Lightening Up a Dark Couch With Pillows

Good morning friends! I’m here to say that living on a budget is sometimes no fun. We have been spending way too much on car repairs lately which has put everything else on the list on hold. Maybe you’ve been there?? So, as much as I would love to finish out our family room makeover with a lovely white slip-covered sectional from Pottery Barn today, I’m just gonna have to wait. So, what to do to make our dark brown sofa fit in?? Pillows, and lots of them!

I made all of these myself and used feather pillow inserts from IKEA (6 bucks people, you can’t beat that). I have started backing my pillows with dropcloth fabric. This helps keep the cost down. (don’t you love the styling of the tray on the ottoman – thanks kids for adding your touch :))

Don’t see the difference? Here it is before.

Cuter styling of the tray but way too much brown going on! 

Sewing pillow covers is fairly simple if you are doing a basic square with no trim. There are lots of tutorials out there like this one. What makes it tricky is when you decided to add trim, or a flange detail – like the orange pillows – or try to something really risky like use striped fabric to create a different design – like the turquoise pillows.

I must admit that I have been sewing since I was 9 years old. So, most of the time when I start a sewing project I don’t look for how-tos. I just dive in. I might do a few sketches, hold things together to see how it works, but mostly I just make it up as I go. I’m sure that a lot of times there’s an easier way to do what I do, but hey, I really don’t mind. I like stretching my mind and trying to figure it out. 

I also made this cutie for our rocking chair. This is the rocking chair I rocked all our babies in, which means I just cannot part with it. It has lived in several rooms in our home, and now it lives in a corner of our family room. This pillow got all the love (see what I did there? ha!) – trim, applique, and a print backing!

I am going to try to pull together a tutorial soon for the turquoise pillows. My making it up as you go routine, sometimes means that I didn’t take pictures of everything. So, we shall see.

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

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Bringing New Life to the Built-Ins (again)

Hello there!  You might have noticed that the walls, and the brick weren’t the only things that got a little paint love in our family room.  The built-ins also received some in the form of color this time! 

Several years back I transformed the built-ins from ugly-orange-oak to a beautiful almost white.  I loved them, but knowing everything else was going to be almost white I wanted to add some color in somewhere.  I have pinned so many images of bookshelves with the backs painted, so I decided this would be a great place to add a hint of color. Nothing too bold – just some navy blue (the same navy blue I used for the feature wall in our master bedroom).  🙂

Here they are before.

And here they are after paint.

And after things got returned to the shelves.

I re-styled a few things while I was at it as well. After 13 years of living with these built-ins, I’m still not great at styling them, but I do feel like it’s getting easier.  

The next steps for the family room include wood and fabric.  Stay tuned!  🙂

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What’s Happenin’

I haven’t forgotten about y’all I promise.  All sorts of things have been happenin’ around here lately, I just haven’t had a chance to pull it together to share with you guys!  😉  So, today is a round-up of sorts.  A peek into our lives so to speak.

Some progress has been made in the family room update.  We contemplated paint colors for the walls.  And re-arranged furniture! 

Then there was a birthday in the house. 🙂  So, progress put on hold for more important things.

The kids had a day off from school, so we sorted through clothes.  My boys have been growing like little weeds!

Paint was chosen and painting began.

The house was a mess and laundry had piled up, so progress paused while I did some laundry.  As I was doing laundry, I realized I was running low on laundry soap, so I whipped up a batch.  

It’s all gelled (is that a word?) and ready to be poured into containers!

Then the snow came.

And that meant some sledding.  (so thankful for a hubby and a dad who loves getting out and playing with his kids no matter the conditions…I hate the cold)

The snow makes me more and more mindful of my oldest and others I know who are among the many in the New England area that are buried under several feet of snow…not inches. I am thankful for technology that allows me to see his smiling face from time to time.  Makes this mama heart feel much better – you can tell a lot from just seeing their face, am I right?? (I screen-shot this while we were face-timing the other night – he would not keep his phone still, so the pic is blurry ;))


Finally the painting was finished and all the furniture back in place.  Nothing much is styled and pretty yet, so not quite ready for a complete reveal, but here’s a sneak peek. Still lots to do, but we are definitely headed in the right direction! And, I am loving the new furniture arrangement!

