Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Finding My Style

Something I love about the Cyber World of decor, is how it has helped me find my style.  While it's so easy to see a picture you like, and just copy what someone else has done, it doesn't always work for you and your home.  When we bought this home, we downsized by 900 sq ft.  We still have 4 bedrooms, because I wanted a room for each son when they come home.  We did lose a formal living room and formal dining room.  Honestly, I don't miss either one.

Our home in the country was decorated very farmhouse and country.  It fit the style of the home and the area of the home.  We did live right in front of a cotton field.  Then, we moved to a larger town and a more traditional home.  Again, I altered my decor to fit the home.  I went much more traditional and a little bit Tuscan.  Which brings me to our current home.

This home has a cottage feel to me.  I love that.  My heart has always gravitated toward cottage, shabby, french country, and now a little bit of farmhouse style.  I guess I let the house sort of dictate my style.  Since we were buying a new build, I was able to follow the style that I feel is my true style.

I am still changing things up a little bit, but with each room, and each change (or mistake) I am feeling like this is home.  Here are a few photos of our home so you can see my current style.

This is our entryway.  It's not very large, so I used this small table.  I also painted it white to lighten it up a little bit.  That seems to be what I am doing with a lot of my decor.  Painting things white and lightening things up.

This is our kitchen.  I love the big island, the white cabinets and the black glass subway tile back splash.  That's one of the reasons I am using a lot of simple black and white decor.

This is our dining room.  I added the settee to our dining table so that we would have a lot more room in our dining room.  Plus, it's a cozy spot to sit and visit after a good meal.

There is a sample of what our home is looking like, and how I am finding my style in this current home.

Thank you for stopping by!

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

How I Sold My House In Under 24 Hours

Before I move on to posting about my new house, I wanted to share some tips on how we sold our house in under 24 hours.

Let me start by saying, this is what worked for us.  I am not a Professional Stager.  There were several factors involved.  First, we hired a knowledgeable, energetic Realtor.  She had a good network with other Realtors in town, which was so important.  She knew the market in our town very well, and had educated herself on our home.  The next part was up to me.  Here is everything I did to get the house ready to be put on the market.

Here's what I did on the outside:
Cleaned up all of the flowerbeds front and back.  I also added new mulch were it was needed.  I seeded a few bald spots in our lawn as well.  I also did a walk around of the property touching up any paint on the outside of the house.  I added fresh plants to pots, and thoroughly washed the patios.  Also, made sure windows were nice and clean.

Here's everything I did on the Inside:
Touch up paint woodwork.  I also painted any rooms that didn't have a neutral paint color.  I removed ALL of our family photos.  Buyers can't feel like it's going to be their home if your family photos are everywhere.  I thinned out a lot of my home decor.  This can be tricky, you don't want the house to feel stark and cold, but you don't want it to be too cluttered.  Again, they need to be able to picture themselves and their things in your home. I simply boxed up a lot of things and put them in a neat corner in the garage.  CLEAN!!! I mean, get on the floor and clean, get on a ladder and CLEAN!!! You want your house to sparkle.  I also took this opportunity to clean out cabinets, and closets.  Don't forget the garage, and any storage buildings too.  Buyers will look at everything!! 

So, before you have the realtor to your home to list, and take photos, here's what you do next.  This is the fun staging part.  If you are not sure how to do this, look at Pinterest at staged homes, or go look at model homes in your town.  Put out your best towels, or buy new if you need too.  I went the extra step and tied mine with pretty ribbon.  

Make the beds look crisp and freshly made.  Straighten any decorative pillows and throw blankets.  

