Bathroom Remodel: Before and After Pictures

This past week I felt motivated to finally do something with one of our upstairs bathrooms. We use it for the boys and for guests and it had become a disgusting mess of junk and clutter. It was driving me crazy just to walk past it!

This was the bathroom when we bought the house. I had taken down the wallpaper border about a year ago, but hadn’t had time or energy to paint it.

TA-DA! It feel sooooo much cleaner and this re-do only cost us about $80 total, since we already had the paint leftover from our guest room.

My cute little helper who woke up while I was painting. She loved screaming and hearing her voice echo in the empty bathroom…which then woke her brothers up. (ha)

I feel like the paint color really brightened the room up and even makes the outdated linoleum more bearable! I used Olympic Misty Blue as the wall color.

This wooden frame used to be a mirror, but the glass part had gotten broken in one of our many moves, so I decided to convert it to a picture frame. I just cut down that print of the boys to size and taped it in there.

Oh my goodness I hate brass. This fixture was driving me crazy, so I used some Rust-Oleum high-performance enamel spray paint in Matte Black to show it some love. Side note: I don’t recommend using spray paint inside…it is very messy and you will feel high (I’m not speaking from experience of course….).

I love the way it turned out! It looks so much better and goes with the overall look of the room.

Chris built these amazing shelves for me and I bought the brackets at Lowe’s. A quick coat of stain and they were ready to go! I may or may not have made Chris hang them for me when the stain wasn’t completely dry and our hands were all sticky and covered in stain. OOPS. I was just too excited to get them hung!

And that’s it! This was so fun and very cheap, and I feel like it made a HUGE difference in this bathroom. I now enjoy walking in here. The first time the boys took a bath in here, Rhett stood up and said “LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS!!” I think that’s his way of saying he approves. (ha)

A Peek at My Coffee Bar

When I first saw this little wall in our living room, I instantly thought “Coffee bar!” I had seen so many cute and creative coffee stsations on Pinterest and I always thought it was such a cute way to have a functional yet welcoming space.

A Peek At My Coffee Bar
A Peek At My Coffee Bar

I was on the hunt for a unique and rustic table. When this little beauty popped up on a Facebook yard sale site, I knew it was perfect. I paid $25 for this baby! Since it has the fold down sides, I also used it at Thanksgiving one year as an extra space for guests to sit.

My sister-in-law, Ashley, got me the chicken platter and I love it so much that I had to hang it up! I use a metal bucket I got at Tractor Supply to display blankets and throws underneath the table. Not only is it cute, but also super handy for chilly nights watching TV.

A Peel At My Coffee Bar
A Peel At My Coffee Bar

I found this tray at a thrift store for $5 and it was also a dark wood tone. So I used some milk paint and added this fun blue color. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but I love the pop of color it gives. I keep an assortment of teas and ciders in that green basket for guests to choose what they like. I keep sugar and powdered creamer handy there as well, and love my “M” spoon rest that my Momma got me.

A Peel At My Coffee Bar
A Peel At My Coffee Bar

I absolutely am in love with my tea cups that match my dinner dishes. My sweet mother-in-law got them for me for Christmas and they seriously make me so happy! I like displaying them so I can enjoy them every day. I got the green and yellow coffee mugs at the Dollar Tree. Yay for steals!

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And that’s my coffee stations! I hope this post has given you some ideas for your own coffee/tea bar. It doesn’t have to be expensive or high dollar to look cute and make your guests feel at home. Find what you love and I assure you others will love it too!

A Peek At My Coffee Bar
A Peek At My Coffee Bar

No. More. Junk.

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So I don’t know if it’s the combination of me not being pregnant and finally getting a full nights sleep or what, but MOMMA IS ON A RAMPAGE.

Seriously. I’ve been on a major decluttering spree and I’m so sick of stuff. Do you ever have those times where it feels like the walls are closing in around you because of clutter and piles of junk? Yeah. That’s where I’m at.

My goal is to go through every closet, corner, and pile of clutter until I know that I have gotten rid of everything we don’t use. And then give everything a place to go.

I’m also trying to be realistic here and give myself a fair time frame. I do have three small children who need constant care, so I am starting small. But hey, I’m at least starting!

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I worked on the boys toy box yesterday as a starting place. Toys are the thorn in my flesh. Not because I don’t want my children to have fun and play with them, but we have SO. MANY. And my kids have lots of people who love them and want to bring toys, which is very sweet. But it’s also makin’ momma a lil cray cray. (ha)

I have tried to be good at keeping the toys at bay, and many times have taken brand new toys that the boys don’t need and brought them straight to our local crisis pregnancy center. (Shhh. Don’t tell the grandparents.) But even with me doing that, the lid on their toy box would still not close.

