DIY Projects, Room Tours

DIY $15 Office Makeover

Hello friends! If you are here today because you clicked on a link that said I spent fifteen dollars on a room makeover and you’re wondering what in the world this is about, welcome. If you’re wondering how in the world that is possible, hold on. I’m about to tell you. But first, let’s rewind.

We moved into this rental house in July. And in July we had fabulous plans of quickly making each of the additional bedrooms into a purposeful, functional space. The guestroom quickly became usable (albeit with mismatched hand-me-downs from other rooms), but then there was this third room. It was like the junk drawer of rooms. No organization, no purpose. It housed all the things I hadn’t used in the months since moving in. You know, all the super important things. I’m going to show you some before pictures, but before I can do that, you have to promise that you’re actually going to scroll to the bottom and see what it looks like now. Don’t judge me based on my ugly junk drawer room and then leave. Promise? Okay cool. Here’s some pictures of what the room looked like four months after moving in:

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Now, don’t stare too long because you might get sucked into a vortex of clutter. You get the point. Moving on.

So my plan was to make this room into something usable pretty. The only problem being that I didn’t really want to spend any money on this room. So, I did what I always do and put my super cheap creative thinking hat on and got to work.

I shopped the house for items that I could re-use in this room. I dug things out of the garage from our previous house that we weren’t using and brought everything together. I slowly started piecing things together until a room started to form. The only problem was that I didn’t have a desk. Can’t really have an office without a desk, huh?

I had some scrap wood in the garage, enough to make part of a desk, but my rudimentary woodworking skills didn’t know how to fashion legs for a desk on my own. So I went to the architectural salvage shop in town and told the gentleman what I was looking for. Thankfully he makes all kinds of repurposed furniture and so he was super helpful.

He showed me an old child’s bedframe with decorative posts on the ends. He told me that he could cut the posts off for me in the shop, and they would work perfectly as legs to a table. The best part is that he would charge me fifteen dollars for the four legs. (Now is the title of this blog post coming together?)

So on my very own, with no help from Ethan (my choice, not his) I built this desk for the office for a grand total of fifteen dollars.

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I added a little frame and then the top, which was all made from scrap wood we found on the side of the road. Can you picture the legs as part of a bed frame? I turned them upside down and painted them white.

Literally every other thing in this room was something I already owned. Which is why this room isn’t quite the office of my dreams, but it’s something that’ll do for now.

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This crate was something I found at a yard sale this summer and it had been sitting in my garage for a while. It houses our record collection, and offers a place to sit or drop a bag by the door to the room.

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The dresser was a piece I made to sell (see the tag still on it?), but I decided to keep it rather that taking it to my next show. We needed a place for storage, and it’s a perfect spot to put the printer.

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In the top left of this photo you can see my calendar that I made from some old cupboard doors. We used them originally as decor at our wedding, and they’ve been useless since then. I used a chalkboard marker to add dates to it, and now we have a functional calendar that doubles as wall art. Plus it was free, so I’d call that a win.

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I placed this old door behind the desk as a focal point to the room, another thing I found at a yard sale this summer. It was an original door to a church in our town built in the 1890’s. I love that I know where exactly it came from.

Literally everything in this room had been sitting in a closet or in my garage until I brought it in here and cleaned out the space. I just love the fact that it’s possible to make do with what you have and still have a pretty home.

I could have spent hundreds of dollars in here, buying all kinds of things to fit here, but at the end of the day, I’d rather stretch myself creatively and do it on a budget anyway. I ended up making that desk on my own. It’s pretty rickety, but I’m super proud of it because I did it by myself. I wouldn’t have the same feeling if I had bought a desk from Target or wherever. My wallet wouldn’t be as happy either!

Well, that’s all for today, friends. I hope you’re inspired by my little office. Maybe it’ll inspire you to shop your house instead of buying something new. Have a fabulous day, friends!

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DIY Projects, Holidays

DIY Christmas Sign

Hello friends! Thanksgiving is over and I’m just here in my stretchy pants trying to recover from the delicious feast fest that was yesterday. Now that Thanksgiving is over though, I am super excited because I can officially without shame decorate for Christmas!

