Category Archives: Kansas

Taking the Long Way Around | Our Summer Adventures to Our New Home

You all have been so patient with me as I wrap up the posts and projects from our Kansas house and even take some unexpected breaks over the last few months. But I am so excited to report that it is finally time to start catching you up on everything we’ve been up to in recent months, including our latest cross-country travels, our new home, and even some fun surprises. So much has happened in the months since we left Kansas, and I’ve had so many thoughts and news that I’ve been wanting to share with you. Now that we’re a little more settled and life is slowing down for the first time in months (!!!!), get ready for a slew of personal posts and life updates coming your way in the next few weeks!  Last week I showed you our final Kansas home tour, as well as the start of pulling the entire house apart. Today, we’re hitting the road and you get to ride along as we make our way across country…again! But be forewarned: this time we are taking the (very!) long way around to our next home!

Taking the Long Way Around | Our Family Summer Adventure

On May 26th, we anxiously looked on as every last one of our belongings was packed up and loaded onto a truck…in the middle of a tornado. Seriously. We’d gone pretty much the entire year in Kansas without a legitimate tornado threat. I guess Mother Nature was saving the best for last 😉 There we were: Henry and I hunkered down in our “safe place,” while the local guys never once paused during the thunder, sirens, winds, and torrential rain; they just kept loading the truck. In the 7 times we’ve packed out, we’ve never experienced anything quite like it! While there is always a sense of “Will I ever see my stuff again?” as the truck pulls off, this time around I couldn’t help but wonder “How wet will our stuff be when we see it again? Will it all be covered in mold? Is this an omen of what’s to come?!?”

Loading Day!

We spent the Friday before Memorial Day weekend cleaning the house and packing up the cars and then set off on our first stop of many this summer:

Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Our house was empty AND spotless, and we were all set to move into a local hotel for a few weeks (Greg didn’t graduate until June 9). At the last minute, we took advantage of a cancelation to go out to the military recreational facility at Lake of the Ozarks for a Memorial Day weekend getaway. After weeks of getting ready to move, farewell to friends, dealing with packers and cleaning the house in preparation for check out, it was so wonderful to literally escape for a few days. We hiked, canoed, swam and basically soaked up every minute of no stuff, no connectivity, and no responsibility that we could!

Taking the Long Way Around | Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Taking the Long Way Around | Lake of the Ozarks, MO

Taking the Long Way Around | Lake of the Ozarks, MO

We returned to Leavenworth, Kansas after a great getaway and lived for 10 days in a local hotel while Greg finished up school. We used this time to visit every last Kansas City spot we hadn’t yet made it to, including water parks, a baseball game and more! After Greg graduated from his military school on June 9th, we hit the road for an epic family road trip!

Lincoln, NE

From Kansas City we drove to Lincoln, Nebraska and stayed a single night in the city. Who knew Lincoln was such a COOL place, especially when the drive in every direction pretty much looks like this:

Taking the Long Way Around | Kansas

Cheyenne, WY

From Lincoln, Nebraska, we drove on to Cheyenne, Wyoming and spent an afternoon exploring the charming little town. It was here that Henry and I shared the best steak I have ever, ever had!

Taking the Long Way Around | Cheyenne, WY

Yellowstone National Park, WY

From Cheyenne, we finally made our way into one of our first major destinations: Yellowstone National Park! We spent three days and three nights camping, hiking, touring, eating, and animal watching our way through the park. Henry loved every single minute of camping (even during the 38 degree nights!!!) and showed us that he is quite the willing adventurer! From spotting wildlife (yes, we did see a bear!!!) to full day hikes…this kid loves the great outdoors!

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Yellowstone National Park

Salt Lake City, UT

After three days of camping (read: no showers), it was time for some city life! We traveled through Grand Tetons National Park (which I LOVED and really want to go back to explore more!) on our way to Salt Lake City, UT. There, we city dwelled and hit up museums, restaurants, public transportation (Henry’s favorite!) and other downtown gems.

