Chalkboard Challenge

After my gallery wall fail, I decided to make Nate photoshop some ideas for this particular wall in the sitting room (the one behind the chair on the left):


At first I thought that two simple prints might be nice, but then I started to look at the colors in this room and thought that a large map might be nice. I asked Nate to photo shop a map on the wall and even threw in a chalkboard for good measure.

Here’s what he came up with:



We both liked the map, but I couldn’t get over the idea of having a chalkboard in this room. Picture a welcome message for guests, holiday or birthday messages, love notes, even a chalk fire for Christmas time.

I started to search for some viable options online and I started out looking at maps. In short, I couldn’t find the right size/color/price that I was looking for. Maps were out and the chalkboard idea was in!

While enjoying a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!) I mentioned to Nate the chalkboard that YHL had created a few months ago. I wanted something similar, except ours would hang horizontally instead of leaning vertically like theirs.



We headed off to Home Depot for supplies (see budget breakdown below), and within a few hours Nate had put the main components together!



I just love having a handy boyfriend! In the above picture the wood had already been sanded and stained (Minwax Jacobean).

Later, I painted the middle with Chalkboard paint.

Here she is in the process of drying:



Can says I have to wait three days before we can write on it. Boo. Nonetheless, I am super excited to have a Welcome message up for my family visit this weekend!

Here’s a quick budget breakdown of this project:

1.) Two 1X3-8FT boards $2.90

2.) One MDF panel for the back $5.97

3.) Wood screws $3.88

4.) Minwax finish in Jacobean $4.78

5.) Chalkboard paint $9.67

Tax 1.91

Total= $29.11 <—Not bad for a 2X4 feet chalkboard with a nice wood stained frame!

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this project. It was quick and easy and will be something that we can use for years to come!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!




Gallery Wall Fail


I had such high hopes for my gallery wall in the sitting room. Sometimes things just don’t feel right when they are done and my gallery wall was one of those things. I don’t know if it was the mix of frames that I used, but no matter what I did my gallery of pictures just looked clunky, cluttered, and out of place. Not too mention, when I took a step back it felt like the frames were competing with my plate wall. There was just too much going on!



My first attempt: Not bad but felt like it needed more.




After hours of arranging and straightening they still didn’t feel right.

This is when I decided that this just wasn’t going to work, at least not in this room.

My poor wall after my indecisiveness:


While the spackle dries and I get ready to paint over the spackle spots, I am currently browsing some prints that I think would look nice in here. While the nails were still up I experimented with two different sized ikea frames and the larger one was perfect. Two 11X14 prints fit perfectly and don’t complete with the shelves or plate wall. It also looks much cleaner and more streamlined.

Some prints that I am considering:

IMG_0920[1] IMG_0922[1] IMG_0921[1]

Also loving some of the posters over at urban outfitters:

Overall, I am glad that the crazy gallery wall is down. I would never want something up in my house that I don’t absolutely love. If it doesn’t make me smile then I don’t want to see it everyday. My gallery wall experience made me realize that not everything in a design book or blog is going to “fit” my house or my style. I am thankful for the learning experience and am realizing that I actually enjoy this whole trial and error thing when it comes to decorating. Sometimes you get this burst of inspiration and realize that something you had sitting around would be perfect in another space or use. I am in love with this whole process and it makes me excited to think about all the possibilities that my house holds!




House In Progress

Next month we will have lived in the house for a year. With this upcoming anniversary I thought it would be neat to document what we’ve done and what still needs to be accomplished in each room. This post is completely inspired by Young House Love’s recent progress post.

Here we go!

Entrance- 70% Complete







To Do List:

1.) Paint

2.) DIY Board and Batten

3.) Paint Door

4.) Replace door hardware

5.) Taller entrance table

6.) Replace and add entrance artwork

7.) Add crown molding


Sitting Room- 65%





To Do List:

1.) Replace carpet with laminate

2.) Paint trim white

3.) Hang curtains

4.) Create Library

5.) Hang artwork and mirror

6.) Rugs

7.) Reading chair?

8.) Coffee table?

Dining Room- 70% Complete





To Do:

1.) Replace carpet with laminate

2.) Create coffee bar

3.) Replace dining table and chairs

4.) Replace chandelier

5.) Reorganize coffee bar

6.) Complete plate wall collection

7.) Add rug

Kitchen- 10% complete



To Do:

1.) Replace light fixtures

2.) Replace faucet and garbage disposal

3.) Replace Fridge

4.) Tear down backsplash and replace with tile

5.) Replace countertops

6.) Paint cabinets

7.) Replace cabinet hardware

8.) Replace stove, dishwasher, and microwave

9.) Paint ceiling

10.) Remove island? (Still deciding based on countertops)

11.) Renovate pantry closet

Family Room- 20% complete



To Do:

1.) Replace carpet with laminate

2.) Paint trim white

3.) Paint walls  (hate the color, will be repainting soon)

4.) Mount TV on wall

5.) Paint beams white

6.) Replace couch, chair, and coffee table

7.) Replace rug

8.) Hang artwork

9.) Replace fan with light fixture?

