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Summer Home Tour Series- Fern Creek Cottage

Hello sweet friends! You know what day it is? You guessed it! It's another home tour in our Summer Home Tour Series. 
This tour is a little bit different in that it isn't a full home tour, but you are sure to be inspired. I love the cool summer decorating ideas 
Lisa from Fern Creek Cottage has to share, so be prepared to enjoy!
Hi, my name's Lisa and my blog is Fern Creek Cottage where I love to decorate my home and share the process with you. 
My passion is buying things other people might pass up from a thrift store or garage sale and completely transforming them. Because you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful home, but you do have to use a little elbow grease. 
I was so excited when Michele asking me to participate in her summer decorating series! I am really honored to be asked and she is such a sweetie I just couldn't help, but say yes.

My summer decorating tour is going to be a little different from the others you've seen because we moved this summer from Houston to Austin Texas.
We just moved into our new home this month, so these pictures are from our old home when it was on the market.
You may notice there isn't much furniture in the room and there isn't any art on the wall and this is because I was staging the house to sell.

Summer to me equals the water! I just love going to the beach in the summer time and our family swims in our neighborhood pool almost everyday.
So I decided to pull a bit of a beach flavor into the room. This does not mean a beach theme though.

My living room is usually very neutral and I love me some earth tones, but I decided I would bring the color of the sea into the room this summer.

But before we talk about color,  let's talk about the rug in the room.
 A sisal rug definitely feels summery to me. People worry about sisal being scratchy and uncomfortable, but I walk around barefoot all the time and they don't bother me at all.
A sisal rug underfoot reminds me of a sandy beach.

Next up I gathered up some blue/green glass bottles and placed them on a thrift store tray as a centerpiece. 
The tones of the glass remind me of beach glass. 

The large and small bottles are from a department store and the other two are vintage.
Someday I hope to find a glass buoy in this color to add to my grouping.

On the couch I placed two large pillows.
 Now notice they aren't beach themed at all, no crabs or starfish in sight, but the color of the medallion is a lovely turquoise color just like the sea.

 I got the pillows from Pottery barn after patiently waiting for them to go on sale.


My blue armoire used to be in my bedroom,but I decided to bring it into the living room this summer and now I'm wondering why it hasn't been in here all along!

I found the armoire at a thrift store when they were having half price on all their furniture. It barely fit in the back of my mini van, in fact we couldn't get the back door to close and had to tie it with a rope.  I drove home very slowly on back roads. All the way home my car went "ding" ding" "ding" because my car door was open!

I painted the armoire with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue. If you'd like to see before pictures just click here.

On my two arm chairs I pulled out more pillows from my stash! (yes, it's large)
These pillows also have a turquoise design and the background fabric looks like linen. 
Perfect for summer where you want to wear your light flowy linen clothes!

On my little table is an aqua frame that looks like a vintage ceiling tin with a favorite picture of my boys inside.
 As such as I'd love to keep fresh flowers in the house all the time sometimes faux will just have to do. 
So I placed my favorite topiary on the table.

For this neutral loving gal it has been fun to have a little color in my life for the summer months!
 I didn't spend any money on the room just pulled together pieces I already had. 
Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my summer decorating!
It's been fun talking to all of you, but if you excuse me there is a chair at the beach with
 my name on it!

Thank you Lisa you have great style, I'm still drooling over that armoir! If your whole house looks as good as your living room, I'm sure it had several offers within the first 3 days on the market. 
Hey everyone, this is just the tip of the iceburg, you will not be disappointed if you head on over to her blog. I have personally enjoyed every little thing I've seen there. 
Well, go on. 
Shoo! ;)


