How I Sold My House on the First Day and Received Multiple Offers

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It’s spring and as you probably already know the most popular time for selling and buying a home. As I drive around town the realtor and open house signs are popping up left and right! Being the nosey person that I am I hit Zillow anytime one peaks my interest.

When I listed my house for sale two years ago I was ready to move on and had a plan in place. The listing went live and my realtor received many requests for showings. In just the first few hours we received multiple offers! Want to know how?

I hired an amazing realtor. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Everyone knows someone who is fabulous or at the very least can tell you who to avoid. You will be working closely with this person so it is important to have someone that you like and trust. I was lucky enough to have a great realtor as a friend. If you are local to me I will gladly pass along her contact info.

I priced it right. It is very tempting to want to price your home higher. In fact this is what my husband wanted to do. I knew from my own research what comparable homes in my neighborhood had been selling for. When my realtor presented us with our suggested listing price my husband was taken back. We had invested a lot of time and money making improvements over the years. You need to leave the emotions out of it and list your home at a fair asking price. If you list too high your home will either sit on the market or you will receive low offers. Whenever I saw a home that was for sale for a while I questioned what was wrong with it.

I paid attention to the curb appeal. First impressions are everything, especially when looking for a new home. Weed and mulch those flower beds, keep the grass cut, plant colorful flowers and add a few decorative touches. Also be sure to have shutters, railings, gutters and other outside elements in perfect condition. While the buyers are waiting for the realtor to unlock the door they will be looking around. If they see maintenance that needs to be done they will wonder what else you have not been keeping up with.exterior2

I made the house smell good. There is nothing worse than walking into a prospective home with bad odors. It is an immediate turn off. There was a home that I did not even want to step foot in that stunk like moth balls from the front door. Use a light scent or bake something tasty before showings. Please do not put in strong smelling plug ins. That is just as bad as odors and makes people wonder what you are trying to cover up. Take your pets with you if possible. I promise you people (and especially those with allergies like myself) will notice them

I staged my home. Declutter Declutter Declutter. Have you ever visited a model home? They are free from clutter and have a cohesive design throughout the house. Hiring a stager is a great idea. If that is not in your budget and you have a friend who is a good decorator ask them for their opinions.  I staged my home myself but texted pictures to a few friends for opinions. They helped me out very much! As you can see from these photos I kept the accessories to a minimum but still let the home have some personality. Tons of toys were packed up as well as extra decor and kitchen items. We rented a storage unit and emptied most of the contents of our garage. This is a great way to start packing and purging your things!

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I depersonalized the house. People get distracted looking at family photos. I am sure your kids are adorable but they want to envision their own family living in the home. Normally I have a ton of family photos up in our house. To save money I took a few frames and added new neutral artwork to them instead. At Hobby Lobby I found a few decorative posters on clearance. Using the mats that came with the frames I trimmed them to fit and turned them into artwork. I also went through photographs I had taken and printed some scenery and landscape shots in 8×10 prints.

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I made as many repairs ahead of time as possible. We had a window company come out and repair a few windows that had broken seals. Trim was repainted, a few broken blinds were taken down and replaced with curtains instead and grout was redone. When I enter a home as a buyer I take notice of anything that needs to be repaired and start deducting those charges from the price I will be offering. Try to make as many repairs as possible before listing your home. The home inspector will most likely still find some issues but fixing them on your own first will be a big help.

I made the house as neutral as possible and moved rooms back to their intended purposes. I chose paint colors that would be acceptable for many decorating styles. Children’s spaces are fine to remain colorful but main rooms need to be pleasing colors. If you do not agree with me just watch an episode of House Hunters! I personally have no issue since I am the DIY type but to others it is a huge deal apparently. While we lived in this home we used the formal living room as our dining room and the dining room was our office/playroom combo. Seeing the kids while I was cooking was more important to me. I had used the chandelier over my bed in the master and a ceiling fan was in the office. We swapped those back before listing.

