An Intro to our Living Room Makeover

Sooo many spaces in our house are in dire need of a major decluttering, painting, and re-decorating.  The living room started as a cluttered, crowded space that was not cohesive and honestly, a little insane looking. A mismatach of my DIY projects and stylish pieces, it needed a huge makeover that started with a fresh coat of paint and a new inspiring color. Since painting is the quickest, easiest way to instantly transform a room, we decided to partner up with Sherwin Williams for this project! Our living room is the single biggest room needing some attention, it has been this (sort of pretty) blue for many years, but I've been dying to change the color since I first saw it! Blue couches with blue paint on the walls...No bueno. Typically, Paul eventually always gets on board with my crazy ideas and projects.  He actually gave me free reign to pick new paint colors for the living room. We picked Alabaster by Sherwin Williams (originally- I also constantly change my mind which Paul likes to remind me) because it's a beautiful creamy neutral color and I knew I wanted a neutral base to begin- and knew we could always layer colorful accessories or furniture later! 

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To paint our living room walls we used sandpaper, paint rollers, primer, Sherwin Williams Alabaster Emerald Paint. We chose Emerald because it's top of the line, high quality interior paint and we needed something that would be durable and long lasting in such a high profile space in our home.

I started by sanding all of the walls down, I used sandpaper pad attached to a handle to make the process go quicker and reaching the heights easier. After sanding, I cleaned the walls with a sponge and just plain old water. Just a slightly damp sponge or paper towel worked well.

The biggest obstacles that I encountered with painting were the furniture and stuff that we have everywhere. I would move furniture from one wall, lay down drop cloths and paint. Then, I would move all the furniture back to the first wall and lay down more drop cloths. Painting an empty room or a room with less furniture would have been exponentially easier! Definitely recommend doing it that way if possible, but in this case, it was not. Do the best you can.

I actually started painting at first without primer, but after my first wall that clearly would need a second coat of paint, I decided to proceed with a priming coat first for the next three walls to make the paint go further and since creamy white needed to cover light blue. I used Kilz Premium 2 primer to prime and continued painting the other three walls. For the edges, in lieu of taping the entire edges of the room top and bottom, I used a paint edger from Amazon. It worked very well and was definitely a time saver. I have read that higher quality brushes also make a huge difference in the outcome of your project- and I have to say, I absolutely agree with this. I've used cheaper brushes in the past and the results are always lackluster and I end up buying a nicer more expensive brush every single time! This time around, I used Wooster brushes and a Wooster roller. Things will move along much quicker with the correct tools.

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After cleaning, sanding and priming the walls, I painted two coats of Alabaster, a smooth, creamy white. Unfortunately, this project took much longer than I originally anticipated, especially when only being able to paint a few hours each night after work. Set up, break down, and clean up takes forever! I definitely don't recommend doing it this way- bust it all out in one afternoon if you can. I couldn't do it- our living room is huge! I've painted furniture, concrete, frames, and a million other things over the years but I have to say, painting walls is NOT my thing. I love how easily paint updates a space, but turns out, painting rooms is one of those things that I would rather hire a professional to do. I'd rather the result be absolutely perfect and I don't have the time, patience and attention to detail to accomplish that. All that said, I'm super pleased with the difference a coat of paint made in the room! I feel like we were able to completely change the feel and look of the room, and our new paint color provided a great base to re-imagine and redecorate the space. I'm looking forward to continued decorating of the living room and hopefully creating a dreamy, cozy space.

I'm actually in the midst of having our entire house re-painted (professionally) because I'm loving the huge impact a fresh coat of paint makes! I feel like it's a whole new house, and I love it!

 

Andddd here is another after photo- after I decided that Alabaster wasn't working for me. and I instead wanted Sea Salt walls! It's the color of our front door and I love it. It just felt like the right choice.

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Have you ever taken on a project like this? How did it go?

 We painted the fireplace a few years ago, it was a terrible combination of old brass, ugly brick and dark wood. We whitewashed the brick and painted everything else for a fresh new look! That cozy oversized throw with giant yarn on the brown chair was a Thursday afternoon project a few weeks ago. It was totally easy, just time consuming. The Copper stool has a new home in our living room, only for the winter months though, before it returns  outside to our madeover patio space next Spring! I had to figure out a way to make the giant TV stand out less- painting and styling the media stand ensued.

