Rental Before and After

While I am waiting for our next move, I thought it would be fun to revisit a few of our other Rental Before and After renovation projects. Seems like we have had quite a few!

Okay, we have had a LOT!

The Cape Cod Project was the most recent.

One of the first things I tackled was the hideous basement bar. Yikes!

It was so much fun to make a Tiki Bar out of it!

The Closet Home Office was next. It was an under used space and this little office worked great for our son’s homework station.

The dining room had good bones, but was very, very dark.

A fresh coat of paint did wonders! Read about it here.

The upstairs hallway in this house was so dark and narrow it made me claustrophobic. The halls felt so much bigger with fresh paint! Here’s the info on this project.

The downstairs hallway got the same treatment!  I was so glad to leave that home behind, I just never felt comfortable there!


Our previous rental home was great. We loved this house, inside and out. The yard was huge and we spent a lot of time outdoors both in summer and winter. This was in my early blogging days, looking back I have grown so much as a blogger since then!

The house was wonderful, however the pictures, not so much. Be forgiving, okay? I realize now that I don’t post many things from my early blogging days, I just hate most of the photography. Perhaps I am too picky.

Here’s the “before” home tour.

designerssweetspot.comI did only a few interior upgrades to this home, our son’s Teen Bedroom was one of them.


The other fun project was painting removable stripes on our master bedroom wall. Click here to see how I did it!

I loved this bedroom, I can’t wait to paint more stripes in our new location, but this time they can be permanent! You have no idea how exciting that is for me!

Because there wasn’t a lot of things for me to do inside that home, I spent a lot of time outdoors. We had the best garden I’ve ever had at that location, see the full garden tour here.

Hard to believe it’s only been a few years, yet we have accomplished so much! Blogging has become second nature to me, I love it more than ever. I look forward to having lots more things so share at our new location, coming soon!

I am counting down the days, and am super impatient!


Nautica Inspired Bedroom and a Giveaway

upstairs parlor

This bedroom project has been on my to do list for a while. I was excited when Nautica Paint  asked me to be a part of their Nautica at Home Signature color collection blogger program. The theme for this project is Bring the Energy of the Water to your Home.

I love their paint, in fact I had just been in the store looking at paint colors when I got their email. What great timing!

This is a sponsored post that I was compensated to write, any opinions given are completely my own.

I was ready to give up the mothy mauve shade of this bedroom. Every thing here is mauve, the walls, the carpet, even the ceiling had a pinkish cast. It reminded me of an old mothy sweater my grandmother used to wear. Definitely not up to the standards of my 15 year old son that sleeps in this room.

This room gets a lot of natural light, more than any other room in the house. The huge south facing windows act like solar panels and things really heat up in here during the day. It is also the largest room in the house (even bigger than the living room), and has 3 doors and 3 large windows.

Sailboat on Lake Superior

Nautica helped me choose my color pallet for this room, based on this photo that I took on our vacation to Bayfield, WI last summer. This beautiful yacht was in the harbor in anticipation of the annual race they hold on Lake Superior each year. What could be more perfect?

james room after

My color pallet includes grey’s, blue green, white and red.  Just what I was looking for in this room.

I couldn’t be happier with the colors.

They are Nautica’s Shipyard (Grey), Harbor Fog (Grey), Sailor’s Delight (Red), Octopus Grey (White), Deep Atlantic (Blue).

I chose to paint the room in Shipyard Grey, and use the other colors for accents.

futon with plants

I love how the blue and red accents work against the neutral greys, they make a great combination with natural wood tones. This painted wooden box ads a nice pop of color.

I purchased some new drapery for this room as well, also in a beautiful shade of deep blue to work with the colors Nautica chose, it reminds me of the waters in the Lake Superior photo.


Nautica featured image

Nautica was kind enough to supply me with a canvas copy of our vacation photo to use in this room. I just love it!

What a wonderful way to preserve a memory!

white dresser

This dresser is painted with Nautica’s Octopus Grey. It’s a lovely creamy white.

Table with float_

The side table was also painted with a coat of Sailors Delight. It works great with grey velvet chair and the soft grey walls.

futon with fishtank

Under the window is a massive table, more than 7 feet long. It is made of Monkey Pod wood. My grand father hauled it home from the South Pacific after WWII. He was a Navy sailor, I thank the American people for allowing him to bring it home on board a Navy ship.

reading corner

The room feels very soothing in these new colors, even the woodwork looks refreshed. I was very impressed at how well the paint covered with one coat. I was worried that the old color would show through and be a problem, but it wasn’t a problem at all.

bunk bed

A family portrait ads some sophistication and interest to the room, which otherwise is filled with teen literature and treasures. Our son is fascinated with family history and loves to hear the tales of his great grandfather during the civil war.

