The entryway project is well underway with a new door, light, and hardware. I knew when designing this renovation that I wanted to bring more light into the room. A new door seemed to be the perfect solution to this problem. The old door only had a small window at the top of the door letting in a small amount of light. I imagined a door with solid window panes to allow as much light in as possible.
I found this door at a barn sale for $20 and got super lucky that it was exactly the right size to fit the doorway. I did have to buy a new handle because the old one didn’t come with a key. A new doorknob kit runs around $50.
The original plan was to paint the door black to contrast that dark color with the white shiplap on the opposite walls. With the new door up it’s obvious now that the design plans need to change. The main goal was to allow more light to shine in and painting it black will only take away from this goal. So the new plan is to paint it all white. I’ll still go with the black tile and black metal railing on the staircase for contrast.
Another change of plans is to add wainscoting to the wall underneath the wallpaper. I think It will add so much more character to a pretty bland wall while adding a bit of sophistication as well. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive to do! You’ll have to tune in next week to see how that tuned out!
Choosing the right paint sheen can be quite daunting. Am I the only one at the paint counter who answers each of their questions with “whichever is the cheapest”? Well, that answer doesn’t always hold up when they ask you what finish you want because the price is the same irrelevant.
When painting a high traffic area it’s important to try and use either a high gloss paint or a semi-gloss. The reason is that its shine is higher on these two finishes and this makes the surface easier to clean. That is unless the surface you are painting is not the highest quality.
If the surface that is being painted has been painted maybe a million times in the past and there are a never-ending number of layers chipping off, then picking a paint finish that will not highlight your flaws is the better solution. For instance, my staircase is about 200 years old and has probably been painted a hundred different times. Paint with a higher sheen is only going to show every uneven surface and highlight all the imperfections. Here, you can see the difference between my first picture and the second one. The first picture shows the stairs in a high gloss black and the second shows it in a matte flat black paint. The first highlights all its flaws and the second hides them all!
The downside to using flat paint is it’s less durable. The basic rule of thumb is that the higher the sheen the more durability and the lower the sheen the less durability.
Really anything in the Kitchen you want to either be a high gloss or a semi-gloss. The kitchen needs the most durability because the surfaces get washed often. The family room is also a high traffic area and needs to stand up to traffic. A satin finish would be great. The dining room can get away with an eggshell because it’s a low traffic area. The goal is for clean smooth looking walls. For bedrooms you can use matte or flat paint because it’s a low traffic area. Ceilings are another area where flat paint is recommended, but also keep in mind that several manufacturers make paint blends specifically for ceilings.
My bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in our house! Not only does it have an exceptionally comfy bed, but I have a sitting area to sip coffee in the morning and a roll-top desk to journal as well. Creating a comfy room is very important not only because it has to meet so many needs, but because we spend so much time in there we might as well make sure it’s time well spent! The goal here of course is to feel relaxed, recharged, and refreshed each day and night.
I always tell people that the most important splurge in a bedroom is always the mattress. If we aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, then nothing else matters! We have a memory foam mattress and it’s like a dream!! I seriously go about each day looking forward to crawling into my bed at night.
Of course, it helps that I’ve decorated my bedroom to be warm and inviting as well. I want to feel relaxed each night when I go to bed or slowly wake up in my comfy armchair with a cup of coffee in hand. The goal is to unwind and de-stress. It’s important to have a purpose for each room, and then decorate that space to help encourage that purpose. This way we are set up for success!
Warmer tones (browns, creams, topes) help to make things feel cozier. In my picture above, the wooden beams, darker furniture, and rust-colored duve are inviting and invoke a sense of warmth. People use the term “warm and inviting” when describing spaces with wooden floors, wooden furniture, and darker accents. That feeling makes us want to grab some coffee and sink into a comfortable chair – maybe even read a good book! It brings us joy and we feel relaxed! This is why adding warmer tones to a bedroom is always a good idea. This is where we want to be the most relaxed!
