Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


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Arctic Gray Kitchen … Olé!

It’s been a LONG time since I posted our house color pallet… a year and a half to be exact.

Here is the pallet if you’d like a refresher:

Hicks House Color Scheme

Hicks House Color Scheme

We’re making slow but steady progress actually getting our color choices onto the walls. In retrospect the color decision was way easier than the actual execution. The kitchen/living room presented the same challenges we encountered in the dining room, hallways, half bath, full bath, guest room and family room with all of the screws popping through the drywall. (Perhaps why we took a year long break between painting the family room and the kitchen?)

On top of that, this combined room takes up half of the first floor making it easily the largest and most daunting room in the house. Here are some before pictures:

painting-3

The new sofa

The new sofa

Marble Backsplash | Hicks House

And here we are with the new Arctic Gray paint. It’s a light gray with a blue undertone that definitely appears more blue in the living room area where we have the teal accents than in the kitchen where it’s a lot of black granite, and white marble.

Hicks House | Arctic Gray Olé
Hicks House | Arctic Gray Olé
Hicks House | Arctic Gray Olé
Hicks House | Arctic Gray Olé
Hicks House | Arctic Gray Olé

Next on the interior list… LIGHTING. It’s long overdue that we get rid of the bare bulbs and builder grade boob lights.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new color! We’re loving the fact that the entire first floor is now painted. Still outstanding: The Master Bedroom and Bathroom and the Craft Room.

Hicks House

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Christmas at the Hicks

I’ve been MIA for a few weeks.  Ken and I both had two weeks off over the holidays and rather than tackle a bunch of home projects like we did last year, we spent 2 weeks lounging on the couch watching movies.  It.was.AWESOME.  I owe everyone that reads this blog an apology for not posting our Christmas decorations before Christmas, however I’m doing it now which is a step above last year where we never decorated at all.

So here is our little Christmas decoration tour, of our silver and blue tree and mantle.

Hicks House | Christmas 2014

Hicks House | Christmas 2014

Hicks House | Christmas 2014

Along with decorating the tree exclusively in silver and blue ornaments we also purchased some light blue stockings as well as some silvery Christmas mantle decor. Who says Christmas has to be red and green?

Hicks House | Christmas 2014
Hicks House | Christmas 2014
Hicks House | Christmas 2014

The room was topped off with a Frosty painting I did at Paint Night.

Hicks House | Christmas 2014

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Hicks House


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About Face

If you dropped in last week for the most amazing backsplash ever, then you are well aware that we are in the midst of a love affair with white marble. It was difficult to refrain myself from covering every surface with the gorgeousness that is cararra marble. But before we held ourselves back we committed to refacing the fireplace. I mean why not, the tile guy was going to be at the house… it was now or never…

Before I break out the step by step, how about a little before and after comparison:
Fireplace old | Hicks HouseFireplace Re-Do | Hicks House

We were never huge fans of the “poop brown” tile. It just wasn’t our style and it didn’t fit our decor. But before we could put up the new… we had to take down the old. This was accomplished with the use of a mini jackhammer. Luckily it only took a few (of the most terrifying for Chloe) minutes.

Fireplace Re-Do | Hicks House

Unfortunately in the process, the drywall on the sides was damaged. Apparently it was secured very well (a rare thing to find around this house)

Fireplace Re-Do | Hicks House

However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, for when we removed the damaged drywall we found this:

Fireplace Re-Do | Hicks House

Yes, that’s a HOLE. A HOLE!!! ON BOTH SIDES!!! We had brought up to builder on several occasions that is was overly drafty over by the fireplace only to be told repeatedly that that was how fireplaces were because they are vented through the back outside. This explanation never jived well wih us, because it just didn’t seem to explain why there were cold spots.

So before we replaced the drywall we took advantage of this moment to fill the holes with some insulation, then used some leftover pieces of drywall we had in the basement to patch up the holes. It didn’t need to be perfect, it was getting tiled over anyway.

Fireplace Re-Do | Hicks House
Fireplace Re-do | Hicks House

Then the magical moment of tiling began…

Fireplace Re-Do | Hicks House
Fireplace Re-Do | Hicks House

The top tiles were extremely heavy and had to be held in place with some painters tape overnight. After everything dried it was grouted with the same grout we used in the kitchen and the room was put back together.

Marble Fireplace Surround | Hicks House

We LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It’s so classy and elegant and the gray veining in the tiles is so interesting. It’s such a dramatic difference I don’t know how we ever even considered keeping the old tile. It is probably our favorite update so far.

So what do you think? Do you love it as much as we do?

Hicks House


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The Grommet Conglomerate

After our initial foray into window treatments for the dining room we could no longer hold out for all the walls to be painted before adding in the curtains for some other rooms. It just added so much more personality to the room.

