Category Archives: North Carolina

Home Tour | Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

The time has come to do our final house tour of our current home. When we moved in three years ago, I thought this post would come within just months…maybe one year later. Little did I know that I would literally spend our entire time here working on this house, only calling it done in the weeks before moving…and not because it feels done but because the moving trucks are arriving, and it’s literally time to go. I’m filled with such emotion, amazement, satisfaction, and pride as I look at all these pictures (and caution: there are A LOT of photos ūüėČ How the house actually all came together…one idea, one project at at time. What all I (and we) created with our own ideas and own two (or four!) hands. I didn’t really know where this house would end up when we started, and there were so many wrong turns as well as excited moments along the way. This was real life trial and error done for the pure enjoyment of creating homey, pretty and personal spaces for me and my family. And here…at the end…I’m just so…proud.

This house is an 1800-ish square foot single-story Capecod-style home aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a detached two-car garage (although we hardly ever parked our cars in it!). This house is military base housing to the core: nothing special, nothing fancy. No architectural details, no fancy appliances, no high-end finishes, and not a lot of windows. It has builder basic bathrooms and a kitchen, popcorn ceilings, worn carpet throughout, and fake and mis-matched flooring across four rooms. We weren’t allowed to tear down walls or rip out carpet or tile back-splashes or paint cabinets…but with a ton of ambition and all renter-friendly ideas and DIYs, we transformed this boring and basic home into something truly special.

(A few quick notes about this post before I dive into a whole bunch of photos. You can see the “before” shots of this house here, our paint colors here,¬†and the inspiration boards for this space here. I’m not including room descriptions, product sources, or tutorial links here because I have done all that in my room recaps for each space, which I will link throughout or you can find here. This house and these spaces evolved SO much in the course of three years that no room reveal posts I’ve done so far seems quite accurate. As such, my goal for this post was to show our home in as close to it’s final state as I could get.¬†If there is a space or project shown here that you can’t find in the depths of my archive, leave a comment or write an email and I’ll try and point you in the right direction!)

Okay…grab a drink (seriously, this is a long one…go grab a drink and maybe a snack!), sit back and relax, and let me give you one last look at this, our 5th home (sniff).

Home Tour | Camp Lejeune NC

We affectionately call this home our “yellow house.” In addition to giving the front porch several makeovers as seasons changed, we dug out the front flower bed and did all the landscaping ourselves. On most days, our driveway was littered with kid toys and project supplies. We use every inch of this home…inside and out!

Home Tour | Camp Lejeune NC

Home Tour | Camp Lejeune NC

Home Tour | Front Porch

Home Tour | Front Porch

Come on in!!! Since we actually don’t enter the house through the front door, our foyer is much more decorative than functional. A lemon-lime console table and gallery wall greet visitors, while we store our book collection in a nook behind the door. The front hall closet actually functions as toy and seasonal storage instead of coats!

Home Tour | Entry

Home Tour | Front Closet

Home Tour | Front Closet

Home Tour | Entry

Home Tour | Entry

Home Tour | Entry

Right in the front door, off the small foyer, is a great room that measures about 13’x18′. We split this large room into two different zones: the playroom and our family room.

Home Tour | Playroom

NC Home Tour | Playroom

NC Home Tour | Playroom

NC Home Tour | Playroom

NC Home Tour | Playroom

Our large, blue sectional serves as a room divider, creating distinct spaces that are unified through a consistent decor scheme. One of the very last elements to come into this space was the grasscloth-covered trunk, which is possibly one of my most favorite projects ever!

Home Tour | Living Room

Home Tour | Living Room

Home Tour | Living Room

Home Tour | Living Room

Home Tour | Living Room

Home Tour | Living Room

Home Tour | Living Room

As you continue to move toward the back of the house, you come into our spacious dining room, easily one of my favorite spaces in our entire house. Immediately to the right, is a hallway that leads to all the bedrooms. Further back and to the right, is the kitchen and laundry room. The sliding glass door leads to a 3′ square concrete slab and an alleyway, so we essentially have no backyard.

