Category Archives: Design Concept Boards

Bright and Breezy Office Update

Pretty much everyone has some sort of ‘office’ in their home these days, whether it be at the dining room table or in a room by itself.  It is where you sit to pay your bills, organize your finances, search the internet and maybe even do some paid work.  I am currently working on a home office remodel for a local couple, and want to share some of the thoughts and ideas in the early stages.

Bunker Office Ideas Numbered

1. Color Palette: BHG 2016  2.  3. Ceiling Light  4. Orange Mirror 5. Gray Bookcase  6. Corner Desk with Hutch  7. A Little Window Photo: 8. Ranunculus Photo 9. Tape Dispenser and Stapler  10. Desk Lamp  11. Blue Monday Photo:  12. Storage Basket  13. Desk (similar to client’s)  14. Succulents: Image  15. Blue Box Planter and Mint Planter  16. Orange File Cabinet

The first thing I like to do is to make a list where I break down the requirements and challenges of the space.  

-The office needs to accommodate two people and their furniture.  

-The room is small (~10’x10’), with three desks currently in it.  Two of the desks will be staying, because one is a family heirloom and the other is a corner desk that does help maximize the space.  The heirloom desk is nice looking, but the corner desk isn’t beautiful.  The corner desk is also the home of a desktop computer.  

-The office now has a tall almond colored filing cabinet and two shorter ones, which are topped with a printer/copier.  The closet is filled with books and other miscellaneous supplies.  There is florescent lighting and tan carpet, both of which need updating.

 Bunker Office window wall before_edited-1

My clients are a fun couple who will be retiring in the next few years.  They like bright and unfussy spaces, so there will be no dark ‘den’ or ‘man-cave’ designs here!  We both fell in love with Better Homes and Gardens 2016 color palette, which includes a light gray, dusty blue, bright orange, mint green and blush pink.  In the right combination, it is both masculine and feminine, which is ideal for this couple’s shared office.  Adding in black or a dark stain on the desks also keeps the look from being too soft.

 A few DIY projects using some of the existing furniture will help keep the budget down.  Their current filing system will likely be downsized, but we plan to paint the filing cabinets that remain, since they are high quality.  We will be working on the two desks to help them blend more cohesively.  My clients are happy with the comfort of their current office chairs, so we will be recovering at least one of them with new upholstery.  Fresh paint on the walls and ceiling will brighten up everything, as will the addition of a new ceiling fixture and a desk lamp or two.

The closet space will be reconfigured to store books and office supplies more efficiently.  Quality shelving might have a combination of open and closed storage, possibly with some baskets or closed doors.  They are considering a small chair for a reading nook, so we will see how the space goes together once we get the space plan worked out.  For now, check out the idea board I created for a bright and breezy office space. 



Creating a Reading Nook

Have you ever wondered what to do with that extra corner space on a stair landing, or an odd shaped bump-out in a bedroom?

My friend Stephanie had this great extra space at the top of her stairs that she wanted to make into a reading nook for her girls.  Stephanie had a few key pieces picked out, but she enlisted my help to put it all together.  After the back-and-forth texting, pinning and emailing of many images and ideas, I put together an idea board of our favorites.  Idea boards are great, because they help you envision all of the elements on one page.  

Martinez Reading Corner Idea Board_edited-4

1. Gold Paper Garland, etsy.

2. Watercolor Fox, etsy.

3. Adventurers print, etsy.  Stephanie ended up ordering Stay Clever, Little Fox, etsy, which is so sweet!

4. Rustic Arrows, etsy.  Stephanie ended up getting these arrows instead, from the same artist.

5. Executive Nod Chair, Land of Nod.

6. Blue Clamp Light, IKEA.  We eventually chose this copper one.

7. Spice Racks, IKEA. Painted Gold with Martha Stewart craft paint.

8. Squirrel Pillow, The Company Store.

9. Blue throw. We ended up using one of the girl’s blankets, made by her grandma. 🙂

We had a few key things in mind when we were gathering our ideas for the kid’s reading space:

