House in the Woods – A Fixer Upper

As i said in my last post, hubby and i BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE!! After putting in offers for four other properties and then losing them for one reason or another, we finally got one! It seemed like it was never going to happen. This house was not exactly our first choice – the backyard has a steep hill and the living room is four steps down from the rest of the house because it used to be a garage some 30-50 years ago. The house was built in 1942 and every single room needed updating.  But we saw that part as a good thing because we wanted a fixer upper that we can eventually make some cold hard cash on once we sell. Here are some before pictures.


Front of the house. Those brown interior shutters are gone now


Living room and front door #1 


Front door is on the left edge. Looking into kitchen




So much wood!!


Who doesn’t want a booth?


The beautiful booth and glass brick window


Dining room


Hallway – this is gone now


Bedroom #1 – Extra bedroom


Main bathroom – Beautiful pink


Bedroom #2 – Ryker’s room. It used to be TINY!


Our bedroom. You can jut see out of bedroom doorway #2 that goes into the living room. Also our bathroom.


And of course, the bathroom has the beautiful wall paper to match.


Apartment Decorating: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

I have a few little areas in this apartment that I have created that I am very proud of! I thought I would share them.



I had been feeling like the sink area was just too dark sometimes for my bad eyes, so I installed these! They are $20 from Lowes and so worth it. The LEDs definitely help my bad eyes. Yes, I know. Poor little boring, sad wall. I think I should hang my cutting board from there. If I do, I will be sure to add a post!





I am so proud of this area! It is my homemade bar. I bought the old rake off Etsy, the old window off Ebay, and the little glass shelf from Marshalls for about $60. The most difficult part was making the rake hang at the right tilt so that the glasses wouldn’t fall off. I’m sure you noticed that the biggest glass on the right is hanging funny. That was because on of the tines was bent. I think it looks just as cute like that.  Oh, and I tied a bow of twine around the top of the rake.



I really started getting into about a year ago. When I knew I was going to get a studio apartment, I did a bunch of research and learned the obvious trick – mirrors add more light to your small space and are supposed to make it feel bigger. So I knew I was going to need to have a mirror or two. And I liked the way this one looks like a window and the dark wood. It goes with my whole rustic feel pretty well. It was around $10 from Walmart. I lovvee the sunflower. It was a gift from my younger sister. So cute!



The craft office! Sorry about the messiness of this picture. It was the only one I had and it is WAY messier now so no picture taking today. I love this area though. I am SO SO proud of it! Yes, more mirrors! It helps me jeep my crafting supplies out of the rest of the house, gives me an ‘office’ to do my crafts in! I love sitting down in here and crafting. And of course, little spaces like this make the studio apartment seem so much more spacious!


This is one of those cheap wall mount shelves. On the underside of it are four jars with the lids hot glued to the shelf. The biggest one is a spaghetti sauce jar, then a peanut butter jar, and then two artichoke jars, one bigger, one smaller. It is the perfect way to display all your pretty sequins, beads, glitter and paint. And it also gives you easy access to all your supplies, rather than keeping them in boxes you have to dig through. Storage like this also makes use of the small closet area.




I have all my ribbons hanging on this rigged-up contraption I made out of an extra metal tube that I didn’t need from a shower caddy and a piece of twine. I save everything that I think could possibly be useful which allows me to build crazy things like this! The only problem I foresee is when I move in with my fiance he will probably call me a hoarder at least once or twice. But I swear I’m not!



The only piece of art I have hanging up that wasn’t made by me! It is a picture of the Mackinaw bridge. I love this picture! And the mirror is kind of like art. It was from Target.




I know what you’re thinking: Why did you post this picture? Because these plain, empty shelf tops make me sad and bored by my kitchen. I need to figure out a way to make this a whole lot cuter. Oh, and it is also Peanut’s secret sleeping place/play area.  I will be doing some research and posting again when I figure out how to make this area cute!

DIY Wall Art – Tin Can Lanterns on Twine

I am so very proud of this craft that I made to take up some of the emptiness above my couch. I am weird and save all of my tin cans {along with glass jars, plastic jars, bottlecaps, wine corks, etc.} because they have so much crafting potential.