Swapping out your bedding is a simple way to bring in change for the coming season. I always find that adding a little bit of change to my space is so refreshing! For Fall, I trade out the cotton sheets for flannel ones and bring in the extra duvet insert to help me sleep better at night. I swap out my white duvet cover for a rust-colored one which ties in well with my Fall color scheme.
Adding a throw pillow or blanket is another great way to add a bit of cozy to any space. I have a few on my bed and on the armchairs in my room. I also have a blanket ladder to store extra throw blankets and a large basket where I keep extra pillows. It’s all about adding layers to different areas in the space. It adds dimension and makes everything feel so much cozier!
Adding bedroom plants can boost one’s mood, enhance creativity, reduce stress levels, increase productivity, and naturally filter air pollutants! There are so many bonuses to adding plants to a bedroom space. They can be layered over a window with a macrame planter, tucked in front of a mirror in a tall planter, or set on an end table or shelf! Plants enhance any space.
|Beveled Full length Mirror // More Full Length Mirrors||Roselawn Upholstered Platform Bed // More Bed Frames||Reversible Quilt // More Bedding Sets|
|Gel Memory Foam Mattress // More Mattresses||Check Plaid Pillow // More Throw Pillows||Maysville Throw // More Blankets & Throws|
|Goodfield Armchair // More Accent Chairs||Metal Wind Mill Accent Mirror // More Accent Mirrors||Dimmable Swing Arm Lamp // More Wall Sconces|
|Arched Floor Lamp // More Floor Lamps||Wickes 3 Drawer Nightstand // More Nighstands||Blanket Ladder // More Blankets Ladders|
I Love a good floral centerpiece!! Flowers are gorgeous and the perfect pop of color to help achieve any look for really any season! And since we are officially in September it’s fun to start incorporating fun Fall decor to our tables without spending a fortune. That’s the great part about faux florals… they’ll last the whole season!
All we’ll need is a styrofoam pumpkin, a box cutter or knife, faux florals, and of course some floral sheers. I love using a styrofoam pumpkin because there’s no need to shove a floral foam brick on the inside. The stems will poke right into the styrofoam and stay securely in place.
I once read in a magazine that every floral arrangement needs fillers, spillers, and thrillers. So basically, shorter flowers that will work to fill up the arrangement. It also needs spillers. Spillers are the flowers that spill over the edge of the container making it look more dramatic. And lastly, the arrangement needs thrillers. You know, those flowers that are so eye-catching it draws everyone’s eye.
Every time I arrange any kind of floral piece I try and incorporate these three key points. It seems to be a no-fail way of arranging beautiful floral centerpieces, bouquets, and even flower boxes.
This year I wanted to get in the DIY spirit by making my own Fall inspired welcome mat instead of buying one new. I love the idea of being able to customize it to say whatever I wanted! I had most of the supplies on hand so this DIY cost next to nothing! Those are my favorite kind!
I gathered my supplies together (I have mine linked at the bottom). I needed a mat, black paint, a stencil of my choosing, tape, and a paintbrush.
To start, I tape the stencil in place on my mat. After it was secured I added the paint to my dish. I found it easier to blot on the paint with my brush onto the stencil. This made sure to get in between all the nooks and crannies. When finished, I allowed the paint to dry before removing the stencil. And that’s it my friends… it’s that easy! It’s such a great way to make a custom welcome mat say whatever you want it to!
Is that anybody’s motto? That’s generally mine. I want to make whatever it is that I’m doing is worth it. For instance, if we’re going to Niagra falls then we should be sure to stay on the Canada side and catch a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Or, if we are going to make Ice cream sundaes, I make sure to pick up all the toppings including all the essentials for a banana split. My husband on the other hand… not so much. Just going to Niagra falls is enough… and just ice cream and chocolate syrup is just fine. So you can see how in life we can bump heads quite a bit, especially when deciding to splurge on an expensive mop like the Bissell CrossWave! (See this baby in action at the bottom.)
