Creating an Entryway from Nothing

I love our house. I really do, but there are just a few things on my “Seriously Dislike About Our House” list. Probably at the top of that list is the fact that our house has no real entry. Our front door opens straight into our living room. I find that it feels awkward. There’s really not a lot we can do about that. I’ve jokingly suggested that we enclose our front porch to create a proper entry, (I’m not sure I was really joking all that much) but Shane reminded me that that would pretty much entail a full on addition. It’s probably not worth it. So our house will remain a bit awkward. If you ever come over be prepared to walk smack dab into our living space the second you come through the door. Aside from the awkwardness, there is a bit of a function problem. We do have a very large coat closet across the living room, but we’ve deemed it the dog closet. we’ve made it into their kennel, and we have all of their food, supplies, and toys stored there. That leaves us with problems in the winter. Shane and I have no where to put our coats. We have our winter coats stored in random closets, but we really needed somewhere to hang the coats we are wearing when we walk in the door. Last year we just stuck them on the closest door knob and called it a day. I wanted to be a bit more prepared this year.

We really only had one space for an “entryway.”


This shelf is right inside the front door. I love it because it houses some of our favorite travel souvenirs, but the shelf itself we’ve had for at least 6 years. It really didn’t mean all that much to me. So, to the basement the shelf will go. I have a little stockpile of things I’m hanging onto until we have a bigger house someday.

When it came to an entry, I knew I wanted some sort of bench, hooks for coats, and a shelf to hopefully squeeze some of our favorites from the previous shelf.

This is what I came up with…




The bench I picked up from HomeGoods. I really like the look of the wood. I also like the fact that we can pull it out and use it for additional seating for guests.



I really went back and forth with the shelf. I couldn’t find anything I was totally thrilled with. I really would like Shane to make something. In the meantime I decided to go pretty understated with the shelf and just picked up a cheap white floating shelf from Target for $25.




I was able to squeeze all my favorite things from the previous shelves onto the new one! Score! Our nesting dolls from Prague, a picture of Shane and I in South Africa, our dodo bird from Mauritius, a picture I created, a plant, and a vase I’m using as a candle holder all made the cut. I do really love this little assortment. It reminds me of all the adventures Shane and I have had over the last couple of years.



Sitting on the bench is a pile of books and paper bowl from South Africa that’s good for throwing your keys in.



I looked at a ton of different hooks. I totally fell in love with some from Anthropologie, but being that they were $28 a piece I used my better judgement and walked away. I found these horns at HomeGoods, as well. I think they are meant to be decor more than they are meant to be hooks, but I really loved the way they looked and thought they would work great! I do love the way they look, and since they stick out far from the wall there will be no problem hanging winter coats on them without the coats falling off the hooks all the time. I hate that!


So there it is, my little entryway. I’m thinking I may add a small rug under the bench eventually. I’ll want something to catch melting snow from our shoes this winter.




Here’s what it ended up costing:

HomeGood’s Bench $60

Target Floating Shelf $25

HomeGood’s Antlers $12 a piece

Total $109

All the rest of the decor I already had. I would say not too bad!


Bedroom Layering

Maybe it’s the arrival of fall, or maybe it’s prepping for a the arrival of a new baby, probably it’s both, but I’ve been wanting a bit more warmth and comfort in my life. Especially in our bedroom.


I adore the bright white, but I also was craving a bit of a layered, textured, warmer look. There was a super simple way of creating that. New curtains! The white curtains behind our bed I really bought for the nursery, but I wanted to try them out in our bedroom to see what I thought. I like them, I do, but with the white closet doors I felt like we needed to add a little more depth and layering. So, the nursery is taking it’s curtains back! Our bedroom got these new guys…





They are the same curtains we have in the living room, except they haven’t been dip dyed, and they are a bit darker and more beige than the living room curtains. They come in two colors at Target, and now we have both colors! I honestly love these curtains for $16.99 a panel. They are sheer so you still get a lot of light, but they have such a great texture to to them. I also threw the faux fur blanket I picked up at Target last year on the bed and added a tray, plant, and candle I already had to the poufs. It’s just all around feels warmer and cozier in our bedroom now, and I’m really enjoying it!

I thought it might be nice to see a “whole room” shot. Don’t mind the fact that it’s a poor quality iPhone pano pic.


We definitely need to get some frames built for our paintings to help balance out that wall a bit, but I’m feeling like our room is really coming together! The curtains really made such a difference for about $70. Not bad!




Current Obsessions

I’m currently obsessing over a few things. I thought I would share so you can be obsessed, too!

1. Planked Walls

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I love love love this look. Someday, somewhere in my house will have planked walls.


2. Baskets

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I like them with prints, I like them plain, I especially like the Nate Berkus baskets they always have at Target. Everywhere I go I want to buy baskets! I just scored the best basket for the best deal the other day! I can’t wait to show you!

3. Wood Trays

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I’ve noticed that lately I feel like every surface of my house needs a wood tray. Lucky for me I have this exact tray!

4. Gorgeous Throw Blankets

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This one is from Urban Outfitters. Anthropologie has some seriously gorgeous throws, as well.

5. Storage Containers

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I have a long way to go before every drawer and closet in my house is neatly organized with beautiful storage containers, but I’m seriously working on it. Organization has been my addiction lately, and storage containers are my new drug!

6. Candlelit Evenings

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This is totally a fall thing for me. I love an evening snuggled on the couch with my puppies in a candlelit room! It’s totally an obsession.


And since I’m pregnant and this is real life…

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Obsessed…could eat them every meal. I know they are really terrible for me, but sometimes you just have to give in!



Cord Management

For a while now this lamp cord in our living room has been bothering me.



It didn’t bother me so much that the cord showed. This is the kind of lamp where the cord is just there. It’s almost part of the design of the lamp. I was more bothered by the fact that the cord wasn’t pretty. Well I took care of that!


It was a simple fix. I just picked some yarn up at the craft store and wrapped the cord. It feels like a nicer lamp now. It wasn’t exactly quick. It took me about and hour and a half to wrap the cord. I was sure to make sure that it was tight and neat, but it was a totally mindless project that I did while watching a movie. Projects like that are always fun from time to time.






I know this is such a little change, but sometimes it’s the little details that make me feel really good about my house!

On a side note…This post had made me very aware of just how dusty this shelf in our living room is!!! Gross! A problem I have yet to do anything about….Dusting might be my least favorite cleaning thing to do.

I Finally Love our Bathroom!

Last I left you, we had a bare white bathroom. It’s not bare anymore! My favorite part is that its so organized! I even have little storage containers to spare that are empty!




Above is the view from the door. I’m obviously still missing a mirror. I had originally intended on just putting back up what we had, but once it was down I just couldn’t do it. The space feels so much more open without it. I have something ordered for this spot, but it’s a surprise! I’ll show you once it comes in! I got a new rug from IKEA. It’s the same one we have by the front door. A round rug really just works better in this space, and this rug is only $10. You can’t beat that!


The shelves above the toilet is where we keep our daily toiletries. One of the baskets on the top shelf houses my hair dryer, straightener, curling iron, brushes, and a few hair products. The other basket on the top shelf is Shane’s. He’s got just about everything he needs in there.




I obviously still need to fill all my picture frames! The basket on the bottom shelf has all my makeup in it. It is all nice and tidy in clear storage containers inside of the basket. The jar in the wooden tray has tiny hair rubber bands, and I also plan to fill it with bobby pins. One of the hanging containers just above the toilet has random things I don’t use on a daily basis. The other one has dental floss picks in it. The basket on the toilet has face wash and face wipes inside. The shelf hanging under the top shelfs has various moisturizers, perfume, and hair oil on it. All things I use on a daily basis. The other hanging container is empty! I’m sure I’ll eventually find something to fill it up.







I filled the shelves in the cubby beside the shower with things I use less frequently.


Again, I still need to fill the picture frames. I’ll let you know when that happens. I have a few ideas.








This bamboo box is one of the only containers filled over on this side. It’s housing essential oils. I use them pretty regularly. They had been in one of our kitchen cabinets. I like them here in the bathroom much better. They felt like they were getting lost on the big shelves of the kitchen cabinets.



I have hair product on the top bamboo box, but the box itself is empty. Q-tips in the top jar, three different kinds of perfume in the bigger jar, and the basket is empty.


The view of the sinks will look a whole lot better once I have a mirror! I’m pretty excited about what I have coming. I’m not very good at being patient!





Our door is now black and my favorite towels EVER are hanging on them. I got the towels at West Elm for 50% off. They were shoved under the clearance shelf in a basket. I bought all that they had, 4 of them, and when I took them up to the register the man that rang them up for me said, “I can’t believe you are buying these. I was going to but them when I got off work today.” I felt bad…Kinda. I was mostly so happy I snaked them before he did! They are HUGE and really beautiful!

