Our DIY Entryway Bench

We built a bench in our entryway and it feels so good. Hehe, I just sort of jumped right in without any pleasantries or warning. I’m a tad excited about this project, can you tell? Behold, our refreshed entryway:

It feels like a whole new space. Ah, the power of diy.

As you can see, we weren’t using this space in a functional way. Besides not being functional, it was so boring. Major snooze factor. There wasn’t any storage, no hooks for coats, and no mirror to check your hair when you leave. Doesn’t everyone do that? I knew it needed all these components, but I wasn’t sure how to implement them.

Via

So a couple weeks ago, I was on instagram one evening and came across this image from a favorite blogger of mine. Gorgeous, no? That floating, simple bench would be perfect for my blah entryway! This is why I love a good diy blog – so much good content to be shared for others to use.  She had a link to her blog with a genius set of instructions. I showed them to Nate and he thought we could handle the bench portion of the project – no problem.

We followed the instructions she provided without any problems. Her instructions were thorough and easy to follow. So, because I documented our steps and took photos along the way, I will include our step by step process. This is a great project that could be modified to fit a number of different spaces and homes.

First, we picked up some project boards and had them cut to size right at Lowe’s. We also grabbed some stain, poly, a couple 2×4’s, and two brackets. For staining the boards, I followed the instructions from brepurposed.com and she swears that the perfect stain recipe is two coats of special walnut with one coat of golden oak in between. I don’t have very much experience with staining, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I stained the boards outside with a lint-free rag and let them dry overnight. After they were dry, I applied a couple coats of poly.

To decide how high we wanted the bench to be, we measured our dining table bench from West Elm. It seemed to be a good height and even moved it over in the entryway space to have a visual aid to help.

Next up, attaching the 2×4’s to studs in the wall for the framing of the bench.

Then we attached a piece of the project board to the top of the framing.

To make sure that the bench was sturdy and extra strong, our next step was adding two 2×4’s across the top of the project board.

Finally, the top went on and we attached the brackets that the front piece would be screwed into.

We screwed in the last piece from the back so there aren’t any visible screws from the front. After this step, we got the nail gun out and used finishing nails to secure the piece all the way across. After that, done!

To make the bench even more of a work horse for us, I added three baskets underneath, one for each kiddo. I have room for a fourth basket but for now, I left some space for some taller boots. The baskets have been a life saver to corral coats, backpacks and shoes. The hooks were a cheap amazon find and help to finish off the space. I bought a mirror from Target a while back and hung it up above the hooks.

We love how this project turned out. Maybe love isn’t a strong enough word, maybe obsessed is more accurate. Now, we have the itch to get started on some other diy’s around here, so stay tuned!

summer recap: moving, sightseeing and a lovely house

With summer just about over for us and because projects are moving super slow at the new house (think painting ALL the beige ceilings white and then painting ALL the beige walls after you’re done with the beige ceilings), I thought I would take this opportunity to recap our summer and provide some house eye candy. Sound good? I thought so. Let’s go!

So if you have been following along, you already know that we sold our Texas house last spring and were busy making plans to move back to the PNW, where we are originally from, to be close to our families again.

In June, my mom and dad flew down to Texas as we were packing the house and were nice enough to drive a car home for us back to Oregon. It was a bit of a whirlwind but we managed to leave the house for good the day after the kids were let out of school for summer break. We had a few Texas tourist attractions to check off our bucket list before we left and then we headed for the Grand Canyon.

After the Grand Canyon, we headed to Arches National Park and although it was crowded, the sights did not disappoint. Whoa, this place is beautiful. The trails within the park are not stroller friendly and I was so smart (NOT) and packed my baby carrier in a box somewhere in the moving truck so we had to stick to easy trails but if we were going again, I would wear the baby (put that cute little guy in his carrier) and try for some of the more advanced trails.

We also stopped off in Flagstaff and Salt Lake City. We kept our schedule flexible because of the kids and baby and would stop whenever a little person needed a break. We had a great time and are already scheming on some road-trip ideas for next summer.

When we arrived back in the Northwest, we knew we wouldn’t be able to close on our new house for almost four weeks. The sellers of our house needed some extra time since it had been their vacation home and wouldn’t be able to move their stuff out right away. But lucky for us, my parents’ were happy to let us invade their house until we closed. After being gone in Texas for three years, spending a few weeks with family sounded like a vacation to us! We had the best time. So many yummy meals (that we didn’t have to make!), and lots of late nights up laughing and talking.

