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DIY: Painted Brick Fireplace

Do It Yourself: Painting a Brick Fireplace; Details on on how to paint a brick fireplace black!

When we moved into our brick ranch fixer house a little over a year ago, we originally planned on painting the exterior brick on the house. In the end because of the era and placement of the house, we decided to leave it and add some other elements to break up the monotony of brick.

So what does that have to do with the fireplace??? Good question! Even though we were definite on keeping the exterior brick natural, I had an equally definitely feeling that the brick fireplace inside had to be painted!

Do It Yourself: Painting a Brick Fireplace; Details on on how to paint a brick fireplace black!

So what color did I choose? BLACK! I love a good focal wall that introduces black. I feel that with lighter elements in the space, black (or a darker hue, in general) gives such amazing contrast.

I’ll admit, even though the designer-side of me know black was best, I hesitated. And then one day, I just went for it!

I’ve heard certain types of paint are best for brick, but I had a gallon of low lustre semi-gloss black paint from another project and it worked great (and is still holding up perfect 4 months later).

With a good-quality angled brush, I put on some good tunes and simply, painted the brick. Here are pictures during the transformation…

Do It Yourself: Painting a Brick Fireplace; Details on on how to paint a brick fireplace black!

Two full coats of paint + a third coat for a few spots that needed additional coverage, it was complete.

Do It Yourself: Painting a Brick Fireplace; Details on on how to paint a brick fireplace black!

Thankfully, I love the result. The fireplace is not only a striking focal point now, but the natural brick was too busy + distracting (plus dirty). With the brick being one color now, it really gives the eye a calming place and provides a beautiful backdrop for layering.

Check out the before & after again…

And can spot another difference between the before and after?!? I’ll give you a hint… look at the hearth.

DIY: Wood Shelves + Brackets

Two blog posts and it’s still January… impressive. One of my goals / hopes for the year is to share and showcase more of our brick ranch fixer upper projects + in-progress and completed client projects… there’s always so much to show you!

Onto today’s DIY… I shared a picture on instagram the other day of the finished living room. The space has been complete (well nothing is ever done as I’m always moving, adding, or removing little details) for about 6 months and earlier last year, I finally decided what to do with the nook to the right of the fireplace.

We needed more shelf space to display books and accessories, so shelves were the ideal solution for the setback wall space. I originally envisioned floating wood shelves, but I was worried about the length of the shelf and the potential of them bowing + floating shelves seemed very involved to build, so I decided on using shelves with simple brackets.

Here’s the before…

1 / To start, I removed everything in the space. Then I figured out the number of shelves + the heights. 1

> I wanted the one shelf to align with the top of the fireplace mantel, so I determined the shelf heights starting from that point.

2 / BRACKETS – Using a measuring tape, I determined the bracket locations and made marks for the screws. Then with a drill, I installed toggle anchors and screwed the brackets in to the wall.

This is closeup of the finished brackets (I used regular screws and still have to paint the screw paints black).

3 / SHELVES – For the shelves, I chose 2×12 – I like the thicker look of the shelf.

When I purchased the wood at Lowes, I had them cut the boards to the desired length (about 1/2″ less than the exact wall length so there was some wiggle room to install the shelves in place).

4 / STAIN – For the stain, I used special walnut, which is the perfect medium brown. I poured a small amount on the wood shelf and spread it out using a cloth. I covered the entire board (all sides) with the stain. In about 10 minutes all 4 boards were stained. The process is really easy.

This is a closeup of the finished shelf in place…

5 / INSTALL – With the brackets in place and the shelves stained, the project was almost complete. The last step was to set the shelves in place. The shelves were set on to the brackets and screwed in place to the underside of the wood.

Done! This project – start to finish – took about one hour and was fairly easy to execute. The important part is to ensure the proper anchors + screws are used so the brackets are secure!

This is the finished result…

Definitely a big change from when we moved in and the space looked like this…

And now to this…

Next up is sharing pictures of the entire finished room… Maybe another post for January?!?

Blue Bohemian Bedroom

Hey there. Goodness, it’s been a while (many of my blog posts seem to start with similar wording. I guess time isn’t always on my side…)

Anyway, I finally snapped some pictures of the master bedroom (there’s really nothing ‘master’ or grand about it though) and I’m excited to give you a peek.

