making a house a home: where we are today – the family/living room

welcome back to our making a house a home series!  today, i’m sharing our living/family room.  just like the kitchen and dining room…we still have a loooong way to go!  so put on your designer’s cap and feel free to add your thoughts once you take a look!

our first family home was a brand-new three story townhouse. we spent probably 75% of our time in the main living space. since it was a townhouse, we didn’t have any other sitting rooms, or play rooms for that matter, so all of us – the adults and kids – spent our time together in this one large space for the majority of the time.  that being the case, i had to find little nooks and crannies for all of our young ones’ toys, books, puzzles, craft supplies, etc, etc, etc!  it was quite the challenge at times!  thanks to my grandmother’s sideboard/hutch and ikea expedit bookcases, we were able keep our spaces looking adult-friendly while being kid-appropriate.

here’s a glimpse of our previous home:


family/living room

now that you’ve seen where we came from (design-wise), you can see how our desire for a living room that doesn’t double as a play room and catchall was one of our top priorities when looking for a new house.  this house has a formal sitting room (which we happily converted into a play room) and an open-concept living space.  i love the openness, b/c once we find the right stools for the kitchen island, there will be so many spots for people to sit and chat between rooms during get-togethers.  

another desire of mine was to create a space that felt light and airy in comparison to our old space.  i was ready to say good-bye to our brown sofas and our current color scheme.  

that’s when i came upon the perfect couch.  a light tan leather sectional from value city furniture.  the color was perfect, the size was perfect, and the price was perfect!  that was in april of 2013.  i held my breath while we waited for a buyer and finally in august, we were able to move and much to my surprise, my dream couch was still available and still at the same, low price!

i love this couch.  it’s comfy, yet firm.  i like that i can sit my anthro coffee mug right next to me and it doesn’t tilt or spill!  unless the monkeys come running towards me, of course.  the pillow shown is actually a play room pillow that we brought out.  i have inserts for this couch, but i can’t seem to make up my mind on the covers yet, so no pillows as of right now.

we chose to keep our old loveseat for the basement (whenever it actually gets finished), the full-size sofa went to a friend, and the over-sized armchair went up to our master bedroom.  the kids enjoy using it as a springboard onto our bed…

we kept all of the rest of the pieces, like the end tables (tj maxx and target finds), the tv stand (target), and the slate top coffee table (a $3 estate sale find).  the other two end tables (greenish ones from tj maxx) also went up to the master bedroom.

my plan is to eventually purchase the liatorp sideboard from ikea in white, once the tv is mounted to the wall, and use it to pull in other pops of white throughout the space.  (it’s a great size and will hold our dvd player, direct tv box, photo albums and books perfectly.)

i may paint one of the wicker pieces, the base of the coffee table, or the distressed end table white.  feel free to share your opinions on that one!  i feel like i change my mind every day!  the trim and baseboards will all be a crisp, pure white, so that will help tremendously.  i also plan on painting white borders onto the wall behind the frames hung on the tv wall.  i saw a friend do this in her nursery, and the finished look is gorgeous!  you trim out the painted area in white molding/quarter round, and it creates the look of a large, matted frame.  love it.  i plan on putting updated family photos in those frames.

the frames were target clearance finds.  the ‘love’ and ‘pray’ pieces were tj maxx finds and used to hang in isla’s nursery.  the mirrors are also from target.  they are a great price when compared to others of similar design.  (i wrote about that in this post.)
the old flooring was ivory carpet.  i am a fan of light carpet, especially since we don’t wear shoes in the house, but hubs is not, so i let him pick the new carpet.  it’s a little darker than i would’ve wanted, but if he’s happy, i can live with it.
here’s a peek at the chaotic week of carpet/flooring being installed.  that sheet-covered mountain was our laminate flooring ‘acclimating’…aka sitting in the middle of the floor for two days while i yelled at the monkeys not to climb on it.  awww, sweet peanut eden was just a wee babe at four months.  *sniffle*

and here we are back in the present… 
(notice the girls playing ‘store’.  they are too funny.)

here’s a better view of the mirrors.  i liked the one that i bought so much, that once we decided on this house, i gradually purchased two more, knowing that i would want them in this space opposite the large window.