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I took good listing photos. In the virtual world we live in today everyone is looking at online listings. This is the very first impression most people are getting of your home. Make it count! Hiring a professional is a great way to guarantee good pictures but I have seen some “interesting” photos. Prime example is my current home. When I first saw the listing I was turned off by the over edit of the pictures. They had a type of dreamy filter on them which blurred the edges and made the lighting very odd. I was not sure if I wanted to add this home to my showings. Well, until I saw the pool and backyard. When I did my photos I took pictures of space from all different angles. I narrowed it down to the best photos to represent our home.

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I made updates that appealed to buyers. Not long before we sold our house the stove had been giving us some trouble. Instead of just repairing it we spent a little bit more money and replaced it. A brand new stove was appealing and looked great on the listing. New floors went in the master bathroom and laundry room. They are now fresh and clean with minimal cost to us.  While we owned the home we had made many updates like trim, hardwood flooring, Travertine tile, new carpeting, granite counter tops, painted cabinets and updated light fixtures. These are all things that buyers are looking for and set us apart from some other homes for sale in the neighborhood that still had the builder grade original finishes.

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I wish you luck on the sale of your home and hope you enjoy house hunting!

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Easter Decor Farmhouse Style

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I love spring and all of the soft pastels surrounding Easter decorations. Any holiday that allows me to decorate with more bunnies is perfect for me! Egg hunts, dressing up and attending the Monument Avenue Easter on Parade in Richmond are just some of the things we look forward to as a family during this season. My kids love it because they know the bunny is going to bring them candy and some goodies!

I haven’t changed the porch since I put up my spring decorations but I did add this cute Easter bunny sign to the door.

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As you come into my  foyer you will see the cute new goodies I found. I love my ceramic egg! Can you believe it was only $6 at TJ Maxx! Those sweet Victorian style eggs were on sale for $.59 at Michael’s! I want to go back and buy more.

 Easter decorating farmhouse style entryway

Easter decorating farmhouse style entryway

My dining room always changes with the holidays. I love styling my buffet for the different seasons. Rae Dunn Easter platters go perfectly with the sweet little chick and bunny decorations. The garland is from the Target bargain area last year and the burlap carrots were this year’s finds.

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Next stop is my kitchen. I kept it simple in there using fresh eggs from our chickens and a linen table runner for a natural look. You may have noticed that I have different kitchen chairs. While browsing Goodwill for outdoor decor to make over I came across these chairs. One of them is damaged so they sold me all 4 chairs for $35! Can you believe it? They need a fresh coat of paint and a little wood glue but that’s it.

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Lastly I added a little Easter fun to the family room. A cute ceramic bunny from the Target bargain area joined my tray on top of the green dresser (also a Target bargain score!).

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I did not add much to this room besides some jelly beans in a candy dish (which lasted all of 2 minutes in the jar before my youngest devoured them).

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Spring time and Easter make me think of the outdoors and baby animals. Bunnies, baby chicks, ducklings, spring flowers are all part of the season to me. My son talked us into buying two sweet Rouen ducklings at Tractor Supply. Sadly we had to rehome them after only a week because I was severely allergic. I had no idea or I would not have bought them. The ducklings grew so fast and my kids were in love with them. They understood we had to give them away but there were plenty of tears from the little one.

Rouen ducklings in Rae Dunn mugs

My picnic basket was purchased to resell but I couldn’t part with it. Luckily Bun Bun willingly participates in my photos. She’s the sweetest!

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The yard is blooming and I love it!

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One last tradition is giving our teachers fresh eggs from our chickens. Last year’s teachers loved it so I hope this year’s do as well! The printable is from Eighteen 25. It’s meant for a sweet treat but I think it’s perfect for eggs too!

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I hope you enjoyed Easter at our house! What traditions does your family have?

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Boys Farmhouse Bedroom Makeover $100 Room Challenge Week 3

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It’s week 3 of the $100 room challenge already. March is flying by! This week I was able to cross off goals 1 through 3 of my farmhouse style bedroom makeover. Yes I know it’s not in order since I completed goal 4 last week but that’s how we roll around here. If you are not familiar with the $100 Room Challenge before, it was created by Erin of Lemons, Lavender and Laundry. You choose a room to makeover in one month on a $100 budget. My progress and before pictures can be found here Week One Week Two

Now for this week’s details:

  1. Add seating. We had this fun blue camouflage/video game inspired print beanbag chair hanging around in my older son’s room and it sometimes lives in the playroom. The colors matched the boy’s bedroom and the price was right (free from shopping the house) so it was a perfect fit.

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2. New bedding. Where has Zipit bedding been all of my parenting life? It is so much easier for the kids to make their own beds now. Making their bed used to be so difficult and it always looked sloppy even when I helped. Now all they have to do is zip it up like a sleeping bag. So awesome!! Even better is that I found them on Wayfair on sale for $40. The retail price is $60! They can be found here. As of this posting the price went up $4 but it’s still an awesome deal!

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3. Update the artwork. This American flag framed art used to hang in my family room. Recently I replaced it with a mirror and planned to use it as a Fourth of July decoration instead. I think it goes along with the farmhouse theme so I let the boys have it. My youngest spotted this rather tacky John Deere license plate in Tractor Supply for $2.52 in the clearance aisle. Being the country boy that he is he HAD to have it so it went into the cart. After all it is their bedroom and I want them to love it.

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Originally these frames contained pictures from a country themed calendar. They were nice but kind of blah. I wanted something more colorful for the boy’s bedroom.

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Recently I took my youngest down to an antique tractor museum about an hour away from us. He was in love! I got some great shots and thought they would be really cute in their bedroom. They would also remind us of the fun outing we had. Reusing the IKEA frames is also saving me some money!

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Budget $100

Money spent so far:

Knob $2.39

Bedding ($40×2) $80

Artwork license plate $2.52

8×10 prints at Walgreens (2) $7.98

Budget left to spend: $7.11

Boy's Farmhouse Bedroom makeover week 3

Boy’s Farmhouse Bedroom makeover week 3

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Spring at the Farmhouse Home Tour

Spring Home Tour

I have teamed up with some amazing blogger friends for the Spring at the Farmhouse blog hop. Each one of these ladies is very talented and has a unique style. Please be sure to visit everyone and show them some love. If you are visiting from Little By Little Farmhouse   I am so happy that you stopped by! Her 1836 Farmhouse is stunning, isn’t it?

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Welcome to my home! I do not have a grand entryway, just this cozy little spot. I’m guessing you noticed the little piggie in the corner.  That’s Neil. He is my shadow and loves to photobomb my pictures. If you follow me on Instagram I often share his antics. He’s a naughty little guy!

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My house is beginning to change over from my darker winter decor to everything light, bright and fun. Second to fall, spring is my favorite season. I am not a big fan of cold and snow. If you are a regular reader of my blog you may remember that I had navy blue curtains and dark plaid throw pillows. They have all be replaced by all white everything! The neutral palette goes well with the pastel colors of spring.

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I have added lots of flowers (faux of course so I don’t sneeze!) to the house. The mantel was kept very simple with a bird’s nest, some forsythia and an adorable church birdhouse. My favorite springtime picture of my boys in a teal frame adds a little pop of color.

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Of course I had to hit up my favorite seasonal shopping place, The Target Bargain Spot, to see what treasures I could find. As usual I was not disappointed! This adorable Hello Spring pillow and the pink wooden tray I used on the dresser made it into my cart in record time. Unfortunately other people in my area have discovered it too so you have to move fast! I love the cheerful colors!

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If you look inside the smaller mason jar you will see the most adorable little nest I found at a boutique near me. The larger jar holds faux robin’s eggs.

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My cozy reading corner received a few spring touches. You know how much I love my bunnies!

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In the opposite corner Harold is sporting a magnolia wreath and I added a fun little chair. It was purchased with the intent of refinishing and selling it but my boys pointed out that it fits here perfectly. They are right! The basket holds fresh eggs that my oldest son collected. My chickens are finally laying again thankfully!

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On the opposite side of the entryway is the dining room. A crisp white linen tablecloth and some fun tulips lighten up this space. On a recent junking trip I found these silver pitchers. My mom is going to have something to say when she sees that I displayed them tarnished but I prefer things to be imperfect (like myself).

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For the centerpiece I found this adorable greenhouse and filled it with dried boxwood plants and some moss eggs. I love a little bit of greenery mixed with the cotton boll.

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My master bedroom also received some spring updates. I changed up the accessories, added some more faux spring flowers and a cute decorative pillow.

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In Virginia it has been unseasonable warm and sunny which made it more challenging to take photos! Not that I am complaining!

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Lastly we head outdoors. This is the first home I have owned with a front porch and I love it. I am enjoying changing it up for the seasons plus I have a great spot to sit and watch my boys when the summer sun is scorching.

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The yard is starting to turn green but still has a ways to go. Crocus and tulips have started coming up!

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We are not the only ones enjoying the early spring weather. My animals are loving it too! Neil loves hanging out on the deck and the chickens beg to get out of the coop and free range. Literally. They will start squawking as soon as they see me. We also have rabbits which will be making an appearance on the blog closer to Easter.

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I hope you enjoyed touring my home for spring. Head over to Little Farmstead next to see what she has in store for you! Be sure to stop by and say hello to my other friends as well!

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Valentine’s Day Decor: Farmhouse Style

Valentine's Day Decor

 

We don’t make a huge fuss over Valentine’s Day like some couples do. Pre-kids there would be a nice dinner out and a small gift. Now it’s a card and that’s about it. I do enjoy celebrating with the kids though!

Some years I do an amazing Pinterest worthy Valentine’s card for classmates and other years we go the lazy route and just do store bought valentines. We are doing both this year. The preschooler is giving his friends boxes of crayons with a cute little saying and the third grader is handing out Star Wars store bought valentines that come with tattoos. All that matters is that they are happy. My oldest is a 6th grader so no more parties for him.

For our mantel I kept it my simple winter neutral look and just added a fun banner from the Target bargain area. If you are not already checking (or stalking in my case) it seasonally you must go!!! They have the cutest accessories and everything is $5 or less.

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Christmas Tree Shops is another store that always has cute seasonal decor. I found this pillow for $10! Don’t mind my little photobombing piglet Neil. He is obsessed with me! Neil follows me all over the house nudging me constantly. If you think it would get annoying after a while you would be correct. You can see more of his antics on Instagram. Having a pig is fun but he is very mischievous! https://www.instagram.com/jerseygirlinthesouthblog/

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This frame gets changed out each season. I came across this free printable from We Heart Parties on Pinterest. If you would like to print one of your own follow this link. She has five available! http://www.weheartparties.com/free-printables/post/2015/1/5-chic-valentines-day-free-printable-signs

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My kitchen does not get much holiday love. The shelves were finally put up this weekend (after living under my couch since November!!!) so I had to give them a little something. This heart sign is also from the Target bargain area for $3.

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For the bathroom I also kept it simple and just added a candle holder with an apple cinnamon candle.

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My dining room was the last room that I decorated. Again it was the Target bargain area for the win. I found this love sign for $3. IMG_9793

I also found this Be Mine banner and the two smaller signs there. The framed picture was made back in my scrapbooking days with my Cricut machine.

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I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s Day tour! For more ideas follow my Pinterest board https://www.pinterest.com/jerseygirlinthe/valentines-day/

 

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Christmas Home Tour 2016

Farmhouse style Christmas home tour

Farmhouse style Christmas home tour

How did it get to be December 7th already? I swear it was just Halloween last week! Everyone is full of excitement in this house for Santa to arrive. Christmas morning is my favorite day of the year. Watching the kids open their gifts makes my heart happy. I do a lot of my Christmas shopping ahead of time so I am not feeling pressured or unprepared right before the big day. Mainly it’s because I can not stand the crowds in the stores. I will even skip my weekly (who am I kidding twice a week) Target shopping trip to escape the madness! Instead we get to spend our time driving around looking at Christmas lights, watching holiday movies and enjoying treats. I am always looking for new ideas and traditions. What do you do in your household?

Most years the house is fully decked out by the weekend after Thanksgiving. For some reason this year I am behind. I decided to concentrate on my dining room and family room mainly this year so I will be giving you a tour of those two rooms. My plan for next year is Christmas in every room!

I purchased this refillable Advent calendar last year from Target. The boys have been looking forward to opening it every morning. My oldest went ahead and peeked (I’m on to you kid and I know you’ve been hunting for gifts too!!) so he knows what is coming up but the two younger ones are still surprised. I love it! I wanted to hang it from my old chippy window. While daydreaming I imagined it crashing to the ground as one of the numbers was being opened. Quickly I changed my mind. I think it looks cute (and safer) sitting on the buffet. Instead I hung this card garland I found at Target from the window.

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See my adorable flocked tree? They are a hit on Instagram. You can find them at Walmart for the super low price of $12!!! I could not believe it! Word has gotten out and they are hard to find. They have gorgeous flocked wreaths too. Now run to Walmart before they are all gone!!

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This adorable Merry sign is from the Target bargain area, which is also another hot spot this season. I plan to paint it red but I have been too lazy to do it yet. My little red ceramic truck on the buffet was purchased there too. It was hard to resist the urge to buy all the things.

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On my front door is a cute little snowman I found at Christmas Tree Shops last year for $8. If you have one of their locations near you check it out! It is not only Christmas decor. Yes there is a lot of junk but you will also find some treasures and cheap K cups.  Mr. Happy Holidays is now sitting in the corner next to the door. My suction cup will not stop falling off and I was sick of putting it back up.

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I kept the dresser top simple and just put a faux wreath over my antique grain scoop. I filled it with leftover Christmas balls from the tree.

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Do you like my faux fur and knit stockings? They are another Christmas Tree Shops find for $8 each. I had some Pottery Barn Kids stockings in my online shopping cart but I didn’t pull the trigger. On a shopping trip I decided to check CTS and I am glad that I did. I got the instant gratification of not waiting for them to be delivered. Plus I saved myself a lot of money!

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Snow globes always scream Christmas joy to me. Bonus points because it lights up! The sign is another Target bargain spot find as is my blanket scarf being used as a throw. The pillow cover is from Amazon. They take a very long time to ship but for the price they are worth it. Did you know Rae Dunn makes adorable Christmas mugs too?

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On the opposite corner of the family room is our big buck Harold sporting a magnolia wreath from Hobby Lobby. And the truck pillow? You guessed it. Target again.

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On the end table next to my couch I have displayed a cloche with bottle brush trees and an awesome free printable from The Turquoise Home blog. You can download your own at http://theturquoisehome.com/o-holy-night-free-printable/

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Moving on to the other side of the family room. My nativity set is usually displayed in my dining room but I wanted to try something new this year. I am loving how the colors pop against the green dresser. This set belonged to my grandmother and when I moved out on my own in college my parents handed it down to me. I treasure it and look forward to setting it up each year.

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Last but certainly not least is my Christmas tree.  My shatterproof ball ornaments are one of my best bargain finds ever! Do you want to hear the story? Good. I was sifting through the wasteland that is the 90% off Christmas clearance at Target. It’s mostly broken pieces, wrapping paper and gift bags. I am there all.the.time and the employees recognize me. Sad, I know. One of the stockers came up to me and said we forgot to put these boxes of ornaments out and just found them in the back. They are ringing up $2 each for a huge container. Do you want to buy them? Ummm YES PLEASE! I did leave some for another person because I am not greedy. Only spending $10 I was able to get a whole tree full of ornaments and still had extras to spare! Talk about a major bargain high!

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The boys put the ornaments on and for once I left them that way. As a result there may be two on the same branch or colors that are way too close together but that is how they wanted it. Soon enough I will be doing the tree alone to my liking and missing my boys decorating it with me. It can look a little haphazard for now.

From our family to yours we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

 

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Fall Home Tour 2016

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Fall is my favorite season! The temperature starts to cool down but it’s still warm enough not to need coats, hats and all that mess. As much as I love flip flops I am eager to wear my new fall boots! There is something fun going on every weekend and it’s perfect fire pit weather.  I can do without the ragweed pollen and the rainy few weeks we have had though!

I am not a pumpkin spice fan (I know! The horror! You can revoke my basic girl card now) and I don’t like pumpkin pie but I can’t get enough of pumpkins in my decor. Per the usual Target did not let me down. I went to every store in the area an embarrassing amount of times to collect all of their awesome fall stuff from the bargain spot. Half of my decorations were purchased there this year. If you haven’t been lately it’s worth the trip!

The cozy throws I have on the rocking chairs are really blanket scarves. I had bought one to wear but it was entirely too hot. I was having trouble finding a second one in the same pattern so I cut mine in half. Shh…don’t tell. Aren’t these pillows cute? Also from Target!

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In the foyer I styled my chalk painted pumpkins with another blanket scarf in a metal crate. I love it alongside my brass quail from Goodwill and my faux sunflowers from Hobby Lobby. You can see how to make your own pumpkins and also how I painted the dresser here. http://www.jerseygirlinthesouth.com/diy-projects-and-crafts/

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In the dining room I tried to stay with simple, rustic decorations. The Thankful banner is another Target find from last year. I styled the tray on the table with things I had around the house (grapevine balls, burlap ribbon, tray and candle holder) and a bag of gourds and mini pumpkins from the grocery store.

 

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Do you see my new grain scoop on the buffet?

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I did not decorate the kitchen for fall except for the coffee station. Rae Dunn mugs are my favorite! They have such cute sayings and I buy them whenever I find them at Homegoods. My rack is full now so I will have to move onto bowls and trays. 😉

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My family room colors are the perfect backdrop for fall decorations with a quick change of the couch pillows. I also swapped out the greenery and changed up the mantel a little bit. I decided to stay simple and neutral. It will change over to Halloween next month but I like this look for September and November. I’ve been on the hunt for birch branches to fill the olive bucket.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing my fall decor! If you are not already following me on Instagram please do @jerseygirlinthesouthblog I have been posting my decor changes over there. I also love seeing everyone’s homes.

 

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How to: DIY Chalk Paint Pumpkin with Twine Stem

How to Chalk Paint Pumpkins

As you may have already figured out I am in love with chalk paint. I think it’s the easiest way to transform a boring and outdated object into something spectacular.

My husband got down the fall decor bins out of the attic for me the other day after I nicely asked several times aka bugged him until he did it. I started going through them to see what goodies I could find. Last year I did not decorate for fall as our house had some construction projects going on and I could not remember what I had saved.  We did A LOT of purging before we moved but I still kept a few things that I was not totally in love with. Example: these too bright and obviously fake plastic pumpkins.  The decor in my new house has made a change to a more neutral pallette.

I have been loving white pumpkins, burlap and natural textures. The only problem was I didn’t own any, well until now! Instead of dropping them off at Goodwill I tried to see what they would look like with a fresh coat of paint. I figured why not? The worst I could do was ruin them. My youngest decided to “help” and drew on the tall ceramic pumpkin with green marker so I needed to do something to fix it anyway. I have owned these pumpkins for about 15 years so I got my money’s worth out of them already. A roll of twine was found in my gift wrapping stash and the white chalk paint was leftover from painting my dining room furniture. This was a zero budget project! My favorite kind!

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I started out with 5 pumpkins and ended up only keeping 4 of them. I just was not feeling the short fat one once I started painting it. Sometimes I am not happy with my DIY results and that’s ok. No harm, no foul and into the trash it went.

How to:

Step 1-Gather fake pumpkins that need a makeover. They can be ones you already own or you can buy new. Dollar Tree, Walmart, Michaels and other craft stores are filled with them. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles.

