The Light is Here!

I enter my last semester of grad school tomorrow. I can’t believe it. I’ve had people start asking for interviews at work and I’m freaking out. I don’t feel like I’m knowledgable enough yet to start this new role. But it’s here, the light can be seen!

I started the first floor bathroom reno over Christmas break after having my beloved noir hex tile since last year’s President’s Day sale. The bathroom looks great, though many finishing touches still need to be had. I’m struggling with the hand towel and what that will look like, but more importantly where it will go. I’m thinking a hook between the mirror and door since there is no good place for a towel rack (except for maybe above the toilet) and a towel ring just seems too big. 

I’m envisioning a hanging planter in front of the window. A toilet paper holder under the window. A basket under the sink cabinet. Some art. No rug–I like the floor too much. Plus, smaller tile=more grout lines=less slippery :) Not to mention, in a bathroom that we never use the shower.

I really wanted an olive linen-like shower curtain but couldn’t find one.The graphite one I picked is a beaut, but makes inside the shower super dark., though I guess an olive colored one would do the same.

I wanted a cognac wooden elongated mirror, but couldn’t find one. I feel like I’ve settled, but I had little time and ultimately could return them if my dream piece is reasonable.

I spent more money ($70 a piece) than I ever wanted to on a mirror and shower curtain, but what gives?

The door still needs to re-hung. But I’m enjoying the view from the kitchen of the wood planks too much. Plus my #1 is out of town ;) I’ll apologize for the iphone photos at night now. See you in 5 months!!


I bought this adorable hanging planter from Ikea, but can’t decide where to put it! I thought the colors would go great in the office, but with the vaulted ceilings it’s not working out.

RISKORN Hanging planter IKEA A plastic inner pot makes the plant pot waterproof.

Once my generous cousin does my taxes, I’m hoping to re-do the first floor bathroom with my returns. Paying off student loans or redoing the bathroom? Easiest. decision. ever. Not really, but I’m 90% sure it’s happening. Maybe this cute planter could hang from the ceiling in front of the window in there.

The bathroom needs a new floor, paint and removal of the tiled walls. They are cracked and sunken and ugly. We’ve lived with it for almost 3 years. The toilet, sink and tub are newer, and the tile in the shower has been updated. This is what I’m thinking:

Better After | Bathroom Makeover. Love the wall color & board and batten together.

Similar floor, paint and wall coverings. Not sure on the paint, but I’m loving the moody grey-blues. This 2 inch marble hex tile is so dreamy, but would probably cost $500 alone. AmIinsane? I want to tackle all the this with my dad. I’ve been dying to learn to tile, everyone else is doing it!

The paneling will hopefully make it easier to hide the mess we’ll remove off the walls. I’m sure there will need to be some patching of drywall, especially if I want to achieve this desired look:

floor to ceiling board and batten bathroom - Google Search

Lastly, if time and money allow, I’d like to make the ceiling above the shower as high as the ceiling in the rest of the room. Not much light gets into the shower because the opening now is so small. Hopefully this will make the room look bigger and I will be able to buy a longer shower curtain as well. A new mirror will be in order, and maybe a new light. I’d love a pendant… I’ll keeping stalking Pinterest for ideas.

I’m hosting 2 showers at my house this spring. It’d be a miracle if this was complete for at least one of them!

Do you think I’ve exceeded my tax return yet?

Our Office is Singing the Blues

Our office is painted. IKEA furniture is assembled and in it’s place. The curtains are in the dryer, awaiting ironing and ready to be hung. The office is almost “finished”. I still need a rug, a desk chair, to hang art, and paint some lamps. Lucerne by BM was the color we chose. Disclaimer: I’m a light and cool person, not a bold and masculine person. The color is not horrible dark, but at night, forget it.  The room has 3 flood lights on a track that came with the house, plus a window and skylight which only add mood lighting. I’ve added 3 lamps on our desks to brighten this space up at night so we don’t go blind. Day time lighting isn’t bad, that is if the sun would shine! COME ON SPRING!!

I can’t wait to call this space ‘finished’ and get school started you three the final pics!

High Hung Remix

The curtains have been hung for almost 3 weeks.

I’ve really grown to like them. They were another sweet Christmas present from my sweet mom (hi mom). I searched for curtains for while, wanting something bright with fun design. But I didn’t want this room to be too busy, and if I changed the wall color, or pictures, or couch, I didn’t necessarily want to replace the curtains. I also wanted to possibly use the same curtains in the dining room since the two rooms flow into each other. Ultimately I went with something neutral. They are the Farrah Cream curtains from Target. At $16.99 a panel, I  my mom couldn’t beat it.

