If you have a leaky faucet, you’re going to replace the kitchen sink. . .

We are back from my brother’s wedding weekend and I am just getting over a cold that had me out for a good part of this week. It’s always amazing to me how much a little cold can really take it out of you! The wedding was beautiful, classy and all around elegant affair and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Elizabeth into our family.

When Phillip and I moved into this house, almost 2 years ago (where did the time go???) we knew that we were getting a house with a lot of character. If you own an old home, you know that sometimes ‘character’ really just means nothing ever works the way it’s supposed to.

Old Kitchen Sink

Let me introduce you to the kitchen sink. At first glance it looks pretty functional but if you take a closer look you’ll see that in fact the faucet leaks. Every time you use it. Annoying.

Leaky Faucet

So, like logical homeowners, we replaced a few seals and like most things in an old home, the problem still persisted. Typical. Around this same time, I noticed a beautiful white porcelain sink on Craig’s List that was in great shape and very reasonably priced.

‘If we’re going to replace the faucet, we might as well replace the sink while we’re at it.’ (I’m not a big fan of stainless.) FAMOUS. LAST. WORDS. You already know where this is going, don’t you??

New Kitchen Sink

So we bought the sink, brought it home and I immediately thought, ‘I can’t put my beautiful new sink on these ugly laminate countertops.’

Blue laminate countertops‘And if I’m going to trade out the countertops, I am for sure going to paint the kitchen cabinets while they’re off.’

Mismatched cabinet pulls‘If I’m already painting the cabinets, I want to go ahead and replace all this ugly, mis-matched hardware.’

Old Kitchen Hardware‘And if we do all that, we’ll have to put in a backsplash and get rid of this awkward, extra-tall countertop extension.’

High backsplash . . . and if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink.

Sorry for the word vomit but, I’ve been dreaming and making plans and I’ll be back next week with more details!

 

That one time we owned 6 fridges in 18 months

Alternate Title: It’s another day so this is the other story.

So as I alluded to last week, we have somehow managed to own 6 different refrigerators in the span of about 18 months. Trust me, I am fully aware of how ridiculous those words sounds coming out of my mouth.

1.When we moved into this house, it came with this beauty. Probably an 80’s model but in both the fridge and the freezer it had these large metal cooling plates that took up a TON of space so even though it looks to have a normal depth, there wasn’t actually that much space.
TFP 626-202. We swapped it out with this, more current fridge via Craig’s List and it lasted for a good few months. . .until it started to freeze everything in the fridge part no matter what temperature setting you had it on.TFP HT 143. So that brings us to #3 (which I don’t actually have a picture of). When #2 started being ornery, we thought ‘let’s go big with our next fridge and get what we really want, a side-by-side!’ A friend had an extra, white side by side that wasn’t working (but thought it would be easy to repair) so they gave it to us! We were blown away with their generosity but when it came down to it the whole thing needed new seals which totaled a good bit more than we had intended on spending. As luck would have that very day we stumbled across an outdoor used appliance dealer. Yes, in case you’re wondering, outdoor, used and appliance should never be used in the same sentence: red flag! Any hoo, we traded him the side-by-side that needed new seals and the top/bottom that froze everything and picked up #4.

4. Let the record show that I LOVED this fridge and I would have kept it for years. . . except that the ice maker stopped working. Now, if you’re thinking ‘An ice maker? Really? Those are pretty easy to install!’ you would be correct. Except for that a friend of a friend was remodeling their kitchen and wanted to give #5 away. (And yes, we have really great friends!)

PS – We also ripped out those upper cabinets so #4 would fit and have needed those extra inches for every fridge since! (Again, ridiculousness is coming out of my mouth.)TFP Kitchen 17

#5. We were so thankful to have such a nice refrigerator just given to us but I have to admit, stainless steel is not my favorite. It’s too trendy, really hard to keep clean plus all my other appliances are white and I like it that way. Phillip’s company is in the process of moving to a new office space, in which they’ll have a break room with room for a full size fridge. So we said why not buy ours? That’s exactly what happened and the best part was that we were able to purchase #6 for the same price!

House Tour Kitchen

#6. Isn’t she a beaut? She’s just a year old and I can tell you that we got a MAJOR deal from a family that had just moved here from east Texas and bought a house with appliances.Kitchen - September 2013

Fridge #6Nice and pretty and white!

6 fridges in 18  monthsSo there you have it. That’s the story of how we managed to own 6 different refrigerators in 18 months. Here’s hoping this one will last us for many years to come!

 

PS – My brother finally asked this beautiful girl to be his bride and she said yes! They’re getting married in January and I’ve got lots of wedding shower and rehearsal dinner ideas brewing in my head so stay tuned for lots of wedding updates!

Save the Date

2013 House Tour: Part 1

Man oh man where has the summer gone? I’m in Sipapu, NM this week running with our last camp of the summer and afterward I’m looking forward to some much needed rest and relaxation!

Meanwhile, it’s time again for the annual house tour and even I am in shock of how much has changed around these parts in just over a year! Because I’m always up for a trip down memory lane, I thought we’d do a little ‘before & after’ with the tour from 2012.

