Tag Archives | Before and After

How I Used Chalk Paint to Update my Banister

I’ve gotten some questions about my banister recently.  I mentioned it briefly in this post about my favorite paint colors and you can also see it here in the post about my art nook but I thought I’d share a little more today about how I actually painted it.

I hated our banister color.  It was this orangey oak.  Here’s the best before picture I could find, I know its small and grainy, but at least you can see the color. bannister before

The thought of sanding and priming all of that sounded awful to me though. All those curves and angles, just ugh!!  I know, I’m totally whining.  Whenever Paul or I get whiny about something that truly doesn’t matter in life we quote a line from You’ve Got Mail to one another.  Its from that scene where they’re stuck in the elevator and think they may never get out. Everyone is sharing deep moments from their hearts and Parker Posey’s character is digging through her purse and exclaims, “Ugh! I can’t find my tic-tacs!”

You've Got Mail So yeah, I had a “can’t find my tic-tacs” moment about the banisters.

And its because I know it isn’t something that matters that much in the history of my life and it also isn’t something I wanted to invest that much time or money on.

So here enters chalk paint.  It requires no sanding or priming.  Oh, and apparently you can make it yourself pretty easily and cheaply. Perfect!

Chalk Paint :: The House of Figs

I am totally not a DIYer as you may have discovered from this blog.  I don’t really do crafts and we hire out when jobs are too big for us.  But like I’ve already said, this wasn’t really something I wanted to spend lots of money or time on, so I just did a quick google search and found a great and inexpensive recipe for chalk paint.

That was all I needed to give it a go.  You can’t really ruin something you already can’t stand, right? So here’s the recipe I used:

2 parts paint plus 1 part calcium carbonate

I ordered this Calcium Carbonate on Amazon and it has lasted me for a LONG time.  I think I used around a cup of paint for the entire bannister.  The color is my favorite gray, Olympic’s Silver Dollar.  Now just a little warning, from what I understand, this recipe is not the greatest when you are planning to do distressing.  I knew I wanted a clean and modern look so I wasn’t concerned about that.  See other recipes for making your own chalk paint here.

Chalk Paint Bannister :: The House of Figs

I didn’t use a different brush or anything, just a regular old paint brush. I had to do a couple of coats, and did end up needing to put little circles of tape on all the white spindles (ugh!!) but it was worth it in the end.  No sanding, no priming.

After painting, I wanted it to be super durable, so I covered it with a couple coats of a satin polycrylic.  This is similar to a polyurethane but its waterbased so it doesn’t change the color at all and it gives it a nice sheen and protective coating.  We’ve had it this way for over a year and it has held up nicely.

Bannister

After doing the bannister, I loved it so much that I decided to do it on my mantle as well! It only took one coat because it was already white.

Mantle with Chalk Paint :: The House of Figs

Wall color:  Olympic’s Willow Springs, Mantle & banister color:  Olympic’s Silver Dollar

Fall Mantle: The House of Figs

So there you have it, pretty easy and super cheap update to that old orangey-oak banister wood.  Have you ever used chalk paint on anything in your home?

Thanks so much for reading!

xoxo

Bethany

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Weekend Reading- Favorites from Around the Web

Happy Saturday!  We are quickly gearing up for the first day of school around here, but I thought I’d share some of my favorite links with you for your weekend reading.

I am LOVING this before and after post from Amber Interiors.  Here’s my favorite room in the house.  I love the white walls and bold rug.  That antique kilim is so cool and unique, but wouldn’t have been big enough for the space by itself.  The best solution is to layer it over a larger natural fiber rug.  I just love that look and really this whole house is so right up my alley!

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Here’s another fun and colorful house for you.  My friend and I were recently comparing Pinterest boards- hers is FULL of color, and mine is quite neutral (surprise, surprise, ha!).  She described her style as boho-farmhouse and I just LOVE that description. I started doing a little searching and found this gem.  Click here to see the full tour. 

