Demolition Begins!

Before the Renovation header We were so excited to see the demolition of our new house begin.  Here is a peek at how things looked a week or so after settlement in April.

This is after about 1/2 of the demo to the living room. The ceiling came out and so did all of the walls. IMG_1049

Remember it used to look like this:

ourtnlife renovation

This is the view from the Living Room into the Kitchen.  This entire wall has since been removed and a new beam has been added to open the entire space up.


This is what the kitchen used to look like:

ourtnlife renovation

Here is the view from the playroom/laundry room into the kitchen.  That's some killer wallpaper.  And that floor - beautiful!


The weirdest bathroom ever went from looking like this:

ourtnlife renovation master bath 810 Nix 12

To This:



We didn't show this on the first peek of the house, but this is what the second bath looks like now:



We decided to gut everything but the tub.  The old saying is true here.  "They just don't make 'em like they used to".  So we gutted everything besides the vintage tub.  It's going to be reglazed and we're hoping it will look brand new.

If you remember our Master Bedroom looked like this:

ourtnlife renovation master bed


Now it looks like this - apologies for the incredible blurry picture.  This room is getting new floors/ceilings/door..mostly everything.



I have to be honest...the experience of renovating has been much different than I expected.  I was really hoping it would be quicker and more fun. I'm loving making all of the decisions, but its been hard.  I'm looking forward to the home stretch. It should be any week (read: month) now.




DIY Woven Headboard

I have been loving this Seagrass Block Headboard from Pier 1, and was trying to think of a way I could DIY it to fit our daughter's space.  E is almost 4 so I wanted something softer than seagrass and also something white since our entire house is wood.  Wood walls, wood floors, wood windows.  You get it...wood.  They clothesline popped into my head.  Here is what I came up with and how I did it.  I always like to throw in a finished pic before the tutorial, so here you go.

What you need for your DIY Woven Headboard
-Clothesline (I used 6 packages/200 yds each for a full size...yes, its a lot of clothesline)
-Plywood cut to your headboard size.  Since we did this for a full size we cut ours to 60" wide and 32" tall
-small amount of paint
-2 eye bolts/hooks
-tape measure, plyers. screw driver

After we had the wood cut I painted it with white paint so the wood wouldn't stand out too much.  I then started stapling and cutting my clothesline.

I didn't want to mount our woven headboard to the bed frame.  Instead I opted to mount directly on the wall.  I used this tutorial for the exact steps.

The finished product-

If I could go back and do it again, I may try and make it a bit tighter, but all in all I'm happy.  Emmi's room is still in need of some cool art to go behind her bed and many other things, but I think our DIY Woven Headboard is the start of something good in here!  Finally!

I also thought about dyeing the clothesline, so that is always an option for those that do not want white.

Linking up to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Make it Pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Tutorials & Tips Link Party
Give me the goods Monday @ Rain on a Tin Roof

Creating Outdoor Bamboo Lighting

In my opinion, we live in the best little spot in Nashville.  It's a wooded area that is peaceful but still close to everything.  Our neighbors are great and we couldn't be happier here.  We love sitting outside so we decided we needed some more cohesive lighting.  We have had some string lights up but they just weren't doing the job...enter our newest project...Hanging Bamboo Lights.  We wanted something modern yet natural and decided to make them ourselves.  Since we don't have Bamboo in our yard I called upon my awesome MOMS club friends and asked if anyone else did and of course my mama's came through for us!  I wish I had some video of me chopping these bamboo stalks down because that sure was a site to see.

The first step is to split these shoots down the middle so we can get the cord all the way through.  We used a few tools before we finally got it right.
The ALABAMA knife did the trick.

We used lights that my man had left over from a music video shoot.  They are super inexpensive and we picked them up for a few dollars each at the Home Depot.  
Once they are strung we fastened them together with cable ties to keep everything in place.
We then covered the cable ties with rope to hide those hideous plastic ties.
 A little hot glue and a few burns later...they start to come together.
To us the silver just wasn't blending in and it made them so we painted them with Rustoleum's Aged Copper spray paint.

 I think the best part of the light is this awesome vintage type bulb.  We also picked this up at the Home Depot for about $10 a piece.  I know that's expensive for one bulb but to me it was totally worth it since we had everything else on hand.

