Basement Facelift Update

Remember this shiny mess of a basement TV room? Pockmarked concrete walls and shiny gray paint be gone! Mike is a miracle worker.

After ripping off the old plaster, three rounds of mudding and hand-texturing on the walls and some serious sanding, the walls are primed and ready for paint. Pictures don’t do it justice. I am so thrilled and can see the difference already.

We’re 99% sure we have found our paint color. Mike will start with the ceiling this week and once the lights are back in place we’ll make a final decision. The brown windows will also get sanded and painted and Mike will install new window trim and baseboards.

There are no plans to do a big furniture replacement just yet (our wallets are stretched as-is) but my eye remains on two cable end tables from These would allow us to get rid of my old black side tables from Target, circa 2005. Should I pull the trigger?

I will keep you updated as the room continues to move forward. Thank you Mike for being the most handy and patient husband around!

Quick DIY Project

We have gorgeous built-in cabinets in our upstairs sitting room that flank both sides of a fireplace (non working right now). Since we moved in I’ve been wanting to rip off and replace the dark, dingy wallpaper that the previous owners used to line the back of the cabinets. It kept falling to the very bottom of the list, but when my mom booked a short weekend trip to visit I decided she was the perfect person to help me tackle the project.

I chose a light wallpaper from Home Depot (online) called Leaf Toss. Once activated with water the back was self adhesive. No wallpaper glue or special equipment necessary…just careful measuring and patience since the shelves do not come out.

At first I was a little disappointed that the leaf pattern was so fair, but in the end it looks really pretty and behind our glassware and paned glass cabinet doors. Overall the aesthetic met my goal to quickly and easily lighten and freshen up the cabinets. Unfortunately, the cabinets are not wired for under-the-shelf lighting, so I would like to pick up some of those sticky press lights to turn on when we are entertaining.

Thank you mom for all of your help and wallpaper measurement and application expertise!

In other news, the basement progress has been remarkable. Mike’s amazing drywall mudding and re-texturing work is just days away from completion. Then, we paint! Cue happy dance. I am excited to share some pictures soon.

Basement Decor Concepts

I should post a picture of the basement right now…it’s torn to shreds. Maybe later this week I’ll be brave enough to do so. Until then, let’s stick with my area of interest and leave the plaster patching debacles to my DIY hero Mike.

We have two Pottery Barn glass lamps that will move from the upstairs down to the basement TV room when complete. I think they will fit much better down there, and the earthy, sea glass color (Jade if you click through the link above) is beginning to inspire how I envision the room coming together.


The bulk of the room will be white (TV cabinet, bookshelves, office area) and right now I’m leaning towards a soft cream on the walls so that I do not get sick of a paint color in years to come. But cheery, light-catching accents and decorations will be critical for tricking the eye and making the room appear brighter and more airy than it really is given the small sub-ground windows.

I don’t want it to be beachy (no shells) but shades of blue and green/blue are colors I’ve never decorated with before and I feel like they are very basement friendly. I’ll be enlisting my decor GENIUS friend Kimbra to ensure I’m on the right track though.

We’ll be stuck with the bulk of the furniture we have now given budget limitations but I would like to get rid of our black, very scratched coffee table (and matching scratched end table) ASAP and replace those with two side tables in a natural, earthy wood that compliments the white cabinetry. Right now I am loving the table below from

Source: via Alexis on Pinterest


I may steer clear of a true coffee table altogether since the space is relatively small.

One area where I am extremely stumped is artwork. There will be one main wall to decorate behind the couch. The wall is the focal point from either way you enter the room (through the guest bedroom or laundry room). We had one big picture hanging there but I think a collage of framed artwork and a few small mirrors may play better given the low ceilings. Inspiration & decor advice welcome ~ just leave a comment below!


Pin of the Week: Terrariums


I really need to stop pinning pictures of terrariums to my Green Thumb Envy Pinterest board and just make one, or a bunch, happen already. I think a small cluster of three like this one from Lavender and Lemon Drops could look gorgeous in our TV room once the basement facelift is done. Isn’t every room (or at least one) in a house supposed to have something living? We have none.

West Elm has some beautiful options, and I really like the terrariums with a wooden base for an added feeling of “natural.”

Are they easy to care for? Any tips to get started? I’m clueless!

