Christmas, Holiday, Home Improvement, Paint

A mini fireplace renovation and Christmas decor

I love the winter holiday season and all of the decorating that comes with it. I was extra excited to decorate our mantel this year because I just completed a mini fireplace reno.

Do you remember this gem of a fireplace that we started with when we moved in?

Before fireplace

This is how we changed our fireplace after we did our family room reno.

fireplace

The difference in the brightness alone is nuts! But something was still missing. The fireplace was outdated with the old metal doors. New doors are so expensive, so I decided to DIY the doors and the inside of the fireplace to complete the three-years-long reno.

Brass doors

To start, I removed the doors and cleaned out the fireplace. Then, I painted the inside of the fireplace black with heat-resistant paint.

Fireplace unpainted

I did two coats of paint on the inside to cover up the soot, and it turned out really nice! I actually contemplated not adding the doors back on, but Brian said he prefered doors to an open fireplace.

Fireplace Brick

Once that was dry, I started to work on the doors. At first, I sprayed the doors with heat-resistant black spray paint. I taped the glass, but didn’t cover all of the panes with newspaper. (Word to the wise — cover the glass! I had to later scrape off paint. Oops.)

Spray painted

The spray paint didn’t hold up so great, so I ended up painting the doors with the same paint I used for the inside of the fireplace. Once that dried, I was able to rehang the doors.

Ready for the big (small?) reveal?

TA DA! Oh, and Christmas decorations 🙂

fireplace3

Do you love the black doors? It’s taken me a while — I actually hated them at first — but I really like them. I’ll admit that I wish they were new and fancy and not spray painted, but considering we don’t use the fireplace and the doors are rarely opened, this little DIY will work just great for us. Buh-bye brass!

The only downside to the painted doors is the paint does scratch off if nicked in the right way. Other than that, I’m really happy with the new look. I don’t miss the old, dated color at all.

OK, enough reno talk. Check out my Christmas decor! I absolutely love my Christmas mantel.

fireplaceremmy

As you can see, Remmy loves it, too. Really, he just loves to sniff his stocking to see if there’s anything in it yet. Sometimes he cries because he can’t get it down. I think it is hilarious — does that make me a mean doggie mom?

santas

On my mantel I have my collection of Jim Shore Santas. We got one as a wedding gift, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. I can’t wait to see which new Santas I get this year as gifts.

Christmas is the one time of year we do seasonal decorating, so we take it pretty seriously. We have one real Christmas tree, a small fake tree I decorate with flamingo ornaments, a decorated mantel, a decorated TV shelf and a decorate console table. We even decorate by our bar. And, of course, we do lights outside.

How do you all decorate for Christmas? If you have a blog, I’d love to see what you’ve been up to this holiday season. And if you don’t have a blog, no worries… the rest of my house (outside of these photos) is messed up with wrapping paper shreds and stuff I had to move out of the picture frame. It isn’t quite as perfect as it may appear 🙂

Speaking of perfect, I have not been on the ball this year with holiday cards and gifts. I am looking to get holiday cards a.s.a.p. and I found the most adorable cards on Shutterfly that are in the cutest shapes (i.e. not just rectangles). Some have scalloped edges, some have rounded corners and some look like quatrefoils. They are such a fun twist on normal cards — now I just need a cute photo of me, B and Rem!

I also need to get a kickstart on my gifts. I’ve purchased quite a few things, but there are so many gifts I want to make that I haven’t even started on! Work, class and other life craziness has made this holiday season fly by so far. Where are my elves when I need them?! Luckily, I am fortunate enough to have time off before Christmas, so I’ll be my own elf and make my gifts then.

Are you making gifts this year or tackling any mini makeovers before your relatives come to town this holiday season? I’d love to see your holiday decor, renos and crafts! The holidays really do bring out the most creative and fun ideas.

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Home Improvement

Bathroom Reno, Part 2

Our bathroom is almost finished. Almost! I am so excited to share the finished room, but not quite yet. I am still touching up paint, installing fixtures and re-caulking in a few spots. Plus, I need to accessorize! (That’s a really important part of a renovation, duh.) Home Goods is calling my name.

Until then, I figured I’d throw a few more sneak peeks your way.

Enjoy 🙂

Here’s the bead board, freshly installed:

Bead Board

Here’s the same wall with the molding and baseboards installed (not caulked).

Molding

And here’s a shot of the opposite wall with the sink and medicine cabinet resting in place.

Bathroom_molding

Do you love it so far?!? I love it so far.

Look for the reveal early next week!

Home Improvement

My mint tiles

OK, guys. I have a new obsession and that obsession is Restore. Habitat Restore, to be exact. And it is amazing. AH-MAY-ZING!

My neighbor first introduced me to Restore in Baltimore and then Restore came to Columbia! Are we lucky or what? (Hint: The answer is yes!)

I go there pretty often now and had to share my newest find: Mint Green tiles!

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Dirty Tiles

I scored about 50 of these beautiful tiles for $.25 a square foot. Yes, $.25! I paid $4 total 🙂 Love it!

As you can see in the photos from the store, the tiles were pretty dirty. I scrubbed the tiles for over an hour and they cleaned up beautifully.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Clean Tiles

Neither of those photos do the color justice, but this one is a better representation:

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Color Shot**drools**

You might be wondering why I bought tiles? Well, for my birthday gift next month we are going to redo our master bathroom.

Here’s a couple of not-so-hot pictures of our bathroom. It’s teeny, so it’s hard to get the whole thing in one shot.

Out bathroom looks a little different now with a shower curtain and a few pieces of art hung on the walls. But it’s nothing spectacular.

Here’s what I’m thinking….

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Sketch

Yes, it’s a sketch. And yes, this will likely change. But anyway… I am thinking a faux wainscoting treatment to the bottom half in white with a neutral color on top. We’ll replace the vanity to get something a little larger in the space, update the medicine cabinet and the lighting…. and then add the mint tiles as accent tiles. Like I said, the final product probably won’t look a thing like this… but this is my inspiration for now.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Bucket

And for $4, I was willing to take the risk that these beautiful tiles will fit into my not-so-final master plan.

Happy Tuesday!