To take a step back to look at where it started, here is the space before…

The space is a step back in size from the bedroom in our previous home.  We’ve had to cut out a couple pieces of furniture, which I was fine with – paring down is refreshing for the soul.  The most challenging part has been the closet space.  Or should I say, lack of closet space. We went from a sizeable, nicely organized walk-in closet to a one-wall closet.  BUT again, it’s been enlightening to release unnecessary, unused items, and to pare down to the essentials. Enough on that (for now). Let’s get to the tour.

The space is about 14′ x 14′ with 2 windows.  The bed is positioned on a wall with one of the windows, so it is off-centered on the overall space.  This is actually a benefit as it creates more open floor space when you walk into the room.  The upholstered bed, from Crate and Barrel, has moved several times with us from house to house. Because of the light, cream-colored fabric, the bed is simple and classic so it works in any space and mostly with any style bedding.

Here is a look back at the bedroom in our previous home.

As you’ll see, the nightstand is the same – it provides wonderful storage – and the chaise has remained as well – a staple for when one of the kids comes traipsing in during the middle of the night.  I did freshen up the nightstands with new crystal-like knobs (similar to these).

For the bedroom in our current house, I wanted to steer away from warmer tones (brown hues) like in our last home, so I chose a beautiful + deep dusty blue.  It’s a mix between turquoise and colonial blue with slight undertones of green.  The color is Benjamin Moore Montpelier AF-555

The striped coral + turquoise bedding is also new and it’s from the bohemian-style Opalhouse line at Target.  I love how fun and unexpected it is with the oversized pom poms at the edges.  Inexpensive quilts or duvets are easy to switch out and are a great way to update a look of a bedroom without breaking the bank!

The pillows that adorn the bed seem to go with everything.  Even though they are vibrant colors – bold green and deep plum – all the bedding that I’ve paired them with have complimented well.

To lighten + brighten the space, I ditched the previously darker rug and chose to ground the bed with a new, neutral bohemian tribal area rug.

As you continue around the room, the chaise that we bought a lifetime ago from Crate and Barrel (similar to this chaise) sits to the right of the bed on the other side of the nightstand.

The window treatments are a loose, but structured straight valance.  I made the valances using leftover Robert Allen fabric and they are hung right below the ceiling using a heavy duty metal curtain rod.

Above, I’ve hung family photos and pretty hooks for hanging scarves, hats, and bags.  With our lack of closet storage, I’ve tried to make good use of the walls in an aesthetically pretty AND functional way!

If you’ve been a follower of JBD for a long time, you may remember when I made this wedding lyric pillow for Valentine’s Day – I’m such a romantic…

On the other side of the room, opposite the bed, sits a large-scale dresser.  When we moved, I was planning on replacing this with a smaller scale dresser, but with the amount of storage it provides (again, lack of closet space), I couldn’t let it go.

Art that we love and/or have collected from traveling is arranged in a collage above the dresser and surrounds (and distracts) from the TV that sits on the dresser. I shared a step-by-step post a while back on creating a photo gallery similar to this.

Let’s talk about lighting (and ceiling fans)…

We went from central air in our previous home to without (yes, this heatwave has been brutal), so when we were making updates to the house after the purchase we updated all the ceiling fans.  The kids all have this modern fan, but for our bedroom, we chose something a little more ornate and pretty.  The ceiling fan is modern with black blades, but the light is concealed with a pretty drumshade of crystal finial.

Also being cognizant of space, instead of table lamps on the nightstands, I chose a simple modern plug-in sconce.  We adore them. They provide the perfect amount of task lighting without being cumbersome.  After having them for a few days, we unexpectedly realized that the cover rotates to provide indirect lighting. Check it out…

And that’s a wrap.  Thanks for taking a tour of our serene, bohemian bedroom!


upholstered bed

coral striped quilt bedding


bohemian tribal area rug


Vibrant Wallpaper in the Foyer

As the cold days have continued (it’s still feels like winter even though it’s been officially spring for almost a month), we’ve slowly been making changes to our new-to-us brick ranch fixer upper. I actually can confidently say that we’ve been making our envisioned updates faster than I’ve had time to share on the blog… life has admittedly been full.

