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Master Bathroom Refresh

If you are following my Instagram or Facebook pages, you know I recently had to push up our master bathroom reno higher up on the to-do list because our walls were in really bad shape.

After speaking to a paint professional, we concluded that the reason paint was peeling off the walls was because there was drywall work done during the flip and they did not properly prep the spots before painting.  Then, when the moisture of the shower got behind the paint, it would peel itself from the walls.  UGH.  Not to mention the paint in there was a flat sheen.

Originally, like the rest of the house, the bathroom was painted in Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray lightened 50%.  I really do like the color but I wanted something a little different in there.  It took me a few WEEKS and help from my followers to narrow down my choices.  Then when it came to the weekend we were going to paint, I was inspired by images I saw online and impulsively bought a paint color.

You probably know where this is going…..

We spent one night sanding and spackling the walls.  The next night we primed the walls with an oil-based primer (as recommended by a few paint pros) and then I painted the bathroom in Sherwin Williams Marshmallow.  I really see the potential in that color and actually loved it when I first put it on the wall.  But then it turned SUPER PINK.  Not slight pink undertones but nursery pink, almost peach.

Project Manager said he would live with it but it wasn’t the right color.  That bathroom is a PAIN to paint, so I spent a week trying to convince myself that we would make that color work.  I couldn’t.  It was horrible.

So I went back to the store and with the help of an IG friend, Melissa with GA Peach Restoration, we picked out a few colors that were cooler in the space.  I ended up going with Nebulous White from SW and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  A cooler color was made to be in that room.  Everything pops and I honestly have no desire to replace anything in there.

Because that is the other thing, I never made a design board for this room and I am totally winging it.  I didn’t think we would do anything in here so quickly.

Here are the before shots (I don’t have a TON of before shots):

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You can see how bad the peeling was.  It looked way worse in real life.

Now for some during shots.  This was during the Marshmallow era:

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The farther away you were from the lighting, the creamier it got and looked like the type of white I had hoped for.  Again, I tried to make it work but it wouldn’t.  So, I threw some samples up and tried to look for another color.  Only this time I had to paint the bathroom alone.  We have 12′ ceilings in here and corners that are hard to reach.

BUT, I am so obsessed with the new color!!!  It is Sherwin Williams Nebulous White (color matched at Home Depot).  I mention that because sometimes you will be sent home with a slightly different color.

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It feels so airy and clean in there now!  This was also done for much cheaper than what it would have cost for a pro to come in, sadly (for me because it was back breaking).

The IKEA cabinet is probably my favorite addition.  It is actually a shoe organizer!  The top drawer is overflow toiletries and the bottom two are rolled up towels.  This unit does not take up much space and hides everything!

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There are still a few things to tackle, like getting the hardware to match, doing something with the mirror over the vanity, and replacing out old outlets.

Sources:

Walls: Sherwin Williams Nebulous Gray (mixed at Home Depot)
Vanity/Fixtures/Light: all here when we moved in but I am going to assume Home Depot since it is nearby and this was an inexpensive flip
Rug: Home Goods
Cabinet: IKEA BRUSALI
Shelves over toilet: DIY from scrap wood
Shelf Bracket: IKEA EKBY OSTEN in natural.  I spray painted them at home
Towel Hooks: IKEA KARTOTEK
Wall Baskets: Goodwill
Iron/Wood Wall Art: Hobby Lobby

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Travel

What To Do in Curacao

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Hi!  I know I promised this post the other day but things have been a bit crazy with work coming back from vacation.  I won’t lie…some things may have caused me to stress eat a bit.

Anyways, let’s just right into the what we did in Curacao to hopefully give you ideas when you go!  HA I’m confident you will want to go!!

Our trip was a Tuesday – Sunday trip.

Tuesday

We flew out of Atlanta Tuesday morning.  We landed in our connection city Miami without any issue.  The layover was a little over an hour and we spent the entire time waiting for our subpar food.  WOMP WOMP.  Once we got on the plane, the flight was just under three hours.

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Somewhere between Miami and Cuba

Once we landed, the Curacao airport is small, so it did not take very long to get through.  We did get a little turned around trying to find our rental car company because they did not have a desk onsite.  We had to wait for a shuttle to pick us up.  Thankfully, that was a two-minute drive from the airport.  We went through ACE Rental Cars and I believe they were found through Expedia.com.

Once we got our car, HIGHLY recommended if you plan to do any exploring, the rep was kind enough to show us on a map how to get to the hotel.  It was a very quick drive and helped us get a lay of the land.

We stayed at the Hilton Curacao and the property is massive.  It was a nice hotel, a bit dated, but it did the job well.

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We opted for an ocean view room and it did not disappoint.  The hotel had basically everything you need on site for an excellent beach vacation.  Food, bars, spa, water sports, pool, the beach, etc!

By the time everything was said and done, it was after 5pm (AST which is also the same as time as eastern) we decided we should stop into the grocery store we saw on the way and pick up snacks and drinks.  We had access to the executive lounge for water and pop all day, but we wanted our own stash as well.  I loved going to the grocery to see what the locals ate.  A lot of was 100% recognizable but some were definitely not.  I think I saw a jelly loaf filled with carrots and other assorted veggies?? We did eat dinner at the hotel because we were tired from the whole day.  This was my first introduction to “island time.”  I was a little too hungry for the long wait.

