Home Tour: The Kids’ Hallway

Anytime you bring your family to a new place to settle in, I think it is so important to bring your own character and breathe some life into a space. I’m learning there are many creative ways to elevate a basic, builder-grade home to something seriously special. The home market is interesting right now for new builds. The character and uniqueness in projects that we value in shows on HGTV like Fixer Upper or Property Brothers are often out of reach for most of us, hence our DIY-obsessed culture. In our first home, we jumped in and started sanding cabinet doors and painting within hours of closing and this time was no different. Making our house something more than paint on the walls makes me feel all kinds of feelings. I talk a lot about how I grew up, and doing work- doing it ourselves- was something we just always did. It has empowered me and inspired me to learn and make changes that up the ante in the homey game, and also helps to set us up for an increased property and resale value when we decide we’re ready to move again. The work we did on our first home was worth every challenge when it sold the first day it showed. Felt pretty validated after that.

One of the ways I connect with my Dad is doing projects. And making at least half a dozen trips or more to Lowe’s and/or Home Depot in the process. We decided not to travel for Thanksgiving this year, and with my brother in Alabama with his wife’s family for the first time, my parents tripped down to Charleston for a few days! It was my Dad’s first trip to see us, so naturally I put him to work. And my poor cousin Luke. He can’t ever just hang out with us, he’s always getting put to work too.

The hallway was killing me because of the beige, ugh. And because of this:


How brilliant. And not annoying at all. Of course no one minds a thermostat stuck right in the middle of the wall. Visible from the main living space and the kitchen. Passed it all day, every day. Can’t hang anything there. Can’t really move it without a huge ordeal. I asked, trust me. It involved a tiny attic space, only a small possibility of moving it, and a big electrician charge. So I was like, I have to hide this thing somehow.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook already, you’ve seen this before:

23d0ac3c5d61b24ff76c1cf03eefdd0bimage via Hotel Paradis, Paris

The hallway was a perfect place for paper, and I love love love the birds. The color is killer, and in Charleston it works. This paper is Laguna, by Osbourne & Little, and is “to the trade” only. I found that Fabrics & Paper has it and I can order it there! But the shipping costs more than the paper itself because, of course, it’s in the UK. I have a couple of friends who I know would order this for me. I’m still planning on it, but for now, I’m on pause. Because I saw something else that sparked my interest for the hallway.


image via Livened Up

Dad was coming, and I was antsy, so I sent him a text of this pic and was like, …can we do this while you’re here!? So we did.

Here’s where we started. I take pics in the dark, whatever.

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And then it was all:

IMG_3131 IMG_3138And now it looks like this!


I added a runner too:

IMG_3457And that damn thermostat. While it’s still there, it sort of disappears into the trim, and it doesn’t make me AS nuts anymore.


I wanted the top trim piece to blend in with the thermostat to help hide it, so that determined the height of everything. We chose select pine for the walls at 3/8″ thickness. For visual interest, the horizontal trim pieces are 4″ wide, and the vertical pieces are 3″ wide. (actual width is closer to 3.5″ wide and 2.5″ wide. I’ve learned that lumber is always a bit shorter than the standard measurements). The top “shelf” is 1×2″ and it the perfect scale for the size of the hallway. Anything wider would’ve closed it in too much. We replaced the baseboards with standard 1×4″ pine and added back the quarter round.

I took my wallpaper sample to Lowe’s and matched the background color almost perfectly to Valspar’s Portico. (note: The pic above has the hallway light on, which is a glass bell shade with an Edison bulb. This is a cool idea in theory, but the yellow cast it gives off is miserable. I’m going to see if I can find a bulb with white filaments instead so the glow isn’t so Halloweeny).


