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Archive | Before and After

How to repair a cracked & old cement patio {before & after}

Today we are sharing how to repair a cracked and old cement patio.  Living with four generations under one roof poses many challenges, one being personal space. We took the opportunity this summer to makeover our deck and power-wash the patio and pool area. The patio has been neglected and seriously damaged through the winter storms but my dad completely ruined it (he says he didn’t, but he did) when he put down some kind of a rock salt last winter that ate through the cement like it was a little scooby snack.

how to repair a cracked cement patio

Here is the before:

how to repair an old cracked cement patio {diy patio}

The patio was a mix of old red paint, gray original cement, cracks and holes. Can you say, mess?! After a good powerwashing and removing any loose cement, we added 23 gallons of the Concrete RESTORE.  The space is about 400 sq.ft. We bought the large 4 gallon buckets as well as the RESTORE roller. Attach the roller with a long handled paint roller and simply dump the concrete/paint mixture and roll it on. It is SO easy!

How to repair an old cracked cement patio (diy patio)

This is my mom and dad’s “personal” outdoor space so she chose Cape Cod Gray to have the RESTORE cement tinted to. There are so many colors available. I spread this entire 450 square foot area in about 2.5 hours. One important tip, do not roll it on like you would when painting a wall (back and forth). The directions say to use a paint tray ect. I simply dumped 1/4 – 1/2 of the bucket on the cement and worked in sections. When you spread the cement, simply pull it towards you or push away from you. Do not roll over back and forth. This stuff is very thick but easy to spread. I highly recommend the special RESTORE roller. Do not use a regular paint roller. If you take a break in between, just wrap your roller in a plastic grocery bag. That’s what I did :)

Ok, now for the good part, here is how my mom’s patio is looking now!

How to repair an old cracked patio diy tutorial

How to repair an old cracked cement patio tutorial

My gramps made these DIY adirondack chairs and couch.  Isn’t he talented? I told him we are going to make some more for “my side” of the yard and I’ll be taking pictures of him to post on the blog. I think we need a tutorial on these, don’t you? We gave them a fresh coat of water-based stain and I think they are looking pretty snazzy! What do you think of that DIY lattice privacy screen to hide the air compressor units? My dad and I recently made it one Saturday afternoon, I will post the tutorial soon!

How to repair an old cracked cement patio tutorial

My mom loves black and sand colors together so we used her existing cushions along with some DIY bolster pillows from the fabric I had left over from our dining room makeover.

How to repair an old cracked cement patio {tutorial} via @fourgenerationsoneroof.com

How to repair an old cracked cement patio {tutorial} via @fourgenerationsoneroof.com

My mom is loving her new space! Especially the Cape Code Gray cement color.

How to repair an old cracked cement patio {tutorial}

This is where my mom drinks her coffee every morning. It’s a pretty cozy spot!

How to repair an old cracked patio flower collage

How to repair an old cracked cement patio {tutorial}

So what do you think? Would you be daring enough to dump tinted cement and resurface an old worn cement patio or even a deck? This stuff can be used on a deck also. I had no idea how to repair a cracked and old cement patio prior to using this product and I’m happy I gave it a try. The patio isn’t perfect but it’s certainly better than it was. The best thing, my mom loves it!

You can view the DIY lattice privacy screen  tutorial here.

If you would like to see our other outdoor makeovers, check out our orange and pink deck makeover.