Wednesday

The one time I can actually sleep in, I didn’t…the ENTIRE WEEK!  We did go to bed super early though.  Vacations totally throw off sleep schedules.  After breakfast, we geared up to head to our little hotel beach to see what snorkeling we could get into.  There wasn’t much to see there but it was a nice little introduction to the snorkeling we would be doing.

After the beach, we hit the pool for a bit and then headed into downtown Willemstad for lunch.

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Willemstad is a cute little town.  It would probably take you a half of a day to walk the entire city.  A lot of the shops there are very tourist driven (hello air spray t-shirts), so you won’t be going in an out of a lot of shops.  We did get a souvenir for our missing piece (I don’t think I mentioned, we went childless), ate lunch, stopped by the floating market, and checked out the Maritime Museum.

Lunch was REALLY good and a little shop where the locals ate.  It was an open bbq stop where half was covered with a roof and the other not.  For $20, we each had a two-meat plate, all you can eat sides, and one beer.  NOT BAD!  The sides were very bbq expected, some not so much.  We had ribs and chicken and they offered rice/beans, lo mein, fries, grilled potatoes, pasta salad, regular green salad, coleslaw, tomato salad, and potato salad.  There was no way I could do half of that.

When you are out in Willemstad ALWAYS ALWAYS stop for a fruit smoothie.  I promise you will thank me.

To get to town, you have two ways to cross the harbor.  There is a driving bridge that you can drive over (sort of out of the way) or walk the Queen Anne Bridge.  The bridge is cool because it is a floating bridge.  They designed it this way so when boats come in or out, it swings open.  I was able to get a video of it, but this version of WordPress will not allow me to post.  Check out my Instagram page for the video!

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I felt a little seasick after walking over this bridge.  You are for sure floating.

Nap time ensued after we got back to the hotel and again, we decided to eat dinner at the hotel restaurant.  After dinner, we hit up the executive lounge for some pop and our wonderful lounge attendant had some amazing suggestions for us for the next day.

Thursday

As per usual, I did not sleep in, so after breakfast, I walked around the hotel property to see what I could get into.  As an event planner, I would certainly love to use some of their grounds for a wedding.

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We took our list of things to do that Kareen gave to us, mapped it out, and hit the road.  She gave us six beaches to check out the snorkeling at. I think there are 40 beaches, but these were her favorite for snorkeling.  If you dive, there is probably a different list for you. I am too scared to dive.

On our way to the beaches, we made a quick stop at the salt flats because we heard flamingos like to hang out there.

Playa PortoMari

This beach was AMAZING!  It is a private beach, so there is an entrance fee of $3 per person and $5 for a chair.  This was a full-service beach with lockers, a bar/restaurant, dive shop, bathrooms, etc.  The snorkeling was perfect for people like me who aren’t a fan of fish.

Um, and can we talk about the beach bum pigs?  There were two and they were lounging around, living their best life.  (I don’t know who those people are in my picture but they were hogging the pigs – HA).

Playa Cas Abao

As we made our way northwest up the island, we stopped at the second beach, Playa Cas Abao.  This is another private beach with entrance fee.  I think it was $5 per car.  I was not as impressed with this beach.  They had a bar/food but the bathrooms were porta potties behind a temporary wooden wall.  Also, the staff was not friendly there.  They would not allow us to rent the lockers we saw (maybe they were for employees), so we had to take turns snorkeling.

The sea life at this beach was a little busier than the first beach but still very incredible. We didn’t stay for more than an hour because it was crowded and we had other places to see.

Not super impressed.

Playa Lagun

We were told the seahorses hang out at Playa Lagun and who doesn’t want to swim with seahorses?  This is a public beach so there was no entrance fee but also no amenities/lockers.  Again, I never felt unsafe but we decided it was best to take turns swimming while the other person stayed with our stuff.  One thing we did pack and take with us was swim shoes.  I forgot to mention, but the beachs are a mix of sand and rock.  Lagun was very rocky.

This was PM’s (project manager aka husband’s) favorite snorkel spot.  There were TONS AND TONS of fish.  I was even able to spot a parrot fish!  Sadly, no sightings of seahorses.

After this beach, we were HUNGRY and a little worn out but they had us covered with a restaurant on top of the cliff.  It was your basic burger and fish joint, so nothing to really write home about.

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Luckily PM had a menu in English

Playa Forti

We ended up driving past this one because we didn’t see much of a beach.  I think the main attraction is you can cliff jump from a 40′ cliff.  Thanks, no thanks.

Playa Grandi

This beach we were promised to spot sea turtles.  As we drove up, it was more of a boat dock and then a rocky beach.  The parking lot was super small and I was a little frustrated getting in.  We decided there were enough people in the area that we could super hide our bags so we could both swim together.

We walked into the water and not five seconds after putting our heads under, a freaking sea turtle dove right next to me! It was so amazing.  As we swam, four of his buddies showed up and showed off in front of all the swimmers.  I was in such amazement of these reptiles, I couldn’t get over it.  I could just sit and watch them for hours.  They would get so close to my face (you are not allowed to touch) just to say hi.  This was the beach I wish we had an underwater camera.  There was no other fish or coral, just the turtles.  When I shared my excitement to the dive shop guy at the hotel later that day, he said if it wasn’t as busy as it was, you can easily see 15-20 sea turtles hanging out.  STOP IT!!

There was a final beach on her list but we skipped it and I cannot find my list.  Either way, this was an incredible adventure.