If you’re a blueish-greenish sort of person, this color is really, really pretty. It pulls a pretty mint color up from the rug in the living room and fits well into the aesthetic of what I’ve got going on here. It coordinates well between the kids’ rooms and doesn’t compete with those colors. Remember when you’re choosing paint colors to consider all the rooms in your house, and how everything will work together when you walk from room to room, what spaces are visible from others, and how it pulls from accents already in those adjoining spaces.

What say you? Yes? No? I love it. But I’m stuck on decor for the walls now. The trim is high enough that I’m not sure I can hang something above it, but that’s really my only option I guess? Send any ideas you have my way!

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Color Crush: Sweet Peach

Recently a dear friend of mine came to me with some ideas for a baby girl nursery, hoping we could brainstorm on color. “Something with no pink. Or very little pink,” she said. So I thought about the colors she tends to go for, not pink, and girl. And I thought: peach!

Now peach has gone really wrong in the recent past, right? (read: 80s peach and blue floral, yack). But it’s coming back around a little bit, and boy is it pretty when done right. Apartment Therapy had a 2012 spotlight on peach that, ahem, per the comments just didn’t go over very well.

But I don’t care. I’m calling it.

Peach is a perfect option when you get sick of pink. And pink can get worn out really quick when you start shopping for anything baby girl. When done in a delicate, soft shade, it can be a great accent color as well as a main player.

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 Above images via Pinterest

But hey, if you aren’t ready to paint the walls, what about easing into it?il_570xN.675817654_bj7i

Pillow cover via Etsy: $40


Pillow cover via Etsy: $28


Lightweight scarf via Etsy: $28


Peach Pressed Glass Candle Pot via Pottery Barn: $24.50


Peach Garland via Land of Nod: $10.95


Crossbody Bag via Banana Republic: $130


Herbs and Spices Print in Peach via Rifle Paper Co: $40


And because Valentine’s Day is coming!

via Rifle Paper Co: $4.50

I am loving peach, and I’m not afraid to say it! I’m excited to see where my friend’s little nursery ends up… hopefully I’ll be able to share what she does when it’s complete!

Happy Thursday! Come around tomorrow for another peek at our little cottage-in-progress, with the kids’ hallway!  I need ideas for the walls.

On Being Vulnerable


Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the correlation between what we put out into the world, how we view our own privacy and the level of vulnerability with which we are comfortable sharing with others. Facebook, blogs, and other social media sites have completely changed the level of involvement we’ve come to expect in the lives of people we come in contact with, most of whom we don’t even know. Not even a little bit. It has also changed what others have come to expect of us.

I’ve thought a lot about happiness and misery, reality and perception, and this constant game of true or false we seem to play online. It seems that everyone now has a platform. It is expected that we are to share our struggles, to put it out there so that others might benefit from our private stories. You aren’t alone. Others go through this too. This is largely a good thing on some platforms: those struggling with depression or mental illness or thoughts of suicide, those dealing with infertility, thoughts of inferiority, failure or insecurity (i.e. every encouraging Mommy blog post, ever). We are now in constant need of validation, and I think there are certain areas of our lives where this has become extremely dangerous and damaging to our relationships.

Those closest to me know that I have always been comfortable in my vulnerability, and in the past I found myself really frustrated with others who hid their feelings and protected their own vulnerability. I highly valued authenticity and transparency: raw realness. I enjoyed it in college lectures and discussions, and I came to expect it from my family and closest friends. There was always, and still is, a very personal element in how I stand when I feel passionately about things, honesty, saying the hard things, and standing firm when I draw a hard line on what I will or will not accept. In the past, it almost hurt my feelings to know someone wasn’t being honest with me, or themselves, about their feelings, whether it had anything to do with me directly or not. I wanted their trust, which to me meant they would show me the most vulnerable parts of themselves. And if they couldn’t do this, it meant they weren’t authentic, that our friendship wasn’t “real.” I have wholeheartedly come to believe this is not true. At all.

