Little Touches

We have officially lived in our house for 9 months.


I can hardly believe it. Some moments it feels like 9 days; others like 9 years.

We love it. I pinch myself sometimes to think about how perfectly everything came together. This house literally had everything we were looking for (the only house that did) and we got such a good deal on it.

Are we totally settled in? Mostly. I say that because while all the rooms have the essentials in them – furniture and items to live on – there are still some finishing touches to be done.

At this point, I’m not pushing myself to have the house “Better Homes and Gardens” ready by any certain date. I find it goes better if I tackle a little bit here and there. Sometimes I need to have a moment of inspiration before I decide how to fill a space. Also, as I unpack boxes from the basement (yes, there are still quite a few) I find new homes for things (possibly different than where I had those same things in our old house).

All that to say, I’ve made some more progress in the last few weeks that I wanted to share.

Let’s start with the dining room. The last time we saw this tray, that I made using leftover fabric, it looked like this:


Since then, I’ve changed it up a bit by adding a vase of fresh flowers and a candle that my sister gave me for Mother’s Day (it’s actually yellow inside so sometimes I leave the lid off for an added punch of color and extra fragrance).


I like the grouping of 3 MUCH better and love the touch of organic and color added by having the flowers (also ties in nicely with the plant next to it).

Moving on to the kitchen….

So one of the things I found when digging through boxes was a bag full of magnets. See, we have a tradition that we buy a magnet from every new place we visit. However, our refrigerator is stainless steel so the front is not magnetized but the sides are. I decided to make a “wall of magnets” on the side with our travel ones.


I think it looks pretty cool and it’s a fun thing to see when you walk in from the garage! Isabella likes checking out all the different places and finding them on the map we have downstairs.

The kitchen in our old house was done in a coffee theme so I have a lot of wall hangings and decorations related to coffee. The new kitchen doesn’t have much room for that kind of stuff as we have a ton of cabinets and no real ‘free’ wall space.


I was able to find a sliver of wall wide enough for these little guys though.


They add that little extra something that the kitchen needed in that corner.

I also put some stuff up on top of the cabinets (pretend the counters are perfectly clean and that you don’t see the pile of dirty dishes).


Here’s the close-up.


I’d like to keep adding to the top of the cabinets as I think it provides additional interest and color without being too obvious, but I want to be careful not to overcrowd them.

While I was sorting through kitchen boxes, I came across my stack of cookbooks. I don’t use all of them (a couple I’ve never used), but they’re a natural item to display in the kitchen so I put them on the bottom of this accent table.


If you look back here, you’ll notice that originally I had some coffee trinkets on that bottom shelf. Those got put up on top of the cabinets to make room for the books!

Now let’s wander in to the living room, shall we?

So let’s start with my FABULOUS clearance find. I was shopping at Kohl’s and wandered over to the clearance bin in the home goods section. Nothing caught my eye until I glanced down at the bottom shelf and saw a beautiful orange/grey/tan/white rug. I noticed it because those are the colors in our living room, along with turquoise and the occasional splash of green. I picked it up and didn’t see any tags on it so I put it back and walked away. But I didn’t get far. I turned around and looked at it again, unsure. Do we really need a rug in there? What if it was a lot of money?

Then I remembered the Goodwill Incident of last week. See, I had spotted a really nice standalone full length mirror in one of the stores that would have been perfect in our bedroom. I didn’t get it because I didn’t feel like messing with hauling it to the car, blah blah. Well after a few days it was nagging at me so I went back and the mirror was gone.

Lesson learned: trust your gut!

So I took that rug up front and it was marked down 80% to $15!! Plus I had a 20% off coupon! Done and done!

And it looks awesome…


While we’re here, I’ll show you the rest of the living room, which is the one room in the house that is the most done.

By the way, those orange tub chairs were a garage sale find by CJ. He got both for $30. We had them in the basement of the old house, just to stage it, figuring we might get rid of them once we moved. The movers plopped them in the living room and we loved how it looked and ended up building the rest of the room around them!


I really like the unexpectedness of the round ottoman/coffee table. Ties in the curves of the tub chairs with the leather of the couch.


We bought that rocker when Isabella was born, to use for nursing at night and such. Since we’re way past all that, it got placed in here for extra seating. That’s pretty much where you’ll find CJ any night of the week that we’re home.

And of course the fireplace.


By the way, that back wall with the black and white pics is where we want to put built-in shelves. I think it would look awesome to have white built-ins with a space in the middle for a TV and picture. We will hopefully get going on that project soon…


All in all, I love how the room has come together. It’s very eclectic and unique (you won’t really find anything in our house that’s too matchy-matchy).

Couple more little things to point out.

This tray was born out of necessity.


See, I was painting my nails one night and put a polish remover soaked cotton ball on the table without thinking….and it ate away at the finish. Oops. What’s a girl to do but cover it up?

I made this tray using a picture we got in Ireland and a frame with the stand torn off (and some felt ‘feet’ tacked to it so as not to scratch up the table). Works like a charm!

I found this tray at Goodwill for $3.


That little ottoman was getting stained up from CJ putting his drinks on it so now he has a tray to put them in!

Finally, some additions to the gallery wall.

Here’s the before:


And the after:


Can you spot the additoins?

Yep, this collage I did of all the photo booth pics we’ve taken over the years.


We sort of have a thing about photo booths. If we see one while out on a date or traveling or something, we stop and get some pics taken. What can I say, it’s cheap fun!

I also added these 2 little prints that I found in the basement. Both of them are original prints I did in college.



So that’s the latest on the house! I have a lot of fun digging up new stuff and finding “homes” for them all. More updates to come as we continue to progress!

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