Tag Archives | interior decorating

bedroom shelves. my own ikea hack.

Our bedroom is huge. Why do they do that? It totally annoys me. For a personality like me, it means that I have to spend more money buying furniture to make it look ‘done’. Well, after almost three years it is finally done. Deep breath. Then a smile.

I need a statement piece, but this girl is on a budget, so I found something at Ikea and made it a little more me. The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I love when things just work.  Here’s the {before}.

ikea shelf

I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. But, the best part was that my shelves took up six feet of wall space in our room. What could be better?

DSC_0009 After a little bit of styling, some thrifting for books at a Thrift store and visiting ‘my store’ for some unused items, I now look and smile. What started with something that wasn’t really me has turned into a piece that I am smitten with.

thx cards & bookshelves1 thx cards & bookshelves

A few coats of paint and some stylish pieces make any bookcase better. Are you looking to fill up a large space in your house, too? Maybe these will be the perfect addition for your space. A little sweat and then a lotta’ smiles.

Coming up… simple tips for styling shelves on a budget and how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO


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diy headboard and reading lamp. perfect for the boy.

My boy is getting big. Time for a big boy bedroom. Earlier this week, I shared our inspiration. You can read more about it here. My little man and I worked hard to get this {summer} project done and he was seriously the cutest little helper eva’. Oh, and the new piece is pretty gosh darn amazing too.

Just a few simple materials will get the job done. A little something I like to call… easy, peasy.

fence boards {total of 6}
Pine 1×4 ripped down to 2″ wide {total of 1}
white paint
red paint
stain {i used special walnut}
ruler or 2×6 to measure straight lines
first aid stencil template
sconce {optional}

bed materials

bed 1

{wish i would have… used painters tape to tape the outside and then filled it in. would have made life a whole lot easier and a little less stressful while grayson was painting away. whelp, now i know.}

Seriously adorable, right? I love it. He loves it. I love it. What could be better? Oh, I know. The entire project cost me a whopping $38. You heard it… THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS. Fortunately, I have a lot of goodies hanging around the house and extra paint for days, so I only had to purchase the wood {$15} and the sconce {$20} plus a little tax. Sigh. Clap. Smile.


Maybe a new piece of art or a reading lamp for your room too? Who knows, maybe these will end up all over my house because I love them so much.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

I linked up at Moonlight & Mason Jars. Won’t you follow along too? Find it here.

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dining room. finally done. reveal time.

Empty rooms. That has been our story for awhile. But, after a year and a half I thought it was time to really tackle one of the rooms. None other than the dining room, which is the room EVERYONE sees when they walk in the house.

It was calling my name. It was time. It is amaze-ing. I love it. In fact, it might be my {new} favorite room.

dining after 1

bar cart 2

I live for decorating. I heart it. But, I also am a girl who likes to do it in a cost effective way. Ok, if we are being honest, I am cheap and thrive on some bargain shopping. That’s the truth. With that said, here are a few ways I was able to outfit this dining room on a nickel, maybe a dime.

{trick no. 1}

I absolutely heart Restore the Habitat for Humanity store. You can’t believe how many treasures I find there. Case in point, this table shaped perfectly for the dining room, but a little sore on the eyes. Did I mention it was a laminate top? It looked like it came from an older dive of a diner. A little sanding on the top, crazy amounts of stain {i just couldn’t get that exact color i wanted}, a little elbow grease and voila. Admit it, a much better version, right?

dining table before

dining after 2

 {trick no. 2}

Stripes. Need I say more?  Truth be told, I thought through a million different versions of this room. Originally, I was going to do wallpaper. But, once I started pricing it out I wasn’t so into it any more. And, the reality is that my other half was not willing to put it up AND THEN take it down if I despised it. If I don’t love something it won’t stay that way, and my commitment issues came into play.

But, paint can always be changed and the stripes were the perfect way to add a little personality. Yes, it was tedious. Yes, I touched up each line with a small paintbrush. Yes, I would do it again. Maybe you should try too. Make an impact, stripe-style.

dining console after 2

 {trick no. 3}

Someone’s trash is another person’s treasure. This beauty was left at one of my other half’s projects. Some serious sanding {poor thing was used and abused} and about 10 cans of spray paint, a little pure white annie sloan chalk paint {to take away the cold/gray white of it} and it was good as new. Don’t you think so?

