Our Welcome Center



When we first moved in we knew we wanted to paint the big wall – that you can see through the windows – a great color.  This picture was taken just before we had the outside repainted.  You can see the big wall in the front hall that is screaming for some color.  It just wants to stand out.  We waited until after the house was painted to choose a color.

front hall before1

We were stuck between an orange hue and a turquoise/aqua hue.  Ultimately, we decided on Duck Egg by Martha Stewart (surprisingly, not one of the samples we had painted on the wall).  The blue/green wouldn’t be too overwhelming when coming into the house.  And, since we wanted to have the color wrap around into the living room, we figured an orange wall and an orange couch might just be a little too much, you know, orange.

front hall before

This is the only before picture I can find, but it gives you the general idea.  A long, skinny area that opens up into 3 rooms and is lined with floor to ceiling windows.  You might have remembered a small picture of the area as our storage area for the kitchen project.

front hall4

This is the area now.  A bit of an improvement.  As you will notice there is the awesome new color on the big accent wall,  a fun new light fixture, and some new furniture.

front hall9

Isn’t it fun?  It’s a modern light that seems to have been inspired  by the Sputnik light .  Those globes are terrifying to put on.  I was positive that I was going to break one.  We plan on putting up a tongue and groove ceiling to cover the popcorn ceiling… someday.

front hall1

This is the view that welcomes you when you open our front door.  Since the front door doesn’t open all the way (it scrapes against the floor, it’s on the list of things to do), this is exactly what you see when you open the door.

front hall2

To the right is the living room and kitchen.

front hall3

To the left is the hall closet and the office door.  The plaque on the wall belonged to Jamie’s grandmother.  It’s the serenity prayer.  A good reminder when you leave the house.  The slat bench that is sitting in front of the windows is from our favorite Rocket City Retro.

front hall7

It’s probably 7 feet long.  I love it, but I was worried that it would just end up being a place to put on shoes or a catch all, but I have actually seen my daughter reading on it and the boys sit there and play video games.  Yay!

front hall8

But I can see why they like it.  It’s such a great view of our neighborhood.

front hall5

The bookcase was a $10 find from Goodwill.  It might have been one of those times that I saw it, grabbed it and dragged it around with me so no one else would buy it.  The painting above it is also from Rocket City Retro. We love the bright yellow against the aqua. It’s so yummy.  The bookcase is home to one of my Christmas presents (the awesome blue vase on the top), some of my favorite little paintings (including a picture my sister drew of The Jetsons), and a few pictures from our travels.

front hall6

And on the top is our bowl of love.  It holds all the different heart shaped stones and shells that we have found (including one from Mount Saint Helen’s).  We have found them on the beach and on our travels.  It’s a fun reminder that love is all around us.   You just have to keep your eyes open and you are bound to find it.

That’s our front hall!  We’re pretty happy with how it’s coming along.  Maybe a rug, maybe a little more art on the big wall, but those things can come over time.

There are still some things to do, but they are back burner projects.

Here’s our to do list:

  • refinish front doors (so they are less dry looking and they doors open all the way)
  • replace closet doors (the 6 panel doors are not quite appropriate for our home’s architecture)
  • replace the door knobs on the office door
  • replace the light switches (I’m just not a fan of the big flat switches- I guess they come in handy if you need to turn on the lights with your elbow)
  • replace the one ivory colored outlet with a white one
  • install tongue and groove ceiling



Hidden Treasures

The previous owner had left all sorts of junk in the garage and in the shed.  It was a bit overwhelming.  Hidden in the junk were a few treasures.  We were able to go on a Home Depot shopping spree and we found some chairs that needed some love.  I remember seeing 4 chairs in the garage and shed and hoped that the previous owner would leave them behind.  They had such cute lines and lots of potential.  We ended up with 3 of them.

I decided to try my hand at refinishing one of them.  I picked the one that had the green grout all over the wood.  I figured that I couldn’t really mess it up more than it already was.  Since this was my first time doing this I didn’t want to document my potential failure,  so there are not any during pictures.

This is one of the chairs that still needs work:

The wood is dried out, splattered with paint,  and the finish is uneven.  The steal legs are missing paint and the little leg tip covers. The fabric is stained, dirty, and washed out all at once.  The original fabric is under this fabric, but it is falling apart (the combination of lovely Florida humidity and being stored in the garage for at least 2 years).

It was very easy to take apart.  Just eight screws, 2 plastic leg tips, and 12,463 staples and it was ready to go.  The wood got sanded and stained, the base got sanded and painted, and the seat was also sanded and recovered with new batting and fabric.

