Hot! Pink! And other office updates!

Remember that one time like 100 years ago when I painted this set of enormous bookshelves and nearly died in the process?

(And by 100 years ago I mean like, 1 year ago, and by enormous I mean pretty tall, and by nearly died I mean I got tired). So maybe I exaggerate occasionally.

Anyway, back then I mentioned that I would like to someday add more color in here, perhaps a hot pink rug. And you thought to yourself, “Yeah right Lindsey, you think gray equals a pop of color.”

Well, guess what haters? Just kidding, you’re not a hater. I love you. But guess what??

white arched office bookshelves

pink rug office

I put a hot pink rug in here. And I like it.

pink rug piano office

I also added a piano, which I’m slowly, slooowly trying to teach myself to play. If you too would like to teach yourself how to play a piano, just do what I did and buy one off Craigslist. (It also helps to have a stupid amount of patience and to be nice to yourself).

But I do recommend Craigslist. I found so many for so cheap. This one was around $100; it’s not in perfect condition and it came without a bench, and the inside was full of toothpicks for some mysterious reason, but it sounds great. And that’s not just my amateur opinion, my piano tuner even said so. You might be surprised what you can find. Speaking of recommendations, if you live in near Phoenix and need a good piano tuner, let me know and I’ll get you his info. He’s fabulous.

pink rug close up office

I took all these pictures at different times of the day, so the saturation of the rug’s color may look different from photo to photo, but I’d say the picture above is the closest representation. A lot of variation to she shades, some deep burgundy and purples weaved in, which gives it some nice depth.

It’s a great size to fill a room, 8’2″ x 9’11”, and it’s from Rug Studio, although it looks like it’s currently sold out! But I linked to their selection of pink rugs if you’d like to browse.

pink rug bouganvilla

A few vibrant bougainvillea branches from my yard are a perfect match. One good thing about Arizona summers. Look, there’s Divorced Giraffe!

 

home office pink rug white shelves

This room still fills a bit bare in the center, since all the furniture is up against the walls. It just needs a little something yet. I’m thinking maybe some fun poufs?

pink rug office french doorsI’ll let you know in 100 years what I figure out.

 


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Quick Bathroom Refresh

People often think because I am a DIY/home blogger, my house must be the epitome of style and hipness, fully-decorated with each corner designed to perfection. HAAAAAA! This is very much NOT the case.

In real life, I suffer somewhat from decoration paralysis. I often fail to decorate anything at all, not for fear of getting it wrong, but because I love so many things. And so many of those things are big, grandiose ideas (thanks Pinterest!) that are neither practical or affordable or going to happen in this lifetime. So instead I do nothing and slowly become blind to the beige-i-ness that surrounds me.

Do you ever feel that way? That it’s all or nothing? Pinterest perfection vs. why bother? Here’s some advice I try to remember to give myself: do SOMETHING! A little something goes a long way. Maybe it’s not ‘all,’ but it sure the heck beats nothing.

So with that in mind, I decided it was time to pay some attention to the upstairs bathroom, shared by my three boys. I have put zero effort into this room since we moved in nearly two years ago. It had only the very basics: a shower curtain and a mismatched rug. Occasionally a bottle of hand-soap to really add some pizazz.

Maybe I’m not about to rip out a perfectly functional vanity just to buy a more expensive or stylish version, maybe I’m not planning to tear out the shower insert and retile it with custom concrete tiles imported from Italy anytime soon.

But darnit, I CAN put up a new shower curtain and a decent looking rug!

boys bathroom before pic

 

boys bathroom makeover 2

So that’s what I did.

It really is amazing what a tiny bit of effort can do.

before boys bathroom

 

boys bathroom makeover

 

I hung a shelf, I added some simple decor, I replaced the gnarly old towels with fluffy new ones.

 

boys bathroom before 2

 

bathroom makeover

 

succulent planter from target

 

cactus shelf and succulent

 

bathroom rules

 

rhino sculpture

So easy. And SO much better! I spent less than $100 and probably two or three hours of time, and now the room is so much nicer to be in. The kids even keep it cleaner too, which is amazing while it lasts.

I found most of the accessories at Ross and Target, and I made this yarn art myself.  I know what you’re thinking … “Yarn art? Above the toilet? Won’t that get kind of … gross?” Yeah, probably yes. I plan to give it a good dose of Lysol every now and then, and if it gets too funky, it’s just yarn. It won’t be all that heartbreaking to see it go.

 

yarn art

But it was fun to make! I think I’ll try another one again for sure. You should do it too! All you need is a dowel and several colors of yarn. I cut my yarn in six foot long pieces, then folded them in half so they hung three feet long. I attached them to the dowel two at a time using a cow hitch knot. Then you can just trim the bottom to any shape you want. I did something random and piecey here.