Right after Christmas – the day after to be exact – I took the plunge into updating the foyer with a vibrant new wallpaper.

I am wallpaper obsessed and would love to adorn every wall with a colorful pattern. Thankfully in reality, I know where to draw the line and I know how to balance a dramatic wallpaper with a more subtle surrounding.

For the foyer space, a vibrant + colorful paper on all walls would have been overload. Instead I chose to use this blue & white Ikat patterned wallpaper by Graham and Brown on one wall and then balance the deep hue with a light neutral, Valspar Snowy Dusk, on the remaining walls.

The result is so pretty. Most of the elements in the space were seen in the foyer of our previous home – the gold dresser, the fern art prints, the ottoman, and the rug.

As always to appreciate the ‘after’, you have to take a look at the ‘before’…

Once we moved in, the space was a black canvas.  I knew I wanted to add in a pop of color, but I didn’t want to overpower the space.  I chose to use one wall – the side wall of the entry space – to add the wallpaper.

I’ve shared tutorials here and here for how to wallpaper a wall, but I’ll share another quick rundown…

1 / starting from the center of the edge of the wall (depending on the design), measure the wall to mark the width of the wallpaper

2 / line up a level on the on the measurement

3 / mark a level line with pencil – this will be the edge for the paper to align to

4 / this paper required to use wallpaper paste, so using a paint brush, I ‘painted’ the paste onto the wall, then applied the paper

First line of paper went up easily…

The most important part of installing wallpaper is to line the edges up with the next panel.  The edges can’t overlap but have to join side by side without a gap.

Once the paper is positioned, then using a wallpaper smoothing tool, lightly glide over the paper towards the seam / edge to smooth any air bubbles.  Then wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.

At the wall corners, ceiling, and base use a sharp blade + the smoothing tool to carefully cut the extra wallpaper.

This one wall took about 2 hours to wallpaper start to finish.

From how it looks before to now, the difference is quite dramatic…

The foyer space is so striking and inviting now with the bold wallpaper backdrop.

Even though there is a new pendant ceiling light in the space, I added a plug-in wall sconce that has brought beautiful ambient light.  It was a great find from World Market for less than $60! I adore the pretty, soft glow in the evening hours.

The 6 fern framed pieces are watercolors. Years ago I framed dried ferns, but over time they started to brown, so I found these watercolor prints through Etsy (wonderful shop by the way) and made the plunge to purchase them. I love how they look so real and bring an organic vibe to the space.

The gold dresser has been around for 5+ years (sorry, can’t find the source) and the bench adjacent to it was from One Kings Lane (again, no source but it’s a typical x-leg bench stool).  The pretty pillow was a recent markdown, red sticker sale item I picked up from Home Goods.  The yellow + apple green hues perfectly paired with the other elements and colors throughout the house.

We also have a new color on the front door… we went from apple green in our previous home to a vibrant, bold yellow.

The color is Valspar Lemon Curd and is a true yellow hue.  If you haven’t checked out our recently renovated Pajama Lounge, the rich + bold color is also used cohesively throughout the space as well.

A new black lockset also adorns the door and brings an updated modern look to the mid-century house.

From the moment you step on the porch and set foot inside, the goal we set for ourselves and for those that visit is to feel greeted with a colorful, vibrant space balanced with warmth and an inviting ambiance.  Do you think we achieved that?

Thanks for visiting and please return soon for more room renos + DIY projects!


Creating a Cohesive Color Palette

Creating a cohesive color palette throughout a room, or even a whole house, can be challenging.

Yes, certain colors work well together while others don’t, but the most important factor that makes – or breaks – a room / a whole home is balance.

With drama, needs calm.

With color, needs quiet.

With dark, needs light.

With a statement piece, needs minimal elements.

I’m a true believer to go all the way with unexpected + bold elements, but I also believe a balance needs to be achieved so a room feels inviting + comfortable.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Last week, I shared the reveal of our newly renovated Pajama Lounge.  Yes, you heard right… we ditched the traditional family room and created a fun, relaxing, vibrant space where we lounge in our PJs.

