Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Ways to Make your House your Home

There are some things I’ve learned along the way of trying to create a space that fits our family.  Often times, I think we fall into the trap of “what it’s suppose to be” or “what others will think”.  Here are a few things to keep in mind on your journey to creating a home just right for you and your family.

  1. Break some rules.  Really I think this is the biggest thing to remember.  Just because it’s suppose to be a formal dining room and living room, doesn’t mean it has to be one.  If your family doesn’t do formal, then turn it into a space that is more usable for your family.  We decided, rather than create a space that looks pretty, but gets no use, we turned our formal dining room and living room into the least formal rooms of all – the playroom / craft room / homework room.  It serves our family better this way.  And an added bonus is that the table we set up in the craft room/homework room can double as an extra dining table for parties and holidays.  Also, think outside the box of what an item is typically used for.  A shower curtain can be so much more than a shower curtain.  It can be new drapes or fabric for a new pillow or hidden toy storage.hidden toy storage - plumberry pie
  2. Take a risk.  Don’t be afraid to just try something.  Sometimes it won’t work out, but many times you’ll find it was worth the risk.  There were definitely a bunch of doubters when I said I wanted to pull out the carpet and paint the subfloor.  Now that I’ve finally done it, I am so happy I did.  And the doubters became believers.  And of course, I’m not talking about taking risks with high ticket items when the potential loss is not worth the risk.
    peek in playroom oct 2013 plumberry pie

    Plumberry Pie Teal Painted Subfloor{The Happy Hallway}

  3. Embrace what YOU love, not what you think others would like.  Who lives in your home?  You.  Make it for you, not visitors.  If shag carpet and avocado green get you giddy, then do it.  Forget about what others think.  Your home should be your haven and feel like a big hug.
  4. Don’t just make it pretty, make it functional.  And make it functional for your everyday life, not for that once a year party.  You can always adjust for guests when they come, borrow chairs and tables, etc.  If you only entertain once a year, is it worth having accommodations for 25 when you have a family of five?
  5. Shop your home first.  Just by rearranging and borrowing from other rooms, I’ve been able to change things up in my home.  Often times we get settled in and forget about certain items.  They regain a new life and can change a room’s vibe just by moving it somewhere else.  These lamps once lived in our playroom, but completely gave new life to this table in our foyer.IMG_0598

I’m definitely no expert, but these are just some things I’ve learned along the way.  Hope they help you as you make your space your own!

Enjoy your weekend! 

- Kim

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Room Challenge Week 4: Bookcases + End Table

Hello there!  Thanks for stopping in today!  So glad you’re here!  If you’ve missed the first three weeks, you can find them below.

Week One                         Week Two                          Week Three

Okay, so this week I decided to tackle the bookcases.  It was just what I needed to keep me going.  Seeing them transform and seeing how they transformed the space has given me back some mojo.  These guys are making me happy!

bookcases in process

Just look at the difference painting the bookcases makes on the room.  Before….

brown table

…after-ish (in progress).  Sooo much better!  Of course my second grader doesn’t agree, but that is to be expected.  And my 7th grader gasped and had to make sure that I wasn’t actually leaving the bookcases right in front of the fireplace.  In good, old-fashioned, middle school tone of voice, “you’re not leaving them here, are you, mom?!!”

pops of accessories against dark backin on bookcase

On Monday, I mentioned that I was having trouble deciding on what to do with this end table.  With some validation from my friend Jennifer at Dimples & Tangles, I finally decided on painting it in the family of blue/teal/turquoise as my definite game plan.  And then…I stumbled upon this brass table at Home Goods the very same day (and that awesome fuzzy blanket). 

brass table

Also found this other heavenly, soft, blanket bliss!

gray fuzzy blanket

Okay, back to the table situation.  I like how the table picks up on the brass details on the console table.

brass detail on table linking to brass table

It is still very tone on tone, borderline blending into the brown couch, but I think the metallic quality and it’s interesting pattern and shape make it work. 

corner view of couches with table

room view with brass table

Or am I just trying to convince myself it works because I really DON’T want to paint another thing?  I would love your thoughts…paint existing table or go with the new one?  Whatcha think?

