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The Best Gold And Brass Picture Frames

The right frame puts the finishing touch on art. Brass and gold has been trending for a while, but until recently, it’s been hard to find a good minimal brass metal frame.

I have gathered six of my favorite frame options at varying quality and price points to help narrow down the perfect picture frame hunt.

Here are my favorites:

gallery brass frame – cb2 | gallery frame – West Elm

brushed brass – Crate & Barrel | profile frame – Room & Board

metal frame – Target | gold frame – JDC Goods

As you can see, some of the frames are a bit pricey, others are less so.

My sister has the West Elm brass frame in her house and it’s heavy and nicely made. See it below in her newly remodeled kitchen/dining room:

amy's-house Because it’s in a prominent spot, it is nice to have a great looking, quality frame. Plus, hers is large with a big mat and really gives that custom look to an 8×10 art print. (ps. their house is so pretty. Here is a tour of the kitchen.)

I have a smaller version of the same West Elm frame in our house, too:

If the budget does not allow for lots of money on frames, give the Target version or the one from my house + home shop a try. They are certainly not as heavy, but when up on a wall, who can tell?!

We just restocked the frames in the shop (and they tend to sell out fast!). They are a great, simple frame and come in three sizes. Grab one here.

Also, don’t be afraid to mix metals! I’m a big fan of the collected and casual look of mixing different types of metals, wood, black and white throughout the house and even on the same wall (or on top of the piano, as was the case in our old house).

A minimal metal frame feels classic and timeless. If you’re looking for the perfect brass or gold-toned frame, I hope my picks are helpful!

 

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Updates and decorating (finally!) in the family room + kitchen

Our house is not done. We have so much more to do with it, so many ideas and plans and sometimes it can feel a little frustrating to have the vision, but have to wait to bring it all to reality.

I do my very best to look around and see all the things we have done, to remember where we were just 10 months earlier, to be grateful for this big, wonderful house with its big, beautiful yard. But, ugh, sometimes I can feel a little impatient and a touch envious of all the pretty, finished homes out there (like my sister’s, my friend’s, anything by Studio McGee).

Our kitchen and family room are two rooms that we can’t wait to update. They are the heart of our home, the spaces we spend the most time in and hang out when our extended family and friends are over. We have great ideas for how to transform these rooms … we’re just not exactly sure when we will execute.

So we’ve been doing the small projects that feel like progress – painting the walls and trim, replacing the bulky kitchen cabinets with open shelves, wallpapering the guest bathroom, changing out light fixtures. All of these minor changes have done a lot to update the rooms.

What hasn’t really happened is decorating.

We’ve been in the house for nearly a year and I have hung approximately three pictures on the wall (and they’re all up on the third floor where I hardly ever visit).

A few days ago, I wrangled my friend into helping me move some furniture around in the family room just to try to make it look better in the meantime. I didn’t want to buy anything new because ultimately we’ll add built-ins and move the tv and figure out the rug situation once hardwood floors are in. But I just felt so bummed out looking at a bare room with zero decoration. It was time to make some changes, make it feel a little more lived-in and inviting and add some personality.

We shopped the house, moved things around, stole lamps and even hang a few pictures.

It’s not the finished, perfect, ideal space we hope to get to at some point, but it’s so much better. And, actually, it feels so much more homey to us all.

This old wood church pew is my favorite borrowed piece from Ryan’s mom. It hasn’t had an official home in this new house until we tried it (and love it!) pulled up to the kitchen table.

(Let’s not talk about the wrinkles in the rug. I hosed it off to clean it, laid it over our outdoor furniture to dry and it hasn’t been the same since).

chairs | leather pillow | pendant light

bar cart | lamp

(art print from the September Paper Works collection)

sectional | ottomans | floor lamp | x-pillow | pom pillow | leather pillow  | stripe basket

chair | pillow

bookshelf | basket (on shelf)

Moral of the story: do what you can do today, with what you have to make your home feel happier to you :)

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From 90’s to Now: Guest Bathroom Makeover Before + After

Before and afters are the very best, aren’t they?!

Our little guest bathroom has undergone a great transformation that I can’t wait to show you.

Here’s a sneak peek of the after (because I just can’t handle leading the post with one of the before pictures!).

Isn’t it pretty?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Our house was built in the early 90’s and we think underwent a few updates throughout the years – tile floors in the kitchen and mud room, a full master bathroom remodel in the early 2000’s, possibly a few light fixtures over the years and we’re guessing the bead board and vanity in the small main floor guest bathroom we not original when the house was built. Even with those updates over the last 25 years, most of the house still feels a bit dated. We’ve spent the past year slowly making changes to bring a more modern, current feel to our home. The little bathroom was next on the list.

This little windowless bathroom sits right off the kitchen and is the only bathroom on the main floor.

Here’s a random photo to help you get a feel for where it is located (that doorway on the left):

The location of the bathroom is not our very favorite as it lacks privacy and feels sort of weird having it open right into the kitchen. One of the first things we did when we moved in was add an automatic closing hinge to the door so that while sitting at the kitchen table, you don’t have to peer right into the bathroom (then we added a magnetic door stop so that you can make the door stay open if needed). Eventually, we’d like to move the door around the corner in the entry hallway to offer a bit more privacy and close off the bathroom from the kitchen.

Here’s another shot to show you how the bathroom fits in the floor plan. To the right is the front door and entry hall, to the left is the family room and behind us is the kitchen table and kitchen.

So, when we first saw the house, this is what the bathroom looked like:

And when we moved in, it looked like this:

The first order of business was painting over those red walls.

Red was a very popular color – especially for dining rooms – in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, but it is perhaps my least tolerable color and felt particularly painful to my neutral-loving-eyes in this tiny bathroom. One afternoon after the boys’ football game, I pulled out a leftover can of paint from our old house and painted right over that red.

After painting the walls white and the door and trim charcoal, we replaced the chunky black framed mirror with a thin round brass mirror and installed modern brass towel and toilet paper holders (no longer available, but this and this are very similar).

Those little updates did a lot to just neutralize the space and make it a little more updated.

The thing about this little bathroom, though, is that it is right in the middle of the house where we see it and use it often and yet it had no unique style. It was also feeling super dark and heavy with that black vanity.

So this summer, I’ve been making a few additional easy changes to inject a bit of style and special-ness to the otherwise blah bathroom.

The first step was painting that vanity. I ordered a sample pot of paint during a Sherwin Williams paint sale in one of my favorite gray-blues called Rushing River (it’s the same color as Audrey’s bed, seen here). I think the sample was $4.50-ish. I lightly sanded the vanity and then just brushed on three coats of satin paint and let it dry for a few days before adding knobs I had leftover from our old house.

Lightening up the vanity did a lot to tone down the size and starkness of the previously black vanity.