Home Tour | Dining Room

Home Tour | Dining Room

Home Tour | Dining Room

Home Tour | Dining Room

The kitchen is right off the dining room and has cabinets and appliances on the only three walls of the room. This space was high on storage and brown cabinets but very low on design and natural light. This is our version of making lemonade from lemons!

Home Tour | Kitchen

Home Tour | Kitchen

Between the dining room and kitchen is our laundry room/pantry. This was one of the very first spaces I completed in this home, and it didn’t change a bit our entire time here!

Home Tour | Laundry Room

Home Tour | Laundry Room

As you come from the dining room and down the side hallway, you come across an alcove that we transformed into our family command center and drop zone. Since we always enter/exit through the side door that is further down this hallway, this turned out to be an awesome use of this awkward space!

Home Tour | Hall Command Center

Home Tour | Hall Command Center

Home Tour | Hall Command Center

Just to the right of the command center is our hallway/guest bathroom/Henry’s bathroom. It is basic and simple…bright and cheerful.

Home Tour | Hall Bathroom

Home Tour | Hall Bathroom

Across from the bathroom is a very large linen closet that we outfitted with all sorts of baskets, totes and bins to hold everything and anything our household needed!

Home Tour | Linen Closet

Home Tour | Linen Closet

Directly across from the command center is the first, large bedroom that we used as a craft room and office. As you walk in the door, the “office” side of the space is directly ahead, with the craft side of the space off the the right. The far wall features a workstation with countertop while the fourth wall holds my sewing desk.

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

We removed the standard closet shelves and stacked cubed shelving as high and tight as we could to hold all sorts of craft supplies, books, and more in a single closet!

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Home Tour | Craft Room

Right next to the craft room is Henry’s bedroom. A bright, fresh and really fun space that he is proud to call his own and show off to anyone who comes to visit!

Home Tour | Toddler Bedroom

Home Tour | Toddler Bedroom

Home Tour | Toddler Bedroom

Home Tour | Toddler Bedroom

Home Tour | Toddler Bedroom

Home Tour | Toddler Bedroom

At the end of the hall, before you head out the side door is the master bedroom along with an en suite bathroom. It is a small and awkward room but thanks to a great paint job and glamorous finishes, it is a serene and comfortable retreat at the end of busy days!

Home Tour | Master Bedroom

Home Tour | Master Bedroom

Home Tour | Master Bedroom

Home Tour | Master Bedroom

Home Tour | Master Bedroom

Home Tour | Master Bath

Home Tour | Master Bath

As you walk out the side door into the garage, this is the back corner work space, that I wish I could say looked this clean and tidy all the time. The reality is that our garage is in a constant and fluctuating state of chaos. The other side and back storage room have never gotten to a place that I felt like I could photograph it and show it off!

NC Final Home Home Tour | GarageTour 2-27

Home Tour | Garage

Home Tour | Garage

And with that, I’m bringing this, our North Carolina home for the last three years, to a close. It’s time to pull everything apart and return this house back to its blank slate status; to box everything up and move it all to our next home that is awaiting our personal touch (and to keep documenting it all right here for you guys!). I hope you enjoyed this post, as well as the past three years of projects, wrong turns, and successes in making this empty space our home! For all you renters and military spouses out there, just because we move frequently and often live in bland/boring housing, you can make a space that feels like home no matter how far from home you are. You can make a sanctuary that feels real and true for you and your family to create memories in and endure tough times in. You can give a boring home loads of personality through renter-friendly projects. And at least for me and our family…the effort, time, and cost are all totally worth it. Farewell, Yellow House…it’s been so, so, so good.

Megan

THIHM Around the Web #7

THIHM Around the Web

Another month is drawing to a close, so it’s time again for my monthly round-up of my projects and writings featured elsewhere on the web! This month was a relatively light month; and as you might expect, several of this month’s posts (as well as next month’s) focus on moving strategies! As always, please keep in mind these posts and projects will never appear here on THIHM, so be sure to follow the links and like, share, and pin from there!