  1. Provide a comfortable place to sit.  Whether it is a pile of pillows, a bean bag or a kid-sized chair, a cozy spot to read will encourage kids to settle in.  Stephanie chose a soft child’s chair from  I have also seen little tents or teepees made into reading spots.  Think about your child’s interests and current reading habits when choosing a seating type.  Here is Miss Reese in the chair, before we worked our magic:


2. Place books at their level.  You want to have the books very accessible so they can easily grab the one they want.  We also chose to place the books with the fronts facing out, using spice racks from IKEA.  When kids can see the covers, they are more likely to pick up the book and start reading it.  Just pay attention to what the kids are reading/looking at and rotate the selection when they get tired of the ones that are out.

We installed four shelves, using self-drilling drywall anchors and screws.





3. Provide adequate light.  The corner at the top of the stairs was a little dark, so we attached a small led clip-on light to one of the shelves.  It can be angled easily to spotlight on the book.  Some other options are pendants or fairy lights, depending on the location and the amount of light needed.


Those three things are really the only necessities for a reading spot, but we added some color and decorations in a self-titled ‘woodland animals and mixed metals’ theme.  The watercolor print of a fox with flowers on her hat tied right in with the tiny flowers on the chair.  We also wanted an uplifting quote, which was found in another fox print from etsy.  


A gold paper garland, copper lamp, and gold painted shelves added a bit of metallic glam for two fun little girls.  We are still waiting on some wooden arrows, but they will compliment the wood frames and add another ‘wood’land touch.







The girls love their special reading corner and it adds a sweet welcoming scene from several viewpoints in their home.  Thanks Stephanie and Tyson!

Guest Room Accent Wall

Wooden accent wall

A few months back, I told you I was giving our guest room an update.


Yikes! A scary catch-all room.

I scoured Pinterest for some inspiration on an accent wall that would be unique, warm and fun.  My attention was caught by the wide array of wood clad walls, and especially by the ones using reclaimed wood or recycled pallets.  After sifting through many images that were too dark and rustic for our personal taste and the style of our home, I came across this image that felt much more modern and industrial.  The photo showed a wall in a studio office where pallets were used and there were occasional swatches of color remaining from the edges of the pallets.

 As I began to search for wood pallets, I soon learned that they are neither easy to come by or inexpensive/free anymore!  After pricing pallets and deciding how many it would take, along with the excessive time it would take to disassemble them all, Jer talked me into a ‘browsing’ trip at Home Depot.


I ended up being so glad I hadn’t pulled the trigger on the wood pallets.  We found a product called Tri-PLY, which is advertised as a Multipurpose Project Panel.  Tri-PLY is a 3/16in thick  panel that comes in 4 x 4 ft sheets, with a very thin wood grain veneer.  It is moisture resistant, which is an added bonus since we used it on a basement wall.  We loaded up our car with five panels and an idea. IMG_3022

Using our table saw, Jer and I ripped the panels into 4 inch widths.  After that, I took the more manageable pieces and cut them into ⅔ and ⅓ sections (32 inches and 16 inches).


Following that somewhat tedious process, I hauled the newly fashioned ‘boards’ inside and began to nail them to the wall.  Since there is a window on the wall with a bed centered under it, I started attaching the boards under the window sill.  I used brown paneling nails to make them just slightly visible on the boards.  I attempted to alternate sizes and wood grain patterns and colors for interest.  I pounded nails for several hours while Jer took our kids to a movie.



As you get to the edge of the wall, you most likely will not end up having a piece that fits exactly.  So, the saw skills get to come in handy again!  I held up each piece and marked it top and bottom with a pencil.  Then I numbered the piece and the wall so I remembered where it went.  I usually only took five or six at a time to cut, so things wouldn’t get too crazy.  I had to cut one or two of them twice, but I was overall very happy with the fit.

IMG_3030 Since the swatches of color on the wall was one of the major attractions of my inspiration photo, I decided to add some color to our wall also.  I used a combination of acrylic craft paint and some leftover wall paint.  I wanted a somewhat ‘worn’ look, so I watered down the paint before loosely brushing it on.  I sanded some areas where I thought it was too dark, and dry brushed others.  I tried to stop before it got too crazy looking, since my goal was modern cozy, not circus.

