A Simple & Sweet Master Bedroom Retreat

As the end of the month approaches, I am (finally!) wrapping up the room reveals in our Kansas home. Today’s post marks the last room reveal post; and while I wish I could say I “saved the best for last,” this room most accurately reflects the challenges of living in (and decorating!) a room for only one year. In room reveal after reveal in this home, I have been proclaiming my newfound love for neutral walls and spaces that are brought to life via the things in them rather than the color on the walls. This room, however, is the single exception to that sentiment…in this home at least. I absolutely adore every single unique element in this space. But with the neutral walls and carpet alongside our light and bright furniture, this room has continued to feel flat and unfinished no matter what I do to it. Over the year of living in and working on this room, I was forced to accept that it would never look quite “right” to me. But thanks to a handful of simple and sweet DIY details, we were able to make this spacious bedroom into a master bedroom retreat! Let me give you the full tour!

(As usual, all the tutorials, links, and product resources for this room will be listed at the bottom of the post for easy reference!)

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Before digging into the details of this room, here is a look at the room the day we moved in. It’s easily the largest master bedroom we have ever had (and probably ever will have!), with high ceilings, large blank walls, and great flow. I was originally concerned about the two small windows being the only source of natural light in this room; but the nearby bathroom also brings in a lot of sunshine for most of the day.

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

We combined our dressers, side tables, and other accessories from our last home with a new bed (Happy 10 year anniversary to us!) and some new textiles (curtains, pillows) to achieve a decidedly different feel to our master bedroom from our previous NC home. Have a look…

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

The focal point of the room is our new king-sized (ooo la la!) navy velvet bed layered with crisp white linens and a load of patterned pillows!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Ya’ll know I love fabrics and patterns more than any other home decor element, but mixing patterns can be super tricky. And because I tend to want to use too many great patterns in a single room, I often fail at it. Either I am finally getting the hang of pattern matching OR I got lucky this time, because this combination of pillows gives me ALL the heart eyes!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Above the bed hangs one of my most successful DIYs of all time…our spray-painted circle mirror!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Besides the color of the walls, the main obstacle in this space was figuring out how to dress the awkward corner windows. Thanks to a $0.99 plastic piece from the plumbing section at the hardware store, I was able to achieve a corner curtain rod on the cheap. Paired with our old shower curtains-turned window curtains, this window setup is one of my favorite parts of this whole room!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

For almost the entire year we’ve lived in this house, the expanse of wall to the right of the window felt so boring and empty to me. In true Megan fashion, inspiration hit in the final weeks, and I decided to re-create the floral pillow sham fabric in art form using paper. I am so crazy over how this simple art project came out and continue to be amazed at what can be done with a stack of colored paper!

(If you’re scratching your head saying “Wait, I never saw that project tutorial!!!” It’s because it was for one of my free-lance assignments, and I will link it up here as soon as it goes live!)

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Underneath the flower artwork are our two handy hampers that we still love. They were given a quick update to match the room with new fabric lids.

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Here’s a look at the far wall opposite the bathroom.

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Our large and lovely grey dresser sits on the wall opposite the bed, along with all the chrome accessories we’ve accumulated over the years. Admittedly, this light dresser and monochromatic accessories on the beige wall look ridiculously boring to me. But we weren’t going to paint either the wall or the dresser for the year, so I accepted it and just pretend the wall behind the setup is really navy 😉

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

One of my favorite and most functional organizing projects in this entire home are my jewelry organizers. They were moved into my dark closet after I shot these photos; but after struggling for years with the best way to store and display my jewelry so that I’d actually use it, these have been complete winners (and so simple to make)!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

On the final wall is both my closet and the door to our master bathroom.

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

I’ve already given the “full tour” here on the blog, but now you can see how these two spaces work together…

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Room Resources

I’ve done my best to round-up the products used in this space. If there is something I’ve overlooked, let me know in the comments!

