Cute Cute Curio

STOP! You there! No, not you, YOU. You with the outdated curio cabinet that you’re dragging to the dump. Don’t do it! Unhand it at once! At once, I say!

Whew. That was close. You almost tossed what could potentially be the cutest item of furniture in your whole house.  Sure, it may look like a cherry-stained relic from another time. And you probably have no intention to collect Precious Moments figurines and keep them safely behind glass. I get it.

But do you like …

Chalk Painted Curio Cabinet Before

Chalk Painted Curio Cabinet

… THIS???  Of course you do! How could you not? Aren’t you so glad I stopped you? You can thank me later, with candy or money or both.

Brooke decided to knock out the glass on her thrift-store curio and replace it with beadboard. She painted it with a velvety blue chalk paint called Tranquility and distressed it slightly with wax. I really, really love how this turned out.

Take a look at her blog Start at Home for a closer look. You can see how narrow it is, probably less than a foot deep. Perfect for squeezing in some extra storage almost anywhere! I’m thinking it would be great in a small bathroom with no closet.


But don’t fret if you’ve got a large armoire on your hands instead of a petite curio. You may have retired it long ago, no longer needing a bulky entertainment center, but you can always rehire it as handy storage space! Because who needs less storage? Nobody.

Wood Stained Armoire Before

Wood Stained Armoire

Change up the stain, switch out the knobs, and put it in the bedroom as a wardrobe. Add a set of tassels if you’re feeling kicky, and you’re really back in business.

From Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles.

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Picture Perfect Porch

School is officially out, and I’m officially trying to have a good attitude about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a monster, I love my kids and everything, but summer break in Phoenix is brutal with a capital B. It’s brutal with a capital everything. BRUTAL. It’s brutal with a dramatic syllable added. BAH-RU-TAL.

I think you get the point.

It would make so much more sense for our schools to take a nice long winter break, when the weather is gorgeous and we can venture outside for more than 30 minutes without suffering certain death. But no, here I’ll sit trying to keep four kids entertained without basically ever leaving the house for the next two and a half months. I need a summertime equivalent of the word “humbug.”

But I really am trying to have a good attitude, I swear!! I’ll stop whining.

I hope you have an awesome summer filled with pool parties and BBQs and that your eyeballs don’t melt out of their sockets. But before you go having all kinds of fun, you’d better check out your outdoor spaces and make sure they’re ready for entertaining.

Not only was Megan’s porch not up for guests, it probably wouldn’t have passed a safety inspection.

Porch with Columns Before


Porch with Columns

But after a weekend of work, it’s the most welcoming porch on the block! The biggest project here was removing the wrought iron railing and boxing in the columns. Don’t worry, Megan checked her local codes and found that no railing was necessary since her porch is less than two feet high. It makes a huge difference in making it look and feel more open.

I love the full-size rug she used too. Great way to bring in color and really capitalize on the floor space. Consider ditching your standard-sized welcome mat and giving this a try if you’ve got the room!

See more from Megan at Balancing Home.

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Shiplap Look on Any Budget

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of years, you are well aware of the trend known as ‘shiplap.’  If your cave has wifi, however, you’ve probably already shiplapped the crap out of it.  I bet it looks nice.

If you haven’t heard of shiplap, it’s basically wood paneling, most typically painted white and hung horizontally. It’s nothing groundbreaking or new, but it’s enjoying a resurgence of popularity thanks in part to Joanna and Chip Gaines and their massively beloved show “Fixer Upper.” They are big fans of the shiplap look, and so am I!

Here now are three ways to get the look yourself.

#1: You could actually hang some shiplap.

White Plank Wall Before


White Plank Wall

Chelsea at Creating Cotters Bay used white wooden planks to add some interest to the end of her hallway. Perfect place to add a little detail AND get some practice in before you attempt a larger wall.


If sawing up wood ain’t your thang, you can still get the look like Sarah did below. Can you tell what she’s using on her kitchen backsplash?

shiplap backsplash vinyl before

shiplap with vinyl planks after

#2: It’s vinyl flooring!

Easier to haul, cut, and much thinner than regular boards. And if that’s not enough to convince you, it costs less too. She made sure to space them out just enough by placing a penny in between the planks as she hung them. You want a slight gap to really nail that shiplap look. See her tips for painting and sealing on her blog All Things with Purpose.


Ok, so you can either hang actual shiplap, or you can ‘cheat’ with vinyl flooring, but is there yet another way?

Believe it or not, there is. And believe it or not, it costs zero dollars. That’s right, I said ZERO DOLLARS. Behold:

shiplap wall with pencil before


Can you guess?

It’s pencil! (Insert shocked cat-face emoji)

If you have access to a couple of pencils and a straight edge, you could be a member of Club Shiplap before dinnertime. Head on over to Emily’s blog The Wicker House to get all the details. I believe there is a coat of sealer involved at some point, so the pencil doesn’t smudge, but other than that, ZERO FREAKING DOLLARS PEOPLE.

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Off the Hook Breakfast Nook

If you’ve ever filled a room with furniture and then looked around and thought … “That just ain’t right,” I’m here to help! The problem, my darling, may be scale.

I’ve seen it a million times. Over-sized furniture crammed into an under-sized room, or tiny apartment-sized furniture trying its darnedest to fill up a spacious room. Neither one will ever scratch that itch of looking quite ‘right.’

This breakfast nook is a classic example. It was full of furniture, but just seemed off. Nothing really takes advantage of the fabulous high ceiling, which leaves the room feeling very flat. The baker’s rack is struggling to fill up the wall on the left, and the wall on the right seems thrown off-balance by the oversized lamps. Plus, everything in here is made from metal and/or glass, which also makes it feel a bit cold. Flat and cold. That’s how I like my pillow at night. Not my breakfast nooks.

Farmhouse Breakfast Nook Before


Farmhouse Breakfast Nook

But then Suzy from Worthing Court moved in, and brought with her plenty of warmth (and well-scaled furniture)! She framed the wall of windows with curtains and hung them nearly a foot above the casing, which elongates the whole room. Open shelving on the left also extends up, up, up the wall and is filled with a nice mix of accessories, large and small, which adds even more depth and interest. Such a great job! I am giving Suzy a mental high-five right now!


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