IMG_3028Overall, I am very pleased with the results.  The thin panels were very easy to work with, and the thin nails won’t leave huge marks when the wood is eventually removed.


I would recommend this product for a light-use room, such as a guest room or office.  It might not hold up well in a kid’s room.  One thing I didn’t like about the panels was a sticker right on the front that was impossible to remove.  I ended up having plenty leftover, but I also used those sticker pieces for the edges and just cut off the sticker.

wood panel accent wall with eyeball sconces and colorful throw.

wood panel accent wall with eyeball sconces and colorful throw.

There you have it! An accent wall inspired by wood pallets, but created for about a third of the price.  We reused some narrow IKEA shelves from the kitchen for floating nightstands and I purchased these fantastic eyeball sconces from Urban Outfitters.  The throw is from Lulu & Georgia, but it is temporarily out of stock, and quite a bit more expensive than when I bought it.

We are loving the look, and it feels so much more comfortable and welcoming.  Updates on the rest of the room coming soon!

Renovation Diary, Part 2: Inspiration and Research

When you are thinking about remodeling a bathroom or any other room in your home, one of the first things you should do is start gathering ideas.  My favorite way to gather ideas is to look in magazines or online for images that I love.  I tear magazine pages out and keep them in a binder, sometimes writing or circling what interested me about the image.  For online images, I use Pinterest to organize by topic or by room.  As an interior designer, I am constantly looking at and saving images, so when it was time to redo our bathroom I had a ton of ideas all ready to go.

After you gather a fair amount of images, it is important to look at them all together and see if any common theme becomes apparent.  With my images, it was obvious that high-contrast black and white was what I was drawn to.  One thing about bathrooms is that you can have a great neutral base and add a lot of personality with colorful accent pieces, towels and shower curtains.  My husband and I both enjoy a modern aesthetic with some color, texture and natural wood added to warm up the room.  Another bit of information we learned from the inspiration images was that I was going to have to learn how to tile!  I have always loved the look of subway tiles in a shower, and we decided to use them part way up the rest of the walls as well.

Once you have decided on your design direction, it is a good idea to put together an idea board (or have a designer help you with this step).  This is where you gather all of the different elements in the room and arrange them together to make sure they will compliment each other and support your vision.  I use Photoshop for this purpose, but there are several other programs that will allow you to arrange and resize images.  A large bulletin board or piece of posterboard will allow you to easily arrange magazine images. To help visualize what the finished outcome will be, consider hiring a designer to draw up the space with your selected furnishings, finishes and materials.

Bathroom Inspiration

1. Shower curtain,  This one is no longer made, so I will likely be making my own.  I also want it to be extra long, so that limits the options of remade shower curtains.

2. Vanity light, home

3. Lockable cabinet,  We will likely get one for each family member, leaving the kid’s unlocked.  We have a little girl who loves to get into things.

4. Round mirror,  We are mixing in some warm wood tones to warm up all the black and white a bit.

5. Colorful towels.  I am contemplating different colors for each family member.   Does anyone else get bothered by sharing towels?  I really don’t like reaching for my towel to find it all wet already!

6. White subway tile with charcoal grout.  I am also placing the tiles vertically in a stacked pattern.  I figure since it is my first tiling job, I might as well make it as difficult as possible. ha.

7. Vanity,  We are actually using the Godmorgon vanity with the Rattviken sink.  We are using the Dalskar faucet.

8. Floor tile, home  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tile.  Home Depot has really got it going on in the tile department.  This particular tile has 3 or 4 different patterns you can make.

9. Hand painted knobs,  I will be painting my own.  We are choosing these rather than towel bars.  Our bathroom is pretty small and hooks just make more sense for us.  I might sew a loop on each of our towels to make them easier to put on hooks.

10. Asparagus fern.  They like damp environments with a fair amount of light.  I already have one, and think it might like living in the bathroom next.