The Front Poarch

2012 House Tour PorchWowza. See what I mean? Let’s see, in the past year we’ve created a seating area on the porch, hung some new bird feeders, created not 1 but 2 pieces of garden art and given that sad looking pineapple a pop of color! Th patio has gotten new planters, a water hose bin and new house numbers (1 of which has gone missing at the moment. . . .).

House Tour EntryHouse Tour Outdoor AccessoriesAnd the front door?

2012 House Tour Front DoorIt got replaced in December and a new wreath this Spring!

Hour Tour Front DoorThe entryway got a new coat of paint along with the rest of the living room.

2012 House Tour Entryway

And we made this wall into a chalk wall!House Tour EntrywayHouse Tour Open to the Living RoomThis little eat-in kitchen nook has gone through some drastic changes!

2012 House Tour Kitchen TableWe updated the bar, completed the kitchen gallery art and built some eat-in seating after we painted the entire kitchen.

House Tour Eat-in Kitchen

Across from the kitchen table, we added a screen door to our pantry and did a little bit of yarn art as well as adding this sweet command center.

House Tour Pantry

Remember that dreamy recipe nook?

2012 House Tour Recipe NookIt underwent a pretty drastic renovation and is now put to great use!

House Tour Recipe NookHouse Tour Recipe StationHere’s another reminder of the beautiful wall paper that used to grace our walls.

2012 House Tour KitchenI’m constantly amazed at what a few coats of paint can do!

House Tour KitchenHouse Tour Kitchen AccessoriesLast but not least, the dining room. I’ve even forgotten how tan everything was!

2012 House Tour Dining RoomWe colorblocked our walls and picked up this awesome vintage buffet from my grandparents house.

House Tour Dining Room

I also tried my hand at hanging un-framed art and it took not 1, not 2 but 3 attempts!

House Tour Dining Room 2Most recently, I created the Happy Day art installation and I love how it brightens up the room!

House Tour Buffet More to come soon because don’t worry, right in the middle of photographing the living room we decided to buy a new couch!

 

 

 

Master Reno: Hutch

When I hit the Mid-Century Furniture Jackpot a couple of weeks ago I knew that the 2-piece hutch was going to be my favorite piece. As we were purchase the furniture I noticed a small tear in the veneer and optimistically thought, oh I can easily fix that!Hutch LaminateWhat I didn’t realize was that the crack wasn’t just surface level, it went all the way through!

Hole in VeneerSo in lieu of trying to repair a section of the veneer we opted instead to create a new backing for the entire piece. We started with 1/8″ plywood and used the old backing as template to cut the new one.

Cutting Hutch Backing

It then got primed and painted coral, the same color as my headboard. The handy husband then re-attached it for me.Nailing Hutch Backing

And here’s the finished product!

Master Reno 2

Painted Hutch RenovationReading Nook - thefrontpoarch.comEver repaired veneer successfully??

Master Reno: Reveal

For a while now I’ve been working on renovating our master bedroom and I have to say, it’s been quite a challenge. This was the last room in the house that I’ve done because for many, many months I didn’t have any inspiration. I wanted some that felt warm and inviting without being too girly and that is where my greatest challenge came. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon navy and coral and I knew I was in love.

Enough of me talking . . . here’s the big reveal!

Coral & Navy Master Bedroom - thefrontpoarch.com

Master Bedroom Reveal - thefrontpoarch.comMr. & Mrs. Pillow from the frontpoarch.com

Our dresser got some custom artwork and a new charging station.

Master Bedroom Reno 1Master Bedroom Reno 2

Next to the closets I created a jewelry station.Master Bedroom Reno 3And in the other corner, a reading nook with a certain mid-century hutch.Master Reno 1Master Reno 2What’s behind all those pillows?

Coral Headboarch - thefrontpoarch.comThis beauty.Coral Headboarch 1 - thefrontpoarch.comMaster Reno 3

Just as a refresher, here’s what it looked like before. . .

TFP Master 1Here’s the after!

Master Bedroom Reveal - thefrontpoarch.com

 

The Mid-Century Jackpot

Last weekend we hit the mid-century furniture jackpot and I’m so giddy with excitement, I couldn’t help but share the find with you!

Mid Century 4

I’d been watching a posting on Craig’s List for about 3 months (apparently Abilene isn’t a hot bed of mid-century furniture lovers) and the seller had lowered the price from $350 to $225.

Mid Century 6

We arranged to meet the seller and after looking at the furniture and seeing that it was in really rough shape, the Craig’s List King offered him $150 for the whole set. . . . . . and he took it!

Mid Century 3

The set includes a chest of drawers, a night stand, a low dresser and this hutch will find a home in our Master bedroom renovation.

Mid Century 5Mid Century 1

I’m not sure where the rest of it will end up just yet but I just couldn’t pass up these beauties. Did you see the gold, color blocked, tapered feet? The top drawers with recessed pulls? The hardware? I’m pretty sure it’s original and what’s left is in great shape.

