What We Lost in Hurricane Irma

I’m sitting here writing this on my phone in the dark. I can’t sleep. It’s hot. And while I’m thankful for these dueling osculating fans keeping things just bearable in our bedroom, their whirring noise is only compounded by the not-so-gentle hum of the generator just outside our window on the back porch.

Any other late summer night on our country street, you would only hear the wind rustle though the pines. But for the past five nights all you can hear up and down the street is the rumbling of generators. Ours is just big enough to run our refrigerator and a few fans. Any other creature comfort that requires power has been out since a tree limb feel on our power line following hurricane Irma .[READ MORE]

Countertops, Compromises & a DIY Backsplash

Despite all the stress that came with this renovation, I can honestly say we had the time of our lives. We love this stuff. We actually plan on doing some house flipping someday down the road. So the planning, and designing, and all the hands-on DIY stuff we got to do was like living my dream job.

But doing a renovation like this with your spouse can have it’s challenges. Through it all, we learned a lot about each other. Mostly we learned about how well we really do work together, and how our various strengths and ideas complement each other. But even though most of the time we were on the same page, there certainly were a few compromises. And the place where our style differences really came out the most was in the kitchen.
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Our Long-Awaited Kitchen Cabinet Install Day!

I haven’t gone into much detail about our cabinet situation because my mother taught me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all. Yeah… it’s like that. Here is a summary of the situation and then I will move on and never speak of it again.

We chose a large, national chain, ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinet company. This company is often featured on major home décor and renovation TV shows, so we felt like we were going with a company with a good reputation. In my research, I did see that there were lots of negative reviews regarding their customer service. So I actually prepared myself by lowering my expectations in that department. [READ MORE]

How to use PowerPoint to plan out decorations with no nail hole re-dos!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a visual person. When I get an idea in my head, I really need to “see” it to decide if it is a random stroke of genius or just another brain fart.

My first step is usually to scour Pinterest to see if anyone else has done it. You know what they say… there are no original ideas. But sometimes I’m not able to find anything close enough to ease my mind. So I have to find another way to “test drive” it. [READ MORE]

Farmhouse Dining Room Reveal- Before and After!

“Done-ish.”

That is an official DIY fixer upper term. Sure, on all the TV shows they finish their renovations with everything exactly how they want it. It’s decorated to perfection, they release doves at the grand reveal, and unicorns play harps in the backyard. But I quickly realized what a big difference there is between being a production company with a team of professionals, and being a hubby and wife with big dreams and a paint brush.

I talked about this in my post on how to transition to a new décor style a few weeks ago. In the real world (at least in my real world) things happen slower. Decorating and styling, and even furnishing happens over time. Partly so I can live with each space and get a feel for what I really want where… but mostly because sometimes we have to replenish the ol’ bank account before we can move on to the next project. Just keeping it real here. So this is a reveal of my done-ish dining room. [READ MORE]

The Easiest Coffee Table Makeover Ever

Last week on the blog I talked about my “clean slate” decorating process. Times they are a’ changin’ over at The Steel Fox Home. So as we were transitioning into our fresh new style, there were some causalities. More than a few pieces were given away or donated. But honestly our coffee table took me by surprise.  It wasn’t something we had put on our “need-a-new-one-for-the-new-house” list, and I really hadn’t given it any thought. It was a pretty piece, solid wood and in good shape. I had thought in the past about refinishing it, but really never had the motivation. But when we started moving our furniture into the house it just stuck out like a sore thumb. [READ MORE]

5 Tips on How to Transition to a New Décor Style

I shared in my last post about how our renovation progress had stalled waiting on the kitchen cabinets. We were still living at my parents, and after a lot of back and forth had decided to wait until the kitchen was installed to move in. I originally wanted to move in as soon as the floors went down. But my parents and my husband convinced me to be patient and continue to live somewhere where I could actually make a decent meal (to be honest I think my parents were trying to keep granddaughter and granddog as long as they could). Also, with my husband still traveling, I did want to wait until we could spend our first night in the new house all together as a family. But since the rest of the house was pretty much done, it was time to start decorating while we waited. So mini-me and I had a girls decorating night one Friday night.

As far as design style and décor went, we were pretty much starting from scratch. I shared in my post about our big, beautiful reclaimed wood mirror that finding my personal design style was not an easy-peasy process for me. It took a lot of trial and error, and spending a long time living in spaces that I didn’t feel reflected my style at all. But we were treating this new home–our dream home, our forever home–like a blank slate. It was a fresh start. I knew that when I was done decorating this home, it would look nothing like our last one. That was the whole point, and I was more than ok with that.
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