DIY Distraction

9 Jun

As I shared in my last post, I have a vision to infuse my home with more laid lack, bohemian style. I also have a to-do list to match. Often, and most especially when I have more pressing projects to do, I get distracted by an idea that’s easy and not even on my list. This happened last week. 

Out of a desire to add some visual interest to the dining room, teach my son the days of the week, and more easily communicate our family schedule, I created a giant black board on the back door. 

This project was quick and fun. I simply primed the door, did three coats of Rustoleum Chalkboard paint, and stenciled abbreviations for the days of the week.

My husband is a freelance writer and I’m trying to get my business up and running while busy with the little ones. Things are constantly changing on our schedule, and this is such a simple way to organize that flexibility. Plus, it looks fun, and I can now easily refer to “today, tomorrow, and yesterday” when talking with Thomas. We use a heart to mark the current day:) 






California Style

28 May A fiddle leaf fig plant adds definitive California style to any space.

Whenever I see a California home featured in a magazine, I always think to myself, ” I want to live there.” Since it doesn’t seem we will be moving to the golden state anytime soon, can’t I just inject a bit of that sunny, eclectic and welcoming vibe into my home right now? Why yes I can! I think it’s just what I need to get me in the mood for summer. Here are a few ways I plan on mixing in some bohemian California design right here at home. Most of these changes are going to happen in my dining room. Also, check out my Pinterest board called Cali Style, for inspiration!

1. Mix patterns! I already do this in my living room, but the dining room has always felt a tad stale. I plan on making a cushion for my dining bench out of this large-scale paisley pattern, and adding a few pillows in various other ethnic feeling prints.

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2. Add in a happy accent color. I’m going to get myself a paint sprayer and coat my dining chairs in a warm, tomato red-orange to highlight the many happy moments that already occur at our dining table. I’m also going to do a chalk paint treatment in a deep lagoon blue, on this desk in my entry area.

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3. Mid-century lines. This is a harder one, since most of my furniture verges on the traditional side. I think that by painting the bookcases in the dining room white and adding some retro knobs, they’ll at least feel fresher and more contemporary.

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4. Create a slightly beachy vibe with texture. I’m planning on refinishing my dining table in a pickled oak, like I did with Lucy’s dresser, to really draw out the beautiful grain of the wood.

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5. Bring in the outdoors. I’d LOVE to get a giant fiddle leaf fig plant for the living room. It would be a statement piece and look beautiful. They are sort of pricey though! For sure, I’ll be adding some herbs in pots for my kitchen window sill and a few little succulents in the dining room.

fiddleleaf fig

Image from Apartment Therapy.

Whew! That’s a lot of projects.  Unfortunately, that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as my to-do list goes. I  do hope to get all of these things done before summer truly hits, so I can head outside for some more self-imposed DIY punishment!


Loving This Book!

13 May

love the home you haveMelissa Michaels of The Inspired Room blog, recently published this book: Love the Home You Have. I was so eager to get it, since I love her blog. She is very wise and keeps decorating and design in a real-world perspective that I totally respect and admire. I’m not alone in my sentiment, as she was voted Better Homes and Gardens Reader’s Favorite Decorating Blogger for 2014 and 2015. What’s more, she is based in Bremerton, WA, just like me! I’d love to meet her someday and pick her brain. Until then, her blog and book will have to suffice.

I’ll share a few of the nuggets that have truly helped me see my house with a fresh heart and new eyes.


1)”A well-loved home will always be a bit of a beautiful mess.” This is so true, especially when you have little ones at home like I do. While I sometimes get frustrated with the toys, bottles and burp rags that seem to reproduce as soon as I’ve put them away, this is my daily reality, and that is OK.


2)”Take care of the house you have, eventually you will feel that love come back to you.” While we were expecting Lucy, our second child, I kept saying, this house will work for now, but we will need a bigger, newer house in the near future. I wasn’t thinking of living in this old house long term, sort of always having one foot out the door. I kept saying to myself, “This house, this neighborhood, isn’t worth the investment of really fixing it up.” The reality is that we may be in this house for longer that I had imagined. And while we don’t have a pile of money to do major renovations, we can at least take care of things that we’ve neglected and look into small upgrades to enjoy living in it now. She’s helped me realize that I don’t have to forgo the dream of living in a larger, more updated house, but I shouldn’t forget to stop and appreciate the home I’m in today.


3) Melissa encourages us to create surroundings that feel like a “snapshot” of our lives, truly reflecting who we are and the way we live. This idea alone got me thinking about how my home already does this on many levels, and could function even better with just some imaginative rearranging. I’m able to paint my walls and furniture whatever color I want, I can make pillow covers until my heart is content and rearrange furniture to suit my growing family’s needs. We each have a bedroom to escape to. We have decent sized dining and living rooms and a kitchen with a dishwasher. Our basement allows us to store our prized possessions, gives us plenty of space for our hobbies and a much needed office for my husband who works from home. My home does these things for me now, I just wasn’t really acknowledging it.

Thank you, Melissa, for writing this inspiring book, you have helped me feel that, although our current home may not be look like the dream home I want in the future, it absolutely can be everything I need it to be.

Buffet Refresh

8 May Fresh look in the dining room!

Although it’s not technically a buffet, this wonderful piece which I inherited from my grandmother, was looking a bit dull and dated. It’s got great pull down bins, deep enough to hold lots of table linens and two drawers for candles, paper napkins and miscellaneous dining room things.

My grandma once used it as an island in her kitchen, which is why my grandfather retro-fitted it with a plexiglass top. After years of using it for everything except food prep, I finally decided to take the oppressive plastic off and reveal the beautiful wood underneath. I believe it is walnut, and it has a LOVELY patina.  I’m so glad I freed it!

The mirror on top is a great size and style, but the dark brown color was only dating it and making it fade into the background. It’s now snappy, happy and a bit more modern looking with a coat of white paint.  But, friends, please remind me never to paint this mirror again! It’s spindly little details made it impossible to get the 5 layers of paint and primer even. Don’t look to close! It’s so far from perfect!

I styled it with a few accessories in blue, white, brass and orange for a fresh, springy feel.

Jones Design Company Workshop!

4 May

Thank you to Emily and Ryan at the Jones Design Companyfor your amazing info-packed free blogging workshop! I’ve been blogging for a long time, but learned a lot in the quick fifty minute presentation. I’d love to sign up for the more in depth sessions as well. I would encourage anyone who’s a blogger to listen to the free workshop and spend some time on the JDC blog. It’s one that I visit everyday for design and life inspiration.


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