the lamps are from kirkland’s, and the chair was a pier 1 clearance find.  noticing a trend?  i buy almost everything on clearance!  eventually, i want to help that chair and its cushions out.  it used to be in ava’s old bedroom.  i had my eye on a gorgeous arm chair from home goods last october.  i was in love with it and its price.  hubby drove me all the way out there (like 35 mins) with the intentions of buying it for me.  he took one look at it and said, ‘no.  no way.’  i cried.  i really did.  i couldn’t believe he was that against it.  the pattern wasn’t even crazy!  it was a gray and muted yellow ikat print.  i think there may have been a little blue accent.  it.was.gorgeous.  i am still mad about it.  so, this old chair is here in its place for now…  once i make a decision on fabrics, i will recover the cushions.

the curtains shown are actually our bedroom curtains.  i still need to purchase a new rod for this space.  i’m thinking a cream, pottery barn style one.  i will be hanging them midway between the window and the ceiling.  we’re waiting on installing all of the rods until after the windows are replaced.  the curtains i plan on using for this space are threshold from target.  they are oatmeal in color with oil rubbed bronze grommets.

the picture shown is one from our wedding day.  the actual photo is an engagement photo, but we had our guests sign the mat and to the right, i plan on vertically hanging pictures of our children as newborns.

what we have left to do:

  • purchase the liatorp sideboard from ikea
  • paint the walls (an undecided color)
  • paint the tv wall a darker accent color (also the bottom portion of the pillars)
  • paint the trim and baseboards white
  • replace the windows
  • replace the back door and adjacent window with a slider or french door
  • update rods and curtains
  • paint furniture
  • cover cushions and make accent pillows
  • paint ‘frames’ on tv wall
  • mount tv to wall
  • add kids’ baby photos to wall above chair
here’s a link to my ‘living spaces’ pinterest board.  you’ll notice i love light, airy, and eclectic spaces!

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making a house a home: where we are today – the dining room

i don’t know about you, but we use our dining room for nearly every single meal…breakfast, brunch, snacks, dinner…and every single craft too!  (oh yeah, and sewing some days!)  we use it constantly.  i often catch myself looking at pictures on pinterest with longing or meandering with awe through a friend’s pristine dining space, wishing that our space could be this or that, but the truth of the matter is – we are just in it too much!  with kiddos almost 5, 3, and 1, our dining room takes a lot of abuse, but i guess you could say that it also sees a lot of love.  

in that respect, our dining room is kind of like the tangible kiss i get to put on my family each meal.  we gather there, pray together, share our stories and our hearts (and our frustrations at times), and i get to feed their bellies!  it’s probably my favorite space for those reasons.

as far as inspiration goes…my designer-friend has labeled my style as ‘scandi-chic’, and i think she nailed it, b/c i love this mixture of cottage, vintage, shabby-chic, eclectic, minimalist all at once!  i like pretty things.  i like things with charm, and i like to keep it plain and simple.  to attach some images to what i just tried to explain…  😉  i love the old-world feel of this space (especially the wood tones and chandelier!).  this space reminds me a lot of what direction we seem to be going in as of now.

we were gifted our current dining room table and chairs by the previous owners.  i love the curves in the chair-backs and have envisioned them as white since day 1 (kind of like the ones found in  this pin).  

i plan on reupholstering them soon, but haven’t taken the plunge simply b/c the kids continue to use them as art easels!  so, i do apologize in advance for when we ask you to come over for dinner and you are sitting on milk stains, blue paint, stickers, and dried applesauce.  i’m really sorry.

to give you a quick tour, here are a few photos of the space from when we moved in all the way up to this week:

when we moved in, the dining room was carpeted.  boy am i so glad that we decided to carry the laminate throughout the entire first floor (with the exception of only the family/living room).  had we not, this mama would have certainly cried over spilled milk about 16 times already.

originally, while i was waiting for the chandelier to decrease in price, we spray painted our brass light with rustoleum’s aged bronze, and it really made a huge difference!  i stood in the yard like a scarecrow for what seemed like an eternity dangling it to dry, but regardless of the awkwardness and pain, i highly recommend doing that if you aren’t happy with the finish of your light fixtures.  (i still have it stored in the basement in case we ever want to use it elsewhere).  we also sprayed all of the registers the aged bronze, making them blend into the floor nicely and dealing with the rust spots at the same time. the picture of one below was taken before painting it – see what an eyesore they were!