We had dinner at Gouverneur de Rouville and sat on the balcony overlooking downtown.

I highly recommend their Cuban Banana Soup and the Green Egg special.  Both are amazing!

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Friday

After the day we had before, us old fogies spent the day at the hotel, poolside.

We did venture back downtown just to walk a bit and check out the Renaissance hotel and see what was going on.  We were able to catch the floating bridge moving.  I’ll post that on my Instagram page.

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Saturday

Guys, this post is so long.  I’m just going to post pictures here.  I wish you could see the video but I’ll post links to ones I can find.  Darn, you WordPress. Come to think of it, I will post this in the same post as the bridge on Instagram.

We set out for the Shete Boka National Park to take a look at the Bokas.  This is located on the northeast side of the island and here you will see why there are no beaches in this area.

The sea is very angry over there and very incredible.  Hike at your own risk.  Ok, it wasn’t that bad to hike and you can actually drive to each Boka, but stay on the trails.  You will most likely not get out of the water alive….or dead.

We spent the last afternoon back in downtown Willemstad to see if there was anything at the market (nope) and had lunch (chicken wrap and gyro).

Back at the hotel we decided to eat at the steak night event they were having and I swear, the folks of Curacao know how to grill!  It was another home run off the grill.  They really need to come teach some places here how it is done.

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Sunday

Our last full day and we were sad to go but ready to get home.  We laid around at the pool and in the room most of the day.  We dropped off our rental car and they took us back to the airport.  Since there are very few flights at a time at the airport, it took us 15 minutes from walking in the door to get to our gate.  No need to be there two hours ahead of time.  Not many people were leaving the island so the 40 of us (maybe?) had the plane to ourselves.  That is the best thing ever!!  Our connecting flight from Miami to Atlanta was crammed as full as they could.

So there is Curacao in two posts!  I would love to go back and visit the other places we did not have time for.  There was still so much to do.

I am going to end this super long post here!  Hopefully, you enjoyed it!

Travel

Visiting Curacao

Hi Friends!  I know it has been a minute since I have written anything.  Life, man.  It was super busy the first chunk of this year and my own burnout kept me away from this little-known blog.

As I was posting pictures of our trip to Curacao, I had a bunch of people message me asking for more details on our trip and the island, so I thought posting something here would be a great way to share things about this little known (to us) island. This is going to have to be a two-parter mainly because there is the fun stuff and the stuff you should know and not sweat about before getting there.  Sort of like we did.

Curacao is not an island that has ever come up in my search when looking at Caribbean vacations.  It is not an island you hear about here for some reason.  As we researched more about the island, it was apparent that maybe that was on purpose.  The Dutch are keeping their tropical oasis to themselves.  Can’t blame them!

When we started talking about taking a vacation using Hilton points I had, Matt was able to find one that scratched checkboxes off: beach, pool, casino.  That landed us in Curacao.

Planning for this trip:

Curacao is part of the ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao and is part of the Dutch Caribbean (for those of us who had no idea where it was located).  It is located just 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela in some of the clearest waters.

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Honestly, we did not do much planning before the week of the trip because we were so incredibly busy.  We went into this trip saying we wanted to snorkel, relax, have a day of land adventuring, and maybe try for a boat trip.   All of these things can be accomplished easily.

Getting there:

Unfortunately for us, there will not be a direct flight to Willemstad (the capital) from Atlanta until this winter so we were stuck having a layover in Miami.  There are actually quite a few cities that DO have direct flights, so check out and see if yours is one.

The flight to the island was just under 3 hours from Miami, so depending on where you are coming from, you could make this trip a long weekend trip.  Once we arrived at the airport, we had to do the usual Customs run through and grab our luggage.  It was such a fast process.  When we were talking to our rental car rep, he said they rarely have more than a handful of flights (there are only eight gates) there at the same time so things move quicker.  Such a difference from coming from the busiest airport in the world.

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There is a cruise port in the city, so if cruising is your jam, check one out that includes Curacao.  It docks you downtown and the city is so easy to walk.

Cash Money:

As for money, they take credit cards basically everywhere.  They also take US Dollars and their local currency, Netherlands Antillean guilder (NAFL).  The exchange rate changes daily but $1 was equal to 1,78 NAFL at the time.  We pulled out some cash in US and NAFL from an atm at the hotel.  The atm charge was very similar to what we are used to paying here when you go to a different bank.  I am sure there is a better place to do that but we really weren’t bothered by fees.

Internet/Phones:

Your cell phone is most likely not going to work unless you have an international plan.  This was fine by me though!  I needed to be disconnected a little bit.  The good news is most places have wifi and you can always jump on there.  Our hotel had wifi which allowed me to post on social media and wifi call home.  We were also able to use it for basic internet searches.  I did miss all my Instagram stories because it had a hard time playing video.  But again, it was good to remove myself from so much of that.

Getting around:

RENT A CAR! It saves you so much in the long run!  We read stories about how taxi rides were so pricey just getting from the airport to hotels. We had plans to explore the island, so a car was essential.  Plus, our hotel was not close enough to downtown to walk.  If you do stay downtown and do not want to rent a car for the whole trip, most hotels have a rental car company on site.  The cars are super easy to drive (compact and quick) and they drive on the same side of the car and road as we do.

There is free parking downtown and most parking is free at the beaches.  The only word of advice that I read over and over was take EVERYTHING out of your car and leave your glove box open.  Remove any temptation from your car being broken into.  I never felt unsafe at any point in time, but why risk it.