My feelings about someone’s comfort level in exposing their vulnerability has everything to do with me, and nothing to do with them. In short, when those thoughts cross your mind, that someone “wants everybody to think their life is perfect,” and you start sounding irritated, that’s your own insecurity talking. It could also be this nasty thing called jealousy. There is a very fine line we must walk in our Facebook lives. We get our news from there, we make inferences and draw conclusions on the state of our “friends'” marriages, what sort of mother a woman is from how many selfies she posts, whether she works, whether she stays home, if she’s seeking attention, validation or being passive aggressive or vague. People use Facebook to say things. People have come to expect us to say things too, to share enough to make us vulnerable, to make us relatable. But what if we don’t share our struggles, what does this mean? If we share the happy moments only, suddenly we find ourselves being crucified for trying to make everyone think we’re perfect. However, when someone “overshares,” judgment comes fast and furious about what should be our private lives. Facebook doesn’t make us public figures, and no one has a right to the private moments or struggles in my life, or your life. We let others see what we are comfortable with them seeing, and it is solely our choice on who sees what. Those closest to us can see what we don’t say, they know our souls to the core and help us coax it out when we need. Sometimes it’s as clear as day to see through someone’s bullshit, but when it comes to others’ expectations of what we owe them in terms of our vulnerability, we could all use a dose of reality on what we are required to give, as well as what we have come to expect from others.

The older I get, the more private I’ve become, and the more I’ve come to respect the autonomy and privacy of the family in which I grew up. Our interpersonal relationships were never public fodder. My parents’ disappointments in us, discipline issues, times of unrest, big challenges, even sicknesses: big things stayed within our four walls. This wasn’t to trick others or paint an inaccurate picture of our family, it was to respect the privacy of our struggles, to anchor our relationships in trust and safety. Until I married and had my own family, I never felt safer than in the presence of my parents and my brother- because they were the keepers of my heart. Despite my teenage angst, the fight to spread my wings, my mistakes and failures, I knew without hesitation I could place it all in the hands of my family and it would be safe there. Despite my resistance and that stretch of cross-armed, pinched-brow years, I knew this to be true: unconditionally they loved us, and protected us. It was not complete transparency or the dumping of every secret, and they didn’t expect this of us. If I give my children nothing else, I pray that I can be this safe place, a place of trust for them as well. The beauty in having children is deep and wide, and extends every day in application of every area of my life. There is something so powerful in bearing witness and sharing our lives with others, telling our story, if we are moved to do so. But as adults, there isn’t an unspoken rule of law that we are required to do this with people who, because of their own expectations, demand or try to force that we do it.

“Life is just messy, and we will clean it up.”  -Sarah Ezell

Thank God for those whom we wrap up in our arms and absorb their stories for them when they place their hurt delicately in our care, and for those who wrap us up, protect our stories, and help us fix things when we are in desperate need. When it comes to our vulnerability, we could all benefit from reevaluating what we’ve come to expect from others in terms of what they share with the world, what they share with us, and what we’ve come to believe they owe us, and approach it with more understanding, respect and grace. We can always assume there are struggles. We can always assume nothing.is.perfect. We are all flawed and damaged and worried and stressed because LIFE. But there is also happiness and purity and dedication and pride and thankfulness. The presence of one set of feelings does not negate the presence of the reverse, whether it’s on Facebook or not.

Oh how I have come to love and respect those dear to me who are introverts, keep a bit of distance, or privacy. I am so blessed in those moments in which I serve as a safe place, a landing place, or a listening ear but I’ve grown to understand not everyone needs me to be that person in their lives. I can be, but I don’t have to be.

Wednesdays are for deep thoughts around here. Thanks for reading! Have a great one!

