Blue House Tour: Dining Room

Dining Room at

When we bought our first house, a dining room was on the wish list, but it wasn’t meant to be. (I made the most of what we did have, though.) Before we even moved into our blue house, I was beyond excited to finally have a dining room and spent some time dreaming up a mood board. You can read about my intent with the mood board here. I actually did end up purchasing similar curtains and the buffet from the below mood board around the time we moved into our blue house, and I absolutely still adore both of them to this day.

Dining Mood Board at

Our dining room has come a long way since we purchased our blue house back in December 2012. (Click here to see before photos of the entire house!)

Dining Room Before at

One of the main reasons we fell in love with this house was the floor plan. The dining room is right off of the kitchen, but it still has easy access to the rest of the house. This has been a perfectly functional layout for us and all of the entertaining we do — especially around the holidays.

Dining Room at

After we moved in, we made a few changes to the dining room. We moved the light fixture seen in the before photos above into the hallway leading to our master suite, added a new chandelier, painted, changed out the window treatments, added our furniture and called it done for a few years.

Dining Room Sneak Peek at

We also replaced the large window within the first year of living here. The seal had broken, so it had begun collecting moisture between the panes of glass making it impossible to see outside. A family friend volunteered to replace it for free, so we only had to pay $150 for the new window itself. The new window lets in so much more light, plus it’s not a total eyesore anymore. I thanked our family friend with a tin of frozen cookie dough.

Window with Broken Seal at

New Dining Light at

Earlier this year, we made a big change to our dining room: we ordered a completely custom dining table and chairs! This has long been a dream of mine. When we were first married, we borrowed a table and six chairs from Travis’ parents. It was beautiful, and we were so fortunate to not have to make a major purchase early in our marriage. We used the borrowed table and chairs for about eight years. As seen in the above photo, the borrowed table and chairs were beautiful. However, they were not fitting in with the new style of our blue house.

Dining Room at

We custom designed our new table and chairs at Braden’s Lifestyles to our exact preferences. Our dining set (excluding the two head chairs) was designed by us and built by Palettes by Winesburg. We love that this furniture is 100% American made and is solid wood. It should last a lifetime… at least. We have three, 12″ leaves we can add to the table, which means 12 people can sit comfortably in our dining room for holiday meals. For everyday use, we leave one leaf in the table and store four of the dining chairs, which were also custom made by the same company.

Braden’s Lifestyles made it so easy to design our table to exactly what we wanted and needed. We designed the furniture on Black Friday of last year, and it was delivered to us about four months later since each piece had to be built to our specifications. Since the table and chairs are natural products that are still living and breathing we had to let it acclimate to the conditions in our home for about a month before we could find places to store the extra chairs and leaves. We keep two of the extra chairs in the dining room corners most of the time for extra seating, the other two extra chairs in a closet, and the leaves are stored under our bed.

Dining Room at

Decorating our dining room has been a lot of fun. I added a plate rail from a local store to one wall, and I enjoy changing out the decorative plates for different seasons. Currently, I have plates from The Pioneer Woman collection at Walmart. Pretty soon, I’ll change the plates out for a fall look.

Dining Room at

Next to the plate rack, I have two black and white prints from one of our favorite cities: St. Augustine, Florida. We spent part of our honeymoon in St. Augustine. My grandparents also honeymooned there and brought back our entire family year after year. We purchased the prints during one of our many trips from a street artist. I added the prints to some simple black frames, and they’ve lived in our dining room for several years now.

In the above photo, you can also see the metallic sheen of the walls. We used Valspar’s Brilliant Metals product in a color the seems to no longer be available. This was a finicky product to use, and I’m not sure I would recommend it or ever use it again. However, we receive so many compliments on the wall in this room that the difficulty of using this product may have been worth it. After having this color on the walls for nearly four years, I’m still not tired of it.

Dining Room at

The opposite wall displays a large-scale Ikea piece. Typically, I don’t like purchasing art from Ikea, but when I saw this canvas art piece a few years ago I immediately fell in love with it. I still love it, and I expect to love it for a very long time. One of the spoons looks like it has an “S” on top. Our last name begins with an S, so I enjoy sneaking in another “monogrammed” element to our home.

