Friday, July 21, 2017

10 A Little Summer Inspired Dresser Styling

What is the first thing you see when you wake up? Depending on how much tossing and turning takes place, I either open my eyes to our dressing room or rise and see the wall across from our bed. That wall is where our dresser is located, and up until recently, it was a very neglected part of our bedroom.


I really wish I would have thought to take a before picture, but the styling wasn't actually something I ever planned on posting in the first place. It sort of just evolved over the course of the last week and I loved the outcome and decided it was worth mentioning.

So, just picture the white dresser with the too small yet very beautiful pink and navy abstract print above it. And the lamp. And random folded laundry. That is how the dresser had been "styled" for about the last year or so.

I actually initially picked the lovely print from Minted with the intention of framing it and hanging it over our headboard. I looked for something that married masculinity and feminity in a single piece and was really drawn to this particular print for that very reason. Once I picked out the art, I taped out an area above the bed with painter's tape and took those very specific measurements online to Frame-It-Easy to customize a frame. I knew I could remove a sliver from the top of the art to elongate it a bit over the bed, so I customized and ordered accordingly. Once the print and the frame arrived, I did cut down the print a small amount, but it wasn't enough and it looked very awkward over our headboard. That didn't mean that I didn't still love the art, I just didn't love it in the intended location. #storyofmylife The next best place was over the dresser because that area was sitting empty. We moved the mirror to our master bath a couple of years ago and had yet to find a good replacement, so we hung the art and added a lamp and called it a day year.

I am always moving things around and playing with areas around our home, and when I was unpacking and putting clothes away in my closet earlier this week, I noticed a couple of hats up on a shelf. Lightbulb. Maybe they could help balance out the scale of the art and draw the eye up? Plus, the sunny hats were just too cute not to hang on the wall.

A couple of small tacks later and they were looking quite darling.


But something was still missing and the area needed more balance and even a bit more height. I held up three different frames, white, black and gold options, and liked that the brushed gold didn't compete with the existing frame. So I tacked that up as well.


I always try to be resourceful when it comes to filling our frames and do my best to get photos off of my phone. Last week I was traveling for work, and Bryan joined me during a trip to Chicago so we could also celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. We stayed at a cozy and picturesque hotel which of course I snapped a picture of after checking out. I cropped the picture and printed it out and now it is a nice memory on display in our bedroom.

Awhile back we DIY'd a marble serving tray that I use around the house quite a bit. I grabbed it so I could create a nice little vignette on the top of our dresser. I find that trays are really great at unifying a group of smaller objects so they are less harsh on the eyes.


I have had the acrylic box for quite some time now, I actually found it at a craft store of all places. It was a steal of a deal and is a great reminder that craft stores always have little "gems" for around the home.


And how sweet is that little blue lidded dish? I found it at a local antique shop and scooped it up to hold my favorite daily jewelry pieces.


I reach for the same jewelry 90% of the time so I like to keep my favorites here. The rest I display in our closet and will layer on or swap out for special occasions.

You all know that I believe in keeping fresh greens and florals sprinkled around our home as frequently as possible, and we have quite a few plants, shrubs and trees that I have been snipping from this summer. Wanting to create a little weight to balance the lamp, I cut a large bunch of branches and arranged them in a simple clear vase.


I prefer vases that taper a bit at the top for holding branches with more weight, it makes it much easier to arrange because they don't flop around or fall out as easily. And with fresh water changes, these branches should last at least a month or two.


The dresser is a hand-me-down from our family and we have had it for years but I sort of love the history and character of it. And the clean lines and hardware have allowed it to work well with just about anything we pair with it.


It is always so much fun when something small snowballs and biggers and ends up being even better than the original plan. Just spotting those hats caused me to add a few new things, shop our home and finally give this wall the attention it deserved.


In the end I did decide to share because although I wanted to make this area look effortless, it did take a little effort to get it figured out. I would add something and it would draw my eye in and challenge me to add something else. Then I would edit and remove something or try an item in a different color or scale. I hung the hats and art and then stepped back and adjusted. But for the most part, I just used things I already owned and gave our space new life. That is always the best, isn't it?

So yes to finding accessories at craft, thrift, and antique stores, or even DIY'ing them. Yes to adding fresh greenery from the yard. Yes to displaying things that make you happy. Yes to getting photos off of your phone and onto the wall. A double yes to displaying your favorite hats and accessories. And a final yes for changing things up on a whim.

This update feels like summer to me, but I think I will keep it up all year long. I am pretty positive it will be just what I need come February when I am counting down the days until spring from under a thick pile of down blankets.


Even if my style and your style are completely the opposite, I hope that I inspired you to find a blank wall or nook in your home and challenge yourself to make something fresh and new happen there. And even better yet, do it with things that you already have and enjoy and then tell me about it when you are done.

Have a fabulous and weekend everyone!





Thursday, July 13, 2017

5 Boy's Bedroom Update: Closet Doors and Supply Drawers

Our youngest boy's bedroom has received a couple of updates that are really helping his space feel more finished and functional.