here is a peek of where we are today:

i found that purple vase and the pear stems in target’s clearance section this past week.  i appreciate that i can’t kill faux flowers – or fruit in this case.  

remember my grandmother’s sideboard/hutch that hubs and i painted and i nearly had a heart attack?!  yes, it was that scary for me! {post here} but we do love how it turned out.  the hardware is from target.  we kept the existing hinges (just sprayed them to match the rest of the piece).

i know that i’ve already shown you this collage, but i just wanted to share it again to point out that this chandelier was the one that i mentioned in yesterday’s kitchen post.  we originally planned to have this one hanging above the island, but the large scale of the island simply dwarfed this fixture.  it really did it no justice whatsoever.  originally $159, it is also on sale at lowes for under $80!  
so many items in this room are from clearance bins, sale racks, and thrift shops.  the shelf, pitchers, runner, curtains, curtain rod, artwork, the mercury table lamp and shade were all sale/clearance finds, and that’s just to name a few.  i think the only full-price expenses have been our books, and my anthro items (initial mugs and flower pot – shown below).  
i really, really, really want these pinwheel curtains from west elm, but they are out of my budget for now.  i found a happy compromise though at target.  the white poly sheers (threshold) and the single tan heathered herringbone panel (nate berkus) were on a clearance shelf.  i plan on cutting the nate berkus panel down the center (hemming it) and using those two pieces to frame out the white sheers, since we have a rather large window.  why not get a second panel, you may be wondering.  the answer:  b/c ppl are flat out greedy on e-bay!  haha  i’ll make do with the one.  anyway, i love the light that comes into this room in the morning, and the white sheers allow for that while granting us needed privacy from the street.  and yes, that is our real ‘time out’ chair (that i made using a thrift store chair, spray paint, and vinyl lettering).  sadly, the girls spend a great deal of reflection time there on some days, thus naturally antiquing it for me…such darlings. 😉
the cabinet that hangs above my great-great-grandmother’s buffet table was relocated from the desk space uppers that we took down in the kitchen.  i store my cookbooks, extra vases, and miscellaneous things in it for now.
what we have yet to do in this space:
* reupholster the chair cushions
* replace the windows
* hang the new curtain rod and draperies
* paint the baseboards (crisp white)
* paint the cabinetry on the wall and update hardware(same as kitchen cabinets)
* paint the chairs 
* update/refinish existing tabletop
* paint the exposed staircase railings white or stain/replace rails to match tone in flooring
* possibly knock down half of the wall shared with the kitchen
so that’s it!  haha  oh, the lists are long, and the days are short, but we will get there eventually!
as i said yesterday, i would love your thoughts/feedback!  please feel free to leave a comment here or on our facebook page!
i’ll be back tomorrow with the weekly pin-it party, and on sunday, i hope to talk you through our family/living room!  until then…

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Klover House to Home: Where We Are Today – The Kitchen

A friend recently told me that she had heard that it takes around three years before your house starts to feel like ‘you.’ I bet that’s accurate, because it was around that mark in our previous home that I had finally finished off all of the untouched spaces in our home and things started to feel complete. Rather than filling the space, we had begun to embellish it.

I think that has been one of my greatest challenges with moving into a home that had been built and occupied by a family prior to our’s…making it feel like my own. I have told my husband on numerous occasions that I feel almost like I’m living in a hotel. Not much feels like ‘me’ or ‘mine’ yet. Everywhere I turn I see something to be done and pieces of the previous owners’ style.  I think time has a lot to do with that. Not too many memories are attached to this home yet, but as they are formed, I believe that its identity will grow and the bond between it and me will develop and thicken.  It’ll definitely take memories and a whole lotta paint, I’m sure.  😉

So here’s day one of where we are today.  Making progress slowly but surely.  Taking one baby step at a time.  There are big things to accomplish and little things to tackle, but we’re doing it and I’m happy to share these imperfect glimpses of where we are in the game, because I hope you will rejoice with us when we finally (if ever) reach the end goal.

