Category: Home Decor

I am definitely not a home decorating expert or even aficionado, but I do love it with a passion!! I am a serial wall paint changer, curtain buyer, and area rug obsessed to boot. All of those things add up to a big annoyance for my husband, but he’s a great sport about it!

Have you ever toured a house and loved the physical layout, but hated the fixtures or coloring?

When we bought our house three years ago, I knew that I had to put in some major work to make it a home that I loved. The wall paint was pretty easy, albeit time consuming. I’m honestly such a control freak that I couldn’t give that task to anyone else, so I spent about a solid 2 weeks painting bedrooms, our living room, dining room, and the hallways.

But the KITCHEN. That kitchen was the bane of my existence. I hated everything about it, the yellow cabinets, the orange tile, the awful white appliances. And that dark brick colored paint, I hated most of all. The problem was, I couldn’t find a single color that I thought would at least compliment the other strong earth tones in the kitchen! Did I mention that I loathe earth toned paint? I’m a cool pallet gal all the way. Flash forward to January 2016 (and our tax returns) and we had finally had it. We knew from the start that we wanted to redo the kitchen, and I put together an idea board wayyy back in January 2014. I knew that I wanted white cabinets and counters, dark wood floors, and a grey pallet for the color scheme. We purchased our tile back splash thinking that we would be redoing the kitchen much sooner, and all of the tiles sat in our garage for 2 years while we waited for our opportunity.

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The first thing I did was order our flooring. Since the tile was basically stuck in there for life, it was more cost effective to do an overlay of flooring on top of the tile. We contracted this part out, and chose a luxury vinyl plank tile. It’s more durable than wood floors, because in wet areas the wood always has the potential to swell. Because we had already purchased the back splash, we really had to design everything around them. I wish that I hadn’t done this because I’ve always lusted after white subway tile, and I’ve seen some gorgeous white kitchens lately. White subway tile is super trendy right now, and I keep telling myself that my kitchen is at least a little more unique. I’m still sad about it though!

I think that the hardest part BY FAR was choosing a durable cabinet paint, and then actually painting the cabinets. This took FOR-EV-ER. In reality it was about 2 months, but it really dragged on for us! Between two full time jobs, two kids, and all kinds of life happenings, painting our kitchen cabinets really sucked my soul out of my body. I’ll never do it again. We used General Finishes Milk Paint and Top Coat, and while it’s a bit pricey, the durability is definitely worth it. We have some chips in the paint that we have to touch up, but this is due to child locks that had scrapped the doors for the past 6 months. And because kids. But I would most definitely recommend this paint to anyone looking to paint their cabinets!

We also replaced all of the hardware, the fixtures, and the appliances. Y’all…it was so much work. But I am so happy with how it turned out! I waited for two years to have this kitchen, and I really am proud of all the work we put into it. Gone are the dark walls, the yellow cabinets, the awful flooring. I finally have the airy kitchen I’ve always wanted, and it’s even sweeter that Michael and I did it together. Kidding, we were ready to rip each other’s heads off at the end of the two month process. Like our personalities, our work style definitely is OPPOSITE. Michael is a power-througher with little attention to detail. I am a detail-freak who takes way too long to finish projects because I hone in too much. But now that we’re done I can look back and laugh about it. In the moment I definitely had thoughts of throat-punching him. But hey-that’s normal, right?

 

When did you move away from your childhood home?