ForRent_NoBorder

As a military spouse with a husband who has been deployed A LOT in the last few years, I’ve become a pro at making myself dinner night after night without relying too heavily on peanut butter sandwiches and bowls of cereal! Over on the ForRent.com blog, I am sharing my tried-and-tried strategies for making myself meals without spending hours in the kitchen alone!

Eating Well While Living Alone

| EATING WELL WHILE LIVING ALONE |

My Daily Bubble_NoBorder

Over on the Name Bubbles blog, I am sharing a super fun and simple DIY tutorial for making “sentiment sticks.” These are the perfect solution for dressing up and customizing simple plants and flowers to meet all of your gift-giving needs this time of year!

DIY Sentiment Sticks

| DIY SENTIMENT STICKS |

TGS_NoBorder

On Coupons.com’s blog, I am writing a four-part Saving While Moving series, in which I share all my tips, tricks, and strategies for saving money while making a cross-country move! Right now, Part I – Saving While Preparing to Move is live and chock full of great ideas. If you have a move coming up, I highly suggest you check it out!

Saving While Moving

| SAVING WHILE MOVING: PREPARING TO MOVE |

 

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I am busily preparing my final home tour post, which I’m hoping to have put together by Monday. I really can’t believe it’s almost time to close this chapter of our lives and open the next.

See you then!

Megan

Inspiration Versus Actual: How Did It All Play Out?

I’m feeling pretty nostalgic these days. As we pull our North Carolina home apart, it’s only natural for me to reflect about our time here…all the memories made, holidays celebrated, challenges endured, and of course…projects made, photographed, and blogged! Three years ago, we moved into this house after living in our previous home for just a year. This home felt like my design oyster of a sorts, and I couldn’t wait to make over room after room and put all my ideas and creativity to work. And for three full years, I have done just that. Project after project and makeover after makeover. I literally hung the last thing on the walls just a few weeks ago.

When I realized it was just about 3 years ago to the day that I was sitting in a hotel room (waiting for this house to become available), immersed in plans, color samples, fabric swatches, and countless pins, excitedly designing out inspiration boards and project to-do lists for this home, I couldn’t help but want to look back and see how it all played out. While I referred to these inspiration boards a lot in the first few months/year in this home, I haven’t looked at them in a really, really long time. So today, I’m revisiting my inspiration boards from three years ago and showing you how they turned out in real life. I didn’t edit a thing from these original boards, and it sure is interesting (and fun!) to see how simple color, fabric, and project selections translated into real rooms in our home!

Dining Room. The dining room is one of our favorite spaces in this house, and it also came together the easiest. For not referring to the inspiration board for a long time, it’s pretty amazing how close the room result came!

Inspiration vs Actual | Dining Room

Living Room/Playroom. On the flip side, the combined living room/playroom was the room that took the longest, wrapping up just in the last few weeks. I wavered a lot from the original “plan,” especially in the beginning, completely changing the color palette to red/white/blue. After things were going no where good, I returned to the cobalt+turquoise scheme, also adding in lemon and kelly green. As I look now at my starting inspiration board, I don’t think I had a solid direction/mood for this space mapped out. Perhaps that’s why I had the hardest time pulling it together!

Inspiration vs Actual | Living Room

Master Bedroom. The master bedroom was the room that came together slowly, but came together easily. All of the pieces fit together just right, it was just a matter of finding the time to do them! Of all the rooms in our home, this final result matches the inspiration the closest. I think it is because the inspiration images reflected a total room feel, rather than isolated projects that I had to somehow puzzle together.

Inspiration vs Actual | Master Bedroom

Henry’s Nursery. Woah! Raise your hand if you remember Henry’s original nursery!?! Even though I pulled this room apart just over a year ago, it feels like ages since his room looked like this! This was a fun and whimsical room with a painted ceiling and stripes on the wall. I pulled this room together really quickly because 1) I used many items from his nursery in our previous home, 2) I had a clear theme, and 3) baby rooms are just too fun to work on! My only regret here? Painting the ceiling lime green. Little did I know everything in the room (from the toys to furniture to our faces) always looked putrid. Never again!

