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the kids’ bath mini makeover

Some people go to tropical places for spring break. Others spend their week redoing the kids’ bathroom. I wish I was in the first group, but as I look at my typing fingers, I see lots of dried paint which pretty much gives my spring break activities away.

I’ve posted about the kids’ bathroom before with before shots and some inspiration. And then I waited two years to actually do anything about it.  While driving home this past weekend from a little beach trip, I suddenly felt the urge to tackle the room. Nothing too intense, just a lot of paint, some hardware and a new light. My hope was to get it finished this week, for as little money as possible. So far, so good.

Here’s the before:


A nicely sized room with decent lighting and everything functions fine. But it’s just so boring. I thought a little bit of color, brighter walls and painted cabinets would make a huge difference and make the space fun for the kids.

So tuesday morning, the boys and I set to work (they only lasted through the priming).


This is the third time I have painted cabinets in our house; the kitchen was first – which received oil paint for durability and have held up very well and the laundry room was next. I used latex in there because oil takes forever to dry and I just wanted a quick fix. After a year, they are doing perfectly so I decided to go the easy route again in the bathroom and use latex. I shared the process of painting cabinets here.


To help the existing laminate countertop blend in, the cabinets were painted gray. I used leftover paint from our bedroom (Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart). The paint makes the cabinets look instantly cleaner and more modern and I’m so happy I finally painted them!


The walls are getting a much brighter shade of white (the photo was snapped after the first coat). I never thought of our walls as being dark, but once they were white, it feels so much lighter. The white is admittedly a bit sterile (pure white by sherwin williams) but hopefully once there is art and a few accessories, they will warm up a bit.

Next up:

  • finish up a fun painted wall (if you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen it in it’s first stage!)
  • decide on the backsplash. I’m thinking white subway tile all the way up the wall behind the mirror and on the sides of the vanity walls. I’ll have to enlist the help of my handy husband for it, or learn to tile.
  • add a frame to the mirror. Originally I thought I would replace it with two separate mirrors, but I don’t really want to spend money on new mirrors in here and the big mirror actually works well when multiple kids are in the bathroom.
  • new light.
  • hardware for the cabinets.

My hope was to finish the room this week, but these things always take longer than expected – and turn into larger projects than intended – so I’ll take the next few days off to finish out our spring break doing more kid-friendly things like going to grandma’s house to play with her puppy.

More to come …

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FUN! our kitchen is in a magazine

Just over one year ago, a crew from Better Homes & Gardens came to photograph our kitchen.  We love our kitchen and made what used to be a boring space into a bright and functional (and pretty!) room.

Well, the magazine is now out.


Kinda weird seeing our regular not-so-fancy kitchen in a magazine!

I actually love that it’s in there though. It shows that you don’t need super expensive cabinetry and fixtures, lighting and appliances to make a space appealing. Sure, I would have loved soapstone counters instead of our on-sale spreckled granite and pendant lights over the window and island to replace the existing can lights, but I’m proud of the way we added character and infused a bit of our personality into what was once a mostly brown kitchen without spending a ton of money.


You can read all about it in the spring 2014 issue of BHG Kitchen + Bath Makeovers magazine (I found it at my local home depot). There are many charming kitchens and baths with tons of ideas should you desire some inspiration for sprucing up your spaces.

Just to give you a glimpse, here are the pages with our kitchen:




To see a few befores and afters, this post is a good one (although I sort of cringe at the photography). And to see it styled for the fall, click here.


Ryan and I are flattered and excited to have our house in a magazine, but it’s fun that the boys get it too. How fun for them to see their kitchen in print!

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paint colors used in our home

Paint is the cheapest, easiest and quickest way to make a huge impact in the look and feel of your home. I happen to enjoy painting which is probably a good thing because we change colors often.


The living room was all one color (the color on all the walls and ceilings when we bought our house) until we added that horizontal trim to help break up the expanse of wall. The lower portion was first a pretty blue, then dark slate gray and now a creamy white/gray.


My office received the painted wallpaper treatment a few years ago and I still love it. See the full tutorial here. The chalkboard wall is really more for looks since it is rarely used for writing on, but it makes a nice, simple backdrop behind my desk.


We painted our cabinets almost six years ago with oil based paint and they have held up really well. White paint is difficult to choose – there are so many options! – ours is a custom mix that matches the trim throughout our house. The top portion is a beautiful deep gray/brown that breaks up all the white.


I’m ready for a master bedroom update. This poor room has gone through several half-makeovers that never really came together. I’d like something soothing and clean and probably much lighter. The moody blue is a great color, though.


I was nervous painting the walls white in the boys’ room, but couldn’t be happier with it. The clean walls offset the perpetually messy floor (put three boys in one room and of course the floor will constantly be littered with socks, legos, books and baseball cards. I should just learn to accept it).

For a look at all of the colors we have used throughout our home, check out the updated paint colors page here.

Do you have a favorite go-to paint color? Please share!

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