I’ve been working on a mini makeover on our dining room these last couple months, and I’m hoping to do the full before and after reveal soon, but one of the pieces that I wanted to add to the dining room was a buffet.  I originally had my big hutch in here…


but have since sold it at a Whimsy sale.  Although I liked it, it was a bit more country than I wanted to go.  It had served our house well, and the beautiful thing about whimsy is that I don’t usually loose money  on swapping out pieces of furniture.  I have gotten rid of the chalkboard wall and added board and batten, and my plan was to find a big “window” type mirror to put on the back wall to reflect some light since there is no windows back there.  I wanted the mirror to hang above a buffet, and after convincing myself I was just going to go to a furniture shop and buy a piece of furniture….I got sticker shock!  It’s been awhile!  I couldn’t find a decent buffet that I liked for under $800, and I just wasn’t willing to pay that!

So, I had been to an auction a few weeks prior and picked up this dandy for a whopping $10!

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I wished I would have taken the picture of it before I took off the hardware, because the hardware was “special” :) to say the least!  It was huge and heavy brass that completely dated this piece.

The dresser had a real orange and honey color to it….

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and although it needed a lot of work, I saw it had a LOT of potential!  It was the perfect size for my space, it was solid wood, and it had great character under all of that shellac:)

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so out came the palm sander!  I hate completely sanding down furniture unless I have too, which usually means unless I want it for my house and am going to save $700+ dollars on a boughten piece.  And although the character is what sold me on this dresser, it was a beast to sand down.

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not to mention super dusty!

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I worked on it two different nights for about 2 hours each time, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s just not a fun job.

Finally I was ready to bring it in the house and stain it.  It’s always trial and error when I’m trying to get a color I want, and for this piece I really wanted the gray, driftwood color that is so in right now.

I started by taking a styrofoam cup and filling it half full with American Accents “stone gray” paint.


You can find it at Menards by the spray paint:)

Then I filled the rest of the cup with water and mixed it together.  I ended up with a stain-like consistency that I could brush on and rub in with a rag, and also wipe off the excess.  I would paint on a whole drawer front and then wipe it off, but on the top I broke it into thirds and did one third at a time so the paint didn’t sit on there too long.  Here’s what it looked like when I finished that step.

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Although I liked how it looked, it was a little too white washed effect for me.  I wanted a little more depth.  So then I messed around and tried the Minwax driftwood gray stain over top of it.  It really did nothing .  I want to tell you all the steps I did because so much of furniture reno is just trial and error.  After that didn’t work I took out my Minwax Dark Walnut stain..


I used a sponge brush to brush it on and then rubbed it off with a rag.  I was nervous at first that it would be too dark, but since I didn’t the half paint/half water treatment right before, it didn’t soak much up, and almost beaded a little.  The effect it gave was just perfect though.

Here was how it looked right after with my iphone pic

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It ended up matching the new IKEA chairs I got just perfect!  I took my christmas home tour photos with it done but no hardware on it.


Since I only paid $10 for the dresser, I was able to buy the mirrors from Ballard Designs plus the dresser for the price I sold my hutch for.  The mirrors at the time were on their Bring Home Ballard special and were the best deal I could find for the size that they are!  We are still going to hang them, right now they are just leaning, but they are so heavy I have to pull the hubs in to help with that one!  I since ordered and put the hardware on my buffet as well.  Again, since I got the dresser for such a steal, I wanted to invest in nice hardware.  I really wanted the cup pulls to make it more cottage feel, but needed to different sizes that matched.  I had a hard time finding them but ended up with a great option at Pottery Barn.


these 3″ pulls were perfect for the top drawers.

and I loved these 9″ pulls for the big drawers.

Their hardware is free shipping which helped, and then I ended up buying two $10 off of $50 coupons on ebay for $3 and ordered my pulls in two separate orders so I saved $17.  All 9 pulls ended up costing me around $90, which still made this piece of furniture a steal for $100.

So, heres the before….

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and after…


I just took out my red but left the greens, because here in the midwest spring is still a loooooooonnnnnngggg way off :)

And twinkle lights help with the dark nights:)


and that’s why I love those mirrors as well, they reflect so much light!


I love that the grain of the wood still shows through..


and that there is still variation in the color.


and this hardware was totally worth the cost.


I had to show you the end of this piece because the character is so pretty!  That’s why when you see a piece of furntiure at a garage sale, or estate sale, or craigslist, you have to look past the color/hardware/stain, and look at the character, lines, ridges.  Those are the parts of a piece of furniture that makes it so pretty at the end, whether staining or painting.


So there you have it, my $10 dresser makeover.



We’ve been at it again.


And although I wish it was on the house, it’s not.  It’s been a little cute out building that Ry had his eye on to be his “man cave” since we moved here.  It actually used to be an old grainery and when we were doing demo we found old newspapers in the walls from over 100 years ago.  So much history.  And although I loved the character and chippy paint and old windows of this little building…


truth is, if we didn’t do something it would just sit there and probably blow over one of these days.  See…the back was pretty much falling out,


the roof had holes and leaks in it..


and it had the best views on the property to not take advantage of.


So although I’ll miss this. I’m so excited to be able to use this space.  I say I, hoping Ry will let me join him out there;)

So, we have pretty much rebuilt the whole house.  Ryan took off three of the four walls and extended the back wall by six feet I think?!?  Ha!  I’ll get corrected if I’m wrong:)


You can see the roof line is no longer symmetrical since we bumped it out, but it really gave us a lot more space inside.  We also put in all new windows, he actually has in-floor heat running in those floors (he tells me there is no budget to his man cave:) oh. dear.


There will also be a covered porch off the back, and he did put a deck on recently that still needs a railing.  I’ll do a follow up post soon!


I love these tall windows we scored off of Craigslist.  Inside there will be a gas fireplace between them.


We also added a little awning like we did to the guest house, and re roofed the whole building.


We made the windows on this wall a little bit bigger without changing the look too much, and put a smaller window in the top.

Oh but you guys….the view..


It’s like a panoramic picture.

I love this wall.


We saved enough of the old wood to hopefully plank this whole wall with it, as well as above the fireplace that will go between these two windows.


Do you see why I want Ry to let me come enjoy it with him?  Oh, and have a little decor say?? Its too fun to not help out just a bit:):)

And so far, he’s being a great sport!

I say “we” did all of this, but it’s been pretty much all ryan so far.  He’s one talented guy:)  And as of the last couple of weeks he’s got the whole outside done, the deck on, and wiring and insulation done.  We’ve had a bit of a push to get it ready “enough” to use for our Whimsy Green sale.  We are busting at the seams in the barn and are going to use this as an over flow area, even if there is insulation on the walls.  We’ll take what we can get!

So stay tuned for the inspiration pics I’m using to “help” Ry with decor:)

And for the furthest progress.

And if you want to see it in person, come visit us this weekend, for our Whimsy Green occasional sale!  We will be open Saturday from 9-4 and a night Sale on Tuesday the 11th from 6-9!  We can’t wait, we have SO MUCH stuff!!  If you want a sneak peek find us on instagram #buyitatwhimsy


I know you all have seen Beckett’s tiny corner in our bedroom a few times now, but I thought I’d share his $35 dresser makeover I did.


It’s called the RAST dresser from Ikea and I loved it because it came unfinished and more importantly, because it was only $35.  I knew I needed something super small scale since I didn’t have much room to work with, and I also wanted it to fit well with the stump table I finished by the rocking chair.

The dresser started out looking like this…


I like that it’s got a bit of a modern look to it with the clean lines.  I first bought the same furniture legs I had used on the stump.  They are from Ikea as well.  I bought the size smaller for this dresser and they were $12.00.

