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Dear House on the Mill

DIY Toddler Activity Board

Aden is so hands on now and picking up on almost everything he sees...it's crazy!  He's already figured out how to open and take off the kid-proof locks on the kitchen cabinets.  His little hands need something to play with...something that looks like it isn't a toy...something that he thinks is off limits but wants to play with anyway...but also something that will help him learn...

So, we made a toddler activity board!  It was so simple and cost maybe $25.  I bought all of the items at a local hardware store and most of them were on clearance. 

He can now pull his own toilet paper off of the roll and HOPEFULLY leave what's actually in the bathroom alone.  With five locks, two of his own "boinging" door stoppers, push lights, spinning wheels, and a pipe attached with velcro, there are plenty of things to occupy those little hands.

Seriously, it was so simple!  Take a board that is at least 1/2 of an inch thick (so that it will be thick enough to hold the screws needed for assembly), add a small border (to cover the rough edges), paint, and then add whatever items you want.  Most of the items come with the screws needed to attach them to the board so the only additional item I needed to find was a hook big enough to fit the combination lock.  The lights slide off of the base so that the batteries can be changed and the pipe is also big enough to fit some of his toys (cars, balls, etc.) and act like a shoot.  You can go as large or as small as you want and you can pick any combination of items from the hardware store.  I honestly just picked what was on sale!

We are going to hang it on the wall in his playroom so that it is at his eye-level.  But, as soon as I brought it inside he immediately wanted to play with it and hasn't stopped yet...

I will say the push lights are a HUGE hit with him!

 

I'd love to hear if you've made any activity boards for your children!

Thanks,

Nicole

Weekend Beach Trip

Every now and again you need to get away for the weekend, relax, enjoy family, and have fun!

We spent the weekend of the Fourth of July at the beach.  It was a fun, quick vacation with some of our family.  We are very thankful that Aden has several cousins around his own age that he will get to grow up with and take more trips like this one.

They are the absolute cutest (even though I am a little biased).  This is such a fun age to take to the beach and see how they react.  Each one of them loved the sand and the water.  They played for hours, fought off naps, ran around and just laughed. 

They also loved the pier.  I might have had a few panic attacks as Aden wanted to look over at the water and them immediately run to another area.  It was fun to see his reaction to it all though.  They even sat still long enough for me to snap a cute photo of them in their matching, monogrammed Prodoh shirts.  Aden finally has a shirt that matches his Dad's wardrobe :)  All fishing, all the time!

Aden's aunt, Brooke, even made the trip with us!  We had so much fun getting to spend time with some of our family in the beautiful sunshine. 

I'll try to always remember how he reacts to new things.  At first he's cautious but then he jumps right in.  Our first afternoon here he made his Dad hold his hand while exploring the ankle deep water of the ocean.  By day two he ran straight for it with no fear.  He's such a joy!

Now that we are home and the next vacation is over a month away.  I have plenty of time to tackle my next home improvement project - building a kitchen island with a DISHWASHER!  Stay tuned for updates :)

Love,

Nicole

A Room to Play

This morning we ran around the house until I was out of breath and then we had to take every toy Aden owns out of the toy box.  I realized then I had never taken photos of his playroom.  Mostly that's because it's always littered with books, cars, blocks, and balls.  But, before it became too cluttered with this morning's top pick of toys, I snapped a few photos.

When we decided to convert this room from a guest bedroom into a playroom, I wanted it to be a colorful room that he could grow into and make his own.  The walls are a bright green and the accent wall sports large stripes of red, blue, purple and orange. 

This adorable frog shaped toy box was given to us by his aunt who also used it when she was a little girl.  It's the cutest thing - even when it's "mouth full" of toys risk spilling out at any minute.

Reading is a huge passion of mine and I hope that Aden loves it as well.  A reading nook was a must-have in this room and the large, stuffed bear gives him a comfy place to sit.  I love watching him grab a book, plop down and start "reading."  His favorite books right now are shape books that he can go through and pick out familiar items while he yells out, "ball, boat, cookie, etc."