Here they are in all of their glory...

 And then the sun started to set just right for these photos.

Not bad, right?  Especially when you figure we paid less than $50 for three outdoor lights when you factor in bulbs, wiring, etc.  We couldn't be happier with how they turned out.  We love them so much we're thinking of adding them to our patio as well.  Do you have anything in your yard you could turn into a light?

Creating with the Stars

Linking up to:

The Thrifty Groove
Consider Me Inspired

Beyond The Picket Fence

Home Stories A2Z

Recovering an Ottoman

We've had this ottoman for about 5 years.  My lovely mother-in-law gave it to us as a gift when we moved into our house in Los Angeles.  It was a good find from Pier 1 and it has really served us well.  It's been used as a coffee table and most recently as storage for our sheets and blankets at the end of our bed.  It is the perfect coffee table especially if you have kids that are pulling up to stand.  Its soft enough to not hurt them if they fall and sturdy enough to hold a drink.

I love the zebra print, but it needed a face lift to fit in with our yellow and gray living room. I started by removing the top from the base and then took off the black mesh stuff (it has a technical name but I can't remember it at the moment!).
I then laid out the fabric and cut to size.

 Once its cut just start to staple all the way around.

Now its time to tuft!  This is the first time I attempted to do this and I can't wait to tuft again!  Next up is a tufted headboard for sure.  I used a tapestry needle and just some thick string I had on hand.

 Once you pull it through just staple tight on the back.


 Perfect storage for all of our blankets.  My parents made many of the blankets in this ottoman.

 I love how the ottoman both compliments and contrasts with the rug.

There are quite a few patterns going on in this room, but I really think they work well together.  Not every one's cup of tea, but we love it.

It's so easy and affordable to take a quality piece that you already own and update it to make it fit in a new space.  A new look and it only cost $19.95 for 2 yards of fabric! (50% off at Joann's!)

Linking up to:
Manic Monday @ Serendipitu and Spice
Tasteful Tuesdays @ Naptime Creations 

Home Stories A2Z

The Girl Creative

DIY Show Off

Our Delightful Home


Dining Room Makeover

When we were thinking about our dining room and how we wanted it to look the first factor I took into consideration was I needed it to be kid friendly.  Kids are messy.  Really messy.  I will be the first to admit, I like the finer things in life, but when it comes to my house and decorating it needs to be practical or its just a waste of money.  There was a time when I would have thought going to a furniture store and picking a set of dining room furniture would be the way to go.  I was confused about my style, but once we bought our first home and re did everything I started to develop my own style which is what I like to call eclectic-modern-vintage.  Oxymoron I know.

For our dining room here I have mixed random thrifted finds with new modern pieces.  It's just my style.  Certainly not for everyone, but it works for me.  Once you define your style, whatever it may be, it makes decorating even more fun. 

Our little cabin in the woods is definitely made of wood like I have said many times before.  Wood everything.  Floors, walls, windows so our furniture choices need to be a little bolder in my opinion.
I found the dining table at an estate sale for $20.00.  I had originally painted it gray and it worked with the chairs when I first covered them.  Here is what the chairs looked like before the second repaint/recover.

I painted them an off white color with Annie Sloan's chalk paint and recovered them in 2 different fabrics.  They worked for a while until EM moved from the high chair to the dining chairs.  They were a mess.  Food everywhere! The fabric definitely wasn't kid friendly.  That's when I found the current fabric on and get's laminated!!  Yes, laminated!  They wipe clean and no child can ruin them.  Love!

I purchased the rug through a Young House Love sale on Joss & Main for $50.00.  I even had a $25.00 credit so technically I only paid $25.00 for the awesome black and white chevron rug.  The Aqua Hutch is my most viewed post on my blog and cost me $19.00 at the thrift store (before paint and supplies of course.  It was a mess) 

 My awesome sister made us this address art when I sent her a swatch of the fabric.  I just love them and yes, I am aware that we have moved quite a few times!

Here is a quick look at the space before we moved in with the after.  

