Bright, white, and light laundry room makeover

So you may have noticed it’s been pretty quiet around here lately. That’s because we took the summer off from house projects. Gasp! Definitely a no-no for a home blogger, but we were feeling pretty worn out and we just wanted to sit back and enjoy the summer around the pool. Well you may remember that we’ve been slowly working on making over our laundry room. If you don’t remember that’s because it’s been  a year since I mentioned it.  Well the good news is it’s finally done! Let’s take a trip back through time to remember how it originally looked.

Laundry room before

This “room” is more of a pass through from the kitchen to the nautical half bath. It also has doors to the garage and backyard. The room was already pretty functional to begin with, so our goal was to use the space as a way to unify the gray design scheme of the kitchen to the off white and green in the half bath. What we wound up with is a light and bright space the had loads more character than the old room.

ship lap laundry

We installed ship lap on the back wall to give the room more depth then painted the walls Vermont Cream by Behr. You can find more on this project here.

laundry room shelves

The shelves are made out of reclaimed wood from our old play set (same wood we used for the outdoor buffet and bathroom frame). We picked up the brackets at Home Depot and I sourced most of the decor from the house. I love how open the shelves make the room feel and how much easier it is to reach the detergent (short girl problems.)

white rustic laundry room

I used green and yellow accents in the decor to tie into the nautical bathroom in the background.  And remember when I was debating industrial lights like 2 years ago?? Well the diamond pendant light was the winner. I love how the finish on the light is echoed on the shelf brackets.

cheap laundry room makeover

This is a happy room! It would be happier with a new washer and dryer but me and the laundry room are currently working on our patience.

And here’s a reminder of all the wonderful paint colors we’ve had to part ways with since we bought the house. So sorry Salmon. before and after laundry room

I plan to be back in the fall with some new projects (I’m looking at you dining room), but until then I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

Outdoor decorating time!

I thought I’d pop by and give you a quick update on how our back yard is coming along. We spent pretty much all of last year just building the pool decks, but this year we finally get to start making them functional and pretty! chaise lounge by pool

We doubled the number of chaise lounges to 4 and added another umbrella (they are from Target). One for each member of the family.  If it’s sunny out you can pretty much count on finding me here with a book. We also added some new planters and trees.

large planter for tree

In fact the new planters with arborvitaes are my favorite. Not only do they soften all the hardscaping but they provide a little privacy with the neighbors. I can’t wait to watch them grow up. We picked up these awesomely large planters at a local place called @home for only $79!

grey deck

We also finally got around to staining the decks. Unfortunately, we don’t like the color. The grey has a little too much blue in it, so we will be trying out a new color next spring.

outdoor sectional

The screened in porch got a new outdoor sectional from Amazon and we moved our old family room rug outside. Two new chairs from Lowe’s complete the conversation area.

outdoor curtains DIY

On the dining side I added some curtains from Ikea which not only keep the afternoon sun out of my little one’s eyes at dinner but also provides some much need privacy in the evening.  I picked them up at Ikea for only $10 for two panels.

outdoor sectional

The sectional though is seriously one of the best purchases we’ve ever made. I did a lot of research before deciding on the Ohana 7 piece sofa set in sunbrella . It’s large enough to host large groups and comfortable enough for afternoon naps. You can literally find us out here every morning with coffee, every afternoon with a book, and every evening with wine.

outdoor lighting

I also picked up some outdoor string lights last year at Target for half price. The glow they put off in the evening is beautiful. We usually have them on every night even when we’re inside just so we can look out and see them.

Well that’s where we are for now. The weather finally turned warm enough for us to start using the pool, so we’ve put off any new projects in order to enjoy some more family time.

You can get more info on the pool and deck installation here.

And find all the gory before and after pictures of the porch here.

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Master Bedroom Built-ins and the perfect brass sconce

bedroom built-ins

When Barn Light Electric approached me a couple months ago about collaborating on a project our master bedroom need some serious love. But I had a vision of what the room could be and knew that with their beautiful lighting we could pull it off. If you are not familiar with Barn Light Electric then you are seriously missing out.  I detailed them way back here when I first started blogging; and I designed the entire kitchen around their school house pendant lights.

