Cabinet Painting 101

As stated in earlier posts, I abhor the color of our cabinets in our new house. They have been a yellow natural wood color, and it's a little too Gatlinburg for my taste. It has been my goal one since day one to paint that color away. Of course it would've been ideal to hire the job out. However, after getting some quotes- I thought "There's no way I am THAT bad of a painter..." I am what you'd call VERY STINGY when it comes to doling out funds for major projects that could even potentially be DIY.  TJ has learned that I'm going to be determined to try it myself before we give-in to paying someone else for anything. 

After months of researching, reading articles on pinterest, watching youtube videos, etc- I decided to dive in. Well, before I could dive in- we took roughly 6 trips to Lowes to FINALLY decide on the perfect color and product. Following lots of discussion, it was concluded that practice on the laundry room cabinets which are identical to the kitchen cabinets (the end goal is a kitchen makeover) would be a good idea. I knew I wouldn't be heart broken if the laundry room didn't look perfect... after-all, I am the world's worst laundress and barely spend any time in there anyway ha. 

Gatlinburg yellow cabinets...

Gatlinburg yellow cabinets...

Mountain Smoke Valspar Cabinet Enamel

Mountain Smoke Valspar Cabinet Enamel

Let me start by introducing you to the product that made this possible: Valspar Cabinet Enamel. This paint is made for projects like this and painters like us (amateurs). While I'd read of sanding, priming, nightmares.... none of that was necessary thanks to Valspar. No sanding (aside from imperfections we wanted to get rid of), no priming- just PAINT. This paint is self-leveling, meaning that even with my crazy inconsistent brush strokes and noob painting- it makes me look like a professional. The brush strokes are minimized and the paint is heavy duty enough that it is not going to easily scratch or damage. This product is a life saver. Another great thing about it is how far one can of it goes- a lot goes A LONG way.

We chose Mountain Smoke as our color and away I went. TJ removed all hardware/took the cabinet doors down. I draped a pink drop cloth over our dining room table, and went to town. I decided that two coats would be necessary due to my subpar skills. The first coat was purely for coverage, the second was for perfecting. For a day or two, I would paint the first coat, let it dry over night and then paint the second coat. When I got home from work, we would re-assemble with hardware and hang the cabinets. VOILA- I had a laundry room transformation. This laundry room look meant much more than that- it gave me the courage and confidence in my painting to continue throughout the house.... bathroom is complete- and kitchen is underway. Who knows what else I will find to makeover.

This is our laundry room before we moved in. 

This is our laundry room before we moved in. 

Here is the laundry room post-paint adventure.

Here is the laundry room post-paint adventure.

I also think new hardware is a great way to make a change, but was having a hard time talking TJ into the Gold that I loved (Especially with our Mountain Smoke color). SO- for the laundry room practice round, I sprayed painter the original hardware GOLD (it was Silver). The colors pop and come together perfectly- and it actually made me like the original hardware enough to keep it ... and TJ likes it too :). 

I am learning through this process of making our house a home that screams of our personalities, that it just takes a little push to dive in and take on the projects you never dreamed you could. If you've ever thought of painting your cabinets- DO IT. It is so rewarding to see the finished transformation. If you have any questions or need an extra push to start on your cabinet painting journey- let me know! 

I've since completed our master bathroom cabinet project and can't wait to post post-painting pictures of our kitchen too!


The (fun) Quest For The Perfect Pieces...

I've always said that in another life, I would want to be an event planner or interior designer- so much fun! With our new house, I've gotten to spend time researching different pieces and finding what we need and want most. It has been a process. My first home was a midtown cottage with high ceilings, but not much square footage and all the historic charm. While I loved it, it limited me to only purposeful, cottage-sized pieces. Our new home is much more spacious and allows us to transition into more impactful and substantial furniture.

I have definitely learned that it is best to live in a space before you purchase pieces for it. Sometimes I get antsy and think "Why haven't I found what I want for this space!?" ... then I remember that we have only lived in our home for 3 months ha. Over the last three months, we have marked some things off of our want/need list. However, it has also given us time to develop a better feel for exactly what arrangement, pieces, and function will work best for our space.

Adult-ing is all about prioritizing- as I have learned. I love my house and I want it perfect NOW. But, I also love the feeling I get when I am so excited to have taken time and consideration in researching before making the larger purchases required through this process. Now that we have a better idea of what we're looking for, I've narrowed down our list to my top wants (NEEDS):


We have gotten several quotes on this and it blows my mind $$$. Let's just say that if we were more brave, we would've slapped paint on these things before we unpacked a box. I've watched more Youtube tutorials than anyone should endure and have even purchased the paint ... but I can't muster the courage to start the project. We've decided to hire a contractor and to wait for the weather to cool down since the process will require some open door and window time due to fumes. Our current cabinets are really nice- top of the line for when the house was built ... just not now. While my husband grew up in rural Mississippi (which I love) and enjoys the natural wood look that in my mind only belongs in a Gatlinburg cabin, it has got to go! This is priority numero uno for both of us and will be marked off the list by the new year. If you have a contractor you recommend, a cabinet color you love, or have braved this process yourself- let me know! I'll even let you come try your hand at ours!



