Articles Tagged “The Progression”

The Progression: The Living Room

I love progression posts. It’s really fun for me to see how much I have changed our house in the last 5 years. Sometimes I even forget that I did the things that I did! For those of you new to The Progression, I simply go back to when we first bought the house and show you pictures of how it has evolved over time. Today I am going to share the living room with you. As I got to picking out pictures, I realize I share bits and pieces of the room but not the room as a whole very often (until recently). So I actually don’t have photos for every change. Which is okay or you might get bored :) I hope you enjoy this little walk down memory lane!

Our journey starts in March of 2006. First up, here is a shot of the living room when we first looked at the house. We didn’t even own it yet but I think our offer had been accepted. The wall color isn’t very accurate, it was actually a beige color, not gray. When we bought the house, the whole interior had been painted this color and there was new carpet in all of the carpeted rooms. I have always loved the bank of windows and I’ve always wished there was another bank of them on the other wall as well. The more windows the better!

When we moved in (April 2006) I got to work immediately painting. The beige color didn’t last long in this room. This was the first room in the house I painted because our new furniture was going to be delivered and so I didn’t waste anytime getting it done before it arrived. If I remember correctly, I’m pretty certain I painted this room the first week we moved in. I didn’t even worry about unpacking first because we were already in the process of ripping apart the kitchen and getting it ready for a remodel (read about the kitchen here and here) so I just went straight to work. Those first couple of months living here were really busy :)

I love how in the picture you can see I put plastic down on the floors before I painted. That was the last time I did that. Now I don’t tape anything or put anything on the floors, I just go for it. I paint so often that I have learned how to keep things clean… for the most part. I won’t talk about an incident two weeks ago when I spilled bright pink on the carpet at church when I was painting the kids room. Yikes! First time I’ve ever done that, and hopefully the last. Okay, moving on…

Like I said, we had furniture being delivered which was why I had to get to work painting. Here I am furniture shopping with Jason when we found the coffee table and couch that we wanted. We searched all over this area before we found something I liked in our price range. I really wanted a light color and I wanted microfiber thinking it would be easy to keep clean. It’s funny now, I would choose something totally different!

Do you know what I notice the most when I look at these older photos. I look so much younger! Time has gone so fast since we lived here that I don’t feel older but I can tell it by the pictures that I am! So depressing… ha ha!

Here is a photo from right after the furniture was delivered. Our previous house was much smaller than this one and so we had virtually no furniture for this room. All we owned before was a loveseat which definitely wouldn’t fill this room. I also had nothing for the walls although part of that could have been that I hadn’t unpacked yet. For those of you who care, the color of the wall was a Sherwin Williams color called Backdrop. It was a really pretty gray/brown and I loved it!

And a shot from the other corner. The armoire we brought with us from Oregon was given to us by Jason’s parents. It’s a beast and it was nice to have something fill so much space and bring a little height to the room.

The next project I tackled was stenciling the back wall. I used left over paint from the kitchen. It was a metallic glaze and I loved the effect it gave. I ordered the damask stencil online (sorry, can’t remember where) and it was really easy to do. I had never stenciled a wall before so this was my first attempt. The directions said to measure and give yourself guidelines but, you know me, I didn’t want to take the time so I just went for it. Thankfully, the pattern lined up right the whole way and it was straight. This was the project that I got the most comments on through out our time living here from people visiting. I think it took me about 2 afternoons of working on it to finish.

Next up I made a piece of artwork for the damask wall. I had Jason make a wooden frame for me and I stretched a canvas drop cloth over it and painted the words on. It was a big piece, seven feet wide!

Next, I added some curtains that I made. I found these sheets that were a really pretty damask pattern to go with the wall. I cut the king sized flat sheet in half and then added some smocking detail to the top. My regret with these curtains, which I had from the moment I hung them, is that they appear green when the light shines through them. I really, really wish I had lined them. I just never thought about it since it was my first experience making curtains. I guess that’s how you learn though, right?! Trial and error :)

You can also (sort of) see that I added a floor lamp which I brought with me from Oregon, a side table which I found at a thrift store and painted black, and a table lamp. From the beginning, I wasn’t very crazy about the shade on the table lamp, it was too white. So, I worked at changing it which you will see in photos to come.

