Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pulling It All Together-Snazzy Little Things

I just recently discovered Jeanette's blog - Snazzy Little Things, and have had a ball looking through all of her projects.  This lady is a DIYer extraordinaire.  You really need to visit her blog and take her home tour, you don't want to miss anything.  I especially love her closet makeover.  Talk about glamorous and fabulous and throw in totally chic too.  I love it.

I'm Jeanette, and I'm a Mom, a (new) and devoted wife, and the DIY blogger behind Snazzy Little Things. I've been documenting my DIY adventures as I add vintage character and architectural interest to my newer, builders-grade home. I enjoy expensive-looking DIY while maintaining an extremely conservative budget. My adventures are also documented on Facebook daily.
Today I'll share my tips on how I "pulled it all together" over the years.
First, let me tell you the backstory...
Back in 2005, I took a gigantic leap of faith and built my very first home. This decision placed me smack-dab in the middle of a terrific neighborhood with excellent schools for my kids. But as you can see from the pictures below, I lived in a builders-grade, all-white "gymnasium" for several years. It even echoed inside when I'd call my kids' names :)

During the construction phase, I opted to increase square footage over and above splurging on fancy (and overpriced) builders' upgrades--even though I desperately wanted them. My overall home is now over 3000 square feet, which is great for resale -- yet it was extremely overwhelming to decorate (especially as a single Mom on an extreme budget, which I was at the time).
So...where did I start?
"First Impressions...FIRST"
The first few years I was here, I would often ask myself "what do visitors see when they walk in my front door?" So I focused on those spaces first. Small, inexpensive touches can go a long way, too, such as adding potted flowers to the front porch. Painting the front door. Installing a new floor in the entrance foyer. Later I added DIY wainscot, which made a major impact in the overall aesthetic.
My newly painted black front door. Read about how to achieve a high-gloss finish, tips and tricks here.

Foyer upon entering.
Wainscoting by Snazzy Little Things
Above: See how you can upgrade your space with a DIY wainscot project, inspired by my old Chicago brownstone apartment.

My office is immediately to your right when you walk into my home.
home office

You can take a full home tour here.
Above: The office houses a thrifted, old weathered bench. The locker baskets serve a practical purpose-they hold my kids' library books. I'm in the process of mixing "junque" with my more modern purchases. You can read more about that here.

framing vintage postcards
Above: Inexpensive, personalized DIY art using vintage postcards of some of my favorite places, vintage style.
"Salvage What You Own"
For years, I simply made due with what I had. As my tastes evolved, I would weed out pieces that no longer fit, but I was never hasty. I would salvage my favorite pieces and repurpose them. I even tried reupholstery for the sake of saving money. I started to figure how I wanted each room to flow. When I shopped for new items, I did so with a vision and would buy one piece at a time. I would thrift and repurposed items to personalize each space. My DIY furniture gallery showcases some of the pieces I kept over the years. I always choose pieces with "good bones" and would serve me well if repurposed.
"Know When To Splurge"
Where did I splurge? I invested in key upgrades. I added a deck, stamped the exterior front porch and invested in some newer, key furniture pieces. We hired someone to also install our vision for an industrial-style basement. Sometimes you just can't DIY, you have to give yourself a break and know when you're in over your head and save for a splurge.
"Developing Your Style"
I recently began to describe my style as French-Industrial...and while I haven't fully achieved this is certainly something I am striving towards. Historically, I have been a minimalist when it comes to decorating. My preference is a no-fuss approach, with clean lines and a simpler look. Although, lately I admit to trying my hand at busier, seasonal vignettes (and having a lot of fun with it). You can see how I decorate my home for the holidays as well...I tend to go all out. Even for Halloween. Mine is the "party house" according to my friends. I find ways to mix in elegant pieces with industrial ironwork, old chippy windows, and I love ALL tufted furniture. Interesting vintage items almost always make their way into the trunk of my car after an afternoon of thrifting. And because of the exquisite craftsmanship of French-inspired opulence, I am always drawn to anything from France. The language, the wine, the food...and of course, the furniture.
Everyone gathers in the kitchen, don't they? Here is a little accent I added - my kitchen backsplash. Approximate cost was only $200.
Kitchen backsplash project
I only spent $1600 on all the kitchen upgrades. I painted the cabinets, and added an inexpensive backsplash with paint and stencils. I also weighed several options before settling on upgrading my island with Ikea butcher block.

