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Fan Makeover, Little details make all the difference! Stripes in Archway.

6 Sep





A few weeks ago Young House Love “House Crashed” my house and they were loving the stripes in my pass-through window. Now, this was so cool to me because I have always been on the fence about my pass-through window (I kinda do not like them). All the positive feedback from the picture Young House Love posted above actually gave me a new found love for what I now think of as my “adorable little window”. The thing people seemed to like most were the stripes. For me the stripes were one of those “ah,ha” moments when I had stared at that hole in the wall for just about long enough trying to decide what would make it look better.

Today I received a comment from a fan who shared that my “adorable little window” so inspired them that they look the idea and implemented it in their own home. HOW COOL!

archway-beforegreen-striped-archway (1) striped-archway-and-stairs


Dominique painted 4″ stripes like mine in her “used to be plain but is now so fab” archway. Not only do I love that I actually inspired someone else, but I am loving the color that she used and I am also loving her blog. Go check out her blog here, and leave her some love if you like her makeover.


A Bathroom Rescue: Before and After

21 Aug

Here is what our second upstairs bathroom looked like when we bought our townhouse. It was truly scary! The floors were gross! The vanity cabinet was dark and dreary. It needed some TLC for sure! Image

Here is what it looks like now. Image

First we replaced the flooring with the same dark wood floor we have throughout the entire house. I like houses with flooring that never changes. I think it creates a great flow from room to room and it makes the house feel larger. I painted the walls Oasis Blue by Benjamin Moore and the ceiling in a fun yellow and white stripe (sorry don’t remember the color). I primed the vanity with BIN primer. BIN primer is a shellac base primer that will just about stick to any surface. I have painted a lot of pre-finished furniture and cabinets with this stuff. It works really well and leaves a smooth finish. I used two coats of primer on the cabinets because the primer is very thin by design. I think this allows it to stick better and go on smoother. Oh yeah, and this primer dries very quickly, so it makes the project go pretty fast. I used a sponge roller when painting both the primer coat and the finish coat. I always use sponge rollers when painting furniture and cabinetry. It creates a smooth finish and the rounded edge of the roller makes painting nooks and crannies much easier.

Click these pictures to check out each product from Home Depot.

bin sponge rollerThen I painted the vanity cabinet gloss white. I used a 100% acrylic gloss paint for this. You can use acrylic or oil based paint over the BIN primer. It only took one top coat because the primer had already done most of the work covering the wood finish.

 For a finishing touch on the vanity I replaced the hardware with pulls from an Ikea chest I already had. I had previously replaced the hardware on the Ikea chest with cute knobs I found on clearance at Anthropologie.

The last step of the makeover was to add some fun and colorful decor. I chose a cute Cow picture (also from Ikea), a colorful shower curtain (from Target) and bath mat (also Target) and done. It doesn’t look too shabby now and it is a fresh space that is airy, inviting, and fun for Luke!

A no tools, no building closet makeover

20 Aug

As I have mentioned before being a stay-at-home Mom keeps me very busy, so I tend to find projects that I can accomplish in a nap time. I can use a drill mildly well but that is where my skills stop, so I like to find ways to DIY without lots of power tools. So when I decided to organize Luke’s closet I looked for organization that would be easy and practical for me to accomplish. This is what I came up with.

Here is Luke’s closet before.


Basically is was a bunch of baby clothes crammed on the only shelf available and the rest was wasted space. I decided that hanging baby clothes was a waste of time so I decided to add shelves all the way down to the floor. I couldn’t build shelves and didn’t want to spend the time and money to buy and install wire shelving so I found a different solution.

OK, let me just be real with you for a second, I am not the organized one in my household. I could live with all my clothes crammed in one BIG drawer. I know, how embarrassing! However, my husband Nate likes things broken down into TINY categories and organized in nice little stacks. I thought, “Since he also has to dress Luke, let me try to put on my organizer hat and make it a little easier on him.”


 I found these shoe organizers at a local outlet store for $10.00 each. I thought they would give me lots of little shelves, ya know for little clothes in little stacks. This would help me break the clothes up into tiny categories and make them easy to find. I stacked 2 on top of each other for height and fastened them to the wall with screws to help them stand. I put a third shelf on the floor and left the space above for hanging.


I also found it hard to find socks and both shoes of a matching pair with a baby on my hip, so I came up with a solution for that too.


I used a jewelry organizer that I already had to hang up and organize all Luke’s socks and shoes. I can see them all in their clear pockets and reach them easily from a standing position. I gave myself an A++ for this idea :)!