Seriously so in love. This might be the thing that ties it all together. Well, it truly is the thing that ties it all together because there have been two {maybe even three!} other pieces here already and none made my heart pitter patter like this one. A little gem.

console before

dining console after

 {trick no. 4}

If you find a deal and you don’t love it, change it. I found this chandler on sale at Lowes for $60. It was silver and outfitted with green and gray beads. Not my color scheme. Not my favorite. But, could definitely be perfect in the room. Three different cans of spray paint {brushed gold, oil rubbed bronze, metallic} and some dark wax made the perfect piece.  Sometimes you just need to think a little outside of the box. Do you love it as much as I do?

dining chandelier

Whenever I walk into a room in my house I feel like I should smile. This dining room now makes me smile. I’m crossing my fingers you found a few ways to make the most of your empty rooms.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

did you miss other similar posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{striped linoleum floors. amaze-ing.}

playroom floors collage

{master bath redo. on a budget.}

{mercury glass chandelier.}
mercury chand 1

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diy french inspired clock. love at first sight.

I saw it. I loved it. I wanted one for my own house.

Tis’ true. While browsing Pinterest I stumbled on a clock that made my heart melt. If you follow along you may have seen it on my backyard inspiration board. If not, here is a sneak peek of the beauty.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.22.36 PM

Needless to say, I was smitten and wanted a version of my own for our own backyard. All it took was a little time, some sanding and tracing. Do you love it as much as I do?

clock with label

Admit it. Kind of amazing. I do catch myself gazing at it while we are lounging in the backyard. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

clock #4

Just a few simple materials will get the job done. And. prepare yourself. It looks like there are a million steps, but I was trying to be detailed enough for you to try it at home.

materials for clock

clock step 1

clock step 2

clock step  3

clock step 4
{print and cut stencils.}
Roman Numeral Stencil
French Wording Stencil

clock step 5

clock step 6

clock step 7

clock step 8

clock step 9

clock step 10

clock step 11

clock step 12

step 13

step 14


step 16


It has found a home under our covered porch where I get to admire it just about every day. To hang it? We added a few screws and wire to hang it for all to see. Maybe you, too, want to add one to your own home? Will yours be indoor or outdoor?

clock #1

clock #3

clock #2

And, before you even think it. No, it is not a functioning clock which drives my sister and husband absolutely crazy. I like to call it my {nonfunctioning} clock. But, my other half won out after constantly asking what time it was while we were outside and I have officially purchased clock parts to turn this beauty into a {functioning} clock. That post? Well, when I get a chance to install it. Who knows when that will be.

Take a lookey loo at where I linked up you might find some more inspiring ideas…i heart naptime and design, dining & diapers.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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festive fall plate and bowls. makes me smile.

For me, it’s the little things. Most times I plan these over the top events and then it never turns out quite as I imagined in my mind. I am reminded often by the Mr. that I just might need to lower my expectations. It’s the curse of the type-a, perfectionist part of me. Sadly, it takes up a big part.

Through this journey I have learned that it’s the little things. Those are the moments I remember most and hope my littles will remember too. The moments where you wish you took a picture to capture the memory, but know that any type of movement will disrupt the perfection of it. Those are my favorite.

This is a little moment. It is so silly. It is so not important. But, I love the smiles it brings to my babies. Those are the moments I want them to remember. The excitement of it all and the magic of being a kid.

What makes me smile {like every day}? Switching out our everyday plates and bowls for something that is a little more festive and unexpected.


Today I switched out the bowls and plates and secretly placed our Halloween inspired plates, bowls and glasses in the drawer. Mr. G came home to get a bowl for his snack, opened it and yelled, “YES! The Halloween bowls are here.” See what I mean? The little things. It makes my heart melt.

Lulu loved them just as much and it entertained her for a whole 20 minutes. That is money well spent.

halloween plates1

Yes, it’s an investment, but I figure I only have to buy once, or at least until they are well used. But, the truth is I found this cute collection at my neighborhood grocery store. Seriously. They are the best at bringing in decor for the seasons and these melamine plates and bowls were calling out my name. I bought a few at a time and then waited until they were trying to clearance them out at the end of the month.

halloween plates

Maybe you want to add a new little tradition to your home? Switch out the plates and add a little extra festive decor to your meals. My kids love it and yours just might too.

