Two Story Cottage

Talking Bathroom Mirror Options

Dear Friends,

My hair grew to hippie length this summer.  Maybe it is because I was lacking a bathroom mirror?  We’ll blame it on that and not my complete and total lack of hair care.  (I’m really going to cut it now that school has started).   Anyway, yes, we were mirrorless for a while in the master bath.  The previous owners had in the contract to take several bathroom mirrors with them.  They were building a house so understandably they wanted to use their own.  By the way, these were all decorative mirrors as opposed to the typical builder type. Being a self-proclaimed Queen of Mirrors, I was completely cool with using our own or finding new ones.

It turns out that finding large matching mirrors for our bathroom was a little trickier than I thought.  We have separate vanities (score!)  so I needed a pair.  For one of my summer Houzz posts, I decided to put together a collection of potential winners. It was an eclectic grouping and I included many for smaller bathrooms as well.  For more on my bathroom conundrum go here.


Truth be told, I didn’t actually go with any of the mirrors from the ideabook.  I was just not wanting to spend much at all on those mirrors.  We did find some at HomeGoods that seem to be keepers so I will keep you posted once the bathroom is camera-ready.  Here is a little before shot:


Proof positive that I have my messy moments.  Ahem.







Reid’s Room Reveal Part I {Dresser + Decor}

Dear Friends,
   I’ve put a band-aid on the computer problem for now.  Let’s hope it holds because a new laptop is not in the plan.  If it doesn’t work I might have to bust out the library card for blogging!

Joking (or not) aside, I’m excited to share part of Reid’s room that is finished.  I’m working in stages because I’m trying to keep the process very livable for him.

The transportation theme is loose which allows for changes later.

Letters are from Hobby Lobby.
The lamps & shades are from Target.  I went to three different stores to chase those down.
The Jeep print information is here.
I took the little chairs from the mudroom area.
The rug is an old Target find from his nursery.
The metal wall signs are from Land of Nod.
The Lightning McQueen car is actually a cd player.  Reid got it for Christmas. 
The blue ceiling is visible in this one!
My goal for Reid’s room is to create a clean, fun space.  The more streamlined look matches his personality versus the cottage style, eclectic look of Lacey’s room .  Also, the bright colors are cheerful and reflect his over-the-top full of life demeanor.

The best thing I did in his room was to figure out the arrangement above the dresser before painting.  That allowed me to move and shift items without worrying about multiple holes.  Lighting was important because the overhead light is dim at best.

Reid’s dresser is one of my favorite finds and I feel like the area surrounding it really makes the room!

I pulled that green from his duvet which you haven’t seen yet.  The orange, green, and blue will really make more sense once you see the bed!

I’m linking up this weekend with Amanda from Serenity Now.

P.S.  Information on the paint colors is here.

Foyer Reveal, Finally {Part I}

Dear Friends,
     This house has definitely challenged me on the design front.  The foyer is an area where I have struggled with the arrangement of things.   It is long and narrow much like the family room which makes it difficult for benches or chairs.  The original gallery wall was a good bet but it just didn’t gel with the very busy dining room.  The curse of an open floor-plan I suppose.

Anyway, I have divided it into two parts and the first is ready to show!

Foyer Part I

Height was a big issue. We have the vaulted ceiling and a very tall pair of French doors that lead to the study.  All of my paintings seemed too small next to the tall doors.   I needed something substantial.  Next time, I’ll get the doors (to the right) in the picture.  They are currently closing off the mess. 🙂

Above is a peek of one door. It is still taller than the panel. Curtains don’t always require windows, although the idea came to me because the glass panes in the french door give the look of a window. 

I bought a mirror at HomeGoods and painted it with chalkboard paint to make the statement piece above the demilune table.  The hooks were a HomeGoods find as well.  Those were intended for the laundry room but they wandered over to the foyer instead.

I already owned the curtain panel from a previous house.

I’m going to talk more about chalkboard paint on Friday, now that I have done three chalkboards using two different types of paint!  I picked up a few tips along the way.

I can tell when I’m happy with something because I’m not tempted to change it .  So far, so good!   The curtain panel is a little unorthodox but it works.

Thoughts, anyone?

*I’m linking up with Wendy at The Shabby Nest, Donna at Funky Junk Interiors, and Amanda at Serenity Now.

Edited to add:  Read more about the chalkboard painting process here.

P.S.  The chalkboard paint was tinted Dior Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Art Gallery Wall {School Zone + Tips}

Dear Friends,
  Everyone is talking about school this week.  Mommy friends.  Facebook acquaintances.  Neighbors.  The kind lady who checks me out at the grocery store.   So, I caved to peer pressure and joined the club today.

Although Lacey started T-K last week,  I have still been tweaking our school zone.   Namely, where we wrangle all of the STUFF that school brings.

