Friday, September 21

From Builder Grade to Custom

Don't let the title give you the wrong impression.  Customizing your home doesn't have to break the bank!  I'm not talking breaking down walls or putting in additions, guys.  I am referring to a more simplistic, but eye-catching customization {Customizing really runs the gamut - but for right now we are talking a difficulty level of 4 on a scale of 1 to 10}

When I was lived up north, the homes were older, had more character and as a result felt a little more custom.  You could walk down any given street and see a variety of home elevations and landscaping plans.   In the south, it is very different.  It seems that every third neighbor has the same floor plan as you and every neighbor had the same choice of one of two lighting packages or granite selections. Ha!  From what I have experienced, living in the burbs of Atlanta,  new construction is booming and subdivisions are EVERYWHERE and because builders needs to produce for production, they don't provide many options to buyers, unless you go with a true custom built home.  If you have that type of home, then this post may not be for you - but please, keep reading anyway :)

For the rest of us, I hope this post gives you some inspiration and a chance to look at your home in a different way.   There are so many ways to make your home stand out and look a little different from your neighbors and it's really not that hard.  There are so many things you can change over time (or immediately); and I have found that the easier way to achieve that custom look is by changing out your lighting fixtures!  I am talking about the hardwired fixtures, chandeliers and such.  Think of lighting as the earrings to your home - they are shiny, can be subdued or flashy and if coordinated correctly, can really set off a space.

We love our home.  We did not love the lighting package.  My idea of cozy, charming and classic is not a 9 arm brushed nickel chandelier; neither was a faux wood ceiling fan, so I knew right away, the lighting would have to be changed first.

Look around your house at the fixtures, do you love them?  If not, change them! It is so simple to do and the change it provides in your room is huge.  Don't believe me, take a look at my Dining Room's before and after.


                                                   BEFORE W/ BUILDER GRADE LIGHT




This is the 9 light chandelier that the builder installed in our dining room.  This is a room you see from the road and it is visible when you come in through the front door - ewww!

I hated this light, hated it.  I tried to decorate around it but it just stuck out like a big silver blob.  If you're in the same situation, don't worry; changing lights is not that hard.  If you don't know how to do this ::raises hand:: hire a contractor on Thumbtack or get your husband, brother, partner etc. to do it.  Ok, back the post:  So after looking online for lighting fixtures, I found a warm toned, classic, chandelier that fit the aesthetic of our home so much better.  Worldmarket.com to the rescue!   I found this chandelier for under $300!  Take a look at the transformation.


                                                             AFTER WITH NEW CHANDELIER 



Now, isn't that so much better!  Do you see what I mean?  New lighting just takes the room to from average to custom/pretty/different/eye-catching (pick a word :) )

Granted, I did paint and add new curtains to finish the look, but that's what happens when you update decor.  You look around and think of other things you can enhance to tie the look together.  Fun stuff guys!

Ok, so just in case your curious in purchasing the same light, it comes in two sizes, small and large.  I purchased the large because we have pretty high ceilings.  The large is just under $300 and the small is just under $200.  So not an over the top investment.  To me, I think this light fits in with any decor aesthetic.  My home is not Victorian at all; yet this light is Victorian inspired, but it works!  Always go for what YOU like, don't let labels box you in!  If you like it, then go with it! :)

Here's the links for both lights, if you're interested.

Large Chandelier: https://bit.ly/2NtaHwD
Small Chandelier: https://bit.ly/2NrCdKQ

We updated a ton more lights throughout our home.  I think almost every ceiling fan or chandelier has been replaced.  I look forward to posting those transformations in later posts, so stay tuned!

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This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, September 12

The Great Debate {Shutters vs. Shades}

Hi friends!

So in my last post I told you all about my front door transformation.  Well, that got me thinking about windows, so today I am sharing how we compromised on a big debate....shutters or shades.

Let me start off by saying, I'm a Virgo, so I am very particular and at times, anal - HA! I like what I like and I like things a certain way.   Buuuuut, I didn't want to shut down my husband's ideas about what he thought we should do with our windows, even though I really wanted to :)  And, to be honest, I was torn between shades and shutters.  You see I really love the way shutters (aka plantation shutters) look from the outside of a house.  Neat and orderly, the slats are always positioned perfectly apart and it gives a real nice finished custom look.

However....I also love the look of a textured shade.  These give a nice warmth and ambiance as well as a casual/boho vibe.   Love!