Believe it or not, I did iron these! I searched long and hard for cheap curtain rods too. They don’t exist. At least not my standard of cheap, especially when I needed a long one. So I made these. I bought 3 of these rods from Home Depot. Electrical Conduits. Don’t ask me about their intended use. These are 10 feet long and $4 a pop. I brought them home, spray painted them oil rubbed bronze, measured them out, and cut to size.

The windows by the fireplace only allowed for me to hang the curtains 9 inches from the window frame without hitting the wall, and 2 inches into the mantle.

The front window allowed for 12 inches on either side of the window frame. I wanted the curtain to just graze the window frame. This makes the window look bigger and does not block any light from entering the room.

The brackets also came from Home Depot. A set of 2 with hardware ran me about $4 each. The ring clips came from IKEA. Which are by far the cheapest out there. A set of 10 for $3.99 was a dream. The curtains could have just slid onto the rod, but I opted for the ring look.

All said and done for these 3 windows it cost roughly $115. Minus my Christmas gifts, my cost was only $47! And that I can’t beat.

A little before and after:

My curtains touch the ground. That wasn’t my goal, but it happened. I intended for the rods to hang higher near the crown molding. But after holding it there, it looked weird touching the molding. So we brought it down a few inches and now they touch the ground. I could lose the rings and be fine, but I think it looks delicate this way.

My DIY rods don’t come without flaws. My conduit rods are slightly thicker than my brackets, so they are just resting on them. I could attempt to get them in, but then my curtains will touch more of the floor, and worst of all, I could crack my plaster walls by forcing them in. So I’m leaving them be. Did you even notice that?

My rods could also chip since there are spray painted. These curtains are decorative. They will not be sliding back and forth against the painted rods. My white blinds will hide our faces at night from the outsiders.

I bought cheap finials from IKEA too, which I didn’t use. Did you notice? Does my rod look naked? They are VERY simple:


But there is nothing to screw these into at the end of the conduit. I thought about a glue and electrical tape concoction. Instead, I’m leaving them be. More industrial, with very clean lines.

As for the dining room and using matching curtains (since I have all the rod supplies now), Target was SOLD OUT of the 95” curtains! Until yesterday….

Thrift Store Finds

I recently went thrift shopping while jamming to this song:

File:Macklemore - Thrift Shop.jpg

watch the video here

Goodwill was my place of choice. I was on the hunt for a small glass container to hold my q-tips in my bathroom cabinet, (which was a success!) and anything else that caught my eye.

This wooden pineapple was made in Honolulu (so the sticker on back says) which is where my #1 lived for a short time in college, and I of course visited him there. I decided to paint the inside and hang it by my front door. I needed some more art on the walls and I thought the pineapple was fitting to welcome our guests inside. I wanted to incorporate the green/yellow/goldish color in from the chair nearby.

I mixed some paint together to get the color I desired. I found a sample “oops” paint at Home Depot on clearance for 50 cents. I used Frog Tape to tape off the surrounding wood. I had intentions of spray painting, but could not find the color I wanted in spray form.

I used command strips to attach the pineapple to my wall. Worked like a charm.

That’s a sneak peak of another project we have accomplished (more on that later). I think I’ll eventually either add something else to that wall, or maybe something to the center of the pineapple. Or maybe the simple lone pineapple will grow on me.

I added some of the same paint to the small bird that lives on the dining room shelf, to brighten him up.

This was another thrift store find. This darling guy was $1. He landed in the family room also. He’s managed to stay away from the paint… for now!


Meaningful Art

While in Asia I wanted to find a Vietnamese map to hang somewhere in my house. My #1 is 50% Vietnamese and I thought it would be neat to have something from Vietnam in our home. I found a map on our last day in a small book store in the city Hoi An.

When we got home, I found a frame at Target that I thought was dark enough and blended in with my stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. The map’s size was perfect for the wall near the bar.

I used the paper with the fake picture on it that comes with the frame as my mat. I painted it with a small foam roller the same color as the darker shade of the dining room.

And simply centered the map on top to create a mat. The map is written in Vietnamese which is a nice bonus of authenticity.

PS. Please forgive me as my new layout sucks, though I’ll cheers to bigger pictures!

Christmas Gift

I’ll apologize for bringing up Christmas, but I have excuses. My number #1 and I just returned (2 weeks ago) from a trip of a lifetime. We traveled three countries in Asia in 19 days. It was awesome, and if you every have a chance to go, do it. Bangkok was so very cool, and I’ll say my favorite city!

My dining room light broke on moving day and I showed you guys how I fixed it in one of my very first posts here. That was almost a year and half ago.

