Our Home: Before and After

I’m really trying not to be a stranger on my own blog. I miss writing. I miss me.

Centuries ago I promised to share before and after pics of my house so I thought I would start with that (ok, just since April 2015 but it seems like forever ago!).

Old entryway. New entryway (right)

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Old office area.


New office area (right). There was still blue painters tape on the floor back when I took that picture.


We tore out a lovely swordfish mosaic bar.old bar

The bar was built into the wall which left a hole in the sheetrock when it was removed, had 2 hanging pendant lights and wall sconces and had tile flooring behind it and a sink with plumbing that needed to be dealt with.

bar removedbar sink being removed

Once the bar was out and lots of electrical and patchwork was completed that corner became my dining room!

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Right beside the bar was a glamorous glass brick designer wall. That.Had. To. Go. We borrowed an electric saw from a neighbor and cut it out ourselves, leaving the patching to the professionals. The best thing about taking this wall out is that we now have an open view from our living room to our front door!

glass block wall being removed

Old entryway and stairs.

old foyer

New entryway. The staircase is steel and used to be silver. We had it painted white to match the trim. The stairs were also refinished to match the new hardwoods. The space was really brightened up!

new foyer

Old first floor hall.

old hallway

New hall. I like this view because you can see how the old laminate runs lengthwise down the hall and the new hardwood runs width-wise. It visually makes it looks wider.

new hallway

Old blue living room.

old living room

New gray living room, new ceiling fan….ahhhh and those floors. I enjoy them everyday!

new living room

It feels good to finally share this. Hoping to keep the sharing going!

Nursery Reveal

Hudson’s nursery has been dubbed the most well thought out and peaceful room in the house by Dad.

I must admit that I spent many hours on Pinterest when I was pregnant getting familiar with baby products and deciding what I wanted our little ones room to look like. My disclaimer is to say that these designs aren’t original but instead are a mesh of “found” styles that I put together. I preferred the look of the gender neutral nurseries. I wanted a room that I would want to spend time in but could be easily converted to another use at any time. Of course, another advantage of a gender neutral nursery was that we were waiting to be surprised by our baby’s gender! After 8 long months of waiting we had a boy (he was born 4  weeks early) and he fits right into the space I imagined for him.

**Check out the “before” pictures on my nursery to-do list post**

Crib and triangle accent wall


The first design element that I fell in love with was this DIY Sharpie Wallpaper from Vintage Revivals. I wanted it for an accent wall behind the crib. The amazingly talented lady behind this site leveled and drew all of her triangles by hand!! Knowing that this would never work for me, I set out on a search for a comparable stencil. After more hours of Google searches I decided on this triangle stencil from OliveLeaf Stencils on Etsy.

Me stenciling at 30 weeks preggo

I started in the top left corner of wall, taped the stencil down with blue painters tape and traced the outline of the triangles with gold Sharpie paint pens. When I was done with the first section I moved the stencil over and overlapped the last row of triangles to keep it straight. The paint pens were easy to work with for the most part. Every few lines I had to stop and shake them to keep the paint moving. It took 4 pens to get the whole wall done. I did make a few mistakes when I moved too fast or worked too long and my hand got tired. The mistakes were easy to cover up though! I used a small  angled artist paint brush dipped in the wall color and they were easily covered.

Ikea ribba picture shelves and reading corner

nursery book ledges

There are many 80 million examples of book ledges on Pinterest. I MAY be exaggerating a bit but just do a search and see for yourself! My favorite were the wider ledges (versus the shorter spice rack versions). I also liked the idea of starting the first ledge low enough so that I small child could easily walk up and grab a book (I started the first ledge 24 inches from the floor). The 3rd element I wanted to copy was to use a couple of bins or boxes below for toy storage. The ledges themselves are 45 1/4 inch white Ribba Picture Ledges from Ikea.

book shelves

These were my inspiration book ledges (source unknown). I chose canvas bins with handles instead of the wooden boxes because I thought they would be hardwood floor friendly and nice and light for the baby to carry into another room for playing (like the living room or kitchen) when he is older.

changing table and dresser

This antique dresser was the first thing that I bought for the nursery when I was about 15-16 weeks pregnant. The plan was to find an older dresser that I could paint with chalk paint and distress but when you find “the right one” you know it! I loved the key hole detail above the drawer pulls (they actually work, I just don’t have a key for it). The wood was too pretty to paint so I decided to leave it natural.

