In our July 2018 issue, we featured a midcentury ranch house updated with all the modern and sleek sensibilities of its owner, Jay Howard’s, popular home interiors brand HOWSE. Today, we’re sharing before photos from this hidden gem on Beaver Lake. One of the biggest changes to the home was swapping the location of the kitchen and dining rooms—what a transformation!
Before-and-after photos from a project featured in our March 2018 issue
When Arkansas landscape designer Chris H. Olsen stumbled upon this house in historic North Little Rock, he instantly fell in love. He also recognized the amount of work that would go into such an undertaking: “I love a challenge!” he joked. You can read the full story about how he transformed the exterior and grounds of his dream home, featured in our March 2018 issue, here. Scroll below to see more dramatic before-and-after photos….
In this month’s August Family Homes issue, we featured a reinvented playroom for college- and high school-aged kids designed for a West Little Rock family by designer Peri-Gay Walker. Today, we get to share a little look at the before, so you can see how the design began for Peri-Gay and her clients.
Here are a few “before” images of this project. This is such a good transformation of a space that really grew up for the children who use it most. I’m just gonna say, I bet those kiddos loved that built-in indoor tree house when they were little! It’s so fun, but needed to change with this changing family.
While taking all the client’s wishes into consideration, Peri-Gay went to work and created a couple rough sketches of her design she offered to share with you…
Peri-Gay put together the ultimate design plan for a brother and sister pair who use the space most. They wanted a lounging area and an extra place for friends to sleep if they stay over. So, Peri-Gay transformed the tree house into a sleeping loft with padded walls and a custom mattress. Genius! Also, the space included a new sofa with a foldout mattress. Now, the space can accommodate these older teenagers and is a great space for them to lounge and host their friends.
Here’s a look of the finished space…
What a great transformation. Thank you, Peri-Gay, for sharing this project with us and giving us a peek into the “before” images!
You can read the full story in our August issue that’s out now, or online here.
When At Home in Arkansas asked if I would be interested in designing a fall front porch for their October issue, not only was I flattered that they thought to ask me, but it gave me the perfect excuse to build a quick and easy console table that I’d had my eye on for quite some time. I was totally onboard.
While I’m not a designer by trade, I jump at the opportunity to share an easy and rewarding a do-it-yourself project in hopes of inspiring others to create a home space they are proud of. At Home in Arkansas’ fall front porch challenge sounded like the perfect opportunity to spruce up my friend Alicia’s Hillcrest front porch for fall AND try out this super simple DIY console table, made from just 5 boards. This table is plastered all over Pinterest and I was ready to give it a shot for myself.
Here is a great step-by-step tutorial from thriftyandchic.com.
This table had been on my radar for a while, so I was excited to put my toolbox to work and build one for my friend Alicia’s fall front porch. In fact, this little table was so easy to build, I built two for my own house while I was at it!
1 – 1×12 pine board cut to desired length of the table top (the table in this post is 46” long)
2 – 1×12 pine boards cut to desired table height (the table in this post is 33” tall)
2 – 1×6 pine boards
After deciding how tall I wanted the table to be, I cut the top and two side “legs” to size and attached them together with a couple of brackets to make the table frame, using wood glue at the joints for added support.
Then, laying the 2 – 1×6 boards diagonally across the front and back of the table, I knew where to make the cuts before nailing them into place.
A quick coat of pale blue paint later, and we had the backdrop for our fall front porch scene. Not only was this table a breeze to build, but now Alicia can use it year round in her home.
Cara Hazlewood is a real estate broker with The Property Group and a devoted do-it-yourself-er. She writes about her home transformations on her blog, Live the Home Life
Fall is here! It’s finally here! Football, cooler temps, gorgeous leaves, cozy sweaters–there is so much to love about this season.
As a child, many of my memories took shape around the fireplace in my parents’ home. Mastering the art of roasting marshmallows to the perfect shade of brown. Watching my architect dad spend the weekend giving our fireplace a new look. Warming our hands by the fire during one of the many memorable Arkansas ice storms. With fall officially upon us, let’s take a look at a few fireplace before & afters that will be sure warm your heart.
Before, this brick fireplace felt out of balance, but with the addition of new built-ins, a fresh coat of white paint and a new mantle, this fireplace makeover took the overall feel from dated to darling.
Over at The Pear Tree Cottage, you can read all about how this fireplace underwent a serious facelift. With the addition of a new mantle and the ever-popular couple of coats of white paint to conceal an overload of pink brick, this fireplace transformed into an instant classic.
And then there is this masterpiece of a fireplace makeover. Bliss at Home went all out when they decided to give their stone fireplace a serious spruce. New tile, white paint (surprise!) and a freshly updated mantle. Talk about a head turner.