11. Wood and metal shelf,  I will DIY a version of this also. I want a mix  of wood and black metal to tie in the vanity light and mirror.

When you are satisfied with your material choices, it is time to get them ordered.  Keep in mind that some things may not be in stock in the stores, and you will have to special order them.  This process can take awhile, especially if they happen to be broken when they arrive, like my floor tiles and glass block window were.  To speed up the whole process considerably just choose items that are already in stock.  Of course I didn’t do that, so we have spent a bit of time playing the waiting game.  Since my husband and I have been doing all of the work ourselves and aren’t trying to schedule contractors, it has all worked out (except for that crazy window!).

Here are some things we have learned in the ‘Inspiration and Research’ process:

1. Researching tools and materials can help you save a lot of money.  Instead of expensive artisan cement tiles, I was able to find a beautiful ceramic replica for a fraction of the price.

2. YouTube videos and tutorials can help a lot.  They can either show you how to do something, or help you decide when to hire a professional.

3. Think about using basic materials in new ways.  Even simple and timeless subway tiles can take on a unique look with a different arrangement or contrasting grout.

Next Up, Renovation Diary: Putting it All Back Together.


Tufted Headboard DIY

If you would like to give your bedroom a fresh new look, make a headboard for your bed.  Headboards are a favorite starting point if you are looking for a beginning upholstery project, as they can be an easy and inexpensive DIY project.  They also help anchor the bed as the focal point in a room.


A few years ago, I made my first headboard by covering a piece of plywood with 2 inch foam and then wrapping it with a large-patterned black and white floral print.  The only tool needed for that was a staple gun, and the whole process took about 20 minutes!  We attached our headboard to the bed frame with two thin boards screwed into the back.

Recently, it was time for a bedroom update and a new headboard was on the To Do list.

My mini sidekick helping remove staples from the old headboard.

My mini sidekick helping remove staples from the old headboard.

We loved the padded backrest that we had with our previous headboard, but wanted to make it look more elegant by adding tufting.  I chose a woven upholstery fabric with a mix of brown, black, gold and cream.  In retrospect, it would have been a lot easier if the fabric was a solid color.  When tufting, it is difficult to make everything look even when your fabric has lines or a pattern of any kind.  Two yards of fabric was more than enough to make a headboard for a queen sized bed.


To make a tufted headboard, cut a piece of plywood that is the width of your bed.  You can make it as tall as you want, but I recommend keeping it at least 6 inches shorter than the width of your fabric.  I made mine 60 inches wide and 24 inches tall.  Next, figure out how many tufts you want.  Look at images online to see what look you like best.  I made three rows with 7 tufts on the top and bottom row and 8 tufts on the center row.  

Once you figure out how many tufts you want, mark it all out on 2 inch foam.

Busy helping mark tuft spots.

Busy helping mark tuft locations.

After it is marked, cut holes at each mark with scissors or a knife. I cut mine in a cone shape so the fabric has room to fold nicely.




Now mark and drill the same exact holes on your plywood backing. This is where you would typically thread your button through and pull to make it tufted.  But, instead of  using a needle and upholstery thread, I read that you could just drill a screw through your layers and then attach your button with permanent fabric glue.  It was an immense time saver and you really couldn’t tell the difference.  Of course I had to try it out!

After drilling pilot holes, spray your plywood with adhesive and attach the foam to the plywood, making sure the holes line up.  Follow with a layer of batting and then your fabric. I neglected to use batting, and I really wish I had.  It would have made the tufts stand out a bit better and look more cushy.


 I used 1 inch wide-head screws and carefully drilled through all of the layers into my pilot hole.  I worked from the center out and for the most part, the diamond shapes naturally worked into place.  When all of the tufts were shaped, I pulled and stapled the edges of the fabric to the back of the plywood.  


I purchased a button making kit, and made fabric buttons to match the headboard.  Making buttons was the most frustrating part, hands down.   

To finish the headboard, I glued the buttons onto the tufts with permanent fabric glue.  A year later all twenty-two buttons are still there!  



