A Simple Fall Wreath

Fall is here, yay! I love working on craft projects this time of year. So, this past weekend I made a quick trip to the store to pick up a few things to make a new wreath for fall. I couldn’t wait to get started on it as soon as I got home.

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

It’s very easy to get carried away buying lots of things to put on a wreath. When I try to add too much it just ends up looking like a mess, so I have learned to keep things simple. I already had the yarn and wreath on hand so I only need to pick up a few items for this project. Everything pictured was purchased at AC Moore at half off so this was an inexpensive wreath to make.

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

I started by wrapping the wreath with the burlap ribbon and then to add a little interest wrapped a small portion with the green yarn.

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

Next, I used my glue gun to add a few fall picks. The picks were a bit long so I cut off a few inches with a pair of floral wire cutters.

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

Don’t worry about any glue showing because you can easily cover it up with a big bow.

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

I hung the wreath on an antique window that I purchased from a local shop for $10.

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

Simple Fall Wreath - The Endearing Home

With just a few easy to find and inexpensive supplies you can make this simple wreath too, hope you will give it a try!

Lauren

Fall Inspiration At The Farmers Market

Yesterday I took a trip to the farmers market in Raleigh in search of pumpkins and mums. Well, I sure had no trouble finding those as well as lots of fall inspiration! Farmers Market - The Endearing Home Farmers Market - The Endearing Home

When I first arrived there was so much to choose from that I didn’t quite know where to begin, but luckily I was meeting my sweet blogging friend Shirley of Housepitality Designs there. Shirley is so creative and has such a gift for decorating. I loved the pumpkin topiaries she had on her front porch last year and she gave me great tips on how to create one. I can’t wait to see her fall porch this year!

Farmers Market - The Endearing Home

I love the warm and vibrant colors this time of year.

Farmers Market - The Endearing Home Farmers Market - The Endearing Home Farmers Market - The Endearing Home Farmers Market - The Endearing Home Farmers Market - The Endearing Home

I had never seen apple gourds before, wising I picked up a few of those.

Farmers Market - The Endearing Home   Farmers Market - The Endearing Home   Farmers Market - The Endearing Home

My wallet was empty by the time I saw these beautiful flowers. Think I may need to take a trip back.   Farmers Market - The Endearing Home

I have never purchased so many pumpkins before or this early. Since I decided to keep the decorating simple on the inside of the house this year, I thought it would be fun to deck out the porches. The selection and prices at the farmers market were excellent, so it was easy to go a little overboard. Now I just need to figure out where to put all these goodies. Farmers Market - The Endearing Home

The final decorative touches on the porch will take place after we make our annual visit to a nearby pumpkin patch. Ever year we take our girls there to pick out their own to decorate for Halloween and a take a few family pictures. Now just need the weather to cool down so it actually feels like fall. Have a great weekend!

Lauren

Dollar Store Pumpkin Topiary

This is my favorite time of year and I am so excited to start doing a little fall decorating around the house. Over the years as my kids get older I find myself not going quite as overboard with the fall and Halloween decor as I used to. These days I like to keep things simple, but I do still enjoy a craft project or two.  So, on a recent trip to Dollar Tree I picked up a few pumpkins and dried moss with plans to make a pumpkin topiary.

Pumpkin Topiary - The Endearing Home

I started out by painting the pumpkins with some white Reclaim paint that I had on hand, however any craft paint should work too. If you can find the pumpkins that have a little texture they were easier to paint than the smooth ones. The smooth ones took several coats due to the orange bleeding through the paint.

Pumpkin Topiary - The Endearing Home

I used a ceramic container that I had on hand for my base, crumbled up a piece of newspaper to fill it and then covered the newspaper with the dried moss.

