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

 

The Best Tips for Fall Decorating On a Budget – An Exhaustive Compilation

best-tips-fall-decorating-on-budget-exhaustiveI’m coming at you today with the BEST fall budget friendly decorating tips. Are you excited!? Are you pumped!? Me too!! No one has a limitless budget–and everyone is looking for great deals and bargains galore. I was standing in the middle of dollar general the other day when I realized that I share shopping guides with y’all all the time but I never ever share some of my best shopping tips! That’s a real bummer. So below is the culmination of years of personal budget shopping research compiled into one place just for you. This is a hardcore budget shopping guide so grab a snack and get ready to save big bucks!

WHERE TO SHOP

Thrift Stores – It’s the last place you might think to look but I’ve found some amazing finds for literally pennies on fall dinnerware, glassware, flatware, cookie jars, figurines, faux floral, baskets, candle holders, candles, art, and picture frames. And bonus: it’s a sustainable way to shop. If you don’t already have a thrift store you visit frequently(you should because your missing out on great deals) visit the nearest Salvation Army which is located in almost every town. The next place I would look is a non-profit resale store.

Facebook Market Place –  You’re probably already on Facebook at this moment–hopefully that’s one of the ways you found this blog post–and Facebook Market Place is an excellent way to find great deals on someone else’s cast-offs. You would be amazed at all the stuff people are selling on there for next to nothing. The sky is the limit and you can be really specific about what you’re looking for by setting alerts for certain categories so you’ll get first dibs on an item you’ve been looking for.

Garage Sales – this is kind of a crap-shoot but the best way to go about this without wasting tons of time is to check the paper and craigslist a week before you’re planning on hunting. Sort through the posts and hone in on the houses that are selling the fall decor you’re looking for and get there early. Bonus: Garage sale shopping is an excellent excuse for early morning donuts.

Estate Sales – This is a real goldmine for seasonal decor and household items. Again, do your research a week in advanced online and in the paper to hone in on the houses that have what you’re looking for. Don’t expect to find treasures here at penny prices but do be respectful when asking about bulk pricing. Respect that these items belonged to a person who was once alive and that their family may attach sentimental value to them. Usually though, I’ve had great luck finding dinnerware and faux floral.

Dollar Tree – I love Dollar Tree. They have some really amazing deals and the stores are usually very very clean and the staff is always super friendly. My fall finds here are: dish towels, pot holders, dish drying mats, pillar candles, taper candles, glass taper holders($1 each), candleholders, matching dish sets/glass ware, charger plates, faux floral, seasonal disposable party supplies, small hanging signs, and wall hangings. Don’t forget BALLOONS! Dollar tree has the best balloon section for cheap! They are $1 each!

Dollar General – In Texas Dollar Generals can kind of be a hot mess, but if you live in Nashville were they are headquartered Dollar Generals are AWESOME! They have what they call super stores and they are like small Walmarts with grocery and three times the amount of stuff. If you are lucky enough to live in the Nashville area I’m probably already preaching to the choir. Nashvillians know! Dollar Generals in Dallas are still great and I buy the same sort of things from them as I do Dollar Tree with a few exceptions. My fall picks here are: floor rugs, dish towels, pot holders, dish drying mats, faux floral(I think dollar general has great faux floral), jar candles, metal yards signs & figurines, front door signs, wreaths, table runners, placemats, tabletop decor, serving platters, coffee cups, and string lights.

Hobby Lobby – God’s craft store is the best craft store! Right now all their fall decor–including floral–is 40% off. It’s a great place to shop and use the always available 40% off coupon. If something your looking for is not on sale then wait for it to go on sale–because it will. They have the best floral, ribbons, and votive/pillar candles, candle holders, and a wide range decor items, and their craft section can’t be beat. I can’t live without Hobby Lobby. They are the best.

Michael’s Craft Store – Like Hobby Lobby but less of a selection and the prices are a little higher. Definitely use coupons and shop sales here. Also sign up for their emails because they have crazy flash sales all the time and that’s where you can get some really good deals.

