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Finally a Pretty, Purple Room

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Over Kiki’s spring break, two weeks ago, Kiki and I worked on her room.  We took her brown, nature room to a pretty, feminine lavender.  You can read the in’s and out’s and more about painting and the first stages of decorating Kiki’s room on her blog.

We put some of the paper color swatches up on the wall…


We decided our top three and went to the store and got three tester cans. We always get tester cans because you never really know what the paint will really look like on the wall from the paper swatch. It was a good thing we tested because two of our favorite swatches turned out really different on the wall then what we thought from the paper swatch.  We decided from the three testers that we like African Violet by Benjamin Moore the best.

We used frog tape around the baseboard, prepped the walls and primed the walls with Kilz. Then we started painting the walls.



We then painted the baseboards with a fresh coat of glossy “White Dove” paint; when they were dry we reassembled Kiki’s room


We taped out on the floor where her futon from school could fit.


Here is her new bedside table that we fixed up from Home Goods. The basket hides her power strip and all her charging cords.


The other side of the room…


Kiki also decided to donate a lot of the books off her book shelf so there was more room to style it, and she made some bookends for her Harry Potter books.



So there is the first stage of redecorating Kiki’s bedroom. We have plans for the art on her walls and she has a whole list of what is next to do for stage two after she moves home from school. Her room is certainly coming along, it’s really nice to have the new look in there. It’s soothing in a different way from before. It’s pretty and feminine without being really girlie. It’s purple without being PURPLE! We’re really pleased with how the room is coming together.


* P.S. We painted while the “landlords” were in Florida, and they came back this past weekend. I think they approve….



Using Color on the Walls

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Bee and I have grown up in a homes that are run by a colorphobics. I dream of a day when I can paint the walls what ever color I fancy without having a huge discussion about how cream is not the only neutral color, and “yes, this color is not too dark for the room that has two windows in it.” I lean towards color because my home is color deprived, it only has beige and cream and soft green and yellow with white, more white and traditional furniture. Bee’s house is all white walls.


Young House Love

Beige, white and cream rooms can be pretty in moderation. When it’s everywhere it dulls the senses a little.

Despite being turned off by lack of color, I’ve always been drawn to all white rooms that are beautifully layered with different textures. They just look so crisp and clean. These white on white rooms can be really beautiful; they have a calming effect because there isn’t any color to pull your attention. The interest in the room comes from the different textures. Also, to bring some warmth to the room all the white is balanced by natural wood.

kitchen 2 no mirror


(From Here)


(Apartment Therapy)

But, even more so, I lust after deeply saturated color on walls.


(Little Green Notebook)


(Young House Love)

(Apartment Therapy)

When the time comes, Bb and I will be running to the paint store, picking all the colors we love and getting them on the walls. Sure, we will probably grow tired of some of them and want to repaint down the line, but after so many years of being restricted by “the landlords” our future homes will probably be color crazy at first!

Picking a Paint Color?

When I do pick a paint color I read around on the internet, see what kind of color trends are going on right now. I look at Pinterest, and other websites to see what colors are showing up the most. Young House Love talks about picking paint colors they love, they also have a color collection over at Benjamin Moore you can browse for color inspiration. But many other bloggers talk about their favorite colors online that you can look over.

Paint always looks different in the room from the swatch in hand, I highly recommend getting a paint sample and seeing how the paint color will actually look in the room.  Remember,  it’s easy to repaint if you don’t like how it turned out.

Also, it’s soooo much easier to repaint a room than remove wallpaper. Seriously. I’ve had to remove enough wallpaper to know that if you want the wallpaper…. hire someone and let them do the messy work for you.


Kitchen Scheming: Mood Boards

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Last week, I posted about how we were kitchen scheming for Mike and Amy’s house. All the way at the bottom I mentioned that part of our plan was putting the laundry room back in the closet it probably started in because the laundry shoot is in the closet. Then the current laundry room would become the mud room off the garage/back door entrance because the current closet is a logistically nightmare and down the line the current back door mudroom closet is getting ripped out to open up the kitchen.

Realistically, moving the laundry and making a mudroom in the old laundry space isn’t that simple but it’s much more manageable than a whole kitchen reno.  Stage 1 is the laundry room, once the laundry has moved the mudroom can go in it’s place a.k.a stage2.

