Hall Bath Update – The Details!

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Brighter! Whiter! No longer the color of a peach crayon!

Over the Christmas break when I had some decent time off from work, I decided to start chipping away at the bathroom “fix it” list. There are lots of items on that list, but fortunately they are all cosmetic. I must say that I’m thankful to have a fully-functioning bathroom, even if it is in dire need of a makeover. 
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I figured the easiest part was to paint the cabinet and mirror glossy white over the flat (yes, FLAT) peach color that was there before.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking… “Hey, don’t you think peach is sort of a weird color to paint a bathroom vanity and mirror?” Well I thought it was weird too at first, but then I realized, “But wait, the shower tile is peach… so it all MATCHES. It all makes so much sense now!” 

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Peach colored tile… I’m sure this color was très chic in the ’60s.

Just kidding… the peachy color is SUPER weird! Or should I say… WAS super weird? Hasta la vista, peachy! The vanity and mirror look 100% cleaner and fresher now with a few coats of paint.

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To dress up the very blah cabinet doors, I added lattice moulding to make them more “shaker style.” I had to do some pretty… “creative” wood filling on the rounded door fronts. Hopefully you can get the gist from the pictures below.

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Once I was on a roll making over the vanity, I decided I had to rip out the “base tile” that went around the whole bathroom. What had happened was… I was painting the walls in a greige color that I knew I loved (Behr Sculptor’s Clay), but it looked totally strange. I couldn’t tell whether it was because of the lighting in that room or if it was just clashing with the peach-colored tile. So you see, I HAD to remove the tile before I could finish painting the room. Seriously, it seemed like the only logical thing to do.
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Here’s my actual thought process, which was fairly logical (albeit brief). I measured the height of the tile and then measured the height of the baseboard in the hallway. When I saw that they were the same, I knew I could rip out the tile and cover the damaged part of walls with baseboard. If the tile had been taller than the baseboard, I would have had to go a different route – probably beadboard – to cover the damaged drywall.

Lastly, I attempted the faux granite painted counter idea I saw on Pinterest.
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It turned out OK… but i will probably still end up replacing it with stone at some point. For now I’m just happy that it’s not creamy yellow anymore! Hooray!

Next, we are planning to re-tile the shower and add a jetted tub, but that’s a ways down the road. A nice new shower curtain will buy us some time by covering up that part of the room. 😀
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I always say this, but it’s amazing what a difference a few coats of paint make!
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Thanks for taking a peek at the work in progress!

Until next time,

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Hall Bath Update Sneak Peak

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Have you ever thought, “I need a change, like… right now!”? I certainly have – in fact it probably happens about every other week. Luckily, it usually involves paint and power tools rather than some sort of lifestyle overhaul. Or haircut. That would just be unreasonable.

But really, it seems like every few weeks I get a sudden urge to fix or change something around the house (which I can only assume is totally reasonable). If I think about a project too much, I tend to agonize over the details and end up with decorating paralysis, which is a real thing. So, I find I work best when I let myself be spontaneous. Spontaneous remodeling… that’s a thing too, right?

It is SO helpful to have a borderline out of control stockpile moderate stash of leftover paint, caulk, glue, rollers, and other necessary stuff when I decide something needs to get done RIGHT NOW. In other news, “helpful hoarding” is now also a thing.

Over the past couple of weeks I have:

  • Painted the mirror and vanity cabinet (glossy white – what else!?)
  • Added trim to the cabinet doors to make them look more “shaker” style
  • Painted the walls greige (over the previous yellowish-khaki color)
  • Ripped out the base tile and installed base boards
  • Faux painted the countertop (over the previous off-white color)

So with just a few days of work and at a minimal expense, we are well on our way to a fresh-looking hall bath!

I still need to re-tile the shower and replace the vanity light, but those will probably have to wait a while since they require purchasing materials and ripping out walls. I did everything to this point with paint and supplies that I had on hand — with the exception of the trim and baseboard, which I had to pick up at the hardware store.

The full post is under construction, so stay tuned for more details!

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Blue and White Master Bedroom

Hey y’all! The good news is that I’m alive and not lost wandering aimlessly around some antique store. That was yesterday. The better news is that I finally (mostly) finished decorating our master bedroom and it now has the warm and soothing feel that I was going for.

