master bedroom inspiration

For some reason I'm feeling like DARK is the way to go with this room - woo!!! We've never done something like that so I'm STOKED. Let me tell you though, the "convincing Chad that this will be cool" portion of the whole endeavor is proving to be pretty dang hard. He just can't wrap his head around actually CHOOSING to paint a ceiling or any other wall a color that, according to the universal laws of painting rooms, would either make it feel smaller or would suck up all the light. But I'm over here like "hey babe, this house is our coloring book! Let's just do it!"

So anyhoo, since typing things out on my other blog almost always ensures that it WILL come to be, I must record some inspiration up in here! It's a pretty one-sided inspo post, being that Chad has nothing to do with it hahaha, but hey. Maybe if I compile my thoughts here he'll step over to the dark side? Worth a shot.

Also, this grasscloth wallpaper situation? I freakin' love it. Chad wants NOTHING to do with wallpaper - understandably, given how we usually operate which is like so: I keep telling him "when we want to take it down we'll hire someone to do it," but I know in his head he's like "yeah... we say that now, but watch, I'll be the one to have to peel it off the wall..." I get it! But seriously. LOVING the grasscloth. 

We also have a big ol' built in in there that has warm undertones to it's white paint. Originally I wanted to paint it either a bright white or whatever color we end up painting the walls but now I'm like no. That's another reason I want to go with the grasscloth. I feel like it will compliment the built in so beautifully! I can't wait to move forward, no matter what we do. None of it will happen until after New Year's so I'm just having fun by looking around at things, but man is it a blast! Woo!

master closet re-do

Like the garage make over and the pantry do-over, our master bedroom closet was nothing to complain about in terms of what the previous owners had provided us - but there was just something about the whole thing that didn't work! It's like there were already nice elements in there, but the functionality wasn't happening. Maybe we're just high maintenance humans? I don't know. But here's something funny: while I was uploading these "before" photos to my computer, I thought, "what was wrong with the original? If we had just organized a little bit more it probably would have helped our cause out a lot. Bahaha!"

No but truly, when one would walk into the original layout, claustrophobia was at an all time high. Immediately to the left was a (albeit very nice) shelving unit, so you couldn't really lift your left arm to do anything. Then, because the built-in dresser and another shelving unit were to the right, the previous people had taken off the door because it would hit the drawers (both couldn't be open at the same time). This made it so every time I walked into the master bathroom, a world of clutter was staring me in the face (again, probably a little organization would have helped us out in this department hahaha). Lastly, the dowels and clothes-hanging areas really did all blend together in a mish-mash of ways - it was stressful going in there!

Chad has an ungodly amount of clothes - he always has, probably always will. When we first got married, I was sorting through it all and couldn't believe the volume of winter clothes (UH WE LIVE IN CALIFORNIA - WINTER WEAR IS BASICALLY THE SAME AS SUMMER APPAREL BUT THERE WAS "WINTER WEAR" NONE THE LESS). It was hilarious and still is! The man just has a ton of clothes. Oh and shoes? He's got a bunch of those too. I am glad though that he enjoys this stuff - at least he likes looking put together! But anyhoo, all of those clothes and (large) shoes needed a place to go, so one day we just tore the whole closet apart on a whim. I COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Once Chad lifted the built-ins, we found the original carpet underneath (which  meant there were two types of carpet in the small walk-in - the original then what a past owner had put down on top of it). That discovery led to Chad tearing up all of the carpet - DIY YOU SLIPPERY SLOPE, YOU! I was secretly thrilled though. My man headed to the garage, accessed the leftover hardwood floors from the previous owner and then went to the Depot to spend $50 on that liner right there.

That's how much this closet thing has cost us so far: FIFTY BUCKS! Win! (I need to buy a mirror still but hey! Not bad!)

This was his first go at laying down flooring - I'd say it was a MAJOR WIN. While it was empty and before the floors were fully laid, I gave the little room a coat of white paint - even the ceiling! It felt great!

Then we needed to figure out the layout. At first I had this totally crazy "ground breaking" design - bahaha. I'm glad we didn't do what I had originally wanted though. There's still a TINY part of me that thinks about what potential buyers would think if we DID sell this bad boy. (It's disgusting that I would even say that given our PERPETUAL MOVER STATUS that we're still trying to shake.)

