A Fireplace Refresh

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
A few weeks ago I was able to do a fireplace refresh and it felt so good to finish this space off for my client (at least for now haha….. custom corbels that fit the mantle are coming in soon). It was a cute space to begin with, but a few extra touches really took it to the next level.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
One of the first things I suggested was that we replace the tile on the hearth. I decided that a good way to do this was to paint the interior bottom tiles the same black as the painted brick and just redo the front part. It made for an easier job so there was no need to mess with the gas lines and it saved money on the tile. You can see in the pictures below how I had painted the inside and then tore out the front tiles. It was my first time ever removing tiles and just that little area was a bit tiring to do. It was a good learning experience lol.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
My client decided on these beautiful tiles and since it was a small space I just used a bucket of premixed mastic and grout to finish the job. Once that had all dried, I started to trim out a lot of the edges on the wall, fireplace, and bookshelf. My client had removed some sheet rock at some point and discovered all the wood underneath, so a few of us told her it would be so pretty to expose it! She had the drywall on one side wall and the fireplace all removed. While this was pretty, it was kind of rough looking in some spots since it was not installed for the point of being exposed. There were also some spots previous contractors had just left unfinished and that bugged me. Oh and there was some big gaps around the fireplace that needed to be covered up as well. I had to custom cut the trim myself from this 4’x8′ piece of plywood to make sure all the corner wall seams would be covered up. I love this type of plywood because it is really thin so it doesn’t look too chunky and is super affordable. I cut 8′ long strips of 2.25″ and installed them where needed. I then used the leftover grout from the hearth to fill in the gaps in between the bricks and the wood.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
After using a nail gun to get all the trim in place, I caulked around everything. Once all of that was dry, I went back and touched up the black paint on the fireplace sides and added a quarter round to the hearth since there had not been one there. That made for a nice finished look.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
My client then helped me paint all the wood in Benjamin Moore White Dove. It’s a pretty white that isn’t so harsh on your eyes. I noticed undertones of gray which went well with the colors in this room. She had whitewashed the walls before, but we talked and decided that solid paint fit the style of her living room more. I personally feel the painted walls make everything else pop a lot more than before.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
Oh, and one other thing I did was add some extra trim to the mantle. She had a mutual friend of ours make the mantle and it was lovely, but she wanted it to have a little more to it to go with the rest of her decor. I added a few types of trims and then put these pretty corbels she had back up. While it is lovely, we did go and custom order some corbels that will fit the space better. Those come in soon, but it still is just lovely. Isn’t it amazing how finishing things up in a house can make a world of difference?

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
And if you’re curious, the stain used on the mantle, shelves, and quarter round is Minwax Early American. I’m really enjoying doing small jobs like these and am continuously learning a lot. And who knows, maybe one day we will get some type of fixer upper and really have some fun! -jess

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover – The Maddox House

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
This past year I have started taking on some interior design clients. I love doing things well and on a budget (as has always been shown on this blog) and others have wanted me to help them do the same. After helping with doing some big makeovers at my church (which I will also get blogged about one of these days lol), I began first working with a friend on her home. She wanted a change and loves the farmhouse look but it needed to happen within a budget. So I came over and we talked about all the different type of changes that we could do to make the biggest impact to give her space a farmhouse kitchen makeover. The main obvious and most cost effective changes were to paint the cabinets and walls, add a new light fixture, and install a backsplash.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
You can see in the “before” pictures below that the walls were a bright yellow, the cabinets were really dark, there was no backsplash, and well I didn’t get a picture with the old light fixture but it was your basic builder type. She really wanted to lighten things up, so I talked to her about the colors and undertones in her counter tops and flooring and what would be good to compliment them since those things would be staying.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
The very first thing we did was paint the walls Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams. It’s a color that compliments the other rooms in her home, which I will get to share later. That immediately changed the whole feel of the kitchen and brightened it up. Next we painted the kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Graphite. It’s a black color but it has these gray undertones so that next to the counter tops it looks like the dark gray we wanted. Now my friend did most of the cabinet painting and it was tiring, but there was little prep. She cleaned them all real good and then we both started painting them together. All in all she only used four quarts to do all of these cabinets! I couldn’t believe how far that paint went. I had read reviews about what to use as a sealer and went with a polycrylic finish. This really protects the paint and makes it super easy to clean. My friend loves it! She has two young boys and says she has had no problem keeping it clean or paint chipping. In hind sight, we should have used the matte polycrylic though lol. Her home is high off the ground, so when the sun reflects in from the front the cabinets show the brush strokes from the polycrylic. I’m not sure why we didn’t get matte or if it was an accident and by the time it was on it was too late…… but my friend doesn’t mind and it is more exaggerated in the pictures than in real life. But, if you do this, get the matte finish ;)

