home renovation

Styling shelves, bring on the inspiration…

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Hanging Shelves… seriously, send me what you got.

Last weekend, in our never-ending quest to put off finishing painting the trim and ceiling in our kitchen, we decided instead to go shopping in search of shelves. Shopping > painting.

I’ll give you one guess where we went? 😉 I don’t know about you, but Jeff and I always say we’re going to branch out from Ikea in an attempt to be more “adultish” – whatever that means – it’s just that when it comes to functional items like shelves, they make it so easy and cheap. And good news, we made it out of there still married. Whew.

We ended up a with a white double shelf that was the perfect fit for the space above this cabinet ↓ (note, that picture was prior to the new paint). Kitchen Midway Renovations 2But now, what to put on those shelves! I already had a few things, like this print, and this one too, but I’m struggling with how to make the shelves decorative and functional. In our tiny kitchen, we need to maximize all the storage space we can.

To start, I put a few things on the shelves – not to mention our coffee cups hanging on the bar beneath the lower shelf – but I plan to live with the new look for a few weeks and sort of rearrange/acquire things as needed.

I know I want the space to serve as a mix of a “coffee bar” and open shelving storage … so, what better place to turn than Pinterest for a little “pinspiration” (super original, I know). Here’s a few looks that caught my eye ↓. Kitchen Shelves Inspiration


Truthfully, I want a combination of all of these. I love the look of white dishes, with pops of greenery. I also want to incorporate clear glass canisters, especially for storing sugar, coffee beans, tea leaves, etc … part of that whole “coffee bar look” I’m going for. And I plan to throw a few frames and prints in the mix.

See anything good I might’ve missed? Send it all my way!

Hopefully, I’ll be back soon with the new and improved look!

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Tips for Hanging Peel and Stick Wallpaper…

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Tips For Hanging Peel and Stick Wallpaper… there were some bumps (literally and figuratively) along the way, but our trials and tribulations are your gain!

For this project, we’re going back to our bedroom (in a PG kind of way!), because when we last left this room it was freshly painted, except for one of the walls. ↓ Master Bedroom Renovation 6As a quick refresher, here’s how the room looked before we started any of the remodel projects. ↓Master Bedroom Before 3Now though, the brown wall – the one our bed still rests against – is covered in wallpaper. But not the early 90’s floral style you might be thinking of – no, this is totally trendy. 😉

Best part is, it’s peel and stick, so if/when we decide we don’t like it anymore, we can easily remove it.

For those unfamiliar, peel and stick wallpaper means it comes with self-adhesive backing, unlike traditional wallpaper. 

As for applying it – well, that wasn’t always so easy – here’s what we learned:

First and foremost, make sure you buy the correct lot numbers. Trust me on this one. The wallpaper comes in rolls and depending on the size of your wall, you’ll likely need several rolls. We used three rolls. Hanging Wallpaper 13Turns out it says it right on the package – at least, for the brand we used – but we didn’t pay close attention to that fact, which led us to hanging two entire rolls before we realized the color was slightly off. It also led to an exhaustive search of several area Targets (I think 5 to be exact) to get a correct amount of the same lot numbers.

Before you start, clean your wall or walls of any dust or dirt. You might not notice it everyday, but walls can be dirty! Warning: graphic image below. :)We used a Magic Eraser, and as you can probably tell, it worked. Hanging Wallpaper 2If you’re applying wallpaper in an older home, much like ours, don’t assume your wall or ceiling lines are square. Hanging Wallpaper 16What does that mean? For our room, it meant measuring each panel (one roll, got us two vertical panels) longer than the vertical length of the wall. Once the panel was applied to the wall, we cut off the excess paper with a utility knife at the baseboard of the wall. This helped create a look of even lines. Hanging Wallpaper 8For us, it also meant overlapping the corner panels against the adjacent wall, and again taking a utility knife to cut a straight line using the crease of the corner as a guide.

For this room, we actually did both corner panels first and worked our way across the center of the wall.

Try your hardest to exercise patience when applying the wallpaper. I’m not joking about this one, this is a tip that came straight from Jeff! Hanging Wallpaper 9At times, applying the wallpaper can be extremely frustrating to apply, because air bubbles and creases will pop up as you go, but Jeff says to go very slow as you remove the paper backing on each panel and start to stick it to the wall. When removing the paper backing, do so as you go down the wall, not all at once. Additionally, be sure – simply using your hands – to carefully smooth out the bubbles and creases as you go.

After you’ve applied each panel, use a plastic puddy knife – plastic will keep it from scratching the wall – to help smooth out the wallpaper.

Lastly, and this will be necessary if you have uneven walls, fill in possible gaps between the wallpaper and ceiling, or adjacent wall with a paint (for us, the same paint as the ceiling and wall) and a small brush. Hanging Wallpaper 14Finally, step back and admire your work! ↓ Hanging Wallpaper Before and AfterRemember, every wall and home is different, so what worked for us might not work best for you. Additionally, we chose a wallpaper without a pattern, so we had the luxury of not having to worry about perfectly matching up the patterns between panels. Peel and Stick WallpaperWe love the way it turned out, it was our little “daring” pop of color. Just living life on the wild side over here. 🙂

We still have a lot of decorating to do, so this room is far from complete!

P.S. Headboard, mirror and side tables came from Wayfair, and the lamps from West Elm.

P.P.S. any lingering questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below!


Let’s talk about our curb appeal situation…

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… it’s not the best it could possibly be, but good news folks, we’re planning to change that very soon! Curb Appeal 2Unless you’ve visited our house in person (you haven’t? you’re welcome any time!), you probably haven’t see the outside of our house – with the exception of our ongoing struggle to get our grass to grow. One day, I tell you!

In all honesty though, we haven’t paid much attention to the curb appeal in the many years we’ve lived (some more than others, so who’s really to blame? 😉 ) here, but given that one day (not yet!) we want to sell our humble abode, we’ve decided to make some larger investments to the overall look of the house. Curb Appeal 3And it’s all starting this week! I can hardly believe it.

Spoiler alert: if the window units didn’t give it away, we don’t have central air. Welcome to the D.C. area real estate scene! 

Here’s a handy little graphic detailing our plans to spiff up the place. ↓ Curb Appeal 1First up, having PROFESSIONALS replace the old, poorly-installed windows. It’s supposed to rain Thursday, so fingers crossed. Curb Appeal 4When Jeff first told me he thought replacing the windows would be a great investment, I was skeptical. It seemed “less sexy” than some of the more obvious changes – paint, for instance – but, I’ve come around. My mom also works in the construction business and reassured me it’s the right move! So when they’re installed, I’ll be back with all the updates.

As for painting the brick – I get it – who wants to paint brick? But these photos don’t do it justice (in a not so great way) – the brick has white paint spots all over it, and while I love the look of brick, it’s time. We haven’t officially decided on a color yet (we might deviate from creme, say what!), but we plan to soon. We’ll likely finish the columns first and then paint, again, with the help of professionals.

However, this could be subject to change … home improvements, am I right?

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