Better Late Than Never…?

I kept my word! If you read my last post I told you that I was going to go right upstairs and take pictures of my bedroom that I neglected to update you on last summer when I finished it. So, I’ve been living in my bedroom the way it is now and of course I love it. I’ve went through phases of hating it at times and loving it the next, but it is so true that a room really is never done, at least not for me. I always thought (and still sometimes do) that I could put a room together in a day simply because I am so impatient. This is clearly wrong because my room really has never stopped changing since I initiated the whole re-design last year. Literally a year ago is when I decided I’d be changing things up and boy has it been slow. I even moved things around as recent as this past weekend just to change things up a bit. So, without further ado, here is my bedroom!

My frame wall is looking a little rough because there’s something missing and I still have to paint the wall underneath because of the quote I painted on there many years ago (the black you see behind the frames). This is why there’s awkwardly a huge frame at the top! Nevertheless, I love the way this little wall looks. It’s very quaint and fun-looking to me.

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 I showed you my TV stand/organizer a couple of posts ago when it looked very different. Now, It is very fresh and clean looking. I love that some of the cubbies have just a frame or some type of decor while there are also a couple of baskets thrown in for contrast. Those baskets are a mess inside, that’s what I love about storage solutions!

Oh, and those curtains are the ones I made after buying fabric from JoAnn Fabrics. That’s a beautiful HGTV fabric I found and I love the color it adds to my room!

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Here is a close up of one of the cubbies. It really isn’t anything spectacular, but I love the way I get to show off my piece of pottery I got in Honduras when I went on a cruise this past summer! It is something totally different that I would never buy had it been in a store like HomeGoods or somewhere similar. I love it mainly because it brings back happy memories of the cruise and because it is handmade by a very talented person! Oh, and I’ve read about 50% of those books there. I did watch The Help in movie form if that counts..

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 Moving to the right of the window we have my little desk area. This isn’t a real “desk” as I’d call it, more like a table. It was $19 at IKEA. How do you get any better than that? My desk desk is at my apartment at college and I felt I needed some type of table to keep things.

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In fact, though it may not look like it, I keep a lot of things on this desk..

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Hidden storage is my best friend. Next I’ll show you a close up of a very awesome piece of art I got for Christmas. I put it on my list from the Nordstrom website. What makes it so great is that it’s wood and it adds so much to my wall. I have mainly white frames (and white everything else) everywhere so I absolutely love what this does for my walls. Plus, the message is great, too.

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 Moving again to the right is my “get ready” area that I had on my list back a couple of blog posts. It turned out to be amazing. Not pictured is a little hair dryer, straighter, brush caddy that I have. I place it right next to the mirror for easy use and I sit right on the stool that is currently holding my cute Kate Spade makeup bag. My Mom and Sister frequent my room to check themselves out in this massive HomeGoods full-length mirror! Garden stool is, of course, from HomeGoods.

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 My bed/night stands really haven’t changed too much but I figured I’d highlight them again anyways. I hung a little “S” ornament from Anthropologie I received for Christmas on my Nate Berkus Urn from Target. I got this for around $6 (from $23) on sale at the ole Targ.

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 I love the way my bed looks with everything surrounding it. Because I chose a white comforter, I decided I could add plenty of color around. I love the pop of red in the pillows and the many different colors in the print above my bed. The maps also add something special too. They add a subtlety to the whole look of the bed and it’s actually pretty relaxing. On the right side, I moved my lamp over to fit more stuff. I found that having the large lamp on my some-what small IKEA Rast drawers was a little intrusive and not very user-friendly. So, I moved that over to make room for a book and a little something else.

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 No, that is not magic. That is a fake book from HomeGoods that I use to store my clickers. Genius? Yes, yes it is.

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 I just wanted to give you a closer look at this amazing Joss and Main art piece I ordered a few weeks ago. It is on wood and although the image online looked a little different (it looked like it had panels of wood like my ‘Chin Up Buttercup’ piece from Nordstrom) I love the way it looks in my room. I’m always trying to branch out and add color and if this isn’t color, I don’t know what is.

