Wallpapering the ceiling and crown molding galore

Sticking with our plan of not sticking to anything I decided to start tackling our other half bath. I mean our foyer half bath that I mentioned in our 2015 plans that I didn’t even have any pictures of. Well here are the before shots.

half bath before half bath before It’s a tiny little room with good bones.  I’ll share the full design soon, but the plan is to continue the industrial chic feel we started in the foyer. Strangely enough I decided to start with the ceiling.

I fell in love with Hygge and West’s Daydream wallpaper by Julie Rothman over a year ago; and I knew it’s large scale would look whimsical in our tiny bathroom.  The problem was the $125 a roll price tag! It was going to be over $500 to wallpaper all 4 walls. The hubby said no. So, I changed tactics and decided to just wallpaper the ceiling. I got lucky one day and found an “open roll” on Design Public for only $75! Still not the cheapest ceiling treatment, but I did save $50, so I was feeling pretty good.

hygge and west daydream

I thought I’d knock out this project pretty quick and all by myself. Boy was I wrong. I think I actually started crying at one point. It winds up installing wallpaper against gravity is not easy. It was definitely a two person job and we actually took the paper down twice and re-installed it. What worked best for us was putting a ton of paste on the back and getting it to adhere to the ceiling as quick as possible. After it was all up we went back and squeezed out bubbles.

hygge and west daydream I originally decided to run one main panel down the middle so that the pattern would be centered with 2 small 5 in strips running down the sides. After we got the main panel up; however, the hubby refused to even try the small strips. The solution he decided was molding!

how to hang wallpaper on the ceiling We had already planned on hanging a 2 piece crown in the bathroom, but the hubby decided to also frame in the wallpaper by installing a 4 1/2 in base to the ceiling as well. This filled in the wallpaperless gap as well as finished off the edges.

3 piece crown molding After also installing the same base to the walls he filled in the gap with 2 1/2 in crown molding.

how to install elaborate crown molding And voila! It looks amazing. I was totally freaking out for a while that I had wasted $75 and an entire afternoon on a project that was going to look terrible.

crown molding in bathroom I apologize for the terrible pictures, but this room is all but impossible to photograph.  The ceiling vent got a new bright white paint job as well.

datdream wallpaper on ceiling I think my wallpapering ceiling days are behind me, but for now I’m enjoying the whimsical little birds in this tiny little room. Next up will be painting the walls.

hygge and west on ceiling And why we were at hanging crown molding, the nautical half bath also got a little glam.

2 piece crown molding We went with just the standard 2 piece crown in here. It makes the room feel more sophisticated and helps hide the edges of the stencil.

crown molding in half bath

I’ll try to get a mood board together for the foyer half bath, so you can get a better feel for the look we’re going for soon!


P.S. Check out the whole nautical bath makeover here and the finished industrial bath makeover here!

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2015 Plans!

I know it’s been deadly quiet for the last month or so, but December was a busy month for us with our little one’s birthday, Christmas, and a family vacation.

See? We do sometimes take breaks from the renovations!

But now we’re back in the action and ready to get started on some new projects. Since last New Year I shared our 2014 goals with you I thought  a recap was in order before getting into 2015.

Out of all the goals we set for last year only 2 didn’t get done (the portico and front staircase)! I think that’s pretty impressive! That’s impart because we added some projects to the roster throughout the year like Lizzie’s big girl room and the nautical half bath.

My favorite project of the year was definitely our foyer makeover with it’s crisp white wainscoting and industrial accent table! I love coming home to this space every evening!

how to make a rustic table

Cody’s favorite project was the Screened-in porch makeover and the reclaimed wood buffet we built for it. We spent a ton of time out there this summer and fall!

porch makeover before and after

2015 Plans

Now for the new plans.


We’ve actually been working on a super big super secret (unless you follow us on facebook or instagram) backyard project since last summer. I’m hoping to spill the beans soon on this project as it’s already occupied a lot of time and we will probably be working on it throughout the following summer. Yep. It’s that big! And it’s going to be super awesome!

backyard before

Half Baths and Laundry Room

If you’ve been wondering what’s taking so long with our half bath and laundry room makeover the answer is that it’s getting worked on when the weather’s too nasty to work on the backyard. It’s coming along but slowly.