  • Navy velvet bed – Joss & Main
  • White quilted coverlet – HomeGoods
  • White quilted pillow shams – DIY, made out of a coverlet from Marshalls
  • Floral pillow sham – DIY, fabric from Hobby Lobby
  • White/silver throw pillows – DIY, fabric was remnant at local shop
  • Blue/white scallop pillow shams – DIY, fabric from JoAnn Fabrics
  • Blue/white dot lumbar pillow – DIY, fabric from Fabric.com
  • Silver circle mirror above bed – DIY, mirror originally from Kirklands
  • Grey/white bird curtains – DIY, fabric from Hancock Fabrics
  • Black curtain rods – IKEA
  • Hampers – Ross with DIY covers
  • Flower Paper Artwork – DIY
  • Small grey dresser – thrifted then DIY
  • Large grey dresser – thrifted then DIY
  • Large silver rectangle mirror – HomeGoods
  • Large silver tray on large dresser – HomeGoods
  • Silver candlesticks/vases – HomeGoods
  • White/navy bathroom towels – Target
  • Navy/white rug in bathroom – HomeGoods
  • Lamps, grey – HomeGoods
  • Lamp, crystal – HomeGoods

New Projects Since Moving to Kansas

DIY Jewelry Organizers DIY Simple Scalloped Cornice Box Paper Flower Artwork-02 Making the Case for Curtains-01 Customize your bed linens and save money by making your own pillow shams! This tutorial walks you through everything you need to know! Knob Finials-15

Other Projects Seen In This Space

Big Grey Dresser-001 Laundry Baskets-001 NC Master Bedroom Projects-001 Bedroom Sparkle-018

I certainly don’t mean to be dramatic when I suggest this space is so “blah.” I just try very hard to work with what I’ve got in the time I’ve got to make a room shine. I’m not sure I embraced this space enough to make it the best I could in the time we had. However, I do think I’ve moved our bedroom design in a direction I really love (navy + grey + lots of white!) and I am super anxious to continue and complete the vision in our next home!

Before I sign off for today, one last look at this space…

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Simple and sweet DIY details transform this master bedroom into a serene and peaceful retreat!

Do you have a space in your home that you just can’t seem to get right? Have you found yourself fighting with a wall color or piece of furniture but just not compelled to change it out? I’d love to hear how you’ve moved beyond some “tricky” design hurdles in your living situation!

Megan Signature

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Cricut Explore for Home Decor | Part 2: Working With Vinyl

A few months ago, I kicked off a Using the Cricut Explore for Home Decor Series (you can catch up on previous posts here: Intro | The Essentials). As most of you know, along with my sewing machine, my Cricut Explore is how I make custom and budget-friendly decor for our home. There are so many things the Cricut Explore can cut; but next to paper, the main thing I use it for is vinyl! From wall and furniture decals to labels and personalized gifts, cutting vinyl is seemingly a weekly occurrence around here (if not more!). I realize there are many, many blog posts and videos specifically dedicated to vinyl out there on the world wide web (if you need more info or want to go more in depth, I recommend YouTube!). However, over the years and dozens of projects I’ve completed, I’ve picked up some tried-and-true tips and tricks for working with vinyl. Hopefully this post will help the newbies out there get started with vinyl and perhaps show you vinyl veterans some time-saving tricks! Let’s jump in!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Many of the wall and furniture treatments I’ve done over the years have involved vinyl, and almost every single labeling project I do is made out of vinyl too! Vinyl is now available in pretty much every color and sheen (and now even patterns!), making the possibilities for your home and your projects endless!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Gold Dot Wall | Cleaning Kit Labels | Vinyl-Covered Dresser | “Tile” Backsplash

What Vinyl to Buy and Where

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

*affiliate links used

There are lots and lots of vinyl options available these days. Admittedly I haven’t experimented with too many options; but that is mostly because when I stumble upon something I really like, I don’t feel compelled to keep looking for other options. My preference is Oracle 651 vinyl, and I like the high gloss version (but have also used the matte finish on many occasions). Although the 651 is listed as “permanent, non-removable,” I have been able to remove it from most surfaces (with some effort). That said, the removable/indoor option (Oracle 631) is also a great if you want a surely removable choice.