So, I worked up a mood board for the first stages of the kitchen makeover:


Stage 1: The laundry closet was a small closet with shelves for a pantry, leave as many shelves as we can for vertical storage. Some baskets to put on those shelves to put cleaning supplies within reach. Baskets in natural materials from Container store to bring some texture and warmth into the small room. Plastic baskets to store cleaning and laundry supplies, easier to wipe out if there are spills. Cute laundry art DIYs for the door wall, and vent bump-out.

The walls of the main level of the house are grey so the colors for the laundry and mudroom can go in a bunch of different directions. For such a small space I thought a bright color would make it seem airy, expand the space visually. Sesame from Benjamin Moore (as seen in the Young House Love kitchen for a better representation) or the 2013 color of the year Lemon Sorbet. Lemon Sorbet could be nice in the mudroom too.

Stage 2: The laundry gets a new identity as the mudroom. Paint the walls a bright blue like Lucerne by Benjamin Moore or a more subtle grey-blue Water’s Edge. A locker system for coats and backpacks, like one from Pottery Barn or Plow and Hearth. Baskets for storing winter accessories in summer months, or summer accessories in winter months on top of the locker unit and the smaller basket for in the cubby. A few hooks on the wall opposite from the locker unit for scarves or wet coats or umbrellas or guests’ coats.


Giving a Big Girl a Grownup Room

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Something about living in your space completely #tinydormroom makes you rethink how you use your space at home. There is less attachment to the way your space is setup and to the things in your room at home because you only live there for about four months of the year now, your space has the chance to evolve if you move home again.


Right now Kiki’s room is brown and greens:

DSC03179  DSC03176 DSC03180  DSC03181

It’s pretty, soothing, and natural but her style has shifted away from where her room is now. At school  her stuff is purple and teal and fushia. She likes different colors, she likes bolder colors than she did when she was in high school.

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When she brings her stuff home from college it won’t really go with her room now. Her stuff will be making a permanent home in two years, and next year she has plans to study abroad and her stuff won’t be moving out of her room for a year.


When I saw a beautiful, plum colored duvet cover on clearance at Pottery Barn I texted Kiki a picture and asked if she liked it. She said “Yes!” and talks began to spiral into painting the walls a different color, bedding, rugs, and curtains.

We browsed images for color palette inspiration and saw a few we liked:

MentalVacation_15 ColorTasteMineralHues_1

We’ll be tackling Kiki’s room more when she comes home for Spring Break but we’ve already started by putting the duvet cover on Kiki’s bed,


and creating a little color scheme vignette on her nightstand with some books, pottery and blown glass she has.



Pinterest Challenge Winter Edition


Beebop and I pinned some ideas for yoga mat straps and bags last week. We weren’t quickly making any decisions about which one we were actually going to make. Then, I was talking to my sister Kiki, (who made a really cute t-shirt necklace for her Pinterest Challenge B.T.W.) saying I wasn’t sure what to make to hold my mat. Kiki just bought a new yoga mat last fall, she had debated whether or not to buy a bag to hold her may but she talked to the yoga-lady and she wasn’t a big fan of her yoga bag because it was a pain to get her mat back into. Well, that helped make my decision.

I had found a tutorial, through Pinterest, on Design Sponge for a “yoga bag” that was open so we could easily roll up our mats and put them into something to hold them without having to worry about fitting them into a bag.


The one issue I had with this bag was it didn’t have a pocket for keys and phones. Right now, I stick them in my coat pockets but in warmer months I’ll want a pocket on my yoga bag to throw them into during class. I had read this tutorial for making a yoga bag with a pocket, and used it as the inspiration for my bag. I decided I would make the Design Sponge bag but add a fun and functional pocket to the front.

IMG_0284       IMG_0283

We needed two yards cotton ducking (it’s a thicker material so it will stand up to wear and tear), a coordinating fabric for the pocket, two yards webbing (strap material), and magnetic snaps to hold the pocket shut.

IMG_0287    IMG_0289

Then I followed the tutorial from Design Sponge. In the tutorial she makes strap covers, it’s a great finishing detail that adds extra support to the strap as well. I didn’t add the strap covers because my pocket would be covering my straps on the one side and for the other side I can always go back and sew it down more.


For the pocket I eye-balled how long and wide I wanted my pocket to be. Then I curled the raw edges under for a crisp look.

For the magnetic snaps I lined them up right under the straps. Then I followed the directions on the packaging for attaching the magnetic clasp. They may be too far apart but at least the pocket isn’t flapping open.


