Friday, September 5, 2014

What I did over summer vacation

Hey all! Thanks so much for the comments on the fireplace and built ins yesterday! I’m so thrilled with it and am excited to get it done. I started cutting tile yesterday but ran out of time to get any up. As much as I’m itching to get it done I want to take my time and do it right – so I’ve decided to take a break for the next couple of days and just have fun at my 20-year reunion instead of working. :) I’m HOPING I can get the tile done Sunday. Crossing my fingers.

Today I’m looking back on the past couple of months in my regular month in review. I forgot to do it for July so I’m covering two months (again). I can’t believe it was just July that we started the family room renovation – it feels like it has been going on all summer. Seriously, like four months now. But no, just a couple. My goal was to get the workers done with their part before school started and my next goal is to have the whole space done by the end of this month. I think I can do it.

It’s fun to look back on the process though – it was early July when we took down the wall:

how to tear down a non loadbearing wall

Seeing all that light come through was very exciting. :)

I helped because I was SO happy to see it go:

tearing down a wall

By the time we were done that first day the room looked like this: how to tear down a wall

Seeing all the dust does NOT make me miss this part.

We had to have some audio/visual cables moved, had the fireplace built and then the floors patched in a couple places:

patching wood floors

The floors were sanded and restained and that part being done was a sign of most of the contractor work being done:

jacobean stain floors

It was a very good feeling. ;)

Along the way I discussed my inspiration for the fireplace area – the built ins were inspired by this photo:

fireplace with built ins(source)

And the wall above it was inspired by this one:

fireplace with tv


I had the pictures in my head all along of those exact rooms, but it’s always nice to find an actual photo of it. :)

I took a “break” and went off to Atlanta to host our third Haven Conference with four of my friends:

Haven Conference

And then while the mess was going on around us got some projects done – this coffee table started out as mess and I absolutely LOVE how it looks now:

updating 80's coffee table

We haven’t had a coffee table for a while just because we liked the open space – now the room feels so spacious as it is and we LOVE having a place to our feet up. :)

I taped and taped and taped and painted some art I had made for the family room years ago:

wood art knock off

I love the fresh colors!

Next up it was time to think about paint. I shared some of my best tips on picking out paint colors and sheens here:

picking out paint colors tips

And then my process of picking out the new paint color in the family room:

analytical gray

I love it! We’ve had the same color in that room since the day we closed on the house ten years ago. It is time for a new look!

One corner of the room is mostly, kinda done. I shared how I’m working now without my desk in this post:

two windows in corner

And then it was time to get outside – I took you on a tour of our backyard garden and patio:

curved mulch beds

I’m looking forward to getting back outside after this heat wave ends (today!!) and fall arrives here in Indiana. (YAY!!)

I found out a very interesting fact during our renovation – our dryer was making our clothes smell like fire and I shared the reason why in this post:

oxtagon tile

And then it was time to get some stuff done in the family room! I spent worked my tail off one day and got all the painting, caulking, filling and board and batten done on one side of the room. Well not all. But close:

white board and batten

I also share my easy tip for beefing up the crown molding in that post.

I took a quick trip to Des Moines Iowa a few weeks ago to tour the Better Homes and Gardens headquarters with some other bloggers:

better homes and gardens headquarters

It was truly a dream come true to get to do that – very excited about working with them!

And finally, I was inspired by that trip and shared a few of the simple decorating touches around our house in this post:

Simple decorating at @thriftydecorchick -- plants in pitchers

I think very often simple touches are the prettiest!

There you go! Did you miss one? We all know that would suck. :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back next week with some more progress!


  1. It's amazing what you have done in such a short amount of time! I seriously can't get over how gorgeous your floors are though...pretty sure I've already pinned them for future reference. :)

  2. You're contagious with your great ideas and so very uplifting with your positiveness! The tour at Better Homes and Gardens Headquarters was fantastic with great ideas! I look forward to shopping at Walmart to view BHG's ideas. :)

  3. I CANNOT believe how much bigger/brighter your rooms look without that wall! Kudos to you, to the brave go the credits!! That took some guts and imagination and so far your instincts, and your vision, are impeccable. Congratulations!!!

  4. I think you did amazing work - what a productive summer! I am balking about finishing the guest room. It's the last room in the house that needs to get done. Now I feel inspired!


I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!