Pale’s in Comparison

Our new house is pretty open concept. Much more so than past houses in the sense that one wall color, more or less, covers most of the downstairs area. I had my heart set on going really dark in the dining room this time,  but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that would clash with the Living Room wall it connects to a bit too much. Likewise, when thinking about the Living Room color, we had to pick something that would work nicely with the Dining Room.

We landed on Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore).

Open Concept Living Room

We used this color in our bathroom remodel in the last house and I knew I wanted to also use it in our next house. It’s a great color with a slight gray undertone.

You’re probably noticing some other changes in the room as well… Y’all – craigslist is my bff as of late. You’re looking at a Pottery Barn Sectional that I snagged for $450 right there. It’s in immaculate condition – like brand new. This thing retails for $3,500. SCORE.

Open Concept Living Room

It’s super comfortable and fit our room just right. I also splurged (for me) on a quality chair that was recovered in a restoration hardware velvet upholstery for $300 on craigslist.

Restoration Hardware Upholstered Chair

This guy is so comfortable! The cat I’m afraid loves it, so it’s normally covered in cat hair (hence the blanket, ha ha!)

It’s the perfect addition to this corner, since it helps us hide H’s toys a bit!

Restoration Hardware Club Chair

And the final new addition to this space, are some sweet pillows I scored on clearance at Target. I’d been eyeing these beauts for 6+ months, but couldn’t justify spending $25 each. Well low and behold, I found them on clearance last week and along with a cartwheel promotion, I got them for $5 each!

Threshold Throw Pillows

Here is one final view of the room – first a before shot:

Family Room off of the Kitchen

And … progress!

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Sittin’ Pretty

I love, LOVE, buying our furniture and household duds used. I mean, I get plenty of shopping fixes from dear old target and online locales, too, but there is really nothing better in my book than scoring a serious deal on a piece of furniture I’d never be able to afford new. As far as creating a cohesive and styled space though, this approach can lead to a slightly longer timeline to get the exact look you want. Over time it does give a more gathered look though, which I definitely like! This is one of the photos I’ve been saving that has that collected over time look.

Gathered Living Room Look

Or this. Love how everything works together and it looks layered yet intentional.

Eclectic Living Room

That being said, a room like the photo below completely has me at hello – but all the matchy matchy = money money since it’s all got to (more or less), be purchased new, as a set. Every once in a blue moon I’ll get super lucky and find a set on the list, but it’s rare, and fleeting – so you better be prepared to drop everything and run type of thing.

Living Room Design

I’ve been dreaming and scheming the past few weeks about what I’d like our Living Room to look like (hint, not like this) and wanted to share some of my favorite inspiration images for the space. There are a few key elements in this room I’d like to play up over time, one of them being our fireplace. I love this photo, and have it pinned for inspiration.

Fireplace Trim Ideas

That marble surround. Mmmmm hmmmm.

This one also has be thinking about different options for our fireplace wall. Both I think would be relatively easy to do – and similar to past projects we’ve done with board and battan.

Fireplace with Detail

You’d think having a one year old that always has blackberry juice dripping down his shirt would have cleansed me of this urge, but I can’t help it, I’m still a total sucker for some nice neutral linen upholstery 🙂 It’s just so darn crisp and clean. Lurrrve.

Living Room with Built-ins

We’re not huge TV watchers, so for now I’m not worrying too much about a space to fit our TV in this room. I like how the picture above tucks it over to the right of the fireplace though, tres chic. Someday I’d like to put in some built-ins on either side of the fireplace, but I’m thinking a project like that is still a year or so out.

I love when I stumble across a website that has all the answers to all the design dilemmas we have in our homes on a daily basis. Laurel and Wolf is an online interior design service that can help create a pulled together (and affordable to create!) space in your home. Here is their website – check it out to get some ideas!

Quick teaser – we finally decided on a color for the Living Room space and painted it! I can’t wait to show you some progress photos next week!