Right around the same time we were moving to Texas, my mom and dad sold their house because they were retiring. They had lived in that house for thirty years and me and my four siblings had all grown up there. Sniffle… Anyways, they needed a smaller place and my mom was craving change, so off they went!

I am completely OBSESSED with their new house. It’s smaller with little maintenance which gives them the freedom to hit the road whenever the mood strikes. Perfect for them!

Cute, right? When they bought the place, the exterior was painted a salmon color. Yikes. The new color is such an improvement. Originally, the house didn’t have a garage so they built one to match the house.

The house was built in 2006 on twenty acres of forested land that has a nice stretch of river frontage. When you are there, it feels like you’re on vacation with all the quiet and peace. During our few weeks there, the kids had so much fun spotting deer and wild turkeys that wander the area.

Ok — are you guys ready for a tour of the inside?

Cozy. Check. Comfortable. Check. With all the windows, there is no shortage of natural light. The house was definitely designed with the views in mind. With the kitchen, living and dining room all in the same space, it really keeps the spacious and airy vibe going strong.

My mom ditched a lot of her old decor and furniture when they bought the place and she started over. I am such a fan of how she introduces a nice mix of objects both old and new. It’s such a talent. Her stuff isn’t too matchy-matchy but it all feels layered and inviting.

Every nook and cranny of the house is cute. Even the little laundry room…just LOOK.

There are two bedrooms in the house; one upstairs and the master on the lower level. How great is the master bedroom with that planked ceiling?

The loft has a second living space, the second bedroom and a bathroom. I’m having a serious moment over that coffee table. My mom found it at a local antique shop that also carried a few pieces of locally made furniture.

Before the house was ever built, the property had a small hunting cabin on it. My parents kept the structure and converted it into a bunk house for grand kids or overflow from the house since we have such a big family. My dad lined the walls with fresh pine planks, built the deck, and my mom got busy furnishing/decorating with a cabin theme in mind.

I don’t think our kids slept in the house for our entire stay. They love it.

So there you have it! Our summer recap and a bonus house tour! I will update the blog soon with some new pics of our house. I have been painting like a maniac. It’s starting to take shape! Happy Back to School!

A BIG House Update

Hi guys! Oh my, where has the time gone?! I guess time flies when you’re having fun…or packing everything you own and hauling it from Texas to Oregon with two kiddos and an eight month old baby. Anyways, I am finally back and have lots of updates for you. Hooray!

Last time I posted, we listed our house for sale and hoped for the best. We weren’t sure what to expect but, we had multiple offers and it went under contract on the first morning it was on the market. We were even able to negotiate a moving date that coincided with the last of school for the kids. It was a win win.

Leaving Texas was bitter sweet. We made some great friends, the kids loved their school and we had the most amazing neighbors (Hi Chuck and Laura!) that anyone could ask for. We will miss it. On the other hand, we have had so much time with family and friends since we’ve been back! My heart is full and I know we made the right choice. The trip home was loads of fun and we took some time to explore the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park and Moab. If you haven’t been to these three places, then go right now. Seriously. Go.

So let me get on with it already and move on to the pics of the new house! We moved in three weeks ago and the house is still chaos. Hehe. Just don’t examine the pics too closely.

The house came with its own Texas star. We thought it was kismet that we managed to find a house in Oregon with a Texas star since we were moving from there.

Nate and I have only ever lived in old ranchers before this house. Our last place in Texas was built in 1980 and we always joked that it was practically a new house! This house was built in 2006 and had only been used as a vacation home since it was built so it really does feel brand new. But, we are so excited to make this baby ours and you might notice a shift in our projects from old/ugly to less builder basic/beige.

Do you recognize my “hello” sign? I almost forgot it in Austin and threw it in the trunk of our car at the very last moment.

Please excuse the mess. I took pictures while the boxes were being unpacked so yeah, it’s messy. When you walk into the house, you can either head up the stairs or continue through (past the little half-bath) to the kitchen and family room.

There are bamboo, wood floors on the first level and carpet everywhere else. I am already making plans to get rid of the carpet. I’m not a carpet person…some people like the coziness of it, especially in the bedrooms. I can appreciate that but, its still a no for me.