For the master bedroom I really wanted some brass wall sconces for either side of the bookcases to act as reading lights. I knew the brass would pop against the amazing wall color we picked (more details below). Here were my favs that I narrowed it down to:

reading lights

Clockwise from top left:  Alston Wall SconceBowie Brass Wall Sconce, the Getty Brass Dome Shade, Garden City Wall SconceCentral Park Swing Arm Sconce, the Lovell Brass Plug-In Wall Sconcethe Fargo Brass Wall Sconce, the Downtown Minimalist Brass Adjustable Sconce

It was a hard choice but in the end we choose the Downtown Minimalist Brass Plug-In Sconce.  I loved the traditional brass finish combined with a more modern design.

brass reading light

One thing I love about Barn Light Electric is that most of their lights are semi-customizable.  We choose the raw brass finish (it comes in 29 colors!) with the gold and white cord and the 25W Victorian Edison bulb.  They also sell this sconce hardwired, but we choose the cord so that we would have an on/off switch accessible while laying in bed.  The Victorian Edison bulb puts out the perfect romantic glow without blinding you if you switch it on in the middle of the night.

bedroom built-ins

Overall we couldn’t be more pleased with the lights or how amazing they look against the paint. And since I know you are dying to ask: the paint color is blue echo by Benjamin Moore. And if you’re new here you can see how we built the bookcases and wainscoting here.

tarva bookcase

I seriously heart brass. I can’t believe I once thought brushed nickel was superior to it’s warmth.  Silly me!

bedroom wainscotting

The wall color couldn’t be more perfect. I wanted something dark and moody and this blue/green is just perfect. It changes color depending on the light coming from the windows.

teal bedroom

I just can’t get enough of how the brass looks against the teal.

teal built-ins

We have some super fancy ideas for the ceiling as well as plans for a new floor and headboard. Obviously the shelves need styling, but considering how bad I am at that I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a picture.

For now can we all just take a sigh of relief that the room no longer looks like this:

master before

This project and post was kindly sponsored by Barn Light Electric. As always all ideas and opinions are my own. 

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Built-ins in the Master Bedroom with an Ikea hack

We have done pretty much nothing to our master bedroom. The last time you even saw it was when we painted it about 2 years ago.

Grey and teal masterbedroom

It’s big and square and from the moment we first saw the room we knew we wanted to make it something special. We just had no idea how to do that. So we did nothing for 2 years while I thought about and pinned 1000’s of pins, then finally a picture of what I we could do formed in my head. We wanted something dramatic and moody, so we obviously started at Ikea. I know that doesn’t make any sense. You’re thinking “Ikea is light and airy”, but stay with me. We bought 2 Ikea Tarva dressers that we actually got at the Ikea family price of $65!

TARVA 3-drawer chest IKEA Made of solid wood, which is a durable and warm natural material.

We decided that these would make the perfect base for built-ins around our bed. We assembled them minus the legs which would have made them too high for a bedside table.

ikea tarva hack

We set the dressers onto a small 2×4 base then built book shelves to sit on top of them.

Ikea tarva hack

We built the book cases out of  primed pine 1x12s. The shelves are faced with primed pine 1 x2s.  Of course both electrical outlets on the wall were right behind the new dressers, so we installed new outlets at alarm clock height.

book cases in master  bedroom

The book shelves created 3 alcoves on the wall that we filled with a square wainscoting made out of primed pine 1×4’s. I love how much the molding sticks off the wall. It’s a very different look that the wainscoting we did in the foyer.

master bedroom wainscotting

The whole wall got new base boards including the dressers.

tarva bookcase

The final touch was crown molding and a whole lot of caulking. And that brings us to where we are today!

DIY wainscoting

If you’re wondering where the moodiness is it’s in the paint. The color is already going up on the wall and it’s absolutely phenomenal. I can’t wait to share it with you!

And here’s a reminder of what the room looked like when we bought the house.

Master bedroom

How I pick paint colors and why you should never get paint color matched

pick the perfect color

Will you pick paint colors for me? It’s the most common question I get from friends and family. I honestly love picking out paint colors but I’ve come to realize that many people are paralyzed by fear of picking the wrong color. There is no fool proof way of picking the perfect color. Even I’ve been known to be a shade off a time or two (I’m looking at you laundry room), but for the most part I love the very first color I pick.

So I’m going to let you in on my process for picking the perfect color: Pinterest!

