Category Archives: Hallway

Hanger Upgrade

Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed Beyoncé’s show and Downton Abbey last night. Oh, was there a football game on? You know your husband loves you when he misses an hour of the Super Bowl to watch your adult chick flick!
hangers4Even though it’s not Jan anymore, I’m still in full fledge #organizeeverythinginthehousebeforebabycomes mode. I’ve mentioned before how I transitioned Ben’s closet to wooden hangers here and how I use huggable hangers in my closet, but we somehow still had 100+ plastic ones.
hangers1Not anymore! All of our closets have officially been de-plastichangered. This is a shot of my new guest bedroom closet that I moved my clothes into to free up the nursery closet. Target had a sale on their huggable hangers a couple of weeks ago and I snatched them up. These are great for space-saving!
hangers3I also picked up another box of wooden hangers for Ben the hen’s closet. Doesn’t it look like a Banana Republic clothes rack?! I did pick up some extras, but I took these shots right before laundry day so there aren’t that many.
hangers2I also transitioned our hall closet with all of our many coats, jackets and hoodies to wooden hangers – no closet was safe in our home! Since Goodwill won’t take hangers, I just posted a pic on FB and gave them to a friend. This small upgrade cost me very little, but makes me smile every time I open a closet:)

I somehow managed to squeeze in a bathroom makeover in the middle of nursery planning, so check back on Wed for the reveal! What was your favorite part/commercial of the Super Bowl? Any other hanger Nazis out there? Who else likes their closet to look like BR?


Evolution of a Phone Nook

Have you ever been working on something and then a fresh pair of eyes made all the difference? That happened to me with a little phone nook we have in our hallway. Initially, I painted the back wall a deep blue.
Then, I opted to repaint the whole thing white to match the rest of the trim.
When I revealed this pic in a blog post, one of my readers suggested we try to remove the decorative, curved board from the top to make it look more modern. I mentioned this to Ben and he grabbed a hammer and went to town.
We were happy to learn that the curvy piece was only being held there by a few finishing nails. It definitely took some maneuvering to pry it off, but this is what we were left with. Then I simply caulked the gap and painted it white.
Here’s what she looks like today with a bird plate from Pier 1 that landed a new home. This could also be a fun little seasonal staging area in our home.
Here’s a closer view of our little nook with a modern twist. I would have never thought to remove that curvy piece, but it made a big difference! I’ve always loved the character it adds, but now it has nice, clean lines.

Thanks for the suggestion, Levi – keep ’em coming! What do you all think about the evolution of our phone nook? Any other husbands out there that jump at the chance to demo pretty much anything around the house?

Design Redos

At some point we must all admit that we were wrong when it came to a design decision for our home. You loyal readers will remember a few months back when I did a Phone Nook Revamp. I had wanted to spice up that nook in our hallway since we moved in, so I painted the back of it a deep teal blue.
This was fun for a season… literally. Once we made the decision to rent our house, I wasn’t sure the blue was a crowd pleaser. The good news was that I only spent $3 on a paint sample from Lowe’s, so it wasn’t a costly mistake.
Since we’ve been painting all the trim in our house white like maniacs, there was no question about what needed to be done. This was after the first coat.
Two (3 for the back) coats later we have a crisp, white phone nook! I just used my usual Olympic no-voc semi-gloss off-the-shelf white paint and a brush. I’ve gotten pretty good about painting without taping off – it’s an art!

Time for you all to spill the beans about your design blunders. What do you think about the new look? Who else has sworn off painters tape?

Staging a Storm Closet

Last night we got a call from our friends who were scheduled to fly back to New Hampshire saying that their flight was canceled. There were 12 severe weather alerts at that moment, but we hopped in the car and tried to beat the storm. We ended up having a front row seat to the largest wall cloud I’ve ever seen (which is saying a lot since I used to live in Oklahoma)!
We made jokes about dodging flying cows and I attempted not to yell too much over the tornado sirens at grandpa Ben who was driving THE SPEED LIMIT. We finally made it home and then I realized that 4 humans and a 70 lb dog were going to have to squeeze into a tiny hall closet.
Since our bathroom has a window, this is the safest place to be in our house. Ben helped me pull out a vacuum cleaner, lots of coats and jackets, and a sleeping bag to make room for everyone.
Then we had to test it out just for fun. Notice the hideous blue headlight on Ben’s head just in case the electricity went out. Cali was very confused throughout the whole ordeal. The sirens finally stopped and we spent the rest of the night boohooing over watching Marley & Me.

We actually do have an emergency kit of non perishable food items that my parents gave us in the hall closet. They say to keep a drivers license or photo id on you and enough water for several days. What else do you Mid-Southerners use to “stage” your emergency shelter?