Taking the Long Way Around | Salt Lake City, UT

Taking the Long Way Around | Salt Lake City, UT

Taking the Long Way Around | Salt Lake City, UT

Zion National Park, UT

After the three days of explronig, rest, showers, and laundry in Salt Lake City, we traveled onto one of our favorite stops of the entire trip: Zion National Park. Greg and I love National Parks and hiking (if you couldn’t yet tell), and Zion has long been on our list of places to visit. The scenery, hiking, and amenities were beyond our expectations, and we loved every minute of it. We stayed in a hotel this time (which suits me much better than our tent camping in Yellowstone 😉 and ventured into the park for two full days of hiking and adventuring. Henry yet again rose to every challenge we gave him…even wading quite a ways into the world-famous Narrows! He is STILL talking about how fun it was to hike through the water with our shoes on!

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Taking the Long Way Around | Zion National Park

Las Vegas, NV

After a few days in Zion, we were ready for another break from the great outdoors and made our way to our next stop: Las Vegas! Vegas isn’t the most kid-friendly of locations, so after 2 weeks on the road, we were more than happy to stick near the pool, play, relax, nap, visit the dolphins and take in a show. We had near-freezing temps while in Yellowstone and arrived to 112 degrees in Vegas – we really experienced quite the gamut of climates and experiences!

Taking the Long Way Around | Las Vegas

Taking the Long Way Around | Las Vegas

And then onto…

From Las Vegas, we made one more drive into our “new” home town to begin the long process of finding a house and getting settled. But that story is for another day 😉 I am not yet going to tell you where it is, but I’d love to hear your guesses!! And don’t worry…you don’t have to wait too long. Meet me back here on Thursday for the reveal of our “new” home town and “new”/next house!

There are a lot of things I hate about moving, but one of the things I love most is taking advantage of the relocation to see and explore new and unknown parts of this great country! Over the course of 13 days, 6 states, 2400+ miles, 3 National Parks (and 1 Vegas show!), we got to see and experience some truly awesome, beautiful and wonderful things as a family. These moments in between homes are just as much a part of our military adventure as our years stationed in one place, and boy do we try to make the most of it. It was a trip and a summer our little family will never forget!

Megan Signature

Hit or Miss? Renter-Friendly Walls

Now that I’ve shown you how our entire Kansas house came together, it’s time to start showing you how it all came apart! It’s always hard to see the rooms I worked so hard to create come down, be disassembled piece by piece, and boxed up and shipped off to our next home. But that is our reality, and one that we’ve become very, very used to. In fact, the removability and movability of everything we own and do drives most of our design decisions and furniture purchases. Many of you recall when we moved into this home last Fall, I took on a friendly bet to not paint any walls. But rather than just live with bland walls for a year, I took the bet one step further and challenged myself to see what all I could do without paint. Over the course of the year, I did 5 different renter-friendly wall treatments in our home using (1) removable wallpaper, (2) regular wallpaper, (3) wrapping paper, (4) cardstock, and (5) fabric. Each of them accomplished the mission of providing color, pattern, and/or visual interest to the space, but the question always remained: was the wall treatment truly renter friendly? As in, did it easily come down and leave the walls in “like new” condition?  Today, I’m showing you how each wall treatment came down and sharing a few tips, tricks, and things to consider if you want to try them in your own home!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

1. Removable (Peel & Stick) Wallpaper

The very first project I did when we moved in last Fall was to apply this removable peel-and-stick wallpaper around our fireplace. You can read the full tutorial HERE!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

The results were pretty spectacular…stripes just have a way of packing a powerful punch in any space! They were easily one of the most asked about things in our home when guests came over and really helped the room feel complete. You can see the final Living Room HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Taking the peel-and-stick wallpaper down was as easy as I expected! Just like peeling shelf-liner off a shelf or drawer, it came off easily and in single sheets, although considerably wrinkled and stretched. I have been asked by a lot if peel-and-stick wallpaper is re-usable, and this experience confirmed my suspicions that removable wallpaper is a one-time use product (at least this version from Target). Not only would you need to hold onto the paper backing in order to roll it back up…but like vinyl, this type of wallpaper pulls and stretches pretty easily, making it pretty difficult to use again with a good result. My used wallpaper went into the trash!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

And the walls? Pristine. No peeled paint. No tacky residue. No discoloration. Not a lick of evidence that there was something on this wall. This peel-and-stick wallpaper was indeed 100% renter-friendly!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Would I do it again? Absolutely. It looks great, is somewhat easy to install (although you will likely need a helper!), is available in SO many colors and patterns, and comes down perfectly. To me, the only downside is the cost for something that is a one-time use product and doesn’t cover very much wall space. This roll of wallpaper was $15 on clearance, but is regularly $30…and I had JUST enough to do this feature around the fireplace. If you want to wallpaper an entire wall or an entire room, it will be a significant investment. I personally think peel-and-stick wallpaper is great for smaller projects like a feature wall (as I did here), in a small nook, or on a piece of furniture.

