Category Archives: Before and After

The Master Bedroom Wall…

The master bedroom makeover is at a standstill for now.  I’m waiting on the fabric to arrive for our headboard.  However, the wall stencil project is complete (well, mostly, still need to touch up a few spots).  Here’s how it progressed:
BEFORE: Clean, but lacking any character and warmth.



Day One of painting. Tracing the stencil only took an afternoon.


Day Two. At this point, I was beginning to question what I had gotten myself in to. I tend to do this with projects at this stage and usually ask Hubby, “Who’s great idea was this?!”


Day Three.


Day Four.


Day Five. FYI: the Hubs hates that I use barstools and chairs to stand on instead of ladders.


Day Six. Stenciling complete!


As you can see, I cheated a little and didn’t stencil where our headboard will be.  I printed the stencil from Jones Design Co and followed her pattern.  Very time-consuming, but well worth the end result.  The dark square is the sample for our headboard fabric.  It is a dark grey basketweave fabric.  Can’t wait for it to arrive so I can finish this room and move on to the next.
What projects do you have in the works?



Finally fireside…

“Finally fireside”- that is what keeps popping into my head when I think about how much I love our new home.  We have just moved ourselves right in, I tell ya.  It FEELS like I’m home.  You know the feeling…way down in your insides where you get all warm and fuzzy and gain 10 lbs and start wearing yoga pants all day?  Exactly like that.

I thought I’d share some pictures of our new abode with you.  Oh, and if Idosometi weirdlike leaveout spaces orletters, I’m pretty sure a certain little one spilled something on the keyboard so I have to type really hard.

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Yeah, you.

So onto the house.  We love the peace and quiet and are glad to have some space for the kiddos.  And for me too, if I’m being honest.  I loved our neighbors in Colorado, but there’s something to be said about not having to put your dog on a leash every time she needs to go out or not being able to sit on your front porch because your neighbors are outside smoking and your asphyxiating on the smoke.  I have a dedicated 1/4-1/2 acre available for my garden and chicken coop.  The boys can shoot their BB guns (and leave widows in tact).  Hubby can cut down trees and build stuff like a tree fort for the kids.

The house itself was in great condition.  The inside left a lot of room for adding our personality.  It doesn’t need updating necessarily, but it was pretty plain.


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Here’s a picture of the foyer when we were looking at the house:

3House - foyer

Here’s a picture of it in its current state:

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Still a work in progress.  I just used things we had around the house and painted.  I really like the paint color – Merino Wool by Behr.  The trim is BM Dove White.  I made the sign that is hanging above the doorway.  I also painted the inside of our front door a very dark grey.  The insides of our exterior doors always get so darn dirty.  We will eventually replace the flooring to hardwoods, but that will have to wait a little while.

Oh, and we spray painted the light fixture Oil Rubbed Bronze.  That was such an inexpensive fix.  I saw that someone had sprayed their doorknobs as well, but I’m not convinced that would hold up in our house.  If you look closely at the front door knob in the last picture, you will see the teeth marks from our dog.  She was trying to get back IN.  Maybe she’s not enjoying her freedom as much as I am.

More pictures of other rooms to come.  I’ve had some success with selling a few items on Craigslist, so our bedroom project may be complete soon.  Can’t wait to share that with you!

See you on the flip side!


Before and Afters: Prairie Rose

Originally, I was going to keep a personal blog for family and friends, and then a separate blog for house and decor stuff.  I decided that I better get really good at one before trying two.  This was a post that I had posted on that blog.  I named it Gypsy Cottage because I thought that suited us and the way we are living.  However, with the peace I feel over finding this new home and Hubby’s new job, I don’t want to be a gypsy anymore.  So, I’m just gonna post everything right here for everyone to see.


Originally posted March 24, 2012 on Gypsy Cottage

I promised some B&A’s so here we go.  Nothing too fancy except some paint, tile and crown moulding.  That doesn’t include finishing the basement.  Please keep in mind that I did not take these pictures with the intent to share with the world.  I will do better from now on, I promise.  We are selling this house and I thought I would leave the new homeowner pictures of what it looked like when we bought it.  A small scrapbook that includes the pics I am going to post here.  Does that sound corny?  I would love to have something like that, especially if it was an older house.  I will probably do it anyway.  I’ll never know if they thought it was corny or not.  What do you think?

