Maegan’s Living Room Tour (Before + After)

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetGussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour43.jpgWe’ve made a lot of updates to our living room in the last year and I’m so excited to show y’all what we’ve changed. This post has been a long time in the making and your probably want to grab a coffee or a pumpkin spice latte and settle in. It’s taken a while for this room to come together and my original design plans ran into snags along the way—see below about the mantel art—that worked out in the end. But before we get started let’s take a little walk down memory lane.

This was what the living room looked like when we first moved moved in years ago. We had been married only a couple of years and were still in college so we didn’t have much furniture. I wanted to paint the back wall a cool accent color but I hated it—why I thought I would love flat, grey paint is still beyond me. As I stood there staring at the grey blob telling Sam how much I hated it he literally grabbed a paint sample from the garage and painted our initials over it. It’s was hideous but I loved that he’d inserted himself creatively and tried to make smile so I left it that way for a long time–to my mother’s horror. Gussied Up and Glitzed Before Living Room Tour2

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After several years and the glue oozing up between the seams of the linoleum we asked  our apartment complex to replace our carpets and old linoleum with a lament hardwood. We had to move all our furniture into the garage ourselves but it was worth it! Sam and I were so grateful and excited! They replaced all the flooring downstairs except for the bedroom. Gussied Up and Glitzed Before Living Room Tour6

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These chairs were being used in our dining room and I decided to move them back to the living room where they belonged so we had more seating. I also found this cute rug at Tuesday Morning for a great price. It wasn’t big enough for the space but I loved it just the same. We need a coffee table so I took a palette and cut it in half and used extra slats from the opposite side for legs. I had some left over paint so I painted it blue and then distressed it. I loved that coffee table and everyone who ever came over always commented on how much they liked it. You’ll notice that by now the grey patch has been painted over but it’s not the same color as the wall. The apartment complex gave me the wrong paint color and it it would stay mismatched for a long time. Gussied Up and Glitzed Before Living Room Tour7

I took these photos of the living room last August and it was the last time I really photographed our living room. There were a few new furniture items such as the coffee table, the hammered brass side table, the pouf, and the 8 x 10 rug I found at Tuesday Morning for a whopping $38.94! The huge discolored paint blob was still on the wall. Gussied Up and Glitzed Before Living Room Tour4

And after an entire year of scouring Pinterest, tweaking my ideas, and waiting for sales, this is our living room today!Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 preset

The biggest changes we made were; painting almost the entire downstairs white, new furniture, new art, and a new rug—basically everything. I’ve wanted white walls for years now, and even though this wasn’t my preferred shade of white, I’m never one to look free paint in the mouth. I asked our apartment complex if they would be willing to swap out paying for our carpets to be cleaned in exchange for repainting the walls and they said yes! Again, we had to move our belongings ourselves and tape a few walls off but it was totally worth it. Sam was the most excited because although he willingly helps me every time I ask he really detests painting. They ended up repainting the living room, the fire place, the dining room, the entryway, the stairwell, loft wall leading down into the living room, laundry room hall, and garage entrance. What a difference. Paint is so transformative y’all! The whole apartment looks light, bright, and airy!(Leanne Ford would be so proud!) It’s definitely more cohesive and the ceilings all look a foot taller. I think out of all the changes we made this was the most impactful. You can really feel the difference when you walk into the house. And bonus, no more giant blob of paint on the wall! My mom was cheering from Nashville so loud I could hear it in Dallas. Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour47Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 preset

Lets talk about this couch. Oh my sweet goodness, I’ve been dreaming of owning this couch for years and I better get a good decade’s worth out if it too! It’s the perfect balance of Sam and I’s aesthetics. The leather is a warm butterscotch(which I live for), but it’s a masculine texture(Sam) with great midcentury bones(me), that’s deep/long enough for Sam (6’4″) to lounge on comfortably, and bonus, it’s great for cats(who knew cats don’t like leather)! Sam was actually not convinced about the leather because he thought it would get hot and sticky like the inside of a car during the summer, but it’s actually very cooling and durable.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 preset

And a note about cat’s and leather, cats aren’t drawn to leather like they are woven fabrics or velvets. They have never even expressed interest in taking out their natural scratching instincts on the couch like they do our two chairs. Cats are kind of repelled by leather so it’s an excellent furniture fabric choice if you have cats. Though, if a cat is bored and has no other alternative but your leather furniture I’m sure they would go to town.Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour4Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour42Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour30