See, I told you we’ve been busy!!  Hopefully I will be back soon to share more details of the family room transformation.  Thanks for following along on our little adventures :).

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Bright and Fun Teen Girls Room Reveal

In honor of my daughter’s birthday this weekend I thought I would finally share with you her new room!!  This was truly a collaboration between her and I design-wise, with her having the majority of the say.  In the past I would always tell her she could design her own room.  But, in the end it always ended up being more what I wanted.  This time I was intentional about letting her have her way.  Which proved to be difficult sometimes, I’m not gonna lie. 🙂
bright and fun teen girls room
orange teen girls room
triangle accent wall
I shared with you earlier the how-to on the triangle wall.  A labor of love for sure!
We did get to enjoy some crafting together along the way.  The large “A” above her bed was all her (and her dad). 
large A with lighted wall hanging
She drew the letter, dad cut it out, she painted it and she wrapped it in lights.  It’s super cute lit-up.  🙂  She said she wanted a big “A” and I just couldn’t see it, but it turned out great.
lighted A wall hanging
I shared with you last week the gallery wall I created for her.  I walk down memory lane.  🙂 So fun to put together, and she loved it – score!
gallery wall
She is very much what I like to call an out-in-the-open organizer.  If the place for things is not out in the open, things will not get put away.  So, I had stocked up on ideas from blogland for months and these are the ones we tweaked to work for us with a lot of supplies we had on hand.  
teen girl organization
dollar store tiered tray/ jewelry organizer – inspired by Charming in Charlotte / nail polish storage
teen girl bedding
The bedding is quite the combo.  With all the orange in the room, I insisted on white bedding. Daring to be sure with this messy teenager, but I knew the room needed some light.  We found this cuteness at TJ Max.  The throw and the adorable pillow were handmade by her granny and are just the right touch I think.  She was hoping for some fur pillows and I found these rather large ones at Sams before Christmas for $20 each, and they have feather inserts!  Steal :). The curtains actually moved with her from her previous room and they were purchased from Hobby Lobby.
bright and fun teen girls room
This room is so her, and I’m happy to have worked with her on this project! Do you have a teen you want to create a space for?  Make sure and give them plenty of input.  They need a space they can call there’s during these fun years. 😉  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!!

P.S. If you are interested in seeing where this journey started you can check out this post.

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Painted Furniture For the Kids

Whew, I needed those few days off!!  Writing for 31 days straight can wear a person out! I can’t imagine what it would be like to write a book :).
I was really hoping to share with you one of the kiddo’s rooms with you this week, but it has been cloudy for days.  🙁  So, I am going to share with you a couple of pieces of furniture that got a makeover using my Home Right paint sprayer.
You see about two months ago my friend Jennifer tagged me in a instagram contest sponsored by the lovely folks at 11 Magnolia Lane and HomeRight. I then returned the favor and tagged another friend, Robyn – since the contest was win one for you and one for a friend.  And guess what?!? Yep, my friend Robyn and I won (sorry Jennifer)!!  I know it’s cliche to say “I never win anything”, but really I never win anything, and I have been wanting one of these for a while now, so I was beyond excited.  Like, jumping up and down in my living room screaming, while my hubby looked at me strangely excited!!
You see I had a line of furniture waiting to be painted for the kiddo’s room re-dos, and I was dreading it!  But, no longer!
Here are a couple of pieces – a bookshelf for my nature lover.
And a dresser for my all-American. (click here to see his room completed)
(I have to admit, I did the stripes with a brush – I’m not that good yet.)
The sprayer really did save a ton of time, and my hand from being cramped for days.  I still need some practice on getting the right consistency of paint, but if you are patient and follow the included directions it’s really not that hard.  [I tend to leave out the patience, and assume I know what I’m doing.  Ha!!]
I am also super excited to share with you that I am joining a fun group of ladies for a linky party on Friday’s called Friday’s Unfolded.  The party was started by Alison and she has graciously allowed us to join in on the fun!  Every Friday, six blogs!  So, be sure you come by and link up your projects from the week!  🙂

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Linking up with Boy Mom Madness
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