Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Step up your Staircase!

Are you looking for an inexpensive update for your 90's home?
If you have the typical, builder-basic oak banister and painted white spindles, why not replace them with iron?

Remember this room from our Use it or Lose it, formal dining room post? Kelly replaced her spindles with beautiful wrought iron balusters.

You can visit a home improvement store with photos of your existing stairs and a count of how many spindles you need.
Cascade Stair

Wrought iron spindles come in different colors and designs to compliment most any home style.

View Along the Way

When it comes to new construction, I'm not a fan of the "plank" but if you have one, wouldn't it look better in iron?

If you're up to it, Interior Design Info has a list of steps (all puns intended) on how to replace the spindles yourself!

Denver Finish Carpenters
Step 1:
Once you have picked your new wrought iron spindles, you need to remove the existing spindles. Cut each spindle only 3/4 through around the middle to prevent the stair spindle from falling out. Once a section is cut, grab at the cut point and pull it towards you.

Step 2: 
Remove all of the unnecessary nails using pliers and discard the broken stair spindles.
Oval iron. Houzz.com
Step 3: 
Measure the space between the hand rail and the floor for each new spindle individually, then add 1" to 1-1/4" to each measurement. Cut the bottom of each spindle to the correct length.
Step 4:

Put the new wrought iron spindle in the hole of the old spindle by putting the top of the spindle in the hole first, then add a shoe to the bottom.
Step 5:

Glue the top and bottom of the new wrought iron spindles and shoes using epoxy.

Budget can't handle 60 new wrought iron spindles?  Try paint!

Layla, from The Lettered Cottage has step-by-step instructions on how to take builder-boring spindles and give them some flare!

The use of black paint in a traditional setting is particularly stunning. Here, they painted the banister, the newel posts and the spindles in black. 

Source unknown

Painting just the banister and newel posts black is a clean and crisp look. Anyone can accomplish a simple update like this one. 
Side note: The whitewashed floors are fantastic too! Having a blond dog makes me question my decision to go with dark floors!

Many homes built in the last couple of decades have the pre-fab stair kits where the spindles are not installed into the stair treads. By painting the top banister and the bottom "rail", it gives the staircase a more updated and custom look.

If you are feeling bold, why not do both? This version features black, painted newel posts and banisters and an installation of iron spindles.

If you don't care for scuff marks on your stair risers, paint them black too!

When used sparingly, black in your interior provides drama and sophistication in design.

Painting your banisters black is a quick, easy and budget-friendly update you can do in a weekend!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Flippin' out over beach house shutters

You all know that I love the beach. We have a little piece of paradise and I try to get there as often as possible. If it weren't for that pesky little thing called income, I'd pack up and start my career as a beach bum today!

Alas...as many weekends as possible and a stolen week or two it is...for now!

Over the winter I decided we needed to amp up our curb appeal by swapping out the plain jane shutters for something to flip for! 

True to form, Patrick turned my stroke of genius into reality by building flip flop shutters...

Then we painted them to match the current color scheme of the beach house.

And I added some details to make them AWESOME!

Georgia carefully supervised the Flip Flop Ops!

Good job Mom & Dad!
Ready to hang!

One up and two to go!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beautiful Spring-blooming Arbor

Since prom season is upon us, I thought I'd share these pics of an adorable couple (our next door neighbor and her boyfriend) posing under our arbor. 

I mean, really, could they be any more beautiful?

As a matter of fact, yes!
My handyman husband, Patrick, built this when we were in our last house and when we moved, it came with us. 
My dog, Georgia, photo bombed my photography session here.

Lady Banks roses need a little help to attach themselves, but make a beautiful statement.
The plant on the other side of the arbor isn't doing quite as well.
If you'd like the plans to build one of these yourself, I'll have to climb in the brain of my creative husband and draw something up for you. It's a combination of about six different photos I showed him. (And it was ten years ago.)

The climbing Hydrangea vine, which can tolerate some sun, isn't climbing as high as I had hoped. I know it needs some sun to flower, and it has enough shade to keep the foliage happy, so what is up?
It's been in the ground for six years and has ONE bloom. Can any of you green thumbs tell me what I'm doing wrong?

One lonely bloom on the climbing hydrangea vine.

I'll share a little tidbit about my husband and I: we are CRAZY for copper. Copper lanterns, copper bathtubs, copper roofs, copper gutters; basically anything copper.


He custom designed the arbor to have curving copper pieces that will weather to a pretty, green patina.

Even the post caps are copper. I thin he would copper-plate his car if he could. I'm going inside now, as the pollen hasn't quite made it's way North just yet. Hope you all enjoyed my Spring photos!
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