Affordable Front Porch Decor!

When we were house hunting we had to drive an hour and twenty minutes from the Jersey Shore area all the way to the Lehigh Valley each time we wanted to see a house. So we always made sure that we were seeing more than one house every time we made the trip. Most of the time, I’d find a house online that I wanted to see and then a few that I wouldn’t mind seeing or I’d just throw a random house on the list that I wasn’t interested in at all just to make it feel like I wasn’t traveling all that way for nothing if the house I liked ended up being a piece of shit. My agent Melissa Keck was tremendously amazing and put up with not only my random requests, like the house needs to have a window over the kitchen sink, but also Sam’s requests, like a room that can be dedicated as a video game room.

And I hate to say it, but the house we purchased was one of those filler houses. I put it on the list knowing I most likely wouldn’t like anything about it but wanted something to see before our appointment with the house I actually came to see.

This is the picture from the listing.

This is the picture from the listing.

The outside looked a little scary and uninviting and I ruled it out as soon as I pulled up, but once Melissa got there and we made our way inside, I fell in love! The absolute epitome of don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover.

The stairway and foyer, as soon as you step in the door, was exactly what I knew I wanted and that was it. We almost put an offer in before Sam even saw it in person, but it had been on the market for a little while and we felt good about waiting a week for Sam to get there to see it.

Anyways, I knew as soon as we moved in that I wanted to make the front porch more inviting. We also noticed that a lot of our neighbors would spend time on their front porches during the early evening. We live on a street that gets a decent amount of foot traffic and I’m nosy as hell and like to people watch so sitting out front is my favorite thing to do when the weather is nice.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Our first purchase was obviously seating. I wanted something really simple and comfortable. And after spending a shit ton of money on our new house, I obviously was looking for something affordable. I found this set on Wayfair. And by the way, if you ever need anything for your home, Wayfair is without a doubt the way to go! They have great products and outstanding customer service.

The set is really cute and during the summer I had some bright yellow pillows that added a pop of color, but unfortunately, I left them out during a rain storm and they blew around and got messy. And I guess I’m the idiot, because they weren’t outdoor pillows. Oops.

The next thing we got, which are my favorite, are these galvanized metal buckets from a thrift antique store in downtown Easton for $15! I LOVE galvanized metal and Sam was not exactly sure why I was obsessing over them, but…. men, am I right? They just don’t get it! If you follow me on instagram, then you saw me post a picture of these a couple weeks ago and you already know how infatuated I am with them!

Btw, the welcome rug has been with us for about 6-7 years now! We got it to put outside our front door at our first apartment and we brought it with us to our first home and it’s still holding strong – haha!

That’s about it though. I think my entire life revolves around finding affordable pieces not only for my front porch but my entire home! I love recycling furniture and random pieces, like my buckets! I’m currently on the lookout for a vintage looking mailbox, so wish me luck!

img_2210

Advertisements

Cheapest Way to Update a Room

The first time I ever painted a room was when I surprised my mom with a home office a few years ago. You may remember that I blogged about it. If not, check it out here. I swore, after painting that entire room TWICE all by myself, that I’d never paint again. I HATE painting. I’ve already painted our guest room and I knew I’d only need one coat so it wasn’t THAT bad. But when I finally made the decision to paint our dining room, I knew it was going to be a problem.

IMG_1760

Here’s a picture of our dining room right after we moved in. The color was nice but it made the room feel so dark and small. Sam actually liked this color and it truly wasn’t a bad color but I wanted my dining room to be light and airy. So after sampling about 6 or 7 different colors, we finally picked one! We landed on French Beige by Behr.

IMG_1803

I painted the whole damn room by myself. And you know that rickety, old ladder I was talking about in my last post about our office bookshelves? The one I refused to get on? Well guess whose big ass was up on it risking her life to paint around the ceiling. ME! But it came out so nice! We had to spring for the more expensive Behr Premium Ultra Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Extreme paint but it was worth it because I painted the whole dining room with ONE coat and ONE can of paint! Would definitely recommend the Behr Premium Plus Ultra for any tough paint jobs.

