Check out the kids’ teal and grass green bathroom makeover

Guess what? I am done.

D-O-N-E with the kids’ gender-neutral bathroom makeover! Well, done enough. I still need some art for a wall or two, but for now, I’m calling it.

I stayed pretty true to my original plan, but I did change a few things which I’ll get to in a minute.

Before-and-Afters are my favorite, so let’s just start off there. No point in dragging it out and keeping you in suspense. You are welcome. I am super obnoxious and labeled each before and after photo just in case any of them pop up on pinterest.

I am so stoked with how this room turned out. And I’m even more stoked that I was able to pull this room together in about a week. Fastest makeover ever. Pat on the back to me.

So, what the heck did I do? First off, I painted the walls a Martha Stewart color called Heavy Goose. It’s the same gray that I painted our office. I chose this color because it’s a really light gray and I already had some in my garage. Win/win. Double prizes! I also hung all the beadboard and framed out the mirror.

I started with the shower curtain as my main color pallet and inspiration for the room. It’s hard to find a curtain that is gender-neutral that isn’t too boyish or girlish. Fortunately my daughter is crushing on blue at the moment, so she loved the curtain.

On my original inspiration board I chose some teal towels from ikea, but after I stumbled on these two-tone blue and green towels at Target, I quickly snagged them instead. Now the kids each have their own color of towel which is great for me because now I know who to yell at when I find a wet towel on the carpet. :)

I found the wooden block letters at least a year ago either at Target Dollar Spot or HobLob. I can’t remember. Eventually I’ll paint them some fun bright colors, but they are cute none the less sitting on the little ledge. Great easy way to label who’s towel is who’s.

And I’m still geeking out over the robe hooks. I just love the little white beads on them. They go so well with the beadboard.

I added a bit of moulding around the window above the tub just to frame it out and make it more finished. I don’t plan to put a curtain on this little window, but the moulding really helps to make it pop.

I still can’t get over how much of a difference this mirror frame has made. And it was such a simple DIY project.

The white frame and white beadboard and white counter look so crisp and fresh against the pale gray wall with the pops of teal and grass green.

The room is such a fun space now, especially considering how much of a dungeon it looked like before. It was dark and boring and depressing, but with a little color it’s now fun and ready for kids to splash around in.

The toilet area is still a bit unfinished. I was going to hang some rustic floating shelves above the toilet, but the more I think about it, the more I feel I should hang a cabinet with doors. As the kids get older they will need somewhere to store all the toilet paper and hygiene products. I don’t want them to feel embarrassed by having personal stuff like that sitting out. Getting a cabinet is now on my to-do list.

As for all the posts leading up to this, and all the stuff purchased for the room…

Original mood and inspiration board for the room.
Hanging beadboard and trim tutorial.
How to frame out a mirror.
Painting beadboard and a hardware source list.

Shower Curtain: Target
Fluffy two-tone towels: Target
Teal towel in shower: ikea
robe hooks: Home Depot
Rug: ikea
metal shelf: ikea
light blue jugs: ikea
silver and blue bead box: husband purchased in India
plant and case: ikea
soap pump: Target
Hardware: Home Depot
clock: ikea
wooden K and T: craft store?
basket on toilet: Marshall’s
Trash can: Target

And just because I’m so dang proud of this room, here are the before and after pictures again! Yippie!

I hope you enjoyed this little makeover. If you have any questions ask in the comments and I’ll answer them in the comments section as well.


A dramatic fireplace makeover {white moulding & black mantel}

I just finished a project that didn’t take too long and wasn’t too difficult, but has a huge impact. The fireplace in our home is in the corner and angled. It seems like the perfect high impact focal point, so to enhance the fireplace and make it really stand out, I added a bunch of moulding and painted the mantel black.

Check it out.

Here’s a refresher of what it looked like when we moved in, and a week ago:

{Way Before and Before}

Such a dramatic difference, right?!

I couldn’t be any more pleased with how it turned out. It definitely has that WOW factor that jumps out at you the second you enter the room.

I gathered lots of inspiration photos before I tackled this project. Too see all my inspiration, visit my Fireplace Pinboard. I have to say though that my love for a black mantel is directly inspired from Sarah of The Yellow Cape Cod. Her style is amazing.

This fireplace has come a loooong way. Check it out when we first moved in. Looks like a bachelor pad with that art and the gumball machine.

and now!

Even I do a double take. It’s seriously amazing what a little elbow grease and some paint will do for a room.