Pumpkin Topiary - The Endearing Home

Next, I put one of the pumpkins in the container and then glued them together. To add a bit of interest to the topiary I cut out some printed burlap leaves that I picked up from Joanne’s last year which you can read about here. This part was a little, ok a lot, messy which just seems to be how I roll when it comes to crafting. I then used my low temp glue gun to attach the leaves to the pumpkins. The leaves were looking a little plain so I added some glitter paint to the edges. This also helps to prevent the burlap from fraying.

Pumpkin Topiary - The Endearing Home

The final touch was painting the plastic pumpkin stalk with metallic craft paint.

Pumpkin Topiary - The Endearing Home

So there you have it, a simple to make and inexpensive pumpkin topiary! Oh and if you’re wondering how things are coming along with the porch, all I can say is getting those final few things done has been taking forever, but I promise to share more updates soon!

Sharing at: Savvy Southern Style

Lauren

Tour Through Blogland

If you read lots of blogs like me, then you’ve probably seen the tour that’s been taking place throughout blogland. I have been enjoying learning more about the bloggers that I already follow and also discovering new ones, which is always fun!

I would like to thank my sweet friend Julie for inviting me to take part in the tour.

Julie of Lilacs and Longhorns

I was so excited to meet Julie at Haven this year! We became instant friends and I truly enjoyed getting to spend time with her at the conference. Julie’s blog, Lilacs and Longhorns has long been a favorite of mine! Julie has the most beautiful home that is filled with warmth and charm and is the perfect blend of both her and her husband’s decorating styles. She also shares wonderful project ideas, tasty recipes, organizing tips and so much more! If you haven’t discovered her blog already, be sure to stop by for a visit and say hello. Just wait until you see her newly remodeled kitchen, wow! I just know you will adore Julie and her blog as much as I do!

Here’s a peek at Julie’s gorgeous family room!

Lilacs and Longhorns Living Room

Ok, so now it’s time for me to share a little about myself by answering a few questions that Julie also answered on her blog.  I have to be honest and say that this part makes me a bit nervous because I am much more comfortable sharing projects than about myself. I know this may sound odd for a blogger, but I am super shy, introverted and get major anxiety in large groups, so here I am getting ready to talk about myself in blogland, yikes! Ok, deep breath, let’s get started!

What am I working on right now?

I always seem to have a long list of projects that I need to either start or finish around the house, but right now I am focused on the porch and deck. My favorite season is just around the corner and I am looking forward to taking a trip or two to the farmer’s market to pick up some pumpkins and fill the flowerpots with fall colors. In anticipation, I have been looking through all of my favorite magazines, blogs and Pinterest for inspiration. I plan to keep the decorating simple on the porch, but I have been on the hunt for a small coffee table, a pretty outdoor rug and accessories to add a few pops of color.  I am also working on a few painted pieces for the porch.

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Let me start out by saying that I love being a part of this genre, it is such a supportive and inspiring group! Long before I started blogging I was a blog reader. Over the years I have lost track of how many I follow and I am constantly finding new ones, but even with all of the blogs that are out there, I do think that we each have our own unique voice and style. I mostly blog about decorating (my passion), but I also like to share projects. I know and embrace that I am not a professional interior designer, power tool pro, furniture painter or an expert when it comes to crafts. My perspective on the things that I share is that if I can do it, then you can do it too! My projects usually include a list of easy to find and inexpensive supplies along with simple to follow instructions and lots of pictures.  When I share room reveals or decorating ideas I always try to include shopping sources to show that you can create a home you love on a budget from shops you have nearby or online without prices that break the bank. I also love to repurpose things that I already have around the house.

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

Why do I write/create what I do?

Blogging is my creative outlet and I find so much joy in sharing all the projects I am constantly working on. One thing that I have learned over the years is that it is important to listen to your own voice when it comes to decorating. Don’t worry if a particular color is out of style, if you like it, then go for it! There was a time when I wasn’t very confident with decorating our home. I was always second guessing my choices which often led to a room never being finished or feeling quite right for our family. Once I learned to stop worrying about what I was seeing in magazines and keeping up with trends, decorating became a heck of a lot more fun and I hope to inspire others to do the same. One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to connect with others. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my blog, leave a comment or send me an e-mail, it’s what inspires me to keep blogging.

