A side table basket with tons of storage

Several years ago I scored this awesome huge basket at Target in the clearance section after Christmas.

I have hoarded it and saved it trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. Obviously I could put a big ol’ plant in it, but that seemed to boring and obvious.

During a cleaning spree, the basket got turned upside down and a pile of stuff ended up on top of it. LIGHTBULB MOMENT! A table! Dur.

But what a waste of all that storage space inside. So I flipped it right-side-up again and purchased a round piece of glass intended for candles. You can find them at Hobby Lobby for around $14. It fit perfectly and a new side table was born, complete with tons of storage space hidden inside.

I love taking objects or ideas and using them in an unconventional way. The basket table is the perfect finishing touch on this little seating area in my old family room.

The bathrooms got a fast facelift

Moving day came and went, and we were all moved in. Now it was time to get settled! Well, first order of business? Showering.

The previous owners left the shower curtains in two of the three showers (our master bathroom has a glass door, not a curtain). After assessing both bathrooms I determined that the curtains and rods had.to.go.


The rods are those super nice ones that bow outward to give you more elbow room. However, these had seen better days and were ripping out of the wall.

Plus, as much as people rave about this style of shower rod, I personally am not a fan because when you are in the bathroom or on the toilet, having the shower rod and curtain protruding from the shower makes me really claustrophobic. So, bottom line, I took them out and threw them away.

Kids bathroom:

In addition to my aversion to bowing shower curtain rods, I also realized that this one in the guest bathroom is hung obscenely high.

I’m guessing this multiple shower curtain ring getup is to make the curtain longer and not just the curtain channeling her inner Mr. T?

And then there was the issue of the showerheads. Well, I guess not really an issue, but the kids’ one kinda just creeped me out for some reason.

The guest one seemed fine, but I figured if I’m going to switch one out I may as well do all of them. Plus, I have a very cheap, very favorite showerhead that I wanted to put in all the showers.

My friend introduced me to these cheap little awesome shower heads back in 2009. I’ve been a raving fan since. I even put them in my last house.

These showerheads come from Home Depot and are less than 5 bucks each. They are (obviously) not the top-of-the-line expensive showerheads, but for swapping out a cheap crappy one for a cheap awesome one, this is the way to go.

As you probably noticed, I now have a straight shower rod in an oil rubbed bronze tone. I bought basic $15 tension rod shower rods for both bathrooms. Sometimes tension rods get a (probably deserved) bad rap, but these ones lock into place and are really tight. You basically twist them into place on the middle seam, and then one end twists for an even tighter fit. I got these in pretty tight and we haven’t had any issues with them so far.

Here’s the guest bath with the new showerhead and shower rod. Check out what the wall color use to be behind the old shower rod. Yikes!

With my shower curtains from my previous home hung, and a new rod installed, the bathrooms are feeling just homey enough now that we can all shower comfortably. Of course, this is also after a ridiculously deep cleaning of all bathrooms on move-in day.

Kids bath and guest bath:


And for some “before” and “progress” side-by-side comparisons…

No where near “done” but just getting the place clean and our own curtains hung really helped us all to feel more at home.

So, I’ve been thinking about how I want to tackle this house from a fixing up and DIY perspective. I have decided to work on the house in phases.

Phase 1 will be devoted to just getting this place feeling like a brand-new, but builder-grade, house. I am going to focus on getting every wall painted, every square inch scrubbed, every flush mount ceiling fixture (vents, speakers, recessed lighting) white (not beige), every window sill painted and caulked, every ceiling painted, and every broken set of blinds replaced. I’m already exhausted thinking about it!

This house needs a lot of painting and updating just to get it to where I would consider it a good starting point for the really fun stuff like MOULDING! I want to feel like I live in a brand-new house, so if that means spray painting some air vents, painting some ceilings, and swapping out some ceiling fans, then that’s what I’ll do.

So, for the next several months I will be working on “Phase 1: Brand New Builder Grade”. That’s what I’ve dubbed it. Of course, at the same time I will be getting us settled in and unpacked, and will get rooms arranged and decorated, and pictures and shelves hung on the wall, so it should be fun for you to follow along.

I’ve been mulling over paint colors so I can tackle the bedrooms and I am really excited to talk about that next week!

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m just so dang excited to tackle this house and make it our own. Thanks for following along on my DIY journey!

A mini master makeover (bedding & curtains in the master bedroom)

Do you ever go through phases with decorating or crafting or whatever? It’s like I get tunnel vision or something. I’ll get on a DIY tangent, or a crafting tangent, or a decorating tangent. Lately I’ve been on a curtains tangent. And a sprucing-up-the-place tangent. I haven’t done many huge DIY projects or crafting lately. I’ve been focusing on just tying up loose ends and sprucing up the place so it feels more cohesive and livable.

I just blew through a master bedroom tangent, in part thanks to my blogging-turned-in-real-life friend Jenn. Jenn is literally the bomb dot com. She texted me a few weeks ago and said she bought a Nate Berkus king sized comforter and shams and didn’t like how they looked in her room and wanted to know if I wanted them.

Um, hello? Seriously, this chick is just so awesome. Love her! So of course I said, “hellz ya!”

I’ve been sporting an 11 year old comforter (don’t tell anyone I said that, mmkay?) and in addition to needing a new comforter, this one is Nate-freaking-Berkus so of course I want it.

Now, back in 2011 I found a fab white duvet from Target for supeh cheap and I blogged about it. Turns out it didn’t really fit the bed very well, so I didn’t keep it for long, but just in case you have been reading for that long and have the worlds best memory, I thought I’d throw that in. Here was my laughable “after” picture with the new duvet.

Yikes. With a double ikes. Seriously. I was going to say my room had seen better days, but unfortunately this was actually an improvement. My poor room is the most neglected in the house. But not anymore! I’m no where near finished at.all. but the bedding did light a fire under me to purchase some sheets that match, grab a few king-sized pillows, and pick up those jumbo shag pillows from the ol’ costco. I also even added some new curtains.

So, let’s talk about the curtains for a minute. Why did I wait so long to put up curtains? Curtains can be inexpensive and will spruce up a room quicker than anything. I should have done this the day we moved in, not three years later. Eye roll.

I found some pretty white nubby curtains from ikea

…and paired them with two sets of my famous (or are they infamous? wink) DIY curtain rods that I spray painted silver. All in all? Less than thirty bucks. Wham bam thank you ma’am.

And just because I cleaned the heck out of this room and it might be the only time that it will ever be this clean, here’s the rest of the room. It’s coming along. Baby steps, people.

See those dressers? I inherited them from my late grandparents who purchased them in the 1950s. Heirloom, baby. Except back in 2002 when I had no clue what I was doing, I stripped and re-stained them. And they look terrible. They are officially on the to-do list. I can’t justify painting some antique solid-wood mid century furniture though so they will be getting stripped and re-stained again.

Finally I’m no longer embarrassed to leave my door open when we have company over. And I’m still shocked at how much of a difference some curtains, new bedding, and a better furniture arrangement can make in a room.

What’s more fun than an old fashioned before and after comparison? Um, nothing.

And on a side note, last weekend I attended the SNAP blog conference where ive been able to read the down comforter guide. It was so fun, but for all you non-blogger readers out there who really could care less about reading a blog conference recap post, I’m saving you the torture by not posting one. You are welcome. If you really want to see some pictures from my weekend getaway with my blogging friends, where we played way more than we actually learned, you can visit my instagram feed.

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