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a love note to our house

This week we celebrate our wedding anniversary.  I was going to write a mushy blog-post-love-note to my amazingly talented, handsome, smart, funny, wise husband for all to see, but instead decided he’d probably rather not the world know how thankful I am to be more in love with him now than when we first met when we were practically babies and how special I know it is that we have each other for support and laughter and long, long talks about dreams and goals and what it is the Lord wants for us. He’d like it better if I wrote him a card. So I’ll do that.

Instead, I have a few words for our house.

It’s our anniversary, too.

Seven years ago on our wedding anniversary, we moved into our new home.  Never did we imagine we’d love it so.

love-note-to-our-house

Dear house,

I’m afraid I have to start this note with an apology.  You see, without even realizing, I’m sure we’ve hurt your feelings. Over and over and over.

If you had feelings.

We spend way more time talking about how we’d like to change you – how if only you were more like this we might love you more – than we do loving you just as you are.  From the outside, it’s true. I would love you more if you had wide planks painted white instead of worn carpet downstairs. And I would love you more if our bathroom walls were clad in subway tiles and floors were slate and cabinets were white and we didn’t have that gigantic bathroom mirror but rather two statement pieces with stylish sconces. I would love you more if you had a larger garage to store all of our you-know-what and I would love you more if you weren’t backed up to identical homes on every side. I’m most certain that these things would make us love you more.

So we’ve made changes to you; we’ve painted and papered, nailed and trimmed. We’ve added molding, changed out light fixtures, replaced counter tops and gave you shingles.

And even still, even with all of these changes that have made you prettier in our eyes, you are still the same house we moved into seven years ago.

You are walls. You are a roof. You are a place to sleep and eat and gather.

And you do all of these things so well. Even without the paint and paper and nails and trim. You are perfect.

When we moved in, we never imagined we would still call you home this many years later. You were our second home, a BIG step up from our first tiny, practically falling down 80 year-old house with a rodent problem. It was cute, but you were new. And you had a dishwasher! You lured us in with your many rooms and never-been-used kitchen. I remember standing in the backyard on our first visit with the new sod lines still there and feeling in my heart that you were it. You were our new home and a place that we could share. A place we were called to share.

So we moved in. The four of us, at that time. Which quickly became five and then six. You’ve been a home to not only us, but to other families for months at a time as well. We are grateful for your ability to house friends who needed a home.

You’ve been a gathering place for parties, holidays, football games, playdates, bible studies, craft nights, poker games.

And you’ve been our canvas.

Maybe that’s what I’m most thankful to you for. You’ve given me a place to work out my creativity. Your walls inspire me.

They say that it’s not the house that makes a home but the people who live in it.

I sort of disagree.

Someday we will move away to a new home that maybe has those wide plank floors and a expansive view out our windows and we’ll learn to call it home. But it won’t be the same. We will miss you. Even though it’s our family and friends who have breathed life into you, it’s you that has given us a place to live. A place to love. To share. To rest. To create. To enjoy. To grow. A place to breathe.

Thank you, dear house, for doing your job and doing it well.

Happy anniversary.

xo,

your family

 

 

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the boys’ room {design board}

Three years ago, the boys’ room looked like this:

boys-room-from-three-years-ago

But typical us, we decided to shake things up and move rooms around. First they moved into our large bonus room, and then into the back bedroom {still upstairs}. Don’t ask me why we feel so compelled to move entire rooms so frequently. It makes life more interesting, I guess.

Anyway, for the last year or so the boys’ room has looked like this:

boys-messy-room-with-bunk-beds

boys-messy-room

Lovely, isn’t it? This bedroom is a little bit bigger than the striped room {now the playroom – update coming someday}, but I just have not taken the time to fix things up properly. My boys are 9, 7 & 5 years old – which are not exactly the ages where tidiness is valued.  But we all enjoy being in spaces that are interesting, put together, personal and have unique touches specific to the occupants and so I figure it’s time to give the boys a grown-up-ish room that reflects their interests {but still keeps in line with my style}. Hopefully having a finished room will have the same effect on them as redoing the laundry room did for me: it makes me want to be in there and keep it looking nice. We’ll see if that works on school-aged boys.

