Category Archives: Rooms

Mood Board: Mid-century inspired family room

I shared with you two days ago our mood board for our new kitchen, so I thought it would be fun to share one for our mid-century inspired family room.  We’re buying all new furniture for this room, so it seemed to necessitate a slightly different look than our first house. Our old family room tended towards darker colors and traditional lines, but with the new house we’re aiming for the cleaner lines of mid-century furniture and lighter colors (mostly white and gray with bright accents). I’ll admit that I am having a lot harder time pulling all the pieces together for this room than I did for the kitchen. I’m hoping once we move in and actually start decorating it will be a little easier to visualize it all.  Our budget for the family room is pretty small in part because it’s getting redecorated at the same time that the kitchen is getting remodeled, so the high cost of actual mid-century furniture was definitely not in the budget.  The board below also only encompasses the decor for the room and not the architectural details we plan on adding later (built in book shelves and wainscoting). The color scheme is gray with yellow and aqua accents.

Mid-century Inspired Family Room
  1. Kivik sofa in Tullinge gray-brown from Ikea. We’ve been dying for a sectional that the whole family can curl up on for years now. I’m loving the price of this one, so hopefully its as comfortable as it looks.
  2. Homespun Moroccan Trellis rug in Spa blue from Rugs USA. I’m having a really hard time picking a color for the rug, but I’m leaning towards a Moroccan pattern in either gray or blue.
  3. Reclaimed wood coffee table from Hudson Goods. Cody actually already built me a table very similar to this one. Good thing since  this one has a $700 price tag!
  4. Greek Key console from Pinterest.  I can’t find the owner of this lovely picture (someone please claim it!), but I originally saw it on Pinterest and I’m thinking of converting my dresser into a media console with this Greek key design.
  5. Oppss….double numbered the rug. My bad.
  6. Mellby chair in Eldris black/white from Ikea. I really wanted chairs with a bright bold pattern, but finding that in our price range has been challenging. This chair has a nice houndstooth pattern that can be punched up with bright pillows.
  7. Threshold Lamp shade Ombre pattern printed from Target. This lamp shade has both of my accent colors in it and is similar to the Ikat one I already own from Target.
  8. Striped curtains via Southern Living. I’m also having a really hard time deciding whether to do neutral curtains or a bright bold pattern. I was thinking of doing a DIY curtain similar to these with stripes.
  9. Chevron and anchor pillow from Joss & Main.  Since most of the room is gray I really want to add bright pops of color with the pillows.
  10. Turquoise winged pig from Joss & Main. I also want to add a bunch of bright whimsical accessories like this pig.

So, do you think we successfully channeled Mad Men? What about the curtains? Do you think I should go neutral or bright?

Mood Board inspired by a white vintage kitchen

We’re down to only days before we close on the new house! I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. I mentioned before that the new house is a fixer-upper, but I may have failed to mention that the entire kitchen needs to be gutted and rebuilt before we even move in. I’ve found that designing a kitchen for a house you don’t live in is both fun and entirely daunting. To help keep me on track I created this mood board for how we want the new space to look. We are going for a vintage inspired look with a lot of cottage charm. You may remember that  our first kitchen remodel at our last home had a lot of the same elements. The difference is that this kitchen is our forever kitchen so many of the surfaces will be higher quality than in our last remodel (the budget is also double).

Vintage Inspired White Kitchen
  1. The white shaker style cabinets and the butcher block are all coming from Ikea.
  2. All the appliances will be stainless steel. We want a very industrial look but we’re not tied to any one brand or look. We found the wine and beverage fridges at Home Depot.
  3. All the metallic finishes will be chrome. The faucet is from Amazon and the cabinet hardware is part of the Allison collection from Amerock.
  4. The light fixture over the island has already been purchased from Barn Light Electric. It is the primary schoolhouse stem mount in jadite.
  5. The floors are allen+roth Handscraped Lodge Oak from Lowe’s.
  6. The back splash will be white 3×6 field tile in a  herringbone pattern.
  7. The accent color is aqua which will be picked up in the accessories like these waffle kitchen towels.

So, what do you think of the look we’re trying to achieve? Do you think we hit the right notes to give the space that vintage inspired look we are going for without making it feel like a historical reproduction?