We painted the fireplace a few years ago, it was a terrible combination of old brass, ugly brick and dark wood. We whitewashed the brick and painted everything else for a fresh new look! That cozy oversized throw with giant yarn on the brown chair was a Thursday afternoon project a few weeks ago. It was totally easy, just time consuming. The Copper stool has a new home in our living room, only for the winter months though, before it returns  outside to our madeover patio space next Spring! I had to figure out a way to make the giant TV stand out less- painting and styling the media stand ensued.

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HOW I TURN MY FAVORITE PRINTS INTO CUSTOM IPHONE CASES

One thing I'm loving this season is cheerful, summery, fruit prints! I can't get enough! My lemon print shirt is my absolute favorite top right now, and I've been loving pineapple prints on everything! Cards, cases, clothes, posters, prints, even playing cards...you get it...I was so excited when the opportunity to partner with Caseapp came along and I get to combine all my favorite things- Iphone cases (i love them, I'm obsessed, I used to collect them and switch it up almost weekly) fun retro prints, and crafting! Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not an artist in any way so if I can create something pretty without actually have drawing/painting abilities, it's a total win!

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I used various prints from the craft store to design my phone cases. In good lighting, I then took a high resolution image (using my DSLR) of the prints and edited the pictures to look exactly how I wanted the print on my cases to look. I love how the prints turned out! Very vintage and summery, exactly what I was hoping for. In addition to using prints you love, there are so many other options for creating your design! You could use an original painting, picture, drawing, or anything else that you've created and want to turn into a phone case. When brainstorming for this project, I had so many ideas floating around in my head! The ideas for what I would turn into my case were diverse- from a watercolor creation, to an old DIY abstract painting that I've posted about here, to some of my favorite photos from my phone, the world is truly your oyster. Designing your own phone accessory is an easy, fun way to get really creative. 

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Caseapp has really cute designs already created if you prefer to order one of those, but I wanted to create something myself! If you choose to use an existing image, or take a picture of something, just make sure to use a high resolution image, otherwise the printing (it gives you a warning) may come out subpar. They also have laptop skins on the website (I was a big fan of one of the pretty marble look ones they have) and you can use the same process to create original cases for your laptop.

 

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How cute and summery did these cases come out?! I had such a hard time narrowing down my design choices but I couldn't happier with the cheery pineapple print cases! Have you ever designed your own case? Now is your chance! Get 20% off at Case app using my code "ABALLADOFBRIGHT20"! What are your fun summer plans?! Tell me in the comments!

Thank you to Caseapp for sponsoring this post.

 

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UPDATING AN OUTDATED EXTERIOR PART ONE

With Spring in the air and home improvement on our minds, we have been going crazy with curb appeal updates to the exterior of our house. We have some pretty big projects coming up on both the interior and exterior of our home, (including painting the inside of our house ourselves), but we are starting with the simpler things to knock them out of the way quickly. This is what our exterior started as. It's outdated and very 70's house, but I'm looking forward to making some major visual changes in the upcoming weeks.

  A bit dreary, isn't it?! Don't mind the sheet, I accidentally knocked down the blinds when Paul was out of town. They're fixed now.

A bit dreary, isn't it?! Don't mind the sheet, I accidentally knocked down the blinds when Paul was out of town. They're fixed now.

 

First up on our curb appeal makeover, is changing the (ugly) brick on the front of the house and updating the door! I am not a fan of "natural wood" and am so excited I finally convinced Paul to paint the exterior and update the brick! In addition to painting the brick, we hope to do something with the siding. Either painting it (ideal) or powerwashing it back to its original white (less ideal). I'm also hoping to add black glossy shutters and re-paint the upper shutters. 

The first DIY updates:

While we get estimates on the painting projects, I am painting a few things myself. Strangely, our windows with white trim were then outlined by black trim. My first easy fix was painting the black trim white. It was quick, instant update to the exterior and actually brightened the front right up!

  A little less 70's!

A little less 70's!

 

Adding flowers also is a relatively cheap, easy, fun update to add some curb appeal while we continue to work on the home improvements. Ultimately, we hope to do some minor landscaping, add flowery window boxes,  and brighten everything up, but since I'm all about instant gratification right now, the potted flowers work well to add some spring cheer. I painted multiple clay pots white using exterior paint and roller brushes. I then added pink hydrangeas and arranged them on our stoop (which also needs updating!) Ideas?

I'm hoping to paint the exterior door with a bright accent color to complement the future colors of our house. Bright cheery Red, Seafoam Green or Coral are on my mind right now. I've got the door primed and ready to go (as soon as we decide on a color)!

Stay tuned for updates on our house makeover and the (hopefully) beautiful resulting exterior! Any suggestions? Have you ever undertaken a project like this before?