What good is a post without a tutorial? Here’s how I went from blah to Vavoom.

I started with a drawing. Most of my projects start on paper as chicken scratch. I drew a very-not-to-scale sketch of the fireplace, then added my trim. Once it was drawn I measured the entire fireplace and added my measurements to the drawing.

Before I started nailing wood to the wall I did a trial run with painter’s tape just to make sure I liked the look and spacing of everything.

When I did the board and batten in my daughter’s room, I bought too many sheets of MDF. I have enough strips of 4″ wide MDF to board and batten this entire house! I’ve been finding all sorts of projects to use this stuff on.

For this project I used my 4″ wide strips of MDF to frame out the mantel. I started by adding strips down either side of the angled wall.

Pardon all the stereo equipment on the floor. Ben was tinkering with all of it and then had to leave town for business, so I worked around it until I got sick enough of stepping over it. Then I moved it. I love keeping it real over here.

Then I added my horizontal strips. Make sure you measure and use a level before nailing your boards to the wall.

I finished up the MDF planks by adding the vertical ones. Some pieces are white because they are leftover from another project.

After that I was pooped and went to bed. I guess that’s what happens when you start a project at 7pm.

The next morning I got the kids off to school and finished my project. I spackled all the holes in the wall and I used wood putty on all the nail holes in the MDF. Then I used paintable caulk to fill all the edges for a crisp clean look.

TIP: when filling nail holes in MDF, use wood putty instead of spackle. The spackle is too wet and will cause the MDF to swell.

I also taped off my ceiling and side walls to help protect my gray walls from getting primer and paint all over them.

You always want to prime the MDF before painting (unless using a primer and paint in one). Otherwise you will end up doing 20 coats of paint to cover the MDF. For the planks I used Zinseer Bull’s Eye 1-2-3 Primer. I’m not married to it, but it works well and is what I had in the garage. Please note, I used a different primer for the tile. Read on for those details.

I primed all the MDF planks with a paint brush. I didn’t want to dirty up a roller as well. But when it came time for painting I did use a roller on it.

In the middle of all the planking and priming I also started to prep the tile for a new paint job. There is absolutely no reason I used blue and green tape on this project other than it’s what I grabbed first. The blue Scotch tape and the green Frog tape both are such exceptional products that I really have no preference of one over the other.

I used a Zinseer primer called BIN Primer. It’s suppose to adhere better to stuff like tile.

After priming the tile I got busy painting all the new moulding and wall. For all my trim work in my house I always use the same color – Alabaster by Sherwin Williams (except the laundry room trim is color matched to the ikea built-ins). For this trim I bought a satin finish so the texture on the walls wouldn’t be so glaringly obvious.

To paint all the trim I first used a 2″ wide angled brush (my favorite is the stubby one from Purdy) on all edges. Then for an extra smooth finish I rolled the white paint onto the walls with a little fluffy roller for textured walls. I also rolled the paint onto the planks using a very smooth roller for smooth surfaces.

During all of this fireplace chaos did I mention my husband was on a business trip? Oh, and the kids insisted they “decorate” for Halloween. While I’m cutting and painting and trimming, I also went in the attic and got out all the Halloween decorations. THIS is literally my life:

Finally it was time for all the black paint! It took me two coats (plus some touch-ups) to get the mantel and tile covered. Here’s the mantel after the first coat.

The black I used is called Francesca by Martha Stewart. I got it in the Glidden primer and paint in one in a semi-gloss finish. I used this same paint on the tile as well.

I have no idea if it will stick to the tile long-term. We never touch the tile or walk on it, so ours will probably work fine but if you do this project yourself you might want to double-check if this type of paint will work.)

When I was done I had a few little touch-ups and hard to reach places so I used a very small paint brush for that.

After two coats, it’s looking pretty fresh. I didn’t roll any black on, I used a paint brush for everything.

So, what do you think? Are you a fan of dramatic black mantels?

I love going back to my archives and looking at pictures of my house two years ago. It’s amazing how much my style has transformed and also how far this house has come. It was fun pulling old photos for this post.


flippin’ sweet (flipping the office and guest room)

The past few days have been cra-aaaaa-zy around here. I’m so sore and tired. My joints are aching.

Wanna know why? Well, too bad, I’m telling you anyway. :)

Besides deciding to start a rigorous running program (I’m serious, don’t laugh!) Ben and I spent the last few days flip-flopping the office and the guest room. For a point of reference, here’s our floor plan with each room marked.

