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

 

Master Bedroom Closet Mini Renovation

acs_0510I have been waiting so long to share this tour with you all. The renovations were minor but the overall effect is spectacular! I get so excited every time I walk into our closet, now. This is my closet? No way! It is so beautiful to look at I purposely leave the closet door open! I’ve also started using it more like a real walk in closet by getting dressed in the closet–it’s way faster and more convenient. Sam is also a huge fan of the new layout and excited he no longer has to fight his way through the pillows strewn over the floor. I always feel satisfied and proud of my work when Sam gets excited about the end result of a project. I know I not created something beautiful but also functional. I’m linking the post I wrote on how I decluttered our closet before I redesigned the layout and organized our clothes. BONUS: I’m also listing the five ways to instantly give your closet a face-lift at the end of this post. This is not an affiliated post and there are no affiliate links in this post. All products and opinions are my own and bought with my own money.

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And here is the after:acs_0509acs_0510acs_0529 My total renovation cost for this project was fifty-two dollars. Most everything I purchased was on sale or I used coupon. We already owned the lumber, paint, wooden dowel, acrylic magazine holder(this one is similar), chair, sheepskin rug, and art(thrifted). The total project if you owned none of the supplies but, did have you own power tools, screws, and paint brushes, would be about $150+ (not including the accessories). Here’s the breakdown: $20-$30 for lumber, $4-$7 a piece for shelf brackets depending on size, $15 for a quart of paint, $18 for hat hooks if bought full price, $8 for a 6ft 1 1/4in wooden dowel rod, $15 for an acrylic magazine holder, 60 hangers for $30, 10 for $8 plastic slimline hangersacs_0515acs_0522

As you can see the ‘before’ closet was a jumbled mess. The mismatched hangers and random pillows and other accouterments strewn across the floor lent itself to a haphazard feel. As I considered the closet’s overall design I realized that Sam’s clothes needed to be hanging where mine currently hung and vise versa. I was also wasting a lot of dead space with the dresser and small ‘shoe shelf’ which didn’t even begin to hold half of my shoes. There was also an odd nook on the other side of the door I was never sure with what I should do. I’d also been organizing my purses in shoe boxes on the shelf above my clothes and it had never stayed tidy.acs_0512acs_0525

The first thing I did was declutter our closet. I then swapped Sam and I’s sides of the closet so my maxi dresses wouldn’t be dragging the floor and Sam could store his things on the shorter shelf. I decided to move all the clothes down the closet so when you open the door and step inside we would greeted by white open space. With the clothes moved to the other side of the closet I replaced the hangers. Just swapping out the mismatched, bulky, plastic hangers for identical slimline hangers made a huge difference. I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough hangers the first go around and it ended up taking sixty hangers–which was shocking–for my clothes alone. We lucked out and had enough white velvet slimline hangers for Sam’s dress pants but we had to buy more to replace the rest. Sam’s hangers were very cheap($2 a 10 pack) because he doesn’t like the non-slip hangers for his shirts so we found some plastic ones at Walmart!acs_0511acs_0517

To maximize space I added a bottom rod beneath my tops for jeans and dress pants. If you saw my Instastories, the original bottom closet rod brackets were hung too far to the left and were old. We bought two inexpensive brackets to replace the old ones and repositioned them to hang directly below the top shelf brackets. Since this is a rental, I stuck to the same closet bracket style that already existed–though I would have loved to rip them out and replace them with modern and stylish brackets. I want our apartment complex to appreciate the upgrade–not charge me for it whenever we move out.

Next, I worked on the shoe shelves. I measured my tallest pair of heels and added an extra inch in height to determined how many shelves I could get from floor to the shelf above the closet rod. I also measured my tallest riding boots and allotted space for them on the floor. I painted and Sam cut and hung the shelves. This is my favorite part of the entire closet!acs_0524acs_0523

The purse shelves gave me the most trouble. I didn’t think I could fit boutique style purse shelves in our closet. I originally wanted a little command station but decided to give it up in favor of purse shelves. We had some left over wood from another project that just happened to be the perfect depth. I painted them and Sam hung them and the ended working perfectly! Now, I have room up top to add even more purses! I can hear the leather of Sam’s wallet squeaking as he death-grips it. I have a very small hat collection that I was keeping on Styrofoam mannequin heads–which was cumbersome–and the blank spot on the back wall seemed like the perfect place for them. The hooks I bought were a little too big but for $3 each they are getting the job done. Now I think the mannequins look chic and add character. acs_0514acs_0513

Lastly, I felt the space needed an bit of personality and a place to sit and put shoes on. I already owned the sheepskin and chair–some of these items were haphazardly stuffed in a corner of our loft. The floral art was something I thrifted recently and was so so excited to give it a permanent home!

