REARRANGE – LIVING ROOM CONFIGURATIONS AND THE POWER OF THE CHANGE!

It never ceases to amaze me how MUCH the simple re-arranging of furniture can inject a little bit of HAPPY into your day!

for years….I have wanted to do the “2 identical sofas facing each other” thing in our living room…but there were a few barriers. ONE – I did not have two identical sofas

THE NEWLY REPAINTED LIVING ROOM IN CLASSIC GRAY

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Leslie

FIRST IMPRESSIONS – AWESOME FRONT DOOR COLORS!

 

Drive around house hunting and you will quickly see that an eye catcher and often a BIG game changer- at least in Curb Appeal – is the FRONT DOOR. I do love a beautiful wooden front door…

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LAURA TREVEY – HERE IA GREAT COMBINATION OF COLOR AND WOOD!

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Leslie

YOU CAN PAINT A VINYL FLOOR!

 I love how Hexagon tile looks in kitchens.

Hexagon tile

AMAZING HEXAGON PATTERNS ABOUND! LITTLE GREEN NOTEBOOK

Especially in OLD HOUSE kitchens where it makes sense..like it could have been that way forever….

Hexagon Tile

…AND I STILL HOPE to have a kitchen with HEXAGON tile..someday…but alas, when it came time to address the floor in our kitchen makeover…we realized that the height of tile..on top of our existing floor which is on top of two existing floors on top of a sub floor –  would make the floors too high and potentially too heavy for the room and in relation to cabinets. If we ever were to gut the kitchen…the HEX would be what I would do..but for now….instead…I had to work with what we had.

Sometimes this happens in a renovation. Or even a small makeover. You have these dreams, of the perfect “this or that” within whatever budget you have allowed…and your each a point where items need to be re-THOUGHT. Perhaps changed.I aways look at the “DREAM” part as kind of my jumping off point. What is wonderful is that some of my BEST discoveries and outcomes were borne of a budget constraint or a mistake…so don’t let the limitations stop you…let them INSPIRE YOU!

So what to do? Given time and budget (our home was being photographed for Family Circle in 3 weeks!!!) I had to make a decision fast. I decided to work with what I had – which was a 5 year old high end vinyl floor. As it turned out,  the floor offered a great base to PAINT!!!  and so..that is what I did!

paintedfloor HOW I DID IT:

1. Cleaned the floor thoroughly. I used TSP and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Until the water ran clean…and then I scrubbed some more!!!!!

BEFOREthis floor was nasty...dirty and old...but intact and I liked the underlying pattern...

BEFORE …this floor was  intact and I liked the underlying pattern…

2. Used TSP to clean it some more.

3. Designed my pattern….Our existing floor had a pattern of squares which gave me a template of sorts to work with. It also enabled me to make straight lines..this was an invaluable help!

I used to graph paper to make my design.

I used to graph paper to make my design.

4. PRIMED the floor with SKILZ primer which I had tinted to one of the gray colors.

5. Touched up the trim with Benjamin Moore – Mountain Peak White and “CUT in” the floor around the edges…

I cut in the shoe mould around the base of the room with a coat of fresh paint.

I cut in the shoe mould around the base of the room with a coat of fresh paint.

6. I originally designed a Herringbone Pattern  – but when i got 4 colors down…it was much too busy, so i changed to a “modified Chevron” design.

I started with 4 colors...it was too too busy so I took it down to TWO colors

I started with 4 colors…it was too too busy so I took it down to TWO colors

7. I Taped off the lines to get them nice and straight…you will need a few rolls of tape for this part..it goes fast! I did ALL of one color first…then OF ALL the second color….

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8. Removed the taped…touched up the bleed throughs…and then touched up THOSE bleed throughs..rinse and repeat!!!

IMG_0473

9. LET IT DRY

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MAYBE A 5 ….TEDIUM – 9  -BUT ULTIMATELY EASY TO DO.

IF YOU HAVE KIDS THEY LOVE REMOVING THE TAPE!!!!

Honestly the hardest part was keeping people out of the kitchen for a few days while I let it dry…

 I covered the floor with a large plastic drop cloth which was great!