I find it helpful to keep a variety of colors on hand. Beyond blog/home projects (on which I tend to use a limited color palette), I often personalize water bottles, crayon boxes, art kits and other items as birthday presents for Henry’s little friends. Being able to cut a child’s favorite image in their favorite color is part of what makes the gift so special; and having an array of colors keeps me from running to the store with each birthday invitation.

About 18 months ago, I invested in 30 5′ rolls of Oracle 651 for about $100 via this listing on eBay. I have yet to work through it all, and I work with vinyl a lot! Ebay has lots of different “set” options for vinyl (from 6 rolls and up), as well as sets of 12×12″ sheets. Check out all the options here. I also love these packs from Amazon, which gives you a 12×12″ sheet of 24 different colors.

In addition to vinyl, you will also need some transfer paper in order to make your images look clean and professional on your end project. I’ll get more into detail of transfer paper below, but hands down this one by Cricut is my favorite. Not only is clear transfer paper a must (for lining up and layering your images!), but the grids on this transfer paper and its durability make it better than anything I’ve ever used. Order yourself a couple rolls, and keep it on hand!

How to Cut Vinyl with the Cricut Explore

Now that you have your vinyl, you will first need to design your image using Cricut Design Space (which is Cricut’s free online design software). Once upon a time, Cricut’s machines weren’t able to handle intricate cuts and small details, but those problems have been fixed ever since they introduced the Explore line. I’ve never had an issue with a design being too intricate or detailed, so design your little heart out!

Once you design and send your image to be cut, you will be prompted to load your mat into the machine. Before doing so, line up the edge of your vinyl with the leading edge of the mat. Press firmly and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

TIP! Notice that I didn’t say “cut a piece of vinyl to fit your design and secure it to the mat.” To save the time and hassle of measuring (and running the risk of your image not fitting), don’t bother cutting down your vinyl. In almost all cases when I cut an image, I secure enough vinyl to the mat to fit my image, then let the rest of the roll sit on the mat (so that it will ride with the mat as the machine is cutting).

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

After your mat is loaded but BEFORE you hit cut, double check that your machine is set to “Vinyl.” Sure you can cut vinyl on other settings, but the machine is perfectly optimized to cut vinyl in order to make transferring the image cleanly and easily.

TIP! If you change mediums a lot, it might be helpful to post a sticky note or other reminder to prompt you to check the dial before hitting cut each and every time!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Once you hit the cut button, the machine will cut your image with incredible precision. Below, you can see some labels lightly cut for my purse pouches a while back.

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Once the image is cut, trim away the vinyl roll. Not only does this ensure you have enough vinyl for the entire image, but it helps conserve vinyl and reduce the amount of waste/little pieces left over (more on that in a minute!).

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Once the roll of vinyl is cut away, leave your cut image secured to the mat (or re-stick it to the mat if it peeled off while you were cutting away). Most often, vinyl is on rolls; and once you pull it off the sticky mat, is often rolls back up, making the cleaning/weeding process much harder.

TIP! By leaving the cut design on the mat, it remains perfectly flat so you can continue to work on the design to prepare it for transfer.

To clean up the image, simply pull away all the “negative vinyl” (essentially anything that is not part of the final image). If you used the vinyl setting AND have a good blade on your machine, your vinyl should pull away perfectly, often in a single piece. Even if it pulls away easily however, be sure to take your time so that you don’t accidentally pull off small details from the image. Also, try hard to not let the sticky side of the vinyl you are removing stick to any part of the final cut image. Vinyl stretches, and pulling the vinyl apart can often distort your final image.

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Once your image is fully cleaned up and all the negative vinyl has been pulled away, it’s time to transfer it to your project! When I first started working with vinyl, I used to painstakingly transfer one piece of my image at a time (by hand!). This method often left me with distorted shapes and poor spacing between the non-connected elements. The key to perfectly transferring your image from the cut mat to your project is to use transfer paper!

