The title is a a little misleading as my kitchen counter DIY was not a total and complete disaster. In fact, everyone that enters my kitchen say they love it! But I think they are straight up lying to my face.
Before we even bought this house I knew the counters had to go. I don’t totally hate laminate, but our counters were this terrible blue laminate that I wasn’t feeling. After reading countless blog posts talking about using Ardex concrete feather finish to give your counters a concrete look, I was totally confident my kitchen could look amazing.
Here is what my kitchen looked like before:
I decided to jump headfirst into the project one Friday afternoon and as soon as I put the first goop of concrete on the counter, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. It was really hard to spread out and get it even on my counters. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get it to look right on that little lip on the wall. I kept going hoping it would get easier and it did get a little better after I was more used to it.
After putting the first layer on and letting it dry you have to sand it down. That process is when I realized I had gotten myself into a lot more than I could handle. The mess was insane and I was having a giant panic attack. I didn’t take a whole lot of pics of the process, but here are a few.
So after three day’s of layering and then sanding, I decided to call it quits on just half the counters. After I sealed it, it actually didn’t look half bad and I thought I would finish the rest of the counters one day when I could handle the mess again.
I used a super food safe sealer, which looking back was silly. We don’t ever cut directly on the counter, so I could have gone with something less food safe. About three days after our project we started getting huge stains on the counter. Three months later here is what it looks like.
NOT GOOD. If you have the patience and get the right sealer, I would really recommend this project for a cheap way to update the counters. I am not patient so that was my first mistake going into the project. I also hate create giant messes, and having everything in my kitchen covered in dust was not good for my sanity.
So whats next? We are getting poured concrete counters made right now! The actual stuff, not this fake powder stuff. I’m really excited about it, even though it is not cheap. I’ll keep you updated!
So more than half of the stuff in my current living room is for sale, so I wanted to take a few pulled back snaps of what it looks like now. Fleastyle took some great pics and did a home tour including my dining room and a few kitchen pictures, so please be sure to read her article!
I know you all have been waiting with baited breath to take peek into my dining room! Well maybe not, but it is always fun to see how other people have decorated a space.
My dining room started as a blank space. The first thing we did when we bought the house was paint the living space white. After we painted it white I realized our trim and ceiling are not white, so that was fun surprise that will get fixed eventually. Here are some before pics for your viewing pleasure.
And now for some afters!!!!!
The dining table and matching chairs, china hutch, and wicker chair are all things I had before. The china hutch was previously a bright teal. I painted it black to make it a little more neutral.
I think I need to paint the inside of the cabinet to make all my pretty plates pop out a little more, i’m just not sure what color yet. I just stacked all that art up there to make it look a little taller since the ceilings are so high, but I probably should curate it a little more. I also now spot that one of the drawers is missing some hardware. My bad….
I am aware that my dining table has a large stripe on it. The table is old, and the leaf was obviously not used as much. I plan on refinishing the table to bring it back to it’s glory days. We usually don’t have the leaf in all the time, so it’s really on the bottom of my list.
I got that bar cart a few weeks ago at a vintage show and it only cost me $50! It really classes up my drinking habits. Please try and ignore the tiny tiny art, I just put that there for now as a place holder. I am on the lookout for something amazing and bigger for that corner.
I got that cowhide rug in Round Top and it is #bestrugever! One of our cats straight up peed on it the other day and it just wiped right off. I love an indestructible AND pretty rug.
All my chairs are mismatched because of my desperate need for more chairs for the holidays, but i’m starting to really get into the mismatched look.
I am planning on making a plant bench for this window so all my plants can feel like something special instead of just cast off’s on the floor. I already have the legs for the bench, I just need to get my butt to the salvage yard to pick up some wood.
That wall hanging was made by yours truly and it took me 20 hours. My cat tried to “help” me make it, so it took twice as long as it should have.
So there you have it! What is still left? My house is in desperate need of some art. The ceiling and trim needs to be painted white. Table needs to be refinished. I also have a chandelier that is going where that ceiling fan is, and a plant bench to make so stay tuned!
Filling your house with vintage furniture is never the easy way to go, it is much easier to pop into Ikea and get a new chair. While buying something new is easier and cheaper, going vintage just adds so much character to your house. It might take months or even years to find the perfect piece, but it is SO worth it.
Last weekend my mom and I took a trip to Dallas Market Center for a vintage show. I really wasn’t expecting to find anything for myself as I thought the prices would be high, but right away I found an amazing deal on a bar cart and then when we were about to head out my eye caught a pretty unique side table. I asked the dealer how much he wanted and he said “first I have to tell you the story.” Continue reading →
An old friend of mine contacted me after seeing a few of my blog and Facebook posts and asked if I could help give her guest bathroom a refresh. Even though I have no experience in design and absolutely zero training, I thought about it for about ten seconds then promptly said YES. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to tell another person what to buy? DREAM SITUATION.
