Hello, I'm Erin! I'm a dreamer, do-it-yourselfer, and beauty obsessed consumer. I write this blog to share great interior design, home improvement ideas, and products I obsess about. Welcome to the place where I share my crazy little life.  I'm a mom to a great kid and a wife to a great guy.  I'm an educator by day and write this blog in my free time, which I don't have a lot of.  I grew up in a small, hardworking town in Indiana, where I played kickball, dodge ball, and swam my summers away with my friends.  I played with the neighborhood kids until my feet were black from the pavement and got lost in the "woods" that was at the end of our street.  I walked to school, loved catching fire flies after dark, and eating Pizza King (y'all from IN know what I'm talkin' about)!  I moved to Chicago in my early 20's to have fun, and then moved back to Indiana to start a family with my husband, Justin.  We both miss the hustle bustle of the city, but love that our kid is playing kickball, swimming with friends, catching fire flies, and eating Pizza King, too...

{What is your blog about?}
{A Charming Nest} is all about home DIY projects that my husband and I tackle around our house.  We may also feature recipes that have been proven winners in our family, products that I'm obsessed about, art that I create or find to decorate our home, and craft/sewing ideas that I've tried. 

{What is your design style?}
I like all design styles, but I tend to lean towards comfortable and classic, with some cottage elements thrown in the mix.  I like to feel like I can lay on my sofa with a blanket and good book, and not have to worry about the upholstery.  I like that my son can play in our house and get things a little messy.  It all can be cleaned, wiped down, and picked up...so I try not to stress about that kind of stuff.  I've never been to design school, so I really don't have any credentials...but I do know what I like.

{Who takes your pictures?  What camera do they use?}
Hey, now...that's two questions!  I take my own pictures.  I am not a photographer, and do not claim to be one, but wouldn't mind playing one on t.v.  (Just kidding about the t.v. part!)  I do enjoy taking photos, although I do hope to take a class one of these days.  My camera is a Canon EOS Rebel XS...not a very fancy camera in the photography world, but it does the trick.  My photo editing software is the free Picasa software from google.  I am not ready for Photoshop...but I'm getting pretty close.

{What is your favorite quote?}
I like to feature quotes on this blog...but this is my favorite for the blog theme I've got going on:
A good home must be made, not built!  -Joyce Maynard

{Why did you start this blog?}
I have a phobia of writing and I hate sharing what I have written.  So, I decided to face my fears head on and write for the public to see, and what better way than to start a blog?  I also wanted to scrapbook and journal about what we were doing to our house because so many people liked our work in the "Old House" and would ask how we did certain things. This seemed like a no-brainer.

{Will you ever start an Etsy store?}
I don't know.  I haven't been blogging for very long and I am just focused on personal projects for our home right now.  Plus, I have a full time job as a teacher and I am a wife and mother, too.  I worry about not being able to fulfill orders in a timely manner...blah, blah, blah!

{What's your favorite word?}
noun  mox·ie  \ ˈmäk-sē \
1. energy, pep2. courage, determination3. know-how

{What is your favorite shampoo and conditioner?}
Random questions....that's funny!  I love, love, love...BEAUTY COUNTER Daily Shampoo and Conditioner.  Check out my {beauty} page to see all of the products that I am using and LOVE!

Now about the projects...

{How did you paint the kitchen cabinets in your old house?}
It was a labor of love.  We worked for three weeks, priming and painting. 

Step 1:
Take all the doors off the cabinets.  Number them so you know where they go.  We took all the hardware off too.  We cleaned with a mixture of warm water and TSP.  (You can get TSP at Home Depot)

Step 2:
We used TWO coats of Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer.  Love this stuff!  No sanding necessary!
We did sand some of the rough spots (where water had taken it's toll on the wood). But, really we just painted this stuff on, and let it dry.  We did the back sides first, and then moved to the front side of the cabinet doors.  That way if something went wrong while switching it over, it was on the back side of the door.  No biggie once hung because any mistake was hidden inside the cabinet.

Step 3: 
We had Sherwin Williams color match our existing trim (which was a creamy white).  I added my favorite product according to the directions on the package to the latex paint...Floetrol! 

This stuff is the bomb!  Extends the drying time of your paint, eliminates brush marks, and makes your surface "factory finish" smooth.

Paint.  Two coats of a cream colored paint to the back of the cabinets.  When thoroughly dry, turn them around, and paint the fronts. 

Step 4:
This is hard part...wait until the paint is really dry!  If you wait, you'll have less chance of smudging the paint. But start with the inside of the door first, that way if you make a mistake, it will be hidden in the inside of the cabinet door.

Step 5:
Rehang doors.  We replaced our hardware, including the hinges, knobs, and pulls, with brushed nickel.  I got the hinges from Home Depot and the knobs from Target.  We got the pulls from ebay.com.

***We used little blocks of wood, with felt sticker pads, under the doors to keep them elevated so we could smooth the edges.

{What are the colors in your old house?}

I love cool, smooth, and almost grayish colors...colors that look muted and kind of dusty.

The family room, entry, and upstairs hall where Sherwin Williams Nomadic Desert.  We love this color!  It's actually what we had the builder paint our entire new house.  We will be changing some of the rooms in our house as we go, but it seems to go well with everything we own, so we will keep some areas this color.

SW Nomadic Desert
Our dining room was Sherwin Williams Svelte Sage.  We have decided that this is a little dark, and probably would have painted it's companion colors on the same strip...Ancient Marble or Grassland.

SW Svelte Sage
   SW Grassland                                 SW Ancient Marble

The living room and our master bedroom were my favorite rooms...and the pictures just do not do them justice.  Painted Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage.  We could not go wrong...it truly is the perfect blue gray paint. 

Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage

Other colors we love...

                               Sherwin Williams Quiet Moments                         Ben Moore Winter Lake

                                 Sherwin Williams Macadamia                               Ben Moore Camouflage
Sherwin Williams Sea Salt

We will be using some of these colors in our new house!

{Where did you get your butcher block counters?}
IKEA of course! We used the oak Numerar butcher block in the butler's pantry and on our island.  We cut it to size and stained it with "English Walnut" stain and sealed it with Waterlox.  Waterlox is an amazing product!  It is a must for anything that could possibly come into contact with water...like a counter top.  We used the satin, which isn't as shiny as the Original.  We loved them when they were done...and were sorry to leave them when we sold.