Next, I installed a striking (and slightly dizzying!) removable wallpaper called Vintage Poppy in a deep navy color. In case you missed it, here is the post all about the installation process.

With the brass mirror back up on the wall and a few accessories added for color and detail, here is that little bathroom all updated for today.

The best part is that now when the door is left open, the bathroom is actually charming to look at!

These little changes have made a big impact in turning our 90’s bathroom into a modern and updated space.

SOURCES

mirror | wallpaper | vanity paint | towel bar (similar) | hand towel | striped tray | white vase (similar) | brass vase (vintage)

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How to Hang Removable Wallpaper (with a couple of issues resolved)

The one main floor bathroom in our house was in need of a makeover. It’s just a little box of a room with no windows and is visible off the kitchen.

When we moved in, the walls were painted very bright red, which made my neutral-loving-eyes ache. I painted the top part of the walls white a few days after we moved in last fall (see that here) and the bathroom has sat untouched since then.

This summer, it was time to continue with the makeover. I’ll share the full reveal with before and after shots later this week, but for now here’s a sneak peek:

Today, I wanted to talk about that amazing wallpaper.

It’s removable! I installed it myself! In just a few hours!

I knew wallpapering this little window-less room would be a bold statement but it felt like a good way to add interest and something special to an otherwise uninteresting, yet regularly used room. For the past nine-ish months, I’ve been looking at patterns and ordering samples (here’s one I liked) until I finally ordered a sample of this Vintage Poppy print I first spotted on Spoonflower.

As with every other space in our home, this makeover is a Phase One makeover. Are you getting sick of me saying this?! Eventually we’d like to move the door (so it’s not right off the kitchen), change out the vanity for something smaller and replace the beadboard with tile. But until then, I was ready to make the room a little more in line with our style.

Wallpapering with removable wallpaper was a great option – it is less expensive than regular, I didn’t have to hire a professional installer and, if we so choose, we could reuse the wallpaper elsewhere.

Once I decided that this was the wallpaper we wanted to use, I decided to contact the designer to see if she wanted to trade her wallpaper for a blog post. As it turns out, the wallpaper designer not only sells her designs on Spoonflower, but she actually has her own wallpaper shop, Art of Wallpaper.

Amy was happy to with me (yay!) and shared that her peel and stick wallpaper is printed on a much better grade paper. She sent me a sample from her shop and it was indeed a better quality. It is thick and has a canvas-y texture, so it more resembles a nice wallpaper.

I was wanting her Vintage Poppy pattern in deep navy color and she was kind to work with me on getting the color just right. Once I approved the sample, she printed up my order and sent it my way.

The paper comes in 24″ strips in whatever length needed. For our bathroom, it took 10 4′ strips.

I have installed removable wallpaper once before and loved the results (here is that post) so I was excited to try this easy wallpapering again.

The process is quite simple:

1 | PREPARE WALLS

It is recommended to wipe walls with 70% alcohol, but since our walls were painted not too long ago, I just wiped down with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust or dirt. It is suggested to you let paint cure for 30 days before installing wallpaper over to reduce the risk of paint peeling when removed.

2 | GO FROM LEFT TO RIGHT

This is where I messed up last time. I didn’t realize that the pattern is repeatable from left to right and I had a tough time getting my pattern to match up in the last house. This time, I paid attention to the instructions and installed correctly :)

To install, simply peel the backing paper from the top and line up along the top of the wall. The first sheet is obviously the easiest, but also most important. Make sure it is straight! I pulled out a level to make sure it was going on straight. If your walls are not square (very likely), adjust the paper to keep it level.

3 | MOVE DOWN THE WALL

Once the paper is lined up on the top of the wall, continue to pull the backing paper down and press lightly with you hand to hold the paper in place.

4 | PRESS TO SMOOTH AND ADHERE

Use a flat squeegee (or in my case, a pastry cutter?) to smooth out and firmly adhere the wallpaper. It is removable, which makes it super easy to lift and adjust if needed.

5 | LINE UP THE PATTERN

The second piece overlaps the first by about 1/2 inch, so lining up is fairly easy. It just takes a little bit of adjusting and readjusting to get it just right.

Then just keep going!

6 | TRIM AROUND OUTLETS

Use a utility or exacto knife to trim the paper around the outlets. Just don’t cut too far outside to make sure the outlet plates cover up the seams.

7 | TRIM THE EDGES

Once all the paper is up, go around the top and bottom edge with a utility knife to trim the ends. I just did it by eye, but you could also use a metal straightedge to help guide.

For the most part, installing was easy and straightforward, but I did run into a couple of problems that might be helpful to share to help you avoid them:

PROBLEM: WHEN CORNERS ARE NOT SQUARE

This piece wrapped around the corner and it turns out, the corner was not perfectly square. As you can see, the paper would not smooth flat. I tried and tried to adjust to get the paper to smooth out, but couldn’t get it to work. Ryan had the brilliant idea to use my utility knife in the corner to carefully slice the paper from the point it would not lay flat corner and then overlap the paper. Because the pattern is so busy, you really can’t see the overlap. Problem solved!

PROBLEM: WHEN THE PAPER STICKS TO ITSELF

UGH! I had this strip – my very last one! – up on the wall, but just didn’t love how the pattern lined up. I pulled it off thinking I could just reapply and somehow the paper folded itself together and stuck. I panicked for a second because I really didn’t want to waste an entire piece AND I was almost done! I brought the piece over to the kitchen table and although I was worried I would stretch out the paper and wreck it, I firmly pulled the paper away from itself. Slowly, but surely, it worked. Thankfully, the paper went back up on the wall and there is no evidence of it’s trauma. I completely attribute this to the quality of this paper.

After just an hour or two, the wallpaper was up!

It’s crazy and striking and just what I was hoping for.

I can’t wait to show you how great the before and after shots are!

If you’d like to try out removable wallpaper, I completely recommend it. For rentals, temporary spots or for long-term, the peel and stick variety makes wallpapering accessible.

Amy from Art of Wallpaper is offering us 15% off with code JONES15 through August.

She offers peel and stick and traditional wallpaper in hundreds of styles. Here are a few of my faves:

Have you tried removable wallpaper? Any other questions? I’m happy to answer!

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Phase One of the Family Room Makeover + best painting tips

I’ve shared this view of our most lived-in room of the house a handful of times:

But what I haven’t shared are the other sides:

We call this room the Family Room which sits off the kitchen and is the place where we do most of our hanging out. We chose the cushiest, deepest, most comfortable sectional (more about it here) for the corner to fit our whole family for movies and lounging. It has not disappointed.

What does feel pretty meh is the rest of the room. It is the one room besides our master bathroom and the kids’ bathroom that we have not yet touched in the house … until now.

