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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Nothing is more enjoyable to me than having a nice meal at a beautifully set table. These days it’s challenging to bring everyone together for a sit down meal, but I’ve noticed having a lovely tablescape encourages people to come together for meal times. It creates a beautiful, festive-like atmosphere, and it feels like a fun little private party at your table. I always love creating beautiful tablescapes any time of year and this cheerful summer tablescape is definitely a favorite.
Back on theme with my last hydrangea and rose blog post I’m sharing more of my favorite flowers for the table, but this time I’m adding lemons. We never have a shortage of lemons in our house, we use them for everything, food, drinks, even decorating.
I love the casual summer simplicity of skipping the placemats and other heavy linens and using rustic grapevine chargers instead for texture. I’m so bummed out these chargers from Ballard Designs already sold out, hopefully they’ll get restocked, and in the meantime I have linked some similar ones at the bottom of this post.
When it comes to dinner plates I usually stick with white and bring in color and patterns through my napkins, accent plates, and centerpieces. I’m always on the lookout for accent plates in different colors and patterns. I find them to be pretty affordable and always make the table pop. They make perfect appetizer, salad, and dessert plates too. These buffalo plaid accent plates are pretty amazing, and will work with so many seasons. I picked them up from Hobby Lobby on sale and have them linked below if you don’t have a store near you.
Cut hydrangeas can be tricky at times, often they can wilt the next day and it’s very frustrating. Removing the leaves can help the flowers stay hydrated longer but I prefer to keep the beautiful leaves. A favorite trick of mine is to cut the stem at a sharp angle and dip each end in alum. Alum is used for pickling and canning, and you can find at the grocery store in the spice section. It works beautifully to keep hydrangeas fresh longer and ideally you’ll want to mist the hydrangea with water a few times a day too. Hydrangeas are thirsty flowers!
For the lemon centerpiece I used israeli ruscus as a green filler and it’s commonly found in the floral section of grocery stores. Israeli ruscus is tough and does fine without much water, it’s been a few days and mine are still bright and perky. Just cut the stems down to the size you want and arrange them in the lemons.
The roses in the lemon centerpiece are a different story. Short term for several hours they’ll be fine without water, it you want your roses to last longer arranged with lemons consider floral tubes or placing them in shot glasses with water.
I love to dream up different colors and patterns depending on the time of year and enjoy taking inspiration from nature. The colors and textures are so bright and fresh for summer! While we don’t have sit down family meals every night, we do make it a point to do it as often as possible. It’s easy to create a simple tablescape that encourages people to gather around the table. Sometimes I think the prettier the table the better the food tastes! Feel inspired and bring your own creativity to the table!
I can’t believe it’s already been an entire year! The time has really flown by, we’ve accomplished a lot but we still have quite a way to go! We did take some time off in the fall and winter but now we’re back at it in full force. We spend most evenings and weekends tackling projects, something is always sore on my body and 70 percent of my clothes are covered in paint. It’s certainly been an adventure… an exhausting one at that, but with each space we improve it just motivates me to keep going. Today I want to show you where we are a year later, current projects that aren’t finished, a few small spaces we’ve improved, and some future projects we have planned.
If you’re new to my blog and curious about some of our past home projects I’ve linked them below:
Ok, so I never got the chance to update the front of our house because there were always tools and equipment everywhere… and then snow season hit, but here we are! We replaced the front door, painted the house, took out the upstairs patio door by the chimney and replaced the house lights.
Next on our list is to paint the roof the same color as the garage. If it were a deep shade of green I think I’d leave it but nope it’s a hideous faded mint chocolate chip ice cream green. We also hope to tweak the vent near the door so it’s less noticeable.
The main part of the house is painted Rockies Brown and the garage and trim are Appalachian Brown both by Benjamin Moore. I obsessed on finding the perfect shade of teal for the front door and ended up with Sophisticated Teal from Home Depot. I absolutely love it!
This nightmarish space is a work in progress and it’s slowly improving.
We’ve replaced the exterior door that leads into a small outdoor closet. The blue metal retaining wall will eventually go, but it won’t be easy. For now we’ve decided just to paint it so it’s less hideous. I actually just finished painting all our blue retaining walls and the metal stairs, I just haven’t taken a photo… sorry! It looks much better!!
Now on to the entryway and basement area. I get nauseous looking at these before photos, still unfinished but this space has drastically improved.
This space will be the next reveal on the blog, but for now here’s a little sneak peak. We’ve referred to this space as the basement and I’m not exactly sure why. You definitely get basement vibes down here but it’s not underground. Our realtor referred to the space as a basement and I think the word just stuck, but we’ve decided to call this space a media room… and I’m so excited and ready for it to be finished.
