Projects & Room Makeovers

Modern Neutral Living Room Reveal

mid-century modern chic grey living room

My client came to me wanting help decorating her living room. Between her career and two young boys, she didn’t have the time or energy to spend decorating her home. Her family had lived there for 3 years, but she had to hang anything on the walls, their TV stand was 10 years old from college and their space didn’t reflect their style or personality at all and it was time to change that.

I worked with my client to find her style and get clear on what it was she liked. She described her style as modern, neutral, and airy and wanted her home to feel cozy and comfortable.

We kept her leather chair and couch, but everything else we brought in new to freshen up the space.

We lightened up the wall color so it felt brighter and added a couple accent chairs for additional seating. We incorporated black accents, some brass, and a patterned rug to add some interest. A fun piece of art above the mantle added a pop of color, and a black and white gallery wall in the entryway was the perfect way to include family photos.

Watch the video below to see all the before and after photos of the transformation.

Article Leather Chair Furniture Review


I’ve been anxiously awaiting sharing this post since I first mentioned on Instagram we were finally getting some leather chairs! It’s been a long time coming and it feels like our living room has upgraded and become a true adult space now!

If you aren’t familiar with the whole story, let me back up for a second.

About 3 years ago we completely refreshed our living room. We added built-ins, got a new couch, rug, light fixture, flooring. The space got a complete overhaul because before it just did not reflect my style (which I had decorated prior to finding my decorating style) and it didn’t make me happy.

Well, with that refresh, I knew we eventually wanted to get leather chairs for some additional seating, but we just never got around to finding chairs I liked. They’re a big investment and I went back and forth on what I wanted, so I didn’t want to rush into a decision without being sure. So in the meantime, I actually stumbled across a super cute chair while in Goodwill for $30 that worked for our living room so we at least had one extra seat besides the couch until we found some new chairs.

Here we are 3 years later, and we finally got leather chairs! Another reminder that decorating is a process and takes TIME.

One of my favorite furniture companies, Article, wanted to partner on leather chairs. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time! I’m a huge fan of Article (we have their sofa, floor lamp, and a cozy throw and sheepskin) and everything is such high quality and beautiful, so I knew the leather chairs would be no different.

I’m doing a full review on the leather chairs and how I chose which chairs to get. To be completely candid, the chairs were gifted to me by Article, but I’m sharing my full, honest opinion on them and what I truly think.


How I Decided Which Leather Chairs

This took some time and I even questioned my choices a couple times, to the point where the chair I was set on for a few a month or two, I ultimately ended up changing my mind.

Here’s what my process kind of looks like when I’m deciding on a piece of furniture for our home. Whenever I’m looking to get something new for our home, I always go back to my Dream Home Pinterest board to remind myself of the elements and styles of furniture I like. It’s my inspiration and how I pull ideas that align with my style and how I want my home to look and feel. Once I have some inspiration and an idea of what I’m looking for, I stalk the Internet, and in this case, Article. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at their leather chairs, analyzed them, read reviews, tried to find pictures of the chairs IRL on Instagram…for weeks. Let’s just say I am thorough in my research ha.

As I was looking at every leather chair option, I was looking obviously at the color and style, but also at the size of the chairs. Our living room is quite small and narrow, so we do not have a ton of room so I didn’t want a chair that would feel proportionately off scale with the rest of the furniture in our room.

I thought I had it narrowed down to this gorgeous leather chair. It fit with the style I see in many of my pins on my Dream Home board its small scale would fit nicely in our living room. It seemed perfect. But the more I envisioned us using the chairs, the more I felt like we needed something “cozier” and larger to snuggle up in. This chair with the wood arm rests just didn’t feel like it would be a chair you want to lounge in and read a book, you know?

The other thing is I want to be able to use the leather chairs in our future home. We’ve been in this house for 5 years now, so we are looking at other houses in the next year with a little more space, so I want chairs to be useful in our next house. While that gets tricky since you never know the space you’ll have in a future home, I do know that in our next living room I would love to have a larger sofa with a chaise and leather chairs. And when I envisioned the leather chairs, I pictured something cozy that people want to sit in, and I just wasn’t getting that vibe with the Denman chair.

So, back to the drawing board I went. I looked at allllll the leather chairs again, and again and again. Ultimately, I decided on the Burrard leather chair in Bella Tan. It checked all the boxes. I loved the roomy, boxy style that felt nice for curling up, I loved that the leather was slightly darker than most of Article’s other leather chairs (I didn’t want anything too “orange-y” looking), and the size was large enough to be comfortable while the modern low-profile style felt propionate to our couch.


Article Burrard Chair Review

When the chairs arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the leather looked. It’s high quality with a slight variation to it, but the color is very true to color on site. I was slightly nervous about how large the chair would feel and that it would take up so much space in our living room with two chairs, but they actually fit great and we have more room than I was visualizing! I don’t feel like they’re oversized or anything for our room, they fit perfect.

It’s no surprise the chairs are super well-made with high quality Italian-tanned leather and down feather back cushions. It feels solid, sturdy and durable. The leather doesn’t feel delicate at all and should hold up nicely. The seat cushions aren’t super soft, but it’s still completely comfortable, just don’t expect something super plush. My one complaint is that the leather doesn’t go around all the way on the backside of the cushions. You can see on both cushions the backs are mostly covered in a black fabric, so if something were to happen to the front side of the leather, you can’t flip the cushions. While I’ve been told by Article that this is an intentional design decision both to keep the cushion in place (a leather on leather situation would probably mean more slipping of the cushion) as well as to allow proper aeration so that the pillow can be smushed during seating and then fluff back up easily.


I wanted to use the chairs for a bit before I wrote a review so I could get a good feel for them. We’ve had them about 4 weeks now and have definitely put them to use, though I can’t speak to the durability directly just yet. So far, we love the chairs and they’ve been a great addition to our living room. It’s so nice to have some extra seats so both Jordon and I aren’t always sharing the couch. I find myself choosing the chair over the couch sometimes just because I love curling up in it and working on my computer or watching some March Madness basketball. I often find Jordon sitting in one of the chairs when he gets home in the morning from his 24 hour shift while he watches the morning news. Which is saying something if he likes them! His favorite part he says is that they are really wide, making them comfy.

As far as cleaning the chairs, I haven’t done anything yet, but the tag on the chair said wipe clean with a damp cloth. We’re careful to cut Bria’s nails a little shorter so she doesn’t scrape the leather, but so far so good!


I love modern furniture and my style reflects that, but I was a little nervous how the super mid-century modern style chairs would look in our living room but I LOVE them. I’m still figuring out our coffee table situation, though. In the pictures you see the round wood coffee table that I originally ordered to replace the larger rectangle table we had before the chairs. We needed something smaller and round, and this one was my favorite I found. However, after having it in our home with the chairs and based on how we use the space, I think an ottoman or 2 poufs might work better. The table just seems a little in the way since we do lay on the ground and play with Bria (she loves when we chase her lol), so we’re always pushing it off to the side. I haven’t gotten anything different yet, so stay tuned on Insta for updates!

Overall, we are so happy with the chairs and feel the Burrard leather chairs were the perfect decision! I can’t recommend Article enough for their quality yet beautiful furniture and home decor, plus their customer service is amazing, they offer a 30 day return policy, and they offer free complimentary swatches to test their fabrics, which is important to note since you can’t see them in-person beforehand.

I created an IGTV video on the chairs as well if you want to see them up-close “in person” to get a better look at the quality of the leather.

How to Decorate a Cozy Mid-Century Modern Living Room - Reader Submission

Click to read how I created a design plan to transform one of my reader's grey toned living room into a cozy mid-century modern retreat. I cover everything about how to find ideas, decide on a layout, and more!

I always like seeing before and afters and real-life examples of blank rooms that are designed from scratch, so I thought it’d be fun today to show a reader’s home and how my e-design decorating process works to bring your ideas and dreams to life.

Thank you, Anna, who graciously sent photos of her home and was willing to share them with you on the Internet :)

She, her husband, and 3 young kids under 5 are renovating their home. So far, they’ve demoed their kitchen and took down the wall separating the kitchen from the living room so now it’s all open concept with a vaulted ceiling.  They are an active family with a ton going on, so they need durable, practical furniture and decor.

However, the open concept has made it difficult for Anna to know where to place furniture and how to create a floor plan that works for them along with the challenge of knowing what furniture to get. With one big room, the rooms all flow together so the furniture and decor need to work together and compliment each other so it feels like a cohesive space. Otherwise, your home will quickly turn into a hodgepodge of furniture that do not work well together and each room will feel disjointed, like it’s own individual space.

Anna also came to me wanting advice on lighting. Right now, her husband hates the “little balls” hanging down from the ceiling. They took down a couple of the ball light fixtures in the front entrance, but now they’re left with just the light bulbs and she is overwhelmed with picking out new lighting since she is unsure what size or style would work in the space.

Here is what Anna’s home looks like right now in the midst of their kitchen renovation. It’s a beautiful open blank slake with lots of natural night (you know that’s my favorite). I can totally relate to how she’s feeling as she is anxious to organize and furnish their living room so they can have some place to relax as a family with all that’s going on.

living room before
living room before 2
dining room before

Anna put in new wood-like floors in a stone grey color, they painted the kitchen cabinets dark grey, walls are white, and the wood railings and trim are dark wood. When it comes to her style, Anna doesn’t just like one thing or one particular style, but she loves all things shiny, metal, sparkly, fur and an overall light, airy and uncluttered space.

Here is a photo she sent as inspiration, so you can definitely see her love for white and airy. Definitely something we can achieve in her home!

inspiration boho living room

The Design Plan

As I began brainstorming ideas, the first thing I noticed when looking at photos of Anna’s home and the inspiration photos, is the amount of warm tones in the inspiration photo compared to her home. Anna has lots of grey in her home, from the kitchen cabinets to the accent chairs and the cool grey-tone floors. But the inspiration photo uses lots of warm tones like the warm wood floors, cream sofa, and brown leather accents.

In order to achieve a similar look as the inspo photo, we really want to make sure the selected furniture and accessories incorporate lots of texture and warmth along with warm toned colors that work with grey.