Our “school” bulletin board will house schedules & calendars as they come.  Right now we don’t have much school-related stuff to post.  Kiddie backpacks, lunchboxes, & coats will hang on the rack below.
I finally created a spot for art.  Right next to the laundry room was a blank space that fit the bill.  
I used two cork rails – one for each kid.  We will rotate art frequently.
I made the “gallery” canvas as a quickie afternoon project.  I used painter’s tape, random craft paint, and letter stencils from Michael’s, all of which I had on hand.  The red & white diagonal stripe is washi tape.  I got it from Target in the office supplies aisle.  It is my first time using it.  I must say I’m a paper tape fan now. It helped mask my sloppy painting mistakes!
Conveniently located by the garage door, are our “S” chairs.  Shoes and snack.   Shoes go on & off in that spot.  And snacks are eaten there in the afternoon so that I can chat with the kids while I look through the folder from the teacher, etc.  It is also a great way to keep them in one spot while we check the chore chart and hang backpacks. Otherwise it can be hard to get them back.   
I do have a basket in the kitchen where papers go BUT I learned last year that the best approach is same day service.  If a paper comes in that needs attention, my goal is to have it go right back out so as not to create a paper avalanche.   
This is what works for us with two preschool- aged kids.   I’m trying to be on the ball this year because with Lacey going longer I have to be efficient in order to get Reid settled for a nap before we miss that all-important window!
We have had a week to troubleshoot and I must say we have gotten a good little routine going!
Do you have any specific school routines?  A great spot for artwork or school papers?   Do tell.
*Linking up this week with Amanda from Serenity Now and Kristi from Creative Kristi.

Monogrammed Cornice Board And A New Chandelier {Lacey’s room}

Dear Friends,
     After moving to our new house, Lacey’s one request for her room was to “put back her curtains.”  She loved the nook we created from panels at the old house.   I wanted to do something just as special for her new room.

{old house}
That presented a challenge.  We had no nook in the room and I didn’t see how making one would be the best use of space.  No spare closets to convert or half-walls with attic space.  The solution?   
A Monogrammed Cornice Board with Panels over the Closet

I thought of the idea when I couldn’t find anything to do with the cornice that had been in the kitchen at our old house.   I combed ebay looking for a matching panel (any size) to cover it and finally hit the jackpot.  (That is what I get for always buying catalog clearance; find a matching piece later is a beast!)

I took the panel to a monogram shop nearby.  I selected the largest monogram and had it centered on the panel.   Cheap and easy – about $20.  I actually got an estimate from a company for recovering the cornice and it was $500.  Yikes and no way!!  So, I did it myself for free.  Not perfect but who needs perfect when it doesn’t cost anything?
The left seam is a little wonky- but not as noticeable as it is here.
I covered the whole thing using spray adhesive, hot glue, and an iron.   I removed the cording from the original but otherwise covered it as-is.   The spray adhesive was key because as soon as I ironed a section I would attach it with spray and it allowed me to make cuts, fold, and glue without shifting.  I have zero experience recovering things.  Basically, I pretended it was a present and wrapped it up.   I hung the curtains at the length I wanted them with a rod that didn’t project much so that the cornice board would fit easily over top.
Fun fact:  The right panel is longer than the left.  I had to get one dry cleaned because of the noravirus nightmare back in March.   The panels were folded on the ground next to her bed and the top one ended up covered in puke.  Nice!  I guess dry cleaning shrinks them up a tad.  I’m sure you really wanted to know that little tid-bit.
Oh, and this is a sneak peek at Lacey’s new light!  Isn’t is sweet?  I am in love.

The verdict on the curtains?  They are a keeper for sure.  We have had zero issues opening the closet door which was a concern.  Lacey loves it and since it has been ten months since we moved, the nook is a distant memory.

This was another chance-taking project but unlike the wallpapered dresser, it went smoothly.
Oh, and if you’d like to build a cornice from scratch, there are good instructions from the DIY network.  It is pretty similar except they add moulding after the fabric for a different look.  
I’m linking up to parties this week at:
Happy Wednesday!

Say What? My First- Ever Furniture Makeover {Lacey’s Dresser}

Dear Friends,
I’ve been harboring a dirty little secret.  I’ve had a “home” blog for two years yet I have never made-over a single piece of furniture.   I know, I know – impossible.  An oxymoron even.  Aren’t home bloggers serial furniture re-doers?  Not this one, apparently.  I do dream of taking Craig’s List cast-offs and making them glam but you can’t run a marathon without practicing first.

I threw caution to the wind and Lacey’s dresser got a wallpaper makeover. I couldn’t be happier.  It was not exactly smooth sailing but we will skip to the end result, okay?


I made some mistakes along the way which is all part of the learning process. I don’t think you can tell with the final product. I chose Lacey’s dresser because it was a white stand-alone piece.  I figured if I messed up really bad it didn’t involve stain and I could just sand & paint.   Also, the fact that it isn’t part of a set made for an easy decision.

The wallpaper was a catalog clearance item:  Graham & Brown for Land of Nod.  The knobs are from Hobby Lobby.  I originally wanted Anthro knobs but they were $10 each.  And I needed nine.   So instead of spending $90,  I wasted copious amounts of gas driving to Hobby Lobby every week to check their knob inventory.