I believe most hotels have shuttles to and from the city, so that is an option.  Our hotel did but it ran twice a day and I do not like the idea of being stuck somewhere.

If you didn’t know, Google Maps now has a feature where you can map out your trip and take the map offline for the times you will have no data/service.  Otherwise, MapMe was another offline mapping app that will help you get around.  And everywhere has a map to give you.  It is pretty easy to get around and the locals are so nice to help you out.

What to pack:

The weather is so lovely in Curacao!  I think we averaged 87 degrees every day in the sun.  So pack tons of sunscreen and hats!  Also, it is a very windy island, so keep that in mind on what hat to pack and how easily your dress blows up.  The water was actually chilly when we first got in but felt great after being in the sun for a minute.  It tried to rain for a few minutes three days we were there, but it never turned into anything.  The wind basically blew the weather right out.

The Landscape:

Curacao is very arid.  You won’t see lush rainforests you find on other islands.  The landscape is very similar to Mexico, full of cacti and dry brush.  But that only makes for better views from up high!

IMG_7328IMG_7326IMG_7230IMG_7179You will find the majority of the beaches on the west side of the island.  The water is leaps and bounds calmer on that side.  The wind comes in from the east and so do the waves!  The island blocks that, giving the west side plenty of options to relax seaside.

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The Food: (the most important thing)

One thing that surprised me the most here was they do not have food that is hugely island influenced.  Since they are Dutch first, a lot of the food was very hodgepodge.  We ate at a restaurant where the locals ate and had ribs, bbq chicken, potato salad, pasta salad, and things you would find at any bbq joint here.  It was pretty darn good though.  You will ALWAYS find French fries served with your meal (with mayo).  The main items we saw on every menu was steak (usually tenderloin), fish, shrimp, caesar salad, bolognese, pasta, and bbq.

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The beer of the island is Amstel or Polar.  Amstel Bright was actually very tasty and reminded me of Corona.  Polar is actually from Florida I think, so some of you may have that where you are.  There were other options but we stuck with those mainly.

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The famous Blue Curacao (along with red and green) drinks were created there and we actually did not get to try one.  Mainly because they make their liquor drinks STRONG and I really don’t drink liquor.

They do like to eat their iguana.  They call it “tree chicken” and I did not make room to try that.

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We never had to worry about the cleanliness of the drinking water.

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I want to share more on this post, but at 1400 words, I am going to save the things we did for the next post tomorrow.

Before I start writing that post, if you have any questions about Curacao or what we experienced, I will make sure to include it in there!!

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Living Room Reveal

Who else thought this project took way too long to complete?  I would like to thank the budget and the weather for delaying my finishing and taking any pictures.  It has been one rainy winter in Georgia this year.

Let’s get right to it.  One thing I have to show you that I was so excited to find was a before before before picture of what our living room most likely looked like.  I was browsing Zillow yesterday, snooping around, and I saw a house in our neighborhood on there with pictures from a past listing.  Part of the reason for the snoop is because we all have the exact same floor plan and I like to see what people have done to modernize their houses, especially the kitchen.  Well, I was super excited (and not surprised) our 1986 living room was covered with very dark woods and trim.

Home Down South Blog Living Room

Everything is the exact same down to the wall vent placement only now our trim and woodwork are white and new windows and doors.  I just imagine our house had a lot of hunter green and cranberry plaid.  mmm #90shomestyle

Fast forward to us moving into the house and how we lived with the living room:

The first thing we had done in this room when we moved in was added the canned lights in the ceiling.  Game changer.  We hired that out because electrical is way over our heads, especially in this house.

After living with this setup for a year, my husband decided he wanted a change.  His main reason for wanting the change was because of the position of the tv.  There was way too much of a glare coming in from the windows.  Making any sort of change that made sense, of course, became a challenge with our current furniture.  Figures.

I took on the VERY tedious task of listing and selling everything in this room (except the dog, he stays).  While we were selling away, we were also buying and planning.  To refresh, here is the post where I explained our plan for the room.

Here we are today:

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The big tv debate: to mount or not to mount over the tv.  I wasn’t as excited about it when it was first suggested to me, but it really only made sense in this room.  The wall on the opposite side of the room from the fireplace has doors or doorways and hardly enough wall to mount.  It is a little high up than what I am used to, but it works (especially when you are laying down, which we usually are).

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I am pleased with how it turned out and the coziness factor is way up!  After we got all the furniture set up, it was almost as if the room told us this was the way it was supposed to be.

What do you think?

Sources:

Wall Color – Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray @ 100% (I originally asked for 50% but they messed up and I didn’t want to go back to fix it).
Bookcases: Tara 72″ Bookcases from Joss and Main
Rug: Local Rug Outlet
Coffee Table: hand built by our brother-in-law
Sofa Table: Moi
Couch: Haverty’s Corey Sectional in Mineral
Artwork over couch: handpainted by me
Typewriter Art: handpainted by me

I know there are a lot of little things I am not tagging, but if you want to know the source, just email me!  Or even better, I am ALWAYS on Instagram sharing pictures and answering questions!  I may even consider doing an Instagram Live one night to tour the room with you!  Let me know what you think!

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How to Build a Herringbone Table

I am going to start this post by saying I have very little experience building furniture.  I have only built something one other time before (my kitchen banquette) so don’t roll your eyes too hard when you read through this because I did something odd. 