The colorful owl futon cover and pillows were made by my favorite Etsy shop, Studio Slumber.  It gives a fun pattern to break up some of the bold colors on the walls.

This room belongs to Aden and his imagination can run free.  Cars come to life and chase over blocks and stuffed animals, the walls become bumpers to his ride-on cars, mirrors reflect his silly faces, and he scores goals using whatever will fit through the hoop. 

He's such a joy to watch and we're so thankful for him.  And I'm thankful for you too - thankful that you stopped by to read what I had to say.  I hope you have a blessed day!

Love,

Nicole

Functional Storage in a Small Home

Have I mentioned how small our home actually is?  It's only 1200 square feet; three bedrooms, one bath, and lacking massive amounts of STORAGE!  Seriously, we only have three closets, total...

So, storage is really important and I have to get creative with our limited amount of space.  There is a difference in the attic storage we have versus everyday storage.  With our small home, we have to have access to everyday items but also have a place to put them when they are no longer needed.

Thanks to Amazon, I stumbled upon these cute leather ottomans that double as storage bins.  They hold a lot of stuff.  I keep two in the living room (one for toys and one for throw blankets) and the larger one at the foot of our bed. 

Having easy access to the things you need but being able to store them away is essential to making storage work in our home.  It also keeps me sane and clutter free.

When you are looking for items that help with functional storage, you need to look for items that are needed but offer a dual purpose.  Coffee tables with storage inside, ottomans with storage, floating shelves for important items, decorative baskets or crates that can sit at a fireplace but also hold essential items, the list goes on!

These especially allow my son to play with toys he loves but can easily be put out of sight at night.

What are your functional storage ideas?  Share below :)  As always, thank you for reading.

Love,

Nicole

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I didn't Rush...

My old Friday's consisted of waking up early, rushing around to get ready, heading out the door by 7:40am, and normally forgetting something...

Today, I didn't rush.  There was no pressing alarm clock (although we were still wide awake by 7:30am).  Blueberry pancakes were made and devoured while we sat next to the big window in the kitchen.  With our pajamas still on, we rode the golf-cart around the neighborhood.  We spotted Memaw in her front yard and stopped in - this lead to a brief piano lesson and lots of toys to play with.  We departed with a popsicle and a smile. 

My prayer this morning was of thankfulness.  I held my son and prayed with my heart full of gladness and love.  I was excited to start this new chapter working part-time but I never knew how much of a blessing it was truly going to be. 

I also have more time to work on his potty training - which he's doing really great at so far!!! :)

So thankful you stopped by to read about our morning.  Have a blessed day!

Love,

Nicole

 

 

Thankful

Dear House on the Mill...

I'm sitting here thinking of the changes that will happen overnight.  After tomorrow, I no longer work at my 9-5 job full time.  Tomorrow is the last day that I'll spend 8+ hours at work and only 3 hours with my family.  Tomorrow is the close of one chapter and the beginning of another.  And that both excites and scares me.

Change is scary - especially when that change effects your household income, your way of life, your career, and your family.  But, I can feel that it is the right decision for us.  From the moment we discussed it, It happened so quickly and I felt God there telling me that this is possible and this is what I needed to do. 

I'm thankful. Very thankful.

I'm thankful to work for a company who takes the needs of their employees into consideration, for leaders who went above and beyond to accommodate my request to work part time, and for co-workers who understand and aren't judging me for this decision but are supportive.

I'm thankful for our family members who help out in so many ways.

I'm thankful for my husband who works hard to support his family, who is loving and kind, who makes me laugh everyday, and is my best friend.

I'm thankful for our son who makes each day bright and fills it with such wonder, who reminds me how fast we grow up, and teaches me something new everyday about a mother's love.

I'm thankful for our God - a powerful and mighty God who loves us and when we listen and follow Him we can do things we never thought possible. 

 

Bedroom Update - Floors!