This same technique can be applied to chairs, ottomans, benches, you name it.  I have my eye on a storage ottoman begging for a tufted velvet top…



Bold, Colorful and Modern: Guest Room

*The idea for this post was suggested by the fun folks at  Their unique site lets you shop for and sell furniture easily.  I personally love the Mid-Century Modern section because the style is simple, timeless and so easy to pair with other pieces you might have.*

With less than 30 days until my fabulous sister comes to visit for a month, I have guest room updates high on my priority list.  In its current state, our guest room is sleep-able, but I wouldn’t call it highly comfortable or well designed by any stretch of the imagination.  I put together an idea board to show you what I have been thinking:

Chairish Post_Guest Room

1. Wood paneled wall with floating shelves via
2. BRIMNES storage bed via
3. Mexican serape blanket via
4. Pantone’s Radiant Orchid
5. Mid-Century George Kovacs “Caterpillar” lamps from
6. Mid-Century Modern Splash Oil Painting via
7. Modern Thonet Bentwood Chair via
8. Similar Midcentury Modern Sideboard via

Our guest room also doubles as my sewing/craft/art room, so we have turned the closet into a work space with a desk, shelves and pegboard for organizing supplies.  We used an old closet door for a desk running the full length of the closet.  I painted it (4) Pantone’s radiant orchid for a splash of color.  My resourceful hubby made me some shelves out of some old deck wood.  The closet is a complete juxtaposition of rustic industrial and modern, which is quickly becoming the style of the room.

We recently purchased the (2) BRIMNES storage bed from Ikea because I needed large drawers to stash my art supplies and paper.  I like how sturdy the drawers are, and the simple design of the bed means it will work nicely with any style.  In order to easily pull out the drawers without having to move a lot of furniture, I would like to have floating shelves on each side of the bed to serve as nightstands. (1) Tying them in with a wood paneled wall or headboard would add some midcentury architecture to our little 1950’s home.

I love the look of simple white bedding topped with a (3) Mexican serape blanket, and it would compliment the bright orchid work desk.  A pair of neutral mirrored (5) lamps and splashy abstract (6) art highlight similar colors and tie the room together.

A comfortable, low profile (7) chair gives guests a place to sit and read or put up their feet.  A dresser or (8) sideboard for clothes or miscellaneous storage takes the place of a closet.  I purchased over-the-door hooks for clothes that require hanging.

There you have it! A fun combination of bold colors, vintage and reclaimed woods and furniture with simple, clean lines.  It all adds up to a comfortable and unique space anyone would feel welcome in.

* I have not been compensated in any way for this post, but it was so fun to put together. I can’t wait to get started on the room!



Bright and Happy Kids’ Room

Ever since that fateful semester the fall of 2005 when I was assigned to research and model a hotel lobby in the Scandinavian Modern style, I have been a huge fan.  While the more well-known furniture and design styles of Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen are always on the dream/wish list, I have been more interested lately in ‘everyday’ Scandinavian style.

If you look at images of Scandinavian homes, you will notice a lot of white walls.  To compensate for long, overcast winters, many residents of these northern European countries paint their walls and floors bright white to reflect as much light as possible.  With all that white, you might think that the interiors would look stark or cold, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  The majority of these homes look comfortable, extremely inviting and lived-in.

Emma-Persson-Scandinavian designHome of Stylist Emma Persson

Most images of Scandinavian kid’s rooms look playful, colorful and creative, with lots of bright art.  Since our kids share a room, and it is already painted white (although it might get a fresh coat this summer), it is the perfect space to incorporate a bit of fun style.

polly's retro scandinavian room

Bold and Colorful Room

I thought it would be fun to put together an idea board to show the direction we are going.  Both of our kids are already very opinionated about their space and have been on-board with what we have done so far.  Our attempt at Scandinavian style has been a great solution to a room shared by a four year old girl and a two year old boy.  Their individual personalities and interests can shine without any arguing about whether we will have a fairy princess or Ninja Turtle themed room.