Dining Room at

The buffet from the mood board sits in the corner by the door to the kitchen. I had glass cut for the top, and it’s definitely helped protect this little piece during the years. The sign on the top was purchased from a craft fair in Georgia and reads, “Bless the food before us, the family beside us, and the love between us. Amen.” I love the little reminder to be thankful for all that we have. The topiary is a preserved boxwood purchased 90 percent off after Christmas several years ago. It needed some minor repairs and a new ribbon. The boxwood leaves are dusted with a silver glitter that is so pretty in this room year around.

Our dining room is one of my most favorite rooms in the house, and I am so excited to dress up our new table for Christmas this year!

Source List:

Table and Chairs: Braden’s Lifestyles
Buffet: Amazon
Chandelier: Home Depot
Sheer Curtains: JCPenny, Aqua Dust
Gray Curtains: JCPenny, Techno Gray
Plant: Gifted
Plant Pot: IKEA
Table Runner: Target (no longer available)
Rooster Candle Holder: Yard Sale
Candles: Hobby Lobby
Dinner Plates on Display: Walmart
Salad Plates on Display: Walmart
St. Augustine Prints: Purchased from street vendor
Spoon Art: IKEA (no longer available)
Lamp: TJ Maxx
Sign on Buffet: Craft Fair
Topiary: Burkes Outlet, after Christmas sale
Art Above Buffet: Gifted

Paint Colors:

Above Chair Rail: Valspar’s Brilliant Metals
Below Chair Rail: Mark Twain House Ombra Gray, Valspar

To see some of the other posts from this room, click any of the links below:

Favorite Things Christmas Brunch

A Pretty Black Christmas Tree for the Dining Room

New Dining Room Art & A Fall Table

Navy and Orange Tablescape Celebrates the End of Summer

Happy Birthday Tablescape

A Pretty Spring Buffet Table

Thrift Shop Challenge, Part II: A Parisian-Inspired Tablescape

A Baby Shower Menu

The Great Lighting Shuffle of 2013, Part I: Dining Room

Dining Room Dreaming

Simple Update, Big Difference

Linking up to TDC.

New Dining Room Art & A Fall Table

I recently purchased some art for my dining room. I had been on the hunt for quite a while. Originally I thought I’d like to curate a large collage for the wall, but then once I started collecting pieces, it all just felt like too much. I knew that I’d just know when I saw it, and that finally happened for me last weekend at Ikea.

I take an annual pilgrimage to Ikea with my BFF. She lives south of Atlanta, and I live about three hours north. It’s a great meeting place for us. I was in the frame section to find some living room art that (long story short) didn’t work out when I saw it: the most perfect dining room art ever.

New Dining Room Art at

What do you think? I’m completely smitten. At $39.99, I felt really great about purchasing such a large piece of art for the dining room. Scroll down for product details.

In other news, I’ve decorated the table for fall. I normally like to set out place settings, but I just don’t trust my cat, Winter, with breakables yet. I never catch her on the table, but I still just don’t trust her.

Fall Table Decor at


Confession: I’ve had these pumpkins out far longer than it’s been acceptable to display fall decor. I can’t help it. I love fall.

Source List:

Candle Holders: Ikea
Candles: Local Store, going out of business sale
Pumpkins: Hobby Lobby, end of season last year
Pumpkin Salt & Pepper Shakers: Big Lots, three years ago (?)
Table Runner: Joanne’s, end of season two years ago (?)
Spoon Art: Ikea

Out of Treats Sign for Trick or Treaters

I’ve heard that my new neighborhood is a hot spot for trick or treaters. As in, I can expect hundreds of trick or treaters to visit my home October 31.Yikes!

I’ve already started buying candy (in bulk), but I’m still worried that I won’t have enough. Enter this adorable sign I saw on Pinterest. Cute, right? And totally DIY-able. (For those of you who don’t want to click over to Pinterest, it’s a sign you hang on your door announcing that you are out of treats.)

Luckily, I let Hobby Lobby do most of the hard work for me.