Inspiration vs Actual | Nursery

Henry’s Big Boy Room. Around March of last year, I had enough of the green ceiling and the baby nursery feel. So when we transitioned Henry out of his crib, I also took the opportunity to give the room a fresher and more grown up vibe. By this time, I had a better handle on how to create a truly helpful inspiration board by focusing on the overall, cohesiveness of the different elements rather than just a visual cluster of colors and project ideas. As such, this room came together quickly and easily and was never touched up after I proclaimed the room done. This room is still one of my all-time favorites.

Inspiration vs Actual | Big Boy Room

These last two room comparisons require a bit of an explanation. Both of these spaces were re-done several times with the final result swaying significantly from the original inspiration. (Sometimes you end up abandoning plans all together when the room is just not coming together the way you wanted.) As many of you long-time readers know, neither of this spaces finished up as I have them here. I am planning on putting together one final full house tour to show you the final state of every room, so today I wanted to show you how they ended up before I decided to change directions all together!

Craft Room/Office. This room is another example of how the inspiration board didn’t do me any favors in providing a feel, mood or solid direction for this space. While I did create many of the projects seen on my board, I floundered a TON in getting this room to a place where I felt productive and creative. I ultimately ended up abandoning the green completely (swapping it for gold accents instead) and concealing many of my craft supplies behind doors and drawers for a more streamlined look.

Inspiration vs Actual | Craft Room

Outside. As many of you long-time readers know, our front porch has had the most different looks of any other space in our home. This is partly because outdoor items in the North Carolina elements (sun, sand, wind, rain) take quite a beating. And as I replaced things, my aesthetic changed considerably. I also found red a bit difficult to decorate around and slowly but surely eliminated it from everywhere around our home. Still, my original front porch was an almost-perfect reflection of my inspiration board (and I still REALLY love that color palette)…in fact, I might even go back this direction for our deck/patio space in our next home! Good thing I have a lot of the fabric leftover ūüėČ

Inspiration vs Actual | Outside

All in all, this little exercise and walk down memory lane was really fun and encouraging to me. I am certainly not a designer and don’t know a thing about the “right way” to design a room or put together an inspiration board. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and even abandoned some of my plans all together…but I also learned a ton about myself, what I like/don’t like, and what elements help a room come together well. Many of these spaces indeed turned out similar or close to my original plans for the space; and I can now see that the rooms I really floundered in didn’t have a good solid direction mapped out in the first place.

As we head into our next home for the next year, I’m not going to be able to re-design our entire home top-to-bottom (thank goodness!). However, I’m now super excited to pull together some fresh inspiration boards to help me put things together and continue to refine my style and our home in our new spaces!

I’d love to know…Do you use inspiration boards when you make over a space? Do you find them useful or restrictive? Do you ever stop and look back at your original inspiration for a space? What do you think of how my spaces turned out?

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend! If you follow me on Instagram, you know we have been soaking up some of our final days of North Carolina sun and sand. I can’t believe our time here is actually coming to an end!

See you back here Friday for my monthly writing round-up!

Megan

Organize This: Printer Station

Time is quickly winding down in this house (sniff), but I wanted to sneak in one last Organize This post centered on a little nook that I made over quite some time ago but never got a chance to share! When I consolidated my craft work station and re-arranged our craft room/office at the end of last year, my blue towers needed a new home. After shuffling around (and selling off) a few items, our former printer station and blue storage towers were combined on the same floor foot print to create the ultimate Printer Station!

Organize This: Printer Station

For whatever reason, my son is (and always has been) obsessed with our printer. Having it concealed before worked great, but putting the printer up high has worked even better! I love having it completely out of the way and off our desk surface but easily accessible when we need it. Three cheers for wireless technology that truly allows you to put items exactly where you need them! Thanks to the printer, a stand-alone acrylic file holder and the storage drawers below, all of our printing supplies are in one handy place!

