March 22, 2017

Chalk Paint to the Rescue

I've been way to lax with updating the Little River house blog.  It was a long, cold, snowy winter.  We set records for how much snowfall we had and for how long it was on the ground.  Sometimes I really wondered if Spring would ever come.  Winter may have been long but I really didn't mind.  It was so beautiful here and we were cozy and warm in our new home. it's time to catch up and tell you about all the projects we have in mind.  

First up, a redo of this nice little sofa that I bought from brother and sister in law's place, Cherry Consignment Furniture, in Meridian.  I love the style and the tufting but the fabric was a green and brown swirly pattern that I didn't love.   I've always wanted to have a sofa or settee at the end of the bed that looks at the television.  We've lived in three houses since I bought the couch and it never fit where I intended it too.  Finally, it fits right where I want it but the fabric was not working at all!  I toyed with the idea of having recovered which would cost me about 450 dollars and I really had so many other things to spend the money on.

A few months ago, my friend came out to visit and see the house.  When I showed her the sofa and told her my dilemma, she said she had painted a chair in her house with chalk paint and that it had turned out so good.  I was amazed that you could paint a piece of upholstered furniture...who knew!?

I toyed around with it for awhile and finally tried a little section on the back. I figured I was pretty safe..if I didn't like it, no one would see it.  

I didn't like it.   

The color was too dark and it felt rough and stiff.  I pushed the sofa back against the bed and just didn't look at it for awhile.

You can see the dark gray color I painted first in the corner.
Fast forward to today.  I was at BiMart and saw a nice shade of light gray chalk paint and it just seemed like it was now or never.  I thought "hey, if I don't  like it for sure this time, then I'll go ahead and have it recovered.  

It went on really easily and in about an hour, I had the entire couch painted. It only took one coat and it would of been okay with me if the pattern had subtly shown through, but it didn't.  
The point of no return..

I loved the color!  The fabric did seem really rough at first and then I remembered my friend had told me to sand it lightly when it was completely dry.   I sanded it and it made it so much smoother.  It's certainly not the softest, cushiest couch I've ever sat on, but it's not stiff and unyielding.  It has some give and feels sort of like old leather and looks like suede.

The bottom line is that it looks 100 percent better and I can live with the stiffer feel of the fabric.  I don't think I would do this to a piece that you plan to sit on a lot or that you want to be really cozy and squishy.  I do think it's a perfect solution for occasional chairs and if you have something you don't want to spend a lot of money on.   

Thirteen dollars for a can of paint versus 450 dollars to decide.

The Master Bedroom is still a work in progress and I'll have a future post showing more of the entire room when it's complete.  I'll be blogging about some of our winter fun, the arrival of spring, and our solar panel project over the next few days and weeks.  So come on back to check in on The Little River House!

December 17, 2016

Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to The Little River House Christmas home tour. 

Christmas is my very favorite time of year.  I love the lights, scents, excitement, and the warm feelings Christmas brings.  It's SO festive!

I made the BELIEVE sign a couple of years ago.  The other side says BLESSED.   The old ladder and stone crock I bought in Germany.  The fat little snowman is a Costco find from about 10 years ago.

A few years ago I decided I just had to have an outdoor nativity.  Mike and I worked together to make this one.  I drew it out on plywood, Mike cut it out and I painted it all white.  It normally has a big star hanging over it, but we haven't got to that yet.

Come on in!  The antique German sled by the front door has an old pair of skates from the Netherlands hanging on it and an old cow bell from Austria.  It's so fun to use some of the things we brought home with us after living in Germany for three years. 

I used a neutral color palette in the great room, with just a little green and a lot of silver and white sparkle.   The J-O-Y sign came from inspiration on Pinterest.  I bought the letters and the snowflake at a craft store.  Then I just nailed them to one of our scrap pieces of old barn wood that we used for our siding.  I felt I needed something large and wanted to do something other than a wreath.  It fills the space pretty well and it makes me smile!
Our tree seemed a little too short for the vaulted room, so Mike built a box out of our old barn wood to put the tree on.  I put some batting around to look like indoor snow and now the tree looks like we just cut it down and brought it in the house.  I love the rustic box and it looks great with the barn wood J-O-Y sign, too!
These are a few of my many nativities which I've collected for years.  I have over twenty.

I went a little more traditional in the kitchen and dining area.  Red and white looks so festive and fresh.  The hand embroidered table cloth is a find from a German flea market.  I recently painted the old wooden toolbox white and filled it with glittery red apples and greenery. 
The hutch is filled with Christmas dishes and a Santa Claus village that the grandkids all look forward to seeing each year.

Too many stockings for the fireplace, so i put them on the staircase.

The bonus room at the top of the stairs...

This room is still so bare, but really..what grandkid wouldn't love to spend the night here under a glowing Christmas tree? 

That's it for now.  Next year, I'll expand the decorating into the guest room and the master bedroom.

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas tour through The Little River House.  We wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

October 27, 2016

Watching the Grass Grow

What's interesting is that we live in a place that is a naturally beautiful landscape. However, we spent hours and hours hunched over a plot plan trying to enhance what is already here. 

