest, up until late I never really loved gray for home decor.

another view hallway web

So what caused the change of heart? I think the big push for me was painting our mudroom Sparrow by Benjamin Moore, I did not realize how much gray made up the color Sparrow, for some reason it looked more green to me at first. But now there is a battle going on in that wing of our house between the Sage in my bathroom and the Sparrow in my hall.

view laundry hall web

Since I went bold in my hall –  and very bright and cheery in the Laundry room, I feel that the powder room should be more tranquil in nature. Thus why I decided to go gray, because who knew gray would now be considered a neutral?

So I started my search out on Pinterest. Just typing in “gray powder room” and then started looking all of the options. I definitely am steering more to the lighter shades of gray vs more of the dark tones, and since the mudroom hall is dark I wanted the bathroom to be light for balance.

So while searching I came across this picture by one of my favorite designers Emily Henderson. It was a picture of a bedroom she designed for this series on her blog that I loved called the Curbly Family House makeover. She worked on various room’s in the couple’s house and painted their bedroom Crushed Ice by Sherwin Williams. I remember loving this room and the giant wonderful gold mirror. I love how Emily brings in vintage furniture and simple design to a space.


Then I went through the whole series again and saw this other awesome color called Aloof Gray that she used in their living room. There is something about this space that I just love – I would love to have elements of this space in my house  – I just love the round coffee table and the color on the wall is so neutral you would never know it was gray – aren’t these rooms to die for – can’t you see your self living in these spaces? (sorry for some reason the image would not load).

I have to say I love Pinterest. I think it is a great resource to search for ideas. I love that I can see how other people are using the item or color in a way I would like to do and it either reinforces the idea or lets me know I need to move in another direction.

So last Monday morning I got up and decided to try a couple of grays out on my wall to make sure that I was comfortable with my selection. I had a couple of different shades of gray left over from other projects I used this summer. So up on the wall the following colors went.

Bathroom Color choices Sherwim Williams web

          Serious Gray      Colorado Gray   Comfort Gray    Crushed Ice    Aloof Gray.

  • Serious Gray was to dark – but love this color for an accent piece in a room – I painted a dresser this color this summer.
  • Colorado Gray was too blue – but both of the boys loved this color the best.
  • Comfort Gray again is a nice accent color and also would not mind it maybe on a lower half of a room if the room was bigger.
  •  Crushed Ice is lighter and I thought if I painted the room all this color it might be too white against the beadboard. So I thought I would paint the top half of the wall the crushed ice and then the beadboard section Aloof Gray.

So I am very excited to get started on the room. I have ordered the beadboard wallpaper from Lowes and it should arrive hopefully by Wednesday of this week. I have read online that you can’t wallpaper over semi-gloss paint so I have to research that tomorrow. Just in case, I picked up a quart of primer at Sherwin Williams today to paint the walls with it this week. The thing is we have our annual Superbowl party this week so I hope I can get the room done – if not our guests are going to see a spotted bathroom.

Have you ever painted gray in your house – what is your favorite shade of gray? I have to say the this color is growing on me – it is starting to show it’s face in other rooms of the house as well…you will just have to see where later J

Have a great Monday folks!

It’s Changing…..Deal With It!

“Mom you are not changing the bathroom again, are you? No, please tell me no!” Then Peter walked away, muttering under his breath “stop changing the house.” Peter is so funny – he is just like his Dad in that he does not like change.

Powder room before

So what does this mean? Yesterday during my day off I decided to try out a couple of sample colors I had from previous projects on our powder room wall. As you  can see from my 2014 to do list I would like to do a couple of things to our downstairs bathroom:

1). Update the color. Since I painted the hallway this summer the color sparrow, it now clashes with the color in the bathroom. The light sage does not go with the grey undertone of the paint. As I mentioned awhile back I thought sparrow had more of a green undertone but it turns out it was grey.

2). Add beadboard. I was originally going to do wood but after more research and the size of the room I will be doing the beadboard wallpaper instead with a wood trim about half way down the wall. Since my sister is in school I might have to wait on the border for a while and just go ahead and paint the space.