Watch THIS video to see transfer paper in action. Essentially, cut down a piece of transfer paper to fit your ENTIRE image and peel away the paper backing. Then place the transfer paper sticky-side-down onto your cut image. You can’t really smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles once the transfer paper is on your image, so take the time to lay the transfer paper on flat and smooth! Press down firmly to make sure the entire vinyl image sticks to the transfer paper, then carefully peel up the transfer paper (which will have your vinyl image attached to it!)

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

With your entire image safely on the transfer paper, you can now place your design wherever you want it by simply reversing the process. Place the entire stretch of transfer paper (with your vinyl shape attached) down onto your clean and smooth project surface. Press down firmly on all the elements of your vinyl design to ensure the shapes have adhered to your project surface. Then, carefully peel away the transfer paper to reveal your perfectly aligned, bubble-free design behind!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

TIPS! on transfer paper:

  • Vinyl is a one trick pony (meaning, it can’t be pulled off and used again and again), but transfer paper can be used over and over and over again until the stick wears down (usually about 3-5 applications). So save the paper backing and re-use your transfer paper until it doesn’t seem to pick up the vinyl easily.
  • Transfer paper works best when putting vinyl onto hard surfaces; however, you can use it to transfer vinyl to fabric (like I did here) or plastic (like I did below). You just need to REALLY press every millimeter of your image down as much as possible before removing the transfer paper. Even then, you will still need to pull the transfer paper away really, really slowly to ensure the paper release the image onto your less hard surface!
  • Are you mid-project and JUST realized you are out of transfer paper? Painters tape and clear contact paper both do the job almost as well!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Tips and Tricks for Cutting Images from Vinyl

I mentioned earlier that I don’t like to cut my vinyl down to my project size in an effort to conserve vinyl. Here is an example of why. Below is a stretch of vinyl that, as you can see, has been cut from a variety of different sides.

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Instead of cutting down a little piece of vinyl for my next cut (which would potentially leave me with other small, awkward slices of vinyl), I simply line up my vinyl so that I have a straight edge along the top, no matter how wide it is. TIP! Then…in my Preview Cut Screen (just before you send your image to be cut), you can choose where exactly to place your cut image. I use the grid boxes on both my mat and my screen to place the image where I have enough vinyl to fit the entire cut. In this case, I moved my cut image from the default placement (upper left) to the upper right where I have plenty of vinyl for the cut!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Then, just like last time, I secured the cut to my mat and peeled away the negative vinyl…

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

However, this time, the negative space wasn’t all connected so it didn’t pull off in a single stretch. There were still some cut details inside the image and words that needed to be “weeded out.” As I mentioned in my Essentials post, I by-pass my fancy Cricut tools for weeding and head straight to my sewing drawer for my seam ripper!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

For whatever reason, I find it does the best job at getting all those tiny pieces of vinyl pulled out quickly and cleanly!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Then, just as before and with every, single vinyl project I do, I use transfer paper to move my cut image to my final project…

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

(You can read more about these Linen Closet labels here, and I will actually be sharing these cut files next month!)

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Storing Vinyl

Unless you buy samples or smaller sheets (often available in variety packs), vinyl most often comes on rolls in order to keep it crease- and bubble-free. Since I like to keep a lot of colors on-hand for any project that might come along, storage can sometimes be a bit awkward and cumbersome. I’ve tried a few methods over the years; but currently, I have all my rolls tucked into a large, snap-lock tupperware. I like that the bin has a lid (so I can store it on it’s side like a briefcase), and it is shallow enough that finding and digging out rolls is pretty easy.

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

This storage methods keeps my rolls from becoming too disorderly (I have to roll and tape them up each time!), and it also limits me to how much I can have on hand!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Despite my efforts to waste as little vinyl as possible, small scraps and cuts are unavoidable. Because it is so easy to place cuts strategically on the cutting mat via the preview screen, I save most anything that is usable in a 12×12 scrapbook storage box. When I am making gifts, cutting single images, or have small details to cut, I often stop here to see what I have before pulling out my large collection of rolls.