PS. Total cost = under $275 (cost of cement product + lattice for privacy screen)

Our pink and orange deck {before & after}

Today I am sharing our pink and orange deck reveal.  The before pictures are not the best. Who knew last summer (before I started blogging) I would need a picture of our deck. Thankfully, I had taken one with my phone last summer of this poor little structure looking dreary and thirsty for some stain! The transformation of this deck is unbelievable in my eyes.

pink + orange deck reveal

BHG inspired deck design


unstained deck looking very old


Deck after

The floor before,

Deck before

A couple weeks ago, I shared some pictures on my twitter and facebook page of us staining this space. Note to self, do no add a rubber backed outdoor rug to a space that has been painted/stained. The humidity last summer adhered the rug to the floor and when I ripped up the rug, all the stain came up and the rubber was stuck to the wood. Lets just say, it took me 2 weekends to scrape and strip off the rubber and existing stain.

deck floor before

Deck before


BHG inspired deck design

The furniture is from BHG purchased at Walmart a couple years ago.  The addition of flowers, an indoor/outdoor rug and accessories I had laying around the house, I think add such a warm and cozy feel.

BHG inspired deck design

I love pink and orange together and I think the colors look great with the sand colored furniture cushions. I picked up these pink hydrangeas at Michaels on sale for $4.50. The watering can was a brown brassy color so I gave it a quick coat of powdered blue spray paint.

BHG inspired deck design

BHG inspired deck design

I bought this bench from Homegoods last summer on clearance for $69. I bought the fabric for the cushions and throw pillows at fabric.com. The pillow fabric is Silsila Lawn indoor/outdoor by P Kaufmann and the cushion fabric is hugo stripe grenadine by P Kaufmann. If you would like to sew your own pillow covers, be sure to check out our pillow cover tutorial.

BHG inspired deck design

I purchased the pink and orange scatter bath rugs from Marshalls for under $5 each! I was pretty excited about that :)

BHG inspired deck design

BHG inspired deck design

BHG inspired deck design

This is the view from my back door,

BHG inspired deck design

This is my summer mom cave spot.

We used Natural Cedar and linen Behr porch and floor stain. I think the two toned stain color coordinates nicely with our pink and orange deck color scheme. I highly recommend power washing your deck first and allowing it to dry for  24-48 hours before staining. The stain is water based so it’s very easy to apply. How about you, are you tackling a deck project this summer? Send me some pictures if you are.

Would you like to learn how to build a DIY lattice privacy screen? If you have an unsightly spot on your deck, this tutorial will help you hide it. Be sure to check out our outdoor rooms and covered porches that wow as well.

Coastal Cottage Dining Room {before and after}

Hi everyone! Today I am sharing our coastal cottage dining room makeover that was a long time coming but it’s finally finished. It’s full of DIY projects ranging from the reupholstered chairs, board and batten wall treatments and the old hutch makeover. My grandmother gave me this hutch over 15 years ago and she wasn’t impressed at first when I decided to paint it white but she loves it now.

cottage dining room makeoverSince writing this post, our dining room was featured in the January 2013 issue of Woman’s Day which was a blast. Here is the Woman’s Day tear sheet of our kitchen and dining room.

Woman's day feature + behind the scenes

photos courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine

I don’t know about you, but our dining room is  part of our kitchen and really serves as a multipurpose room. We eat, surf the net, build legos and do arts and crafts. No formal looking dining room under this roof! The room before was fine, it just needed some pizzaz and character. The curtains were my first sewing project last summer and for a lack of a better place to hang them, I hung them in the dining room with these chairs. I know, they don’t exactly go together.


Dining room

I wanted a room that was fun, bright, cheery, cozy, comfy with a touch of coastal cottage flair. It needed to tie in and coordinate with the planked walls we just added in our family room.

So I decided to add board and batten to the walls in an effort to add some texture and visual appeal to the plain boring walls. You can view my DIY board and batten tutorial to see exactly how I did it.


