Upgraded: Dining room table centerpiece.

I was feeling like the green bowl on the dining room table was a little wimpy.  I wanted something with some height and substance to it.

So, with the help of a $12.99 Homegoods vase, 3 stems of fake cherry blossoms and 2 stems of fake cream-colored berries (from the Jo Ann’s 70% off sale, purchased the same day as the window box flowers!), we have a new centerpiece:


Small upgrade, but it makes me happy so I figured I’d share it here.  Hope you like it!


Marooned no longer.

The dining room is moving along nicely!  When we moved in, it was kind of dark and honestly, it totally creeped me out.  I can’t explain why, it was just so depressing in there!  It definitely didn’t help that the only light in the room was an overhead light with 2 30-watt bulbs in it.  Dark maroon walls and dark woodwork just didn’t exactly scream “cottage farmhouse” to me.

Here is what the room on the day we moved in:

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And then there was some of this…

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And a little of this…

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And now, a little over a month later, we have this!


We still have some work to do (new ceiling light fixture, a few decorations and table centerpiece, a rug maybe?), but I couldn’t be happier with how far the room has come along so far!

The paint colors we used were Simply White (Clark and Kensington) on the trim, Chalk (Clark and Kensington) on the board and batten, and Offshore Mist (Behr) for the upper wall.

Budget breakdown:

Table: $149 (Cardi’s clearance center)

Chairs: $392 (Wayfair.com)

Curtains: $75 (Target)

Curtain Rods: $0 (Came with the house)

Table Runner: $15 (Homegoods)

Board and Batten Supplies: approx. $150

Paint: approx. $100

Starfish: $6 (Christmas Tree Shop)

Bowl: $0 (Already owned)

Grand Total (So Far…): $887.00

Not too bad, considering that includes a giant solid wood table and 6 chairs!  Can’t wait to finish it up with a new light fixture and a few more accessories!

Fake it ’til you make it.

Flanking our side door are two windows that came with empty window boxes beneath them.  I’ve been wanting to plant flowers in them, but I’ve been nervous about spending money on flowers this late in the season.  Also, I have a bad habit of killing our plants and flowers (how often do you need to water those things?!) and I didn’t want to end up with two window boxes full of dead flowers.

Enter: 70% off Spring season faux flowers from Jo Ann Fabrics!  I picked up a few bunches of fake flowers that I thought looked nice together, stuck some floral foam in the boxes, and poked the flower stems in.

Here is what the boxes looked like before:


And here’s how they look today!

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Not bad for about $10 worth of fake flowers, and at least I know I can’t kill these 🙂

Lighter and brighter hallway update.

I thought I’d share this not-very-exciting but glad-it’s-painted downstairs hallway update:




I painted the walls (Behr – Heavy Cream) and trim (Clark and Kensington – Silent White) and took down the old oak-colored doorbell cover and painted it white to match the trim (yay for free updates!).  We still need to get a new ceiling light, change out the light switch from cream to white, do something about the doors (probably paint them white to match the trim), and add a rug and some accessories.  So, we still have a long way to go!  But at least it’s lighter and brighter, and that makes me one happy girl 🙂

PS – Holly isn’t actually allowed in the basement, so we keep the cat door locked (it came with the house).  That doesn’t stop her from using it as a cat window, though!  It’s a little alarming to see two big yellow eyes staring at you when you walk up the stairs!

Pulling weeds and mending fences.

Recently, my mom came over and then my father-in-law and sister-in-law came over to help out with a bunch of yardwork and housework.  My mom helped me figure out the difference between plants and weeds (yes, I needed help with this…) and we pulled a whole bunch of them out.  Then, my father-in-law and sister-in-law came over and we tackled fixing some broken fences around the house.  Here are a few shots of what the plants/weeds and fences looked like before:

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And here is what they look like now!

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It’s really interesting how you don’t notice how bad things look until you fix them up.  I didn’t even notice the weeds, and I definitely could have put off fixing the broken, rotted fencing (it’s “rustic”…?).  But now that things are looking better outside, I’m so happy that the work is done.  We probably won’t do much more landscaping until next year, but at least now it’s looking cleaned up and the fences are freshly painted and safe.  Many thanks to the family for helping us out!

Our new home!

Since we closed about a month ago, we’ve been going like crazy!  So many boxes to unpack and things to organize… Now I can happily say we’re starting to settle in and the new house is starting to feel a little more like home.  We’ve already made a good amount of progress on the first floor, but I thought I’d share a few photos of the house that I took the day we closed.


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Dining Room:

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Living Room:

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Downstairs Bathroom:

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Downstairs Hallway:



Master Bedroom:

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Bedroom #1:

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Bedroom #2:

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Upstairs bathroom:


Upstairs Hallway:


Lots to do, but I think we have some great bones to work with 🙂  So excited to finally have a home to make our own!

I have to start somewhere!

I’ve been thinking about how I want to re-do the new house, but I haven’t come up with a distinct plan just yet.  The only room that I have thought about in much detail is the guest room, of all things!  I want it to be pretty, cottage-y, and (importantly) inexpensive.  Here is a mood board that I put together on Olioboard using a lot of things we already own.  The little picture in the corner is the picture from the listing and shows how the room looks now.

OB-Guest Room 1It’s pretty rough (I’m a bit technologically-challenged), but I think you get the picture.  The placement of furniture is random and not how I would put it in the room!

The bedding is from Martha Stewart and it’s called Cape Flowers.  My mom bought it and then didn’t end up using it, so she gave it to me.  Free bedding for the win!  The brown-black bureau is a Hemnes bureau from Ikea ($149), and we have it in our apartment right now in a spare room.  The side tables are similar to the side tables we have in our current bedroom (from Christmas Tree Shop years ago…), and I’m planning on painting them black and moving them into this guest room.

We are getting a hand-me-down queen bed and mattress from my in-laws.  I am planning on painting the bed black.  What else?  Oh – the walls.  I really like the color of walls in the Cape Flowers ad, and it’s kind of an aqua-y bluish grey.  I’ve heard about a good color called “Sea Salt” by Sherwin Williams, and I think it might work in this room.  We’ll see!

If I’ve planned correctly, the only things I’ll need to buy are an area rug (I’m thinking sea grass?), lamps (white or wall-mounted…or both!), window treatments (bamboo blinds and white curtains), a ceiling fan, a chair (thrifted, if I have my way!), and a few accessories.  Not too bad!

Is it wrong to start redecorating a new house in a guest room?  It’s probably not the most logical choice, but I have to start somewhere!  What room did you start your home re-do in?