Thursday, June 30, 2011

I dont need anything else...

I don’t need anything else.

On every page of the magazines that I read it seems an add for something.  The newe$$$t baby toy$$$, 50 summer must haves under $50, 2 minute hair tricks (that of course include all the expensive products that you need to buy). And when you put down the magazine your mind spins with ideas of buying, buying things you hadnt thought of buying until just now.

Tiffany Blue Antique Writing Desk

I love when I see on a blog when someone makes something out of paint they had and some ribbon, or hot glue and some coffee filters. Its use what you have, its make do with what you've got, its free and creative.  Its a lot easier to just go and buy something new, but thats why I appreciate those kinds of DIY projects that much more.

Pedestal Side Table

I love making my home better, I would say its a constant quest for me. Making my home better means different things at different times. Maybe one day its making it less cluttered while adding in more storage, another day it'll be about messing up the kitchen to make homemade baby food, and then another day its managing the chores so we can live in it easier.  But I constantly remind myself I don’t need anything else.  And I encourage you to do the same. 

Perfect Chair for our Master Bedroom Reading Area

I encourage you to enjoy the process, to not stress over decorating and not feel the pressure of an undone home. I encourage you to think outside of the box of buying more and enjoying less.  I encourage you to feel happy in an undone home, to stop making excuses for a home that’s not magazine ready.  Remind yourself, convince yourself, you don’t need anything else to make you happy, or to make your house a home.

Cream Hutch- given to our neighbor

Make the decisions about what you buy be about need, beauty, function and that thing that it does to your heart when you see it.  Don’t get pulled into the nonsense of over consuming.  When I flip through a Pottery Barn magazine, its porn to me really.  But I constantly remind myself, I don’t need anything.  This keeps me feeling content in my own space.  I use PB for ideas and inspiration, but I never let it leave me feeling less than. When you go to a friends home, or a playdate of a stranger, try your hardest not to judge or compare. I always try to look for things that I admire, things that make a home feel: peaceful, inviting, homey, or enjoyable to live in.

Fun blueish grey chair

If you think you are someone who buys too much, or who has too much or buys on an impulse or maybe all of the above, think about doing these things.


1. Inventory your belongings, sometimes you realize you have WAY too much of something. Knowing ahead of time what you own far too much of, will save your $$$ next time you are shopping. ( my name is Jennifer and I have an addiction to pillows)

2. When you see something you love or want, write it down on a little wish list, visit the wish list in a week, see if you still want it. If you are on a budget do this once a month, if you give yourself a $ amount you are allowed to spend, you'll have a list of items to choose from.

3. If you keep buying accessories constantly, look at the big picture, are you trying to overcompensate for something else.  Maybe a funny wall color, bad couches, lack of character?

4. Go through your items and purge and sell. Sometimes when you realize how many of your items you are getting rid of, its a good step in the right direction for not overbuying in the future.

If you have any other tips, I'd love to hear.

Gorgeous 1920's Antique desk

All pictures are items that I've sold within the last 6 months, so I am still continually reminding myself that I dont need anything else, but in all honesty it does get easier the longer you do it, but I am not perfect, and I am still learning.

I don’t need anything else.  Do you?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mudroom Makeover

My before pictures of our mudroom arent that great, its a pretty small room so unfortunately I cant get the whole room in the picture at one time.


Notice the lovely pinkish walls, and the random patched up wall.

Pretty little window

The left wall

The very lovely tile floor (sarcasm of course)


I modge podged this wall with vintage book pages.  The books are actually pretty relevant, one is a book about mothers and daughters and the other is about having a happy marriage.  I try to include important numbers like chapter 9, because 9 is our house number or 12 because thats the date we were married.  I also added some blank pages just to break it up a little bit.

This bench was actually a tv stand bought from IKEA for our first rental house, it didn’t work in this house, and I realized it was the perfect size for this space.  I spray painted it heirloom white

I added two olive green hook holders onto the wall, spaced them out and then put a mirror in the middle. (this is perfect for checking to see if you are a hot mess right before you leave). I've seen other people modge podge with book pages, some people do straight lines so everything all lines up, but I go for a different look.  More like a jigsaw, pages overlap, some pages are vertical while others are horizontal. Both are pretty I think, so it just depends on your taste.

I got some foam and fabric and then hot glued it on. (I don’t know how to sew, it’s shameful but true). The good news is it was super easy and fast.

