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.

Blue House Tour: The Kitchen

I’ll just be honest with you: our kitchen was not one of the reasons we bought our blue house. The kitchen is a long, galley-style, which is something I’ve never had. I also knew it would need a lot of work to make it into a space that felt like ours.

That said, it has a lot of cabinet space and it has great flow with the rest of the house. It also came with Corian countertops with an integrated sink and trivet. I’m learning to love my new kitchen, but there’s still a way to go in making it feel like ours. Floor Plan Kitchen


We’ve already tackled the lighting in this room when we switched out the fluorescent box light for can lights and a flush mount. As a reminder here’s the before shot from the day we closed on the house back in December 2012.


And from the other angle:

Before Kitchen at

Yep, that’s exactly how we found the kitchen the day we closed. It’s crazy to look back at these pictures, because it feels like someone else’s house with those yellow walls and empty rooms. Even though we still have a lot to do in the kitchen, it already feels so much more like us than it did back when the before photos were taken.

Today, the kitchen is looking a little more like this:

Kitchen at


And from the other angle:

Kitchen at


Obviously, there hasn’t been much change in this room other than wall color, but I’ve got some ideas for making this space feel more like us. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. I’m going to paint the kitchen cabinets white. Cliche, I know. But this room has very little natural light, plus I’m working with the counter tops that are already here.
  2. Paint the inside of the glass front cabinets. I’m leaning towards painting them gray, but time will tell.
  3. New cabinet hardware and hinges. In the photos above, you can already see that I removed the hardware, because having nothing at all was better than using what was there. They were gross.
  4. I’d love to add a tile backsplash one day. I’m not sure when our budget will allow that one.
  5. I’d also like to add crown molding to the tops of the cabinets. The original trim was removed right after we moved in, but you can still see it in the before photos above.
  6. Add curtains to the window in this room.
  7. I would love to upgrade the refrigerator, but that would be way in the future.

That’s all of the after photos I’m sharing for now. I’m hoping to have the cabinets painted in the next couple of months, so I’ll share a proper after photo then. What’s the one thing you’ve done to your kitchen to make it feel more like you?

Source List

Paint Color: Weathered Fossil, Valspar

Red Front Door

Remember when I mentioned that I have more than my fair share of painting projects to accomplish? I’m happy to report that I was able to cross one off the list. Our blue house now boasts a lovely, red front door. Yes! As a reminder, here’s a before shot of the door.

Unpainted Front Door at

I wasn’t digging the cream door and brassy kick plate with the white trim and nickel hardware. So, I changed it! Deciding on a paint color was tricky, but I ultimately decided to go the patriotic route and paint the door red. Who doesn’t love a blue house with a red door?

As with any painting project, prep work is an important step to remember. These are the steps I took to ensure my door was ready for paint:

  1. Remove the kick plate. 
  2. Remove the door hardware.
  3. Lightly sand the door. If there are drips from a previous paint job, sand them down until the door is flat to the touch again. If the paint on the door has a texture from rolling, sand until it feels smooth by hand.
  4. Remove sanded particles from door with a vacuum or Swiffer duster.
  5. Wipe the door down with a Magic Eraser or a rag with a bit of dish soap. If you’re paining the kick plate, wipe it down, too.
  6. Be sure to put something down to protect the floor from paint drips and spills.

Once all of my prep work was done, it was time to get down to business painting. When I’m painting a door, there’s a general order I like to follow. First, I paint the lowest parts of the door. Then, I paint the raised panels. I finish by painting the remaining areas of the door.

Painting the Front Door at

I’ve found that it’s easier for me to keep track of where I’ve already painted once I move on to the second or third coat if I follow these steps. I’m sure it’s a personal thing, but if you’ve never painted a door before, give it a try.

You’ll notice that I didn’t paint the area where the kick plate was. The kick plate had rusted to the door, and I didn’t think it was worth my time to try to remove the rust; especially since I was planning to either reuse the original kick plate or purchase a new one.

Happily, I was able to spray paint the original kick plate! I didn’t sand the kick plate, but I did clean it really well before painting. I also used an indoor/outdoor spray paint specifically for metal.

Spray Painting a Kick Plate at

You can see in the above picture that the kick plate was in pretty bad shape. The key to spray painting anything is even, light coats while continuously moving your spraying arm. I lost track of how many coats of paint I used, but the paint dried so quickly outside that it took less than a day. I’m guessing I used at least eight coats of spray paint, which wasn’t bad since it was such a small area to paint.

The front, door, however took six coats of paint stretched out over two days. I knew two coats of paint wouldn’t cover, but I didn’t expect it to take six. Each coat of paint required two hours dry time, so I started first thing in the morning and then let the paint dry enough to lock it up for the night. I started early again the next day and finished up mid afternoon. Once the paint was dry, I reattached the kick plate and hardware.

Red Front Door at

I was feeling pretty accomplished at this point, but something was still missing. I took inspiration from Nicole at doodles&stitches and added some pretty vinyl numbers to the front of the door. Then, I added a quickly-made wreath to finish off the makeover.

Red Front Door at

TaDa! I’m so pleased with the outcome of this door.

Red Front Door Close Up at



I’m linking up to TDC’s Before and After Party!

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.

%d bloggers like this: