Before & After

Some Like It Hot

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

I’ve received several emails lately inquiring about painting the brass exterior surround of a fireplace.  My response has always been to try a brand of high temperature specialty paint.   I’ve passed this product several times in the paint aisle at Home Depot and Lowes.  Over the summer, I even considered repainting the outside of our old BBQ.  But I have never actually gotten around to trying it out until today.  This morning, I bought a quart of Rustoleum’s High Heat black paint at Lowes for $13 dollars.  This afternoon, I was able to give my two fireplaces a fresher look for very little cost, and without replacing any parts. 

First, I tackled the living room fireplace.  I’ve always loved the existing cream marble tile surround and the white mantle, but the brass trim and wood handles?   No thanks.  It looked very dated in my opinion. I really wanted it to be less brassy.  But replacing the doors was cost prohibitive.  So I tried this specialty paint today, and in about twenty minutes, the fireplace was transformed into something I believe looks much more fresh and modern. 

So long brass trim. 

before and after living room

Here’s another glance from afar.

b and a fireplace

Here’s what I did.

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Bathtub Bliss

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

I almost didn’t post this article.  This almost never happened.

Not because I don’t want to talk to you all.  Believe me, I do. It’s just that I am dangerously close to disappearing from the earth into a new twilight zone known as my master bathtub.

Now I am a gal who finds no greater bliss than taking an evening bubble bath.  A hot bath + a glass of red wine + a bit of dark chocolate + my iPod + twenty minutes to myself = priceless.  No vacation spot could ever compare.

Since I am an attorney, I feel a warning label is appropriate at this time.

warning label 2

Now that I’ve finally put the finishing touches on my master bathtub space, you may never ever ever EVER hear from me again.

bath from side

It looks posh, but compared to most designer spaces, it really wasn’t that expensive.

Do you want to see the ‘Before’ ?

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Money Saving Media Center

Monday, September 14th, 2009

When we expanded our home three years ago, we added a small studio above our garage.  We wanted to add value by building a separate “granny” unit, and also provide a place for guests.  The studio was intended as a source of future income.  With its own small kitchen, it can be rented out to a tenant, or perhaps even turned into a vacation rental someday. 

For the first two years after our remodel, this space was completely unfinished.  Over the last year, we’ve slowly brought this space up to livability standards.  We even had my folks staying with us while their house was on the market. 

Since we are expecting a boatload of family and friends through the harvest season and holidays, it was high time I provided my guests with a comfortable space.  This weekend I focused on the media wall.  Formerly plain and sad, it is now organized and media friendly.  I built my own media center by repurposing some bookshelves and adding a custom display ledge. 

Here is the Before:

studio wall before

Here’s the After:

media center afterwards

Here’s how I did it.

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