I painted the outside frame white and distressed it, then I cut out ABC stencils from paper and used a gel stain in a dark brown color to stain on the ABC.   After that I stained over the whole drawer with Minwaxs’ Driftwood grey, painted the knobs white, and voila!

ikea hack

I love rustic grain that shows up on the drawers.

ikea hack

and that you can still see the grain through the ABC.


The legs make it a little less sturdy.  If I knew this dresser were staying here longer than 6 months, I would probably secure it to the wall, but it’s not.  So for now I’ll just use caution:)


and there you have it.  Just enough storage for lil man clothes!

And if you want to see updates of lil man you should check out my instagram feed.  I’m a bit obnoxious with my posts, but I can’t help it.  You can find me @prvbsthirtyonegirl

Stay tuned for my next super simple IKEA hack that made my life much easier:)


If you remember, a few months ago I was working on my “laundry closet.”  I wanted to get it done before Beckett came, knowing I was going to have to use it to store some of his clothes as well since he doesn’t have a closet.  Well, I didn’t get too far.  If you read this post you saw I got the washer and dryer stand looking a bit better…….


and thats how it stayed for about another 4 months  until one day when I was about 36 weeks pregnant i kicked it in high gear!  I had this as my inspiration photo….


and went to town.

Our laundry is in our bedroom and hides behind a set of double doors.


So here is the original before….


and after….

laundry closet

We added the Ikea pendant first.

laundry room

Then I started going to town with the old barn wood we pulled out of the man cave.  My first thought was to frame out my cheap full length mirror I had hanging on the back side of the door.


I just screwed screws right into the door and as close to the mirror as I could get.


Free for nothing and adds a lot of texture.  Then I used the same barn wood to make an ironing board holder.

ironing board holder

I got the hooks from menards for around $3 a piece.

ironing board holder

Again I just drilled the hooks into the wood and screwed the board into the door.

ironing board holder

The cover came from West Elm and was a splurge at $19 :)  But seriously, how can you resist when it flows so well…

ironing board cover

I wasnt quite done with the barn wood yet.  I decided to use some like board and batten in the closet.


 the ceilings slant in here so it helped divide the ceiling line.  A girl could have had a lot of fun and planked it or subway tiled it, but 1.) This was free, and 2.) I was 36 weeks preggers,  Oh, and 3.)  Its just a closet:)

With the slanted ceilings I had to get creative with the clothes storage, so I added a hanging rack.  We had the bar in the shed, I always have rope, and luckily I had a few hooks hanging around.

clothes rack

it’s just perfect for his little clothes:)

add in the accessories…



and this project is complete!

Oh, I almost forgot that I also bought the wire track system from ikea for $15 to hang curtains.  I dont ever close them but they hide the plumbing and garbage can I hide behind there:)



not to mention they add another layer of texture.  Ryan LOVES them.  wink wink


So now I’m off to work on stuff for Whimsy.  If you want more information about the occasional shop my sisters and I have, you can check out our FB page here.  Or see what we are working on, on instagram hashtag #buyitatwhimsy

We are open next week Thursday and Saturday, the 25th and 27th, from 9-3.  Hope to see you there!!


I have been working with a friend over the last 2 years…I know, that sounds crazy when I type it, but yes…2 years, on a total cabin reno project.  The reasons it has taken so long have been many.  1.)  We had Jules within that time.  2.)  It was a COMPLETE gut/remodel job. 3.)  We did a lot of the work ourselves, and 4.)  It is their cabin, and they are busy as well, so it was easy to not always make first priority.  I must say though, it has been one of the most fun projects I have done because….

1.)  The surroundings are beautiful!  (It’s on one of the most desirable lakes in MN)

2.)  I love the couple, it always pays to work with friends:)

3.)  I have never in my life been able to just go shop for whatever I wanted for the look in a short period of time and see it come together so fast.  I know….to me 2 years is fast:)  I love the DIY-ing and the hunt and the thrill of a good deal, but this was a little dreamy to just pull it all together and not have to worry about everything being a steal all of the time.

So, enough yapping, lets get to the eye candy.  I took a few before pics on my iphone but they aren’t the best.  You will definitely get an idea of what she started out looking like and an appreciation for how far she came.

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Of course the hubby of this cabin thought there was nothing wrong with all the pine tongue and groove, and quite honestly it would be a dream cabin for my hubs as well.  But you know how wood and I get along.  Can you tell this is going to be a fun project?!?

Here’s the after….

cottage living room

Sorry boys, the wood had to go.  They had all the walls and ceilings sprayed, which gives an amazing finish, and we used Benjamin Moore’s Simply White in satin.  They also redid the flooring (which looks a bit familiar:) and added big chunky beams to break up the a-frame architecture and make it feel more cottage-y than cabin-y.

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The furniture came from Pottery barn, and we scored a lot of the pillows from Home Goods and Pottery Barn.


This project was fun because I did get to still DIY quite a few of the things…like these paddles on the wall…


We found them at Home Goods as well and they actually had writing on.  I flipped them around, added rope, and painted the stripes to match the rest of the living room.


The shelf on the right was also a DIY .

This was another before of the kitchen before we got our hands on it.

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And here’s the after….


The fridge is in the same spot to help you figure out the remodel.  They went with a complete new kitchen, with marble counters and farmhouse sink.  Yours truly was able to DIY the marble subway tile backsplash with my mad tile cutting skills;)


But I am so in love with this kitchen!

Another before…

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and after….


I mean, look at that island!


And open shelving!

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And it flows so nice into the living room.


From here we go upstairs where there used to be carpet..


and now there are cute little numbers to help you count your way:)  Trust me, we heard it from the guys on this one!

At the top of the stairs is an open loft where we needed to create a unisex bedroom since they have two girls and a boy.


The bedding came from Pottery Barn, except for the monogrammed Euro pillows I made to separate the beds.


And then they have a cute kids bathroom up here as well..


The vanity is a Martha Stewart one from Home Depot.



We had  a challenge trying to figure out a mirror for above it since there is a window in the way.  We ended up finding a hanging mirror at Home Goods and the guys figured out a way to make it stay.  I think it’s perfect!


And aren’t the chandeliers fun!  We have a matching one downstairs as well.  They worked so well with the high ceilings.  The trunks came from World Market, we just stenciled the numbers on cause they needed a little extra “something.”

And if you ask me, the kids have the best view in the place…


Out those windows all you see is lake and trees.  Gorgeous!

ps. this was the loft before.  Have I won over any other wood lovers yet?!?

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On the main level is the master bedroom where we added board and batten.

board and batten

The bedding again is pottery barn, except for another little Whimsy love…

xo pillow

And how much do we love that little apothecary nightstand from Target???

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Down the hallway is the cutest bathroom..

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We planked the ceilings in the bathroom, hallway, and laundry room.  I’m still jealous!

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These are the DIY $7 shelves I made and had fun staging them…

bathroom shelves

We used all artificial greens at the cabin since they aren’t here all the time.  But I love the pop of green it adds, with no maintenance.

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And at the end of the hallways is a laundry room to die for.

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At a cabin mind you:)

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it was starting to get dark so these pics aren’t the best, but isn’t she cute??

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I stenciled the drinks bin so they can pull that out when they have company and fill it with ice.  They also have a clean and dirty basket up top and a super cute sink.

Lastly and quite honestly maybe the best room in the house is the screened in porch overlooking the lake.


The ceilings were painted a light blue and the walls were all sprayed white as well.


We got the table and upholstered chairs from World market, the others are fun flea market finds…


I darkened this pic just so you can see how the lake is right.there.  Swooning.


And this is where you’d curl up and have your coffee in the morning, listening to the loons.