Cottage bathroom renovation

Our Hall bathroom was probably the room most in need of makeover when we moved in. It had aqua mosaic floor tile, aqua and white wall tile, an aqua sink, and an aqua tub. Don’t get me wrong, I love aqua! But this was like an aqua monster threw up in our bathroom. Not to mention that the towel bar and toilet paper holder were broken, the shower tile was cracking, and a dog had obviously decided to chew the corner of the vanity.  On the up side, the bathroom was large by any normal standard and had a very large linen closet in it. I have always wanted a bright and airy cottage bathroom, so we decided it was time to tackle this room.



1960 aqua bathroom aqua tub


 We decided to tackle this project early in 2010 when Sophie was still a little baby, so at the time this room was only used by guests.We decided we wanted a fresh vintage cottage feel for the bathroom as it often felt a little dark in the room. We knew we wanted white beadboard and a white vanity. I decided on very pale green walls and beige tile for the floors and white subway tile for the shower. Our budget for the room was only $1500 so we knew we had to get creative to make it look good and stay under budget. For a complete breakdown of the budget scroll to the bottom.

cottage bathroom inspiration


We had a lot we needed to get done on our $1500 budget. Here’s our to do list:

  1. Remove all wall tile and replace it with bead board and subway tile.
  2. Remove baseboard heating
  3. Tear out existing closest and replace it with a new custom built vanity.
  4. Replace existing door and window.
  5. Refinish aqua tub so it is white.
  6. Tile over existing floor tile.
  7. Paint wainscoting white and walls green.
  8. Reface existing vanity and paint it white.
  9. Replace all bathroom hardware, vanity pulls, and mirror.
  10. Install new faucet for sink and shower.
  11. Install new butcher block counters and a new sink.
  12. Hang new shelving in old closet.
  13. Buy new art, towels, baskets, curtains, curtain rods, and shower curtain.


Since the wall tile was cracking it had to go. We thought we’d hit it with a hammer and it would simply fall off the wall like it always does for those nice designers on HGTV. Boy were we in for a surprise. Apparently in 1960 they attached tile to the wall with a metal screen and 2 inches of concrete, Below you can see some of the tile coming down.

bathroom renovation

It took an entire week just to get all the tile down and boy did it make a mess! Our entire house was covered in a layer of dust by time we were finished. Here’s what the shower looked like once all the tile and metal mesh was down.

bathroom renovation

Next, we ripped out the existing line closet. It was huge and seemed to be taking up unnecessary space in the bathroom. We removed all the shelves and the existing door framing.

bathroom renovation

Finally, we were ready to install green board in the shower and sheet rock and bead board in the rest of the room. Below you can see that the bead board has been installed and capped with molding and the shower walls have been prepped for tile.

install bead board

The final reveal

Well the whole renovation took about 2 months and was a lot more labor intensive than we had thought it would be, but we couldn’t be happier with the results. The room is now so bright and airy with pale green walls and white bead board. We had originally planned on replacing the vanity but it was an odd size and ripping it out would have meant more work on the floors and walls, so in the end we decided to paint it white and reface it with new doors that Cody made from MDF. We also got a new light fixture and a new mirror. The butcher block is from Ikea and warms up what otherwise would have been an entirely white bathroom.

cottage bathroom

The sink has actually become one of favorite elements in the room. We choose a square design by Kohler*. Originally we had purchased a chrome and porcelain faucet like this one*, but when we went to install it we realized it had a 4 in spread and our sink had been drilled for a 6 in spread, so back to the store we went.  There wasn’t a lot of selection in our price range, so we settled for this one, but the second it was installed I knew we had made the right choice. In fact I think it has much more presence than the original one ever would have had.

*These are affiliate links. Any purchase made helps support Simply Swider. Thank you.

vintage cottage sink

We ripped out the original linen closet in the bathroom and replaced it with a custom built vanity (made from MDF) and floating wall shelves from Ikea. This combination allowed us to keep the storage space while making the room feel larger and less claustrophobic.  The sea grass baskets are from Target and hold extra towels and toilet paper.

cottage bathroom

We installed new 12 in ceramic tile over the old aqua mosaic tile. We decided to do this because we found out the mosaic tile was installed piece by piece and we would literally need a jack hammer to get it all up. The striped shower curtain established the color scheme in the room and is from Target as are the white curtains. You can also see in the below picture the new energy efficient window that was installed and notice that there is no longer baseboard heating below it.

cottage bathroom The old aqua cast iron tub is now white thanks to a $50 refinishing kit from Home Depot. The shower also got new white subway tile, a new faucet and shower head, and a new curved shower curtain rod.

vintage cottage bathroom

The details

It’s the details in the room that really lend the cottage and vintage charm to it.  We kept all the metal in the room chrome and much of it include porcelain as well. The white and chrome shower hooks are from Target. The new chrome towel bars and toilet paper holder have very traditional lines. We kept the original toilet but added a new chrome and porcelain lever* to dress it up.  In the bath we installed a cheap chrome faucet set but replaced the middle knob with an upgraded chrome and porcelain replacement knob* from Home Depot.