Kids' Bedroom Idea Board

  1. Ikea Bed
  2. Duvet
  3. Rug
  4. Toy Storage
  5. Green lamp
  6. Map
  7. Vintage Dresser (I found a similar one at a second hand shop in Old Town Pocatello)

Currently, the white walls provide a perfect backdrop for colorful bedding, a sky blue ceiling, a wood dresser, and a fun rug.  I will share a photo update of the room soon!

Laundry Room Idea Board

Laundry Room Idea Board

This room may be a work in progress for awhile, since I am still working on painting the exterior of our house.  But, it always helps to get the ideas going, and then when it is too hot outside, I have more motivation to go to work on the basement laundry room!  Here are some ideas so far:

1. Possible colors for floor and walls.  I am pretty positive the walls will be white, but the floor may change.  I am currently thinking a soft yellow-green, sort of based off the ‘grass’ colors in the screen (#7).

2. Black and White leaf drapes.  I have these already and am using them in our living room.  But, we really could use another set to really cover the picture window, so I am thinking of moving them to the laundry room.  I will put them on rings so they open and close easily.

3. I love the idea of painting the utility sink.  I am not sure our colors will be the same, but I do like the pop of red (or a red-orange) with the light gray legs.

4.  I really like the look of soaps dispensed into smaller containers (since we get ours at Costco, size large). Our soap is liquid, but the baking soda, etc would look nice in jars like this.  I am looking for a fun pump for the liquid detergent.  Smaller sizes will also fit better on the shelves I would like to add above the washer and dryer.

5. We want to add narrow shelves above the washer and dryer to store the cleaning supplies and possibly my extensive spray paint collection.  We will likely repurpose a shelf that Jeremiah just removed from the garage.

6.  I need to organize my paint and supplies.  Nothing is more frustrating for me than knowing I have a product or color and not being able to find it.  Jeremiah built a workbench that currently houses the paint, but it really needs some organization.

7. Our furnace and water heater are highly visible from the entrance to the laundry room.  I would love to buy or make a privacy screen like this to hide them while still being easily accessible.  A curtain system would also work.

8.  An inexpensive and colorful rug adds a feeling of softness while being easily cleaned and dried in case of any water overflows.

9. The humor and retro feeling of this sign fits our family’s aesthetic.

10. This image I found online reminded me of hanging clothes out on the line with my mom as a kid.


That’s it so far.  Things will likely change, but making Idea Boards gets me thinking of a direction anyway.  I am excited about this project because there is just so much potential in that room!

Laundry Room: ‘Before’ pics

Yes my friends, this is where I do my average of 400 loads of laundry per year…

Our laundry room is extremely neglected and uninspiring.  But, it has great potential and I am extremely grateful to have well-functioning machines to keep our clothes clean.  There are two decent-sized windows and it is a generously sized space (more than the size of our kitchen and dining area combined).  With a minimal budget for laundry room renovation, I have been thinking of ways that will increase the appeal and function of the room while also cleaning up and organizing the entire space.

1. Declutter the entire room.  The generous size of the laundry room is nice for storage, but it also means the laundry room is a convenient dumping ground for items we don’t know what else to do with.  I predict a thrift store donation run or three in my near future.

2. Give it a good scrub.  The place where we clean our clothes is by far the dirtiest room in our home.  It is time for some serious cleaning, from the ceiling to the floor.  Our dryer has lint and spilled stain remover on its top, and the washer could use a good scrub in the little nooks and crannies.

3. Paint.  Painting the concrete floor a bright color and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint will rejuvenate the entire room.  I considered painting the ceiling’s exposed floor joists, but I don’t really mind the look of the wood enough to go through the multiple coats of primer and paint it would take to get good coverage.  There is a dividing wall along the stairs with a row of border paper that is definitely getting a face-lift though! I thought it was ducks, but it is floral/cottage.  Either way, not our style!

