Tuesday

Serenity Series ™ : Creating Peace Amid the Storm



Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.
~~Anonymous


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Easing Visual Burdens & Clutter Caused by a Creative Life



Hello again my sweet friends. I have missed you all and hope you will forgive my recent quietness. I must confide to you that it became vital to my peace~of~mind that I cast out the chaos that has crept into our home over the past several months! (The "before" images at the bottom of this post will bear this out.)

We live in a small house with lots of things. Because we conduct a multitude of activities in these beloved little spaces the congestion has been known to build! Thus...the clutter caused by living a creative life has resulted in nothing less than a visual burden!


My immediate reaction was to get rid of everything!!! However, thanks in part to my frugal nature and because I work from home (it’s necessary for me to keep more than I would have liked) I found another solution. Install a more uniform neutral palette that would create a soothing, serene backdrop to our busy family’s many creative activities!!!



Stair rails after a multitude of hours and paint coats!



How to begin? I de~cluttered as much as possible then painted the stair rails. Truth be told, I began this project last summer and needed to apply that one last coat of paint...so...I did! In my defense, have you ever painted stair rails? Speaking from recent experience...it takes a very, very, very loooooong time...and as I'm a one woman show it took that much longer! Next, I turned my paint brush to the battered old armoire we found at an estate sale ages ago (for a song) along with an interesting old bench inherited from Mike's mom (first photo). Relatively speaking, these were almost a pleasure to paint after the chair rails!



There's more to show you...and more work in progress! However, like most homes, ours is a living, evolving entity and my current vision of serenity decorating is not yet manifested in full. Even still, I did want to give you all a peek at what's been keeping me so busy! Okay, so, I'm off now to begin work on my "sparest of spare rooms" also known as the "Junk Room"! Is it just me, or have you caught the serenity/de~clutter fever too?



Sending love and good thoughts to all, as always.




Warmly,




Tracey and Family x0x?




P.S. Below are a few rummaged~up "before" shots of the chair rails, armoire and clutter...and,oh...did I mention that there is also a cantilevered balcony upstairs...with even more stair rails/banisters that I painted at the same time(s)!

Kitties and the stair rails before I painted them (the rails, not the kitties)!





All images by me...Tracey McBride...I finally got my camera working properly!

29 comments:

Lorrie said...

Your hard work paid off beautifully. Painting stair rails is an enormous, tedious, fiddly job! But I love the fresh look of your stairs, and the arrangement at the bottom looks just perfect.
I hope you take the time to sit on those stairs with a cup of tea and enjoy the fruit of your labors.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

You are so kind Lorrie...thank you so much! Yes, painting stair rails (a multitude of them) by hand is truly a tedious job. That said, I must add that the taping~off before hand took nearly as long! I'm so happy I chose the most difficult job first...everything else is a breeze in comparison.
Hope you are warming up after your unexpected breathe of icy winter!
Love,
Tracey
x0x

Bettyann said...

What a lot of work..however I love the new look..makes the area fresher looking..funny I have been thinking of painting an old battered table used in the living room...so glad to have you back..missed your fun and useful ideas...take care

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

You should do it Bettyann! We've had our big, white hexagonal table in the middle of the living room for years. We use if for crafts...sewing...parties...card games...dinners and more! In fact, we've had several painted (white) pieces for years. These were the inspiration for painting those last few wood pieces, along with the stair rails...I wanted to unify them all. Paint is a wonderful and frugal equalizer. :)
Love,
Tracey
x0x

Mary Ellen said...

Tracey you have been so busy and it certainly shows!! I love the new look the armoire has and your stairs look wonderful! I can imagine the work it took to paint each spindle!

I am needing to create some peace amid the storm in one of our front rooms. It certainly looks like a storm has be brewing for quite sometime in that room!! When we did the electric we had to cut into the walls and so will need to retexture. that has kept me from doing anything to it as I am not sure what kind of texture I want in there and also in the dining room (yes still nothing done to those walls after 1 year now!)

I have sorted through a few closets and drawers and that makes me feel like I have accomplished a little but would love to have it looking like yours right now!

Glad to see you back-

bee blessed
mary

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

The change is amazing! Good job!

I hope you are feeling much better. :)

Terri said...

Wowser! What a difference. I think the word I am looking for is serene. I love it so much!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Mary Ellen, thank you! I've been aching to paint the old armoire (and the stair rails) for years, but Mike is such a "natural wood" kind of guy that I hesitated. Once I committed to the decisions he went all~in and really appreciates how it has soothed the look of the place! Isn't it amazing how simple things, such as a few cans of white paint, can make such a nice change?!
Love,
Tracey
x0x
P.S. Am thinking serene/good thoughts for you and your front room! :)

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Dear sweet Brenda... such beautiful words to hear..."good job"! Thank you my friend! I appreciate the encouragement so much!!!
Love,
Tracey
x0x
P.S. Am really enjoying your recent posts on deepening the pantry...also am truly appreciating the book reviews!!!

Storybook Woods said...