Before I got started, I took a quick video for you:

So like I mentioned in the video, we have bigger plans for the room – think wood floors, new wider baseboards and window trim (like we did upstairs), planked walls or ceiling and a wall of builtins along the wall that currently houses the tv. The problem with our big plans is in order to do one part, it requires another part to be done at the same time. It’s like a massive chain of projects and we just don’t have the time, budget or finished plan totally figured out quite yet.

In the meantime, we’re giving it a PHASE ONE makeover, like we’ve done with almost every other room in the house.

What’s a phase one makeover? Well, I say it’s just doing the small things that don’t require much time, money or tearing out of walls. Things like paint, changing out lights or hardware, improving upon what you already have.

For the family room, phase one looks like fresh paint on the walls and trim, replacing the can lights with lower-profile white ones, taking down the ceiling fan and adding a new light fixture, removing the sconces and switching out some furniture.

First up on that list was paint.

After posting an in-process painting picture to instagram, a sweet reader said this:

“Can you (or have you already) do a post on tips for painting interiors? We’re getting ready to tackle our house and we both literally sat and looked at each other and said, “sooooo just paint…?”

That one made me smile. And my answer is basically, yes. Just paint.

But with a few pointers.

First, choose your paint. For walls I prefer a slight sheen (called eggshell or satin, depending on the brand), ceilings in flat and trim in semi-gloss.

We are carrying on with the same white we’ve used in most of the rooms and hallways in the house – Shoji White by Sherwin Williams. For more tips on choose a white paint, read this post about our old house and this one from the new house.

Then, grab your supplies. You’ll typically want an angled brush for cutting in the edges (like this), a roller and tray and painter’s tape.

Next, prep the space. We pulled all of the furniture to the center of the room and covered with thick plastic. If you’re taping off areas where you don’t want paint, now is the time to do it.

Finally, start painting! If you have two people, have one cut in the edges and the other follow behind with the roller for the main surface of the walls. If you’re painting solo, I usually cut everything in and then move to the roller.

We will eventually move the tv to a different wall, but for now it will stay – the cable is on that wall and it just felt easier to leave it for now :)

Once the walls had two coats and time to dry overnight, I went to work on the trim.

We painted the trim in the kitchen with the same deep charcoal as the cabinets and have just continued that downstairs – at least for now. Like I mentioned before, when we put in hardwoods we’ll switch out the baseboards and the window trim (just like we did upstairs) and it will go white, but in the meantime it feels fun to try something a little different with the dark trim.

For the trim, I did it just the same as with the rest of the downstairs trim (read my full post about painting out orangy-wood trim and doors here). I taped off inside and outside the windows as well as above the trim on the wall and on the edge of the carpet. So much tape!

I actually don’t like painter’s tape – it always, always bleeds. Sure, I could try the whole paint the background color first trick, but that seems so time intensive. So instead, I just tape it off, press firmly, then paint the trim.

When the tape comes off (after the second coat, but while still wet-ish), there are always areas where the paint bleeds under.

I’ve just learned to deal with it and I go back over with a tiny artists brush and wall paint to fix the smudges. It takes precision and a bit of time, but it’s not terrible. Just mildly annoying.

But, hey! Look how pretty that trim looks now!

When we first painted the kitchen window trim it felt like we put eyeliner on the windows. Suddenly they became focal points and directed your vision to outside, which is truly so beautiful. I am typically a fan of simple white trim, but this dark is quite eye-catching.

There is still one more patch of paint way up high to finish, then we’ll switch out the light fixtures (can’t wait to share what we’re doing!) and move some furniture around.

So far, just having the walls freshly painted and trim that striking charcoal has really updated the room. All for a few days of painting and about $100 in supplies. Not bad!

If you’re debating about whether or not to paint a room or paint out your trim, do it! It truly makes such a big difference.

I’ll keep you posted as we continue to work on Phase One of the Family Room Makeover.

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A free source for great photo artwork

Last week I hung the first artwork in our oldest son’s room.

You might remember when we shared the design board he and I created for his room. Poor kid has been waiting (rather patiently) for his mother to step up her decorating-a-teen’s-room game and pull it all together. This artwork was a move in the right direction.

He wants his room to feel cozy and Northwest-y and when I came across this photo of evergreens, a lake, snow-capped mountains in the back, I knew he would love it.

Here’s the best part: the artwork was free! 

Have you heard of UNSPLASH? It is an online resource with amazing hi-resolution photography that you can download and use for free. Photographers from all over the world contribute their work – there are over 200,000 photos of anything and everything you can think of.

Unsplash was originally created as a resource for stock photography for websites (think things like styled desks, moody coffee houses, close-ups of tools, etc.) and has grown into a massive library and community of generous photographers.

While searching through images, I came across this photograph which felt perfect for Ethan’s room. The great thing about these photos is that they are not just for web use, but they can be printed as well.

I downloaded the photograph and ordered a 20″x30″ print from Costco. It was done the next day and I paid $9.99 for the print. We had an extra frame from IKEA in our stash of frames, which worked perfectly. It was just slightly smaller than the print, so I trimmed it down and popped it in.

You can’t really tell unless you look very close but the image is a little pixelated – just something to be aware of if you print large-scale like I did.

There are literally thousands of photographs to choose from on Unsplash. Here are a few of my faves:

download here

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And here is the one I used for Ethan’s room:

download here

How great are those?! I could spend way too much time looking through and imagining where I could put more photographs around the house.

Thanks to the talented photographers who share their work with all of us :)

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How to create pom pom garlands (like the ones on our porch swing)

We’ve been spending a lot of time out on the front porch this summer which means I’ve been showing more photos of it. And in nearly every one of those photos is the porch swing with pom pom garland draped above.

I mean, how adorable are those girls?! But the questions and comments I most receive when showing the porch swing is “where is the pom pom garland from?“.

And so, here I am today to tell you.

The garland was originally made for a Christmas decoration, but I ended up liking them so much, they’ve become a year-round decoration. They are super easy to make, the supplies are minimal and you can just flip on your favorite show and keep your hands busy creating.

Here is how to make a simple diy pom pom garland.

To start, gather your supplies:

pom-pom-supplies

chunky yarn (about 3 rolls) / pom pom makers (2 sizes) / embroidery thread / upholstery needle / scissors

HOW TO MAKE THE POM POMS

wrap-yarn-for-pom Open up the pom pom maker and wrap the yarn round and round the first side. The more your wrap, the fuller your pom pom will be.

Once the first side is full, string your yarn across to the other side and wrap.

cut-pom-maker

Fold the sides in together and trim through the center ‘trough’ to cut the yarn. Make sure you keep the pom pom maker closed so you don’t loose all that yarn!

Next, cut a piece of yarn just a little bit longer than the circumference of the pom pom maker. This will be used to wrap around the center to hold the pom together.

tie-pom-and-pull-apart

Tie the piece of yarn around the center of the pom maker, extra tight.