*These are affiliate links. Any purchase made helps support Simply Swider. Thank you.

cottage bathroom inspiration

Art is often forgotten in the bathroom, but also helps anchor the vintage cottage look we were going for.  The washroom banner that hangs over the towel bar was made by myself.  Cody made the picture frame from leftover pallets and burlap. The picture of the girls in the tub seemed like a natural fit for the room. The copper and wire vintage boat we picked up in the clearance section of Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

bathroom art cottage


Probably the most shocking part of our budget was that we actually came in almost $100 under it! We saved a ton of money by doing all the work ourselves and by salvaging as much as we could from the original room (the tub, toilet, and vanity). For the most part we also bought the cheapest  products we could find that still matched our theme.  Everything for this renovation was available in stock at either Lowe’s, Ikea, or Home Depot.

Faucets                 $101.86

Sink                              99.00

Window                     148.00

Shelving                      50.00

Mirror                           59.99

Hardware                     39.98

Lighting                          89.97

Butcherblock             100.00

Cabinet pulls                 27.79

Door                                   81.92

Re-glaze bath                  50.00

Bead board                       56.47

Floor tile                            84.14

Subway tile                     150.00

Paint                                     33.47

Building supplies          194.60

Accessories                      39.99

Total                               1408.18


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Lizzie’s aqua and red nursery

aqua and red nursery

The second I found out we were expecting baby #2 I knew two things: that I was going to get to decorate a new nursery and that I wanted it to be vibrant and fun.  I really hate babyish nurseries. That may sound harsh but I don’t understand why people immediately jump to pastels. Babies don’t see well anyways and are drawn to bright colors, so I started the design for this nursery by picking two bright colors: aqua and red. Aqua and red are not obvious choices for a nursery but they were so much fun to work with and thanks to Etsy I had literally  unlimited custom decor at my fingertips. Lizzie’s nursery is one of my favorite rooms in the entire house. I love that it’s unexpected and yet still girly and cute. We had a difficult time picking a wall color to go above the wainscoting but eventually we decided on Olympic Blue Persuasion which is a pale aqua that complements the color scheme without overwhelming the room.

Aqua and red nursery with DIY nursery bedding

The first thing I picked for this room was the fabrics which are from Michael Miller’s Aqua Red color family. Since modern crib bedding is expensive (think Serena and Lilly) I decided to make it all myself using what I had left over from Sophie’s nursery.  I recovered the old bumper and added ribbon ties in a coordinating ribbon.

DIY crib bedskirt in aqua and red

Here’s a closeup of the crib skirt. I simply reused the old white crib skirt from Sophie’s nursery and added  a panel of red and white polka dots to the bottom of it and finished it off with an aqua ribbon to hide the seams. This is the same process I used on the curtain panels which also used to hang in Sophie’s room.

aqua and red nursery wall decal owl

The owl wall decal is probably my favorite piece of art in the room.  Its from Lucy Lews and was completely customizable. I was really nervous after ordering it. I was afraid that the colors wouldn’t be right, but when it came in the mail it was absolutely perfect! It’s a vinyl wall decal but because we have textured walls we couldn’t apply it directly to the wall. Our solution was to take an old canvas we were no longer using, spray paint it white, and apply the decal directly to the canvas to make a custom piece of art.

diy nursery mobile aqua and red birds

The mobile I made myself from a grapevine wreath I bought at Michael’s, left over ribbon, and left over fabric. I found the pattern for these cute birds for free online and made them out of the left over fabric from the room. Then I simply stuffed them and attached them from ribbon to the wreath. Lizzie loves to smack at them.

3D nusery art butterflies aqua and red

For a while I wasn’t sure what to do with this wall adjacent to the crib. It felt like it needed something but I didn’t want anymore rectangular art since the room already had 6 pieces, then I found these butterflies from Simply Chic Lily, and I was instantly in love.