DIY board and batten tutorial

During this entire process I knew I wanted something bold, fun and a little “out of the box”. I wanted to take a risk and really mix and match the upholstery fabric and the drapery fabric. However, I almost chickened out so I contacted my friend Darlene, who is the owner/designer of Fieldstone Hill Designs. If you don’t know her, check her out because she has so many reasonable e-design services and she helped me decide on the coordinating drapery fabric and wall color. So after painting the wall four times and finally deciding on a drapery swatch I loved, this is the rooms new look:

Coastal Cottage Dining Room

Can you believe we coordinated striped {sand & black indoor/outdoor} Sunbrella fabric with the bold flowered chair fabric? I would have never been so daring had I not had Darlene holding my hand through it all! I ordered the fabric (3 yards for each panel) and sewed the curtains. I have never used indoor/outdoor fabric inside for drapery but I am on board! The texture is fabulous and very easy to work with.

coastal cottage dining room

The top part of the wall is painted Cobblestone Cape May by Benjamin Moore. The lower part (the board & batten) is White Dove by BM.

coastal cottage dining room

This hutch was an old piece that was given to me by my grandparents that I recently overhauled with white paint, new shelving, hardware and trim. I love how my great grandmother’s blue willow china looks in it :). The hutch houses a mix of old and new. I have the baskets filled with our sons crafts and paint supplies. I added floating shelves to the wall below to add custom artwork done by my son and step daughters.

coastal cottage dining room

This side of the room needed some color so I gave the kids some paint supplies and a tarp and had them do some splatter painting. My great gram used this blue willow china at her camp on the lake as her everyday dishware so it is ironic that it is paired with kids art work and crafting items over 100 years later. I think she would be pleased :)

coastal cottage family room


coastal cottage dining room

The two wingback chairs I reupholstered in Samoen Plantation fabric by Iman. I hope to have a tutorial on the “how I did it” soon. I am so clueless with the computer/video editing stuff that it is taking me forever to try and lighten the video.

coastal cottage dining room


coastal cottage dining room

coastal cottage dining room

I struggled with some of these photo’s because of the size of the windows and the sunlight. I really love when pictures have that blown out sun effect but sometimes it’s to much so I was struggling to find balance! I have to thank Kevin and Josh from Shoot Fly Shoot. I have taken their online photo workshop and also learned some tips from them while attending last weeks Haven Conference. When I returned home, I picked up a few suggestions and tried them on this room and am happy with how they turned out. They are by no means perfect but I am learning :).

coastal cottage dining room

Lastly, this is the view from our kitchen. Would you believe me if I told you there use to be a wall here? Last summer, before I started blogging, we tore down the wall and opened up the kitchen into the dining room. Had I known I would need a picture a year later for a little o’l thing called a blog, I would have snapped one :).

coastal cottage dining room

I will post a resource list soon. I will tell you though, this room makeover cost under $300.

coastal cottage dining room before and after

I think our new open cottage dining room is much more inviting and has so much more character. Would you add board and batten to your wall? Be sure to also check out our other room makeover in our project gallery.

Here is a fun shot of me setting the table during the photo shoot.

Jess setting dining table resized.jpg

Thank you so much for taking a peak at our coastal cottage dining room. It truly is the heart of our home along with our kitchen.

Coastal cottage family room {feature at Curbly}

Hey Everyone! A big thank you to Brittni and the rest of the crew over at Curbly for featuring our family room makover today. I was so excited when Brittni contacted me for a feature :). If you have a chance, hop over and visit them. Their site is ginormous and packed full of DIY & decor ideas. I’m getting ready for day one of the Haven Conference and I cannot wait to meet some of my cyberspace friends :) .

Coastal Cottage Family Room - planked walls



DIY couch feature {11 Magnolia Lane}

Hi everyone! I’m headed out today to Haven but I wanted to let you know that the girls over at 11 Magnolia Lane are featuring the couch I sawzalled in half as part of their “Fearless” DIY series. That crazy couch still makes me laugh :) Hop over and check them out! Have a great week and I’ll post some pictures on my facebook and twitter account while at Haven. It’s kind of strange thinking back to this time last year, I didn’t even know what a blog was.  Now I’m headed to a blog conference on a jet plane. Whaaaaa?! :)

DIY how to make a large couch small {diy couch}

DIY reupholstered wingback chair {before & after}

Today I am sharing our DIY reupholstered wingback chair with you. I feel like it’s been forever since I posted a project. Do you ever feel like some things just take you twice as long as they should? I have to admit, part of my problem is that I usually have 3 or 4 projects going on at once. I have been in a funk though for the past couple weeks, not feeling very crafty or motivated.

bright patterned reupholstered wingback chair

Photo curtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine

UPDATE: This reupholstered wingback chair recently made it’s way into the January 2013 Woman’s Day Magazine issue along with our kitchen and dining room makeover.