I know it’s not exactly a secret, but I’m going to walk you through how you can use Pinterest to narrow down the perfect wall color for you room.

Pick a color:

If you haven’t zeroed in on exact color yet, then spend a little time using Pinterest’s search function to help you out here. Below is a screen shot of what I got when I searched “best paint colors”:

how to pick a paint color

Research your color:

You wouldn’t buy a new car without doing a little research first would you? Same goes with paint colors. After all painting your walls is a huge commitment. Maybe not monetarily, but time wise and aesthetically it is going to make a huge impact. Do yourself a favor and don’t skip this step. After playing around on Pinterest for a while I knew I wanted a really natural griege for the family room, so I inserted that into the search function:

picking greige paint

As you can see I found literally thousands of pictures of rooms painted in a griege color including many links to blogger’s and designer’s favorite griege colors.  This is where you let other people’s experience work for you. Look over the pictures, see how the colors actually look in the rooms, and narrow it down to your favorite colors.  The color that I found myself pinning over and over again was Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, so that is where I started.

Pick out paint chips:

Hopefully by now you have a least one inspiration color to start with. Now go to that paint retailer and find the right paint chip. After you have found your inspiration color, grab a couple more that are in the same shade range (think above, below, left, and right of your inspiration). Since my inspiration was Benjamin Moore, I also headed over to Lowe’s and picked up some Valspar and Olympic paint chips that were in the same range. It’s better at this point to have too many choices than not enough.

Just a sample of the chips we picked up for our foyer makeover:

how to pick a paint color


Hold up paint chips in the room:

Just because a color looked great online doesn’t actually mean it will work in your room. Now is the time to put your room to the test. Hold up the chips in the room you wish to paint. I like to hold it up against the trim color to get an idea of how it will all look together. Also consider holding them up against anything else permanent such as the flooring or brick. I like to start with my inspiration color and work out from there.  Also consider all the different lighting in the room. Try looking at the sample with lights on and off, in natural light and in the darkest area of the room.

Revere Pewter actually made it to our short list, but in the end we decided on Olympic’s Grey Ghost. I couldn’t exactly pin point why we choose this color. This is where you just go with your gut.

family room makeover

Choose lighter and muddier:

You’ll probably be able to narrow down you color choices pretty quickly, but what do you do when you find yourself stuck between two or three choices? My recommendation is go for the lighter choice because the color will always look more saturated once it’s on the wall. Also go for the one with more brown, grey, or beige in it. These tones tend to be softer on the eyes and more flattering over all. If you’re still stuck, ask for a second opinion. I will sometimes agonize over a color choice for days and when I finally ask my husband he picks one in 2 seconds.

tv console makeover

Confidently buy your paint:

Go yon, ye paint color expert and buy your paint confidently knowing that it’s going to look great in your room.

Wait! Can I save money by getting an expensive brand color matched?

Yes, but don’t do it. Having a paint color mixed is an exact science. The paint chip tells the paint mixer exactly how much of each pigment to put in for each type of paint. When you have a color paint matched the computer is just making a best guess, and I promise you won’t be happy with the result. Besides, after going through all the trouble of picking the perfect color, why tempt fate with a knock off. I always buy the same brand of paint that the paint chip goes with. Sometimes I win and pick a cheaper paint and sometimes I have to chalk up the extra money for premium paint. Also, down the road if you need more paint mixed there is a greater likelihood of the colors not matching if you had it color matched the first time.

whole house paint pallet


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Turn a bay window into a reading nook

The front of our house was blessed with two south facing bay windows that bathe the office and dining room with sunlight most of the day. It makes the office the perfect spot for cuddling up with tea and a good book in the winter. The bays themselves; however, create a bit of a decorating  problem.


Originally we placed two large club chairs in the window, but they were really too large and not comfortable for long periods of time. You can see in the picture below how far they stuck out into the room.

office progress

The hubby and I love to sit in the bay in the winter and soak up the sun over coffee, but the chairs made cuddling impossible. Until one day he had the bright idea to put a sofa in the bay. (Probably his best idea to date!)

Enter the Karlstad sofa from Ikea which fits perfectly into the bay and only sticks out a couple of inches.

KARLSTAD Sofa IKEA A range of coordinated covers makes it easy for you to give your furniture a new look.