I created this design using two different tin can crafts that I found on Pinterest. Here they are:


Here is the link for the Pinterest posting. The original link does not seem to work. I really liked how this used different sized cans, because that’s what I have.


(Link Here) I loved the candles in this one. What I wanted to do was the layout and wall mount of the top picture with the cuteness {fabric, candles, twine} of the second picture. I didn’t have a pretty hanger, and also didn’t want to hang a hanger on the wall in the middle of my house. However, when I tried putting candles in the cans that I had, I became worried that the fabric or twine would get too hot and could risk starting a fire. Using what I had, I came up with the design for this beauty!

My Beautiful Tin Can Wall Lantern Craft

My Beautiful Tin Can Wall Lantern Craft

I think it is easy to see what I’ve done but just in case, here is a quick set of directions.

Cut the fabric in the correct size and glue around the cans. I used Tacky Glue. Then, cut twine to wrap twice around the rim of the can. Cut enough to also be able to tie a bow. Put a glue dot on the back of the can and wrap the twine around. Press it down onto the glue. Do not tie the front bow yet.

Now, cut twine for however long you want this lantern to hang – that’s one piece for each side of the can, so two pieces. Also remember that the pieces will be folded in half. Loop each piece of twine through the other twine around the rim. Once you pull it even, tie the bow. Make sure the twine around the rim of the can is tight. Then just do this for all your cans.

For the wall hanging part, I put glue and then red glitter on the ends of 7 clear thumbtacks {overkill?}. Next, I pushed them evenly into the wall, with a width of wide long I envisioned my decoration to be. Then I tightly criscrossed more twine around the thumbtacks. Lastly, tie on your lanterns. And voila! Beautiful!


Future Project – Complete Home Redecorating

In about 2 and a half months I will be moving to Southern Texas. My fiance works for a National Wildlife Refuge and it provides extremely cheap housing for employees and their families. The rent for my studio apartment is $1600 a month, after utilities and parking. The refuge housing rent is somewhere between $200 and $350, so naturally it is very appealing for our first house.
The house has potential but needs work and style.

Below are the picture my fiance sent me of the house. He is currently living in it, as you will notice by the furniture.

Living room view from the front door.

My fiance really wants to keep the couches – he got them for cheap and they are very comfy. We have been focusing on saving money recently so I really can’t justify replacing them to him. The home made wooden shelf is something I’d love to move but as you can see, it’s holding up the little section of counter top. Also it is nailed to the wall. My fiance really wants to keep it and paint it. We’ll see.


 Once again, the couches. They aren’t bad. I’m just going to have to find a way to make them look less Christmas-cabin-ish… Although, rustic is my preferred decorating style. Right now I’m thinking bright red pillows, dark brown walls, stain the end tables darker or replace them. I don’t want to keep the furniture in this layout.  Need a bigger rug. I’ll probably have the furniture facing this wall and have my flat screen TV mounted on this wall. I have two dark bookcases that I’ll put on either side of the TV.


Dining room

Dining room

The challenge for this space will be figuring out what to put on that shelf since it’s so big. I don’t want it to look too cluttered but I also don’t want it to look like it’s just there, and all empty. I think it goes without saying that there will be no college beer pong-esque dining room table once I move in. I have a small, round, dark brown table. The other challenge will be making the dining room somewhat formal. I don’t want anything too fancy but I also don’t want it to feel like an old deer camp eatin’ area with dirt on the floors and fishin’ poles in the corner, as it reminds me of now. Paint or replace the fan, dark brown walls with white trim is what I’m thinking right now.


View of kitchen from dining room

Negative aspects of the kitchen: The weird dishwasher counter add-on that is supported by the bookshelf. The florescent light fixture. Cabinet color. My fiance isn’t sure yet if we will be allowed to stain the cabinets.


