house tour tuesday: before and after and a WINNER!

i’m going to kind of cheat today because i’m feelin’ a bit under the weather. i took some great shots of a new house in the neighborhood that happens to be on one of the most spectacular streets in Old Towne Orange (especially during Christmas), but i’ll have to share those next week. instead, i have some before and afters of the rental property of the big yellow (in case you missed it, here’s part 1, part 2, part 3).

and just for fun, here’s some randomness:

1.) my son started preschool today. i think i shed a few tears when i got home because i can’t believe he’s old enough to go to school and because i can’t remember the last time i had three hours all to myself. it was amazing to be able to answer emails, do the dishes, have a complete thought, and work on rulers (that i am behind by a month. oiy. i’m working hard to get them all done and in the mail and to restock the cute lil’ shop that carries them in the Orange circle, Eikon Home (shameless plug, i know).

2.) as i start to get caught up with stuff, i am realizing the stuff that i let go to the wayside. one being the July Giveaway. so, i did a random number generator thanks to my brilliant neighbor (thanks, Casey!) who suggested assigning numbers to everyone’s email, instead of inputting each email into the generator to save time, and viola! we have a winner: if your email starts with the letter “K” check your inbox!

3.) it is hotter than heck. not complaining, just saying, it is H-O-T. if you follow me on instagram, then you might have seen that we borrowed the fountain at the local college to cool off. 🙂

Alrighty, onto the before and after of our next door neighbor’s big yellow rental.

(living room rental before)


(living room rental after)


(stairs before)


(stairs after)


(guest room rental before)


(guest room rental after)


(master bedroom rental before)


(master bedroom rental after)


(kitchen rental before)


i wish i could say i have a great after photo of the kitchen, but the crew was working so hard to complete the space before the new renter moved in. so, i’ll i have is a little shot of the cabinets, which were painted white and some new hardware was added.

(kitchen rental after)


here’s what the pulls looked like before. i found a bag of pulls and hinges in a free pile at a garage sale a few weeks back. i couldn’t help but snatch them up. i new they were classic and that i could use them for something (or in this case, pass them along to someone who could use them). it worked out great, because my neighbor just happened to mention that she needed some hinges to replace some of the old ones that weren’t working. i just happened to have a whole bag full that matched them exactly!

(kitchen rental pulls before)


(kitchen rental pulls after)


my neighbor just cleaned them up a little to make sure the patina still showed through on the brass and then lightly coated them with poly. i love how they look next to the freshly painted white cabinets!

not too bad for a mini makeover. paint and fresh flooring can go along way!

have a good week friends! off to make some tea and fight this cold!


diy: artwork

i made some art the other day for our laundry room.


it’s simple and really does not warrant a tutorial (think ball point pen and a piece of paper).

i was inspired by the artwork in my new friend’s house.

plus, i had a couple of old frames on hand that my grandma gave me in my late teens. these silly frames have traveled with me through countless moves. i’m so glad they finally have a home and a cute lil message in them.



it’s not perfect. in fact, i think i forgot to dot an i. whoops. oh well. i like it and it works and the quote inspires me.



so, there you have it.

see you all tomorrow for the upstairs tour of the big yellow/big green house!

transformation thursday: diy cork board & recovered trunk

remember this beauty?


it now looks like this…


a good friend of mine just got married this last weekend and i got to transform this beauty into a cork board for their seating chart. the wedding was at a beautiful location in the hills of Brea, California. the decor was based around a classic vintage theme (think 1920’s glamour), so this frame fit perfect. i wish i had more pictures from the wedding and the after picture of the seating chart, but my camera died (bum!).

i now get the pleasure of using it as a jewelry cork board.

and incase, you are interested in making one of your own, here’s a supplies list that you’ll need:


1. cork
2. scissors
3. frog tape (to secure the cork board to the existing chalkboard. you could also glue it down, but i like the option of being able to convert it back to a chalkboard, if i change my mind. which, will probably happen because, well, that’s what i do). 😉
4. staple gun
5. fabric

directions: since i don’t have step-by-step instructions (diy fail) I’ll do my best to walk ya through it. just take the existing chalkboard, cut the cork to the size of the chalkboard, tape the cork to the board around the edges, lay the board flat on top of the fabric and pull the fabric tight as you staple gun it around the back, then pop it into your frame. you’re done. i think if i were to do it again, i might add two layers of cork to have a deeper cushion to push pins into. instead, i just pushed the pins down into the cork, not straight back (hopefully, that makes sense?).

