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.


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 .


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!


HOME Sweet Home Wall Art Project

Today’s project is another that came from the “to be donated” pile in the garage. I guess it’s a good thing that I have been too lazy to load it all in the car and drop it of at the thrift store.  Now that my creative slump is over for the most part, that pile has been getting a little smaller and it feels really good to make use of things I thought I no longer needed or had room for. This frame is part of a pair that hung in the hallway of our previous house, but I just never found the right spot for them here.

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

This project took a few hours to complete and it was very easy and fun to make. The supply list included the frame, glue gun, Mod Podge, scrap piece of fabric, rope and letters. Other than the letters I had everything on hand so this was a very budget friendly project.  I purchased the letters from Hobby Lobby and they were half price at the time. If you don’t have a store near you, you can purchase them online.

I started by removing the backing and insert of the frame. I had planned to remove the glass as well, but it was securely attached to the frame.

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

I then used the backing that I had taken out as my template to measure the fabric size I would need to cover the glass.  Next, I used a craft paint brush to cover the glass with a thin layer of the Mod Podge. While it was still wet I laid the fabric on top and applied another layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric.

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

Once it was dry I attached my H O M E letters with my glue gun.

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

To hide the frayed edges of the fabric I used some rope I had on hand and attached it with my handy glue gun. I found this rope at Lowe’s and I think I paid around $8.00 for it and have used it for so many projects. I really like how it finished off the piece.

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

I ended up hanging my new HOME sign in our garage by our door. Here’s a little peek. This chalk board painted wall in the garage is part of a bigger project I started a few years ago which I still have yet to finish and well now it’s just too darn hot. I am planning to finally finish this project and share with you in the fall when the weather cools off.

Home Sweet Home Wall Art Project

Here’s another peek at what’s been happening at our house. We are so excited to finally begin working on our neglected back yard and saying good bye to our old deck that was in need of major repair. I have so much to share about this little project that turned into a much bigger one than we first envisioned when we purchased our home three years ago. I will be sharing all the details and tons of before and after pictures with you in July and August. Here’s another peek.

Deck 1

Deck 2

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

It feels so good to be back to blogging and working on projects around the house! Today I am sharing a plain lamp shade that got an easy makeover with some scrap fabric. I had planned to simply cover the lamp shade with the fabric using a spray adhesive, but as my luck would have it lately, that scrap piece of fabric was about 2 inches shy from covering the lamp shade completely, thanks to a piece that was cut out of a corner. This fabric was leftover from another project for my daughter’s room which we are in the process of updating. I really didn’t want to have to go out and buy another yard and I was determined to make this scrap piece work! After trying to pull, stretch and angle the fabric to fit around,  I realized it just wasn’t going to happen. So then I got to thinking, what if I cut the fabric into strips . I figured I may as well give it a try.  As I was cutting the strips I got a little nervous that I would end up running out of fabric to go all the way around, but I ended up having a bit of fabric to spare which was a big relief! The best part of this project is that the strips ended up creating the look of a pleated lamp shade.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makevoer

This project did take a little longer to finish than the basket project I shared last week. There were several steps to each strip and this did take some time. I think it took around two hours to complete, but it was very easy to do.

I started by measuring the height of the lamp shade, this one is 10″. This helped me to figure out how long to cut each strip. I didn’t want the strips to be too long,  just enough to fold over so that I could neatly attach to the lamp shade.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

I then cut the fabric into strips using my rotary cutter and mat. The width will depend on how pleated you want the shade to look,these strips were cut 3″ wide. I then folded over each side and used my iron the press for a finished look. I eyeballed the folding over part so I am sure each strip varies in width a bit, but you can’t tell once you start attaching and layering the strips.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

I used the seam on the lamp shade as my starting point for applying the strips of fabric.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

Once all of the strips were cut and pressed I began gluing them onto the shade. I used a low temp glue gun because it was impossible to not touch the glue when pressing the fabric onto the lampshade. I did burn my fingertips quite a few times. I think fabric glue may also work, but it will take longer to dry and can also be messy.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

I only glued at the top and bottom on the inside. Because the fabric is pulled fairly tight I did not feel there was a need to add any additional glue.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

Here’s what it looks like on the inside. It’s not perfect, but you can’t tell from the outside.

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

I honestly didn’t know how this project would look once it was all finished. It wasn’t until I put the shade on the lamp and turned on the light that I could really see how pretty the faux pleats looked. I really love how this lamp turned out and my daughter does too, yay!

Faux Pleated Lamp Shade Makeover

I’ll be back again next week with another project and I will also be filling you in on what that big pile of wood in our driveway was all about. Have a wonderful weekend!


