Happy New Year!

I had mentioned a little while ago that my kids’ bathroom reno was not the only project I was going to be working on. Shortly after posting that, we had dear friends of ours who now live on the other side of the world ask if they could stay with us for a little while during the holidays. I, of course, said yes and was looking forward to seeing them, but realized that the bathroom we had just started renovating is the bathroom that they would normally use as overnight guests at our house. Ugh!!! I felt a time crunch to hurry up and get that bathroom finished before their arrival so I put my other project on hold so I could go full force on the bathroom reno.

Well, the holidays are now over and we had a wonderful time with our friends! But sadly the bathroom reno was not completely finished when they came 🙁 . I made a lot of progress but still didn’t have any functional sinks in there. Yikes! Fortunately, they are gracious people and were okay with it… And fortunately we have two other fully functional bathrooms in the house.

I am now close to finishing up the kids’ bathroom, but I’ve also gone back to doing some work on my second project so I’ll give you a look at that today.

My daughter, who recently started middle school, has spent the last year and a half asking me if I could give her bedroom a makeover. She’s watched me redo other rooms in our home and enjoyed the final results, so she thought it’d be fun if I gave her own bedroom a new look—a more mature look now that she’s so old.

Here is her current room:




I decorated her current bedroom when she outgrew her crib ten years ago. I’ll never forget the experience! My kids spent a week with their grandparents out of state, and I spent nearly every hour they were gone transforming my daughter’s room into a new “big girl” room so that it would be completely finished when she returned.


I created my own stencil for these daisies on the wall which go all around her room. With my OCD I had to get each one perfect, so I ended up touching up every line by hand which took about three straight days of work! But it was all worth it in the end because my daughter came home so excited to see her new “big girl” room!

Now that she’s getting close to the teen years, she feels like this is a “little girl” room and she wants something cooler. I was happy to oblige! I have to admit I was excited about the idea of redoing her room for her. It’s fun having my daughter as my client and getting to create the perfect bedroom for my favorite girl in the world!

My inspiration for the design of her room came from old New York City apartments and brownstones. So many of the old New York buildings are filled with so much character and detail. They tend to have a traditional look influenced by various European styles. Just take a look at what I’m talking about…



My bonus room makeover is finished! This room started out as a playroom for our young children. But a full decade has since passed, and they are now teens/pre-teens and no longer need a room to store their toys. Instead, what they really need is a room to hang out with their friends. So we turned this room into a second family room. That allows me and my husband to be able to have the family room downstairs all to ourselves while all of the kids are upstairs.

I didn’t want this bonus room to feel like a totally teen room though. I wanted it to be a room that my husband and I could still use to host our friends and it feel “mature” enough for adults.

I focused on a mid-century modern style with some industrial accents. Overall, I’m happy with how the room turned out. Even more important, my family is happy with how it turned out!

My goals for this room were:

  • improve the lighting
  • add comfortable and flexible furniture
  • provide storage for video gaming equipment, books and board games
  • alter the look of the outdated TV nook
  • create a casual comfortable feel that works for both teens and adults

So let’s see the before photos…





And here is what it looks like now…





Here are the changes I made…


Well, this is five months late, but I am finally revealing my new dining room! I had finished this room in October, but then never got to post it because of personal reasons (see this post for more).

My goals for this room were pretty straightforward:

  • lighten up the color scheme
  • create visual interest in a rather boring room
  • maintain the same amount of storage
  • create a casual modern feel
  • update the dated furniture

As I mentioned before, there aren’t a lot of elements to work with in my dining room, and on top of that I chose to keep the color scheme neutral. That combination could have easily resulted in a flat looking room. But I was able to counter the simplicity of the room with some patterns and textures that gave depth and life.

I’m pretty happy with how this room turned out considering my limited budget.

So without further ado, let’s see the photos!

Here are the before photos:




And here are the after photos!




Here’s a breakdown of the changes I made…


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.