Mid Century 7You had me at tapered feet.. . . . .. .

Find any amazing Craig’s List deals lately?

 

Our Debt Free Journey

Our Debt Free journey began when we got married in 2009 and together brought just under $50,000 of student loans to the table. I’d heard Phillip talk for a long time about a guy named Dave Ramsey and his plan to help you pay off debt. I thought it couldn’t hurt so we gave it a try.

In our family, I am the free spirit . . . .

. . . .and Phillip is the nerd (are you surprised by either of those?).

We began to budget and slowly but surely, our debt snowball began to gain momentum and we started to make significant progress. In the spring of 2011 we taught our first Financial Peace University class which helped keep us accountable. If you’re going to teach people how to live on a budget, you have to do it yourself! We just finished our 4th course and get more and more excited each time we teach it.

Long before I started this blog, we lived our first few years of marriage in a tiny duplex and although I wouldn’t look back on those years and say they were “fun”, I would say that they were worth it.

TFP Living Room

In that little duplex on Minter Lane we learned to live on less than we made, to budget and most importantly, to communicate with each other.

TFP N 9th & Minter

Last year we took a break from our debt snowball to purchase this house which we now call home.

TFP 626-2

So, after 3 and a half years of hard work, giving up things we wanted for only the things we needed, we’re proud to say: WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

PS – If you’d like to read more about people who are winning you can read Alison’s story here or any of these stories from the Dave Ramsey website.

PSS – We threw an awesome story to celebrate, you can read more about it here.

 

A year in the making – 1 Year Blogiversary

365 days ago, a dream of mine became a reality.TFP Sign

It started probably a year before that when I stumbled across a blog called House of Hepworths. Who even knew DIY blogs existed? It was the first one I’d ever heard of and I was instantly infatuated with Alison and her amazing DIY skills. I was hooked. I read every post she’d ever written and waited anxiously for new posts to be published (yeah. . . I was kind of a creeper). I began to dream and really think, I could do that!

TFP 945 Front Poarch

At the time we lived in a tiny 2-bedroom duplex whose owner barely let us install a ceiling fan (it had NO ceiling fans. . . in the middle of west Texas. . . . yeah, not smart) so I knew a DIY blog was out of the question as long as we lived there. Time went on and I began to follow other blogs like I Heart Organizing and Primitive and Proper and as the DIY bug grew within me and I worked on small projects around our home.

DSC_0225

In January of 2012 this all changed when, through a series of God sized events, we bought our first home. I was ECSTATIC. Long before we moved my head began to spin with renovation ideas, paint colors and flooring options. (Side Note: I didn’t join Pinterest for a long time because my friend Katie told me it was like my brain on steroids. She was right.) I immediately knew the time had come to launch my very own blog, and that my friends is how it all began.

I was so excited I had probably 2-3 posts written before we moved. That’s right, in two weeks time I packed our entire house, we cleaned our new house, did all the techy stuff that goes along with starting a blog and I wrote several posts. Oh yeah, and we both worked a full time job. Needless to say, we were pumped about this dream coming true.

TFP 626-2

Over the past year we’ve learned a lot. A LOT. We’ve learned about working together and communication. We’ve learned that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink. We’ve learned that I am a mouse. . . .and I want a cookie. We’ve learned that I have big dreams and can always see the final product where as Phillip never sees the final product and often says things to me like,

“You aren’t finished with that project. . . are you?”

“You want to paint what?”

“Those things don’t match.”

Yet he always loves the result. It’s been an entertaining year of growth and discovery.

TFP House Numbers 5

I’ve learned 3 things about myself over the past 12 months;

  • I love to dream up big projects and see them through to completion.
  • I love writing about what I’ve done. I do the staging, shooting and editing. . . .so that I can write.
  • I love that there are people out there whom I’ve never met who actually read the things I write. It never ceases to amaze me.

So to you, faithful reader, thank you. Thank you for reading, dreaming and learning with me. You are the reason that I continue to write so thanks for the encouragement and love.

Speaking of love . . . . wouldn’t you just LOVE to win a new purse?? I thought so.

Daily Tote Giveaway - thefrontpoarch.com

Without further adieu, the winner is. . . .Heather Jernigan!

Heather be sure to check your email for prize details.

 

Here’s to many, many more DIYing years to come!

Top 5 of 2012

With the New Year just a day away I thought it would be a good time to recap our year at The Front Poarch. We launched this blog in March of this year when we bought our first house and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it! I’ve come to believe that the true definition of joy is working hard doing something that you love and for me, writing a DIY blog is true joy. I love to imagine, create, work with my hands and see a project through to completion.

Speaking of completed projects, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share our Top 5 Projects of 2012!

#5 Pantry Makeover

(which recently got a new door)

TFP Pantry 28

#4 Bench Makeover for the My Sister’s House Sale

TFP MSH 12

#3 Dyson Adventure

IMG_0819

#2 Introducing the 626 House

TFP 626-2

#1 DIY Lace Purse

TFP Purse 13

Happy New Year and here’s to a great 2013!