This space is a true work horse. It will be our downstairs getaway space to read or watch TV, plus we’ve added an entry space and coat closet plus a utility closet for our washer and dryer. All of our doors are on backorder, it’s been frustrating. We just need doors and a few minor furnishings and decor items to finish this space.
As soon as we get our doors and Brian installs them I’ll stain them and it will be up on the blog, so excited! I mentioned on Instagram how I posted this room to Houzz, asking a simple question and they hated it. They shredded this room… I’ll go into all the drama during the blog reveal I promise!
Sorry about some of these photos! Normally I like to stage our home photos (within reason) meaning I hide dirty shoes and cords and put away junk but I kind of snapped these pictures without thinking. Sometimes I snap pics for my own personal use without thinking they could end up on the blog.
Now for the loft, it’s a quirky L-shaped space that has lots of potential. We added some furniture such as a queen bed, a chair, and a twin bed but it still needs a lot of work. The living room ceiling flows into this space, so the ceiling is basically the only thing done. I’ve ripped down the paneling and I’m still deciding what to do with the walls and floor.
I took these photos with my phone one day for Haley and I had no intention of putting them on the blog but now that Haley has moved up here with stuff everywhere a photo is impossible. So I thought I’d go ahead and share these photos. Really regretting not tucking the blankets and sheets in!! Overall it’s a cute space and it has a ton of potential.
Now it’s time for the nasty sunroom update. One day when we were self-isolating/quarantining/losing our mind I just started ripping the interior of this room out. I was cooped up in the house and one day I just ripped out the carpet and paneling, and it felt good! Then Brian slowly started to demo this space. I’ve showed lots of video on Instagram… it’s just felt so good and I had to share.
I am so freakin excited about this space. We plan to turn it into a cozy back deck. We have a deck off the front of our house with a great view but this space just feels special. It has a different cozy vibe back here and I love it. I’m even more exited as to what happens when this small back deck is finished. Then we start MEGA DECK!! Y’all I am so pumped about mega deck!
Mega deck will be an awesome multi-level deck that extends off the side of the house past the tree. A majority of our land extends that direction and we’re excited to put it to good use. We’ve come up with so many fun ideas for mega deck!
We plan on having a dining area, a wine bar rail with stools, a lounge section, a yoga deck, a hot tub, and an outdoor playground. Yep, you heard me right! I want an outdoor playground… after a few glasses of wine tell me you don’t want to swing and slide… haha! I sure do and I’m a kid at heart. It will definitely take a while but we’ll do it in phases. It will be a lot of work but a lot of fun too.
Our bathroom will probably be one of our last projects to finish. The old laundry room is back behind the shower and we plan to combine the spaces for a larger bathroom. Until then we just did some minor cosmetic improvements to make the space more bearable. Ashley and I painted spots on the wall one day while we were snowed in during Covid isolation and it was really fun.
That’s all for now, but soon I’ll have the media room to reveal. The world’s crazy right now and it’s 100% affected me and my ability to concentrate on my blog. Thank you so much for your patience! I’ve linked all the items I could find that are still for sale throughout my post. I’m absolutely heart broken about Pier One leaving us, it was one of my favorite stores ever! If you see something you like act fast before it’s gone forever!
Stay safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, and treat everyone with love and respect!
Last October our space-efficient master bedroom was the first remodeled room in our new house to make the blog. Overall I was thrilled with the result and how we maximized space, but deep down I knew the room needed more. At the time we were sleeping with our mattress on the basement floor and we just wanted to move into our bedroom ASAP! Then we immediately started the living room and Ashley’s room, and then boom… the holidays hit. So with all the quiet days we’ve had stuck at home lately I decided it was time to give our bedroom a little character.
I’m thrilled with the results of our master bedroom update, and best of all it was practically free!
When we had our living room cedar ceiling installed it was recommended to order an extra 20 percent of wood. This is in case you get bad boards or have mistakes, but that extra 20 percent plus all the leftover scraps just sat in our garage. One day while organizing the garage I had a lightbulb moment we needed a cedar accent wall!
Slowly we sorted out all the pieces of cedar that could be salvaged. I had to sand out a few defects, but we managed to find exactly the amount of wood we needed.
Brian cut the boards to length, and with his nail gun he had the boards up within a few hours. Then I filled in nail holes, stained the boards, and touched up the baseboards. It was the perfect day project that cost us nothing and gave our room some pizazz!
I say stained, but really I just brushed on Minwax water based clear polycrylic in a satin finish. It gives the wood just a hint of color and dries in about an hour, it’s awesome! It’s what I’ve also used on all our knotty alder doors.
I wasn’t sure our wooden nightstands would look good on a wooden wall, so my original plan was to paint them with a flat black paint. I really like black furniture but the downside is it shows dust so bad! I may paint them black one day, but for now I really like the wood on wood look, it gives the room such an organic feel.