Half bathroom makeover After we finish up the nautical half bath, we have another half bath in the foyer that we are going to tackle. I don’t even have a picture of this bathroom to share with you yet…….


After the kitchen stairs makeover we’re pretty much experts at converting carpet to wood, so we’d like to finally finish up the foyer makeover by giving the stairs new life.


Guest Room

Did you even know that we have a guest room? Well currently it’s acting as a dog/craft room, but if my dad decides to visit again this year we’d like to get it functional and pretty for him.

guest room before

Master Bedroom or Dining room?

I’ve pretty much designed a new master bedroom and dining room, but I’m not sure which one will get done first or if we’ll even have time for either one of them this year.

Grey and teal masterbedroom

Dining room in Palladian Blue

I have so many plans in my head right now that it’s hard to decide which project to start first. The backyard project is so gigantic that most other projects are going to be dependent on how long it takes us to complete it.

Wish us luck and Happy New Year!

From crib to shabby chic big girl bed

We interrupt our scheduled half bath makeover to present to you Lizzie’s big girl bed! Lizzie is turning 3 this week so it only seemed time to finally upgrade her bedroom. When we moved into this house last year we just simply transferred everything from her first nursery to her current room.

owl decor I loved the colors of her nursery as well as the artwork, so I decided to throw in  a little bit of pink and try to pull off a shabby chic look. And here is her new bed all done!

jenny lind bed The bedding is all from Target’s Simply Shabby Chic line!

red shabby chic headboard I fell in love with Land of Nod’s Jenny Lind bed but the $700 price tag was out of reach for us. Luckily I found this white Jenny Lind headboard from Target which I scored for $130 shipped. I simply painted it with red spray paint.

3d butterflies The butterflies were from Lizzie’s original nursery but sort of got lost on the larger walls of her current bedroom. I decided to frame them in a grouping of frames above her bed to give them more prominence. The frames were a recycle from my in-laws so this little installation was free!

shabby chic bedroom The side table was originally from our master bedroom and was black. I have new plans for the master bedroom and the table was simply screaming shabby chic anyways, so Lizzie’s room seemed like the perfect place for it. I used left over paint to give it a two toned white and pink paint job, so this little project was also free.

girl's shabby chic bedroom Lizzie absolutely adores her new bed! I’m equally glad that we were able to update her bedroom without replacing everything! I still have some plans to update the curtains to something a little frillier and I’m searching for a small bookcase for her.

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Green Bathroom Vanity Makeover

One of the things that I was most excited about when we bought our forever home was not having to “play it safe” anymore with design decisions.  And yet here we are a year into our remodel and our house is pretty grey and white. Don’t get me wrong; I love the rooms we’ve already designed, but I was ready to push ourselves out of our color comfort zone a little. Our half bath makeover is a huge departure from our typical design palette, and we’ve had a lot of fun already with the project. Over the last month I shared with you how we painted over the 1980’s era wallpaper on the walls and how we used milk paint to transform our builder’s grade laminate vanity, well now the vanity area and focal point of the bathroom is complete!

Here’s a reminder of the before:

paint over wallpaper And here it is now:

boxwood green vanity

nautical bathroom makeover

nautical bathroom lighting

boxwood green cabinet

We still have to tile the floor, install the new toilet, and decorate the rest of the room. I know a green vanity isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I love having a fun space that will definitely surprise guests. And what better room than a half bath to have some fun with color?


Paint: Boxwood by Miss Mustard Seed

Wall stencil: Perfect Catch by Cutting Edge Stencils

Faucet, knobs, and counter top: Home Depot

Light: Industrial Cage from Shades of Light

Mirror frame: DIY from reclaimed wood

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Make laminate cabinets look high-end with Milk Paint

Hi there! I know it’s been quiet around here lately but that is because we’ve been working so hard on so many exciting projects! In fact I gave away a huge secret project we’ve been planning on Facebook and Instagram this week. But now I’m back with a half bath update that I am so excited about! The green vanity is done! Just a reminder of where this bathroom started:

paint over wallpaper And about two weeks ago I shared how we saved time and painted straight over the wallpaper.  Well now the walls have been stenciled, the vanity has been painted, a new counter top has been installed, and the mirrored has been framed.