A Quick and Easy Basket Makeover

Well, it sure has been a while. I honestly never planned to take such a long break from blogging, it just happened. These past few months I have had so many ideas for projects and posts running through my head, but the days quickly turned into weeks and the weeks into months. It was difficult for me to dedicate the time or have the energy to blog and the longer I was away it became harder to find the words to write. One day I will go into more detail about what was taking priority in my life, but for now I am excited to do my best to get back on track with blogging and sharing projects.  So, let’s get started!

Lately, I haven’t been feeling too inspired to tackle any big projects around the house. However, if it’s quick, easy, cheap or involves things I already have on hand and I can do it while catching up on a few episodes of my favorite reality shows, then bring it on! Over the past few weeks I have been able to tackle a few projects that fit that criteria and I can’t wait to share them with you throughout the month.

The first project is a basket that I have had for years and a while back it ended up in the garage in a pile of things I had intended to donate. That is until one day as I was organizing paint cans I came across a jar of Martha Stewart Living Metallic paint and thought, hmmmm, “can I use this stuff on that basket?” I figured what the heck and gave it try.

Basket Makeover - The Endearing Home

Looking at this basket now I can’t believe I was going to give it away, I really love its shiny new look. It always amazes me how a little paint can completely transform either a room, a piece of furniture or something as simple as a basket.

Basket Makeover - The Endearing Home

Basket Makeover - The Endearing Home

This project was so easy to do and took a total of an hour from start to finish. I absolutely love this paint, it goes on so smoothly, dries fast and was really easy to apply. It took three coats and I simply applied it with a craft brush.

Basket Makeover - The Endearing Home

I have had this paint sitting in my garage for the past year and I was planning to purchase more, until I saw on the Home Depot website that many of the colors in this line of paint have been discontinued. However, you can still find several colors in Home Depot stores. Another option for paint are the Martha Stewart Living Metallic craft paints that can be found at stores such as Michael’s and the Home Depot website and these craft paints come in a wide variety of colors. I tested this paint on another basket and it worked just as well.

Basket Makeover - The Endearing Home

Well, that’s all for now but I will be back again soon with another project to share. Before I go here is a little peek at what’s been happening at our house. Any guesses? Don’t worry I will be sharing all the details soon!

House Project - The Endearing Home

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks so much for hanging in there with me over the past few months, you all are the best!


A New Wreath To Welcome Spring!

After the wreath and  holiday decor on the front porch came down months ago, our door has been looking  pretty bare. With so many other things going on lately, I just wasn’t feeling very inspired to make a new wreath and the others that were stored in the garage were looking faded and in need of some sprucing up, but again just wasn’t feeling very inspired. Then one day while searching through my bag of coupons, I saw an  AC Moore rewards certificate that was about to expire and I suddenly began to feel some inspiration. So I headed over to the store in the nick of time, wandered the isles and came up with a plan to create a new wreath for Spring. We have a red door which can be a little challenging when choosing colors to use. I wanted it to be simple and cheerful and something I could keep up for several months so I went with a mix of greens, browns and burlap.

Spring Wreath - The Endearing Home

I used my rewards certificate to purchase the wreath form, two rolls of burlap, brown floral wire and roll of twigs. I’m not sure what it’s actually called because there was no tag other than the price, but it looks like twigs to me so I’m going with that, “roll of twigs”. I found the tulips at Michael’s for less than $3.00 per bunch and I already had the ribbon and nests. I think I have a bird nest collecting problem because I have a ton of nests around the house. I simply can’t resist them, they are just too pretty! If you are looking for a nest I just found a really cute one at Steinmart. I actually ended up layering the nests for the wreath. The top nest is one I found at Kirkland’s last year and I just clipped it on the larger one.

Spring Wreath - The Endearing Home

This wreath was really easy to put together, but the twig wrapping was a little, ok a lot, messy! I started by wrapping the form with burlap and securing with  a little glue. I  then attached the tulips, nest and twigs with the brown floral wire. I usually glue everything on, but decided it would be easier to change if I used the wire instead. Before I wrapped the twigs around the wreath I unrolled and cut the small wires that hold the roll together. I only wanted to use a few strands for a less uniform look. This was the messy part of the project, but it was worth the effort because it helped to hide the brown floral wire and added some nice interest to wreath.

Spring Wreath - The Endearing Home

Spring Wreath - The Endearing Home

I think cleaning up the twigs took longer than actually making the wreath, but it was worth the mess and time and now our front door is looking all pretty again!