Want some more Halloween ideas?
Take a lookey loo at the {
free} printable Halloween tags you may have missed before.

Treat Tags Button

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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bring on the hooks. inspiration and ideas for your bathrooms.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I have a little obsession with chandeliers and hooks. It’s true. I like to toss out the standard bathroom hardware and use hooks instead. My vote? Hook it up.

If you missed this week’s earlier post, find more about my aversion to towel bars and towel rings here. Otherwise, prepare yourself for some hardware inspiration of your own. Time to start shopping and switching out those builder-grade standard bathroom pieces.


{have to have} 

|1| anthroplogie ceramic letter hook
|2| west elm jute rope shelf
|3| anthroplogie metro hook
|4| anthropologie anchor hook
|5| anthroplogie marquee letter hook 
|6| restoration hardware vintage school 
|7| anthroplogie forest found hook
|8| PB teen natural peg shelf 

There you go. The art of {hooks} and a few to serve as inspiration for your own home. My advice? Keep your eyes peeled for hooks while out and about on your daily adventures. I tend to find my most favorite treasures while browsing Home Goods or visiting one of the local boutiques in our area.

Remember, no two hooks have to be the same. As you already know, I like to think of it as an inexpensive way to add a custom touch to your own home. Won’t you try some hooks in your home too?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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the art of hooks. i say hook it up.

Ok, so you know I love chandeliers. But, did you know that I have issues with bathroom hardware? I know. The list keeps growing. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t handle traditional bathroom hardware. My vote? Throw out the towel rings. Throw out the towel bars. Instead, hook it up.

Why am I such a crazy person about this? Who knows. It’s probably the Type-A in me that can’t handle when things are crooked or hanging sideways. And the reality is I’ve got kids and they have yet to master the art of a perfectly folded towel hung on a towel bar.

To help transform our space from builder-grade to a more custom space I use hooks in all of our bathrooms. Not only does it give each space its own look, but it also {I fully admit} gets rid of some of my anxiety with towels that are hung haphazardly.

Here is a quick glimpse of how we make each of our bathrooms a little more unique than our next door neighbor’s.

cream hooks

fluer de lis hook

kids towelbar

master hooks

playroom hook

There you go. The art of {hooks}. No two hooks have to be the same. I like to think of it as an inexpensive way to add a custom touch to your own home. Won’t you try some hooks in your home too?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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goodbye laminate. hello stripes.

Project: playroom bathroom. More to come on this incredibly sad, barren space. But, the gist of it is the floor is some kind of horrible. Well, horrible if you don’t love looking at an outdated linoleum floor in the bathroom. The good news? Well, it is technically the playroom bathroom, so I don’t have to look at it that often. But, often enough that I was starting to really despise that floor.

Later this week, you will see a few more pictures of how I transformed our playroom bathroom for less than $300. I was on a budget and determined to turn the little space into something special. But, today is not about my budget saving techniques, rather how YOU can transform an outdated linoleum floor into something adorable. Before I begin, I must give big kudos to my friend, Traci, for this one. She inspired the idea with some floors of her own. Traci, I thank you.

Here’s the down and dirty of that blah bathroom.

{1} I didn’t want to spend a lot. The bathroom is not high on the priority list for me, but was something that needed a quick overhaul. So, easy on the wallet was a must.

{2} We will likely replace the floors at some point. But, I wanted something that would make the bathroom look “complete” while we decide what flooring to put in. However, I am kind of in love with the floor, so we will see if we ever do replace it.

{3} It had to be easy? Did I ever share that I am horrible at the {small} details. It drives my husband crazy and he is the exact opposite. I don’t like to measure and I am an “eye-baller”. Again, driving him crazy. This project is easy and requires barely any measuring at all.

