guest room before after

I’m mostly German, but my husband has Scandinavian in his blood, and as I began looking around at ideas for our guest room, I kept coming back to the simple, clean lines and white, with touches of red that I found online. Here’s the board I started.

It was such an antidote to the conglomeration of leftovers that had been put in there.guest room from hallway

You know how it is. You have a room. It needs stuff. So you grab what you have and throw it together. There’s no shame in that – that’s life!

But after several years of beige walls and mismatched furniture, it was time for a change.

Here’s the BEFORE tour.

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Doesn’t exactly scream, “welcome to our house! relax!”

So I went to work.

First, time to lose the beige walls. I went for Nano White from the Home Decorators paint collection at the Home Depot.


Since I was doing this room on a budget, I found a headboard on Craigslist. It was bad 60’s brown, fake wood, and the perfect candidate to paint a nice semi-gloss black.


I knew the room needed help in the lighting department. I love the look of wall sconces, so I chose almost-black, swing-arm, plug-in sconcesIMG_7544 IMG_7547 IMG_7576

For the remaining furniture, besides the bed, I shopped from around the house, or bought second-hand. I used an old pair of end tables that used to be in my living room two houses ago, as the nightstands. As luck would have it, they were already black.IMG_7594 IMG_7597

The antique dresser was handed down from my husband’s aunt and uncle. The mirror used to be in our dining room, in our last house.

I picked up the vintage wood luggage rack at a flea market for about $20, and found a small bench at the World’s Longest Yard Sale for $6. Both needed a makeover to fit into the black, white, and red color scheme.guest room bench in progress

I picked up the great suzani fabric from Online Fabric Store a while back, and had enough to make the two curtain panels as well as cover the small bench seat.

curtain panel fixed

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I gave the mismatched picture frames a cohesive coat of black paint. and got some black curtain tiebacks.

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For the bedding, I reused a plain white quilt I had. I found some red striped sheets at HomeGoods, as well as the map throw pillow. I used a needle and thread to add a small heart over our hometown. IMG_7580 IMG_7585The grain sack pillows were a find from the Country Living fair in Columbus, OH, last year. (Highly recommend going sometime – great stuff!) I also found a red throw blanket on clearance at Pottery Barn.


The bed skirt I found at Target on clearance, and it was about an inch or so too long, so it was bunching up on the floor. I put it on the bed, and pinned to where it needed to be hemmed, then did a simple straight stitch all the way around with my sewing machine. IMG_7569 IMG_7581

Now for the finishing touches.  I had a piece of reclaimed lumber that someone had given me. IMG_7542I painted a little message for our guests on it, added a sawtooth hanger to the back and hung it up. I also grabbed a set of wall hooks from the home improvement store, so people have somewhere to hang their purse, hat, keys, whatever. I hung both over the painted luggage rack. guest room wall hooks

guest room corner

Also from the Country Living fair, came this adorable little tin with a chalkboard inside. I put our wi-fi info on it and hung it up.IMG_7549

The walls still needed a little something so I pulled out a great, neutral boat pic that I’ve had forever, and hung it opposite the bed.IMG_7583

OK…Are you ready for the AFTER tour? Let’s do it!guest room tour1

guest room tour2

guest room tour3

guest room tour4

guest room tour5

guest room tour6

guest room tour7

guest room tour8

One last word on pulling this room together. Picking out lighting, bedding, decorative touches, and fabric took me over a year, easily. Did I get frustrated that making this room over was taking SO LONG? Sometimes. But I live in the real world. I do what I can, when I can, with as much DIY and fiscal sense as I can. That’s how we roll. It’s easy to go online and see a reveal post, and think the process is faster or easier for other people. Making things better, making them beautiful takes time, money, and energy. What combination of those things it takes will be a little different for everyone.  I’ve learned to be OK with that.

guest room before collage

guest room after collage

We’ve had several friends and family members stay here since the makeover, and all have slept well. So I’m calling the room a success.   :-) Thanks so much for stopping by!

guest room before after






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Tween White Desk

Hi friends!

I was supposed to deliver some long overdue furniture this week. 

 (it’s not photographing very well but the hardware is purple)

 So, the cute desk with the purple hardware is still in my basement much to my – and my husband’s – chagrin because Mother Nature and my schedule are conspiring against me. (snow outside as I write this) Sigh.

