Truth: I don’t always love my decor choices. To be perfectly honest, we’ve been in this house just under 2 years, and I often find myself making a list of things I want to go back & change (don’t tell Matt). Sometimes, I even kick myself for some of the decor choices I’ve made so far. Don’t get me wrong here, of course I’m extremely thankful for what I have, but I think it’s only natural to make mistakes in your first house, change styles half way through, or totally miss the mark. You live and you learn, right? Take my entryway for example…
This is what our entryway looked like when we finally got settled in. At that time I felt like the space needed something other than the 2 large coral frames above the couch to make the entry area its own entity. I chose to put framed photos of Matt’s childhood home, my childhood home and our first home together to make that separation.
At the time, I liked it…. but quickly realized it didn’t offer any function in a place that needed all the function it can get its little hands on. And to be perfectly honest, there was always this looming feeling that this threesome just didn’t “flow” with the room. For awhile I tried to sell myself that it was meaningful and simple, but a year later… I still wasn’t sold.
The space needed function and I needed to ditch the threesome (pretty standard life advice in general… not judging, just sayin’…). Hooks, a shelf, and a piece of art…that’s exactly what this space needed and got!
When this piece of art grabbed my attention in the clearance aisle of HomeGoods… I knew it was time to take action. For $22, how could I say no?! (This specific art took a tad of extra convincing to win over Matt). I sold Matt by convincing him that this piece’s patterns seemed to be the perfect accent to the large framed coral pieces we already had. We could either spend $22 on this piece or change up the large pieces. You can imagine the alternative sounded like a lot of extra work (and shopping!) for the Mr, so he was quickly sold on the charming vintage suit.
I picked up this IKEA shelf for $7.99 (regular price), but had to paint it white with some leftover paint I had at the house. I used the brackets to hang the shelf from on the top side, but you can also flip the shelf around and put the brackets on the bottom for a whole new look! Since the shelf comes in natural wood, the color options are endless! The three hooks are from HomeDepot; I think they were like $3-ish each.
The pillows and striped blanket are also IKEA steals- a fun way to add a little more color, texture and coziness.
Overall, I’m much more content with the new look. It offers A LOT more function (which I love above all), and also makes the whole space “flow” much better. I can’t believe how a tiny $7 shelf can make such a difference in organizing the clutter that comes through the front door. Mail, keys, sunglasses, jackets… everything has a place to call home.
Like I said, I never hated the old look, I just love this one a lot more. I’m glad I finally silenced that looming voice of “just okay” by making some inexpensive changes.
This isn’t my first re-decorating experience, and I can guarantee it won’t be my last. My style, ideas, and our home’s needs are always changing so I guess it’s okay to adjust the decor to reflect these changes. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to feel better!
But let’s be real here…is it just me or are you also feeling like some of your rookie decor decisions need a little extra attention these days? I need some support here!
Back to see where yesterday’s greeting card art ended up? Answer: Our new & improved GUEST ROOM! A few weeks ago, I shared this updated mirror in the guest room:
Thanks to Casey’s tutorial and inspiration, my work didn’t stop there. I hacked some of my very own IKEA Ekby Shelves to add even more color & personality to our guest room.
Remember the chair makeover we did using milk paint a few weeks ago? That FREE treasure ended up right here in our guest room too! Love the pop of color and loads of function it offers to the room… talk about a cozy reading nook that our guests (or me) can enjoy!
The shelves just by themselves are great. They are rustic and add a little more decor compromise to this otherwise kind of girly space. I bought the brackets at IKEA and bought some cheap wood at Home Depot (which they cut for FREE) to create the shelves. IKEA offers shelf material in gorgeous stainless steel, white and even wood, but I liked that if I bought my own wood, I could stain it to match the DIY mirror we recently added. Having the shelves match the mirror just allowed the whole room to flow better.
Now, let’s break down the treasures on these shelves.
The recently purchased the vase set at Target. The marble box is from HomeGoods’ clearance section.
The books I had laying around the house from various garage sales, estate sales, or even being sold for less at libraries in the area. You can read my tips on styling/buying books here. The whale was an old treasure from Kohl’s.
The blue tin was an old purchase from IKEA and the Chicago print was FREE from the waterlogue app. The watercolor print goes perfectly with the colors of the space while also adding some local Chicago pride. (We’ll have more details about that Chicago print coming real soon…along with a downloadable printable!)
This amazing nautical-inspired bookend was a HomeGoods purchase.
Behind this adorable Target turtle is one of my favorite bookshelf pieces. It’s another watercolor print from waterlogue. It’s a picture of our house and I love what the app did to it. I seriously can’t say enough about that amazing app. Plus, I printed both watercolors for FREE, which makes decorating with these images even better!
I like how the colors are relaxing yet still lively and “fun”. The pops of spring color on the chair bring in some of the accents on the shelf and tie the whole space together.
The globe is from a garage sale and the snail is another Target treasure.
Overall, the space has really come a long way! Casey’s IKEA hacked shelves totally inspired me to try some for myself and I’m so glad I did! I think the whopping total of the shelving came out to be under $45.
The guest room is finally off of the to-do list (well at least until I have a new idea). Here’s an up-to-date tour of the space…
For now, I’m moving on from the guest room and starting to tackle our not-so functional office. I’m challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone and try a new “look”. We’ll see how that goes…. Once I make some progress in that scary space, I’ll have all the details for you guys.
