Bonus Room Ideas

Ok – so when you start your house search saying things to your realtor like “Does this house have off street parking” and “Oh, they’re counting this weird room you walk through to get into the kitchen as one of the bedrooms” Or, “Oh, there’s a furnace in the middle of this room” and “Whaaaa – this house doesn’t have AC?!” *we live in NC!* – when you land up with a house that has a bonus room, over an attached garage, you’re sorta like slapping your self every morning, noon and night. Not polite dainty slapping but full out smacking yourself silly.

Yes, if y’all didn’t catch that we have a whole other “bonus room” over a garage that we can use for things like guests! and TV’s! and parties! I’M SO EXCITED.

Refresher – this is the room on move-in day. Red, very red. But also very large. Me likey.

Bonus Room Over Garage

Any room that is large enough for a pool table is basically like a Greecian palace to me.

So we’ve got some big plans for the bonus room that I wanted to share with y’all before I show you some of the progress we’ve made on the room next week.

Overall – this is the look and feel I’m going for in the space. Soft, light, open and airy.

Living Room Mood Board

Looking like this (more or less) when we’re done…

Bonus Room Design

I fell in love with Benjamin Moore Moonshine, and really like how it has a tinge of blue to it, so that’s my color inspiration for the space. Here it is in a bedroom I love (almost makes me want to paint our bedroom this color, too!)

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

Another cool thing about this room is that it has a little wet bar built in. Don’t get me wrong, it needs some a lot, of refining, but the plumbing and all that jazz is already up there.

Since the space is so small, I’ve got some ideas on how to give it a wow factor and really snazz up this part of the bonus room. Right now, I’m inspired by photos like this.

Small White Kitchenette

Our space will need to fit a mini fridge, and possibly a dishwasher. On cabinetry we plan on keeping it as minimal and simple as possible.

I also love this photo, sans the peninsula, since that wouldn’t fit in our space (just a row of cabinets against the wall).

Small Kitchenette

Cute, simple and easy to decorate 🙂

Ok, one more, I’m on a kitchen kick over here. The bottom portion (with cabinets) on this one would pretty much make me weep with happiness I like it so much.

Butlers Pantry

The one downside of this wet bar is that is means we have a half bath up in this room vs. a full bath. Eventually we plan on adding a shower up here, but realistically, that’s at least a year out. When we do add the bath, we’ll do a very basic stall type of shower since this room will only be used by guests – so there’s no need to go crazy although you know I’ll be fighting the urge! 🙂

Some progress photos up next week! It look SO MUCH BETTER in this room already, I can barely contain myself, y’all!

Southland Avenue Nursery

A few months back I spotted Heath and Mary Keller’s blog, Southland Avenue, and absolutely fell in love! Mary Keller is guest blogging today with some sweet images from her daughter’s nursery – enjoy!

Thanks for having us Mary!  For those of you who we haven’t met, my sister (Heath) and I (Mary Keller) blog at Southland Avenue and we’d love to share picture’s of my daughter Virginia’s nursery with you if you’re interested.  Virginia’s nursery is actually the master bedroom of our house.  You can probably tell from these pictures, but her room is huge, especially for an old house.  When we first moved in we decided we would never have enough furniture to fill the bedroom as a master bedroom, and instead decided to make it a giant nursery.  If Virginia becomes a big sister one day, our plan is for her to share this room with her sibling.  🙂  We really wanted her nursery to be colorful and full of Virginia’s art and toys as the years go by.  So many pieces in the room are things we already had, but I’ll share sources and tons of photos below.




The twin beds were actually my mother’s childhood beds with simple matelassé bedspreads from Bed Bath and Beyond.  The splatter paint pillows are from Biscuit.  We purchased an inexpensive chest at auction to use between the beds and the gourd lamps are from a local boutique Cottage & Vine in Columbia, SC.  The elephant and giraffe bookends are Serena and Lily (a gift from grandparents) and the art between the beds is by Michelle Armas.  (It’s a print.  Wish we could have done an original but Virginia will never know the difference!)

For her rugs we decided on two Dash and Albert rugs.  Her crib is an inexpensive Jenny Lind, but I loved it’s old fashioned classic look.  Crib splatter paint bedding by Biscuit.  Art above the crib is an old framed Spoleto poster, and the hot air balloon mobile is from Shower Me With Love in Charlotte.