Here is the part where I added red to the room. I painted my entryway red (Benjamin Moore Million Dollar Red) in January of 2007. Because of that I wanted some red pops in the adjoining living room. I found the red damask velvet pillow and added the candle holder to the coffee table. Not much, but it’s something :) You can see here where I attempted to work on the lampshade. I used the damask wall stencil and stenciled black paint on it. I never liked it and it didn’t last for long!


I’m not sure why I took this photo above at night but you can still get the idea… I hope :) I added some more new pillows including the brown floral pillows which I felt tied all of the colors together. It had reds, blues, and greens and I was so excited to find them! I also got a new floor lamp and, haha, I changed the lampshade on the table lamp. I really couldn’t stand that white one :)

The next thing I did was rearrange. I grew tired of the layout and tried it this way for a while. You can see that this is at Christmastime. I also got a new end table and a plant which you can barely see peeking out from the armoire.

Next, I changed the room by moving the loveseat out. I put it in the family room and the leather chair came into this room. I also found the wooden chair at a thrift store and moved the armoire to the other side of the room. Moving the armoire meant the artwork had to go as well. I also got the new coffee table and a new white lamp.

Another Christmastime shot. I just wanted to show the pillows one last time and the red blanket that was added (and in the previous picture as well). This was from Christmas 2010 right before I changed everything!

I hadn’t planned on changing the living room so much but when I found this vintage couch for $65 I couldn’t help myself. Out went the couch and armoire. Out went the leather chair and I replaced it with a mid mod chair that used to be in the family room. In went the new old couch, a round table from my craft room, new curtains, and a new arrangement.

Not much changed in the two photos above except the paint color. I knew I needed to paint and lighten things up. It was a little sad to see the damask go because I had gotten so many compliments on it but I was ready for a change. It had been that way for almost 5 years and so it felt good to make it different. From there on, I kept making small changes, like adding the gallery wall, adding pillows and more pillows, adding a tray to the coffee table, and adding artwork. But you already know all of this stuff, because you have been on this journey with me since the beginning of this year. So that brings us up to date. With the exception of the recent switcheroo I just did. So, as you saw recently, here is how the living room looks today:

See all of the most recent living room photos here. And one more little change that I made just yesterday…

I finally finished putting stuff into all of my gallery frames! I added a star chart that I got from a vintage children’s book and a photo that used to be in the entryway and ta-da! I was done!!

This is still a work in progress as I would like to add more mats and have more photos. Some of them also need some glass but it’s getting there. Eventually, this whole wall will be filled with frames! I will keep you posted, of course :)

And that concludes The Progression for the living room. See other progression posts here. I hope you all have a happy Monday!

Add your comment »

The Progression: Dining Room

I haven’t done a progression post for a while and so I thought I would share the dining room today. I love to watch and see how a room has changed through the years. We have lived here 5 years now and so you can imagine how many changes have been made during that time. One thing to note is before we moved here, I never looked at blogs. My only source of inspiration came through magazines and browsing stores. Once the world of interior blogs was introduced to me, I had inspiration coming at me from everywhere. And I loved it! My style has evolved so much because of blogs and so I can see a greater change within the last 5 years as opposed to the 5 or 6 years before that. So, let’s see some of those changes, shall we?

Here is our dining room before we moved in (April 2006). When we found the house we took pictures of all the rooms empty so I could plan and scheme while we were waiting to move in.

At this point the room was carpeted and the walls were painted the same shade in every single room of the house. We actually left this color in here for about a year or so. The chandelier is at its original color at this point which is a faux finish of some sort in brown. The globes also had a brown tint to them.

Here is another picture, different angle. What I want you to notice here is the bi-fold doors that separate the kitchen from the dining room. They are open in this picture so they are kind of hard to see. I’m pretty sure those lasted a whole 3 seconds before I took them down :) When we first moved in, there were bi-fold doors everywhere and it didn’t take long for me to get rid of all of them.

