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some people build a fire, others paint their fireplace.

February 2, 2011

Yeah – about that post regarding our grocery bill. My husband accidentally threw away the receipt and as much as I think I have good memory, it’s not that good. I guess we’ll just have re-examine the grocery bill for another post. When we’re no longer iced in and I can actually go to the store!

You read it right, folks – we are iced in. For my (few) non-Texas readers, the DFW area is covered in ice. A snowstorm hit early Tuesday morning and the whole area has been impacted. I work at a university (which has a large student commuter population) and the campus was shut down yesterday and today. What’s crazy is we’ve already been notified that the campus will remain closed tomorrow. Three days in a row! Suffice to say I’ve had a lot of time in my hands.

So, while my husband was working in finishing up his music studio in our house, I tackled a project that we’ve been sitting on for a while. But let’s back-track here.

This is our living room (taken when we first viewed it as potential buyers):

(notice the darkness of the room – dark fireplace, dark furniture)

(brown “accent” wall)

We loved the layout of the living room, which flowed into the dining room (albeit small) and into the kitchen – it is so open. I especially like the fact that if we have guests over, I can cook in the kitchen but not feel shut off from everyone. However, we knew from the moment we walked in that if we bought the house, we would paint over the brown accent wall. The room was very dark and though the decoration the previous owners had was not bad, it just wasn’t our taste. We were ready to make it our own.

(the day after we moved in)

We painted all the walls in the living room and kitchen white. We removed the wall paper from the dining room and kitchen as well. My husband and I are appreciative of colors but we chose to paint everything white so we could lighten up the space and make it look bigger, as it’s not very big (big enough for us, though). Plus, my husband is a minimalist when it comes to decoration. Me? I really like simplicity but I don’t like rooms that seem cold and sterile. For our living room, I wanted the space to be light but full of warmth.

As you can tell from the first two pictures above, we deviated from placing our furniture against the walls. We instead chose to make the room more intimate but still have the appearance of looking big by placing our sofa (Karlstad from Ikea) and two chairs (also from Ikea) close together. We purchased a used armoire from a friend of a friend, but we didn’t want the focus of our living room to be television entertainment – that’s why it’s to the side, tucked away. We’re all about talking with our friends and family when they’re over. So that’s the lay-out.

Though we really liked our new living room, we were not satisfied. It was still a bit dark, with the fireplace and armoire, along with our brown venetian blinds in the dining room and brown cabinets in the kitchen. So where to go from this dissatisfaction?

About a year ago, I discovered a fantastic website called Young House Love. It’s written by a 20-something married couple who completely renovated and redecorated their first house. Everything that they’ve done is amazing and they’re super honest about their mistakes as well as their triumphs. They have a great section on their website for projects, everything from how to upholster a chair to painting a fireplace.

That’s right. Painting a fireplace.

When I first saw their painted fireplace, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I just hadn’t ever thought about doing that. But it can be done, as they’ve demonstrated. And I fell in love . . .

I brought up the idea to my husband and he was game. Heck, if he had all the say-so in decorating choices in our house, it would be all white, with clean lines, very European-like. That’s a bit extreme for me, but like I said, we were both up for lightening up our space even more.

So this was a commitment we had yet to make, because we weren’t sure if we wanted to paint our fireplace white or light grey. And did we really want to paint it at all? What if we decide to sell our house and no one will buy it because of the fireplace? And what if our family and friends hate it? And what if, what if, what if?!

I did as much research as I could and thought heavily on the subject. I was ready. We were ready. If our family and friends didn’t like it, that would be okay with us. Afterall, we’re the ones living in the space 24-7. And if we decide to sell the house one day (I hope not anytime soon!!), we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, hope for the best and trust in the Lord with the sale.

Time came and went, busy-ness bombared our lives, etc etc etc. We kept putting off projects that needed to be done! However, in the last couple of weeks, we decided to give it another go by tackling a few projects at a time. We made several trips to Ikea to purchase a new dining table (white), a coffee table (white) and a light fixture (white). These things definitely help lighten the space.

Well, fast forward to yesterday, the first day we were both iced in. Though I love to relax and unwind and have quiet time to myself, I’m also not one to twiddle my thumbs – I’m a do-er! And this is what I did, in several hours’ time:

Voila! A lovely, painted fireplace (complete with cat!). It wasn’t hard at all, thanks to YHL’s step-by-step tutorial. This is just the beginning . . .

Hmmm. Day 2 of ice-pocalypse. What to do next?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:18 pm

    Wow! I really like the changes, Michelle!

  2. Lara permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:23 pm

    Very nice!

  3. February 3, 2011 9:23 pm

    Love the painted fireplace!

    Definitely going to check out that website. We are in our first house too and are slowly making a lot of changes. Every room in our house was painted a different crazy color when we moved in, so we’ve spent a lot of time priming and painting!

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