Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Kitchen Rug

Did you guess I’d choose the white and black rug for my kitchen?  That’s the one I chose and while I wasn’t sure I’d love the pattern, once it was under the table I knew it was perfect!  It hides everything and is the perfect pop of bold pattern that we needed in our kitchen.  I also bought a small rug for near the sink and I love that one as well.



I love how this rug adds so much interest to the floor.  After having it for two months it’s not showing the wear that my old rug did.  Sometimes the rug would snag when the chairs were pulled out, but this one hasn’t done that.  Indoor/outdoor rugs for the win!


Now to find a rug for my dining room!  🙂



Using Outdoor Rugs Indoors

We have been in need of a new rug under our kitchen table for a couple of years.  It’s now 12 years old and showing its age, no matter how many times I clean and vacuum it.  We had a rug similar to this from Home Decorators.  I will say that it has held up to the wear and tear from three kiddos quite well!


I’ve been looking for the perfect rug but there are so many pretty ones out there.  I recently read a tip to use indoor/outdoor rugs in high-traffic/high-use areas and I thought that was genius.  I started to look at indoor/outdoor rugs and was amazed at how many pretty rugs there are.  Here’s a few of my favorites:


I love the natural look of this rug to add texture and contrast to a room.  I found that my rug cleaned up well, but since it was an indoor rug the fibers pulled easily when the chairs were pulled out, so over time the rug looked very shaggy.  This one may hold up better since it’s also meant for the outdoors.  (From Home Decorator’s Collection)


I really love this rug!  If it came in black I think I would choose this one for my kitchen.  I love the gray but I think it might be too much gray for that room.  I sure do love this rug, though! (From Home Decorator’s Collection)


I love Navy and think this would look really nice under my table- plus the pattern would help to hide messes!  (From HDC)


This is a favorite.  I love stripes!  (From HDC)


I really like the pattern in this rug, and think the black and white would be a great option for our kitchen.  (From Ballard Designs)

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I like all of these colors!  This is a fun rug.  (From Ballard Designs)

I ended up choosing one of these rugs for our kitchen.  It was a hard decision but I knew one of them would be perfect for the space.  Can you guess which one it is?  I’ll be back soon to show you!

Our Kitchen Reveal

It’s really amazing what paint and a new backsplash can do to refresh a room.  That’s all we did to our kitchen and it has made a huge difference!  My husband and I were talking recently about how nice it would have been to do all of our updates before we moved into the house.  However, I also liked not feeling rushed into a decision.  In this case I searched several stores for several months before finally deciding on the tile.  I quickly fell in love with the Venatino marble subway tile from Lowe’s, but I looked around before finally going with it (and then second-guessing my decision until it was finally installed).  I also mentioned in the last post that I chose Sherwin-Williams Passive for the paint color.  It was the perfect color to brighten up this room!

Okay, enough with the words- here are a few pictures!  This is how the room looked just a few weeks ago:


And here it is now:


Different, right?!


I removed the 4″ granite backsplash that went up the wall from the counter so that the tile could go all the way down.  I think removing that alone did wonders for the room.



One of my biggest dilemmas was how to tile around the outlet by the door.  After talking it over with the tiling professional, I ended up taking the tile to the wall.  I think this looks better than having it capped anyway.


The salesman at Lowe’s recommended gray grout to help make the tiles pop, and I really like how it looks.  Since this goes behind the sink I also won’t be as worried about staining the grout with splatters.


This wall was tricky for me.  We have the big air vent that sticks out as well as our bulletin board full of my kids’ artwork.  The vent was originally off-white, but I decided to paint it black.  I think I like it!


Another view (please ignore the boring beige living room, the laundry basket, and the toys!  That room is next on the list for a makeover):


We really love how this room turned out.  While the tiling wasn’t an inexpensive addition because we hired it done, it was worth it because of what it adds to the room.  And because it took me almost a year to decide on tile, we had plenty of time to save for this project.  😉


We have a few more little changes to make in this room, but the majority of it is done- and we love it!

