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Category Archives: Room Makeover

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….



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:

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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:

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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.



January Cure Day 5/6

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Day 5: Tuesday, January 8
Assignment: Select a good project from your list to complete this month AND take a few “Before” photos

Project: Stuff up on the walls in my room. I need to hang art on my walls, shelves, and DIY a jewelry organizer and then hang it.


Last spring I painted my room grey. I started to strip the old floral wallpaper off the walls and then some professionals finished it up. Then my family and I painted the walls a beautiful shade of grey. The curtains are from Target. A new light from Crate and Barrel got hung up last spring. Beebop and I recovered a first attempt of a padded headboard that we made last summer for my Mom that she never ended up using. I bought a whole bunch of new furniture from Ikea, the Hemnes collection (dresser, nightstand and bookcase).  I got a new rug from Pottery Barn this winter. A whole new room from what it was a year ago. But there’s one thing left, the walls are mostly bare. It’s kind of sad.


Listing it out like that makes it seem like a lot, but it’s not. I have a whole lot of art sitting on the floor in my room. Before, when my room was wallpapered, I had a lot of art and things hanging on my walls but it all came down to strip the wallpaper and paint and none of it has gone back up. The only thing I have “hung back up” on the wall from before, is the large floor mirror which gets anchored to the wall. I have also hung a crib box spring that I spray painted glossy black and hung up on the wall at the end of the summer.


I have some art leaning against the wall where I want it to go, I just need to get it up on the wall. I also want to get a picture ledge/ floating shelf to put pictures on.

artwork1912  picture-ledge                              1.                                                                                             2.

I decided to get a ledge instead of creating a collage wall and putting a whole bunch of nail holes in the wall, I would create a leaning collage of pictures. Then, when my fancy to change up the art happens I wouldn’t have to Spackle and paint a whole bunch of nail holes. The art needs to bring some color and texture and bring some variety to the room.

Oh, I need to buy frames for some art that I got at The Renegade Craft Fair this September. I also need to figure out a picture to put into a frame that I have on my bookcase. Which ties into Day 6 of the January Cure. We have an Ikea trip coming up in the near-future so I was planning to pick up some frames then. I also saw some frames I liked at World Market today.



Today I had the day off of work, and I used that time to do a whole bunch of errands. I bought some little hooks from World Market to hang my necklaces on.


I’m thinking I’m going to spray paint them a color… I’m not sold on the finish they are right now. And I think then I’m going to mount them on a thin piece of wood, to kind of beef up the hooks off the wall, and then I just have to attach the wood to the wall with some anchors. So part of a project checked off. Now to figure out the rest of it. But I have a few days to figure it out before Monday’s January Cure of “Work on Your Goal Project.”

I ordered, because they were out, a square wall shelf from The Container Store. I want to hang it next to the crib frame, below the art that is leaning against the wall there right now. I think the square shapes will tie in nicely together. I also re-looked at the picture ledges I saw at the container store and decided they weren’t what I exactly what I wanted. They are the right size, but I don’t like how they attached to the wall. So I have to look into other places for those.

Have you joined the January Cure officially or unofficially? Have you been inspired to organize some of the projects in your life?


Daniel’s Room Makeover

So, after Leanna’s room makeover I made over Daniel’s room. Daniel’s room wasn’t as openly barren as Leanna’s but it needed some help.

Here is the room before from the doorway:



Here is the wall had the bookcase and dresser that you can see the side of from the doorway shot.


And this is the doorway wall, the big desk. The desk is really big. It’s as wide as the bed (a double bed) and it’s deep. It was taking up too much room in this small room. OK, so after Leanna’s things were all cleared out of Daniel’s room we could get started. I picked out Grant Beige by Benjamin Moore. I fell in love with this color. It was the perfect khaki color.


For Daniel’s room I wanted it to be “intellectual guy.” To get to that “intellectual look” I was thinking world maps, richer colors and textures, a step up from where his room was before. Lucky for me there was a lot of inspiration going around from the TV series “Sherlock.” That quirky, men’s study, like this article on Apartment Therapy. If I couldn’t get the look for less, I wanted to at least get that layered study feel. If money was not an issue, I would have gotten some animal skulls to hang on the walls, I think they are great to use for many rooms, but especially the eccentric study.

I did a few more DIY projects in Daniel’s room, the light’s over his bed and an update to his basic cork board. After moving Daniel’s bed around the room to see where it worked best, it ended up next to the door, to avoid having a lamp knocked off a table or a floor lamp perched next to the bed, I thought a wall mounted light would be good. What I had in mind was inspired by these lights by Little Green Notebook, I’ll post a little tutorial of how I did it a little later on. These lights I thought would bring in a cool, industrial vibe for the room.

Now for the after shots, warning the photos are kinda blurry, sorry, we finished at night and my camera doesn’t like to take night time photos. And with winter time I’m never at home there during the day to re-shoot.


So we moved around the room, sized down the desk and split up the bookcase and dresser.