And now for my favorite fireplace transformation. Cool fall breezes AND the warm glow of a fire? Sign me up for relaxing in this screened porch pick-me-up. The addition of a stacked-stone fireplace to this outdoor space was spot on.
Whether you decide to give your fireplace a completely new look or opt for a fresh coat of paint for a quick boost, a fireplace makeover is a fun way to give a focal point in your home some fall TLC.
Cara Hazlewood is a real estate broker and a devoted do-it-yourself-er. She writes about her home transformations on her blog, Live the Home Life.
If you’re up for a hump day bathroom vanity overhaul, then you have definitely come to the right place, my friend. I’ve been hard at work in our upstairs hall bath doing my best to kick the 1960s right out of this room. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this DIY, let’s rewind and revisit the before pictures of our bathroom.
Fair warning: I did all I could to not end up in an awkward photographer-in-the-mirror situation, but no such luck with this bathroom setup.
The dark paneling, grimy yellow cabinets, mint green sinks. I was in rehabbing paradise and could not wait to get started on this project. A light and bright bathroom with rustic wood accents was so close I could already smell the paint fumes.
First things first, the arched trim on those cabinet doors needed a facelift. So by removing the doors and replacing the old trim with a more streamlined shaker style trim, things were already looking up. Click here for more details on how I updated the cabinet doors.
Once the doors were trimmed, caulked and painted, they were ready to be rehung on a freshly painted vanity base.
On the the countertop. The master bath of my first house had a floating wood vanity that I just loved. It was easy to build and I loved the end result and durability. I knew a chunky wood countertop would look amazing for this project as well. Click here for the full how-to on building your own wood countertop.
Once the countertop was sealed and dry, we were ready to install two new ceramic vessel sinks.
Let’s hop back over to those dreadful before pictures to see just how far this bathroom has come.
Just a little smidge of a difference, right?
We’ve been living in our construction site for well over six months now and with so much progress happening on the inside, I’m pretty embarrassed to say that slim-to-nothing has been accomplished on the outside. Today, that changes. Cue the front porch before pictures.
Lots of white going on. Lots of old, dirty, spider web-hued white going on…while I wasn’t quite ready to go to town with a paint brush, I had a serious hunch that switching up the boring white shutters with a few board and batten cedar beauties would be amazing.
This was not my first cedar shutter rodeo. Right around a year ago I was DIYing the same style of shutters for the old house. For the first go-round, I assembled the shutters before mounting them on the exterior of the house (click here for that how-to). On this house, however, I had a different idea in mind. Same shutters, different game plan.
For this project—we’ll call it Project Cedar Shutter 2.0—I decided to build the new shutters directly on top of the existing shutters. The existing shutters were actually of pretty darn good quality—sturdy and in great shape—but the main reason I took this route was because the old shutters were coated in layers and layers of paint that would likely rip the front porch siding to shreds in an attempt to remove them. I was not prepared to ruin my day with that obstacle.
So I started by measuring and cutting 1 x 6 cedar planks to just a smidge (maybe an inch) longer than the existing shutters. Then using exterior screws, I secured them to the old shutters, making sure the screws would be well hidden behind the horizontal pieces of cedar that would go across the top and bottom of each shutter when finished.
Once all of the vertical boards were secure, I added the short horizontal pieces 12 inches from the tops and bottoms of each shutter.
Here we are half way through. Big difference. Huge.
One more pair of shutters just like the first and this DIY was a wrap.
Lots left to do on the old front porch to-do list but not a bad start, especially when a couple comfy chairs made for sauvignon blanc sipping work their way into the mix.
Cara Hazlewood is a real estate broker and a devoted do-it-yourself-er. She writes about her home transformations on her blog, Live the Home Life.
I don’t care who you are. No one absolutely 100% loves moving. Sure, you may crave a change of scenery. Yes, you may be all for the intense purge of items no longer used. I get it. I’m cool with those sides of moving, too but the one thing that drives me directly to the nearest wall to bang my head against is finding a spot in the new house for everything that fit so well in the old house.
Case in point, this chunky bookcase…
In the old house, this tall drink of water found the perfect fit in my guestroom, but at the new house? No such luck. After nearly six months of scratching my head, I just couldn’t find the right gig for him in the new casa…until one day while laying sideways on the sofa across the room, I saw this guy in a whole new light. Flip him on his side, add some legs and we were in TV stand heaven! Just what the hubs needed for his man cave in the making. Let’s do this.
First things first, I used a mallet and jigsaw to remove the apron around the bottom of the bookcase.
Then the project headed outside to stain the then-bottom, now-side of the then-bookcase, now-tv stand and a few legs a matching dark walnut finish.
Attached the legs to the bottom of the cabinet…
…and that hubby of mine was ready to watch TV in style.