Lights and mirror poweder room

3). Paint the existing mirror or find a really fun vintage mirror.

4). Change out the existing light. I found this cute light at Lowes online. I got a gift card from the holidays from Lowes and it is burning a hole in my pocket so I will give it a try.

5). Find a nice area rug for the space. Either in a grey or lavender color. The only issue is the mat on the rug has to be very thin.

curtain in the powder room

I am leaving the cute little curtain that I bought at Kmart many years ago. I love the crystal fringe on it and it goes so well in the space.  I will also keep the current accessories.  I love them!

Powder room from anther perspective

So what color or shades of color do you think I am going with in the bathroom?

We Have a Winner Folks

For me I am back to work today, there is snow again on the ground, and it was nice having a 3 day weekend and I was thinking about the color gray yesterday…more on that later this week.

So we have a winner folks. I put a poll out on the blog last week for which chair I should keep in our guest room, should it be chair number one or chair number two….

Chair one and Chair two

The lucky winner is chair number one. It was unanimous and I totally agree with you guys. In decorating sometimes you second-guess yourself. I am a firm believer though you have to go with your gut, that is usually how I make all my decisions, and most of the time it is right.

closeup of the accent table

One of our readers had a great suggestion that I should add a footstool or an ottoman to the space, I never thought of that and think that is an awesome idea. It will add another layer and comfort to the space, plus expand the footprint of the space. I don’t know about you but I do love an ottoman.

So here is what I was thinking. Since the space is a little small what about a small pouf ottoman. I was thinking something like this…

Product_KML31276_Image_1                                                                                                                                        Source

Or something like this…



Or maybe something cute and vintage like the foot stool I have in the downstairs laundry room.

Laundry room rug web

There are so many options. I can’t wait to hit the local stores to see what great items I can find. I would like to keep my price point under $50 dollars or so, so I might be able to make a great score at Homegoods, or there might be an upcycle on an exiting piece in my future….

Where do you find great ottomans – have you ever been on a hunt for them?

Thanks for all your great input and ideas. It really helps getting the creative juices flowing. What are you up to this week – did you have today off yesterday?

Our Guestroom: The Back Story

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Guess what – we woke up to snow today. The cold weather is BACK….it is a long weekend for us so we are enjoying a lazy Monday, and maybe we will have time to pick out some new colors for an upcoming project – stay tuned.

When we built this house our guest room was originally our daughter’s room, and our daughter’s room was the kids playroom. When we redid our basement and the kids now had a place of their own, Emma moved into the bigger room.

I like the idea of a guest room.  Growing up, when our Grandparents came to visit, one of us would always have to give up their room. Now we always have a place for our friends/family to say anytime they want and no one gets displaced. It is the smallest bedroom in our house so it made it a little tricky to decorate since I wanted a Queen size bed for our guests. The Vitello family does not fit on double beds!

So when we changed the kids room, I had the room painted Ocean Fog, I am not sure where I found the color – but I really like it and it was one of the loudest colors in the house at the time. The only issue with this color is it does not take the best pictures. They come out more muted. I love painted white furniture so I thought I would create a very girly, shabby chic space – this girl loves pink and it needs to come out somewhere.

Guestroom bed upclose web

Once I found the headboard last spring it spurred several projects in the room. Starting with updating the dresser, I repainted it white and added a cute little stencil on top.

guestroom dresser w mirror web

I repainted the lamps and added new shades that I purchased at Target. I went with a little bit of khaki on the shades to draw from the drapes to continue to ground the room a little bit.

the new nightstand web

I added some fun pillows with this great graphic fabric that I purchased from I loves the loud colors and the great graphic print and the color pink was the perfect shot of color that the space needed.

