This Old Colonial Home

Filling our house with love and a lot of DIY

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A Little Paint Goes a Long Way

We’re slowly but surely making progress on changing our walls from being all white. This weekend I tackled the upstairs bathroom while my husband took on the dining room. Isn’t it amazing how just a coat (or two) of paint can make such a difference?

For the upstairs bath we both wanted a light blue. We decided to go with Tinsel Beam by Valspar. And I must say I love it! This bathroom was meant to be blue – now it pops!

bathroom before


bathroom after


Note: I really can’t take all the credit. Jamie actually painted the first coat awhile ago. I just added the second coat :-p

As for the dining room, we both agreed we wanted a sage-y color. We chose Mint Frost by Valspar. Again, I’m so happy with this color! Jamie did a great job! Here’s a before and after:



dining room

And just for fun here’s a panorama of our front three rooms – dining room, entryway/hall and living room. The entryway/hall was painted awhile back too. The color is Cream in My Coffee by Valspar. It’s a shade lighter than the living room, which is Desert Fortress by Valspar. (We’re big fans of Lowe’s paint if you couldn’t tell!)


Next up for paint is the family room and then the master bedroom. What are some of your favorite paint colors?






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Lighten Up

My husband and I currently have several little projects going on all at once. One of those projects was replacing the two light fixtures in our entryway. They were simply old, ugly, dated and not our style.

entry lights


Ideally, I wanted something simple above the door and something a little fancier in the main part of the hallway, and of course, something that would go well together. After much time spent searching online, we finally found two we liked. We ended up receiving the fixtures for Christmas (thank you Barb, Jim & Maureen!)

It was one of the first things Jamie tackled when we returned home. It’s amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference!

light 2


light 3

Above the door

light 1

Main hallway

Jamie is also working on painting the upstairs bathroom and the dining room, while I’m working on some artwork for the living room. What projects are you working on already in the new year?

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Chalk it Up

This is by no means original, but it’s a decor item that I’ve been wanting for awhile — a silver platter chalkboard. I, of course, took matters into my own hands. It’s a fairly simple DIY project. I already had the chalkboard paint, it was just a matter of finding the platter. I checked out a couple flea markets without any luck. But I soon found this beaut at a local thrift store!Silver platter from thrift store All I had to do was lightly sand the surface so the paint would stick. I used a foam brush to apply the paint. I didn’t bother taping off the edge, so that was a little tricky because of the pattern, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.Chalk paint on silver platterIt’s not perfect, but I kind of prefer it that way. It looks great on a mantel or buffet! What have you created with chalkboard paint that you’re proud of?

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Small Weekend Project

This weekend’s project consisted of going to Lowe’s to pick up paint supplies for the living room. We purchased rollers, brushes, pans, and tape. We, of course, also grabbed some paint card samples and brought them home to decide. You really can’t choose under those fluorescent lights in the store.

Paint Samples

We knew we wanted something in the beige family, and luckily we both agreed on one! It’s looking like Desert Fortress (middle) is the winner.

Paint Winner

But before we go back out and get the paint, we need to do a little prep work first — spackling and sanding. And by we, I really mean my husband! He’s also in the midst of changing all of the outlets. He’s converting them from two-prong to three-prong and adding new cover plates.

photo 3 photo 4

Obviously those will have to be taken back off once we paint, but it looks so much better and is now more functional. Little changes can make a big difference!

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Uncovering the Past

I will never understand why people cover up hardwood floors. Obviously styles change throughout the years, but I just feel hardwoods are timeless. So after years of being hidden under carpets, our 75-year-old floors are once more revealed! My husband and I, with some help from my father-in-law, pulled up the carpets ourselves. None of us had ever done it before, but it was a fairly easy – and FREE – project.

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The carpet, padding and staples all came up with little effort. The tack strips, however, were the hardest part. The guys eventually got it down to a science. But needless to say, I wasn’t much help in that department. My job was to make sure our dog didn’t step on the nails!

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All that’s left to unearth are the stairs. That’ll be for another day in the near future.

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The condition of the floors aren’t too bad, but they will need to be refinished. And for that, we’re calling in the pros. I realize we could save some money if we rented a sander and did it ourselves, but for something like this we don’t want to run the risk of screwing it up! Plus, did you notice the awesome herringbone edging?! I’d hate to mess that up.IMG_1249We’re still debating whether we want to do a darker stain trim around the edge to accentuate it. We definitely plan on doing something in the entryway, but I’m torn on doing it in all three rooms. Any thoughts? Either way, I can’t wait to see these babies shine! Be sure to check back to see the final product!


A Work in Progress

Just like this blog, so too is our house — a work in progress. Since this is my first post, a little introduction is needed. My name is Kelly. I’m a public relations professional, new homeowner and fan of flea markets. My husband and I recently bought this old colonial home in New Jersey that we share with our border collie mix, Luca. IMG_1183We fell in love with the house upon first viewing — its size, ample storage and charming chestnut trim. No major issues came up in our inspection and so far we haven’t had any big surprises (knock on wood). There are plenty of projects, however, that we plan to tackle. It’s pretty much a clean slate with white walls everywhere, which means much painting is in our future. But the very first and foremost project involves ripping up the lovely 1980s pinkish-red carpets that are hiding 75 year old hardwoods underneath! Down the road we hope to redo the upstairs bathroom (which by the way has no electrical outlet. What?!); replace the concrete patio with a more inviting wood deck; and knock down a wall to make our galley kitchen a little more functional. With all these projects, we’re hoping to be thrifty when it comes to furnishing and decorating. I’m just not the type of person who can spend $500+ on a dresser or even $40 on a pillow. It’s just a pillow! We’ll hit up flea markets, estate sales, craigslist and use some good old DIY to get similar, expensive looks for less. So please, keep coming back for updates as we work to make this house into our home.

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