Before & After: Stairway

When we bought our home it was bare. Completely bare. No window treatments; even the curtain rods were missing,  and no towel racks or toilet paper holders. In fact the first night we stayed here I had to change in the stairway as to not scare the neighbors.

What else was missing? The stairway had no handrail. It made moving furniture upstairs really easy, but the stairway always looked a bit naked. To add to its nudity there was no runner-up the stairs. I love how wood stairs look, but in a house that was built-in 1950 a naked stairway is a noisy stairway. Guests, not to mention my sleepy husband, could easily be woken by this girls love of the early morning quiet.


So, when we learned of Oliver’s upcoming arrival we made the list of to-dos and the stairway was on it. First, we needed a handrail to create a safer passage way with a wobbly newborn and second we needed to sound proof it the best we could to make it easier on our babe’s ears when he is sleeping upstairs or down.

We looked into our options for months and didn’t really like what we were finding. In the end it came down to paying someone to install a runner, which was expensive or purchasing carpet stair treads from The Home Depot which we didn’t like the look of.

So, we created our own solution. We found runners we liked at Target and purchased 4 of them, to fit the length of our stairway and padding from The Home Depot. Using a nail gun, we placed the padding the runner and went to town. The end result is exactly what we wanted, the look of a custom piece with the price of 4 runners on clearance from Target and some padding, not to mention a little sweat from M.

stairs after

I think Oliver likes it too- at least we think so as he hasn’t complained about the creaky stairway!


Pinterest Favorite: Hearts

I’ve been searching for something to brighten our entryway that speaks to how happy our home makes us and how welcome we want every visitor to feel. The typical “happy home” signs weren’t doing it for me. So thanks to Joe & Cheryl who pinned this, I was able to somewhat recreate it. Of course mine is not nearly as good, but I am not an artist and my painting abilities do not go farther than the canvases of OFH’s walls. You can also see that I used a darker canvas (canvas background is painted blue, then a rough white before the colorful hearts).

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Channeling Ms. Meyers

Is it possible to fall in love with a space you’ve never set foot in?

Ms. Nancy Meyers, director, writer and set designer of Holiday, It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give and Father of the Bride creates those types of spaces fo me. I rented It’s Complicated on a girl’s night and fell in love with Meryl Streep’s home. It felt like home to me. Everything about it was amazing. It looked cozy, comfortable, mature, yet effortlessly thrown together. Since seeing that movie, I learned more about Nancy Meyers and her amazing eye for design. It may help that you not only fall in love with the spaces, but her characters as well. There are some amazing blogs and professional articles written about her work to learn more about her.

When we closed on our house in October 2009, Marshall and I started painting the living room after we set down our last moving box and it was complete before we started work on Monday. It didn’t take much time to pick the color, paint the trip and roll the walls.

Regardless, I’m ready to take my living room from this….

To my version of this…

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Garage sale finds

I have a love-hate relationship with garage sales. I feel bad when I pass by on someone’s sale because I don’t like the look of what they’re selling, but I love finding something for 10 cents or a piece of furniture that I can breath new life into and provide a new home to. Marshall loves them and unlike me, he doesn’t feel bad at all when he passes on someone’s merchandise. I guess that’s what makes us a pair.

Our neighborhood garage sale weekend was the same as our anniversary weekend. We ventured out early on Saturday morning, but I couldn’t bring myself to visit my closest neighbors. There’s just something weird about taking stuff from the house next to me. We were able to find a few really great things, all from one couple that is retiring to a beautiful nearby lake.

I can’t wait to spice-up the chair we scored for $15. I am planning on re-upholstering the cushion and trying to decide whether to spray paint the chair or not. We’ll see!

The wicker chair we got for $5, probably could have done better but I was out of the game by then and was ready to move on with our day. We don’t have any lounge seating for our patio yet, so in the interim Marshall thought this chair would do. The wicker was very weathered and uncomfortable because of it. We both thought a little spray paint might just make it a little more comfortable and clean to sit it and in our eyes that definitely did the trick. I’m not sure about the gray, so I may be changing that up shortly.

Bringing home outdoors

Our house grew with the warm weather. Isn’t that amazing. We now gain about 500 extra square feet of living space in the warmer months between the patio and sun porch. It’s lovely, but you know what that means another space to fill with great furniture we don’t have and interesting design. Having part of my family over for an impromptu Father’s Day Barbecue put us into high-gear, but not everything can be solved with willpower. So, here’s a plan of where we would like to take our patio and sun porch spaces.

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Springtime at Terrain

This store speaks for itself. They have beautiful, pretty, vintage things. I want their things in my home. Terrain’s goal is to transform the local garden center into a celebration of nature- merging house and garden to create an experience for the senses. I love everything about it.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces for spring.

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Fine Friday

Happy Friday!

I want to prematurely wipe my brow and sign in relief, but I know it’s too soon! This week was filled. Filled to the brim and it’s not over yet, but we are close!

Have a wonderful weekend & enjoy the sunshine*!

Here are a few things I love right now…

Linga Chair $498 {Anthropologie}

Firenze Embroidered Panel $179 {Ballard Designs}

Turquoise Accents $too much to list! {Horchow Collection}

Set of 3 Safety Pin Plaques $35 {Ballard Designs}

Caged Glass Table Lamp $159 {Pottery Barn}

Brushed White Mirror $625 {Horchow Collection}

Lunet Chair $1,698 {Anthropologie}

*If you don’t have sun…I’m sorry!