House Tour on Maggie Overby Studios + The One Room Challenge Returns!

Hello and happy Monday! I have a few short updates today that make me really excited to start this week.

First off, I’m pumped to share that our house tour and a brief interview by moi are being featured today on Maggie Overby Studios! The tour includes all new, never-before-seen pictures of our dining room (with Pepper as your guide), and it has shaped up even more since I last showed it here. While you’re on Maggie’s site, stay awhile and check out some of her awesome projects. She has amazing vintage style and really envy-inducing collections of paint-by-numbers art and West German pottery. She also once slip-covered a sofa using blue velvet Ikea drapes (see that project here). Have you ever heard of anything more genius/fabulous?? I can’t wait to introduce her more in the future, but don’t wait for me–head on over and get to know her now ! Oh yeah, and check out our tour. 🙂

Secondly, you may remember those 6 weeks of madness last spring where we made over the kitchen for the One Room Challenge? Well, the One Room Challenge returns this week for its fall edition, and we are joining in again to make over the master bedroom.


We haven’t touched this space since we moved in, and it’s time for everything to go–the carpet will be coming out, the popcorn will be coming down, and the blue stripes will bid you all a fond farewell. Tune in starting Thursday for the mayhem. It should be a great transformation!



Guest Room Update: Paint Reveal!

img_5712-TIMG_6596-TBlue bedroom makeover on a budget.

To read this saga from the beginning, see Trial and Errors in the Guest Bedroom and Inspiration for a Bold Blue Bedroom. Otherwise, press on!

Consider this scenario: You meet a guy (or gal) in a bar. Maybe you flirt a little, but it’s nothing serious, just a little chatter with a guy (or gal) in a bar. No real potential there. You go home, go on with your life, meet someone new. Things are going well, and you are thinking it could be the real thing this time. But in the back of your mind, you still sometimes think about the guy (or gal) from the bar. It’s ridiculous, yes, but it’s there.

Then, one day–maybe it’s New Year’s Eve, or the first day of spring–you bump into that guy (or gal) somewhere totally unexpected–maybe the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, or the top of the Eiffel tower as fireworks burst over head–and you live happily ever after, forever, THE END.

If you’re thinking that was a plot recap of about 80% of all romantic comedies, you’re right. But it’s also what happened to me and paint color #5 (remember paint #5?)! So, you see, these things can happen in real life. They can happen to you and the paint color of your dreams!

Bright blue bedroom. Mixing rugs. Eclectic vintage style.Hanging large art above the bed.

I changed up a few other things besides paint, but paint was the only thing I bought since the previous pictures were taken. Then, using stuff we already had, I switched out the matching glass lamps for taller, mismatched lamps that bring a little more presence and interest. I also rethought the bedding accessories. The printed pillows and blue throw were too busy and didn’t look cohesive, so I decided to go with a set of red plaid pillows Justin brought home from a yard sale ages ago with a set of yellow striped lumbar pillows I made for our TV room in the old house and a simple white lambswool.

There is a lot going on in this room, so I think bringing red and yellow more prominently into the bedding helps convey the color story in the room much more clearly. That awesome yellow mirror helps, too. Justin sweetly gave me that mirror for Christmas after I admired it in a vintage shop. I rudely gave him nothing for Christmas for the second year in a row. We had just bought the new house, and I thought we weren’t giving gifts! I have a lot to make up for this year to say the least.

Mixing patterns for bedding. Ikea duvet  and cover.IMG_6683Bookshelf styling. Yellow decor.Decorative glass hand. Croton indoor plant.

I did, however, give Justin that glass hand for Valentine’s day. Because nothing says love like a decorative severed limb.

Cheerful eclectic vintage decorIMG_6687-1

Sorry for cheesing out on you for a second there! I can’t help but give in from time to time…

It’s amazing how much bigger and brighter the room feels with this paint. Any trace of regret that I couldn’t find the matching paint for the original color is gone now for sure, and the two-tone window looks really great, too!

We still have a few things we need to do in here, like install white trim and baseboards, replace the doors (eventually), and replace the kooky ceiling fan, but it’s back to being presentable, and it’s definitely now a room I’m glad to wake up in.

All furniture, decor, art, rugs are vintage/thrifted/Craigslist except the following:

  • Duvet cover – Ikea
  • Faux lambswool – Ikea
  • Curtains – Ikea
  • Swimmer printed canvas – Ikea
  • White/woven basket – Target

As per usual, vintage + Ikea are practically the only two sources I need.

What do you think of the new paint? Cheerful, right?

New, Complete House Tour is Up!


