Tag Archives: inspiration

Home Tour Tuesday: The Master Bedroom

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is of one of my favorite rooms in the house. I love, love, love the paint color. Our bedroom has a high ceiling, gray-blue walls, and white accents. I’m working on adding artwork, prints, and pictures on the walls, but for now I’ve just been trying to get it organized. I think I’m almost there!

You can see in this picture that the left-hand bookshelf has a white box on it. I put it there so Daniel could have a place to hold all of the wires and electronic bits and pieces that accumulate on “his” bookshelf. It works pretty well! Someday soon I really need to get him a better nightstand solution, but for now the box and the bookshelf do their job.
For my part, my growing accessories collection has been haphazardly strewn across the top of my dresser for awhile, until I realized I could continue “shopping” in my home and reuse something for an organizational purpose. If you look on the left-hand corner of the dresser, you’ll see a white tray. Guess what? That tray is actually a serving tray from Bed, Bath, & Beyond that we got for our wedding. I’ve used it for parties, but usually it is stored above our refrigerator. Not now! Now it is the perfect place to store my bracelets and sunglasses. I’ve also put a white ramekin I rarely use on top of it, to hold loose rings that I don’t wear every day.
Here are few close-ups of the room. I spy my white owl!:
And finally, a couple of shots from inside the bookshelves. Yes, I know the gold-framed picture of us has showed up all around the house:
So that’s our master bedroom! In a couple of weeks I’ll delve into the master bathroom.
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Filed under Bedroom, Budget Decor, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday, Organizing, Storage

Home Tour Tuesday: The Kitchen

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today we’re in my kitchen! Oh, the kitchen. I love this kitchen, but it could stand some updating to bring it up to speed. Unfortunately, kitchen remodels are probably the most expensive part of renovating a home, so I’m not sure how much I can do. I’ve been following with great interest the renovations that John and Sherry over at Young House Love have been doing. They’re pretty much making my dream DIY kitchen; I’d love for ours to turn out that beautifully.The harsh truth, though, is that our kitchen isn’t that bad. Sure, the cabinets are the most “in” color right now, but kitchen trends come and go. Yeah, we don’t have the stainless steel appliances that are in demand, but we have excellent black appliances that are in great shape and much better than any other appliances in rental kitchens I’ve come across.I dream of an overhaul that will catch home buyer’s eyes and make our duplex stand out in the crowd when the time comes for my dad to sell, but the reality is probably I will manage to add a tile back splash, new faucet fixtures, and maybe stylish cabinet knobs and hardware, and that’s it. If I’m really lucky, that renovation will include a granite counter top.

Outside of the annoying and awkward overhang on the peninsula (shown here, in our living room tour), the most annoying things currently about our kitchen are the lack of shelves tall enough to hold cereal or cracker boxes (see above, how we store them currently as a result), and that the two lower corner cabinets are just big old black holes under the counter, with no shelving or lazy susan to help with storage. Seriously, who does that? We’re going to need to fix that issue somehow. I’m still working on it.
If you look closely, you’ll see my husband working in his native habitat.
Sorry about all the color changes in lighting. Apparently while the iPhone is great for natural light photos, photos with variances in lighting have significant color fluctuations. Sigh.
I’ve been fiddling with the idea of downloading the IKEA kitchen planner to see what I could do with this space. Has anyone used this tool?
p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.

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Filed under Budget Decor, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday, Kitchen

Home Tour Tuesday: The Living Room

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is the room we spend our most time in–our living room. We watch movies, read, and sometimes eat in this room together. I blog, write, edit photos, list items for sale, and relax in this room. While Daniel spends most of his time working in the office, I like being able to turn the tv on during photo editing sessions, or keep up with the laundry and dishes while writing a blog post. It really is a living room.

Basically, it takes a beating. Our favorite spot for coats is hanging over the back of a chair (much to my chagrin) and it doesn’t take long for it to look cluttered or dirty due to all the functions it performs and all the traffic the floor gets.

Here is what it looks like currently:

… from another angle …

And here is what I’d like it to look like eventually:

Living Room Inspiration - Behind Closed Drawers

Painting, a lighting fixture/fan update, new tables, possible wood flooring, a fix for the awkward space between the chairs and the kitchen (bookcase installed under the counter overhang maybe?), curtain rod and drapes, and decor is all in the plan.

But whatever other improvements we make, we need to purchase a rug. I’ve had my eye on ivory flokati rugs for some time, but I have to admit I’ve been nervous to take the plunge. You have to rake them, for goodness’ sake, and they aren’t exactly kid juice friendly. We don’t have kids currently, but we do have friends and family with kids, so it doesn’t hurt to be ready for spills and messes.

I’ve considered a patterned rug, but if we go that route I’d like a simple geometric pattern and I’m picky and we have a limited (small) budget and Overstock.com only carries so many items in our budget … so … um … yeah. The hunt continues  and the money we’ve saved up stays stashed away.

It’s all a work in progress.

p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.

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Home Tour Tuesday: The Dining Room

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is the first room off of the entryway from last week–our dining room. Most of our downstairs is an open plan, but the dining room is set off by itself so it has a more formal feeling.

So here is our plain vanilla dining room. Mid 90s builder basic at its “best,” no?