I’ll be totally honest, my husband and I are a perfect match for each other. I help him have a little bit more fun, and he reels me in a little bit. But there are perfectly good times to splurge in life… it’s just figuring out when to do so. Surprisingly, it took little to no convincing for my very budget-conscious husband to get on board with the Bissell CrossWave. The functions speak for themselves: duo vacuuming and mopping at the same time, it’s cordless for easy maneuvering, and my favorite feature: two tanks, one for cleaning solution and the other for the dirty water. At the end of the day, we are both working from home and thrive in an organized and clean environment. Our time is limited and we don’t pay for house cleaning services, so any device that is going to save us time overall is a definite win in our book.
When I asked around about the CrossWave I happened to read a few reviews that said it left dirty streaks on the floor. In my experience, I did not come to that same conclusion. The roller brush is plush and has built-in grips to clean your carpets, but it has enough girth to wipe up all the dirty stuff without leaving streaks. I will say that if the roller gets too oversaturated with water it can leave streaks, but the key is to let go of the trigger and roll over that area to pick up the excess water. Maybe the other CrossWaves don’t have the sam roller brush, but the Max roller brush is awesome! Plus my box came with a second brush for backup. It’s great to alternate the two between cleaning because they do need to be rinsed with hot water between uses.
Yes! It works amazingly on carpet! Not only does it vacuum everything up but it refreshed my carpets making them smell fantastic. It leaves your carpets slightly damp so they dry quickly. I will say, this does not replace a carpet shampooer. This isn’t deep cleaning your carpets, but it gives them a nice refresh. That doesn’t mean it isn’t cleaning it – just not DEEP cleaning. The water tank was pretty dirty after cleaning my area rugs so I know it did its job, but the main function on this mop is for hard surfaces. Refreshing carpets is just a fabulous bonus.
The Bissel CrossWave does an outstanding job picking up messes on floors. For instance, it will even pick up items as large as cereal and small legos. I mean, don’t make it a habit to pick up legos… which in my house is inevitable, but it’s good to know it can!
So this is something that I was nervous about. My house is just about 4,000 sq ft and I didn’t know how many rooms I could get done before the battery died. With a full charge, the battery should last for 30 minutes. So essentially it comes down to how fast you can work. I can get abut 2,000 sq ft done in about 30 minutes, so about half my house. I just split my upstairs and downstairs into two parts.
To make sure this vacuum functions the right way every time, cleaning it out is essential. The Cordless Max has a self-cleaning cycle to make that process so easy!! To use this feature all you have to do is make sure there is enough solution in the tank – if not fill up the tank with warm water to the self-cleaning line. Then, place the vacuum on the docking station and press the self-cleaning icon. This will run for about 40 seconds and shut off when it’s done. The dirty water tank icon will flash to remind you to empty the tank. At this point, I pop out the roller and windshield attachment to make sure everything is wiped out and cleaned before retiring my vacuum for the day. Seriously, this is my favorite feature!
You can easily hook your Bissell CrossWave up to wifi and connect on an app for maintenance, support, cleaning tips, and a usage dashboard. I don’t know how often I’ll use this, but I suppose I will at some point if I start running into error codes.
No, you definitely don’t have to only use the Bissel CorssWaves solution for your vacuum. I used the solution it came with until it ran out and then I used my castile soap solution.To add the solution to the tank all you have to do is first add warm water to the waterline and then add your solution to the solution line. So you see, any solution in its place will work just fine.
I’ll be honest, there aren’t many. This baby has saved me so much time it’s incredible! My floors have never been cleaner! Although I will say that it’s tough to get edges and baseboards. The website does say that they have improved this feature, but it’s still not ideal for those areas because there are no attachments. So If I wanted to wash down my furniture I actually have to lift up my vacuum and place it on my furniture and work it back and forth. Which is ok – but not ideal and a little awkward.
