Progress at Casa Stephens

I get asked by clients and friends who may never have visited my house yet what my OWN home looks like. Legitimate question!  Those of you who have been to my house know that I’m no different than a lot of people, my house is a constant work in progress.  I highly doubt it will EVER be completely finished to the point of perfection and that is simply because, again like many of you, I live on a budget and can only do what I can do.

My house is not huge, in fact, it’s rather tiny by Texas standards but I love it just the same.  The most important thing for me, when decorating a home, is to give the house and the people who live there a voice of their own.  I don’t want it to look like anyone else’s and I want it to have CHARACTER, even it it has the same floor plan as 50 other homes in the neighborhood.

When we moved in, the first thing we did was paint the living room, kitchen and one wall in the dining room Sherwin Williams Rain Washed.  Turns out, it was a huge hit in the design blogger world and I loved the way the walls seemed to change from blue to green to gray at different times of the day.

Oh, the humanity! 


Sherwin Williams Rain Washed

Fast forward 3 years and we have since tiled over the stained concrete floors (which we did as an inexpensive attempt to get rid of the cat urine soaked carpet from the previous owners…trust me, it was worth living on concrete floors for a few years), built in the fireplace/wall unit and as of a few weeks ago, painted the entire house in lovely shades of gray (just 2, not 50).

Sherwin Williams Dove Tail 7018

I mentioned here that I REALLY want to transform my dining room into an office, especially now that we are home schooling, it would be a tremendously better use of space but I have to admit that when we DO use our dining room, it sure is nice.  We had the whole family in town recently and it was a really great pleasure to sit around the dining room table eating and talking together.   I’m still looking for additional artwork for the art shelves as well as some other items to finish this space off but for now,  I’m IN LOVE with the way the gold frames pop off the dark gray “Dovetail” walls.

Living Room Progress / Mindful Gray 7016


The “Mindful Gray” that we used throughout the living room and kitchen area is two shades lighter than the dining room and I love the way it looks with our floors.  It’s so calming and rich at the same time.

Living Room / Mindful Gray

This is the living room from the kitchen and you’ll have to forgive me for not having the name of the dark brown we used on the back of the wall unit.  It’s a BEHR  color that my husband had matched by Kelly Moore Paint and I never wrote down the name!  Awful! Anyway, I loved it because it’s SO rich and SO dark it almost looks black.  We used the same color in the kitchen to contrast my open shelves and white dinnerware.

High contrast, dark brown and white

Most people I explained this plan to had pretty much the same reaction, wouldn’t it be too dark?  The beauty of white accents is that they break up a really dark color that way and you can get away with using it in a small space, such as this.  I love the way it feels, especially at night when it becomes really moody and is broken up by the cheerful white accents of the cabinets, dishes, etc.

My very favorite part of this make over though has to be this:

Cutting Edge Marrakech Trellis Allover Stencil

If you haven’t already visited Cutting Edge  Stencil’s fantastic website, you have been missing out!  And if you HAVE visited them and didn’t find yourself wanting just about one of everything, I’d say you were lying.  SO much to chose from.  I’ve had my eye on this on for a long time.  I know it’s been all over the blogesphere  and Pinterest and everywhere else but it’s just such a timeless pattern and I absolutely LOVE it.

(Update!  You can see the revised version of this stenciled wall here)

I have plans of putting a small desk on this wall but haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.  Until then, I’ll keep trolling thrift shops and antique malls and yard sales until I find exactly the piece that will make this little spot complete.

In the mean time, that’s where we are right now.

Things on the to do list:

Possibly use the stencil on the main dining room wall (thoughts?)

Finish baseboards and crown moldings

Woven shades for the windows

The desk hunt continues

Fantastic fun pillows for the sofa

Continue to accessorize the dining room

New chairs for around the table…possibly a set of these:

Ikea Chair

Then List the house and start over?  Isn’t that what people do?

(oh, the irony of that question!)

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the little tour.  Like I said, our house isn’t huge.  We don’t live in a mansion or in the most expensive neighborhood but I’m an absolute advocate of making what you have the very best it can be.  This doesn’t mean spending a lot of money, in fact, be VERY careful not to outspend the area you live in or you’ll regret it at the time you sell.

Think of it as dressing for your body type.  You may not have a Chanel budget but that doesn’t mean you can’t LOOK like you do.

Dress your home the way you’d dress yourself.  In the most flattering way possible.

Have a super day, friends!


By the way, if you live in the DFW/Houston area and need help with your home, please contact me so we can talk!


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7 Comments on Progress at Casa Stephens

  1. Carol
    September 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm (3 years ago)

    Really nice!!! Love the pics.

    • Renee
      September 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm (3 years ago)


  2. Helen @ Seaside Interiors
    September 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Renee, ahh where to begin? I just came across your site and it is so inspiring!! I must be following in your footsteps. I currently have my house in Rainwashed by Sherwin Williams but I have about 10 different grays I am working towards for our remodel, one of them being mindful gray. So it’s obvious we are suppossed to be best friends, lol ;-). Well, I really just wanted to say thanks for sharing all of your wonderful transformations and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!!!

    • Renee
      September 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm (3 years ago)

      How funny! I would love to see photos of your transformation!


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