From a cost perspective, shutters are definitely much more of an investment (a few thousand dollars), whereas, shades are a couple hundred (depending on the number of windows you have).

After some back and forth, we compromised and decided on both shutters AND shades!  Yeah, I know, this may seem a bit strange, but it works,  as long as you keep the look cohesive on the front of the house and back of the house, not mis-matched across the front and/or back.  Meaning: the front of our house from top to bottom has plantation shutters; so as you approach our house or drive by you see plantation shutters.  From the back (which cannot be seen from the road) we have roman shades.  It's a win - win and I really love it!

This also worked for us as we don't need the privacy in the back of the house; whereas, in front we would like the ability to shut the blinds in the evenings.

From the inside of the house, it feels cozy and warm; the roman shades really add just the right amount of texture I was looking for.  Here is how it all turned out, so keep scrolling for pics!

This is from installation day of the shutters; which so happened to be the day we closed.   This is the view looking towards the front of the house; remember, we only had shutters installed in the front windows of the house.


Here we are in the dining room with the shutters installed.  



A view of the roman shades from the windows in the back of the house.  These were purchased at Home Depot and are in Espresso color.  Installed by me in a matter of minutes per shade.   All you need is a drill!


Here is another view from a little further away and with the shades pulled all the way up.


And there you have it, a mix of styles that work perfectly well together.  Decor is all about what works for you and your environment so do what makes you happy.

If you are curious about purchasing the same roman shades; we picked these up from HomeDepot.com.  (link to exact shades below)

If you are interested in the curtain panels; they come from Overstock.com, and are SO well made (link to exact curtains below).  Thick, lined and look and feel super luxe.

Roman Shades: https://bit.ly/2OiaF7Curtain Panels: https://bit.ly/2CPeSOp

I hope this post offered a little inspiration for you or just a visual aid for future projects.  Until next time!




This post contains Affiliate links to help you shop items I feature.  
I receive a small commission if you make a purchase (no additional fees on your part).  
Thank you!


Monday, September 10

FRONT DOOR TRANSFORMATION


Quick post about doors: When we started the building process we knew that eventually we would change out our front door for french doors.  To me, the front of your home depicts the character of the house.  Curb appeal is important, and for me having a tall and wide entry is a must.  I think its brings so much character and stately-ness (is that a word) to your home.



We live in the south and the traditional style of older homes here (which I love) come with beautiful, wood double doors.  In newer communities, such as the one we live in, double doors are not always a builder option.  Most builders will give you a solid wood single door with sidelights, and that is fine; but for me, I had to have double doors. We lived with our single door for about 7 months until we decided to make the switch.  Take a look at the transformation!  I am 100% pleased!

Here is what the exterior looked like before the change....pretty basic; nice enough.


My husband had the vision before I did, I will admit.  I didn't think we had enough space to add double doors without tearing out brick, which I didn't want to do.  However, if you have sidelights and a transom you have to take into account that space as well.  When you hire a contractor or DIY you will be amazed at how big the space actually is!



As you can tell from this picture during the process, the opening is HUGE!  Of course, before you pull the door out, you will need to measure brick to brick from left to right and top to bottom.  Measure twice!  We ended up going with a custom made double door because our size opening wasn't standard.  We picked a solid Mahogany wood door with window panes.  I went back and forth over the window panes but decided on them as I wanted daylight in this dark hallway.



We thought we were going to stain the doors, but instead chose to paint them to match our shutters.  We chose Iron Ore, (SW 7069) by Sherwin Williams.  It is a deep charcoal grey color, very saturated and beautiful!



Here is the final result and we absolutley love it!  We've had several neighbors stop by & compliment the change.  I cannot stress how much a difference it makes in the home and curb appeal.  The resin planters on either side of the doors just so happened to match the paint color :)  I found them at Home Goods about a year before we changed the doors.  However, if you want to recreate this look I found a dup for the same size and style planters on Amazon - ( Link to order the planters ).  The door handle hardware is oil rubbed bronze and so well made and sturdy.  It also comes from Amazon.com and is extremely well made at half the cost of big box stores.  If you are interested in purchasing the exact door handle, you can order it here .

Side by side comparison of the old and new doors.  Same entry size; new door.

So what do you think?  I would love your feedback and if I inspired you to change out your front door - YAY!


 
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