To me – The advantages outweigh the inconvenience of not having attachments to get my corners closely and my baseboards. I should say it does an ok job with corners, but not as well as it would do with a hose.
Boy does Bissell have a good product on their hands… and they know it too! This vacuum does not run cheap at just under $400! I would say this is an investment piece that is totally worth saving up your pennies for. Hands down… I would 100% recommend this vacuum and I can say without a doubt it has saved me time and that my floors have never been cleaner!
Boy, do I love a good sale. I get this thrill when I find a beautiful, quality piece of furniture or a trendy new home decor item for a fraction of its original price. But buying less expensive pieces for your home isn’t always better. Knowing when to save and when to splurge is key to creating a home that lasts. Nobody wants to be caught in the matrix furniture loop because eventually the wallet will dry up and you’re left with home items that don’t function properly.
When shopping for my home I have a basic rule of thumb: don’t overpay for a “trend” that is made with less than desirable materials. For instance, when the ladder bookshelf came out you could buy it from any major retailer. However, some were made from wood and or metal and others were made of composite boards. Depending on where you bought it, you might pay the exact same price for a lesser quality shelf.
When I splurge on an item it’s usually furniture. I look for items made from quality material and that will hopefully last my entire life. Sometimes that means heading to a furniture shop, but not always. I wholeheartedly believe they don’t make furniture like they used to. Try to find pieces made from solid wood. When I can opt for something made of real wood – I go for it! If I’m going to splurge on an item I don’t want to have to buy it again. For example, timeless pieces for me are my kitchen table, my couch, oversized armchairs, piano, dining room chair, etc.
People often ask about styles changing and being stuck with a really expensive piece of furniture that is out of style. Not necessarily. I splurge on timeless pieces. Anything with solid wood and clean-cut lines are timeless. Yes, styles change – but updating said piece of furniture can be done with a good old paintbrush and a new stain color; or updating hardware. Couch covers can even be updated if you invest in a slipcover sofa or have them reupholstered.
I never splurge on items that need to be changed out season to season or that are on “trend”. For instance, throw pillows and throw blankets. Every season I change my throw pillow covers to something more fitting for that time of year. BUT I do splurge on the actual pillow insert. I prefer a quality down throw pillow that will last. This way I’m only ever buying a pillow cover which is less expensive than swapping out the actual pillow every season. And because pillow covers get changed several times a year I always opt to save rather than splurge. Amazon and Woven Nook are two of my favorite places to buy pillow covers.
When it comes to styling your home I always opt to save on things like wall art, artwork, home decor, nick-knacks, candlesticks and holders, vases, picture frames, etc. I try my hardest to save on these items. Or, I wait for them to go on clearance, find a similar version thrifting, or even buying at a lesser quality shop. I always ask myself: “how much traffic is this item going to get?” If it’s going to sit up on a shelf and not be handled it’s totally ok to spend less on that item!
One of my favorite places to shop for art is Etsy. You can now buy downloadable artwork for under $10 and send it off to be printed. Depending on the size of the print, I can send it to my local drug store and pick it up in an hour for only a few bucks! I love to get frames at Wallmart. They are cheap and I’ve never had issues with them falling apart.
Area rugs and light fixtures I generally leave up to the discretion of the room. Meaning, if it’s something that is a part of the long term design plan I don’t mind splurging, but if it’s a trendier scone that could potentially get traded out in the next few years I almost never splurge and always try and find a cheaper version. The same goes for area rugs. Area rugs are a great way to add a pop of color to a changing season. I love to layer rugs. On the bottom layer (which is generally more neutral) I’ll splurge and then save on the top layer which is usually smaller and “trendier”.
