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2 Little Girls, 1 Bedroom.

A couple months ago, before Jacson was born, I decided it was time to move Tylyn and Hadley back into the same bedroom. Hadley’s room was the slightly bigger room, so I opted to move Tylyn from her room, in order to turn the smaller room into Jacson’s nursery (that will be a separate post).

Tylyn was very, VERY resistant to my plan. Her biggest areas of discontent over moving rooms were 1. the pink walls in her room, and 2. having her own closet. She really, really likes her closet. To move past these issues, or at least skirt around them, I started by first painting over Tylyn’s pink walls with white paint. This way she could no longer use them against me. Second, I let her keep her “OWN” closet. Tylyn still has her clothes, toys, and giant barbie house in the closet in Jacson’s room.

Now, as I said in my last post, every good design needs to start with A PLAN! So I went to work to create one. I had already set my sights on some upholstered twin headboards. And figured I could make them myself on my nickle budget. We were starting from scratch with this room because we were moving from a crib and toddler bed to two twin beds! Meaning, we didn’t have two twin beds or mattresses! Not to mention my budget was around $0. I will explain how I got my end look while essentially spending $0 as I go. But back to my plan…

tylyn haddy room

Here was my first plan. The color scheme was to be pink, purple and blue as those were the requested colors. And as I said, two twin beds, two headboards (the ones shown are from overstock.com), a pink ombre dresser from landofnod.com, tulip bedding from landofnod.com, mirror, lamp, gummy bear night light, and pink ottomans also from Land of Nod. Lastly, some pink heart wall decals to jazz up the existing grey accent wall. The ruffle curtain and zebra rug I already had, both from overstock.com. Some things changed as I went, like the blue headboards ended up being purple (kids with their “favorite color” changing by the week), and the bedding changed too.

Here is the plan I ended up moving forward with:

tylyn haddy room 2

Like all rooms, the girls room is still a work in progress. I LOVE the pink ottoman and bunny mirror, but need to save up before I add them to the room.

august 2014 007

This is such a horrible picture but the only thing I have that is remotely close to showing my process of making the headboards. So, it will have to suffice. Or you will just have to use your imagination to envision how I made these headboards.

First, I have had a box of large foam core boards in our garage for a couple years. Slowly I have used the boards for various projects. And I figured the were the perfect size for twin headboards, so why not use them instead of going and buying heavy plywood. The foam core became the backing. I then put thick foam (again, something we bought years ago and have yet to use all the pieces) on top of the foam core board, wrapped it in batting and lastly purple fabric from http://www.fabric.com. My staple gun did indeed work on the foam core back to attach the fabric, as I thought the staples might pull out. Lastly I found some pearly beads to poke through the fabric and foam to make tufts. The result was a pair of super lite weight headboards that are cute and stylish without spending much money. They may not last for years and years. But I am okay with that because I am sure I will want to redecorate again someday, and hopefully will have more money to spend the next time round.

august 2014 167

Now about the dresser. My inspiration piece was from Land of Nod, and was way out of my price range. But I have seen several successful Ikea hacks using the $34.99 Rast dresser and figured I would try one. A good thing to note about the Rast dresser, it is much much smaller in person than I ever realized. This turned out to be fine for my project because it acts more like a night stand than a dresser anyway, but it’s really not very great for clothes storage.

For painting the dresser I went with what was in the garage: a can of white paint and a small can of red paint. I first painted the sides and top with the white paint and then I mixed the red and white together to first get the darkest pink color and painted the bottom drawer. Next I added a little more white to the dark pink to get the middle drawer color. And finally I added more white to the medium pink to get the lightest pink color. Money spent on paint $0. Oh and dresser paid for with an Ikea gift card. You might also notice a purple lamp base that I found for $1 at goodwill. I have still yet to get  a lamp shade for it. These things just take time my friends! HAHA!

As for the pink heart decals. I figured out that I needed about 50 hearts, and to buy the decals I would be looking at around $50. So, I asked some friends and found one that had a dye cut machine I could borrow. I bought a roll of pink, peel and stick vinyl from Michael’s for $3 and made my own hearts. The only hard part here was measuring and spacing out each heart so that the pattern looked right on the wall.