Pea Green and Fire Engine Red

I’m flexible to a certain extent with the colors in this house right now. In the name of keeping our sanity, there will be some rooms that we take longer to get to than others. Our Master Bedroom, for instance (and the rest of the upstairs for that matter) is a dark green color right now. Not enough to offend me. Not my favorite, but we’ve been a bit slower to pull out the paint brushes for the upstairs.

Now in the Dining Room and Living Room, we had something entirely different going on. By day, the walls looked like a mustard yellow and red, and at night, they turned into pea soup. They were just a bit too loud and in charge in for me.

This is a view of the Living Room / Hallway / Kitchen soon after we moved in.

Living Room Move In Day

Overall, we both love how open this space is and I know with a few coats of paint it’s going to shine like a diamond. 🙂

This is how the previous owner had the furniture arranged and although I like how they incorporated extra seating, I think I’d like to leave the walk way between the eat-in and the Living Room a bit more open, so I’m not sure I’ll put in furniture along that opening.

Family Room

You can see that the sofa kinda blocks off any foot traffic coming in from the kitchen area in this photo.

Family Room off of the Kitchen

Ultimately, I think we’ll eventually position

On the opposite wall from the view above, we have a little fireplace with a nook to the side. Eventually I hope to put a built-in bookcase in that little space to the right of the fireplace for extra toy storage and Living Room accessories.

Living Room with Two Tone Walls

Speaking of toys … ha ha! This is about half of them 😉 The big old basket I bought for him is now over flowing, so it may be time to re-think the toy storage strategy and/or move some of his old “baby” toys up into storage.

Toy Storage in Living Room

Henry’s favorite thing is to remove the toys from the toy box, so I’d hate to rain on his parade and limit the toys he can chuck out of the box (with a gleeful little grin!).

Side note – this little one is also obsessed with the concept of having steps in his abode. Since he’s been in an apartment for much of his little life, this concept of a mountain he can climb whenever his heart desires makes this little dude pretty happy. He especially loves it when the kitty joins him 🙂

Baby climbing steps

Another baby related adjustment we’re having to make in this house is all. the. cords. This house came with really nice window treatments, but these window treatments also have super long cords. Right now our windows look like this around much of the house to keep Mr. H from catching on them.

Cord Management for WIndows


Walk All Over Me

Mmmm – is there anything nicer than having something soft and cushy underfoot? I knew our Living Room was missing an area rug, I just didn’t know how much of a difference it would make with this room. Everything feels so much more put together and cozy now.

Last week, I told y’all that we got all twitchy and decided to start moving furniture around. Ok, yes, I was the only one that developed a twitch, but my sweet husband offered to help me maneuver furniture around this joint since my knocked up condition limits my hee-man lifting capabilities. As of last week, our Living Room looked like this:

Olive Sofa with IKAT Pillows

Rug … give me a ruuuugggg. Can’t you just hear those floors calling out for mercy. They knew it, I knew it – so I gulped and clicked buy for our new Flor tiles. Added bonus, we waited to pounce until we had a 25% off coupon in hand, which helped ease the pain a bit.

After we added some soft cush underfoot, things looked like this!

A Tisket a Tasket Flor

I LOVE this carpet you guys! As much as I will always have a soft spot in my heart for natural fiber rugs, I’m loving that we decided to switch it up in here this time around.

A Tisket a Tasket Oatmeal

In the end, we decided to go with the style – a Tisket, a Tasket, in Oatmeal. It’s neutral and goes perfectly with our existing furniture.

Custom Size Carpet Squares

In some spots, you can see the square edges more than I’d like, but overall, I figure that’s a small price to pay to have a rug that’s more washable, and swapable, in the event we have an accident on it down the road. I by we, I mean Jay – he’s prone to accidents, poor guy… 😉 Oh and the cat, and the future little human – I guess they might fall into that category, too. Accident prone.

Flor Review

Our ottoman was scooting all over the place pre-rug, so it’s nice to have everything a bit more stable, and stuck in place, now that we’ve installed the rug.

Tufted Linen Ottoman

One thing I did notice on the rug, is that the edges looked a bit frayed when we first installed everything. I came back through with a pair of scissors to trim along the edges, and we haven’t had any issues with additional pilling.