Home Tour: Rhett’s Room

Well, it’s Monday, but whatever, I can give you a home tour whenever I want, right? Down the hall from Aurelia, is Rhett’s room. It’s a great size room and has come a.long.way. since we first took a peek in here. But, let’s go all the way back to his nursery at Lili Lane. It still hurts a little, seeing his first nursery…


Mostly because the loss of his wallpaper just about kills me! This was the main splurge in his room (more on the planning and brainstorming of his room can be found here, here, and here). I did get to enjoy it almost a year, but when we moved, I couldn’t bring myself to spend that $$$ on the same paper again.

So this is where we started, and the only shot I had to go on when I started planning his new room from Tennessee.


This was the previous owner’s dogs’ room/office. And some sort of crazy unknown happenings did awful things to the walls in here. Unbeknownst to me, there would be much patching and sanding in my future. I peppered Joseph with questions, “so when you walk in, where exactly is the other window? Which wall is the closet on? How much space is between the main door and the closet door on that.wall.over.there?!” He was like “….sorry.” Regardless, I started planning anyway. It all started with this shot from Little Green Notebook.


I was all about this perfect shade of army green, even though Rhett’s room was on the smaller side, I really believed it would work  with two windows in the room.

And here’s where we ended up!



This is where I’ve rocked both my tiny babies. This rocker was from my grandmother, and we have put it to some seriously good use. Now look who’s so big rocking himself (nice hair, man).

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In our wedding slideshow, Joseph chose the song “Forever Young” for his portion of pics, so I just fell in love with this print when I saw it! It’s one of the first things I bought for Rhett’s room, before he was even born.
IMG_3415 IMG_3421 IMG_3429

IMG_3423 IMG_3420I had to bring a little of the woods paper into his room…IMG_3417IMG_3431 IMG_3422

His room is so cozy and full of sentimental touches, just like Aurelia’s Room. I really do love it. I decided to use the Henredon dresser in his room for more storage, and it’s a good thing I did since this littlest one on the way will share this room with him, regardless of if it’s a boy or girl! We are going to do a few touches of blush pink if it’s a girl, and the plans I have for making it a shared room are really going to work well I think. More to come on that, for sure!

Here is a source list for those of you who are interested! Have a great week everyone!

Grey Crib: Babyletto, Hudson

Spotted Crib Sheet: Target

Woodland Friends series prints: holli, via Etsy

Rug: Southeastern Salvage

Roman Shades: Allen + Roth, via Lowe’s (these reviews are bad, but I think they’re perfect for the price, at under $15, you sort of have to expect a little less there).

Tufted Ottoman: Home Goods

Side Table: Target

Orange Plaid pillow cover: Pottery Barn

“Tuck me in tight” artwork: Hobby Lobby

“Forever Young” print: Little Light Prints, via Etsy

Aztec Print Storage Basket: Target

Rhett’s Name Banner: Minted

Bear Rocker: Pottery Barn Baby

Mounted Antlers: High Street Market, via Etsy

Rugby Stripe Tote: The Container Store

Any other questions on stuff, shoot me a quick message or comment below!


Found: An Unexpected Home Decor Source

Good Monday morning! It’s nasty and rainy here so movies and coffee and snuggling it is!

This weekend we got a little closer to finishing the kids bathroom, which has been under construction for the last three weeks. Things take a little extra time when you have two toddler-sized helpers. The sink went in yesterday and hopefully we’ll get the toilet in tonight, and everything put back together this week. So excited!

I can’t believe the stuff I’m seeing in such an unexpected place- am I late to the party here? Affordable and so very stylish. And available online? News to me!

Hello H&M Home!







All these colors, textures and patterns- wow! And the prices are incredible as well! Here are a few of my favorites that might need a spot in my house somewhere. 


Storage Basket: $17.95


Cotton Throw: $34.95


Storage Basket: $12.95


Tea Towel: $9.95

hmprod-14Ceramic Mug: $5.95

(All of these ceramic pieces are dishwasher safe. Is this real life?)


Small Copper Bowl: $6.95


Jute Rug: $24.95


Cotton Striped Pillow Covers: On Sale for $3.95!