When we first stepped foot in the dark + dreary room during the open house, the sun was filtering through the large glass windows. Unfortunately we were quickly distracting by all the dark paneling, but I just had the feeling that when the space was transformed it would be flooded with sunshine.

As the space took shape during the renovation, I envisioned introducing color but at the same time I kept coming back to my vision of wanting the room to feel light and bright. I knew the furniture for the space would be most of what was in our previous living room and since those elements were colorful and dynamic, I landed on a neutral backdrop that color could be layered on to.

This is how I knew balance would be brought to the space >>> Light colors for the backdrop with bold layers

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

As the space started to take shape, I’ll be honest, the room looked boring. It didn’t have the depth and vibrancy that reflects my style. I stuck with it and as I began to introduce the furniture and the layers of accessories, pillows, the rug, and all the elements, what I was envisioning started to result.

Then to really make the space pop, I decided to paint the existing wood door a vibrant, eye-popping yellow. Well that took the space to the next notch. That element alone took the room from interesting to unexpected and unique.

After priming the door with Kilz stainblocking primer…

… I chose Valspar Lemon Curd for a splash of yellow.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

To make this dramatic color work, I brought in this bold yellow hue throughout the room in understated ways.

Aside from the door, there are a half-dozen other elements in the space that are the same yellow hue – 1. door / 2. pillow / 3. storage boxes on shelves / 4. tray / 5. side chairs (at desk, not shown)

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Introducing this eye-popping color in other elements creates cohesiveness throughout the space versus it being a ‘one-off’.  Yet, the yellow doesn’t dominate too much and take over.  In small doses is best.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Another way our pajama lounge space works well is the balance of light and dark.

As I mentioned, at first this room seemed boring to me with the walls painted a light color – Valspar Snowy Dusk – but when the furniture + accessory layers were added, the room started to come alive.  With the light colored walls as a backdrop, the opportunity was provided to add contrasting darker elements, like the dark navy barn doors.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

The color on the barn doors is the same as the newly painted kitchen cabinets.  Having the same color on multiple elements in different rooms, creates for a cohesive thread throughout the house.

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home

Balance is key to creating a cohesive color palette.  Once I determined that I wanted to introduce a dramatic color, I knew the other colors in the space needed to compliment the bold yellow hue.  Choosing a light backdrop (the walls) with darker layers (the navy barn doors) + pops of color here & there throughout the room created a space that is light + bright & a space we love to lounge!

Creating a Cohesive Color Palette throughout the home




Pajama Lounge REVEAL

Did the title of the post entice you to read more?!?

There’s a new phrase being tossed around in the design world… Pajama Lounge.  I first heard it on Young House Love Has a Podcast and then Apartment Therapy recently shared an article on What is a Pajama Lounge?  The space that I was referring to as our family room really is better suited to be our Pajama Lounge as it’s  just that… a space that we basically lounge around in wearing pajamas.  It’s our hang out space. The room that we gather to watch TV.  It’s the place in our home that the kids play, do homework, and create.  It’s essentially the everything room where it all happens.

Taking a step back to when we first bought our brick ranch fixer upper, the room looked nothing as it does now.  Let’s head down memory lane for a glimpse at what we started with…

The vertical paneling was torn down. The carpet was pulled up. The ceiling was removed.

New framing was added.  New sheetrocked installed. New wood flooring layed.

A few weeks later, a completely transformed room was created with a fresh palette to decorate.

The walls were painted. Furniture was brought in. Layers were added. And the once barren, dreary space came alive…

Welcome to our renovated living room, a.k.a. Our Pajama Lounge

Step inside…

I shared a glimpse of our PJ hang out room a couple weeks ago when I wrote a post on the new rolling barn doors, which there are two of, that separate this space from the rest of the house. To create a cohesive tie throughout the house, the paint color on the doors is the same as the newly painted kitchen cabinets.

The pajama lounge is a large space at about 23′ x 15′.  A space of this large size can be overwhelming to lay out  so I decided to create two zones – a TV / lounge area and a separate fun / work area.

