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Welcome to the First Room Evolution Party!

Hello friends!

It is with great excitement (and a bit of anxiety to be quite honest), that I am kicking off my first Room Evolution party!  I have been sharing my own room evolutions and makeovers (big and small), and I'm really excited to see what you have to share!  It can be any room you choose, I don't care if it's something you did last week, last month, or even last year.  Whether you're in the middle of a project or have completed a room from start to finish - I want to see it!

So, here are the rules/guidelines/deets:
  • Grab a button off my sidebar or link back so that others can join the fun.
  • Two links per person (because I don't want you to run out of rooms to share!)
  • By entering your link, you are giving me permission to use any part of your post, including pictures to feature you and your awesomeness (with credit given to you and linking back to your blog)
  • Please post the permalink (the link to your post), not the general link to your blog.
  • The link party will be open until February 6th, 2012.
Thanks for sharing!


A Room Evolution Party Warm-Up - 70's Kitchen Transformation

Hello friends!

As a warm-up to my first Room Evolution party tomorrow, I thought I would share an inspiring 70's kitchen transformation that happens to belong to a good friend of mine, Vanessa. 

This house was 70's through and through, complete with a dated, teeny tiny galley style kitchen.  Did I mention Vanessa lives loves to cook and bake?  She shows her love and friendship through her yummy dishes, and it's refreshing to visit her kitchen only to be greeted by lemon blueberry muffins or her amazing chocolate chip cookies. 

So, you can only imagine what a nightmare this kitchen was for her when they bought their house almost nine years ago.  Are you ready?  Brace yourself as we turn up the flux capacitor and step into a time warp.  (I should preface this with the fact that these are photos from the walk-through they had prior to buying the house.)

Yeah, it was something of a nightmare, and suffice to say, I'm pretty sure her husband heard about it from Day 1.  I mean, can you blame her?

But, rest assured, it didn't stay that way forever, and is now the cookie cooking refuge she's always dreamed of.

Here it is pre-demo:


And here it is now:

No, you haven't accidentally clicked over to another blog.  It's the same house - I promise I'm not playing tricks on you.  So much has changed in this space, it's hard to even put it all in context from where the room started.  They basically blew out everything in the old galley kitchen/family room combination, and turned it into one big kitchen.

So, to try and give you a bit of context, here are some room evolution photos:

So, get your rooms ready and don't forget to link up!  Looking forward to seeing what you have to share!


Basement Color Palette in Progress


I have shared some of the photos and work that we have done on our basement.  We've added board and batten, a gallery wall and changed out some of the lighting so far.  It's a great space for family fun and entertaining, and we use it every day.  The only thing I'm not jazzed about is the color palette that is down there now.  I've blogged about it in the past, and it's an intimidating space given that it is open and connected.  I want it to flow and work together, and that requires some thought and planning.

Enter HGTV & Sherwin Williams.  They have come together and created some fabulous color palettes that work beautifully with our basement space.

One element of our basement that I really like and want to keep is the grasscloth wallpaper that we have in a couple areas.  There are a lot of great colors in this palette that will work with the grasscloth, while still injecting new life into the space.
Here's another photo to give you the full effect:
So, I bought a few sample quarts of paint to test them out and see how they looked with the family room color, Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue.
As you can see, I chose Escape Gray, Ethereal Mood and Accessible Beige.  I'm sooo glad I got the sample quarts, because my initial thought was to get the Accessible Beige - too light in contrast with the Palladian Blue.  The Escape Gray, while I really like it, wasn't a good contrast to the Palladian Blue either.  Ethereal Mood was the winner!

The walls have been an absolute mess ever since our epic fail attempt at bringing the board and batten up the stairs.  We are carpentry impaired in trying to accomplish this task with all of the different angles going up the stairs.  Angles in going up the stairs, angles with the turn in the stairs, it's a nightmare!  So, while we're not giving up on the board and batten, I just couldn't stand looking at the spackled walls anymore.

Side note - I have seen some of you out there with your mad carpentry skills.  You know who you are - Lisa at Shine Your Light - check out her stairway and you'll see what I'm talking about.   Or this other amazing Lisa at A Vintage Vine.  See her stairway makeover here.  Maybe I need to change my name to Lisa.  I am willing to offer up delicious baked goods in return for your services.  

I could write a whole post on the issues we had here.  It's really quite embarrassing - two educated human beings, looking like monkeys with mitre saws.
I know the colors don't look dramatically different in these photos, but trust me, they are.  The previous color was more of a camouflage green, where as the new color is a grayish taupe.  I really like it, and it's opening up lots of possibilities for the rest of the basement.

As always, it's a work in progress, right?  And yes, the stairs are on my list for this year as well.  

Carpet on the stairs + 3 kids + 1 enormous black dog = DISASTER.

Don't forget about the Room Evolution linky party on Tuesday, January 31st!


Dining Room Evolution - Bamboo Blinds

I'm continuing to work on my dining room and have added another layer of detail - bamboo blinds. 

To refresh your memory - my inspiration photo...

As much as I love the drapes in this photo, I have to admit, my Hummingbird-with-A-D-D nature has buzzed over to some more pretty possibilities.