Here is a picture of the dining room while we were still moving in (which is why there is a bunch of stuff on the table). The hutch that my brother built for me was in the corner and our table and chairs in the center. This is in May of 2006.

Then, soon after we moved in, we replaced the carpet with wood floors (May 2006). I also added a rug under the table and another set of table and chairs so at this point we had two tables and 8 chairs. I put up some curtains and changed the chandelier to black along with switching out the globes to a frosted globe instead of the brown tinted ones. I’m pretty sure these pictures were taken right after I painted the room (September 2007). On the wall to the right (that you can’t see) I had hung a large mirror.

Do you see the mirror’s reflection?

Next, I changed up the artwork (November 2008). I replaced the gate that I had hanging with the letter collage and added some shelves to the opposite wall. I also was in the middle of painting the tables white so for this picture there is one missing. Another subtraction is I took away the hutch and put it in the laundry room and put in a dresser turned console. The rug is gone in at this point. If I remember correctly, it got bunched up easily and so it made its way out. As you may be able to tell, this was around Christmas time.

A little while later, I made some new curtains (July 2009). I also finished painting the other table and added it back in.

The next dining room project I tackled was painting the chandelier… again (December 2009). This time it became fire engine red and I loved it. I also removed the globes to make it a bit more updated. Another thing you can see (barely) from this picture is I started working on painting the chairs. They ended up being black and I liked the contrast of them with the table.

At the same time as painting the chairs and chandelier, I also added the cow rug I just didn’t have a picture to show it until I threw this baby shower (April 2010). So while the room isn’t in its normal state, you can get an idea of the cow rug.

In October 2010, the credenza got switched out along with the artwork. I added the flower canvas and the spray painted plates on the wall.

In January of this year, I made some more changes. I got some new chairs and sold my old ones. I also got a new pendant light for Christmas which I had been wanting for a very long time (I even have proof of how long I have been wanting it!). A new rod and new curtains made an appearance as well (these match the new ones in the living room).

So that is how the dining room currently looks today. What is in store for this room? I’m sure you all remember that I am in the process of building a table. A process that should be done by now but I still haven’t finished it. Shame on me. I really need to get on that! I have no excuse and I’m also really excited for it, so what is taking me so long?! With the addition of the new table, I would also like to paint the credenza. Oh no, I’m sure some of you will be really upset for me even thinking of painting it let alone doing it but I think it will work better with the flow of the room. Also, there are some places in the finish that aren’t very good so I bought it with the intention of painting it.

So yes, I still have plenty of projects ahead of me. I don’t know if I will ever be the kind of person that has a completed room. Like I said yesterday, the reason is because the rooms in my house are constantly evolving and changing and I like it that way. Plus, change is what keeps this blog going :)

Add your comment »

The Progression: The Kitchen Part 2

Okay, picking up where we left off from the progression of the kitchen. Once Jason’s parents left and our wood floors were in place, we only had two weeks to get everything else done before the cabinets arrived and my parents came to install them. We had to get busy! First up, painting.

There was lots of dark wood trim in the kitchen. I know some people really like that but I wanted it to feel light and bright. Even though I do a lot of it, painting isn’t really my favorite thing. Especially painting trim. But it needed to be done so I did it. Here is a picture in progress. Sorry it’s terrible but I took it at night:

painting kitchen 1

Painting paned windows is a pain. But, it’s done! We also painted the walls but I don’t have any pictures so you will just have to wait and see them in the after photos. It’s really hard to pick this up in photos but we actually painted the walls one color and then we put a metallic glaze over top. It turned out really well and it gives the room a bit of sparkle. Surprisingly, that’s one color in our house that has been around for almost 5 years and I’m not tired of it yet. I’m pretty sure that’s a record and it’s gotta be because it’s a neutral color.

