10.31.2011

Staining Concrete Floors

Our friends bought their first home over the weekend in San Antonio! They have offered on a couple of other houses this fall and missed out, so I was extremely happy for them. She sent me the online listing with pictures, and the house is completely adorable. The backyard is especially fantastic.

The house has some carpet they want to remove, and they are thinking about staining the concrete floors underneath. She suggested that it might make a good blog topic, and (obviously) I agree. This one is for you, Choi!

The husband and I actually looked into this option when we were ripping up the carpet in our house. We were going to do painted concrete floors instead of stained, but our concrete was in really poor condition. Once we tried some of the paint on our floors and saw how it looked with the nail holes, cracks, etc., we gave up on that idea and went with resilient vinyl.

Nonetheless, I absolutely love the look of stained concrete. It's stylish and affordable and low maintenance. Who doesn't love that? Plus our friends have two large goldendoodle puppies, so this will be a durable option for them.

A quick Pinterest search turned up some really pretty variations on concrete floors:

Pinterest





Pinterest

They even have concrete that can be stained to look like wood!

Pinterest


There are a lot of companies out there who will come and stain your concrete floors in whatever finish you choose. Our friends are hoping to DIY their floors, so that's what I am going to focus on today.

First of all, it was my favorite bloggers over at Young House Love who originally inspired us to try the painted concrete floors. They used this technique in the sun room of their first home. You can read all about how they did it HERE.


Young House Love


Painted concrete floors have an opaque finish, so they give a completely different look than stained concrete. I think this option might be best for those that have existing hardwood floors in other rooms and want the concrete floors to flow visually from room to room. Or maybe you uncovered old concrete floors like ours that had random paint stains and other flaws that wouldn't look so cute with a transparent stain on top, so you would want an opaque finish. Either way, this is an option to consider.

A quick Google search shows a lot of tutorials for staining concrete floors:







Did you read all of this and suddenly feel like paying a professional to come do it for you? You can find contractors across North America through the Concrete Network's website. Click HERE.  I was able to find eight companies for our friends in San Antonio who can do work like this:


Custom Concrete Solutions






Riverbed Concrete



That circle pattern is pretty cool!


If they end up using this option, I'll make sure they take pictures so I can share their work on the blog!


* Happy Halloween *


Best Blog Tips

10.28.2011

Friday Randoms

Random Topic #1

Last night we found my best friend a great little place to live! She moved down here from Denver and has been living with us while she figures out which area of Dallas she likes best. She was joking around that it would be great to live "in some rich person's guest house." Well, guess what– we found her a rich person's guest house on Craigslist! It's a one bedroom cottage that has a private fence and yard for her dog, and it's located in one of the most beautiful Dallas neighborhoods, Preston Hollow. Did I mention it was under budget?!

We both feel like God has been guiding this big move and life change for her the entire time, and this was just another instance where we had to sit back and marvel about how He has provided for her through this whole situation. And He's providing for me as well, bringing my best friend to live in the same city as me for the first time since high school! She'll be moving in to the guest cottage toward the end of November, and I'll share pictures on here of the little home projects we have planned to help her personalize the space. Can't wait!

Random Topic #2

Are you thinking about Christmas yet? I am! Specifically, I'm thinking about Christmas gifts and trying to plan ahead so we don't have to blow the budget in December. I've already started buying some small Christmas gifts for my relatives, but I really want to make a lot of our gifts this year. I've been collecting affordable DIY Christmas presents in a Pinterest folder. I already tried out the photo coaster idea, but here are a few others I really like:


Painted Dishes via Centsational Girl


Centsational Girl





I love this idea! You could go to your local thrift store and start collecting white plates, or you could buy an affordable set at Walmart or Target. You have to use paint pens that are made for porcelain or ceramics to create your design, and then you bake the dishes in the oven to permanently set the design. The ceramic paint pens are available at Michaels and other craft stores. You could personalize the plates/cups/bowls to coordinate with a friend's decor or to celebrate a certain holiday. I think it would be cute to paint a platter with someone's favorite Bible verse or saying, or you could monogram a set of dishes. Endless possibilities!

Simple Typography Art


Love of Family and Home





I think this would be a really charming gift. It's especially effective with the round frame, in my opinion, so I'll be on the lookout for one of those at my local thrift stores. It reminds me of my own old frame/burlap project, which Kelsey will be taking to her new place.

Super Simple Food Gift

We normally go with yummy treats for Scott's fellow teachers and coaches. Last year I made my favorite Nutter Butter Santa cookies, but I don't want to do the same thing again. Plus, those took a long time to make! When I spotted these simple treats on Pinterest, I thought they could be perfect to make in huge batches for coworker presents. They look very simple, and who doesn't love something that's both sweet and salty?

Cookies & Cups

My mom gave me the advice to always give food gifts in reusable containers instead of holiday-themed packages, so I like to house the treats in clear jars with hinging lids or simple mason jars.