We quickly planned a trip to Ikea, bought this baby, and slid it into it’s new home (well I mean after an hour of putting it together).

bay window reading nook

This is probably my favorite spot in the house now!

karlstad ikea bay window

I spend most afternoons reading and soaking up the sun here as well as weekends drinking tea and talking with the hubby.


I made the pillow myself with some fabric from Joanne’s.  The down pillow is perfect for getting cozy. I may have even taken a nap on it.

sheep skin rug

I wanted a modern coffee table that wouldn’t block the view from the foyer and West Elm’s Origami table fit the bill perfectly.  I wanted to cozy up what is an otherwise functional office, so I added the sheepskin rug I found at Ikea. It’s ridiculously soft!

reading nook

The table serves the functional purpose of holding my tea cups and books, but I personalized the tablescape with a tray that hold a family picture, a plant to bring in a little life, and some cheek in tongue coasters.


This was such a fun little space to design, especially since it didn’t actually require any renovations. We actually love this space so much we’re thinking of replicating it in the kitchen. As for the rest of the office we have a plan for some built-ins that will hopefully be executed this year.

Industrial Chic Bathroom Makeover

I know what you’re going to say….. “where have you been?!?!” Well mostly hibernating.  We actually finished the bathroom up back in November, but I decided to not stress about getting this post up during the holidays and just enjoy some downtime with the family. I know….bad blogger. Well I’m back now with our industrial half bath reveal! This room is now officially my favorite room in the house!

reclaimed wood wall

Since the room was so tiny we decided to go overboard on the finishes.  You may remember our original mood board back here.  We kept with the Industrial Chic theme we started in the foyer makeover.  The wood wall is made of wood we reclaimed from our fence. The mirror was originally wood which I gave an antique gold finish to (see all the details on that here.)

industrial DIY shelves

The hubby built these amazing reclaimed wood shelves out of the old fence boards as well. Originally they were just going to be floating but they were really heavy so we added the cable wire to insure that non of our guests got knocked unconscious while relieving themselves.

wallpaper in bathroom

The ceiling and molding is still by favorite part of the makeover. You can check out how we did them both here.

bathroom moulding

The white penny tile with gray grout came out amazing.  It really makes the bathroom feel fun, which I know is a weird adjective for a bathroom but it’s true.

bathroom art

I found this print on Etsy and I love that it adds just a little hint of color and whimsy to the space.

bathroom art

Our guests love the “have a nice dump” art! I fond the cross stitch pattern on Etsy and  stitched it myself. The frame is from Marshall’s.

half bath makeover

Overall we couldn’t be happier with how all the finishes came together!

reclaimed wood bathroom

And the obligatory before and after pics!

bathroom before and after

industrial shevles



Paint: Glidden Bluegrass White

Baskets: Target Small Milk Crate Wire Basket

Bicycle art: The Meek Boutique 

Mirror: Home Emporium

Cross stitch pattern: 2 Dirty Needles 

Title: Home Depot Metro Penny Tile Matte White

Plant: Ikea Fejka

Wallapaper: Hygge and West Daydream by Julie Rothman  which I found discounted here.


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Cedar planked headboard wall in guest room

diy wood headboard

My best friend and her family came for a 2 week visit from North Dakota recently, so we decided it was finally time to make an actual guest room. We’ve actually had this tiny green room all along, but it’s mostly been used for storage/dog sleeping room.

guest room before

I decided to go with a neutral masculine color scheme seeing as we get all different types of guests.  The end product is sort of a modern camp style.

First off, I painted the room Gray Ghost just like our master, hallway, kitchen, and family room. Clearly we like the color.

Second, we paneled the wall with cedar siding. This was not only cost effective at $60 for the bundle, but also went up quickly and easily. Originally I had planned on staining the wood, but in the end we decided it was so beautiful and smelled so good that it wasn’t worth the extra effort.

cedar headboard

Next, we built a platform bed for the mattress. We knew we were moving our old king sized mattress into this pixie sized room so I wanted to keep the new bed as streamlined as possible.

diy platform bed

build a platform bed

We finished off the sides of the bed with cedar 1x8s.