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

Coming Up Soon In This Series!

I realize there are so many great Cricut tutorials and resources available on the web…many of which I use. But there are also some other tricks and tips I’ve picked up along the way that I can’t wait to share with you guys. Here is what I have lined up for the coming months. If you have other topics you want me to cover, leave me a note in the comments!

Working with vinyl can seem really intimidating at first, but I promise you will get the hang of it in no time! Weeding and transferring the vinyl does take some practice, so I recommend playing around with different images and texts and techniques before making something “for real.” Once you get the hang of it, I know you’ll be addicting to making awesome and personalized items for you, your family and friends! I am sure there are lots of details I forgot, so if you have a specific question, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Are you ready to use your Cricut Explore to make vinyl decor, labels and more? This post breaks down everything you need to know about working with vinyl!

I hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with our final room tour of our Kansas home (#sniff!) and then a quick round-up of  my writings over the last few months! See you back here soon!

Megan Signature

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Our Rental Kitchen & Dining Spaces Revealed!

In recent weeks, I’ve been plowing through room reveal after room reveal in preparation for a final home tour before closing out our Kansas chapter. (You can catch up on the Office, Henry’s Bedroom, Playroom, Living Room, Linen Closet, Laundry Room, and Deck so far!). Among the last few “final” spaces to show you are the kitchen and dining room. Admittedly, these two rooms (some of the ones we spend the most time in!) received the least amount of DIY attention. Despite not taking on full makeovers however, both of these rooms illustrate that even with just a few impactful (and inexpensive) accessories, bland and boring rental kitchen and dining rooms can feel stylish and personalized!

(As usual, all the tutorials, links, and product resources will be listed at the bottom of the post for easy reference!)

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Before diving into the afters, let’s take a quick walk down memory lane and look at the house the day we moved in last June. When we moved into this home, I was quite excited about a number of spaces and features…the kitchen was not one of them. Ya’ll know that brown is not my favorite; and the brown floors and cabinets and beige counters and backsplash were leaving me uninspired. I was initially concerned about the number of cabinets; but as you will soon see, we were able to charm up this space and carve out some clever storage to meet all of our needs!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Here is a look at the adjoining dining room (the kitchen is just off to the left of the shot below). Hardwood floors, two large windows, and a neutral wall color gave me quite the workable foundation!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

We ended up buying/doing very few new things for this space and instead re-purposed and re-imagined a lot of the furniture, storage containers, and accessories we had from other spaces in our previous homes. As I step back and look through these pictures, even I am amazed at how  much some simple curtains and accessories can transform a space. Let me take you through the whole space, starting on the kitchen side!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

The corner windows tucked back behind the sink provided a bit of a decor challenge. These no-sew decorative roman shades added just enough texture and decor to make the space feel more complete. Their ability to block some of the intense afternoon sun was an added bonus!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

The only furniture purchase we made for this entire space were these two black counter-height stools from Target. I love that their simple and classic lines seemingly go with any style, and their price point really can’t be beat!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

This is the very first time having an island in our kitchen, and boy do we totally get the appeal! Not only do Greg and Henry sit and keep me company while I am cooking, but the island certainly is the main gathering spot during all of our parties!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

try to keep my counters as clutter-free as possible. My painted utensil jars are still going strong (and one of my most popular projects!), and they add the perfect pop of color in this very neutral kitchen.