The blue Strandmon chair(the blue is discontinued but the yellow looks real fun!)we bought earlier this year and was supposed to be living in the library. Sam loves it so much it kind of made it’s way downstairs and never went back. It sits alongside a beautiful vintage velvet wingback chair that the cats LOVE. Shocker. I’ve got to give a big shoutout to Ikea for making a quality product here. I know Ikea sometimes gets a bad wrap for it’s couches but this chair is really comfortable, durable, and the perfect depth for the tall husband in your life. I understand now why they are so popular! Raise your hand if you have a hard time getting your husband to come around to the pretty couches and chairs with great aesthetics because they aren’t comfortable for him? This chair is the perfect compromise! It comes in great colors and will suit the pickiest of couch potatoes.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 presetimage

The horse photo. Where do I even begin? You know when I was talking earlier about design “snags”? Well, this is more like a design pot hole from New Jersey. (I’ve been there and the pot holes are like next level–no offense to anyone from New Jersey) 🙂 Back to my design pot hole. So I’ve been staring at this art print on the Urban Outfitters website for like a year I just wasn’t sure where I wanted to hang it in my house. The artist name is Kevin Russ and I really love his photography and it just fits my personality and aesthetic so well. I decided one fated day–to be sure–that it would be perfect over our mantel, but it would need to be a massive print. UO carries prints in massive sizes at a very reasonable price point, but there was no way I could afford to buy it pre-framed. Without a second thought I bought a 44×44 print sure that I could just skip down to Hobby Lobby and use my 40% off coupon and get it framed for cheap. I was so sure of my genius, I reassured Sam it was no big deal and shushed him for worrying about it. Trust me, I’m a professional bargain shopper and I got this! My, oh, my. Maegan, Maegan, Maegan. I did skip on over to Hobby Lobby a few weeks later only to find out they don’t custom frame anything that large. Wait, what? And oh, the price for their largest custom orders is $350-$400 after coupon. WAIT, WHAT!? I was horrified. Here I thought I was so smart buying this huge infrared print at a really great price only to find out I wasn’t going to save any money at all—quite the opposite. I left Hobby Lobby with my huge cardboard tube in a fog. What was I going to do? Sam was with me and thank God he was laughing about it–laughing at me really. I mean he wasn’t happy about it but in retrospect it was funny. So, I knew how much regular framing places cost and I just couldn’t afford that.Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour16.jpgimageGussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour22.jpg

There’s a Michael’s Craft Store down the street from our Hobby Lobby(God’s Craft Store and affectionately referred to around our house as the Lobby of Hobbies) and I called them in a last ditch effort. And shock of shock, they do costuming framing for even bigger pieces that 44 x 44. Wait, what?! So we hurried over there and it was really one of the Jesus things where in His omniscience He knew how bad I was about to mess it up and He made a road for me in the desert. The nicest lady was working at the custom framing counter and the framing I was considering just happened to mislabeled for a much cheaper option and she gave us the cheaper price AND she lets us use a coupon. But we were still over what both Sam and I were comfortable paying because the 44 x 44 frame needed acrylic instead of glass—which by the way, is crazy expensive. So we compromised and by trimming the two inch border off the ENTIRE photo–which was so nerve wracking–and using the wider discounted frame to create the “new boarder”. And because we dropped the size two inches all the way around we were able to use glass instead of acrylic! Sam and I were elated! We left the photo there and expected to pick it up the next week.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetGussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour11

Well, I’ll spare y’all the gory details but the framing didn’t go well and we had to take it back three times before the actually got it right. But you know, Jesus is so good, because even though it was a hassle they ended up refunding us half the price of what we paid for the framing so by the time we got it home and hung it up we payed a tiny fraction of the original framing price. See, giant New Jersey design pot hole. But I learned two very valuable design lessons. Framing art is never cheap. No matter how cheap that giant beautiful art you want that costs pennies at that flea market, just know it’s going to cost big bucks to get it framed. And second, never shoot from the hip when dealing with a big budget item because it could cost you three times the amount in the end. Always do your research. Lesson learned. For sure. Also, Sam banned from buying anymore horse art for a long, long, time. Many, many, moons–his words. I humbly acquiesced.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetProcessed with VSCO with m5 preset

