grace's nursery

The room of endless DIY's and love is complete! I'm so excited to have finished this little space. Just like the big kids' shared room, the whole idea behind the abode was to make it gender neutral. I wanted both rooms to be interchangeable between Carter, Kota and baby Grace - who knows when big brother Carter will demand to have his own area to grow up in and likewise with the girls (they may request a shared room at any point!). The last thing I wanted was a design nightmare if Carter gets sick of sharing with his little sister and would have to move into the smaller of the two rooms: this one, the one that was previously painted BRIGHT PINK!

Anyway, there were so many DIY aspects here - from the horizontal striped paint to bring the place back from the intense pink we had painted when we first moved in in October of 2014 (my thought then was that every little girl needed a pink room at one point in her life. It's an American must-have!), to the amazingly large dresser I refinished, to that amaze-balls sphere chandelier, all the way down to refinishing that humongous, furniture-for-giants, Craigslist purchased, old school, rock star of a rocking chair. I'll of course document what we did on each of those points, but for right now I'm just stoked to have finished it up! Wooooo! 
Like I said, DIY's in here will be documented, but I have to say the one I'm most proud of is this sphere hanging light! OH EM GEE.
^^^SO IN LOVE WITH IT! And it cost us a whopping (WHOPPING!) $14!!!! YES.

The white on the walls was the same that we used for the kitchen redo, entertainment center update and kids' shiplap. The grey is the same we used in the older kids' room as well! 

The "G" was from Hobby Lobby, of course, but I'm not sure if they still sell them.

That INSANELY ADORABLE "Grace" box was made by GCM Design Co.

Bold striped curtains were from Target.

"Coolest Mom Ever" sign was from TJ Maxx, compliments of my sister for Gracie's baby shower!

Linking up:

big kids' room: sad green to DIY makeover

This project is an all time favorite of mine because not only did it come out BOSS, but it totally got our mojo flowin' for several other DIY's - you know, confidence is a big deal when moving forward with decorating your home DIY style. It's huge!

So when we first moved in, I thought I'd be a cool mom and let Carter PICK the color he wanted to paint his room - just a 4 year old boy getting to PICK HIS OWN WALL COLOR. Great idea, Nicole! Anyway, he chose the greeniest green on planet earth which made HIM super happy, but not so much mama (especially because his room is visible from the main living area!!!! Cute mommy/son moment but...).

When the kids begged to share a room and we found out we were expecting baby 3, nesting dictated that we were going to have to give the new shared room some love - IT HAD TO HAPPEN. So this was our first go at shiplap - it preceeded THIS awesome entertainment center project. All the heart eyes for all the shiplap in all the places.
It was relatively easy to put up there on the wall, thanks to hubby's new toy: the air compressor fueled nail gun! I swear, Chad is benefiting from all these DIY's just as much!


1. We looked up just how much shiplap would cost us as opposed to nailing planks to the wall (my original thought) - turns out it was very affordable at the Depot. I thought it would be so expensive given everyone's obsession (including my own) with Fixer Upper! At the time it was $7 a board and we needed 14 - I think the price varies though (just the other day I saw it was priced at $9?). Anyway, our first go at buying the 14 boards ended in disaster: I told Chad to have the guy cut the boards ".5 of an inch less than 10 feet." He heard, ".5 of a FOOT less than 10 feet." So we had 14 wrongly cut boards which ended up becoming the reason the entertainment center project even happened in the first place.

2. Once we had the correctly cut boards in our possession, it was time to rock and roll the project! We started from the top of the wall since the bottom housed all of the electrical ports - something that freaked us out when we first started. We were prolonging having to tackle those configurations.