2. Regular Wallpaper with Liquid Starch

I was determined to come up with a way to hang regular wallpaper in a renter-friendly way. I had seen the trick of using liquid starch and fabric on walls, so I figured it would also work with regular (NON-PASTED) wallpaper. After some experimenting on a small section first (always, always test before doing an entire wall/room!), I determined liquid starch would indeed work! You can read the full tutorial HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

I wallpapered the top 1/2 of my office walls using just 2 rolls of regular wallpaper; and to say the effect was transformative is an understatement! You can see the full office reveal HERE!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

A few weeks ago, I shared a video of how quickly and easily the wallpaper came down. You can see the wallpaper removal in action HERE – I’m still so giddy over how it worked! In a nutshell, the wallpaper peeled off cleanly and in perfect sheets. In about 5 minutes, I had all the paper down in the entire office; and unlike the peel-and-stick versions, the sheets were flat and wrinkle free. I was able to stack them up, roll them up, and box them up for our next home!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

And the walls? CLEAN…with no evidence of the liquid starch OR the wallpaper! I peeled off the wallpaper and did nothing else to the walls. Here is the room the day we moved out:

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Would I do it again? Absolutely. As I mentioned when I shared the removal video, compared to everything else I’ve done in previous homes and in this home, this wall treatment method is by far the easiest and my favorite. We’ve repainted a lot of walls, which I don’t find too hard. But to have a room look this great for the whole time we were here…to then peel off the paper, pack it up, and walk away without having to paint, clean, patch or peel anything else was nothing short of truly, truly awesome. Now…regular wallpaper can be expensive. But the rolls tend to be longer than their peel-and-stick counterparts, and since you can use the paper over and over again, the investment is a little easier to swallow. Keep your eye on flash sale sites (like Joss and Main and One Kings Lane) to find good prices; and pretty, pretty, pretty please use NON-PASTED paper only and test a small area before doing an entire wall/room in your own home!

3. Wrapping Paper

The next method I tried was to hang wrapping paper in our laundry room. To do so, I originally started with double-stick tape but finished the job with thumb tacks because it was easier. You can read the full tutorial HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

A lot of you love the story about Greg being the one to encourage me to keep going with the flamingos when I was tempted to pull it all down midway through the project. He was so right, because the flamingo paper detail turned out to be so good in this little space. You can see the full laundry room reveal HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Somehow I missed getting some pictures of the paper coming down and the final result, so you will just have to visualize how it went. While the wrapping paper can be a bit unwieldy (because of its width and length), pulling out the tacks and pulling off the double-stick tape were both quick and easy. The double-stick tape was easy to get off the walls and the paper; and as you might expect, the thumb tacks did leave teeny tiny holes in the wall. Unlike nails and screws, the tac holes were so tiny you could barely see them…so we didn’t bother filling them. That said, if you live in a strict all-holes-must-be-filled rental, then you may want to go the double-stick-tape route for installation.

Would I do it again? Sure! Wrapping paper is not only easy to find and available in pretty much any pattern and color, but it is super, super cheap. I used two rolls for this laundry room wall, each about $3.50. We got a lot of personality and pizzazz for less than $10! BUT…wrapping paper does not have the durability that wallpaper does. It rips easily, creases easily, and is not at all resistant to water splashes. Also, if you use tacks or tape as I did, the paper will not cling to the wall the way wallpaper does, so mentally prepare for a somewhat different look. That said, it is a great way to dress up small rooms, backs of closets, drawers, and other small spaces!