Tip for dresser shopping: check out the height and width before purchasing. The height is important so that you aren’t bending over too far when changing and dressing your baby. The width is important to make sure it’s long enough for the changing pad and any baskets or bins you might want to use on top.

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Hudson posing on his changing pad next to his diaper delivery! We signed up for the Honest Company monthly bundle. Bonus that they are made with natural stuff that’s not supposed to irritate baby’s sensitive skin and is better for the environment. So far my favorite designs are the baseballs, guitars, bicycles and giraffes.

window seat

I snagged this chair from the living room to fill up the corner opposite the book ledges. Hopefully I’ll be replacing it soon with this swivel recliner.





Any questions or comments? Please let me know!

Nursery Things To Do

Until today most of my nursery plans were all in my head. There was no official to-do list besides some nursery pics and links saved on Pinterest. Strange because I am such a “list making” kind of person.

nursery before

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The beige carpet is gone and new hardwood floors were finished last week. Love them! They are 7 inch wide hickory; a perfect light, beachy color.  The bright blue walls, leftover from the old owners of our house, will be painted tomorrow and the rest of the nursery is a work in progress. Can’t wait to see and share the finished room but I have until July and have to be patient! For now you can read through my new checklist.

Nursery Things To Do List:

  • Colors: white, gray, gold and mint
  • Theme: some modern geometric shapes and some coastal/nautical flair
  • Remove carpet/install hardwood floors (this is being done on the entire first floor of our house).
  • Paint room.
  • Stencil room with upside down geometric triangle design purchased on Etsy. I’ll be outlining the design in gold sharpie paint pen.
  • Buy crib and mattress. Assemble it.
  • Get a rocker.
  • Recover an old ottoman I have to use with the rocker.
  • Hang Ikea picture ledges (3).
  • Arrange books and toys on picture ledges.
  • Remove old ceiling fan and install new chandelier.
  • Find old dresser to use as changing table. 
  • Install drawer liner in dresser.
  • Organize dresser with changing pad, diapers, wipes, etc.
  • Get an area rug and rug pad.
  • Arrange a couple of large floor baskets for storage. One with blankets, one with toys.
  • Install a new closet system. I would like to have 2 levels of hanging rails on one side of the closet and shelves on the other side for toys, extra diapers and misc baby gear. (This might wait until after the baby gets here.)
  •  Frame and hang 2 prints from my registry.
  • Hang mobile.
  • Make “twinkle, twinkle, little star” wall art using a starfish as the star.
  • Make or buy a “no wake zone” sign as wall decor.
  • Install curtain rod purchased at an estate sale for $3.
  • Decide on and buy curtains.
  • Organize all baby gear.
  • Wash all clothing/blankets/bedding a couple of weeks before my due date.
  • After the baby arrives, decide on finishing decor touches. We are waiting to find out the babies gender so it will be nice to wait to completely decorate the room until after we know whether we have a little boy or girl. I also want to wait to get clothes until then. I registered for some neutral onesies and rompers but I don’t want tons of gender neutral clothing…we need some lace or trains!

Springtime DIY projects

I got a major bug last week to refinish our patio furniture. I started with staining our teak bench and before I knew it I had also tackled 2 chairs and 2 side tables!

This is the bench that started it all. AFTER 4 labor-some coats of stain:


This is me staining a side table while my goldendoodle helps out…I mean sleeps…beside me. That may or may not be a bloody mary behind me.

me painting

I thought it would be interesting to stain the bottom and paint the top a contrasting color. After staining the bottom with 2 coats and allowing it to dry overnight, I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and sprayed the top with a few coats of outdoor spray paint. After the spray paint dried, I gave it a coat of the clear stain for extra protection.

outdoor table redo

This side table used to be faded-rusty-black. It got several coats of the same color spray paint used on the wooden table. LOVE!

peacock blue side table

Supplies. Valspar outdoor color spray paint (I went through 2 cans for the 2 side tables) and Minwax outdoor clear stain (1 1/2 cans for the bench, 2 chairs and bottom of a side table).

paint supplies


balcony 2014