A Big Girl Room on a Small Budget; My Thrifted Finds!

Saturday, March 29, 2014



Our little girls room is FINALLY done!  She moved into her big girl bed and boy, was she ECSTATIC!


The whole vision of the room came from this stellar deal on the headboard pictured below. I found at our local flea market for $25.00!!!!!  I had been eying this spindle bed… and as you can see, I saved a boat load of money!  



The curtains are from her baby nursery that I just reused and added some matching fabric on the bottom along with the pom pom fringe:



I found this guy at a garage sale for $2! 



 It had a certain 1970's flair, but I knew I could jazz it up with some paint… Here's a picture right after I painted it (notice the gold dipped legs I added)



Of course she needed a girlie light. Thankfully, Ikea had a little bling that fit our budget perfectly!

The fabric banner was a super, simple fabric sewn DIY.  My daughter and her friend helped me cut out the triangles.  I just sewed it to a piece of flat trim.  (I have no idea what the official name of it is).



Are you ready for the best part?  Her art wall… ALL THE ART WAS FREE!!!! Well, almost. 
      Here's the rundown:
  • The two painted pieces are original art painted by non other than our little 3 year old.  
  • The quotes? I created in pic monkey and printed off from our computer.  
  • The bunny was a free clip art created from microsoft word.  They have a fun editing app that can turn anything into a hand sketched piece…looks artistic, right?  
  • Her name was a gift from a family member when she was born. 
  •  Lastly, the plates…The pink and gold one was a gift from my late mother in law.  The green one was the only piece I paid for, and it's thrifted from Good Will!  
  • All the small frames were purchased from Ikea.  I painted one of them gold, and the two larger one's were repurposed from her nursery.
Of course every little girl needs a place to store her accessories!  Can you spot the relish holder?  That beautiful piece of silver turned white was another thrifted piece.  I wanted it to look a little less kitchen and a little more glam.  Thank goodness for spray paint.  The necklace holder I found at none other than TJ Maxx.  It was a super awesome clear acrylic, but it needed to look a little less grown up, so I grabbed the Washi Tape and wrapped it up!  Simple, cheap, and looks so posh!  The gold book was a paper mache piece from Hobby Lobby.  I spray painted it gold and wrapped it with the same Washi Tape.  It was $1.50 and is the lid opens up for more accessory storage!


When Target released their Oh Joy collection, I instantly knew I had to use something, somewhere in her room!  These are all paper flowers from that collection, and the photo? Doesn't even do them justice.  They are FAB-ulous! Did you spot another original art piece?


The large frame is from Hobby Lobby. My daughter did a photo shoot when we first set up her bed.


She loves all things glitz and glamor already, so of course I gave her my tube of lipstick and let her go crazy.  She wasn't excited at all…  ha!


And then there's this…  I found this at our local Saver's and thought it look kinda cool for a nightstand.I picked it up for $5, and most recently saw it selling on a online thrift store for $95.00! 
Here is what it looked like when I picked it up:  



Can you guess what it is?  If you guessed an old record holder, you're right!  
Of course, we have no need for records in her room, so I took the doors off and painted the inside and outside.  The paint matches the other 70's table turned glossy pink on the other side, and the legs got a matching gold finish.  I haven't quite finished the piece because I'm still debating if I'm going to put the doors back on.  I had a crazy thought to make it into a little bed for her babies.  She would be ALL over that…. so after I find the perfect accessories for the top, and figure out a concrete plan for what to do with the space inside, it will officially be all done!  




Oh, and that cute little pouf?  At Target for $7!  Now that's a great deal!

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This weekend my project is is linked up at Tatertots and Jello.  Go check out other great projects!

Twelve Amazing Ikea DIY's you're going to want to try!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Looking for some inspiration to try this weekend? Look no further…..

Check out these 12 amazing Ikea Hacks from my favorite Twin Cities Mom's Contributors. 

Then come back and tell us what you've done!  

PC: Oakland Avenue




Thanks to Twin Cities Moms for featuring us today on their Blog

Using what you have…our updated kitchen

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ahh… Where do I start?  This was the day we looked at our current home:



Really you guys.. I wonder how motivated these previous homeowners were to sell their house?  Number 1 rule: Never leave laundry on your countertops during showings.  Number 2 rule:  Clean off your countertops when trying to sell your home.  Ha!  Kidding of course, I think those may be unspoken rules, but I would think they are both common sense? Oh well, we still bought it, so obviously we saw past it.