A-Farmhouse-with-a-Modern-Twist-14

Now, have I ever told you about my love for Lauren Liess?  She’s one of my favorite designers and her style is so unique and I feel like I can pick it out anywhere.  She and her husband are currently looking for a new home to move to and rennovate with their four children and they came across this amazing old fixer upper.  It ultimately is not going to work out for what they need but the way she describes it and the vision she has for it in this post is just inspiring!  You can see what this home was meant to be through her eyes.  I don’t think I would have the guts to take on a project like that, but there is something wonderful about bringing back to life something that was once thriving.  And how about that kids’ play castle with the working drawbridge?? My jaw dropped when I saw it.

Lauren Liess

 

Next on the list- I’ve got a gallery wall tutorial video in the works for my subscribers and I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime though, I am planning and hanging my stairway gallery wall (see before pictures here) and looking for beautiful and meaningful art to use.  Have you see the Naptime Diaries shop?  Every print and canvas is just stunning.  I think this one is my favorite.

Naptime Diaries Print

Do you read The Nesting Place?  She’s one of my favorite bloggers and recently moved into an old fixer upper out in the country.  Here’s a look at her boys’ bathroom before & in progress and I am just loving how it is coming along.  That mirror, the sconces, the planked ceiling!  So great.

The Nester's Bathroom

Lastly, do you listen to podcasts?  I recently discovered Jamie Ivey’s Happy Hour podcast and it is so much fun!  Each week she interviews different women- her friends, authors, bloggers, small business owners- and they talk about everything. It ranges from deep things like spiritual things, motherhood, being a wife, a believer, etc to what they’re currently reading, watching on TV, favorite brand of lip gloss, pair of shoes, everything!  Its like a fun conversation with your closest girlfriends and I end up inspired and encouraged every time.  I listen to it while I’m driving, folding laundry, whatever.  Actually the other day while my littlest was napping, I cleaned out my entire closet while listening to her most recent episode, ha!  You’ve really got to check it out.  My favorite episodes so far are the ones with Emily Lex from Jones Design Company, Jen Hatmaker, and Susie Davis.

The Happy Hour

That’s it for now. Hope you have a great weekend!  Its going to be a bit of an emotional one for us- our daughter is starting Kindergarten on Monday!  Our oldest is in second grade so it feels a little bit easier this second time around, but I think I’m still in a bit of denial and its not going to hit me until Monday morning!!  Anyone else know what I mean???  Say a prayer for me if you think about it. 😉

Thanks for reading, Happy Saturday.

xoxo

Bethany

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My Gray Kitchen Cabinets (Before & After)

My Kitchen Before // The House of FigsFor those of you who have been reading since the beginning, this is a repeat post.  But for some reason when I transferred my blog over to the new site, my kitchen post didn’t come with it!  So feel free to skip this one over if you’ve seen it before.  Blah blah blah, painted the cabinets, changed the tile, blah blah blah. 😉

To my newer readers, welcome to my kitchen!  I am not the cook in our family.  So kitchen function matters much less to me than kitchen “pretty.” When we found this house, Paul said that the function could work for him (and the stove was gas- he was excited about that!), and while the obvious pretty factor wasn’t all there, I felt like there was definite hope for this place. The cabinets are nowhere near custom but I did love that they are tall and have some nice trim around the tops. The countertops are this pure white Corian. Maybe that is so out of style but the white is so stark they look modern to me. Then there are those big windows and the high ceilings, always a plus! We worked with what we had.

My Kitchen // The House of FigsWe put new floors in (same throughout the whole living area downstairs) and had the kitchen cabinets painted gray (my absolute faaaaaavorite color- Silver Dollar by Olympic brand). I have always wanted gray kitchen cabinets! We added the hardware ourselves. The wallpaper was removed and a subway tile backsplash added. That’s literally all we did. When the dishwasher and the oven broke a couple years later we replaced them. I’d still love to have a white refrigerator one day (one with stainless handles ?) but the black one from our old house works just fine- especially covered in my kids’ art! The faucet is asking politely to be replaced as well. All in good time! The plant and the bamboo shades add much needed texture and color.

My Kitchen // Gray Cabinets // The House of Figs

You can see a bit of the dining room peeking through there on the right.