And finally the new rug. I bought this soft jute rug during the Labor Day sale at Rugs USA and it just arrived a couple days ago. I’m in love! It added a texture to the room that it was missing and it’s very thick and soft. We’ve never had a rug big enough for this space and this massive 9 x 12 did the trick. The yarn tassels on the end are really fun too. Surprisingly the cats haven’t messed with them much—I’m waiting for it though. They’re more into chasing each other up and over our wingback chairs lately and we’ve got to get that cactus cat scratcher finished soon. They are driving us crazy with all the climbing. Cats are weird wonderful creatures.Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour37Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

I love everything we’ve done so far and I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made. We still have a few furniture pieces I’d like to replace like our TV console and the end table with one that actually has a functioning drawer. I also want to figure out a better lamp/lighting situation–specifically a floor lamp–and just better ambience lighting over all. I’d also like to try my hand at layering rugs and would really love a cowhide to go under the coffee table. Gussied Up and Glitzed Living Room Tour49Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

We finally made it to the end of my living room tour and I hope you really enjoyed it! Thank you so much for hanging out with me today and if you made it to the end of this really long entry bless you! I know it was crazy long but worth it! Have a super happy Monday!

Oxox

Maegan

 

Organizing Our Pantry: Part 1

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The hardest part about living in a small space is storage and clutter. You really can’t have tons of excess belongings or visible storage solutions because it makes the house cluttered. Since we moved into this town home six years ago this pantry has been a problem. It’s more closet than pantry. It’s very deep which makes it hard to reach items in the back. The shelves are also very far apart which wastes a lot of valuable space. I have tried numerous times to reorganize it but it always ended up back in its former dismal state. And I think the reason for that is because I was using the wrong kind of storage and not thinking in terms of how a working kitchen needs to be arranged.

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 2First I needed to purge, clean, and catalog. So that’s what I did. Then I thought about the pantry in terms of how a working kitchen would be laid out. I arranged the items on each shelf by category and put the the most used food stuffs within arms reach. Of course once I started rearranging the pantry it spilled out to other areas of the kitchen. I made a list of all my pantry staples and then I went shopping. Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 6

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 5I storied on Instagram over the last couple of days about my trips to the Container Store where I picked up several different storage bins–that majority of which are super affordable and perfect for this project. I picked up these Multi_Purpose Bins four medium, one large, and four extra large bins. (They are located in the office supply section) I also purchased these InterDesign Linus Pantry Bins in small and large and these InterDesign Linus Deep Drawer Bins in 4″ X 16″ or what I consider the small size. By the way all the bins I purchased are on sale right now! The Container Store has been running their Customer Favorite Sale for several weeks and will end on August 18, 2019 so you still have time to take advantage of it!

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 4I began with the canned goods shelf. I took the medium size bins and filled them with the canned goods. What a difference! I tried the large size for the 24oz cans but it was too wide. It might look like the medium size isn’t wide enough but I assure you they are!

Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 1Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 3I wrangled the chips, crackers, and the insane amount of pasta I didn’t realize was crammed into the pantry in the extra large bins on the shelf above. I dedicated this as the gluten shelf. Chips, crackers, pasta, bread, oatmeal, instant breakfast, and snacks–those are the items that live on this shelf.Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 8Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 9I moved the oils that where on the third shelf to the bottom shelf in the last extra large bin. I decided that this bottom shelf would be my baking shelf. I put the extra flour, and all the other baking essentials in the large woven basket and all the sprinkles, baking candy, and food coloring in the one large plastic bin. I went back the next day and bought a small, deep bin and used it to store my baking twine, soups vide cooking bags, crock-pot bags, and plastic microwave steamer bags.Gussied Up and Glitzed Maegan Johnson Pantry Organization 10On the highest shelf I stored all the zip lock, plastic wrap, and wax paper in the second woven basket that had once housed the oils. Next to it I filled another small, deep bin with our everyday napkins. I decided to keep the trash bags located on the top shelf. The boxes of coffee pods still need to be moved to the hutch.

So the shelves are as follows:

Top Shelf: Storage bags, paper goods, trash bags

Third Shelf: Pasta, Chips, Snacks

Second Shelf: Canned Goods

First Shelf: Baking Goods and Oils

Bottom Shelf: Still a Mystery

Door Storage: Condiments, Dry Goods, Seasoning, Breading, Stocks

The top and bottom shelves are still unfinished but so far I think it looks and functions so much better. In the process of rearranging things I broke one of the over the door shelves so that will have to be replaced eventually too. It still has a ways to go but I’m making good progress. I look forward to posting the full before and after when it’s done. I hope this gives you all inspiration for your own pantries. Do you have any pantry storage hacks or tips? Help a woman out! I want to hear them!

xoxo

Maegan

 