I seriously can’t believe it. All of this is right on point for my taste, the colors I love right now, and the price.is.right. I love finding great sources to create pretty spaces. Many pieces remind me of much more expensive things I’ve seen from big name retailers that cost twice or three times as much. So happy to have found out about this! Does anything catch your eye?

Have a great start to your week!

*All images via H&M, click photos starting with the striped basket for links to the items on H&M’s website!

Home Tour: Aurelia’s Room

Hello Friday! Welcome to my first tour of our new home: Aurelia’s room! I wanted to start here because it’s probably one of the “most done” rooms so far in the house. And it was the easiest to tidy up for a few pictures. My photography is lacking, sorry. But I’m still really excited to see these before and afters. It’s crazy how much we’ve changed already.

The roller coaster ride of 2014 came to the top on the last weekend in August. We closed August 29th on the sale of our first home. It was a strange thing, to say goodbye to the first home we ever lived in together, but we were at peace about it as well. The next day, we packed the Pathfinder to the hilt and set out, just the two of us, toward our new city. The little ones stayed behind in TN for one week, while we furiously worked all hours of the day and night to get it ready for movers, and to bring our babies to their new house! I can’t wait to share pictures of that week, the demo, our sleeping conditions, it was some of the very best memories, and most fun we’ve ever had together. It was crazy and we hit some huge hiccups and near-misses to get everything “done enough” but it did finally come together.

Within minutes of turning the key in the door the day we closed, Joseph was shirtless and pulling all the carpet out of the house. The previous owner, bless her heart, drove by one last time right after the closing and was shocked, and probably a little sad, to see him already dragging carpet outside before the ink was even dry on the paperwork. But that’s how we do! He started here, in the room that would be Aurelia’s.


And here it is today!



I debated for weeks what to do about the arched window, and in the end, it made the most sense for us to cover it up. We have a street light on the corner of our property that blazes into this window and it was just too bright at night. And coincidentally, Aurelia stayed in her room and started sleeping through the night again shortly after I covered it.


I’m still obsessed with the her $65 Craiglist dresser, and the painting that inspired most of her first nursery (more from the artist, here!). This makes me a little nostalgic to see…


But, back to her big girl room! Her headboard was a trade-in for one of my first DIY projects, cane chairs in our first dining room. It was natural wood, but I taped off the brass corners and sprayed it with Valspar, Paint + Primer in this pretty mint color. It’s a great shade, probably my favorite right now!



Her quilt is an heirloom from my Mama’s sister, Tammy. She gave it to me as a housewarming gift when we bought our first home. It’s such a treasure, and it makes me deliriously happy every time I get Aurelia all snuggled in for bed beneath it.


I lightly sanded the headboard, but not much. This paint has great coverage! Since I chose a glossy finish, I did four or five coats to even the finish. It took about three days, but was totally worth it.

Her room is missing the banana leaf pattern in a major way. I plan to make a bolster to add to her bed. Isn’t it pretty mixed in?


In 2010 we were married, and my sweet man planned a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon to Italy. I bought a vintage-inspired calendar that year of Italian scenes, and I’ve kept it all these years. When trying to decide what artwork to use in her room, I came across this image on Pinterest (sourced here). And you could say it was a lightbulb moment for me. I get really excited about this stuff, ok, don’t judge me!


The four prints I pulled from the calendar are places we visited on that trip, which was pure magic and romance, when it was just the two of us. It’s so special to me, and I hope one day she’ll grow to love them too!


While bifold doors are not my favorite, they actually don’t bother me that much now. They save space actually, and I’m ok with them! I did dress them up throughout the house with new pulls, and these work perfectly in here! Not to mention I found them at Hobby Lobby on sale for $1.99 each.

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And speaking of Hobby Lobby, I’m not overly into the framed words thing, but this was precious, and perfect for Aurelia.


I am really happy with how it’s turning out. And one more side-by-side, because those are fun.