Ed, the excavator,  brought in tons of dirt from the ponds and pushed dirt around, dug up huge amounts of russian olive trees and cleaned out brush, filled in a huge hole etc....
This is the pile Ed cleaned out. The bonfire will have to wait until winter.

Mike had about decided to wait and just do all the landscaping himself early next spring.  I was sorely disappointed.  I was hoping to see some green around here before then.  And finally, after much thought, he decided to bite the bullet and let the professionals do it.  Yay!   Mike is still so busy with finishing up siding the barn and wiring the barn.  He also has all the exterior painting to do and lets's not even revisit the garage full of boxes again.  

He called Mike at Red Leaf Landscaping.  They did the backyard at our house in Eagle and we really like their work.  He and his wife are a great team and really know their stuff.  They came out and spent over an hour walking the property with us and then came up with a great plan and one that we felt was worth every penny.  

They came on a Monday and by Thursday evening they had fine graded all the way down to the river, put in the sprinkler system and planted ten large trees and about twenty bushes.  

  We wanted to line our driveway with red maples to match Pat and Donna's, but that will be on the five year plan.  We were able to get four pretty good sized ones in and then we will just add a couple more each year until the driveway is done.

They will come back and add a few more trees and bushes in the spring...the ones that they felt would either transplant better then or that they'd be able to have a better choice when selecting the ones we want. 
I was dreaming for months of putting a clump birch in the circle, but the landscapers said it was too close to the septic system and so they convinced me to go with this.  It's really nice.

Travis came out for a few days and got the barn wired.  Let there be light in the barn!  
Mark finished with all of the lap siding and Mike has just the front of the barn left to side in the reclaimed barn wood.

He also finally got the house painted.  We went with a medium shade of grey siding and a dark grey (it's actually called Urbane Bronze from Sherwin Williams) for the trim.  I was so used to seeing it that tan color that the siding comes in that it's taking a little getting used to seeing grey next to the barn wood.  We know the barn wood will weather to several shades of grey and brown, so I think it going to look really nice as the house ages a bit.
Terrible pic of the grey house color, better one next time.

Can you believe how much my other half gets done!?  He also finished building the rustic farm table I have longed for ever since we lived in Europe.  I searched for three years for the perfect one and came home empty handed.  Mike said he could build on and lo and behold, he finally did!
It turned out amazing!  It's eight feet long and the top is made of two inch thick planks that in their previous life were outdoor bleachers at a local high school.  Dreams do come true.
We stained the legs quite dark and left the top in it's natural colors.

Mike trapped a gopher and Ollie was VERY interested in the whole process.  Maybe he'll figure out how to do what he was bred to do, and go gopher hunting.

And I'll leave you with this...who says watching grass grow isn't exciting?

October 10, 2016

It's Starting to Feel Like Home

I woke up yesterday morning and for the first time I really felt like I was waking up in MY home.  It's been one month since our move in day and it's been crazy!  We still have workers here almost every day.  I feel like I have this big extended family that pops in and out.  As you can see in the photo above, Mike finished up with the barnwood on the house and the lap siding and board and bat siding is almost complete.  

The sider is about ready to move to the barn and get that sided next.

Great news!  After almost six weeks, the tile setter is finished!  He did a fantastic job, but wow...six weeks!  The showers are beautiful and I love the flat pebble stone floors in both of them.
The Guest Room Shower ( still needs a glass door)

The Master Bath walk in shower. 
 I've tried and tried to get a good picture with no luck.  I'll have to find a contortionist to come take a better one. 
I found these cute little initial plaques to put over the hooks. That way Mike doesn't steal my towel. 

The house is still bare.  Not much in the way of decor yet.  That's because the garage looks like this:

There's my other furniture and decor items...somewhere in that mess.

So here are a few interior shots, no judging!  It will be awhile before it looks all put together and I'd like to blog about each room as it transforms.  Anyway, consider these the "before" pictures.

Mike, son Travis and Mike's friend, Kelly have been wiring the barn.  That required taking a lot of stuff out of the barn.  Yes...the Beverly Hillbillies do live here.
Travis putting his electrician skills to good use.

This is why it's called a "Toy"Barn.
 Ed and the landscapers have been getting the yard area all ready for sprinklers, grass bushes and trees.  It's pretty complicated since we have quite a bit of slope down to the river.  It's hard to decide how much of the overgrown trees and bushes to take out and how much to leave in.  I like the natural look and a little seclusion from the river, but the view is so beautiful.  Hopefully we can find a good compromise.  Eventually we'd like to have grass all the way down and a little sand brought in to have near the edge.  The problem is that the edge of the river varies according to the height of the water, which changes from season to season.  Like so much of the rest of the house, this will take a few years and some patience, but it's going to be so nice!

 We had reason to celebrate last Sunday.  We had the first family dinner at the new house and celebrated Mike and Vella's birthdays.  What better way to celebrate than for Uncle Pat to pull out the barrel train and give the kiddies a ride!

And that's about it for now.  The crisp days of fall have been occurring more frequently, the leaves are turning and the shadows are longer.  Happy October from the Little River House..