I think I could handle it:)


We added curtains all the way around and tied them with rope since they blew in the wind quite a bit if we left them.  This gives privacy and also some shelter if it does rain hard.


But I love how this is a whole extended living room…


I hope you enjoyed looking at this pics as much as I had fun creating them!  Thanks so much Kelly Jo and Joel for letting me be a part of this amazing project.  Cheers to getting to enjoy the lake…..finally!!:)

P.s. for those of you following along on my pregnancy journey, there was no new “news” at my appt.  And so we wait!  t-minus 2 1/2 weeks!!!


Alright, I gave you a sneak peek earlier but I have given our bedroom a face lift and haven’t shown it in awhile.  I also haven’t done it as a complete before and after to show you how far it has really come.

I have fallen into the navy craze along with a lot of the blog world, and thought the bedroom would be a great place to pull it in.  It’s brought a little bit more of a masculine feel to our room which does the hubby a “little” more justice:)  He has to put up with a lot after all;)

So, here’s a before picture of our bedroom…


and after….

master bedroom

We had added the row of closets on the right and took out the master closet they had on the other side of the room.  The little window you see on the before is now between our clothes closet and the laundry closet.  It’s in an awkward spot but is nice to have some natural light in the closets!  We also raised the ceilings an additional 3 feet to bring some height to the room, especially since it was just wasted attic space above.





We also moved the mini door over after we added the closests and made it a full size door so we didn’t have to duck every time we went in:)  You can see above the right corner is a big box that used to be their master closet, now it’s our baby corner!!

gender neutral crib

We also opened up a dormer that was that just for aesthetic purposes.  We put in a new window and it brought in so much more light to the room since there were only two small windows in the room to start with.

gender neutral crib

I created a canopy by taking a hoop ring for embroidery and sewing on two curtain panels from Ikea.  I actually cut one panel in half since I didn’t need it quite so thick, and mostly because I only had one and I didn’t want to buy another set:)

butterfly mobile

I also got this super cute butterfly mobile from my sister.  She made it for Whimsy and praise the Lord it didn’t sell cause I didn’t realize how perfect it would be in this space!

butterfly mobile

Yeah, you heard me..she made it ya’ll!

butterfly mobile

She used old book pages, antiqued them, and hung them from a thin wire to a hoop.

And when I told her I think I needed to buy it…she said it was her gift to peanut:):)

butterfly mobile

This corner is still going to get a mini dresser or something for storage and a bit of decor on the walls, but for now I’m ready for baby:)

master bedroom

And heres a long shot of the rocker.

stump table

with my stump table that cost me $16 because of the legs I bought at Ikea.


and if I didn’t love the antlers enough I decided to showcase them a bit more:)


Now it’s a work of art….good job babe!


View from the bathroom.


I’ll keep you posted on any new baby updates!  Here’s the latest instagram I posted at 34 weeks preggers.

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I can’t believe we are only 5 weeks out now…and if peanut is anything like Tate or Kynlee hopefully he/she comes a week or two early!:)

My cravings lately are for ice water!!  WITH……essential oils Citrus fresh


Seriously, for a girl that doesn’t usually like water I just can’t get enough.  I put 2 drops in my cup and I love love love it.  I crave it even more than cherry coke, which for those of you who know me know that’s a big deal:)  And it’s supposed to cleanse you and give you clarity of thought…not sure if the clarity of thought is working with preggo brain, but nonetheless, I love it:)


My sister-in-law had an old upholstered rocker that she was getting rid of and asked if I would be interested.  At first glance the rocker seemed like she needed lots of love, the pattern was out of date and the the fabric was starting to rip.  But, with a  little love I knew that the shape was great, the structure was solid, and it was very comfy.  Plus, it was on rockers which would be perfect for a babe, and the real selling point?? It was free!  And after looking into upholstered rockers like these…



that retail from $750-$1300, free was good.

So here she is before her makeover….

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The shape is great!

And here’s a sneak peek of her now in our bedroom…

Stump table

Okay, that’s your teaser:)

Upholstered rocker

Doesn’t look too much different from the $1000 one does it??  I slipped her in white twill, and m little secret is that I love using IKEA white curtains for the fabric.  It seems to lay nicer than duck cloth you can buy at Jo-anns, and it ends up being just as cheap, if not cheaper.  I buy the grommet drapes.  I added a little flirty skirt as well since our room is feeling a little masculine these days:)  I did the ottoman awhile back but she fits well with the rocker.


I’ve got a bunch more pics to show you of our somewhat “remodeled” bedroom….which now includes a crib! Yay!! and if you didn’t notice the newest stump addition to the family, I’ll give you one more look.  She’s my favorite yet:)

stump table


I finished the plank wall awhile ago, and if you had been checking on the new before and afters you probably saw it, but if not, I’ll show you some pics.

So here’s a picture of the before…




and now after..



And I know I haven’t shown the back entry too much, mostly because there is still work to do, but this is where most of our toys hide…and our homeschool stuff.  So it’s probably the most unorganized area of the house..


but I do love how the plank wall helps to tie it in better to the rest of the area…


and I’m still loving the faux wood door I painted over there and how it pops on the white.

I have a few more plans for the area that I will hopefully show you in a bit!

One more planking project done…we’ll see how many are left in the future:):)


Well, I teased you about it some time ago, so I’ll finally show you what I’ve SLOWLY been working on in our upstairs bath.  I love wall treatments, and would love to snap my fingers and have them magically appear, but unfortunately that costs lost of money:)  So, to the saw I go.  I bought I think about 4 or 5 sheets of 1/4″ plywood to do this project, and at about $12 a sheet that comes to about $60 worth of wood, plus a gallon of paint.  A little makeover under $100 is always fun!

So here’s how the bathroom looked before….


and what the bathroom looks like now….


Okay, so you can’t see the planking the best here, but you can also see I did a mini makeover to the vanity.  Although I liked the elegant look of the painted one, it seemed a little too formal for the rest of the house, so I added some label pulls and stripped the door fronts.  I initially planned on whitewashing them, which I did..


I sanded them down and made a mixture of half water/half white paint, painted it on and wiped it off like a stain.  I kept them like this for about a week but the orange tone that was popping through was just buggin.

I wanted the color to be more like this…


It’s  a little darker and a little cooler.  More like driftwood.  So I grabbed my can of antique glaze and painted it on…


and it toned them down to this…


There you can see the planking better as well.  I’m loving how it looks, a little less formal.  I wanted the darker and lighter spots on the drawer fronts to look more like natural wood, so after I stained the whole front, I took my brush and did random brush stroked here and there and let them sit for a few minutes.  Then when I wiped them off they stayed a little darker.


I like the imperfections.


So there she is for now.  I’ve got a few other changes coming too, but you’ll have to wait just a bit more!

I am thinking a fun rug to bring a pop of pattern would be fun as well…something like this..


or this..


I love the bath rug in there but it blends into the floor, gets dirty extremely easy, and isn’t wide enough to stand on from the vanity and getting out of the tub.  Oh the problems:)

So that will have to tide you over til after the weekend.  Whimsy is going on Thursday and Saturday of THIS WEEK! from 9-3. We’d love to see you!  You can find more information here.


This week, I about had it with the cold, but I’m sure that’s no new news for anyone.  But….it made me antsy to do a project.  I tried to get the hubs on board to no avail.  He told me the man cave is next, to which I simply replied, but that can’t happen til the weather warms up, let tackle something inside!:)

Nope.  Didn’t budge.

So, I pulled out the air nailer, compressor and hose and decided to work on a project by myself.