Here's a bedroom update - the floors are now completed!  My original plan was to have the bedroom hardwood floors sanded and finished to match the rest of the hardwoods in the house.  However, the hefty price tag wasn't as appealing.  The floors have been painted a few times (I'm not actually sure how many times total) in the last 93 years.  So, that means to get them sanded down it adds a lot of money for each paint layer.  So, what's one more layer of paint until I decide to pay to have them refinished...

There is specific paint to use when painting your floors because it has to be durable enough to withstand everyday walking, moving, playing, furniture and little paws.  Oil-based enamel floor paint is durable enough to paint high traffic areas.  The brand we chose didn't have many colors to choice from but it had great reviews on the paint itself so I picked, "Brown."  Nothing fancy, a color that wouldn't bring too much attention to the floors but gave the room a cohesive feel.  It brings out the stained wood in the headboard and makes the white in the room really pop.

This process has just a few steps: 1. Remove ALL furniture, rugs, or anything that sits on the floor that is removable. 2. Clean the floors. 3. Paint the trim area using a brush. 4. Paint the main area of the floor with a roller.  Your biggest challenge is not painting yourself into a corner :) 5. You can also add a sealer top coat if you think the area needs it.

The worst part of this process is the smell - it's unpleasant and calls for several outside breaks during the process.  Make sure to ventilate the area you are working in REALLY WELL!  It's also best to not stay in the home for 24-48 hours - especially with children and pets.  We planned it out so that it was over an extended weekend and we wouldn't be home.  My Mother-In-Law was such a HUGE help during this so a special thanks to her!

Overall, I'm very happy with the results.  The room looks so much better without the chipping grey paint all over the floor. 

 

Our son really wanted to be in the photo but was very unhappy when our dog decided he no longer wanted jump on the bed with him...But...This floor will withstand many, many more tantrums, toys, dog and son chases, falls, and spills.

I'm so very thankful for the emails and comments I've received for this blog.  I simply try to remember that you can find beauty in everything - so open your eyes and look around.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet, no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

As always, thank you for reading.

-Nicole

 

A Normal Night

Dear House on the Mill,

Tonight was refreshing.  Long-time childhood friends gathered together in this home, each with their own children.  We discussed life, we read, we laughed and we prayed. 

We discussed how "normal" our lives really are.  But "normal" doesn't mean perfect, frustration-free, without pain, or always right.  "Normal" means normal.  It's normal for you or the kids to have a bad day, to question things, to want to pull your hair out.  "Normal" isn't always a perfectly put together life like social media portrays.  And sometimes we get bogged down with the idea that we have to be perfect to be "normal."

We gathered together tonight for our first book club meeting.  We've decided to start with "Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope."  We are loving this so far and the discussions it brings up that relate to our own lives.

We laughed together.  We laughed about childhood memories and the hilarious things that our kids do today. 

We prayed.  Together, four moms and six children stood together to pray for our "normal" lives.  We prayed for the community we have in each other and we prayed for the strength to teach and show our children the Gospel in everyday life.

It was a fun evening that we four moms needed!  But, it wasn't perfect.  Between the six kiddos there were a few tears, broken toys, spilt milk, food stolen by the dog, and bathroom incidents.  It was completely normal.

 

Bedroom Makeover Part I

We have a lot of projects going on at the moment that I'm so excited to get completed - new fence, windows, retaining wall, and the bedroom floors.  As we check each item off of the "to-do" list I feel like I add one more... 

For the inside of the house, we put our bedroom last.  There are still a few more things to get completed (the floors, barn door, and small décor items) but overall it is coming together quickly. 

I have to brag on my mother-in-law for an awesome surprise.  We had plans to paint the bedroom one Saturday.  The day before my mother-in-law had other plans to do some outdoor work.  The weather didn't cooperate exactly and that Friday was a downpour.  So instead, she paints our entire bedroom! Without us even knowing!  Like I said, awesome surprise!

My parents helped us pick up and install this amazing headboard that we had made from someone local.  Needless to say, I'm in love with it.  Before we didn't have a headboard and I feel like it has anchored the room so much.  Not to mention is only set us back $170...for a custom, handmade, wooden headboard...for our king size bed!  I can give you the couple's contact information for anyone really interested in their work. 

