Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fixer Upper!

Have you seen it?
Do you love it?
Do you have a little crush on Chip and Joanna like I do?
And half of America, apparently?

All Photos from HGTV Website

Chip and Joanna are the "stars" of Fixer Upper", 
a great home remodeling show on HGTV. 
It's in it's second season now and it's become my favorite show. 

They're so talented and charming and energetic and funny
and still somehow, so nice and normal.
There's nothing fake or Hollywood about them, 
and I love everything they do.

I love that they are renovating in several towns in Texas, 
one house at a time.

I love that they are saving some worthy homes, not demolishing them.
They used salvaged pieces in unexpected yet practical ways
like this island counter top made from the flooring of a truck.

I love their design style 
and their realistic, family friendly, budget friendly ideas.

I love how Chip gives all the credit to Joanna, 
calling her the new "Martha Stewart" 
even though he obviously has some serious talents of his own.

They have four ridiculously cute children  
and a fabulous farmhouse that they've renovated themselves.

They seem so genuine and family oriented.

What's not to love?

Each show starts with a family that's looking for a home in their area.  
Chip and Joanna show them three different homes in their price range, 
usually in different states of repair, with different renovation needs. 

The family chooses a home to renovate, and the fun begins.

Chip manages the construction 

and Joanna works on the design.

Here are some finished rooms...

Gorgeous, aren't they?

Something always comes up, and things are always handled gracefully.
Nobody is snarky or unpleasant. 
I really dislike the fake drama on so many of the home renovation home shows.  

None of that here. Things get done. People are happy. 

Old houses are happy-
Like this one!

You should watch it! 
Thursdays at 8:00/7C on HGTV

(All photos are from the HGTV Website!
Check it out here)

And no, I only wish I was getting paid for this post!

It's Just Grand!

Linking to:
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Willow Basket Makeover

A-Tisket, A-Tasket, 
A giant Willow Basket

In honor of May Day and Spring, 
today's post is a simple Spring Basket mini-makeover...

It started with an irresistible willow basket 
that I found at the Kane County Flea Market last month.

Darling Daughter had come home from college for a "Reverse" Mom's Weekend. 
There's just so much more to do around here than on campus 
(especially if one of you is still under-age....)
We went to see "Cinderella" on Friday night and loved it.
Then we hit the flea market on Saturday afternoon 
and had fun hunting for treasures together.

I spotted this basket and snagged it for a pretty good price.
Willow baskets can be spendy and this one is huge.
It's over three feet long.

It had been half painted an antique gold.  
It must have been on a shelf someplace where the back side didn't show.
I wanted it for my new island and I needed something big-
Sort of a "Statement" basket.

I like that it has a handle and will be easy to move 
when I actually need to use this end of the island.

I bought some trusty Rustoleum spray paint, in Flat Brown.
I knew I didn't want the finish to be glossy 
and I wanted it to coordinate with the domed basket above the refrigerator.

Ten minutes later, 

I sprayed it really lightly so some of the old lighter color could show through.
I think it works well with the other basket.
(And I'm still in love with my star mullions...
You can read about the kitchen re-do here.)

I love it when a plan comes together...

I bought some big beautiful ivy plants from my friend Heather
(you can read about Heather here)
and a fuchsia plant for some color.

I think the fuchsia might do well in this spot, 
getting some nice light from our skylights.

Then again, it might make a constant mess....

The sheer brilliance of my plan 
is how easy it will be to change the plants around 
in different seasons or just in different moods.

Here's the view from what I like to call my "Throne"...

I like how the basket helps screen the sink from the rest of the room.

Here's the view from my sink.

Don't judge the wall art.  
I'm still searching for the right thing(s) to put on that back wall...
Suggestions, anyone?

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
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Monday, April 20, 2015

When Remodeling Projects Snowball...

I think we've all been there.
You do one little remodeling project 
and the room next to it suddenly looks a little tired...

In our case, it was our kitchen that started this snowball rolling.
I know, not exactly a little project, but...

I love the way the kitchen turned out 
and was excited to have friends over. 
Until I looked at our living room.