I used a hanging shelf organizer to hold all the diapers and other baby items. I labeled the organizer on the side with chalkboard tags. Oh yeah, Nate likes labels too! Are you surprised? NAH! I used chalkboard tags so that I can change what I store on the shelves and also change the tags.


So here is the newly organized closet. This entire project took me about an hour and I only used a power drill! Now that is my kind of DIY!

Until next time, Katrina

Sittin’ Pretty! A Highchair makeover.

16 Aug

I love Luke’s wooden highchair. It fits snugly up to our kitchen table and doesn’t take up tons of space in our cozy eat-in kitchen. I also love the fact that it fits with our decor! However, being that it was a thrift store find it had some wear and tear. I thought it could use a face lift so I went to work fixing it up.

Here is what the chair looked like before (sorry about the fuzzy picture, I shot it quickly at night before I started the makeover).


I decided to just paint the top and leave the legs as is. I wanted to leave some the original finish because I liked the warm wood tones in the kitchen and it kept some of the original charm. I used some leftover yellow paint from the garage and mixed up some chalk paint from the DIY recipe I posted about before (see here for recipe).

Here is what it looked like after the paint job.


Then to add even more cuteness, I decided to paint the back top panel with chalkboard paint and write Luke’s name on it.


Now Luke is sittin’ pretty in his newly designed highchair!


I think he likes it.


Until next time, Katrina

DIY Chalk Paint Experiment

7 Aug

I have been reading a lot about chalk paint recently (I know I am a little late on the band wagon). I decided to try it out for myself. I went with a DIY recipe made from supplies I already had at home for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t want to pay for the paint, and free is always better. Second, it was a spur of the moment project and I didn’t want to wait for the paint. Sometimes impatiences works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

I grabbed a bucket of leftover paint from the garage and some baking soda from the kitchen. I went by a recipe I found on Pinterest: 1 cup paint, 1/2 baking soda, 3 tbls. water. I dumped it all in a solo cup (I didn’t want to wash anything afterwards except the brush of course :)) and stirred. Here is a glimpse of my supplies.


Pretty simple so far.

I decided to try a couple of different ways to use the paint. First on upholstery. I have read that you can paint upholstery with chalk paint. I thought, “Well you can actually paint anything with chalk paint but should you?” I have tried painting upholstery before and it didn’t turn out well. It was hard and crusty and uncomfortable. I wanted to give it one more go just in case.

I decided to paint my ottoman. It was on clearance due to a ink mark on it. Since I brought it home it has experienced many spit-ups and other various baby spills. In other words, it has seen better days. Also, it was not exactly a color that I loved, a boring beige.


I also decided to paint the legs on my white wingback chairs. They were a Goodwill find that I had reupholstered. I didn’t mind the wood tone legs but I thought it may be fun to change them.


(via Young House Love)

I simply painted just as normal. After the first coat I was a little scared. The baking soda seemed to be flaking everywhere, rolling up as I brushed.


Yikes! I didn’t give up though (well it was really too late for that).

The next day I finished the second coat. I am pretty pleased with the result.


The paint on both pieces has a soft and ultra matte look. The ottoman looks so soft! You ask, “But is it really soft?” Well….., NO. It isn’t soft. I have plans to keep working on it. The flaky baking soda went away during the second coat and then I sprayed it with a coat of scotch guard to kinda seal it. It isn’t bad for something you put your feet on but I wouldn’t sleep on it (luckily I don’t have to). This may be a temporary redesign for this ottoman. I just spotted a new fabric outlet near my house today so there may be plans for a slipcover in its future. However, I do actually like the result for a free and easy project. The chair legs turned out perfect. I never had any doubt that they wouldn’t.

So here is a before:


(via Young House Love)

and After:


After the result I decided I needed to bring some of the gold accents and warmth of the wall decor down to the ottoman. So I did a new vignette on the ottoman,


Welp, that it my DIY chalk paint experiment. Over all I would give it an A-.

Until next time, Katrina

Entry Makeover (Not a perfect picture)

6 Aug

Musing over the idea of making over the entryway. I have been thinking about this for awhile, so I thought I would put my photoshop skills to work to help me picture what the new entry would look like.

Here is the entry now.


(via Young House Love)

Here is what it would (kinda) look like if I added board and batten and a horizontal stripe at the top.


What do you think? I like it! Now if I could only photoshop some time to do it 😉

Until next time, Katrina

The Kitchen (What you didn’t see)

5 Aug

Recently you may have seen my “house crash” on Young House Love. I was so thrilled to have them over to my home and they did an amazing post about the highlights of the townhouse. However, in order to hit all the highlights and not make the post WAY too long, they didn’t show you everything (I don’t blame them, just to clarify). So I thought I would slowly go back through the house and show you some of what you missed in more detail (and straight from the horse’s mouth). Today I want to show you the heart of the home and the most dramatic change, the KITCHEN!

