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our new guest room

You know what the best motivation for getting your house in order is?


Hosting a guest.


Because our family lives locally, we don’t often have sleep-over guests. But my friend Paige was coming to visit {and take our family photos – can’t wait to show you!} and I wanted so badly to give her a comfortable, pretty, welcoming guest room to stay in. Our house has three bedrooms upstairs – one is the boys’ bunk room, one is Audrey’s and the third has been a million different things. Most recently it was in a transition from a playroom to an extra bedroom and it was a mess. guest-room-before

These photos were taken about three days before Paige flew in. Why do I wait until the last second on everything?! As much as I would have loved to paint the walls to get rid of the stripes and make a great upholstered headboard, I just didn’t have time. I kinda challenged myself to only use what we had, shopping from different rooms and being resourceful to give the room some style without spending a bunch of money.

A few days later and a bit of scrambling and here is the new and improved guest room:


Because we didn’t have a twin headboard, I moved the bed under the window to make it the focal point. Switching out the dot curtains for simple white ones frame the bed and brighten the space.


The bed is dressed with polka dots sheets borrowed from Audrey’s room, an old matelasse coverlet, and throw pillows gathered from around the house.


For some late night or early morning reading, a few of my current favorites sit stacked on the bedside table.


On the wall to the right of the bed are a set of shelves previously used to display picture books and rather than take them down, they became the perfect spot for propping artwork.


Again, I shopped the house for black, white and gold artwork/photos/ephemera to put in the room.


Clockwise from top left: Mighty to Save art print, salvaged grate, my grandparents’ engagement photo, Greatest is Love print

bobby pin print, old playing card, graphic number print, be still calligraphy {my first real calligraphy work!}

silent night sheet music print {coming friday}, photograph of city benches by my cousin, little wooden sign

On the wall opposite the bed is this media cabinet/shelf that badly needs a facelift. Above it is my twirl artwork in a thrift store frame. The lamp was a cast-off from my grandparents – it’s tall and brass and heavy. The only items I bought for the room were a few different lampshades, but none were quite right. I’ve had this wire shade frame in a storage closet for years, never really knowing what to do with it, and while it is super weird to put a wire frame on a lamp, it totally works. With a reproduction vintage bulb it is a funky lamp/shade combo that gives a soft glow when flipped on.


The final touch to the guest room happened in my imagination while driving in silence one day. I pictured a sort of whimsical canopy made of book page paper chains and paper poms.


I already had a few long paper chains from our Christmas tree last year and the kids and I just made a few more while watching a Seahawks game.  The paper chains are tacked into the ceiling at the center and both sides.  Because they are so light-weight, it doesn’t take much to keep them up.


The center hanging collection is an assortment of coffee filter foofs made a few years ago, paper flowers and flattened cupcake wrappers threaded on a string, and book page poms {made the same way as for the tissue pom wreath}. It’s so random and odd, but it gives the room this interesting focal point and was a free way to add whimsical charm.


So just in time, the room came together – for basically no cost.  It welcomed our special guest and gave her a place to rest in this crazy home.

Are you hosting overnight guests this holiday season?

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a few dining room additions

Ryan was out of town on Saturday. The kids were playing with friends. Which left me at home with a day to putter around. With a million things that probably should have been done, I went with something completely random and unnecessary: I played with our dining room.


There is something so fun about cleaning and styling and moving furniture and embellishing. I wander from room to room stealing rugs, baskets, plants and then put them all together in a new space. It’s a mix between my favorite hobby ever and a total sickness. Nothing is ever safe in our house – there’s always something moving or changing.


This little corner of the dining room has been bare for too long and I was excited to find this surprisingly good-quality brass & wood bar cart.  It fits perfectly in the corner and can go from holding drink fixings to acting as a serving station at parties.  I think it will be fun to style at christmas time with a few small gifts and a jar of pretty ornaments, but could be a cute cart for an outdoor summer event as well. Very versatile and quite inexpensive.


Above the cart are two old {from the thrift store} silver platters.


On top are a set of etched numbered glasses {tutorial here}, birch paper straws {from here} and a set of drink charms {from Lisa Leonard Designs – but not currently available} that are great conversation starters as well.


I have always wanted to have numbers embroidered on the backs of our chairs, but these glitter numbers will do the trick for now. I looped ribbon and pinned into the top of the chair. You really can’t see the pin and it’s a non-permanent way to embellish the plain chairs.


Decorating the top of the dining room table is always sort of a mystery to me. Do you set the table and leave it? Keep the table empty? This time, I just put a few pretty gourds in a long basket. It’s clean and simple.


The big striped rug was originally in our living room, then the master bedroom, then the bonus room and now here in the dining room. See? Nothing stays put.

So that’s what I did on my saturday afternoon. I’m telling you, leave this girl alone for a few hours and you never know what room with get a makeover.