So here we go:

I posted this image on our facebook page last July (we purchased the home in august 2013).

This picture was taken last September.  We were about to have the floors redone by Home Depot.  So, as you can see, the counters were crammed with everything that had once been sitting on tables, the hutch, etc.

Hubby installed the microhood.  I wish I would have gotten the idea to raise the cabinets prior to doing this, but we still may be able to, if raising the cabinet and microwave won’t expose or interfere with the electrical outlet that he had to install.  I still plan on raising the rest, and if this section has to stay put, then, I will just add custom pieces above for an open-shelving/display area.  We really need the space between the range and microwave though, so I am hoping it works out.

The range also came with the house.  Eventually, we plan on changing it and I would love it if we could convert it to gas, but that is a far day off…

Along with the refrigerator and dishwasher, we also replaced the lighting in the space.  Initially, I chose the smaller chandelier for above the island, but once we saw how large the island was actually going to be, we felt the bigger chandelier (that we had intended for the dining room) would be the better choice.
To make the island, we removed the desk area that was on the side wall and reserved the largest base cabinet.  Then, we purchased a sink base (unfinished) from Home Depot for under $100.  Eventually, we will have to add our own dividers and drawer, since it’s a big open space (the little side drawers are actually drawers).  The existing cabinet was the perfect fit.  The top was constructed using two slabs of Ikea’s butcher block.  Hubs attached them using biscuit cuts and wood glue.  We filled in the slight gap in the center (b/c the edges are ever so slightly rounded) and hand-sanded them for a smooth finish.  using the oil sold at Ikea, we finished the top off adding a seal and some shine.  We wanted room for at least 4-5 chairs, so we opted for a single leg to add stability without eating up space.

This 4-light brushed nickel chandelier with faux jade beads was originally $139.  We waited, and waited, and waited, and finally purchased it on clearance for less than $70!  You can buy one too by clicking {here}.  I can’t believe what a great deal this was!  It’s is quite large, but because of it’s design, you can easily see through it, so it doesn’t have a bulky feel to it whatsoever.


On the large blank wall that once housed the desk area, I have two options in mind.  1) an over-sized clock (like one found at Target), or 2) opening the wall up, creating a half wall that allows you to see into the dining room and hanging a stained glass window in the center of the opening.

What we have left to do in this space:
* raise and paint all cabinetry (the island cabinets will be restoration hardware’s ‘stone’ and the wall cabinets will be a lighter shade of gray/white maybe like Martha Stewart’s ‘whetstone gray’.)  this pin inspires me.
* paint the walls (also thinking ‘stone’)
* replace basement door knob (all hardware is going from builder-grade brass to brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze)
* replace all cabinetry hardware
* paint all trim bright white for a crisp and clean contrast to the muted tans and earth tones
* find or build seating for the island
* replace windows
* add window treatment
* install exterior french doors (in place of backdoor/adjacent window) like this one.
* update counters
* update sink and faucet
* update range (to gas)
* add mudroom/walk-in pantry/laundry room off of the kitchen (going through the existing pantry door)  like this one.

Please stop by tomorrow for a peek of our dining room in its current state.  The pin-it party will be back on Saturday, and on Sunday, I’ll show you our family/living room!

Feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, advice, etc. in the comments section too!  If you have ideas to share or an eye for design, I would love your feedback!

Thanks for taking this journey with us!  See you tomorrow!

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more projects in the playroom!

a little project completion in the playroom…

first up…my ‘mom’ work space:

i spent some time working on my functional collage. the ikea arstid wall lamp’s cord is hidden perfectly behind the useful thirty-one wall organizer, which, by the way, is a great place for keeping all of my homeschool items and personal items in place (like my planner, pens, etc.) my sewing machine can also sit here, making the organizer a great place for our ‘eden gray‘ sketches and patterns to be stashed while a project is underway.

my eden’s ‘e’ from anthro has found a home here. not sure if it will eventually move into eden’s bedroom, b/c the kids’ rooms are still a long way from finished, but if it does stay here, i think it’s perfect for representing our business.  plus, it’s so aesthetically pleasing to this mommy.

my favorite watercolor painting. i love this little tree painting and have had it since my single days.

