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House Updates | Centsational style

It’s been a bit quiet here because I sustained an injury last week that made me useless for several days. I had returned from an exceptionally fun family reunion the last weekend in September and was in the middle of some house projects when all of a sudden my back spasmed and I kicked it out and couldn’t move. This has never happened to me before, but my body was saying, “Hey sis, slow down,” so I was forced to lie on the floor with my feet up, take ibuprofen, ice the injury, and wait for three days for that to happen the inflammation went down. Not fun at all.

Funny, when we’re feeling overwhelmed we think “if only I could sit and get a little rest” and then when an injury forces you to sit still, all you can think is “this stinks, I really need to.” move, i have to do things to do”. 🙂

It’s day four and I’m finally able to sit in my office chair, so here I am with some house updates. First a little refreshment in the living room. I took down my old white linen curtains and replaced them with gray velveteen curtains that used to hang in the master bedroom. They add a little sparkle and luxury to the room and who doesn’t love velvet in the colder months. I was going to do a fall room tour, but the changes were so minor I decided to wait until Christmas when everything is extra festively decorated for my daughter to return home from college.

In the dining room, I updated the built-in cabinets by removing two of the glass front doors and painting the cabinets a lighter color. It was originally a mahogany stain and got redder and redder over time and it felt like a dark hole so instead of swapping out the cabinets I turned the area into a much lighter stain by priming and painting the cabinets.

I follow the same steps I always do when painting stained furniture. A lot of paints claim to be a mix of paint and primer and this is great for walls and crown molding, but for cabinets I always use Zinsser or Kilz primer first to grip the wood and keep stains from getting through. A coat is all you need.

I followed with a new brand of paint that I have never used, Valspar cabinet and furniture paint. I usually use Benjamin Moore but thought I’d give this brand a try, mainly because it has a flat finish and gives enough coverage for two coats. The color is a very pale taupe that looks like off-white, it’s called ‘Shoreline Haze’.

The satin nickel hardware was given a new golden glow with some Gold Leaf Rub n’ Buff. I also painted the backsplash instead of replacing it, so it’s now a matte white that looks more intentional than the glossy glass that was there before. I look forward to building a little Christmas village on the open shelves next month.

We are giving my daughter’s room a partial makeover as she no longer lives in the house, she is at college on the east coast. We’ll keep most of her stuff on shelves and put up her posters on the wall so it still feels like her place when she comes home for Christmas and summer, but we’re replacing the carpet and renewing and painting the linens Walls new so it can be used as a guest room in her absence when the in-laws are visiting.

I don’t want to be one of those parents who immediately turns the room into a rec room or a gym or something like that when their kid leaves. I want her to feel welcome when she comes back. It feels strange tidying up a teenager’s room, doing your best to respect your belongings, but still wondering how all those candy wrappers and single socks and dust bunnies ended up in every crack here? 🙂

All the moving furniture and painting has caused my back injury so I’ll have to take it easy around the house for the next few days. We had the entire interior of the house painted this fall and will be painting the exterior in the spring. We’re also updating the kitchen with new wall cabinets and shelving, white quartz countertops, and a more contemporary backsplash. These updates will be unveiled in the coming months!


As everyone knows, Hurricane Ian hit Florida hard, especially Fort Myers, Naples and Sanibel Island. The devastation is absolutely heartbreaking. As regular readers know, earlier this year we bought a home in Sarasota, Florida with the intention of moving there at some point. I’ve spent the summer in Florida fixing it up and we’ve made friends with local residents and neighbors. Sarasota is ninety minutes north of the most devastated region. After the hurricane, our neighbor (who was watching our house) informed us that there was no damage, outside or inside, which was a relief as we have no claims to make.

I’ll be flying back to Florida next week to clean up some fallen branches and continue work on some ongoing remodeling projects. I’ve already made some updates to the family room by adding a new dresser and a set of sofas. The house is cozy and comfortable and fully furnished.

The reason I mention it because we decided to do it Rent our home in Florida December through April to all families displaced by Hurricane Ian.

So if you know someone who is interested in a three bedroom, two bathroom furnished rental that is five minutes from Siesta Key Beach, please contact me and I can send anyone interested up to date pictures of the rooms and details of the home. It will be available on December 1st. Only serious inquiries by email —> [email protected].

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