another little fun re-do i got to do for the wedding was my old trunk (actually, it’s my husband’s from his childhood, but what’s that old saying….what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine?). 😉

here’s the before (with a little frog tape because i am an impatient diyer):


it was a little rough inside. i liked it, but it was way more rustic then what they were going for at the wedding. so, the beautiful bride and i got to go shopping for fabric and we found this gorgeous deep blue velvet (the couple’s colors for the wedding were colbalt blue with touches of gold…let me tell you, i was in Heaven because those are my favorite!). then i just used frog tape to put on top of the old paper inside and used a hot glue gun to attach the fabric into place.

and now the after:


the mr&mrs. used it on the welcoming table to collect gifts and cards as guests arrived.

i looooove it! it was a little more time consuming than i had thought, but well worth it! i had originally thought i would take the velvet off after the wedding was done, but i like it so much i think i’ll keep it on! in fact, a funny story (or funny to us) about this trunk is that the bride’s brother (who i grew up across the street from) came up to me and said, “i like your chest.” um. thanks? he was quite embarrassed when his wife informed him that it was called a, “trunk.” HA! it became a good laugh for the rest of the evening and we might still be laughing about it. it’s okay, M, i like my chest, too! 😉

hope you all had a fabulous thursday!

diy: removable wallpaper

lets talk about my kitchen for a sec.

okay, not that bad, but it definitely is not my favorite room in our house. it’s small (with not a lot of counter space), no dishwasher (except we recently purchased a portable one that we can roll over to the sink…a pain, but better than nothing), and it has the ugliest wood paneling you ever did see (sometimes visitors tell me they think it’s quaint. and then i mention that we should add it in their kitchen and then they agree: it’s ugly).

(before diy: removable wallpaper was added)


also, i don’t think i mentioned this before, but we are renting our little old house, so the wood paneling has to stay. ugh. to remedy my eyes from the burning glow of orangey wood paneling, i came up with a plan to disguise it temporarily.

it now looks like this:

(after diy: removable wallpaper was added)


the idea for this wallpaper came from this blogger (i’m probably going to mention her a lot….it’s one of my constant reads in blogland). she painted her design on her walls, but since i’m renting and painting was not an option, i came up with a plan for a removable wallpaper.

here’s how i did it.


supplies: contact paper, scissors, pen or pencil, exact-o knife (forgot to add it for the pic, oops), and a design stencil. i got mine here.

step 1: trace design


step 2: cut out design


step 3: stick design to wall


it’s that easy.

it’s not perfect, but i’m okay with that. once you step back, the design takes over and each little imperfection is masked (or at least i tell myself that).

you might want to start your design in the middle of the wall and then just work your way out.


eventually, your design will start to appear on the wall.


it doesn’t take very long. maybe an hour to trace, cut and stick a wall this size:


and the best part, is that it’s removable. so, when you are ready for a change, or move out, just peel each piece off and you’re done! your landlord will never know!

i’m sure there are a zillion different patterns and colors of contact paper you could use.

hope it inspires you to get creative and have fun!

transformation thursday: picture gallery

today when i got home from the beach with my family, there was a little package sitting on our doorstep.

i was thrilled to find out that it was a couple of prints i had ordered through a fellow blogger.

i have had my eye on these prints for a couple of years (that seems so long…why, on Earth did i not buy them sooner? time, money, something always seemed to hold me back). a couple of weeks ago i noticed that there was a sale going on, so i quickly snatched some up.

i’m so glad i did.

they are lovely. they are printed on heavy paper, the colors are gorgeous, and they infuse our space with a couple of great scriptures.



here’s what they looked like before.


i had originally made a mock pair with book pages and decoupage’ and then painted over them with black.


they were fine for what we needed (which was some sort of art on the wall because we had just moved to our little house at the time), but they were living in the dark.


they needed to see the light and display their wonderful words.


and now they do!

i’m still deciding if i should get custom matting for each or cut out the lamp and chair shapes or just leave it as is like this. what do ya think?

also, if you’re looking for some fun art for your home, or perhaps a wonderful wedding or baby gift for someone special, check out Jones Design Company (this lady has talent!).

transformation thursday: before and after of a master bath

okay, so usually i post small projects i’ve done around the house for transformation thursday, but i am too excited to keep this transformation a secret any longer.

i started this project a few months back. when i first saw the space, it was down to the bare bones or studs in this case. i could see past the construction and visualize what this space could be: light, classic, and luxurious.

fast forward a few months and it is exactly that! i love when a project jumps out of my brain and into reality!

and while i helped with the space planning and consulting of materials and aesthetics, i really have to give credit to my client/friend for putting in all of the footwork of interviewing, hiring, and managing the various contractors (good job, A!). that is no small task!

allrighty, are you ready to see this beautiful before and after of a master bath?!

here it goes….