Then there was lots of finagling around! I'm so glad Chad has the gift of spacial relations. Honestly he always comes in clutch when we're trying to do these type things. He just has an eye for it all! He was the one who came up with the closet layout.

One of the challenges was that legit-mo'-effin' safe built into the wall (installed by the previous owners). They were ADAMANT second amendment supporters, so they had these type things installed in several spots of the house (this is the only built-into-the-wall type safe, but several pieces of their furniture had electronic boxes screwed to them in hidden areas). So anyway, we had to figure out a layout that would accommodate for the safe. I plan on using that dowel that's hanging there above it as an outfit-planning type thing. Like "hang our clothes up for the week" area (and to hide it - it's not exactly the prettiest thing to look at.

THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PART! Chad re-installed the door that had been stored in the garage up until this point. YES. It looks sooooo much better up there.

We also installed those dresser pulls - the original plan was to DIY these leather loop pulls (I thought it would be a great masculine feature to the whole look), but straight up, those pulls looked SO BAD. So we took them off and screwed in a few dresser pulls we had lying around. It wasn't exactly what I had envisioned for the large dresser and I still don't LOVE them, but it works!

Now here we are, months later, and the only other thing I've purchased for the space (which I'm too lazy to go up and take a picture of) is one of those $14 mirrors from target that you screw to the wall. It sounds soooooooo simple and underwhelming that I got THAT mirror, but gosh dangit this closet is now EXACTLY what I wanted out of the whole endeavor in the first place. I can now step inside the area, close the door and get changed in my - wait for it - CHANGING ROOM, not just closet (!!!!). Bahahaha! That's what I told Chad when we first started: "I want a changing room, my dear, not just an ordinary closet." This reason rested in the fact that Carter is a silent creeper of the house, and with him getting older, I didn't want him to silently creep into our room while I was stark naked getting dressed - SURELY THAT WOULD LEAD HIM TO BEING SCARRED FOR LIFE.

So yes - WIN!!!! I love it, Chad loves it, and after months of actually USING it, functionally it's very on point. YAY!!!!

In which my pantry wasn't large enough to house my m&m's obsession so we built a new one

Wahoo! It's happened: my insane sweet tooth now has affected the architecture of our home. WIN!

No, just kidding. For real though, we already had a pretty great, large pantry in the kitchen. The only problem with it was that Chad loathed the whole thing. He didn't like how deep it was (we couldn't see what we actually had or didn't have), he didn't like the width of the shelves, he didn't really like ANYTHING about it. In fact, he wants to demo that there built-in pantry below on the left hand side.

Finally - A Functional Play Room!

It's a miracle! I don't LOATHE our play room anymore. Hip hip hooray!

Ever since moving into the new house in March after selling our last mini house, this room has been in heavy use... by everyone except me. We hooked up the TV and video game console within the first few hours of ownership (priorities, right?), and of course, threw every last toy in there on it's bare floor and crammed all that would fit within the closet.

It was chaos, you know? The only good point to it was that we (and by we, I mean "I") didn't have to look at the disorganization in the living areas - but other than that, entering the room-of-toys was a miserable experience. The (albeit pretty) hardwood floor and (not so pretty) built-in that was already in place felt cold and horrible. 

Our ultimate plan is to completely change everything about this space (floors, move the built-in to the other side of the room and change it up, and then of course, paint!), but we needed a temporary solution to get us through to that point.

So what's a gal to do when the play room isn't her top priority on the "home improvement money spending" list? Shop the house! We hung the kids' initials up from the old nursery and bedroom over the make-shift daybed (two end caps to these beds from IKEA), and then put a cheap rug in there from Target - BOOM: instant coziness!

(My) Dog Crate of DREAMS!

I'm obsessed with my dog... but the hardware that came with him when we adopted Snow two years ago? Not so much. When he was 9 weeks old, it was estimated that he would eventually weigh in at 50 pounds - pretty large, right?! So we got him one of those giant dog crates. Well, now that he's 85+ pounds, that large crate was a good buy - BUT IT WAS JUST SO UGLY!