Here is the before picture with the original primitive patterned fabric.

primitive upholstery

I have come so close to selling this chair (and the other matching one) so many times for a fraction of what I paid for them. My first house I bought was a 250 year old farm house and I loved primitive and very rustic decor. Thirteen years ago, this was my favorite purchase ever! Now, my tastes have changed and I am so glad I never got rid of these chairs. Look what you can do with some fabric, a powered staple gun and four hours!

IMAN samoen plantation fabric, DIY, reupholstered

The fabric is Samoen Plantation, Gem by Iman.

DIY, reupholster, Samoen plantation fabric

I love the bold colors and how bright the chair now looks. I had a professional give me a quote of almost $750 to reupholster each chair. WHAAAA! I said, no thank you. The fabric was not cheap at $25/yard and I bought 8 yards. This chair used just about 7 yards. I tell ya what though, mine is not perfect but I will go with my reupholstered version any day over $750 a chair! Be sure to check out the full tutorial + video of how I reupholstered this chair here.

DIY, reupholster, Samoen plantation fabric

Did you know that you can double fold the ends to achieve a “seamed” look?

DIY, reupholster, Samoen plantation fabric, IMAN

I did this because I still need to determine my drape fabric so I wasn’t sure which color piping to go with. Creating a seamed look allows the chair to look finished while I get my act together and make some piping. This is only my second reupholster attempt, the sawzalled couch being my first, so I am by no means an expert. Wondering how I did this? You find the full tutorial + video here.

Did you see the latest and greatest? You have to check these out!

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How to make Burlap curtains

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DIY Couch – how to make a large couch small {with a sawzall}

This is probably the most ridiculous post I have done since I started blogging. I even agree, it was crazy. The peanut gallery (my husband, dad and gramp) all told me I had lost my mind.

This couch was given to me over 10 years ago by a family friend. Absolutely, nothing wrong with it just to big for our home now and not my style anymore.
DIY couch
We needed a small couch for the foyer and this was the only piece around.  I didn’t have a place for it and needed a smaller one, so why not make this smaller? Worse case scenario, it goes to the dump.
Tools needed for couch demolition
First, you need to remove any fabric and/or metal (tacks). Be sure to remove anything that may be in the way of your blade.  Once you have removed everything, work in sections and remove the “guts” of the sofa. You will need wire cutters to remove the spring coils.
I did convince my husband to help me pull all the nails/staples out for me. I needed some muscles.  This was his first day off in 15 days and he was very annoyed with me.
DIY couch, cut a couch in half with a sawzall

Once that is completed, start sawzalling. I didn’t say I was scared but I was. The sawzall is definitely a tool you need to be careful with. I looked like the biggest wack job cutting a couch in half and my body shaking.
sawzall a couch in half, how to make a large couch small
couch demo 1