Family Room

How does your writing/creating process work?

I consider myself to be a very detail oriented, organized person who enjoys making lists and following a schedule. However, when it comes to blogging all of that seems to fly out the window. I guess it’s the creative side of me that just enjoys being carefree. So, for me I enjoy blogging the most when the entire process just happens naturally. I get inspired to work on a project or create something new, take lots of pictures, sort through and edit all of the photos and then write my post. Writing for me is the hardest part, my writing skills are definitely lacking and with every post I also make myself a bit crazy over proofreading. This is the one thing that takes me forever to finally get to the point where I can hit the publish button. Due to my struggle with writing and proofreading I tend to keep the posts short and to the point, but I do like to include lots of pictures. Photography is a big part of blogging and I love taking and editing photos even though I still have so much to learn. Blogging can be frustrating, feeling like you are constantly trying to keep up with everyone else and I realized I just can’t do it. So I do my best to post once a week and every now and then on social media.

OK, so enough about me, now it’s your turn! If you have a blog or one that you enjoy following, then I would love for you to share it in a comment! You know I love blogs, so I can’t wait to check them all out and hope you will too!

Have a great week everyone!

Lauren

My Favorite Craigslist Find Ever, RECLAIM Paint and My Very First Giveaway!

* RECLAIM provided me with paint and sealer, but all opinions are 100% my own. *

One thing I knew I wanted for our porch was a dining table that was big enough to comfortably seat eight. I started looking on Craigslist over a year ago, long before construction had even begun on the porch. This was at the top of the porch wish list and I was on a mission. Week after week I searched with no luck in finding  a dining set in the condition, style or price that I was hoping for.

I had just about given up my search, until one early lazy Saturday morning  I decided to take another peek on Craigslist. To my delight, there it was, a newly listed beautiful vintage Ethan Allen table with eight matching chairs at a price that was just too good to be true. So, I of course e-mailed the seller right away and was so relieved that they quickly responded letting me know it was still available. I immediately replied to set up a time to meet! I knew I would need my husbands help loading all of the pieces into my car so I ran upstairs, with a cup of coffee in hand to help wake him up and talking a million miles a minute about the most amazing table and chair set I just found. I told him how how it was only $500 for the entire set and it was Ethan Allen and the seller lived close by and how I searched for over a year and how much I loved it. Well, you get the idea, I was pretty darn excited! Between the coffee and all of my talking there was no way he could go back to sleep, so after a quick teeth brushing and throwing on a baseball hat off we went.

My husband was not so sure about the purchase at first, after all the porch was not even built yet, but after two trips and unloading all of the pieces into the garage he agreed it was a really great find. The chairs were in absolutely perfect condition and the table was real wood and very sturdy. The table top did have some marks and quite a few scratches, but nothing a little paint couldn’t fix and  I knew the perfect paint to use for this project, my go to, RECLAIM!

As the porch progress started moving along I knew I needed to get started on the table. However, with all of the construction going on and the kids out of school for the summer, my house was a mess, life was hectic and I was feeling completely unmotivated to start a new project.  That is until I received the most wonderful e-mail from RECLAIM. I have written about several furniture painting projects on my blog using their products and that’s how they found me. They asked if had any upcoming projects and also to tell me about one of their new products. I was thrilled to learn that RECLAIM now makes a Multi-Purpose Indoor/Outdoor Sealer and the timing could not have been better. This was seriously the most perfect product for my table and chairs which will be outdoors on our porch year round. You can read all about the sealer HERE.