4. Add function and organization with shelving and storage.  Jer already built a large folding station/workbench along one wall, which is currently housing all of my paint and painting supplies, along with a tool chest and miscellaneous items waiting to be donated.  We will be adding shelves or cabinets above the washer and dryer for storing detergents and other cleaning supplies.  A utility sink, drying rack, folding space and some hanging rods are other conveniences that help a laundry room work more efficiently.  Our current hanging device works really well, but needs some aesthetic work.

5. Don’t forget the details!  Adding art, rugs, window coverings and good (and pretty) lighting will make this room more comfortable to be in.

With some elbow grease and imagination, you can turn an often-neglected space into a fun and organized room you won’t mind spending a little time in.  Have you transformed a basement laundry room?  I would love to hear all about it!  Stop by in a few days for a look at my Laundry Room Idea Board.

Bunker Basement Bathroom

Bathroom Remodel Idea Board

I can’t believe it has been about 8 months since this bathroom remodel was complete!  I will show you the ‘Before’ images and my idea board, and then post the finished photos after my Bathroom Remodel article comes out in the Idaho State Journal on Saturday.

We started with a basement bathroom in desperate need of some TLC.  Basically, nothing had been done to it since the home was built in the early 90s.  There had been a leak in the shower basin at one point, which necessitated a large hole to be cut in the drywall between the vanity and the shower.  My client had decorated nicely with the existing blue vinyl flooring, but was more than ready to be done with the gold shower and cracked vanity countertop.  Here are some Before shots:

The corner shower.

The vanity

 The toilet area, complete with basement bathroom miscellaneous. My client would like you to know that this was after all the decorations had been removed and that the spider and ant traps have found more discreet homes.

The clients wanted my complete input on the space, so here are some ideas I came up with:

Here are the sources, if you are interested:

1. Shades of Light Clear Cloche Glass Sconce  $59.00 each Oil Rubbed Bronze

2. allen + roth 29.875-in x 29.875-in Oil Rubbed Bronze Round Framed Mirror, $49.98

3. Allen + Roth 30 in Palencia Espresso Vanity, $329.00

4. Style Selections 31-in W x 22-in D White Cultured Marble Single Sink Vanity Top, $78.00

5. Delta Celice Brushed Nickel 2-Handle 4-in Centerset WaterSense Bathroom, $99.00

6. KOHLER Highline Classic White 1.28 GPF High Efficiency WaterSense toilet, $209

7. Moen Caldwell Spot resist brushed Nickel 5-spray Convertible Shower

Moen nickel tub/shower handle,  $94.18

8. 12-in x 24-in Calacatta White Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile, $2.19 sf

9. 12-in x 14-in White Gray Tones Wall Tile border, $12.08 sf

10. Swanstone 32-in L x 60-in W Veritek White Fiberglass Shower Floor (Drain left),  $280.03

11. Hardware:

DELTA Celice Venetian Bronze Surface Mount Toilet Paper Holder, $25.98

DELTA Celice Venetian Bronze Wall-Mount Towel Ring, $21.98

DELTA 24″ Celice Venetian Bronze Towel Bar, $29.98


12. 15 minute hourglass timer-green, $9.95

 13. Seam bath Accessories, white, $1.95-7.95

 14. Bamboo Rayon Channel Bath towels, White

15. Bath Rug, Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler, jcpenny $35

16. Example of vinyl flooring, slate.  I couldn’t find it online, so I put this in as an example.

17. Color swatch. Build espresso stained shelves in space over toilet.  Paint wall behind shelves with gradation of colors.

We ended up making a few changes as we went along, but we stuck with these ideas for the majority.  Check back on Saturday to see how it all turned out!

Front Door Update #1b copy

Front Porch Inspiration

Note: This post ties in with my April 26 article in the Idaho State Journal on Creating a Welcoming Entry.  I will link to the article as soon as it is available online at

As we think about new paint for the exterior of our house, we are also looking at the front entry and some simple changes we can make to seriously update the look and make it feel more welcoming.

This is the idea board I put together so we could start brainstorming ways to make it happen.

1. The 3 windows in this door from Home Depot tie in with the 1950’s style of our home.  We will likely try to find a used one somewhere if possible.  Painted in Behr’s #420B-5 Sweet Midori, it would be a fun contrast to the navy or gray we are thinking about painting our house.