My first order of business; painting the ceilings white. For whatever reason, this house has beige walls and beige ceilings. Excuse me for a moment while I gag. In my humble opinion, in this particular house, the ceilings need to be a good ol’fashioned flat, white paint. And this beige paint is so bad. It has pink undertones and my mom says it reminds her of a bad foundation color.

If you’re wondering why there is suddenly snow on the ground and all this furniture that doesn’t belong to me in these two pictures of the master bedroom, they were taken when the house went on the market during the winter. I’m too embarrassed to share the current state of the bedroom with it’s stacks of unpacked boxes and piles of laundry. Can I still use the “I have a newborn” excuse? Even if he is almost nine months? Hope so.

Let’s go upstairs, shall we?

Nate’s office is at the top of the stairs in an open area on your left. Don’t worry, I ordered him a chair that’s on the way. I’m excited to decorate his office. When he wasn’t working at home in Austin, he was always asking to come in to his work to decorate his office and I never got around to it. Now that his office is in our house, I guess I won’t have an excuse not to get in there and make it pretty.

If you keep going past Nate’s office, there is a bathroom straight ahead, a bonus room on your right and the other two bedrooms on your left.

We started calling this big space the bonus room. It feels so spacious! We bought a big IKEA sectional for this space and plan on using it for TV watching, playing, doing homework and reading. I am thinking about creating different zones and adding shelves somewhere for toy storage and books.

On to the upstairs bedrooms. For now, Nolan and Grey are sharing the bigger of the two bedrooms and Urban is in the smallest bedroom. These beds were left by the seller and we have been using them until we decide where everyone is going to be living permanently. Nolan has asked for her own room so maybe she will go solo into the smaller bedroom and our two younger sons will share the bigger bedroom? Before any of this moving around happens though, Momma needs to get her nine month old sleeping through the night. Does that make sense?

And lastly, here is the back of the house and the backyard. Our lot is just over a half acre and it backs up to a little piece of canal frontage off of the Deschutes River. We have been having so much fun on the water. The kids are obsessed. We have been out kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding just about every day since we moved in.

And that’s about it! It feels so good to be back and to be finally moved into the new house. What do you guys think? You think I can de-cookie my cookie cutter? Anyone else just move a long ways and live to tell about it?

Our House Is For Sale!

Guys, I can’t believe it. Our house is for sale! Can someone pass me a paper bag?

But let’s rewind for a second and I’ll fill you in on all the details that led up to this big decision (don’t worry; I’ll keep it brief). Back in 2014 (that doesn’t sound brief, but I swear it is), Nate was offered a job here in Texas (we’re from Oregon and we were living in Portland at the time) that he accepted. Off we went to Texas and Texas has been good to us. Since we have been here, Nate scored an even better job, we bought our first house, we had a baby, and the kids started school at the best elementary school ever. We have been very happy here. A couple of months ago, Nate’s company gave him the option to start working from home if he chooses. And this “home” could be anywhere. With all of our family back in Oregon (I miss my mom and sister so much that it hurts), we were feeling a strong pull to go back, to our home.

And here we are. The kids get out of school on June 1 and hopefully our house will sell before that. So if you are in the market for the most special home in all of Central Texas, then I have just the spot for you!

This process feels really crazy and stressful but a major perk was that our house was photographed in preparation and I wanted to share the lovely photos they took of our house. This most definitely will make my regular photos on the blog look horrible, but they are too pretty not to share.

All images by Travis Baker via

I can’t wait to dive in and start sharing more about the whole process, so stay tuned! Until then, feel free to reach out to me if you’re interested and I’ll pass along all the info!

Wish us luck!

Project Porch

Spring has sprung here in Texas which means the temps are high, the bugs are plentiful and the storms are frequent. We have been enjoying the lovely weather and never get sick of a good thunder storm, but the bugs…not so much. Lucky for us, our house has a screened porch; the perfect solution for being outside without being bothered by pesky mosquitoes.

But until last week, our porch looked like this.

Whoa. That’s a lot of flesh-colored paint. I love updating spaces like this because it really shows what a difference some paint makes. And that’s all we did, with the exception of rearranging some furniture and adding some plants. Paint!