Here’s where we’re going with it:

boys-room-design-board

{sources to come}

It’s a mix of vintage/outdoorsy/camp/adventure with a few whimsical touches {like the bright red floor lamp and the cardboard diy antlers}.

We’re working with what we already have: navy bunk beds {from costco five-ish years ago}, a beat-up white dresser, gray striped duvets {west elm}, sisal rug {ikea}, wicker laundry hamper {super old from potterybarn} and awesome Lindsay Letters be brave canvas {see it here}.

bunk-beds

Then we’ll add in a few purchased things and a handful of diy projects.

I’m hoping to get the boys to help as much as they can and keep it a fun, boyish and organized space for them to dwell.

Of course I’ll keep you updated as we make progress. Hoping to have this one done before they head back to school in September. Maybe having a deadline will keep me on task!

Stay tuned for lots more to come in the boys’ room …

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If you have not already, would you answer a few questions to help make this blog even more fun to read?

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Thanks a bunch!

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our living room with the finished shingled fireplace

The best way for us to decorate our home is in phases – not always well-planned out, carefully calculated steps – more of a fluid figure-it-out-as-we-go type of decorating. Like you, we’re constrained by budget and thoughts of resale value and functionality for our young family.  We like a neutral space with lots of texture and a mix of traditional and country, eclectic and industrial, but you can’t really get that by ordering everything out of one catalog. It has taken us seven years of living in this home to get our living room to this point – a place where the room really feels collected and layered and like us. There are still a few things we’d like to do in here: wide-plank wood floors would look amazing, and a giant chandelier would be dreamy, maybe some more art on the walls and a larger rug. But those things will come. Or maybe they won’t. Either way, we have enjoyed the process of creating a space that’s personal and pretty, comfortable and welcoming, even if has taken a few years.

So, while this room will undoubtedly go through more changes, I’m so pleased with this current phase and excited to welcome you into our living room.

finished-livingroom

The fireplace really became the focal point with the new shingled/stone surround {you can see the before here and the step-by-steps of the shingles and stone work here and here}.

jdc-living-room-

Like I mentioned last time, I created a custom stain for the shingles to give it a slightly faded, naturally weathered look. I was nervous about covering the natural beauty of the cedar shakes, but it was the right decision for the space as it tones down the wood color and lets the stone be the star. There’s a lot of texture happening on that fireplace and it’s not a look for everyone. Thankfully, we love it and it gives our living room the dose of creativity and personality it needed.

jdc-living-room-with-shingled-fireplace-and-stone-surround

The chesterfield sofa is amazing – so comfortable and a very durable oatmeal-colored fabric.

back-of-chairs-in-livingroom

This room is right off of the kitchen and so it is our everyday living and entertaining space.

jdc-living-room-full    living-room-from-up-above

We’re just about ready to tear up that carpet – it is showing it’s age. And I’d like to replace the tile and extend the hearth to span the entire fireplace surround.  Non-essentials that may or may not make our to-do list.

shingled-fireplace-tall

living-room-looking-to-stairs

living-room-with-shingled-fireplace-back-of-chairs   shingled-fireplace-in-living-room

// SOURCES //

sofa: andella home
tufted chairs: ethan allen
coffee table: wisteria
mirrored side tables: target {similar}
metal side table: urban outfitters
glass lamps & shades: target {no longer available}
pharmacy floor lamp: target
jute rug: ikea
stag head: restoration hardware
pillows:
floral & black & white made by me
yellow trellis: zgallerie {no longer available}
linen and blue on chairs: target
striped throw: ikea
curtains: ikea
paint color: wind’s breath by behr paint

 

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fireplace makeover {part two}

Last time we left off with the fireplace makeover progress looking like this:

fireplace-with-shingles

Cedar shingles along the top portion of the fireplace, a new chunkier mantle, decisions to be made for the fireplace surround.

What probably would have looked best is something really simple and flat to balance out the texture up top, something like concrete, which would have looked really modern and sleek. But that’s not what we chose.

