Pretty, Easy DIY Christmas Decor

Want to do a little Christmas decorating or add to your holiday decor without breaking the bank? Well, Annie get your glue gun! Seriously, if you can plug a cord into an outlet and pull a glue gun trigger, you’re crafty. Moving on.

Here’s what I did to add just a touch of Christmas to my dining room, which I chose because it’s the most sparsely decorated room in my home. I love it that way – it has a Scandinavian feel (in my opinion) – which plays into my minimalist goals. It also seemed like the perfect blank palette for some wreaths and whatnot.

I bought two faux boxwood wreaths from At Home for the two windows in my dining room. They were $14.99 each, and after the holidays, I can hang them on my exterior doors and add seasonal touches to them like flowers in the spring, maybe red, white, and blue ribbon for Independence Day, and autumn leaves in the Fall. You know I love to reduce, reuse, recycle!

I like boxwood because it looks neat and tidy.

I purchased red and white plaid ribbon – 60% off at JoAnn Fabrics ($3.20 per roll and I used 1.5 rolls) – and with my glue gun made a loop of wide ribbon around the wreath. This will be the hanger. I tied a wide-ribbon bow to the top, and slid the ribbon hanger onto the valance piece of my horizontal blinds. This project took maybe 20 minutes to do both wreaths. It would have been 15 minutes had I not dropped the glue gun and subsequently stuck my finger directly into a glob of hot glue, causing unChristmas-like profanity and walking in circles until the pain subsided. That was a good 5 minutes right there.

Ta-da! Boxwood wreath hanging from the valance on my blinds.

I also picked up a faux boxwood ball ($9.99), which to me looks a little or a lot like mistletoe. Ribbon-scissors-glue gun, and boom – ready to hang!

Looks like Mistletoe to me!

You can see a theme here, and I do love a theme (or at least symmetry), because next came two faux potted boxwoods ($9.99 each) for the table top. These are perfect because the pots are neutral, and again I can remove the ribbon and use them throughout the year. One more time: ribbon-scissors-glue gun and voila! My potted boxwoods have the same red plaid trim as the wreaths and the made-up mistletoe.

There was still a good amount of ribbon left on the spool, so I made a large bow and attached it with a strip of thin ribbon to the light fixture above the dining table. I have plenty of ribbon left for next year, too.

With the narrow ribbon, I tied a bow around my existing pillar candle holder. I love how the red plaid ribbon ties it all together. See what I did there? Ha! I tossed a pinecone garland around the pillar candle in the window seat for some texture.

Just a little something in the window seat.

Lastly, I added the vintage ceramic Christmas tree that belonged to my parents. It’s nice to have something sentimental in the room, and Mom’s little ceramic tree puts a smile on my face. Who doesn’t love something to smile about?

From Christmas past – a little keepsake from Mom and Dad.

So, for a grand total of $75 plus tax, I added a nice little amount of Christmas to my dining room, most of which I’ll use all year simply by changing the ribbon or leaving it au naturale. You could totally do this for even less by making your own wreaths or hitting up the dollar store. Get creative – if you grow herbs in the kitchen, put those in matching pots with seasonal ribbon for a table top centerpiece. The possibilities are endless!

The best photo I can get of my pretty, minimalist Christmas!

The holidays can be hectic and stressful, and as much as we want to welcome our friends and family into a Chip and Joanna worthy home, Christmas decorating should be enjoyable and on the “if I get to it” list, and it certainly should not put you in financial distress. Thanksgiving, Christmas, any holiday for that matter can be enjoyed with loved ones without stressing yourself or your pocketbook.

Merry Christmas and cheers to a happy holiday season!
Kelly

 

Your Photograph on Canvas in a Floating Frame

As the kitchen is ever so slowly coming together, I’ve been contemplating what to do with the blank wall above the buffet. Now that the walls are painted, it seems the right time to finally make a decision and fill that space.

