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Author Archive | Jessica Bruno

Jessica Bruno

We are a crew of four generations all living together under one roof. We share our
Do-It-Yourself renovations, project tutorials, room makevers and bits of what life is like living together under one roof. Could you live with multiple generations?

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Here are my most recent posts

Window Makeover with Roman Shades {before & after}

Do you love roman shades? I do! Today we are sharing our window makeover with newly installed roman shades. We live on a main road and were in need of shades to ensure privacy during the evening. The natural lighting is minimal in both of the front rooms that face the road. We didn’t want anything to bulky or overwhelming, just something to provide a little privacy. A few weeks ago I shared my in-home design consultation with Julie from Decorview. This week a wonderful installer named Andy from Decorview, installed our shades in under one hour.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

Here is the dining room prior to the new roman shades being installed.

how to create multigenerational home

Be sure to reference my post from early September which illustrates the measurement and design consultation process with Decorview. You must see the amount fabrics and shade options available, it was a fabulous experience! The shades operate on a power remote which I will be sharing next week. You have the option though to bypass the remote and simply install just the shades.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

The quality of the fabric is exceptional. The are lightly lined although you can get a blackout option as well. I can’t wait to install these in our bedrooms with the black out option.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

Late in the afternoon we do get sunlight through the windows. My son tends to do his homework at the table (even though he has a desk! ha) and the glare is sometimes a bit much. As you can see when they are half shut, it keeps the glare down.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

When they are completely shut, the provide the necessary privacy we needed. The each operate on their own, meaning you can open and close the separately. There is an option to do one large shade but we decided that it would the shade would be overwhelming with such a large window. It’s all a matter of preference but for me, I love the individual shade option.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

As you can see the shades simply click underneath the top casing directly into a plastic clip. Here, you can see Andy the installer adding the clips.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

Everything about these roman shades are clean lined, unobtrusive and easy on the eye.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

See those little clips on the end of the shades, those are the only thing clips attached to your window casing. The modern elegant look is stunning.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

We also installed the exact roman shades in the adjacent playroom/study.

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

Here is the room from last year before we did the playroom makeover.

window treatments for the dining room and study

Here is the room after the makeover during Christmas last year but without the roman shades.

window treatments for the dining room and study

The roman shades are perfect for the evening. I mean, who wants to see Sponge Bob on our TV as they drive by at night. That little sponge is a serious distraction! haha

window makeover with roman shades {before & after}

We decided that a roman shade, batten front bungalow fabric in camel would be ideal from their Design Studio Line. The color of the fabric is called camel. I realize this is a sponsored post but I can honestly tell you that my experience with both the design consultant and the installer was exceptional. The quality is top-notch and I am incredibly pleased with our new roman shades. I will be back next week to share the remote-power option. These guys work off of a remote and it’s insane our cool it is to watch them open and close with the touch of a button. My grandmother who is in a wheel chair is amazed at how easy it is to open and close the shades. If you are looking for more window design inspiration, be sure to check out the Decorview blog. Thank you so much Decorview for allowing me to share your fabulous product and providing complimentary shades for our home.

Do your windows need an upgrade? Schedule your free design consultation from Décorview today, and save on the most popular styles!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Décorview. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mom’s small living room makeover {gray + white}

Today I am sharing a never before seen space which happens to be my mom’s. A small living room makeover featuring gray and white. There is a small room right before my parents master bedroom and it was in need of an update. My mom loves traditional design but wanted to add a bit of a modern twist so we painted the walls, added the rug from our family room, the curtains from our dining room and some fresh new throw pillows.

small living room makeover

Here is the room before. The previous rug was a dark oriental that my mom has had for years. I wasn’t home when they emptied the room but thankfully my sister-in-law snapped a few pictures for me. Phew!

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

I know exactly what my dad is thinking above, “why are we doing this?” We kept the piano in the same spot (that wall will be shown on another day).The dark red chair rail and the tan walls didn’t do this room any favors. About 5 years ago I was loving red and I am actually the one who picked this color and painted this room for my mom. It’s funny how as time goes by, your taste in home decor changes.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

This time around, we decided to add the white to the chair rail and the dark gray on the top.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

We transformed this room with paint, items from around our home and a few new throw pillows. Don’t be afraid to steal items from other rooms. You can have a brand new room with stuff you already own! The picture next to the grandfather clock is of my 3rd great grandparents.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

Isn’t it amazing what new paint will do?

