End of summer projects

As AO and I gear up to kick off Fall 2015 Project Bonanza (I’m looking at you sewing room and front yard), it was important to kick out a few projects that should have been put to rest ages ago. For example, when we made our Mega Ikea Run shortly after moving into the house in 2014, we bought Bear a chandelier. But it didn’t work for her room (speaking of which, where is that thing and why haven’t I sold it on Craigslist yet? Oh how I love to sell things on Craigslist), so I bought this number from Overstock for her room:

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In December. I bought the fixture in December 2014. When I was still in my thirties. In my defense, when we tried to install the chandelier, AO and I nearly had a collective heart attack when we took off the fixture that was there. I already have a pretty serious fear of holes and unveiling that hole did nothing to conquer it. At the end of August, though, we decided to revisit the project and try again. AO had to do some mudding (or something like that) with the ceiling, which required the ghastly hole to be uncovered for days. It was a very scary week (lucky for Bear, she was at my mom’s at the time). Here is what it looked like before:

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We have eight or nine of these boob lights in the house – lucky us.

AO risking it all by staring directly into the hole.

AO risking it all by staring directly into the hole.

At the end of the project, this sparkly number emerged (and yes, every one of those sparkly things has to be hung by hand):

It has only 1/4 of the bulbs it can take, so just you wait.

It has only 1/4 of the bulbs it can take, so just you wait.

If you look carefully, you can see the disast-a-tent hanging out in the bottom of that shot. Oy vey. Anyway, moving on… The next project I’d like to share with you is titled Why in the Universe Did Someone Not Tell Me to Do This Immediately upon Moving in? or Holy Bananas I’m in Love! When I first saw our house, I thought the arched fireplace was particularly cute. But holy icky tile out front and the stone was so dirty. But I just kinda ignored it. I kept thinking we’d get to retiling at some point. I had a white and gray herringbone pattern in mind. And I also thought of painting the stones. But I kept staring. Or, rather, trying not to stare, because looking at it just made me sad. And I couldn’t really remember why I’d thought it was so cute. Here’s what it looked like last week or so.

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That is Molly’s arm making its way into the shot. As you can see, it needs some love. As you can also see, ew. So, with AO’s blessing and the paint he found in the basement labeled “trim,” I set to work.

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At first I tried to avoid painting the gray grout in between the stones, which made the whole thing tricky and, ultimately, dumb. Why was I trying to save splotched-on gray grout? If I really wanted gray grout to show, I could add it later, but why would I want it? I don’t. I want shiny, sparkly white. White! That’s what I want! White! On my fireplace! Everywhere! IMG_0906

I was careful not to paint the heinous tiles because … Hmm. Wait a second. And then I read the Young House Love blog post that seemed to fully endorse painting tile. I quickly got on board. IMG_0929

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I can breathe so much easier when I pass this room. Hall. E. Lu. Jah.

Ok, next up, I bring you my Great National Park Gallery Wall. These projects look amazing in my head and pretty cool on the dining room table.

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And then I start measuring. And marking the wall. And using the level. And making marks over my marks. And remeasuring. And then I start drilling. And placing screws. And then remeasuring. And taking screws back out. Basically, it’s a disaster. And then it’s so far from perfect. For a zillion reasons. But I ended up with this and I’m declaring it a success. Even if I think they’re a little too high. And you can totally see all the ways that they’re just still not (!!!!!!!!!!!) level.

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And one last one.

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5 Responses to “End of summer projects”


  1. 1 Mary Lloyd September 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I love that!

  2. 2 Jane Roe September 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Great job. I love the fireplace solution and the park picture wall and the light fixture. Nothing better than successful home decorating experiences.

  3. 3 kateandgracie September 7, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks! I’m so in love with the fireplace. It’s made the whole room brighter.

  4. 4 Sara September 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    My goodness you’ve been busy! That chandelier is so cute… and nice work on the fireplace.

  5. 5 Terry September 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    It is as lovely up close and personal too! Great work!


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