FLOR Carpet Review

We also noticed after assembling the rug, and adding our furniture back in, that we were actually a row short of ideal.

In the name of symmetry and more cushiness – I ordered a final row to finish off the room.

Custom Sized Flor Carpet

Has any one else ordered FLOR tiles before? What do y’all think of them?

What Bored Pregnant People Do

When we started our Living Room journey, the room looked like this. I liked it, because it felt cozy and all fireplace-y.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

We had some extra space behind the sofa, which would have made a nice locale for a console table and some artwork.

Couch Location in Living Room

Let’s call this my second favorite arrangement. I like it, but it had a few dings in my mind as well.

So in the name of opening up the room a little bit, we then experimented with this (highly unfinished layout). I hated it.

Large Open Living Room

Well last week we started doing some final measurements for our FLOR rug, and this crazed pregnant lady got to thinking. Let’s try furniture configuration 3.0, shall we?

Olive Sofa with IKAT Pillows

This option still focuses on the fireplace, but created more of a conversation area.

My favorite feature, is that the sofa peaks into the view of the dining/kitchen area now, so I feel more connected with my husband the chef when he’s cooking dinner.

Here’s a vantage from the newly finished Dining Room. The rooms just all feel much more connected now, which will be nice for baby watching down the road.

IKAT Throw Pillows

I’m so glad we grabbed these tufted arm chairs from TJ Maxx this summer. They were less than $250 each, and they really help to fill out the space! (For TJ Maxx shoppers, you know what a miracle it is to find TWO matching items in one trip!)

Tufted Linen Chairs

As much as I’ve toyed around with the idea of replacing our current ottoman with an actual coffee table – now that we have a mini Sell on the way from Babyland, I’m thinking this upholstered number may stick around a bit longer so we don’t have any sharp corners.

Ottoman Tufted Linen

And although I have lots of love in my heart for our tufted highback linen chairs – I’m even more excited about my latest thrift find that cost me a whopping $8 😀

Bamboo Side Chair

It’s the perfect addition to our empty little nook to the right of the armoire. Love, love, love it 😀

Oh, and we’ve officially got our FLOR tiles in da house now! I’m so excited to show y’all a final shot of how the space is looking with the new carpet in next week!

Lamp Looker

If I had to break down the numbers on the doors we use most often in this abode it would be:

Front Door: 3%
Kitchen Door: 12%
Side Door: Whatevers left percent, aka A LOT.

We’ve been working to trouble shoot that little area of ours, things like adding our armoire for storage and, well I guess that’s pretty much all we’ve done to date 😀 He he, got over ambitious there for a second thinking we were all speedy Gonzales round here.

Coat Storage At Door

Another thing we’ve been wanting to update around our entry, is our lighting situation.

Which currently looks like, this:

Lamp on Floor

See our Living Room is sans overhead light. Being that the house is circa 1939, I guess we should be pretty happy this is the only room that is missing this crucial detail.

I’ve been wanting to get our Living Room more livable, so I’m currently sleuthing around for a nice, tall, floor lamp to position right behind the chair as you walk in (since that’s the switch we reach for when you walk in the door).

Here’s my shopping list, so far!

Adesso Floor Lamp

Adesso Floor Lamp

Stella Floor Lamp

Stella Floor Lamp

Grayson Floor Lamp

Grayson Floor Lamp

Now, in my heart of hearts, I’m just dying to find something similar on my good friend the list. I mean – srrriously, who wants to drop $200 on a lamp? Not this lady.

But if there is one thing I’m realizing about pregnant Mary, it’s that she likes to knock out the list even more than non-pregnant Mary. Truth be told, didn’t know that was possible. This women wants things done, and she wants them down now. #BlessingandaCurse

For now, we’ve decided to at least move a foot in the right direction, by popping in the lamps in a new home.

Olive Green Sofa

Better, right?

My next game plan is to add in some artwork, above the sofa. Perhaps build a sofa table for behind the couch as well (eventually) and get rid of the side tables? They’re feeling a smidge too traditional for me these days.