Next I added a bookcase from IKEA ( expedit $70), laid it on its side and filled it with storage holders.  The Fabric ones are from Walmart $10 each, the metal ones I believe are from Target, but a long time ago.  The metal containers we use for recycling, then when they get full it goes out to the bin outside.  The fabric containers hold different things : flip flops, cold weather stuff, all my many scarves, one is for errands and things to return.  It works for us really well.

 I also added the leftover fabric to 4 garage sale frames and hung them on the wall.  I painted the door this fun green because it’s a mudroom, and I think it should be fun and playful.

On top of the bookcase:
Mason Jar-for loose change (we just emptied it recently and it was over $100!)
Brown basket- Holds random things I don’t want to see
ETC basket- Holds car keys and sunglasses
Apothecary Jar- holds mini dog bones for our puppies

This is Macaroni on the left he's 2 1/2 weighing in at 4lbs and Pepperoni on the right he'll be 3 in less than a month weighing in at 8lbs.

This is the view from the kitchen

I hope you enjoyed my mudroom makeover!!! This space is all about beautifully fun function.
Do you have a space that’s both beautiful & functional?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Budget Yard Makeover

We had lived in our house for a year and a half, and we hadnt done much to the outside.  I was busy making the inside feel like home, and then I got pregnant, so I was too tired and it was too hot outside for me to do anything. We decided we'd like to give the yard a little spruce up this year, but with a no more than a $500 budget.

Just to let you know our home was originally painted cream with blue trim, and its sandwiched in between 2 other homes that are white.  I really wanted to paint it white with navy shutters and a red door, but it didnt make sense because then there would be 3 white houses in a row. I wanted to go nuetral so I decided on Annoymous Behr grey and Stealth Behr black for the trim.  I didnt see the grey until it went up, and I feel its too dark.  This is an expensive mistake.  Last summer we got white shutters to add in some more white to lighten it up.


This is the view from the street. Sadly we painted the house before we moved in, but this blue wall remained. And bothered me....a lot. What bothered me the most though was that huge bush on the front lawn that blocked our entire home, even in the winter without any foliage, this bush blocked our whole house.


And now you can actually see our home!


I had already planted all my flowers, but just pretend they are not there. = )



Why didnt I just paint this wall? And I am so embarassed. but this deck trellis lay down for a year and a half.  I kept asking my husband to do it.  Everytime I drove up my driveway I would be like " that damn wall and damn trellis!

This wall is not gorgeous, its not very pretty at all.  If we were planning on staying for 10 years, we'd fix it, change it, and make it pretty.  But we are moving and we wanted it to look prettier at least.  I wish we had done this before we moved in.

Before deck

I planned on painting these wicker chairs, but then I just got lazy

After deck

Before side deck

This ugly gate was a dog gate, I sprayed it last year and the dogs could be on the deck.  It was a nice idea but it started to really fall apart and get ugly looking.

After side deck

Before backdoor

After backdoor

I already had the milk jug and the planter. The flowers were $3.33 and the star was $3.99 from Christmas Tree Shop

Before Tree

After Tree
This I only added 2 chairs, but it actually makes the backyard a lot more friendly.

Before Mailbox

After Mailbox

We painted it white, and replaced the old plastic mailbox with a new bigger black metal one.  We also put a really nice decal on both sides in bright white. It just says our address in script writting.

Breakdown of costs

$66.82 Home Depot
2 long window planters & 2 hooks
New black mailbox
New door hardware

$25 Christmas Tree Shops
3 blue metal stars
2 glass candle holders
shells for decor

$12.50 Etsy
Mailbox decal
I'm not showing this because I'm nervous of the crazies!

$82 Lowes
Flowers & soil
(man flowers cost a lot!!)

$103.76 Home Depot
Paint thinner
6 bags of mulch
Grey paint for the wall
(grey paint is Behr pewter mug)
Knob for garden hose
3 rollers
1 paint pole

82.07 Lowes
4 white adirondack chairs
2 paint trays

TOTAL 372.15

So we came in $127.85 under our $500 budget. Our yard isn't something you'd see on MTV cribs, but its nice to see with a little bit of money and a lot of sweat equity anyone can really make their outside area prettier.