 

FREE STUFF

Nature has a bounty of things for free that you can use to decorate your home. I gather branches, acorns, and fallen leaves from the park near my house. I gather pine cones from the tree across the street. I’ve gathered wild flowers and sunflowers from the field up the road. Sometimes, when I see a tree service trimming trees in a neighborhood I stop and ask if I can have a few small branches. If you had a fruit tree in your yard you could use the fallen fruit like apples and pears. See wild grapevine on the side of the highway or climbing a tree in your neighbors pasture? Stop and take some home with you or call your neighbor and ask if you can cut a few vines to take home. If you own your house you could buy a packet of wildflower seeds and plant them to use as cut flowers in vases around your house. Be creative! Decor from nature can be anything you want it to be.

 

DIY

DIY is your budget keeper friend. You don’t even have to stretch your brain too far for ideas–search Pinterest. Use search terms such as: DIY Fall Pillar Candles, DIY Fall Wreath, DIY Fall Pine Cones, DIY Fall, etc. I’ve compiled a short list below to jump start you with easy and budget friendly DIY projects.

  • Candles are your friend. Tie a string, yarn, or twine around each one with a few twigs or a cute tag for a festive fall look.
  • The Dollar Tree has great plate chargers for $1 a piece. You can leave them the color they come in or spray paint them any color you like to match your fall table-scape.
  • Use leaves and pinecones as filler. Place a few small leaves in the bottom of a mason jar and place a pillar candle inside. Tie some twine around the lid. Festive and easy.
  • Buy faux pumpkins from the dollar tree and spray paint them white so they transition through every month until Christmas. Use as vase filler, in bowls, or strewn across a mantel or TV stand for a festive touch.
  • Buy the $1 glass taper candle holders from the Dollar Tree and spray paint any color that suites your decor color scheme. You can do this for any candle holders you find at the thrift stores as well. It’s a great way to turn transform something from ugly to elegant–stick with white or gold for a universal look you can use year round.
  • Ribbon and burlap are your friends. You can transform any jar, vase, candleholder, basket, front door, or table-scape with ribbon or burlap fabric. Hobby Lobby has the best prices and selection for fall ribbon and fabric. Bonus: use their 40% off coupon which you can download and print from their website or get from their app.
  • Spray paint pinecones you’ve gathered and make a fall wreath. Use your 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to buy a cheap grapevine wreath to glue them too. Bonus: find a ugly wreath at a thrift store and remove all the floral using its wreath for your new pinecone wreath.
  • Find baskets and spray paint them to match your fall decor. Add ribbon and faux floral to make them more festive.

 

MORE TIPS & TRICKS

  • Tuesday Morning, Home Goods, At Home, Walmart, and the Target dollar bin, are always great places to check for really good deals. You just have to make sure you don’t get sucked in. All stores mix in their higher end stuff with the dollar bin stuff so be savvy and if it looks like its worth $1 but they want $5, skip it.
  • Repurpose items you already own in your home like chalkboards, plates, candles, glassware, etc.
  • Shop post season sales. 
  • Free printables! The internet is full of free fall printables so take advantage!
  • Spray paint is your friend. If you find something you love the shape/size/contours of but hate the color, spray paint it.
  • Michael’s Craft Store has really great fall scented 32oz jar candles for $6. You can use their coupons too and save an extra 40% sometimes 50% off. That’s $3 per candle. they make great teachers gifts too with a little ribbon and cute name tag added.
  • Walmart has a great selection of inexpensive fall wax melts, wax warmers, and candles. They also carry a line of candles and fragrances from Better Homes & Gardens and Yankee Candle that are inexpensive and a really great deal!
  • The cinnamon broom. I think a lot of people remember their moms hanging up a cinnamon broom during the fall and winter months as kids–I know I do. It’s a two-for-one that smells great but also is a decor piece that adds to your home.
  • Buy faux florals, candles, vases, faux pumpkins, ribbon, etc in neural colors so it translates from September all the way to Christmas. You’ll get more bang for your buck and some of your items such a cream or white colored candles, metal(or metal colored) candle holders, plate chargers, can work with your Christmas and New Years decor too.
  • Sign up for email and text alerts so you always have coupons to shop your favorite stores and jump on sales as soon as they happen.
  • Mix faux and real(or live) pumpkins/gourds and floral. It adds more life to the space and also saves money year to year.
  • Price matching! Stores like Target will price match an item if the price lowers within fourteen days of purchase. Seasonal stuff tends to go on sale frequently during the fall season so watch your emails and alerts and take advantage!
  • Be a part of store’s reward program. Even my local thrift store has a rewards punch card that gives $5 off a purchase. Every penny counts!
  • Check for coupons. Always check for coupons. Search Google or the stores website/app.
  • Reuse what you have year after year. This one seems so simple but I know there can be a lot of internal pressure to ‘keep up with the jones’. Don’t believe that lie you’re telling yourself! Stick to what you love and make it work for you year after year.
  • Hone in on a color scheme & decor style. This is kind of similar to the point above but deciding on a color scheme and decor style keeps you from buying lots of decor that feels bitty and non-cohesive. Buying only a few pieces that coordinate can pull a room together easily and keep you from wasting your money and time.