Maybe out of state for college or for your first big job? I bet you said the phrase “I’m going back home to visit my family for the holidays” or something similar at least once or twice, right? For me, “home” has always been where I settled in that moment. I’ve never had a true hometown, or a place that I felt was my home until I made my own as an adult. That’s mostly from being an Army Brat my whole life, but also because I’ve always been a natural wanderer like everyone else in my family. The Anderson’s are adventurers at heart, truly. My dad and his three brothers all scattered to the wind as soon as they turned 18. Even my grandparents picked up their lives in Louisiana and traveled the world before settling in Bahrain as ex-patriots for a dozen years before moving back to Louisiana. I feel like I’ve settled down in Florida for the most part, but a big part of my soul is always itching to pick up and go. I am from Louisiana, but even that sense of “hometown” is very loosely based for me. I spent every summer with my grandparents, in Bahrain and in Louisiana for most of my childhood. My roots and history are there, and a big part of my self-identity is based in my Louisiana heritage. But it’s not home for me. Hell, I haven’t been back there in 9 years now that I think of it! I have memories of everyplace I’ve ever been and lived, but I’ll never know how it feels to have a lifetime of memories in a house, town, state, or even with lifetime friends. I’ve never grown up with people, never spent every summer at a best friend’s house, never have had childhood friends. Part of me always wanted those things, and I certainly felt “less than” at times because of it.

So I became fixated on associations of home as I got older. This became more obvious to me when my parents recently moved down to Florida to be near me and my children. They moved their belongings down with them, and I started realizing that my concept of “home” was more tied to the people and the things that fill it, rather than location and memories. When I walked into my parents new house, I was struck by two things: “This is different!!” and, “but somehow the same”. To me, there are things that make my parents house their home, no matter where they are.

1. Cast iron pan or pots on the stove top at ALL TIMES. My dad doesn’t like to hunt for those heavy pans and he would eat his spatula before he let one rust. Or worse-get washed and scrubbed with dawn dish soap like I accidentally did in my teens. Man, he was pissed.
2. There is always a pot of coffee either brewed, brewing, or about to be brewed. I bought them a Keurig years ago, and they still use their coffee pot right next to it. And chances are, it’s “Community” brand coffee!
3. Stacks of books on the bookshelf, nightstands, coffee tables, you name it. We always had books everywhere growing up, and it’s something I do as well.
4. The tv is always on, and it’s always on MUTE. My parents are notorious for muting the tv to talk during commercials and forgetting to turn it back on. Sitting around and talking is a favorite pastime of mine when it comes to my family. We would talk all night at the dinner table, about random things. I remember one conversation we had about the composition of tree bark! We would always go off on random tangents (everyone in my family has wandering brains and conversation points) and never remember how we ended up on such obscure topics!
5. Knit quilts and my mom’s “woobie”, a camo-print, super soft quilt that was army issued to my dad about 20 years ago. She claimed it and never travels (or sits on the couch) without it! There are also quilts that my great-grandmother knitted before I was born strewn about on chairs and couches. Always.



My children have had a relatively stable life thus far. We moved into our house three years ago, and they’re still living in the same city and state they were born in. They have friends and constants in their lives, and I’m pretty sure that one of that will change, regardless of the fact that I could move anywhere and make a home that I’m happy with. But it makes me wonder what sorts of things they’ll associate home with. I’m a lover of things, and it feels like there are so many negative connotations to admitting to that. “She’s so materialistic” or “she’s so wasteful with her spending”…that sort of thing. But for me, things represent the present mentality, the memories of the past, and the sense of home. Things I associate with my own sense of home:

1. Plants, in just about every room or corner of my yard. I’m not the greenest of thumbs, but I know enough to get by with a decent garden! I love houseplants, and I’m never afraid to try a new one in our home.
2. Books everywhere, in almost every room. There are no “things” that I love more than books. I gave it a go with a kindle once upon a time, and I just couldn’t get into it. There is just something about the look, feel, and smell of a book.
3. Pretty little candles, they’re everywhere.
4. Essential Oils. I got into these big time last year, and they’ve taken over my house and life!! I love them so much, and we have diffusers in every single room.
5. Art, where it’s handmade, bought, thrifted, or re-purposed. I can’t stand a blank wall! I once tried the minimalist approach and I wanted to jump out of my skin. I cannot take the blank slate of a naked wall, I have an inner need to decorate at all costs.

