Archive for the ‘Before and After’ Category

Baby’s Room

Our newest little one is scheduled to arrive in about two weeks, and her room is all ready for her! Here’s her nursery:

This is what you see when you walk in the door:

The room used to be Gloria’s under the sea room. I kept a lot of the same elements, like the paint color and curtains (which took me forever to make). I was so glad that the baby was a girl JUST so I could keep these curtains! Notice that I put big, fake flowers in the ends of the rods rather than the little decorative things that came with them.

When it was Gloria’s room, I refinished that toy box and added Gloria’s initial and starfish. To make it work for the baby’s room, I used the same color paint and added all of the girls’ initials, two sweet little hearts that I found in the wood section of the craft store, and a pillow. I plan to add a few more pillows and maybe a cushion.

Her little rocking area has a white bookshelf that was originally a bathroom cabinet. I added pink polka dot craft paper to the back and changed out the pulls — they’re now pretty pink glass rather than white plastic. Here’s what it looks like now,

and here’s the cabinet before the mini makeover.

Here’s her changing area. Normally I wouldn’t love all the big pieces of furniture pushed together, but I think it works because it fits perfectly, has that gradual step-up feel, and since I don’t love the furniture anymore, I like that it’s kind of tucked away and out of sight when you walk in.

The baby can look at pictures while I change her — they’re hung on a clothes line with birdie clips and two birdhouses, which I got for $12 at Target.

There’s also a spot to hang all of her little hair bows. I got this from Etsy seller LindsaysWhimsiesTutu (look under Bow and Clip Holders).

Here’s her red crib! I just love this crib. The decal behind it is from Etsy seller walldecors, although I don’t really recommend it. The flowers are curling up away from the wall, which I’ve never experienced with any other decal. I was going to paint over the “seaweed” painting that we did when this was Gloria’s room, but I think it works. We just won’t call it seaweed anymore — now they’re just cool plants!

Her bedding is also from Target. I was nervous about mixing pink bedding with the red crib, but I think it works. Notice the adorable owls on her boppy.

And her name will be Clara! I made these letters from round wooden circles that I got at AC Moore. I glued scrapbook paper to them to make her name.

Each letter has three different papers: a fun background, white letters with little white hearts on them, and a little purple shadow.

And that’s it! All I need now is the baby…


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Wallpaper Project

When we moved in last summer, we spent the first week scraping wallpaper off most of the walls in the late-August heat. This year, we put some wallpaper up (I never thought I’d see the day!). Check out the transformation of our living room. I need to get rid of that brass fireplace screen, and we need furniture!



The wallpaper is on one wall, and the other walls are a gray color from the paper.

Closeup of the paper:

I’m so thrilled with this! I also freshened up the fireplace with a fresh coat of paint, and we added recessed lighting and ceiling-mount speakers. Can’t wait to start hanging out (and entertaining!) in here!

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We have a tiny room upstairs that we call the nook. Originally it was designed as a sewing room, and the previous owners used it as a nursery. For almost a year, we’ve been using it as a small play room for the girls, but today I decided to take it over.

This was a one-day, $100 make over (but I was about $30 over budget). Still, let’s call it a $100 makeover to keep my husband happy.

Before, the girls’ nook:

As you can tell, we didn’t put much time, thought, or energy into making it look very nice. We just tossed some toys in there.

After! A relaxing, quiet room all to myself! A cozy chair, an iPod dock, books, candles…. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in here?! I plan to add art on the walls, a new curtain, and a new light fixture. I might try to convince my husband to take down the wall paper and paint the room (red?), but for now I’m not pushing my luck.

The chair was a Craigslist find ($25! But I splurged on a new cushion), and the table was $20 on clearance at TJ Maxx because it was dented (it wasn’t on clearance, but when I saw the dent, I asked if it could be. They said yes!). Everything else I already had in my house. To the right of the table are large built-ins for plenty of storage.

Hey, wait! This is MY room!