The next thing we needed to do was get rid of our small counter height table for two and get a dining room table that would sit more than just Sam and I. I went on Target.com to order a mirror and ended up buying a dining table and chairs. Isn’t that always the way?! But this table and chairs is amazing and I’m so pleased with our purchase.

IMG_1845

IMG_1852

Moral of the story is that you can really make a room feel so much bigger, nicer, rejuvenated, etc. with a can of paint and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg! Unless you’re using an old, unstable ladder. Then it might cost you your life! -haha!

IMG_1910

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! 

@katiewelshphoto1

Office: Project Bookshelves!

I have to start by saying, my favorite room in our old apartment was the office! I was able to get things done and it was just a cozy and pleasant place to be. At the end of the day, I could go in there with a glass of wine and to relieve some stress I’d check some emails, browse Pinterest, or catch up on an episode of Kardashians that I may have missed. Don’t judge me! -haha!

When we moved into our new house we knew that the small room in the front of the house was going to be the office. We got a couple desks and set up our computers and monitors and video game consoles and calendars. It was a nice amount of space for an office but it was soooo boring and empty. I knew that I needed some bookshelves because for some reason I feel so much better when I’ve got my books around me (nerdy, I know). But here’s a picture of the office before our bookshelves.

IMG_1691

You see what I mean? It’s almost embarrassing to show. So it was no wonder why I didn’t want to spend much time in there.

Long story short, I wanted to put up some kind of industrial, rustic style bookshelves. At first I was going to put up shelves like this:

911f609a4820bc5a495bcbd1aedc619a

Which look gorgeous but after I found out the price of the galvanized piping, I had to check myself. Not only the price but all the time it would take to screw in all those flanges. So once I found these shelves, I literally jumped for joy!

shelves1

I was casually surfing Pinterest, with or without a glass of wine, I forget, but that’s besides the purpose. I came across this blog post over at 7th House on the Left and shed a tear because THIS is exactly what I was looking for without even knowing what I was looking for!

Basically followed the exact same instructions but got longer planks of wood and some different stain.

DSC_8151 (1)

DSC_8158

DSC_8160

DSC_8169

I especially loved that she spray painted the pipes in a matte black. I think it really makes everything look so much better! And by the way, you should have seen me sanding these boards outside in like 98 degree heat, COVERED in that sandy wood crap. Ugh!

So after I was done staining and spray painting, I basically just turned it over to Sam to finish the project. We have a really old, really flimsy latter in the basement that I refuse to climb, so it just goes to show how wonderful my husband is that he’s willing to risk his life to put up some shelves for little, old me!

IMG_1693

He’ll kill me once he sees that I posted a picture of him on here, but he’s such a cutie!

Anyways, the outcome of the whole project was insane! Way better than I thought it was going to be.

IMG_1885

DSC_8325

DSC_8326

Overall, I spent about $250-$270 for all of the materials, which isn’t bad at all. I also have some left over wood boards and stain so I’m thinking about adding some of those to our dining room!

IMG_1890

New Home, New Home Improvement Projects!

FullSizeRender

My husband Sam and I just purchased our very first home in Easton, PA! It’s an adorable 100+ year old, 3 bedroom house with an office and a really cute view of the city of Easton. We’ve been here for about two months now and we’re finally starting to make it our own. I think we’re moving a little fast on some of the projects, or at least my bank account is telling me to slow down, but we’re moving ahead full force! It’s so much fun to take a room, or a house for that matter, that feels like someone else’s and make it into a place that feels 100% and completely your own. It’s empowering and scary and expensive, all mixed together!

There wasn’t too much that NEEDED to be done in the house so our projects have been fairly small. But if you consider how un-handy both my husband and I actually are, it might as well have been extremely gigantic tasks. I thought since I haven’t blogged in FOREVER, that I’d start sharing some of the projects and where we got the inspiration and the costs and what not.

The best part about owning a home is just that. OWNING your own home. Also, my puggle Melo really enjoys the backyard. When we were living in our one bedroom apartment, Melo would take his bones and try to burying them in the corners of the couch cushions and we used to be so sad. Thinking that he probably wishes he had a backyard to bury his bones in. Luckily, he’s out in the backyard everyday digging up and burying his bones and it makes us so happy! He also enjoys some #frontporchchilling with us too 🙂

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Follow me on instagram for a sneak peak of some of the projects!