Instead, we went with more neutral texture in the form of stone.

shingles-on-top-stone-on-bottom

Again, we did the work ourselves {actually Ryan and two of our very wonderful friends} and it was surprisingly DIYable.

We bought our manufactured stone product and all of the supplies at a local stone supplier.

choosing-stone

There were many different colors and textures to choose from, but we went with a manufactured stone veneer called Country Ledgestone in Echo Ridge by Boral.

backer-board,-screening

To prep the fireplace surround, first Ryan installed cement board, then stapled on a special wire mesh for the stone veneer. He then covered the wire with a thin coat of mortar, let it dry and then started placing stones using more mortar as glue.

mixing-mortar

The stones came with corner pieces and lots of varying sizes of straight pieces. Putting the pieces together was like one gigantic puzzle. Lots of picking and choosing through the stones, breaking them into the right sizes and trying to get a good mix of sizes, colors and seam placement.

choosing-the-pieces-of-stone-for-fireplace

putting-up-the-stone-around-the-fireplace

adding-stone-to-fireplace-surround

Didn’t they do a fabulous job! We were so excited with how it all came together.

Next came my part: painting. I repainted the lower portion of the living room walls a lighter gray/white called wind’s breath {behr paint from home depot}. We loved the dark slate color that has been there for a few years, but it was time to lighten up.  The mantle and bookshelves received several coats of a custom-matched oil-based white.

shingles-and-stone-fireplace

And this is where the fireplace has stayed for the past six months. 90% done. The shingles were great in their natural state, but with the gray stone, they appeared especially orangy/brown. There is so much texture and something about it just wasn’t sitting well with me. We talked about a few different options for the shingles and what we wanted was for them to look like the naturally weathered gray shingles we love.  So I grabbed some sample pots of stain and tested them on a few spare shingles to see what would look best.

  stain-options

All three were fine, but {of course} Ryan and I had different favorites and our friends were all pretty mixed in their votes, too.

The one of the left was out, the dark was too dark, the light too opaque, but then Ryan had the genius idea to mix the two together and see what happened.

sample-stain-colors-for-fireplace-shingles

Thankfully, we were both sold.

So this past weekend, I climbed up very high on a ladder and stained those shingles.

staining-instagram

{via my instagram}

It was stinky, it took forever, I messed up once and had to go to the hardware store twice mid-project, but it is now DONE!

Come back friday for our fireplace reveal with a tour of the current living room arrangement. I’m so so happy with how it has turned out.

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a fireplace makeover {part one}

I’ve been holding out on you.

Last November we finally tackled our fireplace and gave it a makeover.

I completely love it.

Except like with most projects we do, indecision on the final detail set in and then life just kept going. Which brings us to today – seven months later – with a nearly completed fireplace makeover.

I was going to wait until the whole thing was finished and do a big TA DA! Before & After! but I’m thinking maybe some in-the-process photos are just as fun as the big reveal. And by posting this today, it will hopefully give me the motivation to get this last step finished so I can share the completed look {hopefully next week}.

First, let me remind you of what our fireplace has looked like for the past six years.

Except pretend the tv is not there because it only lived up there for a few months before we came to our senses and realized that it was way to huge and obnoxious to hang front and center in our main living room.

A few things about the fireplace:

It was fine.

But we never could understand the little notches on either side, or the niche in the center and we didn’t like the tile surround. The mantle was fine, maybe a little more detailed than I would choose, but it looked a bit funky with all those extra corners on the dry wall.

We brainstormed for months about what to do to make the fireplace either stand out and become the focal point of the room, or blend in and simplify things.

first-step-to-redo-the-fireplace

Finally, one day last November, with our brothers and sisters-in-laws over for a leisurely saturday afternoon, we decided on a whim to just tear the fireplace apart. Don’t worry – we had a plan – but we didn’t know until that afternoon that we were actually going to do that plan.

three-guys-removing-mantle

Down came the mantle.

remove-tile-from-fire-place-surround

Out came the tile. The guys decided it was just easier to cut the tile out and re-drywall. Pulling off the tile would have damaged the drywall so much they probably would have had to replace it anyway.

putting-on-the-mantle

We already put the two built-ins on either side of the fireplace, and we just wanted a chunky, clean mantle to run across the fireplace visually joining all three sections together. Ryan built a simple box, then added a top piece and trimmed it out with pre-made molding.

the-mantel

Nothing fancy, but it gave us the substantial mantle we wanted.

