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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Create an antique gold look with paint and stain

As usual we continue to jump from project to project. We now have 3 of the 4 decks done around the pool, but we had a rainy weekend so we decided to keep plugging away at the industrial half bath makeover. Here’s a reminder of how it started:

half bath before This room actually didn’t come with a mirror. I picked this one up at Home Emporium for $29 with the intention of making it gold. Please excuse the messy garage  in the following picture.

gold gild a mirror


If you remember from the mood board for this room we are going for a glamorous industrial look similar to our foyer which combines gold with rustic accents. This mirror is the little bit of refinement in the otherwise industrial space.

To get started creating the antique gold look I wanted for the mirror I used a spray primer on the frame followed by a coat of metallic gold spray paint.

paint frame gold I highly recommend starting with spray paint if you have a frame as intricate as mine. Painting it with a brush would’ve been a pain. The spray paint gave the frame a “too perfect” finish, so I took some left over gold paint from the nautical bathroom and just dry brushed it on in areas create a less than perfect finish.

I played around with a lot of different paints next to figure out which look I liked best. The moral of this story is: you can’t screw up. Just keep layering paint until you get it right.

What worked best for me was actually the easiest option. I brushed on dark walnut stain then almost immediately wiped it off with an old cloth. You can see in the last picture that the stain collected in the intricate wood work bringing out the details of the frame and giving more depth to the gold paint.

how to gold gild a mirror


I worked in small sections around the frame until I was done. You can always go back and wipe more stain away or add more as you see fit.

Here’s how the room is currently coming together! Please excuse the terrible pictures. This is literally the smallest room in the world and taking pictures of it without being in the mirror is almost impossible.

gol mirror against reclaimed wood


Oh ya did I mention we put reclaimed wood on the wall?

antique gold mirror bathroom

We love how the room is coming along. Especially how the fancy mirror holds it’s own against the rustic wall.

antique gold mirror


If you follow along on facebook or instagram then you know we also added a white penny tile floor and 7 inch baseboards. All that’s left is some shelves and art and it’s a wrap on this half bath!

P.S. The bathroom makeover is finally complete. Check it here!



A beautiful fence and gate with an arbor

fence with pergola

Now that the pool construction is finally done, it’s time to start making the backyard pretty. First up was a new fence. Our old one was falling down and wouldn’t have passed the pool inspection anyway. Here’s what our side yard looked like during construction:

side yard

You can actually see the old fence pulled off in the upper right side of the picture. As you can see the construction pretty much destroyed the yard. This is the main entrance into our backyard so we wanted to make somthing special.

fence with pergola

We decided to build an arbor integrated into the new gate. Isn’t it absolutely stunning?  For the fence the hubby integrated this premade lattice on top of plain old fence boards to dress it up.

pergola with gate

I love how the arbor perfectly frames out the new pool house. Eventually there will be vines growing up the arbor.

fence with arbor

We also built a ground level deck walk way (what we call The Boardwalk) to connect the front of the house to the new pool house. fence with arbor

Behind the fence houses our trashcans and new HVAC units. There will also be lattice on this side to block their view from the boardwalk.

build your own fence

Fences are expensive, so to save a little money we built just a standard plain fence for the sides.

custom fence

I created shade gardens on both sides of the boardwalk with hydrangeas and hostas.

backyard garden

Eventually we will build a small bridge over the stepping stones  to attach the board walk to the new pool decking.

custom fence

On the left side of the house we built a matching gate but with out the arbor.

fence with lattice

This is one of my favorite spots in the yard. Just look at the size of that hosta!

So what do you think about our new fence? Our neighbors have been stopping by to tell us how much they like it. Once the wood acclimates properly (maybe in the fall or next spring) we plan to stain the fence a darker brown and the boardwalk grey. I’ll share more pictures as the plants start to mature as well!

