I’ve figured out how to LOVE going in my laundry room

I’ve got the typical basement, unfinished laundry room. I love it and I’m so grateful to have it. After years at our last house of having only a closet off the kitchen with our washer and dryer in it, I’m grateful to have a room that is larger and offers more storage as well.

However, walking into the concrete room was rather uninspiring. Not to mention that most of the time when I’d walk in there it was to wash or fold or grab cleaning products.  blah…

Recently we were finally able to give it a moderate makeover.  There is tons of wiring, pipes, tubes and other goodies all over that were going to be exposed so we just did the best we could. We aren’t ready to sheetrock and insulate yet so we compromised and did the cheapest yet biggest impact thing we could do… paint.

We purchased special white paint that is made to also help block moisture and specifically made for these cinder blocks then we started painting.  We also ripped out a couple temporary walls and shelves that had been left in there from the last owner, part of the ceiling was covered by a piece of plywood so I painted that also.  I even crawled back in behind the sink and cleaned and painted.  Pictures don’t always do it justice but it’s amazing what some bright paint can do for a room. I also scrubbed the plastic sink on the outside and then taped it off and primed it with paint for plastic, then painted it a taupe/green color.

We drilled some larger inset circles on the stair supports and placed some tubing under the stairs as another option to hang laundry on during the winter.  I use an outside line during the summer but hanging inside during the winter also really helps add moisture into the dry air as well.

 

Now the fun part.  I had our son’s room decorated in a cabin and nature theme and he wasn’t feeling it.  (He’s preferring legos and minecraft these days) so I took all those pieces along with some of our travel postcards and pictures and magnets and I covered the electrical boxes, added a world map and a few pieces of decor.  One of my favorite pieces over the small folding table is a United States map. On it we’ve dotted and highlighted all of our road trips.  It’s so fun to be folding laundry now and looking at that map and those photos and remembering so many great adventures. It also gets me dreaming about our next road trip or vacation each time I see it.

 

So that my friends is how I turned the most boring room in the house into one of dreams and joy. I light up every single time I walk in there and smile to myself now.  Mission accomplished!

 

 

 

Is there is a spot in your home or office that is drab right now that you could makeover with something simple?  A new light fixture, a picture, or a new pillow?  That’s my challenge to you, find a way to take your least favorite place and make it into one of your favorites. Message me a picture if you would like my ideas and I’d be happy to give you some ideas. 🙂

Wishing you inspiration and joy!

A light post full of love – how to add unique and personal elements to your yard and home

We all have them.  Little momentos in drawers, jewelry boxes, shelves.  For us they were sitting collecting dust and rarely looked at, shoved out of the way and not part of our daily visual.

When we moved into our house there was still a post from an old deck that had been torn down.  For the first year here we hung bird feeders from it, but once our waterfall pond was finished we knew that post had more of a story to tell.

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Here is how we created this lamp post full of personal momentos and whimsy.

  1. We created a post wrap that was 4 – 2″x6″ treated boards.  Screwed together to leave a 4″x4″ opening inside.  This also allowed me to lay the post down in our living room and work on a side at a time.
  2. We collected mosaic tiles, glass beads, fish bowl rocks, moments, broken necklaces, souvineer spoons, rocks, and all sorts of things that could withstand the outdoors.  If you are wanting to use a mirror here is how to easily break a mirror without making a huge mess.  Find a hard surface and put a layer of newspaper down.  Then the mirror then more newspaper.  Then use a hammer and starting gently tap the mirror. You can also place something small under the mirror like a pebble or coin before you hammer it.  Lift up the top layers of newspaper to check on the mirror and continue this to create as small of pieces as you prefer.  Then you can lift the larger pieces off as needed or put them in a container and gently lift the bottom layer of newspaper fold to contain all glass fragment then pour into garbage.
  3. We bought Liquid Nails for interior or exterior use.

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4. Working in less than an 8 inch spaces at a time, squeeze the liquide nails onto the wood, thinner if it’s for a flat mosaic, thicker if you’ll be sticking on heavier or odd shaped items. Use a flat sides tool to spread the glue.

5. You can work in patterns, or shapes, secret things like initials or messages.  We put our address on one side, another side had a favorite necklace of mine that had broken, a pendant of my mom’s, my grandmothers necklace, a collector spoon I got at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, rocks from people and places.  It was full of an unfolding and telling of our journey; past and future.

