Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Before & After: Our Bannister

Remember when I blogged about our beautiful staircase here? I mentioned how gorgeous the stairs were only to make our bannister look even more beat up. I was planning on giving it some TLC with tung oil until we were ready to build a new bannister but the hubs had something up his sleeve! This weekend he gave me the best birthday present ever...a brand new bannister! Saturday morning a contractor came over and built a custom bannister for us and it is soooo pretty, I think it may be favorite thing in the house! Who would have thought there'd be a day when a bannister would be the best birthday present ever? I must be getting old!

To refresh your memory here's how the stairs and bannister looked originally:
Then we had hardwood treads and risers installed giving us beautiful new stairs but leaving us with a sad looking bannister:

Here you can see some of the wear and tear the original bannister had:

But not anymore! Here's our beautiful, custom built bannister!

Did I give you enough pictures?! I'm a bit obsessed!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Before & Progress: Master Bedroom {Done For Now}

I'm back with more home updates although this isn't my typical before & after, it's more of a before & progress post! As happy as I am with how much our house is shaping up we're still not totally finished-and that's fine with me! Rome wasn't built overnight and neither was Chez Bernhardt but we're getting closer each day ! On tap for today is our master bedroom which we did the least to, we just added a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting!





You may have noticed that the ceilings are still covered in {shudder} stucco which really dates this room. It was just way too much work taking down the ceilings throughout the entire house right away. After seeing how much dust removing the ceiling downstairs caused we knew we weren't going down that road again. I  researched alternative ways of removing stucco ceilings and I've decided on covering them with bead board.

Here's an example of how the ceilings are {hopefully} going to look after we cover them with bead board:
I love the texture the bead board paneling gives to the room! Best of all you don't have to scrape the stucco down and since there's little sanding involved we won't end up with a dusty mess like we did with the downstairs ceiling removal! The hubs and I are planning on starting this project sometime during the summer so stay tuned!

Oh, and check out these adorable pillows hubs gave me this weekend for my birthday!
And on the back of the pillows he had our wedding date added {please ignore the dog hair}:

Well, now you have the master bedroom progress and I look forward to sharing more updates with you once we hang things on the empty walls!

Thankfully, Tanner and Gresham give their seal of approval with the progress of this room so far!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baltimore's Next Top Model

So hubs is probably going to kill me for this post but I just can't help myself, I think it's hilarious and I have to share. I mean, c'mon, he already knows he's married to a crazy oversharer so in all reality I doubt he'll even be that surprised! The University of Baltimore School of Law asked my husband to be on the school's website and since you all know we love our 15 minutes of fame (hello, HGTV) he happily obliged! Take a look at UB'S new and improved website featuring my hunky husband! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Get The Look For {Fabu} LESS!

Oh.Em.Gee. Best news ever: Lilly Pulitzer's home collection is gorgeous!  Worst news ever: Lilly Pulitzer's home collection is wayyyy too pricey! Knowing that I could never spend that much money on furniture I decided to look for similar pieces with a much better price tag! I was so delighted with my discoveries I had to share them with you! Having a fabulously decorated home should be fun and affordable, there's no need to shell out serious cash thanks to sites like Overstock. I know I've mentioned Overstock before but I cannot tell you enough how much I looove that website. Not only are their products fabulous, their customer service is even better! Anddd they support their military and their families by enrolling them in their O Club for free JUST by having a .mil email account. It's so easy to enroll and you can enjoy free shipping and 5% back on every order! Anyway, enough rambling, let me show you my Lilly Pulitzer {inspired} finds!

Here's an ottoman by Lilly Pulitzer that is not only fabulous but also practical because of it's storage. Unfortunately, it's a whopping $999.000...once you add in shipping you're almost at $1,500! CRAY-ZY!

I was able to find this similar ottoman with storage for a fraction of the price ($146.99) on Overstock.com! I will admit this ottoman isn't lined inside with cute fabric but you could easily add some and still save $1,000...then spurge on a Lilly dress for summer!