I’ve been thinking a lot about creating a dreamy fire pit area for quite some time now. Well, Like most of the projects in our home, I bought the supplies and told my husband that I had a really fun day planned for us both. Generally, he’s a good sport about it but gets a little nervous when mysterious packages start coming in the mail. He never knows what to expect. Well, I’m happy to report that this project has both of us super excited for the end result.
When my husband and I were just friends many moons ago, we used to hang out a ton over campfires. Of course, there were a lot of other friends there too. We realized we had a lot in common and really started to connect over campfires. To this day we still find time a few times a week during the campfire season to connect over one.
We bought all the tools needed to create our dream campfire area including twinkle lights, potted flowers, and of course wooden Adirondack chairs. My friends here know that this is something I have been on the hunt for a while. Throw in a few pillows and throw blankets and I’ve got the making of the dreamiest firepit area ever!
To start we laid out all the pieces to the Adirondack chairs, boards, and posts. We laid a thin layer of Early American Stain on them with a paintbrush. Dry time was quick, only about an hour. By the time all the staining was done I was able to immediately start sealing the wood with the weatherproof sealant. I allowed about 24 hours to dry because my boards were not pressure treated.
This part was way easier than I though. My husband was the one building them but said it was just very repetitive. The instructions were very informative. One chair took about 30 minutes to build. Since we bought 6, assembling took about 3 hours. It is very important to stain and seal the chairs before you put the chairs together. This is because you want that sealant to be in the joints to protect them from the weather. This way they’ll last. Every year we’ll put a new coat on our chairs to protect them from the weather.
We used four large planters around the fire pit with a concrete block inside to hold the post in place. Then we filled the pot with dirt and flowers to look nice and to act as extra support. We then added thin boards along the top of all four posts to connect and add support to the posts. To give the structure even more support we added corner joints. This way our structure will stay strong and secure.
Lastly, we used hooks on all four posts to string our patio lights around the structure. We did several loops to make it look flowy and the hooks just make sure to keep everything in place. The patio lights we used had clips next to each bulb making it easier to secure our loops stay in place. It just makes our campfire that much more dreamy!
I get asked a lot where I shop for home decor accessories. And the truth is, Everywhere! I try and shop affordably which includes second-hand items. I’m also not afraid to shop at Walmart either. I definitely shop at Target and I’m sure I’m not alone there. I do enjoy Hobby Lobby and Home Goods as well. There are some great online retailers like Overstock and Houzz that have some fun options. But to be totally honest with you, my absolute favorite place to shop for home decor accessories is Amazon.
Now I know that sounds funny, but you would be surprised at the various items that they sell. Really no matter your style, most likely you can find it on Amazon! Time and time again I find myself coming back to Amazon to get the same things. Plus with two-day shipping for Prime members, there’s hardly any wait time which is so important to me!
There are a lot of people out there who will argue me on this one. There are throw pillows and covers that will cost you well into the hundreds! But the truth is – Styles change too quickly to spend that much on throw pillows! Now I’m sure the quality is amazing… But I need my pillows and covers to run in at around $30 max. The good news is, once you own the pillow you can change the covers out regularly to get a new look without hurting your wallet. My favorite pillow shop is woven nook. They know what they’re doing over there and always seem to have the newest trends to make it easy to upgrade for the coming season! And they sell on Amazon!
I love getting my picture frames at Amazon. They have so many sizes and colors I know they’ll always have exactly what I need! Then I fill them with downloadable prints from Esty (they’re so cheap)… but that’s a blog post for another occasion. Amazon has their own line called Amazon Essentials. One of the products they make and sell under this line are picture frames. And guys, they are affordable!
So this one might be a little unpredicted but I’m a huge fan of diffusers. I love having diffusers running in all of the main spaces in my home. I like to set my diffusers to ON mode so they go ALL day and with a few drops of essential oil, I know each of my rooms will smell amazing without the risk of candles being left unattended. Amazon’s diffusers are very affordable and so is the essential oil they sell. You can get 100% therapeutic grade for the cheapest on the market! My favorite to diffuse is jasmine! Plus some of their diffusers double as humidifiers so I actually keep them in all the bedrooms too! We will run those babies all night long in the Winter!
