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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

basement fireplace makeover

Hey friends!  Happy Tuesday.  I know it feels like a Monday, but the good news is Friday will come one day sooner this week!  I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  I had a wonderfully relaxing yet productive weekend with my family, which sounds like an oxymoron but is true none the less.  

I finally finished up the fireplace makeover my dad and I (mostly my dad) worked on while he was visiting with us last month.  Do you remember the fireplace in our basement that I gave a super fast chalkboard paint makeover a few years ago?  Well, to make a long story short we ended up being forced into a full blown fireplace makeover because of a problem with the gas log insert.  Having to replace them meant having to pull up the old granite surround and the whole thing ended up being another one of those "if you give a pig a pancake" kind of deals.  It's all good though because the chalkboard bricks were never meant to be a long term solution.  And the new look wasn't terribly my dad did most of the work so that was awesome, obviously!  Here how she's looking now! 

fireplace makeover - white beadboard, traditional mantel, distressed wood tiles

For the top and around the sides, I went with beadboard paneling (you can find it at most hardware stores).  It comes unfinished so you can either stain or paint it any color you want.  I chose to paint it white like the rest of the trim in our home and it really brightened up this area of the basement.  To save a little money, I kept the original mantel.  For the fireplace surround I went these gorgeous distressed wood tiles.  I'm slightly obsessed with them and would love to tile our bathroom with these beauties someday!  I love the look of this mix of distressed wood with traditional mantel moulding and classic beadboard.  It's timeless but not too formal which I think is perfect for a basement.....or a family cave as I've affectionately named it. 
distressed wood tiles for fireplace surround

I feel like the new look fits in better with the rest of the design style of the house so the basement feels more like an extension of the house rather than a totally separate space.  

There's kind of a lot going on in our basement decor wise, so I decided to keep the mantel styling pretty simple.  I love the way this oversized clock (World Market) compliments the distressed wood tiles.

fireplace makeover with beadboard paneling and distressed wood tiles
I'll be sharing a full basement tour on the blog next week!  It's finally looking decent enough down there to share with you all.  It's only taken 5 years to get it into semi-decent looking shape..........but who's counting right?! 

basement fireplace makeover

Have a great 4 day week!  I'll be back tomorrow with a fun diy art project!  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

saturday style mix - pink and green

Pink and green makes for a fun and preppy look that just screams summer, to me anyway!  I tend to gravitate towards pink in mini doses rather than mega doses, so my typical combination calls for lots of green and white with a few pink accessories.  I think a little bit of pink goes a long way.  

saturday style mix - green, white and pink

I fell pretty hard for the these palm leaf shorts (which are an extra 20% off today!) and just had to have them.  The stretch-twill material makes them easy to wear for both casual and dressier looks.  I could easily change the pink chucks to wedges or heels for a summer date night look.  

The white peplum tank is one I've had for years (from JCrew) but I found a similar one here.  I think a peplum style tank is super flattering and girlies up a sporty look just a bit.  That pink tassel necklace has been on serious rotation lately.  It's so easy and fun to throw on with just about anything.  Unfortunately it's sold out but I found this one (for $9) that is pretty similar.  

Elsa and I are soooo ready for summer!  My kiddos have just one week left.....4 days to be exact!  Woohoo!  

As I've mentioned before, the Saturday Style Mix posts aren't intended to make you feel like you need to buy something new, but rather to hopefully inspire you to look at your wardrobe with a fresh perspective. More often than not, one new item, like a patterned short, can provide multiple new looks when paired with items you already own!  Kinda like how a couple new throw pillows can give your living room a new lease on life.  ;) 

One more thing before I sign off for the weekend.  Over on instagram, I've partnered with 9 amazing bloggers to bring you a pretty awesome Nordstrom giveaway!  Just in time for the half-yearly sale!  Head over there, and look for this photo on my instagram for the details on how to enter. 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  May we always remember the meaning behind this 3 day weekend! 

