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OUR GUEST ROOM REFRESH

OUR GUEST ROOM REFRESH

Happy Monday!  I’m so excited to share our guest room refresh with you!  When my daughter recently left for college she ended up taking some furniture and bedding with her so I thought that it was a perfect time to give this space a nice refresh!  I absolutely love this space… it might be my favorite room in the house.  The painted white tongue and groove walls have always made this space feel cozy yet clean and bright.


The only downside to this space is it’s small, so space saving furniture is a must.  Because of this we skipped a space hogging dresser and went with a storage bed for all our drawer needs.  Besides this one we have another one in our room.  I absolutely love our Pottery Barn storage beds and I’ve been meaning to review them on the blog for a while now.  It’s on my to do list!  One minor drawback with storage beds, though, is that if you plan on opening them often like we do you’ll need a floating nightstand.  If your storage bed is more for long term storage you can simply move a regular nightstand out of the way to open it, but that wasn’t an option for us.  I really love floating furniture, it is great for small spaces because it tricks the eye and gives the illusion of more space.

I wanted to introduce a bit more color and contrast into the room so I went with these 26 inch pink pillow covers from Etsy, they really makes the room pop!  I love pillow covers because they’re easily washable and easy to switch out when you need a change.  You can find pretty much any size pillow insert on Amazon so that’s my favorite home decor, pillow covers, and they barely take up any storage space when not in use.


I updated the wall art for a more modern look, black and white photos and prints are my jam, I can never get enough.  I love the clean, crisp,  vintage look to them.  Funny thing is in Scotland I actually got to see a highland cow in person and feed it a carrot.  He was adorable and he licked me with his scratchy tongue and guess what?  I didn’t get one photo!  Do you ever go on vacation, have an amazing time, and forget to get a photo?  We took so many great photos in Scotland and I’m just kicking myself that I didn’t get a cute cow photo too… I didn’t know how trendy highland cows would soon become!  I went with Art.com for this print, I’ve bought from them for years and they never let me down.

I’ve always loved rooms that are decorated with a heavy black and white scheme but I still need color here and there.  I don’t know what it is but ever since we moved into this house I’ve been obsessed with the color teal.  I’ve bought a teal sofa and painted my cabinets and doors teal so naturally when I was looking for an accent chair my eye kept catching teal.  This chair is such a great affordable price and it’s stunning!   It’s always scary buying furniture online, you never know what you’re going to get!  I love how the room came together with just a few simple changes!

It seems like we haven’t had a lot of home updates or projects going on, but soon I’m excited to share with you our progress in the loft!  We’re just waiting on carpet and in the final stages, the same with the kitchen too, knock on wood everything goes to plan!

Storage Bed | Pink Shams | Black & White Pillows | Black Pillow | White Quilt | Throw Blanket | Wall ArtWreath | Sconce Lighting | Chandelier | Chair | Chair Pillow | Sheepskin Rug

5 SPRING HOME STYLING TIPS

5 SPRING HOME STYLING TIPS

spring home styling tips

One of my favorite things about spring is the chance to freshen and update our home.  I love changing up my home with the seasons but after the heavy winter season nothing is more satisfying than lightening up and brightening your home!  So today I thought I would share five of my favorite tips for welcoming spring into your home!

spring home styling tips

GOOD OLD FASHIONED SPRING CLEANING

Nothing says your home is ready for spring than a good old fashioned spring clean!  Purge all the winter clutter from your home and organize, organize, organize!  This is my #1 tip for a wonderful spring home and it’s so therapeutic too!

STASH HEAVY WINTER ACCESSORIES

Say goodbye to those big heavy faux fur throw blankets, flannel sheets, fireplace logs, and all those pinecone accessories.  Instead accent your fireplace with candles, swap out heavy fabrics with light fresh ones, and stash heavy decor items for ones that are bright and airy.  This goes with home scents too.  Toss those cinnamon spice candles and bring in fresh clean scents.