Close up of the envelope pillow web

To pick up on the pillow I spray painted the mirror and picture frame to continue to punch some color in the room.

upclose to the dresser web

I updated the fabric on the chairs and added some pillows.  Also, you can see from the blog last week I stenciled the curtains behind the chair and added a little more white and texture to the existing curtains.  What I realized about this space is that cream does not go in this room, crisp white is really the key.

closeup of the accent table

I also changed up the far wall in the room, creating a nice feature wall of photos.  The wall is still developing and evolving and I love finding unique pieces for this space. I also added this great vintage night stand that I had in my office – it was one of my favorite pieces. I think I am going to paint it a pink similar to the mirror in the room and add gold leafing on the edges.

Whole left hand side of the room web

So the space is coming together, still evolving – I don’t think a room can ever be truly, done, done. I would like to add a rug to the space and maybe a very little table to the other side of the of the bed.

What is your guest room like – it is a place where you are constantly changing it up?

How to Upcycle your Existing Curtains

Happy Friday Folks, we made it through another week!! I love that the weather in my area has taken a little bit of a break – so nice to be able to get some errands done and not have to worry about when the next snow storm is coming.

Chair one and Chair two

So yesterday I asked you guys for your help in picking out which chair I should use in our guestroom. Have you ever seen the game in magazines where you have two pictures of the same thing (excluding the chairs) and you have to pick out what has changed? Were you able to figure it out?  If you guessed the curtains you would be right on the nose!

I first bought these curtains when we moved into our house. They were from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I love the color, but they are linen, which makes them really see-thru and they do not block out a lot of the morning sun. Our bedroom has so many windows (3 large ones) and I did not realize that there would be so much light.  I ended up taking them down but I am very glad that I kept them. They have been used by other folks in the meantime.

Last year when I decided to lighten up the guestroom, I had heavy, silk striped blue/grey curtains up on the windows.  Though they were awesome – they did make the room very dark. So I decided to give the old ones another whirl and add a little texture to the room with the linen material.

Chair number 2 web guestroom

I liked how they looked but felt they were missing something. One day I was surfing on pinterest and came across this post on how this blogger upgraded her curtains by stenciling them. Here is the link to her post.

This was about the time when I was on my stenciling craze. Ok, I still am…Lights went off in my head; I saw hearts and heard music playing!  Anyway I went onto Royal Designs web site and found this cute stencil, called the Bari J that I thought would not look too big on the curtains. As usual it came quickly in the mail.

Here is what you need:

Chalk Paint – I love to use Annie Sloane and I used Old White for the project.

Small paint roller – I just got this one from Wal-Mart worked just fine.

A Liner for the table or surface you want to paint the project on.

Your stencil.

So I actually did this project in November. I got up early and in my typical Type A fashion decided to go for it and give it a try. For the first curtain, it went really well.

curtain before stencil web

You just start in the most upper corner and start your pattern. I decided to do an up and down pattern.

close up of the stencil curtains web

Start with one flower up, move down the curtain and the next flower down. So I worked across then down the curtain and the pattern worked out fine. When I picked up the curtain I did not realize that the paint would seep through the material – really a silly mistake.

the table after 1st panel web

So the next time around I used a drop cloth because it took about 20 minutes of some good scrubbing to get all the paint off the table. Thank God it was chalk paint and water takes it right up.

finished panel guestroom

Once complete on the pattern, I just hung them right back up – the beauty of chalk paint is that is dries really fast and creates a distressed look, which I wanted anyway.

stenciled curtains guestroom web

So I also found similar curtains to these in  Ballard Designs these curtains go for $150 to $190 dollars a panel, I upcycled these curtains for under $25 dollars for all 4 panels, which included the cost of the stencil and the roller. I had the paint already from other projects.

downward look on the chair web

Guestroom chair from the left

The added white to the curtains adds even more texture to the room that this space was lacking – I often feel that something in a corner needs a pattern.

closeup of the accent table

Don’t be afraid to see what you can do to your existing items in your room, it can totally change the feel.  Be bold and take a risk!

Have you ever upcycled curtains in your home, whether it be adding some fringe, or shortening them for another room, or adding another piece of material? There are a lot of options so don’t be afraid to be creative!

