a DIY Dining Room Makeover

Over the past ten years of living in this house, I have stared at this dining room and felt like something was off. Unlike many homes where the dining room is set off to the side and you fight off the urge to create a home gym or craft room, our dining room is smack in the center of the house and a main focal point of the entire layout. But I could never put my finger on what I didn’t like about the room. But after multiple carpets and wall color changes, I finally realized what really needed the makeover: the table. 

So here is the back story of this table: When I first bought this house in 2008, I owned nothing more than an air bed and few random K-Mart bookcases. My parents generously handed me down their old dining room table, which had been handed down to them in the 80s. It’s a fine table. Solid wood but with a lament wood top. It was the table that I grew up with. I have memories of sitting around this table for family dinners: watching my younger my brother doing his homework and pressing down so hard with his pencil that the word “monkey” became engraved into it.  And another time watching my little sister having a tantrum and slashing the top of the table with a butter knife. Good times. But ever since moving this table into my house, I have tried to find ways to decorate this room around the table. And it never really quite fit. Until suddenly I realized maybe it wasn’t the color of the room that needed changing, perhaps it was the color of the table. So with two weeks and the tiniest of budgets, I finally got a “new” dining room table.IMG_7677

Here are some “before”photos to give you a good look at the table in it’s original glory. Let’s take a moment to remember the sweet boom box on top of a  plastic K-mart bookshelf.Then there was the time I decided to go bold and paint the room a smoked orange color. You know, to match the poop brown rung I found on clearance at Home Depot. What was I thinking?!

I finally wised up and painted the walls a light color (Benjamin Moore “Paper White”)  and added a DIY stenciled rug. The rug was a fun project, but because the rug was el-cheapo, my cat and dogs tore this rug up in under a year. But as you can see, the table still didn’t seem to fit in.And here we are now.

  Here are the steps I took to re-do the table:

  1. Strip the old paint off the table. I used Citristrip Stripping Gel because it can be used indoors. I says to let is sit only for an hour or two but I let it sit over night and still had to put some elbow grease while scraping off the old paint.
  2. Sand the table with a fine grit sandpaper.
  3. Use wood filler to fill in any holes or scratches that were too big/too deep to sand out.
  4. Stain the table using Miniwax Wood Finish Stain. I used “classic gray.” I did two coats but I wiped off immediately (with an old white towel) after brushing on so that it could really penetrate into the wood and also not come out so dark.
  5.  Once the stain as dried now you can “white wash.” I am not sure if that is the technically term, but let’s roll with it. I had an old can of white ceiling paint so I mixed half white paint/half water and used long brush strokes following the grain of the wood. Again, I did two coats and wiped off in between.
  6. Using fine grit sandpaper again, now here is where you have some creative freedom to distress as you would like. I decided to do some light distressing on the top of the table to show more white in some areas than others. But also some harder distressing along the edge of the table to let some of the original wood to peak through!
  7. Paint the legs and chairs white. I primed the legs and chairs using a Chalk Paint Spray Paint. Then followed up with two coats of the same random white paint I had leftover in the garage.
  8.  Coat the top of the table and the legs with a Wipe-on Poly Max. I used this brand. Of course I had to include a photo with Liam’s booster chair, because #reallife. But to be honest most meals, I still throw on a table cloth to protect my newest masterpiece. Let me know if you have any questions about what I did or how I did it. I am no expert, but I love talking about these things! Enjoy your week! Priscilla

The Easiest way to add fake Shiplap to any room

 As HGTV’s Fixer Upper enters it’s final season, I thought it was only fitting that I finally do a blog post on how we did fake “shiplap” in our home. Ever since Fixer Upper became a hit TV show and the Shiplap Queen herself, Joanna Gaines, began adding it into almost every episode, shiplap has become the pumpkin spice latte of home renovations. Many older home and even barns used shiplap walls because the boards overlaped slightly and are flush to one another making them watertight. But now shiplap is used even more as a decorative accent to give the home a rustic look. I instantly became a shiplap groupie and if I had it my way I would incorporate it throughout the entire house. So when we started decorating Liam’ s nursery, I had lofty ideas to do an accent wall with white washed shiplap. But after the medical bills arrived from Liam’s IVF we realized we had a budget of oh, about negative $8000 for his nursery. So I found a much cheaper and fun way to get the same “shiplap” look. Continue reading