Does that happen in your home, too?


table: restoration hardware outlet
chairs: parsons chair ballard designs / seagrass hallsta chairs ikea {no longer available}
rug: crate & barrel Olin striped rug
bar cart: target brass & wood bar cart
light fixture: rectangular shade pendant restoration hardware
curtains: white ikea + diy trim
bookshelf: world market emerson shelf
glitter numbers: wendy addison glitter numbers


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all of the sources for the boys room makeover

Now that the boys’ room is finished and you’ve seen how it turned out {thanks for all of the nice comments, by the way!} today is a good day to share sources and answer a few questions.

One thing you should know about my approach to decorating: nothing is precious or crazy expensive. That’s just not our style. I think even if we did have an unlimited budget, I’m not sure I could spend hundreds of dollars on sheets for my boys’ beds anyway. The challenge of putting a classic and stylish room together without spending a small fortune makes you get a little creative, work a little harder, and the finished result is always so rewarding.

I hope you see some doable ideas here, affordable design and inspiration to use what you have and fill in with a few diys and a couple of purchases.

On to the sources … broken up into categories.


bunkbeds // purchased from costco 6 years ago. I wish I had a link for where to find them, but I couldn’t find one.
dresser // old
shelves & brackets // ikea {see details here}
chair // old
woven cube // diy shown here

ceiling light // depot ceiling lamp potterbarn kids
floor lamp // pharmacy floor lamp target
reading lights // hektar wall spotlight ikea
table lamp // rounded turned wood lamp target


sheets // ticking stripe sheet set target
duvet // striped duvet west elm
blanket // swiss military style wool blanket the sportsman’s guide


be brave canvas // lindsay letters
camping art // hail tiger *ENTER DISCOUNT CODE JONES15 FOR 15% OFF*
stamped wood round // diy shown here
chalk antler print // the burlap bungalow
swiss cross canvas // painted by me
pinecone print // cut from an old letterpress card
compass canvas // chalk on black painted canvas
cardboard antlers // jdc|monthly october project
constellation print // paper source gift wrap


zinc letters // diy shown here
lantern // morkt lantern ikea
mini drawers // local craft store. There is not a source on the tag – I’m so sorry!
lockers // urban outfitters mini locker that is OUT OF STOCK. Boo. This one is a fun alternative.
deer pillow // lulu & georgia
plaid throw // hermine throw ikea
rope mirror // nate berkus port mirror target {on clearance now}
embroidered pillow // target {not available online}
raccoon // folksy forester manhattan toy
jute rug // tarnby rug ikea

A few more details …

I struggled for a while trying to come up with a good window covering option. The bunk beds overlap the window on both sides and so in the end, I decided to do a full wall of curtains to simplify the lines. My mom and I brainstormed how we could get the look of a canvas tent, without it being too obvious. We used a large drop cloth cut in half and stitched with red thread for that industrial/outdoorsy feel. Then Ryan and my dad stapled the whole thing to a 2 x 4 cut to the size of the wall and installed it at the ceiling. With curtain tie back hooks turned sideways, I can now open each side and loop over the hook to open the curtains.


The entire setup cost less than $30.

Many of you asked about where the boys toys and clothes are stored. Their room is mostly toy-free since we have a playroom to hold all of their play things. As for their clothes, each boy has a drawer for their shirts and the rest are stored in their very unattractive closet.


Pajamas go in the wire drawers {just thrown in – I’ve given up on folding pj’s}, each boy has a shelf for their pants {a system that is quickly needing updating as they grow and their pants are getting too big to fit}, and sweatshirts/sweaters/button up shirts are hung. On the top shelf are random too-big items or off-season sports uniforms. Nothing fancy, but it works.

Now let’s chat for a second about the cork wall. It was a pain. I’m glad I did it, but it did not go as smoothly as I would have hoped.

The people from WidgetCo sent me a stack of cork wall tiles which I was really excited about because 1. they were self-adhesive which makes them easy to install and 2.they were super thick so the tacks wouldn’t go through the cork and into the wall when putting up photos.

So one saturday a few weeks ago I spent a few hours putting up the tiles.


The peeling and sticking part was easy – cutting the tiles to size was a bit trickier, but after a couple of hours, the wall was finished. cork-on-wall-and-then-not

We left for a few hours and when we returned, the tiles had all come down. I tried to re-stick them, but they came down once again. I contacted Widgetco and they said that sometimes you have to add some extra adhesive depending on your wall surface. They sent me out a pack of replacement tiles and last weekend, I tackled the project once again.


I tried gorilla glue. They fell down. I tried hot glue. They fell down. Finally, I tapped in a little finish nail to each corner and that did the trick. I should have just done that from the beginning. I would still recommend the tiles because they are great quality and there are not a lot of other options available, but maybe test the adhesive on one tile before taking the time to do an entire wall.

Whew. That was a lot of info in one post. Hope it is helpful. As always, let me know if you have any more questions!