The opening off the foyer is the TV / lounge zone.  Most of the furniture in this space is from our previous home and the set up fairly the same as it was.  The TV sits on a media stand at the far wall and is surrounded with a collage of prints + pictures from Minted.  Even though the TV – the big black box – is large, it doesn’t feel overwhelming or dominate the space because the elements around it are interesting and distract the eye.

To create the two zones, I positioned the sofa in the center of the room facing the TV.  Then behind the sofa is a large table (part of the work zone) that is a desk for creating. In the TV zone, along with the sofa are other seating options including a comfy side chair in a small geometric pattern and an armless side chair in a green suede fabric.

New window treatments flank the sides of the two large windows and the continuing pattern at each window, tie together the two zones.

Other furniture elements in this area of the room are light and airy to keep the space feeling spacious and open.  The lucite coffee table can easily be moved when all of us are lounging and the new white metal side table is attractive from all sides – front, back, and sides – so no matter the view point, it looks good.

Atop the side table which sits between the chair and sofa is a lamp with a clear glass base and white shade.  It took me a while to find the right lamp – I tried many!  I’m a lamp hoarder so thankfully I didn’t have to buy anything new.  I first tried a thin, tall lamp, but it dominated the room.  Then I tried a smaller lamp with a solid base but it wasn’t the right scale.  Finally I tried this lamp and I think because it’s clear glass it balanced the layers of color in other elements throughout the room.

Along with the large desk behind the sofa used from homework + creating, the second zone of the room is used for play.  The tall bookcases in a distressed wood finish on the far wall are a recent purchase. They are half open shelves and half closed at the bottom.  The top portion of the bookcase stores arts + crafts supplies in boxes, toys in baskets, books, files, etc.  The bottom section with the closed storage holds the kids toys.

The fun zone offers the kids a wide open area to play and in the corner is a drum set.  Because we don’t have a finished basement anymore, many of the items that used to be in the basement – toys, drums, all the other ‘stuff’, had to find a new home (or are still in boxes, haha).

In the work / fun zone of the large pajama lounge that is the second rolling door that leads to the kitchen.  This area of the space is still a work in process (as is a bit of every room in the house), but I have ideas brewing…

We love and live in this space so much.  It’s our hub.  The space is so bright + feels so inviting.  And who doesn’t love a good before & after.  Let’s take one more peek at what it once looked like and how our pajama lounge looks now…

Check out this post on how I created a cohesive color palette in the room with the colors + layers of the room I chose.

KITCHEN: Cabinet Makeover Reveal

It’s been quite the process, but I am so excited to finally share the reveal of the DIY kitchen cabinet makeover.  The steps to transforming the kitchen cabinets started when we first purchased our brick ranch fixer upper in the late Fall.

Steps included removing, prepping + sanding the cabinet doors and face frames, followed by priming + painting the doors a moody navy hue.

Here’s a peek at what the space once looked like…

This was the plan of action…

And the vision board

This is the result of the kitchen cabinet makeover…

Alot went into this do it yourself kitchen makeover, but there is still more to tackle in the space – more on that later. For the moment, let’s take a look at what has been accomplished.

Despite the dark color on the cabinets, the space feels light + bright with the other lighter hues in the room.  The window draws in beautiful natural light, along with the two skylights in the ceiling.  The space is also offset by many lighter tones including a light brown laminate countertop, white subway tile, a light colored floor, and white paneling around the room – all of which is existing.

Aside from loving this deep moody hue, one of the reasons I thought the navy color would work well was to conceal the black appliances.  They aren’t overly attractive (ie: they’re old and will eventually need replacing) so I thought a dark cabinet color would make the appliances blend in versus adding contrast as light or white cabinets would.

The kitchen space is significantly large and the cabinets run the full wall length.  From one end to the other is about 20′.  I’ve organized and reorganized the cabinet interiors a few times already to create as much function as possible while cooking. It’s amazing how many times I run back and forth to each end while making dinner – refrigerator, stove, refrigerator stove.  This set up with one row of cabinets isn’t really the most ideal kitchen triangle, but it’ll work for now.


