Laundry Room/Mudroom Update!

During the addition/renovation, our laundry room was moved from the basement to the first floor to make it easy for my mother-in-law to have access. I have talked about the laundry room in a few posts. Choosing a wallpaper, finding an antique sink, refinishing it and asking all of you to help pick out the sink color. The sink is up in the laundry room now, but it was damaged a little during the installation. The paint was dinged up and the finish on the sink was chipped off in places. I do have paint left over for touch up. The finish on the sink could have been an issue. If you recall I had to work outside because the fumes were so strong. If I had to refinish the whole thing it would have to be removed from the wall again. Fortunately, I was able to order a repair kit. The kit will allow me to fix small areas without having to do the whole sink again. Yeah!

With the laundry room almost completely finished I have set my sights on another use for it. It is located right off the entrance from the garage to the house. This location makes it the perfect place for a mudroom. I don’t know about you, but tripping over shoes left by the front door, or seeing coats thrown on the newel post, is definitely not my idea of a first impression. Having a mudroom to hide the clutter would be amazing! The tricky part comes with the size of the room and all the things I want to put in the space. Here are some of the things on my wish list: shoe and boot storage, a bench for putting on and taking off shoes, hooks for coats and belongings, a place for mops and brooms, a shelf to hold laundry essentials (detergent, softener etc.), ironing board and iron storage, and a place to fold laundry. I decided to start with storage since that is a priority. In my original plan I envisioned a shiplap wall with coat hooks and a built in bench with a place for shoes underneath. But the only place I could put it gives a full view of all the shoes and boots from the dining room (not a pretty sight). It was time to reevaluate the plan. I realized that I can build a shelving unit to hold all the shoes and keep them hidden at the same time. There would also be space to tuck a mop and brooms out of sight. I am still going to put up shiplap and attach hooks for coats, but I am not going to do a built-in bench. I did find the perfect bench though at Home Goods. It has an upholstered top and a wood bottom with room for baskets. The baskets can hold things like gloves, hats and scarfs. Okay that takes care of shoe and boot storage, seating and mops and brooms. Next on the list is a place for laundry essentials, ironing board and iron and a folding table. On the opposite side of the room is a blank wall. It will be a perfect spot to put all the laundry needs. I also found an ironing board and iron holder that hangs on the wall through Amazon. The only thing I was not able to find a solution for is a table to fold laundry. I’d say that is a pretty good use of the space I have so far! I will keep working on a folding table, but if it does not work out, I still call it a win!

The bottom of sink has a couple dents and the paint was scraped up. I will touch it up the paint. But, I may keep the dents to add more character!

Most of the damage to the sink finish is around the faucets. When they were installing them the wrenches chipped it off.

Don’t laugh! This is my mock up of what the shelves will look like. It will come out about twelve inches which will keep them out of sight from the dining room.

This is the bench I found at Home Goods. I love the fabric and the wood warms up the space.

This is the wall where the shelf is going to be. It will hold all the laundry essentials.

I am so looking forward to this being done so all the clutter will have a place!

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Dining Room Before And After!

When we first purchased our home it was suppose to be a starter. Our neighborhood is filled with people who thought the same thing. Move in, stay a few years, then get a bigger home. But we, like them, love our neighborhood and decided to stay. It is centrally located to most anything you need and the neighbors are great! The homes are mostly center entrance colonials with your standard living room, dining room, family room off the kitchen and bedrooms upstairs. Over the years, there have definitely been times that we questioned our choice. We like to entertain and having more than ten people for dinner was definitely a challenge. In order to fit everyone we had to turn the table diagonally, corner to corner in the dining room. In doing so, we blocked off access to the kitchen for half our guests at the table. They would have to go all the way around to get there food then all the way back to their seats. We would always laugh at the situation and take it in stride. But on occasion, we would talk about having a larger space to entertain and what it would look like. Well, our dream of having a larger space to entertain has come true! We pinch ourselves everyday when we walk into the kitchen and dining room area to make sure it is really not just a dream!

This was our dining room before the addition/renovation. The opening leading into the kitchen was closed off and is now a wall in my office and the new powder room.

The dining room used to be to right as you walked in the house. We removed the hall closet (black door) to make the entry much bigger. The wall going up the stairs was opened up and a new railing was added.