But back to the ugly crate. From day 1 I couldn't stand the big metal, space user-upper, but it's usefulness was undeniable. (I know that a ton of people out there are against crates - to each his own! I understand the merits of both using one and foregoing. With Snow being our first dog ever, we turned to our friends and family for advice - all of which use crates and seem to be happy with them. So that's what we did! Both Snow and us have always enjoyed his little "room.")

Ya win some, ya lose some - diy antiqued mirror gallery wall

I mean... I guess this wasn't a TOTAL loss - it doesn't look THAT bad. And in fact, post-editing (bahaha that's quite the disclaimer, isn't it? "Once edited, they don't look that bad!"), I actually kind of like them a tiny bit more...

But it for sure wasn't what I was expecting baha! I had grand visions of a lustrous, gold framed, large scale gallery wall of mirrors - so lovely, right? So when I came into a bunch of giant goldies (literally from the '80's) at a garage sale for $2 each, I knew where those bad boys would end up: DIY'ed into antiqued, mirrored beauties.

I followed this tutorial by one of my FAVORITES, Jenny Komenda, and while the frames DID look antiqued, they're VERY, very dark when looking at them.


Oh yeah, no big deal, I'm just over here still PINCHING MYSELF!

This was the biggest project Chad and I have taken on - in total it was two 10' tables, four 10' benches, one 7' arbor, one 9' arbor, one kid sized table and two kid sized benches - ELEVEN PIECES ALL TOGETHER!

When it was all said and done, we pretty much felt like the coolest humans on the face of planet earth (both of us were like "WE CAN DO ANYTHING! COME AT US, WORLD!").

It really boosted the ego that they wanted to "work with us" because this particular store is THE CUTEST LITTLE SHOP IN THE UNIVERSE. I mean, look at it!

BIG baby gate, babay!

So we know we're not mavericks of design with this thing, but what a rad addition it is! We're the proud new owners of a GIANT baby gate, much to the happiness of my PEACE OF MIND.

I really shouldn't call this thing a "baby gate." It can keep large children, dogs and probably livestock from the upstairs, it's so solid and legit.

The baby gates I had for the older two kids were sad, plastic affairs - this thing is a beast in comparison. And it just looks sooooooo pretty in the wasteland that is the front of our house (read: zero furniture so far).

a little love for the garage

***ZERO editing has happened to these pictures because... kids. I just wanted to record what we've been up to these last 2 weekends without it taking me 50,000 years, ya dig?

I've been pretty dang lucky on the DIY front thus far - most of our projects revolve around things I want done... but Chad is the one who ends up doing the bulk of the work. (Have I mentioned that I LOVE HIM?) So after several projects around here, I seriously felt like he needed to do something for himself. (That sounds nobler than it really was)... I mean, who can say no to some legit storage in the space where I knew he'd want to work on: the garage?!

First he cleared out a massive "catch all" area along the right side of our 3 car garage. He then decided that him and Carter needed some serious storage for hockey gear - an open-air, mudroom type thing. So that's where he started!

Not bad, I'd say! I'll post a full "after" picture with all of their gear pegged on there. It actually looks super cool with everything all organized - if you're a hockey  mom, you KNOW how insane all the gear can get. So aside from the RIDICULOUSLY pungent smell of sweaty-ness, the whole thing has turned out awesome.

Next.... well this is where I feel like people think we're crazy. The previous owners had installed super legit cabinetry along two walls of the garage but... they just weren't working for us. We had stuffed a few things in there, but overall it just seemed dysfunctional. We wanted a place where we could place large bins and the standard sized cabinets weren't cutting it. So Chad stopped wasting time and just took the dang things off! We're really turning into "on the fly" DIYer's over here.

tint, be gone!

Well gosh dang, some projects just don't pack as much KAPOW in pictures, you know what I mean? BUT those ones sometimes end up making the biggest difference in our lives - LIKE THIS PARTICULAR UNDERTAKING WE DID ON A WHIM LAST WEEK!