Artwork Behind Sofa

We also added in our friend Helmut (Jay’s brain child there), who faithfully watches over our door. Good egg. Along with Bully Bull to hold onto our keys.

Artwork By Door

Flor Me

Perhaps it’s the fact that there is finally a fall chill in the air down in the land of the pines, but I’m craving cozy these days. A blanket, some tea, a crackling fireplace. Ahhh, yes. Fall.

So every time I walk through our living room, with my visions of sugar plums above said fall like items dancing through my head, I kinda have a whomp whomp moment because cozy just ain’t whats going on in that room.

Large Open Living Room

Our Living Room needs a rug, it needs one badly. Turns out, massive sized rugs that fill up an entire Living Room, are sorta pricey though. Figures.

But since I’m getting stir crazy for this space to feel a bit more done, when I spotted a special through FLOR for free samples, I figured that was at least a good place to start.

Free Flor Samples

We got (3) samples, listed from top to bottom, we got:

  1. A Tisket, A Tasket | Oatmeal
  2. Suit Yourself | Flax
  3. Suite Yourself | Linen

Now initially I had spotted Suit Yourself in Flax on the Lettered Cottage and loved it. Almost enough that I nearly purchased the linen color sight unseen, right off the interwebs. Well thank goodness I kept that finger from clicking, because in all honesty, once it got here I felt like the linen color had too much color variation and kinda looked too berbery to me.

Flor Samples

Right now, Jay and I are leaning toward the middle option (A Tisket, A Tasket, in Oatmeal). We’ll be needing a 10×14 rug, so it’ll be around $700 to purchase this hunka chunka carpet goodness, so we definitely want to make sure we’re picking one that works just right with our space.

One of the reasons we’re loving the FLOR concept right now is this little bugger.

Cat and the Faucet

Since whenever he does hack up kitty vomit, he seems to aim right for our carpet, we thought that a rug that allows you to switch out each square, would pretty much be perfect for our biggest (and most expensive) rug. If you’re not familiar with the FLOR concept, it’s essentially a bunch of tiles, that you group together, to make one big (or small!) rug!

Here are some close up photos of Layla’s gorgeous home, and the Flax Suit Yourself option, that she went with.

Flor Carpet Squares

And another, closer shot. You can see when all the tiles are assembled together, they definitely look like one large rug, and not like a bunch of tiles thrown together. I was worried the seems would be really visible, but overall, I think they blend nicely.

Flor Carpet Squares

Decisions, decisions! Tell me, have you done a FLOR rug before? Like it, love it, need some more of it?


Jay and I went for an evening walk the other night and we were chatting about where the house is, and where we’d like it to be. Being the planner I am, this naturally led me to start thinking that we have 29 weeks to go until our little monkey is here, as well. I know the house doesn’t have to be perfect by then, but I do want it to feel like home. I want it to feel homey and like home and be cozy and comfy and ready for a miniature human.

Our Living Room, for instance – it feels like a pass through room right now. Not cozy and not homey.

For a quick second it looked nice and cozy, but then I started making executive decisions like getting rid of rugs and selling chairs. Once we get a rug back in here, I do like the idea of going back to something cozy, like this.

Living Room Furniture Arrangement

So in the name of getting this room back in action, I made a little bucket list of things I’d like to see.

  • Window Treatments (bamboo blinds and curtains)
  • Rug (large, at least 10×14)
  • Artwork
  • Additional seating to fill in side of room
  • New coffee table option(s)

Since I love me some JCPenney roman shades, and I found a stellar steal of a deal, I decided to jump on the first part, of the first bullet. Window treatments.

Bamboo Roman Shades

They’re cordless, just like the one’s we popped in our bedroom, but bamboo instead of linen. I wanted to add some texture to the room and later, once I pinch a few more pennies, we’ll add in some drapes, too. Swanky.

Just like our lest roman shade extravaganza, we had to retrofit the windows a wee bit to make the shades fit. Old house problems.

Modifying Window for Shades

We just notched out the sides of the windows (since you can’t see it at all, once the window treatments are in). Ugly before you get the shades in for sure though!