I'm working my way into the basement, which was unfinished for a number of years. Can you tell I'm embracing the industrial motif? You can see more of that "splurge" and the design process here.
industrial basement decor
Basement Project: Our basement remodel in an "industrial" motif. It's still a work in progress...acquiring pieces take time! In the background you might have caught a glimpse of a fun DIY project, an oversized piece of art made from a shower curtain.
"Showcase Your Favorite Pieces"
Such as my Victorian table. This beauty had a lot of stains and water marks when I bought it, but when I applied a coat of Paris Grey Chalk Paint...I was in love.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY Table
Above: My favorite find. A damaged, $25 thrifted Victorian table that I refreshed with paint.

I get such a kick out of finding an old, forgotten piece of furniture that has potential to become something beautiful. A $25 Goodwill Upcycle
Above, this Goodwill transformation is a reader favorite, but an example of that "surprise element" in home decor that I love.

My Advice for Pulling It All Together?
To relax and enjoy the process of decorating. Be patient when seeking the right pieces for your home, and avoid the temptation of buying the first item that comes along that happens to fit your dimensions. If something isn't working, remove it from the room, and try it elsewhere in your home. Always visualize the potential, whether it's an old piece of furniture or a full room ensemble. This opens your mind to all the possibilities - even thrifted items.
And when in doubt...simplify.
My entire blog was built with extreme budgets in mind. I was a single Mom on an extreme budget when I built my home, so I hope you'll visit for more ideas...feel free to stop by often for inspiration!
Snazzy Little Things Black Logo
Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 8.24.38 PM

See what I mean, are you totally impressed like I knew you would be.  She has such great style and her home has evolved into one that is warm, inviting and chic. Thanks so much Jeanette for letting me feature your beautiful work and for sharing how you Pull It All Together.   If you are not a follower already, then you definitley need to rush over and click that follow button.  Jeanette always has something interesting and inspirational going on, so don't miss a thing.

                                                                  Snazzy Little Things

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  1. What is so nice about your decorating style, is that everything is interchangeable. Your home is very welcoming. Enjoy your weekend,

  2. Marty - thank you so much for the nice comments and for featuring my blog. It is still a work in progress and we have a lot to do, but I most certainly enjoy the process. I love your blog, look forward to getting to know you through the blogsphere. xo ~Jeanette @

  3. Very impressive! Love that last table....Christine

  4. Jeanette is very talented! Love her blog!

  5. Oh, Marty! What a wonderful story of how you made a house a home using your eye for style, your thrifting ability and lots of love! I got to know many things about you that are new to me! And it makes me love you all the more! You are a true treasure of blogland!

  6. I haven't met the lovely blogger you feature..but she has done a lovely job on her home. Marty..I have to tell you that every time I come to visit and you are featuring someone else (except Tuesday's of course, I momentarily get confused and think I've pushed the wrong button somewhere, back off and realize it's someone's home you are showing. Makes me dizzy! LOL How kind of you to show of other bloggers homes. You always choose lovely ones. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  7. I love everything, but my absolute favorite is the Victorian table. Very nice! Thanks for sharing!

    Kim (WI)

  8. What a wonderful feature, Marty. Thank you for sharing it with us at Share It One More Time. Looking forward to seeing you next week. Cathy

  9. Became friends with her at Haven and she is an amazing lady. Thanks for featuring her!

    Shannon -

  10. It's a pleasure to meet you Jeanette and your home is beautiful!