Making Our Master Bathroom Easier On The Eyes

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | 4 Comments

Our master bathroom is one of those rooms I like to hide from the internet. It frustrates the heck out of me! There are big frustrations I can’t change right now—like the too-big shower, a strange layout, the off-center vanity and the wavy, cracking floor tile—but there are some things I can tackle now (and for free!). My favorite kind of project.

Here’s the bathroom on moving day.

Master Bathroom - The open door is the toilet

First up: the storage issue. The vanity that’s there—despite it being the most generic vanity in all of the land—has some great storage space. And it’s chock full of our toiletries, guest bath supplies and towels. Too chock full. About a year ago we added a Craigslist-procured dresser at the back of the bathroom (see below). And while we loved the idea and potential function, the actual dresser crumbled after a few months of use. Its fate was of the curb alert variety.

Dresser in the Bathroom

Then, when we changed the guest bedroom into Otto’s nursery, another dresser became a bathroom storage contender. This second dresser is one of those special finds—my first even! It was the first piece of furniture I ever pulled from someone else’s trash—my landlord in college to be exact. It also was my first foray into DIY decorating, which was swapping out the knobs for something a little more sparkly.

Updates to the Master Bathroom

The dresser houses all of our towels, wash cloths and beach towels. And it’s been working really well! On top of the dresser are plants (which I’m actively killing every day, despite my best efforts) as well as a box of costume jewelry.

I had been dying to do something with the wall space above the dresser. I also had a stack of framed art and photos that never got hung after the move. Gallery wall to the rescue. 🙂 A dresser and a gallery wall certainly aren’t the most conventional choices for a bathroom space, but we like to walk on the wild side around here.

Updates to the Master Bathroom

You want to hear a funny story of that oil painting of Aaron? It was done by a friend of ours (hey Benjamin!) and it first popped up on the blog in the ostrich bathroom. Well, the ostrich bathroom made its round on the internet big time and something really funny happened as a result. People started to reach out to Benjamin to request a copy of that painting. So now there are paintings of boxer-clad Aaron in others’ peoples homes, too. I find it hilarious. Aaron finds it strange. Ha!

Updates to the Master Bathroom

So those are the master bathroom updates. Completely cost free and made the space a little less offensive overall. Next up—figuring out a better solution for the bathroom rug. I don’t love the multiple-bathmat look, so am currently trying to track down a 3′ x 5′ option. A friend on Facebook suggested just doing a wool or flatweave rug in here, so I think that may be my next move! Plan B is to buy two of these bath runners and sew them together. Stay tuned…Updates to the Master Bathroom

Yay for room improvements that don’t cost a thing. The nursery was an expensive project, so it feels good to tackle a mini makeover that was much more kind to our wallets.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

xo,

emily

 

Big House? Then These Decor Items Should Be Big Too

By | Haus Hacks, Wallace Woods House | 6 Comments

This post could also be titled, “Confessions of a Scale-Obsessed Decorator.” Here’s the things about the “rules”—sometimes they’re meant to be broken. Love something but it’s not the perfect scale for the space? Well embrace it and love the things you love anyways. It’s a good lesson for me too. Sometimes doing everything right isn’t the right thing, if that makes sense. 

I’ve written a little bit about what it’s been like to move from a 800 sq ft home to a 1600 sq ft home, but I’ve yet to hit on the revelations I’ve been having with the difference in scale. When our home went bigger, so much of what we had from the old house didn’t work—things like art, pillows, rugs, lamps, curtains—they were too short, too small. It all looked like dollhouse furniture in our current home, especially with the tall ceilings and the more open floor plan.

Our first home:

Rug Switch

Our current home:

Deconstructing the Living Room Sectional

I guess it’s all common sense, right? But as I’ve slowly been working to furnish this house, I’ve realized that it’s launched me into a specific category of home decor (giant everything) that I didn’t see coming. For example, curtains. Nine and ten-foot ceilings have stuck me firmly in the 105″ length category. I can’t even pretend to get away with 95 inchers these days.

This era of “bigger scale” in my home has had a ripple effect in two major ways.

  1. Bigger decor pieces also means a bigger cost. It has made bargain hunting an absolute necessity for me, whereas before, if I didn’t find a deal it wasn’t a huge loss. Luckily, I kick a major kick out of finding bargains.
  2. It’s made “in person” shopping nearly obsolete. I love to shop in stores and be able to feel and measure things before I bring them home. But one problem—stores in my price range like Target and Home Goods don’t carry 105″ curtains, carry very few 9′ x 12′ rugs, etc. That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve turned into such an online shopper for the bigger items. Luckily, things usually work out. And plus, those stores are still great for accessories, blankets, baskets, etc.

Tracking with me? Good. Here are the 5 surprising home decor items that, thanks to the bigger house, also demand heftier square footage.

RUGS

Deconstructing the Living Room Sectional

Big rooms mean big rugs. I’ve learned that, no matter how hard I squint my eyes or wiggle around furniture, I’m almost always going to need an 8′ x 10′ rug or larger in all of my spaces. The rug in the living room is 9′ x 12′ and it really could go a smidge bigger even. I tend to follow this rug size guide when it comes to my spaces, which basically means all furniture (at least the front two legs) should very much be on the rug if not completely on top of. (Pssst…. the rug shown above is this one from Wayfair.)

PILLOWS

Polyfill vs Feather Pillow Inserts - Go Haus Go
Oh yes, even pillow size matters in a big room. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve learned that in rooms with 9 and 10-foot ceilings, or even in spaces with open floor plans, the smallest I can go is 20″ square. I learned my lesson in the nursery just recently. I tried to get away with a 18-incher to save some money and womp, womp. Too small!

