When we bought this house four years ago, I sincerely thought this was IT. Our final destination. I poured my heart and soul into turing this house into my dream home. But life has a funny way of showing you who’s boss. A couple months ago, opportunity came knocking and we answered. Our family is headed to Denver, CO later this year, to begin a new adventure. I’m excited and sad and scared and happy all at the same time. Salt Lake City has been so good to us, It will definitely be hard to leave. Not to mention that we’ve lived in this house longer than any other we’ve lived in, so this house will forever hold a special place in my heart when I think of “home.” Now that we’ve got the house on the market (you can find the listing here; and we have an open house on Saturday. Please come!) I’m feeling nostalgic about all the projects we’ve done over the last four years. Most of these were done just for us. I didn’t really take “before” photos, because I never really intended to share them. They were just things you do when you own a home. But I treasure all the photos I’ve taken of all the homes we’ve lived in; so I couldn’t resist the chance to snap and share a little home tour with you. When we bought the house four years ago, the whole thing was very brown and very heavy. Making things more light and airy was my main goal. The floor plan is great, and there’s a ton of natural light in the house, but it got lost with all the heavy textures and wood throughout. I’ve painted nearly every surface in this house. The stairway makeover is still one of my favorite projects ever. I’ll share the before and after + the products I used in another post next week.
Styling our bookshelves for the listing was honestly one of the most stressful bits for me. We have SO many books, but all those varying colors and heights can be really overwhelming. Even though this look isn’t very functional or realistic, I still love the way it turned out. I don’t have a lot of knickknacks; so I got a couple bonus shopping trips in to buy props to fill our shelves.
I usually decorate with a lot of color, but I tried to tone things down a bit in our main living space. I didnt’ really have a plan for this area when I started, but I’ve had my heart set on owning this painting for years, and everything else kind of fell into place around the artwork.
After several trips to specialty tile shops, and running all over the valley, I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the Home Depot tile section when I was under a big time crunch to choose tile. But I’m so glad I held it together and I’m even more glad I chose this tile.
I have a lot, A LOT, of opinions on painting kitchen cabinets, and I’ll also be sharing them in a separate post next week. But as for this kitchen, the only thing I’d do differently, is having the cabinets painted sooner. And the backsplash. But I ran out of time and didn’t want to pick something the new homeowners would hate. So there’s the first bit of my home tour! I’ll be sharing the bedrooms and the basement next week, as well as sharing before/after pics of the makeovers we did and lots of my favorite tools and products I’ve used throughout the process.
I often hear the questions, “What are your favorite spots for vintage shopping?” or ” Where did you find that…(old thing)?” I’ve never really considered antiquing one of my passions, but a quick look around my home proves otherwise. I’ve got old stuff in every room of my house. I think it keeps a room from feeling to precious; it helps add some history and depth to a space, and I love the character and conversation opportunities an old piece can add to a room. I recently read this Guide to Summer Antiquing over at Invaluable, and now I’m in the mood for a flea market road trip!
Before I dive into shopping tips and tricks, let’s have a quick vocab lesson. Today’s words are vintage and antique. “Antique” is usually a term reserved for pieces of great value that are a minimum of 100 years old. According to eBay, “vintage” items should be more than 50 and less than 100 years old. On the other hand, I’ve been to flea markets where the criteria for vintage merchandise is 20 years old…so pretty much all the stuff from my childhood is now deemed vintage. So whichever the accurate definition of vintage is, I’m actually more of a vintage shopper. Antiques kind of scare me–they seem too and valuable to be in my home. Vintage items are less intimidating to me. My advice focuses mainly on vintage shopping, but you can also apply it to antiquing.
Best places to shop:
- Yard Sale / Garage Sale / Estate Sale: Yard sales are great, local resources for vintage treasures. Pros: Great prices, opportunities for bargaining, and close to home. Cons: hit-and-miss – you never know what you’re going to get; and you have to sort through a bunch of crap to find the good stuff.
- Flea Market: Flea markets are popping up in most large cities. Flea markets are usually held once a month; and you’ll enjoy a fun festival-like atmosphere as well as a GREAT selection of merchandise. Flea market finds are more curated than yard sales, so everywhere you turn, you’ll see things you can’t live without. Pros: Food trucks, great selection, fun atmosphere. Cons: crowded, sometimes you have to buy a ticket to get in, and the weather can prove tricky at outdoor events.
- Vintage Shops + Second-Hand Stores: I love driving around unfamiliar neighborhoods and discovering great vintage shopping gems! Pros: Retail stores offer a curated and styled selection. That means it’s easier to shop, cleaner, and less crowded than trolling the flea market. Cons: The shop owners are very aware of the value of the products, so prices tend to be higher.
Tips for successful shopping trips:
- Explore new neighborhoods. You’ll never know what’s out there if you don’t go look!