Pin of the Week: Truth

Source: via Alexis on Pinterest


This picture says it all. Mike and I are both super busy at work and I have little motivation to clean past the bathroom. I cannot stand a dirty bathroom of any kind.

The basement facelift is moving forward but at a slow pace since Mike is tackling it solo at night and on weekends. I admire his after-hours DIY work ethic but wish some extra cash would magically appear in our saving account so we could just hire it all out. All of our furniture has been moved out of the TV room so the rest of the basement is a disaster. Our gigantic TV is now temporarily in our room and I swear I might have a seizure from how big/close the screen is to our bed.

I am keeping a smile on my face and not inviting anyone over to our house until this is done.

Please pardon our mess, my continued lack of blogging and a general absence from social media. For the first time in years, chronicling every moment on Facebook, the blog and Twitter is not top-of-mind.

Basement Facelift!

Our basement is getting a facelift, our basement is getting a facelift!

Note: I am singing as I type…just so you get the full picture of how freaking excited I am. 

Where to start? Well, the TV room in our basement has been on our project to-do list since we got the keys to our house last December. But other rooms were prioritized, including the basement guest bedroom, so that family and friends would feel cozy and comfortable. The TV room is 100 percent functional in its current state. We use it every day and in the summer, it offers immense reprieve from the scorching oven that is our upstairs. It’s amazing (and a bit frustrating) how old houses stay cold in the winter and are so damn hot in the summer.

But the space isn’t pretty. The previous owners thought it would be a great idea to paint it a dingy greenish gray, in a glossy finish, floor to ceiling. That’s right. In a concrete basement room with little natural light and low ceilings, they painted the entire room one terrible glossy color. Ew. Put it this way. If my mom had not been with us when we were shown our house for the first time, the two basement room paint jobs may have caused me to walk away altogether. She helped me see “the bones.”

Okay, enough stalling. I am going to share pictures now. Please be kind and know that the holes in the ceiling are brand new. On Saturday Mike (the most handy husband on earth) kicked off the facelift project by removing the only two (yes, just two) can lights from the ceiling and added four adjustable recessed lights so that all the walls can be washed with color. There is literally nothing that man can’t do around the house.

 Ewwww, I know. Here is a breakdown of Project Facelift.

  1. Install new recessed lighting on dimmers – CHECK
  2. Purchase white entertainment center + floor to ceiling bookshelves for TV wall makeover – CHECK
  3. Purchase white filing cabinet + office storage combo to make one side of the room into a home office – CHECK
  4. Have walls patched and re-textured
  5. Paint walls, ceiling and window trim respectable, normal, no-gloss colors that BRIGHTEN up the room
  6. Purchase one or two floor lamps (blog posts about the ones I’m coveting to come) to add more light
  7. Update the fireplace facade (The latest issue of This Old House has an unbelievable fireplace makeover DIY tutorial for about $100 total)
  8. Eventually, we’ll look to get a sectional sofa, replace the arm chair and get a new (lighter and brighter) coffee and end table set. But those will all stay for now and I know the lighting, texture and painting will make a tremendous difference in the interm

To all my design-savvy readers out there, any and all recommendations and ideas are welcome. Have a paint color you think we should try? Tell me! Know a killer website to get Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel lighting knock-offs? I need to know about it ASAP. And stay tuned for many facelift updates throughout the weeks ahead.

Friday’s Pin of the Week: Crafty

For our wedding I wanted anything but a traditional guest book. At some point in the planning process I stumbled across the idea of having guests sign postcards, which in turn, get mailed to you throughout the year. I never needed a guest book idea after reading that. For the year leading up to the wedding Mike and I collected postcards on all of our trips, and enlisted friends and family to do the same, eventually collecting postcards from nearly every place we have ever been together.

Today, about a month shy of our first wedding anniversary, we are still receiving postcards, which my mom sends sporadically every few weeks. It has been so much fun to read everyone’s well wishes, jokes and lovely advice for keeping the love and respect forever nurtured in a marriage. The postcards can put a smile on my face even after the toughest of days.

But our cards aren’t displayed in any creative way, which is a total waste in my opinion! So when I saw the picture below I thought, that could work for us! Maybe it is something I’ll tackle this summer…

Do you have any other idea for how we can display our guest book postcards?

Source: via Alexis on Pinterest

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