ImageHere is a last and final look inside my room from the door way. You cannot see everything here but I wanted to give you an idea of where exactly all of the furniture is laid out. I find this the best layout for my room because of the placement of the two windows and the two closet and entry doorways.

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  Clearly that chandelier-thing from Urban Outfitters is not supposed to be attached like that, but I cannot go without a ceiling fan so that is the solution (and has been) for now. It really isn’t that bad in person and I love, love, love that chandelier. I got it for $20 or so at Urban Outfitters a couple of years ago!

I am sorry this took so long but finally I have chronicled what my bedroom looks like now! As I said, it was a very long process but it was so worth it. The best part is stumbling across different things from stores like HomeGoods or online at Joss and Main or One Kings Lane and adding them to a room. I’ve really warmed up to not having everything match and I am loving it! Until later…

Xo,

S

Crossing off that list!

Update: I would like to send my thoughts and prayers of those affected in the senseless acts at Monday’s Boston Marathon. I am truly heartbroken that such a joyous holiday for Massachusetts was turned into something so disgusting and horrifying. I know Patriot’s Day will never be the same for us, but as a state and as a country we will continue to pull together. Xo

Good Morning! I know what you’re thinking..it’s only been a couple of weeks since her last post, why is she posting again?! Hah! I know, my blog game has been anything but great ever since…well, ever since I started. It’s definitely hard with being at school because of homework and well, because I am not actually in the rooms I am making changes to. I try and  do something every weekend that I go home, but sometimes it doesn’t  happen and even more often, a blog post does not come of it. I am definitely trying to change that, though, because writing about my projects or other home-related design is definitely something I’d like to do with my future (aside from teaching), so this is a sort-of rough portfolio for me. Hence, I gotta step up my game!

So, last post I left y’all with a list of the things I’d like to get done. Let me update that for ya,

1. Get two new nightstands/bureaus

2. Get rid of the couch and add a different seating arrangement in my room

3. Get new curtains

4. Make new pillows

5. Find an inexpensive, colorful rug

6. Create a gallery wall

7. Create a “get ready” area with a floor length mirror and bench

8. Add frames and decor to the walls

As I mentioned last post as well, some of these things are done and some aren’t. Also, there are things that are not on this list that I completed. This list is basically a “what I wanted to do” way back in December when I knew a room remodel was about to happen.

What I crossed out is what I have already written about, kapeesh?

To make it even more confusing, I am actually going to re-breif you on number 1, get new nightstands/bureaus because since my last post they have been changed and completed (for now)!

So, you saw the Rast on the left side of my bed like this:

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The Rast on the right side of my bed  looked like this:

DSC_0070I knew this is not the state I wanted the dressers to stay. I liked the white, but the decor on top was just not doing it for me. I am not a nature-y green person, so the left-side dresser with the drooping plant was not sitting well, but it was the only option at the time.

Wait! But, no it wasn’t. The new state of the left-side dresser is decorated with, get this, things I already had in my room, right under my nose! Who would’ve thought!? I just needed to get my brain going to put the decor I used together. Enough talking, here’s the “finished” picture

IMG_2754As I explained, I had all of these things on hand! The books were downstairs on our fireplace mantel that I stole back for my room and the vase/urn is a score I got at Target from the Nate Berkus collection a while back, It was on another shelf in my room. (I actually got it for about $7, it was originally about $23!)

You may notice another little addition *cough on the wall cough* Yes, I added some artwork! Well, not artwork, but a map. On this side is Western Massachusetts. That frame is from Ikea, of course. I absolutely love this night stand. The map colors get me every time, and the black and white urn with the colorful books is so cheery and happy. I’m glad I chose to repaint the dressers white, I couldn’t add this type of color if they were any other color!

Now, here’s the right side dresser

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As it can be seen, I put a lamp on this dresser. The colorful thing next to it is my iPad in a cute kate spade case. The map above this dresser is the eastern side of MA, where I’m from. The two maps were actually just two separate pages in a map book my mom had, so no cutting was involved! It worked out very nicely.

