Thursday, February 25, 2010

Basement: Before & After

Thank you all for the well wishes.  After a great night's sleep and a wonderful three hour nap today, we're ALL feeling much better. 

Since things haven't progressed much around here, I thought I'd take a minute to show you one of my favorite DIY/Before and Afters projects.   

This is what our basement looked like when we bought Seaborn in June 2005.  It was a far cry from the cozy, basement family room that I envisioned. 

Here was my initial assessment of the space...


Wood paneling
Concrete floor
Tiled walls
Exposed water meter and plumbing
Old ceiling tiles


Fireplace {not pictured}

Out with the Old

Shortly after starting the demo process, we realized the former owner mastered the theory of reduce, re-use and recycle.  This space was definately his workshop.    

Divided into several small spaces, most of the walls were constructed of scrap wood. Interestingly enough, we found a piece of old wood gutter used to shimmy up the ceiling tile.  We also found a couple old tv cabinets re-purposed into wall cabinets. 

As you can see, all of that resourcefulness amounted to mounds and mounds of nail-ridden debris.  OUCH!!!!

Within days we rented and filled the largest roll-off dumpster we could find. 

In with the New

I'm sorry I don't have more pictures of the construction process.  But let's be honest, the after is all you really want to see.   

There's Hubby constructing a wall to put in the same
 location of the wall we tore down.  Oh the irony...

The basement is one of my favorite before and after projects in the house.  It has become our guest room, family room, playspace, and home theater. 

Yep, home theater.  Our home theater is the easiest and best DIY project.  It's the scene for many family get togethers. 

Knowing how much we love going to the movies, my mom gave us the best Christmas gift ever when she gifted us a digital projector. 

We experienced a little sticker shock when we started pricing projector screens.  So Hubby set about to build us an affordable alternative. Wanna see it?

The picture quality of the projector is better than this.
 It's the photographer's fault this picture is so blurry. 

The screen measures 4' H by 8' W.  Here's another picture where you can see the prominence of the screen within the room.  The wall has been painted black and the screen now covers the ugly exposed plumbing.

Affordable velvet curtains found at Ikea flank the movie screen {and hide additional storage}. 

We added a couple sconces {on a dimmer} to give the room a theater-like feel.  The ceiling has also been painted black. 

We saved money by doing all the demolition, electric and construction ourselves.  Approximate costs are as follows:

Construction materials        $850
Carpet installation                800
Movie screen                        100

Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoy this space! 

Sincerely, Lisa

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville
Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick
DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Oh-So-Popular Pendant Light

I think two weeks of sick children {actually one sick with bronchiolitis and the other feverish from teething} has caught up with me because I am beat and it's not even 11pm.  Most evenings about this time, I'm catching my second wind and starting laundry, cleaning the house and tending to other household matters.  But not tonight...I'm exhausted! 

So on with the post {before I fall asleep}...

Within the world of lighting, theres nothing more classic than the pendant light.

According to Design Boom pendant lamps date back to 2700 BC.  It's recorded that the first pendant style light was actually a clay lamp that burned animal fat.

Animal fat?  Would that be like bacon grease?  Whew...thank God times have changed! 

In this month's issue of Country Living, they listed the five most popular pendant lights from leading retailers.   They are as follows...

Porter Pendant {Pottery Barn}


Marrakesh Melon Pendant {Ballard Design}


Mercury Glass Pendant {Shades of Light}


Trey Pendant {Crate & Barrel}


Outback Warehouse Pendant {Barnlight Electric}


So there you have it.  America's most popular pendant lights. 

What's your favorite?  Have any of these lights found their way into your home? 

Sincerely, Lisa

Timeless Tuesday at Paula Grace Designs

Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Say it's Your Birthday, It's My Birthday too...

Within the past month, my mother has recognized the birthdays of her three adorable children...Lisa{me}, Hope {my sister} and Josh {my brother}. 

However, with children in three seperate states, mom has only been able to celebrate this season of birthdays with me.   

Will you join me as we gather here at Destination Seaborn for one big party?!!!

Meet Hope
{January 14th}

Wife. Nurse. Student.

This is my favorite picture of Hope.  That smile really captures her silly personality. 

As a RN, Hope is currently in school to become a Nurse Practioner {Midwifery Specialist}.  She and her husband live in Wisconsin with their mini schnauzer, Holly GoLightly.  Yes, Hope's a big fan of Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany's.  

Meet Joshua
{February 18th}

{He's the tallest to the right}

This is my favorite picture of "Uncle Mikey" {Max calls him that because Hope's husband is also named Joshua}.    I had to search far and wide for this photo.  Joshua doesn't like the attention that comes with wearing his uniform.  He's so bashful...NOT!

Come April, Joshua will be finishing up a four year contract with the US Army.  During that time he was stationed in Germany for two years and did a tour in Iraq.  

The Birthday Bunch
{my birthday was February 6th}

Hope. Joshua. Lisa. 