As you know, I'm all about bargains.  The same yard sale I found those adorable wicker chairs (you can read about those here), I also bought khaki curtains and a white curtain rod.  I love floor to ceiling curtains but these were slightly too long and bunched a little too much at the bottom.  So, I tied a knot, problem solved!

Here is the before photo.

The space has a relaxing feel to it now with the light walls and dark wood tones.  It also still has a lot of the original character - original doors, fire place, mantle, and wood floors.  It's definitely becoming a favorite place to relax, read, pray, and nap.  I'll keep you posted with the remaining updates - floors and adding the barn door. 

As always, thank you for stopping by.  I hope I've inspired you to create something in your own home that you will cherish but most importantly to create spaces that allow you and your family to grow together and grow with God.

Thank you friends :)

-Nicole

 

 

Table and Chair Set

This morning my husband and I got up a little early to go check out some local yard sales, thrift stores, and antique shops.  Our first stop was a yard sale at one of my favorite houses in town. As we drove past I immediately noticed several child-size antique chairs, a table, highchair, etc.  Already in love with the table and two chairs, I walked right up to ask how much those were.  Before answering, the woman explained that not only did these belong to her grandmother but she and her sister grew up playing with it.  She loved this table and chair set and was reluctant to get rid of it.  But, they were selling the home and they didn't have a need for this so it was time to let it go. 

I purchased the set for $35 (her full price) and before she handed me my change she looked at me and asked, "Do you have children?"  I knew this question was only to make sure that this table and chair set was going to a home that would use it and love it just as she and her sister did.  My answer made her smile, she gave me my change, and said "Thank you." 

The paint color had darkened with time, some paint was chipping, and it was a little covered in dust and dirt.  But, a little cleaning and some fresh white paint gave a new life to this set. 

I love that we are able to continue to use a piece that has been around since the 1930s for our home. 

Our son will enjoy eating meals here, reading books, coloring, and more - which is exactly why she asked me if I had children, to make sure it was going to be used and loved.

 

As always, thank you for reading.

-Nicole

Nights on our porch

We surprised our son with the cutest sandbox (shaped like a crab) and we decided to keep it on our back deck so that we could have a relaxing place to sit and talk while he plays and plays!

So far, it's been a huge hit!

But, we noticed we needed to add a little extra lighting to the area.  My mother-in-law had already purchased these beautiful glass lights for me so we decided this would be the best place for them.

It provides a soft glow - enough to sit by and for our son to play - but not casting overly bright light that disrupts the perfection of dusk.

We can enjoy the evening together as a family, celebrating God, life, love, and each other.  It's the way all evenings should be...

As always, thank you for stopping by! I hope that you find inspiration for your own home but most importantly, I hope you find our love for God and family that we strive to put into our daily living.

-Nicole

Patio Seating for $65!

Now that the weather is perfect for cookouts and late night talks under the stars, it was time for me to look for outdoor furniture.  Last year we built a new deck and decided at the same time to get rid of our old patio furniture.  So, that meant I had NOTHING!  I of course loved everything in the catalogs I looked in but didn't love the price.  So instead, I just kept my eyes open to discounts or yard sales. 

I first found a beautiful garden bench (on Craigslist) from a local antique store owner.  I jumped at the price (only $40) and immediately called the hubby so that he could pick it up that evening.  It's a pretty shade of mint green and fits just right on one side of the deck. 

A few weeks later, a friend was having a yard sale and just happened to post some of the items on Facebook.  Something caught my eye so I texted her.  That text turned into me buying SEVERAL items - including two cute wicker chairs.  She was very upfront that the chairs needed some work and cleaning but for $15, they were definitely worth it!  That very day I decided that pressure washing them was a good way to start.  It did wonders by stripping the dirt and paint.  Ten dollars and four spray paint cans later these "Ocean Mist" chairs were ready for family cookouts, early morning coffee and prayer sessions, and late night talks.  The best part is they were easy on the wallet and still look cute!

