Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

You know that house in blogland or on Instagram (or in your neighborhood) where everything about it seems absolutely perfect? Well, I think “perfect” can be a misunderstood standard. Especially in our own home.

What does perfect mean to you?

Will a house be perfect if you can spend a lot of money on it? Is it perfect if it has every feature you need or the exact layout you want or is the style you’ve always dreamed about? Is it perfect only if it is in the right location? Or is it perfect if every choice is on trend or makes an Instagram-worthy photo? Is it perfect if everything in it functions the way it should?

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

I found this definition of perfect online:

perfect: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

I feel like the part about having all the required or desirable elements leaves the measuring stick of perfection up to our own interpretation. Which, as Martha would say, is actually very good thing. 

If you decide to set very few limitations on what you deem as required, achievable or desirable qualities, a high standard of comparison to someone else can determine whether or not you have “all the required and desirable elements.”

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

But if your expectation for what is required and desirable is “lower” (perhaps because it takes into account your own priority goals and expectations), what is “perfect” for you right now could take on a different meaning.

You know what I mean? No?

Well, let me try to explain.

Exactly two years ago we bought this house in Seattle. The market was and has been crazy here. So as I mentioned while we were house hunting, we knew we’d have to make some compromises to what house would be “perfect for us.” Our desired location lowered our expectations for the house we’d be buying, haha.

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

Fortunately, we were able to find a solidly built older home that actually feels nice to be in. That was a win, very few houses we looked at had “that warm homey feeling.”  You can’t really put a price tag on a home (or a life) that just feels right. That “feeling” ended up being one of our main criterion for choosing a house, even over a particular style or size.

This house didn’t have every feature I would have listed for my perfect “dream house,” but because it “felt right” we knew in time we could make it our own.

Making it our own doesn’t require that we make the design perfect, but rather, it is about creating a home that “feels right” for your family in the season you are in.

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts about our home, I’m increasingly finding myself drawn to simplicity. Not just in designing my home (although this house definitely seems to feel best when we use a certain amount of restraint), but simplicity in life!

Simple decisions all around feel the best to our family right now.

Rather than using perfection or a comparison to someone else’s high standard as a measuring stick, we are trying to use simplicity as one of our main standards for making decisions.

With simplicity as our goal, we can more easily learn to be content with what we can do (or with what are willing to invest in) during this season. 

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

So what does all of this have to do with painting our stone fireplace white?

You might remember that back when we painted our fireplace gray that I had said I wasn’t sure I’d want white stone. Painting the stone gray made sense to me, so gray it was! I knew it would serve our space well for the time-being. Paint wasn’t the “ultimate” fix I dreamed of, but it was the simplest and best choice for us in that season.

I thought by this point in time I’d be ripping out the stone anyway and putting in my dream fireplace. But even if we had to wait for many years, I told myself that I could always try to paint the fireplace white the next time I wanted a fresh new look.

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

When I got the itch recently to make some updates to our living room, I really thought the time had come to rip out the fireplace and start over. But when I used simplicity as my guide, I realized that once again that the simplest way to make changes was to apply a new paint color to the fireplace.

I reminded myself that if I didn’t like it or grew tired of it in time, I could always take a more drastic (and expensive, ha) approach when I was more prepared to tackle a bigger project with a bigger budget.

But that day was not today. Or that week. Or this summer. Or this year.

So, we painted it white!

And you know what? I’m totally OK with it. In fact, I think I actually like it white. I definitely like it better than I thought I would. It feels like a fresh, simple and clean backdrop for the room. So, now I’m extra excited about decorating for fall and Christmas! And all it took was some paint.

I’m even starting to feel OK with leaving the fireplace as it is for awhile, at least for as long as it makes sense. Because in this season in our life, simple actually feels almost perfect. You know what I mean?

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

And if you’re wondering what this fireplace looked like when we moved in, below is a flash back to the before!

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

Do you ever find yourself craving a life of greater simplicity? How does that play into the design of your home?

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

Sources:

Fireplace and wall paint color – Simply White Benjamin Moore

Mirror (mine was purchased locally but I believe this is the same one!)

Watercolor quote artwork on mantel

Rattan daybed

Gray and white pom pillow

Woven basket in fireplace

Birch logs

Woven Shades

Curtains

Lessons from A White Painted Fireplace Makeover

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small space solutions, tips and inspiration.
Plus, how to fit a dining area into a small apartment!

