December 16, 2014

Our 2014 Christmas Tree

I've wanted a flocked tree for awhile now. When I saw they were on sale at a local craft store here in Florida, I jumped on the opportunity and this tree has not disappointed me. We took down all of our Christmas ornaments, old trees & anything else that pertained to this holiday and consolidated. 

I haven't felt better. We have been purging non-stop and nothing is out of the question. This year, I wanted to go through all of our Christmas things and have a more, simplistic yet refined look. I ended up donating 8 strands of garland, a Christmas tree to a friend, sold another at the store & currently have yet another for sale at the store, gave away three storage totes full of ornaments & decor and much more. We kept the ornaments that obviously had meaning to us such as the ones that our family and friends have given us. I paired those ornaments with many things I had in our home as well as other things I got last year after Christmas when they went on sale.

I wanted something rustic. Simple. Classic. And very different. I really love a well adorned tree and I don't really ever feel like this is "too much." For every 100 people that love it, there will be 1 that hates it and says its "too much" or you need "color." And you know what? It hurts my feelings. But at the same time, this is our tree in our house where we pay the bills. I think we'll do what we want.

Prepare yourself for a picture overload.

I used lots of reflective surfaces to get this look. Also, anything with great texture like the bark balls for example I loved! I wanted a natural color scheme so I definitely stuck with that… and lastly, the more the better! In this case, less is not more. More is more!

And I wanted to get a few with the lights on…. it is especially pretty in the evenings… but for now, I allowed the natural light in the sunroom to really show you the true look of our tree this year.

I really loved the woods meets frost style it had this year. Next, year I may bring in more pops of red, dark brown or a dark blue. It actually has red berries on the tree but they are washed out by all the neutrals which is actually fine with me… either way, I love our tree.

My little men have been in the holiday spirit also… but just the other day, I snapped these of the two of them…via Instagram (You can follow me by clicking here.)
Look at these two little men, always on the backs of my sofas… just watching the day go by and of course being on squirrel patrol! We are currently working on our next project which is crown molding in the sunroom so please look out for that next post!

November 30, 2014

Sunroom Makeover: DIY Board and batten

So, today was a good day. I arrived at a great stopping point for the new board and batten in our sunroom or Florida room as the "Floridians" call it. When we moved in, I loved a few key details of your house that you just don't get anymore or at least not unless you wanna pay bookoo bucks! The real hardwood floors, the cove ceilings and this amazing sunroom! But it was lacking somewhere, something was missing. I would sit on our sofa and just brainstorm about what I wanted this room to be. Now, over a year of being in "OUR" home… this is the room we are in about 80% of our time besides the kitchen, dining & master. We watch TV in here, hang out in here, play with the pups in here & even nap here on the pretty days and gloomy. So, I wanted it to serve US. But look pretty too.

I was searching for a great "before" photo which I am horrible at remembering when the time comes. But I did come across this photo I took of the sunroom before we closed on the home. The furniture was the previous owners but you can see most of the space for what it is. There are windows to the right also and wrap around until you get to a solid wood door we eventually want to replace with a french door. It's a great size and can accommodate a generous amount of furniture, thankfully.

So, what's a girl to do? Be spontaneous of course! And that's exactly what I did. Within a few hours, with a nail gun, an air compressor, a lot of Cokes, HGTV and some Lowes Home Improvement wood… I got started on the "injecting some character" into this space!

Enter board and batten! There are PLENTY of tutorials all over but I simply measured each wall, length and width and we determined how much would we would need. It is probably a good idea to over-estimate just in case. I always under-estimate. :) Unless you live 5 minutes from Lowes which is a blessing and a curse! Back to this blog post for now though!

Within about an hour or two, I had my entire tv wall done. The supplies you'll need if you want to accomplish this project are as follows. Also, please keep in mind that every home will be different. This project did throw us some loops as it was built in 1957, thus, the level became our best friend and we embraced the imperfections! I suggest you "attempt" to do the same!

Nail Gun
Wood (Measured to your space)
1x4's for the boards across and vertical
The ledge & top pieces are optional, I decided to go big or go home!
Painters Caulk
Measuring tape
Paint Brush
Paint Roller
A positive attitude
Music or HGTV
Paint (Your choice of color, mine is bright white)
Drop cloth
Air Compressor
Extension Cords
Hooks (Optional)

Here's a quick shot I took. Behind the air compressor, you will see a base 1x4 that I nailed directly above the "baseboard" so it almost sits on top of it. I didn't want my board and batten boards to overhang above my baseboards thus why I added this. This is optional but I highly recommend it as I believe it gives it a more finished, defined look!