Next came the kinda crazy part: we decided to wrap the top portion of the fireplace wall with cedar shingles. We were thinking we’d do wide horizontal planks, but when our friend suggested shingles, we both instantly loved the idea.  It’s totally unexpected, adds lots of texture, but still remains slightly neutral and gives us a sort of cottagy/outdoorsy look.

Random, for sure, but this room needed something interesting.

To get started, Ryan attached cedar strips of wood {lath} directly to the wall where the shingles would be nailed in.

shims-to-side-of-fireplace

Once those were up along one side, we couldn’t help ourselves and started nailing in a few shingles just to make sure we loved it.

first-row-of-shingles-on-fireplace

{this was day two. Ryan’s brother & sister-in-law went home, my aunt & uncle came over. It was a revolving door of helpers}.

Yes! Love! So they kept going … filling in that terrible niche and wrapping the chimney with those little boards.

mounting-boards-finished-on-fireplace

Later that night when family had gone home, a few neighbor friends stopped by to see the progress and we somehow talked them into helping.

boards-across-fireplace-for-braces

These final three worked late into the evening and finished up the shingles. I’m not exactly sure what their system was, but they were quick. I think we had two compressors and two nail guns going at a time.

three-guys-adding-shingles

When we decided to go with shingles, Ryan jokingly suggested mounting an elk head and I thought it was a brilliant idea. He was so shocked, he ordered one right away before I could change my mind.

mounting-an-elk-to-shingled-fireplace

The stag head came from Restoration Hardware and is resin that looks like cast iron.

fireplace-with-shingles

We were so excited with how it turned out.

Once the shingles were up, we had to decide what to do with the fireplace surround.

        I’ll call that Fireplace Makeover part two.  Stay tuned …

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solution to kitchen counter clutter

No matter how hard I try, the kitchen counter just seems to collect clutter.

lots-of-kitchen-countertop-clutter

Paperwork, receipts, mail, sunglasses, random toys, cords, ipads, phones … it all accumulates right here.

before-clutter-on-counter

Ryan suggested that we find some sort of organizer to sort this mess.

Then he went to the thrift store and found this beauty:

old-metal-file

He totally inherited his mom’s knack for finding good things in the midst of junk.

The 70’s wood grain side panels were a bit much, so I took it outside and sprayed the whole thing green – partially because it is a fun color, partially because it was all we had.

spray-paint-old-metal-file

spray-paint-old-file

I’m not always a great spraypainter, but this one actually turned out great. The key is making sure there is no dust or dirt on the item, shaking the can for a long time, then spraying one pass at a time, releasing the spray nozzle each time. I did several light coats {letting each one dry for a few minutes} and it came out smooth and without major drip marks.

Now here it sits on the kitchen counter, organizing all of that kitchen counter clutter.

organize-the-kitchen-counter

I’m not sure if that basket will stay, and I will probably tire of the green and spray it white, but for now it serves its purpose of corralling the clutter.

kitchen-counter-organization

The random paperwork, receipts, cords, sunglasses are all still there, they’re just a bit more organized.

kitchen-couter-declutter-file

If you can’t find a funky 70’s metal organizer with faux wood stickers on the sides at your local thrift store, I have found a few great options available online:

countertop-organization-items

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Here’s to practical solutions for the inevitable clutter.

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my dirty little secret

I’m coming clean today …

closet-up-close

this is what the closet under our stairs looks like.

I try to keep it organized, but it just doesn’t keep. It’s where we store our vacuum, but also where we keep extra picture frames, accessories, lamp shades, pillows, paper, half-finished projects, a broken printer. The best thing about it is that I can close the door and forget this madness exists.

contents-of-the-closet

So I’m wondering … do you have a space like this in your home that you’d never dare show your guests, and you cringe every time you see it, but you do nothing to change it?

