The Price I Paid For Beauty

7 02 2012

We’ve lived in our new house a little more than seven months now.

This house feels so comfortable, so right, so peaceful.

But “I” had still not moved in;  much of my wardrobe still in boxes, the artwork I care about – also in boxes,  the organization of “MY” spaces non-existent.

I accidentally joined Pinterest.  And even though I have spent less than five minute on it, I was feeling the pressure.

I visited Captain Murdock’s house – PRESSURE.

I took down my Christmas decorations.

We planned to host a Super Bowl Party.

Basically, it was time to do something about the hot-mess that I call home.

And I knew exactly where to start for the most dramatic impact.



I was sick of looking at this ottoman that is supposed to be furniture for our deck and has somehow worked its way into our living room.

I know I wore a dress made out of this same fabric to one of SAG’s fraternity formals, in 1989.

So, I decided to sew a slipcover.

I don’t really know how to sew.

But sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.

Little Dude wanted to help with this photo shoot. Maybe he has a future on HGTV.
Isn’t that better? Plus the cats and the dog can now hide under it.
This is just gratuitous – because I think he is cute (even if I kind of hate that shirt.)



Another problem area was our hearth.  It is asymmetrical.  I am sure it is supposed to be architectural.  Some day I will paint the brick, but I am not feeling that bold yet.

What I like best about this project, it was cheap.

I used frames that I have picked up at garage sales over the years.

Oh, and spray paint, I LOVE spray paint – and not just for the fumes.

The letters are made of cardboard, picked up at a craft-store.  There are roughly a billion choices of letters at craft-stores – I picked the cheap, easy to hang ones (that also required – SPRAY PAINTING.)

Finally, the photos are just some of my favorites from the last year, printed on my computer in black and white.

Can you spot the things I still want to change about this???  (I wish I knew how to post the answer in teeny-tiny type upside down at the bottom of the page.)

First, the vase thing (which I love but which is the wrong scale and entirely too breakable to be within my children’s reach) will be traded out for one I saw last week at Target – taller, wrapped in brown rattan.

Second, I can’t stand that the one picture has a mat and the others don’t.  Raise your hand if this also bothered you?

I need to get that photo printed larger than my printer can handle.  I am thinking Kink0s might be the answer.

But if I let these imperfections stop me, I would never do anything around my house (how my quest for perfectionism often derails all progress.)



When you walk in our front door you are now greeted by this.

I purchased a Groupon for Picture It On Canvas.  This is the result.  They are spectacular.  I planned to email Picture It On Canvas and ask them to sponsor a give-away on my blog.  But my readership is a pathetically low number.  And I really wasn’t up for the rejection.  After all, if I want someone to tell me “No” I can just talk to my children.



Finally, in my dining room, I hung some photographs I took years ago.

To get these evenly spaced I had to do MATH. SAG took the kids out of the room and made them leave me alone so I could concentrate. It still took three pieces of scrap-paper and four attempts to get it right.

And while you can’t see it in this photo – the previous owner left a picture hanger in the middle of the wall and painted around it.

I get it if you don’t want to fix the nail hole, but here is a suggestion, pull the picture hanger off the wall, paint and put it back up.  Thanks.



My house is often messy and lately it has even been a bit dirty (yuck).  When I had the choice of working on these bigger house projects or actually putting things away before the party, I chose the house projects.  Fortunately, SAG cleaned.   Still, there was lots of “stuff” that had to go somewhere.

My office has never looked so….

P.S.  The photo layout weirdness on this post is brought to you courtesy of WordPress.  It pains me not to fix it.  Although it is entirely possible that I could try for hours and still not have WordPress cooperate.  So, in the spirit of NON-perfectionism, I will release this post into the blogosphere as is.




13 responses

7 02 2012

I painted a brick fireplace a month ago. It worked surprisingly well with a primer. When you feel brave, go for it. Until then, it still looks beautiful. Pictures of a beautiful family have that effect on things. 🙂

7 02 2012
Semi-Feral Mama

Kim – what color? I am afraid just because is once it is done you can only paint over it, you can never go back to brick.

7 02 2012

Yes, it is a permanent change. We painted ours gray to match the wood paneling that was also being painted. Ours is a unique situation, though, in that the fireplace that set in front of the brick is gone. So there’s that. I’ll have to post pictures of our Great Basement Renovation soon.

7 02 2012
Caza Pms Dora

ERHEM, FIRST OF ALL (you know, YOU KNOW, (you know this!!!) (cause clearly this all about ME) I am PMSing right now, the only appropriacity is ALL CAPS), your house is BEAUTIFUL, …… YOU have a lovely TOUCH! (In all sincerity, love the ottoman)


PMS over in T minus….

*sips more wine*

7 02 2012

that ottoman is amaze.

freakin pinterest.

7 02 2012

Rock on with your decorating! It all looks awesome!

7 02 2012

do your children need any new art for their bedrooms? you are #5 for my 2012 homemade crafty giveaway thing.

7 02 2012
Captain Murdock

I love everything about your house.

Well, except your office would no doubt break me out in hives. But everything else. Those photos – amazing! The ottoman? Seriously, never would have thought you had that in you.

Pinterest rocks!

p.s. LOVE the natural brick as is. In case you wanted my vote?

8 02 2012

The only problem about the mat on the photo is that it is off white. Really it is more like a yellow-ish. I don’t think it looks bad being matted even with the others not being matted, it’s just the color of the matt that’s not great.

Plus the letters on the fireplace are making me want to spell words. With the round frame looking like an “o” in the middle of consonant letters…..well…. you know…. um… maybe I just do too many crosswords. I keep trying to mentally rearrange your photos and letters to spell things.

What? That is no way weird or strange. At all.

8 02 2012
The Lost Planetista

Holy wow lady! I love your kitchen area the best. Beautiful.

8 02 2012

Everything looks great….the mat did bother me…..I’ll be honest. But I have OCD issues. The slipcover…inspiring. What I did notice is that your children are equally represented in the pictures. Good that you did that. Trust me….they will someday walk around the house and let you know who is in more pictures and, therefore, your favorite. I try to even it out unless I truly have a favorite at the time and want to rub it in. 😉

8 02 2012

Please refrain from comparing your house to Captain Murdock. It’ll just cause you pain. She’s a crazed maniac, and we’ll all fall short of her organizing highness. Just accept it. And visit my house next time you come to our town, you won’t leave feeling inspired to organize at all!!
Haha, I am super impressed by all your domestication here!

8 02 2012
Scooping it up

Captain, if that office gives you hives, you are never invited to me house. Semi, good on ya. Looks great. Love the kitchen colors and pictures. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: