Look Ma, No cords!

We committed a design crime around here recently and I love it!  We mounted a 60 inch black hole over the fireplace …all the interior designers shook their heads in their hands and all the husbands said “amen”!

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It’s something we have wanted to do for a long time but we have plaster walls so there really wasn’t going to be a pretty way to hide all the cables… womp womp! but we did have one outlet on the mantle which gets used once a year when I plug in my Christmas garland.  It just so happened the all the cable Gods and plaster wall Gods got together at a conference this year and decided they wanted the Howards to be able to move it on up! So DirectTV brought us the new wireless cable boxes.  One TV in the house has to be the “master” and that one does have to be wired into a physical cable, but y’allI, it had our living room TV with hands in the air singing “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free”.  We ordered this mount from Amazon (yay for cheap!) and then the only other stuff we needed were some zip ties and a power strip.  Of course you’ve got to make sure you get the mounting bracket hung in your studs but hanging the TV only took about 15 minutes.

Hanging the TV allowed us to have twice as many options for furniture placement in the living room and also got it up away from the toddler who, for some reason, is in a constant state of sticky hands (HOW does this happen??)  An FYI for those people whose TV looks like it’s constantly being censored across the bottom 3 inches due to hand print smudges, water and vinegar will gently clean it right off–no need to buy those special wipes.

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From the side it’s very discrete what all is happening behind the screen.

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Anyone else thinking about hanging a tv? It’s something that ended up being a lot easier than we thought it would be and we’re so pleased with the change!! Just in time to curl up with my babies and watch Christmas movies!

Painted china cabinet turned “closet”: before and after

Remember that time we scooped up a china cabinet in a thrift store and turned it into a timeless armoire for our little girl’s room? Dedication to this project was certainly not for the faint of heart but in the end it’s got us all heart throbs over here!

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We tried using a paint sprayer one night after we put Everly to bed.  Picture us under our car port around 10pm trying to get over the learning curve of a paint sprayer while a storm is blowing up outside.  Our work lamps attracting every moth within a 5 mile radius and the moths dive bombing the gooey globs of paint we had managed to squirt all over the cabinet.  YALL. …we went backwards on progress that night.  We ditched the sprayer all together and went for the good old fashioned roller and 2 inch brush method.  We used a liquid sander on everything, two coats of kilz primer, one GALLON of paint (I used latex….I know it’s frowned upon but here’s the deal–we happened to have this color, unopened in our basement….a gallon of chalk paint would have been way out of budget–, and finally a matte varnish to seal the whole thing.  I lost track of the time this took but let’s give it at least a month right? Of doing a little bit of what we could here and there.  I have no idea what it would take if you tried to work straight through…in fact that’s a little scary to think about…

Enough about the nitty gritty, let’s just look at pretty pictures right?

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The intention of this piece was to be a “closet” option for Everly’s big girl room as the closet that this room shares with the next room is TINY (another post on that update later!)  To accomplish this we removed one of the shelves and installed a rod to hang some of her clothes from.

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There is certainly no shortage of storage options!

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The bottom is filled with pajamas, baskets of socks, shirts, pants….

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…a silverware drawer turned little girl accessory storage!

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I wasn’t sure about adding back in the wire panels but I think they help maintain a vintage feel

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…because why wouldn’t you use a $3 cake stand you found on clearance as a shoe stand??

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I love having room for the clothes we need to but I also love having room for some of my childhood things that would otherwise be packed away in a box in an attic somewhere!

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For worried mothers (like mine) it is anchored to the wall.  I guess I will use this space to type a little PSA to large furniture lovers, please anchor your pieces to the walls!! Five minutes of research on furniture and tv child fatalities will have you ordering anchors on amazon prime in no time. These accidents are much more common than you think and they are SO preventable!  This is what we have used personally and have been happy with.  You install them and then slide the furniture back and it’s truly not even visible from the side.

I’ll be back with some full room reveal pictures in the next post!

Back door storage makeover

Our back door leads straight out onto our patio area and when we first moved into this house, in an effort to just get things hung on the walls, we put two hooks by the back door.  At the time they held dog leashes.  That didn’t make any sense because we walked the dogs out the front door, not on the patio.  Probably a year into living there, in a new effort to make each space make sense, we ditched the dog leashes and put our most used coats on the hooks by the back door.  We all know how it goes right? You hang a hook somewhere with the intention of having one jacket on it and the dang thing ends up being like a rabbit.  It breeds coats! Suddenly you have 5 coats hanging there you didn’t even know you had and the one you always want to wear is on the bottom of the stack.  EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Am I right?