Before the ol’ flip-a-roonie, the office was “bedroom 5″ and the guest room was “bedroom 4″.

HoH_master_floorplan_1st_floor_bed5  HoH_master_floorplan_2nd_floor_bed4

Before we started, our office (bedroom 5) looked like this:

Okay, okay, that’s on a good day. Most of the time the office really has looked like this:


and this…

Aaaand this.

There are names for this. Hoarder comes to mind. Slob. Pack-rat. Um, ya.

…which is why we wanted to flip rooms with the guest bedroom (bedroom 4). You see, the guest bedroom is a lot bigger than the office, which is obviously our biggest issue with sharing an office – we just flat-out don’t have enough space for all the crap.

And it’s also on the 2nd floor instead of the first, so visitors can’t glimpse inside it as easily as they can on the 1st floor. (Most guests don’t go upstairs, but they do go to the bathroom which is right next to the current office, allowing a horrified peek inside the office.)

Only problem with doing a big flip? If you thought the orange office was uninviting, the guest room is far worse.

We’ve affectionately named the guest room, “the smurf blue room”. Can you guess why?


I pretty much quit going into the office as much as possible because the orange was so horrible to look at. I just couldn’t work in there. But now, smurf blue? There’s an even smaller chance I’ll go into that room!


I’ve been wanting to flip rooms for awhile, but besides the daunting task of carrying an overflowing office full of crap upstairs, and the guest furniture downstairs, I also knew there was no-way-in-hades I’d agree to move rooms until we painted the smurf room first.

By some fate that can only be described as a miracle, I actually talked Ben into painting again. And so it began. The great guest room/office flip.

Doesn’t he look so thrilled to be painting?

Ben and I have a pretty good system worked out. He rolls, I cut.

Fortunately we had a 3rd helper to make the job go quicker.


After about a day we were totally finished puttying, painting, cutting, rolling, and edging.


This kind of overhaul really tears apart the entire house though. Here’s the piles of crap we had to maneuver around for the past few days. Matter of fact, we are still maneuvering around all this crap.


Why do things have to get worse before they get better? Check out or b-o-r-i-n-g bathroom off the gameroom (bath 3).

It usually looks like this (extra boring, I know):


But the past few days it’s been spiced up:


I’m sure Silhouette would freak if they knew I was storing my Cameo next to the sink. ::bag over head::

And while I’m talking about random stupid crap totally unrelated to painting, can I just point out the main reason this room was never even considered for either kid?


Hello sneak-out-route! Please don’t tell me you never crawled out a window and jumped off a 1st story roof. This is just asking to be snuck sneaked out of. So ya, hopefully my kids won’t ever read this post and figure this out. Because my Travis, he’s a monkey and would probably jump off the roof tomorrow (at 9 years old) if I let him.

So, back to the post. Where was I? Oh, painting. Right. In case you are wondering about the color, I chose it in about 5 minutes off the Martha Stewart paint card. I wanted something similar to my gray in my living room, but even lighter and super neutral.


So, are you dying to see the big reveal? Ya, me too! I wish it were done! ha. But for now, I’ll at least show you the not-as-messy “progress” report. Here goes nothing.
















One of the new additions is this hutch that I just stuck on top of my current ikea desk. So far it has worked out great and I’m really diggin’ it.


It is suppose to go on top of my son’s dresser, but I got sick of cleaning piles and piles of legos off it, so I took it away and moved his dresser into his closet. He loves it because now he has more floor space for even more lego messes. The hutch has sat in the guest room unused for a few months, so I decided to try it out on the desk, and I love it!

Here’s the dresser/hutch combo in Travis’s room before I took it all apart and moved it around. (I’ve never showed his room before, so this is a first!)


I love having easy access to my craft supplies.



As for the previous office/future guest room, it’s lookin’ like a fool with it’s pants on the ground still needs a lot of work. And a lot more moving.




So there you have it. Besides a nice dinner, this is pretty much what Ben and I did for our 13th wedding anniversary – we painted and moved. Good times.



I’ll update as I continue to get this mess cleared up and organized. I so want to paint the orange room now (previous office/new guest room), but I have been promising Kinsey I’ll paint her room *next*, so until her room is painted, I’m not painting any other rooms!

What did you do over the weekend? Hopefully something way more fun than painting and moving!

* linking to Thrifty Decor Chick’s house party

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