Come clean, my friends. Come clean.

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wallpapering with gift wrap {tutorial}

I often get an idea in my mind for a room {like, wallpaper for the back wall of the laundry room} and I search and search for what my imagination pictures.  Sometimes I find what I’m looking for; most of the time I don’t. Or maybe I find it, but it is way beyond my budget.

Which is why I am a DIYer.

And it’s also why I used giftwrap on my laundry room walls instead of real wallpaper.

The idea was originally executed in the nursery with my very favorite metallic peony gift wrap. I had searched for a real wallpaper that was similar and never could find it, so I ordered a stack of gift wrap and glued it to her bedroom wall.  This was all done before I began blogging {which means no photos} so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you how I did it this second time around in our laundry room.

wallpapering-with-giftwrap

Before we begin, here’s the most important tip: use thick paper.

The thinner the paper, the more likely it will wrinkle and look funky. My friend tried wallpapering a closet wall with a cute roll of glossy giftwrap and it did not work. So do your best to find thick paper without a sheen. And if you can find one with a repeat pattern or a random one that you don’t need to match up {like in Audrey’s room}, this project will go much more smoothly.

Okay, so let’s talk about what you’ll need:

supplies-needed-for-wallpapering-with-gift-wrap

:: gift wrap {either sheet or roll}. remember: thick!
:: wallpaper paste {I ordered this as my hardware stores do not carry wallpaper paste}
:: foam roller, tray, foam brush
:: scissors, pencil, exacto knife
:: clean rag
:: optional but helpful: yardstick, glue dots, squeegee

STEP ONE: tack up your first section of paper using glue dots {or an extra set of hands}. Roughly pencil any areas that need to be trimmed, being sure to leave a few inches overlap to be precisely trimmed later.

how-to-wallpaper-with-giftwrap

STEP TWO: roll a thin coat of wallpaper paste to the top section of paper and adhere to wall, smoothing with hands, clean rag or squeegee.

wallpapering-walls-with-giftwrap---first-sheet-up

Continue to add paste in sections going down the length of the paper. I ended up just rolling it onto the wall and then pressing the paper down.

STEP THREE: trim around edges using an exacto knife

wallpaper-walls-with-gift-wrap---cut-around-corners

STEP FOUR: secure all edges with a foam brush and paste {this was easier than the roller for little areas}

how-to-wallpaper-a-wall-with-gift-wrap

STEP FIVE: Once your first piece is up, you can add the next piece – matching the pattern at the seam.

learn-how-to-wallpaper-with-giftwrap-wm

You can see the wrinkles in the photo above. Once the paper dried, most worked themselves out. There are a few remaining air pockets, but they are hardly noticeable.

painted-cabinets-and-gift-wrap-wallpaper

DETAILS:

I used this wrapping paper from Paper Source.

The wall in this room took about 1 1/2 rolls of paper.

The project from start to finish took about 3 hours.

I love how it turned out.

laundry-room-progress-at-jdc

Questions? Please ask and I’ll gladly answer!

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laundry room idea board

Like most large households, ours produces a massive amount of laundry. And like most moms, doing that laundry is far from my favorite task.

I have found in my limited research that most laundry-doers fall into one of these categories:

1. you are forced to do laundry when you realize the kids are out of underwear. You have laundry-palooza and wash/dry/fold/put away 83 loads in one day.

. . . or . . .

2. you wash and dry as things get dirty, but are left with wrinkly clothes that sit mounded in baskets/your guest bed/your floor for days {or sometimes weeks} on end.  When the mountain can get no larger {or the kids complain that they can’t find any clean underwear} you spend four hours folding in front of some highly intelligent tv show like the Bachelor or Housewives of BH.

Am I right?

Unless you are my mom and find great joy in doing laundry and search the house for things that might possibly need washing just so you can do another load.

I’m not kidding. She’s crazy. In a good way.

