The Shameful Shame, part 3

My closet is pretty and functional again. I am very happy with the results and wanted to share the last of the process here. The sources are listed at the end of this post. I tried to repurpose items I already had to minimize waste, but did need a few things.

Taking everything out was the easy part.

Putting things back in an organized way and being honest about items that needed to be purged or put away somewhere else or in storage was what took the longest time.

Also, I couldn’t put anything back on the center counter area until I got the wall decals I had ordered. Originally I wanted a dark floral wallpaper, but then I decided it would make the closet feel like a cave, so I switched to a light floral design, and since I only wanted the center area covered, I decided on these beautiful decals, which I could position however I wanted.

They were so easy to put up – I cut them out first and mapped out how I wanted them with poster putty, and then I peeled them off the backing and stuck them to the wall.

I had these pretty trays that I decided to use for my nail polish and perfumes. I used to have so much nail polish in every color of the rainbow but I hadn’t used them in years, so I only kept the nudes and top coats. Manicures that I do myself don’t last a day, and I hate having chipped polish, so clear polish or colors super closed to my nail color are all I use now. My lifestyle is becoming more pared down and if I want colorful nails, I have no shame in using the press-on kind. They have come a long way from the crap I used to wear (for ten minutes) in the 80s.

My perfume collection is courtesy of my beloved husband except for the two perfumes I got in Italy a couple of years ago. I am not a “signature scent” kind of girl but I do prefer the Warm/Spicy type. Much to my personal shame I do remember stealing my mom’s Giorgio back in the 80s, anyone remember that scent? Oh my dog, it was as strong and bold as the yellow-striped box it came in.

That necklace is one I made for my wedding day. I have only worn it one other time to another wedding, but I love seeing it every day.

Makeup is not a particular fascination of mine, to be honest I just do the basics to look polished. I do like to be able to close my closet door and be able to put my makeup on so I don’t wake up my husband since he leaves for work after I do (he also gets home considerably later than I do). This mirror lights up in three different settings and is great for what I need.

The moment I saw these jewelry trays, I knew I wanted them. I originally wanted to buy just one but I do have a few special pieces of jewelry and I didn’t want to cram everything I am keeping onto one of these. They look kind of steampunky and I really like them.

All the jewelry pieces shown here were bought locally – I believe in supporting local businesses, small businesses, BIPOC-owned businesses. I am also working on switching all my makeup, skincare, and scents to cruelty-free and I love recommendations, so please send those my way.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing this project, I am certainly very happy with the results. And now it’s on to . . . the medicine cabinet!


Peony wall decals from Simple Shapes

Vanity mirror from Amazon

Peru watercolor map from Poppy & Pinecones

Paris photographs from Georgianna Lane

Gold tray (perfume) and mirrored tray (nail polish) from Michaels

Terrace tray jewelry organizers from The Container Store

Rolling stool from Amazon

Naked manicure set from Zoya

Master bedroom

A wise friend advised me to focus on the master bedroom, to create a sanctuary there even if the rest of the house was not finished. For the most part we did that, because having a place for the whole family to gather was at the top of our list, so our living room did get top priority. Today I’m sharing our master bedroom as it is now. I still want to have a little sitting area, but for the most part, it is functional, and after a few things we added this past weekend, I think it’s beautiful.

I wanted warm, soothing neutrals, a bit of glam, a bit of Paris (of course), and I definitely wanted to make good use of things we had in our California house.

The main purchase here was the bed. We wanted a king-sized bed (Eastern king, not California king), and Steve wanted a sleigh frame, so we looked and looked, and found the bed at Wayfair.

We had the white duvet cover, got white sheet sets from IKEA and WalMart, and the beaded pillow is from the clearance aisle at Pier 1. Our Stearns and Foster mattress is absolutely heavenly to sleep on, and was purchased from Ashley Furniture in nearby Brookfield.

We bought some prints from street vendors when we were in Paris last November, and I’ve held on to them until I figured out what I wanted to do with them. We considered putting them in the living room, dining room, but in the end I liked the idea of having them in our bedroom.

The frames are from the “value” section at Michaels, and the set of mirrors are from Kohl’s, but I’ve seen similar at Target.

Steve did a great job putting them up and we both love how they look up there.

The neutral frames let the color in the prints pop and this little gallery is a sweet reminder of our trip.

The nightstands are IKEA Expedit pieces we brought from California, and the lamps and shades are from WalMart.

I love these curtains.