Now pull apart the pom maker and your pom pom is free.

trim-pom

Trim long pieces of yarn and fluff.

Continue this process a bunch of times until you have a big, gorgeous, fluffy pile of pom poms.

HOW TO MAKE SMALL POM POM GARLAND

cut-string-for-garland

Cut a piece of yarn to desired finished length of the garland.

needle-and-thread-through-pom

Thread needle with embroidery thread in a color that matches your yarn. You don’t necessarily want to see the thread. Knot one end a few times to make a thick knot.

Place the poms where you want them on the garland, poke the needle through the center of the pom (so it catches the knotted piece that holds it all together) and stitch into place.

stitch-through-pom

You can stitch a few times back and forth to make sure the pom is secure

stitch-through-yarn-garland

In between poms, run the needle through the center of the yarn, then stitch on the next pom. This just allows you to use one continuous piece of embroidery thread instead of tying off knots, trimming and starting again with each pom.

small-pom-garland

Then hang anywhere and everywhere!

small-pom-garland-hanging

TO MAKE THE LARGE POM POM GARLAND

how-to-make-a-pom-pom-garland

Start by making large poms using this pom maker (3 3/8″). The big pom poms take much more yarn to make, so grab an extra roll of yarn just to be sure.

braid-yarn-1

Cut three long pieces of yarn in desired finished length and tie knot in top. Tape to tabletop to hold in place.

braid-yarn

Loosely braid the yarn and knot the end. This will give you a more substantial garland to stitch the poms onto.

stitch-large-pom

Thread your needle with the same embroidery thread, knotting a few times at the end to catch. Now run the needle through the center of the pom (trying to grab onto the center string that ties it all up).

stitch-large-pom-to-garland

Stitch onto braided yarn (a few stitches to hold securely).

needle-through-braid

You can knot, cut the thread and start again with the next pom, or in between poms, run the needle through the center of the braid, then stitch on the next pom in desired spacing.

large-pom-garland

Isn’t it fantastic?

I went on a spree a few Christmases ago making a bunch of these garlands after seeing them hanging in my friend Erica’s house when I took photos for a Coastal Christmas house tour:

I made a bunch of my own and they’ve made their rounds, first at our old house, and now at the new.

The garland looked sweet hanging from the shelves in my old office (see lots more of that room here).

small-pom-garland-on-shelf Remember our old cottage kitchen? It was so light and pretty. The big bummer about it was that we looked out our kitchen window directly at the side of our neighbor’s house and so I put up the pom pom garlands to distract my eye from looking much beyond.

At Christmas, I made a few and hung them in the windows with beaded garland and a boxwood wreath in the center. It was so pretty and gave the window Christmas spirit without being bold and colorful.

I liked the garlands on the window so much that after christmas, I pulled off the beaded garlands and the wreath and left up the poms.

And then in February, I moved them over to the diy chalkboard as birthday decoration for our son.

chalkboard-birthday-pom-pom-banner And now, here they are on the porch swing. I don’t actually remember why I put them up outside? I must have done it when we were moving and I came across the pom pom garlands and didn’t know where else to put them so I tied them up to the chain. I didn’t intend to leave them there, but they add such a whimsical touch, so I guess I’ll just leave them.

Making a pom pom garland is just about as simple of a craft project as they come. I love how they add subtle texture to any space and look great year round. Go ahead, my crafty friends, and make a few pom pom garlands for your home!

pom-pom-garland-by-jones-design-company

(Pin it and save for later!)

Enjoy!

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Such a breathtaking before and after (a farmhouse kitchen)

You guys are going to love today’s post.

We went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for lunch this weekend. For the past year, Eric and Jess have been completely renovating a little 1960’s lake house that was in desperate need of some updating. Besides living in the house as they fix it up, they also have the sweetest almost two year old (I can not get enough of her) and Jess is due any day with a baby boy. The house is still a work in progress, but they’ve made big steps forward in the past few weeks.

When we came by for lunch, we were so impressed by how great the kitchen turned out!

Just to give you a feel for how far they’ve come, here’s a pretty amazing before shot:

Impressive, right?!

We ate a delicious lunch, the kids played on the lake and then Jess casually mentioned that they wanted me to style the shelves. I jumped at the chance because 1. anything I can do to help a pregnant mama feel like her home is in order, I’m in and 2. I love styling shelves (Ryan has a great eye for it, too).

The open shelves were recent additions and dishes and glassware were just thrown up there to get them off the counter. The haphazard organization and clutter both on the shelves and countertop was bugging both Eric and Jess, so it was time to add some order.

The risk with having open shelves in the kitchen is that they can look messy pretty easily.

The great news is that with a bit of intention, you can reorganize the shelves, group like items together, keeping the color palette simple and enjoy the casual look of open shelves without the clutter.

We started by taking everything off the shelves, reassessing and creating zones; everyday dishes grouped on one side of the stove, drinking glasses on the other, pantry-ish items next to the fridge.

The items that are most used are on the lowest shelves and least used are at the very top. To keep things minimal and cohesive, we kept to just plain white dishes and clear glass. The colorful coffee mugs and Ellie’s sippy cups live in lower cabinets out of view, but are still easily accessible.

Once the shelves were styled, we cleaned up the countertops, too. Some countertop essentials stayed – a jar with cooking utensils, olive oil, salt and pepper, bowl of fruit, coffee maker, coffee pods, blender and mixer. Everything else found new homes in the drawers and cabinets. Clearing off the counters made the small kitchen look so spacious!

After we were done, I couldn’t help myself and snapped a bunch of photos. It is such a charming kitchen.

Okay, now for the fun part … before and afters.

The sink and window placement stayed, but is looking so much brighter with the removal of the upper cabinets (and wall oven):

The stove/oven and hood received a big update:

Here’s a full shot to give a better feel for the size. It’s a small footprint, but Eric and Jess have done an amazing job of optimizing the layout to make the most of the space.

What a fabulous transformation.

SOURCES

Cabinets – IKEA
Pulls – IKEA
Counters – quartz
Floor – Shaw Floorte (luxury vinyl flooring)
Shelves – TRM Lumber Cedar
Brackets – Rockler Woodworking steel bracket
Wall Color – White Moderne, by Behr
Light – Gooseneck Barn Light

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Updates to the Studio just in time for summer

The last time I showed you the studio, the desks had just been finished and it was styled with hints of pink for spring.

Since then, I have added a few new pieces of furniture and switched out the pink for summery blues so it felt like a good time to do an updated studio tour.

Classic Summer Studio Tour In case you missed any of the previous posts about this space, here is the before and after and this was the initial design plan. When we bought the house last fall, this room was just an unfinished storage area above the garage. We decided it would be the perfect spot for a home office and creative studio.

It is such a treat to have this big, bright room as an extension of the house. I am up here everyday either working or doing a barre workout (more on that soon), and now that there is a big work table in here, it will be used even more.

Summer Studio Tour The big work table is actually our dining table (seen here in our old dining room). We bought it over 10 years ago at the Restoration Hardware outlet store and I still love its classic style. Instead of using the table in the formal dining room in the house, we decided we really didn’t need it there and we have plans to remove the wall separating the dining and kitchen, so the table won’t be needed once that happens. It was not an easy task to move this massive, heavy table up the skinny staircase, but we did it and it’s such a nice addition to the studio.

Summer Studio desk space The table sat up in the studio for a couple of months without any seating while I figured out what I wanted. Individual chairs would have been the obvious choice. It just seemed like having 10 extra chairs would feel really busy in room that already has a lot going on in it.

Instead, I scoured the internet for inexpensive, simple benches that could hold two people comfortably and fit the width of the table.

summer studio tour work table and benches After lots of searching, I ended up ordering four upholstered benches from Target during a sale (you can also find them here for a great deal). I wasn’t totally sold on the nailhead trim (maybe too busy with everything else?) but I planned on making simple slipcovers to make for easy washing anyway, so I went ahead and bought them. They arrived over Memorial Day weekend, I talked my 9 year old into helping me put them together and now that they’re in, I’m so happy with how they look, feel and function.

work table and benches Perhaps my favorite thing about the benches is that they can be pushed in under the table to keep the floor open and visually disappear.

built in desks The rug is another recent addition. Originally, I had my eye on this plaid flatweave rug from Rejuvenation. I just didn’t have room in our budget to spend $799 on a rug (FYI, the rug is now on major clearance and had I known, maybe I would have waited a little longer before choosing a different rug!).

studio work space and desks desk | desktop | pulls | chair | benches | blanket | rug

Instead, I found this cotton rug from Home Depot and waited for it to go on sale. The size of this one is a little bigger than the average 8×10 and fits under the table perfectly. It is a flatweave with stamped design. I didn’t use a rug pad under because the table holds it down just fine, but it is recommended, so keep that in mind if you order for your home.

summer studio tour computer desk shelves  | blue vaseribbon | linen files | stapler + tape | chair | throw | lamp

To add in a summery feel, the spring pink accessories were put away and switched out for pretty blues.

built out studio space for summer This is one reason I like decorating with neutrals so much; it makes decorating for the seasons so easy.

Starting with a simple palette of white, natural wood, brass and those handsome leather chairs means I can switch out a throw blanket, add a vase or candle, a few notecards and artwork and change the feel of space.

summer styled shelves shelves | linen file box | basket | Q&A book | She Reads Truth

summer styled work desk I’m so fickle about color and can’t commit to living with any one color for longer than a few months, so keeping things mainly neutral with just a few touches of color keeps me feeling creative.

desk and shelf summer styled details computer on desk summer flowers art and peonies Not much has changed on the other side of the room. The reading area is a favorite spot with that sweet light, cozy chair and bright natural light. There are window boxes right outside each dormer window that add extra cottage charm.

studio reading area lightchair | table | rug | pillow | floor lamp

I still have a few more projects to complete over on this side – a diy white board and extra storage. We’re hoping to finish up those in the next week or so and you know I’ll share details along the way :)

studio plant string of pearls My #plantlady obsession is going strong in the studio. Our house does not get great natural light, but the studio does, so the plants seem to thrive up here.

Perhaps my favorite summery touch is this little wooden bowl I bought in Rwanda holding a bit of stolen sand from my favorite beach in Seaside, Florida.

sand in bowl After taking all of the photos, I had a few minutes to spare before the kids came home from school and filmed a quick studio video tour. Now, fair warning, I talk with my hands and was only holding the camera with one hand while the other was flying about. Therefore, the video is a bit shaky. But it shows how the room works together AND you get to see all the unfinished, messy parts that don’t make it into photos :)

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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How to get the look of graphic cement tile (for much less)

As promised, I’ll show you the steps for creating the look of graphic cement tile, for much less.

Off the entry of our house is a quiet living room. One thing we loved so much about this new house was the potential for impactful updates that didn’t cost a fortune. This room is a great example. With the help of paint, we’ve created an updated space that works with our modern/traditional style and sets the tone for the rest of the house.

The biggest impact in the room is undoubtedly the graphic fireplace tile.

We have long-terms plans to change up the whole facade of the fireplace, which left me with an almost risk-free freedom to try something completely crazy to give the fireplace a much-needed facelift. If it was a total flop, no big deal. We’ll likely pull it all out eventually anyway. Sometimes I just need creative license to try something new and the fireplace was the perfect canvas.

Before we get into the how-tos, let’s look at the before and after:

Ah, I love a good transformation!

The tile is a little crazy, I’ll admit. And yet, it feels so fresh and happy, and that makes it worth it.

If you have a space in your home (a fireplace surround, backsplash, floor) that needs an inexpensive update, perhaps this how-to will give you just the inspiration you need.

Gorgeous graphic cement tile has been a trend in home design for the past few years and it just keeps growing. While I could have just purchased tiles to replace the granite tile on our fireplace, I wasn’t excited about spending a bunch of money on an update that might not stay longterm. So rather than buy, I turned to my DIY ways and decided to just paint the surround to look like cement tile. And I’d say it worked!

To get started, I had to select a pattern. A quick search on Pinterest offered so many gorgeous examples. I looked through photos and tile companies until I found a pattern that I met my two criteria: 1. I could live with the pattern and 2. The pattern could be easily replicated and handpainted.

After narrowing it down to a couple of finalists, I decided on this pattern from a company called Tabarka Studio. I loved the simplicity, the handpainted feel and it seemed like a very simple pattern to paint.

The trickiest part was figuring out the math to make the pattern perfect.

The tiles on our fireplace are 12″ x 6″ rectangles, but I figured I could fake them into 6″ x 6″ tiles. I used a piece of grid paper, a ruler and pencil to find the correct proportions and then painted a few samples to give it a try.

DOWNLOAD MY TEMPLATE BELOW

With my pattern selected, I started in on the fireplace makeover.

STEP ONE | Clean the tile to remove any dirt, soot, etc.

I just used dish soap, an old scrub brush, and a magic eraser.

STEP TWO | Paint tile with primer

For the base coat, I used basic Zinsser Primer, taping off the carpet and around the mantle first.

With just that first coat of primer on there, I knew this was going to be a good choice. I taped up my paper samples just to make sure I loved the pattern, the scale, and figure out placement.

STEP THREE | Paint the base coat

I could have used two or three coats of primer, but the white was a bit stark for our house. Instead, I pulled out extra flat ceiling paint (Shoji White, by Benjamin Moore) which has a much creamier, warmer undertone.