And a few more close-ups from various room angles:

Overall, it is a very serviceable, decent dining room. Yawn. It plays its role well, and we use it on a regular basis. I am even planning to entertain there soon, as Daniel and I enjoy opening up our home to friends and family for dinners or parties occasionally. (Why wait for something to be perfect? We’re gonna enjoy our home now, despite its flaws!)

That being said, my goal is to makes the room feel richer and more vibrant by adding texture with patterns and bold punches of color.

We don’t have the money for a full overhaul; everything we do will be on a tight budget with lots of elbow grease instead of dollars. So, for this room’s upgrade, I’m hoping to add some DIY wainscoting, paint rich color on the upper part of the wall, and install a more modern light fixture. We’d also like to update our dining room table and chairs. I’ve been haunting Craigslist for about a year … eventually we’ll find one we like and can afford.

In addition, the current window sheers are a terrible burnt yellow color. I’m living with them for now, but, trust me, they will be one of the first things to go!

In the end, I’m hoping it will look something like this:

Dining Room
Much better, dontcha think?
p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.

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Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday

DIY Curtain Fabric Inspiration

I spent some time on Fabric.com Thursday evening, using their fabulous “Design Wall” tool while hunting down the perfect fabric for some do-it-yourself curtains I have planned. I didn’t hold myself to a particular price range, so I may not be able to afford a few of these, but I can still use them for inspiration. I plan to take a printout of this image with me while looking for my fabric, whether new or vintage.

The result will be a part (I hope!) of a weekend-long project that should stretch my DIY moxie, let my creative artistic side soar, and miraculously stick to a practically non-existent budget. If I succeed, you’ll be the first to know!

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Back Patio Inspiration

It’s Spring, it’s beautiful out on the days when Nashville isn’t being bombarded by tornadoes and wind and rain, and I keep being drawn to our back patio. I love it, but I don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I should. (Perhaps that has something to do with the wasps that haunt the place?)

Today Zoe begged to be let outside and so I opened the back door to let her into the safe back patio “play” area. I should note that our dog does not “play” nor does she act like a normal dog. In fact, she is more like a cat. She does not fetch. She does not tug-of-war. She does not roll over. She lounges, sleeps, gets in your face for attention at the most inopportune moments, and begs to go outside to stare at the bees. Yes, the bees. She jumps and eats them. I kid you not. Weird dog.

The back patio is overgrown and begging for attention. Our landlord said we could do what we’d like with it, and I’d love to improve it, but I’m not sure what direction to take. Maybe I’ll plant some flowers. I’ll definitely trim the bushes.

It has so much potential … I can picture it with white cafe lights criss-crossing overhead, potted plants filled with bright colors, and sturdy yet attractive patio furniture. We aren’t allowed to grill out, but there’s no rule about having dinner parties!

The picture above is taken from the vantage of our back stairs. They aren’t much, but the table and chairs are ones I bought for a lunch on a previous back patio. It was a very special lunch … a few hours after it, the diamond ring I now wear on my left hand ring finger literally appeared in a flash of fire. It was a pretty spectacular proposal. Just sayin’.

But back to the shrubbery behind our current home. It’s like the Secret Garden, pre-pruning by Mary and her friends. All except the forgotten discarded toy that Zoe consistently ignores. Note the arrow pointing to the sad, lonely green turtle.

Here’s the final corner. I’m thinking a weather-proof storage bench under the window would be both practical for organizing purposes and also to have some additional seating.

So much potential. So little time! But I have a few ideas of what I like and what I might need to get there …

Patio Image: HGTV: Small Yards, Big Ideas

1) Paisley Gauntlet Glove, $26.00, because every girl should have a cute pair of gardening gloves; 2) Lace Mantle Sweet William Seeds, $2.99. My grandfather grew these every year and developed his own; these remind me of him and make me miss lazy childhood summer days. 3) Felco® 100 Cut-n-Hold Pruners, $54.99, to snip away at those plants and keep them well-groomed. 4) Because I think it might involve a lot of kneeling on concrete, Fiskars 9418 Ultra Light Kneelers Knee Pads, $9.02; 5) 150 Gallon Deck Box for Storage and Sitting, $310.14. This would be perfect under that window and would hold all the extra tools we don’t have room for in the house!

The HGTV article has some great ideas in the photo gallery, but this shot was my favorite. Though our little space is a far cry from the featured garden, I can see elements that would work with what we have, including the container gardening and the teak furniture. I see a lot of teak furniture on the Nashville Craigslist listings, so it is possible we could score some in our budget. I’m looking forward to trimming things up and getting some color on the patio. We’ll see what happens!

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Day 5: New Patterns of Thinking

The hardest part about changing habits is it requires, well, change. Pretty self-explanatory, huh? On a whole, people resist change. It’s why we don’t lose weight when we “keep meaning to work out,” why we settle back into the couch with take-out to watch another movie instead of cooking our own balanced meal and eating it at the dining room table as a family, and why leave our deodorant on the bathroom sink counter top instead of putting it out of sight in the cabinet after each use.

I’ve been asked how I am going to keep the momentum for this project going, how I expect the change in my organizational lifestyle to stick. I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure, but I do know that step one is to actively change my patterns of thought. In this post, I decided to share how I’m doing that and how you can, too.

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