Making your home design visions reality. With my innovative business concept you will be able to make more of your visions realities.
Author: Jennifer Stambek
I am one of those people that has spent their adult life saying "How hard can it be????". If you combine that with a frugalness, that is exceeded only by my younger daughter, you have a combination that is often very successful but not without its 'ooops' moments. ;-) I've never wanted to spend the money to hire a professional so I learned how to do things myself. I wanted crown molding, too expensive, so I learned how to do it. Same thing with building, landscaping, painting, lighting, sewing, yada yada -- you get where I'm going with this I'm sure. :-) I have the tools and the experience for so many projects. Through this site I am sharing my skills and lessons learned to help others develop that "How hard can it be??" spirit in your home. If you want it, have been dreaming about, lusting after your friends version, posted a million posts of it to your Pinterest board --let's make it happen and within your budget. I'm a decorator AND the creator -- no middleman markup.
I'm running out of projects in my house, (short of building an addition!) so lets get to work on yours! Whether it's slipcovers, new window treatments, making that dining room table look like it DID come from RH or helping you develop your own style I would be thrilled and honored to assist!
The driveway says a lot as guests drive up to your house. An interesting driveway adds a HUGE amount of curb appeal and makes your guests start thinking “I bet there’s even better stuff inside the house!!”
At the end of my driveway was just nothing. I wish I had a picture of the true ‘before’ and you would see what I mean. So we will use our imaginations with this ‘kind of before’ photo.
I rented a gas-powered post hole digger from Home Depot — that thing was C-R-A-Z-Y, but did the trick nicely. Haha — one of those posts is looking a little crocked from this angle! 🤣 Anywho…
I don’t have any before pics of the garage arbor, I’m so bad about remembering to take pictures before I start something. Sooo, again, imaginations….. Here’s the finished product. Same thing as the front porch stoop (see my post about Front Door Makeover) drilled into the brick and anchored the trellis directly. I built the trellis in pieces and installed it as pieces. I added lights as there were NO lights on the driveway and it got d-a-r-k on that side of the house. I have a lot of fun with seasonal flowers in the pots.
My current house is the first house I’ve ever bought that was ‘old’. I love the charm and the lack of high ceilings and modern touches. But with the oldness comes things that need repairs or updating. The front door of a home is your chance for a first impression right? My front stoop didn’t do much for helping me make a good first impression, sooooooo, I got to work. After a lot of research and questions for my contractor/friend Bane I took a deep breathe, got out the tools and LUV the final results!!!
The stoop was crumbling, no handrails, and just all around NO curb appeal.
My plan included added handrails and laying decking boards on top of the existing brick stoop. I didn’t have the expertise or desire to replace the stoop. Bane said it was solid so….. onward! It’s actually quite easy to drill into brick with the correct bit and using Tapcon anchors. I laid the short pieces of wood as a base and then screwed the decking boards into the ‘base’ boards.
After the decking boards were laid I started on the railings.
Ooops, very sunny day, sorry about that glare! The railings are built individually using 4×4 posts and handrails.
Taaaa Daaaah!!! I’m exactly sure how you spell that 😉 but you know what I mean right? I added planters on the side and solar lights to the railing posts. Have to wait to stain the wood, so next the door! Ugh!… picking the color paint was tough. But anything was going to be better than ‘baby poop brown’ with no contrast or interest.
Such a HUGE improvement in curb appeal. Worth all the work for sure!
I do a lot of painting, like it or not right? So I’ve started saving the paint sticks I use for each paint color and here’s the reason why this is better than just taking a picture of the can label. My fav fav fav color is Agreeable Grey by Sherwin Williams. Last time I went to Home Depot (our Lowes is geographically challenging) to get a gallon I was told there are FIVE, 5, cinco, as in a whole hand of fingers of formulas for Agreeable Grey. Say whaaaaat Susan?, I asked Susan at the paint counter. Yep! Five. So I had to blindly just pick one and pray. So now I save the paint sticks I use to stir the paint with the paint color and where I use it. Now I can always have them color match the end of the paint stick
As you may have noticed from another post I have a chair fetish. I’m in the 12-step recovery program but I don’t know if I can be saved frankly!! And not really sure I WANT to be saved. There is NO shortage of adorable little chairs in this world and maybe I WAS put on this planet to give them a home……idk!!