This is the framing for the new closet.

It is unbelievable how much space was gained in the foyer by just moving the closet.

Here is the opened wall with the new railing and newel post on the staircase.

I loved my old dining room. It was chocked full of great memories spent with family and friends. Even if half of them were blocked from the kitchen!

This picture shows the framing for the new dining room. In the original plans the ceiling in the dining room was flat. My husband noticed the vaulted roof line during the construction and asked if we could have the ceiling follow that line. The framers said that it could be done and best of all, it would not cost any more money! Thanks to my husband, the half vaulted ceiling is a major feature of the new dining area.

The new dining room is so much bigger than our old one! We even have extra seating at the island so no one will be blocked from the kitchen in here!

The three windows keep the room filled with lots of light all day.

I was going to make roman blinds, but made drapes instead. I am so glad I did. It adds a softness to the room that the blinds could not have done.

I got this fabric on Etsy. The blues and greens work perfectly with the rest of the room!

We are so truly grateful for our new space. We are looking forward to making many great new memories with family and friends!

I want to thank everyone for helping me choose a lamp shade to go in our family room. On my Blog post” Color or No Color” I had two choices a Beige Paisley or a French Blue lamp shade. The winner was French Blue and here is a picture of them in the room!

Styling The Hutch!

Styling pieces such as bookshelves, mantels, hutches and china cabinets can be a very difficult job, but at the same time rewarding. These pieces are often responsible for pulling a room together. They work by creating a focal point that draws your eye in. By using the same colors and textures that are in the room, it creates a cohesive and balanced look. The hard part is deciding what pieces to use and where to put them. I happen to love the challenge and when it is done, it feels great!

I am currently styling a hutch that I refinished a couple months ago. The hutch is one of the first things you see when you enter the kitchen/dining room area. Therefore, it needs to make an impression! I began by deciding what colors I would pull from the other rooms. I chose indigo, green and French blue. The dining area has upholstered French chairs, a chandelier and sconces. To keep the room from feeling to formal, I thought the hutch needed to have a more casual feel. I know I wanted to use some of my pieces from the Pfaltzgraff, “Pistoulet” collection. They are colorful and fun and will fit perfectly into the design. I also found “Pad Print” salad plates that have the green I wanted to bring into the display. Now begins the exciting part for me, putting it all together!

As you can see, the hutch used to be very formal looking, until I refinished it.

It is just waiting to be styled!

The small plate is the “Pad Print” from Pfaltzgraff. I love the green dot design!

My soup tureen from my Pfalztgraff collection found its place! Although, I did find use for it as a vase a couple weeks ago!

I added a cup and saucer from my collection, but I am still not feeling it. I think it is the white plate.

I was shopping in Wegmans grocery store in Rochester, N.Y and found these indigo plates. I really like the plates, but the “Pad Print” plate is too small next to it.

My solution was to add a larger white plate behind the “Pad Print” plate.

I love the way the place settings have their own little square in the hutch.

I went shopping to look for other pieces for the hutch. I found this beauty at Home Goods.

While I was at Home Goods, I picked up two faux boxwood plants to use as filler.

The colors of the pitcher go perfectly!

I still need one more thing for the bottom. I have been trying various items in my home with no success.

I was not able to find anything, but the mixing bowl works for now.

I am very pleased with how it came out. I will most definitely tweak it some more; because that is what I do!

Thanks to everyone who voted on which lamp shade to use in the family room. The over all winner was the French blue one! I will be showing how they look in the next Blog!

Impulsive To A Fault?

Part of the name of my Blog is ” Impulsively”, and I often live up to the name. Most of the time my impulsive actions work out. I try something, if I don’t like it, I move it around, change the color or reimagine my idea until it works. Other times, I try something and there is no getting away from the result!

One such instance is when I decided to refinish the stairs. How hard could it be? Sand, stain and polyurethane, easy breezy! Wrong! The story begins, two and a half years ago, when I decided to refinish the stairs leading to the second floor of our home. My husband, who was out of town at the time, ( he is the Ying to my Yang) can usually talk me down from doing something I may regret! But being left to my own devices, I started pulling off the medallions on the risers ( I had put in years ago) to prep the stairs for refinishing.