Finally, the cabinets arrived! Clark and Jason drove to Georgia where they were delivered by freight and rented a truck to drive them to our house where they unloaded them.

installing kitchen 4

They sat in our living room and dining room for a week or two before my parents arrived to install them. Here they are, just waiting to be put in place. This view is in the dining room looking out into the living room.

installing kitchen 1

It was amazing to have all of those cabinets delivered. They really just came in two containers. The huge pantry that was built held almost all of them, all sandwiched inside one another and then there was one other container with a few more. My Dad and brothers were amazing and packed them in like a puzzle. They also marked all over the back of some of them with notes to us. So if someone in the future ever takes these cabinets out, they will find the notes that my brothers left for us :)

Finally, my parents arrived! It was so exciting because by this time we had been without a kitchen for a month and a half. We had a refrigerator in the garage, a microwave in the basement and that’s it. No stove or anything else. We were pretty much existing on fast food and hot pockets. After this mess was all over I didn’t want to eat either of those things for a very long time :)

installing kitchen 2

Moving the cabinets in place…

installing kitchen 3

Most of them in place. It was fun to watch my Dad work. He’s a genius! While Jason and my Dad were hauling cabinets, my Mom and I got to work on the brick wall that was in the room. I liked the wall and I didn’t want to paint it white but it was a very bold color of brick, really red and orange and it didn’t quite fit with what I had in mind of light and bright. So my Mom suggested we do a white wash on the brick to tone it down. That way, we could still have the brick look but it wouldn’t be so bold. Here is a good example because it shows what it was to what we changed it too:

painting brick

It was an easy process as well. We used a cheap white paint and mixed it with water. Then we dry brushed it on. Just in case you are wondering, dry brushing (at least how I define it) is when you dip your brush in the paint and then let most of the paint run out so it barely goes on. I think it only took the two of us about an hour to paint the whole wall. It’s funny but that is the thing I get the most questions about in the whole kitchen because everyone likes it so much. I like it too and the brick gives the room some character.

While my parents were here we worked a lot on the kitchen but we also had some fun times too. Then we had to say good bye as time kept moving forward and so did our kitchen remodel. Now we had cabinets but no countertop. I think we had to wait about another month before our countertops were put on and completed. We chose a solid surfacing material (like Corian) but I can’t remember which one nor can I remember what color but basically it’s a dark gray. We have been really happy with our choice and it’s served us well. Once our countertops were on, we could finally have a sink and stove. Our sink is a black granite undermount sink so we couldn’t put it in until the countertops were on and our stove sits on top of the countertops so of course, we had to wait on that as well. All in all we were without a completed kitchen for about 3 months. It felt like a long time! Here is Jason and Clark installing the stove. It was actually quite fun to watch :)

stove install

So now, we finally had pretty much everything in place. It was quite a journey! At this point we still didn’t have our island, table and chairs in the little breakfast nook, the light fixture that is now over the island, or the tile backsplash (the tile was another project my Dad did on a separate visit!). All of that came later. We just started adding piece by piece until it is what it is today. Even now we still have things to finish. Sometimes I wonder why we don’t just finish up the little odds and ends but you know how it is when you live with it, you just start to not notice it anymore. Until you write a blog post about it :) Anyway, here are the photos of how the kitchen looks today, after all of our (and our parents’ and Clark’s) hard work:

kitchen after 5

This is what you would see when you first walk into the room from the entryway. The chairs are from Pottery Barn and the table is from Sears. The small light fixture over the table is from Home Depot and the light fixture over the island is from Pottery Barn. This is where Jason and I eat every meal together when it’s just the two of us. I love our little breakfast nook!

kitchen after 12

This is what you would see if you were standing in front of the sink and looking slightly to the right.

kitchen after 13

Standing in front of the sink looking to the left.

kitchen after 6

Still standing in front of the sink but looking all the way right. This is our pantry, it’s right next to the doorway that leads to the entryway. Remember, there used to be a built in desk there. At the time we were planning the kitchen, we also thought about putting a double wall oven in that space but we chose the pantry so we could have more storage. I’m so glad we did or our drawers and cupboards would be very crowded. But instead, we have lots of space!