The next photo is going to cross another point off the list. I want to show you the two dressers with my bed in the middle and it’s going to give away number 4, “make new pillows.”  I’ll show you the picture first.

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Now, you’re probably thinking, wow, she’s really good at making pillows! Well, sorry to disappoint but I did not make these pillows! My original plan was to make them and save some money. Once I saw the red chevron pillows at HomeGoods, I changed my mind. The pillows in the front are from Urban Outfitters that I got on sale a long time ago. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, folks!

Here’s an Instagram photo I posted:

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There you have it! This side of my room is completely finished (for now)! It’s safe to say I’m obsessed. Oh, on the picture shelf above the bed, I put a W for my last name. I actually really like the simplicity of it. It really actually doesn’t even look that simple with the pillows and framed maps right below it. Thoughts!?

Here’s another revised list:

1. Get two new nightstands/bureaus

2. Get rid of the couch and add a different seating arrangement in my room

3. Get new curtains

4. Make new pillows

5. Find an inexpensive, colorful rug

6. Create a gallery wall

7. Create a “get ready” area with a floor length mirror and bench

8. Add frames and decor to the walls

A couple more things to write about, so stay tuned!

Xoxo,

S

Projects, Projects, Projects

I often find myself daydreaming in class about what projects I want to do when I get home for Christmas break, how much money I want to spend, what colors I want to use. There’s so may opportunities! Not to mention, class is over before I know it.

I have made goals in the past and not met them because of time restrictions. Now, though, I have 6 weeks at home with (hopefully) a part time job and everyone else at their full time jobs, and lots of free time. Hopefully enough time to do the following projects..

1. Bedroom. Oh, as usual, I am dreaming up what I want my bedroom to look like. A couple of weeks ago, I made a floor plan after looking up some products that I would like to add to my room. I know one thing, my furniture is out dated. My solution to this? If you have read my other posts, you can definitely guess…Ikea! The Ikea Rast dresser will be perfect for me. I would like two, and I would like them to go on either side of my bed as side tables and as dressers. There are three drawers in each which will add up to six drawers with two. Six is what I have no on my dresser, so I will be fine int he storage department. I need to clean some stuff out anyways. Of course, the Rast dressers will have to be painted and designed past their ugly wood color now. I haven’t decided just what color and what design I want to use yet, but that will be a post in the future. Here’s my floor plan, courtesy BHG.com.

 

The chairs are a little iffy, but if I find some wooden dining chairs to reupholster, I would put them there. As you can see, the Rast dressers on either side of the bed. Across from the bed, I would like to get a shelving unit that can house books and decor as well as my TV. That is undecided, though, and will probably be a paintable piece from Ikea when I decide. Any suggestions?

 

2. Basement. Kind of like me and my closet, my family and I have this problem where we clean the (finished) basement numerous times where it looks organized and livable, and then about a month later there is endless clutter enough to leave minimal room for walking. It’s a never ending cycle, really. I told my Mom that I would make it one of my projects to organize and clean the basement for/with her. She doesn’t want to put much money into it as we don’t use it much, but I think I can use what we have and think some things up, even if I do spend a little money. I think if it did look nice and organized, we would use it!

3. Living Room. We have a nice cozy living room, especially after we rearranged it and decorated for Christmas this past Friday. Our side tables and coffee table are outdated, though. I told my mom, with her approval, that I would stain the tops of the side tables and paint the bottoms a off-white color. Also, I plan to add some new hardware. I just took a quick shot now to show you, don’t mind the clutter.

Update-worthy I’d say.

That’s it, for now, I think! Let’s see if I can have all of this done by January 22, when school starts up again.

Stay tuned, next week I should have a project posted!

Hope Thanksgiving was good!

Xoxo,

S

Home Sweet Homemade

As we all know, this weekend is Veteran’s Day and most of us get Monday off. Well, most schools, anyways. Mine being one of them, I came home for the long weekend to spend time with my family and to celebrate my Mom’s birthday on Friday! We had a lot of fun, we went to dinner then came back for cake. There’s never a night without laughter in my family. Whether it’s at the expense of one of us or someone else, we are always laughing. Of course, it usually starts with bickering, but we love each other anyways.