Paint this one…

brown table

…or keep this one?

room view with brass table

In the next couple weeks, I need to get the bamboo blinds up/find ones I like, install the gallery wall and finish unfinished projects like painting trim work.  And this lamp is getting a little facelift.  It may get an upgrade from its gold duct tape hat to a nice black one.  We’ll see.

lamp before

There are a couple items that probably won’t fall within the 6 week challenge - the rug situation and slipcovering the chair.  I want to get things done, but don’t want to settle on something I’m not sure on just to get it done either.

Make sure to stop by Linda’s to see the 20 bloggers doing the Official ORC and the participants (like me) playing along in the Link Up ORC.

Thanks again for stopping by.  See you next week for the another update!

Have a great weekend!

- Kim

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thinking Out Loud: Random Happy + Your Help

Do you have those random moments when something as simple as a bowl of tomatoes can make you happy inside?  Every time I walk by this bowl full of green tomatoes, I get that random happy feeling.  Don’t know what it is…the shade of green, the fact it came from our garden.  Just random happy.

green tomatoes

And my daughter keeps poking happy moments in there for me by revisiting things I loved when I was a girl.  I’m not even sure how my daughter heard of Annie, but ever since, she’s been bugging me to watch it.  A few years ago, I bought the movie for $5 at Target knowing I’d want to watch it with my daughter one day.  Well, that one day was this Saturday.  My husband was on a Cub Scout campout with my youngest and my oldest was intently focused on the Notre Dame game, so Little E and I took that golden moment to watch it.  I forgot how much I loved  Those songs just make you happy.  We couldn’t help but tap our feet around, stand up and dance a little.  Good stuff! 


What’s not making me happy is that round, brown table.  I can’t for the life of me figure out what color to paint it.  I was going to strip it down to its bare wood, but don’t have the patience in me to strip the fluted legs and curves.  I’m lazy like that.  I need new eyes and ideas from you.  I’ve been staring at it too long.  Some options…white, but the console right next to it is white and the two bookcases will be white (bookcases will be in the corners flanking the fireplace).  A tuquoise-ish color or good old black….maybe coral.  Or something totally different?  What do you think? 

brown table

Also, still undecided on the rug. Is it too much to have black and white striped with the pattern on the windows and pillows? (those curtains will be longer by the way).  Been thinking about a blue rug instead, but hate to tie myself to a color that can’t easily be changed for little money.  All right friends, I’m open to your awesome ideas!  Throw them at me.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Flashback Friday: Fall + Halloween Ideas

Hey there!  Happy Friday!  On top of the One Room Challenge, life in general has been super busy lately, so I thought I’d do a little flashback today.  I haven’t gotten my Halloween groove on this year yet, but I have a ton to share from last year.

First, let’s start with a quick flashback of fall this year.  They are more subtle and nature inspired.

The Mantel

feathers for fall mantel


The Console Table Vignette

feathers in a cloche - plumberry pie


The Front Porch

{plumberry pie} fall porch table


Looking for Halloween ideas, here’s a good start.

Halloween Around the House

halloween collage


fox 2 set eye ball cookies and bones

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

One Room Challenge Week 3: Painting Paneling + a Gold Garden Stool

I told myself that if I got nothing else done in these six weeks except paint the walls, then it was a success.  Our walls have been wearing several different paint colors at the same time for longer than I can even remember.  So this week, painting the walls got scheduled into my calendar as a must do.  And I was dreading it.  Painting is not my favorite, yet painting is one of the biggest bang for your buck things you can do.  So alas, it is a necessary evil.