The reason I started this project was mainly that I could not find what I liked out there in the right size, color, or price.  I was browsing Craigslist for a sofa table to place in my back corner and people were pretty high and mighty with their pricing.  So I said “forget that” and started looking for plans to build my own table.

I saw a few plans online that seemed pretty easy to follow, but the plan I followed more closely was the DIY Outdoor Table from Cherished Bliss.  Her table was an actual dining table while my table is much smaller and I did not build the legs, so there were some tweaks I made along the way.

How it went down:

First, I took measurements of the space I wanted to place the table.  For me, a 56″ long x 24″ wide table was going to look best against the wall I have in mind.  Once I had these measurements, I just drew out the plans to figure out how much wood I needed.

My cut list:

Home Down South Builds a Table

For the frame I used 2x4s and actually after I built the frame and started cutting the top pieces, I decided I did not want to use 2x4s for the apron and switched it up to 1x4s.  I liked the thinner look of the 1×4.  So my cut list above is not entirely accurate because of that change.

Other supplies:

3″ wood screws for the frame
Wood Glue
Angle Square – your best friend
Clamps – the longer the better, I say
Kreg Jig
Table Saw
Drill
Tape measure
Chalk Reel
Wood Conditioner – if you stain
Stain or Paint of your choice
Poly – if you stain

Once I collected all of my wood, I started measuring and cutting my 2x4s to build the frame.

Home Down South Builds a Table

Once everything was cut, I needed to start drilling into each piece.  I have used a Kreg jig only once before and I did not have the best luck with it.  I was a little nervous trying this again.  I started with the outer sides first and when I tried to follow the directions KJ came with, it did not work out for me HA!  So, I sort of made up my own rules.  I placed the KJ where I thought would make sense and drilled.  Here I used 3″ wood screws.

When it came time to attach the middle frame, I found the center of my two end pieces, the center of the middle board, and drilled on either side of that line.  I repeated the same process to attach the frame to the other side.

Home Down South Builds a Table

Now that the frame was built and my centers were marked, I used my chalk line tool to make a line down the center so I would have a reference point for my top.

Home Down South Builds a Table

Building the top was a lot of trial and error.  Like I said, I really have no idea what I am doing most of the time.  The easiest way to start this (and I wish I had) is first take your 1×4 and mark it with the angle square to chop that first 45-degree cut.  Then when you have that cut, you can line the angle up with the blue line and measure/mark where you need to cut the end.

Home Down South Builds a Table

Home Down South Builds a Table

So here you can see what I mean.  If this was a fresh piece, I would have cut that first angle off the front, laid it on the frame, and marked where I needed to cut the end off.  To avoid miscuts/measurements (which I experienced), my suggestion is to mark the end of the board on the side and not from the top.  That way you are lining up with the actual edge and not eyeballing it.

Once you get the hang of it, you start to fly through your cuts and it turns out not to be as hard as you thought.

After you have cut all your pieces, it is time to glue them down.  I know some people use a finishing nail but we do not have a nailgun.  Glue and clamps seem to work just as well.

Glue, clamp, and repeat!  I laid all the pieces out where they were going to be placed and picked each one up, threw down some glue, and clamped it down for a few minutes.  I only have two clamps so I would switch the clamps after the next was glued and clamped.

Once the top was secured into place and dried overnight, I started working on the apron.  This is where I decided I really like the look of a 1×4 vs a 2×4.  I started with the shorter ends and cut them to size.  Again, having a nail gun for this would work and probably be helpful, but I only had the help of wood glue.  Since I only have two clamps, this part took a hot minute to complete.  I would (sloppily) glue and attach the short apron to the frame and clamp it.  It is best to do this part with the table upside down.  I would let it basically dry and do the next side.

Home Down South Builds a Table

The longer apron pieces were measured to include the length of the table plus the width of the smaller apron pieces.  That way you won’t see the edges from the front.  I attached those the same way as the other aprons.

After the apron was attached it was time to fill in the gaps.  I had gaps because I did not follow my own advice until later through the process.  And I suck at cutting wood.

I used a wood filler and it filled in perfectly.  My plan was to stain this piece, so once the filler dried and she got a good sanding, I put a layer of wood conditioner on it.

Then it dried (which is pretty fast).  I then put a layer of Minwax Special Walnut and Weathered Oak (my faves) on one at a time, wiped them off, and let it dry overnight.  I ended up doing it one more time with both colors.

I went back through to see what gaps still needed to be filled and schlepped some wood filler in there.  I only had to touch those parts up with a little Special Walnut.

I ended up using two coats of poly and letting it dry for a full 24 hours inside the house before touching it again.

For the legs, I decided to pass on building my own and ordered these Hairpin legs from Amazon.

They were incredibly easy to install and all you have to do is follow the simple instructions.

Home Down South Builds a Table

The legs feel pretty heavy duty and sturdy!

Home Down South Builds a Table

Home Down South Builds a Table

Home Down South Builds a Table

Home Down South Builds a Table

Now I am working on trying to style this space and maybe add some ottomans under the table for more seating options.  (The items you see below are NOT the final product).

Home Down South Builds a Table

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THE Rug

Hello, February!!  I promise I had good intentions to post more frequently but life has been so crazy and different around here.  We are all on a different schedule and I am struggling to find a routine for me and peanut. We were so close to really getting into a groove and then I had to travel and peanut got super sick…pink eye!  Blah.