Cricut® Vinyl Sampler Pack, Metallics

Cricut Vinyl sold at local craft stores.

Back to my Budget:

The biggest ticket items in my room were the beds and bedding. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to get matching sheets, comforters, duvets, bed skirts… but I obviously have taste that reaches beyond my price point. So, I did a couple things to get what I wanted. As usual, I sold things to save money for what I wanted, including a toddler bed, dresser, crib bedding, etc. Hadley’s birthday also happened to overlap with my redecorating, so we were given the matching sheet sets. And I also shamelessly added the duvets to my land of nod baby registry so that I could get 15% off and free shipping when I bought them from the money I saved up. The twin mattresses and box springs were actually found for free on craigslist. Gasp! But we found the best ones that they had, from nice neighborhoods. I also felt a twin mattresses was a safer size mattress to get used (think of that as you may). Add some thick mattress pads on top and I don’t have an issue!

before jacson 017

Tylyn has decided she loves her new bed and her new room. And Hadley is pretty happy as well. Then again she loves everything her sister loves. Now, getting the girls to go to bed, together, at a reasonable time… that is another story!

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Happy Home, Happy Heart!

I often tell my tantruming toddlers, especially my very emotional “threenager”, to “find a happy heart” and that Jesus put “joy down in our hearts” (how many of you have used that line before!?) and sometimes I can’t help but think of how hypocritical it is for me to be asking my children to find joy while I am feeling far from joyful in the moment. Finding joy in the current season of my life has become somewhat of a mission – fighting daily battles along the way. I will be the first to tell you about how easily I can be derailed with my current role as a stay at home mom/ home-maker/ laundry mat/maid/ cook… The tasks of my day are endless and thankless and most often just tiring. But in seeking joy in the midst of all the crazy and chaos, I have managed to find my rhythm and a “Happy Heart” in the confines of my own Home.
My husband will be the first to tell you that I am most in my element when I am working. I had a fun and rewarding career working in architectural firms, doing what I loved – designing. I then went on to teach high schoolers about design, which was less fun and less rewarding but still an outlet for my creativity and purpose. And then I started having babies, and wanted to stay home with them full time.  I was relieved and excited to say goodbye to my teaching career to watch my children grow, but my desire to do more, and create never went away.
In my old classroom

In my old classroom

Now before I go on… You must know that my husband and I have been married for 4 years and have managed to have 3 babies, in that time. We have also lived in 5 different states, moved a total of I think 11 times (the life of a minor league baseball career) we have started businesses, changed careers, taken big risks and suffered some losses along the way. It has not been an easy ride. But it has been full of joy.
Now back to creating/designing… the 9 “homes” that we have inhabited in the past 4 years have included, a garage apartment that I built out from the studs, a semi-furnished studio apartment (like the furniture came with), a big ole, Victorian frat house where we lived with 6 minor league baseball players (and our baby), a bedroom in a host families home, a duplex apartment, a basement, another apartment, and now a townhouse. Yeah, were moving up in the world.
Some pics of our garage apartment:
It was when I found myself in South Bend, Indiana, alone with my newborn in the giant, filthy (smelled like smoke) frat house, that I decided if I was going to be happy, I needed to put some time and energy into making this place a home, as best I could. First I got some TSP and a big bucket to scrub all the filth off of the walls and baseboards. My husband and his team mates were gone on road trips for 4 days at a time and sometimes longer. On these spans apart, Tylyn (my baby) and I would go to all the good wills scouring for furniture and pieces to bring home, refurbish and fix up our house. In a couple weeks time, we had a charming bedroom; complete with our blow up mattress, bedside tables, a dresser, curtains, mirrors and even vases of flowers. It was a retreat. A sanctuary for our little family of 3. And a place to get away from the nightly partying going on downstairs. No joke. I also had refinished a table and chairs to eat meals at as a family and reupholstered two fab chairs for the guys to sit at while they played their video games. Next thing I knew my husband got moved to a new team, so I had a yard sale and sold my cool furniture finds (for a profit) and we moved on to our next home. Although the uncertainty of where we would be living or if we would even have a place to sleep was stressful, I always thrived on the opportunity to make a little semblance of home everywhere we went. I tell you this story not because I think everyone is creative and should be able to go thrift shopping and furnish their houses or even turn a profit. But to point out that the time spent to search for and cultivate beauty, in the midst of otherwise chaotic circumstances, truly made my heart happy. In the bedroom we lived in next, cultivating home simply meant taking the host families, American flag quilt bedding off of the bed and then dressing it up in bedding that fit my style and comfort – Hello throw pillows!
A Throwback to our “homeless” days:
Homeless Chic! HAHAHA!