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
To have a less cluttered look, I arranged her shelving to hold things that she used but it looked nice as well. We did a lot of “shopping” of things she already owned. The only accents she bought were a few things of greenery.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
The backsplash was fun to install and took two days. We used this brick veneer from Lowes and used construction adhesive to put them in place. I started at the bottom and worked up. There was a small gap at the top, but I used wood trim to fill in the gap. Since we painted the wood the same color as the cabinets, it looks like a part of the cabinets. I used a chisel and hammer to break the bricks where it was needed. So that means anyone can easily do this type of backsplash without needing a ton of expensive special tools! For the “mortar”, I used this grout. Since it was a small area, we splurged a bit and got the premixed stuff which saves time and is always mixed correctly. I used a grout piping bag, piped it into all the cracks, and every few feet took a break and used a wet sponge (squeeze excess water off first) to gently dab on it to fully fill in the cracks and smooth it out. Truly, so easy to do. These two tutorials (here and here) are good to look at, similar, but use a few different items in each one. We just need to add a sealant to the bricks and then it’s all done.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
There also used to be a microwave above the stove. Unfortunately, each of their boys have accidentally used it wrong and after going through two microwaves, they don’t want one and have found they don’t really need one. So I built a hood to cover the space and left room enough for them to later install a fan. Since there is an outlet up there and storage, the top front of the hood is on hinges and can open. I forget to take a picture of that, but here is what the base looks like. Then those front pieces are the “door”.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
We continued the brick backsplash on the other side of the room and might go back and also do the desk area. The cute shelves were a find from Target and the basket was gifted to my friend. Some of the items on the shelf are family heirlooms that are now proudly displayed.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
Now, let’s just talk about this chandelier for a minute. I discovered it on Target’s website for fifty something dollars. I thought for sure it would be a “too good to be true” deal, but after reading the reviews we decided to try it. It truly is a fabulous deal! It’s just as well made as ones I have purchased for much more money. And the size is really good for smaller spaces. I installed this myself and it was really easy to do. The biggest difference I see is that the finish isn’t as matte as more expensive chandeliers, but a can of spray paint can fix that if you find it an issue. It also comes in two other colors. So if you’re on a tight budget this is a great farmhouse style light fixture to consider.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
I can’t wait to show you the other rooms in her home that are almost done. And I hope this inspires you, that regardless of your budget, you can make your home yours. Take your time. This room didn’t happen overnight. It was strategically thought out and carefully done. Now it’s so welcoming and my friend and her family just love it. -jess

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Modern Classroom Decor

Modern Classroom Decor | happy together
This summer I was hired by a friend to help her create modern classroom decor and it was a fun challenge. She was really drawn to Scandinavian and farmhouse design, so we did a mixture of that style inside her classroom. I also got to design her hallway bulletin board. I used my Cricut Explore to cut out all the shapes from card stock and the names from vinyl. The background is a fabric from Hobby Lobby and the trim is actually gold streamers. We like to think outside the box haha.

Modern Classroom Decor | happy together
To pull from the Scandinavian style, we used a lot of light raw wood. I edged out the white board with wood (inspired from this Fixer Upper classroom makeover) which was really easy to do. It’s a small thing, but makes an impact. It can always be stained or painted later very easily.

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We stuck with black and gold for metal accessories in the room. This industrial curtain rod is from Target (it’s this one but in black, they aren’t showing it right now) and the curtains were some I had from our old house. I always keep certain household decor items around because you never know when they might come in handy.

Modern Classroom Decor | happy together
I helped pick out the above accessories from a few places. The light and watering can are from Target, the letter board was from Amazon (but Hobby Lobby now carries them…hello 40% off coupon!), the plant stand is from Wayfair, and the plant is from Home Depot.

Modern Classroom Decor | happy together
My friend really wanted a modern pegboard as well, so I made two small ones out of 2’x4′ piece of plywood (it was either 3/4″ thick or 1″). I thought it would be hard to make them, but once I drew out a template, it took hardly no time to drill holes and cut down dowels to fit. We placed these where a bulletin board used to be. To add another place to write things, we simply stuck a 2’x4′ chalkboard board from Home Depot in the middle. One of her friends did a great job doing the lettering on it. As the year goes on, she will be able to switch things around and add items as needed. The side pendants were another item someone had gifted me and they fit here perfectly. They were from a light kit from Ikea. The metal brackets they hang on are from Lowes.