Last summer, when we painted the exterior of our house, we skipped the porch. Why you ask? I’m not exactly sure but I am going to blame the hot temps. It was summer in Central Texas and I was almost five months pregnant with Urban. First on the to-do list was painting the siding to match the rest of the exterior. If you’ve been following along, you might already know we chose a charcoal color with some metallic undertones. It sounds crazy but the metallic undertones are bronze and they are lovely. Kind of like the way that oil and water swirl around and in just the right light you can make out little rainbows. Only the paint on our house isn’t an environmental hazard. We LOVE the color. We love it more and more all the time and have even had neighbors knock on our door and ask us what color we used. I will never get sick of that!

The rest of the walls were painted a bright white, and on the floor we used a stormy gray color. We started out painting the walls with a brush and roller until we were ready to lose our minds and rented a paint sprayer to apply the second coat. If we were doing this project all over again, we would definitely rent the paint sprayer from the start. To paint the floors, I went around the edges with a paint brush and then Nate rolled the rest. I always do the cutting in and he always does the rolling. It’s become a thing. I know, I know, we’re crazy.

The rest of the project was fun. I used things we already owned to decorate the room (I say “room,” but I mean porch) except a new outdoor rug, an outdoor light, and a plant stand. Remember my chandelier that got bumped from the dining room inside? She found herself a new home on the porch and I think it’s a perfect fit.

The table and chairs were put back on the opposite side of the porch because originally, I placed them on the same side as the bump-out with the windows on the house. The more I thought about it though, it makes waaaaay more sense to have it on the other side with more space. Duh. Now that side has a seating area with a rug. Also, plants. And more plants. My plants love Texas. Plants that I used to kill in Oregon thrive here. Must be all the sunshine and humidity in the air. Like living in a greenhouse.

Isn’t it looking so much better? And the best part is that we are now using this space. Nolan and Grey have been using the space for playing and we’ve even had dinner together at the table. Yay us!

Finally, I know I always do this but it’s just too much fun, so let’s look back at where we started:

And now:

Dear paint, I love you so.

 

The Bathroom is Done Done

A few weeks ago, I shared our finished bathroom with the promise that I would be back with some pictures of the space with all the accessories and art. So today, I will honor my promise (even though technically, I think I’m a bit late on my delivery) and show all the fun details that make the bathroom feel complete. Drum roll please:

We are very pleased with the finished product. And I use the word finished loosely because it seems like I am never quite done tweaking things. Nate hates that, but I loooove it. Tomato tomahto. I have to say, this was my favorite part of revamping a space…all the little details.

When the mirror was hung, I was nervous it was all wrong. And it would have been an annoying error to make because I had already painted the frame a flat black so there was no turning back and returning to the store. To remedy this, I brought in as many black elements as I could. All of the other pops of black help make the mirror feel less chunky. Now, it feels much more balanced to me and less like “look at this mirror with a giant black frame.” The basket on top of the toilet, the towel hooks, toilet paper holder, and hand towel ring are all black.

I thought that hooks for towels might be a fun change of pace from the old towel bar. And now that they’re up; our kids can actually hang their towel up on their chosen hook. When the old towel bar lived there, the kids would haphazardly throw their damp towels up on the bar. The messy towels drove me nuts because it looked sloppy and the towels couldn’t easily dry. Nobody likes a damp towel.

We installed a shelf above the toilet which is a nice spot for a few decorative pieces and a tray to wrangle bobby pins and Nolan’s hair barrettes. I had a lot of fun completing my first “paint by numbers” picture and framed it in an inexpensive wood frame from Target. Also, notice the black brackets on the shelf? I thought they complimented the mirror nicely.

My little vintage rug that we found at Round Top last fall fits perfectly in our little bathroom and I think it makes the room feel special. It’s perfect for a bathroom because it adds some color and pattern. I also like that it’s low profile so the door can open and close over it but it’s heavy enough to not slide around.

The light above the vanity is a galvanized steel finish and I like its casual feel. It is our preferred light for the bathroom as it casts a soft light directly onto the vanity.

That’s about it for our main bathroom. We can check this off our list and call this one done. One last time, let’s look back at where we started:

And now we look like this:

And speaking of making good progress, our master bathroom is looking a lot like our main bathroom these days. We have two bathrooms in our house and they are located right around the corner from one another. When we started planning to update them, we decided early on that they should have the same look and feel since they are so close. It seemed odd to give them each a completely different design. They aren’t quite twins but maybe they could be sisters?

We used all the same materials that were used in our main bathroom. Same tiles on the floor, same countertop, same sink, you get the idea. Here’s an old shot I dug up of this same spot right after our move.

