From Beach to Farmhouse

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When I first gave our downstairs bathroom a makeover, I LOVED it. I picked a cheery color and ran some stripes along one wall. It was super cute and I was happy with it. But after sitting (literally) and staring at it for two years, I started to get the itch to change it up a bit.

I have mentioned in the previous post that I am really feeling neutrals lately and that is no lie. After painting our office a dark, dark gray and painting the entry way a nice creamy white, the bathroom really started to stick out like a sore thumb. The bathroom was also starting to take on a more beach-y feel, which is not really what I was going for. Part of the problem is my shower curtain that I fell in love with when I bought it for our first house. I still have all the feels for my octopus shower curtain and want it to stay, but I need to redirect the feel of the room. I’m going for modern farmhouse, not beach.

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Months ago, we hung some reclaimed wood shelves that I made out of wood Brian found on the farm. We love them so much, but the room started to feel a little too busy. There was just too much going on with the bright color and the stripes. I also added some “farmhouse” décor and tried to take some of the “beach-y” elements out, but it still wasn’t quite right. It also made my off white shower curtain look really yellow and kind of dingy.

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I almost didn’t do another accent wall, but I really wanted a background for those shelves that would allow them to ‘pop’ a little more. I used the same dark gray that I used in the office and the upstairs bath, Muted Ebony by Valspar. I just can’t get enough of it! I debated painting the whole room that color, but it’s such a long, narrow space and just one little window of natural light, I decided to go with the creamy, white that I used in the entry way which is right outside the bathroom. I like the way it all flows together.

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I have to admit I was a little sad to see the stripes go…I worked really hard on those! They did not go without a fight, it took some sanding and elbow grease to get the wall back to a smooth surface. I can still see a few traces of my stripes in certain light (dang it!), but they are mostly just a memory.

I love how all the wood and white pop off that dark gray wall. I also think the octopus shower curtain feels like he goes in the room so much better. He felt a little out-of-place before, but now that gray wall really draws him out. I still plan on adding molding and painting both the closet door and the door to the bathroom black. I think they will add a really nice contrast to that cream wall. I actually CAN’T WAIT to get started on that project, but will probably have to wait until after the holidays…:(

 

Refreshing Neutrals

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After living in this old farmhouse for the last few years, I’m finding myself really starting to embrace this whole ‘modern farmhouse’ trend that is happening right now. (Thank you Joanna Gaines, am I right?!) I fought it for a long time, but I just keep gravitating toward it and I figure what better time to embrace this look then when I’m actually LIVING in a FARMHOUSE. You have probably noticed from my last few projects that things are becoming a lot more neutral.

Our entry way has been in need of some TLC for a while now. It is really the only entrance that we use so it gets a lot of traffic. There are scuff marks on the walls and the trim and it was just starting to feel kind of meh in there. I painted it a mint green when we first moved in and had a little accent paint on the walls, but I was ready for something new. Something fresh. It is such a small space, I decided to just go ahead and paint it a nice neutral color to clean it up and brighten the space up a bit.

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These pics were taken right after the I painted in here when we first moved in. Over the years, not much has changed except the door has been painted a dark navy. And that door across from the front door that leads into the office has been removed.

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I painted the entry with a creamy off-white color. Valspar’s Asiago which I also used in the kid’s bedroom. It looks so much better with that navy door than the mint green did. I also mentioned in my last post that I want to add molding to these doors off the entry and paint them black, so I think this creamy neutral will look great with that.

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I switched out the old mirror to this trio of mirrors to add a little more interest. I couldn’t find the right spot for them in the house, but so far, I like them here. I ended up painting the coat rack hooks black to add a little more contrast. Black spray paint is my BFF lately. I’ve been using it on everything. I also have been trying to add a little greenery to each room in the house. These are faux, but I don’t care, I love them and they are zero maintenance. I ‘planted’ them in these old metal grain elevator buckets that we have scattered around the farm. file_0042

I got that bench a couple of years ago at a flea market for $10. I would still love to find something else for the space, but this serves its purpose for now. I cut off the back and side a bit, because it was just too 80’s country for me. Those hearts on the side still bug me, but not as much now. I also sanded it and roughed up the finish a little to give it more of a rustic look. I would like to find/make a cushion for it, but like I said I really want to find something else for the space, so I haven’t been in a hurry for the cushion.