OUTDOOR WELCOME MATS

I know this feels like a random one, but hang in there. A big house begs for a big welcome mat outside the front door. Most welcome mats sold at stores are 30″ x 18″. They’re too small! I’m firmly stuck in the 4′ x 2′ welcome mat space, which limits my choices at the stores. Which is probably why I keep buying the same oversized mat from Target over and over again (this one is #4). Haha!

LAMPS

Tall and chunky is the name of the game for lamps in a bigger space. The sweet spot for me in this new house has been at least 24″ tall and 15″ wide. Yep, I’m the nut at Home Goods with my tape measurer trying to find ones that fit these specs, because most of the time, the standard lamp size is quite a bit smaller. Here’s a perfect example of lamps from Land of Nod (from the old house) in our current bedroom. They look so tiny!

It's Starting to Feel Like Home: Part 3

While in the old house, they looked just fine…

Bamboo Roller Shades

This is also the secret behind why all of the lamps who’ve traveled over from the old house are now stacked up on books and other accessories—they just need a little height boost. 🙂

Fast Track Online Auctions

 

WALL DECOR AND MIRRORS

Bigger walls require bigger things to hang on the walls! I feel like my choices when it comes to what I can hang on the walls is now giant and extra giant—ha! Mirrors for example. In the old house, I could get away with a simple, sweet little mirror.

livingroom2

In the new house, I’ve had to go huge, like this mirror in our entryway makeover.

Entryway Makeover Reveal After

And even beyond mirrors, this is where the DIY gene really kicks in, because I’m always wanting to cover a large amount of space with not a lot of dough. I love this wall of frames in our entryway for that reason—covers a long wall but only cost us around $90 to create.

How have you adjusted your decor from house to house? My goal will always be to “make things work” (after all, our old house wall full of stuff we loved), but in a lot of cases, it required a new (and bigger) purchase.

Also… it’s been fun to see how my style has changed from house to house. Our current living room is soooo traditional at the moment. I actually like our old one better! It’s just a matter of getting the right furniture and accessories in there, which will come in the next year or so. I’ve got lots of other things to tackle first!

xo,

emily

Switching Up How We Watch TV/Get Online with Cincinnati Bell Fioptics

By | Cincinnati Finds, Haus Hacks | 2 Comments

Pssttt… thanks so much for your sweet notes regarding the arrival of our son Otto! I cannot wait to share his story with you all. He’s a special little guy and we are enjoying him so much. Before I go, I have a quick sponsored post to share with you all. 

This is another post for my Cincinnati readers! And sponsored by the lovely people at Cincinnati Bell.

One of my favorite parts about blogging is sharing tips and tricks to make life a little easier. I mean, that’s what this is all about right? I’m all about shortcuts and life hacks, whether it be DIY-ing something for less or making an intimidating project seem less so. And something really cool has happened along the way on this blogging journey—people seek me out to tell me their own tips and tricks. I feel like I’m in a secret club, where people pull me off to the side and whisper the location of a hot, new furniture warehouse in my ear. That’s how I found out about the Cincinnati online auctions, for example.

CincyGive and Cincinnati Bell

So where am I going with all of this? Let’s talk cable TV. I swear there is a connection—LOL! I have prided myself in being cable-free for 4 years now (I even wrote a post about it!). It’s saved us a ton of money and we were glad to be rid of the giant cable/internet provider here (ick). A lot of people think going cable-free requires some compromise, and while that is true (especially when its the celebrity award season, or if you’re into sports), we’ve generally done OK without it these last few years. I mean, I have to wait 6-8 months to get the latest KUWTK episodes, but I’ve managed to survive. Barely.

CincyGive and Cincinnati Bell

Anyways, just like I hear about secret rug dealers and clearance sales, I had started to hear rumblings and whispers of a new, better TV/internet provider in town—Cincinnati Bell Fioptics. Cincinnati Bell has been around forever (140 years!), but Fioptics was the shiny new tool in the box with it guaranteed to be the fastest internet in town. It hasn’t been available in our neighborhood until just recently. You know what made me say “yes” to Fioptics service and all of those channels in about 5 minutes flat? Knowing maternity leave was right around the corner. 🙂 Ah yes, I knew from last time that trash TV would be a perfect companion to those late nights and lonely days.

CincyGive and Cincinnati Bell

There was another reason why I wanted to support Cincinnati Bell—it holds a special place in my heart. Being a part of the advertising/marketing community here in Cincinnati, nearly all of us have worked on Bell as a client. My husband, for example, worked on their marketing and advertising for years. Tons of happy hour conversations, which nearly always include lots of good behind-the-scenes Jeremy Piven and Nick Lachey stories. 😉 It’s just a part of the fabric of this little community I’m in. And I’ve been so proud of them lately and all the work they’ve been doing to help support their home base. Cincinnati Bell, as a part of celebrating and supporting this crazy community we’re all in together, is working on a special campaign called CincyGive. CincyGive supports several local charities, like The Dragonfly Foundation and SPCA Cincinnati, via the proceeds of the HOME t-shirt. You can purchase your own shirt right here.

Mine is on my way to me! Major props go to Cincinnati Bell for being so supportive of this community we’re all in together. It’s hard to be Cincinnati Bell without Cincinnati and they’ve been working hard to keep that connection going. (Pssstt.. speaking of secret tips and tricks… if you’re a Cincinnati Bell customer, the Connect Cincinnati app gets you free WiFi all over town… awesome!)

Now excuse me while I go enjoy all of these channels. 🙂

xo,

emily