My Great Grandpa's portrait looks right at home here, he should have been a ship's captain. Click To Tweet

Our sons bunk bed fits right in with the nautical look. I happened to find the grey and teal bedding at a discount store. I love the stripes and touches of white.
bench and lantern

The bench at the end of the bed is painted with Nautica’s Deep Atlantic. It’s the perfect shade of blue.


This DIY project is checked off my list! I was able to get it all done in a single weekend. The paint covered well and dried quickly. I just love the quality of the colors that Nautica Paint has. They are so rich looking. I love the depth and tones of these designer colors.

I had such fun putting this room together, that I would love to share Nautica Paint with you too. I am partnering with Nautica Paint and having a give away to win a $100.00 Menard’s Gift Card so you can try it!

All you have to do is tell me which Nautica Paint color you would choose and what room you would like to paint!

Click on the link to register!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reed Stool Update

stool before

I found this little Reed Stool in the trash.  Some poor soul didn’t appreciate it’s fine charm and worn patina.

I loved it right away. Oddly enough, the home that threw it away was having a garage sale. I thought the things they were selling were not even worthy of being in the trash, yet they threw away this adorable stool.

I will never understand some people.

stool legs

The stool must have been stored in the basement. It had a bit of green mold on the legs when I brought it home. I scrubbed the legs with warm water and ammonia, then left it out in the sun for a couple of days to dry.

The finish on the legs was refreshed with a bit of Ebony Minwax gel stain. They are now as good as new.

paint hodgepodge

The top of the stool needed a bit of help too. I debated for quite a while as to whether or not I even wanted to cover the faded colors that the stool had. I am just not a big fan of orange, so I opted to paint it.

I pulled out some leftover paints from my stash of products. I used Yesteryear and White Chalky Finish paint by Americana Decor, and a bit of Folk Art Acrylic paint.

painting stripes

The painting part was easy. I love to use recycled containers for pallets, here I used a plastic jar lid for mixing paint and water until it was a smooth but watery consistency. I wanted the paint to soak into the reed material instead of sitting on top of it, I love the rough texture and didn’t want to cover it 100 percent.

The watered down paint allows the water to soak into the natural fiber and still leaves enough of the color without making it look painted.

I followed the design that was originally on the stool as I painted, it wasn’t hard to do with a small brush.


grey and red stripes


The next stripe was in the grey Yesteryear paint (it’s the shade on the left). I mixed the Chalky Finish paint with a bit of water before applying it as before. The darker shade in the middle was made by adding a bit of black acrylic to the light grey for a tonal effect.

The stool didn’t take long to dry. I debated about sealing the top of the paint somehow, but decided to leave it for now. Down the road I may try a spray matt polyurethane if it begins to look worn.

These are my happy colors! I am such a sucker for anything red or grey!

finished stool

I now have a comfy place to put my feet up while knitting. This is my happy place!

Our kitty loves to sit on the stool and play with my yarn while I knit. I love that! I tried to get her to hold still for a picture, but she would not comply. Darn critter!

I have lots of big news in store for you all, can’t reveal it yet but there are some great things to come that you won’t want to miss!

Did I tell you I was voted out of the So You Think Your Crafty Competition?  It was a lot of fun, I am grateful for the opportunity to be in the competition and to have competed for 3 weeks! This project apparently didn’t go over so well! I liked it, to bad! Time to move on!

Have a wonderful day!



Living Room Revealed

teal couch

I have been meaning to share this for a while. We have finished our living room! It was a major accomplishment as far as things go.

Lots of paint, lots of patience went into creating this room.

dining room

Remember the before? The living room is a very small room, at the front of the house. You can see it in the distance here. Even the dining room is bigger, which is where this photo was taken. The yellow color of the room was dingy and dirty and the ratty dark woodwork made it seem even smaller. There wasn’t really anything else worth taking pictures of in there.


We painted the walls a pale grey, it’s the same color we used in our Bathroom Project a while ago.  Something about this neutral color makes every thing else stand out. Even the old floors look better against it. The woodwork also got a fresh coat of creamy white paint too. Both paints were from Clark and Kensington.