This little cutie-pie was found in an antique store in CA and I had to have it shipped home. (The downside to free time when you travel for work — finding treasures you gotta get home somehow!!) It’s only 3 feet high, not sure who or what it was made for but it’s getting a facelift and going in the kids bunk room, check out the post on this blog. My sweet baby granddaughter will love to sit at the vanity and brush her hair. She’s just a baby still though, so……………
I love how it already has the ‘chippy’ paint technique in a lovely neutral color. I stripped off all of the old fabric. Have to say those staples were in there SOLID! I’m not sure where I found the fabric for the back of the chair. Most likely in some random place and set it aside for ‘that’ great find. Taaaa daaaa! Found it!
Not sure if I was just feeling lazy the day I worked on this chair. I was trimming off the fabric on the seat and thought “why not leave it a little ragged on the edges??”, so I did! I like how it frayed. BTW, the fabric on the seat is Lowe’s drop cloth. Finished off the border with trim and nail heads.
My current house was built in the 80’s. It is, without question, the oldest home I’ve ever owned. I loved it’s ‘oldness’. I was done with new build and wanted the charm of an older home. The previous owners had done a lot to bring it to the current century/decade like replacing the staircase, going to hardwood, new windows etc. The kind of stuff that needs to be done but has zero creativity involved. That meant I got to do all of the ‘fun’ stuff!!
So a few years ago I went to Lowe’s for who knows what and got distracted in the lumber section. I found 4′ x 8′ sections of paneling that looks like barnwood. (Item # 763122). Think your parents basement except this was whitewashed and has a grey color base. It was a quiet evening at the store so I asked the guy at the cutting station a HUGE favor …….. can you take these 2 panels and run the saw to cut them into strips? The result was to give me ‘strips’ of ‘wood’. He was so sweet, he got to work and I took my ‘wood’ home.
Fast forward about 2 years. I was going to put this wood on the bathroom ceiling. Yep…….. never got to that……and then one day the bunk room was bugging me enough I said “NO MORE PROCRASTINATING!!!, time to get this baby done!”
Nail gun, finish nails, table saw, miter saw, compressor and the usual hand tools (hammer, etc.)
FIRST, PAINT THE ROOM….
This color works in ANY room and ANY color scheme. As the ceiling is rather wierd, I painted all the way up the sides and stopped at the flat portion of the ceiling. Maybe should have just painted ceiling the same color?? IDK, but time to move on to the wood. Yaaaasss!!!
Random placement of the pieces gives a legit look of wood. There is no trim at the sides of the wall so pieces had to be exact so no gaps. Yep… had to cut a few pieces over…… I nailed the pieces to the wall at the four corners with finish nails. If you don’t want to mess with the nail gun you could use one of the adhesives for paneling commonly found at Home Depot or Lowes. Keep in mind though those babies are NOT coming off the wall without taking some of the drywall with them.
Fortunately this paneling is so easy to cut and trim. I did find it very helpful to have a small trim saw to cut around the windows.
NEXT…RE-TRIM THE BOOKCASE….
So pretty much that’s all of the construction. On to the decorating…
NEXT….BRING THIS BABY ON HOME WITH THE DECORATING… (AKA…the super fun part…)
My whole house is blue and white so no big shocker that this room will also be blue and white. I’ve added all of the finished pictures and the resources I used.
Now this is a fun little project. I got this lingerie drying rack from Ballards Back Room. Yes, I am blessed to live by a Ballards outlet, please don’t hate me 😉 . For $29 I got the rack, added fun vintage paper to the back of it and using drapery clip hooks hang pictures to the rods.
So that’s it for the bunk room re-do. I hope I gave you some ideas or inspiration. If not what you were looking for then maybe just a few minutes break from your work!! 🙂
It IS the heart of the home and it IS where everyone gathers. No matter how hard you try to corral them some place else, they keep ending up back in the kitchen, right?
This kitchen started out not so bad, but it was small and tough when more than one person was cooking. It does have sooo many good things about it though. Beautiful hard woods, loads of natural light and a fabulous eating area and built-in bookshelves and window seat.
While I usually do the work myself, this remodel was waaaaaaaay over my pay grade so my fav contractor Bane of Bane’s Impressions (224-625-0554) did 89% of the work. And he is fab-u-lous!
But, alas too small and not the open concept so many are wanting. What to do, what to do….
Right next door is the dining room.
What if we ……..