Linking up to:

TDC Before and After



Updating Our Kitchen

I fell in love with the kitchen in our house the first time I walked into it.  The white cabinets and black counters along with the stainless steel appliances were pretty much what my dreams were made of.  I don’t really dream about kitchens, but if I did, I’m sure those things would be in it.  🙂

Here’s how it looked when we first saw it:


It definitely had potential!

As soon as we moved in we knew the light fixture had to go, so that was one of the first things we did.  We also added my collected accessories above the cabinets.  Those two things made a huge difference:


The next thing I knew I wanted to change was the wall color.  It took me some time but I finally decided on Sherwin Williams Passive.  It’s a pretty gray with a hint of blue that I knew would brighten up this space.



The thing that has taken me the longest to choose is the backsplash.  I really wanted to lose the backsplash lip (the dark granite on the wall) and have the backsplash go down to the counter.  I couldn’t choose a backsplash, and then once I did I couldn’t figure out how to tile around this wonky outlet:


I’m happy to say that I finally figured it all out.  Here’s a look at what I hope to do to add a little more of me to our kitchen:



I’m painting the walls SW Passive, the trim SW Pure White, the ceiling will be white, and I’ll have a marble backsplash added.


I’m pretty much done with everything, I just need to work on a new faucet for the sink.  I may not get that done for a while, so I’ll be back soon to share how the kitchen looks now!


Adding Interest for Under $150

I keep meaning to blog, but of all the things I do each day it’s the first to get pushed down the list.  So then three months go by before I blog again.  Oops.  The good thing is I’ve made lots of progress on the dining room!  I hope to share all of it soon but wanted to first share this fairly simple project I did which added a lot of interest.

The walls in our dining room were painted beige above a chair rail and white below.  In our old house our dining room was the same (once I removed the peeling wallpaper).  At the time I really loved the “chairs and squares” look and hired someone to come and add this to the lower part of our walls.  At this house I wanted to do the same, but I really didn’t want to have it hired done.  There are many things I will hire done, but I was hoping to do this project on my own.

Enter my new best friend.  Lowe’s sells a pre-made moulding that you can nail up and paint and it looks just like wood.  This project cost a fraction of what it cost to hire someone to cut each piece and apply it to the wall.  I was a little nervous to get started.

Here’s the before:


And here’s the during:


It did take a little math to figure out the spacing, but it wasn’t bad at all.  I started in the middle and eyeballed where I wanted to to be on the wall, then made sure each one I added was level with the first.  I usually hammered in one nail in the middle to make sure I liked the placement before working my way down the wall.

Once the moulding was up there was usually a gap like this:


To fix this I used this tool to hammer in each nail.


Then I filled in each nail hole (I used six nails per piece of moulding).


Next I caulked the gaps.  Once this dried it made the moulding much more secure.  If your moulding is very lose before adding the caulk, don’t worry.  Once this dried I knew it was there to stay.


Immediately after applying the caulk I smoothed it down with a wet finger.  I had a bowl of water and paper towels on hand for this part.

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Then I sanded down the nail holes.  I had 12 moulding pieces in all so this part took me a few evenings, but it wasn’t too bad.  Finally I painted all the lower part of the wall with two coats of my white trim paint….


And ta-da!


Much prettier, and much more interesting.  Obviously I have since painted the walls and am almost ready to call this room done.  Yay!


For under $150 I added a little detail to our room that gives it just enough interest.  Since this is the first room you see when you enter our house I really wanted this room to look a little more special.  The large mouldings were $12 each and the small ones were $7, and I already had the paint and tools that I needed.  This really cost me just over $100 since I already had the paint.  I bought my mouldings a few at a time to help with budget, too.  We’re saving up for some bigger projects.  🙂

I love adding little touches to our home, and it’s even more fun when I can say that I did it myself!  Girl power!

Changes in the Dining Room

A few weeks ago I shared a picture of how our dining room looked before we moved in.  A few weeks before that I took some pictures to show the progress we’ve made so far in the room.

