Hi All!

Happy Wednesday!  Hope you are having a great week.  You may have caught a glimpse of dark hardwood floors in some of my posts.  Today I would like to share the stairway transformation that became part of updating to hardwood floors.  Here's a sneak peek at how it looks today. 
Below you see how our stairway looked before we got started - navy blue carpet with lots of cherry wood. 
It was time for some updates!

Before we could get started, my husband and  I first had to find common ground in our vision of what an upgrade meant.  Our initial translations were just a tad different.

Translations:  

     To my husband upgrades meant buying new navy blue carpet to
replace the old navy blue carpet.  (mmmmm, no)

    To me upgrades meant hardwood floors, with stained treads on the stairs to match the new floors, risers painted white and a much darker handrail.
 
Once we decided on hardwood flooring (enough said) - I still had it in my head that I also wanted to update the stairway.  You might as well know - when I get something in my head I am determined to accomplish it.  I joke about Mr Niche's resistance to change sometimes - but he really is a good sport; he concedes that when it comes to decorating that's my area - - and when it's all done  - - he's happy when I'm happy.   But I still try to incorporate his desires into any major changes. 
Sooooo, one day I removed the little wooden plugs and started to sand and sand and sand and wonder what the heck I  got my self into and sand and sand and wonder and sand and sand.  Seriously - it  seemed like a gazillion spindles - okay maybe not quite a gazillion - but  there are over 50 of them!   Then after all the sanding and cleaning up  was done I started to stain and then paint.  That part of the process seemed to  go much quicker.  Sorry, no in between photos. 

At some point, I peaked under  the carpet - that is when, I slapped it back down and decided to let the treads  to the professional.  I am determined; however, I also know when to step aside  and hire someone.  Who knew - there are different types of stairs - one for  putting carpet on and the other for looking at - these were not the looking at  kind!!!

So here is what we ended up with. 
I couldn't find the right color of stain; so I ended up blending colors to match the darkest tones in the hardwood flooring.
A view from the top - that's a lot of spindles!
Another look.
Picture
Before
Picture
After
So do you have a stairway that you would love to update?  If so, maybe this can be your inspiration for getting started or maybe you've already refinished yours - either way, I'd love to hear about it. 
Enjoy!!!
 
 
Hi,

As part of my ongoing journey to update, today we take a look at the fireplace.  This is a really easy project that pays great dividends in blending with my current style.  The fireplace is a natural focal point within the room; however, it seemed like the brass surrounding this fireplace was getting all of the attention.  Here is the look before.
The brass was playing center stage.  In an effort to tone it down a bit, I picked up a can of high temperature paint in black - this paint is also used for painting bar-b-que grills.  The man at the hardware store said I wouldn't need to use the high temperature paint but just to be safe - - I purchased it anyway.  (I am sure the hubby will find some use for the leftover paint).  For this project I went with the brush on paint - it just seemed like a whole lot of unnecessary effort to remove the pieces and mask it off in order to use spray paint.

About a half hour later, ta-da - the new look. 
I prefer the updated look - yeah - I know, someday I may be sorry I did this but for now it's what I like. 
Picture
Before
Picture
After
So, how about you, have you updated your fireplace?  If so I'd love to hear from you.  Someday I might surprise myself and paint the actual fireplace - but for now, this will do just fine.

Enjoy!!!
Decor Niche
 
 
Hi,

Yesterday, I mentioned doing a post on the chandelier.  Well here it is.  This is a picture of the original brass fixture that hung in the dining room.  I was ready for a change   As I started to shop around for new lighting fixtures, I quickly realized that I really didn't mind the shape but I was looking for something - well, in this case not so brassy.  Hmmmmm, I started to wonder - what would happen if I painted it? 
Basically, my options were: a) shell out at least $100.00 for a fixture very, very similar to the one I had (but in a different finsh) or b) spray paint it.  Let's see - I could just buy a new one and figure out what to do with the old light or give it a whirl and see how it looked with a fresh coat of spray paint.  Guess which one I picked...if you selected (b) - hooray for you!!!  (If you selected (a) - well, you need to get to know me a little better!). 

I decided on (b) - - because if I painted it and didn't like it I could try again or give in to frustration and go buy a new light.  You know the old saying - nothing ventured, nothing gained.  If I went with (a) I would never know if (b) was a valid option and get the satisfaction of having done it myself. 

So, first step - Shut off the power to the fixture in your electrical panel!!!!  Always, always, always, make sure you have shut off the power before doing any electrical work. 
After I was sure (checked and double checked) that the power was off in the dining room.  I removed the bulbs and took down the lighting fixture.

I then removed the little white plastic things that look like the base of the candles and the little round things at the base of each candle.  Then I taped off each of the light bulb sockets on the fixture so that paint doesn't get down in those holes (this is also important). 

Next, I figured out a way to hang the fixture, so that I could access the entire fixture in one painting session.  A couple of bungee cords suspended from the garage ceiling seemed to work quite nicely.  I did consider taking it outside and hanging it from a tree but the weather wasn't cooperating.  

With the fixture securely hung, I broke out a fresh can of Rust-oleum, Oil Rubbed Bronze, (ORB) spray paint.  Follow the directions on the can and remember that several light coats(emphasis added - light coats)  will give you a professional finish.  I painted the chain and the cord that run up through the chain in the same manner.  Don't give into the urge to cover all the brass in one coat - you will end up with runs in the paint and you will not be happy!

You will also need to paint the little round things that go at the base of each
candle - I set mine up separately and gave them a light coat each time I
coated the chandelier. 

After applying several light coats to all of the pieces, give your fixture plenty of time to dry.  Once it is completely dry, make sure that the power is off BEFORE rehanging your fixture. 

Reconnect the fixture.  Assemble all of the pieces and screw in the light bulbs.  Turn the power back on.  Enjoy your new look and celebrate the fact that you just saved yourself over 100 of your hard earned dollars.

It wasn't until I took this next picture that I realized - photographing light fixtures is not an easy task - at least not for me.  So forgive my photography...but I hope you still get the general idea.
One more look at the before and after.
Picture
Before
Picture
After
So which way do you like it?  Before - brassy or After - Bronzy?  For my current style, I am glad I decided to go-for-it and saved at least $100.00.  

Enjoy!!!
Decor Niche