The new look really makes our teal couch stand out. We haven’t bought a new piece of furniture since 1993. I kid you not. This couch MADE ME BUY. Honestly, it did. Normally I am not such a sucker for newness. I was completely held captive by it’s teal color and new charm.

The couch came from Ashley Furniture. The manufacturer is England. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to sit on. It is so soft and comfortable, we just love it. I hope it lasts forever.

I also love that the L shape fits so nicely into the corner of our tiny living room. We tried having two sofa’s in this room. It didn’t work. They were jammed from wall to wall and were just too big for the overall size of the space. Now, we even have room for a couple of side tables.

side tables side tables2

These little side tables were a garage sale find. I still haven’t decided if I should paint them or not. What do you think? I love painted furniture, but in this room, the wood tones add contrast and I am just not sure I want to give that up.

I love my little plastic bonsai tree. It came from TJ Maxx, and I paid $3.00 for it. It was missing it’s pot. I found a low, wide bowl at the thrift store and glued it in place. Then filled the rest of the basin with river rocks. Problem solved. I would still love a real bonsai some day, but for now this will have to do.


The far corner of this room has my grandmother’s drop leaf dining table in it. Along with my Nailhead Pumpkins, and my Salad Bowl Mirrors. The gold frame came from the trash heap down the street, and the lamp was another thrift store find.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without the thrift store.

Or the trash heap.


There are a few spots in this room that still need some work. I haven’t decided what to put in this corner above the couch. Shelves, perhaps?

I would also like to do something different with the drapery. However, I am slow to make drastic decisions.

The colorful wool pillow was one of my recent projects, if you missed it you can see the tutorial here.

knitting corner

I have to post this picture for my friend. She has a corner in her living room that looks just like this one, where she knits and works on projects. It makes me laugh, we are such kindred spirits. I find that we can’t give up our favorite leather chair, it was a garage sale score, and we still love it. Someday I will get more organized, but for now this is my little work space, as unattractive and disorganized as it may seem.

The picture above the chair came all the way from London and was a gift from my mother.

All for now!

Geometric Wine Bar


It’s that time again! This post is sponsored by General Finishes, any opinions given are completely my own.

My husband and I have different ideas for using things around the house. He likes the very practical things, I tend to lean towards the extravagant. Despite our differences we both favor reusing what we have got. I couldn’t wait to make this into a Geometric Design project!

lead Wine Bar

For this month’s Fab Flipping Furniture Contest, I decided to repurpose this Mid-Century dresser that was lurking in our basement, left behind by its former owner. It had all the makings of a quality piece including dovetailed drawers and was solid maple under the worn veneer. It was previously a work bench and tool chest in our basement. My husband will be disappointed to find that he has to relocate his tools. He will get over it. He knows I have always wanted a basement Wine Bar.

My husband knows I have always wanted a Basement Wine Bar. Click To Tweet

The theme for this month was Geometric Design. The drawers on this dresser had some great graphic details, including decorative grooves in the top two drawers and diagonal veneer on the bottom drawers. General Finishes was our sponsor this month, and I chose their milk paint in Lamp Black and Antique White for this project.

As you may have guessed, it took multiple coats and an entire roll of Frog Tape to complete this project. After a quick sanding, I gave the dresser a coat of primer, then two coats of the Antique White Milk Paint. I have not used milk paint before, but I LOVED IT!

I painted right over the hardware, as I liked its vintage appeal. After the first few coats were dry, I began to do the taping. I taped off the areas I wanted to keep white. This took the most time, I spent several days getting it just right, measuring, taping, moving tape and remeasuring.

The Lamp Black milk paint came next. I used a 3″ foam roller to paint the black stripes. It is helpful to paint in the direction of the stripes, I found that the paint seeped a bit under the tape in places where I moved it around too often and had to be touched up afterwards with a small brush.

The peg board above the dresser is attached. I realize it is not original, the dresser probably had an attached mirror at one time. I liked its graphic nature with all the rows of circles and decided to keep it as part of the wine bar. The stripes were part of the plan from the beginning, I like how it makes the two pieces look more like they are one.

The shelves are sitting on top of pegboard hardware, they can easily be removed or reconfigured as needed.

I plan to store linens and extra bottles of wine in the drawers. Time to go wine shopping!

Are you seeing double yet?

If you are interested in the Fab Flipping Furniture Contest, contact

Hop on over to On Fern Avenue to link up or see the other contestant’s projects.

You can also visit 38th Street to linkup and view projects.

A big thank you to General Finishes for sponsoring this project!