White Painted Fireplace: Before & After

Fireplaces can be one of the most beautiful, anchoring pieces in any room. They’re grand, warm, inviting & often the centerpiece of the room. While there are many styles of fireplaces, we often find that when doing a home renovation, the fireplace has to be updated as well. An inexpensive, but impactful option for updating a fireplace is to paint it white. Now this certainly isn’t the best option for every space but if you’re trying to update your traditional home to a more modern, bright feel – this may be just what you need. For instance, take my most recent home renovation project with a family in Georgia. See this beautiful white washed fireplaced with shiplap all the way up to the ceiling:

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cabinets still need doors (going on this week) & shelves need to be styled

Well, this was the before:

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That tv is blocking a half-built shelf. And that undersized mantle? This room was screaming for a makeover!

What a transformation, right?! When my clients wanted to make their large, vaulted ceiling living room feel more modern & bright, while keeping it family friendly, I knew exactly what to do. For starters, we painted the entire home interior (yup, every last bit) SW Repose Gray (the perfect greige!), added crown molding where needed, evened out those massive bookshelves shelves, also painted them white, and then revamped the 1990s looking fireplace. We first added shiplap the entire way up (and wrapped it around the sides), we added an 8′ reclaimed wood mantle & lastly, we had the fireplace white washed. The clients are so, so SO pleased with the finished product. And we had the entire project done in under 1 week!

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 Progress pics of the shiplap – don’t you love the dark bookshelf backdrop we did?

Here are some more examples of beautiful white brick fireplaces – there’s a mix of white wash and full white paint.

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What do you think of white painted fireplaces? Are you impressed with this before & after?

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Coffee Tables + Coffee Table Books

Lately, I’ve been helping a few friends who are moving into new spaces with their living room tables. Coffee tables have been an increased topic of interest, as this is typically purchased after their rug & sofa/chairs are selected. It’s often an afterthought of living room decorating but luckily it’s pretty easy to find one that works. With thousands of options out there, I selected quite a few that hit a variety of needs, including a couple for dual usage/extra storage. Typically, I prefer that the table doesn’t match the end tables. For example, try a wood coffee table with a glass end table.

Ottoman-style coffee tables are great for those with children, those with small spaces & those who need a place to prop their feet up (let’s be real). These type coffee tables can also serve as additional seating if needed. I recommending using an oversized tray atop the ottoman to group & level items (i.e. candles, vases, books).

Here is a roundup of coffee tables that I recommend:

{ expandable |tufted | black laquered | leather | round tufted | large wood | reclaimed wood + metal | round glass | acrylic }

Of course, we can’t talk about coffee tables without mentioning coffee table books. I mentioned on Friday that these are a great hostess gift and in fact, I think they’re just a great gift in general. I usually get a few every Christmas to add to my collection. In fact, you may want to go ahead and pick up a few to keep on hand for upcoming holiday gifts – there are a couple below under $20. A small price to make a big impact.Beautiful books can be used in various ways – on table display, to add height, to anchor another item, to fill space in a bookshelf, etc.  A roundup of my current favorites:

{ Tom Ford | McQueen | Southerner’s Handbook | Beaches | Living with Pattern | Styled | Nate Berkus | EOS | Kate Spade | Underwater Dogs | Ultimate Travel }

What’s your favorite style coffee table? What’s your favorite coffee table book?

An “Adult” Living Space Under $4,000

When I moved in with my fiancee husband (<– still SO weird to say!), we went through the typical “combining of pieces”. This meant his frat-house looking dark green sofa would be adjacent to my cute, tufted cream colored sofa. The dart board got the boot, but the surfing picture stayed. Compromises were made, but now that we’ve been in the space for well over 12 months, I am o-v-e-r it. As in, every time I walk into the living room & see that damn green sofa I get a serious case of the skeevies. Old stained sofa be gone!

So, we are currently plotting how to redecorate our space while (a) keeping it gender neutral (b) purchasing spaces that we can repurpose in the future and (c) stay within budget. Here’s what I’m thinking:

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Put together by these pieces…

 

Of course, we’ll keep a few art pieces we have (especially this one and these frames with our black & white Paris pictures) as well as my favorite candle, ginger jar & pillow. Add in a few good coffee table books (this, this & this) and we’re done!

{rug | sofa | chairs | lamp | coffee table | mirror | vases}

What are your tips for redecorating a space while staying within budget & gender neutral?! Any amazing pieces out there right now for the living room?!

Rattan Roundup

Happy Monday y’all! How was your weekend? Mine was full of wedding planning (including a delicious BBQ tasting…details to come!), outdoor drinks with friends & squeezing in a workout or two (which was beyond necessary after that bbq!).

Right now is the perfect time to get your sunroom and porch spruced up and looking sharp for summer. After all, Memorial Day is right around the corner! Depending on your price point and weather conditions, you’ve got quite a few material options when shopping for outdoor furniture: teak, bamboo, iron, rattan & more. Rattan gives a bit more of a garden/beachy look but I think when used properly, it can be a great option.