Check out this gorgeous blue and white patterned chair! It's stunning and sure to add a pop of color to any room although I couldn't bring myself to spend $2,400 {before shipping} on an accent chair, even if it is made by my all time favorite clothing designer!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a similar chair {although I will keep looking} but I was able to find an ottoman on Overstock.com, of course, in the similar blue fabric that could give your living room a pop of {Lilly inspired} color while not breaking the bank!


Moving on to her dining room collection you'll see Lilly has designed this beautiful yet simple table and chairs! If you have $500 to spend on each chair then this is definitely the set for you!

However, if you're like me and not willing to shell out $1,000 for a pair of dining room chairs then you'll love the pair I found on Overstock for $179.99! Added bonus: these chairs are tufted, I just love the extra attention to detail!

I'm just loving this adorable Lilly Pulitzer bamboo looking bench but the price tag makes it impossible to ever own! $1,150? Plus an additional $215 to ship? Sheesh!

However, our friends over at Ballard Designs have a similar bench that would look adorable with a pink cushion accenting the top like the one pictured above! And since this bench is only $139 you could definitely splurge on a pretty pink cushion and still have money to spare!

Last but not least have a look at this gorgeous, white Chippendale style chair by Lilly! The attention to detail  is exquisite but I still couldn't justify the $1,969 price tag of this chair!

I guess it's a good thing I found it cheaper on Ballard Designs! If you read the description of both chairs on each website they're both described as being designed by the Chinese Chippendale style, however, this chair is only $189!

Between the wonderful websites like Amazon and Overstock and retail shops like Homegoods and Marshalls anyone can have a fabulously dressed nest...for less! 

Happy {bargain} shopping!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lighten Up!

Yay, let there be light! Over the weekend we made lots of progress all thanks to the help of Matthew's awesome step dad and we now have ceiling lights on the first floor!  I can't tell you how happy we are, it's been so difficult trying to work on our home when the sun goes down...ever tried painting in the dark? Eeek, not good! The new lights really make our home look even more complete and I'm so excited to share the progress with you!

Here's a before picture of the hallway with the stucco ceiling and original light fixture :

Anddd after! Sometimes I can't even believe it's the same house!

Here's a before picture of the formal dining room:

Andd here it is after! The chandelier is raised a little higher right now so we won't bump our heads but once we have a table in there we'll lower it!

Here's a before picture of the breakfast nook:

Andd after! This is probably my favorite new light in the house! I bought it at Pottery Barn on sale before we even owned a home! I just loved all of the bling bling and needed it ASAP!

Here's a before picture of the kitchen lights:

Anddddd here's the after of the kitchen light:

Here's a before picture of the powder room:

And the after of the powder room:

Anddd finally our very last lighting before picture:

And after:

Oh and I even got a little carried away (who me?) and added solar powered lights in the garden!

That's all for today, I'm so happy with all of the progress we've been making with the house and I'm finally starting to see the light! Haha. Get it?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Shrub Love! Our Yard: Before & After!

Over the weekend the hubby and I decided to take advantage of the amazing weather by giving our yard a little sprucing up! Our yard was in pretty good shape, especially considering it was a foreclosure, but it just needed a few shrubs, a little mulch and some love to give us the curb appeal we were going for!

Here are a few before pictures of our yard:

 Ignore the dry wall on the porch, this picture was taken during the ceiling phase!
 And again, I promise it's gone, I know our neighbors wouldn't like that!

Here are a few after pictures of our yard:

 Doesn't our grass look nice and green? (except for the orange spray paint courtesy of Comcast) Hubs put lyme and fertilizer down which really made a difference in such a short time!
 Our new mailbox that was used at our wedding reception to hold all of our wedding cards!
 Closeup of our wedding mailbox! (Of course, it's monogrammed!)

And finally two views of our entire yard!

That's all for now, there will be more interior before and after pictures coming soon, I just had to share our productive yard work weekend with you since I'm just tickled pink green with the outcome!