Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Polka dots decals

Over the weekend I added these gold dot decals to the far wall in the TV Room.  Again, the walls could really use a coat of paint but that's just not something I am going to attempt right now and so I wanted to jazz it up quickly and cheaply.  These decals totally fit the bill!  

They were a great price, are so easy to apply AND reapply if you need to change their placement.  They also stick well and aren't going to fall off.  I love how they add a little something special to this room and are the perfect thing for a busy mom.  Now I'm trying to decide what other rooms in my house I could add decals to :)

Side story, I had my 2.5 & 4.5 year old help me with this thinking they would really enjoy putting "stickers" on the wall.  I also thought it would help the dots look haphazard and not too planned out.  Yeah, it was one of those times where you mean well and it just doesn't really work.  It was too frustrating trying to explain to the kids the general area where to place the stickers with a baby crying in my arms.  It ended up fine but I did have to move some at the end.  Especially Haven's because she was determined to make a smiley face with her dots.  Ha ha.  


P.S. I'm having a hard time getting the website to load but the decals are from  I purchased them through Joss & Main as the 3" dots.  I have only seen the 2" inch dots on the Walls Need Love website which I think would be even better.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TV Room Upgrade

Just days before my baby was due last month, I got a wild hair, took a break from the nursery (which I still haven't put all the finishing touches on) and decided to do a quick redo to our TV room.  We spend a lot of time in there in the evenings.  It's upstairs near all of our bedrooms and tends to be a room we relax in after the kids go to bed.  

I knew I would probably end up in that room a lot with the baby... nursing her, watching the kids play, resting, reading, watching TV, eating Second Dessert with my hubby (this is where we sneak sweets after the kids go to bed, haha) etc.  It was my least favorite room in the house and I seriously dreaded going in it or taking people to it.  The room tends to feel dingy because it's in desperate need of new paint and carpet, has only one small window and low attic ceilings.  Until I got my creative juices flowing, it was just a mish-mash of colors in the random lamps, pillows, and blankets that somehow ended up in that room.  I cringe just thinking about it again.

I knew I couldn't tackle the paint or carpet at the tail-end of my pregnancy but I wanted to do SOMETHING to this room I spent so much time in.  

I had bought a striped rug at Crate and Barrel majorly on sale back in February.  During that time, I intended to paint the room but ended up being waaaaay too sick to do more than watch cartoons with my kiddos and eat oranges.  I kept the rug rolled up and never even opened it to take a peak until last month.  I'm weird when I am pregnant.  

Come September, I thought at the very least, I could lay the rug down and maybe change a few pillows.  So, that's essentially what I did, but I was inspired to do a little more after I saw how much the beautiful rug changed the room and livened up the space (and my attitude!).  

Here was my original idea for the room that I posted way back then:

Here's what I ended up with after some small and very inexpensive upgrades.  I wish I had a before picture!  Just imagine no rug, torn up carpet, random coral and blue pillows, two old lamps from IKEA and no decorations or cohesion.  

I (finally) put down the beautiful rug and that made the room feel so much bigger.  I had bought a gold pillow from TJ Maxx back when I originally started thinking about this room and set it out on the chair.  

Then I bought two more gold pillows for the couch for Target.  They have a great texture to them and I really love them!  

In a desperate attempt to get her daughter to quit whining about her decorating issues, my mom gave me two black square pillows because she had them at her house and wasn't using them.  

I dug the long black leather pillow and chunky knit throw out of storage and threw them on the couch as well.  Just those few upgrades made a world of difference.  It's amazing what a little but of direction can do for an otherwise chaotic room.   

Perhaps the most exciting part for me were the lamps on either end of the couch.  I had found them at the junk shop my mom and I frequent about a month before this.  They were a great shape and a steal of a price so I bought them without knowing where I would use them.  

Since they were a shiny brown color, my mom spray painted them with a can of black paint I had in the garage.  The shades were something I picked up at a garage sale earlier in the summer and also didn't know exactly where I would use them.  The bases and shades look perfect together and probably cost me only $15 total.  That's amazing for a pair of lamps.  I guess the lesson there is when you find something beautiful, classic and dirt cheap, buy it and save it because you never know when it will be useful in your space.

The acrylic table was already in the room (something I bought on 5 years ago). While looking for a couple accessories around my house that I could use, I found this black drawer I had put away and got it out again.  It was a perfect & fun detail.

The lidded jar was also something I had bought back when I was thinking of re-doing the room.  I set it in the drawer and now put our remotes in it.

After awhile, I was on a roll and wanted to make a few fun accessories.  I picked up some feathers and glitter at Michael's.  I simply used glue and a paint brush to adhere the glitter in the pattern I wanted for each feather.  SO easy and fun.  