cut a couch in half, how to make a large couch small
Depending on the insides of your couch, you will just need to work in sections removing the insides and removing the wood.
Couch lovers, please do not send me hate mail.
cut a couch in half, how to make a large couch small
I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed here. My dad was lurking and peeking out the window so I knew I better get this thing back together. I will admit though, I was wondering how I was going to do that. At this point, my gram and gramps came home and lets just say, my gramps just shook his head and said a few expletive terms we won’t mention here on the blog.
Can you say, train wreck?
DIY couch, cut a couch in half with a sawzall
This picture makes me laugh.
I removed about 2 feet from the middle.
couch demo editted
Once I got the mess cleaned up and just the two pieces in the room, I fastened pine braces with a bazillion heavy duty screws across the back. Oh my goodness, my fear was that if my dad sat on this thing, it would collapse. I would NEVER hear the end of it.
The sides of the couch as well as the center braces (that were original to the couch) were oak wood. Oak is very strong and difficult to screw into so you will need to drill pilot holes first so your screws will fasten properly. I braced the bottom (underneath), backside and front. You will also need to brace the “seat part”. You can use 2×4’s (which are stronger than pine) depending on the size and weight of the couch.
DIY couch with pine pieces secured back together
front of couch after demo
The pine braces fit right under the existing foam & coils.
You need to make sure you secure the couch with solid wood on the back and seat area. This couch doesn’t even make a squeak . I had my brother, who is a big boy, try it out and it’s solid! Smile
Stay tuned. In a week or so, I plan to admit this baby to the hospital and sew her up with some muslin, new foam and a pretty new slipcover! 

Update: You can see the final version all pretty and put back together on my DIY couch reveal post {before and after}.


DIY couch {Before & After}

I posted a couple weeks ago about a large couch that I cut in half with a sawzall. This is my ultimate DIY project yet since I have been blogging. Never in a million years did I think I would be tackling a DIY couch.

diy couch

DIY couch

Here is the before when the couch was 2 feet longer.


Oh my goodness the emails and comments I received were hilarious. Although, I did have a couple people seriously question my sanity.  I kind of questioned it myself when it looked like this,

DIY couch

So, in all seriousness, this was by far one of the craziest things I have ever done. I will say though, she came out look-in pretty darn good.

diy couch 4

This project cost me “zero” dollars.

cut a couch in half, how to make a large couch small

DIY couch, cut a couch in half with a sawzall

I used 2 drapes that I purchased last summer from Pier 1 Imports and used them to reupholster the couch. They were actually hanging in this room until a couple days ago. I LOVE the paisley print and prayed it would look ok on the couch.

If you use drapes, you want to make sure you have a heavy cotton or canvas type material. These were perfect. I have never in my life reupholstered anything, never mind a couch. If you are a professional, I would stop reading because my method will probably make your stomach flip.

I used my power staple gun and 1/2” & 3/4” staples.  I know you can use real upholstery staples and yes, they probably work better but I was trying to do this without purchasing anything so I used what I had.

DIY couch

There are tons of upholstery tutorials out there so I am not going to duplicate with another and honestly, they are much better than my method . Lots of tucking, folding and stapling. I just went with it and once I got it the way I liked, I stapled away!

DIY couch, cut a couch in half with a sawzall

I originally planned on making piping for the edges and I still may but I am happy with how the seams came out so for now, it will stay like this.

I used my hand stapler for the smaller areas but if you have a power staple gun, it will be your best friend for a project like this. This really was fairly simple. If you can cut fabric, place it on the couch and cut to fit, you can do this.

DIY reupholster couch

When I sawzalled the couch in half (you can see that post here ) there was a large gap. I cut up an old egg crate that I had for one of our beds and filled in the gap. You can purchase foam/batting at any fabric store but this worked and it was free!

how to cut a couch in half

I wanted a straight lined back and the original couch was a camel back so when I cut out the middle of the couch, I still had a bit of a hump so I slide in a 6” piece of MDF and covered with the foam/egg crate, batting and muslin.

DIY couch, cut a couch in half

How to cut a couch in half

It’s not professional and far from perfect but it is solid as a rock and pretty sassy look-in if I do say so myself Smile! I am happy to say that I have a DIY couch under my belt. ha

You can see the tutorial of me sawzalling the couch in half  in my previous DIY Couch post.

UPDATE: you can see this couch reupholstered in a pottery barn slip cover in our pool house as well.

DIY built-in barn doors {tutorial}

How about a “mini” barn door built-in tutorial for an existing bookcase? I had a few emails from people commenting on the island built in bookcase in our recent Family Room makeover  so I thought I would share with you how I made easy DIY doors. The area under the island is what I enclosed. 

diy built in barn door tutorial

Here is the final product that was featured in the This Old House Magazine.