For Anna’s living room and dining room design plan, we’re tackling:

  • Layout

  • Lighting

  • Color palette

  • Furniture

  • Accessories

This is the design board rendering I created for Anna’s dining and living room. It really only takes a few key pieces to turn a space into a really fun, welcoming place you are excited to hang out in. It still reflects the open and airy vibe Anna was going for, while selecting pieces that tie in nicely with the grey floors ad dark wood accents.

Let’s jump into my thought process on my design selections and how I chose furniture and decor!

Click to read how I created a design plan to transform one of my reader's grey toned living room into a cozy mid-century modern retreat. I cover everything about how to find ideas, decide on a layout, and more!

Shop the Look:

seagrass rug, printed rug, sectional, gold side table, coffee table, faux fur pillows, tufted pillow, colorful pillow, media center

Floor Plan

First, let’s talk layout and developing a floor plan. The space needs to function as both a living room and dining room, so it’s important to define the two spaces. It’s easy for an open concept space to feel like just one oversized room, but it’s much harder to furnish a huge area and it functions better when there are smaller defined conversation areas. Because the rooms are connected, they need to play off each other so it feels cohesive and international, and not like a disruption when you go from the dining area to living area.

The couch is a good physical divider from the dining room and living room. I’d leave the dining table where Anna currently has it, and position the TV along the wall near the entrance, parallel to the couch. This layout breaks up the room into two conversation areas while still allowing for traffic flow.


Anna was starting from scratch as she furnished her living room and was in the market for a new durable couch that can withstand 3 busy, young kids. A sectional is a great option not only because of the layout of her living room, but it also offers lots of seating for their family. As far as durability, leather is your best friend. I chose a large brown leather sectional because it’s big enough for family movie night and can easily be wiped clean and will last for years.

Then for a coffee table, I went with a round shape and open bottom so it doesn’t feel heavy and boxy since we want to keep a light and open feeling. The TV will sit along the wall opposite the couch, so I chose a dark wood media center that repeats the dark brown color of the couch and distributes it evenly throughout the room so it feels balanced.

Color Palette

There are a whole lot of cool greys going on right now in Anna’s home, but if you look at her inspiration picture, there are lots of warm colors. She wants the light and airy vibe so her white walls work, but we need to bring in some warmth using accessories so it feels warm and inviting, especially during the winter months when it’s freezing outside. The trick to adding warmth when sticking to a fairly neutral color palette is through texture. Lots of layers with things like pillows and even rugs with a variety of textures go a long way to add some interest and dimension.


Lighting is overwhelming because it can be expensive and there are typically lots of light fixtures needed, especially in large open concept spaces. I wrote an entire blog post about how to pick the right light fixture size and style for your home. In an open concept area, you want lighting to flow and feel carefully selected, rather than totally mis-matched from the dining room to the living room. This was one of the topics that Anna struggled with most. Her husband disliked the hanging “balls” from the ceiling in the kitchen, but she was unsure what light fixture to get as replacement. In open concept spaces, I usually suggest recessed lighting and a combination of overhead lighting such as a chandelier or pendant and accent lights like a floor lamp. Recessed lights are commonly used in open concepts because they add light without requiring lots of pendants. All the hanging ball fixtures feel like overkill in the kitchen. I’d recommend Anna replace the hanging balls with recessed can lights in the kitchen, and then get a new chandelier to hang above the dining room table that fits her style a little better, an then use an arched lamp as accent lighting in the living area.


The key here is lots of plants! Plants fill space and bring life and organic texture into the space, which is exactly what we need. I added a fiddle leaf fig tree next to the media center and a smaller plant to sit on the other side. Since layers are essential for a warm, initing space, I used faux fur pillows, a textured tassel pillow, a fur throw and layered 2 rugs. Anna has a pretty vintage style rug with a beige-y undertone already that would work great. I paired that with a natural seagrass rug and it instantly warms up the space without competing with the grey floors. With the TV sitting next to several windows, window treatments are a must to prevent glare and to also provide some privacy. I added floor to ceiling drapes in white on all the living room windows to stick with the light and airy vibe. The final layer of accessories I incorporated are things like vases, trays, and other objects. Anna loves all things sparkly and shiny, so I used brass metal accents to play it up and give the space a little something special.

Hopefully you liked this example of how to decorate a mid-century modern living room and turn it into a cozy, airy retreat!

What do you think of the before and after? What’s your biggest struggle with decorating your home right now?

Click to read how I created a design plan to transform one of my reader's grey toned living room into a cozy mid-century modern retreat. I cover everything about how to find ideas, decide on a layout, and more!

Before & After: Small Kitchen Renovation Reveal

We're revealing our small kitchen renovation reveal that we did ourselves on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and after photos. You won't believe what it looked like before our remodel!

I can’t even tell you how excited we are about our kitchen renovation reveal and how well it turned out! And I’m even more excited to share our process and how we got here. Because it definitely didn’t always look this pretty. Our kitchen renovation was a long time in the making. So to say we finally have a fully functioning, updated, BEAUTIFUL kitchen is such a dream.

Without further adieu, let’s dive right in to the before and after.

Here’s what the kitchen looked like before. This was taken during the process of painting our cabinets, hence a few of the cabinet doors removed, which we did a few months after moving in.


Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 11.05.20 PM.png

After we painted our kitchen cabinets a pretty blue, it looked like this. We painted to get rid of the terrible orangey cabinets and it looked better. But at this point we still had linoleum floors and counters and the old, original appliances.

While we knew we wanted to renovate the kitchen eventually, it wasn’t in the budget to do it right away. There wasn’t really a set plan we decided on where we’d renovate “next year” or anything like that. It came down to when we had the time (and knowledge) to do it ourselves once we saved enough and felt ready to tackle it.


Since we cook a lot and hardly ever eat out, we’re always in the kitchen, but it just wasn’t an inspiring space to hang out. The oven was so small with only one rack, and the stove top was old and the knobs were wearing off so you couldn’t see the burner temperatures. Not only was the kitchen really ugly, but the appliances didn’t work that great either.

After 3 (!!!!) years of living in our home, we finally tackled the kitchen renovation this past summer. It was kind of a last minute decision, actually. We had talked about starting within the year, but to make it even more stressful, we decided to start the reno just a a couple months before our wedding! Because why not ha. Nothing like a hard deadline to get everything finished in time! Excited doesn’t even BEGIN to express how happy I was to rip out the out-dated kitchen.

But first, let’s talk designs.

The Design Plan

As the type A planner that I am, I had our design plan figured out well before we actually started demo. We weren’t adding on or changing the footprint of our kitchen, but we’d be updating counters, floors, hardware, lighting, backsplash, appliances, and cabinets.

The overall vibe I wanted for the kitchen is the same as the rest of our house: light, airy, cozy with a mix of rustic + modern elements.

To figure out what we wanted for cabinets and counters and all the other details, I did some research, of course spent time on Pinterest pinning ideas, and then created a mood board so I had a visual of what all the elements looked like together, creating my design plan.

If you want a more in-depth look at how I research, look for ideas, and then decide what colors, furniture, and other things I want to incorporate in my room, read this blog post.

Related Post: How to Come Up with a Room Design Plan

When we put in our wood floors in the living room over a year ago, we purchased enough for the kitchen, knowing we were updating those floors at some point too, so we had the flooring already figured out.

Related Post: How to Choose Wood Flooring: Laminate vs. Hardwood

Learn how to create a mood board here, like the one I made pictured above.

We did white subway tile in our bathroom, so I wanted white subway tile backsplash in our kitchen. I’m a big fan of classic backsplash that you won’t tire of after a few years. Subway tile is always a practical yet beautiful option.

For counters, it was between white quartz or butcher block. Quartz counters were over double the cost of butcher block, so that’s ultimately why we chose wood counters. While I do love the look of butcher block, this isn’t our forever home so we didn’t want to spend more than what we’d actually get back when we decide to sell, so butcher block made sense. They do require a little more maintenance, so that’s something to keep in mind. I researched how to care for butcher block a ton and found that with a little extra care and some mineral oil, they will hold up for years.

We obviously had to get a new range, but we also were installing a dishwasher (finally!!), getting a new microwave that mounted above the range to allow for more counter space, and a new fridge. I like the look of stainless steel so that’s what we went with. Usually you can get a discount if you buy appliances in a bundle package which is what we did at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

On to kitchen cabinets…our biggest dilemma.

While I love the blue cabinets we had, I wanted our new cabinets to be more neutral.  We went back and forth on whether we’d keep the current cabinets and just paint them, or if we’d get all new cabinets.

Ideally, I wanted new cabinets. We’d have to rip out the whole wall of cabinets where the old oven and stovetop are, which meant we’d have to install new cabinets on that wall to replace them. But I couldn’t find any stock cabinets available that matched our current size. It would look odd to have mismatched cabinets on one side of the kitchen, so replacing them all sounded like the best option. The old cabinet shelves also weren’t adjustable and didn’t have a tall enough clearance for things like a canister of oatmeal, so that was another bonus of new cabinets.

To see how much new cabinets would cost, we got a quote from a semi-custom cabinet company and were shocked at how much it cost. They always say new cabinets are expensive and they aren’t kidding. And we don’t even have a ton of cabinet space! I tried to reach out to the cabinet company and see where we could make a few adjustments (I wanted some open shelving) to maybe lower the cost a bit, but they were horrible about getting back to me so after the bad customer service, we nixed that idea. They did provide a handy blueprint we were able to work off of and check prices for stock cabinets at Home Depot. Home Depot cabinets ended up being one fifth of the cost, plus there was no lead time (we only had to order a couple cabinets online, the rest were in stock in our local store). These are the pre-assembled shaker cabinets at Home Depot we went with.

The main concern we had with the Home Depot stock cabinets was quality. If you read the reviews online, they are not great. Most of the them said they were cheaply made and arrived broken in some way. Ugh. I went to our store to check them out myself first hand, and after looking, I thought they looked pretty nice and the quality seems like it’d work fine for us. They were available in either white or a light grey, but the white had a different front door style I didn’t like, so we went with grey, which I initially wanted anyway.