The leopard pillow covers on our bed are some of my favorite. I bought them about 10 years ago on clearance for about $3 each, at Lowe’s of all places! I just wish I had bought more!
With spring here and summer around the corner I had to go back to my favorite all-white bed. Not only does white bedding look fresh and clean it also helps me sleep. It’s very soothing and non-stimulating which is what someone with sleep issues needs! I need my bedroom to be calm and soothing.
The only purchase I did make was this gorgeous blue throw that was on sale for a little over $30, and it’s still on sale! I was craving a little blue in the room, I just love the color and texture so much!
Every spring I love to grow wheatgrass around the house, so once all my flowers wilted I started planting seeds. They grow fast too, in about 7 or 8 days you’ll get tall green grass. Sometimes I let the grass grow shaggy and sometimes I trim them with scissors, I love both looks. You can get all the details on how to grow wheatgrass HERE.
Lastly, we decided to remove the rug from our bedroom, it just wasn’t working. The heavy storage bed was creating a bubble in the center that we couldn’t smooth out, and it was a magnet for dirt! I would vacuum it daily and it looked filthy and smooshed after only 5 months -worst purchase ever!! Once we removed the rug the room looked so much bigger, so I think I’ll just live without a rug.
I’m very pleased with how everything turned out, the wood is so warm and inviting. I do find our TV wall a little plain so in the future I might find a way to jazz it up a bit.
We’ve stayed extremely busy the last few weeks working on random projects around the house and I’ve loved every minute of it! Besides the pantry, this is our only other new finished project but we’ve started so many other things and done lots of demo work. Soon I’ll be doing some house updates to show you everything we have going on. Take care!
Hello and Happy Friday… except is it really Friday? With mandatory stay at home orders, is anyone really keeping track of the days? It’s a struggle. So, as we’ve all learned by now, being forced to stay at home is fun… for the first few days and then suddenly it’s not. Days of binge-watching Netflix becomes boring and we must find creative ways to bring joy into our life. An easy way to accomplish this is by creating small spaces, and I want to share how easy this is. Whether you’re reading this now during the coronavirus chaos or reading this in the future, I’m here to share my love for creating lovely small spaces!
Ask my Mom and she can vouch that I’ve always loved creating pleasing little spaces. I remember being maybe 6 or 7 and I would spend hours setting up what I called “displays” on my shelves and furniture tops. Yeah, I played with my toys sometimes, but mostly I had fun arranging them. I would spend hours swapping different objects until I was satisfied then proudly show my Mom for approval. Cut to many years later, and although my toys might be gone I still love creating these satisfying spaces.
These little spaces give your brain a boost of happiness and joy and I think we could all use a little of that! It’s simple to do this without leaving your house or buying anything, and don’t we all love free home decor? Take a moment and walk around your house, open cabinets, look in drawers, or in the pantry… you have so much to work with even if you don’t realize it! I’m here to just show you a few examples of satisfying small spaces you can create but really the skies the limit.
Keeping fresh flowers on the table is my favorite, but that’s not always an option. Once my flowers wilted for good I decided to create a pleasing tabletop buffet caddy that’s also functional. Use a tray, plate, or charger along with jars, cans, or small cups and fill them with flatware, napkins, straws, or any other items you use regularly at meal times.
Small items can be grouped in the simplest way like I did on a napkin in our bathroom. Place small bathroom items on a pretty napkin, piece of scrap fabric, or a small plate. Bring out your pretty lotions and potions for pleasing eye decor. I love walking into any room and seeing a cheerful thought out display.
When decorating small spaces you’ll want to follow this basic formula.
Start with a base of some kind. This defines your small space, you can use any kind of fabric, a tray, basket, a book, or even a dinner plate.
Decide if you want if you want your space to be symmetric or asymmetric.
Group together objects that are different sizes and heights for the most pleasing affect. Think tall and short, narrow and wide. Let your objects tell a story.
Add some life to your small space by adding a green plant, fresh fruit, or flowers if you have them.
Use different colors and textures, this can come from woven materials, trays, or even plants. My cactus certainly adds some texture! Be sure to vary your objects when creating the effect you want.
These are just a few examples of my recent small spaces, think about what you can do? Creating a home you love shouldn’t be hard or cost a fortune. Go get creative and create a joyful happy space!
Our new pantry is complete and I’m ready to share it! Like everything else in our home, our pantry is small, but very space efficient. While lots of women fantasize about having huge walk-in closets I dream of a huge walk-in pantry, but it is what it is. I’m very pleased with what we were able to accomplish, though, with this small space. I absolutely HATED our old pantry, I’m not even sure if you could call it a pantry… it was more of a cabinet really, and space was limited. I knew after the holidays when we went back into work mode that this would be our first new project.