Out of Treats Sign for Trick or Treaters at

I recently found this adorable sign at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 — with 40 percent off! I don’t think I could have made it myself that cheaply. However, this sign only advertises that we have treats available. The back side was lacking when I purchased it, but with a few DIY touches, I knew it could be something really fun.

Out of Treats Sign for Trick or Treaters at

Tons of potential, right? I thought so, too.

3Out of Treats Sign for Trick or Treaters at

Using my Silhouette I cut some vinyl words and polka dots to add to the back of the sign. Some cute bows hid the staples and finished off my little sign nicely. When we run out of candy at the end of the night, all we have to do is flip the sign over.

Here’s hoping we won’t have to worry about our doorbell being rang a million times after dark. How have you been preparing for Halloween?


I’m linking up to TDC’s Before & After Party.

Blue House Tour: Living Room

It’s been more than a month since I shared a room in this little house tour. At this rate, I might finish the tour by December. No promises, though. 😉 We last left off in the office, and now we’re moving next door into the living room.

Living Room Floor Plan at

As a reminder, here’s what the room looked like to begin with:


The first thing we did in this room was paint the walls and trim. Then we bulked up the fireplace surround and painted it all black. The blue, orange and off white color scheme just wasn’t working for me. We still need to add a finishing touch to the blank space below the mantle.


I think the black is absolutely delicious and looks wonderful with our new furniture. Do you remember when we picked out the furniture and purchased it long before we even closed on our house? It took longer to close than we were prepared for, and during that time our furniture was discontinued. For awhile it looked like we’d have to pick out a new set, but, luckily, they were able to find all of the pieces in two different warehouses. Whew!

Ready to see how it all looks now?

Living Room at

Much better. At least I think so. According to the “decorating rules,” our rug should be bigger. We were so excited about finally have hardwood floors, that we didn’t want to cover them with a giant rug. I’m sure we’ll eventually upgrade to a larger rug, but I’m loving this one for now.

Entertainment Unit at

There’s not a ton of natural light in this room, so you’ll just have to bear with me on the less-than-stellar photos. Our entertainment unit houses all of our gaming equipment (xBox and Wii), consoles, and Winter’s food. Currently there’s nothing behind the glass doors, but I would like to get some pretty baskets to corral more  media accessories. The basket to the left of the unit holds blankets, and the bin on the right is full of our pet’s toys.

Living Room at

In the photo above, you can see how open the living room is to my office. Originally, I thought this would be a burden, but now I love it!

Living Room3 at

I’d say this room is about 85% complete. We decided to leave the fan for now, but I’d like to replace it some day along with the too-small rug. Plus, we’ve still got to finish out the area below the mantle on the fireplace. Update: We finally finished the fireplace with some new tile!

Fireplace tile at

I’ve also been looking for art for this room for a long time, but I just can’t seem to find the one. I’m in no rush, though. I know these things take time, and I don’t want to impulse buy and then regret it down the line. For only living in this house for six months, though, I’m pretty pleased with how this room looks and functions.

Source List:

Furniture: Rooms to Go
Lamp: Rooms to Go
Mirror: Lowe’s
Miscellaneous Decor: Lowe’s, TJMaxx, Kohls
Picture Frames: Hobby Lobby

Paint Color: Tempered Gray, Valspar

Click here to see the complete house tour.

Blue House Tour: Back Guest Bedroom

I’m so excited to finally be showing off our new-to-us blue house! This week, we’re continuing the tour in the back guest bedroom. The floor plan below has been updated with a handy little arrow pointing out exactly where we are in the house for this part of the tour.

blue-house_BackGuestBedromMuch like the front guest bedroom, we didn’t need to do much to this room other than clean and add a fresh coat of paint. Just as a reminder here’s what the room looked like when we moved in:


The back guest bedroom is the top set of pictures. The room came equipped with hardwood floors, a decent ceiling fan and a window that lets in quite a bit of natural light. These days the room is looking a bit more like us.

BetweenWeekdays Back Guest Bedroom

Ahhh. Much better. Yes?