She didn’t want to do any major construction, just give it some new life with paint, new lighting, and some styling. Here are a few before pictures of the bathroom.
The bathroom certainly is not terrible. It’s probably what most of our bathrooms look like. For someone who doesn’t want to gut a bathroom, there are a ton of simple changes you can make to make it feel brand new.`
My plan is pretty simple: update light fixtures, paint walls, paint cabinets, new hardware, style with some accessories. There is a faux brick floor, so I had to keep that color in mind when deciding on paint colors for the wall and cabinets. The walls have a VERY heavy texture. It’s the heaviest texture I have ever seen and removing the texture wasn’t in the budget for now so I suggested a bright white to hopefully camouflage the texture as much as possible. I also recommended a light grey for the cabinets to give the bathroom some color.
Here is some of my inspiration pictures that show the feel we are going for.
We are in the early stages for this bathroom refresh…pulling products and accessories. I’ll give y’all an update soon when paint goes on the walls!
When we bought our house, the kitchen was a HUGE selling point. To catch up on our home buying story read up here. It was large, had lots of light, plenty of cabinet space, the list goes on. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the prettiest, but it wasn’t incredibly ugly either. It looked like a grandma kitchen with the all white cabinets, blue counter tops, stone back splash, and stained glass. There is a pretty big kitchen renovation in our future, like take down some walls renovation. See that microwave below? Yeah, I want to take out that whole wall. This girl wants to watch her Scandal AND cook at the same time.
See, not terrible, but ain’t nothing special about that kitchen except for the ridiculous amount of cabinets. Many of our cabinets literally have one thing in them. Like that one above the microwave, it has the teapot in it. Just a teapot.
Everyone asks me how I like the stained glass. I still don’t know how to feel about it. I like stained glass in general, but these colors/pattern are not my favorite.The glass is bringing in some serious Granny vibes. I basically feel meh about it, so one day it will be taken out, but today is not that day.
Let me show you why sometimes hoarding is a good thing. You may have noticed in my entryway makeover post, which you can catch up on here, that I did a little lighting update. The flippers made some “interesting” choices in lighting, by “interesting” I mean they went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest lights available. This meant there was a cowboy light in my entryway.
Now i’m not completely against bringing in some more western influences into my home decor. In fact, I have a cowhide rug that is one of my most favorite things, butI really wasn’t feeling my cowboy light. Luckily, past me thought ahead. Continue reading →
Entryways are often my favorite place in a home. It allows you the chance to do something a little more fun and crazy than you would normally be allowed in a whole room. When I was house searching, any house that had a proper entryway got a few extra points in my mind. I was so excited to do something KRAZY with a capital K when the house we bought had a proper entryway.
The entryway was pretty blah when we bought the house. Blah brown tile, blah brown walls and super blah cowboy lamp.
My dream was of course was to use some gorgeous wallpaper, but my walls were pretty heavily textured and I ain’t got time or money to get that sanded down. I had to consider other non-wallpaper, but still WOW options. I considered everything from ship lap to chalkboard but nothing was really popping to me. Continue reading →
Our house buying process was not easy. The beginning, middle, and ending were all incredibly difficult, but we got through it. Now we have a house that I LOVE.
We have wanted to buy a house since we graduated college, but the expense always held us back. We actually fell into the process by accident. We were very happy with our apartment and it was hard to imagine living anywhere else besides Oak Cliff. We thought we couldn’t afford a house in North Oak Cliff with the current market, and that ended up being kinda true.
I was doing an MLS tour (local real estate board tour of houses) and fell in love with a house on the tour. It was located in Elmwood, which is filled with smaller mid century homes. The house was across from a creek and I could picture ourselves living there so perfectly. Corey was pretty sure we still couldn’t afford to buy, but I tricked him to go look at the house anyways because I knew once he saw it he would love it too.He did love it and the seed was planted. We were not even approved for a loan yet, but we immediately went online and got approved from one of the lenders I frequently worked with.
The truth was, the asking price was way out of our range, and I thought the house was overpriced. We submitted an offer about 10k under ask, and I knew it was a LONG shot, but I was just happy to be starting the process. I knew we wouldn’t get it with our bid, and we didn’t, but at least we took that first step.
We started looking more seriously and I think a few weeks went by before something popped up in our price range. We saw the house within the first six hours it went on the market and again, fell in love. It had a great layout, was in a great neighborhood, and had a ton of potential. Looking back we were ignoring all the red flags. The house had potential yes, but it needed a TON or work. It was a rental house and the tenants hadn’t really taken care of it. It need a lot of landscaping work and a fence. The bathrooms were pretty grimy and it had obvious foundation issues. Ignoring all the bad things and only looking at the house through rose colored glasses we submitted an offer at asking price. We went under contract and I think we both thought this was THE house and were so excited. However, the inspection happened and made our dream world crash to the ground.