COST:

BENJAMIN MOORE PORCH AND FLOOR PAINT 2 quarts  $15.00/each

1.Coventry Gray and 2. Tucker Gray

2. SKILZ Primer $25

3. Cleaning supplies etc $20

Total: $60

Our cat TIGER spent MORE time in the kitchen during the painting process than he ever has in his life!!! I think he was looking for his food, which usually sits in the window sill…away from the dogs…

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IMG_0537 IMG_0539 THE pattern extends into the laundry room…

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I JUST RE-PAINTIED THE KITCHEN FLOOR IN PREPARATION FOR PUTTING IT BACK ON THE MARKET. IT LOOKS SO FRESH AND CLEAN…LIKE A NEW FLOOR!

IMG_0529 and Tiger would still like to know where his food went???

HAVE YOU VERE PAINTED A FLOOR?

HAVE YOU EVER PAINTED A VINYL FLOOR?

HAVE A GREAT DAY!

KITCHEN

Leslie

HOUSE ON THE MARKET

 One of the first things anyone will tell you to do when readying your house to be put on the market  is to

“GET RID OF STUFF” !!!

IT IS AMAZING HOW MUCH CRAP YOU CAN ACCUMULATE!

My Old Country House

Raising kids. Going places. Doing things. Collecting things. We are not big collectors but we do have some stuff and then –  Multiply that times 5 people – well 3 now living here…but the college kids left their stuff!!!.  It becomes overwhelming.

Last year, when we readied our house to go on the market (we will call that “round 1”), we PURGED…we PURGED and we Purged BIG! We got a storage unit to put the stuff that we either could not part with BUT could live without in the short term…or wanted to save for the kids..etc etc. we took DOZENS upon DOZENS of bags to Goodwill and our local thrift store. We gave things away on the curb. It felt great, lightening the load, thinning the stuff.

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Leslie

A MONTH OF DOGS

It started as a dare, more a challenge to myself . Usually February is a bit of a chore to get through… the winter blahs and such and I just wanted to throw myself into something . So I did, you sent me photos and stories of your dogs and I painted 28, well 29 of them. I wanted to paint 100 DOGS in 100 days and still plan to – but my life got a bit in the way and I like to respect my life.

Stay tuned to my Instagram @leslidevito -for daily dogs and stay tuned here for more home and design posts . For now though ,  go love a dog!

Thanks for following along!

If you would like a portrait of your dog visit lesliDeVito.com

Leslie

DAY 29 – “BONUS” DOG-A-DAY THE NON LEAP YEAR DOG ! – MEET LOUIE!

ONE MORE DOG…I JUST CAN’T STOP!!!

i just love painting Dogs!!!!!

“LOUIE THE LOVE”

” LOUIE the love, the gentle giant who loves his Lovies/ Whenever Louie is carrying anything in his mouth he purrs like “Chewie” from Star Wars. Louie loves children, being outside and family. The minute he enters your heart and you begin to understand why people and dogs should always be together.

Louie has not had an easy life. he has had difficulty with his health and after 3 knee surgeries ended up losing one of his hind legs. But this did not stop this sweet gentle soul. He continues to be a happy and loving pup who now works on agility training with his brother Dewey. His eyes tell the story and when you look into them sense of understanding and peace come over you and you get the idea that this guy here totally get what you are feeling.”

I LOVE LOUIE!!!
Thank you for following along!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tomorrow I will return to HOME DESIGN posts on the blog…but will continue to post DOGS I have painted –  daily on
my instagram @leslidevito!
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“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.
For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
Gilda Radner (comedienne)
XOXO
Leslie

I DID IT! FEBRUARY DOG-A-DAY – DAY 28!!! MEET A GIRL NAMED “BO”

I made it. I did it!

I painted and presented a Dog-A-Day for the Month of February!!

Let me introduce our Beauty Queen, the icing on the cake

“a girl name BO”

Her Mama writes, “This is my dog, Bo.