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you might recognize this furniture from the upstairs guest bedroom in our first home. This furniture is the furniture I grew up with (after the bunk bed phase) at my Dad’s house. I loved this furniture then, and I still love it now.

Quick tip: if you don’t like the look of a bed skirt but still want to conceal the area under the bed, buy your bedding a size too large. I bought a queen-sized quilt for this twin-sized bed. The quilt just barely skims the floor — eliminating the need for a bed skirt — and looks lovely. Plus, guests are able to double it over if they get cold during the night. It’s a win-win-win.


In our last house we moved the armoire into storage while the house was for sale. It fits much more nicely in this room and boasts a ton of extra storage, which I’m finding I don’t need quite as much of in this house.

BetweenWeekdays Back Guest Bedroom Details

The Greek Key rug was a great find at Lowe’s a few weeks ago. The 5’x8′ rug was only $84! It’s gorgeous and so plush. I knew this room would need a rug, because the floors are pretty messed up in the middle of this room. There are deep scratches in the wood with black stains in the scratches. This rug works perfectly in this room. (One of my favorite bloggers also has this rug.)

The curtains and curtain rod are also from Lowe’s. I’m always surprised at just how much I love the product lines there. Allen + Roth proves to be my favorite, as I have many pieces around my home from that line, including the curtain panel and rug in this room.


I’m really loving how well our furniture fits in this room. I was so worried about the size of the guest rooms when we were looking to buy this house. They seemed so small then. With our furniture in them now, I’m realizing that the guest rooms are the perfect sizes.

There’s still quite a bit left to do to this room. I’ll be sure to keep you updated along the way!

Source List:

Alarm Clock, Gifted
Bird Sculptures: Dollar Tree
Curtain Rod: Lowe’s
Drapes: Lowe’s, Allen + Roth Danbury Curtain Panel in Basil
Flowers: Hobby Lobby
Furniture: Gifted
Framed Michael Sowa Diving Pig Art: Kirklands
Lamp: Home Goods
Quilt: Belk
Rug: Allen + Roth Greek Key Geometric in Beige
Winged Pig: Kirkland’s

Paint Color: Montpelier Madison White, Valspar

Blue House Tour: Front Guest Bedroom

I think it’s high time I gave a tour of our new-to-us blue house! Keep in mind, that we’ve only been here since December 28, 2012, so many spaces aren’t anywhere near being complete.

Today, we’re kicking off the tour in what I call the front guest bedroom. We’re beginning the tour in this room because it’s is the most done. (At least for now.)


The floor plan was originally seen here, but I’ve updated it with a handy little giant arrow pointing out where we are in the house. This room contains the full bedroom furniture that originally lived in the downstairs bedroom in our first house. Unfortunately, it didn’t see a lot of use in our first house, but I think it will become the bedroom of choice for guests in our new house.

Before I jump into the pictures of how this room looks now, let’s look back at the before:


The front guest bedroom is actually the second set of photos above. We had a nice, clean (ish) room to start with, so all we had to do was paint and change out the light fixture. The room, of course, received a nice scrubbing before we began painting. Oddly enough, we found a huge stash of cigarette butts stuffed in one of the air returns. Gross!

The room looks a bit different now. And I’ve got to say, I love it!


As you step into the room, the bed becomes the main focus. It is my belief that a bed can never have too many pillows. Especially a bed that isn’t used daily.


To the right of the bed, is a nightstand. I actually rescued it from a giant trash pile. All it needed was a good cleaning and some furniture polish.


Atop the nightstand is a picture of my late Papaw. He actually enlisted when he was just 17. On the shelf below are a few of my favorite children’s books. I’m a huge book lover, and children’s books are some of my favorites. My childhood copy of “Love You Forever” is protected in the basket. Also displayed is a Willow Tree figure my father got me several years ago. Needless to say, this little table holds many of my sentimental treasures.

To the right of the bed is a quilt ladder that also holds one of my most valued possessions.


The ladder was actually our first ladder. It was so unstable, that Travis didn’t even want me to climb it. Something about my poor balance or something like that. Whatever. After we got a decent ladder, I took our old one apart, cleaned it up, added some felt to the back and rungs, and called it a quilt ladder! I didn’t paint it or anything, since I think the paint spots make it more unique.