4. The electrical configuration was manhandled mainly by Chad, but here was the gist of it: First we had to cut the boards in order to accommodate the electrical port - we just eyeballed this part haha! It could have turned out badly but thankfully the DIY gods were with us. I'm sure there are TONS of tutorials on how to correctly do this on pinterest. Once we hand sawed out the appropriate sized square, Chad had to install an electrical extender using this tutorial, found at the Depot, of course - WE TURNED OFF THE ELECTRICITY TO THE HOUSE WHILE DOING THIS PART! IMPORTANT! AIN'T NO BODY HAS TIME TO GET ELECTROCUTED MID PROJECT!

5. Once it was all up on the wall and the electrical extenders were snugly in place, we decided that we wanted a rustic look so we didn't need to fill in the nail holes - that wasn't smart. Once we got to painting, we realized the nail holes were a distraction, so when Chad started on the second coat, he used the thick paint (same as we used in the kitchen and on the entertainment center) as nail filler. You know whenever you can just glob a big thing of paint on a little hole and it fills it? That's what he did - it ended up being an inconvenience. We learned though on the entertainment center project when it came to that part of the process so it ended up being a win!

5. Another coat of paint later and we were in business! Shiplap was up! Now it was time to decorate (sparsely) the gosh dang cutest wall on planet earth:
We already had those adorable beds from IKEA from a few years ago (THEY NO LONGER SELL THOSE EXACT ONES, BUT LINKED IS A SIMILAR LOOK). I'm so gosh dang glad we spent the money and got those gosh dang sweet things - I mean, look at how precious they are side by side! They weren't super pricey but a few years ago they were to us!

The rest of the room just needed a swift coat of paint and new curtains! I MEAN. We are so obsessed!

Price: the shiplap with the paint ended up costing $126 - NOT TOO BAD!!!!! Those sweet letters from Hobby Lobby were $23 each - another huge win!!!!!! I MEAN!!! The electrical extenders were all of $2 each.

Linking up:

farmhouse kitchen table turned headboard

So... when Chad and I were were planning out how we were going to actually LIVE in our sweet little home, the first thing on our minds was that we SO didn't need the dumb formal living room - I mean, who did we think we were? Grown ups or something? People who would say words like, "No-no kids! Out of this room - don't touch ANYTHING!" So not us. Instead of such ridiculousness, we decided to make what would have been the formal living room into a "formal" dining space - having a place to eat with family and friends sounded a lot cooler to us than the alternative.

Thus brought us to our IKEA hack farmhouse table DIY taken from this tutorial. Here she is in December of 2014, albeit under horrific photography...

...But then... I kind of wanted a separate living space in addition to our very-much-used family room as the months went on. That room was originally built for humans to hang out in on a regular basis! At most we would eat with our family and friends 1 time per week - the other days that room was just an empty box with a large farmhouse table in it. Totally unusable. Also, I wanted a place to hang out without the kids when we DID have people over.

But since we didn't want to necessarily get rid of our ginormous DIY'd farmhouse gloriousness, we didn't know what to do. For the time being, I moved it into the spot where our "less formal" table was, leaving that room (^^^) empty and chucking the other table we had which we ate upon everyday. Sounds like a good solution, eh? Well, it was SO huge, it COMPLETELY dominated the space. LIKE TOOK OVER. It drove me insane. I couldn't look in the direction of the table because my eyeballs KNEW it wasn't right, but at the same time, they couldn't AVOID looking at the table because... THERE IT WAS.

I don't even HAVE a picture of her humongousness in this new spot, a tell tale sign I didn't like how the whole thing looked. But here is my babe doing some homework on just a tiny percentage of her entire body. The back end was completely pushed against the wall and the part of the table you can't see almost reached INSIDE the kitchen! It cut the house in two! (But how about those wood grains? So pretty!)

Anyway, it was so annoying. We loved the big beast with everything we had - after all, this was DIY #2 after the freshening up of the ol' kitchen and entertainment center - we couldn't just NOT LIKE the table. But WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE SITUATION?