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white

Here is a shot of me in action. I know, I have paint on my butt.

small living room makeover -7

In an afternoon, we got the entire room painted. Two coats requisite gray by Sherwin-Williams and two coats of extra white by Sherwin Williams.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white We recently put our indoor/outdoor rug from our porch in our family room so the rug above needed a home and this room suits it nicely.

gorgeous small living room makeover gray + white When we moved in over 6 years ago, my mom gave up her formal living room so we could create a multipurpose playroom/tv room/study. We pulled these two wing back chairs out of her family room down stairs and they look great in this newly created living room. We haven’t finished decorating the piano wall yet. I am in the middle of finding the perfect fabric to recover the piano seat. Hopefully that will be completed soon and we will be back to share with you. My mom is thrilled with her new gray and white living room. The goal was to create a modern traditional space. By keeping her artwork, the grandfather clock and piano in the space along with the addition of her wing back chairs, we accomplished the traditional design element. The geometric curtains and blue trellis rug added the modern twist we were looking for and I must say, I am kind of digging the room! ;). Thank you to Sherwin-Williams for providing the paint. The pillows are from Pier One, the drapes that we used from our dining room are from HomeGoods and the rug is from overstock (from our family room).

Navy Blue Master Bedroom update

Our navy blue master bedroom finally has furniture. After sleeping in the middle of the floor for the last 3+ months on a mattress, we have graduated to a bed.  The furniture from Wayfair and Birch Lane was delivered last week and we are now just waiting on the new bedding to arrive. These pictures are a little grainy as the lighting at the moment is horrible in the room. I snapped these quickly with my cell phone last week while we were trying to put the bed frame together. We had a small snaffu attaching the frame to the headboard but mostly due to user error.  It would have helped if we read the directions first ;).

navy blue master bedroom update

The large oversized dresser will be perfect for bulky sweaters, sweatshirts and my husbands clothes. His stuff takes up so much room.

navy blue master bedroom update-2

Here is a sneak peek of the tufted headboard. The room isn’t overly huge so we decided to go with just a headboard to free up space at the bottom of the bed. I am hoping there will be enough room for a small bench.

navy blue master bedroom update-4

I decided that I would mix and match furniture pieces. While I do like some bedroom sets, I prefer a more eclectic look. The fabric headboard from Wayfair and these gorgeous night tables from Birch Lane couldn’t have been more perfect together. It’s always a gamble when you order online but when you have a fabric headboard, your options for night tables are really unlimited.

navy blue master bedroom update

I am hoping to share the reveal in the next couple weeks. We still need to address the lighting issue and tackle a DIY wall art project on the bed wall. I haven’t decided what to do yet on that wall but I am thinking an array of brass or gold colored frames or perhaps using molding to create texture along the wall. If you have any ideas, I am all ears!

Framing a New Shed {the walls are up!}

The new shed is coming along nicely and last weekend we starting framing the shed. As I mentioned earlier in the week, we are in need of additional outdoor storage and this small addition will certainly help. My dad isn’t a big fan of helping me inside the house with renovation work but he LOVES to build sheds. I think it’s because his “stuff” gets to go inside the shed. So here we go, the framing process begins.

how to frame a shed

We already had an existing cement floor so we created a frame (which we nailed to the cement) using pressure treated 2×4’s.

Framing the new shed -2

The shed is directly off of our family room which already has a nice storage area beneath. My mom has that space packed with everything from when we were kids. I don’t know why she still has it but she insists on keeping it. Do any of your keep things that long?

Framing the new shed -3

 

We eventually will tear down the trellis that my dad built a few years ago. At one point there was a fence that ran across the yard to the pool area which has since been removed and the trellis looks out of place now that the fence is gone.

Framing the new shed -5

In a matter of a couple hours, we had the floor framed and the walls up.