Overall, I think the closet mini-reno turned out beautifully! Its such a functional space now AND it’s beautiful to look at! There are a few things I still want to work on in this space. I still want to add an extra shelf on Sam’s side of the closet to extend the storage, install a milk glass light fixture, and swap the storage boxes out for ones that are 12×12. Overall, it turned out wonderfully and I’m very proud.acs_0526acs_0517

Here are the five things you can do right now to give your closet a major face-lift:

1. Declutter your closet — the best thing you can do is donate all those clothes you don’t wear so you can see the things you actually love to wear. I wrote all about declutteringnmy own closet here so you don’t have to figure it out.

2. Matching hangers — matching hangers streamline the closet and creates a cohesive, and dare I say, custom look for not a lot of work or cash.

3. Hang clothes by color– hang all red tops together, hang all red dresses and skirts together(separately from tops), etc. then hang all clothes by type in rainbow order. This streamlines the closet and makes getting dressed quicker and more fun.

4. Invest in hooks — hats, belts, scarves–get those things off the floor and out of the clothing space by hanging them on hooks along the wall

5. Add something personal — a monogram, a piece of art, your favorite perfume, pink hangers, find a way to make your space look and feel like you!

I hope you loved this post! I want to see your closet makeovers! Link them in the comments below so I can check them out!

Maegan

P.S. Here are some bonus blooper photos of Lemon! Have a great week!

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The Last of Summer, A Review of Summer and Living Room Tour, Maegan K Johnson Blog

The Last of Summer

The end of summer is finally are upon us. There were many house renovations and projects and a whole bucket list of summer activities–only half of which were accomplished. I always begin looking froward to fall every year about this time as the summer heat has worn its welcome and my desire for cooler weather is thwarted by the knowledge that the heat wont be letting up until late September or October.The Last of Summer, A Review of Summer and Living Room Tour, Maegan K Johnson Blog

I’m enjoying the last bit of my regular house decor before I take it all down–like the madwoman my husband thinks I am–and decorate for fall. I wont see the burnished coppers and bright reds of fall until almost winter so I make up for the sun-scorched grass and ever-green oak trees with a homage to fall in my home.The Last of Summer, A Review of Summer and Living Room Tour, Maegan K Johnson Blog

My manuscript plans were thwarted by the two weeks in July I lay in bed with the most horrible tooth and jaw pain. And I in no way got to the end of my reading list. The tooth pain also got in the way of my master bedroom closet renovation and the repainting of my upstairs office–such is life. The 110 degree weather killed my Doris Day rose bush but Sam is having a wonderful crop of cucumbers and we have made at least six jars of pickles in the last three weeks. The Last of Summer, A Review of Summer and Living Room Tour, Maegan K Johnson Blog

Sam and I did manage to go record shopping several times this summer to my utter delight. We have plans to get the loft painted soon and the closet renovation was finally finished. I didn’t feel the need to get everything on our summer bucket list done because it’s a guideline and not a rule. Whenever Sam and I needed something to do we had our bucket list to rely on and otherwise we made our own fun. We are true homebodies and enjoy just being at home together–so it’s a real shock I didn’t get through my reading list. The Last of Summer, A Review of Summer and Living Room Tour, Maegan K Johnson Blog

I did manage to finish a moderate knitting project that is now tucked away to be wrapped as a Christmas gift. We are soaking up the last of our summer at home before the holidays arrive. My birthday is next month and then we have plans to travel to Alabama for a family vacation in October. I plan to visit my parents in Tennessee sometime in November since I wasn’t able to visit during the summer. And then of course, there is Thanksgiving and Christmas for which we always travel seven hours or more to be with family. The Last of Summer, A Review of Summer and Living Room Tour, Maegan K Johnson Blog

I have always wondered what life would be like to stay in my hometown or even my own home every holiday. I never have had the privilege my whole life. What is that like? If that is you, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s it like to be able to sleep in your own bed after spending the day with family for the holidays? It must be so nice, I would think.

Here’s to enjoying the last dog days of summer.

Maegan – xx

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

Click here for our Midcentury Coastal Nursery/Bedroom Tour!