I’ve run 27 miles on the treadmill at the gym in the last two weeks because running and painting furniture are my two quickest paths to sanity. 
Especially in January.  
(Napping is a close third)
So, here’s my picks to help keep you sane this week! :-)

1. I’ll start off with the biggest ticket item. It’s $350. But before you pass, take a look at what you get for the money. A LOT.

The rugs are not included (fine with me) but check out this lot. Tall dresser, short dresser with mirror, headboard, footboard, and two matching end tables.  This is like the holy grail of Craigslist furniture.
Amazing! If you need bedroom furniture for a girl, this is it buddy. RUN.

Think you’re not a fan of French Provinicial?  Think again.

Forget all the white sets (I’m not even putting a picture in here because you know what they look like anyway).  And take a step or four out of your comfort zone with fantastic options like these:

Must. Stop. But you get the idea.

2. I love this. I just can’t help myself. He’s baaaack! Remember our good friend, Mr. Chester Drawer
Every once in a while Mr. Drawer pops up here on Craigslist.  No, you can’t make this stuff up. :-)

But besides his name, this guy boasts some cool hardware.  

Think it looks too dated to be awesome? Like this guy?


Our Chester doesn’t come with the hardware on the edges, but that’s no biggie because you can easily buy some and wa-la. 
(The seller is asking $75 for the dresser.)

And you can have an awesome campaign dresser for under $100.
I vote yes!

3. You know how I feel about benches. There’s almost no space that can’t benefit from a cute one. 

This fits the bill perfectly. For $30 you can’t beat it! Enough said.

4. Another thing you know I love – settees (and I think love seats are close enough so we’re just going to go with it.) The lines on this are great!

How about a wide stripe on it?
(I can’t find a source for this pic)

Just do it!

5. Last but not least, something I don’t see a lot of  – a pair of matching nightstands for a super reasonable price… $30.

They aren’t sexy, but man, if you buy them new, they’d cost you an arm and a leg. Using smaller pieces like these to get a dose of color into a room is very low commitment.

I love this yellow.

This green one.

And these in aqua.

Now go forth and get something fabulous! 
As always, if you buy from someone you don’t know, be smart. Take a friend. All that good stuff… 

How are you surviving January?

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Happy New Year!!

I hope you have been savoring winter break as we have – with lots of family, friends, food, church, naps, football, and presents. Not necessarily in that order. :-)

There are some cool finds this week…here we go! (If you are visiting for the first time, I live near Cincinnati, Ohio, so these items are all local to me.)

1. Vintage white cabinet listed for $250.

I know that’s more than I usually spend on Craigslist items, but I like this one for its size, its condition, and its flexibility. Here’s why.
First, its size – dimensions are 70 ” tall, 30 ” wide, 12″ deep. You can fit a lot of stuff in that.
Second, its condition looks good – not perfect – but not like it would need a complete overhaul before you could put it in your house.
And third its flexibility. I love this for a kitchen or bath, as the listing suggests, but I think you could also store extra linens, books, or household supplies in it.
Here are a few pics to get your juices flowing.


I’m not sure, but this may be an old medical cabinet, and my Uncle Dan & Aunt Pat (who are walking encyclopedias of furniture knowledge and have a booth here in Lexington, KY) just told me that medical items are hot right now. 
(READ: I think this could easily sell for more than it’s listed.) 
I can’t tell whether it’s metal or wood, but if I had room for it, I’d buy it.

2. “Old school” desk chairs or office chairs. I love ’em. Metal, wood, doesn’t matter… they are just SO superior to those newfangled things they make now. (wink) So, that said, go scoop these up. 

Cosco Propeller Chair $35

Vintage wood chair

Think about how cool they’d look in a boy’s room!

3. How cute is this old toy piano

It looks beautiful and would make an adorable addition to a nursery or playroom. 

The two like it on Etsy are more expensive than this one. They are asking $45. Go for it!

4. OK this item has been on Craigslist for a while now. In my mind’s eye there is a boy (what is it with boys rooms in this post?) who has an awesome vintage-y train room. 
Maybe like… this one.  
(Because HELLO it has a train track running around the top of the room. Please don’t tell my son. Thank you.)

And in this mythical train room, folded over the back of a cozy chair, you’d find this cool blanket.

It’s from a Pullman sleeping car!

I totally have a movie-like image of men dressed in suits and women in pearls taking a trip, eating and sleeping aboard a train in the heyday of rail travel. 