For my Mom’s birthday gift, I decided I wanted to go the homemade route. Something that she would buy at a store but that I could make and it would look almost the same.

I got both of my ideas from my all time favorite bloggers, John and Sherry Petersik. They just came out with a book called Young House Love that showcases 243 different DIY crafts/ideas. Find their blog at http://www.younghouselove.com.  I used one of their ideas in full, and with the other gift I put two of the ideas together.

I made an art piece first. Just a piece of fabric, some batting, and some wood to make a canvas-type decoration that can go on a wall. Here are the materials I used:

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Pretend the wood glue isn’t there. When I went to open it, it was all dried up at the top and It was not budging. I used rubber cement instead. I didn’t have to use anything on the wood, as you can tell they just slide into place. I just did it for peace of mind.

First, I put the pieces of wood together

Then, I cut batting and stapled it onto the backside of the wood. Make sure you leave at least three inches of batting on the outer edges so you have enough to staple all around. Pull tight! Also, fold the corners like you would a present so they all have the same amount of cushion.

This probably took about 10 minutes. Now, cut the fabric the same way as the batting, leaving about 3 inches on the outer edges. Staple, and done!

This is the finished product. I really love the pattern here, especially for a summer-y, cottage-y room. I have some leftover fabric (I used an 18″ x 20″ frame, and got a yard of fabric) so I plan to make a small pillow out of it. That way, the art piece can hang in my Mom’s bedroom and she can have a pillow to match as well! Color coordination rocks!

Wood: Michaels

Batting: Michaels

Fabric: Joann Fabrics

The next project was a little bit more sentimental. My parents just bought a vacation home in South Carolina, and they are really excited about it (as am I). I saw a project in YHL that included cutting out a state’s outline with scrapbook paper and framing it. That way, you have an outline of your state on pretty paper and it makes for a cute and simple piece on the wall! Also in the book and on the blog was the idea of framing a key. One that may be important to you, or an old antique one that can be put up just for show. See where I’m going here? I cut out the state of South Carolina onto some cute scrapbook paper, got a copy of the house key, and framed it! Here’s how it went:

Printed out an outline of the state.

And…oops! I was so concentrated on doing the project that I forgot to take pictures of the process. You get the idea, though, it really is quite simple.

So, right to the finished product. (You don’t have time for all that jibber jabber anyways..)

Worst picture ever, I know. My computer is giving me a hard time. I will try and post a better one later! Underneath the state is a white place card bordered with the scrap book paper. I whited out that part because it’s the address and, well, that’s self explanatory.

The shadowbox frame I had, so that was free. The scrap book paper is from Michaels, the key was made at Home Depot for about 1.99, and I used rubber cement which I also got at Michaels. Such a cheap weekend! I probably spent about 25 dollars for everything!

So, there are my i’m-a-college-kid-and-poor homemade gifts! Hope you guys like. I love the key one the most because it is like having a slice of our vacation home here in our home state.

I cannot wait to try out more ideas from John and Sherry’s book, Young House Love. Go to their blog, like, yesterday. It is my bible now. Seriously, go now!

Hope your Veteran’s Day weekends are going good. A special thank you to all of our Veteran’s out there.

Xoxo

Samantha

Cheap & Fast: everything you don’t want a date to be…

……but for a room..that sounds great! Sign me up!

This morning I was talking to a friend, and she shares a room at home with her sister. She’s 21 and basically over it. She wants her own space to call her’s, a place she can go to and get away from other people. We all need a place like that at home, right? The problem is, she has no means of moving out and there is not an extra room at home for her to move into.

I decided i’d help her out and research some things she could do in order to quickly and inexpensively make some adjustments to her room. All with the help of Ikea (meaning everything I picked out is from Ikea).

This is the mood board I made!

Very simple, very easy. She already has stuff in her room, and if we are going cheap we cannot totally redecorate. One of her problems is she doesn’t have a bed. Only a mattress on the ground.

1. A cheap, $50 bed from Ikea. It comes in the plain wood, but I plan to paint it white. Her comforter is white, which I love.