Step 2-Get chalk paint of your choosing and a foam brush. I used Americana Decor chalk paint in Everlasting. https://decoart.com/americana-decor/chalky-finish/paint It’s a pure white. There are many brands of chalk paint to choose from. Americana Decor and Annie Sloan are my two favorites. I have built up a nice paint stash the past few years. I buy big packs of foam brushes since I find they give me the best results. They are cheap and I throw them away when I am done. Easy peasy cleanup. It is not worth it to me to save them.

If you want to cover the pumpkin stems with twine find a roll or you can paint them for a more realistic look. My twine is from The Bargain Spot at Target from last year but you can purchase it at most big box stores and hardware stores.

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Step 3-Paint two coats of chalk paint allowing them to dry in between coats. I use a pencil as a paint stirrer since the jars are so small and dip my foam brush right into the paint. I found it easier to paint in the grooves first and then go back and do the whole pumpkin.

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Step 4-Unroll the twine. Tuck an end under the cheesy plastic stem. You can secure it with glue if you choose to but I was able to get my twine to stay without it. Wrap the twine around the stem to cover it fully. I wound it around twice and tucked the cut end back under the stem by pushing it in with the tip of a pair of scissors. Again you can use glue to hold it but I was able to make mine stay all by itself. I chose to do a simple bow instead of wrapping the stem on the ceramic pumpkin. There was no way to hide the ends of the twine. I could have glued it to the back side but I wanted to be able to have all sides of my pumpkin visible.

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Step 5-Admire your work and style your fabulous new to you pumpkins! My pumpkins found a home for now in the foyer. I put them in a metal basket (found on clearance at Hobby Lobby) with this awesome $7 blanket scarf from Target’s bargain spot. If you have not been there lately you must go! So many fall goodies and they are selling out fast! The brass quail were a Goodwill find a few weeks ago. Aren’t they cute? I was going to paint them too but I decided I like the brass for now. I swapped out my summer flowers to these faux sunflowers, also from Hobby Lobby. The dresser is another chalk paint project and can be found under the DIY and crafts tab of my blog.

The possibilities are endless with this project. You do not have to go with white. The pumpkins would be cute in black or deep purple for Halloween or a fun color that matches your other seasonal decor. You could also add patterns, polka dots or whatever look you are going for! It’s really that simple!

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If you decide to replicate my project I would love to see your results! You can tag me on Instagram or on Facebook @jerseygirlinthesouthblog .

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My summer family room tour

Family room styled for summer

The best part about having a neutral decor palette is the ability to easily change pillows and accessories with the seasons. I never have to worry about my seasonal items matching the furniture or wall color. The first floor of the house is updated for each holiday. For the summer I decided to keep out the Americana style pillows that I found at Target late July on clearance (70% off! yay!). The patriotic look just says summer to me and they tie in with the two pieces of flag wall art I have in the room. The red and white bandana print pillows are double sided (the other side being a plain linen) and are easy to coordinate with seasonal ones by simply flipping them over. I did take down the Fourth of July banner and sign I had on the mantel and left it very basic with minimal decor.

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The armoire is actually a matching piece to my bedroom set. We downsized when we moved to this home and there was no way it would fit into our current bedroom. The movers were happy to hear that! This sucker is solid and HEAVY. I’m still searching for artwork to add to the wall on the right side. I am taking my time finding pieces that I love rather than buying “something” just to fill the space.

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I found this sweet little side table at Hobby Lobby (for $10! 90% off) a few weeks ago. The small blue table that was previously in this space has been relocated to the master bedroom next to my chair.

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Tucked in the corner is a small rocking chair that belonged to my great grandmother on my mother’s side. The pillow is from Target and reverses to a red striped pattern. The curtains are light blocking panels purchased from Target last year. They work well keeping it cool in here from the blazing hot Virginia sun. With so many windows and sliding doors this room heats up quickly!