Organize This: Printer Station

In the three drawers right below the printer, we keep extra printer ink, cords, printable CDs, and white printer paper for quick and easy access whenever these supplies run out. I love having dedicated places for these items. When we run out, both Greg and I know exactly where to find replacements; and when we buy extras, we know exactly where to put them!

Organize This: Printer Station

Organize This: Printer Station

In the acrylic file holder right next to the printer are all the speciality papers I use for various craft projects, as well as those we use for household tasks.

Organize This: Printer Station

I found the clear acrylic box at Staples and cut the gold “Files” label with my Cricut out of gold contact paper.

Organize This: Printer Station

Because I can’t leave anything plain, I used Jen’s great trick of upping the style factor of my file folders by adding washi tape across the tabs and labeling with a fine tip marker.

Organize This: Printer Station

Inside all these folders are my specialty papers: white cardstock, glossy photo paper, laminating sheets, return address labels, printable sticker paper, t-shirt transfers and more! After trying different methods for storing these types of supplies, I have to say I LOVE having them in separate, labeled file folders right next to the printer. No more mixing of the various printer-friendly sheets, and everything is ready right where I use it!

Organize This: Printer Station

And with that…we have a handy and convenient Printer Station in our home office. An out-of-the-way, centralized location for anything and everything printing-related that we need and use on a daily basis!

Organize This: Printer Station

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This thread organization¬†project is exactly that: quick and easy enough to do today or this coming weekend! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric Organize This: Batteries Organize This: Your Gym Bag Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits! Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again! Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday weekend! We have a really fun one with friends and family planned, so if I am not here Monday, it’s because I couldn’t tear myself away from the fun to write my post ūüėČ

See you back here soon!

Megan

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters!

I’ve had wallpaper on the brain…and in my hands, on my furniture, and on my walls…lately! I love working with wallpaper in unexpected ways, as well as figuring out creative ways to get the wallpaper look without the hassle and permanence of the real deal! For all of you who love the look of wallpaper but are unable or unwilling to paste paper to your walls, I’ve rounded up 12 of my favorite (and completely renter-friendly!) projects to help you get your pattern fix!

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters

1. Transform a Lamp Base. Use removable/repositionable wallpaper¬†to add personality and style to otherwise boring lamp bases. This technique works best for lamps with straight and simple shapes. Since it’s removable, it’s easy to change out as your decor or mood changes! (Used here: (this one is from Spoonflower)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Lamp

2. Dress Up Cardboard Boxes. Basic cardboard boxes can become gorgeous and functional home accents by simply covering them in metallic wallpaper. Pre-pasted wallpaper makes this project a breeze: just cut, wet, and wrap! This is a great project for using up samples or leftovers from a bigger project. (Used here: this one from Lowes)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Boxes

3. Create Graphic Pop Art. When paired with wood, paint, and clear resin, large wallpaper samples or scraps can become eye-popping, one-of-a-kind works of art that come down and move when you do. This technique can be customized to suit any decor style or color scheme by swapping out the colors, papers, and shapes. (Used here: free samples from Walls Republic)

 12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Art

4. Give Furniture a (Temporary) Face Lift.¬†Need to quickly and easily change the look of a piece of furniture? Maybe you temporarily moved it to a new room, and it no longer matches; or you are really craving a new look but hubby won’t let you paint it. Cover the entire piece or just sections of it (in this case, the drawers!), with removable/repositionable wallpaper to give it a temporary update. Same as the lamp project above, this works best on furniture with clean, straight and simple lines! (Used here: this wallpaper from Spoonflower)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Drawers

5. Create a Focal Point. If your space is feeling a bit one dimensional or needs a distinct focal point, consider introducing a new look through wallpaper. Instead of on the wall, cover a main piece of furniture in durable and textured wallpaper to create a visually interesting accent for your space. Wallpaper is a fun and often easier alternative to paint or stain, allowing you to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for your home with ease! (Used here: this paper from Walls Republic)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Trunk