The quilt on the top was made by my Nana (grandmother) out of material she bought to make girl scout uniforms for her and my Mother, who quite the scouts before the uniforms could be made.  This is one of two quilts I have made by my Nana. She’s actually in the process of making a quilt that will fit our bed for next winter. She’s designed it herself! The two quilts on the bottom are massed produced and not special, so I hope to one day replace them.

Directly opposite the bed are a couple of other furniture pieces along with some trash-to-treasure art.


The little chest was in my bedroom at my Nana’s big house (as we called it). She recently downsized to a condo. It amazingly still smells like her house inside the drawers. I will probably eventually paint this piece and add some new hardware. It has so many layers of paint on it now, so I’ve been putting that little project it off for awhile. It accidentally landed in the corner of the room one day, and I liked it so much I kept it there. Normally I’m not a huge fan of corner furniture placement, so I surprised myself.

The art on the wall was also picked from the same trash pile as the nightstand. I had them framed at Hobby Lobby for about $30 each. Here’s a better picture of the art when it was still in our first house:

TrashtoTreasureArtQuaint, yes? This room definitely has a slightly vintage vibe going on. Even though the art is signed, it’s still only worth about $7. If it had been worth something, I probably would have tried to sell it on eBay, even though I loved it.

At the foot of the bed is a cedar chest Travis’ parents gave us as a wedding present.


It is absolutely beautiful. I’m not sure where they found it, as they seem to collect cedar chests.


I think the little heart on the side is so appropriate since this was a wedding gift. Travis’ brother and sister-in-law also received a cedar chest as a wedding gift. Between you and me, ours is much prettier.

We still have a little bit of work left to do in this room. None of the doors or door casings have been painted white yet. Painting doors is a big job that requires nice weather since each door has to be taken down and painted outside.


Other than painting the door, there isn’t much left to do in here. I might eventually update the light fixture and line the curtains. We’d definitely like to add crown molding at some point. Who knows how this room will transform throughout the years. I’m in no hurry to find out.

For now, we’re just looking forward to seeing who will be the first guest to sleep here.


Source List:

Alarm Clock: Kohl’s
Art: Picked from Trash, Frames from Hobby Lobby
Bed: Local Discount Furniture Store
Bed Quilt: Pottery Barn Matine Toile Quit in Navy, sadly no longer available in navy
Cedar Chest: Gifted
Curtains: Lowe’s, Waverly Indigo Home Classics Curtain Panel
Dresser: Gifted
Lamp: Hobby Lobby
Light Fixture: Moved from Office
Nightstand: Picked from Trash
Quilt Ladder: DIY
Wreath: Joann

Paint Color: Montpelier Madison White, Valspar

Want to see how this furniture was used in our first house? Click here to read all about the downstairs guest bedroom.


I’m linking up to Metamorphosis Monday, Thrifty Decor Chick.

A New Knob

I made a simple switch that made all the difference in our small laundry room. I replaced a boring knob with one that adds some pizazz to the space.


How cute is that knob? Also, how much do you love my chipped nail polish? Wait, don’t answer that. I found the cutie knob at Hobby Lobby, said “hello lover” and dropped it into my shopping cart in one hot second.

So, where am I going to use the new knob?

Our laundry room has a medicine cabinet directly opposite the washer and dryer, and the original knob was looking a little drab. We’re fairly certain the laundry room was once a powder room. I’d much rather have a laundry room off the kitchen instead of a powder room any day.


Hooray for simple updates! Soon I’ll show you the full room including paint color details and a full frontal of the new washer and dryer. Before that can happen, though, we’ve got to finish repairing the trim you see missing in the mirror’s reflection above. The projects are never ending around here….