We actually ended up returning this rug, it was too small and the room needed more. You can say the DIY’ed lights above the bed. The world map print is from Michael’s, the bedding is from JC Penney and Kohl’s. Cheryl and I went shopping for Daniel’s bedding together, I didn’t have a plan for his bedding. I wanted it to be masculine and grownup, but I wasn’t sure what we would be able to find at the store. I wasn’t set on anything, whatever we found that we liked would work. Cheryl carried a body pillow around with her at Kohl’s, I was worried she was going steal it for her bed.


For a new desk, we actually reused a drafting table that me dad had in the attic, the smaller size fits the size of the room better, and we figured Daniel doesn’t really need a huge workspace anymore, he really just needs room for his laptop and space to read. The lamp we had in storage too. Someday, I would love to replace his chair and toss that one in the trash. It hasn’t held up well over the past few years of daily use, the wheels no longer really roll.  I think some kind of simply ladder back, or some kind of simple wood chair would work well.

The blinds are from Menard’s, We originally were thinking curtains, but we were really having trouble finding curtains that would go with the rest of the room and not look too girly, and that were inexpensive. So my Dad suggested that we use these bamboo blinds. We didn’t have to worry about how light blocking they were because they are layered over thermal roller blinds. I think they actually fit the room perfectly, they are masculine and have great texture.

Did I mention we didn’t want to spend too much money for curtains, or really much of anything in this room since Daniel doesn’t live in it for nine months of the year. These rooms were done on a low budget, and I think they look great.


The bookcase moved over the the corner, and the globe got a new home on top. The cork board was one of the things I DIY’ed in the room. I just used some fabric and nail head trim to revamp the plain old cork board.  Also to come is a little tutorial on how I made over the worn out cork board.

So in the end, Daniel’s room just needed to be reorganized, grown up a little, and paired down. Daniel was really happy with the end results he said, “he felt like he was on one of those room makeover shows.”


Leanna’s Room Makeover

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So way back in August when my step-sister Leanna went off to college she took most of her belongings with her. Her room at home was almost comical after she left. I said it looked like my parents were pretending they had a teenage daughter who lived in that room because it was pretty hodge-podge looking and not really pulled together in any way with all these random personal items, and posters just tacked to the wall. The bedding in the before pictures is actually the new bedding, before the quilt it was just a pink, fuzzy blanket. Here are some before pictures:


So my parents asked if I could make this blank canvas over, to make it look like someone actually lives there, and pull the space together for Leanna. It really wasn’t that hard for me to come up with a concept and to start pulling things together for her room makeover at the beginning of September.

So I worked up a mood board for Leanna’s room to try and show my parents what I was working towards in her room, they paid for everything so I wanted to be sure they understood what I was doing with their money.


Leanna really likes “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and had received a great framed print of a picture from the movie that hadn’t been hung up in her room yet. So I knew I had a good starting point. She also likes sparky things, the bla-bling-bla-bling (what girl can resist?) so I wanted to pull in the classy Audrey Hepburn vibe, bring in some bling and glitz, and make it feel a little more grown-up and girlie with out being GIRLIE! if ya know what I mean? My parents liked the mood board and really just trusted me to do a good job and make it look nice. So, I cleared the room, besides the dresser, taped the windows and Bb helped tape the baseboards, and we got to work painting the walls a really pretty shade of pale blue called “Glass Slipper” by Benjamin Moore.



Once we were done painting my step mom painted a fresh coat of white on the trim and windows and it was time for the fun part, decorating. Leanna had a small bookcase in her room that had been painted brown with turquoise shelf backs. I repainted the back of the shelves the turquoise and painted over the brown with a glossy white.

Here is a picture of the bookcase all styled up.


OK, so here’s the exciting part, the after:


The paint made a world of difference, it really made the room feel fresh and invigorated, then I added all the pretty stuff and I personally felt like it looked amazing! We hung some sheers to soften the windows, as well as some thermal blinds to block the light and keep the room warm in the winter. I switched the side of the room the bed was on, and pushed it against the wall like a day bed. The pink blanket wasn’t fitting the new look, so we bought a new quilt from Target on clearance, (you saw it at the beginning of the post) but we flipped it over and just used the plain, dark turquoise color. Then added some pretty throw pillows to soften up the bed (far left is from Bed, Bath and Beyond with Audrey Hepburn on it, the middle circular pillow is from Pier 1, the grey square is from Bed, Bath and Beyond and the pillow on the right with the bow is from Target).


So the dresser went where the bed was, and got styled a little. We hung a mirror we had hanging in the dining room above the dresser. I think it kind of fits the vintagey feel of many of the items in the room like the bird mirror, and the coat rack from Pier 1 hung by the closet.


The little mirror is  from Pier 1, so is the little metallic tray, and the diffuser. I threw some of Leanna’s accessories I found in her dresser in the tray. I also grabbed her white Pandora box from her dresser, and put an old Tiffany’s box I had on top.  I had to do the Tiffany’s box in the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” room. I also got a couple new frames for Leanna’s pictures, silver ones and one black, patent, snakeskin textured frame from Michael’s craft store.


Here is one last shot of the room, a moody shot, of the shears to the backyard.


Leanna came home from school in October, saw it and loved it; so I think that was a success.