But most of the things we dread doing are the things that give us the most satisfaction in the end.  So glad to check it off the list.  And just a quick tip for you if ever have to paint paneling.  I found out right away that it was very helpful to use my paintbrush to get in the grooves first, then go back and roll the wall.

painting paneling - plumberry pie

I also painted the garden stool from my back deck.  I’m trying to use as much as I have on hand to keep this makeover budget friendly.  It got the golden touch.  First go around, I used a matte gold finish and it had a greenish tint to it and blended too much with the furniture.

garden stool beforegarden stool after take one

So I painted a gloss gold finish and it worked out much better.

golden garden stool plumberry pie

I’m having rug commitment issues.  I tried a layered rug look using the rug I had from our first house.  In my mind, the rug looked like the overdyed rugs you’re seeing all over the place these days.  I think my memory was playing wishful thinking tricks on me though.  The rug is much more maroon/burgundy than I remember.  My wishful thinking had it as a lighter red that was faded.  Boo!  So much for saving a buck on that one.

layered rug with old rug on sisal

I’m also toying with the idea of black and white stripes, so I threw a black and white beach towel on there to get a feel for it.  Layered.

striped towel layered on rug

And on its own.  I’m liking it.

striped towel

IKEA’s Stockholm rug is in the running.

STOCKHOLM Rug, flatwoven IKEA The durable, soil-resistant wool surface makes this rug perfect in your living room or under your dining table.

I also like this one from Rugs USA, but thinking stripes will stand the test of time and mix better with the curtains and pillows. 

Rugs USA Homespun Trellis HK85 Blue Rug

Or this one from Urban Outfitters.

Magical Thinking Chevron Rug

This week coming up, I need to finish painting the baseboards and bookcases white.  Also hoping to get the window treatments up and take care of some lighting issues. 

Thanks for stopping in today and to any new visitors, welcome, so glad you’re here!!  If you missed the first two weeks, you can see them at the links below.

Week One:  Inspiration Pics

Week Two:  Console Table Makeover

And of course, check out what everyone else is up to this week for their ORC over at Linda’s {Calling It Home}.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

One Room Challenge Week 2: Painting, Purging, Prepping

Hello again!  Thanks for checking in!  Before I could get going on this room, I used it as an opportunity to purge.  First, I needed to clear out the playroom stuff and put it back in the playroom now that the floors are done. 

Once I cleared some stuff away, I started prepping and planning for the gallery wall.  That is the thing that’s got me the most stressed I think.  Arranging and rearranging to create the right flow and mix of sizes and colors.  Some pieces need to be framed, so there is still much to do in figuring out that wall.

gallery wall prep - plumberry pie

I also started researching bamboo shade options.  I grabbed these from Lowes.  They’re the direction I want to take, but I wish the coloring was a bit warmer.  It’s a tad too yellow.  This picture is actually reading better than real life, so maybe it will be okay.  I’m painting this door black and moldings white.  That may help too.  Another possible option might be to do a light stain wash over it, but I’d rather not.  So I’m keeping my eyes open.

bamboo shade from Lowes - plumberry pie

And this is sort of cheating.  When I was painting a table for the playroom, I painted this console table for the family room weeks before the ORC.  It used to look like this.


There are brass campaign style corners that I still need to clean up and pop back on.  I love the impact it makes in the room already.

table makeover and fall decor - plumberry pie

I was so excited about the change, I styled it up with fall accents from my friend mother nature.  She always has the best stuff!

fall vignette with natural elements - plumberry pie

feathers in a cloche - plumberry pie

natural fall vignette - plumberry pie

That’s about it for now.  Hoping to get more painting done this week…walls and/or bookcases and maybe a garden stool.

To see the spaces that inspired the changes in this room, check out Week One of the ORC here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Big Cover Up: Hidden Game + Toy Storage

What an exciting day yesterday!  So many new visitors and encouraging comments supporting me on this One Room Challenge.  Thank you and welcome to everyone!  And as fun as it was to have new visitors, it freaked me out a bit.  I started this blog so that I would hold myself accountable to finish what I started and let me tell you, the level of accountability just got real.  Yikes, I really need to step it up and make this thing happen.  No slacking.

Speaking of unfinished projects…how about that playroom?  There are still several finishing details to tackle in there, but I’m happy to say it’s back to a functioning space.  My father-in-law and I loaded the furniture back into the room on Wednesday.  It’s such a relief not to have everything scattered throughout the house anymore.  Our two Billy bookcases from Ikea are crucial pieces for game and toy storage, but having it all hang out there was bugging me. 