Add a soft homey fragrance.  I used wax burners, because I won't be at the house while it's shown, and didn't want to use candles.   I didn't add too many, because you don't want potential buyers to be overwhelmed with fragrance.  The last little step I did, was to put some soft, quiet Jazz music on in the background.  It just gives the house that extra cozy feeling.  Last, but not least, clean up in the yard after your pets before you show the house.  You don't want them to step in doggy poo.  Also, take your pets with you when the house is being shown.  It may make the pets nervous seeing strangers in their home without you there.  Not everyone likes pets, and buyers may be turned off if pets are there while they are looking at the house.  Also, you don't want them to accidentally let your pets out of the house or yard.  Last, before you leave the house for it to be shown, turn on all of your lights and lamps.  You want the house to be bright and cheery!

That's it!! Again, I'm not an expert!! This is what worked for us to sell our house in less than 24 hours.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I'M BACK! Changes & Updates Happening to My Blog

Where in the world have I been??  
I won't bore you with all of the details, after all, you are here for home decor.  Let's just say that life happened and it needed this Mom and Wife's attention 100%.  Now, I've eased back into the Cyber world by joining the huge decor world on Instagram.  That has been so much fun, and I've met so many new friends in the decor community there.  I hope you will find and follow me there.  The link is in the right hand column of my blog.  Being on Instagram urged me to get back into my blog, which is where my journey began.

I am not going to delete my old posts.  I have too many fun projects that are close to my heart posted here. I will be focusing more on House and Home, and less on lifestyle type subjects.  

We don't live in the same house that we use to, in fact, we've moved twice.  Life has moved pretty fast for my family over the last few years.  I loved living in the country with that beautiful cotton field in front of our home.  But, I don't miss all of the rattlesnakes, and other critters that came to visit our home.

Our boys got older, and the needs of our family changed, so we made a huge change to a much larger city that met all of the needs of our boys lives.  I also got the fixer upper that challenged me like crazy.  Here are pictures of our next home, and the home that turned me into a temporary contractor, and busy DIYer. This home hadn't been loved in a very long time.

This was our next home.  There wasn't one inch of this house that I didn't touch.  It was a true labor of love.  We bought it because I wanted the challenge.  Would I ever do it again, probably not.  While we hired someone for plumbing, major electrical, roof, counters, and flooring, two of my sons and I did everything else.  While I was busy finishing the house, my boys were getting on with their adult lives and moving on.  We decided to make another move closer to where my husband works.  The realtor came over, listed the house, and in 19 hours!!!!! Yes, 19 hours, the house was sold!!!!

I will be writing a post on how I staged the house, and how we sold it so fast.
Here are some pictures from this house.

 I went with pretty traditional decor in this house.  It just seemed to fit the style of the house.

Loved the big walk-in pantry! 

I painted all of the interior and exterior doors black.  There were 22 doors.  They were beautiful, But, I won't ever do that again.

So, that's basically what I've been doing.  When we sold this house, we found a partially completed new construction home that we loved.  I was so excited, because I wasn't ready to makeover another house.  We lost about 900 sq ft.  But, we were buying our Empty Nester home.  We do still have enough rooms for all of the boys to come visit.  We just don't have a formal living or dining room.  This is our new home.  The home where I am currently finding my new style.  

Thank you for anyone who is still following my blog.  I hope you will join in my journey to find my style in our new little cottage.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Kitchen & How I Got Rid of My Grungy Grout

I wanted to share a project I did with you.  I did this project a while ago, but I waited to make sure it held up well before I shared it with you.  I can say without a doubt, it has held up to heavy traffic, cleaning, etc.  Also, let me add that I am not getting paid for this info, just wanted to share this project with you.  When we bought our house, the grout had not been sealed.  Over time, it has just turned colors, and frankly, looks disgusting.  I was in Wal-Mart one day, and found a kit made by DAP to paint and seal your grout all in a couple of steps.  The kit comes with a brush, a grout cleaner, and the paint/sealer.  It was super easy to apply.  It was however, time consuming. (I turned on an audio book, sat down and went to work)  It has held up great, and I am so pleased!
Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the kit before I used it.  But, this is a picture of the grout color bottle.  This bottle did my kitchen and dining room, and I have about a fourth of the bottle left.  Money well spent.
While we are on the subject of my kitchen, I thought I would share some pictures of my kitchen with you.
 My island was a new piece that I painted myself.  You can find out how I did this here: Kitchen Island Makeover