Home Library Progress Update

So months and months ago before my back went out I started turning our loft into a home library. I thought I would share how I’ve updated the space so far! I mean it’s pretty much done, sort of, except for the desk and the filing cabinet which are being replaced–eventually. I still need to repaint the yellow chair and I’m not sold on the rug. So, I guess it’s not almost done but whatever. I’m rollin’ with it.The pink walls I painted last fall or summer–last year was kind of a blur and it’s all running together at this point so I don’t really remember when I painted them. Why pink? The better question is why not pink? I tried to choose a pink shade that was a bit more subdued and adult. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to claim Baby Blush is sophisticated, but I was going for glam anyway. The pink walls casts a soft glow in the second half of the day that filters the light in the living room below. It’s heavenly.

I made a mood board on Pinterest where you can see the vibe I was going for–It’s kind of a 70’s Texas glam. I kind of went ham sandwich with color in this room. I felt it was a space I could really go all out with color but I tried to keep it away from being bitsy and juvenile. Sam of course, is a good man and encourages me do as I please when it comes to design. I’ve found that as long as I don’t let form come before function too often(especially when I want to spend $ on the big stuff) he usually loves it–even if it’s pink.I do plan on painting or changing out the filing cabinet. I mean I have to have some sort of filing system for bills and my manuscripts but I don’t know that it needs to be a filing cabinet. If you’ve got any ideas I want to hear them. Tell me! I mean there has to be an aesthetically more pleasing way to store paper. Another issue I have to tackle is all the server and its trimmings but that’s a blog post for another day.

I made the shelves out of these steel double mount tracks and these brackets that I painted rose gold. I went with raw Plywood for the shelves I had cut into 12in x 8ft pieces. I used nice plywood because its cheaper than buying boards by the ft and I liked the industrial look of the raw plywood edges. This was a really easy and self explanatory DIY. Basically figure out how wide and tall you want your shelving to be and how far apart your wall studs are. That determines how many wall tracks you’ll need. Then figure out how far apart you far want your shelves and that will determine how much wood you will need. I also didn’t have to go through the hassle of sanding and staining each piece, but if that’s your thing then I say go for it!The #shelfie is a still a work in progress but for that’s the most fun part anyway! I went with the traditional method of cataloging–alphabetical by genre–so books are easy to find and file. At the end of the day it’s form over function–besides the books themselves are so beautiful they don’t really need much flair. I have really enjoyed taking my time finding the perfect book ends and nick-knacks. It’s just a perfect excuse to buy one more horse lamp.

Like I said the desk and filing cabinet still need work. I’m also not sure about the black and white striped rug. I wish it was bigger. I’m also considering putting a sisal or jute rug beneath it to give the space more oomph. As I write this I’m also trying to figure out how to integrate a standing/sitting desk for Sam up here. It’s just more motivation to find a smaller desk for me and fix the paper filing problem for good.I hope you enjoyed the under construction walk through. Once I get the living room finished I’ll get to throw all my energy into this room! If you want a more in depth explanation on how we built the shelving leave a comment below and I’ll put a blog post together.

Also, this is kind of random, but since I change out my decor pretty often I have a Facebook Market Place that has a fairly steady rotation of home-goods and furniture that I either no longer want or just don’t work with my design style anymore. I don’t ship but if you live in the DFW area it’s worth taking a peak at!

Maegan

 

Boho Chic Laundry Room Renovation

Laundry rooms are not glamorous. Especially laundry rooms in a rental. Ours is utilitarian at best and that’s only because the hook-ups actually work. Like most adults I would love for my laundry room to be functional and look great. Our laundry room was obviously neither functional or pretty. It was a hideous mess. Aside from the tools laying on top of the dryer this was what it looked like a good eighty percent of the time. I couldn’t keep up with the clutter and the clothes at the same time. The fact that we had nowhere to put a laundry basket made the situation worse. Part of renting in a large city is lack of space. I was stacking the laundry baskets on top of the washing machine and dryer to keep them out of the hallway that runs between the guest half bath, our bedroom, kitchen, and garage door. I also had other baskets full of laundry randomly scattered throughout the house. I had to take the baskets off the top of the washing machine every time I washed clothes–it was such a time waster. Not to mention that the tiny horrible shelf was really hard to reach. I finally had enough.

My goals for this mini-remodel were; a permanent place for my laundry baskets and laundry, laundry supplies within arms reach, a soothing and happy color palette, and no more clutter. I had been wanting to paint something a deep dark green for years, so I immediately knew that this space was the perfect place to try that color. If I hated it I could quickly repaint and it was easily hidden from guests.