- I’m not into grappling over price. It makes me uncomfortable. But toward the end of flea markets and yard sales, vendors are willing to give you a better price if it means they don’t have to pack it up and put it away again.
- Have a shopping list. Don’t become distracted by all the vintage goodies around you! Have a list of what you NEED to find. For example, I recently went looking for a storage piece for my kids backpacks/shoes/coats). During this trip, I was able to stay on task knowing what I was looking for. I glanced at the license plates and card catalogs, but remained focused on my shopping list. But after my moment of distraction I found exactly what I was looking for!
- Keep an open mind! Even though you’re looking for something specific, you might find something that meets another need. On a recent shopping trip, I was looking for some small accessories for a photo shoot, but ran across the perfect display piece for my notepads…so stay on target, but don’t. 😉
- Makeovers are always a possibility. It’s very rare to find the perfect piece that doesn’t need a little fixing up. A little paint and some new hardware can go a long way. Don’t walk away from the perfect piece because it’s the wrong color!
- Buy with POTENTIAL and PURPOSE in mind. Does it have the potential to fit your space/style? Will it serve a purpose?
- Start a collection (or two, or three!) When you shop to add to a specific collection, you’re not as easily overwhelmed by vintage shopping. When I don’t need a specific piece (furniture, etc.) it’s still fun to go to the markets looking for milk glass vases, globes or tins to add to my collections.
Now I’m in the mood for a treasure hunt/shopping trip. Who wants to join me?!?
I’ve completely neglected our outdoor spaces this year. Every summer I think it’s going to be the year we makeover the patio…and then summer is over before we know it. This year is no exception. But then I saw this post at Arhaus, which inspired me to consider a patio makeover again. For reals this time. P.S. If you’re curious about Arhaus, be sure to check out their outdoor sectional sofas and sectional sofas for your home, along with some of their other products!
Now back to my patio. It’s bad. Currently, we’ve got a giant trampoline on our patio, while the grass recovers from an incident with a waterslide/bounce house. But I dream of turning it into a fun little lounge area. It would be the perfect place to sit with some friends and some dessert. Or curl up with a cold drink and a good book after a long day.
I know my dream patio changes every year; and that’s probably why I haven’t committed to making it happen just yet. But this one is my favorite patio design yet:
I’d keep the accessories pretty neutral and simple with gray pillows and a rug. Plenty of seating is a must; as is a fire pit to add a little ambiance and warmth when the evenings get chilly. You need to make sure your guests have somewhere to put their drinks; so throw in a few little side tables. I’d also add the comfort of inside with a lightweight throw and some potted plants. I love outdoor glasses so broken glass isn’t an issue; and I’d make sure the puppy feels welcome outside, too, with a home of her own.
Here’s a shopping guide for this year’s patio wish list:
- Indoor/outdoor rug
- Medallion Pillow
- Teak sectional
- Turned-leg planters
- Side Table
- Fire Pit
- Beverage dispenser
- Striped Throw
- Outdoor glasses
- Coral pillow
- Dog house
We’ve probably got another 2-3 months of summer weather ahead of us, so maybe it’s not too late for my back yard, after all.
One of my all-time favorite craft projects are these canvas silhouette paintings of my kids. I love to look back at them to see how those little profiles have changed over the years. I originally wrote that tutorial over on my old blog, so it’s time to bring it over here to my new online home.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a silhouette canvas of your own:
- blank canvas
- two colors of acrylic paint
- one adhesive vinyl sheet
- foam paintbrush
- a photo of your subject (in profile, obviously).
Let’s get to work!
- Paint the canvas. This is the color that you want the actual silhouette to be. Even if you’re using white for the inside, I prefer to paint the whole canvas white (this seems silly considering the canvas is white to begin with. But if you need to touch up any blobby areas, painting the center white will ensure you don’t notice the touch-up paint. Give it PLENTY of time to dry. Maybe like overnight…just to be safe.
- Print the photo on regular printer paper.
- Trace around the silhouette with a black sharpie. This helps you see a clear outline of what to cut. And it makes it so you don’t get distracted by little wispy hairs or shadows, etc.
- Cut out the silhouette along the black sharpie line.
- Trace the outline of the image you just cut out onto the back side of the vinyl sheet. It’s a little annoying to trace it again, but using vinyl saves you a lot of touch-up painting in the end since it adheres firmly to the canvas. The first time I did this project, I used a label sheet. It started to slide around once it got wet with paint. It’s still doable with a label sheet; but your lines are way crisper with a vinyl sheet.
- Paint the canvas. This is the second color you’re using. In my case, this is always a bright, fun color. Wait till the paint dries.
- Paint a second coat (if desired).
- Remove the vinyl.
- Admire your handiwork. And touch up any blobs if necessary.
You can find step-by-step photos here. Someday, I’ll re-photograph the whole process…but for now, if you need visuals, enjoy a trip deep into my archives. 🙂