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Over on the right side of the kitchen near the pantry is where we keep a few other items that we use on a daily/hourly basis!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

We’re pretty serious about our coffee around here, so the final little stretch of counter space between the stove and the refrigerator houses our coffee pot, grinder and accessories. All the mugs are located in the cabinet just above this setup!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

I was originally quite worried about the amount of cabinet space in this kitchen. When I discovered that the drawers and cabinets were much larger than the usual build-grade versions we’re used to, my worries faded! I am able to store all of our kitchen items (and then some!) in the cabinets, and these extra-wide and -deep drawers really work extra hard for us thanks to some DIY drawers dividers!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Under the kitchen sink is never a pretty spot with the pipes and garbage disposal so obvious and in the way…but thanks to a cheery and super functional cleaning caddie, these under-the-sink doors aren’t so bad to open!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

The skinny pantry was another aspect of the kitchen I was less-than-enthused about…

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

But thanks to some pretty and clever storage solutions, we are really able to squeeze a ton of function into this awkward space!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Finding and implementing just the right food storage systems is one of my favorite aspects of putting a kitchen together. This time around, I utilized a variety of bins and baskets to store everything from dry goods and liquids to snacks and spices!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Even our freezer got a little organizational overhaul this past Spring. I LOOVE the drawer-type freezer and will certainly miss the space and functionality we have in this top/bottom combo!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Right next to the fridge is a spot I haven’t yet shown you…mainly because it’s a really awkward wall to photograph. But it’s here that I have my Mom’s amazing food still-life art pieces on display!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

All in all, just a handful of DIYs, some great organization, and a few decor touches help make this rental kitchen feel a little less basic and a little more homey!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Now let’s take a look at the dining room side of the space!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

This room has pretty much looked the same since the 3-Months In Home Tour. All the elements you see fell into place rather quickly by just pulling the various items together from our previous homes (I love it when things come together so easily!); Unfortunately, I just ran out of time and steam to finish the few DIYs I wanted to do in this space. Still…this bright, crisp and fresh space is one of my favorites in the entire house!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

The flowered curtains are a huge part of what I love about this space…and the striped rug of course. I wouldn’t naturally pair these items together, but somehow everything just works here!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

The sunlight coming in this back window is the best in the entire house so many of the plants have found their way to this buffet!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

We placed our “dining hutch” on the long wall on the right side of the room. In our last house, this hutch+mirror arrangement served as an entryway bookcase. This time around, it holds all of our dishes (as it was originally intended!) and serves as a perfect focal point for the dining area!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Our most-commonly used dishes are in our cabinets, but this hutch is a great way to display our serving pieces, my pitcher collection, and some pretty cookbooks!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

I never finished a fourth art piece (for under the crab) and the chairs never got re-covered in bright cobalt fabric; but all in all, this space was easy to pull together using items we already had on hand!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Room Resources

I’ve done my best to round-up the products used in this space. If there is something I’ve overlooked, let me know in the comments!

KITCHEN

DINING ROOM

New Projects Since Moving To Kansas

No-Sew Roman Shades Customizable Drawer Organizer Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Smart & Simple Ways to Store & Label Spices Organizing the Freezer (with FREE printable inventory and labels!) Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits! Making the Case for Curtains-01

Other Projects Seen In This Space

Vintage Lamp Makeover-019 Custom Frames for Mom's Art-001 Henry's Big Boy Chair-001 Hutch Makeover-001 Wallpaper Artwork-01 The Chippy Window-001 Green Color Block Credenza-018 Utensil Jars-001 Organize This Recipes-001

And because I can’t resist before/after shots side-by-side, let’s take one last look!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

It’s super tricky to get the entire space in a single shot, but this last one should give you an idea of how the two spaces work together!

Simple updates and affordable accessories transform this bland and boring rental kitchen into a fun and functional space to dine, cook, and entertain!

I’m happy to report that after 2 months of craziness for our little family, I think I am finally in a place where I can (mostly!) get back to business as usual around here. Coming up next, my tips and tricks for working with vinyl in my latest installment of Cricut Explore for Home Decor! See you then!

Megan Signature

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Hit or Miss? Renter-Friendly Wallpaper Removal

You guys! I am so excited for today’s post!

I applied wallpaper to our rental...now you get to see how easily it came down! Follow the link to see the wallpaper removal in action!

How many of you remember when I applied wallpaper to our rental last Fall?

