Author Archive

Productive Weekend Recap

September 19th, 2013

I’m not sure what was in our coffee last Saturday morning, but man, Mr. vB and I were seriously productive on some small DIY projects.

I should actually call it my “honey-to-do list”, most of which I mentioned in my previous post.

All together we got 5 projects completed!!

Here’s the breakdown:

1. First project was to take the Metal V that I had gotten for van’s room and create a cool light out of it.

It orgianlly housed a red neon tube but was going to cost $75 to make it compatible to plug into the wall.  Yikes- thankfully Mr. vB had the great idea to get a string of outdoor lights and drill holes into the V so we could poke the lights through.  That only cost us $12.

I also asked Mr. vB to break out the spray gun and spray paint the outside of the V to coordinate with his room. Am loving the finished product.

Now we just have to figure out how to hang it on the wall!

2. Next…

Since the spray gun was already locked and loaded, I asked Mr.vB if he would mind spray painting the 3 brass light fixtures in the downstairs and upstairs halls.

{I might have strategically planned for the color of the V and the light fixtures to be the same knowing that if we got the gun out to spray one, I could get him to spray them all!!}

I actually tried my hand at spraying one of the fixtures myself and it was super easy!

Am already thinking what else I can spray paint!

3. Also…

While Mr. vB was busy painting outside, I was inside finally finishing the paint job on the front door.  I believe it was last November when I orginally painted the front door, but you might not have noticed that I only painted the parts of the door that could be seen from the outside.  I’m going to say my excuse was because it was cold when I was painting and couldn’t leave the door open long enough for it to dry.  But let’s be real- I was just being SUPER lazy. And since Saturday was so pretty, I decided that I could finally paint the door properly and leave it open all day long.

I was even on such a painting roll that I decided to paint the back of the door as well.

In the old house I had painted the interior side of the front door black, but here I thought the peacock blue color would look better.

I’m 2 coats in, and I defintley need to go for a third.  Hopefully it won’t take another year to accomplish that!

4. Then..

When we went to get the string lights, I also picked up a set of L brackets at Lowe’s and was able to hang the Cornice boxes in the Living room.  Am loving having them back up.

Now I’m working on a set of drapes for the back window in a coordinating fabric.  Then I’m hoping to tie it all together with pillows on the sofa.

5. Last but not least…

I tackled adding a little extra touch to the exisiting light fixture in my bathroom.  I had read on Little Green Notebook about how she had used some nail polish and painters tape to create cute little stripes on the frosted globes on her laundry room light fixture.  Thought it couldn’t be too hard to recreate.

It indeed was super easy and took about 30 mins max to do.  BUT, I don’t like the color I picked. Bummer. But I’m thinking I can just paint over it with another color?!  Certainly can’t be a light color, but maybe a turquoise?   Will keep you updated with that outcome.

There you have it- told you we were productive!

Now I’m working on finishing some recaps of how I reworked the cornice boxes and my progress on the Mantle Piece turned Headboard.  I also need to give you guys the tour of the new garage.  Talk to you soon!

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Good Vibes

September 1st, 2013

It’s been quire awhile since I can say I’ve felt inspired to create and or to be creative.

Normally it’s more of an overwhelming feeling of where to start, how to pay for it, never having enough time, blah, blah, blah.

I think the good vibes come from taking a week off with my family and unplugging from the daily grind.  It felt really good to spend time with those that I love and not have to rush around to the next task.  Our days pretty much consisited of wake up, eat, play by {insert pool or beach here}, eat, nap, play by {insert pool or beach here}, drink, eat, drink, go to bed.  Rough life right??

I hope I can keep up this inspired/refreshed attitude when the daily grind kicks back in.  I’ll keep you updated. In the mean time, here is a break down of some projects I want to tackle in the very near future.

1. Rework the Cornice Boxes from our old living room for the windows in the new one.

Sounds easy right? Not quite.

The old windows were about 4′ wide and 7′ tall.  New windows are 2’5″ wide and 5′ tall.

Can you guess where I am going with this?

Yeah- the old cornice boxes smother the new windows.  I think I have figured out how to make it work.  Stay Tuned.

There are also 3 windows in the new space, where the old one only had 2.

Hmm…Could 2 windows have cornice boxes and one window have drapes?

2. Paint fingernail polish accent stripe on Bathroom Light Fixtures.

{just like Little Green Notebook did here}

What color to pick for each bathroom? Hmm on that too.

3.  Paint Hall Light Fixture and Hall Table fun bright new colors.

I’m leaning towards chartruese for the table and chinese red for the light fixture.

4. Hang the IKEA drapes that were orginally intended for the old house nursery in the  new guestroom.

I want to change the standard grommet look to a Pinch Pleat Style with some banding along the edges.