After tons and tons of thinking and scheming and thinking and scheming (is it sad that I have to call it "scheming?" Sometimes Chad gets tired of hearing me talk about "what we NEED to do to the house next" monologues), I declared to hubby that we were GOING to redo our master bedroom and our huge table top was GOING to be our headboard because we just couldn't STAND to get rid of it, so we had to use it SOMEWHERE.

He thought it was a little nuts, but couldn't think of why not - SO OFF CAME HER LEGS AND UP ONTO THE WALL SHE WENT! Just right up there!

It's still not a perfect solution to the ol' too-big-for-our-mini-home farmhouse table because she's skinnier than our bed, therefore drives me just slightly insane, but hey, it's a lot better than the space the ol' beast took up in our main living area.


1. Given that this original DIY was an IKEA hack, unscrewing the supporting legs was easy peasy - we just got a phillips screwdriver and took those things off!

2. Next, Chad screwed a 2x4 into a few studs in the wall where the table headboard would touch.

3. We rested the big beast upon the 2x4 and then Chad screwed the apron of the former table into the top of the 2x4. Nice and secure!

^^^So easy and wonderful!

entertainment center project phase 2 - shiplap!

Shiplapping this gloriousness was phase 2 in our "entertainment center/fireplace/mantle" area project since 2014. We originally freshened up the old, very depressing oak to a pretty white in tandem with our extensive kitchen project, but I was never quite satisfied. The whole area just seemed so busy to me - it wasn't bad by any means, but it just wasn't relaxing to the eye, ya know?

So here was the area from the very beginning (for us) in October of 2014 when we closed on the ol' home (built in 1995 - not exactly old!) and right after the original paint job:
*HORRIFIC photography - if you could call it that ;)

^^^Again, those were taken at the end of 2014. It was just BUSY up there! Not exactly relaxing. So after we had our first go at shiplapping another room of ours and OBSESSING over it (posting on that asap), Chad and I decided to "fix" this area too while we were at it!
 Thus began phase 2 of the entertainment center/fireplace/mantle rehab!

OUR PROCESS (beginning AFTER we painted the oak to white. Pictures taken by my cell phone - apparently I was too lazy to bust our the DSLR - ha!):
1. First we had to figure out a way to substantially support the out-dated TV hole thing since we knew we would be mounting our 62" flat screen to the finished product. I had just watched something on HGTV about a designer (probably Chip and/or Jo, my homies) building a temporary frame out of 2x4's to support an entire house, so I figured it would be good enough for our little ol' TV ;) We got a few 2x4's from the Depot, and got to cuttin' in the garage the correct dimensions. This was also necessary because we needed to move the electrical outlets from the back of the TV hole to the front so we could plug the boob tube in. ALSO, we needed to add light to the family room, so wiring new electrical was paramount.

2. Next it was time to get shiplappin'! This was a two person job, so we were lucky the kiddos were spending the night at my parents' house for a little summer fun when we decided to tackle this project ;) Chad would heave the (light) board up into position, I would hold it in place, he would grab the leveler to make sure all was well, then he would go down the board with the nail gun, hitting each stud with two nails. It was very important to get that bottom board very straight - one would think the mantle would be a natural straight thing to rest it on, but the mantle was actually slightly sloped, so we had to raise the board just a bit in order to get the rest of the project straight. We also had to hand saw the electrical ports into the shiplap. We did this before mounting the boards, so a bit of measuring was required here.

3. Next it was time to fill in those nail holes! We got SO LUCKY that from mantle to crown molding, EXACTLY 6 boards were needed. This made the whole thing go so fast and had Chad and I happy-dancing-it-up once everything was nailed up there. If it hadn't have turned out to be a perfect fit, we would have had to circle saw the length of the top board by hand, which wouldn't have been too bad, but hey - it was a nice step to not have to do. Based on our past experience with shiplap (again, I'll be posting on this very soon!), nail holes and painting over those nail holes, we used some filler for a smooth, finished look.

