What I have I done in four months?

February 21, 2018

Well hello! Long time no talk! I had the flu this weekend -- thankfully not as bad as most. I was over it pretty quick but took it easy for the remaining long weekend. Then our boy had some minor sickness as well, so needless to say...I got very little accomplished. 

I have SO many big projects planned...I was going to start one over the weekend, but I hope to get going in a day or two instead. Since we've now been in our home for four months, I thought it would be fun to look back and see what I've accomplished in that time. So far I haven't tackled any major projects, but the little ones have really made a difference! I think it's encouraging to see that even minor DIY projects can change the whole look and feel of a room. You know I love big transformations but my focus has been on getting things organized and functional.

If you you're been around here for awhile you know once I figure out the way I like accessories, they stay that way for a long time. I've already moved stuff around quite a bit though, and I expect that to continue as I get a better feel for how I want rooms to look.

Here's a before of our dining area, the room I'm now calling our "morning room" because it just sounds lovely (and that's the best time in this room anyway):
"Morning room" eat in kitchen

I shared the full tour of this dining space a few months ago, but as you can see I've changed out a few things:
Pretty dining area with wood and white furniture

I found a long, pretty wood tray at At Home and layered items on it. The table centerpiece is something I'm ALWAYS messing with -- but I really like this! I have a big candle, herb plant, some votives and salt and pepper on the tray.

I found that mirror for the master bedroom but brought it in here and just fell in love! Now I want another one for the master. ;) I'm on the lookout for art or something to fill the wall space on either side too. 

Speaking of the master, if you missed that tour you can see it here. This is how this view looked the day we moved in:
Bedroom with bed between two windows

I remember being so thrilled I was able to find the box with our sheets! :) 

Here's the progress so far -- hanging window treatments and FINALLY finishing those nightstands made a big difference!:
Master bed between two windows

As I said in that tour post, I'm still looking for something over the bed. Nothing has hit me just yet. 

One easy project that was pretty quick (and made this house feel even more like home!) was the big chalkboard I put in our mud room
Huge chalkboard DIY on wall

I will forever love chalkboards. I LOVE the placement of this one! I use it more than any board we've ever had. I love the size and that I can jot down stuff as I come in the door or leave. 

I've mentioned that I've been asked many times what I'll do with myself in a brand new house. Projects like that chalkboard are what make a house a home -- little details that add fun and character!  Just like our old house, I'll be adding and layering to give this house that same feel. 

I added a light on this kitchen wall instead of the cabinet that was supposed to go here:
Jars with baking ingredients in kitchen

You can see how I hung the shelves and the materials I used in this post! I've changed things up just a bit:
Open wood shelves in kitchen

I had our everyday dishes on there like I did in our old kitchen, but in that house the shelves were right in the middle of the kitchen. Here they're further away from the dishwasher, so we figured it's easier to keep dishes in the cabinet. Instead I put some of the items I use most often up there -- a mixing bowl, serving bowls, recipe box, etc -- along with some pretty stuff. 

You can see how I stained and treated our butcher block island countertop if you missed that project. It's holding up beautifully, even with the sink!

We LOVE the windows in our great room but we thought for sure it would crazy expensive to add window treatments and hardware. You can see how I did it for a great price in this post. Here's a look from the stairs:
Affordable window treatments for tall windows

I love this view! I still plan to move that drape over a bit so it's not crowding the table. 

I feel like all I've done is hang things. 😂 Drapes, art, mirrors. Lights. But again -- that's the stuff that makes a BIG difference! Here's the great room before we moved in:
White fireplace with gray tile surround

Here it is with the drapes, mirrors and furniture from the upstairs:
Symmetrical great room layout with two sofas

I have matching pillow covers coming this week and I'm excited about those. You can see more about the consoles on either side of the fireplace here and more about the furniture layout I ended up with here. 