When we first started the makeover, one of the cabinet parts that had to go was the valance which was connecting the upper cabinets over the windows and concealing the fluorescent light behind.  The scalloped valance was purely decorative and when removed, the space really opened up the window area. The fluorescent light was removed and in it’s place, I hung a new simple modern pendant.

The wallpaper border that was added to the bulkhead above the upper cabinets was also removed and the wall then had to get repaired and painted.

At the windows, I installed cordless roman shades in a driftwood color.  The bamboo style shades add such beautiful texture and warmth.  Being cordless it makes it so easy to lift and lower for privacy.

The cabinets and drawers adorn new stain nickel knobs and new stain nickel pulls, while the hinges were removed, cleaned up, spray painted, and reinstalled.  It’s amazing what a freshened look new hardware can bring cabinetry.

The paint color of the cabinets is: Valspar Mystified 4011-8

The cabinet above the range hood and the refrigerator are now open.  Instead of reinstalling the doors, I chose to paint the interior of the two cabinets to display cookbooks, bowls, and kitchen items. I adored the open shelving in my last kitchen, so I took the opportunity to do something similar with this space.  The bindings on the cookbooks and the colorful bowl exteriors give the space depth and a pop of interest.

The light cocoa colored counter is filled with many favorites including cutting boards that I use daily, a large yellow holder for utensils, olive oils that I use often for cooking, and of course tulips because this time of year we need a little sunshine in our lives!

This kitchen is a large space and it also duals as our dining area.  The chandelier, dining table, chairs, and bench are all items we brought with us from our previous home. I was excited that they integrated so well in this new setting.

One new addition to the dining setting is the jute rug.  The white floor isn’t ideal – it looks somewhat fake and dated in person – and there is a lot of it, so to break up the monotony, I brought in this rug which fits perfectly under the table. It’s soft on the feet and like the roman shades, it brings texture and warmth to the space.

So let’s chat about the refrigerator.  It’s placement is very quirky.  I’d love to know the backstory behind it’s positioning because for some reason, someone chose to create an alcove in the wall because the refrigerator was too wide to fit.  I’m not sure why the cabinets couldn’t have been been shortened (there’s only 20’+ of cabinets), but this was their solution.  Anyway, this is a funky part of the existing kitchen…

When we moved to this kitchen, we had to invest in a microwave.  I loved my under-the-counter microwave in our last home.  It was out of the way and rarely used, except to reheat coffee, but I had it.  About a month into living here, I was tired of daily cold coffee, so a new micro was a must.  I decided to tuck it away and position it next to the refrigerator so it wasn’t so striking and bulky on the countertop.   It’s actually ideal because it creates a small nook to store large platters and trays.

My beloved coral colored china cabinet wasn’t left behind and is also beautifully displayed in the kitchen space.  Another reason I chose the deep navy color for the cabinets is that navy and coral are a beautiful complimentary color palette. I knew they’d work well and be happy together in the same setting.

As a recap, a few before and after looks at the kitchen…

There is quite a bit more work that needs to go into fully finishing the kitchen.  Up next is removing the wallpaper, painting the walls, replacing the base mouldings, and creating a command center like in our last home.

Overall, I am thrilled with the result of the painted cabinets.  As in our last home when we DIYed the kitchen, it lasted about 5 years before we actually tackled a full-on kitchen renovation.  I don’t foresee this being the forever kitchen in this home, but for now it’s a beautiful upgrade.  Before taking on a big renovation, I am taking this time to understand how the kitchen would work and function best – it being so large and serving multiple purposes, it’s a tricky space.

Thanks for following along on this kitchen cabinet makeover!  If you’re inspired and want to try making upgrades to your kitchen, shop the look…






DIY: Rolling Barn Door

I am putting the final touches on the kitchen cabinets, but in the meantime I’ve been working on a slew of other projects for the brick ranch fixer upper.  It’s been a busy couple months with moving, the holidays, and client projects, but thankfully with the recent freezing temps, we’ve been homebound most weekends which has allowed me to tackle my growing list of big and small projects around the new homestead.