Framing the new shed -6

My grandmother watched out the window because she had no idea what we were doing. She is short and can barely see out the window and all I could see was her little white boofy head yelling, “what are you doing down there!?” ;)

Framing the new shed -7Using 2×4’s and 2×10’s (for the side walls along the ground) we created a frame for the shed walls which will be added soon. All this for a little o’l lawn mower. My dad tends to go big when he builds so I am hoping to gain a little piece of the new shed for some of my toys but I am not sure how that will go over. Everyone in the house is trying to claim the extra space as “their own” but my dad quickly is putting a stop to that. He already told my mom not to get any bright ideas about putting her stuff in it. ;)

 

Christmas in October + Creatively Christmas book launch

Christmas in October? What! I know, stay tuned, I’ll explain. Just popping in real quick today to share my friends launch of her new Christmas book, Creatively Christmas. Do you know Jen from Jen Rizzo? I met Jen a couple years ago at the Haven conference while filling my face with food! ha. We were sitting next to each other and just hit off. She is so down to earth and super friendly. Some of you may know, she runs a wonderful Christmas home tour every year featuring amazingly talented bloggers from across the blogosphere. I am honored that she invites me each year and cannot wait to share our Christmas home for 2014. Would you believe me if I told you we pulled out 3 Christmas trees yesterday? Indeed we did ;). My grandfather is so confused about why we have trees up right now. I told him we are decorating 6 trees this year and he was speechless. He thinks I am out of my mind. I am kind of agreeing with him at the moment.

Christmas started yesterday + Creatively Christmas book launch

Jen’s book features never before seen Christmas craft tutorials, decorating ideas and loads of gorgeous Christmas inspiration.

Christmas started yesterday + Creatively Christmas book launch

Here is cute Jen! I grabbed this image from Beth’s site (thanks Beth!!) because I couldn’t help but giggle as the power tool is as big as she is! ha

Christmas started yesterday + Creatively Christmas book launch

Jen has a great eye for classic vintage decor and I love how cozy her spaces look. Curling up with a cozy book is what I want to do in this sitting area below.christmas in october plus creatively christmas book launch

Be sure to head on over to amazon where you can order your own copy of Creatively Christmas. You are sure to be inspired!

christmas in october plus creatively christmas book launchAs many of you know, Christmas in our home is insane with loads of trees and multiple mini-parties during Christmas eve and Christmas day. Living with four generations under one roof, we split up the festivities and go from room to room in our home. Like many of you, we travel during the holidays but we stay under one roof while we travel. This year I am trying to be organized with all the decorating and not last minute. My hope is to enjoy the Christmas season and relax so my mom and I are getting a jump start on the decorating. We are part of two Christmas home tours this year and decorating, taking pictures and writing the blog post takes an enormous amount of time so hence the, Christmas in October festivities under our roof ;). Sorry gramps, you will just have to deal with Christmas for three months! haha

 

We are building a new shed {outdoor storage}

Before we I get started with today’s post, I wanted to wish my step daughters a very special 14th birthday! I cannot believe they are 14. Time just seems to be flying by these days. Everyone just keeps getting older! Ok, now for todays post. For whatever reason, when my dad and I think along the same wave length as far as projects. I decided to rip apart our master bedroom and start the makeover process a few weeks ago and last week, my dad showed up with a truck load of wood to start building a new shed. Both my mom and I looked at each other said, “what is he doing?”  We recently purchased a tractor for the barn and plowing snow and apparently, it doesn’t fit in our existing shed. Well it fits, just not the way he likes it. ha

building a new shed outdoor storage

The new shed will be added on to the back of our family room.

building a new shed outdoor storage

 

Nothing to big, just enough to create additional outdoor storage to free up some space in our existing shed. The lawn mower will move to the new shed which will allow more room for the new tractor. I have grown up my entire life living in a state of chaos and renovation. When I was a kid, my parents were always building, selling and rebuilding our homes. My dad has built probably 10 additions off of this home and I am not sure where else he can go from here. haha. I think a new house will be in the near future! A new project ;).

BHG Style Maker Event NYC 2014

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Better Homes and Gardens Style Maker Event in New York City. We attended a day full of fabulous workshops, dinner with friends and a cocktail party where we were able to meet and hang out with Nate Berkus. Not bad right?

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014

NYC is always a blast and the BHG headquarters is super close to 5th Ave and Rockefeller Plaza so shopping is a must.