Guest Bath- 10% complete



To Do:

1.) Replace shower curtain

2.) Take down window valence and replace

3.) Clean out vanity and paint

4.) Frame mirror

5.) Replace shower head

6.) Replace towel rack

7.) Paint!

8.) Hang art

9.) Move litter box?

Guest Room #1- 85% complete






To Do:

1.) Replace carpet with laminate

2.) DIY Board and Batten

3.) Paint

4.) Hang curtains

5.) Buy furniture (bed and dresser)

6.) Bedding and pillows

7.) Art

8.) Rug

9.) Closet doors

10.) Replace fan with light fixture.

Guest Bed #2- 65% completed



To Do:

1.) Replace carpet with laminate

2.) Organize room clutter

3.) Textiles

4.) Hang art

5.) buy a desk?

6.) Rug

7.) Replace light fixture

8.) Reading chair/nook

9.) Paint trim

Master Bedroom- 30% complete



To Do:

1.) Replace carpet with laminate

2.) Paint trim and doors white

3.) Add pet door to sliding glass door

4.) Replace bedding

5.) Replace nightstands and lamps

6.) Hang art

7.) Repaint walls

8.) Renovate closet

9.) Add reading nook

Master Bath- 10% done



To Do:

1.) Replace showerhead

2.) Paint walls!

3.) Paint or replace vanity and hardware

4.) Frame mirror

5.) Replace ventilation system

6.) Hang art

7.) Replace light fixture

8.) Replace blinds

Sunroom- 0% completed



To Do:

1.) Paint walls!

2.) Replace window blinds

3.) Paint trim and door white

4.) Add artwork

5.) Rug

6.) Cat playarea

7.) Lounge area

8.) Storage area

Misc. Closets (3)-

1.) Replace patch of carpet

2.) reorganize shelving and paint


1.) Reorganize and sell unwanted items

2.) Deep Clean

3.) Laundry nook: clean out shelves, tear out/replace sink, replace washer and dryer, flooring, and paint.

There we go. Our house progress 11 months in.

Table love

I am completely smitten with my antique mahogany double drop leaf table.

Here she was in the store when I first laid eyes on her and knew she was the one:


We got off to a rough start since I didn’t have chairs to go along with her yet.


Thankfully, these two beauties came into my life.



The new table, chairs, chandelier, and my newly collected decorative plates made this area a place I could actually love.

This weekend I picked up some mineral oil along with a new runner to show my table some love. The oil brought out even more of this table’s natural beauty and it looks better than ever.



My dining room inspiration photo:

drop leaf table

My dining room progress:


Little Updates

*House Tour Page is now updated!*

Other small updates to share:

Entryway got a new rug and mirror:


This striped rug was $3 at Target. I really couldn’t resist!


Mirror, also from Target. I’ve had this mirror for a while but couldn’t figure out where to put it. It looks nice in the entryway so we will have to see if that is where it will stay.

Added a small globe from Home Goods to go along with my Good Will globe. I would love to keep adding to this collection and I love how the colors match perfectly with the chair pillows and blue and green vases (also from Home Goods).


Plate Wall got a new addition. Found it at a local antique shop and it is stamped Norway. I was smitten by the pattern. I have a couple  more additions to the wall but I am waiting for proper hardware to hang them.




I started to work on my gallery wall in the sitting room. I’m not sure how I feel about it, so we will see how this evolves.




I finally splurged on the Ikea kitchen cart that I have been coveting. They always seem to be sold out of this model so I was ecstatic when I found out they were available the day I was there. She was definitely a pain to put together, but oh so pretty to look at! The color matches my globes and vases perfectly as well.


Finally, I picked up two of the Ikea Vivan Curtains for the sitting area. They are so much lighter and prettier than the more expensive curtains that I had up before. I love sitting at the table and looking up at the sunshine flowing through these beauties.



Starbuck says hello from the linen closet. 🙂

Hours 61-62: Guest Room Growth

Well, I can finally see the finish line with these guest rooms. I am at the point now where I could have guests over and not feel embarrassed. In short, the guest rooms are pretty much done! Of course they are still in need of wall decor and styling but that can be done at a later time (when I have the time and money to do so).

Let’s check out the before and afters:

Guest Room #1-









Guest Room #2-



Progress (aka the office that was never used):


More Progress/After:


Remember the mirror I picked up from my community garage sale? Here’s how she looked when I first got her:


Here she is now after a few coats of white spray paint:


She brings some nice texture into the second guest room.

Cheers to finally having functional guest rooms!