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5. Once a side was filled up and dried, there were places where I went in and filled in gaps, between items, essentially grouting with liquid nails.  If this was a flat mosaic with uniformed thickness then I would have filled with grout.  To do that; you’d attach pieces, wait to dry then scoop group onto top and use flat edget to smooth into cracks and openings.  IMPORTANT: use a damp cloth and wipe down surface will grout is still moist.  This will clean off the surface of your glass, mirror or tile pieces.  It may take a few times of wiping gently and rinsing the rag and doing it again.  Otherwise you’ll be left with a layer of grout over the top of your piece that’ll be incredibly difficult to remove later.   Once the piece is dry you’ll go back over it again with a damp rag to remove the dusty residue coating the piece.  You’ll then want to find a high quality grout sealer to protect your grout from absorbing rain, dirt, pollen, or other things.

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Before and After of the pond area and post.

 

6. Once our post was complete we slipped the wrapped post over our 4″x4″ post, topped it with a

board and attached a large solar lantern.

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7. Use this technique for other fun things too; furniture like side tables, dressers, bird baths, gazing balls and more.   Here are a few examples that I have made or others have made:

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This gazing ball was a very special gift given to me.  After my mother passed away my mother in law had gotten my mom’s bowling ball and bag.  Without telling me she secretely used my mom’s china pieces, the tag from her bag and more and glued them all to my mom’s bowling ball.  To this day, it’s one of my favorite things. So much thought from my mother in law and a piece of my mom not stored in a bag in our garage but our in our yard glowing everyday in the sunlight.  Adding joy to our days.

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Hope this gives you some ideas on how you can use things laying around your house to make some fun meaningful goodies.

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How to create an inspired outdoor space that’ll make you swoon

I have decided that I really want to spend more time outdoors this year.  Relaxing, inspired, bug free time.  So I put it on our budget for this spring to find a gazebo tent with screened sides.

As we searched every online site we could, we ended up finding one that was clearanced out for 1/2 off and ended up being just under $250.  SCORE!   Step one was complete, now for how to find inspiration.

  • I started by finding a shower curtain that I could hang on the back wall.  This helped set the mood and color scheme for the decor.  I chose a fabric shower curtain for two reasons; a) they are more durable than many fabrics and have been sewn around the edges and hemmed.   b) they already have holes cut at the top for a rod (or in our case zip ties).
  • Next I found a chandelier at a garage sale.  I found this one for $5.  It works, it was just a less trendy color of brass.   I gathered up other items that I wanted in the tent.  A basket for reading magazines, some twinkle lights, etc.

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  • I found indoor/outdoor spray paint and painted the basket and chandelier in this great deep teal color.  (the pictures make them look different but the color of the basket below is more accurate)

 

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  • We’ve had a coffee table that I made in high school laying around in our garage for years, so we took that out and decided to add repurposed fending boards to the top.  I cut them all down so they overlapped the top by about 3/4″ on each side.  I then faux distressed a few boards with some white paint and painted the legs of the table white.

 

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  • Now that we had all the pieces, we started assembling it all.  My hubby and I strung up the chandelier from the top, center.  Then took these great white lightes and strung them around the inside of the top. We made it so both cords met up on the same back corner and we zip tied an extension cord in the corner.
  • The original back curtain I had bought wasn’t going to be wide enough, so I found 2 more brown ones on clearance and put those on the sides of the middle one.  I love when things work out perfectly; I was looking for something to hang the curtains from in the garage and I found a 1″ piece of pvc piping that was exactly the right length. AMAZING.   So I got a bunch of zip ties and I zip tied every other hole to the pole.  Then we zip tied the bar to the top of the tent at different points.
  • On the table I added one of my hand painted wine bottle torches.  This one happens to be one that was used at our wedding reception luau so it holds extra sentimental meaning for us.
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Here is our finished results:

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A few other side notes – we plan on keeping this gazebo tent together in this part of the yard for years, so we anchor bolted the legs to concrete blocks on each corner.  If you have tent sides you could also place those behind the fabric background to add protection from the weather.  This tent was going to go in a space right next to our future bunkhouse but instead we decided to put on a different side of our yard that is at the top of a hill so it’s pretty windy.  So my hubby put a couple sheets of plywood behind the curtain and anchored them to 2 metal yard stakes.  This helps prevent the curtain from blowing around.  (similar to if we would have backed it up to a fence or building).

We have this one about 20 feet from our fire pit so it’s incredibly relaxing out there.  If possible I highly recommend putting in a part of your yard where you can relax, the original spot we almost put it left us looking at all the projects we still had to work on so we realized it would be as relaxing there.

One more project checked off our list here at the Little house on the hill.  We have almost been here 1 year now, it’s hard to believe.  We are loving every minute.

Wishing you an inspired day!

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New house pics before and afters

I’m a girl who grew up with HGTV, I love to process things visually and for me when it comes to household projects it means before and after pics.  Or in this case; before and “in progress” pics.

We had a fun housewarming party here this past weekend and let’s face it, since the house was clean I figured it was the perfect time to catch up on some pictures of some of the work we’ve been doing around here the last few months.

