before and after #2

My family room went through the most dramatic change in our house (other than the addition). It started out with deep green walls with a faux brown finish (very dark) and had spanish red pavers and a huge built-in with even more spanish flavor… (curved openings, and knotty pine cabinet doors). It was probably my least favorite room when we purchased the house. I knew right away that I would repaint, but I thought I would try to work with the built-in by taking away some of the spanish elements. I figured if I (when I say I, I mean my husband) painted the whole thing white and added some old mouldings, etc… I could make it more my style.

As I revealed my list of ideas to my husband he began to realize the amount of work he would have to do to get it looking anywhere I considered half decent, and (surprise!) he was finally convinced that it needed to go. This led to our discovery that it did not have the spanish paver flooring continued underneath, which meant we would either have to patch in the spanish pavers (which I had already expressed my distaste for) or replace the flooring all together. Amazingly, he happily agreed to replace the flooring.

I decided on seagrass carpet. I had seen it in a few of my magazines and had my heart set on the material. The rest of the house has a dark (almost black) wood floor with very thin slats (the thinnest I have ever seen), and it would have been impossible to match. It took some research, but I finally found a company who carried the seagrass carpet, and (presto!) it was installed. I love the way it came out. I also had my dad smooth the textured walls and ceiling and painted them “latte” from restoration hardware.

The room felt like a cave before and it is so much brighter now. It’s the room we spend most of our time in, so I wanted it to be light and casual. Here’s a few before and after photos so you can see what I mean…

I think it’s best to mention that my new wall unit that holds our t.v. does have another side, but since the doorway to our addition had to be added it is currently in another room. I plan to move both side shelving units into my new office when it is ready. I only mention this because I am aware my t.v. looks kind of off-set and side heavy. :)
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Kim (OJ&Co) - April 23, 2007 - 10:32 pm

Okay, TOTALLY love your blog. We are in the final stages of building our home, so I’m digging your home trasformation photos. Cute, CUTE!!! Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog.
All the best~

PAT - April 24, 2007 - 6:18 am

I love the before and after photos. They show what an amazing transformation has taken place.

I like the look of seagrass carpet. I have a few seagrass rugs. I believe this type rug gives a wonderful elegant casual look, to a home!

Your home is beautiful!
Back Porch Musings

julie james - April 24, 2007 - 7:52 am

Your home is beautiful, classy but still has that homey, comfortable look. I just love those 2 pictures you have beside the TV wall unit.

The Feathered Nest - April 24, 2007 - 9:07 am

That is a dramatic transformation! I love how it turned out, so bright and comfy!

Raised In Cotton - April 24, 2007 - 9:25 am

Sara~Lovely, Lovely and Lovely!!!!


Carol :)

KLKinFLA - April 24, 2007 - 9:37 am


ShabbyInTheCity - April 24, 2007 - 10:01 am

Magazine worthy! Your husband is a real trooper!

Amelia - April 24, 2007 - 10:53 am

Wow, I love the new look of your living room…and also your blog! You have very classy style, I love it!
Isn’t Kim the best?!?! Thanks for dropping by my blog, I will be coming back to your for sure!


Delaney Gates - April 24, 2007 - 7:23 pm

Oh, I just adore the before and after photos! Such fabulous taste you have!

Gypsy Purple - April 24, 2007 - 7:32 pm

GREAT job!!!!!
It really looks stunning… the room

Jen @ The Cottage Nest - April 25, 2007 - 3:29 am

Umm, wow! That’s amazing. I love your seagrass carpet. How is holding up? Is it soft? I love the look.

Rhoda - April 25, 2007 - 6:01 pm

You’ve both done an outstanding job. I love before & afters too..and it helps so much to be able to go back & compare where you were to where you are now. Love that seagrass carpet…does it hold up well & what about spills. I always love how it looks in the pics.

Southern Hospitality

oldflowers4me - April 25, 2007 - 7:14 pm

wow ,your house is so beautiful, new paint and all that hard work , its fantastic.

Maija - April 29, 2007 - 2:16 pm

You have a wonderful eye, Sara! Your home is beautiful and I really enjoyed looking at these photos of your transformation!!

