A Breath of Fresh Air

Living Room New Paint

I did it.

I painted my living room.

New Paint Color!Shortly after I wrote this post, I realized that the following weekend was a 3-day weekend because of Martin Luther King Day.

Living Room DetailsI jumped at the opportunity and set to work. The color winner was not one of my original choices, but I really do love it. It’s Valspar’s La Fonda Mirage.

Reading NookAnd so, prepare yourselves, here’s the photo dump.

Candy BarThe Front Poarch - Living Room

My first Ikea Hack has a new home next to the candy bar
Ikea Hack- Clock Candy Bar CornerNew Living Room Paint! Media Console Living Room RevealAnd the best part? Now I have the blank canvas next to the entry way. . .

Blank Wall

What would you do with it?

I will paint my living room . . . one day . . . I promise . . .

Let’s talk a walk down memory lane shall we??

This was our living room right after we moved in, almost 2 years ago. Tan, tan and plaid = BORING.

2012 House Tour Living RoomWe’ve made LOTS of improvements since then like purchasing a new couch. . .twice, as well as painting the walls a neutral blue color and adding an entertainment center. When last you saw it, the room looked more like this.

House Tour New Couch

. . .and it still looks that way today. I’ve been dreaming of going white but still haven’t quite been able to pull the trigger. So instead, I’ve been buying random paint samples and creating my art on my wall.

Paint Sample OptionsNow here comes the really honest and pathetic part; most of these samples (you know, all 7 of them) have been up. . . SINCE AUGUST.

There it is, I said it.

Hi, my name is Leah and I can’t commit to a paint color.

So, I’ve decided to take a step back and revisit my original inspiration. Behold the peacock feather.

Peacock Color PaletteBeautiful right?

Here’s how I see it in my space.

Living Room Inspiration Board

So not to make any promises or anything but I think it is safe to say that at some point, in 2014, I will paint my living room. . . I hope. . . .

Ikea Hack: SMYCKE Wall Clock

SMYCKE Clock Transformation

Welcome to the first Ikea hack on The Front Poarch! What’s an Ikea hack you ask?? Great question! An Ikea hack is when you take something pretty basic (from Ikea, duh) and make in infinitely more awesome! (There’s even a website dedicated to it.)

I started with this SMYCKE Wall Clock, which I’d been eyeing for sometime.

Ikea SMYCKE Clock HackThis particular clock is pretty cool to begin with because it’s made up of small, hexagon plastic tiles that can be configured to any shape.

Ikea SMYCKE ClockIt comes with a set of connectors that allow you to freely join different pieces together.Hexagon tiles fit togetherFor this hack I wanted to change up the color scheme of the tiles so I selected a few from the original set. I chose to keep the white, green and a few of the gray tiles as-is.

Original hexagon tilesSince I already had lots of regular spray paint in my stash, I purchased this Valspar primer for plastic and it worked like a dream.

Use primer for plasticEach tile then got a coat of a different shade of green, blue or purple. Once they were dry, I sat down on a sunny afternoon and set to work.

Painted clock, ready to assembleI began by laying out the tiles and playing with the arrangement. . .

Hexagon tiles around Clock. . .however, I soon attracted some unsolicited help.

PicMonkey CollageOnce I had a layout more or less complete, I started piecing the back together and pretty soon . . .

Add connectors to the back. . . the clock was complete.

Clock on wall SMYCKE Clock

Ikea Hack- SMYCKE Clock

 

White Out

I’ve been swooning over white room palettes on Pinterest lately.

{source}

They’re just so clean and crisp. . .and they seem so bright and cheery.

{source}

And yet every time I convince myself that I want a room to be white. . . I can’t ever quite follow through.

House Tour New CouchI love color. Like, really really really, not afraid to paint my hallway teal, love color.

And  yet, I want to love white too.

Hallway Reveal 6I often long for a room that is neutral among my sea of bold color, but then I wonder, will it stick out like a sore thumb?? Will it seem out of place?

We had a white couch which caused me to immediately paint my living room because I couldn’t stand the neutral-ness of a white couch and tan wall. And then we sold that couch less than a year later, I just couldn’t hack it.

House Tour Old CouchThe Nester wrote a great post on going white slowly in their previous home and it worked wonderfully, but I’m still nervous.

Our kitchen is quasi white but again, the thought of painting my walls white is not appealing.