The first set of curtains I actually purchased were for the living room so despite not yet being painted (it’s literally half the first floor as its “one” with the kitchen – kind of intimidating) we were ready to finally hang them. As the window in this room is a large double window it was extra important to hang the curtains higher and wider than the dining room allowed (hello stupid door frame touching the window frame).

The high and wide sounded great in theory… however there was a slight problem. I had purchased 84-inch curtains these from Target and letting out the bottom hem like I did to lengthen the dining room curtains wasn’t going to get me the length I needed.

After some debate on how best to do this the options were:

  • Add a panel of solid coordinating fabric
  • Try and return the 84 inch panels to the store and order the 95 inch panels online then shorten them
  • Undo the top AND bottom hems and add grommets to the top

From the title of this post I’m sure you can guess which option we decided to go with. We also we’re really liking the look of the grommeted panels in the dining room and how they fold back and forth as opposed to the traditional rod pocket panels, so even if we went for option two we would want to grommet them anyway.

So I undid the top and bottom hems and resewed a 1/2 inch seam like I did here and ordered two sets of this grommet kit online.

Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House

We then laid the panel out on the floor to have a flat work surface and followed marked evenly spaced dots across the panel about 2 inches down from the top. You have to leave enough space from the top to fit the entire grommet which is 2 3/8″ total diameter.

Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House

The grommet kit came with a “hole” template. You simply line the center up with each of your dots and trace.

Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House

It leaves circles down your panel that look like this:

Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House

Take a pair of scissors then cut them out. The individual grommets come in two pieces, we you line one of the pieces up with the hole you cut…

Attaching Grommets | Hicks House

line the other piece up and press till it snaps on. I was super paranoid that I was going to press to hard and crack the grommet. Luckily for me they are either incredibly sturdy or I’m not nearly as super-human strong as I think I am. Actually it’s possible both of those statements are true.

Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House

That’s it! Just hang them up and enjoy the more contemporary look the grommets provide.

Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House
Adding Grommets to Curtains | Hicks House

It’s a great way to add a bit of customization to bargain curtains, while still being cheaper than total custom curtains.

 

What do you think?  Do you prefer the look and the way grommeted curtains hang or are you loving the more traditional rod pocket look?


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Lengthening Curtains

The curtain debacle has been tackled.  You may remember my mini rant about how store bought curtains are all either too short or too long when we hung the dinining room curtains. Well the flood zone length was gnawing at me and I just had to do something.  So I did.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

They are now the PERFECT length. I can’t get over how much better it looks and how unbelievably easy it was. I had the option of purchasing the 84″ inch and trying to find a way to make them longer or purchasing the 92″ (which is more expensive) and make them shorter. I decided to take the cheaper route and went for the 84″ length. You may have noticed on a lot of store bought curtains the hem at the bottom is a few inches up from the bottom, that was the case with these. So I grabbed my seam ripper and started undoing the bottom hem.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

In order to keep the original seam all nice and tidy it had been pressed about a half inch from the edge of the fabric and then again 4 inches up. Rather than over complicate the process I decided to reuse the original 1/2 inch fold so I pinned along the bottom and up the side to meet the original stitching.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

Then sewed with a matching thread,

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

and ironed out the original pressed edge.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

When I was finished the back looked like this.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

The new length was absolutely perfect just grazing the floor rather than just grazing the top of the trim (ewww). It now looks like they were custom made for the space.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

And the before and after again just for good measure.

Lengthening Curtains | Hicks House

I’m so happy with how they came out and can’t wait for this whole room to come together. If you’ve been following on Instagram you’ve seen some sneak peeks at the large wood shim mirror we’re working on for the wall in here.

Hicks House

 


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Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

This is somewhat of an addendum to my Zippered Pillow Cover Tutorial

as I used the same basic assembly method.

As part of the never-ending quest to personalize this here Hicks House I am trying to work in custom pieces in with the pieces I purchase. When I purchased the sofa it came with two WAY overstuffed pillows on it. As the sofa is on the small side these gigantic pillows made sitting on the sofa next to impossible. Thus the pillows were removed and covered for the guest room in the original pillow tutorial where they work perfectly.

I was unsure at first what to do because although I love the look of lots of pillows on sofas, I don’t want to have to remove them whenever I want to sit down. Then on my first ever trip to IKEA (don’t judge me – I just went for the first time) I found these pillow inserts for less than $5!

Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Pillow

They were meant to be used in conjunction with their pillow covers – however you cannot beat the price and they were just fluffy enough to give the look I wanted but still smoosh when you sat on it.

It just so happened I had a ton of muslin left over from years ago when I was first learning how to sew. It was the perfect oatmeal color to match the chairs in the living room. So I cut the fabric to size 1/2 inch wider and longer than my pillow so 16.5 x 24.5 (since this pillow is low on the fluff factor.) The only problem with muslin is that it’s so thin. Easily remedied by adding some fusible fleece interfacing to the back side.

Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Then I got started laying out my design with 1/4 inch gray ribbon that matches the sofa. I measured 4 inches up from the long edge of my fabric (I figured 4 inches up from the top and bottom would leave about 7.5 inches in the middle of the ribbon border – seemed like a good guestimate) and started pinning the ribbon directly to the fabric measuring at various intervals to ensure the line was straight.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Pillow

I kept going until I was about 1.5 inches from the edge. Remember not to get too close about 1/4 – 1/2 inch will be your inseam and you don’t want your design too close to the edge. To turn the corner I folded the ribbon directly down:
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow
Then up creating a box corner.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Make sure to pin very well. Make another corner going in the other direction 1.5 inches from the next edge.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Then create a third turn that folds back over your original line creating a square.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Continue pinning your straight line 4 inches from the edge of the fabric until you reach the 1.5 inches from the edge then repeat your corner process to create a second box. Repeat two more times and you have this.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

For a nice clean edge fold over the top piece of ribbon where it overlaps your starting point.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

This is where you will begin sewing along one edge of the ribbon – Make sure to backstitch at the beginning.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

This is probably the most important step in the entire tutorial for having a professional looking finished product… When you get to the areas that overlap backstitch when you reach the overlap then stitch back to right where your top ribbon is. PICK UP YOUR NEEDLE move it to after the overlap then backstitch again and continue on.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

You will want to use your seam ripper to remove the extra thread.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Once you have made it all the way around the pillow repeat on the other side.
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Here is a close up of a finished professional looking overlap. If you do not take the extra step to backstitch and move your needle you would have stitches in an # symbol where the ribbon overlaps (not necessarily a bad thing – personal preference).
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

The top of your pillow is now done!
Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

Now follow the directions for the zippered pillow covers to complete your pillow.

Hicks House | Ribbon Embossed Muslin Pillow

There you have it! A one of a kind ribbon embossed pillow that cost less than $10 to make start to finish!

I also made the two pillows behind it using the zippered pillow cover tutorial. I just love how they work together with the gray and oatmeal colors.

What do you think?


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Custom Art for the Living Room

If you’ve been following along with the blog (if you haven’t then shame on you!) you’ve read about the The Living Room Plan, and The Living Room Becoming Livable. As its starting to take shape we we’re talking about what kind of art should go above the fireplace. The builder wired for the cable and TV to go there but we had decided to move the wiring to the adjacent family room which was much bigger.

We both really wanted something abstract and cool. I saw this painting on Joss and Main and we fell in love. With everything but the price and the verticalness of it.

Inspiration Painting

Inspiration Painting

It was just so cool all the random shades of color. But for over $100 plus shipping and no returns I wasn’t sure. And before I could decide how unsure I was the sale was over and it was gone forever. But how hard could it really be? I mean the painting isn’t really of anything so how can you mess it up? So I measured the space above the fireplace, headed to Joann with a 40% single item coupon and bought a huge canvas.

I set up a small folding table in the craft room and covered with some scrap paper to protect it, broke out a 2-inch paint brush and some .50 tubes of acrylic paint (most of which I had at home left over from high school – it doesn’t go bad right?) and got to work. Using the inspiration painting – propped up on the iPad – as a guide I started painting. The great thing about the abstractness of it was the ability to simply paint over areas if I didn’t like the way they looked. The bottom of my canvas has much more paint on it because of this, it was coming out to dark so several extra coats were added to get the effect I wanted. Due to less use of paint on the top you can see brush strokes where I went back and forth real quickly but I kind of like the way it looks.

here's the finished product

here’s the finished product

I actually like it better than the original inspiration. It looks much better in our space. I had to place it up on the mantle to admire it.
painting-2

The statue on the left of the painting we fell in love with while out running errands one day, It helped jump start the painting process and inspired the color choices. The vases were a gift from my Aunt’s who surprisingly had not seen either the statue or the painting, but they look like they were custom chosen for that spot.

actually hung!

actually hung!

We loved it so much we actually hung it, despite not having paint on the walls yet. Ignore those pillows they came with the sofa and were so over-sized for both the sofa and the chairs they will be finding another home. I’m thinking getting a new cover and going on the Guest Bed.

one more view with the fireplace lit

one more view with the fireplace lit

I think its the perfect compliment to the space! So now our living room list looks like this:

  • Find and purchase two chairs a-la inspiration room style
  • Find and purchase sofa a-la inspiration room style
  • Ground the space with an area rug
  • Decorate the top of the mantle
  • Paint the art masterpiece for above the fireplace
  • Find or make coordinating curtains
  • Hang curtains
  • Get an ottoman or coffee table to put in the center
  • Get end tables
  • Make pillows for the sofa and chairs
  • Pick a paint color that will work in both the kitchen and the living room
  • Paint the walls
  • Get a fabulous light fixture