(These are what we used)


The pocket needed to cover my magnetic snaps and look balanced from each edge, so I pinned the bottom edge down while I added the magnetic snaps


I started sewing the pocket down bottom first then each side, I could have done it differently but the bottom of the pocket was secure and couldn’t shift around when I sewed the sides.


Here Is the finished bag! I am pleased with how my mat holder turned out. Beebop’s will turn out a little better just because I’m putting her’s together second and I’ve had my trial and error with my bag. This was pretty easy to make so if I’m still not pleased with the few uh-oh’s I made, or grow tired of my fabric choice, it won’t be difficult to whip up a new bag.

Once I’ve finished B’s as well I plan to update this post because her bag will be a little different from mine.

This weekend Bb and I are going to look stylin’ for our yoga class, and finally have something to keep our mats rolled up with!


Check out the Projects from the Challenge Hosts, as well as the link party at the bottom of their posts with all the other fun projects people made! : Sherry & John at Young House Love , Katie at Bower Power, Michelle at The Remodeled Life and Megan at Decor and The Dog

Kitchen Scheming

Beebop and I have been talking, and pinning kitchen ideas for Mike and Amy’s kitchen. Last week, Beebop came home from work, and for fun she had been thinking about ways she could update her employers poorly laid out kitchen space.

Here is an idea of how the space is laid out now: The cooking space of the kitchen is set up into a galley. The rest of the room is large open space. There is a random island at the end of the galley kitchen, in the eating space, that you can’t sit at and is removed from the cooking space so you can’t prep food on it either. It’s an over sized catch-all. There’s a pantry that is full of storage, and is smart in theory with shelves that swing out from within, but can’t really close anymore. On the other side of the wall of the galley kitchen section is a narrow, backdoor hallway that is used as the “mudroom” space, on the other side of the back hall is the laundry room. All these spaces being narrowly divided makes each of them difficult to fully function in as more than two people, sometimes not even two people, can easily share the space.

We wanted to work with the main bones of the kitchen, like not moving water lines, but we wanted to eliminate some of the walls so that we could get a more open layout and be able to really use the space. We had a few main thoughts that guided our inspiration pictures we pinned: More open kitchens, U or L shaped with an island in the middle of the space, sink under the window like it is currently, stove top in the island, seating at the island, timeless kitchen elements like subway tiles and farmhouse sink, with contemporary touches to keep it looking fresh and clean.

restored style

Restored Style

White subway tile, counter tops are different from the outer kitchen and island, glass front cabinets mixed with regular cabinet fronts



The grey shaker style cabinets are contemporary but traditional at the same time. White subway tile, white farmhouse style sink. I love the unique touch of the clasp lock cabinet “pulls.”

kitchen 2 no mirror

Allison Harper Interior Design

I love the farmhouse sink, and the white subway tile and the mix of glass front cabinets and full length cabinets. I also love the contrast the clean, white, cold elements of  the white stone with the the wood eating bar in the right corner.


This image is from Pinterest and doesn’t have an original source with it 😦 From this kitchen I love the pulls, the built in microwave, and the stove top in the island fits our checklist. The main star of this image is the glass front, display cabinet at the end of the island. For Amy’s kitchen this could be a nice place to display cookbooks and serving dishes, it also keeps them in an easily accessible place to grab quickly when prepping for a meal.

You could also do an open cabinet at the end of the island for the same storage purposes. We have open shelves next to our stove, not a cabinet just shelves, at my house and it is a nice place to store small pots and serving bowls that we can grab quickly when were in the middle of cooking or prepping a meal. It helps visually to have the openness and not another closed cabinet.

More ideas from Better Homes and Gardens:

Open shelves at the end of the island 1:BHG 

Glass Front Cabinets  2:BHG

Cook top in the island with range hood over the stove, the open shelves at the end add a nice openness  3:BHG

The multilevel island keeps the cook top separate from the eating area 4: BHG

Part of the kitchen talks involved moving the laundry room to a closet off the kitchen that has the laundry shoot, based on some of the home layout I would guess that the laundry room is planned to go back where it originally was since the shoot is in that closet. There is a storage closet off the kitchen too that would be  a nice space to make into a butler pantry as the hall leads into the dining room.

Beebop mentioned to Mike that we had been playing with some ideas for the kitchen and he was pretty excited about a lot of the ideas we came up with. So, who knows maybe our brainstorming and pinning session might turn into something more.


Motivation for Resolutions