Here’s what the table looked like before. The minute the roof went up we couldn’t wait to bring the table out on the porch to see how it looked, but we never brought it back inside. Between the heat and moisture the varnish started peeling off and we ended up making the table top worse.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

To prep the table I followed the instructions on the RECLAIM website. Before using their products be sure to read all of the how to’s and faq’s on their website. I am usually one to skip this part out of laziness, but they really share lots of great information and tips. I started by cleaning the entire table with Simple Green and I also wiped it down with vinegar to remove any furniture polish. I then lightly sanded the areas where the varnish had started to peel.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

After the table was prepped I gathered my supplies and got busy painting. Depending on how much paint you apply you can create either a smooth or slightly textured finish.  I am not a professional furniture painter, but I love that I can get professional looking results with this paint and it is so easy to apply!

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

I had originally planned to just paint the top, but then thought it would look better to paint the entire table.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

I love the look of black distressed painted furniture. I am so happy with how this furniture project turned out.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

Here you can see a bit of the texture on the table top.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

Next,  I applied the sealer. RECLAIM paint is super easy to use, however, I have to admit I was having a little trouble with the sealer. Instead of drying clear it had dried a bit cloudy. I doubt I would have even noticed if I had chosen a lighter paint color. I was not sure how to fix the cloudiness so I contacted the company and they were super helpful and provided me with some great tips.  I realized the mistakes I was making were I was using too thick of a roller and I was applying too much sealer, you only have to use a tiny amount.  One 16 oz jar covers 1000 sq feet, so a little goes a long way. I have noticed that as the sealer has cured over the past few weeks the cloudiness is barely noticeable.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

To protect the chairs from the weather and keep them looking great, they also each got a coat of the sealer.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

I hated to cover up the pretty rush seats, but these chair cushions tied the look of the table and chairs together nicely and they added a little comfort too. Now I just need to order two more cushions for the additional pair of chairs that are stashed in the garage.

Reclaim Painted Table - The Endearing Home

Now for the really fun part, my very first giveaway, yay! One lucky reader of The Endearing Home blog will win a RECLAIM Cabinets, Furniture and More Makeover Kit (see photo below)! The winner can pick the color of their choice, click HERE to see color options.

Cabinet - KIT-CD-2

Here’s how to enter! (US residents only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

** A HUGE thank you to RECLAIM Beyond Paint for providing the giveaway and for the paint and sealer for my project!**

Lauren

Turning Our Back Porch Dreaming Into A Reality – Part 4

Wow, I can’t believe how fast this month is flying by! I also can’t believe it’s been weeks since I last updated you on the porch progress. August is always such a hectic month getting ready for the start of the school year, which is just a week away! We are also a week away, fingers crossed, from having this porch project wrapped up. Here are the latest updates to the project.

The ceiling fan is in and getting lots of use as the humidity and temperatures have really heated up here in NC.

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Sconces were added to each side of the fireplace. I found these at Home Depot.

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

A lantern from Pottery Barn was hung above the dinging table and a dimmer switch was added to adjust the lighting which I love!

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

The fan and lighting instantly made the porch feel more cozy.

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Once the Eze Breeze windows were installed it really transformed the porch into an outdoor living space. We can also now finally enjoy sitting outside without getting bit up by mosquitoes. On the left is the window up and the right is the window down. They also open from the top so these windows have lots of options.

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Here’s a view of the screens and windows from the outside.

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

And last but not least the door and window above have been installed.

Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Well, that’s all for now. Later this week I will be sharing all the details on our dining set and an exciting announcement! Thanks so much for stopping by today and wishing you a wonderful week!

Lauren

Turning Our Back Porch Dreaming Into A Reality – Part 3

We are getting so close to finally having our porch project complete! There are still quite a few things that need to be done, but we are definitely in the home stretch. Furniture will be delivered on Friday and then the super fun part for me begins, decorating! For now here are a few updates on the porch.

The fireplace is finished and the tile floor has been installed.

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

We are loving the new view from our kitchen!

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Porch prepped and ready to paint.

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

The ceiling and back wall have been stained and all of the trim has been painted.

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Here are a few views from the outside.

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Exterior painting and deck staining is complete.