Below you see a before of the kitchen. This is right after we closed on the house and before we moved in. You can see I am testing paint swatches on the cabinets already. We bought the townhouse with the intention of rearranging the kitchen to make it an eat-in kitchen. In the before shots you can see that there are a lot of cabinets (in my opinion over-kill) and not enough floor space for a table.


This is where the builders intended the table to go, underneath that chandelier. However, I didn’t want to share the living room space with a dining space. Why? Well, first of all I felt like that made it feel like every apartment we had lived in so far and I wanted it to feel like a house. Secondly, the space just wasn’t big enough for both spaces, and I always opt for more living space and less dining space.  Image

This is after we ripped out some of the cabinets on this wall. The plan was to move the fridge over here. Image

Now you can see the after. We moved the fridge into the corner from the other side of the room. We painted the cabinets, replaced the hardware and the floors. We replaced the appliances from white to stainless. We also replaced the counter tops.Image

I eventually want to raise the look of the cabinets by adding a header to the top and some crown molding. However we haven’t had a ton of time to make that happen, so for now I put a salvage find up there. It brings your eye up to the ceiling and kinda has the same effect as a header would. I also like that it adds personality to the space. I love old crusty relics!


Here is another view of before. You can see the builder grade cabinets were not a good look. The floors were filthy and in desperate need of replacing. Also, my least favorite thing in the house, the pass-thru window, just made me frown. I personally hate pass-thru windows – another thing that I feel looks like an apartment. (Side note: my hate for pass-thru windows has recently been replaced with the fact that they are convenient for keeping an eye on my son. I still don’t like them and would rather open the wall up but it is load-bearing so that can’t happen.)


Here is the after! Yeah, I hated my pass-thru window, so I decided to make the best of it and make it my own. I started by painting the stripes. Then I added the glass jugs and burlap curtains. I actually really like it now.

You can also see below a better view of the counter-tops and a new shiny faucet. In order to contain clutter around the sink, I purchased a cute galvanized container from Target (meant to be for flatware). It holds all the uglies that live around the sink.


(via Young House Love) 

Here is a view of the other side of the kitchen. This is where the fridge used to live. There was also a pantry. Image

We ripped the pantry out!


Now here is the after, with our found space for an eat-in kitchen nook. We built a banquette for lots of seating in a tight space. We also recovered our loss of storage from the remodel by adding IKEA shelving that wraps the side of the kitchen.


(via Young House Love) 

I put locker baskets with burlap liners on the shelves to hide the stuff inside. However, so I know what is up there, I put chalkboard tags on them (I was thinking with my noggin’ :)) The chalkboard tags allow me to change what is labeled as the storage needs change.Image

Now for a few detail shots.


 (via Young House Love)

My favorite accessory. My duck decoy!Image

More jars for pretty storage.


That is the story of our kitchen. I hope that this inspires you to think beyond the floor plan and make your space function for you. I love our kitchen and it is finally a welcoming heart of the home.

Until next time, Katrina

The Living Room

14 Sep

Not surprisingly, the living room is one of the first rooms nearing completion in my home. I love designing living rooms! To me it is the room that really dictates the feel of the home and makes the biggest statement. While some may say the kitchen is the heart of the home, I say the living room is the main stage, setting the pace for the rest of the home to play off of. So here are some more pics of my living room in progression.

As you can see, if have already changed some things around. I replaced the cherry blossom sprays that were on top of the side tables with my lovely new lamps.

The new lamps are in beautiful polished nickel and clamp to the back of the side tables. They swing in or out and direct the light just where I need it. They also have two light settings for mood lighting or high reading light! I really love the masculine/industrial feel they add to the space.

As you can see above I also added some pretty “street scene” prints simply leaning against the arm of the lamps.

Here’s a look from the other side of the sofa.

Here are two wider angles to give some perspective of the entire room. I saved the chaise from our previous sectional sofa (it was the best part of the sofa!!) I plan on slipcovering it but am still deciding on fabric. Behind the chaise you can see my DIY art. It is simply an old frame I have had for years with some discount fabric I picked up stapled to the back. It took me awhile to find something to fill the “hole” behind the chaise but my patience paid off! I didn’t have to spend much money and got the big impact I wanted. Sometimes I just pays to wait. I am also on the hunt for a tufted ottoman for the center of the room. Again I am waiting for the right deal at the right time!