And finally, I believe you should make room in your budget to splurge on one thing you really want. Items I’d recommend splurging on are ones that can be used throughout the entire holiday season and year after year such as; neutral colored(or colors matching your non-seasonal home decor) cozy throws and blankets, a quality front door wreath, a quality faux floral garland, a glass or ceramic vase to hold fall floral, serving dishes such as a giant platter, that fall throw pillow you’ve been eyeing for weeks and weeks.

Whew! I hope that helps y’all and gives you tons of ideas and inspirations on how you can decorate your home to the nines while still maintaining your budget! I’m sure there are so many tricks and tips I don’t know but that you do! Please share them with me in the comments below and I’ll add them to this post. The more tips and tricks the merrier, right? I hope you’re having a great day and thanks for spending time with me today. I really appreciate y’all caring about my little ol’ life and hanging out with me. Have a great day!

oxox

Maegan

 

Nashville Shopping Guide: Vintage Home Goods

I had the immense pleasure of doing some superb thrifting and antiquing while visiting my parents in Nashville during Christmas last year. I was so impressed by the amount of antiques and vintage goods in such pristine condition and in such volume. It was incredible! I’ve put together a guide of the best of the best! So without further ado, this is my Nashville vintage home goods shopping guide!

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The first place we shopped was Music Valley Antiques who won Best of Nashville 2018 (BON2018) for best Antiques Store. By far and large I totally agree. Stephanie who owns Music Valley Antiques is the sweetest woman who has a great eye for antiques and excellent taste in vendors. Music Valley Antiques has a good assortment of types of vintage booths and there is something for everyone. Her store is filled with an eclectic assortment of decor, furniture, kitchenware, art, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, and accessories, vintage children’s toys and more. If I’d had a bigger car I would have bought more! This is a must stop if you’re in Nashville. Takeaway: Best vintage store in Nashville. Stephanie is gracious and wonderful to work with and the prices can’t be beat. Some vendors were willing to haggle over prices. Everything is neat and orderly. You won’t leave empty handed!

download (1)We stopped at the Salvation Army in Madison where I found the pineapple trinket dish. I could tell the Christmas rush had cleared this place out–Christmas had just been days earlier–but it still had a really great selection and my mom said she would go back and shop there regularly. They had a great selection of furniture and a couch that I’d had a truck to haul it I would have bought. Takeaway: they had a great selection of furniture and glassware.

oIt was raining the day we popped into a unique specialty vintage store called Old Made Good. This was such a fun specialty vintage store. She has an incredible assortment of vintage clothing and home goods. I wished we’d had more time to shop because her shop was amazing. Her store was filled with home wares, art, furniture, clothing, jewelry and accessories. She has so many good things! She also sells her own needlepoint and vintage paint by number art she re-imagines with her own quip-y sayings. This another can’t miss store that has been mentioned in several publications like this one(link)and this(link) one. This another one you can’t miss. Takeaway: incredible mid century furniture and art. Boho vibes going on here too. Bonus: her serious vintage clothing selection was to die for.

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I found the 70’s blue bowl at Robinson’s Flea Market. It was not as tidy or as big as Music Valley Antiques but it did have a few great booths–particularly with mid century home goods and kitchen wares and an adorable booth full of mid century children’s toys and books. Takeaway: come here expecting to dig. Mainly home goods, art, and some furniture.