Homeless Chic! HAHAHA!

Fast forward a little while to now. 3 kids, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms… and a whole set of new issues. Gone are the days of homeless and wandering the country, and now we are stuck, at home, day after day after day. Some days can feel endless and mundane. Most days I feel like I drowning in chores, laundry, dishes, and a sea of barbies. Even though my home is designed and appointed with paint, patterns, furniture and pretty accessories, learning to keep house is a daily lesson. I in no way love cleaning but i do find joy in a clean house. The chores are also made easier when I uncover the beautifully designed space that I have created, beneath the clutter. There is no greater feeling then enjoying time with my family and friends in a beautiful, organized and clean space. And it does bring true pleasure to my life to share our home with others, invite people in and make them as comfortable as possible.
I also want to mention is that I am not the only one who reaps the benefits of a beautiful, designed home. my husband and children find joy in our home as well. For awhile I feared that there was something wrong with my oldest daughter when she would be happily playing at a friends house and then suddenly slink over to my side and declare that she wanted to go back to her OWN house. It took me some time to realize that she wasn’t some weird home body, but that she finds comfort in her home and the atmosphere that I have created. I recently asked her to describe her home and she said, “Beautiful! Special! and Mommy! Granted, she is 3 and she may not have much else to grasp when I ask her to describe her home. But I like to think when she uses these words it is packed with deep meaning. Not only does she think the space I have made is beautiful and special and unique (I added that one) but it reminds her of me. I can only dream that she will always have fond memories of me and the home she grew up in. Even if the house may change- the home is built with people and experiences and love.
Our current home:

I have to share one more personal story because it’s so fresh in my life. I just had my third baby 6 weeks ago and we chose to use a midwife and have a home birth. At my first appointment/ interview with my midwife I asked her what the difference between birthing at home or at a birth center is. Medically, there is no difference in care. But it depends on the families preference and that “most woman feel safest where ever they are most comfortable.” At that moment the choice was a no brainer for me. 1. I hate everything about going to the doctors office and hospitals. I get anxiety like you wouldn’t believe. And 2. The idea of a home birth offered me so much more control over my surroundings than I would get anywhere else. I was able to prepare for the birth far beyond what I was able to do with my previous pregnancies.  It all worked out to our complete enjoyment as we had a successful home-birth in the comforts of our own home. And to quote my husband in the moments after Jacson was born, “that was easy!” Not the words I would use, but the sentiment rings true. Get the full birth story here.

Maybe we are a bunch of homebodies and were just ok with it. Haha.

With my own personal experiences behind us. I want us all to reflect on the biblical Proverbial woman. The proverbs 31 woman to be exact. Now, let us note this is a poem, taught to King Lemuel by his mother; to instill in him the importance of finding a good, scratch that, a GREAT wife. She is not describing herself here. I am sure she wishes she were, but in reality she is describing the IDEAL woman.

proverbs 31.7
Now that I have a son. My perspective on his future spouses is a bit from that of my daughters. With the girls I am excited to imagine what kind of son in law I may be so lucky to welcome into our family. With my son, my first thought is, “I hope I like her” and my second thought is, “I hope she is like me.” Hahaha! Just keepin’ it real.

I imagine King Lemeul’s mother felt similar and envisioned only the best of the best of the best for her son. Someone that with the right seeds and desires planted in her young heart, may one day grow and become the very multi-faceted and talented Proverbs 31 woman. There are too many great passages to look at here and interpret them in regards to cultivating and designing your home. So… we will focus on 2. First:

Proverbs 31: 16-17

She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.