Our old bedroom. I miss it! I love our new house, but the bedroom in our old house is hard to beat. FIVE windows in that bedroom, so I could have my deep green paint, and it never felt the slightest bit dark. In our new bedroom, meanwhile, I’ve primed the accent wall (this one) and that’s about. We don’t even sleep in it right now. Our bed is too tall to fit underneath the windows, and we can’t block the windows because they swing open into the room, so we are living in our own guest room for the time being. It’s kind of like being on an extended vacation, except you still have to go to work and endure chihuahuas trouncing your face every morning at feeding time, which is really no vacation at all. But I digress.

The point of this post is to say that I’ve added a new page to my blog menu with an updated house tour of our old house, including lots of new pics we took before moving out (like the one above). So check it out!

The Long-Lost Foyer Pics Finally Emerge

I was hoping to show some of the first floor progress this week, but instead of following through with the clean-up efforts I planned last weekend, I decided to start taking down the wallpaper in the sun room and just ended up adding a large, wet, papery mess to the mix. Justin keeps telling me that I need to focus, which I think means that he wants me to finish a thing before I start tearing apart the next thing, but it’s very difficult for me to operate that way. I love the beginnings of projects, when I’m so full of excitement to see WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. I like finishing projects, too, but only after I have satisfied my curiosity about the other items on my to-do list. I’m the same way with food. If left to my own devices, I will sample a very small amount of everything in my kitchen, and then, if I’m still hungry, I’ll make an actual meal.

Understandably, not everyone prefers to live in this haphazard fashion. I’m sure it’s disconcerting to Justin when he notices that a portion of his wall has suddenly been torn off or spies a suspicious person with a screwdriver dislodging a floor tile. The moral of all this is–if attempting to renovate a home with a weirdo who is also your spouse or partner, be aware that their strange behaviors with only be amplified by the project, and make sure you like them enough to make up for it. So far I’ve been lucky.

Since there will be no first floor pictures this week, I’m bringing you the pictures of the entry way that I forgot when I initially posted the house tour last month.


Do you see Pepper and Fatty trying to force their tiny faces through the doors? The are struggling to handle that I’m on the other side, and they are not. Of course, they could have easily just come on over–the doors aren’t heavy–but then self-sufficiency isn’t in the chihuahua’s nature.


It’s a small space, but it’s got great features and the potential to make for a nice first impression. We still have a few updates on our list, though. Item one on the list is paint. The tree stencils aren’t bad, but they aren’t my thing. Plus, the tan tile, carpet, and walls aren’t giving me a whole lot of visual interest here.

I will say, though, that whoever applied the stencil did a very neat and thorough job with great commitment to the project because the stencils go a l l  t h e  w a y to the ceiling, and which has to be close to 20 feet high. This means that someone will have to go way the hell up there to paint, and I regret to say that I have a fear of being more than 3 or 4 rungs up on a ladder, so it cannot be me.

Item two on the list is the flooring. The flooring isn’t totally offensive, but it is boring and kind of shoddily installed. We were planning to put down a more period appropriate tile, except get this–the ORIGINAL HARDWOODS are underneath! On the basement ceiling we can see that they are continuous from the dining room, so hopefully they haven’t been damaged too much by the sub-floor and are in good condition for refinishing. Needless to say, my urge to start tearing things out is uncommonly strong when I look at these tiles.  IMG_6001

Item three on the list has to do with the placement of the doors. This item has a question mark by it, because we’re still thinking it through. Right now the doors open into the foyer, but I think it would make more sense for them to be moved to the other side of the jamb and open into the dining room. For one, the open doors take up a lot of precious wall space in the foyer, and the dimensions and placement of potential furniture are limited by the arc of the door swing.


For another, the open doors invisible from the main living area, so you never really get to enjoy how cool they are.


I’m thinking, once that tub full of vinyl records moves on to its forever home, why not have the doors open there? Well, there are a couple reasons why not. One is that the doors would need clearance in this room the same as they would in the other, which mayyyybe could be an issue if we ever got a larger table. A second reason is that the door on the right would then open in front of the light switch, meaning that you’d either have to partially close the door every time you wanted to adjust the lighting or push the electrical through to the other side of the wall and have the light switch in the foyer.

The good news is that the doors could be moved at any time, so it’s probably not worth thinking about any more while the sun room wallpaper is still half hanging off. Personality tests always ask whether you are a big picture person or a details person. My question is–which are you if you see all the details of the big picture at once? If you are a psychologist and can help me understand what this means about my potential to succeed as a functioning adult, please let me know. And to everyone out there who’s made it for 923 words, happy Monday, and thanks for reading. 🙂

House Tour: Our New House

It’s been a weekend of non-stop moving, but I finally stole a few minutes last night to put together an almost-complete house tour. There’s a lot of blabber below, so for the moment I’m going to shut it and let you get going.