kitchen after 7

Here is a good look at the island. We actually bought it at Kmart and it was the perfect thing for this room. I was planning on painting it but I ended up liking how it looked so I just left it. It had a regular butcherblock countertop on it and we took it off and stained it dark so it would look nicer with our countertops and floors. I would still like to get rectangular baskets for the bottom shelf but I just never have. Also, the two drawers open from both sides so it’s really handy to use them regardless of which side of the island you are on. The towel bar is a vintage glass one that I picked up at an antique store a long time ago in Oregon before we ever moved here.

kitchen after 4

kitchen after 3

On one side of the fridge we have our microwave cabinet. I didn’t want the microwave sitting out on the counter but I also didn’t want it to be too low or too high. I don’t like when it is over my head and have to reach for hot things. Since I’m not very tall if it were over the stove then it would be above my head. I’m really glad we chose to put it here and the height of it works really well for us.

kitchen after 2

On the other side of the fridge you have our baking and coffee center. This is the area of the kitchen where the magic happens since coffee and baked goods are our favorite :) Also, every single one of the lower cupboards in the room have pullouts in them. I really love them and they make organizing a kitchen so much easier. Thanks for that Dad :)

kitchen after 11

This is what you would see if you were standing in front of the table. The doorway leads to the dining room. See how the top middle cabinet bumps up on both sides of the room? I love that. That was my parents’ idea.

kitchen after 1

Still standing in front of the table. When we bought the house, there wasn’t anything on this wall. That was the only rearranging we did; to move the stove to this wall. If you are doing a kitchen remodel it will save you lots of money to not move major things around. So that’s what we did :) But we had to move the stove to give us more countertop and cabinet space. Plus, originally, there was a huge island that covered the whole room and made it feel really awkward. So we just changed things around a bit and it helped a lot. And I really like the stove against the brick.

kitchen after 10

Standing in front of the back door. When we picked our appliances, I knew I wanted stainless steel. We went to Lowe’s and picked them all out and when we came back to our house we realized that the dishwasher that came with the house was the exact same brand and line as the rest of the appliances we chose so we didn’t have to replace it. It was the only new appliance in the whole kitchen before and it just happened to match. It was cool :)

kitchen after 9

This doorway leads to the entryway. I requested a plate rack and so my Dad made one standard size. When it got here we realized my plates were fat! So I can only put one in every other slot. My Dad offered to make a new one but I didn’t want to go to the fuss so I didn’t worry about it. I really like having open shelves for our plates and bowls. Especially since I like our set so much. And it brings a tiny bit of color to our otherwise very neutral kitchen. But hey, as we’ve already talked about, I like neutral!

kitchen after 8

One last look that you would see just as you are leaving the kitchen to go back to the entryway. And that completes our kitchen tour. What do you think? When I look around I see things that I still need to finish like crown molding and corner round molding on the toe kick and I really want something larger to put on the top shelf above the sink. But all those things will eventually get there, right?

Just curious, what do you think of this new series, The Progression? Would you like to see other rooms and how they have progressed as well? Also, is anyone interested in seeing how we organize the kitchen? I could open up those cabinets and give you a glimpse if it doesn’t sound too boring :) And, I know, I know, I really need to do a house tour. One of these days, I will!

Add your comment »

The Progression: The Kitchen Part 1

Recently I realized that when I started blogging I didn’t show very many pictures of the house. Because of that, there are a lot of rooms that I didn’t show what they looked like before to what they look like now. Plus, a bunch of the rooms have changed multiple times because I like to change things… a lot :) I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the rooms in our house and show the progression of them since we moved in.

Today I decided to start with the kitchen because I think it’s the room that had changed the most and yet it’s the room that I now change the least. Make sense? That’s because we made all of the changes right at the beginning and haven’t really changed much since then. Which is why I rarely post pictures of it :)

So are you ready? Do you want to see what it looked like when we bought it? Okay, here goes:
kitchen before 3

kitchen before 2

kitchen before 1
Ummm… ya. It’s really ugly right? We didn’t live there very long before we rectified the situation! Here’s the story. We moved to Tennessee in March of 2006. Jason and our good friend Clark drove the Uhaul from OR to TN and I flew out a week later with the cat (yes, Sydney flew with me as my carry-on!). The day after I arrived we started our house hunting. I was super excited and didn’t waste any time :) The very first house we went through was the house we now own and after touring several others we knew this was the house for us. So the next day we made an offer and when they accepted, we were thrilled!

