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 Overstock.com. 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?


Living Room Additions Part 1


It has always been important to Boyfriend and myself that our space is comfortable and inviting. So plush pillows, soft fabrics and lots of seating were never optional, they were requirements. But when Boyfriend and I first started talking about moving in together, that is about all we could agree on.

But that was almost two years ago (ohmygosh has it really been that long?!) and since then our styles have really started to mesh together. I’ve had to sacrifice my life-long love of pink decor, and he had to sacrifice his hatred of excess pillows. (Relationships sometimes require compromise.)

And in the end, I think we did a good job settling on a warm, gender-neutral pallet of burnt orange, yellow, red and brown (and yes – a decent selection of throw pillows).

Still, our living room has (secretly) been my least favorite part of our place. You’ve seen glimpses of it on my blog (here and here) but I’ve never really felt the need to showcase it. Until now.

Fortunately, inspiration seemed to appear right before my eyes the other day while shopping at Home Goods. (If you have never been to Home Goods, get your butt over there right now – it’s the TJ Maxx of decor!)

You see, these chairs (below) used to drive me crazy with their neutral pallet and lack of pillows. But these tweed pillows with their safari images that we bought from Home Goods really add some personality to the chairs while simultaneously tying the white coffee table into the rest of the room.

We also bought these striped pillows for the couch. I love their shape and the fact that they make all the colors in the room cohesive.

The large gap between our coffee table and the TV used to drive me mad, but now we have these fun foot stools (that double as extra seating) to fill the room. If I had a few more dollars on hand, I would have ordered these instead. But I still like what I ended up with!

Honestly, there are still things about this room that aren’t quite right (in my mind). For example, the rug is much too small for the space and also quite torn up thanks to Puppy. And the art behind the TV doesn’t quite work for me – it needs something (maybe to be a part of a gallery wall?).

But all in all, I’m proud that this room finally has the personality I’ve felt that it has been lacking. It’s amazing how much a few pieces can really liven up a room.

Which pieces do you have in your home that really “make your space”?

For more home inspiration, check out my Pinterest board Home Is Where The Heart Is.


DIY Crayon Art

This is the art that is hanging in our guest bathroom at mine and Boyfriend’s apartment. And yes – we made it… Out of crayons. (No joke!) I’ve been on a little bit of a DIY kick lately. Starting with making a little of my own jewelry (if you can make it, why buy it?), followed by making my own glitter shoes, and now this.

I first saw some version of this project on my Twitter friend Bethany’s blog Eclectic Musings. I pretty much followed her directions, other than the fact that I spray painted the canvas partially gold before melting the crayons. (You can see where we super glued the crayons to the canvas in the photo below.) Anyway, I hope this project gets your creative juices flowing! There’s nothing like a good ‘ol DIY to spice up a Wednesday evening, right?

Oh – and if you live anywhere at all near the Greater Portland Area – don’t forget to enter my Giveaway for $375 Worth of Services from Estilo Salon!