You can see it's history here.
It had been recovered three times.  
And rarely sat on.
Because it was pretty uncomfortable.
But back when we bought it, I was in love with all 18th Century Design 
and this Chippendale Sofa was about the most exciting thing we'd ever purchased.  
Along with the Obligatory Wing Chair and the Butler's Tray Coffee Table.  
Imagine, a whole living room SUITE! 
We were thrilled. 
Thrilled to move from our tiny one bedroom condo into a whole house 
and to actually have a living room.
And to have furniture in it.

It was all so pretty to look at, but none of it was really ever used.
The family room was where we spent our days.  And nights. 
The living room was lonely. And did I mention uncomfortable?
You just can't relax on an 18th Century sofa.  You perch.  

Enter the new sofa.

And see the Snowball effect.

Apparently, when you buy a giant, comfy, stylish new sofa 
your old furniture suddenly shrinks and fades and looks dated.  
How else to explain that I had never even noticed the "ombre" fading pattern 
on the chairs by the window.  Or how tiny they were...

Fortunately, Darling Daughter is thinking ahead and loves the old furniture, 
She'll be furnishing her own apartment in the not too distant future 
and she really wants the old sofa.  
I'm thrilled that she wants it and I am happy to store it until she's ready.  
(Mr. Grand, not so much.)

Back to the snowball effect.
The big comfy couch started things rolling.
I wanted new chairs. Comfortable ones.
So that when friends gather here, they are comfortable too.  
We don't want any fighting over the new couch.

In fact, comfort was my mantra for this room.
For years, the living room has served mostly as a walkway to the porch.
It was a waste of the biggest room in our house.
I wanted to make it a room where we would like to hang out.  

These tired green club chairs used to "grace" our family room, 

before that room was redone in the makeover 
You can read about that here.

I saved them, to Mr. Grand's chagrin, because they are sooooo comfortable. 
We dragged them up to the living room to see how they would fit.
Not bad... 
(Bonus: Now that they're out of the basement storage, there's room to store the old sofa!)

I had them reupholstered for the living room 
in a soft caramel textured fabric that is -wait for it- comfortable!

I asked the upholsterer to change a few details on the chairs.
I asked him to make the skirts longer 
and the backs slightly arched to match the sofa.  
I also asked him to add taller legs so that they were more in proportion with the new sofa.  
A good upholsterer can do all those things. Without grousing about it.

I love how they turned out.
Now I can sit by the fire, in a comfy chair, 
in a quiet room and read to my heart's content.


Then I got really creative and I bought some floor sample chairs 
in a raspberry velvet that I'm afraid might have had slight "Bordello" overtones.
Excuse the iphone photo...

They were so soft and comfortable 
that I actually considered keeping them this color 
for about five minutes.  
But my sanity prevailed 
and I found this gorgeous, plush, neutral fabric to recover them in.
It's really soft and luxe.

I love buying floor samples to recover.  
If I had ordered these new, they would have taken 8 weeks to make and cost a lot more.
Once I had my fabric, these were done in 2 weeks!
They have a slightly modern line that I like. Transitional, I guess.
I think they turned out beautifully.

The new chairs all look so nice with the big, comfy couch!

We sprung for a new coffee table, too. 
It's bigger than the old one and the scale is better with the sofa.
And we had the room painted in Crisp Linen by Sherwin Williams.

You can see I'm going with a lighter, brighter, more neutral decor.  
Easier on the jewel tones, but I gotta have some color!
I can not do gray.

So I'm keeping my soft green drapes. 

And the camel colored area rug still works, too.

All accessories are in play, however-
Lamps, pillows, art work, knick knacks.
Anything might stay. Or go.

I'm playing musical pillows.  
They're a work in progress.
Pillows are easy to change, so I can switch them out 
without having to make major furniture changes.

I love this pillow from Birch Lane, but it is back ordered til the end of May.

I think a couple of these will look great tossed on the new sofa.
They would tie the colors together and add some pattern.

And I know that I need something a little larger for over the sofa.
Maybe something more three dimensional.  

For me, the fun is in the hunt for those things.

If you need, me, I'll be right here...

Linking to:
That DIY Party at DIY Shhowoff
Inspire Me Monday at Sand and Sisal
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
The Scoop at Stone Gable
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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