STEP FOUR | Draw the pattern

Using a ruler and pencil, I first marked the tiles into 6″ squares (just drew a line in the center of each 12″ tile). On every tile I made small marks in equal increments along all sides and connected the lines, alternating the diagonal direction.

(That sounds super confusing. Sorry. I explain the pattern making process in the template pdf. Download below.

Penciling in the pattern was the most labor-intensive step. It took a few hours (maybe 4 or 5? split between a few evenings) and I just popped in my headphones and listened to a book or podcast.

STEP FIVE | Paint the pattern

Using a 1/2″ flat artist’s brush, paint between the lines. This part doesn’t have to be perfect – in fact, one of the things I love the most about the inspiration tile is how imperfect and handpainted it looks.

For paint, I used black chalkboard paint. My main reason was that I was hoping to get that dusty, slightly aged look (see below for more on that) and didn’t want any sheen.

Painting was much faster than marking the pattern. The first coat took about 2 hours.

The tile would have been fine with one coat, but it was a little more transparent and the brush strokes were slightly more visible than I wanted, so I went back over with a second coat.

You can see the difference between one and two coats above, and the finished fireplace below.

FULL DISCLOSURE: 

Our chimney has a small water leak that has caused the paint to bubble. I started the project earlier this winter and only got so far as painting the base coat and marking the pattern. At that point, we were having carpet installed and everything from the upstairs was piled in the living room for several weeks. Once the carpet was done and furniture moved back up, I went back to work on the fireplace. We were experiencing the wettest winter ever and unfortunately, moisture had caused the paint to bubble.

My two options:

Sand down the paint and start over (knowing that until the chimney is completely fixed, water will likely leak and cause damage again).

Just keep going and embrace the bubbled paint.

Guess which option I chose :)

You can’t really see the texture unless you are up close and it honestly doesn’t bother me at all. It may cause the paint to wear more, so I’ll keep you posted if it all starts peeling off anytime soon.

Also, when I removed the tape, it pulled up a bit of the paint from the tile. I just went back over with my brush and touched up.

STEP SIX | Season the chalk paint

 

To get that more aged look, I rubbed chalk all over the black paint and lightly wiped it off.

You may remember I did the same thing with the painted lamps in my studio. This post explains the process a little more.


And it’s done!

The graphic pattern gives the otherwise traditional room a nice dose of energy and the classic black and white pattern still feels versatile.

Many have asked – on the living room reveal post and Instagram – if the paint holds up the heat of the fireplace. I would love to give a great answer … but the truth is, we haven’t had a fire in the fireplace since painting the tile. I think it will be just fine because the tile doesn’t get very hot, but I can’t guarantee it. Most interior latex paint is rated to withstand the heat of a fireplace surround (around 200*).

If you paint an area that gets much more wear and tear, be sure to use several coats of protective finish (like this) to seal. This post is a good one from another DIYer who shows how she painted her tile floors.

I put together a guide with my template and how-to instructions to make recreating this project a bit easier.

The download is free and can be found in THE ARCHIVE, my library of freebies. If you are already a JDC subscriber, just enter your email address; if you are new, pop in your email and you’ll be in!

If you do paint your tile, please let me know! I’d love to see how it turns out …

Any questions? Feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you asap.

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The Moody Living Room Makeover Reveal

As you enter our house from the front door, to the left sits a formal living room with fireplace and three big windows.

We’ve never had a formal living room before – never wanted one, actually – until this house. Now that the kids are older, I very much like the idea of having a quiet room separate from the casual family room for reading or sitting by the fire. We imagine this room will be where we visit with adults or host bible study or just come to get a little alone time.

Funny fact: our 9 year old calls this “the lonely room” and the name has stuck.

Over the past several months, we’ve done a few small updates that make a huge difference and I can’t wait to show you how the moody living room is coming along.

I was chatting with my friends Emily + Myquillyn earlier this week about how updating this house has been a baby-step process. I get antsy to make all the changes, but it is actually quite nice (and perhaps a bit more real-life) to just make little improvements as we can and let the rooms come together over time.

This is absolutely the case with the living room. We’ll call this the Phase One living room makeover.

Let’s go back and I’ll remind you of what it looked like when we moved in:

The shell of the room was great; it was just the finishes that felt dated. Our longterm plans include replacing the carpet with wood floors, removing the half-moon window and pushing the windows up, adding wide baseboards, putting in vintage french doors from the entry into the living room and walling off the passthrough to the dining room. Whew.

Since I’m all about making small changes today that make the space feel more like us, I have been doing projects here and there to transform the dated living room into a moody space that we actually want to hang out in.

This room doesn’t get a lot of natural light and while the temptation would be to go light, we decided to embrace the cozy feel and make it even moodier with a deep gray/green/blue on the walls. The trim and fireplace mantle got a coat of the same charcoal color we used in the kitchen and entry, and the ceiling was freshened up with white. Just switching out the paint made a BIG difference in the feel of the room.

Let’s talk about the biggest change in the room, shall we?

I am so crazy excited about the fireplace.

We love having a wood-burning fireplace in here, but the original finishes were not right for our style (scroll up to refresh your memory).

My long-term vision is to pull off the over-scaled mantle, remove the granite tiles and run a flat concrete facade all the way to the ceiling (something sort of like this) for a more minimal and modern look.

In the meantime, I figured there was no harm in trying out something totally different with the fireplace and gave it a complete makeover with paint, a ruler and a steady hand.

Yep, I painted over the granite tiles. And I’m so smitten with it.

I have lots of pictures of the process so I’ll post a full tutorial with details. But for now, let’s just say faux cement tiles in a graphic pattern is such a crazy stretch for my style and yet every time I walk by the room, I smile.

The windows have been bare since we moved in and I considered letting the walls and trim be the feature, but I’m such a curtain girl that I had to add some in here. As hard as I try to go more masculine with this house, I still love adding in some softer, feminine details. Simple white curtains on brass rings help to add balance and pull the room together.

And of course a room wouldn’t be complete without fresh flowers and greenery.

I put this arrangement together using clippings from our yard and gorgeous spring peonies. My mother-in-law makes the prettiest garden arrangements and this was my attempt to follow her lead.

I also clipped a few branches from outside and let them do their organic, perfectly charming thing up on the mantle.

This spot is so hard to get a good picture of because the lighting is super dark, but take my word for it that the bright leaves and branches look so great against the dark walls. I’m thankful that we’re surrounded by trees so I can clip, clip, clip to my heart’s delight.

Well, my friends, Phase One of our moody living room makeover is complete! More changes will come, but for now, it is such a cozy, inviting space and a big improvement from where we started.

Once again, here’s the before and after – because nothing is better than a great before and after!