Jordon and I decided these cabinets were the best solution for us, so we went for it! We picked up all the cabinets in-store, and only had to order 2 that weren’t in stock.

At this point, we had a garage full of cabinets, appliances ordered, and all other design selections finalized.

We were ready for demo!

Demo Day

Jordon was eager to rip out cabinets, so I emptied them and packed everything up. He started ripping stuff out one day while I was at work. Nothing like getting texts of your newly gutted kitchen while you’re away!

We did keep the refrigerator as long as we could so we at least had some food for the time being. We resorted to plugging in the microwave in the living room so we could still make oats and other simple foods during the 5 week kitchen renovation.


It’s always nerve-racking on demo day because you never know exactly what you’ll uncover. We lucked out and everything was pretty normal, except, after ripping out the stovetop and lower cabinets, we discovered there was a vent that came up from the furnace that out-jetted from the wall. Right where we planned on placing a 12 inch wide cabinet wasn’t going to work anymore, because we needed a wider cabinet to be able to cut the back of it in order to fit over the vent. We were forced to switch the cabinet layout a bit which was a bummer. I planned on adding open shelving around the range, but that had to change and then we could no longer have cabinets on both sides of the range either. But, there was no other options.

Switching around the layout a couple times caused us to have to return a couple cabinets and order a couple new ones. This ended up setting us back a couple days because we were waiting for the new cabinets to arrive. All of our cabinets were in good shape, but we did have one that arrived a little broken. Luckily, it was only broken in the back and we were able to salvage it since, we didn’t have time to wait a week for a new one to come in.

One other fix we had to do was add a different electrical plug to fit the new range and wire the microwave so it was on a different circuit line.



Jordon was somehow able to install all the cabinets himself, leveling them and securing them to the wall. Once the cabinets were in, we could start on the wood flooring. Installing the wood floors took a few days with all the measuring and cutting. When the floors were in, we were ready for the appliances delivery. This was an exciting day! Our kitchen would finally be somewhat useable again. I was ready to have a stove back so we could stop eating microwave foods. Surprisingly, we didn’t eat out once during the week in the 5 weeks without a stove. It was just lots of cereal, sandwiches and oatmeal.

However, we ran into an issue when the appliances arrived. When we picked out appliances, we made sure the size fit within the cabinet space, but we forgot to account for the doorway leading into the kitchen. Oops! The guys dropped off the appliances but the fridge didn’t fit through the living room/kitchen doorway. We ended up having to remove the doors from the new fridge, and even remove part of the molding on the door frame to just barely able to squeeze it by, with only centimeters to give.

With the appliances finally installed, we could start on the countertops. We bought slabs of butcher block from Menards and cut them to fit. I researched a ton on how to seal the wood and found two options. Use a food grade sealer or use natural with mineral oil. Using a heavy duty wood sealer would protect the wood better longer term, but the sealer also changed the color of the wood and made it much more orangey than I liked. So I decided that applying mineral oil every few months was the best option for us. I may do an entire blog post on how we care for our butcher block counters, so if that’s something you want to see for sure, let me know!

In between the big projects happening, we also finished things like repainting the walls, painting all the kitchen trim, and I painted the side entrance door the same blue we actually had on our previous cabinets.

Once the counters were in, we were in the home stretch and could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! Up next was tiling the backsplash, installing kitchen cabinet hardware, hanging window treatments and the new chandelier. We used our existing kitchen table and chairs and installed a really fun orb chandelier from West Elm which adds a nice modern touch.

One unique piece we had made for our kitchen is the metal shelf. Since we were limited to open shelving on just the one side with the issue we discovered during demolition, I debated what I wanted to use for open shelving. At first, I was thinking open wood shelves, but I wanted to tie in the matte black accents from the chandelier and door knobs. Then, I had the idea for a black metal shelf. I sketched it up and a local welder from my hometown brought my vision to life! I love that it’s different and unique yet ties together the space perfectly.

butcher block countertops
subway tile

The Reveal

After 5ish weeks of work, we finished the kitchen renovation! And with enough time to spare before our wedding :) It was definitely a long few weeks living in a construction zone and spending every available minute on the kitchen. It was a lot of work, but we’re so happy with how it turned out! Every time I walk in our kitchen I’m amazed we tackled all of it ourselves and how good it looks! It’s truly looks just as I had imagined.

If you are looking to refresh a room in your home, but you need a little help picking out furniture, colors, and decor, I can help! I offer room refresh services and can help design your room so you don’t spend hours and hours searching for ideas yourself. Click here for more info about my services.

Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!
Our small kitchen remodel reveal on a budget with grey cabinets, oak wood flooring, stainless steel appliances, a farmhouse sink and more. Click to see the before and afters. You won't believe what it looked like before!

Shop Our Kitchen

Do you have a room in your home you want to refresh? I’ll work with you 1 on 1 to create a design plan you love and pick out colors, furniture, and decor for your room. It saves you hours of searching online and I’m there to help you make the right decisions (you won’t regret) so you can finally finish decorating! Click here to learn more about my services.

If you want to take a virtual tour of our kitchen after our renovations, watch the video below :)

Guest Bedroom Makeover

A cozy rustic modern chic guest bedroom gets a whole new makeover. Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels welcoming and cozy for everyone who stays!

With our wedding in July and family and friends staying with us for the occasion, I figured it was time I finally give our guest room a little love. I hadn’t touched it since I moved in the house, so there was nothing cute about it. It was a bed in a room and that’s it. Not the most welcoming space, to say the least. 

With it being our guest room, I didn't want to spend a ton since it really only gets used a few times a year. Today, I'm going to show you how we decorated the space and gave it some life. It doesn’t have to take much to dress up a bedroom and make it look stylish and grown up. 

Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming. A plaid lumbar pillow is the perfect finishing touch.


The Design Plans

Our guest room is in the lower level of our split level home, where the style is a little more rustic and outdoorsy compared to the upstairs half of our house (where the living room and kitchen are.) I knew I wanted to keep the guest room outdoorsy with a modern cabin vibe to tie into the rest of the basement.

Usually when designing a room I have a jumping off piece or something in the room that's my inspiration. For the guest room, my main inspiration piece was the classic Pendleton Glacier National Park blanket with yellow, blue, green and red stripes. The blanket has the perfect vintage modern rustic feel with the color scheme I was going for. Unfortunately, the wool Pendleton blanket is spendy and I wasn’t willing to make that investment, but I found a similar Pendleton blanket with the same colored stripes for $30! I used this blanket as my inspiration as I picked out all the other pieces for the room. 

For the overall design, I envisioned light birch wood, matte black accents with a touch of brass, fun art with a vintage fishing vibe (Jordon is a big outdoorsman), and cozy textiles to warm it up and add texture.


Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming.


Repurposing Furniture 

For furniture, I had an old iron bed frame that was my grandpa's (he and his brothers slept in it when they were kids!) and my mom gave me an old dresser she had in her house growing up. The iron bed frame was rusting, so we give it a few coats of black spray paint and it completely elevated the looked. Looks good as new! For the dresser, I give it a fresh coat of white paint and swapped out the knobs for matte black hardware. I love how each piece turned out, and it's even better I didn't have to buy new!

Jordon already had the wood bench, so the only furniture I still needed to get for the space were two night stands to go on each side of the bed and a little accent chair.

Because the bed frame is taller than the average bed frame, it was tricky to find side tables that were the proper height for the bed and didn’t feel too low. After lots of scouring online I decided a stool would probably be the only side table that’s actually tall enough. I ended up finding a pair of IKEA stools on Facebook Marketplace that were the perfect height and had the light birch wood I wanted.

Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming. Create a little reading nook with this cute rattan chair.
Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming. Create a little reading nook with this cute rattan chair.


To fill the nook next to the dresser, I wanted an accent chair for guests to set stuff on or to just lounge in. I found this cute rattan daisy chair from Article and it was exactly what I was looking for! The chair is actually an outdoor chair but it works so well in the space and it doesn't look like a "cheap" flimsy outdoors piece. One of the great things about outdoor furniture is it's typically cheaper and made of durable of materials. The chair feels so sturdy and well-made, and it's actually really comfortable! Article is one of my favorite sources for quality, beautiful furniture and even their outdoor furniture is no exception.


Choosing Wall Art

My parents had an old wooden oar laying around their house and I decided that fit the outdoorsy cabin vibe perfectly. I had seen a few ideas on Pinterest that turned the oar into a functional piece by adding hooks and loved it. I got matte black hooks from Home Depot and attached them to the oar.

Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming. This wooden oar hook and vintage fishing prints are a great touch.


Above the oar I wanted to hang three pieces of art. I was looking for affordable vintage fishing themed art. Etsy had a huge selection, many of which were instant downloadable PDFs that cost just a few bucks! I ended up going with this vintage fishing map, this fly fishing lures print, and this oar blueprint. Each print looks great and I love how they complement each other while sticking with the red, yellow, blue, green color palette. 

Above the bed I didn't have a whole lot of room to work with, so I decided another framed print was the best option. I found the pretty lake view print on Etsy for under $3!

Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming.


On the wall parallel to the bed, I didn’t want to hang another print, so I thought hanging a basket with a little depth and texture would look nice. The basket from Article was exactly what I was looking for. When it arrived in the mail it was much bigger than I anticipated, but in a good way!

Since our guest room is in the basement with just one small window, natural light is pretty much nonexistent so adding accent lighting was a must. Even just capturing these photos was a challenge. I like wall-mounted sconces because they take up less room on the already small bedside stool surface and fill some visual wall space. The sconces were actually left over from our bedroom when the company sent us a new set because of a recall, but the original sconces we had still worked great so we were able to use the extra pair in our guest room.  

Our boring guest room gets a whole new modern cozy chic cabin look! Learn how to redecorate your guest room so it feels cozy and welcoming. Create a little reading nook with this cute rattan chair.


Cozy textiles

To warm up the space and make it feel cozy and inviting like a cabin should feel, I incorporated a couple luxurious textiles. The wool throw draped on the chair is SO soft and warm. Our basement gets pretty cool, so I wanted to have an extra blanket available for guests. Next, I added a sheepskin to the wood bench to soften it up and again, give it the warm rustic cozy vibe. The quality is amazing and it's thick and incredibly soft! It really adds a nice comfy touch that the space really needed. 