Before we moved in:


At the beginning of fall:



And now:


I ordered the light fixture back in May, but it was backordered until July.  When it arrived we were busy and didn’t try to install it until the end of August.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get it put together correctly, so we called the company and they told us they’d gladly replace it.  Of course it was backordered again until October, but as soon as it came we put it together and hung it up.  I love it!


Can you see my buddy hiding in the picture above?  🙂  I also purchased the chairs recently so that we can seat 8 people without bringing in other chairs.  Yay!  My next projects will be painting the pillars all white, installing molding under the chair rail, painting the ceiling (I do this in every room before I paint the walls), and finally painting the walls.  Ideally we will have this done before Christmas, but we’ll see.


It has come a long way, and just that updated light fixture has made a huge difference!  I can’t wait to see how it turns out in the end.


(Chairs and table are from World Market, chandelier is from Shades of Light, wall piece is from Hobby Lobby, wreath is from Target)

Our Laundry Room

I have been looking forward to posting about this makeover for weeks.  Okay, months.  It has taken months (11 to be exact!) to get this room done.  That’s the hard part of doing renovations yourself.  It takes longer but in the end it saves lots of money and is that much more rewarding.  I wish I could’ve snapped my fingers and had this done but it was worth the wait.  I just love this room.

When I started this just after Christmas last year, our room was this taupe color.  It had a shelf that included a bar for hanging items, but it stuck out into the room and made it seem that much smaller.  The room is only 6 feet by 7 feet, so any lost space was definitely noticeable.  As soon as I took that shelf down it felt bigger!


It took me a few months to finish up my board and batten in the laundry room.  This has been so much better than the shelf.  My kiddos hang their jackets and backpacks, and occasionally I’ll throw up something wet that needs to dry.  It’s perfect.


Then the room looked like this for a couple of months:


Dark and blah.  I had a vision in my head but I was so scared to start the project.  I’ve done simple renovations before but this was a big undertaking.  I was hoping to build out the cabinets and dress them up a little with crown molding and shelves on the side.  Yes, it’s just a laundry room.  However, when you come in the back door it’s the first room you see.  I wanted it to be pretty so that when people came over I didn’t always have to close the door.  🙂

I started building out the top of the cabinet first:



Next I added crown molding and secured that to the frame.  Then I secured the frame to the wall.  After that I started building the shelves on the side.  Originally I was hoping not to have a back to the unit, but I couldn’t figure out a great way to attach it otherwise.  I ended up building a box that fit in the space on the right side of the cabinets.  Then I added a shelf in the middle.  I don’t have a tutorial for this and when you get up close it’s not perfect, but I love how it all turned out.

Once I built out the cabinets I primed them and painted them in SW Pure White.  Finally I painted the entire room which made such a huge difference!  The color is Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore and it might just be my favorite.  So here is our laundry room- new and improved!


I love this room.

I’ve redone lots of rooms, some of them twice.  But this is my favorite (so far!).


This summer I was frustrated with the progress (or lack thereof) and told my husband I wished I could just hire the whole house done.  He told me that we should look into it.  Of course then I told him that I really didn’t want to do that.  I like taking our time and budgeting for projects.  I like doing things myself to save money.  I just wish I had a clone that could work on things while I was busy doing other, more-important things.  🙂

Seeing this room reminds me how worth it it is to be patient.






I’m also working on painting all the doors and replacing all the hardware on them.  We have a LOT of doors in our house, so this will be another S-L-O-W project.  But I like how this door looks (the one and only one that is done).  🙂


I would say the total cost of this room makeover is under $200.  That includes the cost of lumber for the wall and cabinets, new hardware for the cabinets and door, paint for the walls, hooks for the board and batten, and a new light fixture.  Since I didn’t buy it all at once it wasn’t a real budget-buster.


Now I’m motivated to do more rooms.  Most of what I want to do just involves paint.  However, I like to paint the ceiling when I paint rooms so that slows me down just a bit.


I just have to remember that it’s all worth it in the end!


Now, would anyone like to come over and help me paint?  🙂