So I said enough. I went through the whole thing and instead of keeping six trucks, I left them three. They don’t need two tractors so one will do just fine. I bagged up half of their blocks and put them away. A two year old does not need 40 blocks! (And my feet don’t need to keep stepping on them! ha)

I then split those remaining toys in half and put one half in a box and one half back in their toy box. My plan is to switch the two out every month or so to keep things “fresh” without accumulating more toys. We’ll see how that goes. I also organized and did the same thing with their bookshelf. Books mean so much more to me, so I kept most of them and will just continue to rotate them so they feel new to the kids.

My next project is all of my kitchen cabinets. I’ve already worked through over half of them and I have two boxes of glasses and plates we never use packed and ready for Goodwill. It feels so good to open my cabinets and see that they are not packed to the brim.

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So I’m making progress, little by little.

I just want to simplify our life. We have so much going on with just the little people who occupy our house, much less all of the junk we’ve accumulated. I want to be able to focus on and enjoy my husband and children and not be stressed by things that have no meaning.

So I’m doing something about it.

I’ll keep y’all posted on how I’m progressing and if my new little system works well with the toys. I’m learning as I go!

Now I’m off to enjoy a family lunch at Cracker Barrel and drop off a car load of junk to Goodwill!

3 Creative Ways to Add Extra Seating to Your Home

3 Creative ways to add seating to your home! TheCarolinaFarmhouse.com

I am so thankful I married someone who enjoys having people over as much as I do! Chris and I’s calendar is always full of company coming in and out…sometimes I literally get the guest room sheets cleaned and back on the bed just before someone else arrives. It’s so fun!

Bridal Shower for a friend in our church small group.
Bridal Shower for a friend in our church small group.

We also love hosting events in our home as well. Wedding showers, baby showers, surprise birthday parties, etc.

So needless to say it can get a little crowded in our living room at times. We have an open floor plan in our kitchen/living/dining room, so that helps out a ton, but sometimes there are just not enough places for everyone to find a comfortable seat! So I am always on the lookout for ways to add seating to our home without messing up the décor or flow of the space.

Here are a few super simple ideas that have worked for me, so I hope they can help you as well!

  1. Replace a few dining chairs with a bench.

3 Creative ways to add seating to your home! TheCarolinaFarmhouse.com

This is a great way to squeeze (literally) in a few more people around your table.

A sweet family of 8 who spent the night and had supper with us.
A sweet family of 8 who spent the night and had supper with us.

We have 4 dining chairs and then a bench on one side and depending on the size of the people (I’m mainly talking age here…kids vs adults. Not fat vs skinny. ha), we can sometimes fit 4-5 on that side of the table! It’s also a really cute look to add to your dining room.

2. Find random chairs at yardsales/thrift stores and repurpose them.

3 Creative ways to add seating to your home! TheCarolinaFarmhouse.com

This is my latest addiction. I LOVE old chairs. I usually look for chairs with an interesting shape or design on them. Something that will add to my décor, but also add functionality.

3 Creative ways to add seating to your home! TheCarolinaFarmhouse.com

I can place these around the dining room table, or in different corners of the living room.

3. Find an open space in your living room and add a bench.

3 Creative ways to add seating to your home! TheCarolinaFarmhouse.com

Can you tell I like benches? But I bought a cute bench to paint and sell, but once I set it in front of my bay window I fell in love! Not only is it super cute and I can add pillows and different things on it, it has also come in very handy when we had a big family come stay with us as well as a bridal shower!

3 Creative ways to add seating to your home! TheCarolinaFarmhouse.com

If having people in your home is close to your heart but you don’t live in the Biltmore, seating can sometimes be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be ugly or difficult. Let’s just say “YES” to the cute and practical. Keep it simple but beautiful!

 

$2 Lamp Make-Over

$2 Lamp makeover

So this whole “being thrifty” thing is somewhat new to me. I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t raised in a way that I needed to think creatively when it came to how I spent money. I’ve always been cheap…but that doesn’t mean I knew how to stretch my dollar. I just didn’t want to spend it in the first place (ha).

But when Chris and I got married I had to learn to maximize the money he was working so hard for and it has been challenging in some ways, but a lot of fun in other ways.

I used to walk into thrift stores and my nose would crinkle. The smell. The dirt. The stained upholstery. The only potential I saw in that place was for Germ-X to make a killing.

But one day I was skimming through and I actually saw something I liked. FOR CHEAP. And I was hooked.

(I am still a snob about fabrics and clothing. I may get there eventually, but for now I buy surfaces that I can sanitize the heck out of!)

$2 lamp makeover

So with that long introduction, I am super excited to share my $2 lamp make-over!

$2 lamp makeover

When I saw these two brass beauties, my first reaction was to gag a little and bust them with a hammer. Not even kidding. I hate brass. But I tried to see the potential and found several “shapes” that I liked, and that determined which lamps I bought.