They’re from World Market and the moment I saw them I knew that I wanted them. They’re neutral and warm, and I liked that they give us privacy but are not completely blocking the light. Don’t worry, we don’t light those candles when the curtains are closed 😀

The painting to the left was brought from our California bedroom.

We also have our two dressers facing the bed, as well as the trunk that is a family heirloom. We’re really happy how our bedroom is coming along, it is a soothing, comfortable space we both love.


We brought more than great memories from our trip to the Pacific Northwest:

Steve’s uncle and aunt graciously gave us this steamer trunk, belonging to Steve’s great-great-uncle Carl Swanson.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

The boys were oohing and aahhing over it, and the trunk that previously lived in our master bedroom is now in our living room, housing various blankets.

We are so happy and honored to have this beautiful piece of family history in our home.

Not so very masterful after all

You’ve seen them. On Pinterest, magazines, blogs, etc. Those gorgeous master closets with chandeliers and fancy rugs and maybe an ottoman (or a sofa!) in the middle, or if you’re lucky, a whole separate island or vanity area for primping and glamorizing.


Well, that’s not going to happen here.

Our master bedroom has a plain old closet with ye olde mirrored sliding doors. We are keeping those because they bounce a great deal of light around and as dark as our house is, we love all the light we can get. Unless it’s time to sleep. Then we love our light-blocking panels.

But I digress.

This is the starting point. I’m so sorry.
Left side:

We’ve had the white unit for almost 10 years. Steve reinforced the back, which was bowing in, and it’s good to go for another 10. He gets two drawers, I get two drawers; my makeup and most of my jewelry go on the lower shelf. We share the top shelf and he gets the middle shelf.

Right side:

Did I mention we share?
Yep, he gets the top level while I (being all of 5’1″) get the lower one.

Since we didn’t have a good place for my long skirts and dresses, we decided to move things around, and give the old thing a paint job while we were at it. Nothing fancy, just the same Valspar “Cream in my Coffee” we have in the living room, but it was an improvement over this loveliness:

Of course, things got a lot worse before they started to get better:

I still have a lot of sorting to do, given my array of costume jewelry, so things aren’t 100% finished. But we are both happy with the results so far.

Hopefully, I will have more (neater) stuff to show you soon!

Have a wonderful week!

A bedroom for Alex

While my oldest boy’s bedroom boasted a pirate theme and then got some superhero goodness as our boy’s tastes changed, our youngest, Alex, had a Mickey Mouse wallpaper border and a couple of Disney paintings. Meh.

Last week I went through Alex’s closet, which had become a dumping ground for old TVs and VCRs, and even his little bookcase was loaded with old shoes he’d outgrown.

Definitely not cool.

The project started when I decided to paint his dresser – Alex chose blue and when I showed him various pictures of blue items, he chose the rug in Emily Clark’s living room. I’m telling you, the kid has good taste. Inspired by the navy-and-off-white rug, I painted his dresser in Valspar’s Night Sky and Keystone.

Alex was so happy to see his dresser in the color he chose, he kept coming up to me as I painted the drawers and saying “that’s my blue!”.

I had some sailboat fabric that went very well with the grayish blue of the dresser, so I made a new cover for his body pillow:

Alex’s bookcase was loaded with some of his favorite books:

And his shelves were decluttered and only a few friends made it back on 😀 along with one of my all-time favorite pictures of my sweet boy.

Considering that Eric Carle books (and Bill Martin books illustrated by Eric Carle) are some of Alex’s favorites, I purchased a set of prints to liven up his walls. By the way, Alex also chose the color on his walls, Valspar’s Woodsmoke.

A new set of favorite books are the David books by David Shannon. These are hilarious stories about a little boy who gets in so much trouble but everything is well in the end. Alex read one at school and loved it, so I bought him two books from the series.

Here is Alex’s all-time favorite page in the No, David! book – David running nekkid down the street. Hmmm, must remind him of someone, huh?

The final touch, for all those creative moments, was a table I had, which I painted with chalkboard paint.

My boy was very happy with his room and as soon as he saw his David books asked me to read them with him, so we hopped in his bed, with his new pillows, and read them a few times.

I made just a few subtle changes to Alex’s room but now it reflects his preferences, which was the goal, to have a room that has things he likes and colors he chose. Also, the Eric Carle prints can be changed as Alexander’s tastes change, which I am sure they will.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my sweetie’s room!