So what do you guys think? Is there anyone out there who recently took on a similar DIY bathroom project? Any first-time tilers who are contemplating getting started? Were you as nervous as we were? Really, once you dive in it’s not that scary. I’d love to hear from you so feel free to leave me a comment below:-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

updating our light fixtures

I was thiiiis close to entitling this post, “The Great Light Switch-Out” or “Switching Up our Lights,” but I decided to spare you of my clever puns. This past weekend was President’s Day and with the extra day off we were able to start work on the second bathroom and update some lighting around the house. So let’s start today with a photo of my new favorite view:

Since we moved in and got busy scraping our popcorn ceilings, we took down all of the existing overhead lighting (boob lights galore). Nearly every room was left with the remnants of this problem that I have been conveniently cropping out of all house photos.

I felt a little stumped about what to pick since we would essentially be choosing lighting for the entire house. If I made the wrong choice, it would be on such a large scale that I was scared to pull the proverbial trigger. I liked this light and when it finally went on sale, Nate convinced me to order them up. So order we did, and when they arrived, we were impressed with the quality and the size. The only worry that we had about these guys was that they wouldn’t be big enough and look skimpy or cheap. However, they look lovely and really compliment the black door hardware.

Since we were on a lighting roll, I decided that I was going to play a sort of musical chairs with some lighting choices that we previously made. When we moved in, the dining room looked like this:

Then, I found a cool fixture on sale and the space was transformed to this:

I like this fixture very much but after a while I started feeling like it wasn’t really “us.” Maybe it was too small for the dining room? Maybe it felt a little “fancy” for our house? Still not sure but when I saw this light, I knew we had to make another change. Nate was not exactly thrilled to be changing our dining room light again but I have assured him that this new light is here to stay.


It feels just the right size for the dining room and with the natural bamboo, it feels warm and adds some texture. I don’t have a rug in our dining room because my OCD doesn’t afford me such a luxury with our kids eating there on a daily basis. The number of gold fish crackers, crumbs and spaghetti noodles that I sweep/clean off our wood floors is crazy.

But I didn’t stop there. The entry lighting situation went from this (sorry about the dark photo):

To this:

I can officially put a fork in it and call the entryway finished. It’s one of the smallest spaces in the house but I am still calling this a victory. It’s funny how many revisions a space has before it starts to feel right and I can move on to something else. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on what’s working and what isn’t.

The pendant that lived in the entryway has now found a new home in the master bedroom. Told ya this was musical chairs for lights.

So that’s the jist of what we have been working on around the house. I am down to just a few final touches in the bathroom and we are just waiting on a sconce to arrive (I know, I know. More lighting?). I will update the blog accordingly as soon as that comes. As a little bonus, I have some photos to share of Urban. He is already three months and has been busy terrorizing me all night and looking adorable all the time. Look at that bald head…it smells as good as it looks.

 

our bathroom makeover reveal

It’s a happy, happy day. The day where we finished our bathroom makeover and I no longer have to hide my face in embarrassment when a guest uses our bathroom. The total span of this project was completed over the course of a week during evenings (hello crazy house with homework, dinner, a newborn, and a bathroom under construction) but we have been making plans and gathering our materials for several weeks now.

First, we should remind everyone how things looked before we started. I often hear many tales of DIY about how things have to get worse before they get better but I am confident our bathroom looked pretty scary from the get-go.

Here’s another shot of the room put back together. Although I still haven’t added any accessories, the room is mostly done. I have been shopping for some towel hooks, a vanity light, and some decor. Maybe a shelf or some art for above the toilet? Next week, I will be back with photos of the finished space with all the accessories and decor. You know, the fun stuff!

We found the mirror above the vanity for $30 and I painted the frame with a flat black spray paint. I am planning on bringing other black, metal elements in the room with the aforementioned accessories like towel hooks and a hand towel ring. Hopefully, that helps the mirror to not feel so crazy and heavy. But check out the little dot detail around the mirror…we loved how it mimicked the look of our new penny tile backsplash.

We began the bathroom overhaul with a fresh coat of paint for the vanity. Our vanity isn’t what I would choose if I were doing a bathroom from scratch, but it was installed right before we moved in. So I decided it would stay and we would do our best to freshen it up. After a coat of the new spray chalk paint from Lowe’s in Woolen Stocking and some new knobs from Hobby Lobby, the vanity was done.