So let’s cut to the chase and get straight to the before and after pics. That’s what we all really care about anyway, right?!! (I know I’m not the only one…)

Before: Original brick fireplace and sage green walls

IS-1r98nlcgvh74tAfter: Painted fireplace and green/blue walls.

For the curtains, I used one blackout panel per window… they are awesome to draw closed on a Saturday morning, or for an afternoon nap! This picture was taken at night so you don’t get the great natural light effect…. sadly.

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I added shelves on either side of the fireplace to broaden that focal point. Target had cute ones… 2 for $24.

At first, I went opaque white on the fireplace and then was all… “OH NOOOOO… WHAT HAVE I DONE?” It. Looked. Terrible. Stark white. Loudly white. I proceeded to walk away from the job for approximately 3 months. (See how that sounds more calculated than “I panicked and ran the opposite direction”?) Then one day I woke up and realized I could faux paint some dimension back into the brick, which is exactly what I did. Here you can see the “mid-point” where I had just started adding the faux paint to the left side on top of the solid white.

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Looks way better, right? The full after is below. The blossom painting was another Target find. You may or may not be able to tell, but the colors are identical to the paint colors in the room so it just subtly blends in, which is what I wanted. Eventually we’ll add a mantle, but for now this was a quick and inexpensive way to break up the solid wall of brick. The fireplace is gas but the plumbing was cut before we bought the house, so that will become decorative at some point in the near future. (Think candelabra instead of gas logs and screen.)

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And here’s how I hid the ugly “command center” for our wireless router and cables:

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I had to cut a 1×2″ hole in the bottom of my wicker chest to accommodate the cords, but I figure if I ever need to patch it the hole will be in a pretty inconspicuous location.

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I planned out where I want the wall art over the TV… now just have to hang the actual pieces! It’s amazing how adding the elements above the TV draws your eye upward and makes the wall seem fuller.

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This dresser was a $50 find at Goodwill, which I painted white and blinged out with a mosaic mirror feature on the doors. The before pic is amazing. No wonder my husband was horrified when I told him it was ours! (Also, it weighed about 500 lbs and had been kept in someone’s storage unit for years, so it was filthy.) Nonetheless, it was my very first furniture makeover adventure, after which I realized I was hooked for life. I just will never get over the difference that a couple coats of paint make.

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So, back to the bedroom… check out the silver painted “stump lamp!” (The designer would probably be horrified at my utterly unsophisticated description!) It was a splurge at $50 from Homegoods.

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The floral arrangement on the left is an awesome mix of hydrangeas and BARLEY, of all things! I just love its bright green and spikey texture… plus the element of surprise. Who ever sees barley outside of a light beer commercial, really? I love it much more as it’s used here. Have I mentioned how modest I am?

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And one more pic of the bed wall, for good measure:

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So that’s that! I love the new, soothing space and pulled it off for a fairly reasonable price. Details below.

  • Dresser/TV stand – $50 plus $20 for refinishing supplies
  • Mirror over bed  – $50 at local antique store, but originally from Beall’s outlet
  • Bed frame – $400 at Sears online
  • Night stands – Ikea Hemnes 2 for $100 on Craigslist but $70 each in store
  • Bedside lamps – $12 each at Walmart
  • Lamp – $50 at TJ Maxx Homegoods
  • Green arm chair – $12 at Goodwill, like, 5+ years ago. (Thanks to my brilliant Aunt Laura who once told me to NEVER get rid of anything usable. My husband hated that chair in our old apartment, but in the new master, it just works!)
  • Trellis rug – $120 at Target
  • Shelves – $48 for 4 at Target
  • Blossom art – $30 at Target
  • Paint: Behr Watery
  • Floral arrangement – 4 pieces for $20 at Michaels. That stuff is more expensive than you would think!
  • Giant “jar” vase – $12 on clearance at TJ Maxx. What a steal!

Hope you’ve enjoyed… and I’m just happy to check one more box on the road to “decorated.”