I am sure you are dying to know. What did they look like before. Aren’t they just gorgeous?

playroom bath before

Just a little bit of love and a total of $45 and here is what these beauties look like now. I look and I smile. Mission accomplished.

playroom floor final

playroom floors materials

{you will need}
tray for paint
small roller
small paintbrush
1.88″ thick blue tape
2 cans of porch and floor enamel paint
{if doing stripes, one will be 50% tint}
{no stripes, then just one color}

Playroom Floors Paint Specifics

{steps. easy at 1, 2, 3 and a few more.}

playroom floors 1

playroom floors 2

playroom floors 3

Playroom Floors Tape

playroom floors 5

playroom floors 6

playroom floors finished

playroom floors 7

Aren’t they just the cutest? Cross my heart, it is so easy. In fact, I finished it in a few short days. The length of time was due to the fact that stuff only gets done when the little lady sleeps and I wanted to be sure it dried completely. All in all, a simple and quick project with a huge impact.

playroom floors reveal 2

Didn’t I promise it would be easy? Tell your family. Tell your friends. Let outdated laminate be your friend.

playroom floors collage

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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kitchen decorating. four ideas. budget friendly.

I know. You are sick of hearing about our kitchen. But rest assured, I will not show you anymore before or afters. Instead, I have four {simple} decorating ideas that will transform your kitchen from a boring builder-grade space to something special. Small budget to work with? Don’t fret, I love to get the most bang for my buck.

As promised, {four} diy projects you can do yourself to turn your kitchen into something a little more unique than your next door neighbors. Don’t we all want that?

{diy project one.}

idea one chalkboard wall

Tis’ true. I have talked about it over and over again. You get inundated with my monthly boards. But, I seriously love this wall. When we first moved in we started with a blank side of our cabinet that could be seen from all angles. With a little sheet metal, chalkboard paint and moulding we transformed the empty space into something usable and cute. We all love a little cute, right?

In fact, earlier this month I had wiped the board clean and was gearing up to work on the month of March and it looked so sad. My so sweet husband even mentioned that he was a little bummed because there wasn’t anything to look at. See? So sad. A chalkboard wall will liven up your kitchen too.

And, remember, you have options. You could do it on the inside of a cabinet, end of a wall, pantry door. Anywhere and everywhere is my motto. The task is simple and the shopping list is minimal. What do you need?

chalkboard wall collage final Are you intrigued? Find step by step directions from my {diy chalkboard wallhere. Get chalkin’, yo.

{diy project two.}  

idea two memo board

You read right. A screen door memo board. I heart this memo board in our house. And, it is actually a re-purposed screen door insert. Say, what? I found it at a flea market all folded up and knew it would be the perfect way to display pictures and notes. Oh, and it cost me a whopping $5. I bought some basic clothespins and used modge podge to add some decorative paper to the clothespins. Project total in all? You heard it right, ten dollars.

The best part of this memo board is that it you can change the width depending on how much or little you extend the insert. In our last house we flanked it on a large wall and in our current home it became a part of our small desk area. Kind of love. Super easy. Very unique.

Want one of your own? Well, this might require a little hunting, but you are in luck with this little thing called the internet. I found some things just for you. Not exactly the same, but a similar idea. Do you fancy any for your own space?

Vintage Folding Ruler
{you could screw in the ends and hang from the ruler. um, cute.}
Window Chalkboard and Chicken Wire Frame
Vintage Collapsible Basket
Screen Door Grill
Shutter Memo Board

 {diy project three.}

idea three fabric inlay

If you know me well, you know that there are two things I can hardly pass up. Chandeliers and fabric. I love them both. And, if you ever visited our old house you know that I have a thing for fabric inside a glass door. They were all over our previous house… kitchen pantry, hall closet, office and more. I think it is a fun way to add a little something to a very bland space.

When we moved into our house there was a glass door. Love the glass door. Despise looking at the disorganized pantry. A girl can only keep it so organized when three kids love helping themselves to snacks. I try. But, a girl has to let it go at some point. Solution? Fabric on the inside. It hides the food and still looks pretty gosh darn cute.

fabric 2 with words

Seriously so simple. I was lazy this time around and stapled it to the inside of the door. And, I will show you the inside of our door, but know I have every intention of lining the staples with some type of finished edge. What will it be? Time will tell. When? At this point, who knows.

fabric 1 words

{diy project four.}

idea four counter

I should have taken a {before} picture, but I missed that one. Imagine. A maple countertop that matched all of the gazillions of cabinets. It was written on, worn out and looked oh so tired. We pulled out one of our old tricks to take the office nook from ‘ew’ to ‘ooooh’. This is one of those projects that doesn’t cost a lot, but makes a huge impact on the final look. Now I look at the little space and smile. It’s cute. It’s custom. It’s updated. Love, love.

