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Hey Girl

We spent the weekend checking off a bunch of hands-on projects for the girls room in the showhouse. It’s definitely still looking sparse, and is far from done, so I’m sure it’ll keep evolving right up until our deadline.

But we did manage to significantly shrink the to-do list this weekend.

We got the wall stenciled, the headboard painted, hung some art (that awesome chicken painting was done by a friend of ours named Lesli DeVito), and then we painted/upholstered two secondhand chairs – and even had some fun with a few wall hooks.

You might remember this old full-sized headboard find of ours (it was $9.98 at a local place called Family Thrift Center).

Now it’s sporting a fresh coat of paint (Hydrangea Flowers by Benjamin Moore) along with that freshly stenciled wall behind the bed. Both of them were done by Parker, one of the builder’s right hand men – who apparently is a stenciling expert among all of his other talents.

It definitely felt foreign not to be up there on ladders doing the walls ourselves (along with priming and painting that headboard) – but with 3,500 square feet of house to furnish & accessorize, it was also pretty amazing to be able to tackle a bunch of other tasks while those got checked off the list. The stencil was donated by Royal Design Studios, and the room is painted Simply White with Hibiscus by Ben Moore layered on for the stencil.

It’s another example of wanting to take some risks to keep the show interesting (we love how it mixes with the pop of color in the headboard) and it’s nice that it can just be painted over if someone moves in and wants to change the look of the room – so it’s one of the more flexible choices.

We did get to roll up our sleeves and refinish some furniture ourselves, like these two chairs that we found for $16 each at another favorite thrift store (Love of Jesus on Midlothian).

Here’s what they looked like when we found them.

We actually debated staining them, so John sanded them all the way down to the raw wood, but the more we stared at the girls’ room, the more convinced we were that paint was the way to go (there’s carpeting in there instead of hardwoods since the builder said most of his buyers prefer that in a kids room – and with other painted furniture going on, we thought wood stain might feel like the odd main out). I’m sure we could have stained them and made them work, but a little more fun color in a kids room was too hard to resist…

So we primed them with two coats of Kilz Premium (rolled on with a foam roller in most spots and with a brush to get into the nooks and crannies) and then we gave them two coats of Hibiscus paint, which was leftover from the stenciled wall (once again, applied with a small foam roller and a brush to get into those tighter spots).

While those were drying in the garage, I recovered the seats with extra loft batting (you can grab that at any craft store like JoAnn) and used a manual staple gun to pull that firmly around the front of the seat, and staple it around the perimeter in the back.

Then it was time for some playful fabric called Candy Floss that we found at U-Fab (they kindly donated a yard of it, which was enough to cover both seats). Here’s a shot of how I deal with corners. If you fold them sort of like when you wrap a present you get a nice clean look in the front.

One tip for working with a pattern is just to make sure to keep it straight as you staple (I occasionally flip it over to check, and you can pop out staples and redo things if your patterns migrates and it looks wonky). The other pattern tip would be to make sure if you’re doing more than one chair that you’re keeping the fabric running in the same direction (assuming you want your chairs to match). So since the white arrows seem to be pointing down on this cushion, I made sure they went the same direction for the second chair.

Then you just screw the seat cushions back into the chairs once they’re dry and you’re done. Boom – new chairs. Except they’re old. But they look new, so… huzzah!

You’ll notice some ceramic animal friends on the wall behind this chair, so let’s get a little closer…

They’re HomeGoods finds that we grabbed to hang up a few colorful imaginary daughter items like a purse, a mini backpack, and a scarf.

Here’s what they looked like when we bought them. Going onto a white wall we worried they might be a little flat, so we dipped their antlers just to add some interest. We didn’t want them to look too matchy or perfect, so we went with two different colors (Hydrangea Flowers and Berry Fizz).

We didn’t tape them off and paint them – we literally dipped them right into the cans.

They were a little drippy…

… so we hung them from our grass seed spreader with some old foam core under them to catch the splatters.

It was crazy easy, and the dipped tips look awesome – sort of like powder coated resin since it’s so thick and glossy. I love that they’re imperfect and angled too. For some reason it seems more interesting than if the paint followed the ridges perfectly. Nothing like a little rebellious outside-of-the-lines coloring.

And you may have noticed our Burger pendant light. We couldn’t resist. Just don’t tell Burger or his ego won’t fit through the door anymore…

The room’s definitely looking a lot more finished than the view that greeted us about a month ago.

Now we just have about a half-dozen other changes/additions to make in here… and 24 other spaces to finish in the next 14 days or so.

Update: There have been a few questions about having a double desk for a single kids room. John actually grew up with two desk areas in his room (one for a computer and one for homework/writing/drawing) so our team figured since two chairs fit easily along that wall it could end up being really practical.

Update #2: A few others have asked if these furnishings/accessories need to be universally appealing for whoever buys this house. The answer is that they’re just for the show (where we’ve been encouraged to take risks, have fun, and do different things so each house feels set apart). Once the show’s over, the homeowner has the option to buy a few items of furniture or art if they’d like – but will mostly be furnishing/decorating this house so it works for their family.

As John mentioned on Friday, things are going to be super showhouse heavy for us throughout this week and next week, so forgive us in advance if we’re behind or off schedule (or slow on comments). We’ve somehow managed to squeeze in some our-house projects among the chaos (like some nursery updates), so we can’t wait to share those whenever we can.