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Surprise! We got a pool!

pool This post has been 6 months coming. You may remember back in January when I mentioned we were working on a super big super secret project……well we got an in ground pool! I’ve shared some pictures of the progress on facebook and instagram, but I was holding off mentioning it on the blog until the pool was actually installed. I thought that would be back in October, but we ran into just about every snag possible combined with terrible winter weather. Our back yard has literally been under construction for the last 6 months. The pool is officially done now but the back yard is still a mess, so bear with me on the still in progress pictures.


pool pool pool construction

pool construction

pool construction


The pool is only 12 x 24 feet and runs from 3 to 5ft deep.  My favorite part is the second step which is 4 feet wide to create a shallow tanning ledge. We went with a pebble gold liner to create a darker grey blue appearance to the water. The pool deck is stamped concrete.

pool construction


Here is a collage of the construction project. #2 was taken in October.

There is still a lot to get done to make the back yard usable. You may have noticed in some of the pictures that we built a pool house (i.e. glorified shed) and put up a new fence. I’ll share more details on those later. This week they are finishing the final grade, moving the HVAC units, and inspecting the pool. After that we will be building 4 new decks that will completely surround the pool including one that will have fountains coming off of it into the pool. Near the screened in porch we will be building an outdoor kitchen and a pergola will be built coming off of the new pool house.

pool plans

Our goal is have it all done by Memorial Day. I’ll share tons more pretty pictures as we get it all done.

Not Your Average Nautical Bathroom Reveal

The bathroom is finally done! It feels like we were working on this room for forever…..well because we were. But no more! Here it is. Drum roll please………..


nautical bathroom with green vanity If you remember back when I first shared the plans for this room here we decided to push our color comfort zone with this space and create something completely different than we normally would. We wanted a nautical feel to the room without the typically kitschy design elements. We absolutely love how fun this space turned out!


You may remember that I painted right over the old wallpaper then stenciled the walls in gold.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA gray bathroom tile We titled the floors in the same over-sized tile we used for the screened in porch. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA You can read all about how we painted the original vanity here.

whale art for bathroom nautical bathroom in green and gold

And one last before and after:

bathroom makeover Sources:

Tile: Home Emporium (same we used on the porch)

Walls: Valspar Vermont Cream and Ralph Lauren Cloth of Gold

Wall Stencil: Perfect Catch from Cutting Edge Designs

Vanity: Miss Mustard Seed’s Boxwood with antique glaze

Toilet, faucet, pot, and vanity top: Home Depot

Light fixture: Industrial Cage 3 light from Shades of Light

Art: Blue Whales flying Kites by Danielle V. Green Illustrations

Rope hook: West Elm




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Starting the laundry room

Along with the nautical half bath and the industrial half bath we’ve also started slowly working on making over our laundry room. We haven’t started any of the really fun stuff yet, well ok technically all we’ve done is paint and hang a new light. But hey it was the light you guys helped us pick out.  Remember way back when we had you vote on your favorite light? We actually bought the light months ago but it just got hung this past weekend, so it seemed like the perfect time to give you all an update on the makeover.

Here was the before:

laundry room before Laundry room before And here it is in progress:

white laundry room Ahhhh……so clean and so white! The room is essentially going to stay white and act as a transition between the gray and mint kitchen and the green and gold half bath.

laundy room paint I did run into a little problem with the paint color. After painting the whole room I realized the color I picked was a little too yellow (on the left). I wound up picking a new color (Olympic’s Vermont Cream) on the right which is perfect!

laundry room The wall behind the washer and dryer is getting horizontal planks which will be painted the same color as the rest of the room, Reclaimed wood shelves will also go up on this wall to hold the laundry supplies and some decorative accents.

diamond light fixture Oh and did you notice the light?? The winner was the Young House Love Geometric Diamond from Shades of Light. Ignore the tacky CFL bulb for now. It’s getting replaced.

The room will also be getting the same tile treatment that the screened in porch got as well as a new washer and dryer.

I’m not sure when this project will wrap up but for now I’ll enjoy my unfinished yet refreshingly white laundry room!

laundry room b_a

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