New Years Project!

I’ve been waiting for the perfect table to come along that I can paint and refinish and I FOUND ITTTTT!

00O0O_criKBklTmZm_600x450

This is the picture from the craigslist ad and as soon as I saw it and noticed that they were selling for $50, I had to pick it up quickly! The guy that was selling it took the legs off and helped get it in my car because it’s a pretty heavy piece of furniture, so thanks to him!

IMG_0750

IMG_0753

As soon as I got home I laid down my plastic and took off all the hardware and just sanded all of the pieces a little bit but knew that I was going to use a primer so I didn’t go crazy.

I was thinking about leaving it white but felt like it would look way too fancy and the room that I wanted to put it in desperately needed a pop of color so I chose to paint it Hawaiian Teal!

IMG_0783

I also left the bottom of all the legs unpainted which I’m currently loving the look of! I took off the hideous, gigantic knobs that were on the cabinet and exchanged them for some glass hardware and they look perfect!

IMG_0785

I also distressed the whole thing and I love it! I really wanted a cabinet just like this but was not willing to pay like $300+ for it. Luckily, at the end of the day this whole table cost less than $100!

2015-01-02_0001

2015-01-02_0002

Happy New Year, everyone!

Creating a Home Office/Guest Room!

Well, hello there!

This past weekend I was in Pittsburgh for my little sister’s senior homecoming 😦

I can't believe how big she is now!

I can’t believe how big she is now!

Anyways, my mom works from home 95% of the time and every time I come home I have to be quiet during the day and keep the TV turned down because she uses the dining room as her office. I couldn’t stand how inconvenient it was, not only for her, but for me as well. I knew that she was going out of town the first week of November and I was planning on sneaking into town and turning my sister’s old room into a home office/guest bedroom for her. I got to thinking about it and wasn’t sure if she’d actually utilize it or not, so I figured I would ask first – haha.

This is how the conversation went:

MeMom, do you think if I painted Nicole’s old room and turned it into a home office you’d use it?

Mom – *eyes open really wide**chin drops to chest* Are you kidding? Of course I would! Do you wanna do it this weekend?

MeWell I don’t know about this weekend. I might be a little busy getting Nicole ready and doing her make up and stuff.

MomOh, painting won’t take that long, you could probably get it all done this weekend!

MeOk, I’ve never painted a room before but I’m sure it’s no big deal. Let’s do it!

And the rest is history! My mom gave me a $500 budget. I went to Lowes and spent $70 and got some white paint and some supplies and had to paint over dark blue walls that had purple stars painted around the window and the closet! (I really wish I would have taken a before picture! The room was horrendous!) I thought painting would be fun but it turned into the worst day of my life (ok, I’m being dramatic, but holy shit!). So after two days, three coats of paint, and plenty of cursing, I finished the paint job! It was rewarding to basically do most of it myself, with little help from my sister Rachel and absolutely no help from my youngest sister Nicole. I knew after I painted the room, the fun part would begin!

So on Sunday morning I went to Ikea and got a desk, a desk chair, a bookcase along with some drawers for the bookcase, a lamp, and a cart with wheels! In all, I spent $280 at Ikea. When I got home my sisters and I put everything together which was actually kinda fun. Once we set everything up where we thought it should go we knew it was missing some stuff, so we made a trip to Walmart. At Walmart we got new curtains, new comforter, some throw pillows, a dry erase board, small cork board, and some decorations for the walls. At Walmart we spent about $108.

The next day I went to Target because I felt we were still missing some cool knick knacks and a desk lamp. Little did I know, I was about to have the greatest Target trip of my life!

DSC_0604

The cute blue stool thing had a clearance tag on it that said $24.98. The laser cut metal mirror had a clearance tag for $14.98. The small trash can was on sale for $12.78. And the Threshold white lamp had a clearance tag of $17 something. I get up to the register and the girl informs me that everything on clearance was even lower than the tag price. I THOUGHT MY FREAKING HEAD WAS GOING TO EXPLODE! I told her I might need to call my mom and have her pick me up because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to drive home – HAHA! My total for all of the things above was originally $50 and some change but with a mobile coupon for $5 off home purchases, I paid $45. Felt pretty good!