Throw blankets like throw pillows, are a decor staple. I change out throw blankets just as often, if not more then I change out my throw pillows. They are a great way to add more texture to a room. And a great way to signify what season it is! Amazon has such a beautiful selection and for such great prices that I find myself coming back to Amazon to find my next one.
Now if you’re like me you’ve got enough storage baskets to fill up a room! But to me, a well-placed basket adds so much texture to a room AND adds storage too which is a big plus! I store blankets, pillows, and even magazines in mine. I have one basket by my large cozy chair that has all my work notebooks and journals in it. I throw a cozy throw on top to conceal them but they’re still readily available to me whenever I need them. The downsides to loving baskets?! They’re sooo pricey! But guess what?! Not on Amazon! They are super cute and very affordable!
To sum things up, with my job I am constantly creating content and need things not only delivered to my house in a quick time frame but also because I don’t always have time to go to the store! I love the convenience of online shopping with Amazon! Plus they seem to sell everything under the sun so there’s that too!
Does anyone else love a good Bed and breakfast? I love the antique furniture, the beautiful linens, and the ambiance of a cozy fireplace that most B&Bs have. It’s all so inviting that it makes you want to come and stay and never leave! I want the guests in my home to feel the same way.
I’ve picked up a few things from my stays at a bed and breakfast that I’ve incorporated in my own guest room. One thing I do to make my space feel more welcoming is appeal to all the senses. I try and use them as a guide when preparing my guest room for company.
Sight is the most obvious of the senses that we want to use to invite our guests in and make them feel welcome. I believe that a beautifully styled room has the ability to bring about a feeling. In this case, I want my guests to feel cozy and relaxed. So for furniture, I went more on the warmer side with wood tones but added contrast with fluffy white bedding. I also have a Scandinavian printed wallpaper that gives a nod to history and adds to the antique vibe.
You want the smells in your guest room to pull people in and be relaxing. I like to diffuse lavender, which has a calming effect. Candles are a great option too. I like to leave a small tray with matches and a candle so if my guests feel like lighting a candle they can while they’re here. Sometimes I line dry the sheets and bedding so even their bedding smells as fresh as the outdoors. My only caution is that some guests are sensitive to smells so I don’t go overboard with perfume type sprays. A clean room will go along way, and opening windows always helps too!
Touch is an important part of making your guest room more welcoming! Make sure the bedding is freshly laundered and soft to the touch. Adding cozy throw blankets and pillows is another way to add in more texture to your space. Hanging bathrobes in the corner and fresh towels folded nearby is another way to use touch to engage your guests’ sense of touch.
I know adding taste to your guest room sounds funny, but it’s a nice touch to have yummy snacks on hand for your guests. You can have a basket in the corner with some packaged goodies or tuck in a nightstand just in case they get hungry at night. This gesture doesn’t go unseen. I never had anyone complain about a fresh plate of chocolate chips cookies to snack on when they arrive! Water bottles are another great item to tuck in your snack basket too.
Playing music is another great way to welcome your guests. Having an Alexa with prime music is great to have tucked in the corner. You can ask Alexa to play relaxing music and she’s all over it!
It’s also important to make sure that your room meets your guest’s needs from a practical perspective. For instance, nightstands are important so your guests have a place to put their books/phones/glasses on at night. I like to put the wifi passcode on a notecard in the nightstand drawer too. A small organizer with a nail clipper, band-aids, q tips, and a small bottle of ibuprofen is nice. A cellphone charger is also a great idea. A dim bedside lamp is very practical too. We have an armoire with a small tv hidden inside so our guests can watch tv in the evening if they prefer. Have a place to put their luggage on (like a bench) so their luggage isn’t on the floor.