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Mom and I traveled to Goodlettsville to shop the antique district there. Every single shop on our list was closed except one–Goodlettsville Antique Mall. This was by far the largest antique mall I have ever been in my whole life. It took us four hours just to see every stall–and we didn’t dally. They carry vintage, shabby chic, mid century, and primitive antiques and vintage wares. They have it all here. It was absolutely massive. Takeaway: you could furnish your entire house. Prices are a bit higher here and we weren’t able to haggle prices. Wear good walking shoes and plan on making a day of it. 

I had a hard time getting everything I bought in the car. It was a huge success as far as my finds. Everything I bought I absolutely love. So, yes! I hope you find this shopping guide helpful. As I’m able to go back to Nashville I will update this guide with more fabulous places. I also hope that you go out and visit these great retailers and support them with your business. I promise everywhere I mentioned in this post will not disappoint and when you visit tell them you heard about them through me! It always elates business owners to know that their business is being recommended through word of mouth!

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

 

Maegan Johnson Blog Updates

My Blog is Expanding

acs_0140Becoming a foster parent has put a lot of things in perspective. I put off a lot of things in my life like painting the walls of our town home or buying that rug I really wanted with poor excuses that I can’t even begin to justify. Almost immediately after our fist placement arrived clarity descended–having a child for the first time seems to thrust most parents into the reality of what really matters and what really doesn’t.  I love to decorate and design spaces–I have since I was a little girl–and I realized that a creative passion should be fostered if it brings me joy. It wasn’t just interior design that I had placed by the wayside but also my love for writing and books, my love of fashion and makeup, and my knack for a good DIY. 

I primarily started this blog as a way to share our foster care journey but there again I was challenged. I wondered for a long time if this could also be a place where I share my hobbies and my interests and possibly little things about my life too? At first, I was very against this idea, but one thing our foster care journey has taught me is to live in the moment and make calculated leaps in faith because tomorrow it could all change forever. With this in mind I have decided to expand the topics I cover at this time to include decor, style, and crafts. I am really excited and bit nervous about this new adventure but glad that we are sharing it together!

I wanted to come right out of the gate and give you a little taste of the content that is to come. Here’s a link to my very first interior design project–our nursery tour! I really hope you enjoy it!

Happy Reading!

XX — Maegan

Mid-century Coastal Nursery/Bedroom Tour

Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Changing table, Dresser as a Chaning table, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NEven though Baby E is gone, I am still excited to share our nursery tour today. I jumped so many design and foster care inspection hurdles to get this room ready and not only am I happy with the end result but I’m so grateful to have had a baby to use it. I put a lot of hard work into incorporating a nursery in our bedroom without it feeling juvenile. According to the state I had to fit a crib and changing table in a bedroom that already contained a king size bed, an eight foot dresser, and two night stands. Because we rent I could not change the carpet, ceiling fan, the color of the trim, or doors. I also could not remove or change the blinds. This is a HUGE post so grab a coffee or a glass of wine and settle in. Let’s do this!

BEFORE:IMG_1875Our room was pretty sad looking. The paint in this photo was from the first apartment we ever lived in ten years ago. I am not kidding. It’s a semi-gloss finish(first time paint buyers remorse) and it’s shiny and tacky looking–like patent leather. Just no. Obviously, nothing is working together and it’s very dark and dreary–our lamps don’t even match. Our bedroom needed lots of help.

