Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Centerpiece for Spring

Life is keeping me very, very busy these days.  I'm really struggling just to keep up with day to day housework, and now that we are well into Spring, there's yardwork as well.

I'm realigning my expectations for the short term, but a couple of weeks ago, I took time to treat myself to a trip to Olathe Glass, a local glass supply company that also sells some lovely, small home decor items.  

They have a great selection of faux succulents and artichokes now.  They are a little pricey, but they are far more realistic than the stuff found at the chain hobby stores.  I picked up a small silver gazing ball as well and mixed them with the faux succulents and berries I already had at home.

The shop was using big glass bowls for their succulent arrangements.  When I tried to replicate it with a deep-sided glass serving dish I had at home, it seemed kind of flat.  I found a small cake stand I "won" in a white elephant exchange a few years ago along with a very stale cake.  Finally, that cake stand came in handy.

As luck would have it, it fit perfectly under my glass dish when it was turned upside down.

I think this arrangement should last through the summer if I don't have time to change it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Overmantel Reveal

Hello again!  It's been a month since my last post.  Did you think I gave up blogging?  I've been working on a big project that consumed an entire month of evenings and weekends.

I've had crown moulding envy for a long time.

By the way, are you wondering if it's "moulding" or "molding"?  It depends if you are using British English or American English.  But like most things American, if we want to appear more upper crust, we resort to the British spelling.  So, I'm going to refer to it as "moulding."

After touring several new model homes, my husband was in agreement that adding crown moulding would make our house look less builder-basic.  While I was eager about adding crown moulding, I knew it was going to be a big project filled with challenges:

1. Our living room has bay windows.
2. There are two bump-ins flanking the foyer.  One is the coat closet ,and behind the other is the ductwork going to the second story which means lots of corners.
3. One wall is almost 20 feet long.  Another wall is about 16 feet long.

While researching installing crown moulding, I started to think about the mantel.  It's not a bad mantel, but wouldn't it be nice to beef it up a bit?  (Sorry for the nighttime photo). 

The first step was going to be to build a frame for the overmantel.  Fortunately, the existing columns were made of stock lumber.  Mitre saws don't bother me, but I am afraid of table saws.  I know someone who cut his finger off using a table saw, so I want nothing to do with them.

I used a 1x8 for the fronts and 1x3s for the two sides.  I like to prime and paint two coats before installing trimwork.  The final coat of paint I do at the end, and it's just to cover the nail holes and any scuff marks from installation.

After a test fit and making sure it was level, I drew a line on the wall as a guide.  I screwed scrap pieces of 2x4 into the top plate and into the existing mantel then nailed the frame into place.

I had a piece of hardboard cut at Home Depot for the backing, and from this point, it was all about adding trim.  Lots and lots of trim.  But it was so worth the time and living the with the dust and sawhorses because the room is completely transformed.  Notice the secretary desk which replaced the bookcase?  I found it at ReStore while I was in the final days of finishing the project.  It fits the space so much better.

Other than the crown moulding itself, which I bought at Lowes since it's closer to my house, most of the trim came from Home Depot since they sell it by the foot.  I did have to go to a lumberyard that caters to the pros to find the trim to match the the front of the existing columns.  Since our house is about 20 years old, I was concerned I wouldn't find a match.  Sometimes "builder-grade" isn't a bad thing!  Unfortunately, the existing artwork doesn't quite fit the space.  I'm not attached to it, so it will do for now.

I have a month of projects waiting to share.  It's so good to be back!

I'm linking up...
Between Naps on the Porch
Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Chic on a Shoestring
The Shabby Nest
A Stroll Thru Life