Here are a few of my favorite spaces with rattan:

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Rattan pieces are just perfect for outdoor spaces & screened in porches! I’ve helped you get started by pulling a few great pieces that are currently for sale…

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{chair // bar cart // chair // mirror // bench // sofa}

5 Ways to Bring Spring into your Home

First, congratulations to all of you who completed the Boston Marathon yesterday! It was a beautiful 70 and sunny day – we watched for hours and were consistently inspired by all of the runners, especially those running with disabilities. Those who ran with guides, the push-rim division, those with prosthetic legs, etc…what unbelievable athletes!

Now…let’s talk decorating for Spring! With longer days & warmer temps in full effect, it’s time to make sure your home is ready as well. I’ve put together 5 simple, effective ways to bring Spring into your home:

 1. Swap out some white accessories…vases, pitchers, potters, books…white accessories are fresh, clean & perfect for sunnier days.

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2. Go for fresh flowers…cherry blossoms, tulips & hydrangeas all scream spring. I currently have pink tulips in the kitchen, yellow & white tulips in the den and hydrangeas in the master. You seriously can’t go wrong!

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3. Trade out the textiles…I have a ton of different blankets, pillow covers, etc that I keep on hand and like to swap out! For spring, think light colors, floral patterns & palms. Now’s a good put away the faux fur throws & the heavy fabrics.

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4. Get fruity…fruit is an inexpensive, colorful, practical way to bring spring into your kitchen& dining room. I like using lemons, limes, oranges, apples, etc & displaying them in either clear apothecary jars or an oversized bowl. Odds are, you’ll eat these yummy treats so simply replace when you head to the grocery store!

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5. Tidy up! Really this should be number one, as I believe it’s the most effective way to make any space look fresh. Spend a day purging your closets, junk drawers & everyday spaces. Trust me, there’s no better way to feel like you’re officially in a new season.

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What’s your best tip for bringing Spring into your home?!

Entry Table Styled 5 Ways

Happy Monday folks! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was working a conference all day Saturday so it felt like a super short weekend, but I tried to get as much accomplished as I could on Sunday. If you saw my Instagram recently, or follow me on Snapchat (@alexisf19), you’ll notice that I’ve been doing some entry table styling!

Your entry table is so important because it’s usually the first thing people see when they walk into your home. It totally sets the tone for decor & the rest of your home. Given that this is our mail collection spot/key holder/boot drop off/last mirror on the way out the door area, it needs to have a design that is functional, versatile & pretty!

Due to the fact that we are on a very strict wedding budget, I wanted a refresh without spending any money! So I collected all of our table top items in the living room:

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and was left with a blank slate:

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{white lacquer table & gold mirror via CB2 | side note: after seeing this picture, I’m in a vigorous attempt to either remove or paint those hideous outlets!)

From this, I tried to get creative and create 5 different style options for our entry table. When styling a surface area (coffee table, nightstand, vignette, etc) it’s important to incorporate high/low items, a natural item (think plants & flowers) and practical items – for an entry table, this means a catch-all for keys, chapstick, etc. Also, when in doubt, think in groups of 3 (it’s most aesthetically appealing!)

Here are the 5 entry table decor options that I came up with:

Option 1

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Option 2

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Option 3

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Option 4

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Option 5

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Before I reveal which I decided on (hint: it’s a combination of two), I want to know- which is your favorite?!

Home Decor Must Have for pet owners

Happy Monday y’all! How was everyone’s weekend?

The Northeast has been pounded with some snow the past few days (not the fun kind, the annoying kind) and I’m going stir crazy! One of the worst parts about the snowstorm is having to take the pup in & out. She’s a total diva and hates the cold but does like playing in (and eating) the snow.

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As a pet owner, I’m constantly aware of the impact she has on our home. Dogs come with smells, toys, blankets, etc. For me, it’s important to know that someone could walk into our home and not even know we have a dog. Here’s how I do it:

Stylish Storage

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Similar to kids toys, dog toys aren’t cute or aesthetically appealing. I keep all of Mela’s toys in a small woven basket, tucked away into the corner (easy to hide when company comes over). I also keep a basket in the hall closet with all of her necessities (extra bags, leashes, bandanas, etc). Cute baskets are so easy & inexpensive! A few I like are this, this and this.

Tip: I like to keep a blanket on each sofa that she sits on, to avoid getting a mess of dog hair all over. She like them & knows those are her spots.

Candles

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As pet owners, we often become unaware that our beloved 4 legged friend has a certain scent to others. Let’s all get a quick wake up call, do a favor to our guests and stock up on some good smelling candles. A few favorites include this, these and this.

Clean Often

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This isn’t fun, but it’s needed. Part of the territory with pets is that you’ve got to clean often. I sweep and/or vacuum pretty much every day. For those of us with shedding dogs, it’s a necessary evil! Spend 10 minutes a day and I promise you’ll notice a difference. This vacuum is one I recommend!

What are you favorite tips & tricks to keep your dog friendly home looking sharp?!