4. Onto painting! We used the same white from the kitchen and the rest of the mantle/entertainment center which was nice because I actually did a ton of touching up on the existing white - woo! I did this while Chad was at work and with the help of my little munchkins. I was surprised that it ended up taking 3 coats! Without those additional coats the paint looked very transparent.

5. After it was nicely painted, Chad installed the TV mount. This part got me so excited because I was secretly smug given my awesome idea to implement the 2x4 frame behind the shiplap - win!

6. Then it was onto the part of the project we felt would be most challenging given that we've never done something like this before - INSTALLING THE MUCH NEEDED LIGHTING! We got these amazing lantern-like sconces from Home Depot - they're actually meant for the outdoors but hey, we are wild. We simply left off the grid feature because it casted a strong shadow and seemed to add too much detail to the space what with the new shiplap horizontal lines. THIS was the part of the project I was most pumped about - that added light was a necessity! I legitimately felt like we were adding real value to our home - permanent light sources!

^^^I MEAN! Obsessed - outrageously obsessed with this DIY gone RIGHT! Such a major win for Chad and I - two humans who used to be annoyed with painting just a single wall in our past rentals! What a life!

Linking up here as well: Chic on a Shoestring & Remodelaholics

entertainment center "freshening up" phase 1

*Photography... not so great ;) what can ya do? This phase of the entertainment center project was done before I cared about photo quality - haha!

I call this "phase 1" of the entertainment center project because we've actually DIY'd even MORE to this space since 2014, a project which ended up being so extensive it deserves it's own post. Straight up!

So we DIY'd this beast in tandem with our kitchen, given their proximity. As mentioned, el kitcheno was executed during the first few weeks of homeownership, so all of this was put behind us in October of 2014, but it's still one of my favorite projects to date because it really shows the importance of PAINT, COLOR, and how that had major bearings on our MOODS!
The center went from a depressing, dark hole of oak nothingness >>> less eye offensive white.

Every last bit of this area of the house was "rehabbed" (rehabbed! That's what I'm calling this area, it was SO BAD before!) the same way we did the kitchen.
^^^The caption underneath this Instagram picture was "Only 59 more of those little notches to go, but who's counting?" HAHA! 
 ^^^Not stoked about this "photography," if one could call it that! Check out that Hunger Games TV watchin' action!


1.First we sanded each and every inch of this detailed beast (SO-MANY-NOTCHES-AND-RIDGES - alleluia for that automatic sander, but sheesh it was a bear to complete. We had to be extremely meticulous, especially with the detailed grooves. I was unaware of this product, but had I known, you betchya bottom dollar I would have used it! To just swipe over liquid and successfully take off the varnish??!!! Bah!

2. Next we primed EVERY INCH of the wood we had just stripped. Again, THE DETAIL!

3. Then we proceeded to layer on 4 coats of semi-gloss Premium Plus Ultra Pure White, just like the kitchen. We were lucky though, because at least with this project (as opposed to the kitchen), the TV would be hiding a good majority of painting space. It's not like anyone was going to be able to see into that big, unnecessary hole, so we got to relax a bit in regards to painting that area. This particular color was just found straight up on the Home Depot shelves. There was no mixing involved - I just saw on the shelf "Pure White" and picked it up! So it's a sort of "stock" item in the Depot? I have no idea how you would categorize it, but it was easy to go pick up more gallons of it as needed. 

4. Next we let that THOROUGHLY dry over several days (it was lucky for us that we hadn't moved in yet. Could you IMAGINE?).

So yes, the whiteness is what we ended up with in October of 2014 - so much better than the original. It truly brightened up EVERYTHING, instead of making us want to gauge our eyeballs out from the depressingness that was the dark oak.

Total cost? About $28, if even that! I'm not 100% sure this even took one full gallon of paint - it may have been less! Either way - WOW. Just like the kitchen, we already owned the hand sander, which helped the low price tag. HOW ABOUT THAT?!

