Home Improvement Without A Parachute

I love interior design blogs. I spend an unhealthy amount of time perusing all of the fabulous before and after pictures, amazed at what a resourceful person can do with white paint, flea market finds, and a healthy dose of inspiration. I think to myself, I can do that! I don’t need fancy stores full of things I can’t afford! However, I have to face facts. I am not crafty, and I am impatient, which are two qualities that don’t bode well for anyone taking on home improvement projects.

When we moved into our home, I promised myself that I was going to transform this place into an adorable, cottage- style retreat. I believe that no matter what the architectural style of your house is, you can decorate it the way you want. Taking an early 80’s house and making it over wouldn’t be that hard, because I was full of ideas and inspiration. I told everyone that they were going to love my “french country split level”! Now, here I am almost 4 months later, still unpacking boxes, and daydreaming about toile curtains that I have yet to purchase. Now I know why banks give out 30 year mortgages. I think it’s going to take me 30 years to get this house in order.

Instead of overwhelming myself with tearing apart every room, I have decided to focus on two major projects, the entryway and the fireplace. Our entryway is pretty big, gets a lot of light, and has a ton of potential. For the moment, it’s been sitting empty because we would like to replace the tile and the closet doors. It’s looking pretty forlorn. Nothing says “welcome home” like a pile of shoes and an errant pillow laying on the floor!

The fireplace is the focal point of our downstairs family room. It’s swamp colored brick takes up an entire wall. At some point in time, someone who lived here decided that a black granite hearth was in order. I have never seen black granite used as a hearth before. Then, they matched that with a honey colored mantel shelf. Not sure if they were going for modern here, but it just doesn’t work. I would like to paint the brick and replace the mantel and hearth–it can’t be THAT difficult, right?

I hope to tackle these projects as soon as possible so I can post some impressive “after” pictures. In the meantime, I will be looking for inspiration at The Lettered Cottage , Perfectly Imperfect, and Hooked On Houses!

Have you taken on major home improvement projects? Where do you go for inspiration?



Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    I have suggestions for the hideous brick and mantle. Also for the tile floor in the entry. And the closet door!

    Paint the brick and mantle the same color (I suggest off-white) You can get brick veneer to cover up that black granite (it is about 1/2 "thick" (this is the only hard part.) Use tile paint to paint the tile floor. Paint moldings onto the door.

    Go to www.mccormickinteriors.com and type "Paint Magic " in the search box in the top left corner.

    It is how I transformed my brother's kitchen with paint via iPhones across the country!!
    Thank you for liking my indoor outdoor room. I "live" in it!!!

    Penelope Bianchi

  • In reply to Penelope Bianchi:

    Thanks Penelope! I am in LOVE with your home! I really appreciate the tips!

  • Thanks Penelope for such a informative article. The picture you have choosed they are simply great and captions are too.
    home designs

Leave a comment