It needed a new roof like yesterday. It was just super old and in danger of getting some serious leaks if it rained. New roof quote came back at 10k. Yikes. It also had worse foundation issues than we even suspected. A ton of dirt would need to be excavated by hand, and it had to be done immediately, and the estimate was 15k. Double yikes. We just could not afford it and asked the seller to fix the roof and foundation. We kept fingers crossed for days waiting to hear back.
The seller let us know they would not be fixing anything, it was all on us. We talked and tried to justify going forward, but we couldn’t afford 25k of repairs right up front. We had no choice but to terminate the contract. We were pretty depressed and this point had all but given up on buying a house. We were out $500 from the inspection and option fee, and although we wanted to keep looking, we didn’t think we could handle another rejection. We also had a pretty good set up at our apartment and I think we both silently decided to be happy with what we had. We even decided to book a vacation to Montreal to have something to look forward to.
Now looking back, i’m so glad we didn’t buy that house. We would have been so broke and it was so much work. We would have spent years doing the work slowly and I am not a patient person. We were so excited at the prospect of owning, we weren’t thinking realistically about our situation.
So a few weeks went by, we went about our life. Of course once you decide you want to buy a house, it’s hard to accept apartment living. We started to explore farther south, still Oak Cliff, but not what most people think of as Oak Cliff. We discovered Kiest park and the surrounding area’s filled with beautiful mid century homes. I still held out that I didn’t want to live that far south. We could walk to Bishop Arts from our apartment in under ten minutes. Why would we give that up?
I spent some time thinking about what I wanted in a home. I wanted more space. I wanted to be able to work on furniture and hoard more vintage finds. I wanted a larger kitchen because I love to cook. We started to look at how frequently we went to Bishop Arts. We probably went only once a month to eat/drink. It’s not exactly an everyday place. I had to leave Oak Cliff just to find a decent Kroger. I had to drive to the other side of Dallas to do most of my daily shopping. Corey accepted the idea of moving south much more quickly than I did. I think I still felt sad about leaving the Bishop Arts area right up until we moved.
Even though I was still a little uneasy about moving south, we decided to start home searching again, and open up our search area….
Our house buying story Part: 2 will bring us to an “undiscovered” part of Oak Cliff
These days it seems like it’s all about the little things. All the decor mags are publishing cute little vignettes all around the house. You need accessories for your bookshelves, coffee tables, bar carts, china cabinets, credenzas, etc. That’s a lot of little stuff! One of my favorite layering accessories is brass. I LOVE BRASS. I love that it’s shiny and makes anything look super fancy. Brass fingers? yes I will have you. Brass baby sculpture? Give me that now. Large brass Victorian boot? I WILL GIVE YOU ALL MY MONEY. Corey doesn’t get my fascination, but who makes the decisions around here anyways?
I got this fabulous boot at an estate sale a few weeks ago. The woman that owned this house was really into Parisian flair. I spotted this boot across the room, quickly shuffled over, and cradled it like a baby. I whispered sweet nothings to it until I saw the price tag of $25. Yes I love brass, but I am also a rational human being.
I slowly put it back while weeping silently. I must have been causing quite a commotion, because a sale worker came over and offered it to me for $5. So naturally my sad tears changed to happy tears and now I can cuddle and whisper sweet nothings to my boot whenever I want.
I paired the boot here with a geode picture holder (SO GOOD) holding the cutest little picture of my husband that has ever been taken. Look at that little suit and bow tie!!!!! My second favorite accessory of the moment is pottery. Each piece is different and provides great texture and color to any space.
If I see any pottery at a sale, I buy. I buy all the pottery. These two have great colors and I love the shape of the tall blue one. I can use it as a vase for some small cool flowers, or just layer into my bookshelf as is.
There are all kinds of shapes and colors out there, so keep your eyes peeled and start your collection NOW! My third favorite accessory right now is vintage cocktail glasses. If you have a bar or bar cart you NEED cool glasses. And if you don’t have a bar, then what are you doing with your life? Even if you don’t drink, you can come home from work and pretend to be Betty Draper while sipping some cucumber water from a fancy glass with geisha’s on it.
I am so guilty of buying any cool cocktail glasses I see. Just right now in my possession, I have glasses with mushrooms, bamboo glasses, and watermelon ombre glasses. I can’t have enough. They add such a fun spirit to your room, and can display your personality immediately.
These glasses have images of Geisha’s on them and are the perfect size for a rock and a splash of whiskey. Do I sound classy yet? Sure I am usually drinking wine from a plastic cup, but at least I have pretty glasses on my bar cart! Just keep your eyes open at those estate sales. Search through those gross kitchen cabinets and you too can start an unnecessary collection of vintage cocktail glasses! Never skimp on accessories throughout your home. They add personality to your home in small ways with big impact!