Ryan had to go into work yesterday for a few hours and on his way home he called and asked what we were doing.  I told him I was working on a project, to which he responded, okay.  Ha! He doesn’t even ask what I’m doing anymore.  He’s trained well:)  Anyway, we don’t have a  laundry room in our house, we have a “laundry closet.”

When we first moved in the laundry was located in the downstairs bathroom.  I knew that would never work, since I don’t have a great track record of keeping a laundry room clean, so we moved it upstairs into our room.  There really weren’t many options, so we made it work.  At the time it was a priority in the fact that I was sick of trying to find places to do our laundry during the remodel.  But that was about it.  It was about getting it in and functional. But not pretty.

Ry built me a stand for the washer and dryer so it would raise the height without the hefty price tags of the manufactured ones.  He made it out of plywood and 2×4′s we had laying around.  He always said we could “make it pretty” later, but 2 1/2 years later and it sat the.exact.same.way.  SURPRISE!

Until I got my hands on it:)

Here’s what my beautiful, organized, meticulous laundry closet looked like before…..(errr….)


Yep, that’s about right.

So here’s a close up of the stand..


Super functional, thanks honey for making it so I don’t have to bend over as far.  As for the puuurrrty factor? Well…we can do better:)

I had some pieces of tongue and groove beadboard in the shed that I had never used.  They were about 6 inches wide and had a tongue and groove edge, which allowed them to be SUPER easy to work with!  I just cut them to size and started gluing and nailing them on…


Then I added the left over 1/4 MDF I had from the board and batten project, and a corner piece I had from the yet to be revealed bathroom project, and waa-lah!


and it was SO MUCH FUN!  I realized that I love being a carpenter and “beautifying things”  I just don’t like the material set up and tear down part:)

Lastly I added some quarter round on the bottom to clean it up..



small laundry room

So step one is down, making the stand puurrtty.


and step 1 was free!! Yay:)

I wish the rest of the steps would be.





Yeah, she’s got a ways to go, but here’s some of the inspiration pics I pinned for the rest..


since there are hoses and plumbing on the side of my washer and dryer, I’m thinking the curtains might be nice to hide that.  I also want to do a butcher block counter on top as well.

I love that I have a little bit of natural light in my laundry closet due to an awkward low window that was on that wall.  It helps with light.  I also have a fluorescent light in there now, but I’m thinking something like this would be cute hanging from the ceiling..


It’s on a wire, so I can hook it, which would work well with our slanted ceilings…

And, it’s from IKEA for only $14.99.  Steal!

And for those of you who are concerned, don’t worry, I wouldn’t paint it.  I actually love the green color…and I can handle it in a closet;)

I also loved this pin….


If it weren’t such an awkward space to get to, I’d consider subway tiling the whole back and do the dark gray grout. I love it.  But, I don’t  think that’s going to happen.  I do love the neutral colors with the pops of fun in the accessories.  Since we have slanted ceilings though, the shelves could be a bit hard.

And my last inspiration pin….


I’m loving the hanging rod, which I think would fit our space well.  With the slant and all.  I also love the white with wood and naturals.  Surprise!

So, the next steps?

1.) Figure out wall color/treatment

2.)  Get a counter top and make curtains

3.) Get light

4.)  Hang a rod


5.)  Organize, organize, organize

Who is this girl?!?

Ry thinks this project is a complete waste of money, but I told him that it makes a heart happen to open a space and see it organized and put together.  Even if it’s in a closet.  Can I get an amen?? :)

And….I’m hoping to do this project on a tight budget, for reasons afore mentioned ^^^^Ryan;)  Love you babe!


It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a house project on the blog, and this project has actually been done for awhile now.  But I’m going to let you in on a little secret for all of the people that think my house is spotless all the time.  Boy do I have you fooled.  I haven’t posted this blog for the last month cause that means that I would have to have every room upstairs cleaned AT THE SAME TIME!  No, I do not live in a magazine.  It’s real life people.  Blogs are deceiving in that way:)  Do.not.be.deceived.  I’m just like the rest of you:)  I have had my upstairs cleaned a couple of times when companys come over, but it’s usually always at night, which mean the lighting stinks and I can’t photograph it.  So today my project was not just to blog, but to clean the upstairs SO I COULD BLOG:)  Oh the life of a blogger:)  It’s rough folks.

Ever since I painted my hallways upstairs and the huge stairwell wall, I didn’t like the color.  I thought I should pull in a bit of a more dramatic color since the rest of my house was so light, because I didn’t want to be, dare I say, boring!  So instead of an actual color, cause that’s just radical, I did a dark gray.  The problem was that it had a really strong green hew that I never liked and and made our hallway really dark.  I had planned on changing it for awhile, but like I said, it was our stairwell wall, the really tall wall that I needed to haul the big ladder in for, the one I HAD to inquire the help of the hubby with.  That always holds me back a bit:)  Here’s a picture mid process where you can see the color I had that I didn’t like…

Board and Batten

This is the most accurate picture of hte color, except it was on all the walls.  I was prepping here for the board and batten that I wanted to put up in this hallway.  Note to self, it is MUCH easier to paint BEFORE the boards go up and touch up AFTER.  I’m learning here folks.  The walls sat prepped like this for about two weeks before I actually got around to the boards. Whoops.


After I painted the white I bought my wall paint and painted the upper.  I chose a Behr color called Gray Mist or something along the lines of that, I’ll have to double check, but I loved the light gray color it was.


The boards were brought in and getting ready to go…


I did the height about 2/3 of the way up the wall.  I knew I still wanted to hang pictures so I didn’t want to go too high.

Then I had to call in the help.  All of these angles in the hallway are not 90 degrees.  Allie doesn’t do angles.  I sweet talked the hubby into helping and he was an all star:)


Hard at work.  Lookin good babe!


p.s. He also helped with this corner, cause I just couldn’t do it.  I start getting all shakey that high up and go into a cold sweat.  Who knew Ryan could paint?? This could be dangerous:)

Board and batten

I’m not going into the details of the board and batten on this post, since I did that here, but it actually is really easy to do.  We did all of this in one night, probably about 2 hours.  Just putting the boards up that is, I had it all prepped and painted before that:)

I was loving the look, although it did make the hallway seem a bit narrower yet.  We’ve gotten used to it though:)  And it has brightened up this hallway and our whole upstairs A TON!

After it was up I patched the holes, gave it it’s final coat of white paint, and caulked all of the seams until I could caulk no more!

Oh and took a month to clean the upstairs to bring you these pics:)

board and batten

So much brighter!

board and batten

** Anyone notice some changes in the bathroom?? More to come on that …..

board and batten

The white also flows so much better into the kids rooms’ now.

board and batten

My intentions were to put up frames to showcase the kids artwork in this hallway.  And I did it.


and I realized I just.can’t.do.it.


Although I truly love their artwork, it’s just too bright for the flow of the house.


So it might just go back into the portfolios.  I’ve been seeing walls like this lately that I love!

canadian_house_and_home gallery wall

Although I wouldn’t want all of my frames to match, I love how these go over the door and everything…


more like this.

But I also love how these seem to effortlessly wrap around the corner.


and this…




So, we shall see what comes of it, for now I’m just super excited to have the board and batten done…and to have a clean upstairs;)




Well I promised you after the new year that I would show you my latest makeover at the farmhouse.  And this room has always been my nemesis.  It is the room that seems to always “collect” all the junk and leftovers that I can’t find a spot for.  During whimsy months it becomes an overflow of Whimsy and also holds all of my crafting messiness that needs a spot somewhere and inevitablly ends up there.  When we renovated we decided to do an arch with an open entry to the office.  Looking back I sure wish I would have put a door on it just so I could have the option to close it off to the world when it’s in it’s unsightly state, but that’s not an option.  So, instead I needed some major organization and remodel to make it function in the way we wanted it to.