A DIY bathroom renovation

img_6972img_4130It only took us 7 months to remodel a bathroom. And by “us” I mean Will. My Sasquatch husband worked so hard to give me the bathroom of my dreams, working weekends and nights after work, all while I stood around scratching my head, micro-managing, and changing my mind a hundred times. And while many Americans spent the better half of 2016 deciding on Hillary vs Bernie, I spent my days pondering herringbone vs hexi floor tiles. And then it was to wallpaper or not to wallpaper.  Chrome vs brushed nickel… the list goes on. But we finally have a guest bathroom that we love. And not only is this the guest bathroom but it’s also Liam’s new bathroom. And having a brand new, clean space to wash the kid makes this one happy mama.before-and-afterBefore I smother you with photos of Liam in the tub, let me just say that the previous version of this bathroom was not bad by all means. But there were a few problems. The tub was old and dingy and had a major crack in the base from prior roommates perhaps dropping shampoo bottles..? maybe? Either way, the crack caused a leak.  Luckily we are on a concrete slab so there was no damage to the floor but the cracked tub had to go. The toilet flushed like an 90 year old man coughs. You know the cough. Pathetic and weak and showing signs of it’s last day. So toilet had to go too. The walls were covered in a textured wallpaper that was impossible to clean and showing stains. So they had to go. And since scrapping the old textured wallpaper was a nightmare, Will decided to just take down the dry wall and start anew. So down to the studs we went:IMG_3059.JPGimg_4129Will did all his own tiling, which included both the herringbone floor tiles and the white subway tiles. We came to one obstacle, which was what do we do about adding the crown molding along the ceiling when the tile sticks out further than the wall!? Will discovered that you can notch out the bottom of the molding and voila! Molding so nice that a king and queen could bathe here. img_4139The recessed shelves were my idea but Will’s execution. We knew we wanted the recessed shelves in the shower, but adding a second set of shelves into the main wall added a nice decorate piece and also some light storage in a relatively small bathroom. He also stained the shelves to match the vanity.  That guy. Always thinking. (Just kidding, I told him to do it.)
img_4134 img_4135 Let’s just talk about this vanity for two seconds. We searched EVERYWHERE for the perfect vanity that was small enough for this space and the perfect shade of maple wood. Eventually Will decided to build it and stain it himself and I LOVE that we now have a custom “Will Brown” in the bathroom. Our brother-in-law hooked us up with a marble guy in North Charleston who then cut a piece of marble slab to fit Will’s new vanity. And despite Will’s suggestion that marble in a bathroom is “too fancy,” he listened to me and now my marble dreams have all come true. img_4136By the way, this is what a tulip looks like if you let it really bloom. I mean bloom to the point that the poor flower is screaming to be released outside. But I just love it. I think all tulips look better this way!
img_4140Here is what our  view is each evening from around 7:45-8:15. This kid loves bath time! We decided to not to add the shower curtain for now. It is so nice to be able to bathe Liam and not have the shower curtain pushed up and crumbled up to the side. We will hopefully get a tension rod shower curtain and just hang it up when guests come and then remove if again after they leave.
img_4142Here are the sources we used for our bathroom renovation.

  • Wooden Mirror: Target
  • Vessel Sink: Kohler
  • Marble counter top: L& N Granite and Marble
  • vanity: custom made by Will
  • black paint: Ebony Field by Valspar
  • flooring: Lowes
  • recessed shelves: custom made by Will
  • bronze faucet: Delta Faucets

Until next time! xxoo Priscilla

DIY Invisible Zipper Pillows


pillowsIMG_1751 IMG_1756 IMG_1757 IMG_1761  Happy Monday everyone! For those of you who follow my blog, you may have remembered that my living room has been a work in progress to get it from bachelorette pad status to where it is now, one of my favorite rooms in the house. The bench that Will built has finally been given its final touch with some DIY pillows (that are cat approved), plus a hanging planter with some succulents that I beg and pray to not die on me everyday. IMG_1776 IMG_1779 IMG_1780 I have been wanting to make some pillows for the living room for some time now but have been putting it off like I do with most non-apperal projects! But when I saw this gorgeous print from April Rhodes’s new Wanderer collection from Art Gallery Fabrics I decided to get the pillow party started. I went with the Serape Dream and the Sacred Seeds Mojave (which at first I thought were little deer footprints but I am not realizing must be little seeds). Both these prints went really well with the grayish-blue fabric that I used for the bench cushion and also with the two bird pillows I have from Lowe’s of all places (you can find similar ones here and here).  I never blogged about the bench cushion but if you follow me on Instagram than you may remember this picture:


biggest bench cushion ever!

The living room was definitely getting a “greenish-blue” vibe between the wall color, the sofa, and now the bench cushion. So these pillows added some nice accent of pinks and oranges. Which was also perfect since we are currently housing Will’s sisters orange lounge chair in front of the window. I loved the Serape Dream fabric so much that I also recently bought the similar knit fabric  so I can make a maxi dress and sit next to my pillows and blend in. All as one. Think: bathroom wallpaper scene from the movie Garden State. What Zach Braff thinks is humor, I aspire to create. 🙂IMG_1781 IMG_1786

To make these pillows I used a very simple technique that you can find in about 100 different places online if you do a search for “DIY invisible zipper pillows.” Some of my favorite tutorials include:

Hodge Podge

Sew Katie Did

Delia Creates

here is a video tutorial on installing invisible zippers from Coletterie. com



That’s all my pillow talk for now. It’s back to the sewing machine for me today so stay tuned for a few new maxi dresses, a crop top, and few new peplums coming soon! Can’t wait to share those new patterns with you all soon!