The New PineRidge Hills

Dear Friends,

Yes, I know that my blog has been woefully out of date, with no news for a very long time. I have been up to my eyeballs lately, and somehow I never seemed to sit down long enough to write.
Where to start? Well, at the beginning of the summer, I actually convinced “The Love of My Life”, that it was time to start some renovations on this house……it had been over seven years since we painted, and the updates we always talked about but never acted on were calling our names – actually screaming at us!
Now, mind you, tackling this whole house at the same time is no small feat! So we needed a plan and a budget.  The first part I’m very good at doing, but budgets are something else! So we decided to take stock and see what was worth keeping and what had to go! NOW that I’m good at!
We decided the entire house needed to be painted…..3,600 S.F. sigh……. Yes the entire house! Thank Goodness Al is so good at this!
He said “we can do that!” we, in that sense meant him……so out came the scaffolding, and three trips to Lowe’s.  But when all was said and done, we saved $4,200.00…..that was the lowest quote we got for whole-house painting minus the paint.  So we did it ourselves, and Al being a builder was able to do all the chair rail and crown molding himself – we saved a ton!
Next came furniture and drapes, main upstairs bathroom update, sconces, chair-rail, crown molding, etc., etc……..Whew! I’m tired all over again!
Feeling overwhelmed, I decided not to do one room at a time, but rather one venue at a time.  Lights / Bedding / Furniture / Drapes / Wall Art / Accessories…..Made my list and off I went!
Sconces for the main bathroom, and over the fireplace.  Table lamps for the Family Room, find Baldwin switch plates to match the rest of the plates. New chandelier shades for the Dining room and the new brass sconce in the center hall.
Revamp lamps in guest bedroom ( new shades)…..I already had a Baldwin brass double arm sconce that I purchased about ten years ago on Ebay – never found a match so I was going to sell this one but Al said let’s put it in the hall! He wired a switch and now I can see my beautiful sconce all the time! I sold the chandy shades on Ebay and found the ones I wanted at Lowes…so the cost was a wash! I found the switchplates – yes – on Ebay and had a gift certificate for Macy’s so used it towards the Family room lamps….bathroom sconces – Home Depot and found my sconces over the fireplace at Lampsplus…..
Guest bedroom…. Ebay!…. Ralph Lauren, complete set for a fraction of the original cost….made a duvet cover for a second comforter to sit on top of the bed, and made valances for the two windows….Master Bedroom: Same thing……found twin flat sheets in the “Charlotte” pattern by Ralph Lauren and made my drapes, (I’ll share short-cuts with you later) already had my comforter and throw pillows to match.  I then found coordinating fabric to make a few extra throw pillows and pillow cases for the bed.  The “Love of my Life” said he could drown in all those pillows!….sigh……
Now, this is the biggest part of any decorating budget so I had to be really careful……so I took stock of what I had but didn’t “Love” anymore…..I had three pieces of solid oak furniture that was in my closet cause I just had no place to put it….I certainly wasn’t going to discard them they were in mint condition so I sanded the tops down and stained them with a dark cherry and painted the bases pure white.  Brass knobs and VOILA! Guest bedroom furniture! Cost – $ 0!
And it looks beautiful…..down the road I am going to try a print transfer on the doors!
I knew Al couldn’t possibly have enough time to build the Family room furniture the way he did the Hutch…(you can see the hutch here…..) so I scoured Pennsylvania for a company that sold unfinished furniture, this way I could match it up to the hutch….and low and behold I found it! I purchased a coffee table, end table and sofa table.  Also got a new table for the breakfast room and four Maine Ladderback Chairs…..stained the tops in the dark cherry and painted the bases black, I embellished the drawers with glass knobs and square corbel blocks on each of the legs to match the hutch! I am so smitten with the results! I then painted my old maple bench black, and painted all my picture frames black and all the mats white……taking all of them apart was no easy task, especially when this girl has about enough patience to fill a thimble! But I did it….and love the results! When you want to change the color of a matted picture – just take it apart and paint the mat with a small roller….no need to pay for new framing!
After schlepping all over Allentown I finally found my sofa! On sale! My mom decided her new sofa she just got at Christmas is too big for her apt. so she downsized to an oversized chair and ottoman and gave me her fairly new sofa – that went in the den…..perfect color…..this was a bonus cause I wasn’t planning on changing the sofa in there just yet!
Now this is where most of my frustration comes in……the selection of drapes is, well, in my opinion – awful! So I needed to get creative…….For my sliding doors in the breakfast room I purchased two large tablecloths, yup! Tablecloths….got the idea from Marty over at Stroll thru Life….she did it in her living room and it looks great! I figured if I didn’t love it I would take them down and make pillows! To make my life even easier I used twin sized white sheets from Walmart – on sale for $4.00 ea. – as a liner….I did the same thing with all the drapes in the bedrooms…..I also used header fabric at the top so I could use clip hooks and the fabric would sit better. I put weights in the hem so they would hang better also. Easy Peasy! The best tip I can give you is to make your drapes from good sheets…..All of mine are from Ralph Lauren – I love his patterns …..I use a very light and thin batting and the header fabric….no one will know you made them! I promise I won’t tell!
I purchased a beautiful print from – Warren Kimble – “White House”…its very large which is what I wanted for the big wall over the bench….I found a local framer who actually does this from her home, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to framing cause my dad was a framer.  I was raised in this business so I’m a bit more critical than most.  But she did not disappoint me!
I found some old prints from my parents’ former business in New York, so all I had to do was frame them myself.  Michael’s has a great selection of frames for the DIY’er….I have so many  family pictures and that I decided to do a family wall on the upstairs hallway…..just sprayed all the frames black and they look great on the stark white wall!
Well, Lord knows I have enough “STUFF” hanging around so I shopped my own house! You would be surprised what you find in closets! I used several of my mom’s crocheted pieces, and my collection of Lennox, along with “Finds” that followed me home from various hot spots like Home Goods and Marshall’s! And of course the flea markets and yard sales……I also decided it was time to start thinking FALL & AUTUMN! So this is my fun time! All the other items on my “TO DO” list were tasks that had to be done but accessorizing is my grown up version of Christmas Morning!
Now, of course I have to share photos with you! So grab a second cup of coffee, and another cinnamon bun and settle in……while I open the doors to the new PineRidge Hills!
NOTE: some things we are still waiting on such as my fireplace sconces and some of the drapes aren’t finished yet…I’ll be sharing all this week so stay tuned!
Before…My “Old” sewing table……
After…my new “Center Hall Table”….
I sanded the table, painted it black, stained the top in Minwax Mahogany Cherry and found these beautiful Hepplewhite brass pulls online…
I also added the pulls to the other two tables in the center hall…
Living Room Before….
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And After……although not totally done yet…….but a major improvement so far!