A couple weeks later my parents happened to be flying from Brazil back home to Oregon after a 2 week mission trip and since their layover was in Atlanta, they just took an extra long layout over (3 days) and came to visit us. It was their first time seeing our new state. Since we were still under contract, we asked our realtor if she could get us into the house again even though we didn’t own it yet. She could and she did! So we all went over there to show them our soon to be house.

From the beginning we had planned on renovating the kitchen immediately and so we asked my Dad for his expertise (as I’ve mentioned before he owned a cabinet shop for over 30 years). They took down detailed measurements of the kitchen and as we were talking about it he told us he thought he could build the kitchen cabinets in Oregon and have them shipped out here! We hadn’t even considered that option but of course that was my number one choice. So when they got back home they looked into it and found that it would not only work but be the best option for us! I was beyond excited to have a kitchen made by my Dad and both of my brothers also worked for him at the time so the cabinets are actually made by my brothers and Dad. And my Mom helped design it. It’s a family affair :)

While they were in Oregon building everything, we had some work to do ourselves. First, in May, we moved into the house. We unpacked some things but since we had a lot to do in the kitchen before the cabinets were arriving in June, we got straight to work on the kitchen. We began by ripping out the existing cabinets.

ripping out cabinets 5

ripping out cabinets 1

Can you see the lovely bi-fold doors behind me? Those were out of there in a heartbeat! There were actually bi-fold doors in practically every open doorway in the house. Anywhere that didn’t have a proper door like the bedrooms and bathrooms, had bi-folds. But no longer :)

ripping out cabinets 3

ripping out the cabinets 3
I don’t have a before picture but there used to be a desk in this space but we thought we would use a pantry more and it was nice and deep so it gives us lots of room.

The kitchen was also the only room in the whole house that had a popcorn texture on the ceiling. It took a bunch of time to scrape it off (with a spray bottle and scraper) but it was worth it. We also figured out why they put the texture on. There had been some damage and rather than fixing it properly, they just covered it up. Not so great :) But my amazing husband fixed it. Here is one of the spots before:

ceiling damage

We also put in can lights and got rid of the florescent that you can see Jason looking at in this picture:

ripping out cabinets 2

Another thing we ripped out was the window seat bench. I normally like window seats but this one was ineffective since there wasn’t room for a table when the window seat was there. We decided it would be better to do away with it and put a small table there than no table at all.

The next exciting thing to happen was the wood floors. The entryway, the kitchen, and the dining room were all getting new wood floors. When we moved in the kitchen had linoleum, the dining room had carpet, and the entryway had parquet. I knew from the beginning that I wanted the floors to be really, really, dark, almost black. We searched high and low in town but no one carried them. When we started searching online, they seemed to be out of our price range. Then, after a bunch of searching, we finally found some. Besides the cabinets, this is my favorite part of the whole redo. I love the dark wood floors!

In May, I already had a trip planned a to visit my Mom’s family in Idaho with my Mom. So while I was there, having a wonderful time, Jason’s parents flew out from Oregon to help Jason lay our new wood floors. Aren’t they the best? When I got home, I was so happy to see how gorgeous they looked. Here are some pictures of Jason and his parents working hard while I was out playing :)

wood floors 2

wood floors 1

Okay, so I realize this post is getting really long so I will stop there for now and pick up where we left off tomorrow :) Stay tuned!

Add your comment »

Hello, and welcome to my little blog! What started out as a blog to show some of my scrapbook pages ended up being a blog that shows all of my projects, ranging from scrapbooking to decorating to sewing to photography. I also run a little online shop called every jot & tittle where I sell handmade paper products. Take a look and leave me a comment to say hi! (Photo by Heather Smith.)

Where To Find Me

Friends and Family

Good Reads