i made a little magnetic board (covered with the teal adhesive paper that you’ll see in a moment). it’ll fit perfectly either above the printer or to the left of the light, where i hang our ‘letter of the week’.  it’s not up yet, b/c i have to figure out how i want to mount it.

on to our little watercolors purchased from the shop trafalgar’s square:

i adore these. this shop is such a gem. i love how quirky, dainty, and lovely kit chase’s work is. i had ava pick her own (since she was three and opinionated at the time), and then, i had the hubs chose one each for our little isla and newborn eden. of course miss ava picked a little blondie holding her ‘lovey’ and balloons.  two of ava’s favorite things!  it was fitting that the mister chose the penguin princess for isla, b/c it’s unique and unexpected, just like her and her style. the cute elephant with the bubbles is perfect for eden, because she is cute, bubbly, and fluffy like a little bubble! haha

i liked the bare insert of these large ikea frames. the rawness kind of reminds me of burlap. i like that element in the space. the pictures didn’t want to stay put in them though, so i knew i needed to add something behind them. double-sided tape wasn’t strong enough and i didn’t want to ruin the art with any other adhesives.  i stumbled upon this fabric paper at our marshall’s and loved the colors, patterns, and price! there is such a nice blend of color in this space. i love that we are using everything from primary colors to black and white to pastels. it all seems to be working well together thus far, and this paper definitely felt right for me.

it was so easy to work with. just cut it to size, peel the backing off and stick. voila! those alphabet stickers were a random michael’s find about two years ago. i thought they worked well color-wise and when you’re teaching little ones, it helps to have the alphabet everywhere and anywhere, right?! 🙂

so what do you think? i’d love your feedback and further suggestions for the space. and if you have a play space to share, please link it up in the comments! 🙂

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progress in the playroom

most people when they move into a house probably get super excited over a certain space. for me, it’s been the girls’ playroom. for some reason, i have been spending most of my ‘house planning/organizing’ time on this room.

it’s not a large room by any means. it’s a great size – don’t get me wrong, but it’s a modest, square room at the front of our house. most people with a home similar in layout may be using this room as a second living room, a sitting room, office, etc. we have found that, with three little ones, a playroom was the best fit for the space.

i started out with this plan (remember this previous post?):

but, it felt like a little box, and the girls almost never played in it. so i had to go back to the drawing board. i decided to break up my wall of storage. even though the expedit bookcases (oh how i love ikea) fit perfectly lined up on the long wall, the wall of black drew my eyes down, which reminded me of the mess on the floor. i never had the opportunity to visually appreciate all of the other great treasures in the room…

like our beloved button rug (also from ikea)

or this incredible dhurrie runner from pottery barn (that an extremely generous friend so graciously gave to us to use in this space)

or my little ikea laptop desk/office nook (i found my little chair at ikea too btw, and it’s the perfect fit!), complete with inspirational wall art discovered at tj maxx…

or our quaint, little play kitchen…

our ikea tables (the first being ‘avey baby’s artsy tea table’ from this post and the second was handed down from a good friend and we use it for crafting/homeschool)

with ava’s birthday in december, followed by christmas, the room was just over-run with new toys and lacked any function.  it was almost never played in looked a little like this most days:

i found inspiration while perusing my ikea magazine for the seventy-fifth time (about 90% of this space is from ikea, if you haven’t noticed already) and spotted this sweet gem:

to my delight, when i checked it out online, i saw that it was on sale!  so, i cleared it with the mister, high-tailed it over to our local ikea and brought this baby home (in the minivan with three car seats and not a centimeter to spare!).  it’s perfect for our space, and floating it in the center proved to be just what i needed in order to create the flow and functionality that i so desperately longed for in the space.  

the kids and i haven’t left this room for more than ten minutes all day!  i now have a workspace that keeps me within arms- and ears-reach at all times, the girls have a movie-watching retreat (hubby is going to appreciate his tv being freed up for football games), and we have a bright and cheery school space now (thanks to the front windows).  it’s awesome.  

i can’t wait to put the finishing touches on it and reveal it in its entirety.  the wall coloring that i’m planning on using is serena and lily’s ‘rain’.  it’s so calming and light; it’s just what we need in a room like this.  it will balance the bright, bold, playful colors and toys so nicely.  not to mention, it’s the perfect companion for the ebony chalkboard wall.