Will you join me in singing Happy Birthday...

"Oh happy birthday to you. 
Oh happy birthday to you.
May you feel Jesus near
Everyday of the year
Oh happy birthday to you
Oh happy birthday to you
And the best year you've ever had!"

Now what birthday is complete without a cake?  I thought we could share the cake that mom brought me from Mrs. Goodmans...mmm! 

Time to make a wish...

Happy Belated Birthday Hope!

Happy Birthday Josh! 

Thanks for joining in the celebration!

Wishing you a great day,  Lisa

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ever-Changing Fireplace

*This post has been edited to include an update*
 I just didn't want to write another post about the FP...
no more than you want to read another one.   

What's more difficult...

1)  Making a decorating mistake and talking about it on my blog OR 
2)  Telling Hubby

Well, the hard part is over with, so let me tell you all about it. 

You remember the fireplace? 
Of course you do, I've only shown it a dozen times. 


the AFTER 

Now THE AFTER is the problem Paired with the mantle, the new tile looked TOO traditional for my taste.  I didn't like it.  I tried to live with it but I couldn't. 

The solution; remove the tiles before the mastic completely dried.     

I used a putty knife to remove the tiles and mastic. 

Here's the AFTER {after the after}

The wall tiles had been up a few days longer than the floor tiles. 
Therefore the mastic was more difficult to remove. 
Because it will be covered up,
 I didn't worry about restoring the surface to it's original finish.     

And there it is...the {sad} current state of my fireplace.

My design goal was to modernize the look of this fireplace.  {I failed to achieve the goal on my first attempt}

I want a fireplace surround that contrasts the lacquered and traditional feel of the wooden mantel.  We love the natural beauty of this mantel and how it matches the rest of the trim in the room, so we don't want to paint it.        

Here are some options I'm considering. 

Cast iron...

Metal look tile...


Concrete Network

Ancient Art Concrete

True Form Concrete

I'm honesty leaning toward the concrete.  I like the neutral gray color and the seamless look.    

But like a home decor frugalista, I'm wondering if I could re-create the look of concrete for less.    

Let's say I did a smooth stucco finish over the bricks and then painted it with a faux concrete finish.  


We experimented by painting the bricks {flat black}.  Although I don't like it...I'm one step closer to finding a solution.  Here's what I learned:

I like the dark color {not black, but maybe gray}

I don't like the grout lines.  I would definately prefer a seamless look OR as minimal breaks as possible. 

So what do you think?  Any fireplace makeovers out there?  I'm open to constructive feedback and suggestions. 

Oh yes!  The good news...we bought a sofa for our living room.  I'll have show and tell later this week. 

Have a great week! 

Sincerely, Lisa 

Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spotlight: BluLabel Bungalow

Last weekend, while everyone was {seemingly} off to Blissdom, I did some blog surfing.  

And I found the REAL party!   

It's happening at BluLabel Bungalow

Meet the lovely bloghost, Erika

Wife. Mother. Designer. Blogger. 

As the creative mind behind BluLabel Bungalow, Erika has created a blog that rivals any interior design magazine.  Without the expensive subscription fee, it's even better.  

Like an issue of House Beautiful or Elle Decor, BluLabel Bungalow has the basic elements to a good decorating magazine. 

Regular Features

Tastemaker Tuesday showcases the talent of high-end designers.   

What a colorful room and tablecape!   

I love the notes on her photos!  

Practical Design Tips and Advice

Erika's Color Forecast and Decor Series {Fall 2009} features a series of designer style story boards inspired by Pantone's color report.  


Loads of Inspiration

Mood Boards

Check out this awesome Beckham-inspired bachelor pad 

Great Before and After projects


{Designer-inspired} Thrifty Finds

Knock-off thrift store lamp

Now, if you're still not convinced of BluLabel Bungalow's fantabulous-ness, just ask Eddie Ross...she's on his blog roll!  

Please stop by and introduce yourself to Erika.  I'm sure she'd be happy to meet you! 

Happy Friday! 

Sincerely, Lisa 

*All photos featured today were courtesy of BluLabel Bungalow*

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Destination: Paradise

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking.  ~Earl Wilson

About this time of year, I grow tired of winter 

Trevor Jones, TR

And wish I was cruising

Norweigan Majesty

To warm weather  

Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

And blue waters

Nassau, Bahamas

Sailing away

Le Grande Bleu is one of the world's largest yachts.  We spotted it in Nassau (Dec "08)

To Paradise

Paradise Island, Bahamas

Splashing around

Atlantis Resort, Bahamas

Doing the beach crawl

Max on Atlantis Beach

{Atlantis Beach} Paradise Island, Bahamas

Or simply enjoying the scenery

{Leap of Faith} Atlantis Resort

So until then...I'll dream of summer and savor the sweet memories of vacation.  

Where is your favorite warm weather destination?  I'd like to know.

Sincerely, Lisa  

Timeless Tuesday at Paula Grace Designs