Removing Part of Window Sill

Here is a side profile of the shade, so you can see how the panel was able to just slide in to the little divet that Jay made. Perfect fit.

Installing Bamboo Blinds

All the windows in our living room are pretty large, this was the smallest side window. It ate up Jay there pretty quick. 😉

The blinds are a bit lighter than we thought they’d be and I’m not crazy sauce about the wood bar along the bottom (which is what you pull to adjust them, since they’re cordless), but overall, I do like them for the price!

JCPenney Bamboo Blind

Here are a few shots of the shades after they’re up and installed. It’s nice to have something in the windows (finally). This is a side angle shot of the smaller window.

JCPenney Roman Shade

For the two larger flanking windows, we’ll eventually pop in some pinch pleat drapes to swank things up a bit and soften the walls some more.

Cordless Roman Shade

In the name of adding a bit of character to our walls, we also picked up this beastly dude at HomeGoods. We do live in Bull City, after all! Since I’m a serial key loser, it helps to have a designated spot where we pop these.

Bull Key Holder

Oh, and so y’all can see the travesty that is our fiddle leaf fig plant, this is all that remains. I think it might be dead. 😉

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

Amore for our Amoire

Ahhh, to have a mud room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m counting my lucky stars that we’ve got a laundry room these days but thing is, it’s on the second floor, so it’s definitely not functioning as a space to schlep our goods. Just a washing locale, which I’m well and good with, but ya know, I’ve definitely been starting to notice that the side of our Living Room has morphed into a legit dumping ground for all our junk these days.

Since it’s closest to the driveway, we tend to come in the side door, which has been lending this location to being the spot where we kick off our shoes and stash our backpacks.


Shoe Storage at Back Door

We have an amply sized side porch off of this door, which Jay and I have toyed around with converting to a screened in porch years down the road. A bit torn on that one, since it’s our only outdoor space where we can hollar a hello to our neighbor’s passing, that’s totally open. This is what it looks like now.

Side Porch

Now all these shoes and crap everywhere was starting to drive me absolutely bonkers, so I started my normal craigslist prowl, in search of the next accessory to outfit our space and stash our stuff. I actually landed up spying lots of contenders, but we had one limitation, the size of our little Prius that could. In the name of not wanting to go out and rent a truck from Home Depot or the U-haul location, I wanted to find a piece of furniture that could actually fit in our car, to avoid that extra cost.

And ladies and gentlemen, we found ourselves a winner that just fit.

Coat Storage At Door Nice, right? I mean seriously, this thing is definitely my new best friend 😀

One thing we noticed off the bat was that we needed some reinforcing in the toddling department though. Since we knew we’d be opening and shutting the doors on this often, we wanted to make sure it had sufficient weight to it. So although it made me a wee sad at the thought of putting holes in the wall, when Jay suggested screwing it right into the wall, I was game.

We found a scrap piece of wood from the garage,

Attaching Furniture to Wall

Measured the distance we’d need, and attached that baby right to a stud in the wall.

Measuring Back of Furniture

Before we (quasi) permanently affixed it, I made sure that the armoire was centered on the wall. We had about 5 inches on either side, so the armoire takes up most of the wall to the left of the window.

Mounting Furniture To Wall

Now that we’ve added some storage to the room, this side of our living room currently looks like this. We’re looking to add a large 12×15 rug in the next few months that will come out to 3 feet, or so, in front of the armoire. Looking at this vantage point also reminds me of how much I want to add window treatments to this space – but window treatments are expensive yo, so I’m just going to have to sit on my hands and wait for that.

Armoire for Coat Storage

In the other corner of the living room, we have a little antique plant stand that we nabbed for $5 on craigslist (it was in rough shape), and refinished. I plan to sell it to make generate some dough to pay for the window treatments (waste not, want not), but for now, it’s a fancy plant stand. 😀

Barley Twist Table

Everyone in the house loves the new armoire we’ve added for storage, but there is definitely an orange member of the household that is particularly partial. 😉 It’s like one big box – he can’t even handle himself around it.