*affiliate links used

Friday, May 22, 2015

a backyard makeover with Lowe's

Over a month ago I announced that I was partnering with Lowe's on a spring makeover campaign.  After the harsh winter we just had Lowe's wanted to give one family in each of the 10 hardest hit cities of this past winter a spring makeover.  My neighbor city of Louisville made the top 10 list, and when Lowe's asked me if I wanted to join them to bring one Louisville family a little spring sunshine in the form of a makeover I was all in, obviously!  

I really connected with the Cress Family's story.  I know what's it's like to buy a home that needs a lot of love and attention on the inside, and I know all too well what's it's like to spend every bit of your diy efforts and dollars on the inside of your home only to find yourself at a loss with what to do in your outdoor space. When you spend all your time and money on improving the interior of your home, you often find that when it comes to the exterior you're out of energy and the inside renovations have eaten away at your budget.  

After a long winter when the weather finally starts to warms up all you want to do is get outside and enjoy the warmth and sunshine.  Unfortunately that can be hard to do when you step foot in your backyard and all you see is the mountains of work you still have to do.  So when the Cress Family wrote in asking for a backyard makeover, I just couldn't wait to get started on their project!  

Having a big backyard with a pool is so wonderful, but it can also be really overwhelming.......especially with the wear and tear a harsh winter left behind.   Their fence had seen better days and was in need of a fresh stain job; and their two adorable dogs had a field day running through the snowy, muddy winter grass leaving behind quite a large area of bare grass.  

In general the Cress family wasn't sure how to maximize their space in terms of seating and needed some help figuring how to make their backyard function best for their family. 

backyard makeover with Lowe's - before

I tackled the design planning of this outdoor space the same way I would tackle a large interior space.  I broke the big space down into sections creating 3 functioning zones  - a dining space, a living space, and a place to chillax by the pool.  You can take a look at the plans I made here.  

Once the plan was in place and the homeowners were on board with my ideas, it was time to get to work.  Myself and the volunteers from Lowe's had two days to complete this backyard makeover.  When I arrived to the Cress home I was greeted by this sign they made.  Their excitement was infectious and definitely powered me through the makeover work that needed to be done!

backyard makeover with low's & our fifth house

No doubt the majority of the hard labor was done by the Lowe's volunteers.  I never would have been able to pull this off without their help and hard work! 

backyard makeover with Lowe's

This was a total team effort.  While some volunteers worked on prepping the ground for sod, others worked on re-staining the fence.  To give this large fence and rails a fresh coat of stain we used Olympic Maximum Stain & Sealant in a solid exterior stain that was color matched to the existing color on their fence.  This stuff is a dream to work with.  It goes on like a paint.  It's not super liquid-y like a typical stain.

These sweet ladies worked on weeding, planting and mulching.  This yard already boasts some beautiful mature trees, but to add a little more interest and beauty to the backside of the pool I brought in some oak leaf hydrangeas then had pine needles spread for a fresh clean look.  While the hydrangeas aren't in bloom just yet, they'll be gorgeous low-maintenance perennials that will offer beautiful blooms and brighten up the back of the pool area.  

backyard makeover with lowe's

While all of this was going on I was on railing duty with this guy who taught me the best painting trick! 
(Do you see our little supervisor in the window there?) 

So if you've ever painted or stained fence rails you know how much of a pain they can be!  This Lowe's volunteer taught me this amazing little tip - if you bend the mini-roller to a 45 degree angle it makes painting the rails a breeze!  Seriously. Why didn't I ever think of that?!  Mind. Blown.  

backyard makeover with Lowe's and Our Fifth House

Now when you walk out into the backyard you're greeted by this freshly cleaned up fence rail and mulch bed.  We planted hostas and begonias.  The homeowners are all about easy to maintain plants, and both hostas and begonias pretty much take care of themselves.  Begonias are some of my favorite annuals as they tolerate Kentucky summers so well plus they last well into fall.  I really love this coral color too!

We also added in post caps, and what a huge difference did they make!  This fence railing is so clean and polished looking now.  Last but not least we brought in some solar lighting which will be so nice in the evenings, especially while entertaining. 

backyard makeover with Lowe's and Our FIfth House

Once the sod was laid, the fence and rails were completely re-stained, and the planting and mulching was done it was time for the fun part........bringing in the furniture and accessories!  