I like to purchase original artwork (when I can), but haven’t yet come across anything I love for the kitchen, and I was giving up hope. But then it hit me. There was a photograph I took in Florence, Italy back in 2006. It was shot with black & white film, and I knew exactly the scene, composition, everything, but I could not find the photograph for the life of me. I had removed it from my photo album and not replaced it–Egads!

I started going through my negatives, which is no small undertaking given that I have a lifetime of them stored in a Rubbermaid Tote. These are the times I thank God for my OCD and the fact that I painstakingly label everything. Negative found, and off I went to JW Image Co. (who are fantastic, btw!) to see about a print.

Within a week I had a 16 x 24 print on canvas stretched on a wood frame. My photograph was real art! And the image was perfect for the kitchen. It shows an adorable little lady shopping at an open-air Italian market complete with bins of produce and the woman’s plaid shopping bag. Perfezionare!

Once it was hung on the wall, it seemed small for the space. Not wanting to have it framed, I headed to–where else–the At Home store and found the Miranda poster frame for $20. I removed the glass and the clips, and it was ready to hang. Two nails and five minutes later, I have a canvas print perfect for the kitchen in a floating frame that better fills the space. Voila!

You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver and pliers to remove the metal clips from the back of your frame
Now the clips are there…
…and now the clips are not
My own photograph printed on canvas and highlighted with a floating frame

I love everything about this project:

  • The artwork adds a personal touch to my space because it is by yours truly
  • The frame was inexpensive but doesn’t look so
  • Hanging the frame separate from the art gives it more of an artsy vibe
  • It was easy-peasy!

So take a look through your photographs and see what might look good on canvas. You got this!

Cheers!
Kelly

5 Signs Your Kitchen Needs a Facelift, and a Few Easy Fixes

We all know that feeling of walking into a room and wanting to rearrange the furniture, accessorize, or do an about-face and march right back out. Well, I know that feeling–this blog wouldn’t exist if I didn’t have the urge to paint a room or swap out furniture every couple of months! But sometimes the need is real. Like when things aren’t functioning well, or when a room feels…depressed.

That describes the state of my kitchen when I bought my darling little home a year ago. While it was beloved to someone, we all have our own slice of style, and peachy walls with orange/salmon counter tops are not my [apricot] jam. Ha! And it’s more than color that seems amiss.

Dark cabinets, peachy walls, and salmon granite were in cahoots when I moved in. But I have a plan!

If you and your kitchen are indifferent at best, these five easy-to-fix items might be the key to renewing your zest for the mess[hall]–I can’t stop myself!

1. Wall color. Maybe you never liked the color, or you were into the color but your style has moved in another direction, or you love the color but it’s become a bit dull from years of kitchening.

You’re in luck! This is an easy-peasy fix. If you’re a woman or man after my own heart and are not afraid to throw down a drop cloth and roll out a wall, all that’s left is to choose a color. Even if you’ve never painted a room before, it’s fairly simple to try your hand at one wall, just to give it a go. If you’re nervous about cutting in (painting a steady stroke along the baseboard or ceiling), go ahead and use some blue tape to be sure you don’t get your Sherwin Williams Sea Salt or Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist all over your crisp white baseboards or ceiling.

If it’s been established that a painter you are not, hire one. Prices vary, and I recommend checking reviews and asking for recommendations.

Lastly, if you love the color you have, but it’s looking tired, give your walls an old fashioned washing. Yes, it’s not something only your grandmother did; people still wash their walls! Dust first, then use warm soapy water. It’s true because it’s on the internet right here.

2. Your Dinnerware is Hiding. Love your dinnerware but the only time you see it is beneath a pool of steak juice?

Install shelves to display your favorite pieces and enjoy them every day. If you have a large collection of dinnerware, rotate your display with the seasons…or whenever you choose.