4. Cardstock with Masking Tape

What started as an art installation project turned into an entire wall feature on a whim.  To give our playroom a major dose of color, I took a stack of ombre cardstock, folded them in at each corner, and secured them to the wall in a mountain-scape design using plain ol’ masking tape. You can read the whole tutorial HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

While a bit wild and crazy, even for me, this $10 wall treatment certainly provided a major WOW factor in our downstairs playroom. You can see the full playroom reveal HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Pulling the squares down was easy and mindless work. It only took me a bit of time because I was pulling the tape off each square and stacking them to save for future use (because a brilliant reader had the suggestion to use them as party table or photo booth backdrop!!!) Originally, I used masking tape because I had it on hand. In the end however, it was the perfect solution because it held wonderfully (not a single square ever fell off the wall!) and it pulled off cleanly, leaving no residue behind.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Would I do it again? Sure! Admittedly, this wall feature was casual, fun and playful but not something I would do in a “real” home or for the long term. I think the concept is great for play spaces, kids rooms or for party displays, but lacks the sophistication the other wall methods provide. Still…we got a lot of totally temporary color and pattern on the walls for just $10. It all came down clean, and I was able to pack them up and keep them for future use. If you’re looking for a creative and super cheap way to color up your walls, go for it!

5. Fabric with Liquid Starch

Last but not least, I finally gave the liquid starch + fabric trick a try (all these homes and I’ve never tried it!). To create a feature spot in Henry’s bedroom for his jungle prints, I used a two yard length of $7/yard duck cloth in a jungle green color. I used liquid starch to secure it flat to the wall…creating a wallpaper effect but with a fabric texture. You can read the full tutorial HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Aesthetically, I LOOOOOOVED this spot in Henry’s room. The bright green texture on the wall, framed out with basic trim, really helped his prints pop and created such a nice display above his dressers. As we sat in bed and read books every night, I would look at this display and just smile because it looked so fresh, sharp and smart! You can see the full bedroom reveal HERE.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

However, I am sad to report that the removal of the green fabric didn’t go nearly as well as I hoped or expected. Yes, the fabric peeled right off without any trouble, and no paint peeled off with it. I was able to run the fabric through the wash (to get all the starch out), fold it up, and pack it up with the rest of my fabric for a future project. However, the wall was a pretty good mess. I tried my hardest to capture it in photos…hopefully you can see that the fabric left behind hundreds of tiny green pills and threads across every single inch that was covered. Further, the green fabric combined with the liquid starch left a slight green tinge and a few smudges on the walls.

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

I probably spent more time scrubbing this section of wall (with water and a textured sponge) than I did removing every other wall treatment COMBINED! It was frustrating and somewhat unproductive work, as I’m not sure I ever got the wall fully pristine again. However, we did pass inspection without an issue, so I guess it was still a renter-friendly “success.”

In an effort to not paint any walls, this blogger challenged herself to transform her walls in completely renter-friendly ways. A year later, everything is down off the walls and she's revealing what worked and what didn't!

Would I do it again? Maybe, but probably not. I think there are a couple factors here that lead to the pilling and color smudges. Although I washed my fabric before applying it to the walls, maybe Duck cloth wasn’t the best fabric choice? The walls were also painted with flat paint (eeek!) so they didn’t wipe clean the way semi-gloss walls may have. At least in my experience with these 5 different wall options, this one proved the biggest headache by a long shot.

Although my experience wasn’t the best, I’m not sure fabric on the walls is completely out as a renter-friendly option. It is somewhat inexpensive (compared to wallpaper) and easy to work with (compared to wrapping paper). The colors and styles are endless, and fabric is easy to find. If you’re in a rental that will get freshly painted no matter what (like base housing often is)…sure…give it a go! I think if I were to use fabric on the walls again, I would probably secure it with staples and a staple gun (like I did below!) rather than using the liquid starch trick.

North Carolina Final Command Center

All in all, I have to say that my renter-friendly walls challenge proved a very successful one! I was able to satisfy my need for color in our home by using an array of methods other than paint. And most of them came down quicker and easier than repainting a wall would have been. I still believe that painting your walls remains one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to get color in your home. But when that isn’t an option, take heart that there ARE indeed other good alternatives!

I’d love to hear which method was your favorite! And if you have tried one (or more!) of these methods since seeing a post here on THIHM, I’d love to know your experiences. Share in your comments below!