Modern Classroom Decor | happy together Modern Classroom Decor | happy together Modern Classroom Decor | happy together
The last bigger project I made was this cute little reading “house” simply made from 2″x2″‘s. I looked at a few similar tutorials online and tweaked it to fit what she needed. Most tutorials are for actual bed frames and we didn’t need all of that. I screwed all the pieces together so she can easily unscrew it all and remove it if she switches classrooms next year. The pillows and cushions are from Urban Outfitters.

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I helped her pick out this rug from Urban Outfitters (even though we really wanted the sold out plus sign one since she loves math), but she also has brought in other things that show her style and things that are purposeful to her teaching. It’s all very organized and so inviting!

Modern Classroom Decor | happy together Modern Classroom Decor | happy together
All of the kids who were around while we were putting it all together just loved her room! They all said it was their favorite and they didn’t want to leave it :) I think a big part of that is her though, as she is so loving and kind to all the children she is around. I learned a lot from this experience and yet again, it gives me more understanding of a different career. It was a lot of work putting a classroom together from scratch and then to add all the lesson planning and everything else a teacher has to do is a lot. Thank you teachers for all the thought and preparation you do for teaching our kiddos. We will never even know the full extent of it, but us parents are so grateful. It makes a world of difference to us all. -jess

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Corbel Wall Lamp DIY

Corbel Wall Lamp DIY | happy together
I love when a project turns out even better than what I was hoping for! That is what happened with this corbel wall lamp diy. Miss E’s room has been mostly done for a while, but she’s needed some type of lighting for reading at night. I was on instagram and saw these wall lamps in someone’s foyer, and I instantly remembered these bookends I had bought at Magnolia last year. I just bought them because I thought they were pretty but then didn’t know where to put them. Lo and behold, they were the perfect thing to make these with! And good news! No electrical knowledge needed ;)

Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together
To make your own you will need:

  • Corbel (I used these corbel bookends)
  • Lampshade that is size appropriate for corbel (I used these lampshades)
  • Mason Jar Lamp Adapter (small mouth/wide mouth…. use the size that would look best on the corbel you use. I used the small mouth ones)
  • Strong Adhesive (I used E6000)
  • Optional: Spray paint and cord cover (you can easily make a diy cord cover like I did too)
  • Hanging hardware of your choice
  • Tools: staple gun and tools necessary to attach hanging hardware you chose

Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together
First do any preparation to the corbel that is needed. If you are using antique ones, you might need to clean it up, repaint, etc. Since these were technically bookends, I had to scrape off the black things, sand it down, and change where the hanging hardware went.

Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together
This next step is optional, but I wanted to spray paint the top of the lamp adapter a bronze color (I used this). To make sure the cord didn’t get any paint on it, I covered it with a plastic bag and taped it in place. I also taped over the on/off switch and put a paper towel in the top to protect the light bulb socket.

Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together
Once the paint dries, glue on the lamp adapter. Make sure to try it in place with the lampshade first though. You want to make sure that the lampshade won’t hit the wall when it’s in on. When the glue has dried, you can use a staple gun and secure the cord down in a few places. If you would like to add a cord cover you can find them already made or you can make your own. I just used burlap ribbon with metal in the edges. I hand sewed it together over the cord and then scrunched it up. The metal edging keeps it in place so it keeps that scrunched up look.

Corbel Wall Light DIY | happy together
I am so impressed with the finished product and it didn’t take long at all. Let me know if you make one. I would love to see one of these made with different types of corbels. Share on social media using #happytogetherbyjess Happy creating! -jess

Corbel Wall Lamp DIY | happy together 12
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My Craft Table and Wayfair Feature

Craft Table | happy together
In the past, there has always been a way for me to have a craft table in a room that was dedicated to an office space. When we moved to our current house, my husband’s new job required him to have a home office which also had to hold a sleeping area for guests when they visit. I no longer had an area for my table. It really wasn’t that bad, but after constantly having to pull things out of storage and put them away every day we decided to make an area in our bedroom my craft space. Since it’s in our bedroom, I wanted it to blend in so it didn’t mess with the room’s feel too much. I used this long and narrow table that I had bought from a stationary store that was going out of business when we lived in Jacksonville, FL. I like how it gives room for all my equipment without sticking too far out. I added a coordinating indoor/outdoor rug runner that I found at Target to help catch the messes I will make. Then I added a few decor accessories to also help it fit in.

Craft Table | happy together
You can read a little more about my craft area on Wayfair here, along with nine other diy bloggers. It’s always fun to see how others create their space. You might see a great idea to implement in your own craft area. PS….I totally put all the cords away for this picture so it wouldn’t distract and look messy, but there are cords and typically my desk is covered in my projects. Although, I do try to keep it nice now since I sleep next to it hahaha.

-jess

Other item info: Chair-Hobby Lobby; Fur rug on chair, floor basket, and candle-Marshalls; Design boards, gold cup, and white pot-Target

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