Boxwood green vanity Taking pictures in a tiny bathroom makes for bad lighting and awkward angles so you’ll have to take my word for it that it looks amazing! As you can see we still need hardware, a faucet, new floors, lighting, and a toilet.

miss mustard seed's boxwood And here’s a close-up of the finish on the cabinets:

antiquing wax on cabinets I love how high-end the finish looks.  Its more of a matte finish and the antiquing wax gives the color so much more depth. It really has the feel of an old piece of furniture. You would never guess it was laminate!


Stay tuned to see how I pull the whole look together! Meanwhile, here’s a breakdown of how I painted the vanity!

How to paint laminate cabinets with milk paint

To start  with I gave the cabinet a quick sand with a sanding block, then cleaned it all down with a TSP Substitute. Next, I gave it all a quick prime.

prime bathroom vanity Finally, I was ready to mix up the milk paint. This was my first time using milk paint so I was a little nervous but it’s actually much easier to work with than latex paint.

milk paint on laminate Mix 1 part warm water with 1 part of the paint powder. I found milk paint to be a little thinner than latex paint so you probably don’t need as big of a batch as you think. Since we’re painting over laminate you’re going to also have to mix in Miss Mustard Seed’s bonding agent.

milk paint on laminate Now start painting! Don’t freak out about the color! It will dry lighter then get brighter after adding the wax. The bonding agent will give the paint a milky look but it dries clear.  I gave the cabinet two coats with 6 hours between the first and second coat. The instructions say you can reapply after 30 minutes, but I was told to wait longer when using the bonding agent on the first coat.

miss mustard seed boxwood The last step is to add a layer of wax. I choose the antiquing wax because I love how it brings out the details and imperfections of the vanity.  Just rub on the wax with a clean cloth, wait 5 minutes, the buff out. You can see how the wax changed the color of the paint from the picture above to the one below.

boxwood with antique wax If you’re not sure which wax to choose then check out this great chart from The Golden Sycamore which shows you how all the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paints look with different waxes.

Miss mustrad seed's boxwood vanity

Save time and paint over wallpaper

It’s been two weeks since my last post on our porch makeover. Would you believe me if I said my silence is because I’ve been extremely busy with house projects? Well it’s true! In the last two weeks we’ve been working on projects in the backyard, laundry room, and nautical half bath. Everything is looking amazing but because we’ve been splitting out time on multiple projects, nothing is quite done enough to show off to you yet. Bummer….

So, I decided that instead of maintaining radio silence, I’d give you a quick update on one of the projects: the half bath makeover! Here’s what we started with:

paint over wallpaper The wonderful 80’s wallpaper was one of the selling features of this house…..said no one ever! About a month ago, I decided to start ripping the wallpaper down. About 30 mins into it I had about 1 sq inch cleared. That’s when I decided that the wallpaper would stay up, and I would paint over it. You may remember that when were adding the wainscoting to our foyer we found put that the previous owners had actually just painted over the existing wallpaper. We were shocked because we had no idea the foyer had ever even been wallpapered, but it look great and was holding up well.

So, if you have a full room of wallpaper and you don’t feel like scraping it off then here are some tips for painting over the wallpaper.

Tip 1: Make sure your wallpaper is a contender

Before you start slopping paint all over the walls check to make sure the wallpaper you have is a good candidate for painting.  Peeling paper and noticeable seams are immediate red flags.  Find an edge of the paper and try pulling it off the wall. If you get a small rip you are in good shape. If you can easily pull off large sheets then your going to need to strip off all the wallpaper. Painting over wallpaper that will easily come off the walls may lead to the wallpaper bubbling or peeling after the paint dries.

Tip 2: Patch up holes and seams.

Using joint compound or spackle, fill in any holes or noticeable rips or seams in the paper just like would would do on dry wall.  If you tried to rip some paper off make sure to use joint compound to smooth out the spot.

Tip 3: Prime

Priming the wallpaper is going to do two things for you: hide the pattern and create a grippable surface for the paint to adhere to.  Because wallpaper is so smooth painting on it without priming first may cause the paint to run or peel.

how to paint over wallpaper Even with a dark color and pattern, I only needed one coat of primer before I started painting the wallpaper.