You can also swap out a cabinet door with a glass door, or even better (imho), remove the doors from your upper cabinets entirely. That’s my plan, Stan. You’ll need to fill the holes where the hardware was attached with wood filler, and depending upon what material your cabinets are made from, you can lightly sand, prime, and paint. Your kitchen will become a whole new world!

The kitchen cabinets are high quality. They are also dark and hiding my pretty dinnerware and handmade pottery.
See what I mean? The plan is to remove the doors and paint the cabinet to showcase what’s inside.

3. Things are Broken/Don’t Work Properly. This is a sneaky one. When one little thing malfunctions, you might think it’s no big deal and you live with it. And then another little thing goes, and so on. Before you know it, you’re camp-site improvising every time you make a meal. One of my lower cabinet doors has come unhinged. Every time I close the cabinet door, I have to lift and push. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but once a little annoyance like that is fixed, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t corrected it years ago. So schedule some time to give all those little creaks, rattles, and loosey-goosies the attention they need.

4. Your Inspiration Photo and Your True Photo are a World Apart. Are your Pinterest boards filled with inspiration? Filled with rooms so beautiful they make your eyes hurt? They are so beautiful, in fact, that you never even attempt to replicate such perfection. Am I right? I’ve done this to myself plenty, but every now and then I get the courage to give it a whirl. Sometimes Pinterest’s “simple solution” turns to a big pile of poo, and I call those learning experiences. My point is, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Pinterest or bust! Pull out an inspiration photo and make it happen, or at least your version of it.

One of my many inspiration photos for the dine-in kitchen area. Yes, I just drooled a little…
And here’s real life. I’ve only begun to work on this little space, but painting the peachy walls to cream has already lifted my spirits! Much more work to be done, but I’m taking one task at a time.

5. The Room is Not Your Happy Place. Your home, whether it be owned or rented, is your home. It should spark delight and contentment. If you walk into a room and it does nothing positive for your mood, or worse, it brings you down, re-read each of the above. Something is amiss. Why not repair, paint, (always check with landlord first), clean, give general TLC, and enjoy your home rather than spend another minute wishing you lived somewhere else? It’s your home, and you should love it!

I have some great DIY ideas for my kitchen. Although the granite is not a color I would choose, it is high-quality, so I can’t justify removing it. I’m not going to cover the granite, but rather work with everything around it to tone it down. Give me a follow, and stay tuned!

Cheers!
Kelly

 

Small Fix for Small Bathroom

Dear Bathroom, I’m just not that into you.

There, I said it. My master bath is ridiculous, and not in the modern-day ‘you’re so awesome’ sense of the word. I’m talking old-timey, Merriam-Webster definition: arousing or deserving ridicule : extremely silly or unreasonable : absurd, preposterous. That is all that can be said for my water closet with a shower. The toilet cave. The Mad Master Bath, as it was named in this post from December 2016 when I installed shelves in the toilet room. You can also see the crazy layout in that post. Trust me, it’s worth the drive-by.

My elbows have been bruised since I took ownership a year ago. The recessed vanity from wall to wall is 36″ and when you allow for the shelves on either side (which are absolutely necessary because there is not nearly enough vanity or cabinet space), I have a total of 27 1/2″. Turn sideways, you say. Sure. From vanity to the door behind me, I have 26″ of wide open space.

I painted the 1980s oak vanity last summer (2016). Prettier, but cluttered.

Given that my wingspan from elbow to elbow when I’m styling my hair is 29″, I was in quite a jam (see what I did there?). Since it’s likely going to be another year before I have the budget to rehab the MMB, I did the only thing I could to remedy the bruising situation — I removed the door and hung a curtain. Yes. I. Did.

See how the door invades my space?
And here it is without the door
No more bruised elbows!

Now, I know y’all are blessing my heart as you read this because curtains for doors are home fashion blasphemy, but hear me out. It’s temporary. More specifically, it is an inexpensive fix until the toilet cave can be gutted and made right.