One of my biggest pet peeves is wasted space, and no attention to details.  Ok, maybe that's two, but honestly.  Not only is there NO architectural beauty in our upper cabinets, (a little crown moulding would have been nice), but imagine how much more storage space you would have gained if you brought them to the ceiling?  I would LOVE to eventually add some details to the top of these, but that is not in the budget.  So for now, just taking the dust collectors off from the top made a huge improvement.

Here are the things we decided would be in our budget, and over the course of the next year and a half, here is what we did:

Changed out the knobs on the cabinetry. This was the EASIEST and most economical fix!  



Change out the countertops. You can't see it here, but the seams were popping up in the corners.  Sorry for the horrible picture. I snapped this shot right before my husband demo'd them, and all I had was my phone.  The sink and faucet also needed to be replaced.  It was a white, cast iron sink, and we all know what happens to that over time!


Switch the appliances in order of worst to best.  We started with the one's that NEEDED to be replaced.  The cook top was a mess. There were two burners (one of which worked) and the other was a large griddle.  Not super practical for a family of six!



I was super spoiled in our old home and had a double oven…. While this wasn't a need, it comes in super handy when entertaining. The space above the cooktop really bothered me (see above pic)... There could EASILY be a microwave there, and instead…more wasted space.


Here is a snapshot of the AFTER!  

We started with the replacing the countertops.  I knew I wanted a solid surface.  Quartz was honestly my first choice, but with a hefty price tag, we went with our second choice... concrete.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way they look.  I do have to say, they have not been as forgiving as I had hoped, but after much more research, it looks like it may have to do with the sealer our installer used.   That, hopefully, is an easy fix!



The cooktop was expanded to a five burner, and converted over to gas.  Once you go gas, it's hard to go back.  True story.  I can't imagine cooking on an electric again! We hired a handy man to come shave a few inches off our upper cabinet so we could accommodate a microwave.  An electrician came and added a power outlet to the uppers and we frosted the glass to disguise the cords.  Would you believe me if I told you that a can of this can create the look of high end glass? No joke!




Remember the before where we had a microwave/oven combo here?  Since we moved the microwave, I could now have my DOUBLE OVENS back!!! (insert happy dance here)!!!!


The last thing we did was add a glass backsplash.  Guys, I have never been so excited about a product.  This backsplash is AWESOME.  It marries the cabinets and the countertops in perfect harmony…like they were meant to be!  Here's a pic in progress…


I went with a more industrial looking faucet, and a large stainless steel sink.  This sink is da bomb!  It is timeless and SO, SO easy to clean.  I'm a sucker for easy maintenance! 




With the concrete and stainless, I'm all about bringing in softer touches to our space.  I think the glass tile helps balance this out as well.  Lucky for me, my daughter works at a floral shop where I can get fresh flowers on a budget as often as I like!  


One last thing… When we replaced the countertops we did what should have been done in the beginning… extended them!  The space is large, and had no problem supporting a eat- in area!! (you can see the overhang from this view here). 


If I can be honest, there were several things I wanted to do with our kitchen.  Some that were in the budget, but most of them were not.  I wouldn't have chosen the cabinet color, style, or flooring, but I'm a huge fan of working with what you have, so here's a re-cap of how I made it work:
  • replaced the knobs
  • changed the appliances (including the sink and faucet)
  • replaced the countertops
  • added a overhang for a eat - in bar area
  • switched the microwave to make room for a double oven
  • replaced the lights
  • added a backsplash


 So, what do you think?  Not a major re-haul, but definitely an improvement?!  


If you want to see the entire dining space, check it out here

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Making Laundry Fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014



Today's blog post is brought to you by the letter "Y" as in laundr-Y!



Last fall, my dad bought a lake home that needed a major overhaul.  When they were tearing out the walls, they discovered the walls were lined with newspapers (a.k.a. insulation).  The home was built in 1949, so guess what?  The newspapers were dated: May 8, 1949.  Crazy cool, right?  Of course when offered some, I gladly accepted and tucked them in a safe place until I had just the right project to use them for!  



Yesterday I was wandering around our local Hobby Lobby and came across the paper mache letters seen above.  They were SUPER cheap.. around $1/piece and I instantly had a plan for the newspapers! 
I took the paper and literally wrapped them like a present around the letters.  I think I may have to put some sort of clear coat over them eventually, but for now, the letters aren't getting handled so I think they are ok.