How do you define your style?
Linking up to:
Tasteful Tuesdays @ Naptime Creations
The Girl Creative

DIY Show Off

Our Delightful Home

Home Stories A2Z


Superbowl Stromboli's

I grew up eating Romano's Stromboli's.  These are the best and only Stromboli's that I will eat (other than my own, of course)!  They are so different from what most pizza shops call a Stromboli.  They aren't greasy, the bread is amazing and if you've never had one you are missing out.  They will ship anywhere so my advice is to order one up for yourself and taste it.

With that said, my stromboli is very different from Romano's, but I think quite tasty.  I started out making an Italian version with Cooper Sharp Cheese, Pepper Ham, Pepperoni and Salami.  I used to make this a lot when my sister and brother in law lived with us.  Every Tuesday I'd make one of my versions (usually mini versions so everyone had their own) and we'd settle in and watch 24.  I love me some Jack Bauer. 

The one I made last night is a cheese steak version and great for a superbowl party, especially since we are 800 miles away from a proper cheesesteak!  I used Steak-Ums (Philly peeps don't hate...Its the best I can do in Middle Tennessee) and Boars Head Sharp American Cheese.  I also used a tube of pre made Pizza dough although buying dough from your favorite pizza shop is recommended.  If you call ahead they will usually sell you a ball of dough for $2-3 each. 

1.  Start by browning and seasoning your steak.  I use a seasoning salt from Mortons that I use on almost everything!

2.  Roll out your dough onto a baking sheet lined with Corn Meal.  This give it a better texture on the bottom but you could use Flour if you didn't have the corn meal.

This is also a great meal to have your kids help you with.  EM loves to cook with me and she does almost every night. 

3.  Put a layer of cheese down on the dough and layer your meat on top

4.  Roll it all up so it looks like this...and brush with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

And yes, that is marker ALL OVER EM!  She had it on her face and arms.  They claimed to be washable markers, but it is still all over her.  Yes, mother of the year indeed!

5.  Top with this amazing topping that I think makes the 'boli!  Its from a recipe I found years ago from Rachael Ray...who by the way I owe all of my culinary abilities too.  I couldn't make anything until I started watching her about 10 years ago! I mix Parmesan Romano Cheese, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder and Crushed Red Pepper Flake together in a ziploc bag and sprinkle on the top.  I don't measure anything (got this from Racheal Ray I think!) so I just "eyeball" it.  If I have leftover I pop it in the fridge for later.

6.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until Golden Brown about 12-15 minutes

7.  Cut and Enjoy!

Please excuse the shotty pictures...they were taken with my iphone.  Wasn't planning on blogging about it, but I have had a few people text me recently for the recipe.

You can do this so many ways...Pepperoni and Cheese, Buffalo Chicken and Blue Cheese, Italian, etc.  

Happy Superbowl Sunday!  Go Eagles...haha

Girls Coral & Aqua Inspiration Board

We decided once Phoenix was born that we would re-do Emmi's room.  With all the attention P is getting we want to make sure she is getting something special for herself.  I want her to be the "client" and have a say in what her room will look like.  Since what she wants and what I want (I'm sure that is going to be a theme with the two of us until she is in her 20's) are almost opposite, I decided the below inspiration board would be a good compromise.  She asked for purple, but as I've said before our ENTIRE house is wood.  Dark wood.  Purple will just be too dark. 

Here is what I came up with..with approval from Emmi of course.

1-Paint swatch from Pinterest with broken link.  If this is yours let me know and I'll give credit where credit is due!
2- I painted this dresser for my sister and I hope to find something similar and paint the same color
3-White Duvet, 4-Chevron Blanket, 5-Rug, 6-Owl Frame, 7-Coral tray, 8-Lampshade, 9-Painted Headboard (will do something similar to a 2nd hand piece I find), 10-Coral Box, 11-Zebra Head

I think this is a good start for Emmi's room.  Sarah Richardson, who is one of my favorite designers, gives great advice on decorating children's rooms.  She always designs rooms they can grow into.  That's great for the budget too.  As they grow older you can switch a few key pieces at a time and save some money rather than redecorating the entire space every couple of years.  This is one of the main reasons we did not buy Emmi a toddler bed.  She is going from crib, to crib with one side off to full size bed. 

How do you plan out a room?  Do you start with one inspirational or existing item and build from there?