So, the living room.  It is coming along and I am so close to being done.  I wanted to share a post about my experience using a paint sprayer for the first time painting our living room, but I was bad and took zero photos of the process.  Mainly because my phone was always hidden behind something.  To sum it up, there is a huge learning curve when getting started but we repainted all of our trim and wainscotting in minutes.  I am excited to try it out on some furniture.

So to the exciting part of our living room renovation.  SPOILER ALERT:  After weeks and weeks of searching and waiting, I GOT MY RUG!!  After Christmas, I found this great rug online that checked a lot of boxes off.  (AND the new unstyled couch!) (and the dog that would not wake up from his precious nap so I could snap pictures)

Home Down South Blog

Of course, it was a style and color waaaayyy outside of my comfort zone.  I am so used to choosing neutrals/farmhouse style rugs and colors.  This is bright and has big pops of ORANGE!

Home Down South Blog

After waffling over buying it, I decided I was so obsessed with it and the endless colors I could bring into the room with it (and the fact it would HIDE toddler messes better).  I went online and to my disappointment, it was out of stock.  I started looking elsewhere and everywhere I looked, it was out of stock.  And everywhere I looked, it was named something different, so searching was difficult.

Home Down South Blog

As my search continued, I learned it became the #1 best selling rug and the Blogger’s Choice rug.  Dang.  Just dang.  Most websites said it would become available again February 6, so I said if I could not find anything else, we were going to wait.

But a funny thing.  I generally HATE when you search for something online and then all the sudden all the ads on every website show that particular item (making the internet so shady).  This time, it worked in my favor.  I was scrolling through Instagram and an ad/recommended follow account popped up WITH THIS RUG.  It was a local rug outlet store having a huge moving sale.

Of course, it was late and they weren’t open to call, so I messaged on their IG account to see if they had that rug.  They responded saying they did. YES!

Home Down South Blog

Luckily, for me, I don’t trust all that is seen on the internet.  Before I took the time to drive all the way over to this store, I called the next morning to confirm they actually had the rug.  He said they didn’t (in a way that I should have known it was their best seller).  He suggested I call their second location to see if they have it.  Hmph.

I called and to my surprise, THEY HAD THE RUG!  I asked for pictures and after he texted them I told him I was on the way to pick it up.

YOU GUYS.

When we arrived, he told me after I texted him, he sold the rug…even though I texted him I was on the way and where I was coming from.  He said someone would be there in 30 minutes from the other location to drop off the rug they had (wait, what? I thought they didn’t have the rug).

So, we shopped around while we waited.

This rug was so worth it to me.  I spent about $15 more than I would have online, but who knows if that rug would have been stocked when it said.  It added a whole new level of yum to our living room.  I cannot wait to accent with some of these colors!!

Home Down South Blog

Isn’t she beautiful?  I won’t lie, I am very intimidated on how to accessorize, especially pillows and the empty frames above the couch.

Update on my to-do list:
  1. Sell the couch and loveseat.  Both listed.  Both had bites but people can be so flakey. WHY AM I STILL TRYING TO SELL?!  UGH!
  2. Repaint the ceilings. 
  3. Repaint the walls.  
  4. Freshen up all of the trim with paint
  5. Clean and polish the floors.
  6. Touch up paint
  7. Mount the tv over the fireplace.
  8. Build new bookcases.
  9. Build sofa table <- YEP!  I have plans, I need time.
  10. Organize Toys
  11. Add pictures to the Gallery wall
  12. Decorate the soon-to-be sofa table corner
  13. Add an extra lamp?
  14. Share the final reveal with you all!
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Living Room Inspiration

I don’t know what it was about last week, but we had some bad luck at home!

As we began prepping for our living room project, my husband was up in the attic looking for something, when he tripped and his leg went through the floor/ceiling.  He is ok, thankfully, but he did scratch his leg up pretty bad.  I am just thankful he did not go all the way through.  Since that happened, he was able to patch up the hole, but it created SO MUCH dust in the house from sanding the spackle.  SO MUCH DUST!  He still has a little more sanding left and then I can really get down to clean these floors.

While all of this was going on, our just over a year old microwave decided to die.  There was no coming back and of course, there was no warranty.  And if I have to be honest, it sucked.  We had to drop another unexpected $$$ to buy a new one.

Then throw in our living room.  Guys, last week was exhausting!  And our house looks like we are doing work.  Oh, and then add a toddler into the mix.  Mama is tired.

Last week, I mentioned our first project of the year being the living room and how we were going to totally transform it.  We actually started working on it this past weekend and just the few things we did has made a difference.

Inspiration Board

living room

Details

We took advantage of the new year’s sales going on and bought this couch from Haverty’s.  The color is called Mineral and is mainly gray with slight hints of green.  Very slight.

I also bought two of these bookcases from Joss & Main to sit on either side of the fireplace.  I went back and forth on the height of our bookcases because I did not want to take away from the fireplace.  After looking at so many options, we both liked that amount of storage (and hidden storage) this bookcase offered.

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We decided to get rid of our current rug and buy something new, something a little more toddler proof.  I am so in love with all the neutral looking rugs and how they ground a room, but we needed more.  And I was apparently feeling spicy.  I am 100% going out of my comfort zone with the rug I chose.  I am going to buy this rug from Joss & Main (or whoever gets it in stock first).  This rug is so out of my comfort zone, I waffled TOO long and it was out of stock when I went to order.  I AM SO DISAPPOINTED!  I have been stalking it and I hope it is restocked when they say it will be.