Next up was new flooring. One of my favorite bloggers used this tile a while back in a kitchen that they remodeled for one of their readers and I have been obsessed ever since. Look how lovely it is.

Via

We love this flooring so much. First, it’s a very affordable option with a very high-end feel. Although it’s a vinyl product, it has a marble look and feel and we’ve had neighbors over who thought it was real marble. I feel fancy just typing that. We were surprised to learn that the vinyl was thick enough for us to use grout between each tile much like you would with a real stone. A couple other perks would be that it was easy to install because you don’t need a tile saw and it’s warm underfoot unlike real stone which can be quite cold on bare toes. Also, the tiles have quite a bit of texture so no need to worry about a kiddo slipping on them when they hop out of the bath still covered in soap and bubbles. Try not to judge me for my terrible photography skills. This room is a challenge to take photos in with zero natural light and super tight quarters. Just sayin…

After we removed our old counter and sink, we discovered we were going to have a problem with the texture on the walls. There was no texture behind the old backsplash. Our house has crazy texture on all the walls. When I think of it, it reminds me of the meringue on top of a lemon meringue pie. In the recipe, it always says to whip the topping until you have stiff peaks. Our walls are covered in those stiff peaks. Ugghhhh. This left us with two options; try to recreate the stiff peaks and extend them down to the top of the new counter or cover this problem with a new backsplash. It didn’t take us long to decide we would trying our hands at tiling. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

We went shopping for tile at The Tile Shop and had such a good experience. Their sales peeps were so helpful and knowledgeable without being pushy. I found the section with the penny rounds and fell in love. I fell hard and fast. The problem was (if you consider lots of beautiful options to be a problem) going to be deciding on just one! Nate was actually the one who helped me to keep my head out of the clouds and suggested we go with a crisp, white, ceramic style. They quickly set us up with everything we would need to get this project done. We will definitely be shopping there again.

The rest of our materials were all bought at IKEA. We chose a butcher block style countertop, a vessel sink, and one of their faucets. We did a lot of research before we decided on butcher block for the bathroom. Like everyone else, we worried that it might not be a good fit because of the moisture in a bathroom. But as long as we watch for signs of damage or rot, and use a product like polyurethane or waterlox to seal it, then the wood should stay moisture free and beautiful. The butcher block we chose is a new product at IKEA and has a herringbone design in the wood. We love the extra detail.

We were on a tight budget to do this project and decided early on that the tub and shower surround would have to stay. It’s actually in good condition and we knew that replacing it would eat up a good portion of the budget. So we shifted our focus to just the cosmetic updates, and I am so happy we did! Now for all the fun shots of our finished bathroom…

We are feeling pretty proud of ourselves for completing this project all while keeping our kids alive and managing to stay married. Next up, we have been busy FINALLY replacing the overhead lighting that we took down when we scraped the popcorn ceilings. And yes, I realize that was months ago.

 

Switching things up

Yup, I have already changed up our new office area. I guess I can’t help myself. I am a compulsive tweaker…err or a lady who likes to rearrange things around the house. Does that sound better? Last time we left off, it looked like this.

There wasn’t anything wrong with the office area but then I was cleaning out Nolan and Grey’s closet last week and I came across some old shelves that I had shoved in there when we moved. I remember thinking that I might use them in the kiddos’ room but we ended up going in another direction when we hacked some IKEA shelving. With all that new storage, they didn’t need any more shelves. Maybe these babies could be fun above my new desk? Yes!

I just threw some random decor on them so don’t be surprised if they look different every time these new shelves pop up in pictures. Also, notice the chair? Nate surprised me with this chair after he read the last blog post. What a guy! I guess it was easy to tell which chair was his favorite choice. I love it though. The cushion is surprisingly comfy and the warm wood is just lovely with the modern, bright white desk.

The little cactus is the only new addition and I picked it up at Target. It is FAKE! You would never be able to tell. Seriously. I am a bit of a fake plant snob and this is one of the best ones I have seen. Makes me reconsider everything…not really. But I am definitely going to give some more faux plants a try. Maybe the shelves need some books? Or my mom suggested a chalk board or cork board. That could be cute. Weeeee!

The other project that we did is probably the easiest DIY that anyone could ever attempt. Okay, there is a super long hallway when you walk in our front door opposite of the wall that I stamped with my tribal stamp a few months ago. This naked wall was driving me crazy (not in a good way) and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. My solution was to hang some art and call it a day. This is how it turned out.