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Back Porch Project - The Endearing Home

Well, that’s all for now. Next time I will have lots more to share, including the screens, door and lighting!

Thanks so much for stopping by and wishing you a wonderful week!

Lauren

Turning Our Back Porch Dreaming Into A Reality – Part 2

Last week I mentioned that I would be sharing how our porch project made it’s way inside. Well, it sure did, straight into the kitchen! Let me start by saying that this was not something that ever crossed our minds, we just wanted to simply screen in the porch and keep the bugs out.  However, when we began meeting with different contractors for estimates we learned that the height of our windows on the second story of our home above the deck would affect the pitch of the roof. This would limit the depth of the screened porch. A long and narrow deck was definitely not going to work for entertaining, the big table with seating for eight that I had been dreaming about or all of my decorating plans.

The ideas for working with the pitch issue were all very different, along with the estimates. The two contractors with the most vision discussed with us that the best option was to move the porch so that it would open up from the kitchen.

One plan was to remove the two bay windows in the center, replacing them with a pair of French doors. We loved this idea at first, but the more we thought about it, we had a hard time envisioning how the bay window would look from the porch and the space it would take up as well. The second plan and the contractor we ended up hiring had the same idea, but took it one step further, completely removing the bay window and replacing it with an 8′ sliding door.

This idea was the winner because we no longer had the worry about the awkwardness of function and space of the bay window and French doors opening onto the porch. We also had this wonderful opportunity to resolve an issue that we didn’t think was possible and that was expanding the size of our kitchen. When we purchased our home we truly loved the kitchen and it was the perfect size for our family. However, when it comes to entertaining and everyone always seems to gather in the kitchen, it can get pretty cramped.  The additional square footage we gained by removing the bay window was fairly small, but the visual impact was big and it completely opened up our kitchen.

So, before I show you the changes, here’s a look at what the kitchen looked like pre construction.

Kitchen Before 4

I have to admit I am really going to miss our little breakfast nook.

Kitchen Before 5

Here’s a before look at the bay window from the outside.

Kitchen 9

Here’s a peek from the inside.

Kitchen 17

Now a look at it after the bay window was removed.

Kitchen 14

Before the bay window was removed the crew put up a temporary wall.

Kitchen 4

No construction project is complete without a surprise and for us that was discovering a pipe that was in the wall that was removed. There was no way it was staying there. The only option was to add a header which would allow the pipe to run along the ceiling and down the new back wall. The header created a drop down ceiling in the area by the new door which we are not crazy about, but we’re hoping once everything is painted and complete it won’t be so noticeable.

Kitchen 5

We were so happy when the temporary wall came down as this was the first time we could see what the view of the new porch would look like from the kitchen.

Kitchen 2

The insulation is in.

Kitchen 10

We finally felt like we were making progress in the kitchen after the drywall was complete.

Kitchen 13

The hardwood flooring arrived right before we left for vacation which was perfect timing so it could acclimate for the week.

Kitchen 16

The guys did a great job, the stain was a perfect match! Also, here’s a look at the new window which really helped to brighten up our dark kitchen.

Kitchen 15

So, is anyone wondering what happened to the back door? Well, that’s something I am super excited about and it was a last minute idea that I thought of and my hubby and the contractor loved it (yay me)!

Kitchen Before 2

Here’s a little peek! This project is still a few weeks from completion, but I promise to fill you in on all the details as soon as it’s finished.

Kitchen 21

I just want to say thank you so much for stopping by today and next time I will have lots more pictures to share of the progress on the porch.

Lauren

Turning Our Back Porch Dreaming Into A Reality – Part 1

From the moment we moved into our home we have been dreaming of creating an outdoor living space. A place where we could entertain, visit with family and friends and enjoy dining outdoors, reading, family game nights and naps, lots of naps! Well, after three years we are finally turning that dream into a reality!