I will probably take step by step pictures when I refinish the other 2.  If you have any questions, please ask away.  I was surprised how well it turned out.  I don’t think the pictures do it justice.

The wood is so soft and smooth now.  The fabric, bought on Etsy, is a great mid-century print.  I had such a hard time narrowing down which fabric I wanted to use.  I’m really glad I chose this one.  All the chair legs have plastic tips now, thank you Ace Hardware.  It’s just so cute.

Turns out these little chairs are Clifford Pascoe imitations of chairs designed by Paul McCobb. They seem to be from the early 1950’s.  Follow this link to see an advertisement for the chairs.  I really wish I had all 4.  Wouldn’t they be cute around a game table?

So, there you go.  My sweet little refinished chair.  I’m glad I tried to do this myself.  It really wasn’t hard, just waiting time (waiting for stain to dry, waiting for fabric to come).  Have you ever surprised yourself when trying a new project?  It gives you a “I can do anything” confidence. Which I need to keep in check, because I’m tempted to try to refinish the tile floors in the master bathroom.  Hey, I refinished a chair.  How hard can tiles be?  Famous last words.

Dressing up the Dresser


About a month ago, before we knew we had the house for sure, we decided to start buying furniture.  When we moved from Virginia we sold everything except our mattresses and a couch to make the move to Florida easier and cheaper.  We found a mid century bedroom set at a local antique emporium that was marked $400 with 50% off.  We offered them $150, which isn’t too shabby for 6 pieces.  It included a long dresser, a mirror, a tall boy dresser, a queen headboard, and 2 night stands.

Here’s the story of the tall boy dresser.

There are 2 large drawers on the top and six small drawers on the bottom (3 are hidden behind the sliding door).  But there were some issues with it.  There was a build up of dirt or cleaning materials (not sure which) on the corners of the top.

There was a piece of venire coming off along the edge of the top.

There was a big chip/chunk taken out of the top in the other back corner.

Since most of the issues were with the top of the dresser I decided to repair them and then paint it a high gloss black.  I didn’t feel too bad painting this piece, since it isn’t solid wood and I was just painting part of it.  To balance the black on the top I decided that the door needed to be black too.  It would add a graphic element to the piece, and since it was going in my son’s room it would be easier to clean off if it was high gloss paint.

So armed with my tools of choice, I went to work.

I used the Gorilla Glue to repair the pealing venire.  Just got both sides of the piece to be repaired wet and applied a very small amount of the glue.  I used painters tape to hold it in place while it was drying.  I had to keep a close eye on it to make sure the glue didn’t expand out past the area being glued.  I would just wipe it away when ever I saw it doing that.

I patched the other corner and any other small chips in the venire with paintable wood putty and sanded it smooth when it was dry.  I could have been more patient with this part, but patience is not something I have when doing projects, so it didn’t turn out perfect (but that’s ok, I was paining it anyway).  I used the putty knife to gently clean the build up off the front corners.  And when it was all done and the glue was dry I sanded the whole top to create a good surface for the paint to adhere to.

Next came taping off the areas that were not going to be painted.

Using my Rustoleum high gloss black spray paint, I gave the top and door several light coats.  I let it dry a little between coats to prevent runs or puddles of paint.  It’s hard to tell, but the door has vertical groves in it like pin striping.  It made it a little trickier to get the paint in those lines without getting runs.  Brushing the paint on might have been a better choice, but I wanted to use what I already had.

When the top and door were done  and I removed all the tape, I felt like it was missing something.  The top and door looked great, but it just needed something else.  I forgot to take a picture of the piece at this point.  I was lost in thought.  Then it hit me.  Paint the knobs too.  So I pulled all the knobs off and painted them black too.

I was very happy with the final result after washing out all the drawers (they were lined with paper and LOTS of baby power), putting the knobs back on and getting the drawers back in.  It looks so dapper.

I keep wondering if I should have painted the legs too.  I don’t have any plans to go back and paint them, but maybe one day if I run out of projects.  I really like the way it turned out and plan on doing the rest of the set like this (except the mirror and headboard- those are going in my daughters room and will be painted bright girly colors).

I’ll post pictures of the room when it is pulled together more.  We still have to paint, get shelves, closet doors, a rug, etc., the list goes on and on.  This was a fun quick project (took a 3-4 hours including drying time and a trip to the hardware store to get more paint) and it will look great in the mid century Star Wars room.