I liked it just fine but it kinda bugged me because I wanted our entryway to be both pretty and functional, no? Welp, I took down the gallery wall and started looking for some cool coat racks. It didn’t take long before I spotted this beauty.

Via

I love the industrial design but even the extra-large option wouldn’t be long enough for the wall. So, Nate and I decided that we could just make our own and this would allow us to customize the size. We had some old boards in the garage left over from an old headboard project and the rest of the process is as simple as finding the right hooks and affixing them to our board. Done and done.

So simple. So easy. And I love it. Here’s a few more pictures of the updated spaces so you have a point of reference.

We have lots of projects lined up so stay tuned for baseboard trim progress…finally. Also, we are still working on some bathroom updates. Whew. I think we might be on a roll! If you’ve noticed that my posts have become sporadic, you’re right. Here’s why.

New Year, New workspace

Happy New Year friends! It feels so good to be back to normal, well, a new kind of normal for our family of five. Our Christmas break was packed. The baby and I flew to Oregon to be with my sister as she had her baby girl in the middle of the biggest snow storm I have ever seen. She is happy and healthy and I am so grateful that I was able to be there for the special occasion. Nate and the kids drove up to join all the fun when they finished up school for the holiday. Our time in Oregon was spent with all the family we could cram into my sisters’ house and the cousins played in the snow, went ice skating, and ran around like hooligans. This was our best Christmas yet!

Even though my break was full of sleepless nights with the new baby, I feel energized and eager to begin this new year. We have so many projects planned in the next few months, it’s very exciting. Our house has a long ways to go but at the same time, it feels like we have turned a corner and our little place is taking shape! Let’s do this 2017! Thanks for hanging in there as I reflect for a second.

My time off wasn’t just a swirling blur of bottles and diapers. We still managed to get a few things accomplished. First, Nate and I decided that some new appliances for the kitchen would be the perfect Christmas gift to one another. Aren’t we exciting? Some people go on vacation, we buy dishwashers. Although it isn’t a DIY project, it does really improve the overall feel of the kitchen. Is it weird that I want to pet the new refrigerator?

A few months ago, we bought a new range and hood and planned on replacing the refrigerator and dishwasher just as soon as we saved enough for them. Well, that time is here and I couldn’t be happier about it. Appliance shopping is my idea of a good time. So. Much. Pretty. Any big purchases we make, especially when it involves electronics/appliances, Nate does the research and I narrow down the options based on appearance or other practical aspects that I experience with every day use.

The other little project is a shared office of sorts or workspace for Nate and me. Nate often finds himself doing some work from home and it isn’t unusual to find him answering emails or checking his calendar from our home computer. He usually just does this from our dining room table but with our kids spending close to an hour every night doing homework at the same table (that’s a whole different issue…don’t get me started), it made more sense to make a designated space that he could work from, separate from the kids. I also have enjoyed having this space for photo editing, blogging and emailing. It’s a win, win, win.

There is an awkward corner behind our sectional in the living room that I have been scratching my head over since we moved in. Previously, I just shoved a shelf in the corner and I was using it to corral random decor that I didn’t know what to do with. That solution quickly began to feel like a waste of space and with three kids and only 1,648 square feet of living space, why would I waste a single inch of it? Enter workspace idea!

The desk is a parsons desk from West Elm that I scored off of Craigslist. I have always admired this particular desk from West Elm so when I found one for cheap on Craigslist, it felt like it was meant to be. I am still hunting for a chair and have been stealing a chair from the dining table until I find the right one. Here’s a couple of options that I am considering:

Via

I spotted this chair at World Market and was thinking that it might be perfect. I love the rich color of the wood and the upholstered seat is super fun. Since the desk has such modern lines, a wood chair might be a good way to bring in some warmth and texture.

Via

I love these acrylic chairs. I have seen them a million times and they seem to work in just about any kind of design situation. That’s super appealing to me as I could just move it somewhere else if I got sick of it or didn’t like it for an office chair. Hmmmm….oh the choices.

So those are just a few of the things we have been up to around this house. Like I said, I feel so good to be getting back in the swing of things around here. Oh, and we have some exciting progress to share that’s been happening in the bathrooms. If you’ve been following along you may remember our bathrooms were in serious need of attention. You might have blocked those pictures from your memory though and I wouldn’t blame you for that.

P.s. Be sure to check my house tour page because I FINALLY updated it!