Here is my favorite part of the room, the white chairs in front of my huge window! The area of the living room really makes the space feel crisp and fresh while also being inviting! Haha, don’t you just love my shabby rug! Some people (like my husband, who is more of a clean and simple kinda guy but I love him for letting me have my way with the decor) don’t really “get it” but I do! I love the worn shabby look to death!! I have also temporarily thrown a salvage architectural find behind the chairs against the wall for now till I find it a home. I fell in love with this piece of old cornice from a porch and had to have it! I am thinking I will use it for a “crown canopy” above my bed soon but for now it rest happily in my living room adding character to the space!

Here is where my cherry blossom sprays landed. They flank the fireplace now. You thought I had gotten rid of them huh?!? Nope just a quick move to a new home freshened the space up! I am constantly tweaking and revising.

Here is my fireplace and “butterfly art” as you have seen before but now I have added the cherry blossom sprays and the vintage suit case table beside. I picked this old suitcase up at a local antique shop for $12. I simply put it on table I already had.

Now I know what you are wondering, “where is the TV?” Why it is where are the furniture is facing of course!

Do I want it to be the center of attention? Not really. Is it ok for now? Yeah because I get to watch Big Brother from the comfort of my chaise! Again I am waiting patiently for the right housing for this monster.

So to refresh, here is the living room before.

and after…

Before below, yuck! As you can see from the chandelier hanging, this room was meant to be a living room/dining room combo. What could have been a large room is cut into two too-small spaces that are not really functional. So I pulled up my handy-dandy Ikea planner and reconfigured the kitchen to fit a dining nook and turned a poorly designed floor plan into a beautiful space. 


Much more to come, so stay tuned to see kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom makeovers.

Until next time!

Inspiration to Get the Job Done!

7 Sep

I was in much need of some inspiration to break the paint brush out again and start painting my kitchen cabinets. It seems once the paint supplies are packed away they really want to stay that way, or maybe I really want them to stay that way.

As you can see below my basic builder cabinets in warm honey oak aren’t really cutting it mixed in with my cool color palette of gray and white.

I have finally found my inspiration though from a newly found blog called Me and Jilly.

 Here is Mia’s kitchen before. Looks somewhat like mine with basic builder cabinets and linoleum countertops.

Now here is Mia’s kitchen after…

Wow what a transformation and so inspiring!

Mia added molding to her plain cabinet fronts, added glass panels to some of the upper cabinet doors, and did some finishing touches with a brick veneer backsplash and unique concrete countertop.

I am thinking, if her kitchen can look this good with some sweat and tears, mine can too! Now that I have the inspiration I just have to find the time. If I ever get the two together I’ll be unstoppable! Ya feelin me?!?

My Space!

1 Sep

I finally have pictures of my fresh new office. I designed the space for blogging and sewing/crafting. I wanted a space that was cheerful and inspirational and that really said KATIE! Well I think I nailed it. Here is the big reveal.

The room before was a plan blank canvas, white walls, beige carpet, etc… Your typical builder grade small bedroom. I don’t seem to have a before picture which saddens me but here is a picture I snapped with my phone right after painting.

Of course from this pictures lighting and without anything else in the room the walls felt a little bit neon. I knew that it would all come together in the end though.

I had a simple white desk from Ikea already so I added 2 Expedit bookcases to the mix.

One I put on its side on casters for a sewing table with storage. I can pull this out to the middle of the room when sewing so the fabric has somewhere to spread out. I picked up these fabulous new vintage “linen-look” file boxes from Ikea as well to store “do-dads” and stored all my fabric swatches, remnants, etc below.

Then there was artwork. I used remnants of Thibaut wallpaper inside Ikea frames. They were the perfect color combo of Apricot, Aqua, and Green all softened by the yellow background. I loved the Pagoda lanterns in this wallpaper which is why I picked it.

Then not to be left out, the other side of the room I framed some typography art and added some accessories to the top of the bookcase. I also picked up a fabulous pinboard framed in gray (seen below again) from Home Goods for just $24.

Then some finishing touches from things I already owned (always a good thing!).

First my favorite Thrift find chair.

My fav chair, shown here in true “Glamour Shot” style with a cute pillow made by yours truly, has bits of coral and aqua throughout this traditional needlepoint toile fabric. I heart this chair for real and it only cost $25!

Then finally one of my favorite lamps, one because it is fabulous and two because it was free, pulls the color scheme together.

I will be adding curtains soon in this Thibaut plaid.

I will show you the curtains when they are up. Until then I hope you liked my inspiration space and were inspired yourself.

Until next time!