Like I said, budget friendly and requires very few things from the store. See?

counter collage

The pine board product can be used all over your house. You can find a link to it here. In our last house, we used it in the laundry room. We stained it natural and had the perfect butcher block {looking} folding counter. Sigh. I miss that counter. We also used it in our current house in the family room built-ins. A simple, inexpensive way to update new and existing counters.

For less than $50 you can have a new counter perfect for your space. And, before I forget, if you do take on this task be sure to also get some type of polycryllic if  the counter will come in contact with water. We used it on this space, but chose not to on the built-ins. Just a thought…

If you missed it, you can see the before and after pictures of our kitchen here. Now it is time to start transforming your space. You ready?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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design. inspiration. love. polyvore.

          Oh my goodness. I think I just found love. Well, right in line after my one-of-a-kind hubs {you are way better, babes}. I warn you. There is the possibility that you may get sucked into a deep, dark hole. But, I assure you that once you get yourself out you will be all smiles.
         I am sure you have heard or browsed some adorable outfit creations on Polyvore compliments of Pinterest. {And, yes. I may just start some outfit inspirations myself. That could be a little too much fun.} Well, Polyvore has just dived into the world of decorating. They are now creating a way for you (yes, you!} to create your own decorating sets.
         Call it inspiration. Call it shopping. Whatever you call it, it is one way to get a little focus for your decorating task and to do it with a smile. Me? Yes, in love. You? You can create some decorating sets yourself. Or, the other option? Well, you can be my follower and be in love too {without the work}. Visit my Polyvore site here. Who knows? You may just find a few things that are a ‘yes, please’, for your own house.
What’s not  to love?
  • You have  a simple way to hone on what you love and what you might call, “not my favorite”. {oh, I should probably mention that in our house we have a rule that you can’t say “i don’t like that.”. Instead, you are more than welcome to say, “It’s not my favorite.” I know. We just might have issues. But, it works and is music to my ears when I hear the kids say it, especially during dinner time.}
  • Each added piece gives you a price and shopping link. Kind of good. Kind of bad. {This just cemented that fact that I kind of have pricey taste. Oh boo.}
  • Ever since we moved into our house we have an overwhelming amount of unfinished, “not my favorite” rooms. Too many. Too much. But, this just might be my ticket to completion. My goal? I am going to create a set {board} for each of inspiration rooms. Yeah! Now, if only I had time.
  • Um, fun. No more to say. Right?
So, I now introduce you to a little lady that I call, {polyvore project decorate}. Hello, if I had no kids or messy handprints, room of my dreams. Well, for now anyways.


         Isn’t she a beauty? If only my kids didn’t have dirty hands and I had new hardwood floors. {Babes, did you catch that?} I only kid. This? This is a room that would make me smile each time I walked in. I like to think of it as a twist on a suburban girl’s loft. Are you with me? And, with Polyvore you even get a list of everything you included in your set in the event you want to purchase it. I am sold.

Wall light
$530 – alexanderandpearl.co.uk

Wood lamp

Woods lamp

H M cotton curtain
$21 – hm.com

Zentique nailhead sofa

Grey chair

         A blog I follow and love {I don’t want her to think I am a stalker, but I think we might be soul mates. Her house could be mine!} has a great small business shop with too, too cute prints and a blog that documents her new house. Meet Dear Lillie. She is cute and you just might love her too (but not more than me, right?}. A few weeks ago she posted about a contest she was hosting that gave a you a chance to create your own Polyvore board and I was hooked, line and sinker. {Is that right? I think so.} And so, I pass on the good news to you.
         May you create some boards of your own. Or, better yet, if you likey what you see  become my follower. Who knows, maybe I will have a board of the week. Now wouldn’t that be fun? Time to start shopping.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

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