Thursday, December 10, 2015

A New Chapter

Hello friends!  Lately I've been thinking about a lot of things.  What is my purpose, what is my mission?  Am I using what God has given me to bless others?  Am I using my time in a way that is pleasing to Him?  These are just a few, but really these thoughts go on and on.  So then I started thinking about this blog and why I started it years ago. 

I began this blog when my children were still very small and I was in the process of fixing up our first home.  I was so excited about our home and all the projects we were doing to make that home our own.  When we first purchased our home, I browsed around online for decor inspiration which usually resulted in me feeling sort of discouraged that our house wasn't as fancy and dolled up as what I was finding online.  Silly I know.  Even so, I was encouraged to make the best of the home God had blessed our family with.  I grew to love that house and honestly today I still miss it. 

I decided to start this blog as a way to share thrifty projects and budget friendly home decor ideas to hopefully inspire others. I wanted to share our modest home and encourage others that you can create a home you love no matter what kind of house you have or what your budget may be.  I loved it!  I met so many friends and connected with so many people who shared the same passion.

Fast forward to now, and there are so many blogs!  There is inspiration everywhere you turn, so is my contribution making that big of a difference anymore? Probably not. I don't mean that in a bad way at all, I just mean that at this time I feel like God is telling me He can use me in other ways and maybe I can fill a void somewhere else, somewhere I'm truly needed. Does that make sense? I hope home design and decor is part of that along the way because I do love it, but if not that's okay too.  This blog was started as a way to encourage and inspire others, and it was something I felt really passionate about.  Today I feel like inspiration is plentiful with thousands of blogs, Pinterest, Instagram and more!  I feel my blog is no longer needed, therefore I've decided to close this chapter and move on to the next thing God has in store.  I don't even know what that is yet.

I'm sure this news probably isn't a surprise to most since my posts have become fewer and farther between.  I truly feel God is calling me to close the door on the blog, so that He can open another door, and I need to listen.

Thank you so much to everyone who has followed along and been an encouragement to me along the way!  I still love to decorate and I'll be working on our farmhouse for years to come!  This blog and it's archives will still be available for you to visit even though I won't be adding any new posts.  I don't want to leave anyone hanging on our unfinished rooms in the farmhouse, so as those spaces are completed I will add the after photos to our home tour page.  Thanks again so much!  Love to you all!  God bless!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Kitchen Shelf Makeover

Today I have a fun and thrifty furniture makeover to share with you. I know it's about time! I know I'm a sporadic blogger, so in between blog posts you can catch me on Instagram.  I share quick updates there and you can see those photos in my sidebar. I'd love for you to follow along and join in on the fun!

@graceleecottage on Instagram

This shelf was given to me a while back.  Actually I'm quite sure it was headed to the dump, so I saved it. I loved the size and detail and knew immediately it would be perfect for our kitchen.  Here's a before shot right after my dad and I put it together.

As with most of my projects I really didn't know which direction to go with this shelf until I got started.  I bought a small can of chalk paint from Walmart, but the color was way too bright for my taste, so I toned it down a bit with some white primer and gray latex paint that I already had on hand.  I mixed all the paint until I had a color I liked.  I've found that you can mix chalk paint with white primer and the paint still keeps the chalky look and texture.

Here's the look I had after two coats.

Next I applied white paint using light brush strokes.  I was careful not to completely cover the blue. I used the same brush I used for the blue without washing the brush first to create a more subtle, blended look.

 After this step I lightly distressed the piece and wiped it clean in preparation for the wax.

I used the same wax I use on all my furniture projects, Miniwax brand furniture wax in natural, followed by a light coat of antique wax (Waverly antique wax).  I lightly massaged the wax into the paint using a flour sack cloth.

The end result:

Here's our shelf happily sitting in it's new home.  I love the unique charm it adds to our farmhouse!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
  You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Have a BLESSED day!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Painted & Distressed Front Door {A Tutorial}

Today I'm sharing our freshly painted front door.  You may remember last summer when I quickly painted it a shade of gray just to get rid of the horrible green it was before.

And just in case you can't remember the horrible green it was before, here's a little reminder ;)


At the time I had no clue what I wanted to do as far as painting the exterior, I just knew the green door had to go since I like leaving the door open.  Since I wasn't set on an exterior color scheme yet I painted the door with some left over gray paint from our master bedroom and called it done. So. Much. Better.

