Tackling a Two-fer: Updating 80s Honey Oak and Old Red Brick

Master Fireplace Final w FireWhat a combination – it must have been awesome in the 80’s!  Though I’m sure it was nice once, our Master Bedroom fireplace decked out in dated honey-stained oak mantle and old red brick has been crying for a facelift.  My first instinct was to go solid, traditional white for the most serene presence in the sleeping quarters … though the more I thought about it (and stared blankly at it, looking for inspiration) – the more I knew that this wonderful feature of our home deserved a more interesting treatment.  I’m thinking soothing, serene Master Retreat… ahhh!!! Continue reading

Breathing New Life into an Old Cabinet: How To Create a Distressed Paint Finish

Hutch Top FinalAt our last house, storage was at a premium.  We made a significant downsize to take advantage of a rare, gorgeous wooded lot with a creek and waterfall (in Texas!), and it was taking a lot of creativity to sort out where and how to put things in our new home.   We also wanted to ensure that our nice collection of heirloom dishes wasn’t just stashed in a box in the garage… which is where it was until we could squeeze some more space out of our place.  So I trolled craigslist for a couple weeks, in search of a large, solid wood hutch to place in the dining room. Continue reading

Quick & Easy Fall Wreath

Fall Wreath Final w OwlAs Fall has descended upon us these past few weeks, beautiful autumn wreaths are everywhere to spruce up homes for the season.  However, my taste is pretty simple, and even on the most basic of wreaths, I have not been admiring the price tags starting around $40 and up – and that’s even at my favorite discount stores.  So I began to wonder if I could create a cute Fall wreath with a few basic supplies and  the stash of craft goodies I have around the house. Continue reading

Quickest Update for an Outdated Fireplace

Family Room Fireplace Work Set UpIt seems too obvious now, but in all my DIY-ing about the house, this quick and easy fireplace update took quite a lot of consideration to figure out.  What was it?  Painting the old, outdated shiny ’80s brass fireplace door surround – fast, cheap, and looks SO much better!

We started out with this giant built-in bookshelf/wall surrounding the family room fireplace in that go-to late-1980s/early ’90s builder-grade honey oak cabinetry and shelving.  The wood is in great shape, and solid, though it strikes me why such a significant wall unit would be custom-made in a builder-standard style like this.  I never remember this finish being “all the rage” – it just seemed like what every builder put in every new kitchen and bathroom at the time…  it was everywhere.  Oy vey.   Continue reading