Hours 55-60: Sunday Shuffling

Today I realized that my life is in a constant state of revolving “stuff.” We are constantly shuffling stuff from one room to the next and then back again as we renovate each area. I guess that is the price we pay for living in a fixer upper.

Today, I finally started to clear out the guest room that was filled with stuff from the second guest room while we replaced the floors. Now that the floors are done it was time to shuffle more stuff. Of course, now that we have the library up I was able to move many items in there. Things that I plan on selling or giving away were put in the garage. Poor Nate, as soon as he clears the garage I fill it right back up with junk.

Anyways, at least our pile of stuff seems to get smaller as we shuffle from room to room.

In the middle of my shuffle I decided that the piano needed a new home:


I am liking its new spot.

After moving the piano we finally put together the Ikea Hemnes dresser that has been sitting in its boxes since we got it last week.



Several hours later:


That cord is from the TV that Nate mounted to the wall. Still trying to figure out a way to hide  it.

Some overdue guest room pictures (still experimenting with bedding I had on hand):


Starbuck seems to like the new room.


I definitely need another day in the weekend! Cheers to this week hopefully going by quickly!

Hours 52-54: Paint, inspiration, and trees

My Saturday can be summed up in one word: Paint.

First, I painted several pieces of trim for the guest rooms.



You can see the mirror that also got a coat of white paint while I had everything out. I’ll share before and after pics once I know where it will end up.


At least I had cute company while I worked!  🙂

Next, I spray painted a twin bed frame that I picked up for $9 off of a yard sale site. It was exactly what I was looking for considering I didn’t have a boxspring and I needed something that would fit a trundle bed underneath.

Here’s what the frame looked like before:


And here’s an in progress shot of the frame being painted (this was after 1-2 coats of a white semi-gloss spray paint).


After 3.5 cans of paint it was finally done and is currently drying in the sunroom. Hoping to put it together sometime tomorrow.

Finally, I painted the patched up wall spots in the second guest room as well as a few closet trim pieces that needed a coat of paint.

And that concludes my paint party.

Check out two of my inspiration photos that I spotted on my Instagram feed. I seem to be drawn to globes and maps.



Love the green lamp with the maps and I love the display above the piano (I would like to set up something similar above our piano). I already got my first globe from Good Will the other day so I am excited to add to another collection.


In other news, we also had our oak trees in the front yard trimmed and it has definitely made a major impact.

Still lots to do in the guest rooms… can the weekend please be longer? 🙂

Hours 41-51: Playing Catch Up

Some major updates to share! 

The second guest room is now sporting the new laminate floors and they look great! Pictures will be up shortly. 

During Presidents Day weekend I had planned on using the extra day off to get some work done in the guest rooms, however, I ended up doing nothing of the sort. 🙂

I found myself at HomeGoods, Ikea, and several antique shops in the downtown area. I really didn’t have anything in particular to shop for, but I quickly found myself drawn to several plates with pretty blue and white patterns. At the end of it all I found myself with this amazing assortment of dishes:


I couldn’t wait to hang them up above the new dining room table. After a quick trip to Home Depot for some plate hangers, I was ready to go.

Check out my plates in their new home:



I think they look especially pretty with my Valentine’s Day Tulips! You may have noticed the new chairs and chandeliers as well. I think the dining room is coming along nicely and I can’t wait to add to my plate collection as well as replace the table runner with something more neutral. 

Besides the dining area, we also made some changes to the sitting area. I moved the piano to where the bookshelves were and we gave away the fish tank. This left me with a glorious new space to decorate and furnish and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

We ended up at IKEA and four bookcases, two glassdoors, and a dresser later, my car looked like this:


We may have been a little overambitious in our shopping and even had to tie down the trunk in order to make it home with everything in tact. I definitely had a panic attack on the drive home as I imagined all my precious boxes strewn across the highway. Thankfully, we made it back OK and the next day we got the work assembling our loot.

We put together all four of the bookcases and arranged them and rearranged them until we had them where we liked them. Here is our final product:



I think I am in love! 

Hoping to finally make progress in the guest rooms this weekend. Let’s see if that actually happens. My deadline for the guest rooms is the end of March so I need to get started pretty soon! Can’t wait to share progress as we go!

Cheers to the upcoming weekend!


Hours 37-40: Upcoming Updates

Update #1- Laying laminate in Guest Bedroom #2

Guest Bedroom #2 was cleared out and the carpet was ripped up.




Can’t wait to finally get the laminate laid down in here.

As far as GB #1 goes, I am still on the lookout for a dresser and comforter set, but in the meantime it is now the storage area until we get the floors laid in GB #2. It feels like a never ending cycle of cleaning one mess only to make another. I guess that’s the price we pay for living in a fixer upper.

Update #2: New dining light fixture

Nate found this chandelier on his work rewards site and ordered it for me!

We have yet to decide if it will go over the sitting area or dining area.


Cheers to a productive weekend!