So there it is!

I always look forward to the weekends so much, even though I’m at home now. I love seeing the kids play and spend time with Joseph. They are so insane over him, and I know they get tired of Mom all day every day😉 We also do family date night these days. We have found a great babysitter now, so we’ll have more one-on-one dates as time goes on, but on Fridays we usually run out for a fun dinner somewhere, all of us together. Time is short on how long we’ll be able to do this- because I don’t know how we’ll ever go out in public with three children under four years old. But more on that later… Have a great weekend!

Sources below. As much as I can remember at least!

Gold Polka Dot and Striped Bedding: Pottery Barn Teen

Coral sheets and white frames with mats: Target

Tie-top drapes: Pottery Barn (“Cameron”)

Roman Shades: Levolor via Lowe’s

Leopard pillows: Southern Shades’ shop via Etsy

Kids’ table, chalkboard easel, and cube shelving: Ikea via Modernash

Kids’ ghost chairs: Craigslist

White kitchen: KidCraft via Amazon

Striped Rug: RugsUSA

Banana leaf fabric: Tommy Bahama via House Fabric (on sale now!)

Hula Lamp: CB2

Blue and White Vase: Hobby Lobby


Spots and Dots, and Double Sofas

Before we closed on the sale of our home in Tennessee, I started planning for the new spaces and decor in our new home. I sent our realtor over half a dozen times here in Charleston to measure different spaces, and double check so I could sketch things out, mostly in my head. In the living room, I very much wanted to have a pair of matching sofas, facing each other.



I found my sofas at Cort Furniture’s clearance warehouse in Lavergne, TN.  They are Broyhill and I could not be happier. I got them both for $900, which was exactly what I sold our giant sectional for. 


They also look very similar to the Paidge Sofa at West Elm I’d been lusting after…


But $400 each was much nicer than $1400. I did splurge a bit on the new legs I had made, but it completely and totally changed the look of the sofa. Check it!


Relatively speaking, this is a completely affordable, no brainer solution to update your sofa when you’re feeling over it. I ordered from Thirteen Colonies via Etsy and I could not recommend them enough! So many shape options, and stains too! I chose Cambridge in Pecan.

il_570xN.629713596_5k67Because I had new sofas, I of course needed new pillows. So I ordered these covers from Martha & Ash, and 14×21 inserts from West Elm. I loved the sea urchin pattern and thought it was perfect for our new Charleston home, without being overly “nautical.”

il_570xN.455153622_o4awWhen they came, I was crushed that they were just too small for the sofas. I tried and tried to make them work, but in the end I couldn’t take it. A couple of them have new homes in the kitchen though! (Kitchen tour coming soon). But in the meantime, here is a sneak peek of the living room!


In my search for the right size pillows, I came across red plaid Ralph Lauren 14×26 pillows with a 1″ flange at Home Goods and the scale was perfect. At $40 each, four of them seems a bit much to pay, but it’s a great price for a cover and an insert! The red plaid was festive for the holiday, but I’ve been looking for a new pattern for spring, something that is current, but not trendy, and classic. And I found this pretty pattern by Brunschwig & Fils called Les Touches.


I loved the abstract feeling and variation of the pattern, but of course, on inquiring what pricing would be for what I need, I was quoted over $100/cover. Which is not in my budget for toddler-stomped pillows. So I found this and it was… ehhhh. Ok. It’s spotted, but it’s just not the same.


I kept digging, and lo and behold, look here what I found on Spoonflower!


I’m leaning toward making these myself, even though hidden zippers are pretty much miserable for me. The variation in the pattern is great, and I think a great alternative to Les Touches… even though I would really love to splurge on them, I just can’t bring myself to do it.

In my search of course I found something else I love…


So I’ll think for a while on this. Any votes one way or the other? Any new patterns in your house you love?

Have a great Thursday!

*Click photos of pillow covers for links to their listings on Etsy!