UPDATE: I finally hung some frames and took down the templates!
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Now I just need to add some pictures to the frames. (You may have noticed by now that I’m a big fan of baby steps.) 😀

One of my favorite parts is the gorgeous shadow box that my bestie Jess made me for our wedding. It’s just perfect there! And the white canvas was my gift to my husband on our second anniversary (cotton). It has the pencil-drawn lyrics from our first dance song: “You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” I think it belongs here. ❤

XOXO

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Chevron Sewing Table Update

After a year in our first home, the kitchen remains a bit of a challenge. The biggest update so far was getting rid of the huge pub table that was built in to the counter top, which I removed and replaced with a window seat with lots o’ storage. That got us part-way towards my goal of designing an eat-in area for our super-tiny very cozy 60’s ranch kitchen. I knew I would need a small-ish pedestal style table to accommodate the window seat setup. I had been contemplating building one from scratch until…

Finally, y’all! I just found this amazing table at my favorite-of-all-favorites antique store… woo! (Better yet, I sent a courtesy a pic to the husband, and he loves it too!) Woo-hoo! laminate top table before Cute, right?! This table has a lot going for it (including a fully-operational foot pedal that Adam wants to rig into some sort of possibly dangerous, high-performance lazy susan) but let’s be honest… the top is kind of weird. It’s laminate, but not your average furniture-grade “trying to look like wood” laminate. It’s more like kitchen counter-style laminate, which is a weird look for anyone who’s not a kitchen counter. (And truly, kind of weird for them as well.) It’s almost like the top was repurposed from a restaurant table or something. Kind of sterile and, well… not-so-pretty.  I asked the lady at the checkout if she would consider selling me just the base… but she was much too smart for that. (I can only assume she didn’t want that weird top laying around, either!) And it’s a good thing, because original my plan was to go straight home and build a new table top from scratch using various wood scraps from the garage. But when she politely suggested I “find a way to dress it up” when I told her I wasn’t crazy about the top, I was all, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” 

I decided it’s just the right kind of quirky with its sewing table base and modestly-sized top. My sweet husband helped me get it into place in the kitchen and it fits just right! Of course, Murph Cat had to come investigate immediately. He is violently shaking his head in this pic, which is why he looks a little poltergeisty. laminate top table before in kitchen So instead of making a new wood plank top, I decided to work with the one I had by painting it. I started by sketching out a pattern. Try not to be intimidated by my super advanced drawing skills. table pattern sketch Impressive, right? Now you see why I am a graphic designer by trade.

Then, I prepped the surface by sanding it with a 180 grit disc on my orbital sander. I had to remove the top and ROLL that sucker outside. No joke, it probably weighs at least 80 pounds. sanding laminate top with orbital sander I also took the important step of snapping a safety-selfie. I ALWAYS wear a mask when sanding! safety maskOnce I had sanded off the finish, I applied 2 coats of Zinsser primer (not shown.) Then, the real fun began. Who knew this would require advanced geometry?! finding the center of the table top Clearly, you can see I had some trouble with my measurements and markings. For the record, it is SO hard to find the center of a circle! It occurred to me only afterwards that the proper solution would have been to trace the entire top onto a piece of paper, cut it out, and fold it in half twice. Oh, so NOW my brain decides to start working! But that’s OK… the trial and error method works, too. Once I had the table top divided into quadrants, I grabbed a 1×4 board (about 3 feet long) from the garage and cut one end into a 45 degree angle to use as a guide for the pattern. (Sorry, not shown, but you’ll get the idea.) painting faux wood planks on the table top Note the very professional paper plate paint palette. Clearly I take my work very seriously.

At last, the fun part! I took some greige (Behr Sculptor’s Clay) wall paint I had left over from painting our master bathroom and mixed it with varying amounts of black-brown acrylic art paint. I grabbed different shades of paint to create a wide range of gradients. I applied the paint with a 1″ sponge brush in long strokes to create a wood-grain type effect. The intent was never to look realistically like wooden planks… but just to give it that sort of feel. faux wood planks painted on table top At first I left the outlines partially white so I could fill with the darker brown later (thinking, “shadows suggesting gaps between the planks”), but I ended up going back in and spongeing over them after I saw that the color striations created enough definition of their own.

HOWEVER… that all changed when I came back the next day and realized that my Sharpie lines had “eaten” through the paint and surfaced back to the top like some sort of paint-resistant zombie ink. I had to paint over all the lines the next day after all. Mental note: NEVER use a Sharpie to draw paint lines. That stuff is weird-strong! sharpie line bleeding through paint and poly Luckily, the end result is still pretty sweet looking. I’ll show you both possible results… before and after the Sharpie debacle. finished plank table top without sharpie showing through finished plank table top with border linesNot gonna lie… I tend to think it looked better “before” when the pattern was more subtle and before the zombie Sharpie came back to haunt me. But what are you gonna do? I suppose the brown lines are better than the weird purply-blue ones that the Sharpie left behind/beneath/on-top-of-everything-important.