6. Make Your Own Wall Decals. Wall decals are a great way to get the wallpaper look without investing in rolls and rolls of expensive paper. From a single roll, cut shapes from pre-pasted wallpaper (using an e-cutter is best!) and secure them to the wall in an interesting, repeating pattern with water. When it’s time to go, the decals peel right off without any fancy steamers or chemicals, and leave no residue behind!¬†(Used here:¬†this one from Lowes)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Wall Decals

While I love a good wallpaper any day, I also love to re-create the look of wallpaper on the cheap using other materials such as wrapping paper and fabric. These next few projects utilize these other mediums, but the effect is the same and can certainly be achieved using wallpapers as well!

7. Make Your Closet Fun! In the same way that pretty paper liners add a pop of fun and whimsy to your drawers, adding fun paper to the back of closets can make putting items away a bit more exciting. Thick wrapping paper adhered with double-stick tape is the ideal faux wallpaper for renters! Unlike wallpaper though, wrapping paper rolls only contain about 12′ of paper so be sure to buy enough for your project. (Used here: wrapping paper from Marshalls)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Closet Background

8. Pretty Up Your Work Space. Patterns don’t necessarily need to go on the walls to make a graphic statement. To brighten up dark furniture surfaces or add a bit of interest to your work station, put patterned paper under a sheet of plexiglass for a cheap yet ultra chic makeover! (Used here: wrapping paper from Marshalls)

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Desk top

9. Manage Tasks In Style. Instead of using a basic dry-erase board in your work space, place patterned papers behind glass frames to create pretty and fully customizable wipe boards. Now both functional and decorative, who said office supplies couldn’t be stylish? (Used here: wrapping paper from Michaels Craft Store)¬†

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Dry Erase Boards

10. Create the Ultimate Accessory. This frame utilizes the same concept as above, just in tray form. Attach thick plexiglass and handles to a sturdy frame to create a clear acrylic tray. To tailor the tray to your decor or for any season that comes along, simply swap papers underneath the plexiglass (held in place with double stick tape). By swapping out decorative papers, you have one home accessory that can work all year long! (Used here: wrapping paper from World Market) 

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Tray

11. Define a Nook.¬†Wallpaper, or in this case fabric, on the wall can help define a nook or zone in your house where there isn’t one. Here, a random corner in a hallway becomes a defined, eye-catching and stylish command center thanks to the help of polka dot fabric secured to the wall with a staple gun. Using paper or fabric in small doses like this is also a great way to keep cost and labor down! This wall used just under 3 yards of 54″ wide fabric, costing me about $25 and took me about an hour to install!¬†(Used here: Waverly On the Spot fabric in Estate Blue).¬†

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Fabric Wallpaper

12. Brighten Up a Bookcase.  Dark bookcases can be brightened up, made more visually interesting, and tied into the room decor scheme by adding paper (or again, fabric) behind the shelves. This look can be achieved in a variety of ways. Here, the fabric is held in place with adhesive-backed Velcro. However, you could also adhere paper with double stick tape, staples, or tacks. For a very removable approach, adhere paper/fabric to cardboard, luan, or foam core cut to size, then slide the sheet into the back of the bookcase before inserting the shelves (which will hold the board in place!). (Used here: Premier Prints Zig Zag in Black and White ) 

12 Wallpaper Ideas for Renters - Bookcase

Just because you’re a renter (or even if you’re not but don’t want to deal with the permanence of wallpaper!), there ARE ways to use this fantastic home decor accent around your home in ways that provide major impact but are totally movable. I love that more and more sites and companies are offering amazing patterns in wallcoverings, giving me all the more reason to come up with new ways to use them up in our homes! You better bet more wallpaper projects are in my future!

Hope you’re having a great week! On Friday, I am sharing one final look/reveal from our home! See you then!

Megan