i wanted this room to encompass both my personal style (‘scandi-chic’) and the girly-playfulness that would speak directly to my girls.  i think we’re on the right track!  it no longer feels like a box.  it’s like a house within a house!  using the concept of centers (thanks to my teaching experience), we now have a space that the girls and i can comfortably operate within.  everything has a place that makes a little more sense.  

here’s the new layout:

a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure…

on the radar (short- and long-term):

  • paint (serena and lily’s ‘rain’)
  • curtains (i have a fun idea in mind for them, also thanks to ikea)
  • complete the ‘eric carle’ number chair rail project (for the chalkboard wall)
  • purchase tall shelves/bookcases to sit on top of the smaller expedit bookcases flanking the chalkboard wall (taking advantage of the vertical space available for craft supplies, books, framed art/pictures, trinkets, etc.  looking into the billy bookcase from ikea.)
  • slipcover (possibly something plush and feminine that i will make myself, to balance the modern items in the room)
  • paint the school table and chairs
  • organize my desk area (sewing/homeschool supplies)
  • create a family photo gallery wall (including extended family)
  • hang wall art previously purchased from trafalgar’s square
  • create a space for displaying the girls’ artwork
so what do you think of our progress so far???  i’d love your feedback or suggestions!

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play room plans

so as i mentioned yesterday, i (we) have big plans for the play room. having an elementary ed background and deciding to home-school ava for this first year of ‘pre-school’ have really been the driving forces behind planning this space for the children. ever since deciding that this was the house we were going to buy (back in april), i have been planning the space out and hunting for items that will compliment our style and serve the room’s many purposes – all without spending a lot of money.

i knew from the start that we would get a ton of use out of a chalkboard wall, so we will be converting a wall into a magnetic chalkboard wall from about mid-way down. giving the girls ample amount of chalkboard space will allow for each child to utilize the wall without bickering (we hope), so i can be working with ava on her schoolwork, while isla doodles to her heart’s content in a separate area.

it’s amazing what you can do these days with a little paint. i’m sticking with black, b/c it will coordinate with the bookshelves we already own (ikea’s expedit line) and will go well with the pale wall color we have chosen (serena and lily’s ‘rain’). you can see from this photo i found on apartment therapy that the magnetic paint does actually work, and will end up costing us around $40 or so, depending on how far just one can will go.

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as i mentioned, we already own three of the black/brown expedit bookshelves from ikea. we had them in our living room and dining room of the townhouse. i love this line, b/c they are both versatile and inexpensive. you can use them vertically or horizontally. and the little cube inserts are so cheap! we own a ton of the black ones, but they recently came out with new colors too. i’m loving the teal and yellow… anyway, i plan to sit the shelves side-by-side horizontally. doing that against this longest wall, i’ll still have about three to four feet to spare. i plan to place the girls’ fisher price toys on top of the cases when they’re not being played with, along with the tv. (the tv only plays vhs tapes, btw. we did not run cable into this room, b/c i wanted to be able to control what they will be watching and for how long easily. i scored a ton of safe, appropriate vhs tapes at a secondhand book store in the area. they were selling for $1 a piece! i picked up prince of egypt, mary poppins, and aristocats, just to name a few.)

we have a little laptop desk that we had been using as a tv stand in our old master bedroom. our future plan is to mount a small tv above our dresser, so for now, our old tv is sitting on our dresser, which freed up this little desk (also ikea). i wanted a desk in here that was small enough to blend in. i wanted the other features of the room to stand out more than my little workspace. i like that i have a place to sit and read, write, or catch up on emails while still being able to interact with my girls only a few feet away. we have a little desk/counter in the kitchen, but i like being able to see what they are doing and be consistently engaged in their play activities.