That’s the era these blankets belong to! 
It’s stuff like this that takes a room from catalog-designed to uniquely personal. They are conversation pieces, and they are a way to pass on some history to the next generation. 
So someone please buy this cool blanket and do up an awesome vintage train room.  Again, thank you.

5. Last, here’s a gal after my own heart. Cute side table, all painted and ready to go. Would make a great addition to a living room near you! $80

This winter weather and ridiculously cold temperatures have me dreaming of yard sale weather….

Just saying.


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It’s almost the end of the year.  Hard to believe.  And there seems to be a lot of people who have things they want to get rid of, because Craigslist has been smokin’ hot this week!

I’ll get right to it.

1. This settee.  $60

I know I’ve included settees before on the blog, and explained why, so I won’t do that again, but I included this piece for a different reason (besides the fact that I just plain like it – excellent lines and very pretty wood carvings on the back.)
If you look carefully at the post, you might notice that the seller spelled settee wrong.  I’m not trying to harp on anyone’s grammar or spelling, because that’s not why I’m here, but I point it out to you to because it may hurt the seller’s chances of finding a buyer. If someone is indeed searching for a settee, they very well may not find this listing. That may mean you have an advantage as a buyer.  And likewise, if you’re selling, use spell check! (This goes for eBay, too.)

2. This vanity… is awesome. It is so so so pretty. And $50!!

You’d need to reconstruct the seat, but it would be equally as lovely in a grown woman’s room as it would in a little girl’s.  I love how petite looking it is and just classic with beautiful hardware and those vintage casters.
And here’s a little secret –  I did actually buy it on Craigslist this week this for someone special! (I’ll share more later on that)

My Dad and I are going to refinish it for my sister for her birthday in March! I’m already looking at finish options.
White with a dark stained top?

Or red? I’m getting ready to buy a quart of Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk which would be gorgeous…and my sister is the “red” girl so she would love this.

Lots of fun. My parents and I sort of raced over to the seller’s house because he said he had someone else coming to look at it. No way was I letting this one get away. Can’t wait to get started on it.

3. This is something I haven’t seen before. It looks like an old table that would have been in a hospital, perhaps?

I’m assuming it also lays flat. That opens up possibilities for this piece. What about making it the bedside table in your guest room?  This woman found one and put it to work as an end table in the living room.

So cool! Or you could give your child who is studying an instrument a place to put his or her sheet music. It’s just a great conversation piece. They’re asking $100.

4. Here’s a piece that has an issue.

It’s an awesome old dresser but it’s missing a drawer. What to do?
For $75 here’s what you do. Buy it. And then you get creative.
Like this piece from Sweet Pickins

Or this piece

Or this piece from Shabby Story.

5. When I saw this piece, pinned to someone’s board, I fell in love.

Of course, it’s Pottery Barn Teen and a gazillion dollars. *eye roll*  Nonetheless, this is sort of a dream project for me. I would love to put this in my daughter’s room, which is the smallest bedroom in our house, where floor space is at a premium.
So when I saw these on Craigslist, you can imagine…the wheels started turning.

For $100 you could do so much with these!! They would work equally as well for either a boy or a girl.
And they are solid wood. Amazing. You just don’t run across stuff like this every day. I just don’t know if I can take on a project of this size right now……hmm….

That’s it for 2013!
Thank you for sharing part of your lives with me here, even if it is just a little bit.
I feel blessed and lucky to do what I love.

May health and happiness be yours in the New Year.

PS – As always, if you buy from Craigslist be careful and take a friend with you. I can’t vouch for these sellers or their items.  If you end up buying any of these, please let me know!

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Hi friends!

There is a chill in the morning air, I have a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee in my hand, and we’re plotting a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Fall is lovely right now.

Here’s a few gems I found on my local (Cincinnati) Craigslist this week.  See what you think.  I also have a few tips for how I mine CL for the best and most useful things.

1. Buffet/server/sideboard.  This piece is classic, can be used in a million different ways and rooms, and did I mention it’s $60?

 Put it in a foyer or front hall with a beautiful lamp and a mirror. This piece from the Turquoise Iris looks so gorgeous.

Use it in a bathroom as a vanity – just add a sink – there are tutorials all over Pinterest.
It just so happens that the super talented Traci and her husband Cy over at Beneath my Heart found almost the exact same piece as the one I picked this week.  It’s in their master bath and it looks like a million bucks.