Visit me tomorrow for my fun, beautiful and functional mudroom makeover!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Everything has a place and a place for everything

I live in a 121 year old home, it’s full of character, beautiful molding, a wraparound porch, but what it doesn’t have are closets.  I have had to be more creative about my storage solutions, it’s not enough that something just looks pretty, we also need to be able to live here.
I want to point out a huge mistake I made, when I first moved into my home, I decorated every nook and cranny of my house, months later I realized I had no place to put anything.
In came my storage.  I will go into this in a huge amount of detail and show you all my storage in my home, because it is everywhere.  But I’d like to show you my “center” for all things organized in my home. 

I’m a girl on a budget, so it’s smart for me to shop around and really evaluate my space long and hard.  
I bought 4 bookcases from IKEA, 2 bigger ones, and 2 smaller ones. And then I bought a million boxes for the bookcases.  I love my home to be decorated like the cover of a magazine, but this space is not for decoration, it has to be almost entirely functional. That being said, I still think these bookcases are beautiful. After I bought everything it was probably about $300 including the baskets and boxes.  However it was a good investment for a small home. It also fits our wall perfectly so there’s not an inch of space lost.

There is a box for: Pens, Batteries, my contacts, Jewelry, Headbands, Sea Shells, craft supplies, mail,  Magazines (organized by title), Candles, Medicine, etc etc..

Before I labeled any of the boxes I was thinking about using my caligraphy pen and writting the items in pretty scipt writting.  I dont have the prettiest writting so I was thinking of asking a friend or my sister to do it. I know eventually I will need to change a box label to something else, and it would be unrealistic to think that I would have my friend or sister write a new label, and I didnt want the labels to be different.  Furthermore organization is not all about unattainable beauty, containers and keeping things perfect.  Organization is about finding a solution that works for your home so you have more time with your family, friends, life and hobbies. So I dont sweat my bad writting, we know where everything is and thats what matters. 
Some great things about this storage solution
1.       Everything big or small (that we use often enough) has a place to live
2.       The boxes are labeled so it’s easy to find things
3.       I can group boxes together that go together
4.       I can change the labels & rearrange the boxes anytime
5.       I can double stack boxes for extra storage in years to come
6.       It’s all white and the same storage so it doesn’t look chaotic
7.       I have plenty of empty boxes, so I wont grow out of this storage solution soon
I want my home to feel warm and inviting, and part of that has to do with organization.  This storage solution helps me spend more time with my family and less time looking for things I’ve misplaced.
My husband once joked “ Do we really need a box for rocks??” I like to know where the things that I use often enough are, as long as we have lots of extra boxes, then unfortunately for my darling husband, even the rocks have a place to live.
I also love that you can use them in different rooms or different houses. I currently have 3 small bookcases in my dining room also, I wanted some of the things out of my kitchen that I didnt use all the time.
Hope you enjoyed my storage solutions today!
What are some of your storage secrets?

Come back tomorrow and see our  budget yard makeover!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Devil is in the details

Like I mentioned yesterday, we did a lot of work to the kitchen, and after living with it for about 6 months we decided to add in some extra details to enhance the kitchen even more

We added wainscotting to all of the sides of the cabinets.  This is a nice detail, plus the area that you will need to cover probably wont be that much, so its a detail that wont cost that much.
We added molding to the top of all the cabinets to give it a more expensive look, in the picture below you can see what the cabinets looked like before.

Just plain boxes...not too exciting.

Another view of the molding and wainscotting

We also decided to add a chair rail around the room and wainscotting below it.  Again we dont have that much wall space to cover, so it wasnt that expensive for the materials.  This is the largest empty wall

There are about 4 areas in the kitchen with this amount of wall. So we were able to get the look of wainscotting all around the room, with very little wainscotting. Which makes my wallet happy

This is our hardware.  I love oil rubbed bronze.  This came out of a box set from target.  I think like 10 for $15, something like that, I think they were also on sale. You can still buy them individually at target for $1.78 each.
This is our faucet, also in oil rubbed bronze.  It was $250 from Home Depot which was a lot.  I loved it and had to have it. For me personally since the cabinets were old, I wanted to make sure to splurge on the faucet and appliances. 

We got these ceiling tiles on line.  I think they were about $400. I wanted the kitchen to feel special, and since the house was built in 1890, I thought they were appropriate. 
Close up of the tile design.  I also think these would look great painted.  We kept them white to make the room feel bigger.

Hope you enjoyed some of the details of our kitchen

Do you have any before & afters that you're proud of? If so I'd love to see, comment and put a link to your post about it!