Painting the Mantel

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As I shared last week, we recently painted our dining room navy.  It was originally a light blue/violet color, so once the three main walls were painted with the rich, deep navy color the next step needed was to paint the ceiling and 4th wall (we planned on having it match the rest of the living room and hallways for flow) and to paint the fireplace surround/mantel.  As you can see, the fireplace now looks out of place being light blue/violet with the bold navy walls. In person it stands out even more.

Dining room fireplace- in progress

I really wanted a high contrast look, so we followed through with the plan of a bright white mantel. Long term I would love to figure out a way to re-surface the entire mantel and surround with wood like this, but with the windows so close it would be nearly impossible without demo-ing the current surround for space.  And right now, that is not a priority for us. So in the meantime, the fast and dirty change was simply to pick a bright white and get painting.

White painted mantel
Stay tuned tomorrow and I will share my holiday decorated mantel, now that the paint has dried :)


Fireplace Inspiration

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One project I am looking forward to tackling in our new house is the dining room, and in particular the wall with the fireplace.  Since moving away from home to go to college, I have not had a fireplace of my own and I have a lot of grand plan on what I want this to look like. You can check out a few ideas on my Fireplace Inspiration board on Pinterest. Today I wanted to share a few of my favorites as I work in planning the overall look. So first off, this is what our dining room looks like on move in day.

Dining Room Before

One thing you may already know, especially if you saw my post in February with my navy dining room mood board, is that I have been playing around with the idea of a navy accent wall or entire room.  We have committed to this idea and bought the navy paint already.  Progress pictures coming soon :)  The plan is navy walls with a white fireplace, like the one below.

I also love the idea of re-tiling the inside of the fireplace with some beautiful tile like the image below.  I love the shimmer and grey tones coming through.  It is so clean and simple with the white wood surround.

fireplace makeover(Link)

More navy!  What I really like about this one is that the windows are really close and flanking the fireplace like in our room.  It gives me some hope that we can dress the windows and hopefully look half this good.

Idea for the dining room(Link)

Another idea that I have been considering is using Airstone on the fireplace.  I plan to use it to cover the lower wall on the bar side of the dining room, so it might look nice to have it on the fireplace too, but in the grey tone it comes in.  The best part is how cheap and easy this product is to install.

How to Makeover a Fireplace on a Budget Using AirStone | In My On Style(Link)

I really love the simplicity of this fireplace and the beautiful mirror.  Maybe a mirror above our fireplace?

So pretty!(Link)

And one more navy example… I love the addition of the rug too!

Now to work on our dining room.  Short term might just be a nice paint job, then figuring out how to dress it up with new tile, AirStone and/or a wood overlay!

Removing Wall Paper Using Fabric Softener

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If you have done any research on ways to remove wall paper using common household items, I’m sure you have seen people talking about using fabric softener.  I feel like I kept seeing it everywhere, so when we moved in and wanted to remove the wall paper accent piece over the fireplace we decided to try it out.  I really liked the idea of not having to use a harsh chemical to strip the wall paper, so I had my fingers crossed that this would work out.

Removing wall paper with fabric softener and water

So, how did it work?  Not bad at all.  After a little trial and error I found that mixing 1 part fabric softener to 4 parts warm water was the right ratio.  I started with a 50/50 ratio at first, and while it worked, it left a lot more fabric softener on the wall that was hard to fully wash off to start painting.

Remove wall paper with fabric softener and water

The one trick I discovered was that the fabric softener mixture was not penetrating the top layer of the wall paper.  So I quickly started pulling up the edges and with the top layer removed, the mixture could soak into the under layer and loosen the adhesive.

Removing wall paper

It was quite time consuming, but overall I was pretty happy with how fabric softener worked in removing the wall paper.

How to remove wall paper with fabric softener

As I worked my way along removing the top layer, I would spritz down the under layer and use my hand to rub it in.  Then just simply wait a minute or to for it to penetrate and the paper rolls off easily.

How to remove wall paper using fabric softener

The wall behind it left in perfect condition and smells great :)

Removing wall paper using fabric softener

I sped up towards the end by working larger areas, so that by the time I was done spraying the whole thing, the area I started with was ready to peel.

Remove wall paper using fabric softener

There you have it!  Fabric softener mixed with water is a great way to remove wall paper.  Now on to the wallpaper backsplash in the kitchen and the wallpapered guest bathroom!

Remove wall paper