Our office has been through a lot of changes, like I said.  It started out when we first bought it, as a den…..

 newhouse 004

We never changed any of the windows in this process, so you can always go off of them.  We did make this room quite a bit smaller to make room for a formal dining room on the other side…

newhouse 005

Then we unloaded everything in here and we had a big ole mess…..which I can’t seem to find the picture for at them moment…

We finally turned an old farmhouse table into a desk and made it “look” functional for a bit…

 Farmhouse Desk

Until the space just wasn’t working for us anymore.  I then swapped out desks for something with more storage to hide clutter….added a dresser and some fun and here’s what I came up with…

craft room/office

I painted the wall color a really pale blue.  I actually just picked it up from Walmart one night because I was desperate for change.  It is a Better Homes and Gardens color called Airy Blue.

homeschool room

After I painted the blue I used an overhead machine to cast up an outline of the world on the walls.  The bugger is that I couldn’t move the overhead far enough away to get it as big as I wanted, so I had to free hand a lot of it. With that being said I’m sure A LOT of my proportions are off.  Geography was never my thing.  But I”m okay with that.  I wanted it to be pale in the background so I painted it in my trim color, decorator white.

book shelf

I got this old plate rack from a lady and after seeing Ann Voskamps home school room where she had low bookshelves for her kids, I decided to add a piece of wood to the front so it would hold the books in place and hang it low enough for the kids to see it at eye level.  I love the pops of color it brings into the room and also how easily accessible it is for the kids to use.

kids bookshelf

feather tree

I found this cute feather tree at a garage sale last year for $4, and was super excited all summer to pull it out at Christmas time. It fits the playful feel of the office perfectly.

bright pennant

I love pennants hanging from the ceiling as well.  It makes the room seem more fun.  So I took scraps from all of my christmas pillows and cut them into triangles, hot glued them onto bakers twine, and hung them up using 3M command strips.  A free little bit of fun:)

pin board

I used my burlap tac board for our Christmas cards this year, and also used a basket to keep all of my wrapping paper together.  It looked a bit cuter before Christmas when all of my fun paper was still in there.  Slim pickings these days;)

And although I would have loved to see Ry’s beast of a gun safe go….it didn’t.  At least not until he finishes off his man cave.  So for now I just decorated around it.

world globe

I had seen these fun world globes on Land of Nod and thought they were so fun…


and at $29 they really weren’t that bad.  But, I remembered I had some light kits I had picked up from IKEA  awhile back, and so I thought I’d try to make something similar.  I bought 2 sizes of white paper globes off of amazon for I think around $3 and $6.  Then I used a large circle paper punch and punched out as many holes as I could from a large map I had.  I ended up only having enough holes to do one globe for now, but I hot glued them on, put the light kit in, and ended up with my own globe lantern.  Now to just buy an atlas to finish off my other one..

globe lantern

They look pretty fun lit up at night.  I also got that awesome wood star from a sweet friend.  They got the lathe out of an old barn and I love how it has some old paint still left on it.

craft room

My mother-in-law had found this dresser for $3 at a garage sale.  I was getting ready to fix it up for Whimsy when I realized ti would be a perfect fit in this little cove in the office.  I added new hardware and some numbers and filled it up with all of my crafting stuff.  A great fix to remove the clutter!

craft room

I still want to add chalkboard plaques under the larger drawers to say whats in there.  I got the satin nickel pulls off of eBay for $2 a piece.

Glass canisters

I got these jars from Walmart for $5 a piece and I just chalked the front of it to make them personalized.

I’m still working on this wall.  I’m not quite happy with it yet.  I’m thinking it may get a chalk treatment, or different storage on the shelves.  Either way it’s just not quite right yet.

kraft paper

I do love this area though.  I bought a big roll of brown building paper from Menards.  I like it better than kraft paper because it’s not quite as thick.  I then bought matching curtain rods from Walmart as well for around $10/piece, and hung the paper and ribbon on them.  It worked great this Christmas to have this as a wrapping station.  I’m thinking the kraft paper will work well for notes/homeschool/wrapping/lists/ and all of the above:)

She’s come a long way, and got a lot more practical in the last month.  With a few more tweaks I’m hoping this room is as functional as I’d hoped it would be when we remodeled it!


The last couple of months I have been helping a friend of mine with a renovation they did.  The project actually started this summer when she told me they were transforming their screened in porch into a four seasons porch.  (They have an amazing spot on the lake by the way:)

She asked if I would help her with some ideas and decorating, and since I like decorating (a little) and liked her (a lot) I said sure:)

I’m just going to tell you all right now that I am not starting up a design business.  I love to help friends but I’m not looking into it as a business venture.  Although I love decorating, I’ve realized I am not a professional:)  I don’t have my swatches and resources and degrees or anything else….and at this point in my life I don’t have the time to pursue it full time.  I have been having a blast helping out a few ladies though and am so excited to show you this project!

So, here’s what her porch looked like “before”…


It’s attached to a small living room with fireplace, so the extra space was going to open it up big time and allow for nice family living space.  They had a family member do all of the construction, and they already had decided that they were going to open up that wall a bit wider and add some columns to separate between to the two areas.

When she first told me they were going to do a four seasons porch I immediately thought light colors.  All of their trim in their house is wood, but you know me and my love for painted trim…..:)  So I talked her into doing a cream trim with wood details in the ceiling and pillars to pull it together.

I wasn’t too good at snatching pics in the process, but here’s what we came up with when the addition was done.


Their kitchen is right off of the area as well, and they have two tone cabinets that I love.  (I should’ve snapped a pic) but their bottoms are a dark stain and the uppers are lighter, so we brought in both colors in this room.  I knew they were a little “hesitant” about all of the cream so I suggested a wood ceiling to warm it up a bit.  They used the stain of the uppers for the ceiling.  *she was a little bummed the stain stained a bit more orangey than her cabinets but I still think it looks great:)

Here’s the living room that is attached to it.


It’s a step down from the kitchen (where I’m standing) and super cozy.  I’m guessing you can bet what I wanted to get my hands on in this picture??? And yes..we did.  We painted the brick!  Surprise:)

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This was the blurry cell phone pic,

and this is when she had the fire going and everything clean for me to come take pictures:)


We painted the built in too, and I can’t tell you how much it updated it.

I actually can’t take too much credit for the manual labor in this place.  And I have to tell you, it was so much fun to say I would paint this this color, and I’d come and it.was.done.  AMAZING.  That never happens with a DIY’er:)  All you fellow DIYers get me.

It was also AMAZING to be given money and just told to “shop for the room.”  Seriously.  That’s what I got to do.  And that’s what all of  those bags are up there.

So, we started with the basics in the room..


The rug is from Ballard, the couch is the ektorp sectional from Ikea with the wheat/linen-y looking slipcover (no white this time:)

The ottoman is from overstock and the red tv stand she had and I gave it a bit of a paint job face lift.  Oh, and the wall color we used was Revere Pewter, by Benjamin Moore and the trim was cotton blossom by Dutch Boy.

After the basics were done, I got to make it cozy and decorate…

four seasons porch

now wasn’t that just fun.

four seasons porch

The end tables came from my shed with a face lift:)  The lamps were from Home Goods, and were most of the pillows and accessories.

cottage porch

I made the number pillows for her, cause what’s a makeover without a few numbers right?!?

number pillows

I fell in love with the blue moroccan pillows and quite honestly didn’t know what colors I was going to accent with until I saw them.  I guess you’d say they spoke to me:)


and every good sectional needs a faux fur pillow.  Pretty sure her hubs thanked me for that one;)


It”s all about the texture.  That’s why I grabbed this throw as well, to warm it up a bit and bring in the punch of color.

