Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Pantry & Coat Closet: Before & After

So, I may not have made ANY progress on getting the guest bedroom(s) fixed up- but we did get out pantry/coat closet all fixed up and fancy! The space before we did this was just a really long closet that was extremely disgusting. The house, remind you, was abandoned for well over a year. This closet had musty green carpeting, painted over wallpaper and rusty white shelving. The light bulb was just that, and so it was really just an unusable space. The whole story on this is that we hosted a Christmas party at our house and I wanted a place for people to hang their coats.... loads of money, time & labor later... we were able to do just that! (the coat closet is on the other side of the pantry)


The fist time I looked at this house, I knew I wanted to revive this space and use it like a pantry/kitchen storage area. Our kitchen really doesn't have that much cabinet space + I have glass shelves, so I needed a place to hold all of Whit's kitchen gadgets and our Costco trip hoards. My vision for this space has always been to put up ship-lap and try our hand at tiling. So, that is exactly what we did! 

We used this ship lap from Lowes and this super affordable honey comb tile. The picture of the wood shows it going vertical, but it can also be put up horizontally. The grout we used is called Avalanche- if you want a true white grout, that is the color you need. The stuff called "White" is more like a light greyish color- we know from experience- side eye emoji. Since this was our fist time tiling a floor, we looked up some YouYube videos and researched how to tile a floor- we rely on the internet for almost everything we do. We put the grout on after we put up the shiplap but before we put on the final trim baseboards.

Notice the old white and wooden doors? Very dirty up close. 

So much cutting involved... and it was cold and we are kind of lazy, so the miter saw got put to use in our entryway... just days before our party, major eeek. 

After the ship-lap was up- everything got a coat of BM's Chantilly Lace. We then put on the grout to make sure we got all the edges tiled up- and lastly added crown molding, baseboards, quarter round to match the rest of the house and added a little light fixture. This space definitely has the country house feel- which I can't really do in any other rooms as the house is too formal. So I tried my best to max it out :).

Oh yes, the shelves! We picked up some "common" board from Home Depot. It is the quality of wood that isn't the most expensive but also won't give you splinters. Like there is a sign that says "common board" in the Home Depot I put a coat of my favorite stain, Early American onto the board before cutting and hanging. The brackets? A total score from Wal-Mart. I just sprayed them flat black and we picked up some already-painted-black screws.


The rug was a vintage find from one of my favorite places to shop in Iowa - Sister's Garden & Bloom.Yes, that is Frank's silver food bowl- #fancy. 

Best mineral water ever. 

Cutest little cordial glasses thrifted at Salvation Army during Christmas in Iowa. I love using this product to make old glass sparkling clean! 

Whit switched out the light fixture- I chose this to install, a total School House Electric knock off. Beware, the glass looks more orange online than in person. He also replaced all of the outlets to my favorite white screw less plates. Our house has some fantastic detailing, so when we work on projects we try and make sure we do to the standards that the house was built.

I love the look of how the pine and knots show through. I used one coat of heavy duty coverage paint. It does not fully cover unfinished wood, but that was fine with me for this project. 

Frank's food canister - I love this one, as it is actually air tight, perfect for gross dog food- I hate dog food/treats etc... gross. 

The Coat Closet

The "before" pics were not taken, but it is just the backside of the pantry and was in equally rough shape. We did everything the same, and I love how this turned out! Guest coat approved :). 

The closet door is just right inside our house to the left, it is easy to miss as we usually have the door the the great room always propped open. 

If you follow my insta-stories, you will recognize that awesome vintage Wrangler vest I scored for $6. 

I am seriously wondering if we will ever need these boots again, but they do look quite nice in here. Not shown? The matching Crocs my mom bought us for Christmas...

Umbrella basket from my fav local store, Eleven54 on Wood

So glad to be done with this project, it was actually pretty time consuming- but the results are fab, and really update the house. Now, back to those dang bedrooms... maybe...

Merry Christmas // Happy Holidays // Happy New Year




Wednesday, November 30, 2016

$6 Door Hack & Christmas Decor

You guys- I have a great little project for the upcoming weekend/holiday time off! And it costs almost zero dollars! If you have a local Benjamin Moore store, you can get a pint size sample of paint for $6.  I say BM store, because their sample paint, in my opinion, is a lot better quality than sample paint from a large hardware store. The sample can be tinted any color, and comes in an eggshell finish. Eggshell has a bit of a sheen, and perfect for a front or back door. I was so sick of the 1990's country living shade of green we had going on, on our front door, so the other day I picked up a paint sample in Hale Navy and went to town. That little can covered two coats on our huge front door. The Hale Navy paints on a lighter blue, but dries dark. A project for this winter or early next year will be to paint all the shutters on our house to match our front door. They are all that green that was on the front door. I am thinking Hale Navy or possibly something even darker will look really good... The point is this project is super easy and cheap and your front door makes a first impression, so make sure it looks dang good!