The mirror was a cheap HomeGoods find.  I’ve had the sconces for nearly a decade.  The roses are from our yard.  The pottery piece my mom gave me several years ago.  The box holds Lacey’s baby book & a few mementos.

I attached the wallpaper with spray adhesive and used a spray polyurethane on top.  There is a tutorial on that coming next week.   Big mistakes included.

I cannot wait to show you Lacey’s bedroom.  The dresser is elegant but the rest of the room says “little girl” in a big way.  Not blog-ready but on the horizon for sure.

So, what do you think of my first furniture make-over?   Mr. C says it looks “sort-of Grandma” which I  translated to “vintage” and took as a total compliment.


I’m attending blog parties this week at these fine locations:
Edited to add:  The tutorial is finished.  You can find it here. 🙂

P.S.  I did paint a bookcase in college.  I added vines & flowers- it was so very nineties.  Not sure if that counts.   I’ve slip-covered furniture.  And made a coffee table into a side table. And tackled Ikea cabinets.  But I’m saying that, because of a statute of limitations, this is my first furniture makeover.  This is my blog so I win.

Master Bedroom Sitting Area

Dear Friends,
       Thanks for all of the sweet comments on the kitchen makeover!  I’m still tingly.  And inspired to keep motoring through, room by room.  I shared recently about wanting to improve our master bedroom.  I’ve been making small changes in an attempt to keep it from becoming a dumping ground.

This week I created a sitting area using the Parsons chairs and table from the living room at our old house.   I picked up new pillows from HomeGoods on a whim.

I’m also trying to do better about hiding our junk.  Because we have had pack-n-plays, baby monitors, electronics charging, and even a changing table in the room I never bothered for subtlety.  Now, I think the monitors and electronics are easily accessible but not entirely noticeable.  The stack of books on the table are ancestry- related which is a nice touch but they also serve to hide whatever is charging at the moment.
Our master bedroom will not be winning any design awards but it is feeling more like a retreat than a bunker!  

Kitchen Reveal, Finally {Woohoo!}

Dear Friends,
Finally, I’m ready to show-off the “new” kitchen.  It is amazing what two coats of paint, a couple of pendant shades, and a few accessories will do.  That being said, I opted not to swap the fixture over the island.  I’m thinking on it for a bit before making any decisions.

DURING (with addition of china cabinet)

Such a huge change and I didn’t even paint a single cabinet.  I am borderline ecstatic about the whole thing.  It feels like mine and because the house is so open it has really transformed the feel of our home.  It is making me crazy- inspired to work on everything else!

* Edited to Add:  There is a kitchen update post here

Information on lighting is here.

Breakfast room is here.
China Cabinet addition is here.

Paint is Hazy Skies by Benjamin Moore.

Still considering:
*Lantern over island?
*rug in breakfast room
*ceiling treatment (maybe down the road)

I’m attending link parties this week!


Tidbit Friday: Awesome Curtain Trick

Dear Friends,
     On Wednesday, I showed you my breakfast room reveal.  Since then, the curtains have been grating on my nerves.  The panels are inching their way toward the middle of the window just to mess with me.  And the more they do that, the less light shines in. When I finally get a moment’s peace and sit at the table the curtains start mocking me.

What to do?  Well, I googled “curtain panel slides over” and got na-da.  I might have then googled “stupid curtains won’t stay” which led me to my answer.

Chris from Just A Girl has a funny, inspiring blog full of fantastic projects and she had the perfect solution.   It took me less than ten minutes to fix following her tutorial.

 My curtains are just right and the kids can’t even knock them astray.   I am not sure when the next moment of peace will prevail but at least the curtains won’t be whispering.

All better.  T.G.I.F!

P.S.  If you are wondering about the length I chose, the panels actually meet the extra-deep sill.
        Another post for another time.  🙂

Breakfast Room Reveal: A Paint Sneak Peek

Dear Friends,
     I am in love with our new paint in the kitchen.  I have Mr. C to thank because he vetoed the medium gray that I originally wanted.  He rarely if ever has the chance to have an opinion so I thought I would compromise.   Hazy Skies is my very first Benjamin Moore color.  Guess I’m an official design blogger now.

I’m giving you a sneak peek by showing the breakfast room.   I want to wait on revealing the kitchen (dark cabinets) because I want the new lighting in place for a real “ta-da” effect.  The new china cabinet looks great with the paint though!

I know, I know there is way too much light coming in the windows for photos.   If I’d waited until after the sun passed over there would have been crayons and breakfast dishes in the mix.

The curtains are from Pier 1. Did you notice that the table is different?  Our old one was similar but smaller.  Mr. C’s parents are selling their home in Atlanta and graciously gave us their bigger breakfast room table.  I love the shape and the fact that it can seat six!  I’d like a rug to go underneath but that is all I have left to complete it.

Edited to add:  I fixed those wandering curtain panels.  Post on that here.

Happy Hump day,

P.S.  I’m attending link parties with  Wendy from The Shabby Nest,  Richella at Imparting Grace and Amanda from Serenity Now.

The Shabby NestPhotobucket

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