Brick by Brick

Hi-YAAAA!  <– That sound you hear is me karate-chopping my way through Monday. HaHA! Take that Monday! I am feeling fine and in control of my life today, because I managed to wake up early – hours before everyone else in fact – and I Got. Stuff. Done.

Mostly just some laundry, but it feels good.  I also took some vitamins and had breakfast and ordered things on Amazon and learned how to make these symbols on the keyboard: ¡™£¢∞§¶•ªº–≠. So yeah, it’s pretty much already a great day.

¡I hope your day is great too!

Here is some makeover goodness to start you out right.

Kelsey at The Peacock Roost was not in love with her living room when she first bought her house. The paint color was eh, the trim was dark, the fireplace was not attractive, the shelves were wimpy, and the brick was too brick-y.

Blue Living Room with Whitewashed Brick Fireplace Before

Blue Living Room with Whitewashed Brick Fireplace

“Too Brick-y” is a real thing that affects millions of Americans.  Fortunately, it can be remedied as Kelsey has proven here, with a light white-washing that keeps the integrity of the bricks while toning down their aggressive color.

She also bulked up the built-in storage and lightened the paint colors. Cute furniture and accessories never hurt either. Looks amazing times infinity Kelsey! ∞




Psst! The Ugly Lamp Contest is coming! 

Submit your ugly lamp pictures and join in the fun!

Send your original picture to betterafter(at), subject line UGLY LAMP before August 21st.

More details here!

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Just Do It

I currently have a bookcase in my garage that is very similar to these before tables.  Jacinda found these tables for a steal online. I paid $2 for my bookshelf at a yardsale.

Her tables needed to be stripped. My bookcase needed to be stripped.  She buckled down and powered through SIX DAYS of stripping and staining.  I spent approximately one horrible hour stripping, then made a sandwich.

She finished her tables and is enjoying their fabulous new look in her living room. My bookshelf has sat in my garage for over three years.  I’ve moved with the dumb half-stripped thing two different times!

But, if Jacinda can do it on three tables with curved legs and carved details in less than a week, by George, I can do it to my little bookcase too.  For reals. I’m going to do it. Seriously. Hold me to it, you guys.

White and Stained Top Coffee Tables Before


White and Stained Top Coffee Tables

See more on her blog Northern Nester.

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Not an advocate for adequate.

This before living room was definitely nothing tragic. But is that the reaction we want our decor to get? “Nice place you got here. Definitely not tragic. It’s positively adequate!”  No, of course not! Wendy wanted to aim higher when she tackled her family room makeover.

designed to dwell family room before


designed to swell family room makeover after

Mission accomplished! Looks like a page out of a magazine!

One thing that was holding the room back before was the scale.  The sofas were oversized, the pillows were undersized, and the coffee table was adrift on a sea of carpet. Now, even with two full sized sofas, their streamlined design keeps them from overpowering the room. The coffee table is substantial, and the rug holds it all together, just like any decent and respectable rug should.


designed to dwell makeover before

designed to dwell family

I’m also digging the color scheme. I don’t think she painted the walls; they seem to be the same shade of blue, but they look so much more toned down and refined with the gray accents vs. the yellow.  What say you?

Much more to see from the talented Wendy on her blog Designed to Dwell.


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Golden Star Warriors

Have you ever wanted to paint a wall black and then chickened out?

“I could never!” you snivel to yourself. “What would the neighbors say?! What if … what if … what if it makes everything seem … DARK???!!”

Well, yeah. If you paint something black, it most likely will feel dark because science. But what’s wrong with dark? Some of the best things in life are dark. Examples: Dark meat. Dark chocolate. Dark humor. Darkwing Duck.

Lindsay at Another Mormon Mommy Blog crossed over to the dark side and didn’t look back, glamming up her living room wall with matte black paint and gold stenciled stars.

Black Wall with Gold Stars Before

Black Wall with Gold Stars After

It’s the first thing you see when you walk into her house, and I imagine it leaves guests oohing and ahhing and secretly shaming themselves for not thinking of it first, because it’s not like NOW they can go and paint their walls like this without looking like a total copycat. That’s what I would think anyway.

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