Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LeClaire, Iowa - My Favorite Little River Town & Home...

I know you all hear a whole lot about the little town I call home.
I must admit.... I am a bit smitten.
Hopefully you will see why.

Our Little River Town

Mississippi Riverfront

Historic Downtown LeClaire
I grew up in LeClaire and trust me....it's the last place I ever thought I would live as an adult.
Like most small towns when your young all you can do is dream about getting out!
Funny......how life changes you.  
Our little town has come a long way the past several years.
I've come a long way too. 
 I never knew how much I would grow to appreciate where I'm from.
This small town has helped mold my small town values and appreciation for the simple things.


I'm sure if you follow our blog you may have hear me mention Dwellings a time or two.
My big brother Michael owns Dwellings.  It's a home decor and accessorie store.
Several years ago Michael moved home from Chicago where he worked for
Marshall Fields and opened his shop in LeClaire.
I truly do not know how different our lives would all be if it wasn't for Dwellings.
He moved home to help be there for parents when my father had some health issues.
I ended up living back in LeClaire shortly after he moved back and met my husband Travis
who is also from LeClaire a few years later.  Now our entire family is all wrapped up in this little town.
Michael had his shop, Travis does most of his construction business here, my Mom volunteers for everything under the sun.   I help Michael when I can and volunteer at the town events.

Dwellings Fall 2010

Fall 2010
I love Fall in LeClaire.  It is one of my favorite times of the year.
The stores decorate the store fronts.
The street lamps have fresh corn stalks picked from the local farmer's fields.
We have a Fall Market Days, Apple Festival and a Witches Walk during the fall season.


The Primitive Cottage

This is my Aunt Tammy's store The Primitive Cottage. 
 Tammy and her friend Julie opened their little country store about a year a go.
This is actually the original building where Dwellings was first opened.

LeClaire is also home to the famous American Pickers.
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and Danielle Colby-Cushman
For the last two years Michael has been a big part of the annual
American Pickers Festival in town that is sponspored by the History Channel.

city hall


The town library is actually the same building where my grandfather was one of the
 first business owners in LeClaire.  He owned and operated Omar Printing where my
Dad and Mom both worked along with many other family members. 

For me that is the best part of living in a small community.
And what I love most about this town.
Everywhere you turn there is a story...a memory....a legacy to leave behind.

This is my most cherished memory of all.
Mr. and Mrs. Travis Corson
We were married on the LeClaire Riverfront with all our friends and family as guests.

And of course..........
I look forward to the opportunities and future that lies ahead for my family and I in my little river town.
As you know we will soon be embarking on our next major renovation of our new home
right here in LeClaire.  I hope you will follow along on our journey.

our new renovation project

And who knows.....maybe I have even convinced you
 to come to visit LeClaire, Iowa someday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Home Staging Tips

I thought I would share my top ten home staging tips with you today.

our kitchen and dining room
So far we have received some very positive feedback from potential buyers and realtors both.
I'll let you know just as soon as we get that special someone who makes it happen for us!

Here are a few of the things we did and some other ideas to help prepare our home for the resale market.
Here is an example of how we decluttered our dining room to prep for resell.



1. Curb Appeal 
 Add a welcoming touch from the street. 
One easy inexpensive way to do this is by adding exterior shutters to your home.  If you already have them maybe give them a fresh coat of paint.  Add a pop of color to an old worn out door. 
Add some landscaping.

2. Declutter!
3. Declutter!
4. Declutter! 
Are you getting the hint???

5. Remove Furniture Without Purpose
Remove any unnessary or unused furniture and rearrange existing furniture into spaces that make a room usable to potential buyers.  Don't be afraid to use a chair you purchased for your living room in an open space in another part of your home.  If you aren't using it perhaps you can put it in storage temporarily.
(My Mom was so gracious as to let us store some items in her basement.)

6. Depersonalize
Remove any and all overloaded decor.  Keep it simple.
Do not use gender specific decor (loose the doilies and really flowery items.)
If you do not plan on using something for 6 months, Pack it Up!
You will be one step closer to moving day:)
Remove personal photos of family and friends.
Leave wall hangings to a minimum (choose your focal spots to accentuate.)

7. Fresh Paint
Add a fresh coat of paint to a dark room. 
Add fresh paint to chipped trim and door jams.
Stick to neutral colors where possible.

8. Don't forget the closets!
Closet space is important to potential buyers.
Don't forget to clean your closets of clutter and unnessary items.
Box items up neatly.  Keep closets easy to access.  If it's a walk in - you need to be able to walk in it!
Try using storage baskets in closets to hide all personal items you need to keep around but don't really want open house goers to see.

9. Lighting
Make sure each room had adequate lighting.
Open up the blinds and let the sunshine in on open house day!
Turn on lights for showings.

10. Don't forget flooring.
Clean any and all flooring stains.  Have carpets professionally cleaned.
Where possible replace flooring where budget allows.
Refinish hardwoods with a little sweat equity.

I hope these handy tips help!
Let us know if you need any help coming up with ways to prepare your home for resale.
I'm all ears!  I'd love to give you a few hints! 



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our First House - curb appeal

This is a peak at our home.

For any of you who follow our blog you may have read that
we have been very busy getting our home ready to sell.

Well we are finally listed!  Yeah!