Another thing that always irked me about this is that said hooks were right above our trash can.  Something about our coats hanging over the trashcan had me constantly wondering if I smelled like garbage when I wore my coat.

Once we redid the patio and were spending more and more time out there the same questions constantly started to crop up.  “where is the sunscreen?” “where is the bug spray?” “have you seen the lighter?” “WHERE did we get all these bubbles and why are they constantly on the coffee bar????”   This prompted me to long for a shelf right at the back door to hold all of these everyday items.

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FINALLY. A space that makes sense and is working for our family!  I found this old, pre loved, shelf and felt it fit the bill enough for what I was after.

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The only thing I didn’t love was the hokey look of the thing.  When I got it I didn’t have time to give it a makeover so I hung it up as is…a trial run for our needs I suppose.   I realized a couple of things in my test drive.  1) the pegs were too large for key rings 2) occasionally things would fall off the shelf 3) I was never going to get used to that watering can floral scene.

I went shopping in our basement for some supplies and found enough white paint, some gold spray paint, and a wooden dowel all on hand.   Hobby Lobby was running the 50% off hooks and knobs sale so I grabbed 4 of gold hooks to match my theme for less than $5 total.

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I probably put about 4 coats of paint on the whole thing to get good coverage.  I think I put a couple coats on a day just as I walked by.  I removed the old pegs with some pliers (the struggle was REAL) and filled in the holes with spackling we had on hand…making sure to place my new hooks below so they would be in solid wood.  I sprayed the wooden dowel with my gold paint and lodged it into the shelf securing it with some glue.

AFTER!

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I love the clean look of the finished product! Now each of our most commonly used patio items has a designated spot!

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1 painted basket down, 6 to go!

We are busy around here trying to work on outfitting one of the downstairs closets to have as much storage as possible.  This little space is truly the size of a phone booth and serves as a miniature walkway between what will be Everly’s room and the playroom.  When we renovated the upstairs we used this space to run plumbing and electrical and then we just sort of left all of that exposed because we didn’t have a reason to close it up at the time.   I’m going to do a full post about the closet itself but for now I’ll leave you with where we are currently.  Blake built in a tower of cubbies we can use to store things for the girls.  The right side panel is just covering all of the pipes and wires running to the upstairs.

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Opposite the cubbies is a space for two short rods which we will also make use of but just haven’t gotten there yet.  Anyways, we have a total of 7 shelves here and my favorite thing to use would be baskets because I can quickly toss in bows, shoes, socks, etc. and have things instantly feel more organized.  My favorite place to buy a basket is the thrift store! The same basket that would cost me at least $10 in Target will cost no more than $2.

I started with this square basket I picked up for $1 and just wanted to give it a little more personality for the space.  Using some tape and a paint sample I already had on hand I just added a little stripe around the middle.

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I promise it’ll look more charming once it’s isn’t up against unpainted MDF board…this sweet little pendant adorned a gift basket we received before Everly was born!

1 spot down, 6 to go! Can’t wait to share the after of this space! …I tried to convince Blake we needed to wire a miniature chandelier into this little hallway/closet but I think somewhere between that comment and the mention of wallpaper he stopped listening.

Oh, and if you didn’t believe me about the thrift store baskets….here’s another.  The last pack of gum I bought cost more than that! 🙂

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Would love to hear in the comments if you’ve seen any great ideas for maximizing design and functionality in a tiny space!

 

 

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Need a matching bed.

 

When we left off last I had talked about some updates we’ve done to the back patio. Let me tell ya…that patio was worth every pain in the A it caused! We spend SO much time out there.  It’s Everly’s happy place so we spend most evenings with the kitchen door open coming and going.  It’s been a while but we’ve actually turned our attention back to some additional improvements.  For starters….a handrail going down the stairs….so you know, we won’t get sued for someone falling off.

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It all started again when we were tricked into making some sketchy insurance claim over hail (long story. but the short version is some roofer scammed us into thinking we had hail damage and filing a claim and then it turns out we have NO hail damage) Our insurance company was super duper nice about the situation but when the insurance inspector came out he did happen to mention  he “could drop our insurance all together for not having a hand rail on those stairs” [[insert oh Sh*t face here]].  He also said he wants to be invited to all our parties and when he comes back to one there better be a handrail.  SO, this past weekend Blake drilled through ½ steel in TWENTY different places to get the posts up.  Yall. my man. I don’t even know how he did it.  I “helped” during Everly’s nap time which meant I basically sat there and squeezed motor oil onto the drill bit so it didn’t burn up.  I learned an important lesson Saturday.  When preparing a budget for working with steel you better have a gigantic portion allocated to drill bits.