I've hung a few lights so far and I talked about a couple of them last week. If you missed the one over the tub, check out this post!:
Safely hanging a light over a tub

I hope to share more of our master bathroom in a week or two -- I still don't have the mirrors hung. I went back and forth on what I wanted to do, but now I think I've got it figured out. :) 

Here's a before picture of the little hallway off our kitchen:
Five paneled interior doors

And here's that view now, with a gallery wall around the thermostat and the light I was able to hang from a recessed light fixture:
Hanging a light from recessed light

I finally got the light for our son's room up too. (There's a link to it here.) It's a little smaller than I thought it would be, but I like it and it was easy to hang:
Red blue and white boy room

We have BIG plans for his room. That wall around his bed is going to be a really cool focal point when I'm done with it, and we'll have a tad more storage as well. 

I've also installed five dimmers so far -- I was on a roll one day a couple weeks ago. I shared how to add a dimmer in this post -- that soft light is SUCH a lovely addition. I have plans to add at least five more...you know me!

I've hung a TON of art too. I found this at HomeGoods a few weeks ago and like that it's plenty big. I also like that it's a circle -- with all those straight lines this wall needed it:
White and stained stairs with balusters

I'd like a little more contrast though, so I'm thinking about giving it a wash of darker color. We'll see! I envision prom pictures on these stairs someday! 💗

I didn't have mirrors installed in our bathrooms to save a little cash, so I hung these in our son's bath:
Masculine boy bathroom

I wanted something very simple and modern -- they were super easy to hang and (affiliate) only $20 each! I have plans for that wall behind the mirrors as well...eventually.

I hung a gallery wall around the TV in our master bedroom:
Gallery wall around TV

And I've started our new Disney art wall in this house...we've got room for a lot more! I have plenty of art and photos to add, we just need to get more frames at IKEA:
Disney art wall

Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing a whole lot, but it's because I've been busy with a ton of little things. It's different for me and honestly kind of nice. Starting from scratch is no joke! There are SO many tasks that pull you in different directions after moving and I'm often flitting from one to another. I'm feeling really good about where we're at though, so the bigger stuff will start soon! 

I'm going to share a source list for everything in the near future, but you should be able to find links to the products in the posts I reference for each space. If not, let me know in the comments. :)

Do you have a favorite "little thing" that you do as far as decor or DIY goes? I think mine would be lighting -- I HATE hanging lights but I always love the outcome! And even just adding a dimmer always makes me so happy -- it makes the house so pretty at night. 

Affiliate links included for your convenience! 

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  1. I work part time and my youngest is now in school full day so I had so many ambitions of tackling projects in our house but then our sewer system sort of exploded. Our front yard had to be completely dug up and part of our finished basement and then we had to relocate our laundry room... So yeah. I have been putting off doing very much to our girls bathroom until we were ready to completely gut it in renovate but your lighting comment made me think I could do a cheap renovation, starting with the hideous gold light!!

  2. The morning room sounds perfect haha! I love the nickname!
    I was down with a flu a week ago too. It sucks. Glad to know you feel better now!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  3. I know what you are saying about dimmers. When we built our house, our builder put dimmers on every light in the house (all sconces included); the only light that doesn't have a dimmer are the lights in our MBR walk-in closet (due to code). I didn't think I would use all those dimmers but I do...especially the ones in the bathroom! Love them!

  4. When you say you just added the light above the open shelves in the kitchen... how did that work? Did you hire an electrician to come hard-wire it? Is the light functional? How much does that cost usually?

    1. We had the builder do it, but if you have an outlet below it's a fairly easy project for an electrician!

  5. Hi. I asked a question on your last post that I am hoping you will answer. It is about the light over your bathtub. Is there a glass over the lightbulbes it come with the light from Ikea? Thanks.

    1. The shade does not come with glass, it's just a shade. :)

  6. We purchased and moved into our new home back in June, and I've been logging a lot of time on various home décor/DIY sites like yours for ideas! One question I'm hoping you'll answer -

    We have an airplane propeller nearly identical to the one hanging in your son's room. Ours didn't come with the hardware to hang it. What did you use? Thanks so much!

    1. Ours came with hooks but you could try to attach some of the sawtooth hangers maybe? Is it something you can nail into?

    2. Is that what yours came with? The sawtooth hangers are an idea I was considering, but wasn't sure if there was something more ideal for the prop. Thank you!

  7. Coming along swimmingly!!! What about a framed mirror collage over master bed? They could be all white... or maybe a mix of metallic, white and wood....!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!