2017 House Goals – How Did I Do?

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 6 Comments

We are finally past January (was that just the longest month ever, or was that just me?) and before we get too deep into 2018 and new goals I wanted to take a few minutes to recap how I did against our 2017 house goals. If you haven’t noticed by now, I get super motivated by lists and goals in general so this is a very fun exercise for me.

2017 House Goal #1 – Master Bedroom Refresh – ALMOST THERE!

We are getting to a great place in this space… it has felt so chaotic for so long that even simple changes like adding a rug and hanging curtains (you guys, these drapes from Amazon have been the best combination of luxury, affordability and complete light blocking) have made a big difference.

Here is what the space looked like at the start of 2017…

And here is what it looks like now…

The biggest leap in improvements came in the fall when we added our new Spoon Sleep mattress and painted the walls white (Pure White by Sherwin Williams). I put up a quick review of the mattress last week, you can check it out here.

Here’s the list I shared at the beginning of the year, which will continue to flex as we work on this space:

  • Buy a new mattress
  • Hang light-blocking curtains (and possibly blinds)
  • Figure out a new furniture layout
  • Get rid of our MALM dresser (I’ve read enough of those toddler tipping articles to be totally spooked even with tethering to the wall, plus IKEA is offering full refunds on MALMs and other tippable models purchased between 2002 and June 2016.)
  • Buy a new rug
  • Change out the fan (thanks to my super amazing sister who sent me one in the mail!)
  • Add nightstands with great storage (well, the storage thing is yet to be determined, but nightstands are in!) 
  • Hang art/object/something above bed
  • Find a new bed frame maybe (but it will have to be a steal of a deal!)

2018 will hopefully bring a new bedframe, some wall art and/or wallpaper, and maybe if I’m really lucky—a new dresser!

2017 House Goal #2 – Semi-Finish the BasementUHM, NO WE DID NOTHING.

Well, I shouldn’t say nothing. We did a lot of purging, organizing and yard sale-ing, but otherwise this space is the same. And dare I say a little worse off. The original idea was to turn this into a play space for the kids, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It still isn’t in it. We still need a lot of storage space for outdoor toys, lawnmowers, bikes, etc. (we don’t have a garage) so this is that space. My fear would be we are making a space nice to just store non-kid friendly stuff in, which isn’t the funnest way to spend money. (And honestly, after paying almost $30K in childcare last year, we’re not itching to spend even more money on them… am I terrible for saying that?).

2017 House Goal #3 – Finish the New Deck Space – COMPLETE! (At least for now.) 

In 2017, we brought this space to life! We stained the boards in a cedar-like color and painted the floors a dark gray (not shown in above photo). We still need the final layer of furniture, rugs, etc., but it doesn’t feel like a huge priority. Space to run and ride bikes is a bigger need right now! And for consistency’s sake, here’s the list I shared last year with some 2017 progress noted:

  • Stain and seal the deck boards
  • Add a rug (possibly of the painted variety?)
  • Add plants to column planters
  • Add additional landscaping around perimeter, plus more planters
  • Explore adding some sort of sun shade, canopy or giant umbrella—it gets hot out there in the summer
  • Find a super deal on outdoor furniture and a fire pit—or at least build savings for a 2018 purchase
  • Add lighting
  • DIY an ottoman/portable seating of some kind
  • Paint floor

2017 House Goal #4 – Give the Upstairs Hallway Some Attention – COMPLETE!

Yessssss, this is done! Here is where we were for most of 2017…

It’s funny what a little paint, rug, books and shelving can do to completely transform the space! And for under $100! The rug was $35 and the shelving was $50. My kids love it!

  • Add a runner
  • Hang art/objects of some kind
  • Replace the overhead light (it’s currently a boob light)
  • Paint the walls

2017 House Goal #5 – Random Things to Tackle – COMPLETE!

I had a random list of bits of bobs that I wanted to tackle, and we got it done!

  • Upgrade all doorknobs and hinges

We changed the entire house’s door hardware over to these Schlage Addison Andover knobs and backplates. The new knobs are so heavy and pretty… such a huge improvement over the builder-grade, lightweight stuff we had in here before.

  • Find a new living room rug

We are still in love (us and the rest of the Internet… everyone has this rug!) with this rug. Even though it’s so light in color, which was so needed due to the dark floors, it cleans up like a dream.

And we can’t forget about Otto’s room! This technically wasn’t even a goal for last year (I decided to do it after I published the post), but we finished Otto’s nursery just a few days before his arrival. He still has the best room in the house!

And last but not least, and maybe even the biggest project of them all, we did a quick renovation and staging of our old house and got it sold! We went back and forth on whether or not to put it on the market, but when we finally bit the bullet and got it sold (with the help of staging and more), it was the biggest sigh of relief EVER! Such a great decision. I haven’t missed it AT ALL. Buh BYE.

Some other blog highlights from 2017:

  • My favorite post was this one about outgrowing IKEA but still not wanting to spend a fortune (and you guys liked it too—my most popular post!)
  • Brand collaborations are a big part of keeping this site running and hands down I loved the partnerships with Spoon Sleep and Sydney Harbour Paper Co./Porter Paints Australia (they are responsible for that amazing beetle wallpaper!)
  • Speaking of that beetle wallpaper, it caused quite a fuss on the Internet. Bugs gross people out. 🙂 Thankfully, people were more accepting on its feature on Design*Sponge

You guys, I’m tired just typing this. It’s been such a productive year on the home front. And y’all know I love to be productive (it’s 100% my therapy). I also need to talk a little bit more about my design work and how that is all going. All of that was also happening in the background in 2017, more so than ever before, and I need to do a better job at recapping it here. More on that in 2018!