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The old maple bench was painted black and this is the Kimble print “Whitehouse” that I had framed just like this but hasn’t been finished yet….I photo-shopped this ….not bad, right?bench and pic
The center hall before….

and now…….
The Den before….ooooh, what a day that was!

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and now so serene……and neat!
The living room furniture that we bought unfinished and the Love of my life, Finished…the tops are stained with Minwax  Mahogany Cherry and I added glass knobs to match the hutch and the new kitchen country table….
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Rather than reframe all my wall pieces, have you seen the prices for framing?….I took everything apart, painted the mats and frames and now New / old pictures!
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During the week I’ll be sharing my old “Marshall’s Clocks” that I bought about ten years ago, and how I gold leafed them – Awesome! Along with my drapes, and the guest bedroom & bathroom…..I’m starting to decorate for Fall so please come on back, and the aroma’s from the kitchen on Thursday & Friday will be wonderful!
So that’s the BUZZ, for today,  at PineRidge Hills…. Although there were times I sat up all night thinking of creative ways to decorate, and I will admit there were a few fleeting moments when I thought a sledge hammer would really work at getting my frustration out, it was a very productive and satisfying, albeit, busy summer. I hope your summer was filled with fun and laughter!

Painting forever,



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  1. Great job! Amazing transformations! Featuring you today at Sundays at Home!

    • Oh Alice! thank you Soooo much! I’m so glad you visited…..I have so much planned! everytime I walk into the house I just smile! I’m almost tempted to hug the banister!
      Please come on by anytime….


  2. You are really transforming your house! Love the new colors you are choosing and the furnishings are beautiful and timeless.

    • Thanks Stacy! I feel like I’m in the never-ending story! bit we are determined to finish by the holidays with everything! Please visit again! I’m working on the drapes in the breakfast room tomorrow…….. will share this week!

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