Tag Archives: office

House Tour & Second Floor Update (Both Long Overdue!)

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

I have finally posted an overall house “tour” of before and progress photos!

See our overall house progress here: Our DIY House Tour

This month is 2 years since we put an offer on the house. Yes, TWO – I can’t believe it’s been that long. I posted an update on the first floor in the fall.

In all honesty, we’ve pretty much just patched and painted here, and it still needs a LOT of surface work help. We also have some big plans in our head to help make our bathroom larger (as it’s currently the only one upstairs), which would mean knocking down walls in a number of rooms… so we aren’t exactly inclined to perfect what is going to be torn out.


Since this is an older home, there is no true “master”, so we chose this one. After a beastly battle with a few layers of wallpaper I spackled the walls and the ceilings and painted. Although you might not be able to tell from photos, we have quite a bit more spackle and caulking work ahead of us. We took down the mammothly heavy (70lb!) closet doors, which will sometime we replaced with new doors. We also took down the ceiling fan and installed new lighting. (You will see this is a theme in every room I’m about to mention).

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively


This bathroom is like a wounded man limping to cross the finish line… constantly moving, but painfully slow. As we have plans to completely gut this bathroom, we’ve made minimal updates. We replaced the vanity (the original was broken on the side), tore out the double glass shower doors, took down the medicine cabinet (the mirror finish was literally peeling off) and installed a new light. You would think that with all that replacing this bathroom would look pretty good – but with our gutting plans – we went for the cheapest temporary pieces we could find. When we bought the house, the entire ceiling in the bathroom and hallway was peel-city. This was because there was never any venting system installed!!! We installed a vent and heater, and worked on the ceiling. This room has been painted a few times, for now it’s gray.

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively


As I mentioned, the ceiling in the hallway was peeling like crazy. We’ve had to go back a few times and re-touch (and you can see we are currently in progress of that in the photo below). The vent has certainly helped a lot with this. The peeling problem could also be because this house was winterized and de-winterized a lot in a short period of time since it was a foreclosed property. More paint and spackle in here. We’ve also added runners – the original hardwood up here is a rough in certain spots.

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Guest Room:

Aye. There’s not much to tell about this room – it’s been minimally updated. We painted the walls, tore down the ceiling fan and closet doors and installed new lighting. That’s about it! This room needs love!

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Guest Room:

Same story here! We did a bit of painting and took down the ceiling fan. We’ve also rewired all the bedrooms upstairs. Also, this closet is insanely wide, so the doors are still here. I have no idea what we’re going to do with them!

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively


This is a weird room. It has so much potential and so many limitations due to it’s really awkward shape. The peaked portion of the room was added at a later date and was refinished poorly – drywall seams show everywhere.  We’ve painted in here, and that’s about it. We have some big dreams up our sleeves for turning this room into a master bedroom, but we have enough projects on our hands! Maybe someday….!

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

Our DIY House Tour - DesignLively

I Committed a Pinstrosity


Have you heard of Pinstrosity? It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious.

We’ve all had that one craft project or recipe that failed. Miserably. This is a website that features peoples failed DIY-wreckapalooza projects when everything goes wrong.

It happens to the best of us, especially if you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-glue-gun-pants DIYer like me.

It happened a few months ago. I was trying to be productive – my only goal for the evening was to stay away from the television and that time-sucking giant wormhole called the internet. Simple quest, right?


I briefly thought about sanding down my desk and refinishing it. “No, no no,” I thought. That’s one thing that actually doesn’t need to be worked on around here. No sir. The desk stays the way it is.

So I decided I was going to practice my lettering.

I’ve always admired beautiful typography (hello, graphic designer here) and want to take the time to learn more. (Hence these beautiful inspiration shots.)

via welovetypography

So I got out my fancy tips and bottle of ink.

And immediately proceed to spill it everywhere.

I don’t even know what happened.

Oh yes, actually, I do know what happened. I got it EVERYWHERE.

Exhibit A:
All over my desk. My desk that, 10 minutes prior, I had declared perfection and in no need of work. This was the best I could do to clean it up.


Exhibit B:
All over the inside drawer and the contents inside.

Goodbye craft supplies drenched in black India Ink.


Exhibit C:
All over me. My hands? Black.

My favorite jeans? HUGE ink stain.


Exhibit D:
This was the worst one. The carpet. The cream carpet.

There is now a medium pepperoni pizza sized black schmear all over my carpet.


For the last six months I’ve been living with it. I can’t wait until spring to take that desk outside and sand her down!!

I guess you need to be careful what you wish for?

I know I’m not alone! What’s your recent crafty/DIY/cooking mix-up been?

Joining the Pallet Artwork Craze

One day I was re-organizing my office.

My former office I should say! This spring I switched jobs and am no longer working from home. It’s been a good change! Along with my new routine, my office needed a face-lift.


The office room is extremely awkward to decorate/furnish – one half )shown above) belongs to me and the other half belongs to my husband. The ceiling in my space is at an extreme slant, so it makes hanging any artwork difficult.