Ok, this is not what this post is about. This post is about…….our new baby that I’m OVER HALF WAY DONE BAKING!

We are going to welcome a second baby girl to our home in late September.  In the beginning when we talked about where to put a new baby I thought “I’ll figure that out later”.  Now, I still think “I’ll figure that out later” but time is FLYING by! So we’ve decided to dedicate our guest room to one of the babies…or both babies. I don’t know. All I know is that I need to clean out the room and make it available for my ideas.

There is also a leak that we just shake our head out and cuss at under our breath.

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We think we fix it, we don’t. repeat.  We had a roofer come out and conclude it’s not the roof.  So we think it’s the windows (this leak has a twin in the kitchen).  Blake has caulked and caulked and caulked and caulked and caulked more. It’s infuriating that we cannot seem to stop this leak.  But obviously there is no point in fixing the ceiling until we do.  My plan is to tear it down and just sit in there during a rain storm and see what is happening.  Blake hates this idea because it obviously would involve a huge mess but I see no other option.  Anyways, this is also not even why I came here to blog.

I came to show you my ideas. First, this room has the smallest closet you’ve ever seen. It’s smaller than a telephone booth.  Obviously with two girls we need more places to put all.the.dresses.  So I found this image on Pinterest which is apparently some store in Europe.

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I became totally obsessed with the thought of doing a built-in that I could merchandise up as the closet.  I decided I needed $1000 (and a WHOLE lotta elbow grease) to create the above from this:

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My mind stores a second category of ideas called “more attainable” and so I logged this picture below into that file and sent my mom the picture saying I needed an old china cabinet if she stumbled across one. This is not the first time I’ve used an old china cabinet as a closet…

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Literally like two days later she sends me this picture and said she saw this in a thrift store but it’s wayyyyy bigger than the idea picture I sent her. I immediately had to have it.  It was as though maybe my two photos could have a baby in the attainable department!

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I took some measurements the next day and fell IN LOVE with all the storage. Ya’ll, it’s like a full size dresser on the bottom and then I have shelves up top as well as a place to hang some rods for ultimate merchandising of beautiful little girl things!

The best part was it was something like $290 less 25% off for senior day discount 🙂 (thanks Mom and Dad!) and then I offset it with $115 I made from selling the “primitive” desk I redid in this post so we got this thing for about $100…sounds way better than my $1000 plan 🙂 Obviously I’ll have to paint it white which is no small under taking but I’ve painted worse so it’s fine.

The vibe I’m thinking for the room is a minty green, peach, pink, light teal vibe. Everly’s spirit color was teal so whatever we choose needs to work with that.  For some reason when I think of this baby I see peach and light pink.

Those initial hooks are on sale at world market right now! Go! Run! get yourself something special 🙂

Everly is still in the crib and she’s going to stay in the crib until she gives us obvious signs she’s ready to move to a twin bed. She does have this sweet little twin bed waiting on her when she’s ready though!  I’m going to still put it in the room (along with a crib) in hopes she’ll learn to at least nap on it during the day. And also so I can put some flamingo sheets on it because will there ever be anything more adorable???.  Please friends, if you love me, commit this bed to your mind and call me immediately if you ever see another like it.  I’ve searched the internet high and low but haven’t had any luck so I need your help! I would love, love, love to have the girls have matching beds eventually! That oval space is calling for a fabric inset with a monogram…

Ok, yes, the reason I came here to blog tonight was really to send you all on a hunt for a matching bed.  So now that everyone has their mission I can wrap up this too long post 🙂 happy hunting!

 

The completed master closet

So in this post I shared a few snapshots of the closet but I never really backed up and took any wide angle shots (how annoying! Why didn’t anyone tell me!) We did share specifics of how the room came together so I won’t reshare that here but you can click back for details. As a quick refresher, here is where we started:

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Then for a while I turned this little room into an extra spot for guests:

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Finally, we absorbed this room into the master bedroom and it became our closet:

before and after floorplan

In 1941 there just wasn’t as big of a need for closet space so we didn’t have much choice other than to turn a room into a dressing room. I’m certainly not complaining. We LOVE our closet. Here it is now as a part of the master bedroom (Note: we didn’t do the drywall in here so someone else is to blame for the wavy lines!…and yes there is A LOT of trim that needs to be refinished. Looking at it makes me yawn 🙂 )

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I discussed in this post using a kitchen cart as a mini island:

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You can read about how we took a thrifted china cabinet top and turned it into a shoe cabinet in this post. I think this was like $35 and it has such an impact!