The perfect shade of blue

My youngest has a dresser I have been meaning to paint for months – it’s unfinished wood and with a good sanding and a nice coat of paint, I think it will look great. The other day I showed him a variety of “blues”, his favorite color, so he could choose the shade he most liked for the dresser. One picture was from a Better Homes and Gardens article on one of my favorite interior designers/bloggers – Emily Clark. My son, demonstrating excellent taste at his young age, chose the awesome rug in the picture as the blue he wanted for his dresser:

source: Emily A. Clark

I love his choice, so I will bring the magazine to color match a shade for my boy, I think he will get a kick of seeing his choice of shade made into a can of paint for his dresser ;D

Also, I think I will add some off white accents to the dresser, just like the rug has, and maybe some brushed nickel pulls. My sweetie is very excited, he wants to go to the paint store and get his blue paint ready, I think this is going to be a fun project for both of us.

From pirate room to superhero lair

After our oldest’s awesome superhero party, we left the backdrop up on the living room wall for a few days.  Then it became a couple of weeks.  And by the time it was a month after the party, frankly, it needed to be taken down but we didn’t want to just trash it.

My boy on his birthday with the awesome backdrop made by my husband and his momma.

Our friend Jen – we have about 5 of them but this is my newest Jen-friend LOL – suggested we put it in our son’s bedroom. He’d been clear that he didn’t really dig the pirate theme and while we didn’t want to tear all of it down, putting up the butcher paper mural was a good compromise.

We cut down the entire thing (it was mounted on temporary molding) in one piece, rolled it as we went, then stapled it in Aidan’s bedroom.

We might put up the molding, but for now it’s topped by a banner I made out of Captain America fabric.

The blanket was made (ha! more like hemmed a square piece of fabric) from Marvel heroes and villains fleece:

And I took the scraps of Captain America fabric to border a sham for his bed.

Aidan’s menagerie of animals to sleep with:

The little guy on the left, Soft Elephant, has been a trusted friend for almost 5 years now.

Our boy added some more superhero decals to complete his lair:

We were all happy with the result, and to be able to keep – for a while, at least, because it is paper, after all – this sweet backdrop for a bit longer.

I hope you enjoyed this re-purposing of the superhero birthday backdrop — I have an awesome makeover coming up in a couple of weeks. Have a great weekend!

My house colors

We’re in the middle of a little living room project:


and I had to look up my living room wall color. I did a post about my house paint colors in my last blog so I thought it better to list them here for future reference.

Our master bedroom has a sponge-finish treatment on the wall combining the 2 shades of tan. The wall where the lovely mirrored closet doors got the dark burgundy but lord knows I regret that decision. My plan is to do away with the closet doors completely and paint the wall to match the rest of the bedroom.

Our living room has a similar warm palette but instead of the burgundy we’ve added a dark chocolate brown accent color in the form of our new IKEA TV console and the project we are currently working on, which will be painted to match the console.

My little man’s room has two shades of light blue, and we seriously need to upgrade his bedroom soon. Aside from a few Mickey-themed items, there’s nothing else there and he outgrew Mickey a couple of years ago.

My kitchen/dining room colors are super warm and cozy, I talked about the changes we made 8 years ago in this post.

My bathroom got a cheerful coat of bright, warm yellow paint, which I continue to love, and it’s going to get remodeled in the next couple of months (fingers crossed) – I’m debating tile choices.

The paint color is Ralph Lauren’s Chamois. The cabinets were painted dark brown, echoing the living room console.

I will be updating the progress on our living room project in a few days!

Upcoming projects

My husband and I are on a major kick to get some things done around the house.

Here are the plans:
Heh heh.

We are currently halfway through getting our living room gallery done. Then comes our little one’s room. He loves his night light, which makes stars glow softly all over his bedroom ceiling, so we figured we’d take a cue from that.

I’ll share more as plans progress.

A little corner of my world

We recently got new nightstands – we decided on the Expedit from IKEA in the walnut finish and have been really happy with them. Our boys inherited our old nightstands. I’ve been on a turquoise kick and I was very happy to receive my LOVE print from Made by Girl this week. I love the pop of color on our neutral walls:
My little corner is full of things I love: yellow roses from the plant my husband got me, pics of him and our boys, and wrought iron/fleur de lis decor. I also got some pillowcases in chocolate brown/turquoise to use as accents, since most of our bedding is in neutral colors. The vase is not as dark blue as it looks in the photo, it is (you guessed it) turquoise and it is from IKEA.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!