She CONSIDERS a field. Now before anyone thinks they need to go out and buy a field, let us focus on the word considers. Here is a woman who has a dream in her heart to buy a field. But rather than acting rash, she considers it. She makes a plan. She prays about it. She does her research. And then she buys it. Further, she buys it out of her own earnings. This is money that she has scrimped and saved and put aside, for probably a long time in pursuit of this dream. Again, emphasizing the time and dedications that she put into the plan in itself. 

Next she plants a vineyard and works vigorously with her own arms and hands. We already know she is not idle in her lifestyle. She is a go-getter. She makes her dreams happen for herself. She relies on no one else to get what she wants and she becomes stronger for her diligence for her planning and preparation. She becomes stronger and wiser. 

In cultivating a home this passage illustrates my number 1 piece of advice. Make a plan! Don’t act rash. Otherwise you will find yourself at HomeGoods where there is a pretty sofa that is too pretty and too well priced to pass up. But when you get home, you realize the color clashes with the other items that you also recently and impulsively bought on a weekly trip to Target. Without a plan. You will spend more money- even when you think you are saving. You will never achieve the cohesive look that you ultimately desire and you will always be moving 1 step forward and 2 steps back. In design a wise woman will set a budget for her space. Itemize out each item that she ultimately wants to buy, will make changes, cuts/ savings, splurges, and thrift finds along the way that fit into her plan and will be pleased with her efforts and the extra work. She will put in some elbow grease to make an old dresser into a new show stopping piece of one of a kind furniture. And she will be much stronger and wiser for first CONSIDERING her field!

You can see some of my other tips for home design based on the Proverbs 31 passage in your handout, so I’ll just breeze through these before I make my last point:

More Tips from Proverbs 31 as to designing your home:

Set a budget
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
    and never has reason to regret it.
Have a plan.
She’s up before dawn, … and organizing her day”
DIY! Don’t be afraid to work for it! 
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
Save up $$ (sell some stuff to speed up the saving $ process) and be crafty.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.”    
Make it your own but don’t be afraid to “copy”.
 “She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Collect things of meaning to you
“She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places 
and brings back exotic surprises”
Appreciate your home while your in it. Don’t be too caught up in the end result. Enjoy the process and the reward.
She senses the worth of her work”
Let your family share in your vision. They can help you achieve your goal. 
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.”
Share your home with others – open the door for friends family and those in need.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.”
Now for the most important stuff. The place where we find real JOY in our house. The end of Proverbs 31 gives me all the warm fuzzy feels.
proverbs 31.1
Proverbs 28-31
Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
 
Honestly this just speaks for itself. Your children do notice you. They may not say it. They may not show it. But your activities, diligence, grace and smile will be the true fruit of your labor. My kids are young now and their daily messes often leave me a mess of emotion. But my goal is not in today, but in the future, when they are grown and no longer living in my house. I pray that they will always find my home to be their home. I pray they will love to come back and sit with me, talk to me, be my friend. All of my time spent investing in them and our home now, will become my greatest reward in our future. 
 
Now about that husband… My mother-in-law and sister-in-laws are here, so this may be awkward. Then again they probably already know…. But getting my husband to be really affectionate and flowery with his words is impossible. I have tried. But in all the years I have known him, I am sure of his adoration and praise even without the words to back it up. And it says it right here in proverbs, “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” My husband and I have been together since high school, so he has seen the changes, the fleeting beauty. Lets be real. He has seen me birth our 3 children– and he still loves me. He still lets me paint walls, buy and sell furniture, do crafts that make messes, and pursue beauty in our home(S). We walk this path in pursuit of Christ both separately and together. Our goal is the same. Our center of gravity is the same. And the praise can go unsaid because our actions are enough.
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Don’t Crowd My Corners! (One ‘quantifiable’ component of “bad” interior design)

A lot about interior design is subjective. It is often a matter of personal opinion, style preferences, budget constraints and taste level. It is also one of the hardest aspects of being an interior designer- how to separate good design from bad design. I personally appreciate all different taste levels, styles, and budgets (big and little). And I think good design can reside in many, many forms. In fact, I was rather aghast in reading a fellow interior designer say that it is a BIG “No, No” to have fake flowers, poly-fill pillows, and low thread-count linens. And that is just absurd. Although I understand where she must have been coming from… some things are better than others… but they certainly do not separate good design from bad design. It is silly for designers or “decorators” to come up with rules like this. It suggests that interior design is trivial. And I can surely tell you as an interior design major, that design is anything but trivial. If all I had to worry about were thread-counts, then I wasted a lot of money to get a 4 year education on this subject. But enough said about that.