The problems began when I was pulling off the medallions. When I took them off chunks of the riser were coming off with them. I had forgotten I glued them on. When I was done, I had twelve stair risers with gouges in them. Not a pretty sight.

At this point, most people would have stopped. Not me. I kept going. I took out the sander and started on the treads. Hours later, with sawdust everywhere, I was ready to stain. I started putting on the stain and it looked blotchy. I put stain on four treads and all had the same blotchy look. Apparently, I had not gotten all the polyurethane and stain off when I sanded. Picture this… the risers have gouges in them and the treads are partially sanded with four of them unevenly stained. Ugh! There was nothing I could do at that point except cut my losses. My husband was generous when he came home saying it did not look that bad. We both agreed, that sometime in the future, we would have them professionally refinished. Cut to two and a half years later and living with this disaster the entire time. By this time I had stopped coming in the front door. I could not face it day in and day out. After all that time, we had put that on a must have list during the addition/renovation. Hallelujah!

This is the medallion I was talking about. I really liked how they looked when I originally put them on, but eventually felt they were dated.

I had to really get underneath to get it to come off.

Some of them came off cleanly, but most looked like this.

You can see how unevenly the treads took the stain.

This is what greeted me everyday until I decided to come through the garage to avoid it.

As part of the addition/renovation, the wall was opened up and another rail was added. We built three new newel posts for the bottom and top of the stairs.

These are how the stairs look now. Time to use the front entrance again!

Love the double newel posts. Look at that sightline into my office!

What a joy to walk in the front door now!

Project update: They are coming to install the vent for the range hood this week. Once that is done we can have the backsplash put up. Then the kitchen, except for the pantry, will be done! Can not wait to share it with you!

Color Or No Color?

My design style has changed many times over the years. But my love of color has remained constant. Color has always been part of my design through paint, fabrics, rugs and accessories. Recently, I have been rethinking using color on the walls. Since the new space from the addition/renovation is a more open floor plan, I decided to experiment with neutral paint colors. I painted the front room and entry way with Behr paint in Doeskin Gray and Moth Gray. I love the richness of the colors and how it does not compete with the contents in each room. I decided to continue the neutral color palette into the renovated kitchen and family room. I chose Behr paint in Dove. It is a beautiful color that enhances all the natural light coming in. With all of this said, I find myself struggling with all the neutral colors. I really believe it is the right design choice and I just have to be patient until everything is in place (furniture, draperies, pillows, rugs etc.) Everyone who knows me well is probably laughing right now. But, I know myself. Unless I keep busy, I will paint the walls all over again! So, what did I do? I painted my stick lamps a neutral color! Ha Ha….

Unfortunately, I did not take a picture before I started to paint. This photo is when we started to move everything in preparation for the construction. As you can see the lamps are black and need to be painted.

Here is the painted lamp. I like the color, but no surprise, it disappears into the wall. I added some decorative beads to give it texture and help break up the sameness. It helped, but I was still wanting color, so I decided to change the lamp shade . I went to the Ballard Design website and found an array of colors to choose from.

I went with a French blue lamp shade. I would say I added some color!

Here they are in the room. I am really not sure which one I like better. I would love some feedback! Which one do you like? Lamp #1 with the beige Paisley lamp shade or #2 with the French blue?

I also have some news about my utility sink. Our contractor and the plumber figured out a way to install it securely without needing to add legs to it. YAY!

When construction was happening on the laundry I told them about the sink. Because the sink is so heavy they put extra support in the wall. The bracket holds the sink was put right into that support.

It took two guys to carry the sink. It is a beast!

They had to cut the wallpaper to get to the pipes. Luckily we have extra.

This is as far as they got on the first pass. We needed to order a new faucet. The spout on on the current one sticks out too much. I am so excited to finally see it up I can not wait until its all finished!

Powder Room Revealed!

As the addition/renovation project is coming to an end, I find myself at odds with my emotions. As each project gets completed, there is relief. But also a sense of sadness. In my case, this feeling of loss is only natural. In reality, it has not just been an eight month renovation, it has been years in the making. I have been renovating and reimagining my home in my head for as long as I can remember. Moving closets, knocking down walls, changing layouts etc., etc., etc. To me, this is not just the end of the renovation, but the closing of a large chapter in my life. Many of the things I imagined, or couldn’t have imagined, are coming to fruition.