Megan Signature

Home Tour | Leavenworth, Kansas

On June 3rd of last summer, we moved into our 6th home in Leavenworth, Kansas. As a Marine Corps family, the news of moving to an Army base/area came as quite a shock; and to this day, I can STILL remember my exact words and reaction when I learned that we’d be moving to Kansas. Everyone told us we’d love it; and while I’m not convinced it was “the best year of our life” (Army joke), I can now say that it sure was a wonderful year full of great new friends and fun times, and was an all-around enriching experience for our entire family. In addition to some great family time and exploring as much of the midwest as we could, I filled a lot of my time making this house into our home and sharing all my temporary and renter-friendly solutions with you all along the way. In just under one year of living in this house, I shared 8 room makeovers, 3 home tours, and 60+ project tutorials and more across 133 blog posts! Before I officially close this latest chapter in our military journey, I wanted to share one final tour of our Kansas home so you can see how it came together from top to bottom (mostly!). And just like our North Carolina Home Tour last summer, you might want to grab a drink and settle in…because it’s a big house 😉

You can catch up on previous tours of this home here:

WELCOME TO KANSAS | BEFORE

WE’RE HERE FOR A YEAR | 3-MONTHS IN TOUR

WE’RE HERE FOR A YEAR | 6-MONTHS IN TOUR

This military family rented this house for only 1 year. You won't believe everything they did to it!

This house is a split-level, 2,200ish square foot home in Leavenworth, Kansas. It has four bedrooms, 2 family rooms, 3 bathrooms, and a great backyard. It is easily the most space we’ve ever had (and likely will ever have!); and although I wasn’t crazy about the split-level layout when we first moved in, over the year I learned to love and appreciate how functional of a floor plan it really is!

As you enter in the front door, you are greeted by a small landing and an opportunity to go either up or down. Although the space was tight, I made the most of the space we did have to install a mini command center, complete with a shelf for dropping mail, keys and other items, a bulletin board, and a series of hooks for bags, coats, and hats. Even though this was one of the very first projects I completed in this home, it was something we used all year long and was probably the best use of a single wall in the entire house!

You can see the full Command Center Tour HERE!

Command Center Before

Kansas | Command Center Redux

Command Center Bulletin Board Mail Organization

Command Center Redux-16

Command Center Final

Let’s go upstairs first!

As you come up the half flight of stairs, the spacious living room is just off the to left. We chose to make the upstairs living space more of the “adult” family/living room and the downstairs living space the playroom. As such, we filled this room with more “mature” pieces and finishes, but everything was still kid-friendly since Henry often played up here too. Instead of painting in this home, I embraced the neutral walls throughout the home…and this room really showed me what all can be done when you have a simple and neutral base! This room was easily my favorite space in the entire home thanks to the striped fireplace detail, state artwork, and fun combination of fabrics and patterns around the room!

You can see the full Living Room Tour 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!

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! 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! 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!

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

On the other side of the wall in the living room is the shared kitchen and dining spaces. If you look diagonally from the couch, you look right into the dining room. The hardwood floors, nice big window, and high ceilings made this an effortless place to furnish and decorate…using all things we had from previous homes!

You can see the full Dining Room Tour HERE!

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!

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

Just next to the dining space, within the same room, is the small but mighty kitchen. I was initially worried about the size of the kitchen and the amount of cabinets (I may be a #dishhoarder), but thanks to extra wide and deep cabinets and drawers, everything fit just fine! The all-brown finishes were not my favorite, but a few DIY details and organizational solutions made this a great place to prepare meals, eat, and entertain!

You can see the full Kitchen Tour HERE!

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! 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!

Just off the kitchen, out a door between the kitchen and dining spaces is a very large and lovely deck that leads out to a very spacious backyard. We hemmed and hawed so much about giving this deck space a quick and budget-friendly update since we would only be here a year. We ultimately decided to take advantage of end-of-season sales last Fall and transformed the deck into a space we used every chance we got! Between the brutal sun and heat, the canopy was one of the best things we did out here. The other? That green astroturf on the deck. We never needed shoes to walk outside, essentially making the deck an extension of our indoor living spaces!

You can see the full Deck Tour HERE!