Here's how the Cress Family's backyard looks now! 

backyard makeover with Lowe's

Like I said it was all about creating zones.  First there's the outdoor dining space furnished with this 
gorgeous table and chairs.  I really like that you don't have to buy things in sets at Lowe's.  You can mix and match your table and chairs to create your own custom look.  And I love the color of these cushions!  I also like the way the colors in the umbrella tie the color of the rug and cushions together. 

outdoor dining set - from Lowe's

I don't like going overboard with outdoor pillows because I don't think an abundance of them is very practical in real life, but a few strategically placed decorative outdoor pillows really do make all the difference.  And the greek key print on these pillows is just so so gorgeous! 

create an outdoor dining space with table & chairs & outdoor buffet

This outdoor dining space is complete with, my favorite part, an outdoor plant cart which can easily double as an outdoor buffet!  Seriously, this piece is so versatile and perfect for outdoor entertaining! 

perfect addition to an outdoor dining space  - an outdoor bar cart/plant cart

I like how the stainless steel top coordinates with their grill, and I love that it's on wheels so you can easily move it around for parties and then lock it into place.  It offers so much storage too! 

outdoor plant cart also functions as an outdoor bar cart

I created a little potted herb garden for the top shelf of their plant/bar cart.  I used plain terra cotta pots and some outdoor paint in a coordinating turquoise color around the rim.  Then I finished them off with an oil-based paint pen for labeling.  

terra cotta potted herb garden

As much as I love their new outdoor dining area............

 I'm kind of partial to their new outdoor living area.

And I think the Cress Family is too! 

I mean what's not to love about this gorgeous rug, comfy sectional, and cool plant stand?  Add in these giant brightly colored planters and fun pillows and anyone would love this fun set-up in their backyard.  But the real star of this outdoor living room is this AMAZING GAS FIRE COLUMN?!  

It's GAS people, as in you turn a knob and poof you have a FIRE!  I love this thing.......can you tell?  Clearly, I'm not alone.   Look at this sweet face! 

I know this adorable family will enjoy plenty of summer nights around this fire.  This outdoor sectional boasts plenty of seating and is positioned well to watch what's going on in the pool. 

backyard makeover with Lowe's

Which brings me to the last zone in their backyard, the little lounging spot on the backside of the pool.  I wanted to brighten things up back there and make that part of their yard look and feel more welcoming.  

brightly colored adirondack chairs look great against a dark fence

I think these bright turquoise adirondack chairs did the trick.  The color looks so great against the dark brown fence and plays off the color of the pool really nicely.  The zigzag pillows are so fun too, and I seriously love these little mason jar solar lights!  I think I need some of these in my own backyard! 

brightly colored adirondack chairs look great against a dark fence

This spot is perfect for relaxing poolside, and to bring in more of a summer party atmosphere I also brought in a few torch lights for the back side of this fence. 

torch lights perfect for outdoor entertaining

While there's no way this makeover could have happened in less than two days without a crew of people to help, the ideas here are completely achievable for anyone no matter your diy skill set.  It's truly amazing what just a little elbow grease and some strategic planning can do for a space! 
Backyard Spring Makeover with Lowe's and Our Fifth House

I had such a great time working on this backyard makeover.  I'm so grateful to Lowe's for including me in this project, and I'm extremely grateful for the team of volunteers who helped to execute this plan so quickly!  What a great bunch of people! 

backyard spring makeover with Lowe's

Without a doubt the best part of this project was seeing the look on the homeowners faces when it was all said and done.  Later that night after we'd all gone home this sweet lady texted me, "Can't believe we get to live here this summer!"  That just totally made my day! 

backyard makeover with Lowe's & Our Fifth House

*This post was obviously sponsored by Lowe's.  I was honored to partner with them on this spring makeover campaign.  The thoughts, opinions, photography and clear obsession with the gas fire column and outdoor plant cart are all my own.  Thanks for supporting Our Fifth House sponsors. 

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