I also wanted to add something to the window, which is the tiniest window in the house and looked so bare. I found this gold and white fabric that I loved from Wal-mart believe it or not, and whipped up a faux roman shade.

faux roman shade

The shade doesn’t function (hence the faux) but it does a nice job of looking nice.  I just measured the fabric to fit the width of the window, and long enough to allow me to fold it several times. I held the folds in place with hot glue, then trimmed it with navy grosgrain ribbon. (Not true. I trimmed it with ribbon first, THEN folded it. Doing it the other way around would have been impossible).  Then I wrapped a 2×4 in the same fabric and stapled the shade on the back, screwed it into the wall, and flipped the fabric back over the top.

There’s a little shimmer to this fabric, which matches the shower curtain ever so nicely.

faux roman shade detailNice job Wal-Mart fabric department, I tip my metaphorical hat to you!

boys bathroom makeover 2

So that’s the story of my JUST DO SOMETHING boy’s bathroom. Making these few little tweaks really has made such a big difference. I hope it’s inspired you to ‘just do something’ in a space that lacks attention in your home. Don’t put it off any longer! Enjoy your home today!

 

*sources*

Rug, hamper, shelf, bag, brass rhino, ‘Bathroom Rules’ art: Ross

Shower curtain, gray basket, succulents: Target

Towels: Macy’s Hotel Collection ultimate micro cotton


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One more time: favorite moments from 2015

Are you tired of looking back on last year yet? WELL TOO BAD! I already recapped my favorite reader features of 2015 this week (here and here), but today I thought we could revisit some of my own projects from throughout the year, mostly to remind myself that I actually sometimes accomplish things.

And THEN we’ll move on to 2016. We will. I’m 80% sure of it.

So here are some blasts from the past, starting with this little thrift store unicorn makeover that I’m still quite fond of.

⭐️✨ ⭐️✨ ⭐️

Always remember what it taught us: “You should never not buy a unicorn when you have the chance.”

 

I did a quick mini-bathroom makeover in my master bathroom with nothing more than a few pretty accessories and a stencil.

stenciled bathroom wall

And a thrift store chandelier that hasn’t killed me yet, despite the warnings I received about hanging it over the tub. DISCLAIMER: Don’t hang a chandelier over the tub, apparently that’s bad. So don’t do it. Definitely don’t do it and say that you saw it here.

 

Last year I also put together this handy guide to home decor catalogs you can get for freeee!

free home decor catalogs pin

I have signed up for most of these, and it’s like a happy little present in my mailbox every time I get one. (There’s actually more than 13 now, the list just keeps growing).

 

This black, white, and gold tablescape was a fun project for HomeGoods.  I was so in love with the gold flatware that I had borrowed from my friend for the pictures, that I made an desperate plea to the universe to provide me with my own. Here is exactly what I wrote back then: “Unfortunately, this gorgeous gold flatware does not belong to me *sob!* I borrowed it from my most fabulous friend Denise, who ordered it from Horchow.  Please join with me in telling the universe to send a set my way. (((((((())))))))) <–universe vibes.”

black gold and white tablescape

Well homie, the universe vibes WORKED because a few months later I found a nearly identical set at a flea market for way way way less money than Horchow’s set, plus it was a huge service for 16, so I felt like I won the gold flatware lottery, as sponsored by the universe. Thanks universe!

 

Next, I painted this behemoth set of bookshelves for my office, and gave you the rundown on paint sprayers vs. spray paint.  The results might surprise you!

gold arrow cabinet pulls  bookshelf wall in home office

Thanks to Lumber Liquidators, I was able to install new floors and shared the pros and cons of laminate flooring.

living room driftwood floor

Lumber Liquidators was then embroiled in a huge national scandal like literally the next day, so that was … awesome. Still loving the floors though! Read the whole saga here and here.

 

I joined with a few other bloggers to share what we love to collect. I shared my collection of white candles, obviously.

brass candlestick collection lit all white

Just kidding. I obviously shared my collection of brass candlesticks, which is still growing.  I’m running out of places to put these things.

 

2015 was also the dawn of a new contest, The Mystery Thrift-Off! I had such a great response from you wonderful readers about participating.

mystery thrift off package copy

It was really fun, but SO MUCH WORK though, so please send some enthusiastic feedback if you’d like to see it happen again.  Your feedback is my lifeblood. LIFEBLOOOOOOD!

 

Did you catch my gallery wall with a secret??

gallery wall straight on

The secret was that it is magnetic. Yep, there are nothing but magnets holding all that junk up there! Get all the info here.

 

This next picture needs to come with a warning, because it is the 2015 winner of the Ugly Lamp Contest. So please be prepared for terror and usher small children from the room:

UGLY LAMP 360 2

I keep thinking each year that we’ll never top the year before, and yet somehow we do. We really do.  Ok, but confession time:  After five solid years of ugly lamps, I am wondering if it’s time to move on to uglier pastures? Should we do something new? Ugly chairs? Ugly pillows? Or do you still have room in your hearts for ugly lamps? Please advise.

