Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Trash Here. Only Treasure.

I'm actually going to "show AND tell" about some of the little projects I've been working on around our house lately. No, it's not enough that I have these two incredibly intricate and interwoven projects going on but the creative juices have been flooding our own home as well. We seem to only be able to handle all of these tiny, baby projects. The ones that take only an hour to accomplish instead of a week or a month.

We've been on the cusp of biting the bullet to re-do our kitchen and just when I think we're "almost there," we chicken out again. Why? You might ask? Well...let's see. Because we watched Chris' mom and dad and his sister and her new husband gut their kitchens and even though both kitchens turned out ah-MAZING!!!! The time it took getting there....they had no walls, no floors at times, dust in their eyeballs and underpants, men going in and out of their homes at all hours of the day (uh...sometimes nights too), my in-laws used their microwave for EVERYTHING...while it sat in their family was so odd. Oh...and did I mention that both couples have no kids??? Ha! (Oh, wait...well, my in-laws have kids. They are my husband and my sister-in-law. Both of whom no longer live at home anymore, thank the Lord.)

See? That's why Chris and I are HUGE CHICKENS!! Where will we live and where will we go during the renovation that Chris and his dad will want to do? Yes, I KNOW they can do it but they'll kill each other and everyone else in their path along the way. I'll need a direct line to the Novi police department at all times and we'll spend $1,000,000.00 in gas (well over our budget) money for all the trips they'll both take to Home Depot. "No...honey. We don't need to hire contractors. I can do this myself," Chris will say. "Yes, babe, I know you can," I will say. "But we won't be able to handle the Dr. Phil-then-Jerry-Springer-show ramifications when this is all said and done."

There's really nothing like using your own home as a blank canvas though. A testing ground. A place where you can try that new paint, that roll of wallpaper or that new technique of whatever it is you found in that book you bought at Michaels. You just have to find the nerve to TRY.IT.OUT. You have to be brave. You have to not be afraid to be bold...or worry about what your friends might think. Because who knows?? You might start something that will sweep the country and you'll end up on Nate (Berkus)!! (Notice I didn't say Oprah?? Yeah, she's retiring so she's out. Nate is SO in!) :)

The other thing bit of advice...PLEASE, PUUHHHLLLLEEEEZZZZZZ do not feel pressure to spend a gazillion dollars to jump into every trend that hits the stores each season only to find later that it's "out" in 6 months!! It's so very sad when I watch people do this and oh, by the way...half the time they don't really like this look anyway...they just feel they better have their home look like Julie's house down the street so they're not ridiculed for not keeping up with these so-called, "trends!" Have your own style! Be your own person and FIND GREAT DEALS!!!

When I went to the Cash & Cari FABulous estate sale last Saturday, I walked out of there with FOUR BAGS of the coolest finds for all of $36.00!!! Since I went on the second day, the entire house of treasures had been marked down to 20% off! That's one of the tricks to these awesome "weekend-long" estate sales. Some people really criticize these estate sales (or another person's garage sale) and say, "Why would you EVER go through another person's belongings like that?? It's like going through their TRASH!!" But to those of us looking for that one chair at a steal or that shelf that would look great with a new coat of bright paint and some funky wall paper on each shelf?? Those turn into our TREASURES!! And TRUST me!!! Those pieces of furniture will forever and always be more of a conversation piece than any true JUNK you'll find at Art Van/Nebraska Furniture Mart (same kind of place for all you guys back in NE)!! Hahaha! (Uh, the stuff I have from there is already scratched to the hilt and STINKS!! You stink so bad, Art Van. The furniture I have from you in my house reeks. I'm currently spraying air freshener around my kitchen table that I purchased from you!!)

So. The moral of the story is: A) Chris and I will eventually take the leap and get our new kitchen. B) NOTHING will come from Art Van. C) I will be searching high and low for the greatest deals of all time and the coolest style I can find from today and yesteryear, even if I have to get the stuff out of a dead person's home. Hehe. (That might not entirely be the politically correct way to say "estate sale" but it sounded funnier, so that's what I typed. Please forgive me, if I did indeed offend.) D) I won't care what any of you think even if I decide to glue pink gummy worms to the walls, paint the floor purple with yellow polka dots and have jello counter tops! It will be ours and we WILL LOVE IT!!! :) (Crescendo!!!!!!! And!!!! Silence. ) :)

I will now show you some VERY inexpensive ideas to try around your house. If you like them? Thank you! If you hate them?? THANK YOU! :)

The pictures you see above start with our stairway being just an empty, boring staircase with plain, white walls, some scratches and knicks that need to be covered and overall? An area that's just BEGGING to be decorated!! I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to hang everything, so I started placing the items on the floor in various arrangements so I'd have an idea of what I liked and didn't like. That's why you'll see the various floor shots. My goal is to paint the entry way and staircase walls a chocolate brown (much to Chris' dismay...ha!)...maybe even have the walls striped and then take the artwork all the way up to the high ceiling, change out the light fixture to something much more contemporary, etc. I WISH I could tell you how LONG this project actually took with Chris getting involved!!! I actually video taped some of it to post out here!! I just need to figure out how to post videos...argh!! He's an engineer and I'm obviously of the art tribe so when it comes to this kind of stuff...we do NOT mesh well! I don't measure like he does...ok, sometimes not at all around here...but this project took HOURS once he stepped in....COME ON, MAN!!!! :) I love you....hehe! I just have to say about the overall cost of these items. The two prints are a STEAL right now at Ikea!! BOTH posters together, in a pack, are $6!!! I still want to add mats to them though. Probably a bold color. The frames are $6 a piece, also at Ikea. The black square, shadow boxes I purchased at Target last year for $12.99 a piece and the decorative balls I purchased (there were 3 in a set, all sitting in a wooden tray) at a flea market in Grand Rapids for $8!!!! So, total cost of this wall: $48.00!!

In conclusion! Just have fun with your home! YOUR SPACE! Your oasis! It shouldn't be a place of stress and anxiety!! "Where will I get my draperies?? Where will I get my rugs? WHAT IF JULIE DOESN'T LIKE MY DRAPERIES OR RUGS???" Hey. Julie. Stop tormenting your neighbors and get a life, would ya? Thanks.

Fill your home with your heart. And some art.
Home is where your art is. :)


  1. Thanks, Cheryl!!! Thank YOU for all of your advice too! Kelli did such an awesome job, didn't she??? I still can't believe how it all turned out!! I LOVE IT!!! :)


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