Cat Getting Into Furniture

Next up, a little switcheroo is in order for these plain jane knobs. I’ve got my heart set on these guys. Or maybe these guys.

Adding Hardware to Furniture

Anyone else living in a tiny little house and have to get creative with storage? I can’t tell you how much of a difference this little guy is already making for us to keep this part of the house organized. In love. 🙂

Queen Bee

At least I’m feeling like yooouurr rulleer, now that’s I’ve some crown in this town. Along with wainscoting, I think you can add crown to my favorite things with the impact it has on a room. Like, not crappy in a snappy. 😀 Snicker. I’m on a roll, people.

One thing is for sure, when we moved into the house a few weeks back, I knew that their, faux crown – shall we say – would not be staying. It was pretty sad and pitiful up close. Here’s a shot of it in our Dining Room, post paint.


It was teeny weeny. Now in my dream of all dreams, my crown is like a foot. A massive chunk of heaven just chilling up there next to the ceiling. Alas, small wrinkle. My husband hates cutting large crown. When we installed super large crown molding in the last house above the cabinets, it took him like an hour to make each cut. Knowing that we had the entire house ahead of us for install, I opted to meet him half way on this one, and pick something a bit smaller than I’d normally go for.

Added bonus. Since this crown was more Jay’s jam, I was even able to convince him to spring for all of it once, which saved us close to $50 with reduced contractor bulk pricing. Huzza!! This is the trim we got, which averaged out to .93 a linear foot with the discount (not shabby).

Purchasing Crown in Bulk

Since most of the pieces we were installing were quite long, Jay did need my help for most of the project to hold the trim while he was installing and cutting, so although one person could do it, I would say it’s a 2-person job in all honesty.

My first call to duty was to pre-paint all the pieces, since we thought it would be a lot easier to just touch up the pieces of trim, vs. painting the entire piece once it was up.

Installing Crown Molding

Even though Jay petitioned for a smaller piece, it turns out this crown was actually still too big for his miter saw – whomp, whomp. But we found a work around and to make things easier, Jay decided to install a small piece of wood on either side of the miter saw, since this raised the fence and enabled him to support the crown against something flat as he cut it (allowing for a straight cut).

How to Cut Crown

My job with the cutting was to stand on either end and hold the piece, so it didn’t waiver too much. Hard stuff, people, hard stuff.

Once we got the crown back inside, we determined the best plan of attack was to nail it in along the bottom, and then come back right along the top, as close to the ceiling as possible. In the living room, we tried nailing it in right in the middle, and found that this kinda gashed the wood a bit, since it didn’t have anything to sink into. It would blow out the section we were in, and create a little crater there of nothingness. It also made a mess all over the floor. Trial and error.

How to Install Crown Molding

You can see the big difference crown made on the corner here in our Dining Room. On the far right, there’s the mini stuff from before and the rest of the shot panning to the left has the new stuff. Much, much better. The last stuff was so small, we were actually able to installing the new piece right over it in most rooms!

Installing Crown

Here’s a close up of the crown in the guest room after the install but before caulk. (Caulk cures all – it’s my number one home renovation motto).

How to Install Crown

See what I mean – same corner, after caulk, pre-paint.

Caulking Crown

Now that we have the crown up, I can definitely tell a difference when I enter the rooms. Call me greedy though, I have plans down the road to potentially snaze things up a bit by adding a small piece of trim down below, and painting the rest. Like this. Here is an example via pinterest.

Faux Crown Molding

Here are some before and after pictures, too!

Of the Living Room.

Living Room Before

After. (Sneaky peak at some new furniture, too!)

Crown Molding in Living Room

The Guest Room, before.

Guest Room Before

And after crown. Still needs some paint touch up though.

Adding Crown To Bedroom

And the Dining Room, before.

Dining Room Before

For this room, I’m just going to show ya a corner, since that chandelier makes it darn impossible to get a good shot of the space otherwise. 🙂 Yum. Don’t you just want to eat it up? Well it’s definitely better than what we had before – that’s for sure!

Crown in Dining Room