 

If you’ve ever wondered how to paint a polk-dot chair, wonder no more.

polka dot painted chair

Ever wondered what the best part of my dining room makeover was? You probably haven’t. But in case you have, I’d say it’s this light fixture.  Or the black ceiling.

orb chandilier in dining room

Or maybe the scarf that I used as a table runner until Christmas time, when it served as a tree skirt, until New Years, when I wore it as a scarf, until the flight home, when I used it as a blanket on the airplane. It’s key to look for versatility when choosing your decor, that’s what I say.

 

And one last time, my computer nook makeover. (The kids have yet to use this for homework. One of my boys just told me yesterday that he needed a desk in his room, and I was like “Hey, why don’t you use the COMPUTER NOOK?” and he was like “Oh. I thought that was just for decoration.” I have taught them well. Too well).

side by side

Well, that was Better After in 2015 in a nutshell! Thank you ever so much for choosing to hang out here. Truly. I’d give you all a sloppy kiss and a bag of candy if I could. Can’t wait to see what 2016 holds!


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My Dining Room Makeover

Hey gang! So, we’ve been in our house for about a year and a half now, and I know for some people that’s more than enough time to get their act together and have the entire house 100% decorated and styled to their heart’s content.  Are you one of those people? Congratulations, I hate you.

Just kidding. I don’t hate you, I want to be you. But that’s just not the way I work, and I suspect most of us are the same way. Creating a home you love that truly reflects your style is long, loooong process. Fraught with trial and error. Heck, even just nailing down your ‘style’ is tricky business.

So, while the overwhelming majority of my house is still builder-beige and there are plenty of empty walls patiently waiting for attention, I’m slowly trying to make progress.

I’ve been working on my dining room, and while I’m not totally content with it yet, it’s coming along! This is what it looked like last year at Christmas time.  Shield your eyes from the festiveness about to assault you:

dining room makeover before

WHEW. That was overwhelming.

Since then, I’ve made just a few simple changes in here, namely curtains, a new light fixture, a tiny little bit of paint, and a new rug, and here is the result:

dining room makeover after  dining room rug black and white

I liked the old rug, it just was way too off-white to look good with all the white-white furniture in here, so it has moved to a different room. I LOVE the new rug, it’s super duper soft, and the hexagon pattern is echoed in the mirror on the wall.

I also painted the ceiling black and now, much like Mick Jagger, I want to paint everything black. It’s so dramatic!  Unpainted ceilings: so not dramatic. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

painted ceiling before

But, like I said, getting to that point is often a LOT of trial and error. For example: I thought I would use a popular deep gray called Peppercorn and that it would look duh, awesome, so I slapped on a quart and it did not look awesome.

I’ve used it successfully in other places in my house, but in this room it just looked purple. And also, a quart was nowhere near enough.  So, stupidly, I went back to the store and had them mix up another quart of Peppercorn. And they didn’t mix it exactly the same as the first time, so my second coat was slightly lighter (and more purpley) than the first coat, which meant my second coat was null and void.  It looked like garbage.  I left it like that for about a week while I pouted.

Then I thought, “Lindsey, look deep into your heart. What do you REALLY want?” And I had to tell myself the truth.  I wanted a black ceiling. None of this gentle gray nonsense.

 

repainting the ceiling black

This time I bought a gallon of black (lightened by 10%), and within the first few brush strokes, I knew I had done the right thing.

repainting the ceiling

Oooh, do you notice that perfectly straight line? It’s all thanks to my ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE painting tool of all time, and I’ve only recently discovered it, but I will never paint anything without it. No joke.

It’s the Shur-Line Paint Edger, it’s super inexpensive, and you will never have to use painter’s tape to mask off edges again.  It’s the only reason I was able to paint FIVE coats of paint on the ceiling without spending 1000 hours taping and losing my mind, my will to live, and all blood-flow to my brain.

 

dining room with black ceiling

dining room table plaid runner

The orb chandelier is a slight step up from the builder fixture that was there before. Understatement.

gray curtain close up

The curtains are from Budget Blinds and I’m pretty thrilled with them.  They offer LONG lengths, which is so hard to find. They have tons of options to choose from, I went with charcoal linen, and was happy to see that they come fully lined. I was even able to customize my grommet color to make sure it matched my curtain rod.

long gray curtains

I actually have two panels on each side, four panels total, because I like a nice full look. I definitely recommend!

(My fiddle leaf fig will die immediately if I move it from that spot).

 

orb chandilier in dining room    thanksgiving tablescape

I’m currently displaying my pretty pumpkin collection for Thanksgiving/Fall; I try to find a new one each year. Also, do you like my plaid table runner? Just kidding, it’s a scarf! A huge huge scarf.  You can find that huge huge scarf at Target.

And here are the sources for everything else!

Apex Hexagon Rug from RugsUSA (It’s 70% off right now!!)

Shur-Line Paint Edger

Curtains from Budget Blinds.

Orb Chrome Chandelier from Overstock.com

Huge Huge Scarf

 

Thanks for reading friend, hope you enjoyed.  Have a great weekend.

 

<<This post contains affiliate links; curtains were provided courtesy of Budget Blinds; all words and opinions are my own.


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