What did you guys do this weekend? Any art hanging, headboard painting, chair makeover-ing, or ceramic animal dipping?


House Crashing: Joyful & Happy Go Lucky

Can you believe it has been a month since our last house crashing adventure? And while February’s house tour was from across the pond, this one was local, so we got to stop by and soak up all of the details in person.

Meet Becky and Brian (and their dog Fergie). They live just outside of Richmond with their two daughters and this charming red door. It’s Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore – and she got that charming “Hello” decal here.

When you walk inside, there’s a room to your right that they call the music room. Let’s just say that the yellow piano, which Becky painted herself, had my heart immediately. It was Brian’s grandma’s piano that was passed down to their family (here’s a link to Becky’s post about painting it). Becky also found the swivel stool at an antique store and made the slipcover herself. It was such a fun house to walk through because so many things had a secondhand story or a handmade touch.

Her dresser-turned-bathroom-vanity was another example of Becky and Brian putting their stamp on their home. She got it at a local secondhand shop, painted it and distressed it, and then her dad and Brian cut out the middle and added a recycled sink basin (picked up from the Habitat For Humanity ReStore). Becky also loves to collect old mirrors to hang in groupings on the wall, so she always has an eye out for them at thrift & antique shops.

There’s a first floor guest room which had such a cheerful vibe, even with those moody walls (they’re Gravel Gray by Benjamin Moore). The playful rooster art was a $30 find at the Yankee Candle Store in Williamsburg.

The pretty bedding is a Bed Bath & Beyond find, and the dresser is another secondhand score that Becky painted herself. She also distressed it with a palm sander and filled in the distressed areas with Walnut oil or glaze – and added those cute numbers for each drawer (found at a craft store).

Becky worked in some more personal touches in the kitchen, like a panel of chalkboard paint on the pantry door, and by painting the stools that she got from Ikea red with a homemade chalk paint recipe that she found online.

The master bedroom was a really soft and sweet space. The floral coverlet on their bed is a $20 Rosebowl Flea market purchase from Pasadena, CA. I loved that Brian didn’t mind pink in the bedroom, and the mixture of the wooden bed (from Pier 1) and the pine bench at the foot of the bed (from HomeGoods) was interesting to me (instead of pairing it with painted or distressed wood). Becky doesn’t remember the color on the walls, but Palladian Blue or Quiet Moments by Benjamin Moore might be close.

This homemade jewelry rack is another example of Becky’s ability to see something and reimagine it. She got it at the Junk Bonanza Flea Market in Shakopee, Minnesota as an old crib railing, initially thinking that she’d hang magazines or blankets from it, but it turned out to be perfect for her jewelry.

Her daughter’s room has more feminine touches and the sweetest secondhand hutch that Becky also found in Minnesota. It even came that color so she didn’t do a thing to it.

But possibly the coolest spot in the whole house is Becky’s basement studio. She runs an Etsy shop called Farmgirl Paints, where she sells stamped leather cuffs made from secondhand belts (no wonder she has so many thrift store finds, right? She’s always patrolling for belts) – and everything happens down in her basement studio.

The green wall along the back of the studio is chalkboard paint that Becky had mixed up at Lowe’s in “Spring Green” and she got the shop sign made by American Vintage Inc (she sent her an inspiration picture with reclaimed wood, metal sides, and frosted bulbs and this is the end result).

There were so many creative details in this basement to document. Like this cool twine Farmgirl Paints sign that Becky made – and even posted a little flipagram tutorial on Instagram.

There were a lot of work stations for various shop jobs (making the leather bands, stamping the metal disks that go on them, adding snaps, billing, packing, etc). It was such a fun work environment thanks to all of the color and the playful wall decor. How cool is that old “humble” sign Becky found?

She also mixed in some big box finds, but the funny thing is that I assumed everything was thrifted or homemade due to all of her other pieces. So it shocked the heck out of me when she said this numbered wall cubby was from Target a while back.

There’s also a room that’s tucked away in the very back of the basement that Becky calls her art studio. To make the desk, she and her husband dug through an awesome old salvage yard here in Richmond called Govenor’s Antiques. The owner helped them pick out the perfect doors (there are two of them, joined in the middle, braced along the back wall, and further supported by two legs that they made out of spindles on each end). It’s 13′ long and full of crafting supplies. I was like a kid in a candy store.

That green lamp has a great story too. Becky was antiquing in Charlottesville, Virginia and I fell in love with that HUGE barn light, which was hanging right over the checkout counter in a small shop. So she sweet talked the owner into selling it to her.

Possibly my favorite organizational coup of all was this old school display case made of wire that Becky picked up at The Screen Door antique shop in Asheville, North Carolina. She bought it without having any clue what she’d do with it, but soon realized that all of her little tubes of craft paint fit perfectly. And how cute is the chalkboard camper that Becky drew on the chalkboard wall behind it?

We want to send a HUGE thanks to Becky and Brian for so graciously inviting us into their joy-filled home and allowing us to snap photos to share with the interwebs. You can read more about her life/shop/house over on her blog, but first I’d love to hear what your favorite parts were, or what has you inspired (her whole house made me want to thrift like crazy). Between the decal on that shiny red front door, the yellow piano, and her tricked out basement studio, it’s hard to even pick a favorite.