So at the end of the day, I still think it looks pretty good. I had to make some compromises due to poor material selection on my part, but that’s just the way it goes! I think it’s much better than where we started, anyway. And when the paint and poly fully cure in about 2 weeks, I will finally have my first official casual, comfortable meal in the kitchen!

UPDATE:

Two days later and I am still having to go back and paint over some of the Sharpie lines in certain areas and then add another coat of poly. Apparently, this was a really blonde thing to do, because so far no one has had any sympathy for my plight and seems to think it’s ridiculously common knowledge that paint and Sharpie don’t mix. (“Lindsay, you’re telling me YOU didn’t know that? EVERYONE knows that!”) Well somehow I managed to survive 20+ years of crafting and painting without this ever becoming apparent to me… but I will certainly never forget! Truly, I can just feel myself getting smarter with every dumb mistake. 😀

Thanks for reading!

XOXO

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Tiffany Blue Dresser Makeover

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE a good furniture makeover. It’s so satisfying to take a piece that has been cast off and give it a totally new look so it can be appreciated again. Plus, I hate to pay retail price for ANYTHING… for obvious reasons. (Today, I saw a factory-distressed console table “on sale” for over $1,200. Such lunacy!!) But I digress….

Old dressers are great candidates because they offer TONS of extra storage and are fairly easy to paint. I found this fantastic but… well… uninspiring Broyhill dresser at Goodwill for around $25. I had already removed the drawers when I remembered to take a “before” pic. 🙂

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It was missing one of its drawers and the top was pretty beat up, but since I was planning to refinish it, I figured the “flaws” would just help shape the makeover. I sanded the top really well to get rid of most of the dings and dents. As for the missing drawer, I found a piece of scrap oak at Home Depot and used one of the other drawer faces to create a template for a false front. We installed it in the bottom-right drawer space using hinges and a magnetic closure so we can flip it down and use it for our cable box and other TV components.

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When I bought it, the previous owner had already removed all the pulls, which is fine because I’m sure I would have wanted to change them anyway. I bought these cool pyramid pulls on Amazon… $15 for a 10-pack.

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I created the white boxes using 1″ painter’s tape around the edges of the drawer and taping off another square leaving a 1/2″ gap. I sealed the edges of the tape with a coat of the blue base color paint before painting 2 coats of white over it. That helped prevent the white from bleeding under the edges of the tape since the blue had already filled any gaps. (I learned that trick a while back and it works like a charm. There’s a great tutorial at Bloglovin…. check it out!)

As for refinishing, I used my orbital sander + sanding disks, Killz primer (1 coat), Behr “Agave” paint in satin finish (2 coats), and Minwax Polycryllic satin finish (2 coats). Here are the steps:

  1. Remove all drawers, door, pulls, hinges, etc. Place over dropcloths or outside.
  2. Sand all surfaces well to remove grime and create a good surface for the paint to stick to. I used 100 grit sanding discs.
  3. Wipe surfaces down with a damp rag or paper towel to remove dirt and sanding dust.
  4. Use a high density foam roller to apply a coat of primer to dresser, door, and drawer faces. Let dry.
  5. Rinse/dry roller and apply 2 coats of chosen paint color. (Sand between coats if you notice any bumps, ridges, or dust in the paint.) Let dry.
  6. Create white boxes using painter’s tape and white paint.
  7. Using a clean paint brush, apply 2 coats of polyurethane/polycryllic to protect from damage. (Let dry completely between coats).
  8. Install drawer pulls and put everything back together.

The total cost of this project was around $60 (that’s the dresser plus paint, primer, and drawer pulls). I saved some money since I already had painter’s tape, rollers, brushes, and polycryllic. Add another $20 for those items, and $80 is still a bargain for such a fun piece!

Hope this inspires a little furniture rescue mission in your future!

XOXO

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Dining room update – in progress

A few days ago, we successfully got our shiny new homemade farm table moved into the “new” dining room (formerly known as the formal living room) with the help of my sweet brother.

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He also helped me rearrange the room – china cabinet and all – several times before we found a layout we liked.

Here’s where we started:

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Notice the awkward “AA circle” as my bro so aptly named it. We were using our old dining chairs as placeholders to figure out if a seating arrangement would make sense on that side of the room. You guessed it! Not. Working.