I have fallen in love with these French styled chairs and plan on purchasing two of them as soon as I can commit. Their partially upholstered look, tailored to the exposed wood frame is perfect for the feel of our house. We currently have 2 couches and a very open living area. We've decided that we'd like it to be more framed-in and cozy. In order to make this transition- these chairs are necessary. The ones that have stayed on my mind are at Ballard Designs, which I have become quite a fan of. However, there are TONS of other great (and more expensive) options as well. I also really like the love-seat style of this design (See above), but I don't have a place for it just yet.


This fabric has caught my eye for years. When something stays on my mind, I have to find a way to have it. Whether it ends up as a rug, pillows, chair, curtains, or wall paper- I need this fabric in my life ASAP. It is also featured on Ballard Designs website and you can see it in all different forms in their catalog. While animal print may be trendy, this print is basically neutral in my book. I can't wait to incorporate it into our space in one way or another... or maybe all ways possible. If I'm feeling really bold, I may even order the Bergere chairs in antelope print!


Currently, when you walk into our front door, you see our dining room to your left and a tufted couch in front of a large window straight ahead. I have decided that I don't support couches being placed in front of windows, nor do I favor the view of a couch as the greeting view at our home. With that notion- this is going to change. I plan on using the two Bergere chairs, paired with this piece to warm-up the entry view of our home. While we have a lot more storage now than in my midtown cottage, we can always use more. These pieces are a great mix of style and function: 


Now that I've covered my top wants... there are also a few things we have already marked off of our list and I can't go without sharing them! 

Our bedside table search was time consuming and extensive. Let me tell you, there's no better feeling than finding the perfect fit. Who knew we would end up falling for these desks from World Market that pull our whole bedroom together serving as bedside tables. I've also found we are much more motivated to keep these cleaned off and free of midnight snacks which is a huge plus! The best part- they were on SALE!!


Another thing I've got to mention is that we have had great luck with For anyone wanting seemingly high-end quality furniture, for a much more affordable price- it is a great resource. When we started looking for our perfect coffee table, we knew we needed something substantial for a large space. Normally large furniture means large price. We found exactly what we envisioned (pictured above) and now have a $300 coffee table that looks identical to the $2000 coffee tables we looked at elsewhere. It did require some time for assembly, but over all we are very pleased and most of all love that it has working wheels that we just HAD to have. 

I'm hoping that if nothing else this post will hold us to getting our cabinets painted by the new year. Above all I've learned through this giant transitional period of our life that it pays to take your time researching to find exactly what you want. Don't jump at what you like. Wait for the pieces you really love. They will work together to create a home that you enjoy and are excited to share with others. 

If you have any furniture sites you love, please share them with me!


Get your spoon ...

I plan on using this space for a multitude of subjects. However, I want to start off with something that is vital to everyone's life: Dessert.

I am NOT a cook. In fact, my husband (I just accidentally typed fiancé and had to edit) is a much more experienced and successful cook than I. I enjoy cooking. I love it, actually. But, I have never let myself cook enough to get truly comfortable in the kitchen. I used to always say "I can cook really well if no one is watching." By that, I meant that I will make a huge mess, taste things with my finger, cut meat in half to see if it is done, and only cook things that involve cream cheese because then I know there's no way it will taste anything other than delish. I've never cooked anything that hasn't tasted great (aside from one Hello Fresh meal- that's another post) ... but I haven't cooked enough to let myself fail. 

I've had to warm TJ up to the idea of me cooking instead of him. I have found that it helps if I am really excited it about it and we make an event of it. "I am going to try to cook steak for the first time!!" .... He can't say no to my excitement ha. Before I try steak ... I tried something MUCH easier and approachable- PEACH COBBLER. 

Below is the recipe. It was SO simple and tasted like I slaved away for hours! I can't take credit for the recipe- I searched on pinterest and combined several I found with one posted by one of my favorite vloggers. This takes NO time and is over the top scrumptious. If you try it, let me know & Instagram me a picture @GarnishbyGGE

*We ate it too quickly for me to take a picture, but I will make it again soon and add one to this post!

The More the Merrier- GGE.



Let's Figure This Out

I've got a new name, a new house, a new roommate (my husband), a new city, and a whole lot of wifely duties to figure out.... I can't wait to log it all in this space and hope to provide some laughs. Let's figure this out together!


More to come:

  • Amateur cooking adventures/recipes
  • Our experience with dinner by mail
  • Work/life balance
  • Roommate strugs
  • Exploring the "other" side of Mobile Bay
  • Other over-shares from my new #wifelife