AFTER:Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Changing tableMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Green Jenny Lind Crib, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurserySo much better, right?! I wanted our room to tell a story each time I walked in or lay down at night. I was born next to the ocean and it is one of the happiest places on the earth for me. Some of my happiest memories from my entire life are vacationing at the beach with my family. When I lay down at night I wanted to be surrounded and transported to the beach but I did not want it to feel hokey or campy. I wanted it to hint at the beach and leave room for my imagination to fill in the blanks. I also needed a gender neutral theme for the ‘baby’ side of the room and ‘beach’ landed squarely between both baby and grownup. I drew my color pallet from the large art piece hanging over the changing table. It’s just a print but it’s one of the first pieces of art I ever bought and I’m so proud that I still love it to this day.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Coastal Nursery, Vintage Blue Mason Jar, ShellsI started with paint. We rent and therefore the walls have been repainted a thousand times and are covered with inches of uneven texture. I needed a color that would not accentuate the texture like the tacky, semigloss, dark blue I had painted them. I also had to take into consideration the ugly tan carpet. I wanted to chose a paint color that would draw attention away from the carpet and complement its undertone–not an easy feat. I vacillated over paint color more than any other design aspect. I was very worried that the green undertones of the paint might be nauseating, but this color ended up being so versatile and calming. It leans more blue if you add blue accents and it leans green if you add green accents. It’s one of those truly neutral colors in that it isn’t too warm and isn’t too cool–and it’s not grey. It reminds me of sea foam or misty mornings on the beach. Of all the choices I made this was the most transformative, most dramatic, most effective, and CHEAPEST ‘renovation’ I made to the entire room. The new paint color also helped the ugly carpet disappear. The dark blue color from before exaggerated the carpet but the light blue green draws the eye up and away. Now the carpet I can’t change is more like a accent to the wall–like sand in a sea-glass bottle. Wall color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Reading Noook, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryNext I had to figure out where I was going to squeeze a full size crib into our room.  I spent a lot of time digging through Pinterest looking  for ideas on how to incorporate a crib into a master bedroom. Most ideas revolved around picking a corner of the room and letting the baby have that space but that just didn’t work for our room. There were no corners to designate to a baby space because they were almost all taken by windows and doors. I wracked my brain for weeks trying to figure out a good solution. One evening, while Sam and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, I decided to sketch the room out on a piece of notebook paper and draw different layouts. I realized after my first sketch that every room I’d seen the ‘baby in the bedroom’ space designed for was very square with only one or two doors and a single window. Our space is a long rectangle with three doors and two windows. No wonder I was having issues!Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Green Jenny Lind Crib, Book Mobile, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue Nursery I was playing around with my sketch when I got the idea to draw a diagonal line down the room to define the space. The furniture instantly clicked into place. The crib fit snugly against the shorter wall between the closet and bathroom doors with plenty of room for our king sized bed against the opposite wall–though I had to give up my bedside table. I converted our dresser to accommodate the changing pad and slid it against the wall between the windows. The space above the dresser was empty so I designed some shelves and had Sam hang them off center making that wall the focal point of the room. It was the perfect solution. Now there was ample room for the crib and unobstructed paths between the bed and all the doors and windows. The crib is a vintage find I got from a family friend and it has an interesting little story. I got this crib months before Sam and I decided to pursue adoption through foster care. That crib is really special to me because I bought it in faith that I would one day have a baby to put in it. I was so nervous I wouldn’t be able to use it once we began the certification process because whatever crib you use has to pass government codes and the environmental inspection. I was so relieved that we were able to use it! It was already painted the minty pastel green when I got it, and I had planned to paint over it, but after assembling it against the new wall color I left it alone.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Washed Shelves, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Changing table, Dresser as a Chaning table, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NThe shelves above the dresser we made out of 2×8 pine from Lowe’s which I hand sanded and whitewashed with Sherwin Williams Extra White paint. I chose to whitewash the shelves because it gave me another texture and design element to play with–a sort of drift wood look. It played to my beach theme and whitewashing made the shelves look visibly lighter. Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Reading Nook and Jenny Lind Crib, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryI had a little corner leftover with nothing in it and I wanted every part of the space to be usable. There wasn’t enough room for a rocking chair so I decided to make a child sized reading nook. We could have gotten a child up to eighteen months old who really could have used a quiet corner of the house to ‘read’ and use their imagination. Books are so important to me. My own childhood was filled with books and endlessly being read to. I still adore books–I’m an aspiring author–and I really felt a space for books needed to be incorporated into our design. I vacillated over whether to buy picture frame ledges from IKEA or build them myself. It came down to aesthetic, really. I wanted shelves that had texture and natural wood–plus building them cost me nothing. Sam found some plans online(search picture frame DIY for a million options) and we used the left over scrap pine from another project. I sanded them down and stained them with Minwax Classic Gray 271 (left over from staining the headboard) and then white washed them slightly with Sherwin Williams Extra White (which I also had left over from another project). I decided to stain them first because I wanted to add another depth of color and contrast as opposed to the very light shelving above the dresser. I used this tutorial as my guide. Whitewashing is a learning process so I recommend getting a small piece of similar scrap wood and practicing on it before tackling your project.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Coastal Shelves, White Washed Shelves, , Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Bedding, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryThe headboard is a very heavy piece of paneling from the inside of an old elevator that I refinished and hung with a french cleat. It’s actually the same headboard in the before picture. And, technically Sam added the french cleat. This is one of the projects I’m most proud of because it took a lot of work and planning. I ended up having to start over because of unsavory advise from someone working in a big box lumber store, but it turned out much better than I could have imagined. I already had the white linen duvet cover and I knew I wanted to keep with the white bedding because it is cooler to sleep in(we live in the south y’all) and very spa like. Once I added the faux down duvet insert the bed became very light and airy to look at.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursey Book Mobile,Let’s talk about the mobile. I made this mobile myself–yes, I really did. I knew I wanted a mobile over the crib but I honestly couldn’t find anything I liked that didn’t scream ‘baby’. I came across the idea on Pinterest(a girl’s best friend) and instantly knew this would be perfect. I love books because they can transport you to other times and places, and you get to experience what it’s like to be a different person. But I also love books because they have messages and those messages can be empowering, edifying, and resiliently hopeful. I wanted a child to be able to look up and see that there is a life just for them that extends far beyond foster care. There is hope. Initially, I wanted to use a Bible–there is no other book filled with more hope– but Sam couldn’t come to terms with me tearing a Bible up this way. I think it would have been beautiful–also very controversial–and I didn’t want ‘controversy’ hanging over our placement’s crib. There is enough literal controversy in a foster child’s life they don’t need metaphorical controversy hanging over their heads too. So, I chose the hardback version of the Chronicle’s of Narnia by C.S. Lewis which I snapped up from a local Half Price Books. The pages hanging from the book’s spine are from ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’. I didn’t have a guide or tutorial I just sort of made it up as I went along and for a first go it turned out beautifully. As I was cutting the pages out of the book’s spine I asked out loud for C.S. Lewis to forgive me for tearing up his work. I also sent a silent prayer asking God to pass the message along in case he was too busy up there in Heaven and didn’t hear me. I added the little wooden stars because it needed a little more length with some fishing line and hot glue. I think once it’s no longer needed as a crib mobile I will remove the stars and hang it in my office.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Washed Shelves, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryInitially, we didn’t have a light on the changing table but after several weeks of blinding each other in the middle of the night with the overhead light I broke off and bought a lamp. The most time consuming part of this entire room was styling the shelves above the dresser. It took months. The top shelf actually came together in like five minutes. It was the bottom shelf that really gave me a headache. The vintage glass mason jar–which is filled with shells and sand-dollars from Sam’s very first trip to the beach and our first trip as a married couple–was the only object that actually made it to the end of all the edits I made. Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design