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I’m bummed that I don’t have any before pictures of this bathroom. The reason is I was cleaning the bathroom one day and decided then and there that the wallpaper had to come down, so I just started pulling at it,  and before long, I was standing in the room, pouting, with a pile of wallpaper all over the floor (and half-glued wallpaper still on the wall — who knew this wasn’t a bare hands job?). I did grab a cell phone picture of the wallpaper border, which was all hummingbirds:

And the rest of the wallpaper was this white paper with tiny flowers. That’s your feel of the before.

And the after! I painted the room B. Moore Clinton Brown.   I found that mirror on clearance at Home Goods for 24 bucks!

The framed photo is a picture I took of Gloria checking out a ladybug at the park:

Here’s the other wall of the bathroom. I spray painted the existing light fixture a satin nickel color and am looking for new glass shades to put on it. I don’t love the tiles, but for now, they have to stay.

The curtains are made from an Amy Butler fabric and trimmed with awesome beads (which cost more than the fabric!). I got a sewing machine for my birthday and spent $300 on fabric for the house. 3 months later, I still haven’t figured out the stupid machine, so my amazingly talented friend Kara sewed up the curtain for me. Thank you, Kara!

What’s a pretty way to keep a bathroom smelling fresh and clean? A vase filled with soap!

And that’s our new bathroom! Amazing what a coat of paint and a few accessories can do!

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We found this set of drawers in our basement.  A pipe leaked all over it, and it was in very rough shape. I’ve been looking for a lateral file for our office for a while, and man, they’re expensive! So here’s the transformation of the free, ugly office drawers.



Will the effort be worth it?


This took bleach, a steamer, Pledge, and a lot of elbow grease! Ok, so it’s still a little ugly, but it was free, is the perfect size, is solid wood, and isn’t THAT bad. The place mats cover up some scratches, but over all, it works. Speaking of place mats, they were made my my incredibly talented friend, Kara. She hemmed curtains for me and used the extra fabric to make them! Smart cookie. Check out her amazing blog: Sweet & Salty.  

My next project is to re-cover that lamp shade. This picture is also reminding me to replace the gold switch plate cover…

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I can’t call this a “Before and After” yet, because it’s definitely still a work in progress. I need more stuff on the walls, and I need to add curtains. For the wall above the kids’ art table, I have several white frames to hang. For curtains, I’m thinking roman shades. Can’t wait to finish this up! The kids love it.

Here is is before, as the previous owners’ formal dining room:

And since we’re not formal, we turned it into a play room! It’s right off the kitchen, so I can keep my eye on the girls while I cook, clean, etc. I love it!

That couch was a $20 Craigslist find! I got a new cover at Ikea. The rug is also a Craigslist bargain: it’s Pottery Barn Kids, and I got it for $60! The walls are Benjamin Moore Summer Shower. Pretty!

The dandelion is a wall decal is from Dali Decals. I love them!

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We’ve been working hard on Charlie’s room. I had a garden theme in mind. The piece de resistance is the custom picket fence that Bryan and Clarence built. We bought sections of birdhouse fencing from our local Mill Store, and Bryan and Clarence spent several hours making a custom fit.  It’s gorgeous! Add a few wall decals and some garden art, and we have a garden growing…

Here’s the before, with the previous owners’ furnishings:


And here’s the after. The walls are B. Moore Potpourri Green. I’m looking for a big, round rug for the middle (I found it!). See the letters above her crib? They were made by the extremely talented Katrina Pitt.


Pretty butterflies hang above a rocking chair in the corner:


The picket fence:


These wall cards are from the Land of Nod. Each letter has a different type of flower. They’re 8×10 heavy card stock and are absolutely gorgeous! Rather than hang the whole alphabet, I wanted to spell out her name. I added the ribbon (my sister-in-law tied the bows) and now we have pretty (and educational!) wall art. I highly recommend them. At Land of Nod they’re $30, but I got them for $20 on Amazon!


And finally, Cai’s bear has a special spot on Charlie’s dresser:


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