The curtain is functional and not the end of the world

Why hang a curtain at all? To block the light that comes through the MMB window (the one with the shelves), lest I toss and turn all night at the hands of the dimmest hint of a stray light particle. I used to close the bathroom door at night to block the light. Now I have a groovy curtain. Can you dig it?

At the vanity, I installed two shelves that were given to me by a friend who had no use for them, and the Langesund mirror from Ikea. I’ve been searching for a round mirror that doesn’t break the bank for a good while, and Ikea wins! The shelves free up a lot of space on the vanity by getting my stuff off the surface, and it looks and feels roomier, which is always a bonus.

Round mirror with a shelf on either side = better (and too cute!)
Shelves help the vanity be a vanity!

So, the Langesund Mirror was $28 (Ikea), the light blocking curtain panel in Charcoal was $10 (Target), the Arrow Cafe Rod was $14 (Target), and the shelves were free from a friend. Grand total: $52.

Although the curtain-in-a-doorway schtick is not the most proper, it works for me as a temporary fix. No more bruised elbows for this girl, not until demo time for the Mad Master Bath…

Cheers!
Kelly

I Like Cheap Furniture

Several years ago I got it in my head that because I was an adult, I should start investing in quality furniture. I made one such purchase and it turned out to be ridiculous. Why? Because I like to redecorate every few years. If I’m investing in quality furniture at every turn, well, that makes for an expensive hobby. And a whole lot of commitment. The Ethan Allen media cabinet was such a steep investment (for my budget) that I felt obligated to keep it forever. That limited my redecorating options, and so I resented an inanimate object. Nice.

Ethan Allen media cabinet
Media cabinet refuses to budge

When I saw this cabinet in August 2004, I had to have it. It was the first one of this style I had ever seen, and no one was selling anything like it. Now you can find these things everywhere. I paid for the overpriced wooden box and then waited, complained, and fought for over a year before I had possession of the complete piece. To top that off, it was damaged when it arrived, but by that time it was out of production so all they could do was repair rather than replace. I called Ethan Allen headquarters and experienced the worst customer service of my life. Never. Again.

But, by December 2005 it was delivered, repaired to the best of the delivery guy’s ability, and fully ensconced in my home. All 5 million pounds of it. I could not budge that thing an inch, no way, no how. I can feel my anxiety building as I recount this to you because I’m a re-arranger. Things get moved around at my place. I like to change it up. Try out new looks. Not only had I come to the realization that this thing was the most costly item in my estate and therefore not disposable, but it was also going to occupy the same footprint for all of eternity. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but not.

A few years later, enter another source of furniture anxiety. I inherited my parents’ bedroom set after Dad passed away and Mom downsized. Their 1960s mid-century suite is the style, color, shape, and size I love. It’s exactly what I would buy if I had the room. See where this is going? I live in a tiny condo and don’t like clutter. At one point, my little bedroom was home to a bed, chest of drawers, dresser, cedar chest, sewing machine cabinet, plant stand, and jewelry armoire. The wall-to-wall furniture was making me crazy! I tried to give the bedroom set to my sister. Twice. Thank goodness she didn’t take me up on it, because it all worked out in the end.

First, the dresser did some traveling. It started in the bedroom, hung out in the dining room, and was planted in the entryway for a while to catch my keys as I came and went. There was too much furniture in every room and poor dresser wore out its welcome everywhere. It was a beautiful thorn in my minimalist side.

Dresser in the bedroom
Dresser looking crowded in the tiny bedroom

To make my point about redecorating: I no longer have the curtains, bedding, lamps, or bed shown in the photo above. That was so three years ago!