The paint color that you see in the picture of the fireplace above is Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray at 50%.  We love the color so much, we decided to paint the living room the same color.  The main reason we have to repaint this room (and eventually the whole house) is that the flipper painted the whole house in flat.  If you want my advice, do not paint your walls in flat.  It sucks and it looks like we use the walls as hand towels.  We did paint this weekend and if you follow along on Instagram, you know the slight drama we dealt with getting this on the wall.  I will share in another post.

As far as accessories and other pieces in the room, I am going to keep everything budget friendly.  Our brother-in-law built a coffee table for us and I am so excited to see it in person.  I hope we can see it soon.

The main color scheme I am feeling for this space is Black, White, Green, and Gray as my base colors.  That rug is going to help add pops of color throughout, but I really am really feeling green these days.  And mainly I am feeling green in plants.  Maybe it is the post-Christmas life that makes me crave greenery, but I want to add more plant life to this space.  I have always run from it because I don’t have the best green thumb and I have yet to find any faux plants that don’t look terribly fake.

Update on my to-do list:
  1. Sell the couch and loveseat.  Both listed.  Both had bites but people can be so flakey.
  2. Repaint the ceilings. 
  3. Repaint the walls.  
  4. Freshen up all of the trim with paint
  5. Clean and polish the floors.  We may have had some accidents this weekend with paint.  More on that next post.
  6. Probably should add touch up paint to this list.
  7. Mount the tv over the fireplace.  <- This is happening this weekend!
  8. Build new bookcases.  These are being delivered today and with an upcoming work day trip, the goal is to have them built by Sunday.
  9. Furnish and decorate!

 

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Living Room Project

Happy new year!  2018 is off to an incredible start with my Georgia Bulldogs winning the Rose Bowl and heading to the National Championship!!!  The game was high stress and at one point, I stopped breathing.  Under the previous coach, we would have NEVER made it this far, so I am so proud of this team and coaching staff!!

I am so excited for another reason…we are going to start the year off with a project, the living room!  This room has been so frustrating to figure out that I had to reach out to one of my favorite blogs for help, DIY PlaybookBoy, did they inspire!  As I slowly started to execute the plan, my husband came back to me and said he really REALLY hates where the tv is hung.  His reasoning is because there is a really bad glare coming from the windows behind it.  Totally get it and I offered to hang curtains.  Let’s just say that is still a battle because he truly hates curtains.

His suggestion to solve the problem is to move the tv.  Of course, there is not a good spot in this room.  The only location that would make sense is above the fireplace.

You guys, our fireplace is tall.

So, I played around with different ways to layout the room and it seems like the best thing to do is start from scratch.  Here is what the room looks like right now (and my half-hearted attempt to clean it):

Home Down South Blog LR Before

This is the view when walking in from the front door.  To the right is the hallway leading to the bathroom and kitchen.

Home Down South Blog LR Before

This room is somewhat long and narrow.  Another obstacle that makes this room so difficult is the french doors.  This room originally had a large window instead of doors, but the guy who flipped the house stuck some doors there instead and it makes laying this room out so much harder.

fullsizeoutput_fc4 fullsizeoutput_fc2fullsizeoutput_fc1

Eventually, we are going to remove our pantry in the kitchen and flip two of the three downstairs closets into a pantry.  This means the door with the red bag hanging from it would become a solid wall.

fullsizeoutput_fc7fullsizeoutput_fc8Home Down South Blog LR BeforeHome Down South Blog LR BeforeHome Down South Blog LR Before

That should give you an idea of what we are working with.

How we plan to tackle this project:

First, we are going to empty the room.  My hope is to sell what I can (and use that money for this project) and we are going to start fresh. Once this room is completely empty, we have a laundry list of things to do BEFORE getting furniture in here.

  1. CLEAN
  2. Repaint the ceilings.  After we had our can lights installed, we never got around to repainting the blemishes out
  3. Repaint the walls.  I am MADLY in love with the color of our house, so we are going to repaint it the same color.  This time, we are going to use a sheen.  For some reason, the flipper decided to paint the whole house with a flat paint and IT SUCKS!  The color of the walls is Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray at 50%.  
  4. While we are at it, we are going to freshen up all of the trim with paint
  5. Once all the painting is done, we need to clean and refresh the floors.  They were not really finished other than stained, so we need to add a top coat.  We have tried Bona on the rest of the house, but the shine does not last long in traffic areas.
  6. Mount the tv over the fireplace.  I am going to let my husband and stepdad take care of that!
  7. Furnish and decorate!

Basically, this is going to start as an EPIC spring cleaning!

Once all of that is done, here is how I envision our room to look with the new stuff:

We want to add a sectional for more seating and based on how this looks, I think the room could handle it.

I am still working on WHAT we are going to put in this room, but we have our couch narrowed down to three choices.  All will be in the dark gray family (hello pets and toddler messes).  As for everything else, I am still on the hunt.

One thing I am sort of scratching my head over is the rug.  What we have right now is tired and needs to go.  I want to find something with a little more pattern (for reasons stated above) and I am sort of itching for something bolder.  What that looks like, I am not sure yet.

Hopefully, in the next week, I will have a design plan ready for you!  But now, I have to go narrow down our three couches to one!