To classify something as “bad” is really, really hard. Because most things that are actually ‘designed’ have had a lot of thought put into them,  and therefore probably are not bad at all. It is the things that are not considered, and where little or no thought has been made, where some of the cardinal rules of design are broken (dun dun dun). So, I guess the best course of action in eradicating “bad design”, is informing people on some of the actual “No, No’s”.

how to measure good design

Scale separates good design from bad design.

Today I am going to address “Crowded Corners” which falls under knowledge of space planningSpace Planning refers to floor plan drawings that create spatial arrangements for interior spaces. These arrangements take into consideration window placement, door placement, architectural and structural details and furniture placement. Often space planning begins when the exterior of a building is being designed in architectural form. Because, where a window is placed on the exterior of the building is also where it is placed on the inside of a room. (A window that is centered/symmetric/thoughtfully placed on the exterior, may just so happen to be in the most awkward position in an interior space).

Now on to those crowded corners. Arranging furniture in a room can be tricky; especially when  the given dimensions, window and door placement, and other obtrusive architectural details (from columns to fireplaces) are prohibiting. And more often than not, homeowners seek symmetry in their furniture arrangements, despite the unsymmetrical room. So, what often ends up happening is crowding furniture, and “overlapping” furniture corners. The following diagrams will illustrate some possible scenarios much better than my words could ever do.

Example 1:

bad 1

Here is a simplified situation. You can see that the chairs are overlapping the corners of the sofa, and if the room were only a foot or so wider, there would be enough room to achieve this very symmetrical furniture layout. But there’s NOT. The overall idea was a good one, leave the area around the entry open, center the entertainment center and furniture for easy viewing. But, the restraints of the room (width) can not be altered. Thus, the best option, is to ditch the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” idea and find a better one.

good 1

Here we have the same room and same furniture (with the addition of a side table and lamp). The layout is no longer considered symmetrical. But it accomplishes the same goal (conversational seating and easy viewing of the tv). What is better about this option, is that the furniture is not being over crowded in the corners. It may not be bothersome to some, but it is in fact a MAJOR space planning faux pas, and easily spotted by the trained eye.

Example 2: Bedrooms

bad 4

Bedrooms are often culprits of crowding corners. Simply because, they often have a need for many pieces of big, bulky furniture- and no space to put it. In the above example, seeking symmetry, the bed and nightstands are along the back wall, and then a dresser is left to overlap one of the bedside tables.

good 4

The Solution in the scenario is to forgo centering the bed on the back wall. Rather, shifting the bed and nightstands to the right, gives enough space for the dresser to now go one the left wall. And in order not to crowd the door, the edge of the dresser aligns with the foot of the bed, creating an uninterrupted path in front of the door and closet.

Example 3: 

bad 3

This is room is illustrated as a nursery, but imagine it as you may, I have seen these situations too many times to count, and it is such a simple fix. Basically, the arrangement above is trying to achieve the crib centered on the back wall, the changing table centered on the left wall and the bookcase centered on the right wall. Centering things is not always the answer! In fact, centering is often the destroyer… of a good space plan.

good 3

These crowded corners, are the easiest fix of all! You can still achieve the “centered” look by keeping the crib centered on the back wall. Drawing the changing table and book cases closer to the door, and aligning with the edge of the rug, makes all the sense in the world!