There was a DARK tint on the windows of this house - and I mean MIDNIGHT LEVEL, OUTER SPACE INTENSE DARK. When we first moved in though, although it felt closed-in, everyone kept telling us how nice and luxurious it was that we had this heat protection for the summers, and hey! It would protect the floors and furniture from the sun. All good things, right?


diy restoration hardware console table

I heard once that creative beings change their minds a lot - I'm here to report that this is correct. Chad and I have lived in approximately 405,000 different homes in our 8+ years of marriage - do you know how many furniture changes that computes to? Baha! Truth.

Anyhoo, I ended up moving this console table from behind the couch in the family room to the entryway. These sad, Z Gallerie inspired paintings I had made (that, please don't remind me, look NOTHING like something one would purchase at the Z) needed some serious love - they just looked so lonely. And (embarrassingly) bad.

Funny story about this console table: I gifted it to Chad for Christmas back when I had no idea what I was doing with a power drill - it's actually super rickety, complete with screws popping out everywhere. Usually people think the decor I place on top of it is because, hey, it looks good on there - but no. The decor is strategically placed to hide stripped screws that won't go in any further. Also, one of the posts swivels bahaha. And when I say "I gifted it to Chad," what I really mean is I was gifting it to myself and disguising it as a "hey, I love you so much! Here's a table I made with my bare hands!" But really, I just wanted an entryway table in our old house. 

we got our first type of "order" for a retail space! (an in-progress post)

It's happened: we're actually constructing furniture for human beings other than ourselves - bahhhh! What is going on in the world? It's for this LOVELY store that's opening up here in our community of Corona: Cursive - a brick and mortar extension of the insanely beautiful blog/website, Life in Cursive by Tracy Carpenter.

I mean.... pinch me? Someone pinch me!

It's Friday today and these things are "due" tomorrow - Chad and I have been working our butts off night and day - we are truly just hoping that the quality of our work holds up and everyone just doesn't hate it all bahahaha. It's a very simple style the owner has chosen but gosh be-darn, it's giving us a run for our money! I think it's because the table top is actually heavier than the base and then there's the issue of small amounts of warping - dear baby Jesus in heaven, please PLEASE allow these things to turn out well!!!!

so long, rickety pool equipment fence - hello beauty!

The backyard is SHAPING UP, I say! I'm pretty proud of ourselves for sticking to our guns: we don't want to do anything to the inside of the new house before finishing a few projects in the backyard, what with summer upon us (OH BEAUTIFUL SUMMER, WE HAVE LOVED YOU SO!). It's been tough living in an interior of nothingness, but man-oh-man, are we loving our outdoor space.

So far we've completed our 8.5 foot restoration hardware inspired tress beam table, amazing patio furniture that we are obsessed with (shared by ANA WHITE and REMODELAHOLIC - I'm still not over it) and now A MAJOR REFRESH FROM THE PREVIOUS OWNER'S RICKETY PICKET FENCE SOLUTION TO HIDING THE POOL EQUIPMENT! 

As per usual, Chad and I thought this project would take us no time at all - maybe like a swift afternoon undertaking? Look how "simple" it looks! Just a few 4x4's, planks and some hardware - how hard could it have been? WELL IT TOOK US 3 LOOOOONG DAYS.

z gallerie inspired canvases with paint samples for the house

***UPDATE: you can see how I styled this project here!

What's a chick to do when she needs to pick up paint samples for her house but ALSO wants to swing through Z Gallerie in pursuit of canvased art to give the empty entryway some love? KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE, THAT'S WHAT!

So I headed to Home Depot to grab some paint samples for the house because the ol' girl could use an update (Kendall Charcoal and Simply White from Benjamin Moore but with Behr paint). After grabbing 2 canvases from Hobby Lobby for 50% off, I then spent the rest of the day experimenting with the two different tones by adding white until my heart was happy, both on the canvases and on the actual walls. Add a little white here, a little white there not only for the art's effect, but to figure out just how light I wanted the grey to end up on the walls with the current paint color as it's predecessor.

While I was attempting this whole art thing, I obsessively looked at Z Gallerie's canvased art selection. I noticed that I was always drawn to the ones with a bit of glam in there - glitter and shinyness forever, I guess? I just LOVED them! So over the neutral grey's of my experiment, I decided to add a metallic paint and ATTEMPT to recreate some type of thang from their amazing collection. Also, I loved the drip look from Tatertots and Jello's tutorial, then got further tips on how to attain the drip look from here. So I guess what I was trying to do was a big freakin' mixture of all of them.

insanely expensive outdoor taste on an insanely tight budget - patio furniture diy!