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN WITH PLANTS & FLOWERS

I love bringing new plants and fresh flowers into my home this time of year!  Plants and flowers are starting to bloom and come back to life and so should your home.  Adding these items into your home is the perfect way to add color and interest to your space and say hello spring!

ADD NEW TEXTURES

Nothing says spring (and summer too) better than bringing in fresh new textures into your home.  Baskets, wooden trays, and accent pillows are a great way to add an earthy texture into your home.  Heavy rugs can also be swapped out with lighter affordable indoor/outdoor rugs too.

UPDATE YOUR COLOR PALETTE

Spring is a great time to upgrade your color palette.  In the winter I’m all about rich, warm, inviting colors and in the spring I like to welcome fresh bright colors and more neutrals into our home.  A simple way to update your color palette is through throw pillows and light weight throw blankets.  Framed art work and photos can easily be swapped out with nature and other lightweight prints.

spring home styling tips

Spring is such a terrific time to brighten your home up, and a spring home works well through summer too!  A few simple changes can make your home shine!  Do you have any favorite ways to transition your home from winter to spring?

A MINI KITCHEN MAKEOVER

A MINI KITCHEN MAKEOVER

Teal kitchen cabinets white subway tile Giani marble countertop

I’m so excited to share our kitchen mini makeover with you!  This is just a temporary makeover until we can do a full remodel when the time is right.  A few weeks ago I decided to give our kitchen a mini makeover, and we are thrilled with the results!

It all started with ordering our new gas range.  Not only was our old electric range falling apart, it was a huge eye sore.  We waited several  months for a sale and then another two months for it to be delivered due to Covid.  I kept thinking about this new amazing gas double oven range sitting in my hideous kitchen.  Some of our other upgrades happened over the last year, like when the microwave stopped working, the larger sink upgrade, building a larger pantry, and the new lighting, but still our new range deserved better so a few weeks before it was delivered I went to serious work!

I spend a TON of time in the kitchen so why not make it pretty even if it is temporary?  I say if it makes you happy then it’s worth it!  Ok, ready to see some before photos?

Budget kitchen makeover

Budget kitchen makeover

Budget kitchen makeover

First up on my list was to do something about the countertop and backsplash.  I debated about using marble contact paper on the countertops, lots of people are doing it and it looks pretty good.  However we use our kitchen hard, so I was convinced it wouldn’t hold up at all.  After a lot of searching I decided to go with the Giani Carrara white marble countertop kit.  Everything you need is included in the kit and there are lots of video tutorials online to help.

Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit

Prep work was minimal, just clean with a brillo pad and rinse.  Then you roll on a few coats of the white primer paint and let it dry.  To create the marble veins you simply paint on the grey lines, spray with water, and smudge with a brush until you get the desired effect you’re after.  Last you apply the epoxy, I wasn’t sure that my marble veining looked good but once we applied the glossy epoxy it brought it to life!  The entire countertop process took about 3 days and it was so worth it!

Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit

Red Le Creuset pans on wall

For the backsplash I went with a peel and stick subway tile, and it was incredibly easy.  Just measure, cut to size, peel, and stick.  The back is nice and sticky so you can reposition the tiles a few times if needed.  Initially when I opened the package I didn’t think it looked very realistic but now that it’s up I think it looks amazing!  The only downside is that the tiles are really reflective and hard to photograph.

Peel and stick subway tile

The bamboo roman shade is from Lowe’s, I can’t remember the color but it was in stock and cut to size, and the pendant light was an amazing steal for under $30!

Peel and stick subway tile review

Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit review

One thing we will definitely be doing in the full kitchen remodel is reconfiguring the cabinets to fit a dishwasher.  Until then I’ve made peace with hand washing dishes.  The small original kitchen sink was so hard to wash dishes in so we upgraded to a single basin work station sink.  It’s been a huge lifesaver!  It comes with a cutting board, a small drying rack, and a colander that fits over the sink.  I was able to toss our large clunky dish drainer, and I purchased an over the sink dish drainer to save space.