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I squared off the chalkboard and made it a bit smaller. I plan on trimming it out with some reclaimed wood. I also plan on adding a wreath to the door, switching out the rug, and changing out the fluorescent light. And of course I still have to freshen up the paint on the trim and get on those black doors!

 

Inspiration: Black Door, White Trim

This old farmhouse of ours has beautiful dark wood doors that I sometimes imagine painting, BUT only for a few brief seconds, then I come to my senses and remember that I love them as-is. I LOVE how the dark wood hides everything and manages to look beautiful all the time. 

There are, however, four plain, white hollow doors in the newer addition of the house. Four doors that get a LOT of use every day. Fingerprints and dirt seem to gravitate to them and I get tired of constantly cleaning them and touching up the paint. These doors include the laundry room door, bathroom door, bathroom closet door and the door to the basement in the kitchen. 

I have been seeing black doors with white trim popping up everywhere and I am kind of obsessed with the look. I also love that it would hide so many fingerprints! The problem is, our doors are so plain. They need some moulding to add interest before I even think of painting. I could buy new doors, but that’s not really in my budget and I think with a little work I can just add my own moulding.  

Here is my inspiration…

Fall (Cleaning) Is My Jam

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So pumped that Fall is here. It is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The weather has been amazing and the kids and I have been enjoying trips to the park and the zoo here (which is free!). I love opening up the windows and airing out this old farm house before the temp drops and we have to close up everything and hibernate indoors.

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Fall for me is also when I go on a major cleaning/purging spree. Spring cleaning doesn’t really happen in my house, Fall cleaning is more my jam. I don’t know if it’s the crisp Fall weather that puts an extra spring in my step and motivates me to clean, or the thought of being trapped indoors all Winter. Whatever the reason, I feel a huge urge to get rid of old clothes, toys, decor and revamp all the rooms in the house. I like to just declutter and get a fresh start.

My plan of attack for purging is to go in each room of the house and pull out anything that isn’t working for me anymore or anything that has wandered into a room that belongs in another room. Once I go through each room, then I go through the closets and storage areas. I have learned that if I go through the stored items first, I end up keeping a lot of things I don’t really need. If I go through the rooms first, then I have a much clearer idea of what I need to hang on to and what I can let go of.

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I also go through every clothes closet and dresser to get rid of out of season things and anything that doesn’t fit or get worn often. I have been downsizing my stash of baby clothes the past week too. It is hard, but I’m trying to let go of some baby things (not everything) but I’m starting with the excess clothes. I try to sneak out toys and books that the kids no longer pay attention to. I have learned to put things in a tote and hold on to the tote for a month or two. If they don’t notice the items are missing, than I usually feel like it is safe to go ahead and donate them.

IMG_2667My favorite part of Fall cleaning is that each room also gets a mini makeover. Whether that is just swapping out throw pillows, rearranging the furniture, or giving it a fresh coat of paint. I just like to switch things up to try something new and keep from getting bored. Anyone else do Fall cleaning?…Just me?

Hollis Turns Three…

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This girl.

This girl keeps me on my toes. She’s funnier, smarter, and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined her being. She teaches me so much patience and mindfulness every day. I love that she loves dressing like a princess while walking around the house with her tools ‘fixing things like mom’. Brian and I constantly look at each other and shake our heads amazed at the things that come out of her mouth. She loves to have a good time and wants everyone around her to be having a good time too. She has only been a big sister for seven months and is already a pro at it. Bowen lights up when she walks into the room and I have no doubt they will be the very best of friends.

A couple of weeks ago Hollis turned three. (I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my tiny baby is now a giant three year old.) This is the first year that she has really understood what her birthday is and been excited about it. She knew there would be a party, she knew there would be presents and most of all, she knew there would be cake. Cake is very important to this kid. She is undoubtedly my child.

This is also the first year that she had an opinion about the party theme. I was fully expecting a princess party or even Peppa Pig, but no. I asked her what kind of party she would like and she said a giraffe party. I offered other suggestions, great suggestions, but no. This is what I love most about my darling daughter. She knows what she wants. She wanted a giraffe party so she got a giraffe party.

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I scoured Pinterest for giraffe cake ideas and found two different cupcake designs that I really liked. I sent them to my mom to see what she thought. We both agreed that we liked the layout of one cake and the decorations on the other cake. So we mashed them together and ended up with this guy. My mom did all the work, I really just watched her while tending to a fussy baby. (Bowen was working of 4 of his 6 teeth that weekend…) She used a mix of chocolate and white cake. Then she made buttercream frosting that she colored orangey-yellow. And she made the spots out of salted caramel flavored candy melts. The nose and feet are Oreos.hollis-three

It was delicious. I think it turned out really cute and Hollis LOVED it!

