Before & After

15 Miles From Home

December 21, 2012

Hey there - thanks for stopping in. I haven’t posted in quite some time, I know. I’m very aware of it. I had a post all set to go up last Friday when the shooting happened. It didn’t seem right to post it, and it still doesn’t feel right. Maybe it won’t ever feel right. How can I make light of my painting blunders when my heart is splintered? I’ve stopped my normally scheduled programming to get some things off my mind.

#Before & After

15 Minutes to Functionality: A Garden Space

September 20, 2012

Having absolutely zero time lately to do anything that merits an actual photo sequence of house progress, I decided to prep for this weekend by taking 15 minutes and organizing my gardening shelf. At least I’d feel like I got something done to aid in some upcoming gardening tasks planned for this weekend. (Why yes, the yard is slated to get some much needed TLC since the last go around.)

#Garden #Before & After #Organization

15 Minutes to Functionality: A Linen Mess

January 11, 2013

My linen closet is organized, and let me tell you, I can sure breathe easier. I had all intentions of this space to be neat on a daily basis, since we’re in and out of it pretty regularly. I even grabbed a bunch of small bins from Target a while ago and labeled them so that everything had a place. My intentions were good. However, months later, we were looking a little worse for wear.

#Before & After #Organization

15 Minutes to Functionality: It's a Wrap

December 3, 2012

I’ve done one of these “15 Minutes to Functionality” posts before, when I organized my gardening space in the garage (the tiny space my husband allots me). Basically, I write these types of posts to share what I (and you!) can get done in 15 minutes. I’m digging it. It really works for me. Think about it: you have 15 minutes to kill at any given time of day, and the organizational possibilities are endless.

#Before & After

22 Outlets Later...

November 26, 2012

We are FIN! DONE! FINITO! with the almond colored outlets in the kitchen and are up to date with bright white outlets and covers. It makes such a difference. And ooooh, just check out that new kitchen color on the wall below. Still love it. After we paint a room, most recently the kitchen, we look at replacing the outlets as our reward. It’s the icing on the cake. (Then we have an actual piece of cake, of course.

#Before & After

A Curtain Switcheroo

April 8, 2014

When I was attempting to furnish our guest room last year, I bought and hung a pair of linen-y curtain panels to outfit the space. They were too long, but I never got around to hemming them. It’s a good thing I never hemmed them because they’re not in that room anymore. That guest room is now the nursery, and it has its own curtains. I decided to try the curtains down in the sitting area at the back of the dining room that was rocking a valance Nana made when we first moved in.

#Before & After #Decorating

A New Nightstand For Under $16

August 5, 2013

A few weeks ago, I hit up a tag sale in my hometown while I was visiting my family. My dad told me a colleague of his was downsizing, and she decided to hold the tag sale to sell a bunch of her things. I knew I wanted to swing by to check it out, but I didn’t think I’d buy anything, because I didn’t really need anything. The only thing I was possibly “in need of” was a nightstand.

#Before & After #Furniture Refinishing #Painting

A New Pantry For $30

March 20, 2013

Happy Spring! Finally, it’s here! The ground is covered in snow and it’s freeeeezing, but it’s technically Spring. Hallelujah. As promised, I’m kicking off Spring with a fresh project that’s putting a spring in my step. Here we go… I’ll start with a disclaimer - it’s not quite a “new” pantry for $30 as stated in the title of this post. It’s actually an updated pantry for $30, but really, it feels new to me so I’m sticking with that.

#Before & After

A New Stair Handrail for $9

May 6, 2014

A few months ago, I removed the handrail in the stairway to update the hardware and strip off the dark stain in favor of something that would match the tops of each stair. I figured that since I’d be going up and down the stairs a million times to and from the nursery, I’d better get it done. When we moved in four and a half (!!!) years ago, our stairway was rocking orange high-pile carpet.

#Before & After

A Nursery Lamp Update

January 2, 2014

I wrote a little bit about my ideas for the nursery here, but it can really be summed up in the mood board I created below. See the red lamp with the linen-y drum shade on the board above? I have those now! Well, my version, at least. I had yellow lamps that I spray painted back in the day to use in the guest room, but yellow lamps would drive me crazy in a room that was mostly whites, creams, blues, browns and reds!