So that’s our guest room makeover! I’m super happy with how well it turned out. It’s the perfect balance of modern meets rustic cabin. I think the guests loved the updated space too :)


Guest Room Sources:

bed frame, vintage / white bedding / sheets / plaid pillow, similar / white stripe blanket / Sconces / Woven basket hung on wall / Wool throw / Rattan chair / dresser, vintage / black house lantern / sheepskin  / Wood bench, handmade / lake view print / vintage fishing map / fly fishing lures print / oar blueprint


Thank you to Article, a favorite brand I love and trust, for partnering on this post.



2016 In Review: Home Projects Recap

home projects in review

As homeowners, it's important to us that we fix up our home and put our own touches on it to make it feel more like us. It's just as important that we make smart decisions and protect ourselves from anything that may go wrong. Because you know, life happens. If you're like me, choosing home insurance is confusing and overwhelming. Esurance helps you make smarter, more efficient choices with your insurance and takes the hassle out of it. How great is that?! If you're looking for ways to make smarter choices for your home, you can check out Esurance for more info.

As we're coming up on 2017 (!!!!) and the 2 year anniversary of living in our first home, I wanted to do a year in review and recap the home projects we tackled this year. It's always fun to look back on how far we've come and remind ourselves of all the hard work we put into it.

Projects we tackled in 2016...


A New Stairs Runner

Our house is split-level, meaning you have to take the stairs to get to the main level of the house from the garage. With the stairs being such a focal point in the house, I wanted to update the old rubber and brown paint to something that fit with my style. We spruced up the stairs by painting them white and adding a new sisal runner. For the full tutorial on how we did it, click here. It was a fairly easy and affordable project that you can do in a weekend. It really made all the difference when you walk in the house and that's the first thing you see. The stairs look so much nicer and now they match the rest of the decor in the house.

DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins

Living Room Built-Ins

When we first moved into the house, I came up with a quick and cheap solution for our TV stand but was never really crazy about it. It didn't offer any storage and it looked small on the large wall. I love built-ins for the storage of course, but I also thought they would better fit the wall and create a nice focal point in our living room. There are a variety of tutorials out there for DIY built-ins, but we decided to take the easier route and do an IKEA hack. Jordon is super handy, but I didn't think we should be building everything from scratch, including cabinet doors, because that just requires more time and work. After doing some research on IKEA hack built-ins, I ended up coming up with our own version. You can read the full tutorial here. We were able to make them for about $300 in one weekend. I'm super happy with how they turned out and love them just as much as when we installed them! They definitely create a focal point our living room needed.

rustic cottage living room

Basement Family Room Progress

We made progress in the basement family room by moving our old couch down there, adding our cowhide rug, installing wall sconces, and Jordon made a beautiful sliding barn door TV stand. We'd still like to add a bar and some more decor to dress it up, but it's nice to have the extra space for guests.

How to organize a small closet using the IKEA Algot System

Bedroom Closet Organization

Our small bedroom closets aren't optimized for a ton of storage, so I installed the IKEA Algot System in my closet to allow for more room and to better organize everything. It's amazing!!!! My closet is organized and holds so much more. Plus, I installed this thing all on my own, ladies. ;)


Wood Flooring

We finally bit the bullet and replaced the dingy old carpet throughout our home with wood flooring. You can read all about why we decided to go with engineered wood floors here. This might be my favorite update we did this year. The new flooring totally modernized the home and it looks so much better! Love love love the floors we chose.

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

Living Room Makeover

In addition to the new floors, our living room got several more updates. We got a new couch, lighting, blinds, and rug. It's a whole new space! This new design fits my style and functions much better than what we had previously. You can find sources to everything and read about the living room transformation here.

Next on our list to tackle in 2017 is the kitchen. This will be a bigger renovation and we will be doing a lot of it ourselves to keep costs down. For the design, I'm envisioning white subway tile backsplash, butcher block counters, and a new dishwasher and stove and we'll continue the wood flooring into the kitchen.

Our bedroom is almooooost finished and I will be sharing it in a month or so. I took a break from decorating the bedroom when I was working on the living room so I'm excited to get our room finished. I found the perfect sconces and we finally got them hung up a couple weeks ago and now I'm just picking out some wall art. Stay tuned for the reveal soon!

I'm so happy with our progress we've made on our home this year. It really feels like us.

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This post is in partnership with Esurance. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible. 



4 Tips To Decorate A Living Room + Our Makeover Revealed

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

The past several months I've been busy working on a living room makeover.

It all started last year when I had a mindset shift regarding decorating.

We were about a year in our new home and I was tired of a lot of things. I was tired of spending hours decorating, trying to make it perfect and failing miserably. I was tired of spending lots of money of decor, only to have it shoved in a closet a few months later because I didn't like it. I was tired of not feeling happy or proud of our home and the way it looked.

So I decided to do something about it and I came up with my own take on capsule wardrobes after experimenting with them, except for the home. If you aren't familiar with capsules, the main principles are buying only select items you love that work well with your lifestyle and combine to create a cohesive wardrobe, or in this case, home. As a result, you spend less time and money and have a home you love.

It was just what I needed.

With my new outlook on decorating, I set out to redecorate our living room following this new capsule system that I created. The system consisted of finding your signature style first, and then putting together an entire plan decorating BEFORE buying anything.

The focused plan I put together was the winning difference between just another failed attempt at decorating our living room and actually creating a space I love that fits us.

Today, I'm sharing all the nitty gritty details of our living room evolution the past couple years and how we got to the beautiful living room you see today!

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

4 Tips to Decorate a Living Room You Love

1. Find My Decorating Style

Before, my style was all over. I liked many different styles and couldn't decide on one, so it ended up being a random mix that didn't work well together. So, first thing I did was get clear on my signature decorating style (here is a super handy worksheet planner that will help you identify your own style). I settled on modern rustic cottage for my style. Here is what my Pinterest inspiration board looks like.

My style elements included:

  • light walls
  • blue and grey colors
  • warm wood tones
  • rustic wood accents
  • cognac leather
  • clean modern lines
  • black accents in small doses
  • nautical/rope decor

You guys, this was KEY in setting myself up for success later as I was selecting new furniture and decor. Finding your style is seriously the secret sauce behind a home you love and a step you can't skip.

I even created a whole course called Find Your Signature Decorating Style that makes it super simple and breaks it down step-by-step for you.

2. Declutter

Now that I knew my style and what items aligned with it, it was time to get rid of the extra stuff I no longer needed or used. I sold a few pieces of furniture on Craigslist and was able to repurpose a few things for different areas of the house. Our sectional moved to the basement family room which worked out perfectly since we did not have seating down there yet.

blogger stylin fall home tour

Our living room before was overcrowded with furniture we didn't use and with my new mindset, I only wanted the necessary pieces we actually used. The credenza/bar was simply taking up space, and the straw chair was an accent chair no one sat in.

3. New Living Room Plan

I went back to the drawing board and wrote a list of everything new I'd need. First, I settled on a layout that flowed much better (no more 2 sofas/sectional) and then decided on new furniture. Then, I decided on textiles and lighting, and finally decor. We had been wanting to replace the old carpet with hardwood flooring, so I added that to the list as well.

Here's everything I wrote down that I needed to get or make:

  • sofa
  • chair (borrowed from the office)
  • built-ins
  • rug
  • throw pillows
  • blinds
  • pendant light
  • leather pouf (borrowed from basement family room)
  • plant stand
  • coffee table decor
  • wall art
  • hardwood flooring

This was just a list at this point. I didn't have exact sources yet as I still had to do research and find them. Which leads me to the next tip...

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

4. Research Products

This is where decorating can get complicated. How do you know what kind of sofa or rug to buy? Luckily, because I found my signature decorating style and set a clear plan for color palette, fabrics, patterns, textures, and styles, I knew exactly what I was looking for so shopping for furniture and decor was super simple.

In my Find Your Signature Decorating Style course, I teach you how to research furniture and decor and exactly what to look for based on your style, so you are never clueless what kind of couch to get or what rug would look best.

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

The Living Room Updates


We started our makeover with the built-ins and actually made them ourselves as an IKEA hack. I LOVE them.


Next, I swapped out the cheap sheer curtain panels with something a little more natural and warm and with more privacy in the evening. I have wood blinds in our kitchen and love them for many reasons, so I knew they'd be great for our living room and they fit great with my style and overall plan. I love how the wood instantly warms up the room. You can read more about the wood blinds I chose and why I love them here.

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

Pendant Light

Then, I finally got rid of the outdated ceiling fan and replaced it with a pretty star pendant light from ATG Stores. The pendant repeats the black lines in the coffee table. Remember the "black accents in small doses" from tip 1. finding my style above? It's all coming together...

Hardwood Flooring

For flooring, I chose warm matte oak engineered hardwood from We have original hardwood in the bedroom and office, but there wasn't any under the carpet in the living room. The original hardwood is a very warm, almost orange-y color, much like the wood trim throughout the house. This orange-y color isn't my favorite (that's an understatement), and I contemplated painting the trim white for a while, so I ultimately decided not to try and match the wood trim or original hardwood with our new flooring. I'm not even sure if this is against some kind of interior design "rule", but I didn't want to be forced into choosing a hardwood color I didn't even like, just to try and match the original flooring and trim (that we might paint). So I chose a flooring that I really liked that still complimented the original floors and trim. Jordon did an awesome job installing it, and we even decided to paint the trim on the spur of the moment since we had to remove it anyway during installation, so I got my white trim! What a difference flooring makes. As I look back on old pictures, the new hardwoods instantly update the room. I'm so happy with our flooring choice and how beautiful it looks.

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal
4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal


Our new Sitka sofa from Article is one of my favorite things in the makeover. Its modern clean lines align with my style and it fits the space a thousand times better than the big bulky sectional. Plus it's soooo comfy. I wrote an entire post on how to buy a couch you can read here.