Giani Carrara White Marble Epoxy Countertop Kit review

I debated for a while if I should paint the cabinets or leave them alone, but you know I love a good DIY project so you bet I chose to paint them!  In our full kitchen remodel I have my heart set on custom alder cabinets to match our doors but until then I decided to have a bit of fun and paint the cabinets teal.

I experimented with chalk paint because of the low prep work but I wasn’t happy with the color and after a few days the chalk paint looked rough.  Spur of the moment I used our old front door paint.  Yes, I used exterior paint on my cabinets, I had it on hand and it works.  I love the end result.

Teal kitchen cabinets white subway tile

mini kitchen makeover

You bet I love my new kitchen toy, I’ve cooked non-stop since receiving it!  Having a double oven and gas cooktop is a dream.

Kitchen makeover

Cabinets are Sophisticated Teal by the Home Depot Decorator Collection

Pendant Light | Julia Child Quote | Leopard Dishes | Marble Countertop Kit | Subway TilesDish Rack | Workstation Sink | FaucetRug | FloorOven | Le Creuset Dutch Oven | Le Creuset SkilletLe Creuset Square Skillet | Mug Tree Stand

 

It’s the same kitchen but suddenly it feels so bright and fun now!  Maybe we’ll delay the major kitchen remodel a little longer now and focus on other projects because other than a missing dishwasher I can honestly say I’m happy with the kitchen.

Like I mentioned we use our kitchen hard and I’m curious how the countertop and backsplash will hold up over time.  I’ll definitely be updating, until then feel free to ask me any questions.

OUR FALL DECK REVEAL + WILDFIRE UPDATE

OUR FALL DECK REVEAL + WILDFIRE UPDATE

Deck design before and after

I am thrilled to be home and back to working on my blog.  As some of you may know we were evacuated from our home for weeks because of the Cameron Peak fire.  Then we were evacuated from the place we were staying because of the East Troublesome fire.  Things have definitely been stressful!  The wildfire did come onto our property and burn some of our trees but our home is fine and so is our new back deck!

Brian finished the back deck in July but after a few weeks many of the boards shrunk despite us acclimating the wood.  We suddenly had dangerous wide gaps between the boards, so he had to unscrew each board and move it over, buy more wood and also let that acclimate. Then my patio furniture was on backorder for 10 weeks.  Once the patio furniture arrived and we put the finishing touches on the deck for the second time, then we were suddenly evacuated because of the fire.  Looking at the fire satellite map we knew the fire was on our property and we had accepted the fact that the new deck was cursed and might had been damaged or completely burned.  But I’m happy to say the deck was just fine… the deck curse is broken!

Ok let’s see some crazy before photos back when this area was a hideous looking sunroom.

Deck design before and afterDeck design before and after

I dismantled the interior and filled in nail holes while Brian removed the structure piece by piece.  We kept the back metal wall of the sunroom as a retaining wall and covered it with deck boards.  Brian did all the wood work while I painted the back of the house and the exterior metal stairs and stained the deck.

Deck design before and after

Deck design before and after

We love the final result and yes it was worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.  We have a front deck that we love with an incredible mountain view, however it gets very sunny and it’s not very private.  The back deck has a completely different feel from the front deck.  It’s isolated, cozy with trees and rocks, and is always shaded.  So now we have the best of both worlds.  Below you can see where the fire burned next to our house.

Deck design before and after

Tree face and string lights

Does anyone else love tree faces as much as me?  They’re so cute and look like tree people!

We went with Polywood Adirondack chairs again because of the durability.  We had them at our Texas home and they were very durable in the harsh summer sun and I felt confident they would survive Colorado winters.  I was also concerned with chipmunks and squirrels chewing things up so again I felt confident going with Polywood products.  Polywood is made in the USA and made from recycled plastics so it’s an overall win for me.  Plus they have a ton of colors and styles to choose from.

We did have a big rock roll down during the fire that broke the bottom of a chair you can see above but Polywood has a great warranty and replacement parts available.  Luckily nothing else was damaged.

