How we Transformed a Small Kids Bathroom from Outdated to Pretty

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The Girls Bathroom, 2nd Floor

This is the size of our twin daughters bathroom, petite. There really is no need for another photo because you get the idea.  There’s a builder grade mirror opposite the towel rack, that’s it.  When we were choosing the finishes, we really just wanted to get done and move in the house.  I’m afraid to say we only upgraded on the door finishes and went with a brushed copper, which we love.

On with the girls’ bathroom.  When we originally painted it, we went with a sort of tropical blue thinking that would warm the room up, considering I also went with white tile for the floor, it all just became wrong for a room without windows.

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I can’t believe in 2008 I chose this color.  It really made a small bathroom feel even smaller.  The color swatches I bought were in soft pinks with a hint of silver.  I wanted to feel transported while in this tiny bathroom brushing the knots out of my daughter’s hair, so it had to feel calm.  We knew it didn’t matter at that time to change the existing light fixture.  It would work for now.  Dollars saved.  We knew we also wanted to remove the builder grade mirror and take down the towel rack.  We went with paint by Behr once again and I’m sorry I don’t remember the shade because it took every bit of 2 gallons to cover that hideous blue!  The two door hooks also serve each daughter, giving them their own towels and wash clothes, keeping germs to a minimum.

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Here is what we got.  We were so happy with the results!  We had an old mirror lying around we weren’t using and flipped it on its side to give a dramatic effect and make the room look longer.  We added inexpensive hooks to substitute for the towel rack and bought new towels for the girls.  Small changes can make a big impact!  So even though you might think it’s not worth it to approach a small bathroom, a new coat of paint and a few small accessories can make a HUGE difference!  Happy Decorating!!

How I updated the Rooms in our House on a Budget, from Construction to Now


You’ve had a chance to read the blog and where we began our journey as soon-to-be parents, but here are the photos of the rooms bare bones and what they look like now.  Between the years of 2008 and 2014, the rooms were pretty bare.  NO artwork, no curtains, just the basics: the furniture essentials to live on, a sofa, maybe a coffee table (actually we used a plant stand for a while).

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The house as it looks on a sunny day. Here are some of the rooms at project start.

The Kitchen

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This is my favorite room in the house and the one most frustrating. You can relate right?  It gets the most traffic and the most junk mail.  Here is how it basically looks today and on a good day.  We painted the walls Sandstone Cove by Behr in Flat Matte. I usually go with a flat matte because it gives off a soft look.  I usually also mix up furniture finishes so that’s why the cabinet finishes and bar stools are different tones.  I wanted espresso flooring in hardwood but that choice was vetoed due to budget concerns. I’ve learned to live with the pine stain look and accent it with darker rugs.  I still have to tile the back splash and will update you when that is finished.  I may get to it in nine months!


The Dining Room

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The Dining Room has alluded me for years.  When we started we thought oh yeah we’ll have Turkey dinners in here and everyone will fit (this was before the twins!).  It’s changed at least twice from dining room to home office and back again.  Each Halloween it’s my spookfest room and I love to decorate it all in black. Here’s how it looks today, for the most part.

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This view is from the kitchen side, not from the foyer. Some curtains and chair slip covers in budget friendly tones and I have the start of a good dining room.  The area rug was also easy on the budget; it’s what my dear friend Claire calls “itchy and it hurts” (I love Claire, she’s five).  Sisal would stand up to my daughters romps and it’s a fraction of the cost of wool blends.  It was a no brainer for a room I rarely use; Easter and Thanksgiving.

The Coffee Room

Winter 2009 078This Room has been fun.  I added my Grandfather’s mirror, circa 1950’s that I took from bronze to a white washed finish and added my favorite neutral accessories.

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This is how it looks from the opposite side of the room.  Sometimes I switch the couches.  This is where on the weekends we read and take our coffee and spend time playing board games with the girls. No TV allowed.


The Foyer

This is the basics without paint, without the stain we added on the steps.

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Here is what it looks like now.