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014 Do you know Miss Laura at Finding Home? We were roomies and shared so many laughs!

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014

The day was jam packed with workshops that we were able to preschedule and attend. Everything from photography, styling a table with Eddie Ross to the tiny little details of how to write a searchable blog post.

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014It was great to see my friend Kim from Sand and Sisal. We usually only get a chance to see each other during blog conferences so this was the 2nd time in 2 months we hung out together. So much fun!

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014

BHG Style Maker Workshop NYC 2014

Thank you so much Better Homes and Gardens for another fabulous style event. I absolutely love the collage they put together featuring the bloggers who attended. I met a few new bloggers and wow, the amount of talent all in one place was amazing. Happy long weekend! We are closing up the camper this weekend and saying good bye until next summer. Where did the time go? Although I won’t lie, I am looking forward to Christmas, my favorite time of year!

Our Portico Reveal {curb appeal}

The portico is done! During the summer I shared our stages of how we were building a portico in an effort to add curb appeal and a bit of architectural detail to the front of our home. When my parents purchased the home almost 30 years ago, the square footage was around 2000. Over the years it has more than tripled and the sad tiny original portico never grew. It’s surroundings did….but “it” didn’t. Finally, my dad addressed the issue when he replaced the 30 year old front door this past summer. Our friends over atWayfair have joined in the fun and sent us some fabulous items to add the finishing touches to our new portico.

How to add curb appeal with a new DIY portico design at your front entry. Must see the before image.

Keep reading, you need to the before!

Our New Portico - curb appeal reveal. Must see the before!

Before:

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

We completely ripped out the front door and the existing portico.

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

 Like, see you later alligator ;) .

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

We completely covered the stairs with new Trex decking (see here) which is maintenance free and so pretty! The walkway is in need of being replaced as well but we haven’t quite figured out what to do with it. Ideally, jack hammering it up and laying brick would be my choice but that would be costly so that topic is for another day. Baby steps right?

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

The gorgeous indoor/outdoor fabric rope basket and wheat colored tweed rug from Wayfair coordinated perfectly and guess what, that basket looks fabulous with a flowering mum inside. You would just need to remove the plant before watering. It’s so pretty!

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

We added new house numbers and solar flood lights. I still have some touch up work to do but I am thrilled that my part in the project is just about finished!

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

My grandfather was hovering over with his cane asking why I didn’t rake the leaves for the picture. I said, “it’s fall gramp, there are suppose to be leaves on the ground!”

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

We added new planters as well on either side of the step. Giant flowering mums added the final “wow” factor that this portico needed. I love that the planters are versatile and will be perfect for the changing seasons.

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

A much needed improvement right?

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

Two things I must have,  my phone and Dunkin Donuts ice coffee. DD coffee is my weakness. My grandfather and I always head to DD to get coffee together. He loves it too!

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

We still need to do some landscaping around the portico and front walkway but that will come later on next year. Be sure to check out our painted bench tutorial as shown below. The bench was tired and very worn looking from the outdoor elements and in matter of 2 hours, it came back to life. Red paint will do that!

new portico- curb appeal reveal: must see before

Building a portico was probably one of the best investments we made to boost our curb appeal. The next step is to add shutters. It’s amazing how this larger structure, new decor, substantial planters and solar ground lighting have dramatically increased the architectural detail and changed the look completely of the front of our home. My mom has wanted shutters for about 20 years so hopefully that gets completed next year! Be sure to head over to Wayfair to see more curb appeal and fall decorating ideas.

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary products from Wayfair. All opinion and words are 100% my own.

Cute DIY Halloween Pumpkin {30 minutes}

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by an editor from the Clinton Kelly team. Many of you may already know who Clinton is but for those of you who don’t, he currently has his own TV show called The Chew. It’s on ABC during the week and on the east coast, it airs at 1pm. Anyway, he just launched his amazing new website featuring everything from food, fashion, home and DIY.  They asked if I would like to participate in the Clinton Kelly’s 30-Minute Pumpkin Challenge and of course, I said yes.  So we created this cute diy halloween pumpkin featuring the naughty witch cooking in the cauldron. hehe

How to make a DIY Pumpkin with witch legs in under 30 minutes. Quick and easy halloween craft and perfect for any tabletop. This would be fabulous coordinated at a beverage station during a party.