(OH! and i promised my sweet client/friend that i would add that it’s not 100% done…there are finishing details that need to be added: towels, rug, accessories, etc. and the mirrors over the vanity are just temporary until the new ones are ordered and arrive.)

okay, now that the disclaimer has been read….

enjoy the before and after decor feast for your eyes:

(master fireplace before)


(master fireplace after)


i just kinda threw some stuff up on the mantel and added her vintage chair for the pictures. we still need to figure out what will be permanently staying on the mantel, but i love the changes so far.

(master bath hallway before)


(master bath hallway after)


(master bath hallway before)


(master bath hallway after)


there will eventually be a giant leaning mirror (or hanging, depending on what we find) on the right side of the hallway.

(master bath entry before)


(master bath entry after)


custom cabinetry, carrera marble, wood tile, silver accents and a vintage chandelier were added.


and a sunken tub (swoon!).

(master vanity before)


(master vanity after)


(before custom built-ins)


(after custom built-ins)


gorgeous glass knobs from Anthropologie were added to the cabinets.


(vaulted ceilings before)


(vaulted ceilings after)


one of the concerns, my client/friend had was whether or not she should have the ceiling dropped to keep it warm enough in the space. i reassured her, begged, threatened (just kidding) 😉 for her to keep the vaulted ceilings.


she’s so happy she did. i am, too! i think it really adds some drama to the space and showcases the vintage chandelier.


(tub area before)


(tub area after)


when i first came on scene to help with this project, the plan was to put the tub where the shower ended up and have the shower in this area (and cover up these windows and add one over by the shower). again, i pleaded, begged, insisted (okay. it wasn’t that dramatic) that the tub should go here. these windows begged to have a tub underneath them. it not only saved the homeowners money by keeping the existing window locations (and just buy new windows for the space), but also allows them more privacy by having the windows face the back of the house into the backyard. win/win!


my client/friend has great taste! she did a spectacular job picking out all of the details,

i love every bit of it and how it’s turned out so far! i think i could live in this bathroom. i might just have to move my toothbrush in.


A, don’t be surprised if you come home one day and i’m watching House Hunters and soaking in the tub! 😉

and thanks, for letting us have a peek, even though it’s not all the way done.

transformation thursday: free curbside armoire

i realize that this post is coming a little early. and that it’s not actually thursday, but because of the holiday i thought i would post it anyways and enjoy my family tomorrow.

it seems to be (in my life) i am either really early or really late. never on-time.

one day i shall master that. or not.

until then, i thought i would share a little transformation my hubbs and i did on one of our free curbside finds.


my hubbs was on his way to the grocery store on Sunday and found this sitting on the side of the curb. he quickly called me to ask if i wanted it. (smart man!)

so, he brought it home and my wheels instantly got to work.


at first my hubby thought that he could just fix the door and then we could sell it. but, like most of our free curbside finds, i tend to fall in love and want to keep them.

it had great bones and i could tell it was well built, but you see, one of the doors was completely busted off. and though it probably could have been fixed, i had thought of a way we might be able to better use it.

i knew our house was a little too small for such a large piece of furniture. i also remembered that my son really needed a dresser for his clothes, since i had completely taken over real estate in his closet.

so, my eyes got big and i shot my hubby an all to familiar look that said, “i have a plan!” and he as usual, listened patiently and then went along with it.

here’s what we came up with….


a dresser for our son’s room.

it fits perfect!


it’s the right size, warms up the space with the natural wood tone, it adds a bit of rustic cowboy to his little boy space, and it was free!

and though it has a few rough spots, and a corner molding piece that is missing (my hubbs re-used the pieces from the top part of the armoire)…

i love it!


and so does our little boy.


happy 4th friends!