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the boys’ room reveal

As with all DIY projects, the boys’ room redo took much longer than expected, but hip, hip, hooray it’s done!  It all started with this design board. Next we repainted the walls, stained some shelves and installed a new light. And then end-of-summer-fun and back-to-school craziness and a few project hiccups later, I finally spent this past weekend finishing up the space. It came together just as hoped – merging my neutral-loving aesthetic with boyish charm and lots of personal touches.

Welcome to the new and improved boys’ room.


Our three boys {ages 9, 8, 5} share this room and a couple of things were important in the redesign.

1. It needed to feel light and bright. The two sets of bunk beds are dark and take up over half of the room, so it was necessary to balance the space with lots of white.
2. The boys wanted their own reading lights and places to keep their special things.
3. We wanted the room to reflect the boys and stay away from being overly theme-y or feeling too young.

I think we succeeded at all three.


The walls are now white, the ceiling is faintly blue and a custom window treatment {by my mom} made of painters drop cloths runs across the entire window wall. It’s amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint made in the room. The previous color was a nice neutral beigey-gray, but it just felt so dark. I was nervous going white, but after seeing this room transformation, we’re seriously considering painting our whole house white.


The inexpensive shelves hold a quirky mix of the boy’s favorite things: books, baseball cards, trophies, a bottle cap collection and a few pieces of drift wood from their favorite beach.



The stamped wood round sits on the shelf next to a couple of my oldest’s beloved hardy boys books.



That woven footstool turns out to be a great multi-purpose piece: I love it for propping my feet up while I read at night, the boys love it for stashing random toys when it’s time to pick up their room.

On the other side of the room are two more bunks, an old chippy dresser and new art wall.


Each bed has it’s own reading light, a metal wall locker and cork board for saving special notes and photos.



The collected art is really where the concept for the room began.


The Be Brave canvas was the starting point, then came this darling camping/hunting print.


With the chalkboard antler print, a photo of No. 2 on our favorite beach, Atlas’ announcement, a mini version of the Make Good Choices print, a pinecone print, painted canvas and striped bunting, it makes for a eclectic, yet clean little grouping.


One of my favorite features {and the one that caused the most headache} is this cork wall. It is just a small wall right when you enter the room and it seemed like the perfect place for the kids to tack up special photos, awards, notes. I’ll share all the details of this project fiasco later this week, but for now I’m just happy that those tiles are finally stuck to that wall.


I finished all of the last minute touches late on saturday night while the boys had a sleepover in the bonus room. When they saw the finished room in the morning, they were so excited {well, as excited as a 9, 8 and 5 year old boy gets about a finished bedroom} and that made the whole thing worth it. It’s bright and charming, clean and boyish … just the look we were hoping for.

I’ll share a full list of sources this week, but if you have any specific questions, please leave a comment and I’ll respond back with the answer.


for all of the sources, click here.

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the 5 most asked questions {with answers} about our home tour

Thank you for the kind remarks about our home in yesterday’s fall house tour. I hope you found some do-able ideas both for seasonal decorating and simply making your house better reflect your personality.

Many of you asked questions in the comments about different sources, colors, details from room to room and so I thought I’d pop in here real quick to give the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

// NUMBER ONE //  by far was wondering where this fabulous painting is from.


I wish I could say I painted it … but I’m afraid my skills are just not that good. Although I would say that if I could paint, this is exactly what I would want it to look like. I actually found this painting at World Market not too long ago and just couldn’t pass it up.


It seems like World Market is always having some sort of promotion, so be sure to check for a discount code before purchasing. I think I paid $59.99 for it.

// NUMBER TWO // the paint color in our bedroom.


There is a page with our home’s paint colors, but it looks like I have not updated it in quite some time {on my to-do list!}. The color of this wall in our bedroom is Marine Magic by Behr. It is a really smoky teal and works well with the silver bed and lamps. I wish I had the guts to paint the whole room this color {sort of like Edie’s amazingly sultry master bedroom} but we’re actually thinking about painting over it all with white. You never know with us …

// NUMBER THREE // this sweet little owl.


I found it in the christmas section {the wintery white/natural area} at homegoods last week. It is probably supposed to sit on a shelf, but I like it as a pillow.

// NUMBER FOUR // the hanging window separating our entry and dining rooms.

The window is from our favorite salvage yard here in Seattle that we hung from a barn door track. Here is a post all about the details. We recently added trim around the openings and posts and so the track had to be cut down to fit. It is no longer functional, but still looks cool.

// NUMBER FIVE // the linen light fixture in dining room is from Restoration Hardware {but we found ours for hundreds less at the outlet store}.


Our dining room table, metal bed and silver urn bedside lamps are also from the Restoration Hardware outlet. It’s totally hit or miss, but when you find what you’re looking for, you can’t beat the price for the quality.

So there you go. Most asked questions. And answers.

Anything else you want to know? I’m always happy to share …

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