Dresser in the dining room
Dresser looking awkward in the tiny dining room

I tried, without success, to sell the media cabinet. I felt defeated by this thing. But, a year later I listed it again–I had nothing to lose–and it sold. Boom! Goodbye overpriced, too-heavy, messing-with-my-feng-shui albatross! Not only did I pocket a little chunk of cash, it opened up the perfect space for the dresser. The transaction left the largest wall in my condo looking a bit bare, but not to worry. I had been dreaming of a picture ledge for years, and West Elm had exactly what I was looking for. I pounced purchased.

Dresser and West Elm picture ledge
Dresser and West Elm picture ledge
Dresser 1281
Dresser and West Elm picture ledge

The dresser is perfect for this space. When I sold the media cabinet, I gave away the tv and bought a smaller one. That’s right, I downsized my tv, and yes I am feeling fine! I don’t like when the tv dominates my room (I’m not a gamer and I don’t have an in-home theater), and since I live in a small space, it makes sense that I would have a small tv. At least that’s my logic.

The Ethan Allen purchase was my first and last big furniture expenditure. Since then it’s been Target, World Market, Wayfair, and even Steinmart. I bought a dining set at Target and after enjoying it for a few years, I sold it cheap and was happy. Same story for an animal print chair, a console table, and who knows what else–it’s a revolving door here! I may feel differently in a decade, or even tomorrow, but this is what works for me now.

The bottom line is that I love the dresser as a tv stand. And, I get to display some of my favorite pieces of art along with my ukulele on the picture ledge I always wanted. Harmony has been restored to my home. Well, that is, when I learn to play the ukulele!

Cheers!
Kelly

 

Wall Mounted Coat Rack…for Scarves!

That’s right, a coat rack for scarves. I’ve been wanting something in the entry to catch my scarves, and maybe even my pocketbook, for at least a year. I would find something that was the right price but not the look I wanted, or cute as could be but a couple hundred dollars. For a piece of wood and some hooks! So, as you can imagine, I took matters into my own hands. Sort of.

I gleaned this little doo-dad from the haphazard shelves of At Home for less than $15. It was the wrong color, of course, but paint was sent to earth so we could all live harmonious lives, free from having the wrong color coat rack. For our scarves.

At Home Coat Rack
Vintage/Distressed coat rack on the shelves of At Home

The mirror under which this would be installed is white. The wall, pale gray. The trim, white. So black and ivory just wasn’t going to cut it. No worries–it took about 15 minutes to paint this thing, let it dry, and voila! It was installed just in time for a little soiree I hosted, and I love it! Decorative and functional. No better attributes than those in my small space.

At Home coat rack painted white
Painted white and coordinating with the mirror
At Home coat rack
Summer scarves add color to the entry

This could have easily been wallpapered or stenciled as well. When you feel like a shopping failure and can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, remember, you can always add your personal touch and make it your own. I like it. I like it a lot!

Cheers!
Kelly

Kitchen Upgrade: Finishing Touches

Here we are at finishing touches, but honestly, is a project ever really finished? Here is a link to the big kitchen reveal, and below is a little more info on a couple of the final details, but bear with me–this is the penultimate post about the kitchen. Who would have thought I’d have so much to say about the kitchen? Ha!

I installed this magnetic knife rack from Ikea (the GRUNDTAL) last week. For some reason, a magnetic knife rack in the kitchen feels like a complete luxury to me. I love it! Maybe because drawer space is at a premium, and I don’t want the clutter of a knife block sitting on the counter. Who knows, but we like what we like, right?

Ikea magnetic knife rack
Ikea magnetic knife rack
Ikea magnetic knife rack
Ikea magnetic knife rack

The best part is that it was simple to install. In keeping with Ikea’s special way, the two screws required are intentionally not included because “wall materials vary.” I guess for the bargain basement price of $15, they get to intentionally not include the screws. I had some on hand, so no worries there.

I was nervous about drilling into the grout between the newly-installed subway tile. Visions of crumbling grout and a domino effect causing the whole wall to come down danced in my head. But it was easy-peasy, and in about 5 minutes the rack was installed.

I do love an easy project.