Christmas in July

Each July marks the beginning of my Christmas shopping/crafting. Why do I start so early? There are several reasons:

  1. I big fat LOVE the Christmas season. I wish we celebrated Christmas year round. No joke.
  2. I have to buy a lot of presents, and this gets expensive. If I can spread the buying out over a few months, the budget doesn’t suffer so much in December/January.
  3. I like to spend the entire month of December enjoying the season, not frantically decorating and shopping for gifts.
  4. Our wedding anniversary is in December. We like to celebrate, which sometimes means a trip away or simply a weekend doing nothing but spending time together ie not frantically decorating or shopping for gifts.
  5. I’m not a good last-minute holiday crafter. I like to craft because I want to, not because I have to.
  6. People are sometimes difficult to buy for, and I like to take the time to find just the right gift. Especially if I’m making the gift or spending a lot of money on one gift.
  7. After May, we’re pretty much done buying gifts for the year other than Christmas. This makes July the perfect time in the yearly budget to start buying Christmas gifts.
  8. Hobby Lobby begins putting out their Christmas items in July, and I can’t help but be mesmerized by the aisles of ornaments and décor. I always leave really inspired to create for Christmas.
  9. I really, really, really like thinking about Christmas.

Last year, I didn’t do so well with the whole Christmas in July idea. It was the only time I’ve ever fallen off the bandwagon, and it really set the tone for my Christmas season. I spent a lot of time shopping when I would have rather been with family. Our wedding anniversary was merely a blip on the radar. Our budget suffered from trying to fit everything in last minute. Wrapping presents ended up becoming a very unhappy marathon event. Presents weren’t properly organized and ended up at the wrong places. I didn’t get to all of the Christmas crafts I had envisioned. I didn’t send Christmas cards.

This year is going to be different. I put it out there in blogland, so now I have to follow through. I’m going to do things I’ve never done before to ensure last year doesn’t happen all over again.

Here are a few ideas I have:

  1. Create a notebook of some sort to keep track of gifts, receipts, craft ideas, etc.
  2. Keep notebook organized.
  3. Organize presents as I buy them by family.
  4. Gather supplies for crafts early.
  5. List what gifts I’ll be making this year and complete them before December if possible
  6. Hold myself accountable by blogging about Christmas progress.

I’ve already got a few projects in the works for some Christmas gifts, and I can’t wait to blog about them and everything else as the Christmas season approaches. Only 163 more days until Christmas! Trust me, it will be here before you know it. Will you be ready?

Weekend Recap: Fourth of July 4, 2011

We had a blessedly relaxing weekend around here celebrating the birth of our great nation.

We hosted a small get together Saturday evening with family. It was super low key with just hamburgers and hot dogs from the grill. But it did give me an excuse to complete my 4th tablescape. Sort of.


I never found the flowers I wanted, but I did find the most perfect candy to fill my star dishes. Sixlets!

Who knew Party City had individually-packaged colored sixlets? Awesome and delicious!

Patriotic Sixlets

To see more of my tablescape, click here.

The husband spent most of Sunday morning cleaning out his truck. When we got back from vacation, he found an unfortunate surprise. Turns out he had left food in his truck while we were gone. He returned to the most righteous smell and spent all last week trying to eradicate it to no avail. Sunday morning, he pulled out the big guns and spent a couple hours cleaning every square inch of his F150.

The husband had no idea I took this photo until I went to write this post. Ha!

Guess we’ll see if it worked during the course of the week.

The husband did also manage one other productive task this weekend. He finally changed out the front door hardware! We bought the hardware a few weeks ago at Southeastern Salvage. They were having a sale on door hardware, and we were able to find exactly what we wanted for around $50. Way better than the $150 we were expecting to pay.

New Door Hardware

Sunday night we went to a friend’s house for another cookout. It was a very low key get together. There was even a homemade water slide. ☺

The husband and I were both off from work Monday in honor of Independence Day. We chose to spend the time together relaxing. I also may or may not have convinced the husband to go to Hobby Lobby so I could use two 20 percent off coupons. Sometimes being married really pays off.

While we were at Hobby Lobby, I got supplies to start several projects I can’t wait to show you.

Hobby Lobby

Monday was also spent with our two favorite furbabies.


Hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend!

P.S. I did not partake in the waterslide.

PPS The husband also did not partake in the waterslide.

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