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Then we moved the table to the middle of the room:

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And put the china cabinet in the nook along the side wall where it fits perfectly!

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I think the room looks so much bigger now! Plus we have space for a seating area at the end of the room that’s nice and cozy instead of hanging out in the doorway right next to the foyer.

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There is so much more to do to make it an actual dining room… Chair rail, box moulding, oh, and a chandelier maybe. You know, just a few more little major purchases! But for now, I think the giant table in the middle of the room sort of sells it. What do you think? Murph cat agrees… He can smell the food already!

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The Cutest Little China Cabinet Makeover

Greetings! I’m all done with my mini Goodwill china cabinet makeover and ready to give y’all the full scoop! There he was, all lonely and ready for a new home…

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I unloaded this little guy from the 4runner all by myself, in HEELS no less! It doesn’t weigh a whole lot, but it’s tall – probably 6 feet or so – thus a little cumbersome to move solo. But I was able to slide it out of the back of the truck and onto a flattened cardboard moving box and scoot it slooooowly into the garage. It was a major victory for me, since usually my projects begin not when I purchase an item but when my sweet husband can get it moved to a proper construction zone for me. But I digress. 🙂

Phase One: Paint

Phase 1 was painting (and of course everything that goes with it!). Here’s what I did:

  1. Removed the shelves, door and light fixture. Luckily someone had already helped me by permanently removing the bottom door, so I just had to take off the top one. Thank you, previous owner!
  2. Lightly sanded all over the inside and outside with an orbital sander using a medium grit disc – about 100. (Sandpaper would have worked, but I’ll use all the extra help I can get!) In hindsight, this is the one thing I would have done slightly differently. Once I got it all painted, I realized how much the woodgrain showed through. If I had to do it over again, I would have sanded the surface completely smooth instead of just scratch coating it. That would have given the piece a more polished “factory paint” look.
  3. Applied about 3 coats of satin finish latex paint (Glidden Onyx Black) to the insides, outsides, and one side of each removable shelf using a high density foam roller (a MUST for smooth surfaces). I didn’t sand in between coats, though I’ve heard it’s advisable. Someday I’ll start following all the surface prep rules… maybe just not all of them at once.
  4. Let it dry overnight and the next day finished the other side of the shelves and the door. The glass came out of the door pretty easily by just unscrewing the plastic brackets that held in place.
  5. Once everything was very dry to the touch, I pull it all back together and got some help carrying it up to our “sunroom” – formerly known as the dining room (more about that later!).

After: Phase 1

Fresher! Neater! Darker!

Fresher! Neater! Darker!

It came out great – the surface was nice and even and the paint dried SUPER fast out in the garage. The hardest part was waiting for the paint to cure before loading the dishes in so I didn’t tear up the shelves! OK, I scuffed them up a tiny bit. But in my defense, all my dishes were inhabiting our only dining area so I was in a bonafide rush! And no, I couldn’t have just moved all the dishes elsewhere for a few days… that would be far to sensible!

So after waiting as long as I could stand, I started loading him up with our “white china,” as I’m calling it. The bottom is going to hold storage baskets… I think.

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Phase 2: Paper

So this was a definite improvement over the original, but seemed a little too dark for my liking. Luckily I had this fun wrapping paper I got from the dollar aisle at Target about 6 months ago. Didn’t know at the time how perfect it would be… it even matches my new foyer light!

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One hitch I did not expect was how curly the paper was when it came off the roll. It was hard to measure and cut when it kept rolling back up on itself… and I definitely couldn’t spray the glue on with it like that, so I ended up unrolling the whole thing and rolling it back up “backwards” to even out the curl. I left it that way for a couple days until I could pick back up on the project. See how these “little jobs” end up dragging on for weeks? 🙂

I cut the newly uncurlified paper to size and stuck it to the back of the cabinet with Krylon spray adhesive. I had to cut the panels just right so that the pattern would line up from one piece to the next.

Phase 2: After

I think it turned out pretty cute!

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The paper pattern breaks up all the black and ties it in to my other decor. Not a bad piece for $22 at Goodwill!

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If you’ve got the time and energy, I hope you’ll go out and beautify one thing in your environment this week. There’s nothing like a good before and after… especially when you get to appreciate it every day!

Happy painting and papering,

Lindsay