We DIYed her glider (a tutorial here!) and the pillows on the glider and crib by Kevin O’Brien Studio.  The bookcase was actually made by my grandfather for my nursery when I was a child.

I’m using an old buffet as a changing table for now.  I found the toile flower lamp at a vintage shop and the black mirror is an inexpensive piece that I painted a long time ago.  I would love something more fun like this, but it’s not in the budget for now.

Right now this nursery stays nice and neat (too neat!) like this since Virginia doesn’t move around much, but I really look forward to the day that she has lots of room to run around in here, pull out all of her toys, invite friends (or a future sister) to have a slumber party with her, etc.  I’d love to add roman shades or some type of drapery to all of these windows to soften the room, but for now we’re pretty pleased with our girl’s sweet room!

Rachel’s Palace

When Jay and I were house hunting, it was important for us to find a home that not only had space for us, but space to grow. Space, specifically, for a new family member that will be arriving in 6 months or so. Snicker. Do y’all think I’m announcing a new human coming out of my belly, cause it really sounds like it, now doesn’t it. 😀 Nope, this family member is not fresh out of the womb, she’s been alive and kicking for the past 21+ years. It’s my lovely kid sister Rachel and her cat son, Lou. When she graduates from college in a few months, she’s heading on down to live with us for a spell. Isn’t that exciting? Well Jay and I are pretty excited 😀

Rachel and Louie

So when we were on the hunt for a house, we knew that we wanted to have a space set aside for her, so that we all wouldn’t feel like we were living on top of each other. One of the reasons I was so bummed about the first house not working out, is that it’s layout was really perfect for that. Turns out, it was good to wait a little longer since this house actually trumps it. Lucky break, I guess! Here’s Rachel’s room – which currently – is the best room in the house with a full bathroom ensuite. #LivinItUp

Guest Room with Onsuite

For storage, the room has a decently size closet , which along with a dresser should be plenty of space for clothing storage.

Small Closet in Old House

It’s not a super large room, but it’s quite a bit longer than the rooms in our last house (almost 14′), which means I think I can eek in a sitting area in addition to the bedroom staples like a bed and a dresser.  I’m thinking if the space allows, I’d like to add a chair and side table over on this wall, next to the entry.

Sitting Area in Small Bedroom

The ensuite has a shower, small pedestal sink and a loo, of course 😉 It’s rather red as of present day, so that’ll be changing fo shizzle.

Adding Bathroom to Master

Even though in my dream of dreams this shower would have subway tile and a marble tile floor, in reality, it functions pretty well as is.

Small Walkin Shower

My immediate plans for both of the spaces are to paint the walls and accessorize, but long term, I do think this bathroom will be getting a gut and an update. If we’re ambitious, that will happen before Rachel arrives, but most likely it’ll be happening after. Luckily the house has another full bath, so we’ll have showering options when the demo day comes.

Guest Room Layout

Since Rachel will be coming down in the beginning of the new year, it’s my goal to have this space pretty much designed and ready so she can just move right in.

Here are some of the ideas I’ve got for this space in my head right now.

Rachel's Room Mood Board

Overall, I want the room to feel comfortable, fresh and inviting. Since Rachel will eventually move out, I’d like this room to be able to transition into a guest room further on down the road. For now though, and probably until Rachel moves in, I hate to admit that this will most likely be a junk collecting room! Gotta put it somewhere! 😀


Hotel de Sells

Have I ever told you that Jay and I have a dream of opening up a Bed and Breakfast someday when we retire? We do. We’ll find some hole in the wall that’s in desperate need of a reno and then once it’s all purty on the inside I’ll decorate it and Jay will cook. Ah, to have a dream, my friends.

Sometimes, your dreams creep up on you a bit sooner than you think though. Jay and I will essentially be starting this little expedition a bit earlier than anticipated by opening up our own home to all the fine creatures of the universe, with our first person actually staying TODAY! Say whhhhaaatt???

  How to List your House on Airbnb

Here is the thing. We’ve got some friends that decided to try something called airbnb. Every heard of it? It’s essentially an online service that allows you to rent out a room in your house for a night, or a few days, for those passing through your neck of the woods. They did so well, and had lots of people swing by their abode, that we started to think about doing it ourselves. I mean, why not? If we are planning on doing it for a living someday, why not try out our sea legs at it now to see if we like it, right?