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Master Bedroom Update (Plus 4-Month Spoon Mattress Review!)

By | Room Makeovers | 8 Comments

We’ve slowly but surely been ticking away at our master bedroom project. This has always been a tricky space to keep prioritized on our house projects list because it’s just a space for Aaron and I, but my goodness, keeping it top of mind and continuing to work on it has been the best. And I’ve been making our bed everyday—GAME CHANGER.

We’ve done a few things in here already—hanging curtains, adding a rug and a large gold mirror. And there’s a new mattress here that allowed us to put our very old and very tired IKEA bed finally out of commission. More on that in a moment.

Let’s talk the walls! I really took a big risk here and painted the walls… WHITE! Predictable I know, but when it works it works. This is Pure White by Sherwin Williams. I also painted all of the door and floor trim.

Master Bedroom Painted White

Here is what it looked like when we first started:

It's Starting to Feel Like Home: Part 3

It’s such a brighter, happier space with white walls and fresh curtains. (And you guys, these curtains are game changers. They’re so well-made, HEAVY and can block out every single inch of light without looking too industrial or blah. They are a lovely velvet texture and you can buy them (for very affordably might I add) here.

Master Bedroom Painted White

Master Bedroom Painted White

We’ve got a bit more ways to go, and honestly have steered pretty far off our original plan, but I’m loving the direction overall. I’d love to get some wallpaper in here, but it’s a big space. My dream would be Cavern Home’s Birds of Paradigm here, but unless I agree to sell one of my kidneys, the numbers just are not going to work. I’m not too bummed—it will just push me to get more creative.

Perhaps the biggest improvement to this space is one you can’t really see and that is the mattress! We added a Spoon Sleep mattress in September and as promised, wanted to do a follow-up on it now that we’ve lived with it for several (four) months.

Spoon Sleep Bed

You guys, we love this mattress. This is not our first rodeo when it comes to foam-mattress-in-the-box companies and it has by far been the best experience. A couple of things about our experience with the Spoon Sleep mattress:

  • It is a medium-firm mattress which has been a nice balance between the marshmallow pod that was our IKEA mattress and the very firm and hard memory foam mattress we have upstairs
  • We stay cool, which is a big deal for foam mattresses, who sometimes get a bad rap for retaining body heat
  • The sides are firm. If you have experience with foam mattresses, you’ll know some of them suffer from soft sides that “collapse” when you get close to the edge. This is not one of those mattresses
  • I do notice that Aaron’s side has become a little softer than mine over time, so something to be consider if you consider yourself big and/or tall and want to maintain more firmness.
  • The foam pillars! This is a big one for me and I will be honest, I was skeptical at first (My day job is marketing and I get paid to “spin” things to feel more unique than they actually are). Spoon mattresses are made with foam pillars and guys, I can feel these pillars. In the best way. They are supportive and soft and have been the best for someone who loves spring mattresses but wanted the benefits of a foam option.

The foam pillars inside the mattress look like this:

Spoon Sleep Bed

Yep, we are fans. All of us, including two little monkeys who want to sleep in here every night. 🙂 Here’s our original post on the Spoon Sleep mattress.
Spoon Sleep Bed

Next up for this space? Wall decor, figuring out something special for the walls, lighting and more. Maybe 2018 will be the year. 🙂




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DIY Giant Botanical Framed Prints (For $50!)

By | Craft & Create | 10 Comments

2017 Christmas Home Tour2017 Christmas Home Tour

I have learned over the years that scale is everything when it comes to well, everything, but especially for wall art. Big walls call for big art, with no excuses. I’m always on the hunt for things to fill my walls, but budget often keeps me from achieving my big-scale dreams. That’s why I pull out all the tricks to fill my walls with great stuff—all done in a very inexpensive way. We did something similar with the prints of the boys in our entryway. Same process!

Ready for the step-by-step? I swear this will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done in your life.

1.) Download your art files. I’ve got them ready and sized perfectly for you! Just click the link and “Save Image As” to your Desktop. They should save at their original size (which is huge—perfect for the large scale printing we will be doing).

Botanical 1

Botanical 2

2.) Now Staples.com to save the day! You will need the 24″ x 36″ Engineering Prints, located here.  Once on the page, click “Get Started” to begin processing your images for printing.

DIY Giant Botanical Art

3.) Upload both of the files you downloaded off the botanical art links above.

DIY Giant Botanical Art

4.) Once uploaded, you will need to adjust your settings in the left-hand column. First, let’s adjust the orientation from Landscape to Portrait. 

DIY Giant Botanical Art

5.) Now, let’s adjust the size, which is listed under “Media” in the left hand column. It will default to the smallest size. We need to change it to the middle 24″ x 36″ size. The images you downloaded have already been sized (thank you Aaron!) perfectly for that size print.

6.) Add to cart, then purchase! It will typically take 24 hours for your prints to be ready, but every Staples location is different. You will pay around $4 (!!!) for each print.

7.) Time to frame! I like the black RIBBA frames from IKEA in the largest size. 24″ x 35 3/4″ for $19.99, article number 903.016.21. Your print should fit perfectly inside. Some trimming may be needed, but it should be pretty close!

DIY Giant Botanical Art

DIY Giant Botanical Art

Now step back and enjoy your handiwork!

2017 Christmas Home Tour

2017 Christmas Home Tour

2017 Christmas Home Tour



Also, just a little note to say thank you so much for all of the kind words you left on my Biggie post (do you see him above?). It’s been so comforting to read and I’ve gone back a few times to re-read your comments. It’s been hard, but life and our boys has been keeping us busy and distracted. A big comfort has been finding little ways to honor him as time moves on. 

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