Not like I haven’t had my tree up for weeks. But now I’m going to share my Christmas posts without shame! Anyway, I want to show you guys this super simple sign that I made for outside our entryway. It’s totally something you can do yourself too!

I know this is a super popular look right now, and so I wanted to do my own version with some things I had laying around the house. Here’s what I came up with:

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The board was an old child’s headboard I had in the garage. As soon as I got it, I knew it would be perfect for making a sign with. I used acrylic paint from the craft store, and some stencils I’ve had for a long time. So long, in fact, that I don’t even remember where I got them.

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I used a pencil to free hand the arrow and the trees. It was so easy it’s not even funny.

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This sign along with my mini trees in galvanized buckets are the perfect simple entry way. Now I just have to get Ethan to climb up on the roof to hang the outdoor lights. 😉

It’s super simple and fresh, but I kind of love it. That’s how I like to describe my style, so I think this works perfectly.

If you wanted to recreate this look, you could easily use a canvas or a pre-made wooden sign from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. It’s a perfect weekend for some DIY Christmas crafts, so get out there and make something you love for your home!

I still have more holiday decorating to do, but I’m happily doing it slowly. I’m taking my time and bringing in the season slowly and trying to savor each moment. I’ll be sharing more of my Christmas decor little by little, so make sure you check back for that!

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

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Home Decor

Comfy Bed Sheets

Hello friends! Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m excited to stop by and share with you another part of our ever-evolving home. We’ve been in this rental for four months now, and I’m still working on cozying up the space. The bedroom feels mostly finished, other than a large rug on (which I’m waiting on the budget for).

I’m all about repurposing and making things last as long as possible, but one thing I always want to feel new and fresh is our bed sheets.  I’ve had a difficult time finding good quality sheets that don’t wear out super quickly but also don’t break the bank. I recently discovered a new source for all things home where I ordered some new sheets, and I just couldn’t wait to share!

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I finally caved and bought white sheets because I can bleach the whole thing every time I wash them. My style is pretty light and bright, but I’ve always been hesitant with white bedding because of how quickly it can get dingy looking.

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I ordered these sheets from Hayneedle.com, and so far I absolutely love them! We’ve had a couple weeks to sleep on them, and they are super comfortable and I love that I finally have white sheets!

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They help to make our bedroom a little bit more cozy! I’ve washed them a few times, and they have just gotten more and more soft and cozy.

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I would absolutely recommend these sheets to anybody; they are so soft! Not to mention the price is awesome, and the quality is great. I’m super happy with them, and it’s another thing to check off the list in making this bedroom complete. Now I’m waiting on a rug and this room will be “finished.” I say that loosely because nothing is ever actually finished around here.

Now I’m off to work on some more projects today! Well, that’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!

A few sources for this bedroom:

Comforter, lamps, and nightstands: Target

Blue Pillows: Pier One Imports

Gray and Linen Pillow: Homegoods

**Hayneedle was kind enough to send me this gorgeous bedding, but as always, opinions are my own.

DIY Projects

DIY Dog Crate

Hello all! Today I am sharing something I have been waiting to share for a while. Like a long while. Let me backtrack. We moved into this house in July, and when we first moved in, the only major issue I had with the house was Atlas’ dog crate. I don’t know how many of you are dog owners, specifically large dog owners. If you are, you know how massive and ugly dog crates are. Well in this new house, we don’t have a designated separate area for a crate.

In our previous rental home, we had an area off the kitchen that was out of the way and perfect to hide a huge gaping hole of ugly crate. In this new house however, we had no such luck. There was no other option for us (without allowing Atlas to have a spare bedroom, and we’re just not really into that) other than to put his crate into the living room. So for the past few months we have had a massive eyesore of a dog crate sitting in the corner of the living room and it’s been totally cramping my style.

I haven’t been able to decorate around it because it’s been driving me crazy. I had an idea for a crate that Ethan could build that might look a little less ugly than the typical black metal that I could decorate around. It took a while for this to actually come into fruition, but this is what we came up with:

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Ethan gets better with every building project he does, and this turned out perfectly! He pieced together the sides each made with chicken wire.