View from closet

Like these from Erika from Urban Grace Interiors.

Finally, I have decided that my dream job would be to spend the day scavenging thrift stores, craigslist, and alleys for awesome furniture that just needs a little love.   I would bring it home. Clean it. Paint it. Make it beautiful again. And then sell it. {anyone want to be my first customer?}

Until then I’ll stick with my 9-5 job.  Happy Sunday Everyone!

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Wipe Not Wash…

August 1st, 2013

Yes- I once owned a pair of pants that the care instructions on the tag said Wipe Not Wash.  I’m Dead Serious.

They were a lovely pair of pleather /plastic /who knows what kinda fabric pants from Goodwill that cost me about $7 and went quite nice with my side pony for the 80′s mixer that we were headed to.

I’m currently staring at the photo of that evening that I unearthed, but for everyone’s safety I’m not going to post it.  {you can thank me later Audrey and Kristi!!}

By the end of the night, the top layer of the pleather was cracked and peeling off so into the trash they went, never to be heard from again.

The point to my story?  I’m not sure, but when I was recently laminating the fabric for my breakfast nook chairs it made me think of those pants.  The care label for these could read Wipe not Wash too!

Here’s the breakdown.. my latest project has been in the works since before vannyB was born and is FINALLY finished.

Remember when I scored these great dining room chairs from my friend Sauce Elliott?

I had been wanting to recover the seat cushions since I brought them home, but then life got in the way and recovering the chairs got pushed to the bottom of the list.

But it didn’t take long to get settled in the new house before they were back at the top of my to-do list.

This time though, instead of using the chairs in the dining room, I planned on using them around the kitchen table my parents gave us when moved in.  This table is sentimental to me as it is the same table I grew up eating all my meals around as a child.

I’ve been waivering for months on what fabric to use to recover the seats knowing it needed to be durable. And most importantly – stain resistant.  A friend mentioned oil cloth fabric, but I could never find a pattern I liked. Then I read on pinterest about laminating your own fabric, esentially making it oil-cloth like and I was sold.

A few days later, I spotted this fun fabric and knew it was the one.

Happily I picked up 2 yards and was on my way.

Next stop was the local quilting shop were I picked up some Vinyl Laminate- Heat N Bond Iron on Vinyl, Gloss 24″ wide.

I was a bit nervous about laminating the fabric, but it was actually very easy.

Using the exisiting seat cushion fabric as a pattern, I cut four sections out of the new fabric.

Then I cut four sections out of the laminate.

I slowly peeled the laminate backing off and applied it to the cotton fabric.

{quick tip: Use a credit card to try to smooth out any bubbles that creep up!}

Then using an iron on medium heat, I covered the laminate with the backing I just peeled off, and went over the entire piece with the iron.  8 seconds each section.

Once done with the front, flip it over and iron the backside, 4 seconds each section.

And then Viola!  You have just created a laminated fabric!

It couldn’t have been easier.

Next step was to give the chairs a new coat of paint to make them pop!

Decisions, Decisions…

After hemming and hawing for several days I pulled the trigger on a Ben Moore color called Slate Teal. (I must have a thing for teal these days cause our front door is almost the same color!)

Off the chairs and the paint went to my Uncle Armistead’s house who so graciously told me he would paint them for me.

About 2 weeks later I got them back and couldn’t have been happier.

Last step was to staple the newly laminated fabric onto the seat cushions and then attach to the newly painted chairs…

Here’s the TOTAL finished product!

The laminated fabric is proving to be worth the effort as I easily wiped up spilled chocolate milk the other night off of one.  It was Heaven… ok maybe not heaven, but it did get me back to eating my dinner sooner than I expected!

Now that I finally finished this project I think I might start tackling new Cornice Boxes for the Living Room.  Stay Tuned!!

{P.S.  Catherine- I heard you chanting. Thanks for the pep talk!  In return I dedicate this post to you and Battley Cate!}

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It’s almost been a year…..

June 19th, 2013

Bet you thought I was going to say since I’ve blogged right??

{Ha-Ha} It’s been close. But no, I was going to say it’s almost been a year since we moved over to Dovershire.

We haven’t tackled any big projects on the interior, but have done a few things outside.

One of my favorites so far is the front flower beds.

Here is what they looked like when we moved in last July.

And here’s how they look now!

Thanks to ALOT of help from my gardener, aka my mums, I’m very pleased with how the flower beds turned out! The hard part was digging up the old stuff, but the fun part was planning what should go where.  We ended up hunting around local greenhouses for stuff on sale and then transplanted a ton from my moms yard.  Now I get to just sit back and watch it all grow.