Random Topic #3

Last night we swung by West Elm to see if they had any good sales. I found some more capiz shell strands for only 97 cents, so I had to buy them! I'm planning to whip up come capiz ornaments, but I also used these strands for my most popular blog post ever, a modern capiz sunburst wreath. Check it out HERE. And check out your local West Elm to see if they have any capiz left in the sale section.




West Elm had its holiday stuff out, which was very inspiring as usual.  I spotted a couple of ideas that I definitely plan to DIY for our home. I'd like a "sparkly" Christmas this year!

This seems like it could be made by hand, right? It would add some bling to the tree!


West Elm




I also spotted some DIY ornament ideas at Anthropologie, like these Typeface Monogram Ornaments.

Anthropologie



Random Topic #4
Ok, that's enough Christmas talk. We're still trying to get through football season over here. We've got a home game tonight and it's finally chilly here in DFW, so I'm going to have to bundle up. Look at how cute my husband is with his wide receivers after a recent win:




I'm done with my randoms for today. I hope you have a grrrrreat weekend!


* Hooray for sweater weather! *
Best Blog Tips

10.26.2011

Hallway Mini-Makeover

Once our interior paint job was finished, we suddenly had a little problem with our hallway mirror. Back when we first bought the house, I originally purchased this big mirror at HomeGoods because I noticed the size and finish of the frame was almost the exact same as our home's beige trim.

Look at how bland the mirror looked with our new wall and trim paint!

Once the trim was painted a nice glossy white last week, the mirror looked so sad. It was totally dingy! We all know that mirrors work wonders in making a space feel bigger, and our hallway felt so small and closed in without the big mirror we had grown accustomed to at the end of the hall. Plus, I use that mirror to see my outfits! We had to find a way to make it work, so I lugged it out into the garage for a quick paint job.

I really loved the way the black frames looked against the new grey walls in the dining room, so I decided to paint this mirror a glossy black paint that we already had in the garage. It's the same paint we used to paint the front door and the mirror in my new closet.  About a million coats later (I guess it's not very good quality paint), we finally had a black mirror to anchor the end of our hallway.

Here's the hallway without the mirror:



And with the new black mirror:


It reflects back into the living space and makes our small, dark hallway seem a little less small and dark!
I like the view from the mirror into the guest room (aka Scott's dressing room). This is the last room that still has the old carpet, and we'll replace that soon. The mirror ties in nicely with the black accents in his room. 


Can we take a minute to admire how my husband's sneakers match his room? What can we say, the boy likes grey and black!


Once we had the mirror painted, I wanted to add more interest to the hallway. I convinced the husband to help me create a small gallery wall with out black frames. We hung some of my art pieces and a few wedding photos. 



That's one of my favorite art pieces in the panoramic frame above– it's a chalk drawing of our bridal party. I feel like it perfectly captures the fun we had on our big day. 


And this is the house portrait I have Scott for our 1-year anniversary.  It's a sweet reminder of how our first home played a big role in our first year of marriage. 

So there you have it, a hallway mini- makeover. What do you think?  We want to update the sconces in the hallway to give the space more light, so let me know if you have any suggestions!





* Go Rangers! *


Best Blog Tips

10.25.2011

Scene It: State Fair of Texas

I've lived in Dallas for almost four years now, and I had never been to the State Fair until this weekend. Everyone talks about it, and I know it's a giant event– but it's hard for our football family to break away and find time to go to the fair during the season.

We knew the fair was closing on Oct. 23, so we made a point to actually go this past Saturday. I think we can thank my best friend for that– the fact that she just moved here made us really want to take her to the event. I'm glad we went– it was pretty fun!

The State Fair is all about the food. We decided to spend all of our money on food (which was NOT cheap) and pig out on some of the weird fried creations. Three corny dogs, one Shiner Bock, one margarita, one lemonade, two bottles of water, one buffalo-jalapeno chicken/flapjack on a stick, one fried pizza stick and one funnel cake later, we were FULL.


Big Tex!


The iconic ferris wheel


Corny dogs! Yum!


Funnel cake!


Greenhouse



We tried the buffalo chicken in a flapjack- not bad!





I used a bunch of different filters in Instagram to create the photo effects. If you don't have the Instagram app, download it! It's f-r-e-e!

* Just another Texas Tuesday *

Best Blog Tips

10.23.2011

The Great Paint Reveal

It's done!

Our house reeks of oil-based paint smell, but it's totally worth it. The new paint color has made our old house feel brand new again!


Let's look at some of the before pictures. The previous owner had chosen a dark green/grey color for the walls, with an off-white/beige trim color.







Here it is with our new color, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. We chose Polar Bear by Behr for the trim, in an oil-based semi gloss finish. 















I really love the color we chose, but what really made it was the bright white trim. It makes the grey wall color *pop* and helps our oil-rubbed bronze hardware to really stand out.    

What's been interesting about the new wall color is that it looks really different in various light. It goes from grey to taupe to beige and back to grey again, depending on which part of the house you are in and how much natural light there is. Luckily, I love all three color options. It was scary to choose a paint color for that much of the house, and I'm so glad that we made the right choice for us. 

We are really happy with it! What do you think?
* Happy Sunday *
Best Blog Tips