And I had loved that she had so many great Whimsy buys:)  So we had to find a spot for them.  We put together a little “gallery wall” behind the couch.

cottage living room

She’s still planning on hanging some bamboo shades in the windows, but other than that we got her mostly wrapped up!


They just purchased these amazingly comfortable leather recliners for in front of the fire….seriously cozy spot.  And now they have a double functioning living room.  Gotta love that!


One last shot with a better look at the ceiling.

The last thing we did was add a little board and batten to their entryway.  I loved how this area turned out, and thought it would help the flow of the house better if we brought some of the cream to the front of the house, and tie it in with their wood trim there as well.

Board and batten was the perfect fix.


We did it down their hallway and to their front entry.


I put the boards up for her (after her hubby cut them the right lengths, boy did that go fast!) and again, I got to just come back and see the results after she had painted!


I love how it turned out…and her clock collection!


So there you have it.  Thanks Dan and Abbey for being amazing friends/clients to work with:):)  I had a blast doing this project!


When Ry announces that he is going to go on a hunting trip for the weekend, my mind immediately starts racing.  I start thinking about what project I want to get done.  Quite honestly, its usually easiest to work on these projects when he is away.  1.) We can have cereal for every meal  2.) I don’t have to clean up the house 3.) I don’t have someone watching over my shoulder.  Ideal time:)  So the last trip he took I took full advantage.  I had been wanting to have an area in the house for my laptop to rest:) and charge when we aren’t using it.  We have a desktop in the home office and I found that my laptop was ending up on the couch most of it’s life.  Not a very convenient spot.   I also knew that had a nice amount of “dead” space next to the fridge.  You’ probably wouldn’t have realized it because I never photograph it, but here it is..


As you can see I already started the reno:)  I was trying to figure the best use of this space and decided I wanted a little mini desk area.  Therefore I could sit/stand during the day while using the computer and the kids could potentially use it for school as well.  I started by planking the wall with my favorite thin plywood and cutting them into 6″ strips.  This time I tried painting them a couple of coats first to try to cut down on the process later.

Then it was time to add some corbels and a desktop.


I bought these corbels at Home Depot for $10 a piece.  I placed this one here because there was a stud there.  When you see both of them, you’ll realize they are not perfectly centered.  That’s why.  Remember, Im doing all of this solo, so sometimes good just has to be good enough, if you know what I mean;)


This piece of butcher block is a whole other story.  I had found some great, authentic butcher block in our garage and knew I’d love to use it.  Ryan pulled it out of the garage from the last house we lived in.  This stuff is amazing.  And oh.so.heavy.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into and nearly killed myself cutting this piece to the size she is now.  It started out as about an 8′ piece that was twice as thick.  I had to two wheel it from the garage to the shed, where I somehow managed to prop it up so I could chop saw it and cut it down with the table saw.  Seriously, if someone were watching I think they’d die.  I almost gave up a couple of times, but persevered.  I seriously think the thing weighed 500 pounds:)

After getting her all cut down and being so proud of her, I sanded her down and stained her in Minwax Dark Walnut 2716.


I decided I could only have her about 15″ deep, in order to have enough room to get comfortably through and to the basement door.  Although we don’t go down to our cellar often, (as least as possible for me actually) our deep freeze and water softener are down there, so there is a possibility we would have to carry out a large piece of furniture.  With that being said, have enough clearance was crucial.  In a perfect world I would have liked to keep it another couple inches deep, but it works.

After I got the butcher block on I decided I wanted a large chalkboard above it.  I originally thought I’d make a large permanent calendar, but soon realized that if I wanted it centered over my countertop, it wouldnt’ fit.  So I cut a board that would fit over my countertop and painted it with chalkboard paint.


We amazingly had a piece of thin board in the shed that I found.  It’s not the smoothest, and I probably should have just waited until I could have gotten a larger piece of smooth plywood, but antsy pants kicked in and I wanted the project DONE!

I could handle a little bit of rough texture.

I then used 1×4 mdf boards and framed it out and stenciled the days of the week on it.

command center

Here’s a better look at the coutnertop.

command center

So, now that I had her in, I had to try her out…

command center

The kids use it everyday for their phonic lessons online.


It keeps them a bit more focued when they are facing a wall:)


And this is usually how little lady looks for school:)

I’m not in love with all of the cords..but at least the laptop hides most of them.  The second cord is from a little light I purchased at IKEA for $15.  It is usually dark in this corner so it was nice to shed a little light on the situation.


IMG_2936 - Copy

I thought I was going to try to disguise the cord by painting it white, but I actually don’t mind it hanging down.  Looks a bit industrial.

Farmhouse Kitchen

I’m a bit in love with how it keeps the kitchen going.  Makes use of otherwise useless space.  And we use it everyday.  Gotta love that!

Chalkboard calendar

and the weekly schedule comes in handy for keeping track of life as well.  I’ve seen some people use one like this for meal planning as well.  Not a bad idea.  But that would mean that I would actually have to plan my meals.  There’s that.

IMG_2940 - Copy

The view from the sitting room is even better:)  Another project done, for a small price.  I think I only used about $15 in plywood, free butcher block, $20 in corbels, $5 in mdf for the frame around the chalkboard, and $15 for the light.  Oh, and I stole the stool from my whimsy stash:)  So I guess you could call that free!  Although I have been eyeing this beaut at World Market …..


We kinda want a stool with a back since we sit there a lot, and World Market has 25% off furniture right now..so I may have to get her soon:)

I’m also looking for a few wire baskets for the right of the chalkboard.  It would be nice to have a spot for bills and mail.  They are harder to find than  you’d think though, so I’m waiting for just the right ones:)

IMG_2941 - Copy

So, that’s it until the next hunting trip….I’ll keep you posted:)


A few weeks ago we got away as a family to celebrate Jules’ birthday.  We decided to head North to Duluth, an adorable little town that’s set right on Lake Superior.  It’s quite idyllic actually.


It was a bit chilly that weekend but it was still fun to watch the boats come in..


Tate was a little frustrated at this point.  He just wanted to chase seagulls:)




It didn’t last long….


It was a great family time.

It got even better when the kiddos could throw rocks…





After a few wet pants legs, we headed over to the aquarium and let the kiddos explore all the creatures.  We also ended up staying at a water park for the kiddos.  They gave us a great home school discount which was a huge score as well.  Gotta love that!

The last day the sun came out at sunset so we took advantage and went to a look out point over the city…


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Tate loved climbing on all of the rocks.


Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers on Jules’ birthday.  We can’t believe all the love.  It’s hard to think that this time last year we were savoring every moment with that little cutie.

I’m gonna leave you with a little sneak peek to another one of the projects that I finished and will show you next week.  It something that we use everyday and I just love how it turned out!


Have a great weekend!


In the last post I left you hanging with the whole room reveal.  I feel like this dining room has been a bit of a menace ever since we moved in.  I have struggled with it for so long.  Part of the reason being that this whole room is just so long and narrow, and in the dining room I have 3 solid walls with nothing to break them up!  Usually there are windows, or a door, or something so you don’t have 3 white walls, but not here.


And although we bought our dining table new when we got married, I just didn’t like the look quite as well in this house.


So, I asked the hubbs one day if I could refinish our table.  He said we’ll talk about it later.  I waited a couple of months and figured since he didn’t say no…that it was okay:)

I must tell you first that this was just a veneer table and the top was already showing major signs of wear.   A lot of the veneer was starting to come off and flake in places, so even though I wanted a new look, it also would extend the life of the table.  That was my justification at least!