While this home was only ever meant to be our "starter home."
It is a little bitter sweet.  We have all the little projects done and
are finally able to enjoy it!  We spent the last 3 years
(okay, so maybe most of it was crammed into the last three months)
updating our little cottage that could. 
We painted, painted, painted, refinished all flooring,
added a little curb appeal, planted lots of flowering shrubs
 (I am obsessed with Hydrangeas),
and.....did I mention PAINTED
and finally did a little decorating to finish it off.

I thought I would share with you our exterior before and afters.
We didn't do much to the exterior....just added a little welcoming touch.



So, whatta ya think?

We had our first open house last Sunday.
Wish us luck! 
We buried our St. Joseph statute and said our prayers!

We our moving back to our home town of LeClaire, Iowa.
We currently are in the area and only about 15 minutes away.

our next project
So long as St. Joseph brings luck our way this little beauty will be our next project.
Get ready folks!  This ones in need of some MAJOR TLC!
We are talking full scale remodel....GUT JOB.....maybe an addition on the back
the WHOLE enchilada!

We hope you'll join us on this crazy journey!

linking up to Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage and Between Naps on the Porch.

Monday, August 22, 2011

DIY White Washed Wood Floors For Less

Okay so I promised I would share with you my how to on our porch floors.
So here goes.

DIY Plywood Floors
  1. We started with sheets of CDX plywood.  (The Cheap Stuff.) Tip: If you try this make sure to pick through the lumber pile to pick the best pieces.  Try to get the sheets with less ink writing on them.  If the sheet has a little ink...don't worry no biggie, you can sand it out.
  2. Travis cut each sheet into 6 inch wide pieces. 
  3. Then he laid the first piece against one wall to make sure they were all cut square. 
  4. Then he staggered his cuts to be laid out like a traditional wood floor would be.  You do not want all your seams lined up in a row.  Trust...this is my hubbies pet peeve!
  5. I wanted an aged rustic lived in cottage look, so I wanted the seams between the boards to have a little gap.  About the size of a penny....maybe just a touch bigger in random areas.
  6. We simply nailed the floor right over the original sub floor.  To stay with the aged look I didn't even fill the nail holes.
White Washing a Wood Floor

First.....let me just tell you I'm a first timer! 
It actually wasn't too bad of a project.
  1. Start off with a white satin finish paint.  I have a thing for Behr paint from Home Depot, so that is what we went with on this one.
  2. You need to mix about 2 cups paint to 1/2 cup water.  (Stir it up!  The paint will sit at the bottom.  You will need to continue to stir up the paint as you go as not to let the paint portion over power the mixture.  It will leave the floor uneven and too heavily coated in white paint.
  3. We used a roller to roll on the paint.  Be careful not to leave the floor too wet in one place.  Even it out to avoid streaking.
  4. Our floor took a total of 2 coats.  In some areas we painted and wiped the paint away where it seemed to be just a little heavy.
  5. Do not paint yourself into a corner.......obviously;)
  6. Wait 24 hours before walking on or placing furniture back in the room.
And......we did it all for under $150 bucks!
Viola!!!!  There you have it folks! 
Our budget friendly white washed wood floors!

Let me know if you try this one.  I'd love to hear about it!

Linking up to
Home Stories A to Z
The Shabby Nest

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Junking Weekend

So, this weekend I hung out with my friend Cathy.

We went scoping out some funky junk!

She has a junk booth at one of our local junk shops. 
Junk Asylum in Eldridge, Iowa.

Cathy and her little booth

While we stopped by she had to drop off her latest finds. 
I (naturally) couldn't resist myself from helping her
revamp the booth a little while I was there!

Here are some of the other things in the shop
I snapped a couple quick pics of to share with you.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

President Obama visits our little river town LeClaire, Iowa

Oh my goodness!

Our little river town had a big visitor on Tuesday night!!!

President Obama made a surprise stop to small town USA!
He visited our downtown in LeClaire, Iowa!!!

He actually stopped by Grasshoppers for a quick visit!


Then went across the street to the Blue Iguana!


And a final stop at Kernal Cody's Popcorn Shoppe!
My aunt's shop Primitive Cottage is right next door!!!
And my big brother has a shop Dwellings right down the street!
How exciting for our town!
We were all very proud!


It was a crazy fun and exciting night!  My Mom and brother were there!
Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it!
Hopefully he'll be back next time and bring Michelle and who knows....maybe even stop by Dwellings!
We would love it!!!


Linking up to
Life Made Lovely

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

front porch before and after

Our porches

Well, you've seen the before and after to the back porch (my fav)
now it's time to show you the before and after pics from our front porch.



Ahh...nothing says cottage to me more than an old painted wood floor.

I love when you can see peaks of the wood seperating
and just barely catch a glimpse of the original wood.

Leave me a comment.  I'd love to hear what you think.

(Linking up to Feature Yourself Friday at Finger Prints on the Fridge, Addicts (not so) anonymous at Addicted to Decorating and
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back Porch Before and After

Happy Sunday!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

As promised here are our before and afters from our back porch redo.
This room is directly off our kitchen kinda as a bonus room on the back of our house.
Trust me.....you have no idea what a thorn in my side this project was!
Thank god it's over!

(well kinda actually somewhere in the middle of the project -
this went on for a bit longer than originally planned)


This is probably my favorite room in the whole house. 
I think it's becuase it feels the most like me.

I love the white on white and the contrast of the rustic wood.
Warm and cozy, yet minimal and simple.

Check out our DIY White Washed Wood Floors For Less post
to see our tutorial on how we did it!
Keep checking back all week.  We have lots more updates to share.
Also, we will be posting some how to series for some of our projects as well.

(Linking up to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage and Today's Creative Blog.)



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