Savvy Southern Style


Layered Plates: A Quick and Easy How To

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

After some recent posts I received a few e-mails and comments from readers who spotted the layered plates in the kitchen, wondering how I attached them. So today I thought I would share how I put them together for hanging on the wall.

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

Layering the plates just sort of happened by accident. After things got moved around in the dining room and the plates came down, I thought they would look nice in the kitchen. I had lots of plates to work with, but not enough wall space. I couldn’t decide which to use and when I hung just the single plates on the wall, it looked sort of “blah”.  So I started to play around with them and layering and I really liked how it added dimension and interest to the wall.  Oh and the bird nest is hiding a chip in the plate.

OK, so here is my quick and easy layered plate “how to”.

Step 1: Find two plates in different sizes that you think look good together.

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

Step 2: Attach and center a plate hanger to each plate. I found these at Lowe’s and they were just a few dollars each. Make sure the plate hangers are the right size for each plate, if they are too loose they will slide and fall off. Also, when assembling do so on a soft surface just in case. I used inexpensive plates from Home Goods so I was not too worried, but it’s no fun to break a plate.

Step 3:  Turn the plates over and use ribbon of your choice to attach the plate hangers together and tie ribbon in a secure knot.

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

Step 4: Gently flip smaller plate on top of larger plate and then hang on the wall with a hook appropriate for the weight of the plates.

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

This is what it will look like from the top…

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

and this is what it will look like from the front.

Layered Plates - The Endearing Home

So, if you have some pretty plates and a little wall space, hope you will give it a try. It’s quick, easy and budget friendly decorating too!

Linking up with:

That DIY Party


Feature Friday!

Doing a happy dance and sending a great big “THANK YOU” to Rhoda of Southern Hospitality for including our home in her Feature Friday series which you can see here!  I hope you’ll stop by to check it out and say hello to Rhoda. I have been following her blog for so many years, I just love her style!

Over the past month I have been a busy bee updating my home tour for the feature. I still have lots of projects in the works around the house and will be adding more rooms to the tour soon. You can see my home tour here. Today I am working on taking and editing pictures of our foyer to show you a new addition to the space, which I will be sharing in the next few days!

Dining Room - The Endearing Home

Have a great weekend everyone!


Updated Family Room Tour

Over the past month I have been working on updating my home tour and today I am wrapping things up with the family room. Back in November I had shared changes to the room here. Also, when the fabulous Kim of Savvy Southern Style invited me to be a guest in her “favorite room” series I was so excited that I took new pictures just for that feature. I never shared those new photos though here on my blog.

The room is pretty much the same from the most recent changes other than adding a few new pillows, two additional curtain panels and taking down all of the blinds in the room. The wood blinds had been hanging in the windows since the home was built in 1997. They had yellowed over the years and were a constant dust collector. Our home is surrounded by trees which provide lots of shade and privacy so the blinds were actually pulled up most of the time. I was worried I might regret removing them, but now that they are down I love how much brighter and open the room feels.

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

Here are a few of the pictures that I first shared over at Savvy Southern Style.

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

The Endearing Home - Family Room Updates

Well, now that my home tour is updated for the time being I can get back to working on all of unfinished and planned projects, crafts and another room makeover or two. Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Sherwin Williams: Ramie (wall color)

Stacy Furniture: Sofa (Bernhardt), Two tone chest (painted after we moved in)

Haverty’s: Club chair, coffee and end table (Southport Collection)

Country Curtains: Buffalo check curtains and pillow

Weirs: TV console (it was also painted after we moved in)

Steinmart: Floor lamp

Lowes: Mercury glass curtain rods, plant

Michael’s: Blue ceramic container

Kohl’s: Mercury glass candle holders

Kirkland’s: Glass table lamp with linen shade, table runner

Pier One: Pair green pillows, small blue pillow

Etsy: Ocean prints (http://www.etsy.com/shop/BelleMerGraphics), pair ticking pillows ( https://www.etsy.com/shop/InteriorLuxuries)

Pottery Barn: Monogrammed pillow sham, blue pillow sham, burlap lampshade, mercury glass lamp, silver mirror, floor lampshade

Ballard Designs: Apple green velvet pillow, silver table

Home Goods/TJ Maxx: Tall blue glass vase, small blue glass vase, small blue glass candle holders, tabletop picture frames, blue wall frames, mercury glass jar, ivory throw, French style chair, linen basket, boxwood plants

World Market: Baskets under coffee table, tall blue glass candle holders

Craigslist: Black painted cabinet

Hobby Lobby: Green flowers and greenery

Target: Large basket

decorsteals.com: Boxwood wreaths, wood tray (on wall)