Don't underestimate a diamond in the ruff - it's fun to see what you can create with a little work!

His Cool Room

Our son is now almost 18 months but I still love everything about his room.  It was a fun adventure incorporating my husband's love for racing into the cute nursery I envisioned.   We also wanted a room that would grow with him and we wouldn't have to change much as he gets older.  I think it's the perfect blend!

Teal (of course) and grey walls provide color but also anchor the room.  My husband spent over an hour picking out the perfect shades of paint so that they would match his favorite Formula 1 race team...haha

I love how involved he was in this entire process - picking out the wall art, fabrics, paint colors, you name it!  He occasionally had to be reminded that this room would belong to our newborn son and not him but overall he was so helpful! 

The details in the room are what I love most - race cars on the drawer knobs, colorful wall art, the speedometer decal above his changing station, and of course the custom pillows and bedding we had made from a wonderful lady (Studio Slumber on Etsy if you are in need of anything for your nursery)!

Our son has a place to read, play with his toy cars, run around, and just have fun.  I wouldn't change anything about this space.  It was the work of a husband and a wife who wanted to create a space just for their son.

As always, thank you for reading!  And, I've updated the blog a little to allow comments - so feel free to leave a few words :)

-Nicole

Southern Mornings

I have been very fortunate to have so many strong women in my life.  For the majority of my life I not only had my mother, I had two grandmothers and two great-grandmothers.  I am fortunate that I have my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother still with me today.  The life lessons and memories that each of these women have left with me can never be replaced.  They are women who are strong (sometimes stubborn), loving, passionate, and so caring.

I carry pieces of my grandmother, Ann (Mamaw), and great-grandmother, Eva (Grandma), every day with me even though they are no longer here in flesh.  Both of these women were masters in the kitchen and could win the pickiest of eaters over in a flash.  They spent hours in the kitchen making meals for the ones they loved - that was their love language. 

My favorite meal though is breakfast!  Grandma would wake up every morning before the sun rose and start baking from scratch her biscuits and gravy.  Sifting flour, rolling dough, and using a cup to cut the shape of each delicious biscuit.  Nights I stayed at her house, I would wake to the smell of biscuits being pulled from the oven and ready to eat.  It was always the same and always delicious.

Mornings with Mamaw were such a treat.  She would make whatever I wanted for breakfast - pancakes, grits, bacon, you name it.  After breakfast we would spend the rest of the morning signing her favorite Gospel songs or watching Lifetime movies.  Popcorn after breakfast was always allowed and I never had to change out of my pajamas.

Those memories are what remind me that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  That's also why I take pride in having pieces from both of these women displayed in my home.  Jewelry that others would think is worthless means more than money to me because it came from my Mamaw.  A kitchen cabinet and wardrobe from my Grandma (both that needed a little fixing up) still show flaws on the outside but I would never trade them.  I take pride in knowing that these strong women helped shape who I am today, not only by my name but also in my heart.

As always, thank you for stopping by!

-Eva Nicole

New and Old

Dear House on the Mill...

I was a little undecided about how I would design the living room.  I started with a sea foam color on the walls but it divided the space too much.  Mill homes don't have an open floor plan and our home specifically doesn't have a wall that could easily be taken down to create an open floor plan.  So, I brought the same color walls from the kitchen (Frappe by Valspar) into this space as well so that it would flow better.  And it certainly helped! 

BEFORE (The door with the wreath was the one we moved behind the computer desk)!

AFTER!

I also painted the mirror above the mantle...and of course I chose to paint it TEAL!  What you can't tell in these Before and After photos is that the area under the mantle actually used to be black.  I painted it white and it lightened the space so much.  I'm thinking now that I'm going to tile that area in white marble...but that's a story for another day...

Here is what this area looked like before I painted it all white! I think it made a BIG difference.

 

When we started shopping for a new couch my initial thought was something lighter in color and maybe a small design on it as well.  But, my husband brought me back to reality by reminding me we have a son under 18 months old and a dog...I could see myself now constantly cleaning up cheesy hand prints, muddy paw prints, and milk stains.  So, instead we bought something durable, easy to clean, and a little darker to help mask those types of everyday life stains.  It's definitely comfortable and we love to lay around watching family movies together on it!

