When giving a room a new look, most people regularly add some paint to the walls, replace the floor and update the furniture and decor. But there’s one area a lot of people forget to consider: THE CEILING! The ceiling offers a great opportunity to complete the look of your room or to create something unexpected. Ceiling treatments have also been quite trendy for awhile, so now’s the time to jump in and try it!

clng-beforethe bathroom’s old ceiling

As I mentioned in my last post, I am giving my kids’ bathroom a major renovation. After giving the walls a much needed coat of fresh white paint, I turned my attention to the ceiling. As you can see it’s boring and basic. I wanted to give it some style without spending too much time or money. I decided to start by adding some color so I painted it a medium gray (BM Coventry Gray).


That alone was enough to create an immediate improvement, but I wasn’t done yet! I then added some trim to the ceiling. I wanted something more interesting than basic crown molding…

I started by installing 1×6 pine boards flat against the ceiling.


Then I added 4.25” baseboards on top of them to create a layered affect.


I finished off the edges with a simple 1×2” pine board running along the top of the wall.


I caulked everything and coated it with white semigloss paint, and here’s the final look:




I used a nail gun to install everything, and this was honestly a very easy project. All totaled, it only cost me about $135 (for paint and molding) too. For that price, I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck!

My bathroom ceiling design is just one way to address a ceiling, there are many other more creative ways to give your ceiling new life. Here’s a roundup of some ideas (with pretty inspiration photos of course)…


Okay, so I have a major problem: my mind won’t stop designing! I have plans racing through my head for all the rooms I plan to redo next. Yes, there’s my dining room which I’m currently working on, but there’s also my mom’s guest room, our bonus room, my kids’ bathroom and my daughter’s bedroom all coming down the line. And my thoughts are exploding with all the possibilities for ALL of those rooms. Honestly, if my energy level could keep up with my brain it’d be all good!

All of that has made me realize it’s time for a trip to the local flea market in search of some affordable items I could use for these upcoming makeovers.

The local flea market here has over 600 vendors! That amount of merchandise can easily become overwhelming. But even a trip to a small thrift store or a quick search online for some used home decor can be challenging if you’re not fully prepared.

So with that in mind, here are some tips for getting the most out of buying used home furnishings, whether you’re shopping thrift stores, consignment sales, flea markets, antique stores, yard sales or online sites like Craigslist and Ebay.

So here are my tips for buying used home furnishings…

Be prepared

Don’t forget that most of these sellers/stores only accept cash so have more than enough on hand. And make sure you have a vehicle large enough to transport whatever you plan to purchase (I made this mistake during a recent trip to Asheville, NC).

If you’re looking for something specific or expensive then do your research before shopping. Figure out what the going rate is for the item and google ways to spot a fake.

Look for the unusual and unique

The great thing about buying used home furnishings isn’t just that it can save you money, but often more importantly for me, it can help you score some very unique one-of-a-kind items. Whether I’m searching online or at a local flea market I’m always keeping an eye out for that unusual piece that I can’t pick up at the local mall.

Look for interesting shapes, colors, materials and textures. Look for items that have character and maybe even a story to go along with it. Simply anything that you haven’t seen before that you’re drawn to may be worth the money. After all, there’s no guarantee it’ll still be there the next time you go shopping.

Be open minded

I always go shopping with a list of items I’m looking for for my current or upcoming projects, but I don’t limit myself to that shopping list. I keep an eye open for anything interesting because you never know what treasures you might stumble upon.

Look for items that may not be exactly what you want but could become what your looking for with a little work. Maybe a new coat of stain, some new furniture knobs or some mirrors installed in the doors will turn that dumpy piece of furniture into your dream item.

I am regularly looking at the inventory thinking how could this be transformed into something better?

For me, the best way to figure out if an item is worth a makeover is to focus on cosmetic changes. Cosmetic changes would include changing the color, the pattern or the fabric of the item, but would also include replacing smaller elements like furniture feet, decorative accents, lamp shades, picture frames and handles. These are all fairly easy to change. What’s harder to change is the overall shape and construction of the item. So I’m always looking for products that have a great form and only need some cosmetic changes.

If you need some inspiration in this area check out the bottom of this post.


So in my home office makeover post I promised to tell a little more detail about my built-in bookcases and how I styled them. To be honest, after I finished my office makeover I needed a break from writing about my office (and you guys probably needed a break from hearing about it 🙂 ), and I also needed to get started on my dining room. So I’ve avoided writing this post for awhile. But I had a question about the built-ins come up recently, and I realized it’s time to finally write this post and give a little more information about the built-ins, focusing on how I styled them and how I use them.

As I mentioned before, our home office is at the front of our house and is basically the first thing people see when they walk in. So I wanted it to look pretty and presentable all the time, yet it still needed to be functional.

This is what people used to see when they walked in:


The shelves were hard to keep neat and there were too many boxes to dig through to try to find what I was looking for, not to mention there was no real style to the arrangement of items on the bookshelves. Having all of our stuff sitting out in the open was simply not working. What I needed was a way to hide all of our stuff and still make it easily accessible. And that is why I chose to create a built-in storage system with drawers.

I love, love, LOVE the drawers! Back when I was planning out the design I considered skipping the drawers because it would’ve made the whole process of constructing this thing cheaper and quicker. But I am SO GLAD I stuck with the idea of having drawers along the bottom. It was worth the extra money and time!

After we finished building the built-in bookcases I added some Ikea gray boxes along the bottom. This gave me added storage while also creating a visual base for the entire built-in. It looked like this with empty shelves, drawers and boxes:


Then I brought in all of the items we had sitting in our office before except for the books, and this is what I had:



I’ve had a couple of people ask me for advice on how to decorate a fireplace mantel so today I’m going to address this issue. I’ll keep it simple by touching on some basic concepts to remember when decorating a mantel, and then show some examples of these strategies in photos.

In general, these are some things to consider when decorating a mantel…


Obviously, the items displayed on your mantel should match the decor in your room, but don’t feel like they have to match perfectly. You can use objects in various shades of the colors in your room, and you can always add neutral colored items to give more depth.


While most people easily remember to consider color, many forget about texture. Look to add items of various textures to bring diversity and interest to your mantel. Find items like patterned vases and frames, fresh greenery, branches, pine cones, baskets, fabrics or candles to include in your arrangement.