thrifting

~My Christmas Home Tour~

Merry Christmas!!!  It's my most favorite time of year....Jesus' Birthday!

I love to celebrate His birth the entire month of December (and into January as well ;-) ) by adding touches of Christmas décor to every room in the house!

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In my head I have a beautifully decorated tree around every corner, fresh garland and wreaths hanging from every door way and glitter on everything!

But in reality, I don't have the budget for 10 trees, my dogs and cat would eat the fresh evergreens and my husband and children would not appreciate being constantly covered in sparkles!

Making your home beautiful for Christmas is different for everyone.  Some go all out and leave "no stone unturned" as far as décor goes.  Others have just a few, special decorations that go out every year.

However you choose to make your home special for this very wonderful time of year, it's important to remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

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I would love to share some photos of my Christmas decorations, displays and vignettes with you.  I'll try and include information of where items were purchased, or a small description and "how to's" to go along with each photo.

Enjoy!

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We'll start with my formal living room, you know the room no one uses so it always looks pretty!?

This is the space I usually have my bible and quite time in, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while reading a book, or catch up with my mom on the phone!

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The formal living room also houses our piano (given to me by my grandmother) and some other musical instruments, like my hubby's guitars!

Above the piano is a canvas board I attached old sheet music to.  I placed hand painted letters to spell "Christmas" among the greenery and hung blankets on the rungs of the old ladder in the corner.

The second picture is a little dark, but you can make out the guitars!  They are leaning against a large shutter I found while "junking".

I also covered that metal star with old sheet music and glitter, of course!  The little desk to the right was recently gifted to me and I'm on the hunt for a vintage typewriter to go with it!

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Here is a close up of my tree skirt.  I up-cycled this from my old tree skirt, which I hesitate to admit, was felt and had a family of snowmen stitched onto it!

This version is much prettier!  I used strips of burlap and white linen, along with my friend, the hot glue gun, and attached the new fabric over the old in layers and ruffles!

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The old card catalog was a Craigs List find.  I painted and distressed it and now it holds books and left over linens from the dining room.

I placed a trio of grape-vine trees alongside a gold deer and some greenery in a small box.

I kept the wreath above simple with just a burlap bow.

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A close up shot of a pretty hammered metal bucket I thrifted from the Good Will.  It's lovely holding Christmas greens, pinecones, red berries, a cardinal to match,

and of course, burlap!

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Here is another trio of trees, but these are green, and they are staying "naked" this year. ;-)

I placed them into an old galvanized wash tub and surrounded them with white lights and burlap.  It creates such a pretty glow!

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Moving onto the dining room (which may look familiar if you read my first post) I have added touches of red to bring the feel of Christmas to this room.

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The plate racks now hold some of my Christmas dishes that I scored at Home Goods last year, but I have seen bits and pieces of them this year too!

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The hot chocolate bar is definitely the kids favorite part of the Christmas decorations!

Everything on the top shelf I scored from the Good Will!  And the cute little sign I printed and framed thanks to a free printable from Upcycled Treasures.

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The final corner of my dining room has my DIY chalk board.  I made this a couple years ago and write different sayings and verses on it depending on the season.

It was constructed from a large sheet of plywood that the local hardware store cut for me and I framed it with pine wood trim, cut at a 45 degree angle.

After sanding everything, I painted the background with 4 coats of chalkboard paint and the trim with an antique white. Ta Da!

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My kitchen isn't my favorite room of the house...it's a work in progress...no budget for a total reno, so I work with what I have!

I kept it simple in here and added mini wreaths with red, burlap ribbon to each cabinet door and the backs of the chairs.

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I keep our favorite coffee mugs corralled in a little tray right next to the coffee pot.

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Our family room is the most used room in the house, and there are things I would like to change in here as well.

But for Christmas, I add red and white chevron pillows, wreaths to the shutters above the couch, a large wreath over the mirror and of course the tree!

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Up close, under the tree, are more salvaged buckets and metal baskets.  I filled them with lights and come Christmas Eve, I think Santa may fill them with gifts!

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On the fireplace mantel is an old wooden tool box of sorts I found at an antique shop.

Filled with sparkly ornaments, shiny bulbs and pinecones, you would never know it used to hold nuts and bolts!

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While this is a terrible picture of our nativity...this is my favorite Christmas decoration!

Our nativity set is from my mom and she lucked out and found it at a yard sale!

This reminds our family that during all the excitement of Christmas, the most important part is celebrating Jesus' birth.

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Another DIY chalkboard I made boasts the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song!

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Thank you for taking time to share in my little, Christmas home tour.

This blog (as well as parts of my home), are a work in progress, so thank you for hanging in there while I figure all this out!

I'd love to hear from you!  Please remember, we're all human, no one is perfect, so please be kind!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS wishes, from my family to yours!

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~My Dining Room Re-Design~

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How often do you use your dining room?  Everyday?  Only for dinner?  Just on special occasions? Almost never?  Do you HAVE a dining room?  And why do you, or do you NOT use it?

My dining room fell into the "almost never" category.  Not because we don't need the extra space, or because we prefer to eat in the kitchen (we don't, we have a small island that almost seats 4, we are 7)  but because I didn't like it!!