So I listed it a few days ago, not even thinking twice about it, since in my head, no one would book it anyway … ya know. Yeah – first night up our email was exploding with people making reservations. Again, say whhhaaatt?


If you have laser vision – you can also see what we’ve booked the room for each night. Right now, our (4) booked visits will pocket us over $850. Where I come from, that is some serious cash. And the most amazing part? According to the good old IRS tax code, you can rent out your house (or a room in your house) up to 15 times annually and not owe any taxes on the income generated. I know – it’s crazy sauce. Or perhaps we can call it a loop hole for the common man. Hey, if the Wal-mart’s of the world can wheel and deal their way to a tax free return, I think I’ll take advantage of a few extra bucks to help fund our house renovations, too.

We have a few things working to our advantage:

  1. Since we are really close to the University of Michigan stadium, we have special events like graduation, sporting events, etc. We charge more on these nights.
  2. We live in a college town, so there is a decent amount of foot traffic coming through in need of a place to stay (parents, alums, etc.)

So in the interest of making this whole adventure a success, we decided that we had to class up our guest room a bit. Just to make it feel a bit more homey for all the people that would be coming through. This is what we had going down pre-spruce action. It worked, but was a bit bare. Basically the only thing we’d done is made the bed and bought some art for the room.

Dark Walnut on Red Oak

Which started a Homegoods shopping extravaganza, or so I initially intended. Our first weekend reservation was going to land us $125 in our pocket books – so in my mind, that was my straight and narrow budget. I tell you, harder than I first thought once I got to shopping.

After stopping by Macy’s, Homegoods and Target, I came back to the house with the following loot and had spent a grand total of around $150. Over my budget – poo. And it only included the linens!! Zeomergaud! Ca-razy!

Homegoods Sale

So needless to say, I wasn’t very happy about the over spending and I wasn’t even certain if I was digging everything. Freakity frack.

Here is the charcoal comforter I picked up at Homegoods. Is it just me – or does that read purple? Not your friendly dinosaur purple, but purple none the less.

Preparing House for Airbnb

So that scratched that option out and got me started on thinking about working with some of the things I already had, versus reinventing the wheel. The ONE thing I really liked (of all the things I had purchased new) was these sweet little pillows (made in the USA!) on clearance from HomeGoods.

Pillows Made in USA

So I decided to pop those bad boys into the mix, sans my other goodies.

And I liked it. Saucy.

Made in USA Products

Then I decided to tuck in the blanket around the edges and add a fitted bed skirt. Which meant… I had to find a bed skirt…. and this is where my shopping trip to Kiwanis came in for the major win. See this?

Cozy Guest Bedoom

$3 dollllaaaaasssss. Compared to THIRTY for the cheapo option at Tar-jay. Win – Win – Winning. Can you see why I’ve been permanently converted to buying things used? I’m telling you.

For some extra warmth to the space, we thought we’d add in a small basket along with some blankets. We do live in the nation’s mitten, so it’s a wee chilly.

Basket With Blankets

We also moved the dresser back into the space so that the guests could store their clothes as well. It takes away some space in the room, but I actually like how it makes everything a bit cozier in there.

Antique Dresser Oval Handles

Overall, we are pretty excited to try this whole airbnb thing out. Right now we’ve got (4) reservations, so it’s been a pretty steady interest. We’ll be sure to do a re-cap post in the next few months to let everyone know how it goes!

Tell me, what do you think, would you rent out a room in your house for some extra cash?

Psst … If you ever find yourself coming through Ann Arbor, here is the listing!

You Light Up My Life

Sometimes I get so caught up on the – let’s get this done already – that I take a wrong move. It’s rare, but it happens. 🙂 Now when we first moved in, the guest bedroom was highly adorned with a ceiling fan that essentially matched the froo froo decor already rocking that joint. Shall I take you back? Here is the room as it looked when we first moved in last October. Cute as a button, just not our thang. Guest Bedroom Before So in my haste to get the room moving more toward a modern-ish/traditional-ish look that we like, I bought this guy. I quickly learned that this little ORB globe that could, was also not working for me. Live and learn, live and learn. Good news, listed this guy on craigslist and we got $35 bucks for it. Not too shabby. Still a $15 mistake, but not too shabby.