 

Cute DIY Halloween Pumpkin in 30 minutes or less

The baby pumpkins are freaked out to say the least.

fun diy halloween pumpkin in 30 minutes or less + tutorial

To create this look, you will need a pair of halloween socks, polyfiber fill or paper towels (to fill the socks), stickers, faux large pumpkin, googly eyes and white spray paint.

fun diy halloween pumpkin in 30 minutes or less + tutorial  Simply cut the stem off a faux pumpkin.

cute diy halloween pumpkin 30 minutes or less + tutorial

Once the top was removed, I spray painted the pumpkin white and filled my socks. I also decided to add a bit of the polyfill (you can get polyfill in any craft store) around the top of the pumpkin to create a boiling smokey look. I mean, she is cooking right? ;)

cute diy halloween pumpkin 30 minutes or less + tutorial

I saw this cute saying at Michaels on a sign and thought it would be perfect for the front of our halloween pumpkin. There are so many fun stickers to choose from, these ended up perfect for a fun halloween look. I added a witch hat to pumpkin from HomeGoods and he was good to go.

cute diy halloween pumpkin 30 minutes or less + tutorial Do you like my shoes? They fit her perfectly!

cute diy halloween pumpkin 30 minutes or less + tutorial

 

My husband came home from work the other day and said, “oh, is that mommy in the cauldron?” haha. He thinks he is pretty funny. I think this would be perfect for a kid halloween party situated at the beverage station. Imagine a punch bowl filled with apple cider and these cute guys there on display. Thank you to Clinton for inviting me, along with a few other bloggers to this fun pumpkin challenge.  You can find more amazing ideas on clintonkelly.com. You can also make your own 30 minute challenge pumpkin and post it on Instagram using the following hashtags: #pumpkinchallenge #pumpkins #30minpumpkin. Tag @clintonkellyofficial with your crafts and he will regram his favorites!

PS. I saw Clinton’s pumpkin creation last week and I have to admit, I busted out laughing ;). The look on his dog was priceless.

Linking to TidyMom

How to paint a red bench {bench makeover}

Today I am sharing how to paint a bench with a sprayer. Last week I had the pleasure of trying out the HomeRight Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer. We had a bench that we purchased a few years ago from HomeGoods and it was looking a little tired so I decided to give it a fresh new look with a high gloss exterior red paint.

how to paint a red bench

First, clean and lightly sand to prepare the bench for paint. The sprayer is incredibly easy to assemble and took about 1 minute. So simple!

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial

The spray is so fine you can’t even see it which makes it almost impossible to overspray and create drips.

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial

I sprayed with long even strokes back and forth creating a thin first layer.

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial

I don’t paint a lot of furniture but I may now! The finish on this bench is professional and smooth and I asked myself a couple times during this project, why haven’t I done this before!

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial

Because the paint spray is so fine, it dries in minutes. I ended up applying 3 coats to get the finished look I wanted. I didn’t prime prior as the exterior paint had a built in primer.

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial

 

So cool right?

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial

I absolutely LOVE how our bench came out and the sprayer, well it’s my new BFF. My grandfather loves to paint and create wooden gifts in his workshop and he has already claimed the rights to use this whenever he wants ;).

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial using a paint sprayer

Isn’t it beautiful?

how to paint a red bench + DIY tutorial using a paint sprayerThe bench sits under a large tree in our front yard and I think my mom has found a new spot to sit and enjoy the scenery.

how to paint a red bench + diy tutorial using a paint sprayer

This little worn and tired bench went from drab to fab in a matter of two hours and that included drying time and me eating lunch! Bright red is perfect for fall as well as the upcoming Christmas season. Do you have an outdoor bench, chair or rocker perhaps that needs a little TLC? Don’t be afraid to paint it a fabulous bright color. You will be amazed at how you can liven up an outdoor space with a new “old” furniture piece. Thank you to HomeRight for letting me share with all of you how to paint with a sprayer. It’s a rockstar for sure! ;)

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary HomeRight Finish Max Pro Fine Finish Sprayer and compensated for this post. Rest assured, all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

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