So, if you’ve been keeping track of the totals from all my purchases, you’d see I only came in $3 over the budget for this room! Pretty spectacular if you ask me!

The end result was pretty awesome for one weekend of hard work! So without further ado, here’s the new home office!

DSC_0595

DSC_0598

DSC_0614

DSC_0609

DSC_0592

My mom loved it and I couldn’t be happier because she deserves it and so much more! I heard her the next day talking to people on the phone and telling them how she was working in her new home office that her daughters put together for her and how it was the nicest thing anyone has done for her in a long time. It feels great to make someone’s day!

It’s almost Hump Day! Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Repurposing Household Items!

Do you know what I hate? When my Bath & Body Works candles are running out of wax. I’ve burned through them and the pretty jar is now basically empty and coming closer and closer to becoming garbage.

DSC_0007

Do you know what I love? The jars that the Bath & Body Works candles come in. I love the symmetry and plainness of the jars. They’re so cute! So, I’ve repurposed the jar from candle to cotton ball holder! This is how:

Boil some water

DSC_0021

DSC_0030

Once the water is boiling, pour it directly into the jar. Sometimes people are afraid that this will shatter the jar but from personal experience, I can tell you that this jar is very sturdy and can definitely withstand boiling water. Once you pour in the boiling water you’ll notice that the water and the candle wax begin to separate.

DSC_0039

After about a minute or two take a butter knife and go around the edge of the wax and also around each of the wicks. The wax should be soft enough and this shouldn’t be difficult. If the wax is still tough, give the hot water a few additional minutes to soften the wax.

DSC_0050

Once you’ve traced the outline of the wax inside the jar you should be able to pry the wax from the bottom of the jar. If not in one big piece then in a couple of big pieces.

DSC_0053

Once the majority of the wax is out you can most likely pry the wicks and the wick stands out very easily. Remove them and allow the remaining wax to rise to the top of the jar.

DSC_0056

DSC_0059

Once it’s done separating just pour it out. I usually like to let the wax on top harden and throw that away before pouring out the water below it. The sticker on the side of the jar is easy to pull off. As for the sticker on the bottom, it may need a little extra soaking in order to come off. Once all the stickers are off run a soapy sponge over it and let it dry and then it’s ready! You’ve got a really cute jar to do with as you please!

DSC_0001

DSC_0003

Love these small projects that increase my bathroom storage, especially since I’ve got very minimal storage in my apartment.

IMG_4575

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Country Theme Graduation Party!

I think it is safe to say that the party was a success. It was a lot of work getting ready for it but I had a great time and it seemed to me that everyone else had a great time as well.

The photo booth turned out better than expected and I think I pretty much got pictures of all our guests (except a couple sneaky neighbors that left before I got the opportunity to hound them ask them to come up to the photo booth). There’s a ton of pictures from the photo booth and I don’t think I have the space to post them all but I’ll post a few.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I bought a huge roll of that red vinyl barn siding and we ended up not needing it because the outside of my mom’s house pretty much looked the same way. BIG time saver.

The outhouse door cover was a big hit too. I don’t think a lot of people noticed it until some other people pointed it out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Also, the picture wall with all the clothespins looked perfect! Rachel wants to keep it up all year long. Instead of doing it in the dinning room we ended up taking a painting down off the fire place and just doing it there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I cut out the “CONGRATS RACH” banner with my cricut and then, yes, I had to feed the twine through it which took some time and effort but we loved how it looked after we were done.

My mom had rented 4 tables and 20 folding chairs from a party rental place and we set them up on Sunday morning before the party.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I thought the black chairs made it look a little too formal. I would have loved to have brown chairs, but what are ya gonna do? Each table had a small mason jar with a candle and a bigger mason jar filled with daisies. I loved them!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All of the tables that held the food were covered in the awesome $1 gingham tablecloths that I got from the dollar store!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Do you see the awesome milk can?! Remember it from my first Country Themed Grad Party post? Yep, it turned out great!

mycollage_1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I put out a card basket instead of a card box and I thought it looked pretty cute. I saw on Pinterest that someone did an advice box for their wedding and I thought an advice box would be even more perfect for a graduation party. Who needs advice more than a young gal that just graduated high school and is making her way out into the world?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And that pretty much wraps it up. Sharing the day with friends and family was very special, not only for Rachel but also for myself. Thanks to everyone who came!