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So our guest room wall is now in motion – and it is a sunny day so hopefully that lasts all day. On the news yesterday they said that January in Upstate NY is one of the most grey months of the year. Though I am starting to like grey as a color on my walls I am not so much liking it in the sky overhead…

So here is the second area that I am struggling with in our guest room. I have created a little reading nook in the corner of this room. I used to have an awesome chair there but I have moved that into our bedroom now that we changed the color scheme. So I am not sure which chair I should keep.

Guest chair my wicker web

Chair number One is an antique piece that my parents got for me when I turned 13. It used to reside on a beautiful front porch of a local bed and breakfast 2 towns over. So it has special meaning to me. My mom made cute penguin seat cushions for me (since penguins are my favorite animal.) I like the size of the chair but feel that it might not have the height I need for the corner of the room. It is a low rider for sure.

I have updated the cushions to this nice premier fabric that I bought on Etsy last year. I was actually going to make this fabric into pillows for the room – but I needed more of a white background than a cream. Then I just added more pillows for the back. What are your thoughts for the chair – would you want to plop down and read a book?

Chair number 2 web guestroom

The second option is a chair I bought from one of the local Vintage stores. I purchased it for my office as an occasional chair for $10 dollars. It is probably from the sixties. I just had to give it a good old dose of spray paint and it was good as new. It sits higher than the first chair, notice though they are both wicker – are you catching on that I love wicker…J But it is kinda of tiny and looks small in the corner too. I think it would look really cute in Emma’s room once she gets older…right now it would last 2 days with her as she bounces around the room.

Chair one and Chair two

What are your thoughts, if you came into the room, which chair would you want to see?  The first option is more comfortable, but the second one you don’t feel like you are sitting on the floor in the room…Also, can you tell me what has changed in the room over time?

Filling up the Bare Wall…

Happy Hump Day everyone! Hope your week is going well. Don’t you feel like Christmas was like six months ago?  It is amazing how quickly we have to switch gears and we are on the move again with a new year….

Icing on the cupcake sign web

So last week one of our readers made a request on how to create a distressed sign. I decided to make a sign for our guestroom, which is a room that I have not really blogged about before – but look out – here comes a couple of posts about this space.

This is one of the rooms in our house where I feel I have not gotten quite right to be honest. I love our headboard that we found last year on Craigslist – awesome. I love the awesome fabric I found to make my favorite pillows for the space – you have to love the envelope pillow…but there are a couple of areas that just have not come together. Does that ever happen to you as you are putting together a space?

Guestroom before web

One of the areas that never felt finished was the large outer wall when you walk into the room. I love the vintage wallpaper piece that I found in the room, the shape of the print really requires it to be in the center of a wall. But the wall is rather big and the print looked out of place.

close up of print web

So I decided to build around the print with additional fun pieces that mean something to the Hubby and I and our guests. Thus the creation of the sign…fun…something personal to me, because I LOVE cupcakes and I am really loving gold accents this year.

Our wedding and date web

To build on that theme I added a fun sign with the year Steve and I got married, as well as my favorite photo from our wedding day, that my dear friend took.  Isn’t it cool?  It is shot through the bubbles we had when we left the church. I think I will need a bigger frame, but it will due for now.

right side of wall web

I found this really cute clothes rack with great vintage knobs on it from Homegoods that picks up the colors in the room:  pinks, creams, taupes and golds. Finally I added a photo of flowers in a gold frame to add a little bit of solid gold to the area. The wall is not quite done, I would like to add a letter V to the wall for our last name and maybe one more small print…I will have to be on the search for that.

Guestroom wall done web


I love putting together feature picture walls.  I have a couple throughout my house; they just add a little bit of history to a space within your home. Do you have picture feature walls in your home, what elements do you use to bring the wall together?

The Hubby going Rogue in the Laundry Room – Change of Plans

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  We actually had a mid January thaw this weekend and could just go outside in a fleece vs dressing like we lived in the arctic. I have to apologize folks I am one week into January and already did not live up to one of my New Year’s resolutions of having 4 posts a week. Last week I had to put out a couple of unexpected fires that took up more time than I thought – all is ok…but took time away from the blog. So let’s see if I can get my act together this week.