We stained the steps in a light walnut finish, keeping with the pine floors, just adding walnut for depth.  In New York I finished three collages in black frames; for the first four years of our girls and family photos in the middle.  I wanted the look of this larger foyer to be clean and not too fussy.

The Eat-in-Kitchen

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This was the day of my baby shower so it tells you I was having girls!  So sweet but here it is without all of that pink.  Toned down a bit.  We needed blinds and the bamboo kept the room simple and clean.  I love my farmhouse table. Changed out chandeliers and put the crystal one in the dining room and found this eight sconce one at an affordable price.  I added the burlap cord cover and voila, the dinning room is complete!  Note: you can always switch out the rugs in this house to add an easy update just like I did here. Jute, sisal, and other natural fiber rugs are affordable and always in style. Look for clearance sales at your favorite stores because you never know, you might find last years best and there’s nothing wrong with that!  It’s your style!

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In the next blog or the continuation of this one, I’ll be going room by room to show you how I’ve added and changed the rooms over the years.  Keeping the budget in mind is never easy but this allows me to stay home with my daughters which I would never trade!  Happy Decorating and thank you for reading my blog!

Construction of our First House to bring Twins Home

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

We live here now!  This is the first house my husband and I built together.  Although what we didn’t know is that it would be our first house we would live in together.  We were actually building it for another woman and her two children.  Somewhere along in the process and I would venture to say it was somewhere in the middle, did the woman’s financing fall through.  We were already attached to the home and decided it would be where we bring our twins home. Construction began in, we believe December of 2008 and was completed in May of 2009. Whitehall Building and Company of Annapolis would preside over the building process.

In late 2008 I dove right into picking the interiors.  The original slated owner had chosen the exterior colors which I loved.  I was then ready to choose most of the interior finishes.  I already knew I was on a limited budget with the construction loan.  My husband and I rationalized this wouldn’t be our last home so we chose wisely with multiple owners and/or renters in mind.

My husband walking our dogs, Belle and Brie

My husband walking our dogs, Belle and Brie

With that criteria, I chose hardwood flooring for the main corridors of the house.  When push came to shove on the rooms, we went with carpet. It went against my better judgement but it was a huge savings and we both rationalized that warmth in the rooms was key. There’s something about putting your feet on hardwood that refreshes a childhood memory; cold nights and having to get out of bed to use the rest room and the first feeling you get is yikes-that’s cold!!!  Area rugs just don’t feel quite as cozy to me.

The next step was to pick the flooring for the girls bathroom (we didn’t know they were girls yet) so we went with easy to clean subway tile in white. Boy do I wish I went with ceramic tile or hardwood because guess what, subway tile shows all the dirt and hair!  When we moved back into the Annapolis house in January of 2014 our house was certainly not the way we left it.  Two general contractors were called in on the hurry and our limited budget renovations began. So much for starting the process of Baby #3; that would have to wait.  Here is our home in late 2009 just prior to bringing our girls home; warm, inviting, and decorated for Fall.

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Below you’ll find the condition of our home when we came back from New York. Although this photo was taken in January, the yard you can tell took a major beating. There were overgrown weeds (that survived the cold!), our perennials that we planted when we built the house were mostly gone, the concrete porch was stained from all of the potted plants they kept on our porch; there were old chewed up dog toys strewn throughout our yard, and it was clear the sod we planted was on its way out. This was just the obvious outside-what we uncovered in hidden places all throughout the grounds was ghastly; fencing, old dirty dog bowls, loads of planter pots, pallets, ornamental garden accessories, and other unrelated junk they had left behind. Your probably wondering if we checked our renters references!  The answer was yes we did but we never thought we would come home to an episode of Hoarders!

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The good news is we stayed the course and dug our heels in and worked around the clock.  The upcoming blogs will showcase the before, during, and after photos of our humble beginnings home. We’re proud to call it home for now.  I hope you’ll stay tuned for these neat transformations!!!  Thank you for reading our blog and here’s how our house looks today.  God bless you.

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