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The top is made from old fence boards, and Ethan sanded them down to make a nice smooth finish.

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The front has a door that swings open with a little hook to keep it locked.

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The best part is that I actually have actually been able to decorate around, without it looking too ugly. The plan is to eventually add curtains that we can close when we have company over, which is why we raised the top a bit off the sides.

It fits into our decor, and Atlas likes it pretty well too! He was even so kind as to pose for the camera while I was taking these photos! (Just kidding. You have no idea how hard it was to catch him not looking stupid.) Seriously though. This project is just what we needed to finish out this side of the living room, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

In case you were curious, this whole project cost about $40. The most expensive part of it was the chicken wire which was about $30. (In order to get the height we wanted, we had to buy at least 50 feet.) The reclaimed wood was donated by a friend who had replaced a portion of their fence. The only thing we bought was the wood and the hardware, and of course the chicken wire.

The chicken wire isn’t super strong, but Atlas is pretty well behaved so we trust him not to try to bust out of his crate. Definitely a pretty and functional piece to add to our decor. Do you have an ugly dog crate at home? Would you ever do something like this instead? I’d love to hear about it!

Well, that’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

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DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

Family Heirloom Dresser Refresh

Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by today! Has the fall weather hit where you are? It finally feels like fall around here, with the leaves finally falling and the hint of cool weather in the breeze. Texas falls are nothing like the falls in New York where I grew up, but I’ll take what I can get.

This season has brought a hint of change in the air, both literally and figuratively. I’ve been super inspired lately to create more, paint more, make more, etc. So what I’m showing you today is something I’m super excited about.

So this is the dresser in our bedroom.

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It has a beautiful shape that I have always loved. It’s a solid wood piece, and it’s something we’ll always have. It was Ethan’s growing up, and before that, was in my mother in law’s family when they moved from the northeast down to Texas. It’s such a gorgeous dresser, but it used to be an orange stained finish with large circular wooden handles. Not to mention the stickers that were put on the side by Ethan as a kid. So needless to say, I’ve wanted to give her a little facelift, but since it was a family piece, it just wasn’t a possibility. Until recently.

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My mother in law finally gave us the okay to paint, and I was super excited. I bought some new drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby, and knew exactly how I wanted to finish it.

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The outer part of the dresser got a coat of my favorite paint, Annie Sloan’s Old White, and the drawer fronts got sanded down and left bare. Guys. I am OBSESSED with this new look. I always knew there was a gorgeous dresser hiding behind that orange finish, but it’s even prettier than I thought.

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I’m so thankful to have gotten the okay to work on this piece. When there’s a family history you have to honor in a piece, it can be a little intimidating. Hopefully this little refresh honors my mother in law and her family. I know that it definitely finishes out our bedroom in a way that makes the dresser fit. This piece will definitely be with us forever.

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Good grief it’s just so pretty. Well y’all, that’s about it for today. Just wanted to pop in and share this fun project. Have you ever painted something that belonged in the family for a long time? How did it go?

That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

Personal

Weekend Recap: Vintage Market Days

This weekend was nothing short of awesome. I could leave it at that and it would be enough. Seriously. This weekend I had a booth at Vintage Market Days in Waxahachie, TX. This was my first time with a booth at a reputable event. I did a local show once last year, but it was really not something that I wanted to pursue due to a few different factors. This weekend however, was different. I left this weekend feeling refreshed and inspired and ready to try something new.

So here’s the deal. I’ve known about Vintage Market Days for a long time. I have always kind of wondered if I could do something like that, but for whatever reason, never put myself out there. This summer, I was trying to focus on what I wanted to do with this little hobby I have of decorating/antiquing/painting furniture. I thought about getting a booth at a local store, and for several reasons that too fell through. So over the summer I thought, well, I might as well apply for VMD and just see what happens. The worst that can happen is I don’t get in. And if I do get in, it’s only a three day commitment. I can do this. So I hit this apply button and got on with my day. When I found out that I was accepted into the event, I was surprised more than anything. Me? I just have this little hobby that’s not even a big deal.