aside from using things we already owned (like the furniture, lamps, curtains, and toy bins), we have also been able to control cost by buying little things here and there over the past few months. once i had the wall color picked out, i was able to find additional items at random times. i came across some adorable prints on etsy. i had my hubby pick out one for each daughter (based upon the girls’ individual personalities). they were all created by the same artist, so they go together, but each is entirely its own subject. you’ll love them! they cost about $14 each, which is a splurge for me, but i planned ahead and purchased them at an opportune time. the same goes for the canvas art i came across at tj maxx about two months ago. it went with our color scheme, and the saying on it is perfect for our family, so i bought it. it too was $14. the last accessory i have on my immediate list is an adorable ‘button’ rug that i found at ikea for just $39.99. if you know rug prices, then you know that this is a steal for a large rug. plus, it’s soft, which is key when designing a kids’ play space. i wanted something fun, colorful (but not in-your-face), and SOFT. it’s perfect, b/c it’s all three.

as far as a cute chair to go with my desk…i’m going to be patient and picky. i hate spending money on anything just to get it. i want it to be the right chair, at the right price, so i’ll just keep my eyes open while i’m out, and if i find that perfect, little seat at a price i can swing…i’ll grab it up! until then, my tush will be fine on a folding chair…

so…that’s where we’re headed in this room! i can’t wait to share our progress with you! the flooring should be completed by mid-september, so once that’s finished, i’ll be able to tackle some of the rest. here are those ‘before’ images again with my chicken-scratch all over them! 😉 let me know what you think! let those creative juices flow and play design with me!

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welcome home!

we’re in!  we’ve been in our new home since tuesday afternoon.  it’s been a wild ride, but we’re in, and sorting through a sea of boxes.  i said to my hubby last night, exhausted, that i just packed all of this stuff!  now, i don’t want to unpack! 
i often think in pictures…life leading up to the move was like scrambling before an impending waterfall.  then, you’re over, and kind of floating along in the aftermath!  that’s us…floating along in the aftermath…i still can’t find isla’s clothing.  oops.
things have been a tad bumpy, but, like with everything else, i’m sure the kinks will work themselves out eventually.  both our washing machine and dryer went kaput on the first day.  not helpful when your babies are peeing and pooping all over the place!  i currently have two outfits just hanging out in vinegar water until i can’t get them to a washing machine.  both appliances came with the house and are on the old side.  the house itself is about twenty years old.  i take that back…it’s twenty years young!  hubs and i are going to make this place sparkle, right?!  right. 
i feel like we’ve already done so much.  well, the mister has already done so much.  we went and ordered a new, slimmer couch.  the old ones were really beat up and so bulky that they are destined to remain in the basement.  in fact, the sofa is too large to even fit through the door, so we’re just selling it.  the oversized arm chair made it all the way up to our bedroom, and we’re loving it!  it’s nice to be able to hang out in our bedroom without sitting on the bed.  it’s also the perfect nursing retreat.   
he mowed the lawn yesterday with an ancient push mower, because our mower wouldn’t work.  so after church he’s picking up a lawnmower.  we also need a microwave.  we tried, really we did, but we couldn’t live without the convenience of a microwave.  kudos to the previous owners – they didn’t use a microwave OR cable!  i had a useless cup of cold coffee and a recipe that called for melted butter, so mama threw in the towel after just four days!  i need a microwave.  i’d consider myself old-fashioned, but i don’t have the time to warm my coffee repeatedly on the stove.  and if you’re thinking, ‘why don’t you just drink it while it’s hot???’ i’d say, ‘wow.  what a novel idea!  haha reality is that i’m lucky to finish a single beverage by noon.
anyway, the list goes on…he put down new vinyl in the master bath, and then, we realized that the toilet doesn’t work.  luckily, we have two others in the house that do, but it stinks to learn we wasted that money on a floor that will be torn up once we do replace the toilet.
funny how we made our to-do list based on our budget prior to buying, but the house itself is giving us its own to-do list now that we’re here.  the only upside…you’re guaranteed about sixty years worth of project posts on the blog!  haha  slow ‘n steady wins the race, right?  😉
the girls’ play room is still at the top of our list, so i’ll be starting it soon!
here’s a sneak peek at its current state:
the girls already love it, but just wait until i’m done with it!  it’s going to be awesome.  (and done on a teeny weeny budget too!)  stay tuned!
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lil’ love for the laundry room

my little love. the laundry room.

when we decided to build our townhouse five years ago, i had one request:


do i hate stairs? no.

am i afraid of the dark? nope.

