Tag Archives: makeover

unique updates to the kids’ bathroom

I can’t believe I can honestly say that I FINISHED a project!!  Oh happy day!!  Usually I have the attention span of one of my children whenever I start any elaborate project.  This means I have a stockpile few projects either laying around our garage, or staring me in the face inside the house.  BUT…I must have found something captivating about the board and batten in the kids’ bathroom, as I finished it within days and not months.  I took these pictures at night which explains the funky colors.

kids bathroom_board_batten

kids bathroom_hooks

 All done, right?  Yeah right.  How come when I finish a project there is usually a trail of little projects right behind?  Notice the blue wall?  I will probably finish painting the rest of the bathroom…umm…

So anyway…I always found it strange that there are no towel holders right at the sink.  I can’t stand the idea of washing your hands then dripping at least a cup of water all over the floor in order to dry them.  Not to mention, I am that paranoid mom who worries about the kids slipping on the tile floor and smacking their heads.

I used something a little unconventional to solve this problem.  Hold backs and a curtain clip.

kids bathroom_hold back2

kids bathroom_hold back

I purchased these hold backs from Lowe’s and the curtain clips were a Big Lots purchase.

kids bathroom_finial gone2

Why the curtain clip you ask?  Well it keeps the towel nice and neat, easy to access, off the counter top therefore keeping the clutter to a minimum, and it’s just different.

On my list of things that I would love to do to the house is create frames for each of the mirrors in our 4 bathrooms.  I am not the biggest fan of the builder grade mirrors as I think they’re an after thought.  I decided to take the cheap and easy route and do something a little different and hang a picture in front of the mirror in the kids’ bathroom.

kids bathroom mirror

Notice what is “holding” up the picture?  I unscrewed one of the crystal finials from the hold back and screwed it into the wall.

kids bathroom_crystal finial

It is secure enough and won’t be coming down without some tugging, but it cannot hold the weight of this picture.  So I hammered a nail into the wall, hung the picture from that and screwed the crystal just underneath the nail in order to camouflage it.

kids bathroom_nail

I stapled some jute rope to the back of this canvas in order to suspend it right over the mirror.

kids bathroom_art hanger

Then this always happens mid-way through a photo shoot…one of them always finds me…

kids bathroom_ninja turtle

I do like the way the picture looks and it also serves a secret purpose.  It acts like a dividing line for the kids to stay on their own side of the bathroom, especially during teeth brushing.  Don’t ask me why, but brushing teeth brings out the “best” in them.  I have to say since I’ve had this picture up, it’s been a little calmer in there.

I don’t however like the picture itself (it was a cheap Home Goods purchase), plus it’s not very fun for a kids’ bathroom.  So I have plans (oh surprise, yet another project in the making!) to wrap the canvas in a funky print and wrap the jute rope in gold duck tape.

kids bathroom_new look


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venturing into mid-century modern

Do you ever try out a new decorating style only to detest the very sight of it shortly thereafter?  I have tried so many different trends/styles hoping I would have that “Aahh Haa” moment and guess what…NOPE!  (Bear with me, I just need to ramble as usual for a bit).

Shortly after move in day at our new house I got busy trying to make this house a home that reflects who we are.  Sounds simple.  But if you’re someone like me who second-guesses every design choice and gets bored easily, not so much.


My first design love affair was shabby chic.   Great style if you don’t over do it.



I thought this was the direction I wanted to go with our house so I purchased an old oak claw foot dining table from a sweet lady who had one for sale on craigslist.  I purchased some AS Chalk Paint in French Linen and got to town.

Here was my first attempt at shabby chic:


I really do love the way this turned out, especially knowing how it looked (and smelled) when I bought it.  While I still have this table in the exact same spot I’m having serious doubts about it now.  Something is just “off” when I look at it paired with our cobalt blue sofas.  Once I start to second guess something you bet your sweet booty that it just wasn’t meant to be.  Always listen to your gut.


Boy, this trip to traditional was the shortest lived.  My husband grew a few gray hairs when I started bringing antique relics home.  [He's a modernist all the way].  I don’t even remember what inspired me to venture here, other than testing it out to see if it stuck.

Back to craigslist again!  I found these beautiful antique (huge) end tables for sale and dragged my kids along to purchase them.  I should have known to trust my gut and not purchase these.  I think my daughter even knew these things weren’t really my taste because she said, “You’re gonna buy THESE, Mama??!”



I was also never in love with them because 5 minutes into our drive home my kids and I started complaining that they stunk of cigarette smoke!  The seller never disclosed this and I never bothered to give it the smell test while I was at her house.  Lesson learned.  I went through box after box of baking soda to try and rid these poor guys of their odor.  Cigarette smoke is a nasty, clingy, unforgiving odor, but I eventually was victorious.  I had the same feeling about these end tables as I do with the clawfoot table…something is just off.  So I sold these to a sweet friend!

I scoured and trolled craigslist, eBay, garage sales, you name it to find the perfect end tables.  Nada.  During one of many late night Pinterest binges I stumbled on these beauties and had that “Aahh Haa” moment.


Hmmm….something just felt right when I made two of these end tables all by myself.