One of which has just been completed: The Powder Room!

We started with the hanging of this gorgeous wallpaper (which you all helped me choose).

Remember the frame I refinished with the intent of making it into a mirror for the bathroom.

This is as far as we got for awhile. We had to wait for the floor to be finished so the plumber could do his job, but we were finally able to move forward.

Once the sink and toilet were in, I was able to start the details of the design. I needed a small table or stand, but wanted something that would keep the space feeling as open as possible. I thought a shelf would be the perfect solution. I already had a pair of wrought iron brackets and of course plenty of left over wood in the garage.

The brackets were black, which was to strong a color for the powder room. I painted them with Annie Sloan, Paris Grey Chalk Paint.

The finish turned out like the pewter finish on frame I refinished. Really cool!

Its just the right size to hold the soap and towels.

Speaking of the frame I refinished, here it is with the mirror glass set into it; I think it looks smashing!

I made this art work using a shadow frame and small plates I had. I love how you can see it reflected in the the mirror as you look in.

I think it looks great!

First Blog Post From My New Office!

I have never had an office space just for me. Even when I worked in an office, I did not even have a cubicle. It was just shared space. In my home, for many years, any available room was used as a play area for the kids. I could work at the dining table, but I would have to put everything away for dinner or homework. Having to set it all up again the next day and start over again could really put a crimp in my creativity. Now, I finally have a dedicated place to put all my things, collect my thoughts and have some alone time. Makes me giddy! Now that I have a office, I needed to decide on the best direction to go design-wise. For that, I needed a jumping off point. This usually comes in the way of fabric or artwork. In this case, there was no need for fabric, so I turned toward artwork. I went to Art.Com and started looking. I knew I wanted something vintage and with a French twist. My search turned up a French magazine, “La Vie Parisienne”. It was founded in 1863 and printed without interruption until 1970. Which meant I had a lot to choose from. There were hundreds available to get my creative juices flowing. I settled on three that just called out to me. With the artwork picked, it became the inspiration for the rest of my design. The artwork is really the only thing I had to purchase. I was lucky enough to have been given the desk, which I refinished. I also had other pieces earmarked for my office. The leaded glass door I made into a mirror and other odds and ends I collected over the years, and now have a place for them!

The French doors were giving me a problem, until I decided to paint them with Annie Sloan, Svenska Blue Chalk Paint.

I wanted to add architectural detail to the French doors. I purchased antique pulls from “REhouse Architectural Salvage” in Rochester, N.Y.

Here she is… my own office!!

The leaded glass mirror makes a perfect backdrop in my office.

This is still one of my favorite pieces I refinished!

There is still plenty to be done. I have no storage and plan on building a cabinet with glass doors I salvaged. I also want to add some type of detailing to the walls. But, for now I am just going to enjoy the heck out of my new space!

A place for my business cards!

I love this bulletin board. It gets me!

Next week, if all goes well! Powder room reveal and more office!

Sometimes You Just Have To Go With Your Gut!

There are times, when I am designing a room or refinishing a piece of furniture, and I begin to doubt myself. It usually is the result of asking others their opinion or others giving their opinion without being asked. It can make me question my plan, go back and forth in my mind, get wishy-washy and basically stop what I was going to do! Don’t get me wrong. I value other people’s opinions. It can make me look at something from a different perspective and it gives me time to reevaluate my plan. The problem begins when I decide to move forward with a plan, but some uncertainty still remains. When I am wavering like this, I will dig deep and reach for my gut instinct. Ninety percent of the time, I am really happy with my decision! The other ten percent, I use as a learning experience!

I recently had to call upon my gut instinct regarding sconces I purchased on a trip to Pittsburgh, PA. The sconces are antique brass with beautiful detailing. The minute I saw them I knew they would be perfect for our new dining area. In my mind, I envisioned them whitewashed to tone down the brass and complement my design plan. However, the idea of whitewashing these sconces did not go over well with everyone in my family. A discussion brought about a mutual agreement to table the idea until the work on the dining area was finished. As the dining room was coming together, I felt more and more that the sconces needed to be painted. At the same time, my family began to see my design plan, and that the sconces did not fit in their present state. Even though my family was agreeing with me to a certain degree, it did not mean they were keen on painting the sconces. In the end, they trust my work, and left the decision to paint or not paint up to me. Of course this brought about some misgivings, but in the end I went with my gut!

