Outdoor Console Refresh {A DIY Project}

Work continues on our back porch refresh, we're not ready for the reveal yet, but progress is being made so I thought I'd share a little DIY we recently completed for the space. 

back porch preview!!

back porch preview!!

Adding additional surface area for food, drinks and entertaining was high on my list of must-haves for our refreshed space. I wanted something that would coordinate and tie in our iron and stone dining table, but after lots of endless searching I wasn't finding anything I loved that was also in the budget. Typical, right? 

Enter this beauty.

Ok, so she's not much to look at now, but she does have iron legs (that have a certain European feel to them) which means she can obviously be outside - bonus. And she's fairly budget friendly - also a bonus. So let's see what we can do with a little creative thinking.

First a trip to the stone warehouse for the perfect remnant. 

Then a little coat of paint to tone down the gold.

Yes, I'm usually a fan of gold, but not on this table. Outside. On our porch. 

Voila! As they say...

With not much effort and a minimal extra cost I got the perfect console for our outdoor space. Yeah for progress! And porch weather. And wine on the porch. And just wine in general. 

More to come...

Porch Evolution {and what's next}

Spring has finally sprung in Charlotte and now that we're done with our most recent indoor project, it's time to shift our focus outside. Up first, the porch. We've made a lot of progress on the porch in the time that we have been here ... let's take a look back over the years.

In the beginning...

Of course, it looked a bit better than this when we purchased the house...but not much! The awning was on it's last leg and the lack of access to the back yard moved this project to the front of the line. 

We extended the porch and added a pergola ... then added a plexiglass roof, which leaked ... then added a metal roof. So, yeah, we learned that one that hard way but we ended up with a porch that's perfect for us. And probably one of the most used spaces in the house, especially for entertaining!

Once the structure was in place, it was time to get decorating. My fav part, obv.

Initially we utilized our whicker furniture from our screened-in porch in Chicago, which was super cute, but definitely not functional in the open elements. 

When my parents down sized, we were lucky enough to receive their wrought iron furniture (couch, loveseat, 5 bouncy chairs and a couple of accent tables). We immediately replaced the whicker and spruced up the space a little. But, of course, nothing lasts for long around here...something's always changing. 

We decided to build a patio at the foot of the porch.  And it was the perfect spot for all that wrought iron. A match made in heaven. 

But, it left us with a naked porch. A blank slate. A decorators dream. Of course, this was over a year ago but you know details, details. Some spaces take a lot of thought and research and time. 

It's finally starting to come together and I'm excited to share the process with you. 

More to come...

Bonus Room Reveal

It's reveal day! Bonus room reveal day, that is. I'm so excited to share this newly revamped space with you. Not only is it much easier to look at, but it's so much more functional now. In fact, we've used this space more since we finished the makeover than we have in the last 3 years combined. I'll take that as a measure of success!

Ok, here we go...welcome to the new bonus room.

Strikingly similar to our original inspiration moodboard, wouldn't you say?

I know you're thinking, "what happened to all the toys?" 

True, we did edit. A lot. But, we also just made better use of the space. The biggest change in terms of storage is the newly curtained alcove which doubles as a stage for shows as well as hidden storage for all the dress up and other show related malarky. 

The other "most loved" items ( like crafts, stickers, food/tea party/restaurant stuff ) are now in a larger bookcase, front and center, for easy access. 

Of course, we still have the toy closet at the far end of the bonus room. I didn't get rid of everything! Despite my best efforts :)

Once the storage and toy situation was under control, we were able to add in more seating and generally cozy up the space. Making the whole room a much more family friendly destination. 

We embraced the gold vinyl dot decals that have been an accent in the space for several years and dotted the rest of the walls, too. I even let the kids go wild with decals in their curtained alcove, I'm a nice Mom like that. 

The table, which now occupies one of the alcoves, is paired with navy metal chairs and a hanging paper lantern, offering the perfect spot for lego building, coloring and crafting. Lighting has always been an issue in the bonus room, the two new lanterns have really transformed the mood in this space.

In terms of coziness, you can't beat a huge, plush, patterned rug. Lucky for me, this rug has been in my collection for awhile. I never found just the right spot for it, until now. 

I can't believe I made it this far in the post without talking about my double chaise situation. Love them. So happy and such a comfy, cozy spot for movie watching. Best decision, ever. 

A couple last elements that I have to mention - the curtains, of course the fleecy bean bags, and all the wonderfully cozy and cuddly textiles. 

What kind of a reveal post would this be without a flashback to where we started. 

My how far we've come...

I think it's safe to say we're all in love with the newly revamped space. 

More to come...

Big Birthday Weekend

I couldn't let my husband's 40th birthday pass by without documenting it here on the blog - after all, he has always been and will always be the biggest supporter of the blog! Besides being a constant rock to me and my small business, he's the best husband around! So, naturally I had to go big for his big birthday. 

Starting with a very subtle surprise birthday message in our front yard curtesy of Happy Sign Surprise.

We also hosted a small celebration/ping pong tournament in our backyard for some of his closest friends. We rented the ping pong tables through Thunderdome Racing and borrowed all the extra heaters we could find. The chilly weekend didn't put a damper on the festivities!

Of course, no 40th birthday party is complete without a new outfit. T-shirt curtesy of Vistaprint.

The majority of the food was catered by Vic the Chili Man - best hotdogs in Charlotte - you can find his cart uptown most days...but if you ask nice, he might bring it to your house! We loved all of his creations. Plus, the cart was really cool.

At John's request we made guacamole, truffled popcorn , winter slaw and finished off the night with a custom s'more bar inspired by The Kitchn.

I have to say it was a pretty perfect evening of good friends coming together to celebrate a pretty good guy! Ok, he's better than pretty good...

After a full day of recovery, we celebrated with a homemade Carrot Cake for Two (that I actually doubled to serve 4, but now we have leftovers! Backfire.)

After the jam packed weekend and the time change, we're all struggling this Monday morning - but it was worth it! Happy Birthday to my amazing husband! Love you.

More to come...