Example 4: The dual focal point debacle 

bad 5

When your family room has a focal feature, like a bay window or a fireplace, it is often a blessing and a curse. The feature should rightfully be the focal point of the room, but it begs the questions – “where to put the tv?” This example is striving to accommodate both the bay window and the tv area and it is doing a fairly good job. The sectional sofa allows both sides of the room to be viewed, and the chairs set back in the window offer a cozy and conversation worthy spot. But this arrangement falls short in the disconnect between the 2 seating areas (1.the couch, 2.the chairs). The sofa is essentially cutting the chair on the right out of the group. (Have you ever been standing just outside a circle of people talking, not sure if you should wiggle your way back in or just walk away- Awkward.)

good 5

Here the arrangement is essentially the same, but a few minor tweaks make all the difference. The couch was shifted to the right to allow that poor “loner” chair to join the conversation. A slight angling inward of the chairs, and pulling them a little farther into the room, makes it much more inclusive and intimate. Lastly, re-positioning the rug so that all the furniture pieces can slightly overlap it and centering the coffee table among the lot, does the trick!

*No worries that the sofa is “too close” to the windows. A valuable lesson I was taught in school, was that good design draws people into and through the space, rather than suggesting visitors should walk around the edges.

Always consider your “crowded corners” and think out of the box to configure your furniture in the space (and with the restraints) that you have. These examples, are just a small sampling of this very common mistake that is made in even the most stylish of spaces.

Interior design dont do diagram

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DIY Painted Brick Wall

For months I have been wanting to buy this brick pattern wallpaper from Sherwin Williams

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But I have put it off time and time again for multiple reasons. Mostly because there were more pressing things to spend money on. But something came over me this past Monday, and i didn’t want to sit on my idea any longer. So I stopped by the hardware store to pick up the thinnest painters tape they had. Which turned out to be this .70″ roll

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Why did I care for it to be thin, you ask? Because I wanted to use this tape to create “grout lines” for a faux brick- painted accent wall! Luckily the color of the wall in question was already painted a very very light grey- it looks white unless you hold something truly white next to it. And double luckily, I had a can of glossy, bright white paint to use for my “bricks”. So the only thing I had to buy for my project was the tape (1.5 rolls to be exact).

And then, I just started measuring and taping away. The bricks were measured at 3″ high rows, and 6″ widths. I started taping all the rows first, making a stripe pattern and then went back through and measured and taped all the small vertical lines.

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It took a solid 3 hours of time to tape the wall with this much detail. But it was well worth it.

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And by sheer luck, the wall was perfectly dimensioned so that there were the exact amount of rows to go to the ceiling without having any “half bricks” as well as complete bricks at both the left and right edges of the wall. I wouldn’t have cared if it hadn’t worked out this way, but the fact that it did sure made my day!

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Once the wall was fully taped, I took a small foam roller and painted the entire thing white. I have found that foam rollers work better when you are painting a pattern with tape. For some reason it bleeds through the tape less.

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I was a little afraid of the final reveal. Would the lines be noticeable with 2 colors so similar? Would it even end up looking like brick? As usual, I couldn’t wait too long before taking the tape off, and once I did…

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I’m always happy I tried!
-Keepin it Glamorous!
Lexie

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What’s so great about interior design?

I could list a hundred reasons why interior design is important, starting with all the intricate facets, thoughtful details, each giving a glimpse of beauty and relief and joy. But today I am going to focus on one of the most practical aspects of interior design: BUDGET.

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One of the biggest obstacles in interior design is budget (or lack there of). Many people think having a well designed space can ONLY come with an expensive price tag. But I’m here to tell you that the exact opposite is true! In fact, if you have a cohesive design plan (as opposed to buying pieces one at a time whenever you feel some extra change burning a hole in your pocket) you will actually spend LESS money and have Much MUCH more to show for it!

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My process of design includes the following steps which I will explain in detail.
1. Comprehensive Design Plan and Concept
2. Potential High End cost
3. Color coordination
4. Budget Hunting (over time) and projects
5. Happy, comfortable and justified in saving on some items and then splurging on others.
6. Finished, Beautiful, Cohesive Interior

comprehensive Design Plan:
Lots of people think picking a wall color is all that needs to be considered in designing a room (let’s say a nursery as an example). So, they pick a color, Pink, and before baby comes buy baby items, register for things, and when they get everything together it is ALL Pink! And now baby comes home to an overwhelming amount of pink. And many, many different shades of pink to boot.

Let me emphasize, color is not bad! And pink is not bad either. But “Pink” is not a comprehensive design. “Pink” is simply a color, and color is only 1 aspect of a multi-faceted approach to design.