I played around with color palettes for a while because I was trying to figure out what colors we could paint and decorate with that would work well with the combination of the three browns, and make the kitchen pretty. I’m thinking dark brown above the cabinets by the ceiling and the front part of the right wall, above the fridge. Pale yellow everywhere else, including the indented part by the fridge. Hopefully that won’t be too much. I really want to replace the backsplash with a real tiled backsplash or a fake laminate backsplash. I also want to use teal/turquoise/aqua as the accent colors in the kitchen. I’d like to replace the blinds with the prettier, wood-looking kind, and have it be cut to fit the window length. Then I want to add aqua-ish curtains or a valance. I have found the drawer handles that I also really really really want.

(Found on Etsy, click picture for link)

These would be a HUGE splurge, as they are $24 a piece, but maybe I can find some for cheaper with a little searching. I am in love with them though! And to me they are the perfect color to tie all the other colors together. I also have some teal-ish jars that I will put on the counter, and a glass lantern.


Spare room by dining room

The spare bedrooms are pretty plain but that makes a great blank canvas for decorating!

Laundry room

Eww, this room is ugg. My fiance is against buy a washer and dryer until we own our own home, but I’m sure he’ll change his mind if we can find some used ones for a cheap price. The important thing about this room is that this is the only door to the back yard, which I’m SUPER excited about {more about the backyard in my posting tomorrow!}. Something needs to be done with this doorway. Even just a new door handle, a couple coats of paint on the door, and a cute door mat would make a huge difference. If we totally get rid of the laundry room idea, this could be a cute mudroom with a shoe rack, a bench and pretty colored walls. But I suppose it could also be a laundry room and a cute mudroom all in one. That shelf will definitely be painted or stained if it stays up, that’s for sure.



On first glance, I’m thinking long rug, change out all the wall hardware, including door handles, prettier closet door pulls, and a new light fixture. I could handle the hallway staying white. We’ll see! The other thing I’ve been thinking about is the little closet behind the TV. There is a second one right next to it and my fiance has never opened them to see what is inside. {Weird, no?} If one is an actual closet and not a furnace/water heater area, I will be making a bar-in-closet! I am very excited about this! However, if they are not usable, I will possibly be making a bar in the big hall closet. Or maybe I can somehow make that huge dining room shelf into a bar…

Main bathroom

I for sure want to stain/paint/replace the wooden shelf, get a pretty new switch plate, new paint colors, some type of window covering, replace the towel rod. I’d really like to do something to the cabinet. Maybe replace the handles and paint just the little inner square areas. I also really want to get rid of those glass shower doors. However, I don’t know if we’ll be allowed to do that and my fiance likes them for some reason. In all fairness, I haven’t done any research to see if there’s a way to make these cute or to see if bathrooms can look cute with them. The white tiles in the shower aren’t bad at all, but they do look like they could use a good cleaning.

Spare bedroom 2

One of the spare bedrooms I want to make hippie-themed and the other will be my craft room/workout room/fun-activities room/office. My fiance didn’t want the other spare to be his personal room so YAY, hippie guest bedroom :-D. I will probably leave them both white, at least at first.

Here is my inspiration for the hippie-themed room:

(Found on Pinterest, click picture for link)

I fell in love with this idea the second I saw it!

Master bedroom

There is a lot of work to be done on the master bedroom and it’s more difficult because I know my fiance cares the most about the decorations in this room. That means I can’t make all the decisions myself, which I dislike, but can live with. There is only one regular sized, double door closet. We’re going to put my double bed where the desk is, perpendicular to where the bed is now. On either side of the bed we will have those end tables with the lamp (there is another on in the living room). We’ll get a better rug and hopefully a cute dresser. But I have a ton of clothes… like a ton. And I don’t know how this will work out.

Master bedroom 1/2 bath

Lastly, the bathroom connected to the master bedroom. It is small but cute. I’d like to replace this light fixture, but since we’re only going to live here for a year or so, I don’t know how much we’re going to want to spend, and this room is kind of my last priority right now since it isn’t bad like some of the other spaces. This bathroom is decorate first, bigger changes if we have the time/money/desire. Little things like a new towel rod and different switch plates will happen for sure, though. And we are DEFINITELY going to need a ton more storage space. I have makeup, hair stuff, perfume, nail polish, etc.