One of my Christmas gifts from my mom was a new light for the dining room. My dad came over yesterday and hung my new pendant from Crate Barrel. You can find it here . It’s such a nice touch to the room, making it feel more bright.

With the light on, it is a bit yellow. I’ve since changed the bulbs to more wattage and it looks better. (Not pictured). And leaves no shadows on the ceiling.

Don’t mind the outlet in the background without a plate. I was switching them from almond to white. My dad taught me and I was excited to finally get that done. He also replaced my dimmer, which went out. Yay for new upgrades! And thanks mom for the gift! :)


Hung High

I got on it myself. It’s not perfect, just ask my #1, he’ll tell you alllll about it.  I hung the craft room curtains last week. The room itself got a small makeover also. It houses some furniture and plants from the family room and kitchen while Christmas takes over. It’s very eclectic-bohemian in there, if you ask me. The plants are overwhelming and the mix of colors and patterns has taken over. It makes me feel weird.

Oh, and that fern, I rescued from my neighbor’s garbage. It’s huge! and in decent shape, not to mention: free! It fit nicely in the pot that was in my fireplace.

I need to hem the curtains still. They are Ikea cheap-o’s (go figure) with cheap-o rods that I spray painted white. I tried to keep them as wide as possible, not to block the natural light, nor cover my “create”.

So, that’s that.

A Family Room Makeover

The family room is painted. It took all last week, with finishing up yesterday with cleaning and putting the room back together. My little brother and parent’s dog spent the week with us while my parent’s were out of town. Thank goodness the weather was nice and they could play outside.

I started off fixing MANY holes and cracks.

And moved all the decorations to the dining room and furniture to the center of the room.

I painted the ceiling first, barf. But my mom always said when you paint a room, you might as well paint the ceiling, and it does make a difference! Then the walls, then the trim. Once the walls are finished it never looks like the trim needs a fresh coat until I compare them without one.

See the difference?

I also took the wood blinds down. Gross. I’ve clean half of one so far with ONE magic eraser. So disgusting! I’m liking the windows without blinds and those beautiful window sills!

I doubt my #1 will let me keep the windows this way. He likes his privacy at night. And I can’t blame him. But they do look pretty and clean!

And the final reveal! (I want to paint the back of the front door something fun, so I haven’t given it a fresh coat of white yet. But I think I will until I can come up with a color.)

I painted the side of my map Copley Gray by BM too. See those wrinkles?!

I also have put the first coat of white on the fireplace.

I’m not sure what I’ll paint the inside. Black? or white?

I’m also debating on curtains. Hung high and wide. But I was just playing with what I had on hand. Should I stick with white, or stay away from being too matchy-matchy? The one on the mantle is just a drop cloth from Home Depot.

I’ve sprayed painted my baseboard registers. They were so gross, and rusted. How did these people live like this? and, how have we for the past year?!

And I couldn’t get this one out. I think it’s stuck from paint. But it’s halfway behind the TV. I was able to remove the one under the large window. I sanded, primed and sprayed it white in semi-gloss. Took 5 minutes, and it looks brand new. I love spray paint!

What will I be working on next? The new TV stand I bought from the thrift store a while ago. After staining and changing the knobs, I think it will look cute. I’m also on the hunt for an ottoman to replace my too little IKEA coffee table. And of course new pillows, curtains, etc….

Must. Remember. Last. Post.




Framing an Oversized Poster

I did a poor job of capturing the framing process. But it started with me rummaging through my garage to find some left over crown molding/base boards. I sanded and stained them, and applied a coat of poly. We cut them to size at a 45 degree angle and used wood glue and clamps to hold them together. L brackets were used at each corner for extra support. I used a glue stick to adhere the poster to a piece of insulation, cut to size. Enter mistake #1 (more on that later).

We then screwed the frame to the  piece of insulation around the poster. We held the frame to the insulation with clamps while we worked on the other side. Be careful to use the correct size screw as you don’t want your frame to break.

We used paint stirer sized pieces of wood and washers between the screw, insulation, and frame for more support. Later we used these same thin pieces of wood to attach the framing kit to hang this on the wall.

After the frame was attached, we used a hand saw to cut away the extra insulation. The insulation is seen from the sides, and I plan on painting it the same color as the walls to camouflage it more.

I had to make 5 cuts because I didn’t have the right lengths of each piece of wood. It’s hard to tell now.

Ok, so mistake #1 was the glue stick. I was afraid spray adhesive would bled through. I guess the mixture of humidity and glue stick’s lack of stick has led to this.

Wrinkles all over. The map looks texturized now. I’m thinking of removing the poster from the insulation and reapplying using spray adhesive.  But it’s risky!