The first step of any major remodel is demo, right? Wrong. So, so very wrong, my friend. Tear into a space with a sledge hammer, without a plan in sight, and you’ll be left scratching your head trying to decide how to put everything back together again. Trust me. I’ve been there and done that. Take a page out of my book and listen when I tell you that the planning and prep work is always the first—and most important—step. Scour through inspiration pics, decide what finishes you like for your space, and double make sure they work for your budget. Once the timeline and finances are in place, then it’s time to get to work.
Geez, Cara. What’s happening in your construction site that brings out such finger wagging?
Master bath reno planning, that’s what. On the to-do list for this year is to make our currently dated 1960s master bath a showpiece, but while we have lots of other around-the-house fish to fry first, now is the perfect time to start prepping for the remodel ahead.
Before we jump into the inspiration photos for our bathroom remodel, let’s get to know the before pictures a bit better. Meet our master bath.
Oh yeah, baby. This is a room full of 1960s glory. Dated tile, formica counters, wood paneling and a baby blue toilet. Classic and terrifying.
Obviously, the finishes and fixtures in my master bath make it super easy to drool over similarly sized spaces that have received their long overdue facelift. Let’s check out a few pretties that are inspiring plans for our bathroom, shall we?
Inspiration Bathroom #1
Light tile, rain shower head, white vanity, glass shower doors. All of the elements in this room maximize every square inch of space. This compact bathroom was designed with the tidy exhibitionist in mind and I love every second of it.
Inspiration Bathroom #2
Lots to love about this space. The half wall gives a smidge more privacy than the glass doors of the first bath and by running the tile all the way to the ceiling, the room feels so much taller. I’m a big fan of an open vanity + vessel sink combo (as evidenced by the master bath remodel in my first house) and the extra storage below is a plus. The light colors and oversized mirror work wonders in reflecting light and making the space feel much larger than it actually is. This is heaven.
Tough decisions ahead but—holy moly—it sure is fun to day dream. I’ll keep you in the loops as we inch our way closer to kicking off this remodel but until then, there is lots more rehabbing fun hiding up my sleeve.
Cara Wilkerson is a real estate broker and a devoted do-it-yourself-er. She writes about her home transformations on her blog, Live the Home Life.
From the second the fiancé and I decided to make the move to our new construction site, my home-loving heart was dead set on adding open shelving to the new kitchen. Sexy, rustic, chunky wood shelves mounted on shiny, classic, white subway tile. Pass the bib. I’m drooling.
From then on, every kitchen design decision was based around my love affair with pretty white dishes perched happily on open wood shelves…and last week, after months filled with countless hours of painting, tiling, grouting and rubbing sore muscles, it was finally time for my shelves to take center stage. Angels sang and it was glorious.
With so many DIY labors of love already happening around every turn of our new home, it would have been super simple to add a few shelves to my online shopping cart and be done with it—West Elm has a handsome pair for $98 a pop, mind you—but then I remembered just how easy it would be to suck it up and make a few myself.
Don’t believe the easy part of that last statement? Join me on this DIY project breakdown.
Grab a couple 2×10 inch boards and cut to size. My shelves were each 36 inches long, but make yours as long or short as your heart desires…don’t have a saw? No excuse. A helpful hardware store associate can help you make your cuts.
You may want to give your boards a light sanding to kick any splinters to the curb, but once nice and smooth, it’s time to stain. I have a can of Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut that has been hanging around my house getting in on the action for countless projects over the years. Naturally, this was my go-to. I would suggest picking up a much smaller can if this is the only staining project you have up your sleeve. A little goes a long way.
Once the stain had time to dry overnight, I wanted to give the boards a quick coat of sealant. Probably not an absolute must but it made me feel better since the shelves would be coming into contact with dishes right out of the dishwasher.
There are tons of sealant options out there. I had a can of Waterlox left over from my bathroom vanity project at the old house that I used. This stuff is amazing for waterproofing wood but kind of pricey and only available online, but hardware stores have lots of other great options.
Stained, sealed and ready to mount. A few 10×8 inch stainless brackets from Home Depot…
…and wood screws (hint: the brackets have a label that tell you which size screws to pick up. I’m telling you, easiest DIY ever.)
You’ll want to mount the brackets before attaching your shelves, and I made sure to hit a stud for extra support since dishes can get heavy.
Mark and predrill holes for your screws. If you are drilling through tile like I was, make sure to use a masonry drill bit so that you don’t annihilate your pretty tile by chipping it to pieces.
Screw brackets into place. Position your shelves on top and secure in place.
Shelf heaven, people. And the cost? Just $25 a piece.
Cara Wilkerson is a real estate broker, business owner, and DIY expert, who writes about her adventures in nesting on her blog, Live the Home Life.