Our tree is in the background. We picked up a fresh one from Home Depot and decorated it with K-Mart tinsel I picked up a year ago from their going out of business sale #trashy.  The planter is stuffed with holly branches from our backyard and makes the prettiest door stop #free99. I am so glad that when our door is propped open I now see some navy goodness. 

Another "how to decorate for free" - go cut some cedar branches down and stuff them into an old wicker basket. I love the look of fresh anything, hate fake stuff, so this kind of natural decor makes me super happy. 

Updated the porch with some black and white love, but dang, that green has got to go!

Cedar shrubs purchased from Lowes have replaced the ferns (which are in our bathtub upstairs). Pine cones from the backyard cover the base of the pot and add a great touch of Christmas-y-ness.

So much light and IDK how to filter it on my camera. Oh well, I still love this door! 

Re-posting this photo again- as we had the glass replaced on the side panels, since the other stuff was being held together by tape, LOL! The plain glass lets in much more light, and definitely gave the place an updated look. We used a window replacement company here in town and it was super affordable, I should have done it sooner!

Thanks for reading, ya'll!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Holiday Wish List

Hey All! Lots of things going on around our house, that I can't wait to share... but for now I will share things that have caught my eye while surfing the web. Not sure if we will hit up some black friday sales... but I do need some new toilets, like four, so I bet there is a pretty good chance we will be hitting up Home Depot :) Much cooler things than toilets listed below! Happy Thanksgiving friends! 

Holiday Wish List

These 100% American Made (specifically Alabama made) cotton sheets- from a cotton mill right outside of Florence, AL! Read their store here. I love the hem stitch and the fact that it is modeled after how sheets were made in the 1920's-  I still have white cotton sheets from my grandparent's home- true heirloom style goodness.


Hands down best smell ever. My bestie introduced this to me years ago, and have been hooked ever since :). 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 

Round up of some awesome pillows from H&M. 

Ordered these boots, should be in Wednesday. A splurge for sure, but I will spend $$ on good boots and wear them until they wear out. I have a pair of Jeffrey Campbell boots from 3+ years ago that are still going strong. Plus, I think old boots look awesome, or at least that is what I tell myself :)


Love these classic B&W Nikes

This mirror is amazing and is right now 25% off... but maybe Anthro will be doing another one of those extra 40% off sales on Black Friday or cyber Monday and this mirror would be totally affordable!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Bathroom Organization

I thought I would share more details of our master bathroom, and how I keep things organized and mostly clutter free. When Whit and I moved in together, we were in a 700 sq ft. one bedroom apt. Now we live in a 5k+ sq foot home, but I still use the same type of principles I used back then... which was like 4 years ago so let's not be dramatic here ;). My thing is that I only keep stuff I use, and use often, and always remove all the packaging. So spring cleaning happens weekly/monthly around our house. Once shoes get ratty looking, toss. Clothes I don't wear over the course of a year or think- would I want to wear this to dinner with friends?- if the answer is no, it gets tossed. Taking bags of crap to the thrift store is almost a better feeling than finding a score from the thrift store. I have zero patience for having an online sale or garage sale, so I just donate everything. It's not like I am some great person, it is just easier that way! Don't make things harder on yourself.

The second part of this is that your storage areas don't have to be gross and overwhelming! Since I take off all packaging, I store our things in baskets and in old dishes/plates/jars. Opening drawers to find things laid out nicely in a cute dish makes me happy- is it the little things ya'll! I store the things we use most in the top drawer and work my way down- common sense approach to organizing. Keeping things out in the open and not stuffed in bags also helps save time searching for stuff. I have tried using multiple make-up bags for stuff and what wound up happening is that entire bags of make up would be neglected- pointless right?!

Top drawer- stuff we use daily- yes I use Whit's deodorant. Face wash and razors are in the shower. 

Second drawer is medicine, contacts, glasses, face masks,white strips and make up remover. Sorting things out by category into dishes helps realize how much you may have of one certain item. 

Whit is obsessed with travel size stuff, and follows TSA rules to a T- so a brass bowl stores these things (I carry on full size bottles #badass). Band-aides and surplus supplies are in the bottom drawer. 