#Before & After #Painting #Nursery

A Rocky Situation

July 20, 2012

I have been enjoying a sweet staycation this week. I have the week off but Matt is working, so instead of taking a trip without him, I decided to get some much needed yard work done. I’ve been meaning to tackle the front gardens for some time now. Back in early April when I fertilized the plants, the rock border around the mulched gardens was holding it’s own. I had been collecting rocks from various yards (all people I know - I’m not a klepto, people) and placing them around the mulched gardens because I liked the look of it.

#Before & After #Garden #Summer

A Shelf With Personality Issues

March 6, 2014

Over the summer, my mother-in-law brought over a bright red shelf she had found at a cute antique shop up in Litchfield. Litchfield County sits to the North of us and it’s an absolute haven for antique lovers. (Source) She picked it up for $15 and decided that she couldn’t really use it in her home. She offered it to me, and I thought it would look nice painted a softer color, hanging in our living room or perhaps one of the bedrooms.

#Before & After #Little Projects #Painting

A Slippery Stair Situation

October 28, 2012

When we moved into this ol’ house of ours, the stairs leading up to the two guest bedrooms looked like this… Eek! After pulling out the carpet and removing all of the nails, we had the tops of the stairs refinished professionally. Back in April, I was busy painting the stairs white to go from this… …to this… I’m still reeling over the difference a little paint can make on a set of very dark stairs.

#Before & After #Decorating

August Vacation, Part 2

October 22, 2012

You may or may not remember that Matt and I were out in Colorado in August. Actually, you probably don’t remember at all, because I posted “Part 1” of our trip TWO MONTHS AGO. Oops. Perhaps I didn’t realize how crazy August and September would be? In any event, we are quite overdue for an “August Vacation, Part 2” post, and here she is. If you didn’t read about the first leg of our trip, check it out here.

#Decorating #Before & After

Carving Out Extra Storage

May 22, 2014

Our house is quaint and cozy. At least I think so. At 1400 square feet, it’s larger than some and smaller than some. Ain’t that the way of the world? I’m feeling the “quaint and cozy” more and more each day. With the baby here, there is a ton of baby stuff. A ton. All of that stuff is making the house feel a bit smaller than it normally does and space is at a premium.

#Cleaning #Before & After

Curb Appeal...Literally!

October 3, 2012

If you ask me, curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of a home and should never be overlooked. If you don’t watch insane amounts of HGTV like we do, you may not know exactly what I mean by “curb appeal.” Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of a home’s exterior. It can refer to landscaping, hardscaping, (stonework, driveways) porches, window boxes, shutters, seasonal decor, mailboxes, etc. Having this little ol’ school house look good from the street matters a lot to me, and we have taken great strides each season to make it a bit better.

#Curb Appeal #Before & After #Garden

Dining al fresco

May 23, 2012

With the warmer days of spring finally upon us, I’ve taken it on as a personal mission to get our back deck freshened up. It’s a small space, so it shouldn’t be too hard. We eat out back every chance we get from April-November and the dining area (a gorgeous little bistro set in jet black with stunning rust undertones) was in need of a facelift. We installed a new storm door which you can read about here, and that made a huge difference from the start.

#Backyard Livin' #Before & After

Filling In The Gaps

October 6, 2012

I know I said the kitchen would be the next priority in this house, but I want to keep you on your toes and as a result, I pulled a complete 180. Don’t worry, finishing the kitchen is still on the short-term fall goal list. Nonetheless, the focus has shifted to one of the upstairs bedrooms. My brother-in-law Michael lived here for a bit during his off seasons (he’s a baseball player) and as a result, we hadn’t done anything to the room besides a very half-assed paint job on the walls & window trim just to get moved in quickly.

#Before & After #Home Improvement

Fresh heat

April 30, 2012

Did you get a chance to read this post about the start to our kitchen re-do? DO IT. On our to-do list for the kitchen was to find a solution for the heat registers that sit under the big back window on the back of the house. They were rusty and gross, half gray and half ivory. We looked into replacing them but found it would be well over a hundred bucks to do so.