I loved our blue rug, but I wanted something a little more neutral to better fit my style. It also needed to hide dirty paw marks. I found this new Nourison Lunette rug from RugsDirect and love how cozy it is. The subtle pattern and texture is just enough to feel warm and inviting without being boring, and it has a slight mid-century modern vibe I like. Rugs Direct was kind enough to offer you 15% off your purchase so be sure to take advantage of that :)

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

Throw Pillows

Pillows are such an easy way to add pops of color and pattern without a big commitment. To bring in more blues, I chose a couple blue printed pillows (blue stripe pillowblue patterned pillow) from Tonic Living, one of my favorite sources for quality pillows. I already had the tie-dye pillow and black pillows that helped tie in the black in the pendant and coffee table legs perfectly.

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal


I'm keeping decor minimal except for the built-ins. I did pick up my favorite plant stand from West Elm and got myself a fiddle leaf fig plant. Wish me luck keeping it alive! :/ Any tips are appreciated as I hear they are finicky plants.

The full length mirror was actually a DIY we did. The mirror magically makes the room feel bigger, plus it adds the perfect amount of rustic wood, another one of my style elements.

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal


We don't have a ton of wall space for art, but I did want a large scale print above the couch. I like horses and saw someone on Instagram share a photo of this horse picture they had taken. She graciously gave me a copy of the picture and I had it printed and framed at Shutterfly. So easy!

4 tips to decorate a living room you love + our living room reveal

Other Furniture

I'm keeping the coffee table for now because I like it and it works perfectly. However, it's on my list to get a new one eventually that is round and solid wood, since our current one is not solid wood and is starting to peel.

I borrowed the leather pouf from the basement family room and the blue tufted chair is also borrowed from our office. I'm keeping the chair in the living room util we can get 2 cognac leather tufted chairs, but that may be in a year or so.

It seriously looks like a different room! It just goes to show that a few small changes make a world of a difference. Every time I walk in our living room it makes me happy. That's the power of decorating and how our homes should make us feel. Our living room turned out how I had imagined it would look and it was super streamlined to execute because I had my set plan that I followed. I knew exactly what was on my shopping list and what to look for, all because I found my signature style FIRST.

In my course, Find Your Signature Decorating Style, I will teach you the exact plan that I used to decorate my living room from start to finish. This system that I teach applies to any room on any budget.

If you have any questions at all about the room itself or the process, please ask away in the comments! I know this was a ton of information.

Do you have a room in your home you're struggling with like I was?


Lessons Learned + Living Room Updates

Have you ever worked really hard on something only to have it fall short? You put in plenty of time and money. You're super excited to get to the finish line and see your vision come to a reality. And then as the end nears you start to notice something doesn't feel right... That's how I felt as I was decorating our living room.

When we first moved into our home a year and a half ago (see early photos of the living room here), I scrambled to find furniture and get the room put together so it wasn't bare. I thought I knew my decorating style and vision so I started picking out a couch, a rug, a coffee table – which was all good and exciting.

However, as things slowly came together, I didn't like how it was turning out. The style felt off  and like it wasn't me, and furniture felt a little mis-matched and crowded. I was buying to fill the space in our living room without thinking about our lifestyle and how we actually used the room. One piece I bought was a credenza on Craigslist for super cheap that I thought would make a great buffet with a bar. We rarely drink cocktails at home (we're more beer drinkers :)) so the bar was completely useless and we never used it.

I was frustrated and didn't understand how I missed the mark when decorating. I was disappointed in myself and that it meant I'd have to start over. That's when I really started to analyze my decorating style and be intentional with what we used and needed. I thought if I could just master my decorating style, I'll be much more happy with our home and how it looks.

modern rustic cottage living room

Living Room Updates

So here we are several months later, I now know exactly what my decorating style looks like and how to achieve it, and we're slowly making some updates to our living room!

We moved the other half of our sectional to the basement family room since it was just way too big for the room and that opened up a  lot of space (let that be a lesson to you to always measure your room 3 times and include room for walk ways before shopping). I sold the credenza and our old coffee table.

modern rustic cottage living room

We built our IKEA hack built-ins a couple months ago which I absolutely love. They create the focal point our living room needed and are still functional.

Once discovering my decorating style, I knew exactly what changes I needed to make so I was no longer guessing. Things are starting to feel much better.

1. Add Warmth to a White Room with Textured Wood Shades

Next, we installed new woven wood shades from We have these in our kitchen as well and let me tell you, they are AMAZING. I wanted shades that warmed up the living room a bit (because we have lots of white) so I chose the color rustic jute with some texture and the style fits our beachy cottage style perfectly. My favorite thing about these woven wood shades is they still let light in even if they are down, but if you want to completely block out it out, there are liners you can put down as well. This is a great feature in the evenings for more privacy. They have several color options to choose from (and free samples!) but I'm so glad I went with rustic jute. I had such a hard time deciding on a color but they provided a designer you work directly with and she was so helpful and made the process super easy. Can't recommend them enough!

modern rustic cottage living room
modern rustic cottage living room
modern rustic cottage living room

2. Lighting Gives a Room Personality

Another favorite update in our living room is the new star pendant light from ATG Stores. We finally replaced the ugly outdated ceiling fan!

Lighting is like shoes to an outfit. It pulls the whole room together. We never used the ceiling fan and I'm not a big fan of them anyway (ha! no pun intended), so I knew I wanted a pendant light instead. The star pendant is fairly popular and some of my favorite room designs on Pinterest had one, so I thought it would be a good option for our living room. It's a little traditional yet whimsy so I think it adds some personality to the space.

I found a star pendant at ATG Stores and it received great reviews so I decided to go for it. I chose the medium size in clear seedy glass (textured instead of transparent glass) and I'm so glad I did. It looks so good and is just as I pictured! It seriously makes me so happy every time I walk in the room.

modern rustic cottage living room
modern rustic cottage living room
modern rustic cottage living room

A little tip when you're shopping for lighting...I like looking online because there are so many more options than in-stores and you can measure your space to see how each light would hang. Pendants are great because you can adjust how low it hangs which was important for me since our light is in a traffic area and we don't have tall ceilings.

3. Art With Meaning

We have a long white wall in our living room that I've really struggled with decorating. It's so long that it's hard to fill the space properly. I didn't want to do a gallery wall because I want to keep the look fairly minimal and gallery walls tend to look busy. However, buying a piece of art that's big enough is very spendy. I was on Instagram one day and NicholeLynneDesigns posted a photo of this horse photograph her sister had taken. Horses are special to me because my grandpa had them when I was a kid and I enjoy riding them. I asked if she was willing to share the photo and she was!

I had the photo printed at Shutterfly and decied to also have them custom frame it. I looked around at prices for large frames to buy and they were expensvive, so Shutterfly was the best option. They have sales often where you can get 40% off your order!

modern rustic cottage living room
modern rustic cottage living room
modern rustic cottage living room

I was a little nervous about the print quality on such a large photo, but when it arrived in the mail it was perfect and not a touch blurry or pixelated. I think it's the perfect piece for this wall. I'm really happy with how it looks.

Future Projects

We've made some serious progress and I'm already loving it so much more. On the list of future updates is a new couch with a lighter color (more inline with my decorating style) the end of August. We will move our current sofa to the basement family room which will be perfect down there. I'd like to get a couple chairs for some additional seating as well for the living room, a neutral rug, and eventually I'd like to remove the carpet and replace it with hardwood floors.

Have you had a similar experience as I have while decorating? Tell me about it in the comments!


3 simple living room updates + mistakes I made

DIY Rustic Wood Frame Mirror

DIY wood frame mirror

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite DIY projects I've made yet. This one is fairly simple to make and looks wayyyy more expensive than it really is.

We have a little window nook in our living room that I'm struggling to decorate. Previously, we had a credenza in the nook (seen in this post) but we sold that, so next I positioned a chair and table in the nook (seen here) but wasn't happy with that either. I considered making a built-in bench to fill the nook, but I don't know if I want to commit to that since it won't be removable. The window is off-center in the nook so it's throwing me off. I thought a full length leaning mirror might fill the empty space next to the window nicely, and it would also help make our small living room seem bigger, thanks to the magic of mirrors.

However, mirrors are expensive. Like SUPER expensive. Specifically, this mirror at West Elm I liked that costs $500.

So I did what a cheap girl like me does best and came up with a DIY version for a fraction of the price.

Keep reading to see how I made my own DIY rustic wood frame mirror for only $45. Talk about a big bang for your buck!


  • 1/8" plywood for backing, $12
  • 16 x 60" frameless mirror, $24
  • Mirror adhesive, $5
  • Liquid Nails Fuze It, provided but retails for $7
  • Reclaimed wood

I had our plywood cut into a 24 x 70" sheet at Home Depot. Originally I was planning on getting a 12 x 58" mirror but they didn't have one in-store so I got a slightly larger mirror and that just meant our wood frame edges would hang off slightly from the backing. Our reclaimed wood is 6 inches wide.

1. We started by measuring and marking where the mirror should be positioned in the center on the plywood backing.

DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror

2. Then, we applied mirror adhesive to the plywood...

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

3. and set the mirror in place, pressing firmly to secure.

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

4. Once we measured and cut the 4 reclaimed wood boards for the frame and made sure they were flush, we applied Liquid Nails Fuze It to the plywood, beginning with one single side...

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

5. and set the first wood board in place.

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

6. We clamped the board to make sure it bonded tightly. Unfortunately, we only have one clamp so we made due and had to move it from end to end after it dried for a few minutes. Not ideal but it works. Repeat the same gluing process on the other side.

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

7. After the 2 sides were glued in place, we moved to the top and bottom boards. Apply more Liquid Nails Fuze It and clamp them in place.

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

8. To ensure the wood adhered to the plywood backing, we set a few 80 pound bags of Quikrete we had laying around to hold everything down in place while it dried overnight.

DIY rustic wood frame mirror

The next day I checked it and everything was nice and secure so I brought it in our living room to use.

I absolutely love how well it turned out! This is such a simple DIY with a huge impact that would cost hundreds of dollars at any store. I'm already tempted to make another one for our bedroom because it looks so much nicer than those cheap $12 door mirrors we have right now.