Enter (Vodka) Tonic Living.  Ok, it's not called Vodka Tonic Living, but that should be a website all on it's own, don't you think?  I would definitely be a follower.  And would totally enter their giveaways if they had them.  But Tonic Living is a fab website I discovered ala Rambling Renovators since she's having a giveaway this week and has some gorgeous drapes that she ordered from their site.

So, I ordered some fabric swatches.  Including this one:
And this:
And this:
And this beauty...
I mean, how is a girl supposed to stay focused, with prettiness like this all around?

So, a quick recap on this Dining Room Evolution to date (apologies for the difference in the look of the paint color - the latest photo was taken on a cold, gray day).

Don't forget to get your room evolutions ready for the Room Evolution party on January 31st!  Grab a button from my sidebar and join the fun!

Linking up to:

Shine Your Light
Thrifty Decor Chick - February Before & After Party


Powder Room Palooza

I am up to my eyeballs in beadboard wallpaper right now, as I continue getting ready for my cookie exchange last month.  working on my kids' Jack & Jill bathroom, but I have another bathroom space to share with you in the meantime.  I knocked this bad boy out when I was in Tazmanian-Devil-Decorating-Mode,

I know I'm not the only one who gets crazy insane highly motivated when a party is on the horizon.  Right?  I think there's a 12-Step Program for people like us.  Err, me. 

Anyway, since this bathroom is in the basement, and is the one people use when we entertain, I figured a quick spruce up was in order.  Plus, it's a small space and would be a quick and dirty makeover.  And what's not to like about that?

So, to begin with, the bathroom was the same baby poo brown as much of my basement.  

(FYI - this bathroom also doubles as my son's bathroom, since his bedroom is in the basement.  Thus the maze of doors.  Door #1 - Powder Room.  Door #2 - Shower.  Door #3 - Vanity/Sink that connects to his bedroom.)
I told you this makeover was quick and dirty, but did I also mention that it was cheap?  Yes, cheap!  I had paint leftover from my kitchen overhaul, and since this is such a teeny space, it seemed criminal to buy a whole gallon of paint just for this room.  So, hello again Mountain Laurel.  

Pretty, yes?  I am totally digging on this color, let me tell you.  And I really love the pop of raspberry red in the throw rug I scored for a cool $30.  Holiday festive, but still bright and cheery to use every day.  I switched out the artwork with a picture that I already had.  The colors in the painting just work with the paint color.

The only problem we ran into was a minor mirror mishap.  Despite the fact that my husband and I hung the mirror back on the wall as a team (and even pulled on it to make sure it was secure), shortly thereafter I heard a terrible crash, and knew immediately what it was.  The mirror.  On the floor.  Shattered.  So, while you can see it in the photo (hanging on for dear life apparently), it is no longer with us.  

Mirror incident aside, this was essentially a $30 makeover.

So, a quick Room Evolution view for you:

Speaking of Room Evolutions, don't forget my Room Evolution linky party on Tuesday, January 31st!  I can't wait to see your evolving spaces!

Linking up to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
Thrifty Decor Chick - February Before & After Party


A New Series - Room Evolutions

Happy Monday Friends!

I had a glorious weekend of scrapbooking, eating, chatting (and eating), and I'm feeling stuffed recharged and ready to go.  It's amazing what a creative weekend away can do for your soul.

On Friday I told you that I was going to announce a new series, and today I'm here to tell you about it!  Like many of you, the new year had me thinking about new ideas for my blog.  So, starting at the end of this month, I am going to host a monthly "Room Evolutions" link party, giving you an opportunity to showcase your own spaces.   I'm really excited to see your rooms!  It can be any room you choose - kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms - I want to see them all!  After each party, I'm going to feature some of your evolutions, and plan to share some other great evolutions out in the blogosphere along the way.

I wanted to announce it sooner, but I was being a bit OCD and wanted to have some fun bloggy buttons created first.

Here are a couple of great room evolutions to get you thinking.

So, start thinking about the Room Evolution you want to share this month!  Also, please don't feel like you need to have a blog to participate.  Send me your photos and I can share them as part of the party.

I can't wait to see your rooms!


Unexpected Sources of Inspiration


I am getting ready to go scrapbooking this weekend, so I definitely have scrapbooking on the brain.  Being able to focus solely on my own creativity with my family photos is a real treat, and all of the pretty papers and embellishments just make it that much more fun. 

(Actually, the best part about it is that there are women there who make all of our meals and snacks, and turn on the electric blankets in our beds for us so we are warm and cozy when we go to sleep).  It's heavenly.

I know that there are lots of ways to compile photos online, and while that is nice too, there is just something about working with my photos and putting them together by hand, that I really enjoy.  Especially when I get the opportunity to do it on a weekend like this - uninterrupted.

But, all of the beautiful papers that are out there nowadays can also be used in your home.  Just look at some of the beautiful patterns that are available - talk about design inspiration!  Here are a few examples to get your wheels turning (some are "digital" papers, but trust me, these patterns are available in regular papers as well).

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest
Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

You could use papers like these in so many ways!  Frame some up and create a gallery wall.  Mod Podge them on to a sheet of metal and frame it up for a magnetic board.  Heck, Mod Podge them on to just about ANYTHING - vases, buckets, picture frames - the possibilities are endless!

I'll be announcing a new series next week - have a great weekend!