Remember when I installed closet shelves a few weeks ago in my craft closet? I had some leftover material and decided to use it to tackle a few more closet shelves in my coat closet. Goodness knows that this space needed a little a lot of organizing attention. Take a look for yourself…
Before the makeover, the closet was a catch-all disaster zone! It was home to a lot of crap and not a lot of coats. (Not a winning combination). Now, it’s home to less crap and more coats (a much better combination)…
Before the makeover, there was a lot of wasted space at the very top of the closet. Using the leftover material, I installed a shelf at the very top of the closet for some extra storage. Now it looks like this…
I keep winter accessories in the black bin and keep the iron and other ironing must-haves in the white bin. The new shelf is now home to some extra paper storage. I still need to paint the ledgers, but for now- I’ll take it!
Before the makeover, I was not utilizing this hanging space nearly as much as I could have.
Now, the coat closet holds ALL of our coats, which is a major space saver in our bedroom closets.
I found these $2 hooks at Home Depot and love that they are a simple way to add a little extra storage and give us easy access to scarves or umbrellas or even Matt’s hats.
And possibly the worst part of the closet? The floor.
Yikes! As a painter’s daughter, I have no choice but to store our extra paint inside during the winter. Apparently paint should NOT freeze (news to me, thanks dad) and keeping it in the garage throughout the winter could cause these buckets of color to do just that, which could ruin the paint (again, I had no clue?!). I like the idea of saving my paint, but I do NOT like the idea of having to store this stuff inside. The solution to this mess?
A hidden shelf. I installed another shelf about 1 foot above the ground. Under the shelf, there are a few gallons of paint. Resting on the shelf is a little more paint and two bins offering even more hidden storage. One box holds all of my extra spray paint and a few tubes of chalk. The other box is home to all of our my aprons. You can tell how much I plan to use them…
And there you have it, a peek into a far more functional coat closet. Thanks to some leftover shelf material, this coat closet finally got the attention it needed and definitely deserved.
Do you store your paint inside during the winter?! Any creative storage solutions?
Every year for Christmas my siblings and I do a grab bag and this year I just so happened to pick my brother Ryan. I was at a total loss as to what to get for him. He has everything he needs, and if he wants something he will just buy it for himself. What is a girl to do?
Then after visiting his apartment around Thanksgiving, I came up with a brilliant plan. See, my brother has quite the collection of old record albums. He has dozens that he has acquired over the years, and even has some old ones from my mom’s high school days. They’re pretty amazing, but they’re just sitting in piles around his apartment.
I decided to enlist the help of my fellow rookie, Bridget, and together we came up with a plan to display some of those old records. I purchased 3 of these picture ledges from Ikea and I used my spare key to get in his place. Then while he was at work, Bridget and I got to work to create a record filled wall.
This was the setup when we arrived (gingerbread house and all!) We decided to create the display on the wall with that random art piece. It was cool, but wasn’t quite proportionate for the space. We moved that to another wall, and quickly got to work.
I drilled in holes for anchors, while Bridget sorted through all of Ry’s records to find the best ones to display. It was simply a matter of measuring, putting in an anchor, and screwing in the picture ledge.
We were done in no time at all!
Now all of those old record albums are on display for all to see. It shows off his love of music and adds a bit of old school sass to his space. Plus, the records are still handy so he can choose one and listen to it whenever he wants.
We left his place eager for him to get home from work to see his new wall. I have to admit, I was a little nervous that he wouldn’t like it. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly be happy if someone came into my home and changed things around.
But lucky for me he absolutely loved it and thought it was a very creative gift!
So what do you think? Think the rookies ROCKED this Christmas present or what?
We have slowly been chucking away at our home to-do list and right now our family room is at the top of that list. This room is truly the “heart” of our home and we spend every single day enjoying it. Therefore, it’s the first space I want to finish up.
Next on the agenda…add some storage and style to the space!
You see that little corner to the right of the large art piece? Well, it was begging for a little “somethin’ somethin’.” I contemplated finding some more art for the wall, or perhaps hanging a few frames. But I ultimately wanted an area that I could style and constantly change.
I decided to go with some shelves!
I didn’t want anything too fancy, because I didn’t want to distract from the other cool pieces in the room. Instead I wanted something a bit streamlined and industrial, but perhaps with a rustic twist. I also didn’t want to spend very much money on these bad boys.
Hmmmm…inexpensive, contemporary, easily personalized….Ikea was going to be the place for me!
I found the above EKBY BJARNUM brackets and purchased 3 sets. I liked the silver color and contemporary look. I was prepared to head to a hardware store to find some wood, but lucky for me Ikea had untreated wood in the shelving department. Score! I picked up 3 pieces and called it a day. #onestopshopping
To get the rustic feel and incorporate some dark wood tones into the space, I stained the wood with Minwax using a clean rag. Once that dried I sealed the wood with wipe-on poly.
Honestly the hardest part about this project was installing the shelves. I shouldn’t say hard…I should say time consuming.
It was just a matter of measuring, leveling, drilling, repeat. I was able to get the three hung in about an hour. (Okay, maybe more like 2 hours…I was catching up on some of my favorite shows at the time, so that slowed things down a tad.)
Rookie Tip: If you’re not drilling directly into studs, make sure you use wall anchors. It’s just a matter of using your drill bit to create a hole, tapping an anchor in there with a hammer, and then using the drill to screw the bracket on. Time consuming…but worth it in the long run!
I really love how they turned out! It adds the right amount of style and personality to the corner.
I’m also really happy we went with three shelves instead of two. When it comes to decorating, always group in odd numbers. Think 3’s & 5’s, instead of 2’s and 4’s. Trust me on this one.
I have a feeling I will constantly be arranging and rearranging our new shelves. But that’s okay. I’m in love and our family room is really coming together!
Love these IKEA hacked shelves at Casey’s place? Check out Bridget’s spin on the same shelves….
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