Renter Friendly Wallpaper Installation

The effect was certainly dramatic and eye-popping in my home office…

Check out this modern home office and craft space full of smart storage solutions, a hardworking layout, and vibrant design details!

But…

Raise your hand if you seriously doubted the wallpaper would come off as easily and cleanly as I promised?

How many of you wanted to try it but have been waiting to see if it really was a true, renter-friendly solution?

Who is convinced I spent hours and hours removing wallpaper in an effort to return our walls to the original condition we found them?

Well…watch my very first video here on the blog (eeeeek!) to see for yourself!

I kid you not, all the wallpaper in my office was down in about 5 minutes. There was NO residue or paper left on the walls; and each and every sheet peeled off in perfect form. In fact, I rolled it all up and have every intention of using it again!

This wallpaper project goes down as one of my most successful renter-friendly DIYs ever. In fact, I’m so smitten with this technique for changing up walls without using paint, that I just might use it in every room and every home from now on! #kiddingnotkidding

Whether you are a renter or not but have been craving the look of wallpaper in your space, I now can recommend with confidence that you give THIS method a try! (However, pretty please test a small piece on your walls before doing a full installation!)

I’m going to do a full “Hit and Miss” post of all my renter-friendly wall projects in a few weeks, but I couldn’t wait to show you how well this one turned out since I know there’s been so much interest! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know!

Have a great weekend everyone! See you back here next week!

Megan Signature

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Preppy Living Room Reveal

Heeeeelllo friends! Again my apologies for the sudden and unannounced radio silence around here. As you might suspect, our move is in full swing. And while I’m not quite ready to fill you in on the latest (so many Kansas projects to wrap up first!), trust that life behind the scenes has been a touch crazy and nonstop in recent weeks. I’m trying my darndest to get back to my usual blog rhythm and appreciate your patience while we catch up with life! I’ve still got a few final Kansas rooms to wrap up in the coming weeks, so I’m popping in today with the “reveal” of one of my favorite rooms in our Kansas home: our preppy living room!

(As I do in all my room reveal posts, the resources and tutorials are rounded up at the end!)

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Before I dive into all the details of this living room space on the upper level of our split-level home, let’s take a quick look back at what it looked like the day we arrived!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

This room (what we call the living room) is the large upstairs gathering space, just off the dining room, entryway and hallway leading to the bedrooms. It has a great amount of space with tall peaked ceilings, and the fireplace and large window provide just enough interest in the room while leaving plenty of wall space for all of our stuff!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

I was originally SOOO worried about the neutral walls throughout this house. However, this room is truly brought to life by the accessories and things in it. The result makes me a true convert of neutral walls! Have a look!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

There is just so much I love about this room (it might just be one of my favorites of all time!). From the striped fireplace feature wall to the upholstered chairs and colorful accessories…the patterns and colors work so well without being too much (such a hard balance for me to find!)

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

The center of the room is anchored by a new couch from Home Decorators. Admittedly, I LOVE the aesthetics of this couch (yay for a neutral couch with gorgeous tufting!) but it is not at all comfortable for movie watching and hanging out (so we often go down to the playroom for movie time!).

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

One nice thing about a totally neutral couch is that you can really add as much color and pattern you want through pillows…and I didn’t really hold back, using four different fabrics!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

The most optimal furniture layout for this room meant that we couldn’t fit side tables next to the couch. A quick and easy IKEA hack sofa table gave us just enough space for lamps, drinks and a few decor items! #bestsolutionever

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

What to place in front of the couch became the main conundrum for this space…I just didn’t know what I wanted! I found these faux bamboo tables for $35/pair at the famous West Bottoms in Kansas City. I originally snagged them to turn them into little ottomans, but the color and size really worked for me here, so they never got their makeover!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

The couch paired with the sofa table and coffee table(s) really turned out to be both a functional AND aesthetic solution in this room!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

In the back right corner of the couch we have one of my favorite DIYs of this entire last year: our “Where We’ve Lived” state prints. Not only does the gold metallic paper they are made with shimmer in the sunlight, but they make for great conversation starters with our guests!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Next to the state prints in the back right corner of the room is a clunky bookshelf that I’ve always hated but works perfectly for holding a ton of books! I originally had plans to paint is and never got to it…a blessing in disguise because the wood tone really works here!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Most of you long-time readers know that one of my all-time favorite patterns is stripes, and I use them in almost every space in our home. They just provide so much visual “bang,” and this striped wallpaper feature is no exception.