Main Floor

Foyer (Missing!)

Houses tend to have front doors, and thankfully this one does, too. It’s connected to a foyer with the staircase to the second floor and a set of french doors that open into the dining room. But, you won’t see any of that in this tour (you can, however, spy it a little bit of it here). In the chaos, I failed to get any pictures of this space, and now it is filled with all manner of odds and ends we haven’t found places for yet (in my line of sight are: two area rugs, several stacks of art, a box fan, a storage container filled with tools and supplies) so the chaos has only increased. All I can really tell you about this space is: Coming Soon.

Dining Room
This picture is post-floor refinishing. The floor boards had too many dings and scratches to look good with a lighter stain, so we ended up going with a mid-tone pretty close to what they looked like before. EXCEPT, the finish is now much more even and much, much shinier. Last time, we used a satin polyurethane, but this time we used a semi-gloss finish, and it’s even better. If I ever refinish another set of floors (not anytime soon, please, but maybe someday!) I would go with a full out high gloss finish. The shine is so dramatic! Love it.

Planned updates:

  • Refinish floors
  • Paint
  • Replace trim
  • New light fixture

Living Room

One of my favorite things about the house is how you can see directly through from the front porch out the back yard. Looking forward (in the photo above), you can see the front dining room; looking back (in the photo below), you can see through the kitchen and sun room out to the back porch. So that’s a little bit of orientation for you. Also, the doorway in the left of the photo below goes into bedroom 1 (below).IMG_5845

Planned updates:

  • Refinish floors
  • Paint
  • Replace trim
  • Replace light fixture

The camera is doing a lot of the work in making the kitchen look good here. It’s a decently functional space but is clearly begging for a refresh. I’ll go more into our kitchen plans in a separate post, but the basic idea is short term–paint everything; long term–replace everything.

Sun room
This room almost sold me on the house all by itself because WINDOWS WINDOWS WINDOWS. Enough said.

Bedroom 1
Nothing fancy here, but it’s a large bedroom on the main floor with an attached bathroom. No complaints.

Planned updates:

  • Refinish floors
  • Paint
  • Paint trim
  • Replace doors (You can’t see them, but they are cheap hollow-core doors. We want to replace them with older, more period appropriate styles)
  • Replace light fixture (Got a futuristic ceiling fan happening right now)

Bathroom 1
IMG_5758 IMG_5759
There’s a lot to love here (STORAGE) but also a lot that I personally don’t like, including the floors. An old bungalow needs a good hex tile; it’s just a universal law. Who am I to argue with that?

Planned updates:

  • Remove bead board (According to me; I haven’t convinced Justin of this yet. It’s nothing against bead board, but I have some issues with the installation here.)
  • Paint
  • Replace flooring
  • Replace doors

Second Floor

Bedroom 2
IMG_5768 IMG_5770
This spare upstairs bedroom is my current lowest priority. It’s fine, and really–it is a legitimate spare room. We’re not even sure what’s going to be in it right now, so better to wait to discover its purpose before investing any time/money in updates.

Bedroom 3 (Master)IMG_5775 IMG_5776 IMG_5777
This upstairs bedroom has a lot of recesses and angles, but it’s big and separate from the main living space, so we plan to use this as our bedroom. The dual closets are super duper, and tray ceilings really makes the space feel open.

Planned updates:

  • Paint
  • Replace door (Really all the doors in the house need to be replaced.)

Those are my only firm plans at the moment, but I have some other ideas I’m tossing around. I don’t dig the trim color with the carpet color, so something needs to happen there, as well as with the closet doors, and probably the ceiling fan. A ceiling fan is practical for a bedroom, but it needs to be a little less ’90s.

Bathroom 2
2014-12-17_1953 2014-12-17_1958
I stole these photos from the real estate listing, but the previous owner left almost everything pictured, so it’s not too far off. The white/off white/yellow color combo happening here makes my eyeballs twitch a little bit, but everything is clean and the storage is triple what was in our last bathroom, so that is a MAJOR win.

Planned updates:

  • Paint
  • Paint cabinets
  • New counter top (eventually)
  • Replace flooring
  • Replace door

I’m excited for all the projects we have ahead of us, but for now I really just want to be completely moved out of our old house. And to sleep for three days. And to win a lifetime’s supply of Blue Bell ice cream. Just the necessities.

Happy Monday, friends!

PS – I’m working on updating our house tour at the old house, but if you’ve never seen any of the preliminary befores/afters, you can check them out here.