The boys had been wanting a laundry basket in their room so they didn't have to keep coming into our bathroom to throw their clothes in the hamper.  Lucky them… I picked up this awesome wire basket from our local Junk Hunt last fall (that I was patiently waiting to find a spot for it)…If you are anywhere close to Duluth, you have to check it out.. So many great finds!!!

I had a large cloth wall hamper that I got from Ikea YEARS ago. It doesn't fit perfect, but works for now until I get a chance to sew them a new liner!  The arrow is also from Hobby Lobby.  My original vision was to do an awesome Marquee light, but with a price tag of over $200, I just couldn't justify that for a kids wall!  Picked up this arrow up for less than $20!  



To see the full room reveal, check it out here

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Linking up to Classy Clutter!!!  





An honest update on our new beginnings!

Friday, March 14, 2014

It has almost been two years since we moved from the big city.  The big city was the only place I can ever remember living.  A comfortable place to raise a family in the quaint little suburban town of Apple Valley, MN it was.  We loved our friends, our neighbors, and family was only a short drive away.  I decorated our house like we would never move…pouring hours into refurnishing our 1970's home.  Well, we did move and it absolutely turned my world upside down.

I'm not going to lie, it was a rough six months.  I decided I would make the most of it and try and find my sense of adventure.  After all, we moved here in the summer when the weather is amazing.  We had vacationed in this spot ever since I can remember as a kid, but the loneliness I felt here now was like something I had never felt before.

Let me reverse a little and give you a little background as to what brought us here in the first place.  My husband had been burning both ends of the candle working tirelessly in a job he wasn't happy in.  He was traveling ALL the time and we hardly saw each other.  We had been praying for a different opportunity, but this is NOT quite the opportunity I had in mind.  

He saw the posting for this hotel in Duluth and presented me with the opportunity.  Silly me, I thought, "sure, let's pursue it and see what may become of it".  Secretly, I had no desire to entertain such an idea, but thought, he should look into it and then he will know that this is not the job for us.  One interview led to another, and suddenly we realized this move could be a reality.  We gathered our closest friends and family and asked them to pray for wisdom for us.  We needed some serious discernment and  through prayer, we asked that God would either open or close doors for us.  

The job offer came and we continued to pray.  If we are being honest here, I might as well say it.. I was praying that God would close this door, but he didn't.  There were no red flags, and everything kept moving along pointing us towards this new opportunity.  We met with a few realtors and decided we would list our home.  The home in which I had poured blood, sweat, and tears in. The memories.. oh those memories... We had started our family in that home, nursed sick kids back to health in that home, carved our names in trees outside the home, had neighborhood BBQ's there, and the list goes on and on.  

Our home hit the market on Saturday, May 26th (Memorial Day Weekend) at 5:00 pm.  We had no expectations to have any showings on our home that weekend as it wasn't typically a busy weekend for people house hunting.  By 6:00 pm that evening we had received a phone call stating that we had a showing set up the next morning.  Great, fine, they will come see it and hate it… then we can at least say we tried and move on, right?  Wrong.  They came, they offered, it sold… IN ONE SHOWING, IN ONE DAY.  Here's the amazing thing…..we sold, bought, packed, and moved by July 2nd!!!! 

I did not come without putting up a fight.  Why in the world would I want move?  I had an established design business in the cities, and that would be something I would not be able to pursue where we were going to.  The resources aren't there, nor was the design community I was used to.  I moved because this was in God's plan and not mine.  There had to be a bigger picture that I couldn't see, and by faith, together we took that leap. 

Fast forward almost 2 years later, and I will tell you this.  This would not have been the place I would have chosen to live.  I moved WAY out of my comfort zone…away from the neighborhood I loved, our family and friends, and the design business I grew from the ground up. It has not come without it's challenges either. In this short time, I had a lump removed, and was diagnosed with two herniated discs in my neck and back.  God WANTED us here for this time in our lives.  The AMAZING people we have met, and the sense of community we have felt has been like no other place.   

So, what does this have to do with design?  Actually, a lot.  You may not see as many client projects as you're used to.  Plan on seeing a lot of my own home projects, and follow along as we finish our basement!  So, join me in my journey to make this house our home and I promise to give you original and beautiful ideas to do in your own space!  I'm still offering eDesign to clients both near and far and am accepting new clients on a case by case basis.