When we found the house a ton of projects had already been done, so that left a lot of the cosmetic (fun) ones for us to do.  I love to work on the projects when you can actually see progress.  I’m so grateful we could see beyond the horse fencing and crack house vibe chicken coop.  Because it’s slowly transforming into a property and home that we love.

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Thank for letting me share my home with you.  There are a ton of fun winter projects we have planned for inside and after the busy holiday season.  I’m hoping to have some hang out time and have some ladies over to just sit around and work on projects together and visit.

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Summer projects with photos

We’ve been working hard around the new house to balance getting projects done and relaxing and enjoying being out in nature.  A few of the highlights:

– The day I got in the car and got one block down the road and noticed something looking back at me from inside the car on the dashboard.  It took my brain a few seconds to even register what it was seeing.. then I realized it was a garter snake.  It stared back at me for a few seconds then as I somehow tried to maintain my composure and not crash into the ditch, it then turned and slithered into the dashboard vent.   I jumped out of my car screaming (how you’d expect) and tried to figure out what to do.  And that folks is how I met our first neighbor..  me totally freaking out like the biggest city girl ever.   I ended up leaving our car in their driveway for a few hours until I got up the nerve, put on socks, tucked my pants in, tennis shoes and gloves and marched over there determined not to be beaten by a snake.   It was one of my bravest moments as I got in my car and drove it back home.   Thankfully my husband is a badass and drove the car the next day for me and sure enough, the snake slithers down out of the dashboard onto the passenger foot area and he got it out of the car for me.  My real life HERO.

– Another funny story happened just the other day.  We were painting the house and Bruce brought the car over and we were thoroughly enjoying some 80’s music.  A few hours later he started the car just to make sure that the battery didn’t die.  He walked into the house to check on something and I was on the deck getting more paint and suddenly I saw the car jerk into motion and swerve up onto the driveway and then back down again until a hundred plus feet later it crashed into a tree.   All I could do is watch it happen in slow motion..

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I’m glad that we can laugh about it.  Bruce was able to pull most of the dented area back out and order a new headlight.  Someday we’ll replace the car but for now, it’s paid for and we have a ton of other projects we want to spend money on so it’ll have to do for now.

I’ve been busy with some projects around that house that I’ll be sharing soon.  For now though I’ll share a few fun ones that I’ve managed to take pictures of.    I’m a thrifty gal, I love a good deal.  Boy did we find one with this set.

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  I scored this huge hutch, armoire and queen bed set all for only $200.  Solid wood.   I was so excited.   Of course we painted it all.  Sky claimed the armoire and painted it white.  I claimed the bed and we also painted that white.   And the hutch, I admit I had a symbolic life moment of choice.  I really wanted to go with a bold color and add some fun into the dining room, but my sensible side was telling me to just do it white.  I’m glad I let my fun side win out.

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On the back of the mirror above I also experimented with taking part of the back of the mirror off to give it an antiqued feeling.  I still have lots to learn but it was a fun project.  I then put some neutral wrapping paper behind it so that is what is showing through the clear parts (instead of the chipboard mirror backing).

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This summer has been all about surrendering.  Things taking longer than I thought they would. Being okay in the midst of boxes still unpacked.  Having fun along the way.

As I unpack and set up each room I’m been working hard to only put things in this house that we love and that are part of the life we want to have here.   I’ve been reading, “The life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo.  Also some books on Feng Shui and decor.   Really trying to hold each item and feel how it makes me feel.  Some rooms have been a slow unfolding for this reason others had to be set up and I’ll continue going through them later.  I’m loving what is happening though as I continue to make sure we don’t overcrowd this house and instead allow room for future great finds on vacations and future projects.

One of my favorite spots in the house.  These pieces are right next to the computer desk area in the living room.  The top one is a shadow box from my Europe trip last year.  A postcard from Germany, my Eiffel Tower ticket.  A rock from the Mediterranean in Nice, France and some coins.  When I look at that box it makes me think of what is possible. The connect to others around the world. Friendships formed. dreams. Feeling on top of the world.

The box below it to the left is one Bruce and I made a couple years ago as we worked to put our goals out into action.  A nature style cabin/house in the background.  In front of it; all our credit cards that we cut up. It was our message to ourselves and the universe that we were doing what it took to make our dreams a reality. That we would be really careful with our spending, save, be wise and it would get us to our home.

The to the right of that, a 2D sculpture that Skylar did a few years back. To me it reminds me to consider the earth, its sacredness but also sometimes let loose and howl.

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I’ll get some before and after shots of more actual projects for my next update.  In the meantime here are a couple other random fun shots.

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Thanks for letting me share what we’ve been up to here.  I can’t wait to share more of the big ones.

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