So when you go to the store, don’t leave your hubby home with a drill and an action item to hang cabinets.  Let me explain, the next stage in the laundry project was hanging the cabinets. I painted them Cooled Blue #6760 by Sherwin Williams, love the color. As you remember I was hoping to match the swatch from the utility sink skirt but learned you could not use fabric. So after looking at various swatches found Cooled Blue to be a good match.

2013-11-30 10.14.09

So I was waiting for the Hubby to research how to hang cabinets since neither of us have done it before. After reading a couple of posts Steve got the courage up to give it a whirl. I briefly talked to him about my vision: I wanted the two cabinets hung on either side of the wall with shelves in between. You can see here Steve’s approach to how he hung the cabinets – pretty inventive I have to say.

My Dad came over to give him a hand, and of course I needed to run up to Wegman’s to get some food to feed the men. When I got back the cabinets were hung, and hung way too high. Now a little bit of history about the Hubby – he is not a Type A personality at all – he is so the opposite way that I thought for sure the cabinets would still be on the floor. BUT no, he went Rogue on me and hung them without me making sure the height was ok, very unlike him.

Showing the cabinets on the wall web

So I was a little taken aback to say the least, and they did not look right at all, but I felt really bad since he was so proud of himself and what he accomplished to make him move the cabinets down. So I had to rethink the layout of the wall. My Mom suggested a longer shelf lower on the wall to anchor the upper cabinets and then we just add a smaller one on top. I already made a cute little step stool for the space so I could use that to access the upper shelves.

One shelf up web

So off to home depot I went and bought two shelves for the space 12 inches deep. I decided to paint them the same color as the cabinets. When creating a wall like this it will be too busy if you introduce too many colors to storage elements.

Steve hanging the shleves web

Ideally I wanted to have wooden brackets, for some reason, we could not locate wooden brackets with a 12 inch depth.  We found a lot of  9 inch, but we discovered that if we wanted 12 inch it would be a custom order and would take two weeks.  As I have stated before, I am NOT a patient person.  In fact, driving to the store to buy brackets takes too long. It was very frustrating, but since this was the laundry room and not the kitchen I went with the metal brackets and just painted them the Cooled Blue as well.

both cabnets and sign laundry web

I love the open look of the shelving and I actually am starting to really enjoy the cabinets at their current height. It definitely offers more storage then we had before.

the plant and picture in laundry room web

I had all the baskets in the laundry room and in other areas of the house, so I did not have to buy new baskets for the shelves. I did add some fun new accessories like the laundry sign that I found out on Etsy. Doesn’t this sign say it all, wash**dry**fold**repeat  – no closure when it comes to laundry I am afraid folks!

Etsy Laundry Sign web

It fits perfectly between the two cabinets and I had this cute print from our first house that I bought maybe 13 years ago from a Laura Ashley store.

Charlie Brown sign on the shelf laundry web

The knobs that I had planned to use on the space did not fit, so I am kind of liking no knobs at the moment and it if I find something really unique and cool I can always add that later.

Laundry room rug web

The rug I had purchased earlier this fall at Homegoods when I was making the skirt for the utility sink so I love the geometric shape and the black tones and how it anchors the space.

w in a row done web

I also decided to replace the open shelving on the opposite wall. I really like the closed-door look and it gave us more space for storage. Space and efficient storage is my motto for 2014. Steve did a great job hanging these cabinets and we are starting to work really well together at DIY projects – no four-letter words for this project!

 view laundry hall web

Laundryroom window web

I also took this opportunity to really look at what I had in this room. I cleaned out all the baskets and shelves for items we really needed. I got rid of items we did not need. All and all the room has come a long way and went from a messy space to a functional yet inviting area to be in.

The before and after of the laundry room

Have you ever hung cabinets, has your husband ever gone Rogue on your Honey-Dew list before?

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