Polywood black Adirondack chairs

Faux outdoor trees

Briefly we had some real potted plants on the deck and they were eaten instantly.  So I went with faux evergreen trees and shrubs.  They look very realistic from a distance and sort of real up close but hey… they’re animal and winter proof.  Plus no watering!

Tree Face and string lights

We’re no strangers to outdoor string lights, I’ve bought so many over the years from various places but these LED string lights are hands down the best we’ve ever bought.

Outdoor deck design

This is just phase 1 of our deck, you can see above how the boards just stop.  That’s where we plan to continue the deck into what I call mega-deck!  Mega-deck will extend off towards the area where the fire burned.  So I’m actually relieved we hadn’t started any deck work over there yet.  Mega-deck will extend around the trees, have a dining area, a bar counter, another lounge area and if I get my way with Brian some swings and a slide that goes from one level to the other.  It will be epic.

Cameron Peak fire damage

I love to change up my decor seasonally inside and out so I went with washable removable pillow covers to compliment the buffalo plaid pillows.  So once Christmas comes I’ll change the orange covers out to red.  Yes, we will be enjoying this patio in the winter, that’s what heaters and blankets are for!

Outdoor orange and buffalo plaid pillows

As for the fire you can see how it wrapped around our driveway, into our side yard, and in a small area went up on the hill behind our deck.  Firefighters had hoses and sprinklers around our house to prevent the fire from spreading.  We are extremely grateful for everything they did to save our home.

Cameron Peak wildfire

Cameron Peak fire damage

Cameron Peak fire damage

We did lose a few trees, and I’m worried about the trees that seem to be alive now but have charred trunks and branches.  Only time will tell I guess.  Hopefully this summer everything comes out nice and green again.

outdoor string lights at night

SHOP THE POST

Adirondack Chairs | Bench | Side Table | Plaid Pillows | Pillow Covers | Pillow Insert | Faux Tree – 36 in | Faux Shrub | String Lights | Tree Face 1 | Tree Face 2 | Sconce Light | Cheetah Door Mat | Berry Wreath

PAINT COLORS

Deck stain is Ready Seal in Natural Cedar

Exterior is Rockies Brown, by Benjamin Moore

Trim is Appalachian Brown, by Benjamin Moore

Door is Sophisticated Teal by the Home Depot Decorators Collection.

Such an improvement from a gross unusable smelly sunroom to a gorgeous outdoor living space.  I’m thrilled with the results, and fingers crossed we will start mega-deck soon.  Thanks for reading.

EASY DIY FALL APPLE WREATH

EASY DIY FALL APPLE WREATH

How to make an easy apple fall wreath

Hello blog readers I am back! Some of you may not know this but my blog has been gone for nearly 3 weeks.  I had a notification of a comment from a reader and when I went to respond poof… my blog had disappeared!  I’ll keep this brief because nobody wants to read a novel but after a week of scratching our heads we had to call in professionals to look into some deep coding details. Basically I had reached a data limit with my old hosting company.  Without any notice they pulled the plug and tech support offered no help in solving the problem.  I’m happy to say we’re back up and running, we’ve switched hosting companies and this shouldn’t ever happen again.  My apologies to everyone… ok so let’s move along here and make a fall apple wreath!

How to make an easy apple fall wreath

First off you may be thinking why apples? I’m a pumpkin loving nut just like everyone else but this fall I was craving something a little different so I went with apples.  I must say I’m happy with how it turned out and I love the cute pop of color from the apples.

Instead of floral stems I went with a garland for the greenery because that’s what was on sale.  A great bonus about using garland is I didn’t need to dig out my wire cutters… just pull the leaves off and you’re good to go!

Fall wreath ideas

SUPPLIES NEEDED

18 inch grapevine wreath form $4.99

2 basic leaf garlands 17.99 at 50% off= $17.99

1 bundle of small plastic apples 6.99 @40% off =4.19

Ribbon 3.99 at 50% off= $1.99

Scissors

Hot glue gun

2-3 hot glue sticks

Total cost: $29.16

INSTRUCTIONS

How to make an easy apple fall wreath steps

1.  Begin by threading a piece of ribbon through the top of the wreath and set aside.  Pull the leaves off the floral garland and hot glue.  Be sure to glue the leaves in different directions so it looks extra fluffy.