Anyway …

I’m ready to change my ways and be a little more like my mama. Or at least reduce the elevation of my weekly mountains.

Most people would create a schedule or system to make things easier, or enlist their children to help. Not me. When in doubt, I redecorate.

Let me explain …

Here’s what my laundry room looks like today:

laundry-from-door

It’s a nice enough space – long and skinny, but plenty of room to move around. It’s light, conveniently located in our house {upstairs} and we bought a new washer & dryer last year that we are very happy with {top loading washer}.

laundry-dresser

The cabinets are reused from our kitchen {ugliest finish ever}, the laundry bins are random rubbermaid totes, and the wire shelf holds clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for a clean, functional laundry room with plenty of storage {the washer was on our back porch in our old house and I was too scared of rodents to go out there half the time}, but I’m thinking that maybe if it was functional AND pretty, I would be more interested in spending time in the room. It may be a faulty theory, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

laundry-room

1. It all started with the rug. West Elm was having a rug sale and I just couldn’t pass this one up. While I usually steer clear from bold color, the laundry room seems like the perfect place to go for it.

2. Next came the idea to paper the back wall using my favorite gift wrap. I did this technique in the nursery, so I figured it would work again in here.

3. The butterfly print is from IKEA – it tones down the color while still being a pretty focal point. I’m thinking it will go along the left wall.

4. I will for sure paint the cabinets white and would like to replace the wire shelf with one or two wood ones. I still have to think about the hanging-clothes issue.

5. The chippy dresser will stay for now. I have no other place for it and actually think it could work in the room once everything else is looking good.

6. Time to upgrade from rubbermaid totes for dirty laundry bins – the cute gingham ones will come in the mail this week. Not sure what the material is like, but hoping they will work.

7. Let’s talk about that striped bin. Is it not the cutest? Also coming this week and very excited.

So that’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted …

 

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how switching out lights can make a big difference

Like most homes built in the last 10 years, every single ceiling light fixture in our house looked like this when we moved in:

playroom-light

Admittedly, it’s not the worst light fixture in the history of light fixtures, but it’s pretty boring.

One simple way to update a space and add style and interest is by switching out the ceiling light.  Over the past six years, we’ve slowly accumulated new fixtures for each room {only a few more to go} and it does make a difference. We have kept all of the original lights because when we sell, we will most likely take many of these with us.  Here are a few of our lights:

I installed this entry light all by myself. Nearly shocked myself in the process, but all worked out fine in the end.

entry-light

The beaded fixture was a recent find at home depot. {right here}

In my office, I recovered a hanging drum shade in IKEA fabric, added bias tape to finish the edges and it definitely adds more personality to the space.

office-light

For a similar fixture, try searching for drum shade pendant {or choose this one}

We recently stole the crystal chandelier from the dining room and put it in our bedroom.

master-chandelier

The scale is better in here and it makes the space a bit more glamorous.  I adore this chandelier – mostly because it came from our first home in Seattle – a teensy, run-down 1920’s craftsman. This light fixture was maybe the only thing worth keeping in that house.

In it’s place, we hung this giant rectangular fixture over our dining table.

dining-light

It is from Restoration Hardware {we found ours at the outlet store for a steal!}.

This little light in our kitchen is a favorite due to its great industrial style and its low price tag.

kitchen-light-tall

The Ottava pendant lamp from IKEA.  I sort of want to wire in two more for a set of three over the kitchen table. A clear Edison bulb looks great in it.

My mom found this vintage chandelier at an estate sale and I sprayed it glossy black for Audrey’s nursery.

nursery-chandelier

And put a bird on it.

If you are looking to update the lighting in your home, some great resources are:

Ballard Designs {I’m smitten with this and this}

Barn Light Electric {this one is next on my list for the boys’ room}

IKEA {this is cute}

PotteryBarn Teen {this one is fun. So is this}

and if your budget allows, Circa lighting always has great options.

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details of the giant hanging window in our entry/dining room

It’s one of the most unique {and coolest, if you ask me} things in our house: this oversize salvaged window hanging from a barn door track that separates the entry from the dining room.