While this thought process may sound materialistic and self-appreciating, it’s what makes me, ME. I take pride in making my house a home, because I learned to take comfort in my things after moving around so much. They were the only constants in my life, and if looking at a bookshelf reminds me that I’m home, then that’s what does it for me. What does “home” mean to you? I’m so curious about other people’s experiences with this, whether you’ve lived in one place your entire life or you’ve traveled around like I have. I would love to hear about your sense of home.

I’m alive, I promise!

I talked all that trash about taking a break from social media while still blogging…and I did the exact opposite. Weird how that happens, huh? I mean, the first two weeks of the new year just shouldn’t count towards the fresh start in my opinion. We’re all scrambling to catch up from slacking off during the holidays, trying to get our shit together to log in a work out, or maybe just in a general post holiday haze. I’m all of the above! Anywho, I’m back for good with lots of rambling posts planned. But today is all about how absolutely freaking disgusting my eight year old’s room was when I decided to clean it this morning. Not kidding, I cleaned up empty Capri Sun pouches, what seemed like 9,000 craft beads, dozens of American Girl doll accessories, hunks of old dried modeling clay…and a partridge in a pear tree.

Homemade Chalkboard for Children's Room - Best quote!

I painted this chalkboard two years ago. I found the quote online randomly, and I loved it so much! I’ve gotten a bit better with my chalk art, but I can’t imagine repainting it now! Read: I’m too lazy.

Seriously, y’all! Laila is the complete opposite of me. She will hoard even the tiniest of scrap papers for it’s “sentimental value”, while I’ll throw anything away to have a clean house. I can’t with the clutter and junk everywhere, so I tend to stay out of her room. I know how much I valued having my own space and privacy as a child (because I never did!) and I try to give Laila room to grow and be herself. But DAMN, home girl sure knows how to wreck a room. Enter the bad cop Mom, with a trash bag and entire bottle of Thieves cleaner. I went to town; three hours later, we have a clean room!!! I took pictures to show some fun projects I did three to five years ago when I put her room together, and also to preserve the whole thirty minutes that her room looked like this. “Tornado Toddler” Carson was waiting in the wings to destroy it right after I snapped my last picture. It’s way more fun playing in Sissy’s room, right?

DIY Girl's Room Decor

I bought the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids about five years ago…I’m a sucker for the Princess and the Pea themed print. Starting to think about redoing her room now that she is nearing the Tween years…Lawd help me!

DIY Tissue Poms for a girl's room!

I made the pom-poms years ago, maybe five? The heart canvas used to be an owl print from Target. I spray painted it with glitter and gold, and used acrylic pink paint for the heart!

DIY Girl's Room Decor - Pink and Gold Glitter

We purchased the wood letters and frame from Michael’s and just spray panted them! I kept the two shades of dark/light pink consistent throughout her room, as well as the glittery gold. We also refinished this Craigslist find dresser with cabinet paint and Anthropologie drawer pulls that I found on sale. Her West Elm desk and chair was an UBER lucky estate sale purchase and it’s my favorite!

DIY Dresser Rehab and other DIY Girl's Room Decor

This dresser was a lucky Craigslist find – Solid wood and only $30!! We used white cabinet paint leftover from our kitchen reno (more on that later) and bought the knobs on sale from Anthropologie. I reused an old canvas painting for the glittery gold and pink flower, and she requested the 2017 banner that I used this NYE. It’s gold sequins and matches her decor perfectly! And obviously, the Home Diffuser, her only electronic in the room.

DIY Girl's Room Decor and Chalkboard Art

I bought the wood heart and blank “chalkboard” sign from Hobby Lobby. I sprayed glittery gold on the heart, and used a metallic gold oil-based paint sharpie to write out the sign!

Laila IS like me in that she loves to read. Madeline is one of my favorites, I read the French versions in middle school when I starting taking my first French classes. I want her to love French as much as I do, but so far she is very “EH” to it. 🙂

Banks literally sat there for hours and just watched me clean…didn’t even offer to help!