I can't wait to put together "phase 2" of this project! Currently it's one of my FAVORITE places in the house, thanks to more hard work and pinterest-scouring from Chad and I. So much fun!


*Again, photos were taken most often in the middle of the night so... what photography? ;) 

**This project was ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS WE DID AFTER CLOSING ESCROW, so all was executed in October of 2014.

diy farmhouse kitchen table

Well folks, nice crap is expensive. You want a cute little tabletop to feed family and friends when they come over? Okay, that will be $2,500!!!!!!! Oh, a complimentary bench to go with your good taste? An extra $500!!!! WHAT THE HECK. Not exactly cohesive with two people who just want to keep it simple and not file for bankruptcy. He he he he ho ho ho ho. No but really, things are way too expensive out there. 

When we decided to devote what probably was meant to be the formal living room into a full on dining room (UPDATE: that area has been changed back into a formal living room haha!), we knew a large table was needed. The idea of having an awesome, big space for tons and tons of people to come over and enjoy good food seemed more awesome than two separate sitting areas, even though I do sort of want an additional space away from the kiddos sometimes when friends visit (she says after everything is said and done). After deciding that we certainly were not okay with spending our childrens' college tuitions on a table and chairs, we got to scouring Pinterest. Chad, the self proclaimed hater of all things country and everything that falls under the category of "farm," actually was totally excited to build a farmhouse table! I think our kitchen makeover was a confidence booster - we were rarin' to go. We found an awesome tutorial and went to work. 


1. First we went to IKEA and got two small tables for the base of the whole thing. As soon as we got home, we constructed both tables - easy.

2. Then we headed to Home Depot to get all of our wood for the table top, and then just had them cut it there (this was pre-miter saw ownership). 

3. Next, Chad laid a "sub floor" type thing on top of the two IKEA tables as they stood end-to-end with scrap wood we had in our garage (I think they're 1x4's? Not 100% sure). This was the base of what was going to be the farmhouse table-esque looking top. 

4. Then we got to lying the boards together on top of the subfloor, all while using more nails than we thought humanly possible. The thing really is a death trap underneath. (UPDATE and NOTE: this was written and done BEFORE we knew what we were doing WHATSOEVER. Hahaha! We were individually pounding in the pretty finishing nails in ourselves - pre-nail gun ownership as well! Total hammer action was going on in here. Also, the nails we got were slightly larger than the width of the boards sooooo, hence the death trap. Bahaha! My goodness! Oh, DIY! TRULY we had no idea what we were doing during this project). There were rogue nails just poking out everywhere under there! The kids were told that they WERE NOT ALLOWED UNDER THE DINING ROOM TABLE many times, and in a really nice tone of voice too. ;)

Anyhoo, the construction took us about a day and a half, then we went for the stain. That part was quick of course, but was stressful! Did I want it light or dark? Was one side a heavier hue than the other? Ahhh, it was freaky. Thankfully, we were done in just a few days, again with trooper children hanging close by. 

We hosted one dinner party a week for family up until Thanksgiving to break the ole' girl in. Happily that gosh darn thing stayed up and sturdy - I was really nervous to give it a spin with each new family that rolled through! 

The most awesome part of all was the price tag: $275 for the whole darn thing. Once we get chairs, it will be the most expensive part! Again, we are happy we just busted through and got this thing done. Wooohooooo for really enjoying DIYing! Who the heck have we turned into??!
^^^Thanksgiving 2014!!!

*Photos were taken most often in the middle of the night so... what photography? ;) 

**This project was THE SECOND THING WE DID AFTER CLOSING ESCROW, so all was executed in October of 2014.

***Parts of post were taken from T4M.

kitchen makeover - what a difference!