Let’s see some before photos of the slow progression of this space.
I didn’t take a before photo of the inside of the pantry but you wouldn’t have believed how crazy it was, especially during the holidays. Every time we opened the door stuff would fall out.
The wood ceiling beams that we had installed last summer created a perfect spot for a larger pantry next to our dining space. I really got lucky on that one… when we had our ceiling done I hadn’t even given the pantry or future kitchen any thought at all because we hadn’t spent much time living here.
The kitchen itself is its own future project but some small changes like cabinet knobs, painting the window, a new sink, and pendant light have already made the kitchen look and feel tremendously better. The cabinets are surprisingly nice but we’ve got to modify them eventually to make room for a dishwasher. You would not believe the hours my daughter and I spend washing dishes. If you ever wonder what I’m doing I’m probably washing dishes.
I’m getting off topic, let’s get back to the pantry. Wanna peak inside??
Brian installed LED lights with a door switch, so when we open the door the lights automatically come on. It’s pretty awesome but the lights did give me some photo glares and shadows, sorry about that!
Previously the space between the dining area and kitchen was dull and awkward but now it really connects the spaces nicely and also creates a wall in my kitchen to hang my Le Creuset pans.
A few months after moving in, the microwave over the stove broke, I was actually relieved because I hated cooking with a microwave in my face. So we went with a counter top microwave, but the kitchen counter space is so limited that it started to crowd the kitchen. I wasn’t sure what to do until one day on Pinterest I saw a microwave inside of a pantry and at that moment my pantry plan came together. Having our microwave in the pantry gives us more kitchen counter space, but it also took away space from the pantry so planning was crucial to make it all work.
I knew we had to have some type of door rack to give us extra space, we did an Elfa door system in our last pantry but in this instance it didn’t feel right. I don’t know about you but we have a ton of spices! I had them crammed into a cabinet and it was always a mess. One day I found this spice cabinet door rack on Etsy! I love Etsy!! They make half size and full size spice racks. In our door rack I’m able to fit all our spices on top, and the bottom rack holds parchment paper, foil, saran wrap, wax paper, storage bags, espresso pods, and other small kitchen items I use. It holds all the little things that drive you crazy! I was able to free up 2 shelves and a large drawer in the kitchen which I desperately need! The smaller spice jars are from Amazon and came with tons of pre-printed labels, they’re so cute!
We have baskets on the upper shelves to hold miscellaneous food items that aren’t used as much, the Lazy Susan holds our oils, vinegars, and other sauces. My heavily used liquids, such as oils, I like to transfer to glass bottles. My OXO food canisters are incredible too! They come in a wide variety of shapes and heights, they’re stackable and airtight keeping ingredients fresh! I don’t like seeing box clutter in my pantry and you never know how much is left in something. Using clear canisters lets me easily see exactly what ingredients I have and what I need to re-stock. I added peel and stick chalkboard labels, they’re great, you can use chalk or a chalkboard marker and they easily wipe clean when switching out contents.
We’ve used the microwave now for weeks, it’s just slightly below counter height and it’s working perfectly for us, it hasn’t been a hassle at all in the pantry, and it’s great hiding the clunky beast! I was able to squeeze in some canisters next to the microwave that we don’t use that often as well as some cookbooks. Due to the height I decided to put our canned goods and produce bins on the bottom. I really like having my produce separated and organized and the gravity can rack has really saved me space on all the cans we have, it’s awesome! Especially my large tomato cans that I can’t live without.
Now when I think “What’s for dinner?” I just open my pantry and see a bunch of organized food ready to be cooked.
Do you ever see pantries in magazines or on Pinterest that are incredibly gorgeous? You wish it could be yours but you know you in reality it won’t work for your family and it’s too hard to maintain. This was me, I spent a long time thinking about what was realistic and easy for us to maintain organization. So far it’s working out well for us.
I like to stay stocked up on lots of staple pantry items and I keep these in a separate storage closet. I was doing this before the coronavirus scare, we frequently get snowed in and our area has had severe flooding before, so it’s always good to be prepared for anything. In fact, here is a recent blog post I wrote about stocking your pantry with staple items in order to stretch your grocery dollar.
My daughter and I have been cooking so much lately and now our kitchen flows so much easier compared to our small cabinet pantry. We have even more food and cooking inspiration. Julia said it best “People who love to eat are always the best people”. Yes they are, I very much agree! She has so many adorable food quotes doesn’t she? Hanging up this little wooden sign above the pantry was just perfect!
The pantry interior paint is Maritime Blue and the shelves and trim are Simply White, both by Benjamin Moore.