Not even lying:)

So, one day when I was bored…(sarcasm) I pulled out the power sander and went to town…


Now here’s a bit of advice that is more common sense than advice, but I’d recommend doing this outside.  Allie did not, because I couldn’t move the table outside by myself.  And in turn I ended up adding another job of dusting my WHOLE house when the project was done.  On top of vacuuming about 20 during the process.  But, it was worth it!


I started getting giddy when I saw the natural color that was coming through.  You never know what you are going to get when working with a veneer…

Refinishing a table

and after a couple of hours of sanding, tingly hands from the shaking, sore arms from the pushing, and sneezing from all the dust, this is what I was left with.


I was loving the beachy natural color of the wood, and didn’t want to compromise that.  I tried a bit of a gray stain on the leg but it immediately turn an orange color, so I scrapped that idea.  I really wanted to keep this look, so I decided to try to give it a white wash look, one that wouldn’t turn orangey.

so I started out with an expensive:) styrofoam cup, and filled it a quarter of the way full with my white paint.  Then I added the same amount of water and stirred.

how to whitewash

I then used this mixture like a stain.  I’d brush it on..


and then rub it off with a rag.


I tried it on the legs first to make sure I would like it..and I did!  So to the top I went.


Brush it on and wipe it off.  I only did about 1 foot wide sections at a time..

How to white wash

When I was done with the whole table it looked like this..

white wash table

Just what I wanted.  But, I wasn’t quite done yet.

Lately I’ve been loving color blocking on furniture.  I will share some inspiration photos with you later, but basically what it means is a random chunk of color on a piece of furniture.  Since my favorite color seems to be white, that’s what I chose:)

I taped off my section..

color blocking

and started painting..

color blocking

It’s almost like a permanent runner.

color block

Seeing as though I like to change things so frequently, you may be surprised that I did this.  But, it’s just a power sander away from back to normal:)


Nothing is every permanent around here!

Since I had finished the table I also found these chairs..

photo (38)

I have been wanting to get rid of the black for quite some time, but didn’t know what I wanted yet.  These I found on an online auction and ended up paying only $25 for 4 of them.  Of course I wasn’t in love with the color, so 5 cans of spray paint later and they were..

farmhouse chairs

White!!!!  Huge surprise, I know.  If you follow me on instagram at @prvbsthirtyonegirl you got a sneak peek of them.

So, for the final after picture of the dining room reveal…

farmhouse dining room

and just because I love showing the progression, here’s the order it went..


to this..

lantern lights

to this..

Barrel Shades

and now this..

chalkboard wall

I even was able to use it for hosting a bible study dinner the other night.  I had fun dressing it up!


I had to add the leaf in to make it fit ten people, we had a little problem…


nothing a table cloth couldn’t fix!


It’s our little secret:)  Someday I’ll get to painting that!


Guest House Door Makeover

This actually is not a new makeover, but I realized I hadn’t shown it to my blog readers yet.  If you remember, we turned our little garage behind our house into a small little guest house for the in-laws and any friends that show up:)  And now looking at the pics I realized I changed a few things inside as well…I’ll have to update that too:)

But when we started the garage had an itty bitty door to enter…


with the cute classic shutters.  Well, in order to enter into the garage you had to duck your head everytime.  That gets old.  So, we decide to add a cute little dormer over the door and put in a standard height 9 panel door.




and the door stayed this color a long time….until I finally got around to figuring out what color I wanted it.  If you remember correctly I wanted a cheerful yellow door like this…


but the hubby vetoed that decision.  So instead I decided to go with a  classic black door, and stick with our color scheme…






it looks a little better with all of the construction stuff out of the way as well:)

I like the dark pop though…makes it stand out a bit.  I also cut a stencil with our address on it to dress it up.  I just used cardstock, figuring I probably won’t use that stencil again, grabbed a stencil brush and stenciled it on.  A free trick that takes an ordinary door and makes it just a bit more original.


I added some new landscaping as well.  I”m excited for the boxwoods to get big enough to hedge together…


and I planted hydrangeas in front of the fence.  They should get huge and have beautiful balls of white that I can cut for free fresh flowers!

and…if you’ve been reading with me since the beginning you might remember the dwarf korean lilac tree I was so in love with.  The one Ry ruined, but came back to life…and then we moved.

Well…I finally got a new one, thanks so some very sweet people that gave us money for a nursery to get a plant/shrub in honor of Jules.


I love it, and Jules’ rock:)


it’s cute and little and unique just like Ju Ju was:)

Although I love this tree, we are still going to plant a bigger tree  on the other side of the house where will be Jules’ spot.  Then it can grow big and everyone can see it when they drive in.

Planked Fireplace

Remember way back when we first put the fireplace in and I had this inspiration picture from Better Homes and Gardens….



Sorry for the bad picture…it’s all I had:)  But..I loved everything about this fireplace.  The mantle, the planking, the big white trim.  I mean LOVE.  It would be in my category for dream fireplace.  At the time mine looked like this…


I love looking back at old pictures, it reminds you so much of how things evolve!  So, here was my fireplace when I threw up a mantle shelf I had from the old house, just so I could put something on it. And at the time it was perfect.  We had so many projects going on that this was easy and free, all we could do at the time.

Then I went on an online auction that I have bought quite a bit of stuff from and found  a mantle so close to the inspiration pic I was giddy.  I ended up “winning” it I think for $165.00.  Considering it retailed for $750.00, that was a steal of a deal at 90% off, even if Ry did have to Magiver it a bit since it was a foot too long.  Pretty soon I had a mantle like this…


This was also pre-good camera days:)  We still had a little work to do on her, but she was beautiful.  And for now, this was as close to the inspiration pic as I was gonna get.

But then I started seeing all of these DIY posts pop up in the blog world about planking your walls.  Planking just like my inspiration pic.   And I thought, I can do that.  So, I went to the Home Depot and bought some 1/4″ smooth plywood.  I’m not exactly sure what it was called, but it looked like this…


And what’s awesome is that is it is only about $12 a sheet, so I only needed about $30 worth to do my whole fireplace.

I had the Home Depot guys cut it into 5″ strips for me, free of charge.  Gotta love that.  Now I was ready to start planking…


I had learned a good trick in the blogging world about using a nickel for spacing, so that’s what I did.  For the first few rows anyway, then you start to get the hang of it…


I also used a few dabs of drywall glue on the back of the wood, to help hold it in place…


once I got to the lights I had to take them down to measure and draw my circle on my wood as to where they would go…


I then used the jigsaw Ry has and cut out the shape.  It didn’t have to be perfect, that’s what caulk is for…it just had to be close:)


Did I mention I did this a day that Ry went fishing…so he didn’t have to witness my methods and mess:)  But he did know I was doing it, and hauled in the tools for me.  No surprises this time!

This is the caulk I used to fill in my nail holes.  It doesn’t matter what kind you use as long as it is PAINTABLE.  We have made that mistake many times and it is not fun!


So when I finally got finished nailing my planks up and putting on a coat or two of white I got this…


If I were to do this again I would have painted at least my edges first, it was a pain to try to get in the crack to paint them and then you had spots that got filled up with paint.  So for those of you that may try this, learn from my mistakes:)  I ended up using a knife to clear all the paint out of the cracks….

Then the hubby comes home and I’m grinning ear to ear and he says it looks like the whole fireplace is crooked. :(  It was true, the last 2 pieces I put on were a half an inch different from one end to the next.  The guy cut two boards at once and so not all the measurements were perfect….and I knew they wouldn’t all be.  But this one did need some fixing.


