0 The Power of Paint

>> Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of paint. It’s amazing what a few swipes of the paintbrush and a little elbow grease can accomplish. In fact, not only is it one of the easiest (or dare I say the easiest) way to revamp a space but also by far one of the most budget friendly.

Let’s take a look at how a few simple coats of paint brought new life to these before and after projects.

This desk rehab is a classic case of boring turned fabulous. Not only is this piece much improved with a solid coat of gray-blue paint, but the yellow dipped legs work wonders in giving the desk a fresh new look.

design sponge desk_beforedesign sponge desk_after
Pretty stinkin’ fabulous right? Let’s keep moving. There are more painted goodies in store for us…

As a Realtor, my work week is loaded with tours of rooms just like the one below. I’m no stranger to wood paneling, red brick fireplaces and dark and dismal built-ins (I’ve tackled all three of these hurdles in my own house) but one of my favorite things to do while helping buyers sift through potential houses is brainstorm how to bring rooms just like this one back to life with a few paint swatches. This before and after living room is a spot on example of how painted paneling and a couple coats of white paint can instantly bring a space from dated to desirable.

homemade ginger_beforehomemade ginger_after_2 
Nothing says drama like a beautiful stairway. By removing the old carpeting and painting the stairs and railing in alternating shades of black and white, this stairway is transformed into a chic centerpiece for the home.

your home only better_stairsbeforeandafter
And finally, we work our way into the kitchen. While painting kitchen cabinets does require a bit more patience than rolling a new hue onto a bedroom wall, the result is well worth the wait and definitely easy on the pocketbook. Take a look at how the kitchen below is given an entirely new look by only painting the cabinets a cozy gray.


Whether you are up for a simple do-it-yourself in the form of painting an old dresser or you are ready to take on a big project and tackle kitchen cabinets, the power of a can of paint cannot be ignored…Neither can the giggle of your hairdresser when she finds paint in your hair from a project completed weeks ago. Embarrassing, but totally worth it.

Cara Signature

Image sources: Desk | Living Room | Stairway | Kitchen


2 Best News in Over a Decade

>> Monday, August 29, 2011

Sure, today is my birthday and that’s all good and well, but my annual celebration of life definitely plays second fiddle to the good news I have in store.

I make no bones about the fact that I have the best family on the face of this fine planet. Dad, Mom, Big Sis, Little Brother, and smattering of grandpeople and cousins all over this fine state. Well today, for the first time in 12 years, my sister, brother and I officially reside in the same city AND my brother starts his first big boy job today after graduating college in May. This is big. HUGE…to me…and while this may not be historic news to you the reader, I dictate the published content around this roost and I’m just over the moon. Welcome home, Will! Having you back is the best birthday present this girl could ever ask for…besides the thought filled, prettily wrapped package I just know you’ll have patiently waiting for me at dinner tonight.




3 A Little LTHL Dialogue: Gettin’ Hot in Here

>> Friday, August 26, 2011

Some days I wake up to coffee and the Today show. Some (extra enthusiastic) days I wake up to a morning walk and a sit-up or two. Some days I wake up to a snooze button that was hit one too many times and a mad dash to cram a one hour long morning routine into 30 minutes…and some days I wake up to no air conditioning…some days like today.

Like any good DIY daughter, I do as my mother would. I said a few choice words, thought about kicking a hole in the drywall (but then remembered the effort behind patching said hole) and immediately Googled How to fix an air conditioner that is not cooling…and all signs pointed to calling a repair man. Rats.

Step 1: Call HVAC service fella.

Step 2: Say a prayer that my online banking is a pathological liar and I happen to have a few extra grand lying around to throw toward a fancy new high-efficiency unit.

Step 3:

Think about which skirt in my closet would give me the best pretty gal discount.

Step 4: Wait.

I was prepared for the worst. New unit, all new ductwork, outrageous service fee…I felt nauseous…until my faith in the good lord above was restored. You see, angels appear in many different forms y’all. Sometimes they appear as an oversized glass of red wine at the end of a long day. Sometimes as an accidental markdown on that pretty dress you really don’t need. And sometimes in the form of a husky repair fella named Roy. 

All this dishing out free DIY advice over the years must have made the the heavens smile upon me today. For when I was without a do-it-yourself hope in sight, a simple wire in my AC was replaced and I was headed for cooler temps for a measly $80…A huge part of me was thrilled. The penny pinching part, that is. But the other part? That I-could-have-so-done-that-myself part was seriously aggravated. I knew my mom would understand…

Email convo with mom post heat wave remediation:


All fixed for $80! I had a wire that burned off and tripped the breaker. My buddy Roy replaced the wire and said everything else looked good. Whew! My bank account is happy.


Wow!!!!!!!!! That’s what you like to hear…..so glad!

Me: …but I was slightly pissed that it wasn’t something I could fix myself…like the hot water heater thermocouple. (

Missed the thermocouple story?…click here.)


PROMISE me you won’t go messing with wires……..unless I’m there to call 911.

Nice try, Lynda.



2 Just Sold: 6902 Carrilon

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Congratulations to Alex on the purchase of her very first home!

6902 Carrilon_sold 
Another home sold! You know what that means…time for another Just Sold photo shoot. Yay, Alex!


Alex’s sister/roommate, Clancy, got in on the action, too!…

Already covered in paint from head to toe, these two are going to have a blast fixing up Alex’s new place. Killer before & afters to come, I am sure!



7 I really have no clue how they found me…

>> Tuesday, August 23, 2011

…but they did and what kind of furniture rehabber would I be I to turn away a couple of chair twins in need?