I’ve never really blogged about it. What?! Sorry for the oversight.

Adding the window to the opening between the rooms accomplished exactly what we wanted … it created a definition of spaces, but also keeps things bright and open. Plus it adds personality to our ordinary home. That’s our favorite part.

From the front door, you can still see through into the dining room and beyond.

We found the perfect window at our favorite local salvage yard {Second Use – for you local Seattle-ites} for about $80.

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the wall of l’s moved across the street

Remember when I asked for help with this problem wall?

You all came through. Great suggestions. My talented friend Darlene even did a little mock-up of her suggestion:

Isn’t it lovely?

I sat on the ideas for a bit – none of them feeling just right.

Until one day, I started moving furniture around and – what do you know – the L wall moved across the hall to its new home.

Hidden in there are the thermostat and light switch that before stuck out so obviously.

A good before and after is always fun, so here you go:

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steppin’ up

When you live in a house with little ones, sometimes practical things {like step stools in the bathroom} are essential.

I was growing tired of seeing our perfectly-functional-but-equally-ugly plastic stool in the guest bath and so I was excited to find this wood version at IKEA. It actually is quite attractive in its bare form, but also pretty painted.

One afternoon, my No. 3 and I set to work painting the stool.

I’m not always excited about doing painting projects with my kids, but this actually taught me that 1. they are capable and 2. it can be fun.

After a coat of primer, we rolled on our paint. I used Sherwin Williams Rushing River, which is also the color used in Audrey’s nursery on her bed and shelves. One of my faves.

Two coats of paint and a few days to fully dry, and it now sits in our guest bath.

The perfect little perch for this cutie-pie.

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pleasantly surprised {a new dining room display shelf}

Sometimes you buy furniture from inexpensive sources and you end up with a flimsy particle board table that never quite stands level.

Other times, you order a bookshelf and hope that it will turn out to be more like the online photos than what past experience tells you it will be.

Hip Hip Hooray … this one is just like the photos online, or maybe even better.

Our new Emerson Shelf {purchased from World Market} is real wood and real metal. Surprise! It’s substantial and industrial and was such a great price for what it offers in style and utility.

It now lives in this awkward little cutout in our dining room.  Changing displays is one of my favorites so I look forward to switching things up ever so often.

Glittery pumpkins {from Target}, white serving platters, a little bit of faux greener and my favorite bookpage decoupaged pumpkin take center stage.

Linens are stored in the vintage locker baskets.

If you are looking for a large shelf for a fairly inexpensive price, this handsome shelf may be the one.

{don’t forget to sign up for World Market’s mailing list to get a 10% off coupon!}

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displaying books in the playroom

One year in college my best friend {and roommate} made fun of me because I brought with me a few of my favorite children’s picture books.  Not only did I travel with them from Seattle to LA, but I proudly displayed them on our coffee table.  And I’m not talking about sentimental books that I had as a child. Oh, no. These were ones I had purchased myself, probably that summer, just because I loved them so.  I don’t know … there has always just been something charming and wonderful about illustrated children’s stories. I remain unashamed.

Now, a few years later, I have an appropriate excuse to collect children’s books and believe me, our house is full of them. So rather than tuck them away spine-side-out on a bookshelf, we proudly display them on the wall.

We just moved pretty much every room in the house around, so what you’re seeing here is a sneak peek of the new playroom {recognize those stripes? This used to be the boy’s bunk room}. I’ll share the rest of the room soon, but wanted to show you a super simple way to display books.  Perhaps you’ve seen this elsewhere – this is not necessarily a new idea, but it’s a good one.

These picture ledges are from IKEA and are made to display art, but they work just as well holding books. They are narrow and just right for layering – you can really pack a bunch onto each shelf.

One of the best things about it is that kids can see the covers when choosing a bedtime story and they can easily put them back. Big bonus.

Favorite picture books hang out on the shelves, while paperbacks, bibles & devotionals, star wars books and Dr. Seuss go in baskets below. Surprisingly, they actually do stay categorized like that.

Functionality is great, but my favorite part is seeing all of those darling illustrations.

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