A girl Bo.  🙂 She is my husband and my first baby.  She was rescued from a kill shelter in WV and brought to D.C., where we adopted her at about a year old.  She changed our lives.  She is the sweetest, best behaved, most endearing pup we have ever had.  A few years after rescuing Bo we had our first son and 2 years later our second son.  Bo was amazing with our boys from day 1.  They consider her their older, fluffy sister.  She is 9, almost 10 years old now.  I can’t believe how fast time flies, but she is still as cute as ever.  She goes on a walk/jog with me every morning, and it’s the best way to start each day.”

Oh Bo. You sweet sweet girl. I absolutely loved painting you and I will miss your sweet face looking back at me from my studio walls.

SWEET SWEET BO

BO IS A VIRGINIA TECH HOKEY!

Wow, I feel like I just finished a Mini-Marathon. Such a Labor of Love. It started out to be just a challenge, try to paint a Dog-a-day for the month of February. But in the process of painting, of waking up every day…pouring my coffee and heading into the next room…my Dining Room/Studio taking out the days photos and getting to know that dog…it’s story…and then creating that face on a canvas…in the process – my heart got lighter. I guess you could say I went into February with a bit of a heavy heart…and exited lighter…more hopeful, more connected and centered and happy.

I DO HOPE to continue this endeavor …a new dog a day, once things quiet down with our house being for sale…. for now what I have decided to do is to get back to the HOME and DESIGN based posts on the blog but on Instagram (@leslidevito) I plan to continue posting dogs I have and will be painting…their faces will greet you and their stories will entertain you.

Thank you for following along , for sharing your dogs with me and for your kind words. Please take advantage of the offer on leslidevito.com to get a 10 x 10 dog portrait done…I am taking commissions through March 5.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings (a.k.a. Henry Wheeler Shaw; humorist and lecturer)

XO

Leslie

DAY 27 – DOG-A-DAY – MEET “OSCAR”

When I read Oscar’s story

I knew I had to paint him!

Oscar is an American Bulldog.

” My American Bulldog Oscar,  recently turned 9. I rescued Oscar through the Animal Welfare Society in West Kennebunk, Maine. They told me he was a stray. I really feel like I hit the jackpot. He’s such a happy-go-lucky guy who loves people, other dogs, even cats. Once he’s inside, all he wants to do is snuggle on the couch, or s;eep on his back with all 4 paws up in the air.

I adopted him when I was a bachelor in my 20’s. And along the way he’s lived with me in Maine, New Hampshire and now Boston with my wife – who he might like more than me. He’s explored all over New York City, camped in Vermont and hiked Mount Washington. I really can’t imagine my life without him, he is my best friend!”

5 FUN FACTS ABOUT THE AMERICAN BULLDOG

  1. The American Bulldog is loyal, reliable, brave and determined. Not a hostile dog. Alert and self-confident, this breed genuinely loves children.
  2. The American Bulldog will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.
  3.  Thanks to the efforts of John D. Johnson of Summerville, Georgia, the American Bulldog exists today. After Johnson returned from WWII he was disappointed to find that, like the English Mastiff, it was almost completely extinct. He then decided to gather the best specimens he could find from all across the rural South in an effort to bring the American Bulldog back from the brink of extinction. He has been breeding these dogs longer than anyone else in the world and his father bred them before him. He is an old man now and these dogs have always existed in his family. He is the sole reason why they exist today. If it were not for his efforts they surely would be extinct. He has been breeding them nonstop since then.

OSCAR LOVES THE OUTSIDE AND IS ALL BUSINESS!

4.  A variety of ear types are acceptable including cropped, rose, half-pricked and forward flap.

5. The coat is smooth and short, and comes in all shades of brindle including red brindle, varying degrees of white, red, brown, tan, fawn and piebald.

OSCAR IS A BEAUTIFUL IN PROFILE AND FACE FORWARD!

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself. I also suspect that we cherish dogs because their unblemished souls make us wish – consciously or unconsciously – that we were as innocent as they are, and make us yearn for a place where innocence is universal and where the meanness, the betrayals, and the cruelties of this world are unknown.”