2.  Once you’ve glued all the leaves on begin gluing the apples.  I know… it’s complicated.

How to make an easy apple fall wreath steps

3.  Turn the wreath over and make a knot to create a hanging loop.  Pull the loop to the back of the wreath and secure with hot glue.

4.  Arrange the remaining ribbon around the wreath and secure in random places with hot glue.  Poof all done!  I kept my ribbon connected with the loop in the back and just pulled the ribbon to the front, feel free to cut it if that’s more convenient. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to add the ribbon or not. I loved both looks but in the end I decided the ribbon gave a bit of pizazz, but it’s your choice.

fall apple decor

Fall apple decor

I love the homey comfort of apples this time of year and I can’t get over how cute and realistic these apples look.  This wreath costing under $30 and the fact that I only had one hot glue burn is what I call success my friends!

Be sure to check out my holidays category for some of other fall projects and decor, including my favorite fall potpourri and how to bleach pinecones.  Take care!

MEDIA ROOM REVEAL

MEDIA ROOM REVEAL

Cedar tongue and groove walls

Hurray!  At last our media room is complete, and I am so excited to share the reveal with you!  Remodeling this space during Covid was a challenge, and it really slowed our progress.  We had to schedule wood delivery to our home because local wood supply stores were closed, and lots of items were on backorder for months, like our doors.  It was a frustrating process, but hey we’re done!!  I have lots of photos and so much to share about this space… so grab a drink, you’re going to be here a while!

We previously referred to this room as a basement, I think because our realtor did, but now we’ve renamed this space to the media room.   The next photo is from the realtor website, and I remember looking at it being so confused what this space was.  Having a junky garage space right off the front door with a bedroom and bathroom behind it is weird.  Especially considering we have an attached garage and a larger separate garage on the lower level of our property.

Before I share the rest of the room how about some ugly before photos?  Sorry, they’re a bit blurry… I didn’t check my camera settings.

Brian and I both get PTSD looking at these photos.  Honestly.  This gross space was our bedroom for about 2 months.  I put down clean rugs and we had our mattress and boxspring on the floor while we remodeled the upstairs living room and our future master bedroom.  The front door was in bad shape which meant a TON of bugs, it definitely traumatized me waking up with things crawling around me.

Once we moved into our upstairs bedroom we cleaned out this space and installed a new wood floor.  I did most of the floor installation myself, it was a really satisfying project!  The original wall and ceiling texture was an uneven DIY job so we had the ceiling retextured and centered the light.  Then the room sat untouched for months until after the holidays.  We knew this room would be a workhorse and the details needed a lot of intricate planning.   We needed storage, an entry space, and coat closet, and we decided to move our washer and dryer down to this space as well.  A lot had to go into this small closet, all while dealing with the clunky furnace.

We were really happy with our cedar tongue and groove ceiling upstairs and decided on the same wood for this room’s walls.  Since it’s the first space people see, I wanted the room to feel warm and cozy and set the tone of the rest of the house.  Our home was built to be fire resistant, with cement siding and using all metal beams to frame the house.  The walls bend around the metal beams on this level, we can’t really do anything about that so we just had to work with it.  Luckily the new wood walls help to camouflage it.

Oh how I hate odd placed windows!  We’ve taken out windows before when they didn’t work with our space, but this one needs to stay for ventilation.  I stared at this wall for months trying to decide what to do with the small offset window, I considered a gallery wall or a large bold piece of art.  One day I decided to post on Houzz asking for advice on how to decorate around the window.  Big mistake.

I asked about the wall and instead everyone just started tearing down the room.  They hated my sofa, they said the room was too feminine, someone said my style of decor was all wrong, they hated my sofa pillows, the white baseboards and my favorite part… someone said I should decorate the room like a trading post and put fur on the walls.  It was at this moment I realized that I decorate my home for ME and honestly don’t care if other people like it.