* Really quick: like all of our projects, this set isn't PERFECT, but it's PERFECT FOR US. Pocket holes and other screws are still visible, but hey - as long as no one gets any splinters and they won't fall apart, I'M ALL ABOUT 'EM.

The absolute NUMBER ONE AND ONLY REASON Chad and I ever turn to DIY always comes down to cost - ALWAYS. In fact, in our new house, I got a little high-falutin'ish - I started making sweeping statements like "Oh yeah, I just don't want to DO that, who wants to get their hands dirty? Let's just hire someone!" thinking I was hot sh**. Then, feeling super cool, I would call a few contractors and/or specialists in whatever project I wanted to accomplish, resulting in several different quotes. THEN... I would remember why we DIY bahaha.

So anyway, imagine my surprise when with what I thought to be a "higher than usual" budget to spend on patio furniture turned out to be pretty dang low on the totem pole of outdoor seating options. I had $500 to spend on whatever the heck I wanted out there! Lounge furniture to enjoy the pool with - how exciting! How unlike us, entering into the retail jungle with $500 in our pocket, ready to SPEND like the high rollers we thought we were! Well - come to find out, $500 could buy us two very cheap-looking chairs with - wait for it - cheap-looking ottomans to go with them! No table, though. No, no. Not for $500.

restoration hardware truss beam outdoor table base - our first diy in the new house!

Way back in 2014, right after we bought our first house, Chad and I tried our hand at DIY for the first time. We made THIS table (and it straight up took us 2 weeks - TWO WEEKS TO COMPLETE THAT PROJECT - bahahaha. We were SO inexperienced). Here's a pic from that precious post - we were so thrilled with ourselves! (And how about that cute 4-year-old-at-the-time Carter?)

So yes, preciousness. Looking back, constructing it in that way was probably the most roundabout process ever in terms of making a table - I mean, kindaaaaaa over kill (hence the 2 weeks construction timeline?... Let's be real, we were just slow workers back in da day). But hey, it was the first thing we ever made and gosh dangit we loved it then and we love it now. 

That table top has lived a full life since 2014 - making a stint as our master bedroom's headboard for a bit there - and now is nestled in our backyard upon a new TRUSS BEAM BASE that we, a much more experienced DIY duo, completed.


But anyhoo, here was a bit of us making it (in pictures). Honestly, who needs an additional tutorial from me (like I've done in past posts on this here record-o'-our-projects blog) when every DIY we ever tackle comes from a much more DETAILED and HELPFUL tutorial anyway?
 ^^^One of the two benches we made! So darling!

Our last DIY before selling our tiny first home

Well gosh-be-darn, we bought a new house (UNEXPECTEDLY!). If you're interested, you can see what went down here on the ol' family blogular. But I just couldn't skip over our final DIY at the old house on this here home improvement project site of mine! It would be blasphemous.

So anyway, this project started out with us just wanting to oomph up the entryway, specifically this one, giant wall - it was just a huge, blank, vaulted ceiling-ed thing of nothingness. When I discovered Lauren over at Blesser House and began stalking her site regularly, I became transfixed by her DIY batten board project and so it was decided - BATTEN BOARD IT WAS!
So yes, anyhoo, it started off as us just wanting to do that one, entryway wall. But then, when we (very briefly) decided it would be in our best interest to stay in our tiny home for a few more years (baha! We were unaware of how we would be selling the ol' thing just months later), the project's scale escalated. All of a sudden, instead of just doing the one entryway wall, we decided to do the 7' batten around the ENTIRE entryway ROOM. So just to start things off, we did the entryway walls on BOTH sides (making one section into a tiny mudroom type area) and wrapped it around to the wall where we had a TV mounted.

We did it all based off of THIS tutorial - straight from Blesser Heart OF COURSE. (If she leaves, I will find her, Wedding Crasher style. Obsessed with her visions!)

*Lame photography comin' atchyu. I got lazy and didn't want to edit.