Under the sink is for shaving stuff and then random things like baby powder, nail polish remover, poison ivy scrub for when I get it for the fourth time this year and stuff that is too big to fit into a drawer. Also- painting under the sink and inside the drawers white DEFINITELY helps make the space look bright and clean. I keep our towels out and stacked/folded on a chair or stool- which creates a lot more space for other things that can go under your sink. 

The scale- it is ugly but works, and I really don't like checking it... so it stays under the sink for when it is time for reality checks. 

And of course, gotta have a basket of TP! Which can be stored under the sink or by the toilet if there is space. The other side of this is the toilet bowl cleaner- which no one needs to see, because they are gross, idk care how nice the little container is that it comes in... 

Anyhoo, having our stuff organized is peace of mind for me. If you need some motivation to kick start this in your life, then I also suggest you read this book- I think after the first two chapters I took five bags of crap to Goodwill... after I had taken a load the week prior.

Happy Organizing! 


Monday, October 31, 2016

Master Bathroom- Before and After

It only took about a week of living in our new master bedroom, to decide that our master bath needed some love. Like our bedroom, the master bathroom is massive, over the top and totally outdated- but had sooo much potential! I wanted kind of a quick fix to get this space cleaned up and usable/enjoyable. I had a budget of about $200 to turn this space around. The bulk of it was spent on the mirrors, paint, faucets and rug. It is really amazing what some new paint can do! I painted over the wallpaper, as the paper was not peeling and in good shape. I put on a coat of primer, but if I were to do this again, I would just paint my top coat right on top of the paper, no primer. I used this paint from the Home Depot, and like the commercial says, it really does paint in one coat! It is about $38/gallon but totally worth it. The color we used on the walls was BM's Chelsea Gray, so pretty! And of course used Chantilly Lace in gloss on the trim. Whit worked his skills and changed the faucets and switched out all the old outlets/switched. And boom, one week later we have what feels like a new master!


Before the reno, we basically used this as a dumping ground for when we were redoing our bedroom. Not sure what happened to the mirrors, I bet they were cool, which is why they are missing. That is what happens when you buy an abandoned foreclosed on home :). 

I initially did not like the stained glass window- as it contrasted with the wall paper- now, it isn't so bad! 

The faucets were so intense, very grand! But leaky, dirty and not my style. 

Big pimpin' tub- thankful it is white and not some weird color, I can work with white! It is literally like a child's pool. 

Oh yea, we have a bidet- the stickers say "winterized" meaning the water was drained from all the pipes, it was all pretty rancid. Thank goodness for softscrub. Yikes. 


You can really see how off-white the trim is, and why I have to paint it all white. 

Notice I just spayed the brass light fixtures flat black. Cheapest and best hack ever. I also ran the glass shades through the dishwasher, which is how I wash all the glass lamp/chandelier shades in our house, so easy! 

Painted the door black, to match the front, duh! 

Visualizing how the runner and mirrors would look. Notice how much awesome natural light there is in this bathroom. The stained glass window lets in a lot of light while still providing privacy! You can see one of the faucets installed!

Paint color up! I used this guide to choose the gray color I wanted. I wanted something bold, since our bedroom is white. 


Yep- I still haven't painted the dental work at the top- but I am like painter pro so no drips and I am basically just procrastinating it hardcore. 

The pic is kind of fuzzy as I don't really know how to filter the light, it is so dang bright from that stained glass window! 

Thrifted pottery- one of my favs. I look for pieces that are handmade or have a really thick glaze. 

For me- art makes this bathroom feel like an actual room! 

Various prints from thift stores placed into Target or Ikea frames, The top is a little ditty I picked up in CA.

Putting a Glade candle on a thrifted blue and white saucer classies up the commode. 

The counter top is 9' long... for scale..

Because there are like a billion different metals in this bathroom, going glass on the cabinet hardware was an easy choice. These were from Lowes. 

My little olive plant should thrive in this bathroom during the winter. With the temps starting to drop at night, I moved it in here off our front porch. Chair is a Habitat ReStore score- I cleaned the fabric with Folex to brighten up the pink colored seat. Best upholstery cleaner ever. 

If you see a chair with perfect canning, buy it. 

Love white towels- they are fresh. match everything and you can use bleach on them (a splash with regular detergent in the laundry does wonders) so they stay bright white and clean! Obviously only wash white stuff with white stuff. 

An old brass pot thing I polished up with some Bar Keepers Friend

Soap dishes are super cute- but I am 100% more confident that hands are washed when there is a soap dispenser present. 

What is black, white and jute all over? My bathroom. Lame, I know. 

Get the Look! 

Thanks for reading!!