This is one of the sconces. I love it, but the brassiness had to go!

I used Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint. It is perfect for this type of treatment.

I make sure to leave areas of brass showing. I do not want to lose it completely, I just want to tone it down.

The paint consistency is very thin, giving it a transparent look.

Now is when the fun starts. Using a soft cloth and my spray bottle I wipe the paint off.

Look how it gets into the crevices!

One of the sconces had shiny brass coming through. I was not able to tone it down with just paint.

I turned to another Annie Sloan product, Soft Dark Wax.

I mixed the dark wax with some of the Old White Chalk Paint.

It worked great on bringing down the shine.

It has a wonderful aged patina look now. I love it!

My gut did not let me down!

Things in the addition/renovation have slowed down a bit. Two of the kitchen cabinet doors were taken back for adjustment. The powder room is waiting for molding and glass for the mirror. I can not bring in the rest of the furniture in or hang drapes until the stairs and hallway floors are refinished. I am still mulling over ideas for my office. I can’t wait to get in there an arrange thigs so I can share the finished product with you!

Art On The Cheap!

I am starting to put the finishing touches on the new powder room. I wanted to put up some art, but my budget is next to nothing at this point of the project. So, I looked around the house, and found some small plates that might work. A few years ago, I used plates to decorate in my dining room. I had gotten the idea from an episode of “Sarah’s House”. She was looking for inexpensive artwork, and she took decorative plates and put them in picture frames. They were unique pieces and looked great! I used it for the dining room and now I am going to do it again in the powder room.

These are the plates I used to decorate the dining room walls. Just putting them in picture frames took it to the next level!

I love these bird plates! They would be great in the powder room. They have the same colors in them as the wallpaper.

I purchased a shadow box frame from Michael’s. The back is made of linen which gives it a more finished look.

I use Velcro to hold the plate in the frame.

I cut the Velcro and put one on the back of the plate and the other on the inside of frame. To make sure it keeps it holds, I use heavy duty Velcro.

Center the plate and stick!

One more to go!

Artwork down! Now, I need to find something special for the toilet paper and hand towel. I think a trip to the Rehouse salvage store in Rochester N.Y is in order to hopefully find something unique.

Kitchen, Powder Room And Office Updates!

The floors are all refinished and the rooms are starting to take shape. Most of our furniture is still in a POD in the driveway. We stored it while the hardwood floors were being done to keep them away from the dust. The holiday break will be a perfect time to move the furniture back in and get organized. There is still a lot more to do, but at least it feels more like home.

The hutch is almost finished and looks great in the kitchen! Just needs the right drawer pulls. I cant wait to style it with all my pieces. The kitchen is almost finished. The vent-fan in the range hood still needs to be installed, the backsplash needs to be tiled, and the pantry shelves need to be built. I have also done some work on my office and the powder room. There is so much I want to do and so many ideas. My head is about to explode!

My office is really starting to take shape. I decided to turn the desk to open the room up more. I also want to add some architectural interest. I was thinking of using these old muntins from my mother-in-law’s house as wainscoting. Maybe take it all the way around and put a chair rail on top? Still working that one out in my head!

This light fixture was my mother-in-laws. She was never a big fan, so I “inherited” it. Lucky me!

I was looking for fun vintage prints and found these on They originally came from the covers of a French magazine named La Vie Parisianne, founded in 1863.

The wallpaper everyone helped me pick out is up! I am planning on painting the bottom of the wall a darker gray. Similar to the background in the wallpaper and separating it by a chair rail. I think it will make a real statement!

I tinted the ceiling paint with a hint of blue. I’ve done this in other rooms and it gives off a soft glow.

I refinished an antique frame a while ago. Once I put the mirror in, it will be perfect for the powder room!

They really did a great job on the kitchen floors. You can not tell where the old floor was!

The color of the hutch works perfectly with the island color and the counter stools.