The backyard is another story…We’ve got big plans for it, but right now it’s a hot mess.  One big reason is because we decided to cut down some trees, dig up the asphalt driveway, and build us a big old garage!!  That’s right… I might have mentioned that we weren’t doing any BIG projects in the interior, but I never said anything about the exterior!!

Our good buddy and architect friend, Jay Chiaramonte, helped us draw up some plans and figure out the best way to tie the new 2 car garage into the back of our existing garage.

Here’s a sneak peak..

This is the interior sketch showing the existing garage on the right hand side and the new 2 car garage on the left.  Once we get the old garage stuff moved into the new garage, we then plan on finishing the old garage into a playroom/den/man-cave.  But that will be awhile down the road.

Here’s an elevation of what the Exterior will look like..

Again the section to the right of the door is the existing garage and the left side is all new.

Pretty exciting right?? {Would I have ever thought I would be excited about a garage, no probably not.  But the idea of getting into a dry car on a rainy day, or a warm car on a cold day does excite me!}

Things are moving along quite nicely and van is LOVING having diggers, dump trucks, and cement trucks in his driveway on a weekly basis!

Here are 2 of my favorite photos of him during the construction..

He is always very eager to watch the whole process and is ready to assist on a moment’s notice!

And finally, a quick shout out to our Contractor, Daniel Kaufmann for putting up working with us.  I reminded him just yesterday that when you do business with a “retired” interior designer and a guy that knows how to build stuff, your bound to get some micro managing.  {sorry dude!} For example, the other day when the cement guys were here pouring the floor, it didn’t appear to have any slope to it which I knew the plans had called for.  I quickly grabbed my set of blue prints and ran outside to tell that I thought they were doing it wrong!!  I believe I caught them quite off guard and luckily we were able to get it all sorted out.  But you see what Dan has to deal with! {ha-ha} Anyways, Dan is a great guy and we are very excited to be working with him and his crew.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram {tottyvb}, you’ve already seen progress shots.  If you’re not following me, you better start now cause who knows the next time I’ll be back with Progress Shots!! Just Kidding…

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New House, Yard/Garden

Stylin & Profilin..

February 12th, 2013

I’ve been keeping a secret from you guys. {no I’m not pregnant}

The secret is my awesome walk in closet.  OK- walk in may be an over statement.  But it’s bigger than the closet I had at good old Rosewood Ave..

Welcome …

Even though it’s just a closet, I wanted to make it feel like a fun place that I could “shop” for clothes and accessories when getting ready every morning.

I used different colored hangers to differentiate the various types of clothing (shirts, pants, jackets, dresses). What can I say? That’s the A+ personality in me coming out!

And then used the shelves for my shoes…

and my jewels and smaller handbags.

I also utilized the tall blank wall behind the door to hang necklaces and some of my favorite art.

Amongst it all, I mixed some of my favorite quotes in with family photos that make me smile every-time I see them. I can’t think of a better way to start and my day than looking at the ones I love.

There’s talk around these parts about renovating our master bath, which means my closet would most likely become a shower, but we’ve got time to figure all that out.  For now I will continue to enjoy my closet as it is!

p.S.  are you following me on Instagram yet? {@tottyvb} I showed photos this weekend of the new fabric I got for the lumbar pillow on my bed and the kitchen chairs! Make sure you check it out!

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Catching up…

February 9th, 2013

Hello Blogging World!

I’m not going to make excuses for where I’ve been, no one wants to hear it.

Instead I’m going to show you what I’ve been busy doing…

yup- finally painted “most” of the interior front door.

It was too cold to keep the door open while the paint dried, so I just painted the interior panels.

can’t tell from the street, can you??

Now on to the Nursery…

I’ve been going back and forth about painting stripes, so I finally pulled the trigger and just painted one of the walls.

Still debating on if I should paint stripes on an adjacent wall.  Gonna keep you guys guessing a little longer on this one before I do a full preview.

Moving on…

The Headboard Arrived!

Totally loving it, but still trying to decide the pillow layout.  The 2 smaller ones in the front were scores I found at Homegoods for $15 each.  I thought they were a steal for a down pillow insert.  I plan on recovering them with this trellis fabric.

And then maybe get some white shams with a cool monogram???

{source unknown}

More on that progress later as well.

Now on to my most favorite project…

Words cannot express how much I love this little dude.

Lastly, I’ll  leave you with a photo of my fun new flats that I picked up from Steinmart.

Now we are offically caught up with my life.  How are things with you?

ps. Stay in touch with my on a daily basis on instagram- tottyvb

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Bedroom Makeover, Nursery


December 31st, 2012

Thanks to all my peeps out there that sent us Christmas cards…

I loved going to the mailbox everyday to find stacks of envelopes that weren’t bills or junk mail!!