Here you can see the mirror leaning perfectly in the little nook in our living room.

I've made a few more updates to our living room since you last saw it when I showed our IKEA hack built-ins, so I'm planning on sharing a reveal soon!

DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror
DIY rustic wood frame mirror

Thank you to Liquid Nails for partnering with me on this post. Liquid Nails is a regularly used product in our home and a brand I love and trust. 




How to Make Your Own DIY IKEA Built-Ins for $300

DIY IKEA built-ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins

I've always loved built-ins and they popped up several times in my Dream Home pin board when analyzing my decorating style, so I knew they were always something I wanted to incorporate into our home. When we first moved in we made a quick TV stand from an IKEA Kallax shelf, but I was never 100% happy with it. Our living room is small, and it just didn't have a good focal point.

Good-bye old TV stand . . .

modern-living-room with blue accents

Hellooooo pretty built-ins!

DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins

I LOVE the way they turned out! We were able to finish them in a weekend for about $300.

DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins

Here's the story...

There are all kinds of styles and ideas out there for built-ins. Originally, I was thinking we would just build them from scratch, making the shelves and cabinets ourselves. After more research and asking Jordon if he thought he could do it (he's not a professional builder and has limited time and tools), I decided to look into DIY versions that we could piece together to make things a little easier. I found several tutorials but none of them consisted of everything I wanted. I wanted our built-ins to have cabinets for the TV to sit on and for storage, plus open shelving on the sides, and a top shelf above the TV.

In the tutorials I found online many people used the IKEA Billy bookcases. There are a few different sizes of the Billy bookcase to choose from. Because our wall isn't huge and the built-ins couldn't extend from end to end (it would cut off part of the doorway) I thought 2 single Billy bookcases would fit nicely, I just needed to figure out how to create the cabinets. The Billy collection did have the option to buy doors to attach to the bookcases, however, the doors were $40 a piece which would get spendy fast. That same day I was browsing IKEA's site, I went to Home Depot for something else and ran into some pre-fabricated cabinets on sale. They were exactly what I was looking for and much more affordable than buying IKEA doors to create our own cabinets.

I drew up the design and Jordon liked the idea so we ordered the IKEA shelves and went back to Home Depot to pick up the cabinets. Just an FYI, the cabinets are 12 inches deep and the IKEA shelves are 11 inches deep but the difference didn't bother me.


For installation, we loosely followed this tutorial by Centsational Girl, but had to make our own adjustments and used trial and error along the way.

First, we measured where the built-in would stand centered on the wall and marked the area off so we could cut out carpet and remove the baseboards along the wall. To remove the carpet we just it out with a utility knife.

Because we decided not to use the original baseboard along the front of our built-ins because we didn't have enough and I wanted it white, we didn't have to be super cautious about not damaging the trim. We used a 6 inch pry bar to loosen the baseboard, starting near a nail hole. Be careful not to pry the bar into the wall because it will damage the drywall (to prevent damage, slide a putty knife behind the trim as you wedge the pry bar).

DIY built-ins

We raised the cabinets about 3 inches using 2x4 boards to create an illusion of a built-in. Had we not raised it, we wouldn't have been able to run baseboards across the entire bottom because the cabinets sat lower than the bookcases.

We attached the frame into the wall studs and then screwed the cabinets into the frame.

DIY built-ins

Then we assembled the IKEA bookcases and lined them up against the installed cabinets. We used a small L bracket to secure the bookcases to the wall so they won't tip. The bracket is small enough visually you can't see it unless you're standing back far in the room, but it can be painted white to disguise it.

DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins

We used a 1x12x60" board and glued it on top of the cabinets for a nice platform for the TV, holding it with clamps until dry.

To create the floating shelf above the TV, we took 2 more 1x12x60" boards and made pocket holes using a kreg jig. Then we used pocket screws to screw them into the IKEA bookcases, lining then up so the shelves are straight across. Without pocket holes, we would have had to mount the shelf using brackets which wold have been visible.

DIY built-ins

A little reminder to plug your TV in the wall and bring the cords around the back BEFORE you attach the 2 bookcases to the wall. We were all finished with the built-ins and went to plug in the TV when we realized we forgot to account for the cords. We ended up having to drill into the wall and shelf creating a crevice to run the cords.

DIY built-ins

For the baseboard, we used the only 3 inch trim we could find in Home Depot and screwed them in using small screws. To cover the gap where the shelves meet the cabinets, we used an edging that concealed it perfectly, using caulk to fill any seams. Everything got a fresh coat of white paint by Behr (what we used on all the walls in our home). We didn't actually paint the IKEA shelves and found the whites to match almost identically.

Overall this project cost us around $300 in materials and we did it in one weekend. I'm soooo happy with the results! I can't believe how good it looks and we were able to do it on a pretty small budget. The built-ins create a nice focal point that our living room really needed.

DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins
DIY IKEA Hack Built-Ins

How to Install a Stair Runner

how to install a stair runner
how to install a stair runner

I have a mental running list of projects for the house to tackle. Occasionally, I'll mention an idea to Jordon in conversation to see if he has any thoughts or ideas, but I usually get a, "that sounds good" reply.

A couple days after mentioning I wanted to rip out the current stair runner, paint the stairs, and install a new runner, I got this pic message while I was at work.


On his day off, Jordon had ripped off the old runner.

Seriously! He's a keeper. And I'm super lucky he loves projects as much as I do :)

The old runner was some kind of textured rubber. Apparently the previous owners only painted part of the stairs brown and the cream part was hidden by the rubber runner.

Because our house is a split level ranch, the entryway from the garage leads to the basement, so right when you walk in the door the first thing you see are those stairs leading up to the main living area, kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. I hated the huge eyesore right when you walked in, so I give it a little update.

That weekend after Jordon ripped off the old runner, we painted the stairs white. Jordon started by priming them on Friday while I was at work. Then on Saturday when I could help, we used our HomeRight Max Pro paint sprayer and it worked like a charm for the stairs. It was super quick and covered well. For the second coat of paint we did use a brush though to make sure it was nice and even with no streaks.

While the paint dried, I contemplated what color of runner to get. I considered a black patterned one or a rugby stripe one, but ultimately decided to play it safe and chose a sisal rug with grey border. Sisal is not only durable and cleanable, (dirty shoes will be walking up and down the stairs constantly) but super affordable.

We lived with the painted stairs for a few days while we waited for the runners to arrive. to the good stuff. How to install a stair runner yourself. I looked up several tutorials online and then kind of just learned as we went. All of the tutorials I read used electric staple guns, but I was too cheap to buy one when we had a regular staple gun on hand (it was doable with a non-electric gun but it took lots of strength and occasional hand-cramping)

For staples, I picked up some 13mm staples that are made for upholstery and are much longer than a standard staple.

how to install a stair runner

We chose to use a rug pad as well to keep the runner from slipping. I picked up a 5x8 rug pad at Home Depot for about $20 and cut it into rectangles to fit each step. We didn't adhere them to the steps beforehand, knowing the staples would keep them in place.

stairs before

For installation, we started with the top of the stairs and worked our way down. Jordon pre-measured the stairs all the way down and marked on each step with a pencil where the rug should line up on each side so it was centered.

Then, we started by lining the top of the rug up with with the top of the first riser and stapled it across. We didn't staple on the grey border because the staples would be much more noticeable. Next, we pulled the runner tight and stapled along the bottom of the riser.

We also chose to staple under the nose so the runner was tight instead of creating a waterfall look.

Here is what our stapling process looked like.

how to install a stair runner

I was helping hold the runner in place while Jordon did the stapling. Since it wasn't an electric stapler, it required lots of power and pressure. When I attempted to staple it, the staple was sticking out a half inch since I couldn't press down hard enough.

how to install a stairs runner
how to install a stairs runner

It took a bit for us to get in a zone, but once we got going it went pretty fast.

One runner wasn't enough so we knew we'd have to join the second one seamlessly. To prevent any obvious transitions from the first to the second rug, we wanted them to meet under the nose of a stair. Once we reached the end of the first rug, we cut the rug so it was just long enough to staple under the nose. Then we cut the grey border off on the second rug and stapled that right under the nose as well.

how to install a stairs runner
how to install a stairs runner

It was hard to capture photos of it at the same time, but we followed the same stapling pattern through the entire project.

Unfortunately, we realized 2 rugs were not long enough so we had to order one more rug and finish that one a few weeks later. Our stairs weren't all the same size so it threw off my measuring when I was ordering rugs. Oops.

Once we reached the bottom of the stairs with our third rug in place, we cut off the excess rug. Because the third rug didn't end perfectly with the end of the stairs, we had to rejoin the bottom grey trim that we cut off earlier. We simply stapled the grey trim at the bottom of the stairs and that covered any unevenness from cutting off the excess rug.

If the light hits the staples just right you can see them a little, but it's not noticeable unless you look for them. On this tutorial from One House Love they actually colored the staples black with a Sharpie to match their runner, so I may see if I can find a similar brown to our sisal rug to color the staples.

how to install a stair runner
how to install a stair runner
how to install a stair runner

Overall, it was a fairly easy project that completely updated the stairs. I'm so happy we no longer have a huge eye sore right when you walk in the house!

As far as budget, we spent $185 for 3 rugs, $20 for the rug pad, and $3 in staples, for a total cost of $208 . Not too bad for a little weekend project that makes our stairs looks SOOO much better.

Eventually we plan on adding a pendant light at the top of the stairs (right now it's just a bulb) and a large piece of art on the blank white wall above that you see when walking down the stairs.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Real Life Home Tour

I have been wanting to do this post for a while. While I love social media and being able to connect with so many amazing people, it puts a façade out there and we only show "the good parts." Obviously that's not realistic, or real life, and it sets high standards that we are unable to meet. The styled photos are nice, but I don’t want to set the expectation that your home should always look photoshoot-ready. That's exhausting, not to mention time-consuming and just silly. It's important to remind ourselves that social media is just that: a highlight reel of the good parts.