Knock out the wall between the two
Make the living room into a dining room, who uses a living room anyway? Besides, it literally is right next to the family room.
Make the kitchen massive by combining the current kitchen and current dining room
LOVE IT!!!! What do you think??
A few details: perimeter cabinets are Home Depot Martha Stewart in cream. The Island Cabinets are a pewter grey also from Home Depot. The island countertops are ceramic tile in a wood grain pattern. The kind that looks like hardwood but is really tile. I can set hot pans on it, no problem. Won’t stain. Went with drawers everywhere, only cabinet doors on top and the pantry. WHY did we not think of this sooner. If you’re redoing the kitchen don’t even consider doors on the bottom cabinets, for any reason what-so-ever!
There are 2 islands — one for cooking and the other for eating, a desk, buffet for the food spread, whatever I need it for. Say hi Joey!
Found the hutch and buffet at a scratch and dent store. All for $149. Kid you not! Which will remain nameless because I don’t want everyone going there. xxoo. Sorry. Can we still be friends? Bane did an awesome job of making them look like custom cabinetry.
Went with a downdraft instead of a hood for the exhaust system. Check out the ‘wood’ tile and stainless trim. All from Floor & Decor.
LUV the open shelving and tile all the way to the ceiling. Nice big stainless farm sink. We put the faucet over to the side so it wouldn’t affect the view out to the backyard. This style is higher than standard faucets and the window isn’t that big. Good move!
The counter on the perimeter is again, flooring. This time its the new waterproof vinyl flooring and looks like marble. Haha. Looks like I had some caulking to do as a caulking gun is not usually something you use as kitchen decor. :-/. And yes, we have changed that rug that actually works with the grey. 🙂
The eating area is light bright and inviting. Great place to display a collection of white pottery. I really think everyone should collect something and display in their home. It can be such a part of who they are.
So there you have it! Everyone is thrilled with the outcome. A kitchen remodel is NEVER easy and ALWAYS costs more than you think it will. But you WILL get your investment back and in the meantime the family enjoys the heck out if it! Bon appetit!
I love moldings and woodwork. The older and more intricate (sometimes) the better! Not to the extreme of a Parisian flat but they just dress up the house and finish things off. This is a front door of a lovely John Weiland home. Now John knows his trims and moldings, but the door just looked like they forgot to finish it. Sorry for the lighting on this one.
By adding some simple additional moldings and a topper this door is looking much more welcoming, don’t you think?
I am the first to admit I have a chair fetish. Things could be worse I suppose. But it’s rare for me to find a chair, not love it and want to give it a warm, cozy home. Here are a few examples of chair ‘befores and afters’. Some live with me and some live elsewhere but all are equally loved and adored!!
But it didn’t start out in life this cute! Notice the fringe and silver tacks that bring this normally formal style of a chair into the fun zone! How cute would it be to paint it glossy black and use a black and cream print — either a polka dot or stripe? So much can be done with a little creativity and bravery.
Here’s how it started its’ life — a little stoddgy I think. Could just be me. 🙂
I got this little cutie at a consignment store for $75. Wasn’t diggin’ the white wood so I got the spray stain from Michaels and went to work. I had an ottoman that closely matched the chair so they got married and are living happily after after in my family room.
This little number is one of my mom’s great finds. We found it in Lakeland FL while visiting my little snoockums pie Ryder and his mama and dada. Unfortunately with all the other stuff we found that trip we had to strap my mom to the roof to get everything home!
I love this new style trim I’m using as welting. It’s just a flat trim instead of cording for a trendier look.
This sweet baby came from a model home furniture store years ago in CA. It needed a good home. I remade the cushions using this Calico Corners fabric during my country french phase. But it needed a change. Ok, I needed a change!
I found this fabric at Ballards Backroom and was actually drapery panels. A few snips of the scissors and it was no longer. Cut, sew and boooooom! done. And you’re right the ottoman and the chair don’t match, but in a perfect world they would. 🙂 I just figure everyone would be drooling over the fabric and not even notice that!
This little cherub came from one of my favorite places in Lakeland FL – Dixieland Relics. I gasped when I saw her for the first time. Fourty bucks — major score!
She now resides in my new walk-in closet. But if you sit on her I will have to kill you!
This sweetie pie has no before but the after is awesome! And yep, I’m very aware I have an obsession with blue & white right now. Her wood frame was a little too yellow blond for me so I used white wax to tone it down a little.