Kitchen - September 2013I also often think, ‘If only I had hardwood/laminate flooring, then I would be happy with going white.’ This could be true, as in I’m over compensating with color on the walls so as to draw your eye away from our hideous flooring but I don’t know that new flooring will cause a complete change of heart.

What do you think? Is there a trend that you love but just aren’t sure that you’ll love it in your home?

Have you ‘gone white’ and loved it? Hated it?

SPS: Can you KEEP something organized??

How do you keep a bookcase organized?

Organizing a Bookshelf

Or any other high traffic area.

I mean really, day after day, week after week, how do you keep something organized?

I’m not talking about initially getting everything tidied up or staging something for a great photo either. That’s the thrill of the hunt, removing everything from a shelf, organizing, getting rid of and staging the best stuff. The work to keep it that way? Bor-ing.

One day you wake up and walk by your bookshelf and it looks like this:BookshelfLeaning books of Pisa anyone??

How did this even happen? We’re tidy people, how did all of these book get jumbled up and why hasn’t anyone straightened this monstrosity?

Stacks? Really??

Messy BookshelfSo I’m proposing an experiment. As a part of the Small Project Series, every Friday for the next 6 week I’m going to post a pic of this bookshelf on my Instagram and Facebook page, the good, the bad and the ugly with the hopes that some accountability will help keep it on the looking-presentable train. After all, it one of the most highly trafficked areas of my home, I should be able to keep a little bookshelf organized. Shouldn’t I? I guess we’ll have to see about it.

Here’s the bookshelf as it stands today, not edited, not organized, just exactly as it is with a few minor issues but still looking presentable.

Bookshelf 1st reviewHere we go, we’ll see what happens!

 

PS – I came home from work last week and found this.

Painting FellI guess it’s back to the drawing board. . . here’s the 1st | 2nd | & 3rd attempt I made at hanging this painting. I’ll keep you posted on the 4th.

 

 

2013 House Tour: Part 2 The New Couch!

The house tour continues and today I have a story about how we got a new couch. . . again!The Front PoarchLet’s review, in the summer of 2012, our living room looked a little something like this.

2012 House Tour CouchTan, plaid and more tan.

 

We bought a new couch off of Craig’s List,  updated the legs and and painted. As I began to photograph the house for the house tour it looked like this. She was a beauty and I was perfectly content.
House Tour Living RoomUntil I saw this couch on Craig’s List the next day and was instantly in love.

House Tour New CouchIt’s a non-white sectional that is the opposite with the lounge arm on the right instead of the left which means that you can now see our beautiful curtains and look out the window!

This caused a good bit or rearranging to take place and here’s where we ended up!

Houe Tour New Cross Wall

House Tour Media ConsoleHouse Tour Candy Buffet

2012 House Tour Living RoomHouse Tour New EntryThe reading nook is still holding strong and most recently received a renovated foot stool!

2012 House Tour Reading NookHouse Tour Reading NookTour of the rest of the house is coming next week!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Remote Caddy Upgrade

After we painted a new media center and added a chevron print frame to cover the holes we made in the wall, I began to notice that our remote caddy was in desperate need of an update.Old Remote Caddy

Here it is, dark, hidden and full of everything. . . except TV remotes! A wireless mouse, my extra set of glasses remotes to 3 fans, 2 of which we don’t own any more and various pens, key chains and some spare change.Remote Caddy - before

Where are the key chains you ask? On the couch, next to floppy pillows and the left over candy container from last night. Cool, right? Needless to say, something had to give.

Old RemotesAs per usual, I’m not big into trends. I tend to stray more on the side of classics that have stood the test of time but when I stumbled across the geometric tray at Hobby Lobby I couldn’t leave without it.

Remote Caddy BeforeIt quickly got a few coats of gold paint, the bottom got some coral and then several coats of high gloss finish and there you have it!

Remote Caddy - thefrontpoarch.com

Isn’t she a beaut?

I also purged the occupants of the previous remote caddy and have committed to only keep these 2 remotes, the ones we actually use, in it. 
DIY Remote Caddy - thefrontpoarch.comKick the clutter, DIY Remote Caddy - thefrontpoarch.comWhat’s in your remote caddy?

DIY Foot Stool

Make a foot stool from a side table - thefrontpoarch.comA few years ago my mom came across and old side table that at one time had a penny finish on the top. It had since be removed, and the surface was in rough shape. The table had a home in my brother’s college apartment but when he graduated and moved on, the table made it back to my mom. I’m not one to let free furniture go so I brought it to my house where it sat for a few weeks.