As the event got closer, I was busy in my garage painting, sanding, creating. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some videos projects I’ve been working on in my garage. I staged a mock booth setup in my garage by taping a 10×10 square on the floor like I had any idea what the heck I was doing.

I set my booth up the night before the event, and realized I didn’t have enough stuff at all. So after I went home that evening I finished a few things in my garage and brought them to my booth the morning of the show. Now, let me tell you a little about my booth. I was clearly a newbie. The other vendors around me had tents and beautiful backdrops to stage their booths with. These weren’t even things that had been on my radar. I felt super nervous and inexperienced compared to everyone around me.

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But you know what? It didn’t even matter. I had the most amazing weekend. Everyone was so kind and accommodating, I sold some of my pieces, which felt awesome. I received a lot of affirmation from customers and other vendors about what I was doing, despite the fact that I felt totally inexperienced. I got so many complements on my booth, the styling, the furniture pieces. It was exactly what I needed to confirm the possibility of wanting to pursue this more frequently.

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People were constantly asking if I had a storefront, or if I had a card. Both of the answers to those were no. I kept telling people that this was the first thing I had done, and I was just getting started. The fact that people thought that about my few little projects though was incredibly humbling. At some point I realized, wow. I actually can do this.

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I learned so much this weekend. So much. I think the most important thing I realized was that number one, I am actually able to do this,  and number two, this is something I enjoy. As we were leaving after the weekend was over, I kept telling Ethan I just really like this. It feels so good to put yourself out there not knowing what the result is going to be, and then to feel so accomplished and humbled at the same time. Y’all, I have no idea what this weekend means for me. I teach full time, and I have this little hobby of making my house a home. Those are two very distinct parts of me, that I love. I have no idea what I’m going to do next, but I can assure you, I want to pursue whatever this is.

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So guys, I’ll let you know when my next event is. That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

Holidays

Early Fall Dining Room Table

Guys. I woke up this morning, and it was fall. Like for real. I know the first official day of fall was last week, but today was actually cool and breezy. The sky is gray, and I just feel like getting a raspberry hot chocolate and snuggling on the couch. So now that the weather has finally turned, I’m feeling super inspired to add some fall touches around my house. Last time I shared my dining room here it was in its blank slate form. Now I’ve added some touches for fall, and I’m super excited to share with you guys today.

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I’ve been loving natural touches recently, and I loved how this bowl of apples on my centerpiece looks so fresh. Apples are the perfect transitional thing to add from summer to fall. They’re green, which reminds me of summertime, but also fall is when apples are harvested and it just makes me want to make an apple pie.

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I also used cinnamon sticks to create this look, which I think is another natural touch to the season. It looks fresh and it smells fresh too!

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This is the first thing I’ve truly “decorated” for a season in our new house, even though it’s been over two months since we’ve moved in. It feels good to put things together in a meaningful way. Setting things out in the house is my way of decompressing and it is what I love to do. This little tablescape totally has totally lifted my spirits and got me in the mood for the season.

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I’m short and sweet today y’all. How do you decorate for the early part of fall. Have you ever considered using fruit as decor? I’d love to hear about it! Make sure you’re following along on Intagram and Facebook so you don’t miss any updates! That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

Home Decor

Home Decor on a Budget

Hello all! Happy happy Tuesday! I hope you’re doing well. Today, as I was driving home from work thinking about setting up some more fall touches around the house, I started to calculate how much money I could spend on making fall happen around here. Now, if you know me at all, you know that there are two things I’m very passionate about: home decor and budgeting. Most of what I do here is super budget friendly, and it’s a part of everything I do, but I realized I’ve never shared exactly how I budget or why. So today I wanted to share with you a few things you can do to decorate on a budget, but more importantly, why you should keep a budget.

Now, this blog is not about money. It never has been. But I know most people feel like they could use some more of it (me included), and it seems like there’s never enough for extra things at the end of the month, especially for frivolous things like decorative pumpkins. I get it. But hear me out.