#Painting #Before & After #Home Improvement

Front Steppin'

June 3, 2013

We replaced our front steps. It was necessary. 3 reasons you know it’s necessary to replace your front steps: They bend severely when a 30 lb. toddler lays foot on them. You don’t order anything online for fear that UPS will sue you because of a courier injury. You spend 3 weeks stepping over the reeeaaallly droopy step in the middle for fear of it breaking. This makes hauling groceries especially frightening.

#Before & After #Home Improvement #Curb Appeal

Good-Bye Grease, Hello Sleek

June 28, 2013

I know the title doesn’t rhyme exactly, but humor me. Here we are, with part two of two in the microwave saga: the install. Did you read the Microwave Story? It was long, I know, but funny. At least, I hope it was a little funny. Wish you could have met CSG, he was a real riot. I realized I didn’t include a picture of the microwave we ended up buying at Home Depot.

#Before & After #Kitchen Renovation #Kitchen Electrical

Harrison's Rocker (The Reveal!)

March 28, 2014

I know I normally post on Tuesdays and Thursdays but I couldn’t wait to share this before and after! Since Harrison came a bit early, I didn’t have the rocker at the house when we brought him home from the hospital. If you’re new to the site, here’s a one-liner to catch you up: Matt and I decided to refinish an heirloom antique rocker from his Great Aunt instead of popping on an upholstered glider for the nursery.

#Painting #Furniture #Refinishing Furniture #Before & After

I'm No Seamstress: Finishing the Nursery Curtains

February 14, 2014

Believe it. The nursery curtains are done and you’ll never believe what they cost me. They’ve been on my to-do list for a while and I’m happy to cross ‘em off! If you’re new, read this post to catch up on how I started the curtains. If you’ve read it already or just want a refresher, here are the highlights: The initial post included the verb “attempt” so I made no promises that these would turn out well!

#Decorating #Nursery #Before & After

Landing Some Color

July 18, 2013

I’ve been making great strides in the porch rocker department and I’ll have some pictures and updates for you early next week! In the meantime, I did a lil’ shopping and a lil’ spray painting. You may remember that the landing at the top of our stairs was pretty bland. I brightened up the heat register here, but besides that, we’ve done nothing except put in some hardwoods when we moved in.

#Before & After #Shopping

Mancave Modification

June 4, 2012

Matt’s mancave is our oversized two-car, detached garage. And by “our garage,” I really mean “his garage” because I can’t toe the line without his mancave radar activating on full alert. He rushes out from wherever he is in the house or yard and tries to casually ask, “What are you up to, babe?” Of course, I know he really means, “What do you think you are doing in my garage?

#Before & After

Mud Room Update

October 20, 2012

You may recall from a previous post that I wanted to change out some curtains to lighten up the room a bit, while adding a little drama and formality (should I need to entertain The Duchess on short notice). I was indecisive but after mulling it over…drum roll please…I bought the gingham sheer panel from Country Curtains, and I am thrilled with my choice. To those that gave advice as to which set of panels you would choose - thank you!

#Decorating #Before & After

My addiction

August 13, 2012

Disclaimer: The pictures in this post are beyond awful. I’ll update them when I get some nice natural light streaming in. I’m on vacation for a few days this week while Matt is working. So naturally, like any sane woman playing the role of stay-at-home housewife for a few days, I went shopping. Specifically, rug shopping. I need to first give you some background on what Matt calls my “drug addiction.

#Before & After #Shopping

New Kitchen Paint! Finally!

November 25, 2012

Remember back in April, when I painted the trim in the kitchen white and said that new paint for the walls was next on the list? Well, if you don’t remember, that’s what happened. The trim was painted white 7 months ago and it has taken us 7 months to get a color we love on the walls. 7 months, but it’s done. The kitchen is now a color I adore.

#Painting #Before & After

New Uses For Old Things: Old Pepsi Crate

February 21, 2013

Remember when I fell in love with this old Pepsi crate from a local thrift shop? I still love it because it’s just so cool. It also happened to have my hometown (Fairfield, Conn.) printed on the side. Fate! Well, if you don’t remember it, you can read all about where and why I bought it here. I told you I’d fill you in on where I put it, so here we are.

#Before & After

Not a fan...