Aqua and red nursery with birds

The dresser is Hemnes from Ikea which is seriously the best dresser ever.The container was also from Sophie’s room which I simply spray painted white and added a decorative ribbon trim to.   I think the frog humidifier is just fun.

aqua and red nursery art

The super cute bunting is from Betty and Barclay on Etsy. You may remember I used it in Lizzie’s 1st birthday cake smash pictures as well. The bird prints are by vtdesigns also on Etsy. I love that these prints coordinate perfectly with the room but do not scream at you “BABY ROOM”. You can see that nature became a subtle theme in the room as well (flowers, birds, butterflies, ect)

aquar and red nursery art aqua and red nursery lamp

The art installation, lamp , and hamper are from the Cotton Tale Designs nursery line which is conveniently called Lizzie (seriously how could I not buy them right?) I like them because they are childish without sending the room into a full blown temper tantrum. aqua and red nursery ptterybarn kids anywhere chair

Finally, I found the perfect chair for Lizzie at Pottery Barn Kids. It’s one of their anywhere chairs but I found this particular cover in the clearance section (score!).

Master Bathroom Remodel: Black and White with Vintage Charm

Our master bathroom had been added on in the 90’s, so it wasn’t quite as outdated as our hall bath, but it still came equipped with an awkward layout and a brass fiberglass shower. One of our major goals in this remodel was to make the shower larger. The fiberglass drop in shower was small and did not use all the space in the back corner. Because the corner was oddly shaped we couldn’t  just buy a new larger drop in, instead we had to build a custom shower stall from scratch.

Master bathroom before As for the design itself, we wanted a classic black and white color scheme with vintage charm. We knew we wanted white subway tile and a glass mosaic accent  tile as well as black cabinets. We also wanted updated brush nickle hardware and a frame-less glass shower door. Here is the original project board I designed.

master bath project board

Oh and did I mention we wanted to do all of this on a small budget? In the end we spent $3200 on this remodel. See below for  a breakdown of the budget.

Here are some pictures of the progress. The shower stall took the majority of the work. I think it took us about a month to finish it. First we ripped out the old shower then framed out the new stall walls.  Up went the cement backer board, then we prepped the floor for the new custom shower pan.

Custom shower pan

Here’s the new shower pan with the concrete poured.

custom shower pan

And with the new custom marble tiled floor. Hexagon mosaic marble floor

This gives you an idea of what the whole project entailed. We didn’t have a bathroom for about 2 months.

Gutted bathroom remodel

And the reveal!

Master bathroom remodel black and white

The wall color is amazing! It’s Olympic Sweet Illusion. It looked white on the chip but is undeniably blue on the wall. I wanted something soft to juxtaposition all the black and white and this color is truly ethereal.

Master bathroom remodel black and white

The frameless glass door almost didn’t happen. They were so much more expensive than we had imagined (think $700), then luckily we found this one on Overstock for $429. It’s a DreamLine Unidoor. I was a little skeptical at first about the quality, but it wound up being even nicer than most of the $700 ones we had looked at. The only caveat was that we couldn’t get a brush nickle handle, but for an almost $300 savings who care?

custom shower stall with subway tile and glass mosaic

The only real argument we got in over this bathroom was the tile. I was all set to put in a classic black and white floor (which is also very budget conscious) when Cody vetoed the idea. For a while we couldn’t decide at all what to do until we saw this floor tile at the Tile Shop. Its Hampton Carrara Polished 4 x 12 (13.99 sq ft). We loved that it looked like over-sized subway tile. The shower floor in Hampton Carrara 1 in hex (15.99 sq ft) surrounded by Black Pearl (6.99 sq ft) These tiles almost blew our budget. large rectabgular carra marble floor tiles

Because the floors were so expensive we decided to save money on the walls and go with subway tile. Cody was originally against this idea because of how much work subway tile is, but in the end the budget won. The subway tile (4.82 sq ft) and the glass accent tile (9.98 sq ft) are both from Lowe’s. We also updated all the fixtures with brushed nickle, also all from Lowe’s. brushed nickle faucet with glass moasic backsplash

Here’s a close-up of the accent tile. We knew we wanted glass tile and this one won us over with its subtle blues and marbles mixed in. glass mosaic accent tile with subway tile

We saved a lot of money by keeping the original tub and cabinets which were in great shape. We gave them a new black finish with acrylic black paint and added new hardware. The vanity got a new cultured white marble top as well as a new faucet. Vanity painted black with white marble vanity top

And I do love a good before and after…..

master bathroom before and after

Budget Breakdown

Building Materials:  469.03

Tile: 1587.16

Lighting: 84.97

Paint: 44.72

Faucets: 377.94

Vanity top: 138.00

Mirror: 69.99

Shower door: 428.56

Grand Total: 3200.37

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