I, too, have gotten caught up in the social media frenzy and need for perfection. Those all-white, spacious, gorgeous kitchens on Instagram have me yearning for the kitchen of my dreams, only to see our outdated 1950s galley kitchen starring back at me. Truth is there is always more. Bigger. Better Faster.

I'm trying to focus on doing the best with what we have now, so I don't bring up those feelings and the need for perfection that ends up making everything seem inadequate.

In an effort to always be transparent and authentic, I thought it'd be fun to pull back the curtain and share what it truly looks like in the homes of bloggers on a day to day basis. No perfectly styled photoshoots and edited photos. Just regular ole life.

So what better way to do that than airing out our dirty laundry on the Internet ;)

I teamed up with a great group of bloggers today and they are all giving you a peek into their home and what it looks like on a regular basis. Be sure to check them out at the bottom of this post.

Here's our real life home tour...

I snapped these photos on a Sunday afternoon right after we finished installing the built-in bookcases in our living room. We always have some kind of project going on so tools and materials seem to be laying out often.

Look at those pretty (not yet styled) built-ins! I will be sharing how we built them with an IKEA hack soon. When I took these photos the living room was in pretty good condition. No laundry waiting to be folded or bills sitting on the coffee table. The TV of course is on sports all weekend long when Jordon is home.

real life home tour
real life home tour

I struggle with coffee table decor because I want something stylish but not something huge that takes up lots of space. We do eat in the living room sometimes so we like room to set our plates on the coffee table.

Updating light fixtures is still on our list of things to do...

A few days after I took these photos, we sold that credenza on Craigslist. We're moving one of the couches to the basement so I'm switching up the living arrangement.

real life home tour

Here's our 1950s kitchen in all its glory. Linoleum floors, laminate countertops, and the original oven just big enough to fit a large pizza ;) Someday we plan on updating it.

We had a white table before, but my brother gave us this dark wood table set he no longer used that was a little bigger. Definitely don't love it with the dark cowhide rug, so we may be moving the rug to the basement.

real life home tour
real life home tour
real life home tour

Dishes are absolutely my least favorite chore ever since I was a kid. I'm really good at putting them off since we don't have a dishwasher. Luckily Jordon doesn't mind helping out. This is the stack of clean dishes that needs to be put away. 

real life home tour
real life home tour
real life home tour

This is our main hallway in the house connecting every room. You can see the old carpet we had to cut out when installing the built-ins has yet to be put away.

I HATE the orange wood stain on the trim in our house but can't build up the courage to paint it.

real life home tour
real life home tour
real life home tour

I recently swapped out the top wood piece on my vanity and have yet to stain it...

Anyone have good solutions for organizing and storing jewelry?

real life home tour

The stack of pillows we never use.

real life home tour
real life home tour

How is it possible that a bathroom mirror gets so dirty?

real life home tour

DIY Barn Door Hardware

DIY Barn Door Hardware For $35
DIY barn door hardware
DIY barn door hardware

Last week I mentioned Jordon was building a TV stand for the basement and we were hoping to finish it this past weekend. Well, we did! And now you're getting a first look.

Isn't it amazing?! I couldn't be more happy with how it turned out. Jordon tackled the majority of it in one day, and then finished painting and barn doors another day while I was at work.

The exact tutorial for this TV console is from Ana White. It gives you the cut list and step by step directions. For some reason, however, the tutorial didn't include instructions for the barn door or the hardware.

I was looking online for barn door ideas and all the actual barn door hardware was SO expensive. Like hundreds of dollars expensive. We were building the piece in the first place to save money, and spending hundreds on hardware seemed silly, no matter how cool it looked. So we had the idea to create our own DIY barn door hardware.

Jordon did this all while I was at work and even took a few photos!

All the materials are found in the plumbing section except for the U bolts.


  • 1/2"x 6' steel pipe, $11
  • 2 90 degree elbow to fit the 1/2" pipe, $6 each
  • 2 1/2" flanges, $5 each
  • 4 1/2" U bolts, $1 each

Step 1.

We wanted black hardware so we spray painted all the materials.


Step 2. 

Find the center of the bar and align it with the center of the TV console. Screw in the elbows to the flanges and screw the pipe into the elbows so everything is connected. Then drill in the 2 outside holes on each flange. Jordon said this takes a little trial and error. If you can't drill in the screws to the flanges you can unscrew the pipe to make it a little easier, but it takes precise measuring to make sure it lines up when you can screw in the pipe again.


Step 3. 

Drill 2 holes in each barn door 6 1/2 inches apart for the U bolts. Then put the U shaped part through the holes and attach the flat piece and nuts to secure it.


It's such an affordable solution for the barn door look and it works great! I love how the entire project turned out. We still have some more updates before I reveal the entire basement, but it's coming soon!





IKEA Vanity Hack + DIY Leather Pulls

IKEA is great for lots of things like cheap furniture, they however, are not good for hardware.

The vanity in our bedroom is a $60 IKEA hack made from two Fullen sink cabinets with a white board from Home Depot sitting on top since it is made for a sink. I wanted a modern vanity that was cheap and couldn't find any great options until I came across the Fullen. It's a super affordable solution that works great for storing jewelry and other random things. I will warn you it's not the highest quality and the back and top are all open (which is why there is a board resting on top), but that is expected for $30 a piece.

The vanity came with plastic handles that I lived with for over a year, but the other weekend the idea for leather pulls popped in my head to spice it up and give it a little more style.

Originally I was going to up-cycle a leather belt but my thrift store didn't have any so I headed over to Hobby Lobby to check out the leather section and found a bracelet kit. It was pre-cut and had snaps but it was cheaper than buying buying a leather strip.

Here is the simple tutorial to make these pretty leather pulls!


Step 1.

If you do chose a strip of leather you can cut it to size using a utility knife and make a hole using a drill. Since my leather was pre-cut, I just had to remove the snaps using a pliers. To remove them, pull on the end you will be able to shimmy it through the whole in a couple minutes after working with it.

Step 2.

The leather was natural so I decided to dye it a dark brown. Jordon has this Kiwi Brown Leather Dye for his work shoes and it ended up being the perfect color. Simply rub it on and let it dry in between coats.

Step 3.

Take your hexagon bolts and put them through the hole creating a loop. I had to drill a larger hole in my vanity to fit the bolt. Because of the way the vanity door closes, I couldn't fit a nut on the end of the bolt to secure it, but it fits tight enough that it doesn't come out when pulling on the leather loop.

Such a simple and pretty way to update any piece of furniture! It has a cool modern rustic feel. Lindye Galloway is an amazing interior designer and used leather pulls on her closet drawers which I LOVE.

I've made a few updates to our bedroom and will be sharing a reveal soon!

p.s. Our stripe duvet that I'm obsessed with is from Target! Similar to the West Elm one but more affordable :)





DIY Icicle Ornaments

You may have spotted my DIY icicle ornaments last week in my holiday home tour, and as promised, here is how I made them! There aren't many steps to this tutorial, but you will practice your patience while waiting for the crystals to form.

These icicles were inspired by the version I spotted at Pottery Barn, but I knew spending $5 per ornament was out of my budget. I remembered my mom making Borax snowflakes when I was a kid, and thought I'd give the old trick a shot myself.

This is a classic experiment that's been around for a long time, but this is the first time I've actually tried it! I don't know who discovered laundry detergent forms crystals, but it's kind of genius.

Christmas ornaments are expensive when you buy them at the store, but I'm happy to say I made 18 icicles from a $4 box of Borax and I still have a quarter of the box left. Seriously. 

Bonus: You can see my other favorite money-saving holiday DIYs here.

When I first started I was leery they would turn out, but sure enough, after a few hours, you could see the crystals forming on the pipe cleaners!

Here's how I made them.


  • Borax, $4 at Target
  • Pipe cleaners, $2 at Hobby Lobby
  • String
  • Twine string roll, $4 Home Depot
  • Hot glue gun
  • Large pot and glass jar

Step 1. 

Fill your pot with water and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, slowly stir in the Borax. For every 3 cups of water stir in 9 tbsp of Borax. Stir well until the Borax has completely dissolved, about a few minutes. Once it's crystal clear you're good to go.

While you're waiting for the water to boil, you can start prep work.

Cut pipe cleaners to the length you want your icicles to be. The pipe cleaners will become the icicles and you'll hang them in a pot of water. So make sure when you're cutting the pipe cleaners to allow at least a half inch from the bottom of the pot so they don't touch.

Step 2.

Find a knife or cooking utensil that lays across your pot or jar. Then, take some string and tie it around the top of the pipe cleaners and around the cooking utensil so the pipe cleaners floats in the pot without touching the bottom.

Step 3.

Once your mixture is dissolved, you can either leave it in the pot or pour it in a glass jar. I wanted to do multiple batches at a time, so I left some in the pot and poured some in the jar. Next, drop your pipe cleaners that are tied to a utensil in the water, making sure they aren't touching each other or the sides of your container. For a large pot that is about 12 inches in diameter, I put in 8 pipe cleaners, and the glass jar I put in 3.

I found that the fewer pipe cleaners per container, the more crystalized they get.

Set aside your container in a safe place so it can cool.

Now you practice your patience and wait for the crystals to form. I let mine set for a good 12 hours overnight, but I think 8 is sufficient.

When you wake up, they will look like this!

Step 4.

To add twine string, I cut the top part of the pipe cleaner where the string was tied and super glued one end of the twine string and then super glued the other end to another top of an icicle. If you don't want two icicles on a string, you can create a loop with the twine instead.

I took photos of this but when I went to edit them, I couldn't find them on my SD card so I'm  not sure what happened. I snapped some more pictures after they were all super glued, but you get the idea.

Clean Up:

Fill the pot again and bring it to a boil and all the crystals will disappear that were stuck on the side of the pot. A bonus with using a glass jar is it forms crystals too! I thought it looked cool so I added some LED candles and set it out for decoration. 

These icicles turned out great and are probably my favorite Christmas decoration! Nothing beats a good knock-off that costs a fraction of the store price.

Do you need help decorating your home? Take my free 5-Day Decorating Challenge and learn the basics to refreshing any room! 

Want more holiday DIY ideas? Check out my favorites here.