Even though we are bringing new items into our home, I've loved using some of the original elements in my designs.  Not only are some of the original doors still used (as actual doors and as decor) but we also have all of the original windows in storage.  I've used two so far and I have so many ideas for the others!  But, my absolute favorite - the original hardwood floors!

 

This space is always evolving and changing...new throw pillows, baskets, curtains, photo frames, etc. and that's possible because the colors I've chosen make it easy for those changes.  By going with a color that's light but also neutral, you an add and change the details of your space to bring in the color and texture you want.  And, by having the two largest areas of my home the same color, I can take items from one area and put them in the other!

As always, thank you for stopping by.  Next time it's all about the antique pieces left to me by my Great-Grandmother!

- Nicole

 

 

Thrift Store Score

I am constantly checking by thrift stores to see what I can find - props for photo sessions, weekend projects for my home, or things that others have asked me to keep an eye out for. 

When I invested into a new desktop computer for my business, I needed a place for it.  Before this we only had a laptop so with only 1200 square feet to work with, I had to find something cute but small.  It took me a few weekends of searching different thrift stores to find the perfect desk! 

It's a great size and has two drawers for storage - score!  Being a little rough around the edges didn't bother me - that was nothing a little sanding and a fresh coat of paint wouldn't fix.  The only place I have for this desk to currently go is in my living room, so I needed to create a space that was both functional and charming. 

I've decided I like the door sitting behind the desk - it's original to the home and it gives it a new purpose.  I can hang wreaths for each season, photos, fresh flowers, or leave it alone and it still adds a little something extra to the space.  My husband also agrees that it's staying there (most likely because it weighs a TON and he's not moving it again)!  Either way, I adore it!   

This was definitely a thrift store score since it only cost me $20.  I'm still searching for the right knobs and I'll update once I've added those.

Don't be afraid to put a little elbow grease into a project - it makes the finished product that much better knowing that you transformed it into something beautiful. 

-Nicole

 

This is the BEFORE ... this cute little desk was just waiting to be found!

 

 

The AFTER!

Eva HigginsDIY, Desk, Thrift Store
Color!

Who doesn't love free things?!  Well, I got my hands on a FREE kitchen table with four chairs.  It's in perfect condition but it was just all white.  It needed color.  Chalk paint to the rescue - this stuff is amazing (and a little pricey) so I stuck with only painting the chairs.  However, I couldn't decide on just one color...so I picked a different color for each of the four chairs.  It turned out amazing - one is teal, one green, one grey, and one yellow.  It sounds like a lot of color but with soft grey walls and white cabinets, it really looks great together. 

Now, I'm in love with the color teal! I've decided I want to incorporate it into ALMOST every room in my house.  For the kitchen, the one teal chair was not enough so the mantle received a fresh new paint job.  It started off just blending into the room but now it is a focal point of the kitchen.  The color just pops against the grey walls! 

Small accents complete the room and being that they didn't cost any extra money is a bonus.  I already had the mason jars and the paint.  I simply poured a small amount of paint into the jars, mixed it around, let it dry and voilà

The pallet turned wine rack was another FREE project that only cost the time it took to cut the pallet down into the size we needed.

 

 

Lastly, the floating shelves were a creative way to display all of the photos I have.  I love having a place that allows me to change out the frames and photos without worrying about nails in the wall.   Special thanks to my father for putting these together for us.

 

By saving money on the details and décor, we were able to get the new floors and appliances we wanted.  Our kitchen is now a space that we enjoy being in together as a family.  We pray together, share meals with family and friends, laugh, and live. 

The kitchen may be complete but there are still plenty of rooms in my house, so onto the next chapter of our story...Dear House on the Mill

-Nicole

 

use what you have

Dear House on the Mill...