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

I found a single tube of this removable navy/white striped wallpaper at Target for $15 on a clearance end cap. This simple and inexpensive DIY completely made this space and added the perfect preppy punch to an otherwise formal space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

I used brass, white and kelly green accessories throughout the room, and they worked really well in unifying the whole space on the navy/white/neutral backdrop! I don’t think I’ll ever ever tire of kelly green and navy!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

We balanced out the state prints on the left side of the fireplace with some of my all-time favorite family shots on the right. They are getting pretty outdated, but I just can’t bring myself to replace them yet!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

The rocking chair was placed here because we had no where else to put it. It turned out to be great extra seating when we do have friends over to visit!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Across from the couch/window wall is a 2/3 wall that separates the living room from the kitchen/dining room. I always feel so cut off from Henry and Greg when I am in the kitchen, but I am happy we had a solid wall to place our beloved media stand. This tall wall always feels super bland and boring to me and is one of the few spaces in this home I wish we had some paint!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

The last side of the room is rounded out with my two favorite navy/white upholstered chairs. Not only do I LOVE how these chairs play off the stripes around the fireplace, but they also round out our seating situation! The furniture placement in this room worked out so well!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Back behind the chairs in the final corner of the room, we placed a butterfly cabinet that holds all of our china and crystal. Above it is a framed piece from Minted that reminds me of a lot of the different places we’ve lived and brings the kelly green to this side of the room!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Room Resources

I’ve done my best to round-up the products used in this space. If there is something I’ve overlooked, let me know in the comments!

  • Couch
  • Sofa table – DIY
  • Lamps – Target + DIY
  • Glass candle holder on sofa table – Marshalls
  • Brass winged bowl – Thrifted
  • Coasters – DIY
  • Yellow Planter – Red Envelope
  • Navy and white curtains – Bed, Bath and Beyond
  • Pine Needle Artwork – Minted
  • Turquoise Acrylic Box – HomeGoods
  • Striped Wallpaper – Target
  • White lanterns – Marhsalls
  • Tall White Vase – Target
  • Brass candlesticks, criket and bird – thrifted
  • Gold round mirror – New River Pottery
  • White owl planter – New River Pottery
  • Ottoman – DIY
  • Rocking Chair – DIY
  • White and yellow dot pillows – Marshalls
  •  Navy, green and white floral fabric – Hancock Fabrics
  • Yellow and white fabric – Hancock Fabrics
  • White/navy dot fabric
  • Green linen fabric

New Projects Since Moving To Kansas

Need a quick and easy sofa table without the hassle of tools and lumber? This one comes together in just 10 minutes using off-the-shelf items from IKEA! DIY State Silhouette Artwork Wallpaper DIY Acrylic Frame-01 No-Sew Ribbon Pillow Tutorial Knob Finials-15 Making the Case for Curtains-01

Other Projects Seen In This Space

Blue Upholstered Chairs-001 Dresser Makeover-001 Lamp Makeover-001 Polishing Hardware-014 Tile Coasters-001 DIY Ottoman-001 Modern Rocking Chair

I love this space so dearly and am hoping to be able to recreate it (mostly) in our next home! Only time will tell. Until then…one more look at the before/afters!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

I hope you guys love this space as much as I do! I’d love to hear in the comments what your favorite element is!

Neutral furniture and colorful accessories transform this boring rental living room into a preppy and playful family space!

Back here on Thursday, I’m going to have the first look at this house coming apart (eek!) with a wallpaper follow up I’m sure many of you have been wondering about! See you then!

Megan Signature

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