Monday, April 9, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It seems hard to believe that we have been living in our house now for four years.  Brian and I moved from Southern California to the South.  There were some big adjustments to make like when ordering iced tea, "regular" is actually syrupy sweet and I had to learn that flip flops are not year round attire (people tend to laugh if they see you wearing them in January here).  Aside from the funny cultural differences and missing my family like crazy, one huge adventure has been owning a home for the first time. 

When we moved in, we embarked on some house projects and finally, I finished the most long running one this past weekend.  I had to share since I am incredibly pleased with the result though sadly, I have no before pictures to compare the finished product with so sorry!

Our downstairs powder room was in need of some attention when we bought the place owing to some dark forest green striped wall paper with a wood grain pattern over the stripe.  It had the shortest vanity that I had ever seen which was comical when 6'2 Brian tried to wash his hands.  We were in process of refinishing the floors and so, in true "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..." style, I thought we should rip out the vanity too so the floor guys could fill in the wood flooring so I could put the pedestal sink I have always wanted. 

With that done, I moved on to peeling wall paper and, like all projects, discovered it wasn't as clear cut as it looked since the builder many years previously had glued the paper directly to the drywall and thus peeling paper meant peeling drywall.  Painting the walls my beloved red Plan A went out the window since the walls were going to be so damaged that we decided the only thing to do was to re-paper.  We have never been big wall paper people so I was thrilled when we found a red paper that I actually loved.  The powder room is crazy tiny so papering it was really funny since both Brian and I could barely fit in there at the same time.  We put in a new set of bronze fixtures (my other love besides red!) which were sorely needed since when we bought the house, there were no towel bars or toilet paper holders... am still trying to figure out how that worked with the previous owners...  We switched out the toilet too later to a water saving one (all the while carefully measuring so the door would still have clearance- yes, the room is that tiny) and replaced the rusty mini blinds with a roman shade.  I found a inexpensive black framed mirror at Target to replace the huge builder one and I love that it looks just as good as the $70 dollar ones at Lowe's but was only $25. 

All of this sounds crazy expensive but it wasn't since we all the work ourselves with the exception of the floor and Target and the Lowe's brand fixtures was pretty much all we used although when it came together, you would never know they were the basic brands. 

We finished this all a long time ago and I have been trying to figure out what should go over the toilet since that looked bare.  This spot has really been the crux of why we haven't finished yet since we just couldn't figure what should go there for the longest time.  We toyed with the idea of a family picture but thought that might be weird having people "watching" in the bathroom and I never found any artwork that I really loved that didn't just seem like a generic print.  I've been really enjoying photography lately and decided this would be a good chance to showcase a photo that I've actually taken so with some planning, I was able to shoot the restaurant, Angelo and Vinci's, which was the place Brian and I went to on our first date and where he proposed in downtown Fullerton, California.  One of the things I love most about decorating and homes is how it reflects the people who live there hence my desire to make sure that anything I put up was personal and made me happy anytime I look at it.  Since I am at home with our three boys, I definitely need calm and happy pictures!  I love how the red of the building ties in with the red and the old theater behind stands out against the sky; it reminds me of home and good times.  I was able to print it out as an 11 by 14 from Shutterfly with a coupon and then, armed with another coupon, picked up a frame at A.C. Moore this past weekend.  It took a long time to actually get it done but I am so glad that I didn't just stick any thing up there to call it done because it is so personal and so fun. 

One of my goals is to try to do as much as I can, as economically as I can in taking care of our family and making it homey.  I think some of my favorite projects have actually been some of the cheapest and have thus required the most creativity.  I love how opportunities to be creative let me make our home personal by telling our story through our photos and let me be crafty in a practical sense.  Thanks for listening about my foray into photography and decorating and my you have opportunities to be just as creative! 

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