Holiday Home Tour: Our Dining Room and Entryway

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Welcome to our dining room reveal! There’s not a ton to show off in this little area, so I’m including our entryway in this tour as well. (And in case you missed it, I shared a tour of our living room in my last post.)

The dining and living room open up to each other, so we decided to paint the dining room nook a dark charcoal to define the dining space.

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This (above) is what you see straight ahead when you walk in our front door. As I mentioned the other day, the first thing we did when we closed on our house was rip up all the carpet and replace it with hardwood. We also replaced the wood railing that came with the house. These rooms look a lot bigger than they actually are in square footage thanks to the high ceilings and tall windows… So we tried to be really strategic with the railing so that it didn’t break up the space too much, and lose the illusion of size. We contemplated installing the original wood railing again and painting it white (which would have been the most cost-effective solution), or doing something in metal. But ultimately we came to the conclusion that a glass railing would be the best way to avoid disrupting the line of sight into the living room and out the windows (while keeping the space open and airy.)

Dining and living room before and after

What a difference a little hardwood makes, huh!?

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We also painted our front door, which was magenta when we bought the house. (And painted all the walls white or charcoal. You can’t really tell from the before photo, but the house was entirely beige when we bought it.)

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And that’s our dining area! I’ll give you a full tour of our family room in my next post, but here is a sneak peak (below)…

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Click on the products to shop!


Our Guest Room: After Photos

Guest room nightstand

Our guest room is finally finished! And if I do say so myself, it’s pretty darn cute. I shared a preview of my plans for this room a few months ago but after posting it decided to go a really different direction. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something about that design didn’t feel right to me.

Then I found these pillows on Etsy and everything fell into place. The pillows added a calming pattern that balanced out the chaos of the polka dot bedding.

Guest room before and after

Much improved, no? I mean, look at that warm, overhead lighting…

Guest room lighting

It’s such a happy room now! But what, exactly, is new?

New light fixture: $119 from West Elm during sale event
Fresh coat of paint: $45 from Miller Paint
Plant: Free (donated from a neighbor)
Decorative mirrors: $24.99 from Target
Pillows for a pop of color: $42.90 for two from Say It With Pillows
Total cost: $231.89

Guest room after

It isn’t new since you last saw this room, but the polka dot duvet and shams are from Ikea (a steal at $29.99). The solid gray shams are from an old bedding set from Macy’s Hotel Collection. The night stands are our old master bedroom nightstands, a discontinued style from Ikea. The bed frame is from And the buddha table lamps are from my favorite brick-and-mortar discount shop, Home Goods.

The wall across from the foot of the bed was empty when I showed you these photos, so we moved a desk in here and hung some art to make the room feel more complete. Carter actually made the desk for under $100 (lucky me, he’s so handy!) so that we’d have a place we could both sit and work. But as it turns out, I prefer to work at the kitchen table and the desk ended up being a little too large for our living room anyway, so it ended up in here. But that’s okay, because it means that guests will have extra seating and a work space if they feel so inclined.

Double desk

We bought the zebra chairs from Home Goods a few years back. They used to be our dining chairs but we only had a set of two and they didn’t look right with our new, larger table. But I still love them so we found them a home in the guest room. (Even thought they totally don’t match the color scheme I was going for in here, but whatever!)

The art above the desk is a set of pieces we painted ourselves to go above our couch in our last apartment. (Tip: Buying large-scale art is expensive, painting your own abstract art is not!) They don’t look quite right on this wall, so they’re serving as a temporary placeholder until we replace them with a TV.

Wait, let’s back up! Did I tell you this room was finished? My bad. Because when is a room ever really, truly finished? You probably won’t see any other posts on this room for at least a year because the rest of this stuff is a low priority, but eventually I’d like to:

  1. Mount a TV above the desk
  2. Add a cute luggage rack (this one?) so guests have a place to put their bags
  3. Put together a little goodie bag of important items
  4. Get a mini alarm clock for one of the bedside tables

Side note: I googled “mini alarm clock” to find a cute example to share with you guys, and one of the first search options Google presented me with was “mini alarm clock hidden camera”.

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 10.34.34 AM

^^^HIDDEN CAMERAS IN ALARM CLOCKS?!?! I didn’t even know that was a thing! Ugh. Some people are so gross.

Well, anyway, I’m so excited to finally have this room “finished”. Next up on the home front is refreshing our living room with some new pillows, finishing our “library” (which is coming along nicely, thanks for asking), and most importantly, tackling our master bedroom which is pretty much a blank canvas at this point.

It’s so much easier to be decisive about a room I’m not going to live in, like the guest room. The master is a whole different story. More on that later though.


African-Inspired Interiors

Although I’m anything but an interior decorator, I still really love decorating and re-decorating our apartment. But as I’ve talked about before on this blog, I face certain challenges when it comes to decorating. The most obvious challenge being that I live with a boy. (Living with Carter isn’t the challenge, but decorating for both his style and mine most certainly is.) If it were entirely up to me, my home would likely be pink and princess-themed… But it’s not entirely up to me, and that’s probably a good thing.

Our compromise? Gender-neutral colors and a gender-neutral theme. The theme we’ve leaned toward is comfortable, safari chic. African-inspired. Warm colors, African accents, and a mix of textures. Our decorating project is more or less “finished” (we recently added this and this to our living room) but I’m constantly switching up the accent pieces and accessories in any given room. Right now, I’m on the hunt for some:

  1. coffee table accessories
  2. a throw pillow or two
  3. wall art and a centerpiece for our dining room table
  4. round placemats

Here are some photos I found on Pinterest that I can’t get out of my head right now.



Now tell me… What’s inspiring your space at the moment?