April 18, 2012

…of this, that is. Blech. I am a big supporter of many things gold. For example, I love gold earrings, (they’re the only ones my delicate ears will allow!) gold flats with dark jeans, the gold bracelet Matt gave me on our first Christmas together, my brother-in-law, (Mr. Gold was an old college nickname for him) the gold-ish brown eye shadow I wore on my wedding day, this dress, and the golden color of my main man.

#Home Improvement #Electrical #Before & After

Nursery Budget Breakdown & Source List

April 10, 2014

This is the last of the nursery posts… for now. Let’s take a look at the transformation before jumping into the budget breakdown and the source list! When we bought the house, the room looked like this… …painting the trim and laying hardwoods were high on our priority list… …then came paint and new baseboard trim… …followed by guest room furnishings… …at which point we realized we had a baby on the way, so it quickly became a storage room…

#Before & After

Organization = Love

December 31, 2012

With January quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to get a head start on some de-cluttering around the house. January is most famous for being a month of resolutions and fresh starts, and nothing says “fresh start” to me more than an organized home. We tend to hold on to so many physical “things” that keeping those “things” in line is often a struggle for many. See: Hoarders. I was motivated by the following - just taunting me as it lay there on the coffee table.

#Before & After

Our Blinged Out Kitchen

June 12, 2014

When I envision my dream kitchen, it generally involves white cabinets, a giant island (maybe in the next house) and a deep, big sink (also in the next house). That vision never involved under cabinet lighting, but now that I have sweeeeet under cabinet lighting, I can’t live without it. It started one day last month, when an Amazon package came to the house for Matt. He opened it and explained that it held the contents to a new under cabinet lighting system.

#Before & After #Kitchen #Little Projects

Painting the Rocker!

July 26, 2013

Brace yourself for a 10 on the excitement spectrum. The first porch rocker has a painted frame and is ready for Suzan to do her thing! I’m so pumped. Last time we talked, you knew I decided to refinish the frame of the chair in some capacity, but I had yet to decide on a material or a color. After my meeting with Suzan, I was pretty much convinced that Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint was the medium with which to work.

#Before & After #Local Haunts #Friends

Pretty-ing the Porch

June 24, 2014

Seeing as it’s nearly July, I’m glad I finally have some color on the porch. About time, right? I had an old “Welcome” coir mat that looked a little worse for wear, so I tossed it. With that gone, I was left with a pretty boring entryway. I needed something… anything to distract my eye from our desperately-in-need-of-updating storm door. I love the look of traditional stone urn planters but I don’t love the $100+ price tag.

#Before & After #Flowers

Put a frame (or ten) on it!

September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend and were able to enjoy some time with friends and family. For us, this past weekend was mostly about getting things done around the house, and nothing makes me happier than that! It’s been a while since we tackled anything DIY in our office. We took it from 0-60 back in the spring with new trim and fresh paint, but it hasn’t really been touched since then.

#Painting #Before & After #Shopping

Refinishing Dad's Dressers

August 8, 2013

So… remember when I sanded down my dad’s old childhood dressers to prep them for refinishing? Oh, you don’t? Well, I’ll forgive you because that was nine months ago. That’s right, this project was started in November and it’s finally coming to fruition in August. Dude. Things take time. I know what you’re thinking: “What a slacker…” Okay. I did mostly slack off on this project, but I have a couple of good excuses.

#Before & After #Furniture Refinishing

School House Road Trip: Amanda's Garden

May 22, 2013

I’m at it again. Road-tripping to help out with some DIY debacles in a little series I like to call “School House Road Trip.” Super creative name, I know. I’ve posted about a couple of School House Road Trips before. First, Matt and I cut down 13 overgrown, dying pine trees in my Nana’s yard on Cape Cod. Then, Matt and his brother, Nick, tackled a fallen tree on my mother-in-law’s home thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

#Before & After #Garden #Travel

School House Road Trip: Sandy Edition

November 14, 2012

As you may or may not know, we were relatively unharmed by superstorm Sandy as she ripped through the region a few weeks ago. We miraculously kept our power on throughout, and were able to use the house as a warm spot for friends and family to gather if needed. My mother-in-law, however, was not so fortunate, as she lost power for about a week and had this happen to her home:

#Painting #Before & After

Serious Bathroom Neglect

September 4, 2012

I can count the number of upgrades we’ve done to our bathroom on one hand. Okay, okay… full disclosure: I can count the number of upgrades we’ve done to our bathroom on one FINGER. Eeek. We are such neglectful homeowners. We replaced the baseboard heater cover a while back. It was so rusted out and so gross that even painting it like we did here wouldn’t work. I think it cost about $40, because we had to buy the whole piece with the heating components included.