The first thing I had to do was rip the shelves off the wall. They were installed poorly and calked around the perimeter so they ripped off the top layers of drywall and layers of ancient paint. They were a mess and they smelled so so bad. It was really gross. I was immediately faced with several dilemmas I wasn’t expecting; first, I had to repair the drywall and peeling paint; and second, I now had to putty and add texture back to the wall. I had no idea how to do either. As I stood staring at the gashes and holes torn in the wall I started second guessing my decision. It’s that moment every renovator has when they realize they’ve committed to more than they expected but it’s already too late to turn back.

The first thing I had to do was take a very sharp knife and cut around the edges of the peeled up paint. I’d never repaired drywall before so that took some internet sleuthing to figure out. I used Rx-35 PRO-999 to seal down the drywall and paint, and create a layer for the putty to stick to.  So I painted over the entire exposed area and then let it dry. (This is the drywall after the PRO-999)img_9377

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Once it was dry I started puttying. I used a wide putty knife and regular old DAP, and honestly I just went for it. I have seen my dad and Sam putty before so I kind of had the idea. This was a little different though in that I had to layer in on thick and leave it(that’s why the PRO-999 is so important because it helps that putty stick). It took over an hour to putty the area and then it took about twelve hours to dry completely. Once it dried, I lightly sanded it and then reapplied another layer of PRO–999 over the entire area to set the putty into place.

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With the putty dry we taped off and painted. The color I chose is called Thunderbolt by Valspar. I opted to have the color mixed in Sherwin Williams Enerald paint because it’s antifungal and water resistent–perfect for a laundry room. With that we installed the Closet Maid wire shelving from Home Depot. They were the only brand I found locally that had 20″ deep wire shelving. They cut my shelf to length in store so it fit perfectly in my car with the back seat down. Did you know both Home Depot and Lowe’s can cut your wire shelving in store to the exact length you need? I was so proud of myself for figuring that out. I saved a lot of money on this project because I didn’t have to buy an extra tool to cut my shelving! Sam was very very happy about that too. I chose coated wire shelving because it wouldn’t be as affected by the humidity and moisture constantly trapped in this space and it was an inexpensive option even though it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing shelving to look at. And we rent, so the budget for this reno needed to be a reasonable. Y’all know what I mean.

Maegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White,

I now had a designated place for all my laundry baskets but I lost space for my laundry supplies. I cut a 3/4″ piece of pine and painted it with some white paint I already had to match the appliances and shelving. I bought these 3″ brackets from Hobby Lobby and painted them to match. A key component to living organized in a small space is to constantly get rid of stuff. I completely purged the junk that was being kept in here and what I didn’t trash I moved under the kitchen sink with the rest of the cleaning supplies. There are perks to living a more plant based life because the stuff you actually need gets narrowed down to the essentials. I honestly had no idea that I only needed like three things to do laundry.  Laundry soap, dryer balls, lavender to scent the clothes, and lemon for stain removal. Done.

Maegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White, Theives Laundry SoapMaegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White, Small Laundry Room

With the dark green walls I wanted to keep the aesthetic as crisp as possible. I also painted the dryer base white and what a difference it made! It added a cohesive, geometric element to the space. The laundry room is located in the smack middle of our town home and it gets no natural light. I needed a better, brighter, whiter light so I could see. How can anyone see stains in dim yellow light? I changed the light bulb to a generic 75 Watt Daylight LED and what a difference it made!

Maegan Johnson Laundry Room Tour Before and After, Dark Green and White, Scottie Dog, Lemon

Lemon is soo sweet–and such a good helper! She really wanted me to play while I was shooting for this post. I can’t believe what a little paint and some new shelving did to our laundry room or what a huge impact it has made on our life. I have seriously stayed on top of laundry now. Let’s get real though, my husband still wants to leave a pile of clothes on his side of the bed and I left the clean sheets in a pile at the foot of our bed the other day. But, this change has brought so much peace and functionality to a daily chore that was really making my life miserable. And, for the first time in years, I am actually able to keep up with what is clean and what isn’t–and I’m not drowning in loads of unwashed laundry. This ended being a bigger project than I anticipated, but it was worth it. Oh, was it so worth it.

I hope you were inspired by my mini reno! I always want to inspire you and remind you that if I can so can you! Do you also have a space in your home that is completely not functioning for you and your family? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Maegan — xx

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