Things were starting to click at this point, but it wasn’t feeling 100% like me (I mean, us) yet.


The turning point for me venturing into this design style was those end tables.  They can go with modern, rustic, shabby chic, eclectic, you name it.  I liked the simplicity of the design and loved the clean lines.  Hmmm…this feels right!  I decided to embrace contemporary design wholeheartedly and pushed myself to tackle an entire room makeover.  Holy crap!!  What safer place to experiment than my youngest child’s room!  Mean Mama.

By this point I had a nice collection {hoarder’s paradise} of contemporary fabrics on hand and incorporated some into his room.


That “chipper” ikat fabric is still one of my favs.  Things were starting to feel comfortable and I liked the way his room turned out.  The only thing nagging me was that I felt like I had seen this style and look on countless blogs.  I have always had a rebellious streak in me and the last thing I want to do is be like everybody else.  This brings me to my last design stop….


I have never been drawn to mid-century modern, much less know just exactly what the hell it is.  While in a design slump/block, I decided to scour the blogosphere for some pick-me-up.  Don’t ask me how, but when I landed on this blog I finally had my “Aaah Haa” moment!!!

It was this image that stopped me in my tracks


YES! YES! YES!  I still refer to this room as one of my all-time favorites, mainly because there is a cobalt blue sofa staring you in the face.  The eclectic mix of this room is perfect and I am now venturing into the mid-century modern world.  It’s a very foreign and intimidating style for me as I think it can look too theme-y if over done.  I have never known how to decorate with our blue sofas until I found this picture.  I mostly love the mid-century modern chairs paired with a modern b+w rug and oh-so-done-right gallery wall.

Here is a recent picture of the family room after finding my inspiration


 So, I made my first trip to a cool vintage store about 30 mins from our house this week and purchased a few things that I had my “Aahh Haa” moments over.  I will be posting about them very soon.

I guess my point to all this rambling is it’s perfectly normal (and quite healthy I think) to test many different styles.  Who knows how long my love affair with mid-century modern will last, but it’s fun trying out new things and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  It’s what keeps life interesting!


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My latest obsession: CONTACT PAPER

If there is ONE thing you should know about me it’s that I am….

(when it comes to decorating and DIY that is). 

Remember the “lovely” sewing job I did making my son’s drapes:

IMG_5416[1](“Ralph Lauren Inspired: DIY Nautical Drapes”)

OR….How I updated the pillows in our master bedroom:

pillow_collage(“Using What You Have”)

Whenever I start a project I want it done almost immediately.

I am not one of those admirable women (or men!) that accomplish all-things DIY by following a great number of steps (or  directions…just ask my husband and mom!)

Anyway, that is why you will see projects on my site that involve as few steps as possible and are pretty pain-free.

With that being said….I introduce you to my newest obsession…



The patterns and colors that are out there right now are pretty amazing.

contact_paper(Source: Beauty for Ashes)

My awesome friend mailed me a TON of contact paper (the first image is my stash) as an early birthday present.  As soon as the box arrived I ran around the house like I was my 3 year old after he eats ice-cream.

Here are some things that I have done with it SO FAR…

IMG_5735[1]Most recently I stuck some plain white contact paper onto the drawer fronts of my son’s IKEA dresser for a funky look.

Here is a before and after:

dresser.This project took me 45 minutes and it couldn’t be easier:

1. Remove the knobs from the drawers.


2. Measure the width and height of the drawer and add at least 1/2″ to each side.  Now cut your piece.

IMG_5383(thank goodness for these grid lines…I can’t cut a straight line to save my life!)

3. Peel back about 2-3″ of the liner and place on the drawer front so apx. 1/2″ overlaps.



4. Once you have it on pretty straight start smoothing out the air bubbles.  I found that my wallpapering tool works best for this!  I have also used my daughter’s 3-ring binder as well and that worked like a charm.

5. Once all air bubbles are pretty much gone (I couldn’t get 100% of mine squeezed out, but who cares) use a sharp blade to trim the excess off each side.  Just run the blade down the side of the drawer and it should cut like “butta.”


6.  Now it’s time to re attach the knobs.  I took the screw to one of the knobs, gently pushed it through the hole on the back of the drawer so I could tell where to make a little hole with my blade.


7. Now just re attach the knob and admire your work!


Here are some more fun+ quick ideas for using contact paper:


Covered switch plate covers in our first floor bathroom.



Since contact paper is basically a very large sticker, there’s no commitment phobia.  I stuck my last piece of my favorite Moroccan style paper onto the wall behind my daughter’s book case.



Last but not least, I stuck the zebra pattern onto the side of the kids’ toy storage for a little fun.  The overlay you see is from Myoverlays.com. I simply spray painted them gold and attached with duct tape (did I mention that I am impatient…it was the closest thing I could get my hands on!) I then used my utility blade to cut out the zebra paper that was inside the overlay, leaving the shelf itself showing.  You couldn’t really see it otherwise.

Fun, huh?  It’s the best stuff for a quick change to just about anything you want to give a little makeover to.  It’s commitment-free and it doesn’t have a high-tack adhesive so it’s easy to remove when you’re tired of the look.

Have fun!!