2. New house numbers in a modern style will really add some character to the entry.

3. A round doorbell in brushed silver ties in with the house numbers and is a fun twist from standard doorbells.

4. A brushed silver door handleset ties in the midcentury style door with a nice rectangular look.  I definitely don’t want a lever handle on the inside at this point, because it is much too easy for my little guy to open.

5.  I love the cheeky humor and friendliness of this door decal.  I am crazy about the font, too.

6. Striped rugs in bright colors go with everything.  This one is similar to my inspiration rug.

7.  Tall cylindrical planters tie in with the brushed silver hardware already being used, but they would be beautiful in a poppy color, also.  They could also be planted with colorful flowers.

8. I would definitely add some color with a few pots of flowers lining the steps.

9. I love the simple look of this outdoor wall light, but it could also be spray painted to compliment your color scheme.  I want to replace all three of our outdoor fixtures.

10. Of course, colorful rain boots are always on my list and make fun styling props!  Not that we get enough rain to really justify a pair of rain boots.


I have been drawn to this photo from Better Homes and Gardens for awhile now.  We plan to cut the metal centers from our porch railings and insert cables…we will keep you posted when we do.

What do you think? Is anyone else working on making your front door entry more welcoming?  Have you ever tried to do cable railing? Let me know in the comments!   I am finding that our front entry is used much more frequently in the summer, so I am motivated to give it some style.

Patio Inspiration #1

As some of you may know, I am writing a weekly (Saturday) column for the Idaho State Journal’s new Home page.  I am really excited for this opportunity and have been enjoying the challenge.

This week we focused a bit on our outdoor spaces, and I talked about ways to create a backyard getaway.  As Jer and I talk about summer plans, one big thing that keeps coming up is to ‘do something with the patio.’  We love to spend time outside as a family on the evenings and weekends, so any effort we put into making a relaxing outdoor space will be worth it.  Since we are also planting a giant garden again this year, our patio progress might take all summer and beyond.  I promise I will keep you posted as we take our concrete slab and turn it into our very own relaxing outdoor room.  For now, here are a few things that have inspired me.  Click the numbered links below the images for more information on each product.




1. Threshold Heatherstone Wicker Patio Loveseat with Navy cushions.  We might be going with navy trim on our exterior this summer, so this would tie in with the house and pull out the color a bit.  I love the straight lines of the loveseat and the modern look fits well with the simplicity of our home.  I like to use pillows like this abstract flower and geometric print to tie in all the colors and the song bird pillow to add some whimsy and a few accent colors.

2. A few red pots of flowers or plants add a pop of color and keep the blues from dominating too much.  Any bright color you love would work here, since blue is a pretty good neutral and almost every color will work with it.

3. A simple round table adds some curves to the mix.  While this works well as a side table, it could also be used as a little brunch table for two with some fun chairs pulled up around it.

4. Strings of lights add so much ambiance, turning the party from blah to magical.  I like these from Target with the fun shaped filament bulb, but round bulbs are also fun. Consider solar string lights for a soft bluish glow.

5. Pots of plants in fun accent colors tie your decor together and help blend the patio into the yard or garden space.  I chose cobalt planters for inspiration, but turquoise, pink, yellow, white, red or green would also be fun options.

6. A neutral table and chairs lets you change your decor and update easily.  I like gray because it goes really nicely with bright summer colors, but brown woods also work well.

7. Chair cushions are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to add some color or update your outdoor spaces.  These seat cushions tie in all the colors of the larger furniture pieces and the rug, and have a fun zig-zag pattern.

8. An indoor/outdoor rug is the piece that will tie it all together and give your space the feeling of an outdoor getaway.  This rug in a mix of blues is a statement piece, but still neutral enough that it would work well with a variety of accent colors.


As I said, these are all just inspiration images.  Many of them are way out of our budget right now, but we have some projects and ideas in mind to make it much more affordable and uniquely ours.  Is anyone else working on an outdoor space this summer?  What is your inspiration?