Semi Flush Drum Light

And the reason for my light purge? Well, I just happened to stumble across this little gem.

Semi Flush Drum Light

Jay and I were browsing over at the depot last week, when much to my eyes approval I spotted said light chilling up in the rafters. $50 seemed like a steal of a deal for such a beaut, so I started calmly frantically shuffling through all the boxes to find my light. After minutes of said shuffling, the hubby finally concluded that they were plumb out of the light my heart desired. Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Being the determined little laddie I am, I bribed Jay to do some inquiring with the sales guy (he just looked so intimidating and official in the orange vest), who also concluded they were plumb out of my little light. As I’m look up at the ceiling all bummed out that my light ain’t going home with me, he looked over at me and suggested we take the floor model. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that!

Linen Drum Shade

Now the shade was a little bit scuffed up around the edges, so he said he’d knock off an extra $10 from the price tag. It had some bumps and bruises, but my general thought – it’s up on the ceiling, who’s going to know other than me. Ok, other than YOU and me. And Jay, I guess he knows, too. But I started to think – sounds good – $100 light for $40, me likey.

Then something magical happened. He pulled out his little beeper stun gun to price check our new fixture, and it came up as $35. So that brought my previously $100 light down to $25 after our floor model discount. This may or may not be when I started break dancing in the aisles of HD. Holla!! Yep – you better bet I bought it. I scurried my booty on over to the check out before they had time to change their minds.

Clearance Lights Home Depot

In no time flat that baby was up on the ceiling and looking mighty fine, if I do say so myself. It’s got a bit more pazzaz than the last light.

Semi Flush Mount Linen Light

I especially like the detail from down under. Most of our drum lights in the house just have a panel that covers up all the under parts of the light. This one is all loud and proud though, baring it all. It’s sexy and it knows it. Just how I like my lights to be. 😉

Semi Flush Mount Drum Light



A Glimpse of the Guest Room

Like the Master, the second bedroom on the main floor is also quite small. But ya know, it’s enough room for a bed and a dresser – so it works great for us! 🙂 Some day in the future, we will probably transition this space to a nursery for a mini-me, but for now, it works great as Jay’s dressing room 😉 He is usually up 30 mins before me, so it’s great to be able to get some additional shut eye without him rummaging around the room. When we convert the attic to a Master Suite – we will definitely be thinking about these types of logistical issues – for now – it’s nice to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t for when we design that space.

Most of this stuff is recycled from the old house, but we have a few new adds as well. Overall, I’m thinking we still need a rug, perhaps an ottoman for the end of the bed and some ART! There is not anything on the walls right now, and it’s looking sparse. Sad and sparse. Need to get on that stat. Here is a view of the bed, the main attraction in the room.

Guest Room

Sad but true, this is the fist room in the house that actually has a color in it, and not a neutral, beige or off-white tone. When it comes to colors, I just vastly prefer a soft a neutral palette, and anytime I’ve risked it and opted to add some color to the base – I usually HATE it. But, I decided to take a risk on this room, and I am so glad I did! We went with Wisdom by Behr, and it reads like an overcast sky. So lovely, and calming. Glad we opted to add just a hint of color in this room for something a bit different.

Here are some close-up shots of some of the details I love in the room. This mirror was a great find from HomeGoods. I love the texture on it, just adds a bit of depth to the room. The dresser still needs a lamp on it, or some other small details. Over time, those details usually fall into place. You can see that this bedroom is off to the side of the house, and looks out into the hall, and living room.

Guest Room – Dresser and Mirror

Another HomeGoods find – love this blanket! It is so incredibly soft! Fun little print that adds a little bit of a modern touch to a room that feels a wee bit too traditional to me right now. Got spice this one up a bit! Maybe with the art…

Guest Room – Bedspread

And here is a close up of the pillows. Mostly from Homegoods, the back two are from IKEA. I liked that you could see the stripe on the side, kind of whimsical and fun but still understated. I am concerned that these pillows may be a bit too big for this headboard, but I am going to keep them for a wee bit. Over time I may switch them out, but for now I am loving the linen fabric as a backdrop. The pillows were only $12.99 for a 26″ x 26″ linen cover, so that is a steal for the size! You do need to buy an insert – but being IKEA, that was only $7.99. Huzza!

Guest Room – Pillows

Overall – still some stuff to do, but the room is ready for guests – so come on over! 🙂