                                                                                                                DEAN KOONTZ

Leslie

DAY 26 – DOG-A-DAY – MEET “ZIGGY” THE HAPPY HAVANESE

I had to look up HAVANESE

when I painted JINGLES! and now I have painted two!!!

MEET MR. ZIGGY

How to describe ZIGGY?

“His two favorite things are human food and cuddling with us.
He has a doggie sister who he adores named Roxy.
He loves being outdoors and we frequently go on hikes.
My 17 year old son Trent has been Ziggys constant companion since we adopted him. I have so
many pictures of the two of them and  they still are best friends to this day.
He is the sweetest, cuddliest doggy. I sleep with him every night and I can’t imagine not having him
next to me.”

The story of Ziggy is really touched my heart and I am honored to have painted him.

Ziggy  has cancer and every moment shared is precious.

Dogs do not live NEARLY long enough. Not even close. And sometimes I even wonder if THAT fact is yet another one of the many many lessons DOGS have to teach us. They do not waste ANY time. They have boiled their live down to JUST WHAT MATTERS –  to all the good – eating, sleeping and loving. The rest…they have no time for … but still, I wish they lived so much longer.

I hope Ziggy has all good days…xo

Leslie

DAY 25 – DOG-A-DAY – MEET “BELLE” THE SHICHON

MANY COUPLES

HAVE FOUR LEGGED “FIRST BABIES”

MEET “BELLE”… “The First baby”

“We got Belle 8 years ago this month and she was our first baby 🙂 We went to a breeder who was local to us “just to look” and as soon as we laid eyes on her we were in love. She came home with us that day. We thought she was the sweetest little bundle of fur, so we gave her a “princess” name – Belle. As she grew, we realized she definitely was all things sweet, but she was also all things sassy 🙂 She can be impossibly stubborn but she is also incredibly loyal. Our two girls love Belle to pieces and she loves them back (although sometimes she does hide under the couch to escape them, haha!). She’s also known to be a bit of an escape artist, so our neighbors have gotten to know her too (oops). She’s an adventurer, and explorer, and she wants to be everyone’s friend. We love her so much

“Our family will be making an overseas move to the Philippines for missions work in the next year, and the saddest part is that Belle won’t be able to come with us. It breaks our hearts, but we are determined to find her the kindest, most loving home we can before we must leave. We have wanted to get a portrait done of her so we can always remember how much joy she brought to our little family.”

BELLE AND THE BABY (NOW 5 1/2 YEARS)

I am so happy to have been able to paint this portrait of Belle”.

BELLE ON THE SOFA. Bean loves to sleep on the top of the cushions like this!!!! Love the blanket!!! Also like our house!

BELLE is a very special dog who is loved very much. I can’t imagine how hard it will be for the family to leave her behind and I hope she finds a new home and continues to get lots of loving snuggles.

5 FUN FACTS ABOUT SHICHON

1.If you are looking for a “teddy bear” dog, the Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix, also called a Shichon or Zuchon, may be just the one for you.

2. Because of the very nature of a mixed breed — diseases prone to afflict the pure breed pass mixed breeds by — your Shichon will usually enjoy robust health.

3. The Shichon is the type of dog that will follow you around the house from room to room.

4. Fractures are definitely a possibility when dropped even from a low height onto a hard floor. Be careful with the little ones!

5. The Bichon Frise Shih Tzu cross is getting to be increasingly popular. And, with good reason. It is a relatively low maintenance dog which is an ideal companion for somebody living alone.

3 MORE DOGS!! WOW WHAT A WONDERFUL WAY TO SPEND A MONTH!!!

When I look back over these photos, I can remember each dog…each face and each story. I still want to make it to 100 some day…and perhaps what I might do is continue to post pics and stories…on Instagram!!

Funny, I also can remember what music I was listening to while I painted each dog .. or TV show I was binge watching while I painted… Lets see, WHILE I PAINTED In February I watched

“MOZART IN THE JUNGLE”

one of my faves!! and

all 7 seasons of “THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW”.

HAVE A GREAT SATURDAY!

 

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