Foot Stool 2Instead of trying to refinish the top, I opted to transform the table into a foot stool for the red smoking chair in my reading nook. Here’s the before and after!Foot Stool Before & After from thefrontpoarch.com

To transform a side table of your own, here’s what you’ll need:

  • old side table (mine was about 24″ tall)
  • 4″ foam, large enough to cover your table
  • fabric of your choice
  • paint of your choice
  • spray adhesive
  • serrated knife or electric knife
  • scissors
  • staple gun

The first step is to remove the legs, this makes it easier to paint and since my table was already the height I wanted, I trimmed the legs down about 3″. The legs on my table were a bit stubborn but nothing a little WD-40 and elbow (or finger) grease wouldn’t take care of.Foot Stool 3

You’ll then want to paint your legs and any part of your table that might be visible. Now it’s time to attach your foam to the top of your table. I just happened to have this photo adhesive on hand and it did the trick. Generally, you spray a layer on each surface and wait a few minutes for the glue to get tacky, then adhere them together.

Foot Stool 5

Foot Stool 6Next, using your serrated knife, begin to trim the foam to the size of your table. For me, this meant trimming the corners off to make the square foam into a circle.

*Disclaimer* Be VERY careful when cutting the foam! It can be a bit tricky to get the cut started but do NOT try to use your fingers to help the blade along.

Foot Stool 7Use your scissors to soften the corners of the foam all the way and trim off any excess foam in order to complete your shape.

Foot Stool 14

Similar to Reupholstering Dining Room Chairs make a sandwich, starting with your fabric, print side down, then the foam and the table top (the latter 2 should be attached). Start by stapling 2 points, here, 1 on the left and right side.Foot Stool 9Staple the 2 opposite points, top and bottom and then turn it over to make sure that your fabric tension is correct. Lookin’ good!

Foot Stool 11Continue stapling all the way around, being sure to pull the extra fabric down into pleats.

Foot Stool 10Enlist your handy husband to reattach the legs. . . .

Foot Stool 13

. . . . and trim the excess fabric from the bottom.Foot Stool 12Turn that sucker over and prop you feet up, you just made an awesome foot stool!

Put your Feet up & Relax! - thefrontpoarch.com

Foot Stool 1

Have you ever repurposed a side table for another fabulous use?DIY Foot Stool from thefrontpoarch.com

 

Color of the Year: Emerald

This year Pantone named Emerald as the color of the year. . . . .

TFP EC 14. . . . .isn’t it just dreamy?? Since I’m usually looking for an excuse to paint something our entertainment center got a fresh coat!Turn an old dresser into an entertainment center! From thefrontpoarch.comWe started with hiding our TV cables the hard way and then acquired this dresser from my grandparents’ weekend home. The mirror and the first 2 drawers were removed.

TFP EC 1

Using the drawers as a template, Phillip traced and cut 2 shelves for the top.

TFP EC 2

It then sat in our living room for about a month until I worked up the courage to actually paint it. The first time I showed Phillip the paint color he said, “. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . I won’t say anything until you get done.” I took it as him saying, GO FOR IT!!!

TFP TV Mount 9

I had some of Valspar’s Wet Pavement in Satin left from painting my Vintage Serving Tray so I started by spraying the interior gray and painting the interior of the drawers. If you paint the drawers guides, be sure to give them a lite sanding before replacing your drawers so that they will still slide in and out easily. TFP EC 5Then the fun began! The color I purchased was Valspar’s Luscious Green in Gloss and it t took 3 coats to get a smooth even, finish. I opted to paint the legs gray which I’m not too crazy about but I’m hoping they will grow on me.

TFP EC 12As per usual, Leland came to help. . . .until he tried to lick the wet paint and I kicked him out of the garage.

TFP EC 4Now that all is said and done, this beauty sits in my living room.

TFP EC 7TFP EC 13

Before I painted the dresser I found this tag attached to the back and was overjoyed to find out that it was the original sales tag when this piece was sold to my grandparents. Judging from their address, my guess is that they purchased it in the mid-50’s.

TFP EC 11The drawers now hold movies, video games and kids toys for visiting friends.

TFP EC 10

 

Have you repurposed an old piece of furniture? I’d love to hear about it!