QUICK SHOUT OUTS!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

BIG thank you to my cousin’s awesome husband John for being the grill master! Food was delicious.

Thank you to my Aunt Mary for taking Bella up to her house for the afternoon so that she didn’t bark everyone’s face off. And also for letting me borrow your iced tea maker. You’re the best!

Thank you to my Aunt Patty for coming over the day before the party and planting some stuff in the front yard and also for helping with the veggie and fruit trays and everything else.

Thank you to my Aunt Maureen for helping put everything out when the party got started while my mom was freaking out about our parking situation.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Random Sunday Post

Well, hello!

If you haven’t noticed I’ve given up on the Blog Everyday in May challenge. I’ve been a little busy and kinda gave up. I’m a quitter :(… Anyways, I’m completely obsessed with the show Flea Market Flip on the HGTV channel. I was watching it this weekend and Laura Spencer said that some of her own projects were on her website which you can find here. I quickly picked up my laptop and was on the website for like an hour. One of my favorite projects was this one:

RX-HGMAG004_Flea-Market-Flips-102-c_s3x4_lg

And the result was this:

RX-HGMAG004_Flea-Market-Flips-102-d_s3x4_lg

Isn’t it adorable?! I love the mirror that she put on the side and the lower hooks for purses and bags. I’m definitely going to try this project.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

How to Properly Store Your Wedding Dress

BB0912_johnsons_Wedding_Dress_Image_hi_resIs it just me or does this look like a wedding dress coffin?

So I wanted to publish this post during the month which is most popular for weddings, but the internet failed me. I googled, “What is the most popular month to get married?” Well, google presented me with results that consisted of every month except for January, February, March, April, November, and December. So that leaves us with May, June, July, August, September, and October. I was looking for one month and I ended up with half the year as my answer. Oh well… If you’re about to get married or just got married CONGRATULATIONS! I thought I would write a post about the proper way to store your wedding dress.

 The first thing you need to do is get it professionally cleaned, ASAP! Sweat, perfume, make up, and alcohol stains may not be visible at first but the longer you wait, the darker the spots will eventually get. Therefore, harder to get out. Make sure you research cleaners in your area because a lot of them won’t clean wedding dresses. Get references from friends who recently got married or look at reviews online. The last thing you want is your dress that cost thousands of dollars to come back and be accidentally dyed purple or something. Unless your wedding dress was actually purple to begin with, which is pretty unique. Anyways…

 The second thing you need to do is decide whether you’re going to keep your wedding dress in a box or on hanger storage. Either way you’re going to need acid-free tissue paper.

If you’re going to store your wedding dress in a box make sure you purchase a big box. You don’t want your wedding dress all squished up in a box for all of eternity. Start by lining the box with acid-free tissue paper and put the hem, or bottom of the dress, in first. Then layer it accordion-style and put the tissue paper in between each layer. If your dress has sleeves, be sure to stuff the sleeves with the tissue paper also.

Hanging your dress may be a little easier. Make sure to get a wide, padded hanger. Once the dress is on the hanger be sure to stuff the sleeve and any deep folds of fabric with acid-free tissue paper. Then just cover the dress in a muslin garment bag that you can get online for around $30-$40 dollars.

For real preservation of your wedding dress, check on it once a year. If your dress is hanging take it out of the garment bag and wash the bag. For boxed dresses, take the dress out and repack it so that it’s not folded in the same places.

I hope this helps you keep your wedding dresses nice and pretty! Some women save their dresses for their daughters or just for sentimental value, but I think after a few years, take it out, modify it, and wear it to an anniversary party, or make it a little more casual and wear it out to another event. Make your multi-thousand dollar dress multi-purpose and put it to use, girl!

Happy Sunday everyone! Geez, where did that weekend go?!