Oh I missed you Tracey,
Yeah you shared pictures of your armoire. I love it and soo glad you made it work with your home!! Enjoy the sun for me sweetie xoox Clarice

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hahahah...thanks to your urging Clarice! I actually painted another armoire as well...will show that one soon! As I already had so much white painted furniture in the room I finally took the plunge (after convincing Mike...it's a man thing I think...lovin' all that raw wood ;)! Now the place looks so much more serene and unified. (Not visually stressful.)
Thinking of you every time Rosie and I sit at the outdoor cafe!
Love,
Tracey
x0x

Angela said...

What is it about thrifters that make us all about de-cluttering (and organizing too)? It's like we're all from the same mold.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Great point Angela...I think it's just the nature of the beast! Thrifting offers up such abundance that we often are blessed with more than our storage space can hold! (Speaking for myself. ;) Also, it's been my observation that most thrifters/frugalites are creative souls...and (again) it's been my experience that the creative process can be messy and promotes clutter!
Warmly,
Tracey
x0x

diXymiss said...

Yes, I see what was keeping you so busy ~ glad you're back. Love the fresh transformation of white paint and how it unifies a space. Lovely!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Sure do appreciate the good words diXymiss! Hope things are calming down in your neck of the woods...and that nature is treating you more kindly. :)
Love,
Tracey
x0x

Penny Ann said...

Tracey,

I feel your paint pain...I hand painted Katie's Jenny Lind style baby bed umpteen years ago and haven't forgotten yet how fiddly the twists and turns on that bed was. I think it took me three full days of painting,lol.

Decluttering seems to be in the air. Many of the frugalistas of my acquaintance are sorting out the excess of their homes.

John is such a sweetie, he bought me my very own shed to store my too pretty to part with bits in. I am proud that I have enough space in my shed to offer storage space to family, hold garden bits and Christmas stuff as well with space to spare, but I go through it routinely to be sure I'm not holding on to things I don't like, only things I really love.

Glad to see you back and the photos are lovely!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Oh Terri...don't know HOW I missed your encouraging note...but so glad I finally found it! Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing the need for serenity with me right about now! It's a sheer pleasure to have such kindred spirits. :)
Love,
Tracey
x0x

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hello to Terri (PennyAnn :)! Oh...you do feel my paint! We had a wonderful shed at our old house that held all manner of future projects and "some day" boxes (don't keep "someday" boxes any more...BTW ;). Our current back yard is sooo tiny that there is little room for a shed...let alone much of a garden! Can you tell I am having severe shed envy right now?
I have missed reading all your blogs and plan to give myself a treat and catch up this weekend! Thank you so much my kind friend, for the empathy and good words.
Love,
Tracey
x0x

kalanicut said...

Hi Tracey,

Hey I'm totally on board with the serenity seeking and reorganizing the house! Your projects look fantastic and the space looks very calm and welcoming.

I am working on shelves for my work space, planting our patio garden, painting a twin headboard I got for $15 on craigslist and selling off a bunch of things we don't need or have room for. Amazing how much work it is, but loving the results.

Good luck with all your projects and the enjoyment of newly refound serenity!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Thank you Kalanicut! Your to~do list sounds hauntingly familiar...patio garden...painting Craigslist furniture...going through old files and paperwork...selling things we no long need!!! You're so right...it's all very time consuming but sooo worth it!
Warmly,
Tracey
x0x

Garden Forum said...

Ohhh they're are all beautiful and I like the cat so cute.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hahahah...the kitties are pretty cute...I must admit. :) Thanks so much for the good words!
Warmly,
Tracey
x0x

Audra said...

You are a human dynamo...those stairs turned out fabulous, definitely worth the hard work and effort! The transformation is incredible, sure to add to the serenity of your home.

I am going through the same "de-cluttering" that I thought I had finished before our move. Little known to me, I needed a quieter, serene palate as well. Love this series on creating a serene palette, I getting wonderful inspiration...as I always do when I read your blog.

Hugs~

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Thank you so much Audra...it makes me feel good to know that I'm giving back a little inspiration to bloglandia seeing as it gives so very much!
Hope you are feeling better these days, so glad to have you back. :)
Love,
Tracey
x0x

Anonymous said...

Your stairway looks nice after the repainting. Our cat always insists on 'helping' with any chore like that. Does yours?

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hahahah...thanks for the kind words Anony. Yes, our cats are very "helpful" whenever we do any sort of chores like painting...organizing...and the like! They especially enjoy when I clean out drawers and cupboards so they can inspect them for me! ;) They do not like it, however, when I move furniture around...they tend to hide (not that I blame them...sometimes I'd like to hide too).
Warmly,
Tracey
x0x

Storybook Woods said...

Ahh I love your space, very CA!! I think the white was a great idea and let me say, I am impressed you ha no ivy growning through your window ;-P xoxo Clarice
PS I my be in your neck of the woods next month. I will let you know, when I do. I think the girls and I will spend a day on the beach, where we met!!

Storybook Woods said...

Ahh I love your space, very CA!! I think the white was a great idea and let me say, I am impressed you ha no ivy growning through your window ;-P xoxo Clarice
PS I my be in your neck of the woods next month. I will let you know, when I do. I think the girls and I will spend a day on the beach, where we met!!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Hahahah...I pulled it out before taking the pics!!! Wow, can't wait to get together...if your schedule allows. Let us know. :)))
Love,
Tracey
x0x

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

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~~~


"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

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