Monday, November 19, 2012


We moved into our house in May of 2011. 
Truthfully, only REALLY not liking the paint in one room...that'd be the kitchen. It was a burnt orange color, so that got painted literally the night after we closed (by myself, while M was off at a dude's weekend). Then, slowly, as we lived in it, and bought furniture that didn't match the colors of other rooms (okay, so that was only the basement.. ) we have painted other rooms. 

I think it's really helped the WHOLE house feel like ours, like we've put our stamp on it, instead of just placed furniture in it. 

So, after a few of you started posting about Young House Love being at West Elm in Minnesota... I started browsing their website. I emailed Matt and told him I wanted to paint our bedroom upstairs.*

Expecting a, "why?" ... I instead got a, "okay, what color?" Apparently M was itching to hop back on the home remodel train, which I should've guessed from the number of times he'd asked me recently "is there anything we need to do around the house? any projects...? any at all?" 

So after work Friday I trugged to Target and bought some accessories (and holiday decor, which I will be bringing to you in a separate post this week!)

Let's take a little tour of the upstairs pre-paint. 
(Pro tip: if you want a REALLY dramatic before and after, take the before pics with a messy bed, and at night with poor lighting. Bonus points for a cat who won't stop photobombing)

The stairs (and a cat butt)

It was an olive green color, but dark. 
Not terribly offensive, but for a smaller space that doesn't get a ton of light, it started to be a bit much for me. I wanted something lighter, brighter, airier. (Yes, that's actually a word.. no squiggly red line!) 

 The bookshelf LOOKS all fine and dandy, but this photo doesn't accurately reflect the dings, scratches, smears of random paint colors, and the pale blue dinged up background. I have been told it's a sin to paint over wood like this, but, this wood was not pretty.

(Note: the messy bed, for dramatic effect. also, lazer eyed kitteh behind the mirror, do you see him?)

That large photo is actually made up of thousands of TEENY TINY photos of M and I (he used a computer program to make it for our 1-yr anniversary. It was our "first photo ever" together, at the St. Paul Winter Carnival in 2010).  aaanndd the table is actually a loaner from my friend Dana. We're storing some of her furniture for a year because she scored a judicial clerkship in out-state MN, and is living with her friends' parents.

SO, onto the good stuff. First, I love the look of stacked books in decor, but I don't have any vintage hard covers that fit in my color scheme. SO I took a garbage bag, and sliced it up to make a book cover (remember in middle school when we were forced to cover our books?). 

TJ supervised

aaannndddd now, the after! 

We picked a very light tan (it's a bit more yellowy, than it is actually brown, but I think these photos make it look MORE yellow than it actually is) 

The bookshelf obviously hasn't been staged yet. It needs another coat of paint (but we were both too exhausted to do it this weekend). What this photo does NOT show is aaalllll the frames and books that are on the floor, just out of this shot. Keepin it real, folks. 

I made a few burlap bow curtain ties. They're just held with safety pins in the back. I'm not sure how I feel about them yet, but they didn't take long, I had all the supplies, and they can always be switched out later. They work, for now. 

The part I'm MOST proud of, the stripey wall vignette. 

The table runner is actually one I made for the wedding, but I made 25, and we will not have 25 guest tables, so.. I borrowed it. :) 

The white branch/floral installation is from Target ($20!) and is attached with plastic pegs and double sided puffy tape. I tested it on the wall and tried pulling it off to see if it'd leave a mark, and it didn't seem to. The pieces are SUPER light, so you don't have to press them onto the wall too hard to get them to stay, either. 

You can also see, below, the grocery bag books, the vase of flowers I borrowed from the bathroom, and the pearls/beads are necklaces of mine that I used. 

So there it is! I'm in love with the last photo here.... with that instagram filter, it reminds me of something I'd see on IG from a real home decor blog.. or something. Which my house most certainly does not usually look like. (Although, not to toot my own horn, but Dana's friend who helped move stuff to our place last week said she loved my living room and said it looked like a Pinterest board. Mission accomplished, haha)

Stay tuned for the home tour, holiday edition! 

*{edited April 2015: This is no longer our master! Click THIS for the most up to date version of the master} 


  1. It turned out so cute! Love it. I also can't believe you haven't seen YHL! I LOVE THAT BLOG and makes me want a house and to craft shit, like, ASAP.

    PS also note I took that first photo of you and M! Awww.

    1. Such a cute bedroom. I love the new color. Nice work!

  2. Oh my gosh, it turned out so cute! I LOVE it - so peaceful! :)

  3. SO cute! Love how it turned out!

  4. Looking good! Do you think your friend would mind if I borrowed that little table from her? For like ever? Ha!

  5. SO CUTE!! I love the colors you picked! :) And I'm OBSESSED with that wall! So glad I could show you the amazingness of YHL!

  6. awww your house is too cute, it's really coming together!! I remember covering my own books in middle school! but there's no way I could remember how to do it now lol your cat is cracking me up trying to sit on the paper you're wrapping your book with :-P Have a great Thanksgiving week girl =)

  7. Your master looks exactly like mine! I'm serious exactly!! Thanks for the ideas since I've been trying to figure out what to do in there for too long!!

  8. Ah I LOVE the new color of the walls!!! And the tan/white striped wall- gorgeous!

  9. very very very cute!!!! Love the lighter color!! Good job...A++++ ;)

  10. Super cute! My house's upstairs is pretty much identical in layout. We used to have our room up there, but we moved it downstairs when baby came.

  11. great job! i love the stripes AND your cool IG photo, the filter made it look right out of a magazine!

    oh and that 1 year anny photo gift, COOL!!!

  12. Looks sooooooooooooooooo good!! way better

  13. aaaahhhhmaaaazing! I loooove the stripes and the pearls and BURLAP!