My dining room reveal is almost ready, I’m just waiting on one thing. Unfortunately, that one thing is the result of an unexpected accident. A few weeks ago, my son was playing with our dog in the dining room and he accidentally broke the light fixture we have in the room. We had installed that pendant light about seven years ago, and while it wasn’t my favorite choice for lighting in the dining room, it still worked with the design. So in an effort to stay on budget I had decided to just keep it in the room as is. That was until my son’s incident. The bad news is I now have to spend more money on my makeover. The good news is I got to search for a pendant I liked better than what was there :) .

I have found a pendant light that I just love but is still reasonably priced. It’s on it’s way now so as soon as it’s delivered we’ll install it, and then I’ll be ready to reveal my new dining room!

In the meantime, I’ll share some new projects that I’ve started on…

I have a new makeover that I’m working on for my mom. It’s an interesting and challenging project which I love! She is using one of the bedrooms in her home as a guest bedroom/photography studio. My mom is an avid nature photographer and she uses this room to store her fairly large photo printer, inks, paper, mats and frames. She also likes to hang her photos on the wall in here so she can step back and see how they look printed out and matted.

At that same time, this room serves as a guest room for visitors. So there are a couple different functions happening in here.

This is what her room looks like right now:



A big focus of this room will be creating a way for her to easily display and change her photos on the wall.

Her photos are often filled with color, so it made sense to keep the color scheme of the room simple and mostly neutral so that the colors in her photos aren’t “fighting with” all of the colors in the room. The only color I have added to the palette is navy since it works well with all other colors (… some people even consider navy to officially be a neutral color). This color scheme will set a neutral backdrop for her many colorful photos and help them pop in the room.

Her budget is fairly limited, but she has agreed to pitch in where she can to do some projects in order to help reduce the cost.

Despite the challenges and limitations, I’ve come up with an exciting plan for her room. Here’s the design board:


I will be sharing some DIY projects for this room that will include furniture makeovers and a special project for displaying her photos.


It’s been almost a year since I started planning a makeover for our home office and two and a half months since I started the install, and I am happy to say that I am finally done!!

I have redone dozens of rooms over the years, but I’ve got to admit that I have NEVER encountered as many setbacks as I did with this room. It was surprising and frustrating!!! But I believe in doing whatever it takes to get the job done correctly, so I spent a lot of time changing parts of the design and redoing projects until they met my standard of quality. I am glad I did because I am happy with how the room turned out!

So let’s get to the photos!

Here are the BEFORE photos…




Can we talk about how dated this room is for a second? From the beige and red color scheme to the silver accents to the damask print to the overabundance of light colored wood, can you tell that the last time I decorated this room was circa 2008? It makes me kind of nauseous.

So let’s look at the AFTER photos then…





Looks much better in my opinion.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes I made…

the walls

I kept the walls simple because I didn’t feel they needed any special treatment since there was going to be so many other elements happening in the room. My only change was to repaint them a pale cool gray color in order to lighten up the room. Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray ended up being the perfect color.

the floor


The hardwood floors—despite not being my current favorite color— certainly worked in the room so they were staying. I knew I wanted to add an area rug in here though, and decided that a round rug would be perfect to highlight the furniture in the middle of the room. I wanted a simple gray and white modern pattern and found this wool rug on Overstock for a good price… and my dog loves it!

the built-in storage


The built-in bookcases that my husband and I created were a major part of this makeover (see more about that here). Not only did they take us a lot of time to install (that sucker is 135 inches long by 9 feet tall!), but they also ended up being the focal point of the room as I had hoped.

This room needed to function for us similar to a commercial office supply room, yet we certainly didn’t want it to look like one! The built-in—and the way I styled it— was the key solution to giving us storage while making it appear more like a beautiful display cabinet rather than a messy supply room.

the furniture


With the built-in as the main piece of furniture, I really only needed to add a desk and desk chair to the room.

I really liked the clean lines of the old desk we had in the room, but I wasn’t a fan of the color. So I painted it white and changed out the hardware to match the built-in, and it was good to go.

The desk chair is an old dining room chair that I gave a makeover (see more about that here).


I decided to keep the two small ottomans that were sitting in front of the desk because I noticed over the years that they really were functional since my kids sat on them regularly, but I also liked the aesthetic advantage they gave me. They allowed me to bring a much needed pop of pattern and color to the middle of the room. You can learn more about my ottoman makeover here.


The corner opposite the desk was empty and needed something there to balance the whole room out. I decided to add a swoop chair and small accent table to fill it out.

the accessories


I tried to limit the accessories on the desk so there would be plenty of clear space to work. I only added a lamp, a decorative storage tray and a pencil cup.


Another reason I didn’t want to over clutter the desk was because I knew there would be a lot of decor on the built-in bookcases nearby. Trying to figure out an arrangement plus a purchase list for all of the accessories in the bookcases was a lot to keep track of in my head, so I planned it all out on the computer. You can learn more about how I styled my built-in here.

the wall decor


I decided to bring a personal touch to the room by highlighting some of our travel photos over the piano which you can learn more about here.


I also wanted to add some wall art in the corner of the room next to the swoop chair. I called on one of my hobbies, graphic design, to create some framed quotes. I designed these and printed them myself (on my mom’s photo printer). My skills and talent as a graphic designer are limited, but I enjoy taking on projects. I highlighted some of my favorite Bible verses that mean a lot to me. I try to remember them every day so it made sense to stick them up on the wall of my office.

the source list
  • WALL COLOR  |  Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
  • WOOL RUG  |  Overstock
  • ACCENT TABLE  |  At Home
  • DESK LAMP  |  HomeGoods
  • PENCIL CUP  |  Bed Bath & Beyond
  • METAL STORAGE TRAY  |  HomeGoods
  • GRAY STORAGE BOXES  |  Kvarnvik from Ikea
  • DECOR ON BUILT-IN BOOKCASES  |  HomeGoods, At Home, Target, Ikea
  • WALL FRAMES  |  Target and

So that’s it! Let me know what you think of my new home office in the comments!

SHARING AT THE FOLLOWING: Thrifty Decor Chick Before and After, Tatertots & Jello Link Party Palooza


I recently gave my laundry room a makeover. Here is the design board I made for the room:


Notice I have a small accent rug in the design board that never made it into my makeover. The color of this rug I had chosen ended up being off from the online photo and didn’t match the room at all. I couldn’t find another rug that I felt worked in the space so I decided to just skip the rug for now and wait until I came across something that coordinated.

Well, I recently found this great accent rug online and thought it would be perfect for my laundry room…



I am in the middle of a new room makeover: my home office. I actually started this makeover eight months ago and, well, I haven’t made a lot of progress because life keeps getting in the way (stupid responsibilities! :) ). But finally, after spending many months planning this makeover and purchasing some items for it, I am ready to start the install!

First, I want to share a few photos of home offices that inspired me.

I love the use of color and the light fixture in this home office…