They were also having a 50% off sale. SCORE. So I was able to get both of these lamps for $4.

The re-do on these bad boys was super easy, but I’ll break it down in steps so it will be easy to find if you decide to do your own.

Step 1:

Wipe down lamp with wet cloth and let them dry.

Step 2: 

If you don’t want to paint your cord (I painted mine because they were also a brass color), then i would tape off the cord at the base of the lamp, and then also tape off the area where the bulb will go.

Step 3:

Paint!! I used Rust-Oleum Professional High Performance Enamel in a flat black color. This stuff is amazing and creates such a beautiful finish. It doesn’t look like paint, it looks like its actually black metal. I used it on my dining room fixture and my kitchen knobs as well. So this was a can i had left over from another project, but it runs around $6 a can.

Step 4: 

Let is dry and then touch up any spots that were missed. Find a lamp shade you love and BAM you’ve got a beautiful and affordable lamp!

$2 lamp makeover

Note: The most expensive part of this project was the lamp shade. I got mine at Wal-Mart for $15.97. That kinda killed me a little bit. But I have yet to find a nice lamp of this size for under $25 even at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx. So the entire cost of this lamp was $18. I’ll take that any day. 😉

 

Overcoming a Fear of Decorating

How To Overcome a Fear of Decorating

Show of hands of anyone who wants a beautifully decorated house right out of Southern Living magazine? PICK ME. PICK ME.

Show of hands of anyone with the budget to back that desire up? Yeahhh, I gotta pass on that one.

I think it is a natural and even good desire to want a beautiful home. We want our homes to be a reflection of who we are as people. A tangible expression of our inner personality.

Affordable design from The Carolina Farmhouse

And as believers, we want our homes to be even more. We want the people we welcome into our homes to feel loved, comfortable, and refreshed.

All of these desires can be a little overwhelming if you’re not Martha Stewart, so where does one begin?

I want to discuss this question and more in a series, which will cover topics such as choosing paint colors, how to work with a tight budget, and finding inspiration.

But in this post let’s just get to the heart of the matter: The fear that can sometimes come with decorating.

I’ve been at this whole decorating-your-own-house-like-a-big-girl thing since I got married…so only two years. It took me awhile to even realize what exactly my style was. When I would find something I really liked, something that expressed me, I would buy it and bring it home.

A lot of times it would just sit there. I would create piles of these purchases with the intention of “assembling” my room one day soon. But weeks would go by before they were even touched. The idea of figuring out how to decorate and display all of these things in a beautiful and unique way overwhelmed me so much that I just avoided it altogether.

Painting your own furniture by The Carolina Farmhouse

I would browse Pinterest and Instagram for ideas, and that would give me some motivation. But there was still this looming insecurity that made me dread decorating. I couldn’t put my finger on what the issue was. I just figured I wasn’t gifted the talent of interior design.

Then my sweet husband bought me the book The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. My world was changed.

She talked about how our homes are to be a place to live real life. A place where mistakes are okay, love abounds, and messes aren’t judged.

Sign. Me. Up.

After reading her book, I realized that the root issue of my fear was not a lack of talent, but of pride. I didn’t want to fail. I didn’t want people coming into my home and not being impressed. I didn’t want to mess up.

Wow. Who knew decorating could reveal so much of my sinful heart!

So one night, I grabbed a hammer and a bunch of nails. I gathered up items from my “piles” and decided I wanted to hang them above our couch. Each item meant something special to me. Things like our wedding invitation in a frame, a mirror my mother gave me, a picture of Rhett, and mirror from the Civil War, etc.

And I just began nailing.

I had no idea where I was going to put things. I didn’t lay them out before and decide if I was making a terrible mistake. I just let myself go. And I was absolutely terrified (and so was my husband! ha).

But as I hung each picture my confidence grew a little more. “Hmm. That doesn’t look too bad!” I’d add another to the wall. “Yeah, that’s what I was imagining!” I started to get excited and all of those STOP-YOU’RE-GONNA-RUIN-YOUR-HOUSE thoughts began to fade away.

I actually had fun.

Gallery Wall by The Carolina Farmhouse

That was my first big accomplishment in decorating our home. Whenever I look at that wall I smile, not just because I love each item hanging there, but because that wall helped teach me an important lesson.

It’s okay to take a risk and be creative with your home. It’s okay to make mistakes and not like something. All you have to do is take it down! Nail holes can be mended, paint can be touched up, and furniture moved around. What do you really have to lose?

Have fun with decorating! Let yourself be crazy, for cryin’ out loud! 😉 Start small if you need to, and as you build your confidence move on to bigger projects.

Let your home become a safe place that you can express your taste, your dreams and your heart.