There is still a lot left to be done to the adult side of the room. I’m still looking for the right art to hang above the bed as well as a bedside table that better matches the aesthetic of the space. And there is still the dilemma of what to hang on the long wall against the bathroom door. The bedding could also use some color and updating. But that’s the joy of design your own space–in my opinion–because you get to decide as you go along and what ultimately ends up in your space is curated to be 100% you. Thank y’all so much for coming over for a tour. It really means the world to me that y’all have followed our journey as foster parents. You’re continued interest and support means the world to me.

Furniture: Crib/Vintage, Dresser/Cason’s Mercantile, Headboard/DIY

Decor: Changing Table Lamp/Target, Bedside Lamp/Target, Wall Art/ Etsy, Crib Art/Hobby Lobby, Crib Mirror/Vintage Find, Sea Urchin Spines/Target, Changing Table Tray/Hobby Lobby, Coral Art/Target, Book Shelf Art/Urban Outfitters, Oval Frame/Hobby Lobby, Indigo Art/Jennifer Parry Dodge, Wooden Ship/Michael’s, Cream Vase/Target, White Basket/Target, Grass Basket/Target/ Changing Pad Cover/Buy Buy Baby, Crib Sheet/Target, Green Squirrel/Anthropologie

If I forgot something please let me know!   XX — Maegan