A while back I shared a few pictures here and  here of what’s been happening at our house and if you guessed we are building a screened porch or deck, well, you were right and in fact we’re doing both! When we were house hunting here in North Carolina it seemed like every home we looked at had a cozy and inviting screened porch, except of course for the one we ended up buying.  What did we end up with? A neglected deck in need of repair and lots of tlc.

Here are a few before pics.  Not exactly our dream porch! When the crew began tearing down the deck, the railing fell right off with just a light push, scary!

Porch 16

Yes, we  just gave up trying to make it pretty. Not much entertaining going on here.

Porch 14

Porch 13

Screening in the back deck was on the top of the wish list when we first moved in and a project we had hopes of doing sooner than later. The reality was a long list of home maintenance projects that took priority and a few that were unexpected. Once that list started to get a little smaller we began the estimate process for the porch. We ended up getting a total of five estimates and each was very different in design and price. We ended up going with the last one because it was the most creative and helped us improve on the inside of our home as well, which of course added to the cost.

Our initial plans of simply screening in the deck, turned into tearing down the deck, building a new one, building a screened porch, tearing down a wall and removing a door. This became a big project and investment in our home. We decided to take our time so that we were comfortable with our decision. We ended up waiting en entire year and we are really happy we did because we felt like we gave ourselves time to think things through and feel confident in the changes we were making to our home. It also gave us time to save up for the added expenses and know for sure that we had no plans to move anytime soon.

If it weren’t for an evening on the back porch, enjoying a glass of wine with my husband, while getting bitten up by bugs and noticing all of the nails popping up out the wood, there’s honestly a good chance we may still be waiting and thinking . I’m not sure if it was the wine or the bug bites or a combination of the two, but that was the moment we were finally ready to go for it, say goodbye to our rickety old deck and get the construction process started!

It has bee so exciting to see this project come together with each step.

Porch 3

Porch 4

porch 6

We ended up making our deck half the size. My husband is having a little regret about that decision, but I love the smaller version, it is so cozy and is more than enough space for the grill and a few chairs.

Porch 5

We have a roof!

Porch 7

We also decided to move the staircase. I have always wanted to have a wide set of stairs going into our yard so that we can access it more easily. At the base of the stairs we have plans to eventually add a fire pit area, but that will come in time.

Porch 10

Porch 8

This is the part we love the most, the fireplace! Can’t wait to use it in the fall.

Porch 12

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Next time I will be sharing how this outdoor project made it’s way inside. Also, if you  follow me on Pinterest you can see I have pinning away lots of porch and back yard ideas over the past year to get design and decorating ideas for our new outdoor space. You can see my boards here and here. I also created an ideabook on Houzz which you can see here or on my sidebar .

Lauren

Hometalk Succulent Garden Inspirations

I am super excited for the opportunity to curate another clipboard for Hometalk and share it with you today! My first clipboard feature was about inspiring “Gallery Wall Ideas”. This time, it’s succulents! I have such a crush on these pretty little plants, especially after finding so many gorgeous and creative succulent projects on Hometalk!

One of my favorite features on Hometalk is that you can create a clipboard and then clip to it projects that you like. I decided to create a succulent clipboard so that when I am ready to give one these projects a try, they are saved in one place. I can view the clipboard for inspiration or I can click on an individual project that will have instructions on how to create it.

What I discovered while looking through my succulent clipboard is that whether they are simply placed in a shoe, a mason jar or a wagon, these sweet little plants will grow just about anywhere you put them and they have a serious wow factor!

So are you ready for some “Gorgeous Succulent Garden Inspiration”? You can click HERE or on the photo below to see my entire clipboard of these uniquely beautiful projects and super creative ideas on Hometalk!

Succulent Garden Inspiration

Have you joined the Hometalk community yet? If not be sure to stop by where you can get inspired, ask a question or find a pro, it’s free and super easy to sign up! Everyday you will find new projects being shared and tons of inspiring ideas! Well, so long for now, I’m off to look for a few succulents and a fun container to grow them in!

Lauren