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This is the corner next to the kitchen. I am in love with this dresser. You can see my previous post about it here: http://www.jerseygirlinthesouth.com/chalk-painted-dresser-love/

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The empty space near the back door used to be The Little One’s second toy area. He wanted to be near me every minute of the day and luckily he has (mostly) gotten over that. I need my space! The toys have been moved into the playroom. This week I have been perusing Pinterest for DIY plans to build a sofa table. I have not made up my mind yet which one I am going to attempt to build. My husband is burnt out on projects right now so this one is all me. Hopefully The Big One will help…

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I hope you enjoyed my “summer look”! Do you change your decor seasonally too?

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DIY Chalk painted dresser

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How many dressers does this lady have in her house??? I only have two downstairs so I don’t think that qualifies me as a dresser hoarder. Yet. I am not a clutter person and piles drive me insane. If I can clean up quickly by shoving everything into drawers I am a much happier mom. 😉

I used to have a cute little bench with baskets for the kid’s shoes and winter gear plus hooks for them to hang their baseball hats and coats in this spot. That didn’t last very long. The kids pulled the coat rack right out of the wall yanking on their hats and broke it. The shoes never quite made it into the basket. They seemed to keep multiplying all over the floor. Pile of papers wound up on the bench too. Did I mention my hatred for piles? The bench now resides at the kitchen table and it also received a chalk paint makeover.

I started looking for a better solution and decided to recycle one of the kid’s dressers into a storage piece for the foyer. We bought all three boys new bedroom furniture and I only had space in the two younger boy’s shared bedroom to keep one of dressers. I planned to sell this one along with the two twin beds and nightstands. I’m so glad I talked myself out of it! The beds and nightstands found new homes with friends and the dresser stayed here while I decided what to do. Instead I bought a rolling metal cart for the shoes to keep in the closet. The shoes still end up in a pile on the bottom of the closet half of the time but at least I am no longer tripping over them. Pick your battles and all that. The rest of the other mess went right into the dresser. Inside the drawers are all of their hats and gloves, their rabbit care supplies that used to live in the closet and random stuff that needs to go to school.

Enough rambling. Now onto the DIY part. I am a HUGE chalk paint fan. In the beginning I was all about Annie Sloan chalk paint and their beautiful line of colors.  I still love it but have since found a less expensive option at Hobby Lobby, Americana Decor chalky finish paint. Since I only purchase it on sale or use my coupon the cost is so low. It makes the bargain hunter in me happy! I own multiple colors and have refinished several pieces using this paint. For this dresser I chose Serene, a soft pale blue. I finished it with a coat of soft touch varnish. It’s so simple! This is not a sponsored post even though it may sound like it. I just wanted to share what works for me.

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Directions (According to me. Others may do this another way):

Clean the surface to be painted (No sanding or any other prep work!!! Really! It’s true!)

Remove the drawers from the dresser and remove hardware.

Using a foam brush gently paint using long strokes (A bristle brush is fine too if you want the look of fine brush strokes)

Let it dry completely before putting on a second coat if you plan to do one. (Totally optional)

Let the second coat dry. Distress using sandpaper if you choose to.

Apply a coat or two of varnish (I only do this for pieces that see a lot of use. Picture frames, etc. I don’t bother)

Let it dry overnight or longer if possible before using it.

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Normally people would do two coats of chalk paint. For this dresser and the red one I did for my boy’s room (watch for that post!) I only did one coat. I wanted some of the original wood grain color to show through. The paint odor is minimal so I painted inside with multiple fans running and both sliding glass doors and windows open. I opted not to paint the original wood knobs and instead went with these mother of pearl look glass knobs from Hobby Lobby. I love the way they transformed the look of a kid’s dresser into a more feminine adult piece. I, of course, waited for them to go on sale for 50% off (happens every few weeks).

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All that was left to do was move it into place and anchor it to the wall using a safety strap (VERY important if you have young children!).

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So, what do you think? What have you chalk painted in your home? If you are not already following me on Pinterest please check out my boards. So many chalk painted projects and inspiration pieces can be found on there!

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