Last year at the beginning of the school year, we decided it was time to give all three boys their own bedrooms. Although our youngest two will always be the bestest of friends, I think they are enjoying the process of putting their personal stamps on their rooms, and appreciating their privacy and quiet time. Although, my heart really loves that they have "sleepovers" with each other any chance they can get.

Just like any space, we try things and they evolve after living with our updates for awhile. We have actually made three changes in this space; two completely intentional and one unintentionally. You may notice that his desk has changed since we created his playful workspace last year. When we ordered his new closet storage for the right side, we wanted to take advantage of as much of the space as possible. To install everything on the right side, we pulled everything out of the left. Once the right was installed, we were unable to get his previous desk back in on the left. It was just a few inches too big, even when I tried to assemble it inside of the closet. We goofed.

So we sold the desk on Craigslist and looked for another inexpensive and smaller option to better fit the nook. Finding a petite desk wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, so I started looking at console/sofa tables and ordered this one from Amazon. And it fit but just barely, I still had to assemble it inside of the closet which was a really interesting and probably quite comical thing to witness.


I also had picked up a set of storage drawers because his desktop was always cluttered with all of his papers and collections and supplies... it made it nearly impossible to actually do his homework with everything that was always piling up there. The drawers are from IKEA and are such a great price! They are nice and small yet still hold so many things. I did have to modify the console table a small bit to fit the drawers under, I just installed the front face board flat up under the front of the desk to keep it properly supported.


The drawers originally came with silver handles, so I sprayed them black and used my computer to create the labels.


And then of course I stayed true to my methods and created some drawer dividers from the cereal boxes sitting in our recycling bin. I found some really strong blue ticking stripe paper from HomeGoods for $3, and I had more than enough to do the four dividers and line all of the drawer bottoms for a touch of playfulness!


Photos like that give me such happy goosebumps! And it was so simple!

I placed the drawers in a way that there is still enough space to open them all of the way, and was also sure that his chair would give him plenty of wiggle room.


As far as what is inside of the drawers; they are labeled Supplies, Think, Get Techy, Be Creative, Save and Play Games.



Little cupcake/baking liners are so great for dividing small things inside of larger areas! I have been using these things everywhere lately!


I like to keep a couple of grade appropriate workbooks at his desk so he has something to do on weeknights when no homework is assigned, and during the summer months. The drawers fit the books and his writing tools.


I didn't have enough cereal boxes on hand for this project, but the Dollar Store sells dividers 3/$1 and they also fit quite nicely to hold his techy items.


Another drawer for his creative items and journals. And yes, I let my kiddos paint in their rooms. I sprinkle craft supplies all over the house to encourage their creative side whenever possible. It's a risk I take, the boys are older and with some research, almost all craft supply products can be cleaned up if an accident happens.


Another drawer holds a variety of small games.

Now it is easier than ever for him to keep his workspace clear!


Oh! And I also added a small textured lamp which was a great small size for his desk and made it feel a little more comfortable.

Onto the next side of his closet. After installing his fantastic new system, we weren't sure we would want to add doors to conceal all of the wonderful storage. But ultimately I decided it would really clean up the room visually and sometimes it is just nice to conceal away everyday clutter, even if it is organized in a lovely way.


(Excuse the weird thing my camera/lens has been doing with making things look like they are bowing out, our trim and doors are actually quite straight).

I was going to detail out the installation process, but we ended up following all of the exact steps we took when we did our coat closet doors. You can find that tutorial here.


This time I purchased these primed doors special order from a local home improvement store. We split the bi-folds and gave them a couple coats of white paint. Added some black hinges and they were now able to swing open from the center.

The simple paneling on these doors is really clean and timeless and fits our boy's space so well. When we initially did this to our coat closet, I ordered some polished dummy knobs. We ended up using the same hardware that was on nearby cabinets for those doors, but I saved the knobs because I knew we would have another project for them someday. That day finally came and to keep them fitting with everything else happening in his room, I gave them a quick coat of black spray paint.



The dummy knobs just look like standard door knobs but don't actually turn or require any special installation. And nothing goes through to the back side of the door or interrupts that inside of the closet. And I don't generally like to spray paint hardware out of fear it won't hold-up, but took the risk because I had everything I needed on hand, and the paint contained a primer. #fingerscrossedtightly



It really did simplify the space a bit, with all of his belongings everywhere, it was nice to clean up this side of his room visually.

Only a few things left on our list:

  • Paint the ceiling
  • Install a new light
  • Add crown moulding
  • Add a roman shade
  • Build a bunk bed

He has really wanted some sort of cool bed in his room so he can sleep his bro or his pals. I think he has his dad convinced to get it done sometime this summer. Should be a really fun project to tackle and we are appointing Parker as the lead designer.


Little by little, day by day, I love how even the little changes continue to make a difference!

You can catch up on past posts for this space below:






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