my house

Living Room: Paint meets fireplace

We primed the living room’s brick fireplace tonight after work, y’all! Look:

Brick fireplace primed

We’ve still got to the get actual paint color on there (the bottom gray shown here), but whew, just seeing the primer on there makes for such a nice change.

Also, let me just say: Painting brick is not very fun and requires way more dabbing with a paint brush than I anticipated. I imaged much more roller-only action than what actually happened for some reason, so getting that layer up there feels like an accomplishment and now I just have to convince myself to do it one or two more times with the paint.

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before the renovations started:

Living Room demo prep

Such an improvement! 😀

So now picture the white bricks painted light gray and install some built-in bookcases with your mind and you know what it’s going to look like. 😉

Custom teal sectional is on order! Bookcases are being built! The end is near…ish.

Check out all of the living room re-do posts here.

my house

How about a Dining Room Update too?

Our house has two living rooms, which has come in handy while we’re renovating the one we actually use (because we can stuff all of the furniture in the front “formal” one while we work).

temporary Living Room
The “formal” living room, stuffed with too much furniture, while we work on the other living room.

However, now that we’ve finally spent more time in the front room and tried to imagine a dining table that could fit off in the smaller side of it without feeling squished into the kitchen doorway (hiding between that bookcase and standing lamp in the photo above), we realized that tiny space for our only dining table (upon which we’d love to do lots of board game playing & do projects that require space to spread out) totally sucks.

So, why not make the whole extra living room into one big dining/project room? (My husband randomly said that when our measuring wasn’t going well and we agreed to do it in under a minute.)

Luckily, this room has our wood floors and white paint, so it’s almost ready to go in terms of decorating. We’re going to have to move the hanging light from the old dining corner over to the center of the new dining space (formerly the formal living room area). There’s an 8 foot wide window facing our front yard over there, so sticking the table in front of that will be so great! And way better than a random couch that we’ll never sit on because the one we want to sit on is in the other living room. Also, my sister is going to come visit from Houston and rent a truck to take a bunch of the furniture currently stuffed in this room, since we don’t need two living rooms worth of stuff anymore.

Since this room doesn’t actually need a whole lot of the expensive work like the other one, we’re jumping right in to get it done too. Our house is seriously about to LEVEL UP and I’m so excited. We went to check out a local furniture builder today (Ross Rustic Tables in Rockwall, TX), promptly fell in love, and ordered our new dining table.

It’s going to be seven feet long & this style:

Rustic Cottage Dining Table from Ross Rustic Tables

The legs will be painted a lighter color & the stain on top will be like this:

Dining Table Stain Choice for Ross Rustic Table

And in the space previously meant to squish in a dining table, we’re going to build in some cabinets for lots of storage and a coffee bar.

More soon!

my house

Living Room: Painting brick & a bright new sofa!

Remember when I showed you the wood paneling that made up my living room walls, and then when that was ripped off, and later when there was sheetrock up and white paint on the new walls?

Well, we’re moving onto the next steps! Finally! We took a break for a few weeks there to go to Europe on our annual visit family & see some stuff vacation, so there was a bit of a long pause. (Still more trip details & photos forthcoming!)


We’re picking out the paint color for the brick fireplace right now:

Paint options for our brick fireplace
(Paint swatch photo from my Instagram here)

We’re leaning toward the bottom option right now. It’s warm enough to work well with the warm white on the walls, looks good next to our dark wood floors, and I think it’ll work with the stain we’ve picked out for the mantel. We still need to check the swatches next to the rug (which has a lot of a darker grey in it) to be sure.

Tomorrow the bookcase builder is stopping by to finalize some details so those can be made and installed soon. They’re going where the old built-ins were and will fill the wall space on either side of the fireplace. They’ll be painted white, which will be a nice contrast to whatever grey we end up putting on the brick.

And at some point after that, our new sectional will arrive. We ordered it a few days ago and it’s estimated to take 5-9 weeks to be made. We’ll see how that goes. (Maybe we’ll get lucky & it’ll be done early? I want it here, like, yesterday.)

Because look!

Our new sectional and fabric swatch

We ordered an L-shaped sectional in TEAL. So fun! The room only has one window (a sliding glass door), so previously it’s been a bit dark… Not anymore! White walls & a teal sofa are changing that room’s life. Also, this thing is so comfortable, the back is tall enough that my very tall husband (6’6″) won’t hang over the top and squish the top cushions down into annoying lumps, annnnnnd we can both stretch out fully on it at one time. Can’t wait!

After pics coming… sometime! We’re working on it. 😉

Check out all of the living room re-do posts here.

life, travel

Ghent, Belgium

While away in Europe for 2.5 weeks, we drove to Belgium and spent one day and night exploring Ghent (a small city that’s quite large by Belgian standards). The majority of my time in Europe has been spent in The Netherlands (since I lived there before & it’s my husband’s home country), so I’ve logged a lot of Amsterdam hours. Ghent was less like Amsterdam than I would’ve guessed before visiting.

The city has lots of old buildings, like Amsterdam, but doesn’t seem to have the same mix of modern that Amsterdam embraces and does so well. Ghent feels like a step back in time, or at least a modern, restored version of long ago, and is much smaller, so the pace felt more leisurely and relaxed.

Honestly, I could stroll around any place that looks like this for a while:

View of Street from a Boat in Ghent, Belgium
View of Street from a Boat in Ghent, Belgium

Especially if I get to go in a super old castle:

Gravensteen castle in Ghent, Belgium, built in 1180.
Gravensteen castle in Ghent, Belgium, built in 1180.

And if walking back to the hotel after dinner looks like this:

A street in Ghent, Belgium while walking back to the hotel after dinner. Beautiful place.
A street in Ghent, Belgium while walking back to the hotel after dinner. Beautiful place.

And this:

A street in Ghent, Belgium after dinner. Made for a lovely walk.
A street in Ghent, Belgium after dinner. Made for a lovely walk.

It was like spending the day in a postcard.

More soon! I’m still getting back to normal at home and sorting trip images & details to share over the next few weeks.