My Kitchen // Gray Cabinets // The House of Figs

By the way, Paul took these pictures when it was about 6pm in the evening and super cloudy and dark.  He made it look like it was sunny and mid-morning and made our neighbors think we are totally crazy with the lights he had set up outside. Oh and the rest of our house was pretty much a wreck and I fed the kids peanut butter and jelly since the kitchen was being used for something other than dinner-making. Just so you know, things are not always as they appear on blogs, haha!

My Kitchen // Gray Cabinets // The House of Figs

As always, thank you so much for reading!  Sorry if this was a repeat for you.  To see more of my house, click here!

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A Spa Inspired Master Bedroom- After!

A Spa Inspired Bedroom // The House of FigsEarlier this week I shared with you the before pictures of this master bedroom (if you want, you can see those here).  We were going for a serene and relaxing spa inspired feeling.  I am loving how it all turned out!  They already had a beautiful headboard, beautiful wood floors- a lovely blank canvas from which to begin.  We kept the existing duvet and added new pillows and a few new accessories and pieces of furniture.  I don’t like to be matchy-matchy and an easy way to avoid that is to add in lots of texture and neutrals.  The pillows in the back are Euro shams so they stand up taller, giving a fuller appearance.

Master Bedroom // The House of FigsThe big white lamps lend lots of light for reading in bed.  Everything is bright and reflective.  I loved these plants my clients already had! Any space can benefit from something leafy and green!

Bedside table // The House of FigsIts always nice to have a drop spot for those spaces that can become so easily cluttered.  A little bowl and a pretty box on a bedside table are perfect for holding jewelry and hiding the not so pretty bedtime necessities- chapstick, lotion, ponytail holders, etc.

Above the bed, I used two of my favorite prints from Lindsey Letters– I recommend her prints and canvasses all the time!  Beautiful words for marriage and for life, don’t you think?

Lindsey Letters Prints // The House of FigsSpa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of FigsSpa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

On the other side of the room, the tall chest of drawers was replaced with a wider dresser.  I surrounded it with a gallery of black and white family pictures and also added in a small reading spot.Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of FigsThe rug brings in a little more color and pattern without competing too much with the duvet.  I love how subtle it is here.  Even if you don’t have wood floors, you can lay a rug right over your wall to wall carpeting!  They make special rug pads just for that.

 The white curtains (my favorite Ikea Ritvas!) frame out that tricky window seat nicely making it feel like one large window.

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of FigsThis was a fun project and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Looking forward to sharing more with you.  I’m working on a few kids’ rooms right now and also finishing up The Spring Valley House.  More to come!  Thank you so much for reading!

xoxo

Bethany

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A Spa Inspired Master Bedroom

Recently I created this moodboard for a master bedroom for new clients of mine.  They already had this beautiful headboard and duvet cover, but the rest of it needed some help to feel finished and put together.  They wanted a spa inspired space; relaxing and serene, inspired by the blues and greens in the duvet.

Spa Inspired Master Bedroom // The House of Figs

As you can see below, they already had some great things going for them- like those beautiful wood floors!   I wanted to keep everything mostly neutral and bring in some texture and metallics for visual interest.  I felt like the lamps were a little too small- I love a big lamp with some nice presence!  And the bedside tables, while they matched the bedding, they really didn’t play into the feeling we were trying to create- I wanted something a little more sophisticated, serene, and maybe even shimmery and reflective, like pools of water in a spa.  These were more like “look at me, I’m blue, and I match.”  They are totally cute and would work in a more eclectic and colorful space- and in fact she moved one of these to her guest room and it looks adorable- but if we really wanted the colors of the duvet to shine, I feel like we needed everything else to be a neutral and textured background.

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This TV wall needed an update as well.  The clients needed a dresser and wanted to keep their TV.  Obviously the dresser is not the right scale for the space, but of course sometimes we just use what we have and it works for the time being!  They were ready to update it though so I can’t wait to show you how we changed this wall (and the rest of the room).Master Bedroom // BeforeSorry to keep you in suspense, but I’ll be back later this week with the after pictures! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Bethany

 

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