Or put your TV on it and have the classiest media stand around, like Carrie at Hooked on Decorating did.  (Again, almost the exact same piece – so cool!) I love that she took out the top drawer for technology stuff and had a piece of glass cut to fit the top.  Fantastic.

PS – tip #1 look at the other stuff in the picture/listing.  Be observant.  The other items this seller has – table and chairs, etc. are all awesome!

2. Vintage Gun Cabinet.

Stay with me.  Look at it for a minute.  What else does it look like to you?

It screamed hallway bench to me.  Apparently I’m not alone! Ericka at Rose Colored Glasses did exactly that.

Her piece rocks!

3. Pick up this entry bench for $20.  It looks like it’s in great shape.

Yes, you can use it in the front hall or mudroom.  But a la Pottery Barn, you can also stick it at the foot of a bed

or use it as a coffee table. It’s $20!!

4. Waterfall hutch

This can be turned into a lovely storage and display piece for just about any room.  Just as shown at The Weathered Door. Charming.

Tips for searching Craiglist with the best results?  Use the CraigsPro app.  It’s far better than the actual website.  You can set up searches and it will notify you when there is a match.  You can also mark your favorites (which you can do online, too.)

Use the search limiting functions.  I usually start my searches looking only at items that are listed from $5 to $75.  It’s a pet peeve of mine when people put $1 in the cost for the listing, so I just start above there.  Sort from the lowest price up, then check the most recent listings.  But don’t forget to check the oldest listings.  If the item is still around, the seller may be very willing to negotiate and get rid of the thing they’re selling!  Once you’ve skimmed through the items up to $75, you can then go higher if you want.  Remember – the price is just what the seller is asking.  It by no means is what you are required to pay…it’s all up for negotiation, unless the seller says the price is firm.

Check different sections – Antiques, Furniture, General, Household, and yes, Garage Sale.  People list stuff everywhere, it seems.

Use keywords: cabinet, bookshelf/shelves, hutch, storage, drawers, and wood are all some of my go-to’s.

If you want to see if you can get a better price than what’s listed, I have found a good way is to simply write, “Would you be willing to work with me at all on price, please?” and then offer to pick the item up at their convenience.
Hard to say no to that… in my opinion. :-)

Hope Fall is fantastic wherever you are.


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My oldest turned 7 over the summer and we moved shortly before that.  All in all, it was time for some new room decor.  His first “big boy” room was transportation themed and he loved it.  So did I.  But times change, and so we moved on to bigger and better things.

There are two major caveats that I should throw out there that made this room possible.  My awesome in-laws downsized, and we were the beneficiaries – very nice furniture.  We inherited:  a full size metal headboard and bed frame from Room and Board (similar to this), a dresser from Room and Board (similar to this), as well as a desk, nightstand, and two lamps.

He fell in love with baseball, so I set about giving him a slugger’s space. (I took this pic in our backyard.)

Almost everything was found on the cheap. It took most of the summer, hitting yard sales, checking out eBay and Etsy, combing through Craiglist, and sifting through piles at my favorite thrift store.  I also worked online sales sites like Groupon.

We did grab in a new duvet cover, a simple navy and white stripe. (Found at Target, here)

The first thing I did was embroider a little design on one of his pillowcases.  He’s a fan of both the Cincinnati Reds as well as the Milwaukee Brewers.  So with some embroidery floss, I stitched this on by hand.  Easy peasy.  It’s washed up fine, too. (Like the wrinkled pillowcase?  Just keepin’ it real, folks.)

I scored this shelf on Craigslist for $5.  Is it heirloom quality stuff? No.  It’s plastic. But it fit our theme, and our colors so I added it.  It’s a home for bobbleheads, little league trophies, and keepsakes from the pro games he’s been to.

One of the lamps my in-laws gave us had this great, rectangular shaped shade.  It begged for a design.  I found a Babe Ruth quote, grabbed a paint pen, Googled a baseball-ish font, and 15 minutes later, had this:

This baseball mitt wall shelf was a thrift store find, and it holds a bat and a ball.

My Dad and I went to an estate sale, and in the barn/garage there was a big bucket of scrap wood.  I think we paid $5 for it all.  There were two different colors of painted wood, and as soon as I saw them I thought, “Those look like fence posts.”  Instantly I remembered seeing a cute baseball sign about “swinging for the fences.”  My Dad nailed them together for me and added a hanger.  I used my craft paints to add the slogan.  Done.