Tiffany - April 30, 2007 - 6:28 pm

Your blog is so inspiring. I’ve moved into a craftsman style, newly built, home and am having the hardest time making it “me”. You’ve inspired me to jump right in with a can of a paint and a prayer and go for it!


As slow going as our construction project sometimes feels… it is beyond rewarding to finally see the changes taking shape. Our front porch has been untouched for a month or two… (and it has a long laundry list of “honey-do’s“), but yesterday some progress was made and I am so pleased with the results. I thought I would share some photos of our not-so-glamorous looking exterior. Josh, my dad, and my father in law are responsible for 95% of the construction ongoings at our house, and they do a fine job, if I do say so myself!

The soffiting is the latest project. It’s a vinyl product we are using that looks similar to bead board. It never has to be painted and is maintenance free which is always a plus. We chose to do the new porch overhang as well as the roof line around the entire house, since one of the previous owners decided to do a popcorn ceiling type effect with the white paint. (Some one clearly was not thinking aesthetics when that decision was made!)

Only the front of our house has the cement shingle siding (still unpainted). The rest of our house is pumpkin orange colored stucco (hate it! but budget decided we could only do the front). When the stucco to the addition is completed and the soffiting is finished we will be painting the whole exterior the same color, so it will blend much better than it does now.

Here’s a before and after photo, you can see that the soffiting makes a huge difference!
We still have the porch railing, brick work, paint, side walks, etc. to do. The list seems never ending.
My dad also worked a little bit on the drywall in my new office. The walls and ceiling are so crooked in that room, it is taking a ton of work to try to get it look even close to straight. The ceiling has a whole box of drywall in just one spot, it is still drying and has a ton of air bubbles coming through due to the depth the mud layers. The closet doors and bedroom door are new, and the window will soon be replaced with a set of french doors leading to our backyard.

I can’t wait until it’s ready to decorate, I have so many ideas already! If only money came as quickly and easily as the ideas…

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Rhoda - April 23, 2007 - 11:17 am

I just love construction projects…your house is gonna be great when you get it all done. I know it’s hard during the process, but the outcome will be worth it. Looking good!

Southern Hospitality

sandi @ the whistlestop cafe - April 23, 2007 - 4:25 pm

Don’t you just love a man in a tool belt? Especially when progress is being made!

i’ve been tagged!

I just happened to be catching up on some of my favorite blogs and saw that Suzi Finer tagged me as one of her favorite blogs! Since this is the first time I have been “tagged”, I am thrilled. :)

So in keeping with tradition, (and blog etiquette) here is a list of my current top five blog friends.

One Woman’s Cottage Life – It’s always fun to watch the progress at some one’s house with great style.
Past Present Collection – Heather creates amazing things! She has a web store coming soon, that I can not wait to shop at!
Raised In Cotton – I love her style and photos. There is a shop too, that sadly doesn’t sell things online for me to buy, but if you live near Missouri, you are in for a treat!
The Cottage Nest – this is my newest favorite. Jen has beautiful inspiration photos and photos of her own home that always make it fun to peek in at.
Honeysuckle Lane – Lana creates adorable dolls and other goodies.

P.S. The charms are now online, as well as some new vintage journals, I’m excited about. Be sure to check them out.
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Jamie - April 22, 2007 - 6:59 am

I am really enjoying your blog. Your store is so wonderfful with all the vintage items. I collect ledgers and vintage photos, but you just might tempt me to start a new collection! My husband will not be pleased with you:)

Lori - April 22, 2007 - 12:55 pm

I am so glad you came to visit me. I really like your blog, esp all of the photos of your lovely home. Your online store is wonderful. I hope you will stop back tomorrow for my give away.

Jen @ The Cottage Nest - April 23, 2007 - 8:16 am

You are such a sweetie! And wow I’m in good company. You are one of my top 5 too! Jen

One Woman's Cottage Life - April 27, 2007 - 7:54 pm

This is so late- I’m sorry – but wow, what an honor! Thank you so much! I’ve added you to my link list and look forward to seeing your creations and hearing about your ideas!