I budget absolutely everything. Ethan and I start each month with a written gameplan of what we’re going to spend our money on for the upcoming month. And because we’re like most millenials with a mountain of student loan debt, most of our extra cash goes there. But that’s not what’s important today. At the beginning of the month, each of us get a certain cash amount to spend on whatever we feel like spending on that month. For me, this usually falls into the frivolous decorative pumpkin category.

But here’s the cool part. I have cash that I get to spend on decor each month that is totally accounted for. It’s written into our budget, and so I can shop for house stuff completely guilt-free! If I want those curtains, or that pumpkin, or those candles, I can buy them because there’s a certain amount already set aside for that type of spending. Of course, it’s pretty tiny, but it’s there nonetheless.

Now, while we’re talking about tiny budgets, I have learned to get pretty creative when it comes to decorating. Here’s how:

One. DIY it. Almost everything in our house is made or refinished by me. Our headboards, most furniture, candles, signs, wall art, just about everything. I can’t even calculate how much this has saved us throughout the entire house. Our headboard was made from fence posts our neighbors were replacing. Seriously! It cost me nothing! Getting creative with the things around you is my biggest advice to someone wanting to decorate on a budget.

Two. Shop after-season clearance. Since I was a little girl, my favorite shopping day has been the day after Christmas. It’s the best time to stock up on things for the next year because as soon as December 26th rolls around, everything is 50-80% off. This can be a little annoying because you have to wait an entire year to use it. But it is a pretty fun surprise opening the things you bought and forgot about a whole year later. It’s like getting gifts for yourself!

Three. Shop the flea markets and the thrift shops. I went down this weekend to our local thrift store where I realized when the owner approached me asking about my family, that I am now a regular. I mean, I’m in there all the time. But I’ve gotten a heck of a deal on many occasions. My favorite type of thrift store is one where you can negotiate prices, especially after you’ve built a relationship with the staff. I can talk down just about anything when it comes to flea market and thrift store shopping. And if the seller isn’t willing to come down, just walk away! Someone else will have something just like it who is dying to get rid of it! It’s all about patience.

Four. Allow yourself some spending. Seriously. Picture it as an allowance to yourself. I have bought almost everything in our house with my spending money, and I never have to worry about feeling guilty or saving for priorities. The essentials are taken care of, and this money is free for the spending!

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My house is certainly not very big or fancy, but I love making it my home. Sticking to my budget when I’m decorating is something I take super seriously. While I would love to go out and spend a ton of money on new furniture and rugs and all kinds of things, I piece things together super slowly as time and money allows. Here’s a sneak peek of our fall dining room. Those flowers? I picked them from the side of the road. They’re just weeds.

If you take away one thing from this, let it be this: I don’t spend a lot of money on my house. At all. But that doesn’t keep me from trying to make it a house that I love. I hope this inspires you to be able to decorate your own home on a small budget. I promise it can be done. That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day.

DIY Projects, Tutorials

What I’ve Learned Finishing Furniture

Hello all! I hope your week is off to a great start! I’ve been busy busy busy with school starting a few weeks back, but now I’m ready to get into the routine of school being in full swing and I’m ready to start thinking fall!

I’ve been out in my garage working away on tons of projects out in the garage, and if you follow along on Instagram, you might have seen the early stages of this dresser I’m about to show y’all on my IG Story. This dresser turned out even cuter than I thought it might, and so I wanted to share with you guys some of the process and tips I use, now that I have more than a project or two under my belt.

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Okay, so this is how this little guy turned out. So cute, right? I didn’t take a picture when I first started, because I’m so forgetful when it comes to that kind of stuff, but it was dark green. Like 90’s dark green. Gross.

The first thing I did was strip all the paint off the dresser. Using a good paint stripper is not for the faint of heart, since it smells, and I burnt my arms a couple of times, but it is essential in removing old paint more quickly.

What I couldn’t take off with the paint stripper, I took my sander to. This took a while, but prepping the entire thing helps the end result. Once I finished sanding, I wiped the entire thing down with Mineral Spirits to clean it off.