Outside space before

Preppy Deck Makeover

Kansas | Pretty & Preppy Deck Makeover

Deck Makeover

The Homes I Have Made - 6 Months In Home Tour - Deck

The Homes I Have Made - 6 Months In Home Tour - Deck

Back inside, let’s head down the hallway from the living room/dining room/kitchen area…

Make the most of every inch you have in your linen closet by using these smart and savvy storage solutions for table linens, batteries, medicine, towels, blankets and more!

The first door on the left is a coat closet, which never got any special treatment. The second door on the left is the linen closet, which did get a spiffy little makeover in our final months here!

You can see the full Linen Closet Tour HERE!

Make the most of every inch you have in your linen closet by using these smart and savvy storage solutions for table linens, batteries, medicine, towels, blankets and more!
Make the most of every inch you have in your linen closet by using these smart and savvy storage solutions for table linens, batteries, medicine, towels, blankets and more!

Make the most of every inch you have in your linen closet by using these smart and savvy storage solutions for table linens, batteries, medicine, towels, blankets and more!

The first door on the right is Henry’s bedroom…a nice-sized room that was easy to setup and decorate thanks to many of the projects that were completed in our previous home. This was the very first room unpacked and the very first room “finished. The mix and match of furniture, bright happy colors, and subtle theme all make this room another favorite!

You can see the full Henry’s Bedroom Tour HERE!

Check out this adorable jungle-themed little boy's room! It's full of easy and colorful DIY projects, playful accessories and fun decor ideas...perfect for a growing and active little boy!

Check out this adorable jungle-themed little boy's room! It's full of easy and colorful DIY projects, playful accessories and fun decor ideas...perfect for a growing and active little boy!

Check out this adorable jungle-themed little boy's room! It's full of easy and colorful DIY projects, playful accessories and fun decor ideas...perfect for a growing and active little boy!

Check out this adorable jungle-themed little boy's room! It's full of easy and colorful DIY projects, playful accessories and fun decor ideas...perfect for a growing and active little boy!

Check out this adorable jungle-themed little boy's room! It's full of easy and colorful DIY projects, playful accessories and fun decor ideas...perfect for a growing and active little boy!

Check out this adorable jungle-themed little boy's room! It's full of easy and colorful DIY projects, playful accessories and fun decor ideas...perfect for a growing and active little boy!

The second door on the right down the hallway is Greg’s office, which I never touched and therefor never photographed 😉 But across the hall was our master bedroom. This room was the largest and brightest of all the bedrooms, which was definitely a luxury after our previous cave-of-a-master-bedroom. While the light-colored walls in this room didn’t quite flatter our light furniture, we still really enjoyed this spacious retreat at the end of each day!

You can see the full Master Bedroom Tour HERE!

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!

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!

Right off the master bedroom is the master bathroom, which like the bedroom, gave us more light and space than we’ve ever had in a bathroom. There’s just something to be said about a non-builder-basic bathroom (which is all we have known until this point); and thanks to a few simple accessories, this bathroom felt like a spa-like retreat to get ready in each day!

You can see the full Master Bathroom Tour HERE!

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!

With the upstairs tour complete, let’s head back downstairs to go through the lower level!

This is the very first time living in a house with steps (which definitely took some getting used to in the beginning!). The extra living space downstairs was transformed into a fun and vibrant playroom/bonus room for Henry (and family moving watching). While this space has been a true luxury in terms of size and function, we have felt a bit spread out across the house this year. There might be such a thing as too much space for us!

You can see the full Playroom Tour HERE!

Check out how this military family transformed their rental basement into a fun and functional playroom complete with smart toy storage and whimsical DIY decorations!

Check out how this military family transformed their rental basement into a fun and functional playroom complete with smart toy storage and whimsical DIY decorations!

Check out how this military family transformed their rental basement into a fun and functional playroom complete with smart toy storage and whimsical DIY decorations!

Check out how this military family transformed their rental basement into a fun and functional playroom complete with smart toy storage and whimsical DIY decorations!

Check out how this military family transformed their rental basement into a fun and functional playroom complete with smart toy storage and whimsical DIY decorations!

Check out how this military family transformed their rental basement into a fun and functional playroom complete with smart toy storage and whimsical DIY decorations!