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We’ve tried hard to make sure the little things all have a home

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I asked for this hanger holder for Christmas. I can’t stand empty hangers left on the rack. It adds a step to putting away laundry to have to go and search for them all so I can hang up clean clothes.

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I am really glad I went back and took these photos because there are a couple things I noticed that need to be done in here. First, this room is overwhelmingly new wall white. It needs paint. The hanging doors and the walls. Even if it’s just a darker shade of white this looks too “new drywall” to me. I’m considering painting the ceiling a different color. This isn’t a tall room though so I want to be careful about what color I may use. I considered not using paint but using wallpaper instead as we did in the downstairs bathroom but my child needs a father…. I’m not sure Blake is up for round two of putting wall paper on a ceiling.

I also want to consider some artwork for the space. I like the idea of framing shopping bags but, for me, it feels a little too materialistic. I think I’ve settled on some sketches of important outfits (wedding dress) or just some favorite outfits that have meaning (I totally remember what I wore on our first date!)

This room has come a LONG way! I think it adds a lot of value to our home. Painting the floor black was a scary move but we absolutely think it fits the space perfectly and are so happy we did it! We are also happy to report that even with high heels grinding into the floor almost daily it doesn’t have a single chip!

before and after

If you want to read all our posts about the closet you can click here!

Completed home office!

So I know we have shared snippets of the office but never gave a proper update. I just wanted to share some pictures of how things turned out and how we are liking them so far.

For reference, here are the only before pictures I have (not good–sorry!)…pretty much all you need to know is that it was a fine box room with good floors and fine walls…for some reason it was the only textured ceiling in the house. The door towards the back connects to the room next door and the closer door is a small closet.

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Speaking of closets, when we moved in there was NO closet space in the house. (Remember we took an entire room and turned it into a closet). Here is another “before” picture. This room was our temporary closet.

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For close to a year I would walk down the hall from the bathroom and into this room to pick out my clothes for the day. I had actually forgotten about that until I saw this picture!

So, you may also remember if you’ve been following along that I chose to paint the ceiling black in here. We LOVE it. It’s hard to translate into pictures but it really makes the room feel much taller. You can see in the photo below just the tip of a ceiling fan. That came down and we replaced it with an old crystal chandelier I was gifted for my birthday last year.

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I used the paint color “Lincoln Cottage” from the National Historic Registry of paint colors. I also painted the entire ceiling by hand. It was back breaking. It was worth it. I would never do it again.

Without further ado:

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No office is complete without a dog bed!

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The desk is a hand-me-down from my Dad’s office. Maybe someday I will paint it but that will probably go on my list to be done in 10 years. Blake installed an outlet in the floor under the desk so cords weren’t running all around. We actually cut a square in the rug to do this. When we commit we really commit 🙂

If I had to do this over again I wouldn’t use Chevron curtains. Chevron was all the rage for a minute and then it’s like it just spread like wild fire all over college campuses and baby stores. I won’t replace them because I have bigger fish to fry and that would be a waste but maybe I’ll use them in Everly’s big girl room one day.

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We shared here about covering the mirror with some more practical items.

View while working

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We replaced this door with a French door and we are so glad we did! The door is a second hand find from Habitat. We love how sound proof it is but at the same time makes us feel like we aren’t completely shut off from the house while working. When there was a solid door on the room it was constantly closed because we didn’t want it jutting out into the hallway…it made the work put in beautifying the office seem meaningless because it was never seen! This has also made the hallway feel bigger.

The dresser provides a huge amount of storage for us. You can read about the makeover of that dresser in this post. It was originally part of Blake’s bedroom set.

The TV is a very recent addition. Busy season falls during March Madness so there is much basketball to watch while working at night! Previously there was a leopard print wingback chair in the corner. The one I tried to reupholster and then 15 minutes into it I realized I was in WAY over my head so it had been sitting there ever since looking like a dog chewed the arm off.

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You can see we have a paper shredder on hand. A CPA’s work is never done.

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Also, I mentioned previously considering gold leafing the wasp/hornet (what is that??) nest. See the detail though?

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I just feel like it’s about like destroying a work of art to cover this up. What are your thoughts? Some little bugs worked REALLY hard on this. But they do hurt like absolute hell so I might not care…