Rest assured they’ll be resurrected as twins no more. New fabric, a little paint and a whole lot of elbow grease will bring these guys back to life…and a big thanks to my little brother for hauling them down from Fayetteville and forcing them upon me. You are the absolute best!


Also, a big thanks to Beth Ann for including a Live the Home Life rehab as one of her Top 10 DIY Projects. Why’d you have to go and make me blush?…I like it. Don’t stop.

To visit Beth Ann’s blog and check out her favorite DIYs, click here.


2 The Road to Rehabbing

>> Monday, August 22, 2011

We all know I love a good furniture flip, so I was super pumped when Janet shared her recently rehabbed dining chair with me. I love this for a number of reasons, but manly because it illustrates why a dining chair is the perfect project for someone new to the rehab game:


1. Easy to find. Dining chairs are everywhere (thrift stores, yard sales, Grandma’s attic) and usually only run around $10-25 a pop.

2. Paint color/fabric combos are endless. Hint: choose your fabric first, then pick out a coordinating paint color.

3. Super simple. If you can physically hold a paint brush, there is no reason why you can’t give this one a shot.

Great job, Janet! Thanks for making my Monday!



0 A Little Paint (And Rust) Never Hurt Anyone

>> Friday, August 19, 2011

Go ahead. Let me have it. There is no excuse substantial enough. I cringe at the thought of missing one weekday blog post but two? I’m a complete failure…the good news? My living room now includes a brand-new-to-me-paint-splattered-with-a-side-of-rusty $5.00 spot to store yet another pile of magazines…




My heart dreams that my new side table friend spent decades in a studio happily catching falling paint from a fantastically talented artist’s paintbrush as they whipped up canvas after canvas of priceless creations…but my head tells me it most likely spent years rotting away in someone’s garage harboring discarded wall paint samples. Either way, I’ll take it! 

Happy weekend, y’all!



0 Just Sold: 6618 Longwood

>> Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Congratulations to Russell on the sale of his Cammack Village home! Such a smooth and speedy sale!

6618 Longwood_sold 



0 True Confession: Not a Know-It-All…Really

>> Monday, August 15, 2011

Around these parts, today is one of the happiest days of my year. Second to Christmas (and a certain LTHL blogger’s birthday…all fingers point to me) the first day of school is one of my best days. Sure, I’ve been out of the old classroom for quite some time now, but I still have a terribly difficult time fighting the compulsion to pick up a few school office supplies and couple pairs of new jeans this time of year...but let’s be honest with ourselves, 803 DIY blog posts in, it’s clear to all of us that I’m a word nerd and have a serious love affair with learning…which leads me to today’s true confession.

True Confession: I’m not a know-it-all…really.

While at first blog glance it may appear that I am an extreme do-it-yourself expert with a slew of rehabbing, restoring, and remodeling how-tos etched inside this brain of mine at birth, it’s all really just a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Sure I tackle and insane amount of DIY projects that I actually do complete on my own, but the large majority of them involve Google, YouTube how-to videos, and Am I doing this right? phone calls to Mom & Dad. Paired with my incredibly nerdy can’t-sleep-until-I’ve-learned-something-new-today compulsion and stubborn independence, it’s no wonder the first day of school still gives me butterflies. The chance to learn something new and pat yourself on the back for an accomplishment well deserved are the stuff my DIY dreams are made off.


…and because nothing gives me a kick quite like dragging out (slightly embarrassing) photos from the family vault, here’s a little back to school goodness circa 1992. Don’t worry, big sis has since had lasik and doesn’t have to haul around those specs any longer.

Back to School


0 After Party: Dog House for a Cause

>> Friday, August 12, 2011

There is nothing quite like wrapping up a project on a Friday. Another one checked off the list in time for the weekend, I’m super pumped to show you guys the finished dog house I’ve been working on for the past week. A HUGE thanks to Jeff at A Touch of Arkansas for building this one for me. That fella is a whiz with a saw and if you haven’t seen his blog. do yourself a favor and head that way.

On to the after shots…

dog house_15

dog house_8

dog house_9

Even my sweet little June Bug wanted to get in on the painting action. Bless her little puppy heart.

dog house_11
Such a fun project for a great cause. Come on out to support Habitat for Humanity’s 2nd annual Restore & After on September 29. My dog house and other rehabbed goodies will be up for auction to benefit Habitat. For more details on the event, click here.

Happy Friday, y’all!



3 At Home in Arkansas: August Before & After…and Den Reveal!

>> Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not only is it time for the latest Before & After with Cara Wilkerson on At Home in Arkansas magazine’s fabulous blog, but I’m also pumped to reveal my brand spankin’

new DIY den. We’re going double duty today!…


When we asked Cara Wilkerson (of Live the Home Life fame) to join our cast of monthly blog columnists, we wondered how on earth she would come up with a before & after every month! Lo and behold–with a dresser, coat rack, ottoman and now an entire room–she has FAR exceeded our expectations! She is, without a doubt, a true DIY diva.

This week, she gives us a look at her fabulous den makeover. How’s that for a transformation?…

Click here to head on over to At Home’s fabulous blog for the skinny on putting this den together and more before and after shots…

image  image imageimage



1 Getting There…

>> Wednesday, August 10, 2011



dog house_5 dog house_7

photodog house_1dog house_4dog house_3dog house_2

…but still quite a ways to go! Check back Friday for the dog house after shots. Paint covered fingers crossed that all goes as planned.



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