Our first DIY of the new house HAD to be the kitchen. It was a total cave! Words can't even describe how funky it felt to be in the original - when we first went to look at the house, I didn't even really walk into it. I had no idea what the sink looked like or anything else. I just sort of glanced over in the general direction and decided that I wouldn't enter the black hole that was where one would prepare food. I had to look at the listing online to remind myself what the heck the thing looked like! All I could remember was feeling hellish while in it's presence. Anyhoo, I can wholeheartedly say that tackling this thing head on was the right move - it was so mentally and physically exhausting to get done, we would have been miserable if we tried to do it after moving in.

Our escrow was insanely short - just three weeks! It was supposed to be 30 days, but everything went so smoothly, there was no reason not to just hand over the keys. So on October 2nd Chad got word that we would be closing the next day. That night, he came home and told me that we were in fact going to close early, so let's go to Home Depot "right now," get some paint and start working on the kitchen starting "tomorrow." WHAT? I sort of freaked out that we would be moving WAY sooner than expected - forget about redoing a darn kitchen! That was too much for my brain to handle. But after a night of misdirecting my anxious feelings towards Chad in a not-so-nice way, I felt refreshed and ready to go! Thankfully, we waited until the 3rd (the official day escrow closed) to go to Home Depot, then headed over to the house with two car-fulls on the 4th to start unscrewing the cabinets.

EVERY.SINGLE.DAY we went to the house with carloads. Chad would load his car the night before, then leave for work the next morning at 6:00 am, then go to the house after work where he would find me unloading my car into the garage with the two kids running around. Then the two of us would stay there until 9:30 or 10:00 at night sanding, priming, painting, painting, painting, painting... then finally screwing the whole thing back together again! The total project took from October 4th - October 12th (move in day!).

The kids were such freakin' troopers. I know everybody says that about their kids in the face of adversity, but ours really freakin' were. The whole length of the project, there was no couch, no bed, no TV, no NOTHING for children to do for hours on end. On top of that, the whole thing was dirty. Really, REALLY dirty - the carpets were practically black, the tile had a light dusting of grease or something gross and the walls were sandy to the touch. Oh yeah, and the backyard was filled with dead, pokey weeds. It was insane! Thank goodness for good friends and family coming out with us a few days to play with them! Also, thank goodness for siblings who are little buddies. It was great! Exhausting, but great!

1. First we unscrewed every...single...darn...screw. And then had to be very diligent about storing those hinge pieces. Hardware too! Ziplock little baggies were EVERYTHING.

2.Then we sanded each and every inch of all of the unscrewed cabinet doors and kitchen frame - alleluia for that automatic sander, but sheesh that was a bear to complete. We had to be extremely meticulous, especially with the detailed grooves in each cabinet door. Wah! I was unaware of this product, but had I known, you betchya bottom dollar I would have used it! To just swipe over liquid and successfully take off the varnish??!!! Bah!

3. Next we primed EVERY INCH of the wood we had just stripped. 

4. Then we proceeded to layer on 4 coats of semi-gloss Premium Plus Ultra Pure White. This particular color was just found straight up on the Home Depot shelves. There was no mixing involved - I just saw on "Pure White" and picked it up! So it's a sort of "stock" item in the Depot? I have no idea how you would categorize it, but it was easy to go pick up more gallons of it as needed. 

5. Next we let that THOROUGHLY dry over several days (it was lucky for us that we hadn't moved in yet. Could you IMAGINE?).

6. FINALLY it was time to screw all of the hinges back into their homes and get that hardware in there! It was the best moment of our entire lives. Besides the birth of our children. And our wedding day. Okay.
Total cost? Around $80! Not so bad for a total transformation! We already had the screwdrivers, cabinet hardware (from the previous owners) and sander. Pret-ty stoked about that low price tag. :)

*Photos were taken most often in the middle of the night so... what photography? ;) 

**This project was THE VERY FIRST THING WE DID AFTER CLOSING ESCROW, so all was executed in October of 2014.

***Parts of post were taken from T4M.
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