#Painting #Before & After

Shoot Painting What You Have

November 29, 2012

When it came time to shop around for lamps for the guest room, I was rearing to go. I was fresh off a successful Target shopping spree (where I grabbed a new comforter, pillows, vase, pouf…) and I was itching for more. I hopped around Homegoods, Pier 1, Pottery Barn by day and trolled the internet at night. Okay, that sounds sooo creepy, but I was trolling for lamps, people. Lamps.

#Before & After #Painting

Since I Wasn't Doing Anything Else...

January 28, 2013

Matt and I had a rare, treasured, “do nothing Saturday” this past weekend and I used it the best way I know how: fixing up a few things around the house. Shocker, I know. “Do nothing weekends” are weekends free of obligations or agendas. They’re amazing, and they only happen a few times a year. This past “do nothing Saturday,” I ripped apart our bedroom, scouring it clean (I even vacuumed the box spring and mattress).

#Painting #Before & After

Sore wrist Sunday

April 30, 2012

Holy cow, it’s Monday night already! Why yes, I had quite the productive weekend, thank you for asking. Matt and I had one of our beloved “do nothing weekends” this past weekend, and all of last week we discussed what house project we wanted to tackle while we had the sched wide open. It was a battle between tackling an upstairs bedroom with new baseboard trim, fresh paint on walls/trim or some much needed garden projects in the backyard/sideyard.

#Painting #To-Do #Before & After #Home Improvement

Stairway to Heaven or Stairway to Hell?

April 23, 2012

Growing up, the staircase in my house was awesome. How can a staircase be awesome, you ask? Memories. It was a simple fold back design (up a small flight, two landings, and up another small flight in the opposite direction) but it was so much more than a staircase. My sisters and I would learn to crawl up those stairs, then toddle, then walk, and eventually take them 3 at a time.

#Home Improvement #Before & After

Steppin' Back

June 12, 2013

It might seem like I’m jumping back and forth between the front porch overhaul and the kitchen. Oh, wait. That’s because I am jumping back and forth between these two spaces. Bear with me as I tackle whatever project strikes me. If I can get the porch and the kitchen done before the first leaf turns this fall, I’ll be a happy homeowner. Last week, I shared the first part of our front porch overhaul.

#Before & After #Curb Appeal

Stormy Switcheroo

May 15, 2012

I’m not going to do a big foreword on this post. You’re welcome! ;) I’m just going to tell you that we replaced the back storm door and it was a top priority of ours… I think you’re all bright enough to see why… Refer to the picture below for hints… Wow, right? So gross. I haaaate that door. Once we had a nice day late last fall and a couple of hours free, we went at it.

#Home Improvement #Backyard Livin' #Before & After

Take Off The Hoody

June 19, 2013

Before we can start the backsplash to complement our new counters, we needed to figure out our range hood situation. Why not tackle it on a weeknight? That’s how we’ve been rolling this Spring. Our current range is old, ugly, and loaded with old grease. You can decide what’s grosser: the old grease or the fact that I lived with the old grease for 3 1/2 years. We are going with an over-the-range microwave to replace this bad boy.

#Before & After #Kitchen Renovation

The Final Nursery Reveal!

April 3, 2014

I thought today was a fitting day to share the final nursery reveal. Today was our original due date for Harrison! We ended up with a March baby instead of an April baby and a Winter baby instead of a Spring baby. Lucky for us, we’ve been able to enjoy our little man for the past 17 days and didn’t have to wait for today to come! I’m so happy with how this space turned out.

#Before & After

The Guest Room Is Done! (For Now...)

January 14, 2013

Finally, finally, finally!! The finishing work we started a few months ago has paid off. The larger of our two spare rooms is done! Or, as done as it can be for now. We still have to get the dressers in order when the warmer weather comes, but it’s done enough for me. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? We affectionately call this room “Mike’s Room” because Matt’s brother Mike lived with us for a little while a couple of years ago.