Tip 4: Paint that wallpaper

Once your primer is dry you can start painting over your wallpaper. I applied two coats of Behr Vermont Cream in semi gloss using a foam roller.

can you paint over wallpaper The difference is pretty amazing isn’t it? And no wallpaper stripping involved. As you can see the bathroom is still completely torn apart. I am currently stenciling the walls with Cutting Edge’s Perfect Catch (one of my affiliates) in metallic gold. In the bottom right of the picture you can also see a sneak peak of the bathroom vanity getting a green paint job.

Hopefully, I’ll be back soon with some more pictures of the bathroom. It’s coming together so well that I am giddy to show you!

Screened in porch makeover reveal Phase 1

The screened in porch makeover was suppose to take 3 months. Instead it took 7 months! The good news? It’s finally done! I haven’t shared much about the makeover on the blog because frankly the steps were pretty boring. I wasn’t sure you’d appreciate a whole post on painting. The only project I’ve shared to date is the floating buffet table we made out of reclaimed wood.  Let’s start with the before shot so we can all remember how this room looked when we bought the house:

Screened Porch before This porch was actually a HUGE selling feature of the house. While it needed some cosmetic work a porch like this would easily have been a $20,000 addition. And in a place like coastal Virginia having a way to be outside without getting eaten by mosquito is priceless.

Phase 1 of the makeover consisted of improving the structure itself. Here is what we did:

  1. Replaced warped posts
  2. Painted all railings and posts white and the ceiling blue.
  3. Added screens and a screened door
  4. Added rot resistant molding to the outside of the structure
  5. Replaced the fan
  6. Installed a drain in the floor
  7. Tiled the floor

Phase 2 will consist of the decorative aspect of the makeover including new furniture. So, for now please ignore the old dirty furniture. And here’s how it looks now:

screened in porch makeover

screened in porch buffet

outdoor room makeover

porch makeover

tablescape porch

porch makeover

Isn’t the transformation amazing?? I love how cheery and bright the space is now. It really does feel like an extension of our home.

porch makeover before and after And here is some exterior shots:

backyard before

exterior screened in porch

porch exterior

So, there it is! I can’t even begin to describe how pleased we are with this space! As for the rest of the backyard…..we have huge plans in the works. I mean like the most exciting plans we’ve ever made for this house. Hopefully I will be able to share them soon!

Pottery Barn Knock-off wall organization system

Pottery barn knock off memo board

After the stair makeover we decided to take a little break from the large projects and focus on some smaller projects we’ve been meaning to do.  About a year ago I decided that Sophie needed one of the Pottery Barn Teen wall organization systems for her room.

img52c Cute right? The $267 price tag; however,  is not so cute. I decided I would simply make her one myself. I bought the fabric and then we decided to sell our house and buy a new one, so the project was sidelined. It wasn’t until a co-worker of mine decided to make one for her daughter that the project was put back on the agenda.

Warning: I seem to have misplaced the progress pictures so all I have are the final product. Also, we made 3 boards in total which actually made the price a little more reasonable since we could share materials. And finally, the project was more labor intensive than I would have imagined since each square is basically a small project unto itself.

message center The total cost of each board came out to $40! That’s a $227 savings per board! I also love that I was able to fully customize the fabric to match Sophie’s room. I choose a larger molding for the frame as well to give the board more heft.

DIY message center from pottery barn After studying the Pottery Barn wall organization system I decided to incorporate a magnetic board, a cork board, a shelf, and a wire clothes pin line. The little shelf I picked up at A.C. Moore for $1 and painted black. The fabric behind it is adhered straight to the plywood backing using spray adhesive.

pottery barn wall organization DIY The magnetic board is a sheet of galvanized steel sheet metal that conveniently is sold at Home Depot in 12 x 12 pieces.  For the cork board I bought a pack of 4 12 x12 cork tiles ( I was able to use the other 3 tiles for my co-worker’s boards) then using spray adhesive and hot glue adhered this awesome black and white chevron fabric that I picked up at Hancock Fabrics.

clothes pin wire hanger For the wire clothes pin line Code made me a wood frame that we then ran steel wire across. The miniature clothes pins are from Wal-mart.

message center

I love that Sophie now has a way to really express herself in her room without literally taping things to the walls!

Industrial lighting: Budget Friendly edition

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you’ve seen some sneak peeks of the tile installation on our screened-in porch! Well guess what? It’s done and it’s beautiful!

porch tile

We have a couple of finishing touches to complete on phase 1 of the porch makeover and then I’ll finally be able to share some before and after pictures with you.