In creating a design plan, GO BIG! I mean it! Find the best of the best to achieve a desired look no matter what the cost of each item. It does not matter how you attempt to piece things together for your design plan. Draw a scaled floor plan, or if you feel unequipped you can glue and paste magazine pictures into a collage or make a Pinterest board. But the idea is the same, design your room with each desired piece of furniture, each curtain, every shelf, picture frame and pillow case. Don’t just pick wall colors, but decide what wall will be painted and in what color, pattern, mural, etc. in creating a design plan consider all of the following aspects:

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-Overall Theme
-Color
-Patterns (fabrics for curtains, pillows, bedding, wallpaper, etc)
-Storage
-Lighting
-Personal Accents
-Flooring (wood, carpet, tile, rugs) use what you have, change it, or add to it.

Potential High End Cost
Now that you have dreamed up your dream space, calculate what the cost would be to achieve it based on the actual items you picked out. And don’t forget to BREATHE when you see the $5000 price tag!
Knowing the high end cost actually helps you find the best places to save money, as well as the things you are comfortable splurging on. This leads straight into the next step.

Budget Hunting and Projects
Now that you have your room designed in your mind and on paper, the fun really begins. One of my favorite things is looking at furniture posts on craigslist and offerUp. Sometimes the exact item you are looking for (say an ikea cubed book shelf) is being sold for half the store price, just down the block! One of my very bet finds was the exact $300 Zgallerie coffee table that I had my eye on, from a consignment shop for only $79!
Similarly, the $299 Land of Nod bedside table you have picked out, will start to look oddly similar to the $69 Target side table you see on you weekly target trip.
And sometimes, you will spot a piece of furniture sitting on the curb with a “Free” sign taped to it, and you think to yourself, “hmmm… A little Kelly green paint and I think I’ve found my $500 Anthropolgie bench!”
Not to mention, there are a plethora of great online discount furniture and design stores to help you save on big ticket items. Home decorators collection and Overstock.com are my favorites! And always check the sale section if your favorite designer stores like West Elm and Zgallerie BEFORE checking the full priced section!
My point is this: when you know what you are TRULY looking for, the pieces that you’re after, you will be shocked how easily they appear to you and with a lesser price tag!
As for the projects. Once you do one DIY, you will be hooked and feeling able to tackle bigger and bigger projects. Upholstering the seat of a dining chair may soon turn into making your own upholstered ottoman.
On a personal note, having a design plan has always helped me justify my purchases to my husband. There have been “a few” occasions where he has said, ” Since WHEN, did you decide you needed (enter item here) 2 floor lamps…?” And I am legitimately able to pull up my design plan and show him that I have actually been on the lookout for floor lamps, and the ones I originally wanted were 3x the cost!!

Saving then Splurging
Once you have started budget hunting and realizing how much money you have saved, you can feel comfortable and confident buying the items for your space that were a part of the original design and that you want to remain a part of the design and even become the focal point of your design. A $1200 couch seems much more affordable when you bought 2 side chairs at consignment instead of $600 a piece. Plus, some big purchases are in fact an investment- when it is something you want to have for a long time, high quality goes a long way.
You may also decide to “mini-splurge” by buying a $40 designer throw pillow that adds the perfect accent! And let’s face it; sometimes the thrifty light fixture just doesn’t measure up to the designer one you want, and it probably never will no matter how much you could potentially save… So splurge!

Finished Space
I have seen a lot of beautiful spaces that were designed on a budget. And I have seen many many spaces designed without a design plan at all. The “no plan” spaces end up discombobulated and spending money on items that go on to be replaced in a year because they never fit right to begin with.
But as sure as I am that the sun will rise in the morning, I am sure that having a design plan WILL save you money, and WILL give you the beautiful space of your dreams.

Putting Plans into Action
I have so many examples of designing and saving money but I’m going to use my daughters’ nursery as an example. As you may remember my design plan from long ago check it out.
And here are the results:

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Savings:
Toddler bed: given to us by a friend $0
Crib: craigslist $100.
Crib sheets: Target $10 each
Tissue garland: hand made $5
Name letters: hand made: $20 to spell Haddy and Tylyn
Antique Dresser: from my mom $0
Ikea shelves in closet $80
Ikea Color block rug $29
Ikea faux sheepskin $9
Duvet cover fabric $10
Pink Target chair $15
Side table: found in apt hallway for free. Inspired by this land of Nod $299 bedside table.