2. A side table from Ikea. And get this –Its $7.99. Can you believe it? How can you beat that. It has clean edges and it’s the perfect height.

3. The wire and curtain are my solution to separating her and her sister’s “sides” of the room. This attatches to the wall at the top towards the ceiling, and connects to the opposite wall. It comes with clips to attach the curtain. $6.99 Ikea

4. This curtain is very neutral, very simple. I chose this one because she cannot really have a very “loud” curtain, because her sister will be seeing it, too. This allows both girls to be able to contribute whatever colors they want on either side of the room. $12.99 Ikea. We would probably use anywhere from 2-4 panels.

5. That brings the pillows in. The first one is from Joann Fabrics that I plan to find and make for her. She won’t have to pay for this, so I am not adding it into the budget. Anyways- I would not know the price until I buy based on how much material I get. The yellow chevron is also a great pattern. For this one, I will buy it from etsy, and it comes with 2 pillow covers for $13.00.  I just have to buy the inserts, which I can do from Joann.

6. I love this little lamp that can go right on her side table. It brings in a huge amount of color- I love orange. This is only $14.99 from Ikea!

That totals out to about $106 without the pillows, which as I mentioned I am going to do for her as a gift.

I haven’t shown her yet, hopefully she likes! What’s so great is that it’s basically a one stop shop besides the pillows. I’ll post pictures if I end up doing her room over with my ideas.

Xoxo,

Samantha

Home Sweet ..new room to decorate

I just love being home, especially in the fall. There is a special type of feeling that comes with the season and leaves its footprint on my home, in my town. It’s so cheery and oh so lovely. Winter swoops in and brings an even more special, cheery feeling to my life. Not to say fall does not do this to other homes, to other towns, but for me, I feel it especially in my little town.

Whenever i’m home I want to rearrange my room. Something I have been doing since I can remember, since at least third grade. Except then, it was every two weeks and I would have to ask my Dad to move the stuff for me because it was too heavy. Now, I feel like the muscles I have were built up from the amount of times I have rearranged my room on my own. I’ve got some serious leg muscles, people. My bureau is one heavy piece of furniture.

This time, though, my recent obsession with interior design and HGTV has inspired me to rearrange in a different, a more special and fun way. With the seasons beautiful feelings and my excitement for “change,” I have decided to present myself with a challenge, and share it with all of you!

I am going to rearrange/remodel my room using only things I can find in my house, but I want it to look almost completely different than it does now. I will give myself as long as B is at the gym, so about an hour and a half to two hours. In this time I will move my furniture around and the pictures on the wall (that have been placed in their exact spots for a couple of years now) and add things from our collection of fall decor from the basement. I want my room to have a new feeling, a new look, a new ambiance.

Right now it is a tad bit empty for my liking. Growing up, I have always had a clutter-y room because I cannot seem stop myself from buying stuff and I cannot get myself to throw things away. Now that I’m at school in a totally different room, my at-home room suffers the consequences and is a little bare, with a few knick knacks sitting on my bureau and no TV.

In my next post, either later tonight or tomorrow, I will include the before and after pictures of my room! I will let you all know what I changed and where my motivation came from. Unfortunately, my decorating books are at school where I have a special place for them, but I will use my own techniques to decide what I think looks best. After all, it is MY room :).

 

Wish me luck!

Xoxo,

Samantha

Books and Blooming

Look-y here what I received via United States Postal Service today! The third and final book I ordered last week! I decided to order some design books because 1- I am obsessed with interior design, and 2- I needed something to distract me from homework, of course.

The other two books include “Domino: The Book of Decorating” and “Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes, Real People, Hundreds of Design Solutions.” So far, I haven’t gotten a chance to really read and look into them all, but after a few quick flip throughs, they seem to be very insightful. I ordered them all off of Amazon, so only spent $40 total.

(Let me just say, as I wrote that last sentence, an Amazon commercial was on. I’m weirded out)

In my Apartment Therapy post I told you all how I absolutely love ApartmentTherapy.com. I recently found a blog amidst searching the inter web naming suggested design books by “Lovely Undergrad.” Apartment Therapy was one of them, and without hesitation I ordered it.