This Little Light of Mine

I’ve been on a mission recently to replace every light fixture in our home. It’s one of the simplest and cheapest upgrades besides painting that you can do. Here is my latest victim project:
As cute and grandma looking as this fixture in our hallway was, it HAD to go! It had obviously been there since the house was built judging from the rust situation on the base.
Here’s a wider view of the hallway. It’s easy to miss that there’s even a light there if you aren’t looking. Honestly we don’t use it very much, but it’s all about the details when it comes to staging your home. I also decided to give Ben a break on this one and attempt to install it myself. Is it a coincidence that I choose the tiniest light in our entire house? Nope.
I found the perfect oil rubbed bronze fixture at Home Depot for $10 – woohoo! Here we have the spread of tools that I used for the install. Why are my cute wedges in the pic? I ended up doing most of the project while wearing them after standing on my tiptoes on a chair got really old. I have also been known to make fun of Ben for wearing that ridiculous blue headlight, but it sure came in handy!
The first step was to take the gross, old fixture down which was simple enough, although I did notice that it was only attached with one screw instead of two (this would be foreshadowing like when James Franco couldn’t find his Swiss Army knife in 127 Hours). Oh, and at this point I was wearing shorts, a tank top, cute heels and that nerdy headlight for all of you fashionistas out there.
Next came the install of the new pretty fixture which seemed easy enough. After turning off the electricity, the first problem I ran into was that I couldn’t get the ground screw unscrewed (neither could Ben, so I wasn’t being a wimp). The other issue was that the entire outlet was so lopsided that there was no way to secure it with two screws – hence why the old fixture was installed with one. I ghetto rigged came up with solutions for both and you can’t even tell.
Just look at that beauty that brought our hallway into the 21st century! It turned out better than I thought and it really does make a huge difference.
Here’s a wider view with our beautiful new light source. Now, what to do about that attic pull eye sore? One project definitely leads to another in our house. This project took me forever it seemed since I had to undo and redo several steps. I definitely gained a new found appreciation for Ben who usually always takes the lead on these type of projects. In fact, he was doing a ceiling fan installation in the bedroom at the same time I was working on this and he enjoyed seeing me grunt and whine throughout the ordeal.

In the end, I claimed victory over the light fixture and I am proud to say that I tackled my first electrical project (and the house hasn’t even burned down yet)! Anyone else out there fixated on fixtures like me? What simple improvements have made a big impact in your home? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever worn while doing a home improvement project?

A Phone Nook Revamp

Last week I received a comment on this post suggesting that I paint our phone nook to make it stand out more. I love getting feedback from readers and couldn’t agree more! I’ve been meaning to highlight this feature of our home since we moved in, but it had gotten overlooked like many other projects. Here’s the pic that inspired it all:The first thing I had to determine was what exactly I was going to paint. I debated back and forth (shocking) about whether to paint the entire nook or just the back of it. Ultimately, I decided to keep it simple rather than being bold which is more my style when it comes to painting.I took a trip to Lowe’s and was super excited to find that I could get a Zero VOC Olympic paint sample for $3 which is all I needed to complete my project. I knew I wanted a bold color to make the phone nook really pop and decided on the Olympic color Castile. I also picked up a $4 battery operated tap light from Target to install underneath the lip for added drama.After that, it was just a matter of taping it off and using my favorite $5 paint brush you can get at Sherwin Williams. I painted the first coat, waited a few hours and then hubby (the expert painter in our home) took care of the second coat. I like to take the tape off as soon as possible once I’m done with it.It was like Christmas morning waking up to my bold new phone nook! I love how it turned out and couldn’t believe what an easy makeover this was. I also went on a shopping mission to find a white ceramic piece of some kind because I knew it would look great with the color. I saw a cute bunny and vase at Pottery Barn outlet, but they were $15 and $25. Then I found this ceramic cow at Target for $6. It looks exactly like this one for $28 at Williams-Sonoma.Here’s a close-up with the light turned on. This gives new meaning to the phrase “Holy Cow.” I feel a little like I’m on Outsourced when the LED light of heaven is shining. I decided to switch it up and decorate with a couple of books on the bottom and a few romantic comedy DVDs on the top. I think it’s fun finding unique items to decorate with that you just have around your house.So this is the new view of our hallway all thanks to a reader like you. I’m excited to switch things out periodically. I think a small vase of bright pink baby roses would also look super cute in the nook. When it was all said and done, I spent less than $15 for this project (I already had the frog tape and paint brush).

So what do you think of my nookie (not to be confused with Snooki) makeover? Anyone else paint the back of your phone nook or built-in bookcases? What’s the most unique item you’ve decorated with?

If you missed my How To Fold a Fitted Sheet post, head on over to IT’S THE STRINGERS.COM and check out my guest post there!

Design Vignettes For Your Home

What the heck is a vignette some of you may be asking yourselves? It’s just a fancy smancy name designers use to refer to displays on console tables, end tables, shelves, or even your kitchen counter. I took a mini field trip around my house to snap a few pics of vignettes for examples.This phone nook is one of my favorite features of our 1950’s home. It adds a little character and will be helpful someday when explaining to our kids that phones used to actually plug into walls. Currently I have my favorite fake grass and a few candles displayed here, but I’ve always thought it would be fun to have an old school phone like this one sitting there.This is a shelf in our bathroom. As I confessed in my previous post, I cannot keep house plants alive for the life of me. Instead I opt to get the most real looking fake plants possible like these little guys. Vignettes don’t have to be complicated – my philosophy is to keep it simple. Are you noticing the theme of 3 yet?This vignette in our master bedroom is constantly changing. During our recent living room make-over this wedding pic came off the wall and I haven’t found it a new permanent home yet. On a whim I decided to lean it against the wall and it’s been fun for a change.Here we have Mr. Rooster that my hubby picked out himself at Pier 1 – I know, I’m still in shock. I added some elbow macaroni to the container and grabbed a bottle of rum for the height and color. You can get super creative with kitchen vignettes because it’s never weird to decorate with food (fruit, coffee beans and pasta are some of my faves).

When creating your own vignettes, try to stick with odd numbers of items (3-5-7) because it’s more visually appealing. Try using items of different colors and heights, or different shapes. Keep the materials similar, but not necessarily the same. Above all, keep it simple so it doesn’t look like clutter.

You can check out some other vignettes around my home here and here. What are some of your favorite items to use in vignettes around your home? Anyone else have a spouse who purchased a decorative item… willingly? How many times do you think I can type the word vignette in one blog?