So, here's to new beginnings. Learning to listening to that still, small voice and realizing our dreams and  our plans may not always line up with God's.  Because when we allow God to mold our lives, it will turn out way better than we ever could imagine.   


PC: Photography by Nealy
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A Photography inspired Teen's Space!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our oldest daughter's space is finally done!  Yay!  

There are so many projects I DIY'd in this space, I may have to do a separate post to highlight how I did them, but for now I'm just going to touch on the basics.  Let's start with the window treatment, which was the first thing I had to do in the space.  There were NO window treatments in this house when we bought it… NOT ONE.  How did the former home owners live?

We needed to find something that wasn't going to break the bank, because we have a ga- zillion windows in this house!  Enter a roller shade + fabric!  I purchased the shade from Home Depot on Uber clearance.. $6.99 to be exact.  If I would have been more organized from the get go, here is where I would insert a nice tutorial with amazing pictures and all, but I don't have any...  So, feel free to google "how to cover a roman shade with fabric."  It was so easy, ANYONE can do it.  As an added bonus, it's a blackout shade (which works great with the East facing window and intense sun that comes in)!


The bedding, she found herself.  This was truly the inspiration for her space.  It's from Urban Outfitters, and unfortunately, not available any more since I took a little too long to finish and blog about her space!

My daughter is amazingly talented.  She started a photography business at 14. In addition to the weddings, senior pictures, family photos she takes for her clients,  she captures every vacation, and major milestone our family has!  Her simple lamp shade displays images she took from her polaroid that I just strung around a piece of string and tied in a knot.





Her love of photography is what inspired me to create the artwork.  The large chalk art can be found hereWe moved when she was at a critical age… (the summer before her sophomore year in high school to be exact), so I wanted her to have a place to display all her friendships past and present.  



The light fixture I found at JcPenny. It's not a place I would normally shop for home goods, but have you checked it out lately?  I have found a few things there that I LOVE for our home?  Like our curtains for our main living space seen here  

The fixture was originally wood.  I loved the lines of it, but K hated the wood color.  She loves all things bright, colorful, and cheery.  So we headed to the paint store, chose the color, and painted away. We both love the way it turned out!


Her dressers were from her old room.  I wanted them classic and neutral so they would grow with her.  


The chalkboard piece was actually a old mirror that was gifted from a friend of ours before we moved.  It broke during the move, so I painted it hot pink and added the chalkboard to the back.  I love how all her friends who come and visit write her notes she can see all the time.  


This ladder was also from her old room. A quick coat of paint later and it went from garden ladder to scarf organizer…cuz where else would you store them?  and yes, we share some of these, that aren't ALL hers! 




One last thing, I bought the framed verse below for her 17th birthday.  It is my prayer that both my daughters learn the meaning of TRUE beauty.  

                                                   and with that, I leave you with this: 


"It is not fancy hair,
Gold Jewelry, Or
Fine Clothes that should make you 
BEAUTIFUL
No, your beauty should 
come from within you -
The beauty of a 
GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT
That will never be destroyed
and is very precious to God
      -I Peter 3: 3-4




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Ikea Hack Part two: Spice up your bookshelves!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ok, so this may not be a new concept, but it was new to me, and can I just say that whoever came up with this idea first was a GENIUS!!!!

I know I'm not the first mom who has dealt with how to store the hundreds of books your child has in their room? 

My daughters room is small… there is little room in there for anything other than a bed, a small dresser, and a little night stand.  I can hardly contain my excitement to reveal the full room to you soon {it's still a work in progress}, but it involves a bed that looks like this, and of course I paid NO WHERE near that price!!!

Anyways, back to my dilemma.  I need to use as much wall space as I can so I can fit everything I need to in her room.  Her books?  Those needed to be mounted on the wall.  Enter some spice racks from ikea!!  




Who knew these babies would be great for storing anything other than spices?!


I wanted them to look a little less spicy and a little more…well, like this: 


pc: pottery barn kids


I snatched up six of these babies, picked up a bottle of spray paint primer and got to work! 



 After a quick spray of primer and a couple coats of white paint later…













There you have it folks.. and in case you haven't done the math, that's a grand savings of over $200.00 {after the cost of the paint}!



If you missed it, check out my previous posting on how I jazzed up her Ikea dresser!  

                        


Stay tuned for the full reveal of her new big girl room {on a budget}!!!!

Check out our Facebook page and Instagram for more fun projects!!!




                                                           I was featured on Remodelaholic