#Before & After

The power of ______!

August 21, 2012

First and foremost, let’s get you some music to listen to while you peruse this post… Okay… that’s better. The power of love paint is incredible. Incredible! So is Huey Lewis, while we’re on the subject. But where was I? Paint. Right. For a small put out, you can transform absolutely _anything _with paint. In this case, I transformed my the gray, dreary baseboard radiators in my living room (that I’ve been living with for nearly 3 years, mind you) into crisp, white heaven.

#Before & After #Painting #Home Improvement

There once was a garden...

August 14, 2012

…that was an absolute nightmare and the bane of my existence. For nearly 3 (3!!!!) years. It drove me nuts, wild & crazy with dreams of making it simpler and neater looking. I would weed it out in hopes of planting something new, only to have it become overgrown again in days. There never seemed to be enough time in the day to get it done. Then spring rolled around and Matt and I had one of our beloved “do nothing weekends.

#Before & After #Garden #Spring

Time to Rock! (Phase 2)

February 6, 2014

I’m checking in on this beautiful Thursday with a rocking chair update! I’m so happy to see some blue skies today after all the snow yesterday. We ended up with right around a foot of the white stuff! I stayed inside all day organizing, relaxing, and drinking gallons of tea. It was pretty nice. If you recall, Matt and I decided to forego our original decision to buy an upholstered nursery glider in favor of a family heirloom that his Great Aunt passed onto us before she passed away.

#Nursery #Furniture #Furniture Refinishing #Before & After

Upgrading Kitchen Cabinet Trim

March 13, 2014

Hey look! It’s a post about something other than the nursery! You’re welcome. I’m the one having this baby, and even I’m sick of the nursery posts. So let’s take a break and talk about how we neglected the trim above our kitchen cabinets for ohhhh… nine months. Matt and I (mostly Matt - I played cheerleader and tool-gatherer) made progress this weekend, but first, let’s take a little picture tour of how we got to where we were desperately needing new trim above the kitchen cabinets…

#Woodworking #Before & After #Home Improvement #DIY

Vampire Tree Slaying

May 6, 2013

Before I get into the details of the demise of our “vampire tree,” let me give you a quick recap of our Do Nothing Weekend. It was mostly successful. We didn’t get to every project we laid out, but we did our fair share, with a few unexpected projects thrown in, too. Bonus - we even had a few minutes to lay on the chaises on Sunday. :) A nursery trip to get a couple of new plants to celebrate Spring 2013 Plant said new plants Mulch new plants Weed existing gardens Cut down a vampire tree and maybe a vampire branch The vampire branch is in the backyard and that will be for another day.

#Before & After #Tree Work

We Planted A Wonky

May 13, 2013

One of the birthday presents I received from Matt was a tree. Yes, a tree. I asked for it because I wanted one, and really, what better gift is there for a nature lover (minus the bugs) than a living thing that enriches the soil and cleans the air? I’ll tell you. There isn’t a better gift out there. Period. We went to a local nursery that was having a sale on weeping cherries because I find them whimsical and charming, and a lovely complement to the enormous weeping willows scattered throughout our property.

#Garden #Before & After

What A Difference A Day Makes: The New Counters

June 10, 2013

I know what you’re thinking. “If I hear the words ‘new counters’ from this girl one more time, I’m going to lose it.” I hear you. So… I’m done. The counters are done. I’m smiling from ear to ear. Check ‘em out. I’m in love. I know I say that about a lot of things in this house, but these counters are different. (Kisses fingertips in an Italian-esque flourish.) I really love them.

#Before & After #Kitchen

Whatever Makes You Happy, Baby

January 25, 2013

If you follow me on Twitter, (find me @shouserehab) you might have read my teaser about updating some outdoor curb appeal in our sub-10 degree weather. Well, it was just that. A teaser. If you think I’m spending more than 42 seconds outside with that wind whipping at below zero, you’re craaazy. I’m not that hardcore. My skin is delicate, y’all. However, I was aware of the cold front approaching, and I sneaked* out to Home Depot to grab these to have Matt put them on the garage before the teeth chattering cold made it’s way to CT.

#Curb Appeal #Before & After