 

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Daydreaming

This week is going to be crazy busy.  We are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time and I was out of town all last week, so I have a lot of catching up to do around here.  The house is due for a massive deep clean!  Instead, I would rather catch up on all of your blogs and write a post myself.  #priorities

Matt and I always have some sort of house project on our minds and sometimes we randomly walk into a room and exclaim how we want to tear a wall down or plant an entire garden.

The week before I left for my work trip, I finished up the dining room and there was something that started to bother me about our house flow.  Our house was built in the 80s and walls are abundant around here.  We talked about this once before we moved in that we would LOVE to tear the wall and kitchen pantry down that separate the dining room and kitchen.

Before you scream in horror for wanting to take down the kitchen pantry, our house has so many closets next to the kitchen, we good.

If we DO take down the wall that separates the kitchen and dining, it creates an odd shaped room.  I needed to start visualizing this space now if this is something we actually want to do.  Spoiler alert: we actually want to do this.  We just need to find the right guy and see how much this would cost.

Home Down South floor plan

Here is our current downstairs.  This is not at all drawn to scale but it at least gives a great visualization of the space.  What we would like to do in the near future is tear down the pantry (yellow below) and transform the two closets behind the stairs (purple below) into one long pantry.

Home Down South floor plan

Home Down South floor plan

It would open things up so much more and let all the light that we get in the dining room into the kitchen.  The big question that we are wondering is if it would be weird to have two eating areas right next to each other like that?  The dining room table would be pretty close to the breakfast area.  Until I know what we are going to do with these spaces, this is where we are at.

Just for fun, I was curious what things would look like if we took down ALL the walls that we knew we could take down and move some things around.

Home Down South floor plan

Total game changer here!  We would totally get rid of the breakfast area and move the half bath to its location and take down the wall in between the office and living room.  We would then reconfigure the kitchen to extend into the dining room.  If we did this, we would have the best house in the neighborhood and we would have to decide if we were here long term (I want to be but we will see).

For now, we are just going to focus on the dining room/pantry wall and start getting ideas and quotes.

Have an amazing Thanksgiving week!  For those not celebrating Thanksgiving, have an awesome week!

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Dining Room Reveal

Good morning!  When I started this blog I had every intention to blog weekly.  I guess I did not take into account that when you are working on projects, sometimes your budget slows you down.  Or your 1.5 year old.

BUT I am here with a room update!  I am not actually 100% done in this room but I sort of have to stop where I am for a few reasons.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already got to see the sneak peek and lots of stories leading up to this.  If you don’t follow me there, you are missing out!

I was sort of hoping this project would have a little more blog-worthy DIY projects to post about but it didn’t.

Anyways, back to why you are here.  Time to look at our newly updated dining room!

Here is the before and the plan I wanted to follow <- in case you want to jog your memory.  This project took longer than it should have…umm it should have probably only taken a weekend.  I mean, it literally only took me two hours to paint the room.

HomeDownSouth dining room reveal
table/chair/bench/rug/buffet

Home Down South Dining Room Reveal

I toyed with painting this room a dark color because there is so much light in this room and it could handle it.  After painting our office back wall a dark blue, I was not sure if there is a “rule” to having two dark rooms across from each other, so I opted to go light.  I am not disappointed.  I chose Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams and just getting the fresh paint on the wall made a world of difference in here.  The original paint, while new, is a flat sheen.  Not only did it show all the dirty marks but it also fell flat.  The paint I put on the wall is eggshell and that slightest change made the room so incredibly bright.

Home Down South Dining room reveal

We bought this buffet when we moved into the house to actually use as a tv stand.  I personally liked using it in the family room but my husband did not, due to the height of the piece.  We bought something else and moved this into the dining room.  It really DID add more storage that we need badly!

 

Home Down South Dining room reveal
Rug

 

 

This rug.  This was part of what held up this room being complete.  I looked at SO MANY RUGS.  The room needed a rug but I didn’t want something that would compete with everything and I didn’t want another gray rug (we have one in the living room).  I actually found this on Amazon for a very reasonable price!  Click the link in the caption to see the source.  I did go with an 8×10 and the size is great.  It is on the thinner side, but I don’t think something thicker would really work in this room.

 

Home Down South Dining Room Reveal

 

Originally I had two pictures on either side of the window but then I happened to see a Decor Steals deal on Facebook and immediately bought these metal hanging baskets.  The wheat is not in its forever home but I wanted to get something in there.  I am still deciding what to replace it with.

Home Down South Dining Room Reveal

If you didn’t see my IG/FB post about this tobacco basket, you need to check out Hobby Lobby.  Not only do they have great farmhouse wares, they have these tobacco baskets reasonably priced!  The pumpkins are all from the Dollar Store and I painted them different shades of blue, mint, and white to match my style.

 

If you saw my Instastories the other day, I mentioned how I tried to start replacing the cream outlets for white and thanks to the wiring being all sorts of crazy and the guy that flipped our house being too lazy to find which breaker goes where he just had his guys fill in the sheet and move on.  Out of 30 breakers, not one single breaker is labeled correctly.  I THOUGHT I hit the right breaker after shutting the entire house down, but not the case OUCH!

So really all I have left in there is to switch the outlets out, sand the table and reseal to fix some of the scratches, and deep clean the wainscoting.

Now, when I get back into town, it is time to work on my last minute Thanksgiving tablescape.