I’ve seen tons of cute ways to display them on pinterest, but call me old fashion.  I just like to stick them in my card holder that’s hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

see any familiar faces?!

{hey there- lylah, sutton, luke, quin, battley cate, hayden, liam, henry, margaret, trav, gus, maddy, philip, lily, davis, graham, abbie, wade, holland, leah, edie, griffin, alice, sadie, judd, cooper, bobby, evie, peliah and heis}

Did everyone get our card in the mail?

Sorry- inside joke, as these vB’s didn’t get around to xmas cards this year.  Not sure why.  Maybe it’s the sky-rocketting cost of cards these days, or not finding the right photo?  Perhaps you’ll all find Valentine’s Day cards from us in your mailbox come February.  But don’t anyone hold their breath.. ha-ha.

I did want to share some cute family photos that we had taken a few weeks ago… Several were in the running for the “xmas card that never happened”.

And my favorite of them all…

Happy {and Safe} New Years Everyone!

xoxo the vB’s

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Christmas, Family

Home for the Holidays…

December 19th, 2012

Happy Holidays Ya’ll!

Per normal, I feel like they sneak up on me and then I am rushing to keep up.

So let’s see, since we last spoke my “baby” celebrated his 2nd birthday!

We also hung with the family down in Newport News for Turkey Day…

and vanny got to share some special time with his great grandmother- Mamie.

Now we are a week away from xmas and Momma “might have” bought herself an early xmas gift today.

I’ve been saving my hard earned pennies for an Upholstered Headboard for our master bed and today I pulled the trigger!  I used a 15% off coupon and then scored free shipping because it’s National Free Shipping Day {who knew}!  So my normally $540 headboard was only $400!!!

Here’s what my new beauty will look like…

Notched Headboard with Nailhead Trim…Home Decorators Collection

I’m also dreaming up some new pillow shams, bedside tables, and artwork.

And for fun, here’s the progression of the master bedroom to date..

Look what was hiding under that wall to wall carpet…

Bye-Bye blue trim…

Hello Ceiling Fan…

I’m actually kind of embarrassed to show how un-put together the master bedroom is.  The addition of the carpet helped a lot and I think the headboard will break up that large wall behind the bed.  Then with some small dressers on each side of the bed as bedside tables it hopefully will look an adult lives here and not a college student.

Will let you guys know once the headboard arrives. Now I’ve got to get busy preparing for the family that is arriving on Friday.  Mr. vB and I are hosting both his and my families for our first Christmas in the new house!

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Baby vB, Birthday, Christmas

Door Drama

November 12th, 2012

So it has taken approximately 3.5 months, 6 tester paint pots, and 500 million paint swatches, but people, we have a new front door color!

Who knew it would be so hard to pick a freaking color!  {Not me, that’s for sure.} You all know I was ready to pull the trigger on that gorgeous turquoise color, then Mr. vB had to come along and shut that down..

Then I was all gung-ho about this cool navy color I picked…

But upon further inspection, it seemed to blend with the roof too much and I wanted a serious pop of color!

I got so frustrated that I was throwing anything at the door to see what would stick..seriously!

What a HOT mess..

Thankfully at this point the storm door was no longer attached to the front of the house, so no one could see the madness that was going on.

But I’m pleased to report that Mr. vB and I {finally} came to an agreement on a color and  I’m putting the final coats on the storm door as we speak.  Then I hope to get started painting the main door later this week.

Here’s a sneak peek!

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Front of the House Makeover, New House

Steals and Deals- My new coat{s}

November 3rd, 2012

Have y’all been to Sears lately?

Neither had I until I popped in today to return a Lands’ End Tote bag that I had ordered online.  Did you know that they have a full fledged Lands’ End Store in Sears.  No Lie!

Also, who knew Lands’ End had such stylish clothes this days?!

I walked away with this super cute Coat

Women’s Luxe Scoopneck Coat…. normally $249, but on sale in store for about $155!!

It comes in 5 super cute colors, but when push came to shove I picked “Juniper” Green.

I also snagged this simple Down Vest

Women’s Down Vest… normally $50, but again on sale in store for about $25.

When I went to check out, the saleswoman told me that if I spent $16 more dollars I would get an additional $60 dollars off.

Well thank you Miss Saleswoman- I accept your challenge.

And vannyB thanks you for his new hat!

Boys Northwest Passage Peruvian Hat.. yup on sale too…$16!

So my grand total for all 3 items was less that the sale price of the Green Coat by itself!

Awesome and Amazing!

Go check it out for yourself!  Now, go… what are you waiting for?

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Mrs.vB, Steal and Deal of the Week