My favorite kinds of projects are working with pieces I already have.

First, it’s free.

Second, it helps clear out my “stuff” and gives random things I’ve been hanging on to a purpose.

Exhibit A:

Our kitchen island that we refurnished came with 2 shelves for under-cabinet storage. Since we put two stools there, we removed the shelves. It reminded me of all the pallet projects I’ve been seeing lately.

There is an endless list of pallet DIY projects these days in magazines, blogs and Pinterest- word art, headboards, couches, you-name-it!

While I was clearing out my office *ding ding ding*, I had an idea.

I decided to stain the kitchen island shelves Minwax Dark Walnut using this technique.

After they dried I hung them on each side of the window.

Then I popped some postcards/keepsakes/photographs in them by tucking the corners under the slats of wood.

I have a pet peeve about putting pushpin holes in things – probably because I rotate my artwork pretty frequently and every piece I have would be full of holes!

Plus, this way I can easily rotate what is on display.


I love the solidness that the dark stain brings to the room.

While we are talking about non-pushpin photo display projects, check out my DIY Inspiration Board from last summer.

I just added a few more strings and hung up a lot more photos using mini binder clips! It’s my secret technique for displaying photographs without ruining them.

I’m happy with my office refresh. Now if we can only remove that pesky carpet…

I already ripped up a corner to see what was underneath and all I found was crummy old flooring. Someday we’ll get there!

How do you like to display photos/momentos in your home?

Where Women Create

A while ago a friend (and Mom’s maid at my wedding!) tuned me in to Where Women Create.

Where Woman Create is a magazine and online database for creative woman. The magazine highlights the inspirational workspaces of women.

My workspace has been a work-in-progress. We haven’t done any major changes in here besides painting and the new windows – but it makes a world of difference! Behold the power of paint!

When we moved into the house we temporarily used this room as our bedroom. But this ceiling was a no-go for my tall hubby. It’s kind of an awkward space with the peaked ceilings and half carpeted space, so we decided to turn it into a dual-workspace.

This is what the room looked like the day we first saw the house:

The peaked half of the room was refinished at a later point – thus the carpet.

After going through the room with some spackle and ceiling paint, we freshened up the trim and painted the walls Behr’s Frozen Pond (a nice gender-neutral moody-green).

Then I went through our unpacking pile and filled the rooms with items we already had.

(forgive my cords. how do people hide these realistically?)

Finished? No. A big improvement? YES!

I work out of my house so this is a very important room for me to constantly feel fresh and organized in. The bookshelf and chairs were curbside rehabs and the desk we bought from a mill store and I stained myself. The little basket is where I’m allowed to keep “stuff”. The green bins hold pens, scissors, electronics, etc.

Projects on Deck:

– New, colorful window treatments. These we just had on hand.

– Get rid of the carpet and replace the floor to match existing hardwood

– Add shelving cubbies to side of walls to make use of the short space where the ceiling ends

– Add a reading nook

The peaked ceiling makes this room feel deceptively large. While it’s airy, the usable space was hard to put furniture in since the ceiling comes down at such a steep angle.

To the right of my work desk is the DIY area:

This desk is actually about 2 feet away from the wall. See how the ceiling is touching the lampshade?\
That’s what I mean about awkward spacial issues.

And this is my FUN desk, not to be confused with my WORK desk. Adjacent to my work area, it holds my sewing machine and all my craft materials. And behind that striped curtain (held up with painter’s tape) is a plethora of craft pandemonium that is nicely hidden and out of view. The desk is from Ikea.

This is my craft supplies bookshelf. Although most of my supplies are either hidden behind “the curtain” (*dum dum dum*) I keep the highly used supplies here for easy accessibility.

Fun fact: This bookshelf is made of orange crates from the supermarket. My Granddad brought them home one day and my Mom painted them white. And you wonder where I get my resourcefulness from. I’ve had them in my room ever since I was a little girl and I can’t bear to part with them. I also strategically put them in this corner so my husband would stop trying to make me get rid of them. Out of sight, out of mind. Right?

And, finally, here is my bookshelf and inspiration board from my first pinterest challenge. I keep all my reading books that didn’t make the cut for the living room shelves (here’s lookin’ at you Twilight and Confessions of a Shopoholic.) The rifle box holds wrapping paper and greeting cards and the orange boxes hold photo storage supplies.

And then we come to the invisible line diving my office from Moose’s. (His is slightly less organized, so we’re going to let him off the hook.)

So there you have it! This is where THIS woman creates. Hopefully one day I’ll get rid of that pesky carpet – but it’s the only place they put carpet in the house, so I can’t complain!

Now, to the left of my work desk is a reading corner. Well, it’s going to be. Right now it’s an ugly chair covered with a blanket until I find the right fabric to recover it with.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. I have a feel as the season gets chillier that I will be looking to nest into this reading nook fairly soon.

Where do you work?