Second, I attempted a yarn tapestry (back wall) which was A LOT harder than I thought it was going to be.  It took me 3 hours and still never looked as nice and uniform as I wanted.  The yarn kept not being the right length once it was tied to the dowel.  I had to iron it because it was kinky in a lot of places.  I wanted to make a few different ones for the wall but after one I. was. done. Pay someone on Etsy to make yours;)

I used some old side tables we bought at a garage sale 5 years ago to place the lamps on.  They had been in our bedroom but I figured something else out for that room (something I actually like more; I love when that happens).  The tables have a gold intricate base and a classic marble top.  I liked the symmetry of the matching lamps and so the matching tables worked great with them.  Another "buy for now, use later" inexpensive find.  

I also made some curtains for the little doorways to the "hideouts" on either side of the room.  We use one for storage and one for a play space for the kids but they have no doors and are something I would rather hide.  I used iron-on hem tape and rods I already had to make and hang the curtains.  It took about an hour to make two curtains and no sewing was required!

I hope to make this play corner a fun space with colorful art and toys for the kiddos.  That will come eventually.

In the original moodboard I planned to put wallpaper up on the window wall but will be using less-expensive gold dot decals instead.  I intended to buy the Lottie Dots from The Land of Nod but found some for half the price on Joss and Main the other day and purchased those.  They are on their way to me and I will post when I get them up in the room.  

Some day (let's be real here), I want a whole entertainment unit that span the length of the wall to store our DVDs, electronic equipment, board games and toys.  We need more enclosed storage in our house.

I have some other fun ideas up my sleeve that I would love to get to in the next few months, and if I do, I will post about them here and on IG.  I work at a real-life-on-a-budget-with-three-kids-and-priorities pace so things can be slow around here.  Eventually I will paint the room and we will replace the carpet but for now it feels so much more inviting.  The gold really does wonders to make a dingy room feel luxe and happy.  I highly recommend a few pops in any room you feel less-than-enthused in.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Wendi's Rustic + Vintage + Fabulous Kitchen

Wendi is a fun friend that I met about 8 years ago when we lived in another nearby town.  We both volunteered with the high school youth at our church and I remember some of the girls talking about how her house was so cool and different. "Like, she has an old pink door hanging on the wall!".  I remember being intrigued by what I knew of Wendi's decorating style but wasn't really into the vintage/salvaged look myself yet.  Wendi was totally cool before vintage was cool.

Wendi, her husband and their three kids live in a 1000 sq foot 1950's ranch.  They have considered moving somewhere bigger but instead Wendi has decided to love where she lives and is making it her mission to add a dash of cottage style and loads of character to their abode.

Check out the exterior before Wendi did her magic:

After a little redo it's so adorable and unique <3  I love the teal shakes.

Recently, Wendi's kitchen was completely gutted and renovated in an effort to make the space more functional for their family.  I seriously adore what she did in the space.  When she posted photos of the new kitchen on facebook, I died.  You will too.

This gives you an idea of the style of her kitchen BEFORE the reno:

Here's Wendi's inspiration:

I LOVE white subway tile.  It's so classic.  I also love the warm woods mixed in with the whites and grays. It's so inviting.

Here's her kitchen after the remodel:  
{Can we get an audible applause?!!!}

If I was designing a new kitchen, this is exactly what it would look like.  And can you believe the counters are laminate?!

Wendi said her inspiration is just what she is drawn to.  From Wendi:

"Growing up my mom owned a cleaning and decorating business. So changing things up, painting a room a new color or rearranging was common place. Since she was a single mom without much cash flow, rearranging gave us a chance to create a fresh new space without breaking the bank. I've carried that philosophy into my home."

She goes with what she loves; simple as that.

Things I adore in this kitchen:

  • The open shelving
  • The lighting (and the ambiance the can-lights bring to the room)
  • The counters
  • The sink
  • The cabinets
  • The range hood
  • OK, everything!! (Especially Wendi's styling)
Here's a source list for ya:

Cabinets: Paramount Kitchens (White shaker)
Knobs & Pulls: Rejuvenation

Countertop: Wilsonart HD Laminate in Calcutta Marble with Marbella edge

Open shelving: reclaimed wood (made by a local business, Rescued Junk)
Brackets on open shelving: West Elm

Slim Line fridge: Home Depot

Breakfast bar and above sink lights: Restoration Hardware

Stools: Iowa State University surplus sale at only $10 each!
(just like Restoration Hardware and Schoolhouse Electric's $200-300 version!)

White dishes from a mix of places:
TJ Maxx
Garage sales

Range hood: IKEA

Sink: Kohler (she couldn't do a farmhouse sink because of lack of space but this gives a similar feel because of the white cast iron)
Faucet: Home Depot

Pantry door: reclaimed door painted matte black with old white porcelain knob (also from Rescued Junk)
Frosted glass: done by local glass company
Interior shelves: Rescued Junk

All the construction was done by a company from Norwalk, Iowa: Juergen's Property Development (Wendi said they were great to work with and totally got her vision, by the way!)

Isn't it beautiful?  Thanks for sharing with us Wendi.  Now we will all go and cry over our boring kitchens ;)