I decided on floating shelves and a bold lamp to draw the eye away from the window.  I’m actually quite happy with how it turned out and now I hardly even notice the off-center window.

Off center window behind sofa

Now yes, the sofa is a little feminine for the room and unfortunately I didn’t think about the sofa buttons against the cedar wood knots.  Yeah, it’s a little busy, but this sofa is bought and paid for so we’re just going to work with it!  Haley has already asked for this sofa when she gets her own apartment in a few years so I’ll buy a sofa with cleaner lines at that time.  In the meantime I think the large pillows and throw blanket help the sofa blend.

Our media living room media

One day on Pinterest I ran across a photo of a wood stained room with white baseboards and trim and I fell in love.  I know white trim with wooden walls isn’t for everyone but we both love the contrast.  It pops!

Knotty alder doors

For a brief moment… and I mean brief we considered building a laundry room in the back of our garage and Brian was considering having a desk somewhere in this room.  Our garage is deep so there was plenty of room, but during the winter I realized I just couldn’t walk in and out of a dirty cold garage for laundry.  So instead Brian built an office for himself in the garage and we squeezed the washer and dryer down here.  The rolling cart is such a lifesaver for doing laundry and saves us so much space.

My favorite part of a room is always the little details.  I’ve always had a thing for the Restoration Hardware chandelier lamps but they’re just so expensive!  I managed to find a cheaper knock off at Overstock, I snagged a coupon and had some rewards to lower the cost.  I love the feminine lamps against the masculine wood wall, it’s the exact effect I wanted.

A glass coffee table has always been my favorite trick to lighten up a room and make it feel bigger.  They’re so easy to take care of and I never worry about spills, I just spray it down with windex and we’re done.

Details… just lots of little details everywhere that I love.

Restoration Hardware knock off chandelier lamp

Our media living room media

Space saving small entryway

Finally the entryway!  We managed to squeeze in a coat closet next to the utility closet.  We chose a double rod to maximize space and went with an Elfa door rack.  Elfa door racks always save the day!  The baskets hold all our weather essentials and the gift wrap attachment holds our umbrellas and hiking poles perfectly!

Elfa giftwarp door rack

Small entryway ideas

More hooks, ya know I love them!  Our entryway is small but it’s quite effective.  The entry shelf and hooks help keep clutter down and our things organized.

The metal S was hanging outside of our last house and over the years it developed a unique rusty patina.  It looks even better now!

Our media living room media

Our media living room media

I’ve always loved black and white photos and I think combined with the gallery frames it created a fantastic modern effect against the warm wood walls.  I love these photos of my kids, they we’re running around having so much fun.  I don’t frame a lot of serious photos, I’m drawn to the quirky ones because it feels more like a captured moment in time.

Our media living room media

There you have it, our media room reveal.  It serves as a great second living area for us.  I am so happy this space is done!  Our new back deck is also finished but I’m having the hardest time finding patio furniture.  Ugh… everything I like said it will ship out in 13-17 weeks.  So that’s holding me up a bit. I know how fun it can be to shop other people’s homes, so below I’ve linked everything below that I can find that is still for sale.

Read my sofa review HERE and my DIY wall art HERE.  Baseboards and trim are Simply White by Benjamin Moore.  Cedar walls are finished with Minwax Polycrylic in Satin.  Roman Shades are in Toledo Canvas, plain fold with a blackout liner.

Wood Floor | Sofa (Grand in Velvet Buckwheat) | Leather Pillows | Ivory Pillows | Teal PillowCoffee TableTrunk Side Table | Table Lamp | Gallery Wall Frames | Giant Metal “S” Letter |  Floating Shelves | Chandelier Floor Lamps | Entry Mirror | Entry Hooks | Black Media Console | Art TV | Candle Holders | Wooden Horse | Cage Entry Light | Room Light | Glass Door Knobs | Laundry Cart | Elfa Door System | Interior Doors 

Have a fabulous week!