One of the things that really sold me on this house was the large fourth bedroom downstairs off the play space. Not only did this allow me ample space to spread out with crafting and work (again, maybe too much space!), but also put me downstairs with Henry while he is playing. The vibrant wallpaper and amount of space sure made this a wonderful place to create all year long; but at night, I often felt like I was always by myself “down in the dungeon” (as I would say!) This room really allowed me to spread out, which I think will prove a sizable challenge for any future homes. Still…I’m fully aware of what a truly #luckygal I am!

You can see the full Home Office & Craft Space Tour HERE!

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

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

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

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

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

Using an armoire is a clever and effective way to store office supplies!

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

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

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

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

Last but not least, let’s take a quick peak at the laundry room! Our laundry room sits at the back corner of the house, through a bathroom that never got any love. Even though it is tucked so far back, like any laundry room it certainly sees it’s share of hard work, so I couldn’t resist turning it into a charming place to sort and do laundry! The spur-of-the-moment flamingo paper I put on the walls sure was one of the funnest details in our entire home!

You can see the full Laundry Room Tour HERE!

Laundry Room Before

Laundry Room After

Kansas | Simple & Sweet Laundry Room Reveal

Rolling Laundry Cart

Laundry Cart

Wow! What a year, right?!?!? Admittedly, it can become all-too-easy in the day-to-day life of running a blog to forget about certain projects and makeovers, as well as underestimate the power of easy home decor, smart organization systems, and the fun and personalized details that truly make a house a home. Because we were here for just a year, I certainly was willing to take risks and try things I perhaps wouldn’t do in a longer-term home; but I also think it was these exact risks that made this house so fun and unique and one we will always remember! There are spaces and moments in this home I know I will work hard to replicate in the next; and yet there are others I am willing to let go of forever. You”ll have to wait and see which is which 😉

Our time in Kansas has been so special, and one we will look back on with very good memories. There were indeed times it felt like the year would never end (and the temperatures would never cool!); and yet, it all came to a close so, so fast. In what seems to be in a blink of an eye, this house is yet again empty…returned to its original state, as all of our homes eventually are. All those moments around the house, good and bad, are down and boxed up and sent on their way…and I now only have these pictures to remember it all by. We were only here for a year…but what a good, good year it was!

Megan Signature

P.S. Are you ready to see the house empty? I’ll show you how it all came down on Thursday! See you then!

THIHM Around the Web #19

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

As we round the end of July, I first want to thank you guys for hanging in there with me over the last two months of sporadic posting and some unexpected radio silence as my family and I wade through one of our toughest moves yet. I am dying to fill you in on everything going on behind the scenes…and promise to do so very soon…but just know that I so appreciate your patience as I slowly get back into my blogging groove! And while things have been a bit quiet around here at times, I’ve still had quite a few posts and projects go live on various sites around the web. So before I officially close out our Kansas chapter here on the blog (next week!), I thought I’d pop in with a quick round-up of some other posts for you to check out. As usual, please remember these projects will never appear here on THIHM, so I appreciate you taking the time to support the work that allows me to keep THIHM up and running!

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THIHM for ForRent

The folks over at ForRent.com love articles full of tips and tricks; and this summer’s articles sure are packed with all sorts of useful home decor and rental goodies! From dressing up a boring bedroom and adding more light to a dark rental to repurposing closets and updating thrift store finds, these articles provide lots of creative ways for making your rental (or any home!) a bit more you!

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

5 EASY WAYS TO DRESS UP A BEDROOM

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

WAYS TO ADD MORE LIGHT TO YOUR RENTAL

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

7 SMART WAYS TO REPURPOSE A CLOSET

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

3 GREAT STRATEGIES FOR UPDATING THRIFT STORE FINDS

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30-HandmadeDays

Over on Mique’s blog, 30 Handmade Days, I have two quick, fun and easy projects for you to check out. The first is that Paper Flower Artwork that I mentioned on Tuesday; and the other is a car caddie for kids (which was a total lifesaver on our recent cross-country trip!). Check them out by following the links below!

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

DIY PAPER FLOWER ARTWORK

A round-up of craft and rental-friendly projects and articles written by Megan Duesterhaus and featured around the web!

CAR CADDIE FOR KIDS

This weekend, I will be emerging from my social media hibernation to kick off an Instagram series that will take you along on our cross-country journey that leads to our new home. Check back here on Saturday for all the details!

Megan Signature

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. You can now see it HERE!!!)

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