But wasn’t this post about industrial light? I’m actually in quite a conundrum and need your help. Last week I shared our plans for a nautical inspired half bath with you, and I mentioned that the laundry room would be getting a makeover at the same time. The problem is that the half bath design is very different from the color palette for the rest of the house and I need the laundry room to act as a sort of design bridge between the spaces.

laundry room before As you can see in the above picture the laundry room connects the kitchen to the half bath (dark door at the end) as well has doors going to the back yard (left side) and garage (right side). The plan is to keep the room basically white with open reclaimed wood shelves above the washer and dryer. Here’s our inspiration!

My problem is the lighting. Since the space is utilitarian in purpose I want an industrial style light ( and one that won’t break the budget); however finding one to connect the spaces has been challenging.

You probably remember that the kitchen lighting is galvanized with a white and mint glass globe. See more about our school house pendants here!

Primary schoolhouse pendant in jadite

The lighting in the bathroom will be copper or brass. The brackets holding the reclaimed shelves will be black metal and the door knobs are oil rubbed bronze. So you see my problem? I really have too many options. Below are the 7 lights I’ve narrowed my search to. Please vote on your favorite one and tell me why you’d choose down to. Also, please make sure to check out the bathroom mood board before voting to get a better idea of this design dilemma!


industrial lighting

  1. Not only is this one bronze but it has a sort of nautical feel as well. Fresnel Glass Industrial Flush-Mount from Shade of Light. $139
  2. I love the utilitarian feel of galvanized metal. The Laramie Pendant from Barn Light Electric. Starting at $149.
  3. I’ve been dying to put an orb light in my house somewhere! Metal Strap Globe Pendant from Shades of Light. $129
  4. This semi mount is the perfect match to our kitchen pendants. The Intermediate Schoolhouse Semi-flush Mount from Barn Light Electric. Starting at $152.
  5. I love the funky design of this bronze light. Young House Love Geometric Diamond Ceiling Light from Shades of Light. $79
  6. It doesn’t get much more industrial than this galvanized option with the wire cage. The Original Warehouse Flush-mount from Barn Light Electric starting at $137.
  7. This is the same light we installed in our foyer, so it would give the house a nice cohesive feel. 4-light Oxide Brass Semi-Flush Mount with Tallaroom Panel Glass Shade by Hampton Bay for Home Depot. $79

    So, those are the options! Which one would you choose??

Not your average nautical Inspired bathroom

As we finish up tiling the screened in porch this weekend that makeover will finally be complete. I hope to have pictures for you next week! But now that the porch project is wrapping up and fall is in there air (except for here in Virginia where we had record temperatures on the first day of school!) I am starting to plan my next project which will be the half bath and laundry room.

half bath before Here is what I am starting with. This is probably the only room in the house that hasn’t been touched since it was built in 1985.

Laundry room before Here is the laundry room before. The door to the bathroom is to the right of this picture. This room acts as a pass through from the garage, bathroom, backyard, and kitchen. More to come on the design for the laundry is a couple of weeks.

I want to create a bathroom that is inspired by old ships but that isn’t expected or cheesy. I plan to use wood and brass elements mixed with a grassy green and metallic gold to keep the room feeling authentic yet modern. Here is the plan:

  1. The walls will be painted off white with a large net stencil in metallic gold (Fresh Catch by Cutting Edge Stencils). The metallic gold will be more subtle than the goldenrod pictured above.
  2. The original vanity will stay but will be painted in Miss Mustard Seed’s Boxwood Green and aged with a dark wax.  The vanity will get a new white cultured marble top and a brass faucet and knobs.
  3. The floor will be the same gray washed wood tile that is going into the screened in porch
  4. The current mirror will be framed out in reclaimed wood.
  5. For lighting I am moving two existing copper exterior lights from the backyard in.
  6. I am really obsessed with finding a Moby Dick piece of art for the room. And who could resist the Poop Deck reference?

This room was actually pretty easy for me to plan out. I wanted a different color scheme from the rest of the house and once I fell in love with the idea of a green vanity the other plans pretty much fell into place. I’m sharing this plan now in part because the laundry room is giving me a major headache and I want to bounce some ideas off of all of you. Look for those plans in the next couple of weeks.

You can see all of my inspiration for this room here:


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