P.S. I realized as I was going through my pictures of the house that I really did not do a good job of taking “after” pics.  For some of them, I ended up using the ones from when we put the house on the market.  Keep in mind that a lot of “fluff” had been removed to de-personalize.

Original kitchen
Kitchen – added backsplash and under cabinet lighting
dining room/kitchen
painted hallway – BM Stone House. Although I love this color, in this house and with the lighting it became too yellow-y.  I ended up repainting it Valspar Ivory Brown.
fireplace wall – wall color BM Atmospheric
replacing tile surround
Fireplace after we added mosaic tile to the surround and shelves for tv and components

Painted BM Atmospheric in living room and (at this point) hallway is Valspar Ivory Brown

In the master bath we painted BM Carolina Gull and added trim around the mirror
Master Bedroom
Master bedroom
kids rooms
Baby A’s room
Boy’s room.  This was a bunk bed, but we separated it for showings.


This was our homeschool area of the basement.  It was great having a dedicated area to school at.

Things I love about Prairie Rose:

His/hers closets in master


Larger front porch


Big master suite

Dedicated homeschool space

Things I hope to have in next home:

Larger dining space (to seat 10)

Mostly one level living

More property

Larger secondary bedrooms

Less builder “character”

Wrap around porch (one can dream can’t she?)


I haven’t looked at this list since I wrote it the first time, but the cool thing is that the home we are buying has mostly everything on both lists…yay!


I have been asking for Photoshop Elements for every gift-giving occasion over the last couple of years.  I say asking, but really I mean trying to convince myself to spend the money.  I finally bit the bullet this year for my birthday.  I was so excited!  I couldn’t wait to get it home and install it!  When I finally did, I opened it and thought, “Okay, now what?”  I had no idea how to use it.  I still don’t, really.  I have looked at a couple of tutorials online about various things I can do; I have installed a few free actions that I found.  I just haven’t really had the time to get into it too much.  Not to mention, I still can’t seem to get my computer to “recognize” (emphasize with annoyed quote-y fingers) my camera.  I have a ton of photos and an almost-full memory card and no way to upload.  *Sigh*

So, today, because I was dying to use it, I uploaded a photo of a house that we have considered buying.  Okay, I’ve considered buying.  Hubby hates it.  He thinks it is too plain and looks a lot like our old house.  There isn’t really anything special about the inside, but the price is great.  I wanted to try to convince him that it has potential.  Please don’t be too hard on me…this was the first time I attempted any such thing in Photoshop, but this is what I’ve come up with so far:

The windows over the garage aren’t much different, but I wanted to show that I would add stronger trim around them and functioning shutters.  It is kind of hard to tell, but the white thing around the garage is a trellis.  I would also add (but didn’t know how to) different siding – shaker-style shingles to the peaks and a stone or brick to the bottom section.  This was just a less expensive idea to get Hubby’s mind thinking about the possibilities.  Also, I realize that the wood things in the peaks are really more Victorian in style than the rest of the house and I feel corbels would look better, but they didn’t show as well on this picture and I wanted more visual punch.

This was very fun to do!  I could easily get caught up and spend way too much time on things like this.

Hmm, what do I work on next?

Before and After…

I’ve been very busy with moving in, getting set up for our school year, and just general tiredness, so I haven’t been posting as regularly.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t have anything to share!  Here are a couple of things I’ve “worked” on.  You can’t really count spray painting as work though.

As you may know, I tend to dive in when it comes to painting.  I just can’t wait to see how something is gonna look.  Both of these projects began as brass, but brass doesn’t really do it for me (although, I must admit, it is growing on me slightly in certain decors).  This first object began it’s life in my mother-in-laws home.  I think it was hung on the wall and held candles or something.  I’m not really sure.  I didn’t take a before pic.  Yeah, yeah, I know.

Sorry for the poor picture quality, I used my cell phone.  Since we moved, my computer doesn’t recognize my camera.

I turned it into a spice rack to hold my most used spices.

Not too bad, huh?

The next project was a lamp I bought at Goodwill.  It was brass also, but the finish was not good.

I was still debating on the lampshade, but have since removed the plastic.  And yet…I’m still debating.  I think I will go get the smaller one and test it out on there as well.  Ross is the best place to buy lampshades and such.  This one is pretty large and I only paid $7.99 for it.  The next smaller one is $5.99.  The lamp was $5.  Not too bad for a new lamp.

I have another before-and-after to come soon.