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We celebrated at my parents house with family. We kept it simple with pizza and salad, and decorated with orange and green for a jungle/safari look.

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My aunt and my grandma also surprised everyone with these sweet giraffe party bags full of giraffe swag!

Happy third birthday sweet girl! I can’t wait to see what theme Hollis picks next year!

 

To Fill, or Not To Fill

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I feel like I’ve been MIA for a while in blogland, but my baby Bo is getting in four teeth…at the same time. Poor little babe. He’s a tough little guy, but I’m not as tough. He’s been waking up every 2 hours at night for the last month and I’m feeling the lack of sleep. I’m in full on mombie (that’s mom + zombie for those that don’t know) mode and doing super productive things like pouring orange juice in my coffee instead of creamer…

But I digress…I’m actually here to talk about filling up those large empty, or awkward walls in the house.

Our old farmhouse is the opposite of open concept. I know Instagram is full of beautiful pictures of open concept homes where you can see from the front door all the way to the back door. But I have to say, I love that in our house when the playroom looks like a bomb went off in it, I can just pull close the big pocket doors and pretend that the little playroom fairies are behind the door cleaning away while I sit in the living room sipping my oversized glass of Cabernet. Don’t get wrong, there is a good flow, but the rooms in our house are all pretty much separate which makes for a lot of walls to fill up!

Here are a few ways I like to fill up the walls…

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When hanging things on the wall, I like to mix things up. I like hanging simple objects like a rustic, old window. I like the dimension and texture it brings to the room while still being really simple. I also like a small shelf or two where I can easily change things out by just leaning pictures on it, and using small decor that can be rotated out with the seasons or whenever the urge strikes. file_007

Plants in fun containers on the wall are also a new fave of mine. I love a good pop of green and try to incorporate a plant or two…or ten in all the rooms in our house. I feel like they bring a lot of life and energy to a space.

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And of course there is paint. If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know I love to paint. Like really love it. I used a lovely shade of pink and some painters tape to fill a wall in the playroom with a “playhouse” for Hollis.

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Again, I used some rustic shelves for Bo’s side of the kid’s room. I just love the versatility of it. I can swap things out as he grows and his interests change. I also like to hang things around the shelves to add more interest and create a little “mini gallery wall”.

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I have to say there is just something that really speaks to me about a simple picture hung on a large, empty wall. I struggled with what to hang on Hollis’ side of the kid’s room. I really didn’t want to mimic the other side of the room and have it feel too matchy-matchy. I finally decided to make my own graphic onto two matching frames I had. I love how simple it is, yet it really stands out when it is the only thing on the wall.

I am currently trying to figure out what to do with the large wall space that runs along the staircase. It is such an awkward space to fill! I’ve been looking all over for inspiration. One of my go-to sources of inspiration is Wayfair.com. There is a whole post on decorating a large wall.   It’s a great place to get some ideas when you are stuck on a space or if you just like to look at pretty decor pictures. I especially love the idea of using statement piece, like one of these beautiful starburst mirrors!

 

Color So Nice, I Had To Use It Twice

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Welp, I painted the bathroom.

The bathroom did not need to be painted. It was a perfectly fine shade of mint green. It was light and bright. Yet I painted it anyway.

I just couldn’t help myself. I love this color so much! I recently painted the office (Muted Ebony by Valspar) and as soon as I put it on the walls, I knew it needed to go up in another room too. First I thought of the entry way, because I have the urge to change things up in there. And I thought the darker color would hide some of the marks and things on the walls that seem to inevitably happen in the entry way. But then, I decided it would look so great in the upstairs bathroom. And I was right.

I have a lot of black and white going on in the bathroom already along with some warm wood tones. The mint green on the walls was fine…but just fine. Not too exciting. Things were just starting to feel a little blah. So I thought I would shake things up and do a two-tone wall with dark gray on the bottom and a bright white on the top to keep things from getting too dark in there.

Here is a look at the before.

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This room only has one window, but it gets great light in here so I knew the dark, dark gray wouldn’t make the room too dark. I think if I had taken the gray all the way up the walls, it would’ve been a tad too dark.

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It was a spur of the moment decision to paint, but I’m really happy with the result. It feels so much more pulled together in here now and I love how my plants pop off the gray and white!