I found a vintage Cracker Jack tin at the Worlds Longest Yard Sale in August.

 I also grabbed some old baseballs and a bat there.  I sat the balls up on the ledge over his closet door.

I had a plain beige throw pillow from my in-laws so I painted on the word “baseball.”

This wood caddy was another thrift store find.  I added the Brewers logo – using this technique. It’s a place for him to store his baseball cards, game programs, etc.

I used stencils to add a sweet little detail onto the door to his room, to remind him that you should have something to aim for (Cooperstown is where the Baseball Hall of Fame is.  The mileage is the distance from our house to Cooperstown.)  It took 15 minutes but it makes me smile whenever I walk by…

This Reds poster was a find on Freecycle – which, if you haven’t checked out, you should.  People post things they would like to get rid of, and if you want it, you email and ask and if you’re first, you get it.  Free.  The letter B was from his old room, spray painted to match.  I think it originally came from HomeGoods.

We had a Groupon to a wall mural company, and Brady picked out this pic of Miller Park in Milwaukee.  From left to right, the Ryan Braun canvas was a birthday gift from a relative, the game towel was another gift, and the Brewers sign was an eBay win.

We added a mirror from our stash, at his height instead of above the dresser where you would normally put a mirror.   It’s his room, and I want it to be something he can use when he needs to.  Then we added four double-pronged hooks to give all those baseball caps a place to live.  I didn’t worry about screwing them into studs because they will only be holding hats.

I’ve saved the best for last.  At a charity auction, my husband did something he almost never does.  He bid on something!  And not something little.  No, he bid on a custom painted wall mural done by a local artist.  And he won!  We knew right away which room this would be going in. :-)  My son chose a scene from Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.  Keep in mind, we had done the rest of his room on a budget, so this was definitely our big splurge.  It took four whole days of painting (artist’s website here).  But in the end, the result is a stunning, inspiring scene that makes this little boy’s room an absolute home run!

If you are working on making over a room, my advice would be:

Take some time and search as many places as you can for second-hand items to add to it.
Add some inspiration, some positive thoughts.
If you are the creative type, include some personally done touches.
And don’t be afraid to invest in a marquee piece!

I had so much fun putting this space together, for someone I love so much!

Thanks for reading!

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Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

mop it up mondays

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What a fun week this has been! I have just had creative juices a-flowin’!

I wrote a while ago about this wood trunk I bought on Craigslist several months ago. I had intended to paint it for my daughter’s room. But it just wasn’t playing out that way… I never could figure out what I wanted to do with it.

Then, a good friend had a baby, and mentioned that she was looking for a toy box. Serendipity! So, my Dad set to work doing some minor repairs, adding a missing piece of trim (that turned out to match the other pieces perfectly), and installing new safety hinges to prevent smashed baby fingers.

Then, I got to work. My friend did her baby’s room in sea creatures and thought a treasure chest would be cute. The minute she said that, I knew this would be a fantastic project!

I used my craft paints and added some black trim to the edges, and around the hardware.
Then, I added “sand” along the bottom, starfish, seahorses, seaweed, a “Nemo,” and coral around the sides. I painted some “jewels” hanging out of the top. :-)

I even found some black thumbtack-type things that I pounded into the black trim on the sides to give it that old Pirate-y look.   Fun!

Then, for the top of the chest, I painted an old-fashioned looking compass, a padlock and skeleton key, and a scroll warning all treasure hunters that, “treasure is property of Capt. Alex”

I loved this project. So budget-friendly, and a quick job, yet so personal and really a gift from my heart for a longtime friend. I hope the chest brings her little man much happiness in the years to come!!

Then, I turned my sights to a valet that we’ve had for years, that I bought my husband once upon a time, but now, two houses later, no longer fits in our master bathroom or bedroom. Sigh.

I had painted it a glossy white a while ago, but couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Then, the inspiration struck, and I decided to turn to the Graphics Fairy site for some vintage French graphics and lettering. I distressed the piece and drew on the French flair, and it was like a whole new piece!

 I practiced my drawing on paper first.

 The Graphics Fairy also had this awesome graphic of a vintage dress form and added it.

I used calligraphy markers to do this, but I’m sure you could print out the image and mod podge it on. At any rate, if you haven’t been to the Graphics Fairy, you should!

I’ve been loving the feeling of cranking out project after project. I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to go paint!

Anyone else?


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