Tag Archives: before and after

Fireplace Transformation

A few people have come to see the house and said, “you’re lucky you have that black fireplace, we have one of those old brass ones, and it’s like $500 for a new one.”  Actually, friends…it was brass. But for $9, and about 45 minutes of my time, I was able to give it a much needed update.

The trick is high-heat paint. It works on surfaces that can reach up to 1200* and is also great for grills, radiators and fire pits.

Once I got the paint, I used painter’s tape to protect the glass and a thin paintbrush to make sure I covered every inch. And, just FYI, this isn’t like your normal latex paint. It’s super runny, so it takes a little getting used to at first. But pretty easy once you get the hang of it!

Once it dries, you have a brand new look…at a totally great price!

And here’s a final peek at where I am with the whole mantel. We have a gorgeous mirror to go above, but due to the old plaster walls, it’s still in waiting to actually be properly hung.
Now I just need some cozy seating beside it, and a good chimney sweep so we can heat it up!



Filed under before and after, decorating, DIY, remodel

The Dining Room (An Easy One)

Our dining room was probably the most low-maintenance makeover in the whole house. And since that was the one room I instantly had a color for, it was the first room to get a fresh coat of paint. The color of choice — Storm. A Benjamin Moore color from the Pottery Barn Winter 2010 collection.

Benjamin Moore — Storm

Of course, since I’ve had to buy about 12 cans of paint so far, I saved money and bought the Behr color-match version from Home Depot. It looks pretty gray, right? Well, up on the walls it definitely projected more of a bluish tone, but I still loved it.

The first time we saw the house, there was a bed in the dining room (the previous owners were older, and after living in the home for over 50 years,  had difficulty using the steps every night). Luckily, I am a fairly visual person, and had no problems imagining our dining room table placed beneath that sparkly crystal chandelier. And now, here is the dining room…after the bed — before the fresh coat of Storm.


The flowers to the left were the ones sent by the previous owners. The door to the right — reveals the scary sight of our kitchen in the midst of wallpaper removal.

The messy room through the door in this shot is the den.

Before the paint was even up, I loved the pretty chandelier, the gorgeous hardwood floors, the molding on the floor and the ceiling and the deep, deep windowsills. But, with a fresh coat of paint, the chandelier now sparkles, the hardwood floors are  more noticeable and that molding really, really pops.


You might have noticed the ceilings in the above shot. They’ll be repainted soon, too…

Still on the “To Do” list for this room:

And…get a new camera that does these “before & afters” some justice


So, that’s it! Nothing too dramatic in this room, and still some touches to be made, but at least it’s a start!



More before and afters to come!


Filed under before and after, cottage, decorating, DIY, painting, remodel, the great indoors

Kitchen Before & After

1 coat of primer, 3 shades of blue, 6 trips to Home Depot, and 5 laborious days later…and my kitchen is red no more.

Last week I proudly blogged my little red heart out, declaring my new love for blue and how I was going to transform my kitchen with one swift stroke of a brush (read here).

Not so much. What seemed like a simple enough project ended up taking me all week. It all started with Behr Snow Leopard:

It took one wall and about 20 minutes to decide this color was not going to work. It was so light that it was almost white, and it left the room feeling drab. Even when I bought it I thought it was too light, but my buddies at Home Depot swore to me it would appear much darker once it was up. Nope. Not so much. The name should have been my first clue. You don’t hear about blue snow leopards very often….

So I headed back and chose the next “blue” on the swatch — Pensive Sky

Much. Much. Much better. I was starting to like it. Lucas, however, was not.

He still thought it looked too white. And since I wasn’t 100% in love, his opinion was enough to make me put down the brush and try yet again. Only this time, I got smarter.

I couldn’t decide if the THIRD color on the swatch (Rhino) was going to be enough, or if I needed a whole new swatch altogether. So, I purchased two handy little sample sizes, and tried ’em out:
Rhino vs. Rocky Mountain Sky

And the winner — Rocky Mountain Sky.

It ended up being the perfect bluish-gray combo to create a contrast against my white cabinets and the new white chair rail I created. Plus, it’s a nice complement to the floor.  

And, I changed our light-switch plates, which I found at Target, and gave the room an extra updated touch.

So, here’s the before and after! That crazy-hard work paid off. I’m loving the new, soft and modern feel.







I’m loving it, and my only regret is not doing it sooner. I love the way the pictures now pop off of the walls (I’m sure you noticed I’ve switched a few things around), the way everything looks so clean, and the way that it’s finally, finally finished!


Filed under before and after, decorating, DIY, remodel