SOURCES

Rug | Sofa | Coffee Table (similar) | Round Tray | Gold Vase | Floor Lamps (similar) | Stripe Blanket | Fur Pillow | Leather Pillow | Linen Pillow | Ikat Pillow | Curtains | Curtain Rods | Curtain RingsTable Lamp | Terracotta Pot | Green Moss Candle

Wall Color: Ancestral by Behr
Trim Color: Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams
Ceiling Color: Shoji White by Sherwin Williams

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What to do with a sweet but slightly awkward dormer window

In two of the upstairs bedrooms, there are dormer windows.

I have always loved how dormers look on the exterior of a house – it gives a traditional cottage feel that is charming and welcoming. The dormers on our house were what initially caught my eye while perusing real estate online (see the exterior here and here).

When there are dormers on the exterior, it likely means that there are little nooks carved out of the slanted roof. This is the case in Audrey’s room and the boys’ room.

Here’s the tricky thing about these dormer nooks: while completely charming, they are slightly awkward. These particular spaces are identical in each bedroom and quite narrow. My original idea was to build a bed for Audrey in her window nook. It is just barely wider than a twin size bed and the idea could be so cute. We’re still considering …

In the meantime, and to make the space as practical as possible, we’re using the nook as a reading corner.

One night when I should have been making dinner, I found three old picture ledges from IKEA and hung them up on the wall. I used a stud finder and level and popped those things up all by myself in under 30 minutes.

The picture ledges are perfect for displaying picture books. We had them in the kids’ old playroom when they were little (see that room here). I’m such a lover of illustrated children’s books – someday I will write one! – and adore having the covers displayed.

Should we talk about that piece of fabric tacked to the window? Yes, let’s talk about that. This is what my decorating process looks like: I try things out in very un-permanent ways and see if I can live with it (in this case, I can).

This is the same fabric that we used in Audrey’s old bedroom for the window and I loved it so much in there, I thought we would try it in this room as well. It is fabric from Minted and I’m crazy about it. My mom said she’ll help me sew proper roman shades so someday soon I’ll untack it from the wall and sew them into lovely roman shades with black pom pom trim.

Also unfinished? The trim. We still need to caulk and paint it all. The trim inside the window and the rest of the newly installed pieces will be painted the same white as the walls (in a semigloss sheen) and the seams and nail holes will be filled. It’s going to look amazing. Someday.

That sweet bench was a happy find at HomeGoods. I spotted two of them from across the store and was going to buy both. I wasn’t sure what for, but if there is anything I’ve learned about shopping at stores like HomeGoods it’s buy it now, return it later. Because if you wait to think about it, it will be gone.

Anyway, when I was heading over to get the benches, another shopper walked by and snagged one of them. You better believe I was very quick to grab that second one and claim it :)

Once home, I tried the bench in Audrey’s room and it tucked under the window perfectly. That scallop detail on the brass tacks is just the cutest and I’m a big fan of having a touch of black in every room – even a sweet girly room.

As we were unloading the picture books, we only made a dent in our collection with the three shelves.

So the next time I brave IKEA, I’ll pick up three more picture ledges for the opposite wall.

I think the reading nook idea works very well for her little dormer. I’ll keep you posted as we continue to finish her room out.

SOURCES

picture ledges – IKEA | bench – HomeGoods | pink throw – Target | linen pillow + insert – IKEA | fabric – Minted | Carpet | Wall Color – Shoji White by Sherwin Williams


For your reading pleasure, here are a few older posts with our favorite picture books:

3 Must-Have Picture Books For School-Aged Boys (according to my 8 year old)

Our Favorite Children’s Picture Books

Favorite Books for Boys

Favorite Books for Girls

Favorite Books for Baby

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18 Classic Flushmount Lights (6 of which are in our new house)

The ceilings in our house are on the shorter side at 8 feet. It gives the house a cozy feel, but also can make it feel a bit dark. The decidedly dated light fixtures throughout the house were not helping things, either (see the before pictures here).

Switching out lights is one of the easiest ways to update a room and so over the past six months, we have replaced all of the ceiling lights with more modern, brighter versions.

As I was searching for lights, I weeded through one million bad ones (whyyyy are boob lights still a thing?!) and gathered 18 of my favorites. These are classic in styling, most are under $250 and a couple are less than $100.   1. 3-Light Flush Mount $178 | 2. Scallop White Metal Flushmount $129 | 3. Dahlia Flushmount $249 | 4. Vega Brushed Brass Flush Mount $249 | 5. Mia Faceted-Crystal Oversized Flushmount $299 | 6. Thurman Flushmount $120 | 7. Industrial Loft Double Pendant $264 | 8. Fabric Shade Flushmount $79 | 9. Victoria Flushmount $229 | 10. Dauphine Wood Flushmount $499 | 11. Ricco Scalloped Semi-Flush Mount $142 | 12. Yasmine Ceiling Mount $249 | 13. Cedar + Moss Semi-Flush $159 | 14. Capiz Flushmount $199 | 15. Bell White Flush Mount $59.95 | 16. Suzette Ceiling Mount $199 | 17. Celeste 2-Light Flushmount $97 | 18. Crystal Flushmount $179

Six of those lights are the ones we chose for our house. Let me show you how they look.

In the entry, stairway and upstairs hall, we put in five matching fabric drum shade flushmounts from West Elm (#8). We bought them on sale (I think $60ish a piece) and they instantly modernized and connected these common areas.

Here you can see how they work in the hallway and stair landing. It was especially important that the sides and bottom of the fixture would give off light to make this semi-dark space as bright as possible.

Unfortunately, they are no longer available on the website, but this one is really similar.

Audrey’s light (#2) was the first one I ordered because the shape was just so darling.

It’s adorable in person and while the light does not shine out the sides (it is metal) it still feels bright enough.

The middle boys share a room and we chose this slightly nautical light (#17) for their room.

This is actually the second light we tried in here. The first did not have glass on the sides and was just way too dim for their fairly dark room. This one works much better.

In our room, there was a massive ceiling fan positioned right above the bed. I know people are fans of ceiling fans, but I am not one of them. Especially because we have central A/C in the house and rarely do our temps get over 85* anyway. So the fan had to go. In its place, we chose another linen shade flushmount (#11), except in a sweet shape.

The light is not really centered in the room and we liked the idea of it blending in more than being a statement. If I were looking for a statement light in our bedroom, I would choose #3, #4 or #10.

Up on the third floor, we picked an industrial style light (#7) that could withstand an inevitable ball or pillow or something being thrown its way.

In my studio, I picked two semi-flushmount lights (#13) in my beloved black and white as a focal for each dormer.

They make me ridiculously happy every time I see them.


I’ve been feeling mildly discouraged lately about how slow and unfinished our house is. There is not one room in the whole house that is completely done.