My first thought was to use baskets to hide the ugly, but many of the game boxes wouldn’t fit.  So I went with one of my new favorite accessories, shower curtains.  The bang for your buck on the fabric can’t be beat, especially when you score them at Home Goods for $15 each.

hidden toy storage - plumberry pie

hidden toy storage using shower curtain and tension rod - plumberry pie

I just folded them in half and used the same rope from the kitchen bamboo blind fix to hang them on a tension rod. 

rope and shower curtain as hidden toy storage - plumberry pie

So much better than this, don’t you think?

open storage

The tension rod is actually a short term solution.  I need to make it a more permanent fixture because the kids have already pulled them down when searching for stuff.  But for now, it works!

And because I can’t resist, here’s a sneak peek into the room from a different angle.  More updates to come.

peek in playroom oct 2013 plumberry pie

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! 

- Kim

Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Room Challenge: Week One, Which Room?

So yeah, I decided to take the challenge to complete a room in six weeks even though I haven’t even finished the playroom which I started about two years ago.  Funny, huh?  Anyhow, on to the chosen room for the challenge….drumroll please…..

The Family Room

full room

This room is long overdue.  It’s had five different paint colors on it for at least a year waiting for me to make a decision and find the time to repaint it.  Yup, I’m good like that.  I wrote about a family room refresh way back here and went over some of my issues with it.  Here’s the gist of it…

BROWN – lots of it!  Needs to be broken up.  Really that’s the main issue that will be the driving force behind all the changes.

right angle

The Plan of Attack

  • Lots of painting!


 Some Inspiration

One of Emily Henderson’s favorite grays will replace the baby blue walls.

Hoping my TV wall will look something like Emily Clark’s awesomeness…if I’m lucky.


Want to lighten things up by painting the existing bookcases white with a dark back like Jennifer’s.  Absolutely love this look!

{via Dimples & Tangles}

And on my to do list for a while now is to add a long time favorite of mine – the layered bamboo and curtain treatment like Lauren Liess.

{via Lauren Liess DC Design House Hideaway}

To see what else has inspired me, check out my Family Room Refresh Pinterest board.

Wish me luck!!  Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it on the reveal day November 7th.  Be back every Thursday with updates on my progress.  Here goes nothin!

Make sure to stop by Linda’s at Calling it Home to check out who else is taking the ORC!

Join In

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Red Ribbon Week

Hey there.  Last year I was in charge of Red Ribbon (Drug Awareness) Week at the kids’ school.  I realize many of you have no need for this information, but when I was searching for ideas, I appreciated any info I could find.  So I thought I’d share for anyone out there searching for ideas.

Presenting….my very first bulletin board! 



Pretty straight forward just reminding kids what to wear each day.



In case you can’t read it from the glare on the display case, here is the rundown of the week.

Monday:  Kick off day

· clip_image004Wear RED to kick off the week!

On the first day, the kids signed a pledge to be drug free and the teachers gave them a red ribbon to tie to their backpacks as a reminder to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday:  I elect to be drug free. (worked out nicely with election day)

· clip_image006 Wear RED, WHITE & BLUE

Wednesday:  Put a cap on drugs!

· clip_image008Wear a hat.

Thursday:  Drugs turn you inside out.

· clip_image010Wear clothes inside out and/or backwards.

Friday:  Team Up Against Drugs!

· clip_image012Wear a favorite team shirt or school shirt.

To wrap up the week, each child received a piece of red licorice.

We really kept it simple and straight forward giving the teachers the option to work it into their lesson plan if they chose.  There really are so many things you could do with this week….poster contests, classroom door decorating contests, essay contests, special speakers or presentations.  I had this crazy idea to have a band play with the catch phrase, “I tune out drugs.”  It wasn’t a budget friendly option and didn’t really fit into the schedule with the other assemblies that were planned for the year already, but maybe it would work for you.  

This year I’m planning on doing the slogan, “We pledge to keep our hands off drugs.”  Instead of the child just writing their names on a piece of paper, they will sign it on a cut out of their hand or handprint.

I created a Red Ribbon Pinterest board with some helpful links, ideas and free printables.  Hope this info helps somebody out there.

Be back Thursday with Week One of the One Room Challenge

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