Sound petty?  That's because it is! ;-)  Hey, the Lord loves me despite my imperfections!

I made my family cram around the kitchen island, precariously balancing plates, half sitting, half standing, simply because I didn't enjoy the look or feel of my dining room.

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Here is a picture of my dining room before we moved in.  It is a weird angle but it gives you a sense of the colors I had to work with.

 I called it rusty automobile combined with Dijon mustard.  Plus it was separated by orange, oak, trim... it took away my appetite. ;-)

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I wanted to create a more soothing to the senses feel in this space.  I needed to do this for little money, yet still accomplish a feeling of elegance, calmness and of course beauty!

Again, for little $$$   Can this be done?  I have faith it can!  So I spent a little time on Pinterest (you can follow me here...http://www.pinterest.com/grunwaldlove/) and decided I would like a bit of texture and interest on the walls in the room, like this...

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Who doesn't love a good board and batten, or wainscoting, whatever you want to call it, I wanted to have it!

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I am NOT a carpenter, I also can not afford to hire one, but I want to accomplish this look, for less!  I was thankful I already had chair rail and baseboard moldings installed so I only needed the vertical boards.

I started by measuring out how tall my wood strips (the vertical pieces) would need to be to fit in between the existing chair rail and base trim.  I measured this a multiple spots around the room, no trim is perfect, some may be off by as much as a half an inch!

I then decided how far apart I wanted the wood to be spaced, keeping in mind things like outlets, air return vents, windows and corners.

I came up with 26inches in height (some varied a bit) and I went with 12-13 inches apart, varying some slightly due to said obstacles. By my math (that's a scary thought) I needed 27 total wood strips.

I took a trip to my local hardware store to choose a material that would be durable, paintable and still affordable!

I came across some pine, precut strips at $0.98 a piece!  Score!  I needed 27, but at that price it only cost me  $26.46, do able. The generous employee even cut them all down from 36" as they came to the 26" I needed, for FREE (my favorite word)!

I also needed to purchase some finishing nails to attach these strips to the wall.  These are not heavy pieces of wood,  you do not need liquid nails or screws or anything major to hang them on the wall.

Since I was at the hardware store I also picked up paintable caulk (necessary to fill and smooth any gaps between wall and wood strips), wood putty (to cover the finishing nail heads in the wood) and paint in the colors I chose as well as other painting supplies.

I brought it all home and got right to work!

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Wood strips attached with finishing nails, right to the wall between the existing chair rail and base trim, about 12-13 inches apart

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Because my previous wall color was so dark, and I was going much lighter, I painted two coats of Behr paint plus primer in Bleached Linen, before attaching the wood.

Then I filled the finishing nail heads with wood putty, make sure to sand when dry.

After that I used a caulk gun, with paintable caulking and filled any gaps down the sides of the strips where they meet the wall.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of this step, but there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on caulking to check out if you need help! Again sand smooth when dry.

I then moved on to painting all the wood, the chair rail, the newly installed wood strips and the baseboard trim also in the Behr Bleached Linen.  I needed 3 coats to cover the wood properly.

Newly installed and painted board and batten.  Behr Bleached Linen on bottom and Behr Perfect Taupe on top.

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Here it is completed!  Now my camera or lighting (or floors if were really complaining) are not nearly as nice as the inspiration picture, but I say "mission accomplished"!

And now onto the FUN part, re-styling the room!

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For this part, I "shopped" my own house looking for items that could be moved from other rooms or used in different ways.

I also made a trip to my local Good Will and scored some fun finds as well as a quaint little repurposed shop where I found a great piece of salvaged architecture.

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Isn't it pretty!?!?!?!

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After I gathered all my décor pieces, I started putting the room back together.  I revamped a little pie safe that I store dishes in.  It used to look like this...

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The fabric panels match the upholstery on my end dining room chairs, but they don't allow the dishes inside to be on display.

So I removed the panels all together and added chicken wire instead.  I also aged the black paint a bit just by sanding the edges and corners.  Here is what it looks like now...

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LOVE IT!

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Now for the part you've all been holding your breath over, pictures of the finished, styled, final result!

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Those lovely plate racks you see here were part of my find at the Good Will, $5 a piece!

And the polka dot plates will have to be a blog post for another time, for they are a story worthy of their own posting!

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Here is a close up of that amazing salvaged metal piece, I just adore the chippy white paint revealing that wonderful gray color!

And that cute little number hook rack I've been holding onto for months waiting to hang something on it!  The polka dot mugs fit the bill here!

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That space on the opposite wall was feeling empty so a few days after I finished this we had our first snowfall of the winter and I felt the need to add a hot chocolate station!

It too will have it's own blog posting, so look for it soon!

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I now no longer have to banish my family to eat around the kitchen island!  We all sit together in the new and refreshing dining room to enjoy our meals and everyone gets a chair!

I also am happy to report I stayed within my budget of "little money", spending just under $155!  For a complete redesign of the whole room, that is a great price!

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So that's it friends, my first blog post is just about complete!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my dining room transformation as much as I enjoyed telling you about it!

I would love to hear from you too!  Let me know your dining room dilemmas and how you solved them, or if they still need a solution, ask and I'll try to help!

Leave your comments and questions below, but remember we're all human, no one is perfect, so be kind! ;-)

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