But then I look at these photos and see the many little changes we’re making and realize that we’re moving at a just fine pace. It is hard to be patient and balance real life with house projects. In a perfect world we would have an unlimited budget and a full crew here making the vision we have for this house come true. But that is not reality :)

So I’m going to chill out a bit and be thankful for the little things like paint and carpet and new flushmount lights.

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Reveal day! The kids’ third floor casual hangout space

If you remember from a couple of previous posts, we’ve been turning an open third floor bonus room into a functional space for our growing kids.

Since moving in, we walled in a bedroom and closet, painted the walls, changed out the lighting, updated the trim and replaced the carpet (read all about the updates here). Instead of it being a big open space, we gave the room structure and it works so much better.

With the shell of the room complete, I got to do the fun part and add finishing touches. I started with a design plan (see it here) and kept to a mainly neutral color palette (big shock, I know), pulling in a bit of green and blue for color.

The room is casual and comfy, a little bit outdoorsy and a great spot for the kids to hang out.

Now that the kids are a little older (13, 11, 9 and 7), our playroom needs have changed. No longer do we need tons of storage for toys or open spaces for floor play. Those were sweet days and I loved creating a playroom for the kids when they were little (see it here).

This hangout space needed to work as a space for the kids to watch movies, play games with friends, lounge on a comfy couch with a book or create with legos.

I loaded the sectional couch with assorted pillows because I just can’t help myself. Of course they all end up on the floor when the kids are up here, but I still insist on them because they add texture and pattern to an otherwise very plain room.

On either side of the big window are framed posters of two of our favorite National Parks. I just love the greens and touch of blue they bring.

And, of course, you can’t have a finished room without a touch of living greenery. This time, I chose a very low-maintenance plant called Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ for short). It doesn’t need much to keep it alive, so it is perfect for this room where I’m not regularly having to bring it down to water.

Next to the couch, tucked into the little nook is where we ended up putting all the legos.

Lego storage has stumped us for nearly 10 years. We’ve tried so many different solutions: colors organized into separate boxes (that was very short-lived), spread out on a lego table, under bed storage bins, lego pit (that was a fun one where Ryan built a half wall in the boys’ dormer bump-out and we dumped all the legos in there), plastic totes. You name it, we probably tried it.

Truth be told, I love legos. The boys are super creative and come up with the most amazing things. As they get older, they are less and less into building, but I still want to keep them accessible, especially for Mason (9) who still enjoys digging through, building scenes and playing with the guys.

Our current lego storage solution is working out great. The big galvanized trough is what we kept our baby chicks in for the first few weeks. Once we moved them to the coop, Ryan had the brilliant idea to use the bin for legos.

It’s super sturdy, had rounded edges so the kids don’t get hurt while digging, it holds all of our legos and won’t break like every other plastic lego bin has seemed to do.

To fill in the big wall, I hung two shelves left over from the boys’ old room.

My original thought was to fill that wall with shelves so the boys could put their lego ships/cars/guys/etc on them. But then the decorator in me came out and instead filled them with books and pictures and plants and decorate-y things.

Here’s a more pulled-back shot so you can see how the room fits together. Don’t mind the unfinished stair trim, handrail and door. Someday we’ll have all the woodwork painted :)

On the other side of the stairway is the entrance to the bedroom.

On the wall opposite the couch is the tv on a low shelf with storage baskets. This is where the boys keep the xbox, games, controllers and a million wires.

It is so nice to have this great room for the kids. They tend to hang out downstairs most of the time, but I like that I can send them up when they have friends over and it gives them one more spot to chill when they need space.

As I was taking pictures, I realized how hard it is to show how the room flows together. So I snapped over to the video setting on the camera and made you a video tour. Enjoy!

SOURCES

ceiling lights | couch (Costco) | coffee table (old) | pom throw | green velvet pillow | patterned pillows (Homegoods + made by me) | textured dot pillows | plaid throw | floor lamp (old, Target) | national park posters | poster frames | lego trough (farm store) | shelves (wood) + brackets | tv stand | beanbags | wall color: Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore | trim: Shoji White by Sherwin Williams

Thank you to Barn Light Electric for sending us the industrial ceiling lights. We didn’t want anything that would easily be broken by random flying objects (this is primarily a boy hangout zone!) and the caged double pendants are perfect. 

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Organization made easy in the studio desk drawers

One of the reasons I went with three dressers as the base of the desk in the studio was for the ample storage the nine drawers would provide.

My mom has a great desk setup in her house using filing cabinets as the base. I was tempted to go that direction until I remembered I don’t use files. Ryan is the bill-doer and file-keeper in our family and he has a great filing cabinet in his office (see a sneak peek here) for all the important paperwork.

What I really needed was space for all my stuff. Craft supplies, stationery, fabric, ribbon, art necessities, office-y things.

I had no idea I was such a hoarder of these goods until I unpacked box after box. I have a real collecting problem, you guys.

Many have asked what exactly are in those drawers and how I organized it all. Well, today’s the day. I’m opening up the drawers to reveal what’s inside.

Before I started loading everything in, I grabbed a bunch of organization containers – various sizes of seagrass baskets, bamboo boxes and clear storage bins.

These drawers are fairly large (33″ x 17″ x 6″) and separate storage containers were key in keeping like items corralled and organized.

Let’s take a peek inside, starting with the center bank of drawers:

The top drawer holds the most frequently used items like pencils, tape, note cards and envelopes.

The middle drawer is filled with crafty things I use semi-regularly. Letter stamps + ink pads, hole punches, erasers, wire, paper clips, push pins and many, many labels and tags.

The bottom, deeper drawer is where my workout gear is conveniently kept. I love having the space to work out at home and it makes it easy to have my mat, weights and towel easily accessible.

On the right side, the drawers look like this:

Art supplies like watercolors, brushes, calligraphy pens, ink and paper, and a set of good markers that I don’t share with my kids are at the ready for when creativity strikes.

The second and third drawers hold more craft and sewing supplies stored in clear plastic bins.

The bottom drawers are a bit deeper and two bins stacked fit perfectly.

On the left side, the drawers look like this:

More craft things like yarn, pom pom makers, a million twist ties (why do I have so many? I can not say except that they are black and white striped and I must have bought them wholesale and can’t bring myself to get rid of them because someday I’ll need a thousand twist ties, I just know it), other assorted embellishments.

The second drawer down fits regularly used ribbon and tissue paper for wrapping.

I have a serious thing for ribbon (among other things, clearly) and still have three more bins of ribbon to figure out what to do with.

The bottom drawer is a catch-all for now holding extra notebooks, a stack of papers I don’t know what to do with and some shipping supplies. My sister does all of our actual shipping from her home office – someday I should show you her setup! – but it is nice to have a few packaging supplies just in case.

The best part about having the drawers organized is that now I know where everything is, it makes finding and putting things away easy and I am happy every time I open up a drawer and see how orderly it looks.

Just one more little way to add beauty to the everyday.

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