DIY barn doors for built in cabinet

bookcase before

Adding smaller doors using existing cabinetry was the easiest and least expensive solution I could come up with. I used two random kitchen cabinet doors we had left over from a previous project. Home Depot and Lowes also, on occasion, will have random doors in their scrap area. You could also use pine or even plywood. I actually used the “back” side of the door to cover with my bead board because it was much smoother . The recessed part of a front door  can be difficult to get a flat finish.

kitchen cabinet-1
Flip your cabinet door over and cut a piece of bead board to fit directly on top of the cabinet (or whatever you are using as a base). I used wood glue and reinforced with 1” finish nails. NOTE: nail from the backside if possible so you don’t have nail holes showing in the front and make sure you use a nail size that won’t puncture through the opposite side.
kitchen cabinet door-1
I used 3/8 x 3 x 36” MDF craft board as my trim. You can buy this in the craft wood area of Lowes. These doors are on the smaller side so MDF craft wood will work but if your doors are larger, you may want to use a trim that is more substantial like pine. Similar to what I used in our previous larger DIY barn {closet} door project.
I measured my length pieces first and adhered to the bead board with wood glue and reinforced with larger finish nails (1 1/4- 1 1/2”). Once your length pieces are nailed, measure the width part and voila , you have a cute little barn door!
kitchen cabinet door 2
I used white paintable caulking to fill in all the gaps and spackle to fill any nail holes. If you have a large gap that isn’t able to be filled with caulking you can buy the paintable wood veneer strips to fill the edges. I got lucky and the caulking did the trick .
mini barn doors tutorial 2
The hinges and door pulls are oil rubbed bronze by gatehouse from Lowes. I added some shelves in the middle where baskets house my sewing stuff as well as shelves behind the doors where my sewing machine and larger craft items are stored. I did add some pine to the existing island to “beef” it up a bit and coordinate with the planks I added to the wall in the rest of the room. Be sure to check out our other DIY barn {closet} door tutorials and creative DIY sliding door solutions.

10 diy built in ideas BHG inspiration

Built-in Ideas


This project was featured in the This Old House Magazine’s October 2012 issue.

This old house magazine feature


{Resource list} for our family room

Good morning! Last week I posted our new casual and cottage designed Family room and I guess I dropped the ball a bit on providing a resource list. I had no idea the response this post would receive and after the 100th email (literally) about “where did you buy that?” it dawned on me….I should have added that in the post! For some of you 100 emails isn’t a lot but for this little O’l blog, it blew up my gmail account. Thank you so much for all the sweet comments!

Family Room after 3

*The media console we made. You can view that tutorial post here.
*The drapes are raw burlap cut to size. You can buy burlap at any fabric store.
*The rug is from overstock and is called “blue/gray trellis rug”. The size shown in my picture is an 8×10 . It appears to be sold out but you can find it here. I found a $40 off coupon code on retailmenot.com ! Take a few minutes and Google coupon codes for overstock, $40 is worth it!
*The couch is a slipcovered sectional. You can see it here
* The lanterns are from pier one that I already had.
* The lamps are from Marshalls that I already had.
*This sunshine pillow is from Cottage Coastal Store. Can you believe I won this on a blog giveaway! This online store is fabulous!
*The yellow throw is from Marshalls.

you are my sunshine pillow

*The bench/window seat we made. You can find that post here.
*The doves above the TV are from target that I already had.
*The fabric is from Fabric.com. The 3 yellow patterns are “premier prints yellow slub” and you can find them here. The gray flower pattern is “Thomas Paul Dahlia Dove” and you find it here

This was my first time posting about a {before and after} since I started blogging last September so I’ll chalk it up to a learning experience. I am recovering from surgery so if I haven’t gotten back to your email, I’m sorry! This post should answer all your questions Smile.

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