A Few of My Favorite Design Projects~

Today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite design projects.

First up, my laundry room/half bath.

I don't have a true before photo of this space because the Hubby had torn it all out before we even moved into the house, but here is a "during" photo - complete with a basket full of dirty laundry (sigh). Before, the room was a basic laundry/half bath circa 1991. It had ugly white linoleum with blue flowers. The walls were painted a gray-green which was the only thing we liked and actually used as inspiration for the color now on the upper half of the walls and in the kitchen (which I'll show you in a minute). The vanity was plain old oak. In one word...blah.

Here she is today! We added beadboard wainscotting to a 4' height, and topped it with a display rail. On the wall behind the washer/dryer we used beadboard all the way to the ceiling and added a wonderful shelf for storage of laundry and bath essentials. We replaced the old vanity with a new smaller version in a dark wood and a little farmhouse-style sink. We topped that with a mirror made out of vintage tin tiles. The floor is tiled with 18" ceramic tiles for ease of clean-up. All in all, a great cottage/farmhouse style bath that is cozy and inviting. Not a bad place to do the laundry!

The next project I'd like to share is our kitchen. This is how it looked before. More boring oak cabinets. And no pizzazz. In this photo we had already tiled the floor with the same tiles used in the laundry/half-bath, and painted the walls the same gray-green as we used in the bath (Cathedral Gray by Ralph Lauren). But we hadn't done much else. (except, apparently, leaving a mess on the counter...ahem.)

Here she is today! We painted out all of the cabinets in Ralph Lauren's Nantucket White. We replaced the outdated brass hardware with new black hardware. We also replaced the range hood with a new black version. (We had purchased the oven and refrigerator for our previous home and brought them with us.)

I coerced the Hubby into removing the ugly "floating" cabinet to the left of the window and replacing it with fabulous open shelves in the same style as we used in the laundry. So. much. better.

We carried the use of beadboard into the kitchen as well to create a more custom feel...using it on the face of the breakfast bar, and also on the refrigerator surround. We painted it out in black to add sophistication. It wasn't in our budget to replace the countertops, but with the rest of the changes, they became less noticeable, and I don't mind them as much. This room has really become my happy place!

Our house is fairly open in concept and the dining area is just off the kitchen. This was the dining area the way I did it when we first moved in. I liked it, but the color scheme was just a little too bright. It lent itself better to the warmth of the old oak-colored cabinets, so I neutralized it to make it flow and feel similar to the new calm kitchen palette.

Here she is today. I dressed her in the same calming neutrals and the black that I used in the kitchen. And those great drapes? They are painter's dropcloths. I simply hemmed them to the right length and hung them with curtain rings. Very budget-friendly at only $9.99 per panel, and they drape beautifully. I made all of the pillows on the windowseat (and sell most of them in my Etsy store.) They add just the right amount of softness to the room.

The next project I'd like to share is my boys' room. I had so much fun with this room! All three boys share the room, and my biggest challenge was giving it a cohesive feel that fit as well for a 7-year-old (Mr. One's age when I decorated this room) as it did for his baby brother. I am so proud of the upholstered headboards! I had been struggling with what type of beds I wanted to use when I saw a linen slipcovered headboard in a magazine. I knew that was the look I wanted. So I bought some plywood and upholstered it myself using $3.99 linen from JoAnn's. Then to personalize the headboards I created the monograms from felt and adhered them using Fabritac. Both headboards only took about an hour but they look custom, and that's what I was hoping for.

This towel corner was so much fun and very simple to create using address numbers I purchased at a big box home improvement store. Each boy has his own number so they won't use each other's towels!

I also love this little chair in the boys' room. It's a curbside find that I rescued by slipcovering it with another painter's dropcloth!

And finally, my mini-mudroom. It was one of my first projects in this house, and still one of my favorites! We had an extra closet near the back door that really wasn't being used, and I thought it would make a great "mud area". So we removed the door, reframed the opening and added a little bench with a cubby underneath for shoes. We lined the interior with more beadboard and added the hooks for coats. It has been one of the best things we've done. It's so handy and really functional! Better Homes and Gardens liked this project so much that they actually featured this little beauty in both Creative Home and 100 Decorating Ideas for under $100.

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour of some of my favorite projects!

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