Well that’s it. They new bathroom tour. I’ll update you on the mirror as soon as It comes in. I’ll also let you know what I end up putting in the photo frames. So much better isn’t it? Now I’m going to actually enjoy being in the bathroom!

One Step Closer to an All White House

Ok. So it’s no secret that I hated… H.A.T.E.D. our bathroom. It just never felt like us. Not to mention, we had some major storage issues. It’s been on the agenda to renovate the bathroom for some time now. In reality, we just aren’t likely to get it done anytime soon. Shane’s busy season with work will come to an end, and we will immediately welcome our little girl into the world. Follow that up with the holidays, and It looks like the bathroom renovation isn’t likely to fit in anytime soon. Bummer. Have no fear, though! I’m nesting! It’s amazing what a highly motivated 7+ month preggo lady can accomplish all on her own and in two days to boot! I will be sleeping easy tonight, because I have a bathroom I love! (And because I’m totally exhausted! An extra 17lbs will really wear you out!)

So let’s recap what our bathroom looked like before.


I’ve been informed that it’s not horrible, and I guess I can’t argue. I have seen worse. It just wasn’t really working for us. It was dark and felt sort of thrown together.


All our toiletries were thrown in these baskets. It worked but I was craving a bit more organization and a lot more pretty!


The towel racks on our door were just sort of gross feeling. The door had yet to be painted black to match the rest of the doors in our house, and there was an extra towel rack we had never really used.

(This is a total side note intended for mostly one of our friends, but we used to rent our house to friends of ours. They left their shower curtain when they moved out, and now we still totally use it! Haha wondered if you ever noticed that!)

Aside from everything I already mentioned, our walls and trim all needed a bit of work. There were old nail holes that needed filled, chipping paint in areas, and it was just in need of some good old TLC. So, I got right too it. I took down all the ugly towel racks and the old toilet paper holder, filled holes, and sanded the walls. Once, everything was in better shape, it all got a coat of bright (you guessed it) WHITE! We are one step closer to a completely white house. Just the nursery left to go!


I then hung some shelves to help with our storage issues. Everything I bought will still be used when we do the full bathroom renovation, and the paint and the two shelves above the toilet we already had. They came out of our kitchen before we renovated. We hadn’t found a new purpose for them yet.



I had yet to paint the door black in this picture. I had only prepped it with lots of sanding.



I did buy these shelves from IKEA, but like I said, we will still use them when we do our full renovation. (Whenever that is.) I wanted to be sure I wasn’t waisting any money. Time, YES! I wasted a lot of that since everything will come down and be redone at some point, but money…no. A waste of time or not, this is going to totally save my sanity. I love our bathroom now!



This shelf above the sinks got hung back up after the painting.

After all the shelves were hung, came the fun part…filling them! I LOVE the way they turned out, but this post is just a teaser. I’m so mean aren’t I? You’ll have to come back to see the shelves all filled and organized! It totally satisfied my current organizing addiction!

I won’t make you wait too long. I’ll show you how I filled the shelves soon!

Plant and Flower Trickery

Since Shane and I travel so much, I’ve slowly been trying to switch out my live plants for fake plants. I hate doing it. I would so much rather have the real deal, but it’s just too much to get someone to water them when we are gone for months at a time. This past week I did a bit of plant trickery, and I decided why not do some flowers, too?

I had this vase already and decided to add some marbles, acrylic water and a little clipping off of a fake stem I already had.



I’ll be honest with you. These are not the cheapest projects. The acrylic water is expensive. In this vase I probably have $25 into it. The acrylic water is about $7 at Walmart and this vase took two kits.



This vase I picked up at Hobby Lobby, along with the calla lilies. These flowers are cheaper than some of the others and still look really good! This vase took two kits of water. Although, I would have liked to have added a third but I’m cheap! I spent about $40 on this arrangement. I know that’s not cheap, but now I have the look of fresh flowers in my house all the time! To me it was worth it.


These roses are a bit more on the expensive side, but if you are going to get artificial flowers spring for the nicer ones! They look and feel so much more real. I can’t remember exactly how much they were, but I want to say they were close to $6 a stem. Again, not cheap but I love the way they look in my kitchen now.








This is where the yellow flowers live:


The smaller plant is for the coffee table once I get it back.


The roses hang out near the kitchen sink. Although, I predict they will all do a lot of moving around.


This photo by Karl Poynter.