Woodlawn Colonial Gray

After finally deciding on exterior paint colors and painting the house, it was time to address the front door color once again. The gray no longer complimented the new exterior color palette, so I went with a darker shade of brown, the same color as the exterior trim.


The door stayed like this for several months even though I never loved it.  A couple weeks ago I decided to go with a distressed finish using paint that I already had.  Sometimes when I do a project using things I already have on hand, it turns out better than if I had went out and bought all the supplies new.

To achieve this look I began by painting the entire door sage green (the same color as our exterior siding).

I added in the second color (a soft shade of blue) before the sage green paint completely dried.  I used the same brush and applied light strokes of blue paint to the door allowing the blue to slightly mix with green to create a blended look.


The trick here is to make sure the second color is applied BEFORE the first color dries, so you have to work quickly.

I was pretty happy with the door just like this, but I wanted to go ahead and distress it a little to add some character.


After the paint was completely dry, I used sandpaper to lightly sand off the paint allowing the previous brown paint to show through until I achieved the look I was going for.  There is really no right or wrong way to do this!


To finish it off, I applied a thin coat of furniture wax (Miniwax brand) to protect the paint and create a smooth finish. My favorite way to apply wax is by using a washcloth and applying the wax in a circular motion.

I'm thrilled with the end result, I only wish I had done this sooner!

It's funny how a little paint can have such a huge impact on a space.  Our front entry feels so much more inviting now.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
  You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Have a BLESSED day!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Farmhouse Lamp Makeover

I have a slight obsession with lamps.  I've always loved lamps, almost as much as I love rugs! And that's a lot!  One of the interesting things about our farmhouse is the lack of ceiling lights.  We have ceiling lights in the kitchen, bathrooms, & hallways, but that's it.  The rest of the rooms have outlets that are wired to the light switches.  You can plug up a lamp, then when you turn on the light switch the lamp comes on.  Not the best thing ever for sure, but that just means that I get to pick out more lamps for the house, which is not so bad. 

 The only bad thing is, well, lamps are not cheap!  Most of the lamps I buy come from places like TJ Maxx, but even then they can get pricy.  I'm pretty thrifty when it comes to decorating our house, so when I found a big pink lamp in one of the closets of the farmhouse, I knew I could transform it to fit our style.  I was a bad blogger & didn't get a before photo, so you will just have to use your imagination, but basically it was pink, gold, and not so pretty.

First I painted it using oil rubbed bronze spray paint and let it cure for a day or so.


Next I poured two colors of paint into two disposable cups.  I chose some leftover wall paint that I already had.

I dipped the brush in the darker color then the lighter color, then began to paint the lamp using light strokes allowing both of the colors to show.  Be careful not to blend too much, or the two colors will mix too much and you will be left with only one color.

After the paint was dry I used sandpaper to distress the entire lamp allowing the black spray paint to show through.  I finished the project by applying one coat of furniture wax & popping on a new lamp shade.

 Now it sits happily in our living room, and fits our farmhouse style perfectly!  I see lamps similar to this one at yard sales and thrift stores all the time, so the next time you are in the market for a new lamp check there first!  You will end up with a unique finished product that you love while saving some serious cash!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
  You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Have a BLESSED day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer Foyer & Stairway Gallery Wall


Recently I rearranged our living room furniture to experiment with a few new layouts.  I love to switch things up from time to time just using the things I already have.  Our foyer also got a new look in the process, so I thought I would share that with you today.  The living room is still a work in progress, but I'll share it soon!  You can catch a glimpse in the above photo.

I moved our mirrored cabinet back in here, but this time it's a soft shade of blue.  I was a little hesitant since the walls are already blue, but I think I like how it flows with the space. For now anyway.  ;)

I added a basket of faux hydrangeas for a little Summer touch!

Another project I did recently is our stairway gallery wall.  Since moving to our farmhouse last year I've always wanted to do this, but frames are so expensive and I knew I would need several of them!  I ran across these 11 X 14 frames at the dollar store for $5 and painted them for a custom look.


I'll wrap up the tour with a quick look back towards the front door.  The only change here is the galvanized letters I hung above our door spelling our last name.  I found the letters at Michael's a while back.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
  You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Have a BLESSED day!