DIY Mercury Glass Vase


As I'm transitioning my decor to fall, I wanted to bring in some metallics as pretty accents. I love the look of mercury glass but it can get spendy. Thanks to Rustoleum they have a mirror effect spray paint that achieves the same mercury glass look in minutes (and for a fraction of the price)!

*If you love mercury glass as much as I do, you might like these other 13 ways to use mirror effect spray paint.

Here's how to get the look.



Step 1 

Make sure your object is clean. According to instructions it says to spray the opposite side you want mirrored, so I sprayed the inside. Lightly spray water on the side of object you'll be spray painting. The more water droplets there are the more "splotches" in the final result creating the mercury glass look.

Step 2

Immediately lightly spray paint the damp object. If you want a slightly transparent look, apply a thinner coat. I wanted a more covered look so I sprayed more.

Step 3

If you sprayed too much spray paint want to create more splotches, you can simply dampen a paper towel and gently rub the paint off.


I'm obsessed with this stuff! It works so well and adds a nice touch to otherwise plain glass accessories. I want to do more for the holidays too. I didn't experiment with painting the outside instead of the inside of the vase, so if you do, let me know if it creates a different look.

Happy spray painting!

See more uses for mirror effect spray paint here.

p.s. The Blogger Stylin' Home Tours are back with the fall refresh tours starting today! I'm SO excited to be participating this year so come back on Wednesday to see my complete fall home tour and check out the others too!



Our Office Makeover

Modern Office Reveal
Modern Office Reveal

Hi again! We had our first real taste of fall this past weekend with cooler temps and crisp air. Jordon and I went to a wedding on Saturday and it was such a perfect day. The venue was in a glass chapel that overlooked the fields (literally corn fields ha) and the reception was in an old barn that was renovated. It was so pretty!

The past couple weeks I've been transitioning our decor and next week I'm sharing the full tour of our fall decorations. I have a few fall DIY projects that I'll post in the next few weeks as well so stay tuned!

To take a little break before all the upcoming fall posts, I wanted to share our office makeover. Since Jordon first bought the house a year and a half ago the office has been the "storage" room. I hadn't touched it yet because I was focused on finishing the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom first. Now that those rooms are basically complete, I was finally able to move on to the office.

First and foremost the office needed storage for my craft supplies, bills, and paperwork. I hunted for several weeks looking for the perfect shelves that fit the modern yet rustic feel I was going for. Most of the bookcases I found were great but the prices were so high, and when buying two I was not about to drop $400 or more.

I ended up finding these cute industrial shelves on sale at Target. They're really sturdy and were easy to assemble too. The parsons desk I got a couple years ago from Overstock and the Eames knockoff chair is from Amazon. The blue tufted chair was a thrift find. Isn't it gorgeous?! I wasn't planning on getting a new chair for the office but when I saw it sitting in Goodwill in my traditional blue color AND in great condition, I couldn't pass it up. I'm obsessed! It really makes the whole room come together don't you think?

For decor, I stocked up on storage baskets at Gordmans. Most of the other decor I already had except for the photo ledge shelf. Yes, those frames still have random families in them. I'm horrible about printing photos.

Aren't these plants pretty? Plants are often forgotten about but I love adding them as decor for some texture and color. The only problem is I know VERY little about plants and what kind are low maintenance/least likely to kill. These guys are exotic angel plants from Costa Farms (available at Lowes, Walmart, and Home Depot) and are characterized as "medium" for sunlight. I water them about once a week and they're doing great! I threw the tag away so I don't remember the name of this green one, but the pretty purple one on the bookcase is a rex begonia.

Be sure to stop by next week for the fall home tour series!

Modern Office Makeover
Modern Office Makeover
Modern Office Makeover
Modern Office Makeover
Modern Office Makeover
Modern Office Reveal
Modern Office Reveal

Living Room Tour


It's shocking when I look back at photos of what the living room looked like before when we first moved in and compare it to now. What a difference. We made some progress and the last time I shared our living room last October it looked like this. Three coffee tables later...I love it so much more now! The living room is my favorite place in the house because it's so light and bright. In the mornings the amount of light that streams in the east windows is incredible. You can bet I sit right there on the couch and work away on my computer on weekends.

When we first moved in, my inspiration for the house was modern nautical cottage. I love clean modern lines with blue accents and a touch of rustic/vintage.  It's important the interior reflects the style of the home (1950's split level ranch) so I wanted the decor to fit the house, but still feel updated. You can see my inspiration post here.  When I look back at the inspiration photos I think I did pretty good at taking bits and pieces from each one. It's funny -- sometimes I lean towards more modern and then a few months later I'll change and lean towards more vintage chic so I'm constantly tweaking things. The living room was the first room I tackled in the house though I still feel like it's a work in progress. Something still doesn't feel quite right, but I don't think I ever truly "finish" the decorating process. If you ask Jordon he will tell you about every couple months I get the itch to rearrange and switch around decor in the house.

The room isn't huge and when we bought the sectional, it ended up being slightly too large for the space. We left the couch for several months, and then one day I decided to try rearranging and placed the two sectional pieces across from each other ( how they're pictured above). The room feels bigger and more open so I'm loving the new layout even though the sectional technically isn't meant to be split (one of the couches doesn't have an arm on one side). What do you think of the new layout?

Most of the decor in our living room is thrift or I got it on major sale at Target or Hobby Lobby. The rug is from RugsUSA and it's always the first thing people comment on if I post a photo on Instagram. Sometimes I wish we had a more subtle, neutral rug but the blue is gorgeous and a good dose of color. The TV stand is actually an IKEA hack where I took the Kallax shelving unit and super glued wooden dowels we cut and stained to the bottom to raise the height several inches. I found the coffee table on Craigslist for $50 and the chair is from IKEA. The blue credenza I found on Craigslist and painted it blue, but I'm contemplating painting it a different color. Thoughts? Let me know if there is anything specific you're wondering about. Unfortunately, most of the stuff I can't find online.



Entryway Updates + A Styling Trick

entryway bench with chalkboard hooks
entryway bench with chalkboard hooks

Happy Monday! Thank you so much for all the love and support on my last post. You guys were so encouraging and gave me the hope that I can find a work x blog x life balance that is sustainable and I appreciate you sticking with me as I figure it out.

Who else can't believe it's already August? The last couple weeks this month we're busy and then it'll be September so I'm trying to soak up the last of summer. While I'm not ready for cooler weather just yet, I am ready to decorate for fall. This is the first year we're living together in our home during fall so it's exciting that I have an entire house to decorate instead of an apartment. I walked into Hobby Lobby on Saturday and they are already stocked for fall and Christmas. I'm already planning decor ideas and will be giving a full home tour of it all.

This past weekend I did a little work to the entryway. Our entryway is more of a big room instead of an entryway. It's an awkward space and size so I struggled with what to do so I ended up doing nothing. We needed a place to put our coats in the winter and I wanted the entryway to feel more homey as you entered the house instead of a random empty room.

I found the bench on sale at Target and got the cute chalkboard hooks at Gordmans. We had some scrap wood laying around that I sanded and hung as a shelf. Just these few additions completely transformed the space into a functional entryway for under $100!

entryway makeover

Our home is a split level so the entryway is in the basement with one tiny window so you'll have the pardon the lighting in the photos.

entryway update for under $100
chalkboard hooks
entryway makeover

For reference, here's a photo that shows the size of the room. It extends even further to the right where our console table is, the doorway to laundry, and the stairs leading to the first floor.

styling tricks

We had a randomly placed unused outlet so a little styling trick is to hang a scarf or jacket to cover it up. Another trick is to utilize closed storage for things like desktop computers. I have a personal and work laptop that I use but we have an old desktop computer and a printer that we still wanted to keep even though it's not used daily. It was sitting on an old desk but I wanted the computer out of sight. My parents had an unused armoire sitting in their basement and it happened to fit our computer perfectly, so we stuck it in there. The armoire stain looks rather yellow in the photos, but it's not quite that bright in person. I might try and "weather" it a bit so it looks more worn.

how to hide a computer

So what do you think of the entryway? I love that just a few updates can change the look and function of a space!

entryway bench with chalkboard hooks

Bathroom Makeover: Vanity Details

white bathroom vanity

Yesterday I revealed our full bathroom makeover, if you missed it you can check it out here. We can all agree the bathroom is a well-used room in the house that deserves some lovin too. One of the key pieces of the bathroom design and functionality is the vanity. I was lucky enough to partner with Decor Planet for our bathroom renovation. Months back when I was deciding on vanities, I scoured their entire website before I landed on the Fresca Traditional Vanity in Antique White. They have SO MANY options that fit every size and style, but I finally decided on something traditional that reflected the style of our home in a pretty cream that would contrast nicely with the rest of the white bathroom. After you select the vanity and size, you choose the color, countertop, sink, and faucet from select options. Decor Planet makes it so easy so you don't have to mess around with finding sinks or faucets that fit your vanity. I chose the white quartz countertop, white under mount sink, and the Bevera faucet in chrome. I'm so impressed with the quality of everything I can't praise it enough. The vanity is hardwood (no particle board) and has my favorite feature of all, slow-closing hinges! It has plenty of room for storage underneath so I can keep our toiletries and my makeup in baskets that neatly keep things organized, which is key for me as I'm storage obsessed. With the vanity even comes a matching mirror, too, with easy to install backing.

vanity details 5
white bathroom vanity
white bathroom vanity
white bathroom vanity

Our lighting situation before was bad, and even though we have a window, it is currently covered on the outside by a car port the previous owner built (we are tearing it down this summer I hope) so we needed all the extra help we could get. Sconces are my favorite way to frame the mirror so I chose two Kichler Lacey Wall Sconces. They look so nice, give off plenty of light, and fit the rest of the design perfectly.

white and navy bathroom

I'm thrilled with the overall design and couldn't be more pleased with our product choices from Decor Planet. It is truly of the highest quality and looks so sharp in person. Make sure to pop on over to their site to see their great collection of bathroom decor. You might find yourself lost in the 30 pages of sconces like myself :)

See the full bathroom before and after reveal here.

Thank you to Decor Planet for making this post possible. All opinions are 100% my own.