This, to me, is even more freaky than the recent Amazon coincidence that occurred a mere one minute 50 seconds ago. I am currently on track to become an elementary school teacher. My passion, too, is in interior design and in my reality, I will do both. Teach full time and interior design on the side. Maybe one day I will do full time designing, maybe not. Nevertheless, the very first line of the very first paragraph in Mr. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s book reads “In my work as a teacher and interior designer over nearly fifteen years…” WHAT? That, is fate.

That, gave me hope. I always knew my dream was realistic. I can absolutely both teach and decorate homes at the same time. The free time a teacher has grants me that opportunity. To see proof that someone as successful as Gillingham-Ryan did the exact same thing as I aspire to do is so exciting to me, so eye opening, so breath-of-fresh-air-ing. I am so glad I bought that book.

The reason I bought the books was to really broaden my horizons and knowledge in the interior design portion of my passions. I decided as of late that this is something I am completely serious about. I know I am no pro right now, by any means, but I like what I know and have done so far in rooms that I have lived in as well as shared with my family. We recently bought a condo in Myrtle Beach, SC, and I am just dripping with excitement to decorate. A clean slate–my dream. These books will help me with these as well as future rooms I may decorate. They also just plain and simple make me happy.

So, maybe its time you really start to move forward with your passions. Expand your knowledge a little bit this Fall. Even doing something as little as buying a book about said passion. Start pursuing! It’s never too late to get started whether young or old.  So, go! Beginnings are beautiful.

Xoxo,

Samantha

DIY Pillows!

So in the beginning of this summer, I was deciding what I wanted the color scheme of the room in my apartment to be. I had a few ideas floating through my mind. I knew I wanted a violet or lilac purple, but there were other ideas too. I was at Home Goods and found some really cute pillows. After seeing the price tag of $25 each, and knowing I needed at least 2 pillows on my bed, I knew I had to have other options. I jokingly said “I can make my own pillows for less than that!” Can you guess what I did? I made pillows!

Let me tell you, fabric stores are no joke. They are NOT playing around. I am not a good decision maker, so being in Joann Fabrics was one huge indecisive moment for me. There were SO many options. I went without an exact color scheme, but I knew one would probably be yellow and purple. I found the perfect yellow pattern. I immediately knew I wanted it.

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The picture doesn’t do the pattern much justice, but you get the gist. I made three pillows out of the amount of fabric the lady gave me (because I had no idea how much I needed). It cost about 10 dollars to make these three pillows.

Of course, I needed another color. With purple in mind, I went back to Joann Fabrics. I found this..

The picture makes them look a little on the navy side, but they are a rich purple. Maybe like a “beet” color. Don’t mind the crayon piece, which was very easy by the way!

So, out of the purple fabric I got one big pillow, one long pillow (like the yellow long ones) and two small square pillows. I made a total of 7 pillows and it cost me in the range of $30-$40. That is less than 2 at Home Goods!

I sewed the pillows with a sewing machine. VERY easy!! It took me about an hour to make 3 pillows.

No excuse not to try!

au revoir!

Samantha

Design on a Dime…maybe more like a penny…

I am currently a college student, and I think it may be safe to say I run a pretty tight ship when it comes to spending money. If i’m spending money, its on food, alcohol, food, room decor, food, and, oh…did I say food? I love food, but who doesn’t? But I really, really do love decor. Some of my favorite places to surf the web are design sites. I am moving into an off campus apartment and my room is slowing becoming my palace. I know it will always be a work in progress, because I will always want to add/tweak things, but It truly is my passion and I can’t wait to live on my own some day and design an ENTIRE house! Wow…the possibilities.

 

I’m going to school for Elementary Education and Journalism. Nothing like keeping options open, right? Long story short, my school only had the minor in education with an optional master’s program, so I had to pick a major I would maybe, possibly like if I decided teaching was not for me. And after all that, my passion really is interior decorating/crafting/and all around home design. 

 

This is where I will post inspiration and my own DIY projects and how-to’s! Hope, if anyone reads this, you enjoy!

 

Ciao!