The coffee bar is my all time favorite project!!!!  We get so much use out of what use to be an old T.V. armoire.  Absolutely a project that was well worth the time and effort.  You can find out how I did this here:
 I removed the doors off of this set of kitchen cabinets and added corbels below the cabinets to give the appearance of a shelf unit.  I'm so glad I did this, and really enjoy the open cabinets.
 I haven't done any type of window treatment above these windows, because I can't decide what I really want to put up there.  I'm open to suggestions!!!!
This is the other side of our kitchen.  I love all of my kitchen cabinets!  I also love my built in desk area.  I also use that area to craft.  I would love a separate craft area in my house.  
This is a little vignette on my counter that I love. Oh, and I also used the DAP grout color on my counters also.  

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of my kitchen.  Have a wonderful week!!!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Vacation in New York & Pennsylvania

My family and my Sister's family went on a wonderful vacation to New York and Pennsylvania.  We had such a great time, and crammed in TONS of things into one week.  I wanted to share our experience with you.  Enjoy the sights of New York and Pennsylvania via our family vacay.  I know I talk about my Sister a lot, and she may kill me for sharing this picture, but I had to do it.  This trip wouldn't have been possible without her and her awesome travel planning!  Love her tons!  This picture was taken inside Serendipity 3.  We had dinner there, and of course dessert!  I had the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate, and let me just say, it was life changing!  My boys LOVED the dessert also.

My boys and their cousins loved the food trucks!
Little Italy was so pretty
The 9/11 Memorial was beautiful.  It was a very somber being there. 

 Selfie in front of Ed Sullivan Theater
My boys thought riding the subway was great!  They really enjoyed the subway musicians.
Rockefeller  Center-The Teddy Bear shrub was adorable
My son and nephew rowing in Central Park
The Apple Store was crazy! This is all you see above ground.  The store in under ground below the glass block.  How cool is that?
My boys and I in Grand Central Station.  The Whisper Corner was our favorite.  If you have a chance to go there try it out. (I won't go into detail, but you can google it) Something so simple, and they were so impressed.  I won the cool Mom award for that idea.  That doesn't happen often with teenage boys.
We were lucky enough to go see the Yankees and Red Sox play while we were there.  That was a blast.  I've never had Chicken and Waffles, so I had to give them a try at the game.  How cute are the waffles stamped with Yankees logo? Isn't the view of the Bronx from the stadium gorgeous.  The buildings were so pretty.  Such a fun evening!
We went to the Empire State Building at night.  That was so awesome!           

My boys favorite place was Times Square

This was the New York Public Library.  All of the architecture in New York is absolutely gorgeous.  All of the buildings are just amazing to me.
The Plaza Hotel
 The Statue of Liberty with my youngest and Ellis Island
Central Park-I never imagined it was so big
 I believe this is the New York Stock Exchange
Me at Tiffany's
The guys at the Museum of Modern Art "pretending" to be interested.
Cousins in New York!
We also toured Philadelphia.  EVERYTHING was so decked out for the fourth of July.  So pretty!  On our way to Pennsylvania we stopped in Newark to see Carlo's Bakery.  The line to get in was about a block long, so I settled for a Selfie from across the street.

We of course stopped at Pat's and Geno's for Philly Cheese Steaks.  My Sister and I split one of each to try them both.  Yum!
 I had to share this sign.  So funny, but so true!  We ordered Wit and Whiz.
All in all, it was a great trip with great memories.  Even though I came home with Poison Ivy from Central Park, and a cold.  It was all worth it.  If you have a chance to go, plan what you are going to do ahead of time, and wear super comfy walking shoes.  You will walk miles and miles.  My Sister and niece planned our activities ahead of time, and it helped us fit as much as possible in every day.  I highly recommend taking your family to New York.  We had a great time!  Thanks for letting me share our adventure with you.