As for seating, I had my eye on this Industrial Stool from West Elm, but at $199, it was out of the question. So look what I found at Target. The Lewiston is nearly a match, and at $60, two of them were tossed in the cart, paid for and swept into my vehicle in record time.

I do love a bargain.

Lewiston bar stools from Target
Target version is very similar to the West Elm style

Assembly was required, but thanks to the cave painting pictorial instructions, I figured it out with just a little head tilting. All total, maybe 45 minutes of assembly (stool #1 = 30 min; stool #2 = 15 min). In the grand scheme, no big. They’ve been sat on and are secure, so my work there is done.

I do love a finished project (well, project within a project).

And lastly, the three things I still want to do in the kitchen…some day…are:

  • Light Fixture–the existing fixture screams 1995 every time I flip it on. Seriously. I have been a shoppin’ and a searchin’ but have not yet found the fixture of my dreams…although this is a strong contender from Overstock.
Rae six light chandelier from Overstock
Something like this
  • File Holder–attach a cutesy/vintage file holder to the outer side of the pantry to hold mail and stuff (and tidy the desk that doubles as my dining table).
Wire, 3-tier, wall mount file holder
Something like this
  • Exposed Cabinet–remove a cabinet door and either paint or wallpaper the inside of one cabinet to display some of my pretty white dinnerware.
Kitchen cabinet, door removed, interior painted blue
Something like this

There you have it. A mostly finished kitchen with just a few cosmetic wants remaining. I can tick those off the list at my leisure. Next week I’ll tell you about the elephant in the kitchen and hope to hear what you think.

Because I do love your opinion!

Cheers!
Kelly

Bookcase Gets a Pop of Color

So I have this bookcase. It was a display model from Pier I several years ago, and it has served me well, but the monochrome black has been falling a little flat. I felt some color in the background would showcase the books, photos, and tchotchke much better. I considered painting the inside of the bookcase, but although the frame and shelves are solid wood, the back is that cardboard-covered-with-contact-paper mess which would likely bubble if painted. I thought about wallpaper, but it was an idea that had to percolate for a while…until I took that little tour at Spoonflower a couple weeks ago (see this post). I browsed, I ordered, and the wallpaper arrived in a tube in less than a week.

Spoonflower shipping tube
Grace thought it was a measuring stick to see how much she’s grown.

Here’s a look at the bookcase in its natural state.

Pier I black bookcase before photo
Pretty, but missing something.
Pier I black bookcase with tchotchke
Everything seems to be floating in an abyss.

So I removed the back of the bookcase, prepped the surface (cleaned it), and got my work area ready on the kitchen floor. The wallpaper is activated just like we did decades ago by dipping it in water and “booking” it for 3 to 5 minutes. You then apply it from the top down while smoothing with a damp sponge to get any air bubbles. It dried for 3 hours, and then I reattached the now-wallpapered back onto the bookcase.

 

I removed back panels of bookcase
I removed the back panels of the bookcase.
Back panels of bookcase are templates to cut wallpaper
The two back panels are used as the templates to cut the wallpaper.
Reattaching wallpapered back panels to bookcase
I reattached the panels and trimmed excess wallpaper.

Tadaaa!

Black bookcase with aqua print wallpaper back
I love the color and the pattern. It’s called Patchwork Gypsy Nautical.

Here are a few shots after everything was put back on the shelves.

Colorful books in front of blue background
Things are no longer floating in a sea of darkness.
Photo and books in front of blue background
The depth is even more pronounced in the evening light.
Bookcase with wallpapered back
The finished product. I love it!

This is probably the first project, ever, that didn’t take at least double the time I estimated. I did this in about 4 hours (3 of which were drying time). Not bad for a half day’s work on a blustery Sunday. The bonus is that if when I tire of it, I should be able to peel the paper off and wipe the surface clean. I’ll let you know. What fun projects are on your list?