Finally, we built floating tables to provide function, but keep the foot print of the bed small. We picked up the lights from Ikea about 6 years ago but had never got around to installing them anywhere.

floating bedside table

Last, but not least, we added all the bedding which was conveniently all found at Target.

wood wall bedroom

camp style bedding

wood paneled wall

masculine bedding

So the guest room is now officially nicer than our master bedroom! I’ll admit we’ve spent a couple of hours sipping wine and laying on the bed enjoying how warm and comfortable the room feels. We still need to add some more art work and makeover a dresser in the room, but for now our guests are pretty psyched to not be sleeping on an air mattress.

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Make custom curtains from store bought panels

Last time I updated you on our master bedroom was when we painted it like 2 years ago. Well, we recently decided that we needed new curtains for our master bedroom; and I promptly fell in love with these ones from Restoration Hardware for $2000.

restoration hardware curtains Ya, you read that right. $2000 for 4 panels. You’re probably laughing as hard as my husband did right now.  When I started searching around for something similar but cheaper though I came up empty. That’s when I started playing with the idea of making my own.  A couple of Youtube videos later and I convinced myself that I definitely did NOT want to make curtains from scratch. Damn that is a lot of work and still pricey.

That’s when I decided I would just alter some store bought curtains into custom curtains.  Specifically the Ikea Ingert curtains which are $40 a pair. Ikea curtains are great for altering. Remember when I added stripes to our family room curtains?

ikea ingert I obsessively stalked custom curtains on Pinterest and made of list of what I wanted my curtains to have.

  1. 2 finger pinch pleat
  2. Black out lining
  3. Hang heavy and straight

And here’s the materials I used:

The first step was ironing out the curtains. This took forever.

ikea ingert

Next, I laid out the ironed curtain on the floor and placing the wrong sides together put the ironed blackout liner on top. The blackout liner is slightly smaller than the curtain. custom ingert curtains

I pinned the two pieces together along the top and two sides. Then using the stitch witchery and iron I attached the two pieces together.

diy custom curtains

I attached all 3 sides together using stitch witchery leaving the bottom open.  Next, I made the pinch pleats. This is where you just have to play with the fabric to figure out what you want. Once I figured out how many pleats I wanted I pinned them together and hand sewed them.

diy pinch pleats

Here’s what they looked like from the front.

make pinch pleats

Once the pleats where completed I hung the panel from the new rods. Make sure that the rods are at the proper height and you like the way the panels hang from the rings. I played a while with this step as well.

Once the panels were hung I inserted pins where I wanted the hem to be. For me this was just gracing the floor. I then took the panels down and cut the fabric about 6 inches from the hem. I folded over the bottom by 1 in then ironed then folded the fabric to the hem and attached it to the blackout liner using the stitch witchery.

custom curtains from store bought panels

Before closing up the bottom I also inserted a drapery weight into the bottom hem on each side of the panel.

Here you can see how the new panels compare to the old ones.  Not only are they longer but they hanger straighter and stay open wider.

make custom curtains

Here’s a close up of the pleating.

diy dutch pleat

And here they are all done. I apologize for the terrible lighting. Taking pictures of windows is difficult.

dit custom curtains

And this gives you an idea of how much light the black out liners block.

add a black out liner

These pictures don’t so the curtains any justice, but we love how much more mature they make the room feel.

And as for cost:

Panels: $80

Blackout liners: $50

Everything else: $18

Total: $148

So while these curtains took me forever to  make (I did the work over a couple of weeks) the savings (over $1800!) sure made it worth it!

We have more plans for the master bedroom coming up!


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Backyard Makeover 1 year later

It’s officially been 1 year since we started planning our massive backyard makeover and guess what???? It’s still not done.  Sigh….. However, the big stuff is finally done so I thought I’d finally share some pictures with you guys.

Here’s a reminder of what we started with:

Back yard

And here’s where we are today:

backyard pool


You can see all the construction pictures here!


outdoor kitchen

backyard pool deck

Pool house

wood pool deck

pool waterfall

backyard makeover with pool


Check out more fence and gate pictures here!

fence with arbor


Beaubo Approves


Here’s what we still have to finish:

  1. Cable railings
  2. Finishing touches around steps
  3. Build bridge between deck and boardwalk
  4. Stain all the decking gray
  5. New furniture and lots of potted plants

Most of this will be done by the fall; and I’ll finally be able to share true “after” pictures with you. We’re just excited that for now the whole space is functional; and we’ve been taking advantage of it with plenty of pool parties.

backyard makeover

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