One of my recent endeavours, which I am crazy in love with, are adding rolling barn doors to the family room which got the most TLC during the renovation.  If you remember back, this is how the space looked when we moved in…

The door opening, seen in the picture below, used to have a hinged door to access the room. Our plan when renovating the space, was to add a rolling barn door at this opening and the other opening from the kitchen so the spaces flowed better…

This is how the door opening with the new rolling barn door looks now…

Quite the transformation!

The rolling barn door, which was a complete kit – door + hardware – that we found at Lowe’s, has been a wonderful addition to the space.  Functionally + aesthetically, the door has added height, privacy, and a pop of color.  The deep navy color, Valspar Mystified 4011-8, on the door is the same as the kitchen cabinets that I painted.  I wanted to use this darker hue throughout the house to tie the spaces together + to give contrast to the lighter wall tone.

And check out the amazing wallpaper in the distance.  That’s the foyer…  More on that coming soon.


This is the rolling door kit we chose to use.  The design of the door was simple and not overly rustic + it was unfinished so any paint (or stain) color could be used.

The mister and I were a bit nervous to tackle installing the barn door hardware, but the directions were easy to navigate and the process for installation wasn’t as challenging as anticipated. Phew…

Since we had planned for the barn doors during the construction process, we had blocking added in the stud wall above the doors – yes there are two openings into the family room.  By adding blocking (extra framing) in the wall we knew there was no need to use anchors; the screws could go straight into the sheetrock with the blocking behind.

If you decide to tackle a similar project, you may need to use anchors which would add a few additional steps.

To start off, we painted the side of the door that would be facing the wall.  This was important because otherwise we wouldn’t have access to the whole side to paint once installed.

Using a combination of a brush for the corners and a roller for the flat surfaces, I painted the one side.

Once the paint was dry, we laid out all the hardware on a flat surface.

We then followed the directions to add the long track to the unfinished piece of wood which would be used to hang the door.

Then we added the 2 rolling brackets to the door.  The door had predrilled holes, which made the process effortless + easy.

There were a few additional steps to hang the door onto the track, but it was fairly straight forward.  The directions gave us multiple installation options, which took some time to review + anaylze.  The first door took about an hour from start to finish, but the second door was a breeze since we knew the steps to take.

Once the door was hung, I finished painting the exposed side.

Once the paint dried, I added the handle, and it was complete.

I was really impressed with the ease of installation + the beautiful look that the doors bring to the space.  Having the door included with the hardware also made the process so much easier.

Door open…

Door closed…

As I mentioned, there are two doors in this space.  Here’s the other…

I can’t wait to share the completed room and another fun color I brought into this space!

Shop the space…


KITCHEN: Prime + Paint

Happy 2018! It’s been a few weeks since I shared about the progress of the DIY Kitchen Remodel in the Brick Ranch Fixer Upper.  Last I left off, I finished prepping the existing wood stained cabinets and I shared the design vision for the space.  Now that the cabinets are prepped, it’s time to get them painted so we can call this kitchen FINISHED!

Before sharing the progress of the cabinets, lets walk down memory lane with a preview of how the kitchen looked before and where it started…


After the cabinets were removed from the face frame and sanded, they were ready for primer.  With most furniture projects that I’ve painted, I always start with using a high-quality stainblocking primer and sealer to give a solid base to the paint color. For this project, I used KILZ 2 Latex (so it’s waterbased for easy cleanup) Multi-Surface Stainblocker.

On a clean, flat, protected surface, I started off by using a paint brush to apply the paint in all the grooves and crevices.  After smoothing it out, I followed with using a brush on all the flat areas.  See the 2 pictures below for more visual detail…



Cabinet primer complete.  22 more doors to go…

As I was priming the doors (on late nights + early mornings), I also painted the face frames of the kitchen.

Eek, this is a disastrous picture.  Much of our furniture was stored in the kitchen during the renovation, so it was a challenging area to work! You gotta do, what you gotta do, right?!?

Using similar steps as with the doors, I used a small foam roller brush to apply the primer to the face frames of the cabinets.  At the edges and in difficult spots, I used an angled brush.

A few hours later, here was the result.

Thankfully, with the primer coat, it does not have to be applied thick and only one coat is needed.  As long as the surface it covered, it’s good to move forward with PAINT!

