Hellooooo Summer! (Patriotic Decor)


Do you guys decorate for Memorial Day? I love putting out some cute red, white, and blue decor to celebrate the beginning of Summer. Memorial Day is also when we put our flag up, which stays out pretty much through Labor Day.

Last year I found the “USA” and stars wooden decorations at the ($3) dollar spot at Target.  The wreath is a pool noodle, burlap ribbon, & lots of hot glue! I found the paper straws, the jars, and the green container at Michaels.  The blue frame is a universal donation center find, which I cleaned up and painted with DIY blue chalk paint.

Patriotic DecoPatriotic Decor

Do you have any fun plans for the long weekend? We’ve both taken an extra day off work and plan to knock some of our bigger to-do list items off the list before this belly starts getting in the way even more!Patriotic Decor


Office Progress: Closet Make-over Details

The teeny-tiny closet in our home office got a big make-over! We switched to a curtain instead of the hideous 1980s metal bifold doors. We also built in some shelves to storage our luggage, and a hanging bar for guest coats / closet overflow.


The bi-fold doors in this room are the worst we have in this house. They even came with stickers! So we ripped them & the top track out. At least that part was easy!

Office Closet - Closet Doors Before SONY DSC

Let’s pause to appreciate the hideousness that was this closet. Go ahead – I’ll wait for you to pin this beauty…


No, you are not imaging things. There is pink AND yellow in the closet. Oh and nice black marks from the closet doors too. Nobody ever painted the baseboards in there after the first coat of paint, so they’re a lovely shade of beige. When I tried to vacuum the carpet in there, I realized the whole thing was loose, so we yanked it out & plan to replace it with some inexpensive peel and stick tiles.


After we painted the closet, we installed an extendable closet rod. We first installed one in our guest room rental back in our apartment, and this is the third one in this house. We love how easy it is to install & it holds a ton of stuff. We also installed a pine shelf (1×2 for supports (screwed into the studs) and 1×8 for the shelves). We installed this at a lower-than-normal height to ensure that we could put our luggage away in this closet. Don’t worry! We made sure that even knee-length dresses still fit.

We used exactly the same closet rod to hang the curtain at the top of the closet. It works really well with the tab-top curtain.


Look how much it holds! All of our luggage, some extra guest jackets, plus extra blankets, bedding, air mattress, and some overflow clothes!The curtain is an old Ikea curtain. We may change this out for something else at some point, but for now it works well and cost $0.


And one last look at the new closet:


Sarah Signature

Making Progress!

We made some much needed progress in the basement this weekend.  Since all the walls are up, we primed patched, caulked, sanded, and painted. We primed and patched all the walls, painted about half the main room and even got a second coat up on one of the walls. It looks SOO good. I can’t wait to get it all shiny bright and white!

Making Progress - Patched


Making Progress - PrimerMaking Progress - First Coat

Making Progress - Second Coat


There’s still plenty of a to do list, but we’re focusing on the painting for now!

Sarah Signature

So Clean and Fresh

What a difference a coat of paint makes!  I’m sure most people already know about paint’s ability to transform a space, but this has to be one of the best examples of how going from off-white to pure white completely changes the look of something. Here’s how our stairs have looked for the last too-many-to-count weeks. (Catch the first few steps of the stair transformation here.) Painting the Trim - Before And here are the stairs after a little more than an hour’s work, with a my short handled angle brush and a gallon of Behr’s VOC free paint in off-the-shelf ultra pure white in semi-gloss. Painting the Trim - Progress   Look at that difference. Here’s a side-by-side so  you can truly appreciate the difference. Painting the Trim - Side by Side   Up next, every other piece of trim I can lay my hands on, just as soon as I give the stairs a second coat. Sarah Signature


Psst, sharing at The Makers!

Filling in the Risers

On Friday I updated you on the progress of updating the stairs.  While the progress has been impressive (even if I say so myself) the stairs were still a small poodle safety hazard.

Sea Sage on the Stairs

So after some research and brainstorming we grabbed six 6′ pieces of pine (the more expensive kind without the knots) at Home Depot.  I primed them (on both sides to minimize any warping) and then we cut them down to size.
Stack of Stair Backs

We weighed many different options for attaching the “risers” to the steps but ultimately decided that the easiest way would be to use wide L-brackets.  This allowed us to screw the bracket into the riser and then into the wood stair supports, rather than into the stair treads themselves.  It does mean that we have L-brackets staring back at us from the back of the stairs, but we have big plans for the back of the stair case.  {We’ll get to it just as soon as we finish painting the front rooms, rip the wall paper off the kitchen bulkhead, and do a million other projects. In other words, don’t hold your breath!}

Under the Stairs

I couldn’t believe the difference with just a few risers in place! It’s a good thing the transformation was so impressive because putting up those risers was hard work – especially for 2 people with bad shoulders!
Closing it Up

But we persevered, and got all the risers up! Does it look dreamy?

Closed Stairs

There’s just one little problem…

Stair Problem

Yup, the darling previous owners only tiled up to the weird edge of carpet that folded over the floor/ceiling there.  Nice huh?  So we’re working on fixing that piece up before we attach the final riser.  Until then, Penelope is loving that she can still chuck her toys down to the basement stairs / on top of people walking down the stairs.

And just for kicks, here’s how far we’ve come!

Before and Progress Stairs

Sarah Signature

Sea Sage on the Stairs

Remember back at the beginning of March when I showed you what my stairs looked like without carpet? Well I promise we’ve been working on revamping those some naked stairs into something I’m not embarrassed about when people look in the front door!

Did I ever show you a close-up of what we found under the carpet?
Stairs from Above
Yup! Yuck. What a mess.  So I sanded and filled, and sanded and filled (and vacuumed),and then sanded and filled one more time to try to even the steps out.  I decided right off the bat that I was going for a rustic look.  (Good thing too because there was no way we were getting the stair treads all the way smooth!)

Next I primed.  I just did one coat with my cover stain primer on a small roller.  I rolled every second step so we could still get upstairs if we needed to.

Primed and Taped
After the primer dried, I taped off the stairs and broke out the paint. I had originally planned on painting them a very dark green to tie in with the Tent Green paint on the walls in the living and dining room, but our friends had some extra paint, and once I saw the color I was in love!  So the stairs are Valspar’s Sea Sage. (It looks exactly like it sounds – a blue sage.  It’s the perfect blue complement to our green sage walls.)

Painting Progress
And here they are, painted.  I love the color and want to figure out where else I can use it!  Such an improvement over the carpet!

Sea Sage on the Stairs
I’ll be back on Monday with the details on how we closed up the backs of the stairs. {Spoiler alert, we have yet to paint the molding.}

Oh but while I have you here, what would you do with the railing.  Sand and stain? Paint? Paint white? Paint “sea sage”? Ignore it’s existence?

Happy Weekend!

Sarah Signature