Cheers!
Kelly

A Spoonflower Tour – fabric, gift wrap, and wallpaper galore!

This past Saturday I attended a WordPress class in hopes of becoming a bit more savvy with this blogging thing. I chatted with fellow Pressers, had some pizza, and learned a bunch. Take note of the lovely Contact form for your contacting-me convenience. Thank you, thank you very much. I’ve also taken care of (mostly) that pesky hyphenation problem that was going on here. Just about every line ended with a hyphenated word. That needed some ointment for sure. It was a good day of learning from some incredibly intelligent people. A huge shout out to Girl Develop It – RDU!

The class was held at Spoonflower in Durham, which is a fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap shop. Our leaders taught not from a podium or a desk, but from an ironing board. You know I eat that stuff up! An unexpected bonus was a tour of the facility after class. This shop is a little different in that Spoonflower doesn’t actually own any of the designs they offer, rather, users create designs and share them on the Spoonflower site. You can create your own design or browse their huge offering created by others. If you create your own design and add it to their library, you can be paid a royalty every time someone orders your design. Pretty cool, huh?

Spoonflower logo
Spoonflower lets you design your own…if you want
A custom fabric being printed at Spoonflower
A custom fabric order being printed

Spoonflower is a North Carolina start-up that began in 2008 and is growing strong. Everything is made to order and shipped, and the fabric is printed on digital textile inkjet printers. Their process is a departure from traditional textile manufacturing–digital printing creates little waste of fabric, ink, water or electricity. “Spoonflower prints using eco-friendly, water-based inks on natural and synthetic fiber textiles. No additional chemicals are used in the printing or preparation process.” Yes.

Spoonflower fabric order being hand cut
A custom fabric order being hand cut
Spoonflower fabric is sorted after printing
Fabric is sorted after printing
Rolls of gift wrap sorted
Gift wrap is sorted too
Spoonflower safety sign
They even make safety look good

I’ve been looking for wallpaper to cover the inside of a bookcase and have found what I love at Spoonflower. I have measured and ordered just the right amount of Patchwork Gypsy Nautical (as fun as nail polish names), and I promise to share the before and after photos once the project is complete. It’s been years since I’ve wallpapered anything – this should be fun!

Cheers!
Kelly

 

Decorating the Powder Room

I’ll begin by fessing up right from the get-go: this room was so easy it was like taking candy from a baby. Not that I would ever do that, but the room was already gray, and you know how I love a standard gray. So all I had to do was add a couple of personal effects and fluff it up a bit.

Here is where I began:

Powder room when I moved in was clean and freshly painted a color I liked.
Powder room when I moved in was clean and freshly painted a color I liked.
Another shot of the blank slate.
Another shot of the blank slate.

After hanging an additional mirror, a lot of my own photography, my grandmother’s sewing basket to hold an extra towel, voila! It’s a cute and cozy powder room for my guests.

Grandmother's sewing basket holds extra bath linens.
Grandmother’s sewing basket holds extra bath linens.
Snapshots from a trip to Italy above the commode.
Snapshots from a trip to Italy above the commode.
A bridge in St. Louis. The first photograph I was really proud of.
I photographed a bridge in St. Louis on a fun road trip with a couple of girlfriends.
A piece of hand blown glass from Vermont serves as a soap dish.
A piece of hand blown glass from a trip to Vermont serves as a soap dish.
A series of nature photographs is a nice surprise behind the door.
A series of nature photographs taken in Yellowstone National Park, Wisconsin, and North Carolina is a colorful surprise behind the door.

It was tough to get good photos for y’all given how small the room is and the fact that I don’t yet own a wide-angle lens. It’s on the list of things the blog needs. But I think this gives you a good idea of how you can really personalize even a tiny little powder room. There’s no rule against hanging photographs or using sentimental items (at least not in my world). Bonus: because it became sort of a gallery, there’s no need for reading material!

Cheers!
Kelly