Adding Texture with Pillows- Dose of DIY Blog Hop

 I'm excited to say that today's the day!! Another Dose of DIY Inspiration blog hop. Are you ready?
 Do you remember last month when we all announced this month's theme was pillows? Well, I have actually been looking forward to this one with great anticipation since I have been wanting to have an excuse to make some pillows for quite some time now. 
I know...you are probably wondering why I need an excuse, right? 
Well, if you lived in this household with all it's activities and goings on of 8 people and their friends, it would be quite clear to you. 
My to do list is MILES long every day. Needless to say that I am not able to get most things on that list done, but as long as the children are fed, happy, and getting along, I've accomplished great things. right? 
Anyway, as I was saying, this was my opportunity for making some pillows I've had in the works in my head for quite some time. I can't wait to share them with you, but before I do, I want to remind you to hop on over to the other great blogs and see the amazing pillows they made too! 
I've had several pillows and forms floating around my house for quite some time. I don't know exactly how or when they start traveling, but for some reason they end up in different parts of the house. In the case this happens, I like to have them neutral and classic. I also think pillows are a great way to add texture into decorating. I think you will find that true with the styles I share with you today. 
In my long anticipation for making pillows, I ended up coming up with 4. 
Please don't call me an over-achiever
I'm in denial.
This puckered pillow is the first one that I made with some material I initially intended for curtains in my bedroom that didn't look quite like I'd envisioned in my head. Trust me when I say that it definitely makes a better pillow!  
 This second one was inspired by some pictures I have pinned on my pinterest board. I love pillowcases with ties. It adds such a nice touch and is so practical with children. Sometimes pillow cases seem to come off around here somehow. This is a darling way to add texture, interest, and style while being a great solution to a problem. It was actually quite simple to make and one that I will be repeating in the near future.
I ended up leaving this one for my 13 year old son for letting me use his room for photos. He was a great sport about it and was so excited to be the benefactor of a turned down bed and new pillow cover. I think the chocolate had a little to do with his excitement too. (hehe)
The third pillow was made from the scraps of a coffee sack. The pillow form was given to me years ago in the hospital when I had a serious abdominal surgery and couldn't cough or laugh without hurting. It really made a big difference in easing my pain. I don't know why I can't let it go, might as well make it decorative in the process of keeping it, right? 
Coffee sacks can be used in many ways to add great style. I love the look of the words and numbers. 
 Last, but not least, is this pillow I made from fabric I got for 50¢ from a yard sale this weekend. It feels like a light canvas or heavy broadcloth. I made it sham style in the front then added wooden buttons I cut from a tree limb in our back yard and polyeurathaned. 
 After drilling two holes, I strung upholstery jute through them and tied them in a knot. The buttons are sewn on and only serve a decorative purpose.
 This pillow was the most time consuming with it's ruffles and specially made buttons, but was well worth the time with all the texture and depth it adds to the mix. 
I gotta say that I think it's my favorite. ;) 
 I really love the look of all the pillows together. I think they add such character and style. Though I have my individual favorites, I love them best all together. 

I'm so glad you joined us today, 
now it's time to head on over and see all these other great ideas!

Chatfield Court
Creative Ramblings
Exquisitely Unremarkable
One More Time Events
Sew a Fine Seam

Come back next month for lighting. I'm sure there will be amazing projects you won't want to miss!
XoXo, 

Checker top Coffee Table



Last year there was a yard sale that seemed to go on for several days. For one reason or another I ended up driving by it several times even though it wasn't close to our house. Every time I passed it, I saw this coffee table. I loved the style. The color? Not so much. I finally stopped and looked around and decided against buying the table even though it was marked at a fair $20. It not only had a not so pleasing color (to put it tactfully). But it had a glaze that was even worse. I passed it up three ventures in a row. Surprised it wasn't sold, I finally stopped and asked if they would take $15 for it. 
SOLD!
 YAY! 
So I thought.
 I won't lie. This project ended up being dreadful. I tried stripping it first, which became a big unanticipated gooey mess. Then it dried leaving chunks of paint that wouldn't soften with several applications of an attempt to get it right. Then I sanded a little and got disgusted with the whole thing. When my mother came to visit two months later, she sanded it down quite a bit more while we were cleaning out the garage. Despite her great efforts, it still had lots of bumps from the stripping agent and glaze finish.
Finally one day, I got tired of having it take up so much space in the garage and started painting it. I painted the whole thing this cream color with the drawer a black for contrast. Even though it sat unfinished for a couple months in our living room, the children used it quite a bit. After awhile, I got tired of being just too cramped in there, so I took it back out to the garage. By then the finish on the top was quite worn from the kids playing on it and having never been sealed. I really struggled for quite some time deciding how I wanted to finish it, then finally--while tossing ideas around with my mom, we thought of a check pattern. Yes, of course! I've always wanted to try this pattern on a piece, now was the perfect opportunity.
It was actually a lot of fun, even though it took a lot more brain power then just painting it a solid color. Which, by the way, was not working well.
This piece needed some texture and added character.
  I think it turned out perfectly...
...imperfect.

I found the beautiful knobs at TJ Maxx Home Goods
 I love the way they look. Just the right touch of class, you think?
A little distressing and two topcoats of acrylic polyeurathane later...
 ...and it was perfect for sitting down to some chilled caffeine free chai tea. ;)
 Just the right treat to top off a successful project.
 Thank you for stopping by. 
Hope you are enjoying these wonderful summer months that seem to just fly by. 
*HUGS*

Summer Home Tour Series- Redo it Yourself Inspirations

Hello, hello! It's Friday, so you know what that means! It's time for another Summer home tour, but today we are going to see a tour that is a little different from our regular tours. This next guest spends most of her summer days out in her yard and has done some AMAZING projects to make her outdoor space her summer home. Please welcome Rob...