Below is a photo of the main television wall with two coats of primer. No caulking had been done at this point or paint but I could really see it starting to take shape!

Finally…. here's the reveal. And I am in LOVE with how it turned out. The color of the walls would be Valspar Oatlands Subtle Taupe although I am thinking now of going a shade or two darker in this space. Each board is 12" apart from each other. The long vertical boards measured 48" in length up until the first vertical board. After that, I also went another 12" up until you get to the large cap of wood with the ledge. As you can see below also, we have gotten rid of our tv stand. I wasn't really digging the color against our new board and batten so we sold it! Now, I am getting inspired on what I want! And I'm actually thinking I am going to try to build something! Here's a photo of what this wall used to look like just for fun back a few months here at Home by Ally. 

I also sold the shutters that went on either side of the tv and I am toying with selling the antique rocker as well. Our large dog got sick and threw up all over this rug below so we purchased a new one which I will show you at a later point! I felt like the shutters really were making the space darker and that's not the direction I wanted to go with this space… Light and bright is where it's at.

Here's an up close and personal view to the left of the tv. A little antique chair is sitting here for now until I figure out what I want!

The dresser has yet to be re-done since it is housing our tv but I scored that at an estate sale and I can't wait to re-do it. It has sat for a few months in our guest bedroom. My husband swears I have a problem.

As you can see, I also continued the board and batten over to our patio door all the way to where the windows start. I definitely knew I wanted to add some functionality near the back door since obviously that's where our dogs exit the most. This will definitely serve as a hub of sorts for leashes, jackets and later down the road… little ones jackets & sweaters. For now, my cute little advent calendar that I love.

I searched for awhile for the type of hooks I wanted with no luck. Then, just the other day…as I was going through my decor stash… I found a coat rack with these hooks that I had purchased a year or so ago at Ross with these hooks on it! I immediately got my drill and took them off! Here's an up close view! I wanted something with character once again but also something that would lend to the home's age…all while serving a purpose and looking pretty!

So, overall I am SUPER happy with the space! Now to find a tv stand…

What do you think? Have you been thinking about this project? Thanks for stopping by as always!

November 10, 2014

New antique cupboard

Hey y'all! Just wanted to pop in today to show you one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture I've ever had a chance to own. I want to take more photos of it on a sunnier day but for this evening, this is what I have for y'all. While out hunting on a Saturday for bargains, my mom and I walked into a little shop in North Carolina we frequent every time I come home. There stood this beautiful piece and as we were eyeing it up and down… the owner walks by and tells us this…

"If you take it today, you can have it for _____ (Insert amazing price here.)" SOLD! We both said it at the same time… my only dilemma was that we both wanted it! So fast forward a few months and I came across a mahogany secretary cabinet that my mom's grandmother used to have in her old house. So, we are swapping. And thankfully, I had a nice mother in law who brought this baby with her when they came to visit us a few weeks back from North Carolina. So here she is in all of her glory.

Have I mentioned how much of a BEAST this cupboard is? You might not be able to tell with the naked eye but this stands 8ft tall. Has all the original hardware, wire doors, moulding and shelving. I just adore it and I swear when you come across pieces like this, there's no need for paint. There's no need for a lot of fuss and a lot of decor. Simplicity at its best. If you haven't been reading my blog for awhile, you may not know that we moved about a year ago from a 2000 sq ft rental down to a 1300 sq ft adorable little bungalow/cottage two blocks from the beach here in Florida. So, a year later and we are STILL getting rid of stuff! But truthfully, I am proud to say about 90% of what we own right now, we love, we use and it has a function. Gone are the days where things are just "pretty." 
Ain't nobody got time for that.

I added my favorite large black and white photos of Mr. HBA and I to the left with an adorable, chippy rocking chair below it. A boxwood wreath adorns the front, although I'm still unsure if that will stay. Something needs to be different to the right to balance the weight of the other side but for now, I just sat an antique little chair that a dear friend purchased for me while I was sick! Miss you Erin!

And while I was snapping photos of this beautiful piece, I was also piling up goodies to take to Vintage Living Marketplace. If you didn't know, I rent a booth there and love it. Thankfully, I am able to constantly re-stock… and this is by far my favorite time of year! My room is slowly getting transformed so I can't what to show y'all the end result! For now, here's a few pillows I picked up.

Love this "BELIEVE" pillow with the red ticking & burlap. Sooooo cute! I bought it for myself but now I'm headed a different direction as usual! And for the one below, it's not any bit Christmas but I loved the saying! And I'm sure people here in Florida would agree as well that they love this too!

I also hit some estate sales this past weekend and came across this older creeper cart. I unscrewed the pad for the head and am actually going to repurpose this somewhere else so I can't wait to show y'all that too! For now, it's just a cute little rustic, old item that most people don't have a use for! 

November 4, 2014

DIY Bead board Wall

I wanted to do a quick run through of different elements of our master bedroom reveal. In case you missed it, click here and you can read the full post!

The first element of the room that I want to start with would definitely be our DIY bead board wall. Bead board is a thin, character driven product that looks lovely just about anywhere. You can buy a 4ftx8ft piece of bead board from Lowes and/or Home Depot for around $20/sheet. We were going to need 3 sheets per the calculations for our master bedroom. 

So here's the tools that we used.


Circular Saw
Bead board Sheet
Tape Measure
Liquid Nails construction adhesive Heavy Duty
Nail Gun with Nails
White paint
Wood filler

This was a pretty quick project that I recommend two people tackle. It's pretty simple really. Let me remind you of the before of our master bedroom. No character and just another room!

And here's a shot from my cell phone of the room before the wall and before decorating. Just using what I had on hand quickly and before we did anything to our Craigslist furniture.

For OUR master walls and please keep in mind yours will differ depending on your personal measurements, we used about 2 3/4 sheets of bead board so we had to rip one down to size. We first measured the wall and the bead board and made any appropriate cuts if there were outlets, etc. Then, we graciously covered the back of the bead board with liquid nails & made sure everything was lined up on our first wall. We simply "sat" the bead board on our existing baseboards, made sure everything was flush and straight and I took the nail gun to all corners, edges and middle to secure everything in place. We did this three different times. 

The edges were rough from our cuts so we covered each side where the walls meet with trim. We also added crown molding which is completely optional to y'all! We used wood filler to fill the holes where the nailer went through and fill all gaps, holes, etc. 

Overall, I am super happy with how it turned out and for less than $60, since we receive a 10% discount at Lowes and the rest of the supplies we had on hand, I'd say this project had a high impact for very low cost.  What do you think of our wall?

Things have already changed in this room so I can't wait to update y'all on even the small changes! Don't be afraid to take chances. I usually don't care for accent walls but if they looked like this, I really don't mind :) Best $50ish we have spent in awhile. 

September 24, 2014

Master Bedroom Reveal & Source List

Welcome to our master bedroom! The time has finally come to reveal this room with y'all and I couldn't be more excited! We have never really decorated the master bedroom in any home that we have owned or lived in because usually it's on the back burner. It's a room I used to think that we just "sleep" in but realistically, it should be a place to come and unwind. A place to relax with your significant other… and a space to enjoy together. I wanted a cozy, cottage feel that had neutral, calming colors, something that I felt like I was at a cottage on the beach or on a lake. We wanted something ultimately where we could relax, enjoy our time together and feel at home. And we really love it.

Here's the before of the room from the MLS when we purchased the home.

 Well, there you go! The long awaited master bedroom tour. We felt like we were at a great stopping point for this room but there still are small minor details that I'd like to tweak down the road...We really are enjoying the space that we created for ourselves…and are so happy with it. I will break down parts of our bedroom in posts to come, including the DIY's. Below, you will find a source list of everything in the room that I can remember :-) I hope you enjoyed the tour and please let us know what you think by leaving a comment here, on Instagram, or the Facebook page.

If you'd like to pin this image on Pinterest, please feel free! Just hover over each image and click the Pinterest logo! That simple! Again, thank you for stopping by!

Wall color: Valspar's Oatlands Subtle Taupe in satin (Lowes)
Headboard: Kirklands (here.)
Antique windows: Rennigers Antique Market
Three large back pillows: Ikea (here.)
Ruffled Comforter: Target, Simply Shabby Chic (here.)
Bedskirt: Target, Simply Shabby Chic (Ebay)
Throw Blanket: TjMaxx
XL Rustic Wall Mirror: DIY (Coming soon)
Nightstands & Dressers: DIY (Coming soon)
Quote sign: DIY (Coming soon)
Rustic lamps: HomeGoods
Birdcage Jewelry Holder: HomeGoods
Stripped candle holders: Kohls
Ceiling fan: Lowes Home Improvement

Featured Post

We SOLD our home!

Not sure if anyone else realized it but its been 6 months since I wrote a blogpost! Not such a large surprise considering our little man cam...