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I bought some paint and a basket and have a $20 version of my own!

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Splurges
All of my splurges are really just mini splurges.
Gold polka dots “urban wall” decals $30
Land of Nod throw pillows $40 total
Howdy Cow $40 (it’s decor and a toy!)

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Meet my Capiz

Hey!! Super excited over here..! I just got an amazing chandelier from my sister in law and it has turned my little dining space into something far more glamorous than before.

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This amazingly dramatic Capiz Chandelier from West Elm is far dreamier in person and makes a huge impact with it’s accentuated length. It hangs a mere 4 inches from the table top but isn’t any more obtrusive than a centerpiece.

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I’m thinking I’m going to have to update the dark teal fabric on my stools to achieve a higher contrast level. My hesitation is that the dark microfiber is so easy to clean and hides messes pretty well. Important for kiddos. Thus, I’m thinking of recovering the stools with either a white leather material or white microfiber. I’m loving the idea of a faux snake skin, textured fabric.

I guess that means my next project is on the horizon! I’ll update you once it gets done (if ever).

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Ikea HACK Gold Utility Cart

Let me begin by saying I can not take credit for this amazing and cheap Ikea hack! I saw it elsewhere and had to take advantage of it: Simple and so so inexpensive it’s a must for everyone!

I have never paid any attention to this little nugget at ikea. Never even blinked an eye at it. Never even checked the price tag- nor would I have cared that it was $29.99 (and we live in Oregon ie. ZERO tax).

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But after I saw what it could become with a little but of gold spray paint I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I made it my mission, dragged my 1 year old and 2 year old to Ikea, ALONE. And it was honestly a pretty hassle free/ tantrum free trip. Once we returned home, the girls took a nap and I embarked on the simplest spray paint project of my life. Obviously it came disassembled so I layed the metal frame pieces out on a drop cloth, sprayed them gold, let them dry, turned them over and sprayed the other side, let them dry and finished with very simple assembly!

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Did that stark “utility cart” change to glamorous stunner in a matter of minutes?! Why yes, Yes it did!

Now, I spruced it up for fall and added some orange accessories. Being September still, I didn’t want to go full on Halloween yet, but these cute baby pumpkins are doing a good job for now! Making it fall festive has excited me to keep this cart decorated for all the seasons! Already can’t wait to decorate it for Christmas!

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On the top shelf I placed an orange potted flower from Ikea with a fresh white pot that I can use all year long. The “Key” plate is a knock off of a Kate Spade dish (retail $60) that I made myself with a $1.99 plate from Target and some paint pens. Note: you have to bake the dish at 175 degrees for 30 minutes to set the paint).
The vase has orange potpourri sticks, also from ikea, and the paper wreath was a fall craft project that my toddler and I did together- the leaves were cut from pages of a book I didn’t care to tear apart and glued to a paper plate with the middle cut out. The fun spotted orange napkins are also an Ikea find.
Last, the gold tray is actually a wood letter sized tray from Target (not a serving tray) It had nice metal brackets on the corners and I sprayed it gold as well to better coordinate with the cart.

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On the middle shelf I set my black and white striped mugs and bowls, also from ikea, atop a silver charger. Then there is another Kate spade knock off tray for mail. Practical and cute. I made this one the same way as the key tray.

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The bottom shelf needed to be kid friendly- so in reality I put little plastic cups down there for them to play with. It also helps them from touching the breakables on the other shelf! I put this adorable boot candle from Target and of course a gold charger and black and white striped place mat to pull it all together.

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But, for the sake of “prettier pictures” I staged the bottom shelf with this awesome “pumpkin shaped” Nate Berkus pot from Target. It was on clearance from $20 down to $5! It typically resides on my coffee table ottoman. And of course the cute tiny pumpkins are just adorable on the shelf as well as kid friendly!

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Keepin it Glamorous a little at a time!