 ...from Redo It Yourself Inspirations. If you are ever in need of some paint technique inspiration with a high quality touch of class, you will want to explore her incredible blog. Shall we continue? Great. Let's go!

Hello friends! I'm so thrilled to be visiting Michele's blog today. She always has clever and pretty ideas to share. It's so exciting to join other talented bloggers on her Summer Home Tour Series.

I blog at Redo It Yourself Inspirations about home and garden DIY, crafts, repurposing, restorations and other thrifty posts. 

Today I'm sharing our outdoor living space because it's where I've been devoting so many home projects since we moved into our fixer upper home. It's also where we spend most of our time in the very short summers here in the Saratoga area of New York. 


The front became a garden entrance with a little pond and waterfalls. It gets decorated for each holiday, but summer flower arranging is my favorite kind of creating here. 


Especially when I include blue hydrangeas. 


I don't usually put pinks into the theme, but I did this year because this hydrangea is a vibrant one. 


While at the garden entrance, a glimpse of the side gardens are showing. It exhibits rhododendrons, lilies, a few varieties of sedum, lavender, bridal wreath, trumpet vines and plenty of evergreen. It also contains my toy horse into garden sculpture project.



It extends all the way into the backyard with hostas, azaelias, mountain laurel, and wielgia, 


I planted this mountain ash tree a couple of years ago and love it when the berries turn a deep orange. It's starting to go from light green to tinge of orange now. 


When we first moved here, the entire front was exposed to the road. As you can see the evergreens have grown tall enough to make the property cozy and more private. They were all small containers of trees, shrubs and perennials. Now they are maturing so much that I need to shape them and split up some of the flowers. Sometimes I can't believe I put all of this in because the grounds are transformed entirely different than what we first had. 


The hostas and shrubs are choking out the Stella lilies, so I'll move that little splash of sunshine into the front of that area and it will thrive again. 


While I have been landscaping and adding more to the property each summer for six years now, my husband and I have been working on the wrap around deck and patio together. The backyard is a huge living space. We added the area for entertaining and our own personal enjoyment. Sometimes I refer to it as our "staycation". When I first started this gigantic project my husband couldn't understand why. Once I told him why not enjoy where you live after a long day of work? It didn't take him long to disagree when he needed to just sit and actually relax. Sometimes he falls asleep somewhere back here. 


This section is what I refer to as the "Barbecue Throne".  I built the area using 4x4's, concrete blocks and five lattice panels. Then I topped them with solar lights. It looks awesome at night. 


It's on poured concrete while adjoining the deck and holds both grills. Having ten burners and 2 side burners keeps the food flowing during large gatherings.


It's a nice spot to sit and relax in my chair makeovers.  By having three patio tables and plenty of chairs to provide seating for up to 12, there is room for grilling away from the guests. 

I finished this solar light wall this year. It's a room divider that had votive candles. I switched them all out for cut wine bottles and inserted solar lights. You can find all of my solar light projects here.


 The garden pond provides a relaxing view. 


This larger area of the deck is more like a living room.  




It's complete with a solar light chandelier that I put together this year. 


The area is also a pass through to the hot tub deck that we finished last summer. 



After a soak in the spa tub that I gave a new life to, lunch can be found at this bar I built that holds a mini refrigerator, sun block and bug repellents. 


I didn't plan on squeezing any perennials in here, but for some reason I couldn't resist. 


I planted these lilies in mole proof pots in the ground. After loosing about 25 of them our first year here, I learned to find a way to keep the moles away from my favorite flower.


I love using the bright yellows, oranges and reds to keep the place cheery. 


The cone flowers are red and yellow too. 


Variegated hostas also brighten up the grass as a border. 


No "staycation" is complete without lounge chairs. And I didn't forget the settees around the fire-pit.

  
 Summer time also brings tall blooms on the hostas and yucca bushes. I only keep them for a few days then cut them off. 


I like how yucca stays green in the winter. The blooms are amazing for the short time they are around. 


It's lovely how flowering plants and landscaping brings such pleasure to outdoor spaces.  The backyard was always under some kind of construction. Now that it has come together, it's a matter of some paint, stain and regular maintenance to keep it enjoyable. 

I hope you like our cozy outdoor living space. Thank you for visiting! It was so nice to show you around. And thank you, Michele, for having me on the tour!

It was definitely my pleasure Rob. Doesn't she make it look easy y'all?! I have been spending a great deal of time out in my own yard lately pulling shrubs, planting new ones, bringing in rock and mulch. Repositioning garden benches and are working on the back patio now, so this tour is perfect for some wonderful ideas on what I can encorporate in my own yard. What did you like best? Hop on over and check out more of her amazing projects!
I can't wait to see you next Friday for another beautiful summer home tour by Fern Creek Cottage
Thank you for joining us today.
Have a gorgeous weekend,