was i trying to be complicated, considering we were the first of this type of model to say,
“find a place for it. make it work.”? not really.

truth be told…


i don’t like basements b/c spiders like basement. end of story. it’s a wrap.


so believe you me when i say, i was totally content for these five years with my main-floor laundry, even looking like that:

i know…sad. sad, sad, little room. right off of the kitchen to boot, so every visitor got a glimpse of this sad, little, forgotten room.

but, it was okay and tolerable, b/c it was not in the basement with spiders.

then, it came time to sell our house.
(and guess what…the house we’re moving into has an unfinished basement laundry! gasp! i KNOW! i will overcome. for the next ten years, until we can move it upstairs, the Lord will help me deal.)

anyway, we decided it was time to sell, and, although i didn’t mind my drab little after-thought of a room, i knew it wasn’t going to ‘WOW’ any buyers.

on a tight timeframe, and even tighter budget, here is how we transformed our little space from this to that…

first, hubby mounted these two white ikea cabinets on the wall – one in each corner. it was simple and very affordable. b/c we chose the fancier doors, the cabinets cost me $80 (a basic, plain front was much less). still not bad for cabinets.

then, hubs painted.
(b/c i looked like this)

my gut was saying, “go with benjamin moore’s ‘revere pewter’,” but when we looked at the sample in the store, we panicked, fearing it’d be too dark. that said, we went with bm’s ‘november rain’, and it is sooo pale. i regret not going darker, but, oh well.
live and learn, people.

we added a tension rod between the two cabinets for drying, and i picked up those fabulous, slimline hangers at our tj maxx. they’re perfect for this space, b/c they grip whatever i hang to dry, and they look pretty when they’re empty too.
win; win.

the cabinets, though narrow, are over a foot deep, so i have plenty of space for storage.
here’s a glimpse of what they can hold…


each bottom shelf holds all of my cleaners and detergents.

the upper two hold odds and ends, such as lunch bags, plastic utensils (in the ziploc bag), and miscellaneous items (frother, spice grinder, and a box of little spreader knives that i like to use as hostess gifts; just add a bag of cheese ball/dip mix and a bow!)

on the left, i keep…
more cleaners and a baggie of all of our appliance manuals, directions, etc fits perfectly in the slim space that was left over at the top.

the baskets used to be in our bedroom, but i relocated them to the laundry room, b/c they were the perfect fit; they were free, and they hold all of my seasonal linens neatly!

everything has a place in this perfect, little space.

the opposing wall holds our double pantry, so i conveniently have all of this storage space in one place.

i found this little rug on joss and main one day for only $20! talk about a frugal find. hubby gave me a section of foam padding that he had left over from a project, so i cut it to size and placed it beneath the rug. it’s the perfect cushion for my aching legs and feet while i stand there to sort or fold.

finally, we affixed a broom/mop holder to the wall and added an ironing board caddy to the backside of the pantry door.

the look is what i love. hubby was most pleased with the price tag. we were able to complete this space with less than $200.00.

here’s a breakdown of where the money went…

cabinets: ikea $80
rug: joss & main $20
paint: ace hardware $38
wastebasket: target $7
tension rod: lowe’s $5
broom/mop holder: lowe’s $18
over-the-door ironing board caddy: walmart $13
storage baskets: free

total: $181.00

now, it’s inviting and efficient! a little too inviting…i can’t help myself but to want to wash clothes everyday! now if only i was as motivated to fold them…

**sharing today on remodelaholic**

e is for eden

eden grace.

that’s her name.

our sweet little girl due in just five more weeks.

i won’t get into the mess that is going on with trying to sell our current home after our buyer walked just 14 days away from closing, but i will show you some inspiration pieces for eden’s soon-to-be new room. yes, i am claiming it – she will be in that room SOON!

planning her nursery has been the most fun. i loved planning out all of our girls’ rooms. now that ava’s older, she’s actually helping me plan her new room!

so here are my inspiration pieces thus far…

sherwin williams mauve finery

anthropologie “e”

henrika throw from ikea in pink

threshold fretwork border curtain panels in cream & gold (more like chartreuse)

and all of ava’s current furniture…

so that’s it! can’t wait to show you the finished product. let’s pray it’s soon, soon, soon!!!