Before we were able to get to the cosmetics, we had to deal with some "behind the scenes" moments.  From new HVAC, ductwork, re-wiring, decking, patching holes, plumbing, and oh yeah...the time we woke up to ankle deep water in our kitchen, hallway, bathroom, and laundry room... These types of fixes are harder for me because I can't physically see the changes they make.  Re-wiring an outlet or fixing a leak may not add beauty to my home, but it is a necessity and I'm very happy we were able to make those changes.  Now that most of that is (hopefully) behind us, I'm ready to make-over every room! 

Starting with the kitchen! 

Our kitchen is a very important place in our home.  Meals are cooked here, preparations are made, prayers are said, and it's the largest room in our house.  We started with dark, stained cabinets, black and white checkered flooring, and deep red walls.  It was too dark.  I had to lighten the space up! 

When I started designing what this space would look like, I imagined light, airy, charming, and pops of color.  But when I started to shop, I found expensive, expensive, expensive!  There was no way I could make-over every room in my house if I spent my entire budget on just the kitchen.  And so the fun began...

I started with the cabinets.  They are beautiful, custom wood cabinets that just needed to be lightened up a bit.   So with a little elbow grease and the help from a few family members, we were able to sand, prime, and paint these dark cabinets a bright white all in one weekend.  (Side note: having a paint party with family or friends is a great way to knock out painting a large room or tackling something like re-finishing cabinets.  Make sure you provide the food and drinks since they are working for free!)  The last step for the cabinets was to take a trip to the local hardware store to find pulls or knobs.  I went straight to the discount section and picked a simple, stainless look that was only $0.49 each!  What a bargain!

Next - the counter tops!  I was very indecisive when it came to this.  Did I want white and bright or to add a little contrast and go darker...  I couldn't decide.  Then I read an article about painting your own counter tops - using what you HAVE to get what you WANT!  This was a perfect solution for me.  I could try what I thought I wanted and if it didn't look okay, no harm - I could paint again.  The steps are simple... 1. prep your existing counter tops (clean and lightly sand) 2. prime 3. paint your base coat4. using a sponge, dab your second color 5. using another sponge, dab your third color 6. lightly sand and apply your clear, protective coat 7. lightly sand the clear coat after drying and repeat step 6 (I applied a total of 6 clear coats). I used all Valspar paints - Birchwood White for the base color, Very Black for the second color, and Ivory Lace for the third color.  (Side note: they do make kits that include all of the products you need but I saved over half of the cost by buying them individually).

Now the walls - one of the least expensive but most dramatic changes you can do is paint.  It can instantly transform any room.  Take our red kitchen, I needed to brighten the room up and make it feel larger.  So, I needed a color that was light and refreshing.  My dear friend, Dipali, found the perfect color for me - Frappé by Valspar.  The best thing about this paint is that it has paint and primer all-in-one!  That's a huge time saver and worth the extra money.

So for less than $150 in paint and kitchen hardware, my kitchen was already starting to transform - I now have bright, white kitchen cabinets and walls that reflected natural light to make the space feel larger and more inviting.  Remember it's not always about what you need for your space - sometimes it's about what you already have.  Use the pieces you already HAVE in your room but change them up a little - add some paint, new knobs, or new fabric - and make them work for the space you WANT.

Join me next week as we add that pop of color!

-Nicole

 

The BEFORE....(the first photo I found of the kitchen)

 

The AFTER...

Dear House on the Mill...

I've always loved older homes because they are filled with character, memories, generations of stories and love.  So when we decided to purchase the home that had been in my husband's family for many years I was excited with all of the possibilities that lay before us.  Our home is closely approaching 100 years old (built in 1923) and it's the same home that my husband's grandfather grew up in - the same home my husband grew up in - the same home we are raising our son.

Dear House on the Mill is the story of our home and all that goes into it.  I am starting this blog not only to track the steps we are taking to make this home our own but also to hopefully help others reach their own dream designs.  I am a do-it-yourself type of person and I avoid buying "brand new" decor whenever possible.  It's easy on the wallet and good for the heart.

Join our story as we fill this home with God, family, memories, love, and some Southern style.

-Nicole

Eva HigginsComment