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See those cute little scallops on the bottom? Adorable. Anyway, once it was all clean, I primed the entire thing. Even though chalk paint claims to be prep-free, I have found that it saves paint to prime first, as well as makes it last longer. After I primed, I sanded everything down with a 220 grit sandpaper. This is super fine, and eliminates brush strokes. I do it super lightly and super quickly to make sure I don’t sand off the primer completely.

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I painted the frame with Annie Sloan Old White, and the drawers with a local handmade chalk paint (sorry I don’t have the color for it). I lightly sanded everything down again, and on the drawers, I sanded a bit longer to expose some of the primer. That happened kind of accidentally, but I ended up loving it!

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Here’s a closeup of how the drawers turned out. I love them! After I finished painting, I gave everything a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. This sweet little dresser was a super fun project, and it turned out even better than I imagined.

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Now, this piece won’t be staying with me. I’ve been working hard gathering materials and working on projects like this one because I am going to be a vendor at the upcoming Vintage Market Days! I love this event so much, and this will be my first time as a vendor! Here’s a link directly to the Facebook event. It’s in Waxahachie, which is just south of Dallas. If you’re going to be in the Dallas – Fort Worth area that weekend, you’ll have to stop by. This event is going to be amazing, and if you’re in the area, I would love to meet you! This dresser and many others will be headed to my booth, and I cannot wait to show y’all more!

That’s all for today friends! Have a fabulous day!

Room Tours

Our Dining Room: A Blank Slate

Whoooooie! This month has been busy! Progress at the new house is going super slow, and we’re not even remodeling anything! I can’t imagine how slow things will be when we actually buy our own house. We have been busy busy busy with summer ending and school starting back up. It has taken me forever to unpack all the things (still not finished), and actually putting rooms together is taking longer than I thought it would. But, this is my favorite process, even if it does take forever, so I can’t complain too much.

Today I want to share with you guys where our dining room is currently. I have to preface this by telling you that it’s unfinished, but if you read the title of this post you probably already knew that. I just recently got curtains hung, which was a whole hassle in itself. I originally bought curtains from Target, which would have been perfect but they were too short and they were sold out of the length I needed. So those got returned. Then I bought some online from JCPenney, and although the length was good, I didn’t like the texture (silky was not what I was going for when I envisioned a calming, farmhouse feel), so those got returned. Then I waited a week until I had a chance to make the drive up to IKEA, and I finally got the perfect curtains. Third time’s the charm, I should have known.

Okay, so these are the curtains I bought from IKEA and they are perfect. Plus they were the cheapest of the three pair I bought, so I was definitely stoked about that. Now that I have the curtains hung, I feel like I’m in a place to start decorating. It’s a perfectly blank slate which currently looks like this: diningroom2

We have an open concept floor plan at our new house, and it really isn’t very big, so the dining room is really more of a nook in the main living area. It also has two large windows that take up most of the entire wall space here.

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On the right hand side is the kitchen, and this picture is taken from the main living area. We have our little coffee station set up, and that’s about it. Honestly, I kind of like the bare look. Obviously that won’t be staying, but since I have little wall space here, it will never look super cluttered in here.

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The curtains are a little bit long, as you can see here. I know some people are a fan of the puddle look, and at this point, I’m really not sure about it. I know it’ll stay this way for a while out of sheer laziness, but I might eventually get around to hemming them.

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In the background here you can see our little coffee cart. I have an idea on what I want to put on the wall above that, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet either. It’s about the process y’all.

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We actually have been eating here much more frequently than we ever did at our old home. I don’t really know why that is, since we had the same table and chairs (which I madeover here). This space is light and bright, and I certainly couldn’t be upset with that. For now I’m enjoying the process of putting this together slowly but surely.

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The tabletop will probably be left blank until I’m ready to start decorating for fall. But since I have a whole house to put together before then, I am in no rush for fall decorating this year. I hope you enjoyed this little mini tour of our unfinished dining room. Well, that’s all for today friends. Have a fabulous day!