Continuing with the face frames, I applied the semi-gloss paint in the same way… Roller brush for flat surfaces and an angled brush at edges and corners. To get a brushless look, it’s important to have a continuous stroke instead of starting and stopping partially on the surface.  Start at one end and continue the brush or roller to the other end.

I decided that two of the cabinets – the space above the hood and above the refrigerator – would be open cabinets that I wouldn’t install the doors back on to.  I chose to make these cabinets open display with cookbooks and baskets to bring some color and depth to the space.

This is the open cabinet that I painted inside.  For the cabinets with doors, I did not paint the interiors, I left them the clear maple.

Once the face frames were complete, this was the result…

It’s starting to look like something – I think. I hope.

Check out this quick 13 seconds video I created of me painting one of the cabinet door fronts.  This will give you a thorough look into how and when I use the brush and the roller on the face of the door.

And this is the completed cabinet.  Again, 22 more to go…

Aside from the cabinet doors and face frames, the soffit above the cabinets also needed major attention.  I removed the wallpaper border above the cabinets and found that the soffit was made using wood instead of sheetrock, which is typical.  Repair to the damaged areas wouldn’t be as easy as just adding spackle. Ugh.

After sanding and trying to create a smooth surface (as much as possible), I first primed the soffit bulkhead.

Then I painted the soffit using a semi-gloss white. In hindsight, I should have used a flat sheen since the semi-gloss finish shows every imperfection, but it’s fine and I’ve learned to live with it.

I also chose to reuse the exposed door hinges instead of buying new.  Using spray paint in a brushed chrome finish, I layed out the hinges on a protective surface (outside before the snow) and gave them a few coats.  Voila, new hinges and only a few dollars spent!

Once the face frames and doors were complete, they were ready to go back into place.  In many of the images above, the paint color looked so dark, but in natural light the deep blue hue can really be appreciated.

The paint color of the cabinets is: Valspar Mystified 4011-8

After many hours of love + attention, the cabinets were finished and ready to be hung with new hardware and repurposed hinges.

This is the result…

That’s a wrap for now…  I have a few more details for the DIY Kitchen Remodel coming up.  Stay tuned for the reveal of the overall space!



Kitchen: Creative Vision Board

Before posting about the next steps of the DIY kitchen remodel for our brick ranch fixer upper, I want to share the design direction for the space. Much of the kitchen is staying the same (the floors, wall wainscotting and the layout), but with some budget-friendly upgrades like paint, hardware, and lighting, I hope to make this space feel fresh, updated, and our own.

As I shared last week, the cabinets were a deep stained cherry finish when we bought the fixer upper.  When I first set foot into the space during the open house, I had a strong feeling for what color I wanted to paint the cabinets…  Navy was screaming to me.

Yes, a deep blue hue is dark, but the space is large and the existing floor (which is remaining) is white ceramic with a light gray veining.  The space also has white wainscotting half way up the walls, which will remain.  With all these light / white colors, I felt a darker hue would work to give balance.  Another reason why navy seemed perfect is that my beloved raspberry-colored china cabinet that I found on Craiglslist was also planned for the space.  Raspberry and navy work so well together.

Once the doors + drawers were removed from the face frames to prep them for paint, I created this vision board to make sure I was on the right design path.

Yellow – Sherwin Williams White Citrus
Navy – Valspar Rouge Blue
Raspberry – Valspar Berry Blush
White – Valspar Ultra White

LIGHTING: Chandelier (similar), Semi-Flush light, Pendant

CABINET HARDWARE: Brushed square knob

ROMAN SHADE: Cordless woven driftwood shade

DINING TABLE: Trestle table

CHAIRS: Yellow Kartell Chairs, Wicker Chairs

JUTE RUG: Natural Jute Rug

Many of the elements in the vision board were pieces we already owned and came with us from our previous home.  Those items include the dining table, the yellow Kartel chairs, the bench with ikat fabric, the wicker dining chairs, the Caitlin Wilson pillows, and the chandelier.  New items that will be layered into the space are the cabinetry hardware, a semi-flush fixture, roman shades, a jute rug for under the dining table, and of course the beautiful new navy hue on the cabinets.

Painting the cabinets is coming up next…


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