Off they came (I hate redos) and new ones that weren’t so crooked went up…



This is as far as I got before leaving for Wisconsin for a week, so of course even though it wasn’t finished, I had to decorate it just to see:)


Yep, I loved it.


even with the rough edges:)  I had fun playing around with my summer stuff too!



Once I got back from Wisconsin I was feeling motivated to get the job done.  I used the same 1/4 inch plywood to put on the sides and finished trimming out around the fireplace…


and the sweet hubs put up the crown for me.  I wasn’t quite ready to tackle that yet!

We had bought crown for this project quite a few months prior but it was one of those things…we’ll get to it someday..


and I love how “someday” finally turned out!! It was worth the wait:)


and since the fireplace is literally in the center of our house, it’s so fun to have it be a focal point now.  One that I am proud of:)


and everything pops on it!


I love how the sides even add character..


so, here’s my motivation picture again…


and my mantle now..


and just because it’s fun to see the progression, here’s the stages of the fireplace in order…


then lights and a mantle…


and finally planking and finishing…


Finished project complete! Check check.

So, here’s the breakdown.

Mantle $165

Lights $75

Plywood Planking $30

Crown Molding $20

Paint $30


The other good thing about doing a project in stages is that we didn’t have to come up with all of the money at one time.  It got spread out.  So the  final stage of this makeover only cost us $80, not too bad.

How to turn a barrel shade into a pendant

Well, I gave you a sneak peek of what I’ve been doing around the house lately, and let me tell you, I’ve got a lot done.  But then I headed to my parents for the week and finally got on my computer today:)  So I thought I’d show you one of  the updates that I am loving.

When we first gutted our house I was seeing so many pictures of people putting two lanterns over their tables and I loved it!  It was something that I had never had and was so different!  Pictures like this..




and this..



and this..

Atlanta Homes Magazine Lanterns


I had my inspiration!  So I ended up finding these lanterns…

Thomasville Piedmont Collection Pendant


It is called Piedmont Collection Antique Bronze Pendant and at the time I bought it through my sister who works at a lighting showroom.  After I saw it was also at the Home Depot, but since has been discontinued in the stores.  I think you can still order it online though.  I liked this light because it was more traditional but was still in our budget.  We actually even got a better deal than Home Depot since ordering straight from my sister. I was one happy girl:)

The time came to finally hang them up…


and although I liked them, I never got that LOVE feeling that I did when I saw them in pictures:)

I hate that when that happens.  And so does the hubby.  He already thinks I change things up too much…imagine that!  Here’s the bugger with home decor, it doesn’t always work the first time.  And just because you see it in a picture doesn’t mean it will look the same in your house.

I think the main reason it just wasn’t working for me like I hoped it would was because of the layout of our house.  Although I am in love with my house and all the character, the one downfall if this super duper long room…and I realized I don’t have a picutre of it:(  But, you know the set up now.  We have the living room onto the end that runs into the fireplace sitting room, which goes into the dining room.  It’s a long stretch!

I realized that having the see through lanterns didn’t really help to break up the length, and that I might want something  that isn’t see through that helps to warm up and break up the space.   And I have always loved this picture…



and I’m quite a fan of drum shades, so I went on the search for drums, but they were all quite expensive.  And on top of that I needed 2!  Not fun, and the hubby would surely never spring for that!  So this time I googled how to make your own drum shade pendant and I came up with a great answer, make my own for a fraction of the cost.   The first thing I needed was a pendant adapter kit.


I got mine on Amazon for $14.73, and since I’m a Prime member I got free shipping as well.

Then I had to hunt for some lamp shades.  This was the hardest part because I wanted a certain color and texture and I just couldn’t find them.  I ended up buying 2 lamps at homegoods and using the shades off of them.  I have a few random lamp shades hanging around so my plan was to take the shade, replace it, and then sell the lamp at Whimsy.  A great perk for keeping costs down I must say.

This was the shade I ended up with…


I realize I should have taken a picture of the whole lamp, but I forget about these important things amist my excitement of a project! I wanted to show this pic though because this is important, you need to get a shade that has the small circle on top, one that uses a harp!

Then, you dig in your hubbys tools to find what you think is a wire cutter…


Then you snip the small circle out of the middle.  I suggest you stay as close to the circle as possible, I found that out later.  Soon after you get yelled at by your hubby for using his sheet metal cutter (whoops) that you thought was a wire cutter and potentially ruining it!  Sorry babe!!  But still, mission accomplished…


and here’s what you took out..


Your son then thinks your the coolest mom because he has a new gadget to play with:)

Now for the fun part, you take your light adapter and spin off the bottom piece, stick your 3 metal pieces onto the wrungs, and spin the piece back on…


See between the black and white piece, my 3 wires are just sitting in there and hold on by twisting the white piece up tight to hold them in place.  Make sense?? When I was researching this I found many ways to do it, but most included extra pieces and parts and this way was the easiest.  You have to work with it a bit to make sure it’s straight, but it actually works really slick!

I then turned the power off to the house, watched a you tube video on wiring in lights, and hung them myself.  Don’t underestimate what you can do women!:)

One thing I learned and would suggest is not putting the shade on until you have the adapter wired in.  It makes life a lot easier I realized after the shade fell off about 10 times during the process.

And here’s what we have now..


I have to apologize, my wide room lens broke so I have been using my 50 mm until I replace it and it is really hard to get a full room in it.  so until then I guess you won’t get the full affect.


Although it looks like my shade is crooked, I promise it’s not, it just wasn’t being photogenic that day or something!


The color doesnt show the best either…it looks more yellow in the pics than the nice natural it looks in person.

I do like how it warms up the space a bit, and blocks out some of the length.  So here’s the breakdown…

I sold my 2 lanterns for $150 at Whimsy

I bought 2 pendant kits from Amazon for $30

I bought 2 lamps from HomeGoods for $80

I sold 2 lamp bases with shades I had at Whimsy for $56

Total cost of 2 new light fixtures….$54

Which means I got to pocket $96!

The hubby can’t complain too much about that:)

I’ve already made a few more changes in this room that are helping to pull it all together that I’ll show you in a bit!

1 Kitchen, 3 Ways

I’ve been enjoying a few blogs lately that have been having a 1 room, 3 ways party, and decided to join them!


I thought this would be a fun post to show the evolution of our kitchen.  And also good to show you that a room doens’t usually come together all at once.  At least for me it doesn’t.  It ends up evolving.  Sometimes due to budget, sometimes due to my tastes changing, and mostly due to when inspiration strikes.

So, here’s our kitchen when we first moved in…

newhouse 003

Then, after a good 4 months of demo-ing and re-doing, it turned into this…


and it’s funny how at the time I thought it was so complete.  I mean, we did go from doing our dishes in the bathtub to actually having a real sink and real countertops!  All of the basics were there, but the personality wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be yet.

I got a little bit closer by taking off some cabinet doors, you can find that post here…and painting our mini island, you can find that post here….oh, and the skirted sink I added as well.  And you guessed it, it’s drop cloth:)  All of these changes were almost free but added so much more of my style and personality into the room.


but it wasn’t quite done yet…

The last picture I added a shelf above the window, the chalkboard backsplash and cafe curtains, you can find that post here...

Here again I made a drastic difference with all about a $35 price tag!


And that’s where the room sits for the time being.  I can actually say that now when I look at her, I”m in love:)  I’m sure there will be tweaks here and there, but at least now I feel like my personality fits the room.

On a budget.


Oh, and I did add the board and batten as well in the eating area…


For another $35:)  You can find that post here...

So don’t worry if your room doesn’t feel pulled together yet.  It.takes.time.   And you don’t want to rush into something just to redo it later…or maybe you do, cause I do it all the time:)  I’m learning, and hopefully you are too!:)