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

This small space solutions post is in partnership with World Market

If you love small spaces or happen to live in one, you know it can sometimes be challenging to fit everything you need into the little space you have available. And when one small room has to serve many functions, you really have to do some creative planning.

Speaking of small spaces, you might recall that my daughter Courtney recently moved into her very first apartment. It’s looking so adorable! Today we thought we’d give you a peek at how it’s coming along. You’ll see how she fit a dining area into her living area and get some of her helpful small space solutions and tips.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Hi friends, it’s Courtney here. I’ve been having so much fun living in (and decorating!) my new apartment. Little by little I’ve been getting more settled and figuring out the best way to maximize every square inch. Even though I know it’s a small space compared to many apartments and homes, to me it actually feels pretty spacious.

After living in a teeny bedroom for the past several years, it’s so fun to not only have a kitchen, but a living room, a home office and a guest room, too.

Even if they are technically all one in the same space.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

I was so excited about my first place that I bought my dining room table months before I started looking for an apartment. My mom actually used it as an end table next to her sofa until I was ready to move in (she loved it so much that I was a little worried she might not give it back, ha!).

It might have been a little risky to buy something like a dining table without knowing if I’d have room for it, except I knew this small table would work almost anywhere.

Small space tip: Invest in flexible furniture.

Not only can a table like this serve as a beautiful side table, it’s a perfect small dining table for up to four guests! It also serves as extra prep area in the kitchen and a crafting area for me, so it’s a hardworking surface!

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

I use this dining table everyday to eat or work at. It’s been the perfect spot for having friends over to visit! Who says you have to have a separate dining room to gather around a table?

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

My second purchase after the table was this set of cute Windsor chairs. I had my eye on these forever! They work perfectly around the dining table, but can also be pulled up for guests in the living area or set up at a desk.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

The round shape of the table and rounded back on the chairs really help maximize the small space. No sharp corners make traffic flow around the table more comfortable with breathing room to spare, too.

Small space tip: Consider the appropriate shape and scale for furniture pieces to maximize both style and space!

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

My mom talks a lot about the importance of creating ambience and setting a cozy mood with lighting. She’s right, new lighting has already made such a difference in warming up my living area. Until this past week I actually didn’t have any lamps in my living / dining area. My apartment felt really dark at night, so I was excited to get my very first floor lamp! It’s been a game changer, or “mood changer.”

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

The floor lamp brings a nice night time glow I can enjoy from the eating area, too.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small space tip: Floor lamps not only warm up a small room, but they take up very little floor space!

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining AreaMarble Mugs / Table / Chairs

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

I’m also having fun collecting dishes and table accessories I love. Even though I really only have a few cups, plates and bowls so far, I can say that I love each and every thing in my cabinets. I’d rather have five cups I love and use than a cabinet overflowing with stuff I don’t really enjoy!

Small space tip: Only keep and acquire things you need and love. Strive for less stuff, more style.

These dishes can be found at World Market (sources linked at the end of the post).

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining AreaMarble Canister

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Another really cool thing about this table for a small space is it has two drop leaf sides! It can be set flush against a window, wall or sofa to be even more space-efficient.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small space tip: Drop leaf and nesting style tables maximize the available space.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

You might recognize this pretty ottoman. My mom had it in her home for years and I always loved it. Lucky me, she brought it over to me when I moved in! I discovered that I love having an ottoman as a coffee table. It really softens the feel of the room and it has come in handy as an extra place to sit, too!

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small space tip: Ottomans can be used both as a coffee table and extra seating in a small space. Add a tray as a hard surface for beverages.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

(me with my sister, Kylee!)

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area  Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

I am so happy with how this room is coming together!

Thank you for stopping by. I promise to be back soon with more from my apartment. I already have plans for a few additions to this space :).

>> Come follow me on Instagram (and Instagram stories) for more updates here! <<

PS. My mom made some fun changes in her house that she will show you soon, too. I love how she often repurposes and uses things she already has, but can make a room feel like a totally different space. It inspires me!

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Shop for dining room furniture here.
Find a small space guide from World Market here.
Shop for dishes and dining room accessories here.

I partnered with World Market on some of the sources in this post.

Shop sources below and find more decor from my home in my shop here.

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area

Sources:

White Bowls

Marbled Mugs

Dining Table

Dining Chairs

White Handled Crock

White Glass Hobnail Cups

Red Striped Towels

Gray & White Marble Canister

Tufted Ottoman

Gold Mirrored Tray

Floor Lamp

Small Space Solutions: Seattle Apartment Dining Area
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