Archives for category: home

The very first room I set up was August’s.  I’m pretty sure it was complete by the end of the third day, which is mostly because I already had all of the things I needed from his last room.

The room was already painted this muted olive color, which totally worked with all of his stuff.  August loves the little tent, which was my Christmas present to him last year (It was the “want” of my “want, need, wear, read” gift standard for my kid).  He keeps most of his stuffed animals in there, and he usually runs in there to “hide” if he’s in trouble.  🙂

On the tent side of the room, he also has two small bookcases overflowing with books (most of which have been picked up at thrift stores over the years), instruments (accordian!!), instruments and non-staining art supplies (I have the paints and oil pastels somewhere else just in case he decides to become an artist in the middle of the night).  Next to that is his little art table.  It used to be red, but I painted it with chalkboard paint when we moved.  Above his table is a map where we’re keeping track of the places he’s been.  His passport has some pretty nifty stamps in it already!

On the bed side of the room is his gallery wall, which includes photos of him, his footprint from the hospital on the day he was born, my BELOVED Muppet Show album cover, mementos of places he’s lived (a vintage postcard from Jesus College in Cambridge and an “A” subway mosaic from Atlantic Avenue in NYC, a lock of his baby hair, a pic of August and his dad and a couple August originals.  My fav is the big white square one.  When we used to ride the subway together in NYC, August sometimes drew on a page of the little notebook I take with me EVERYWHERE.  I took one of the 5×8 inch pages to Staples and had them blow it up to poster size for $3.  Instant art.  It used to hang above MY bed in my old bedroom.  I can’t wait to fill in the wall more–it will be an ever-growing exhibition.  There is also some other handmade art from family and friends scattered about in other spots in the room.

And now for my ubiquitous video tour, here’s a 360 of his room, with a special guest star appearance at the end!



Over two months ago, I moved into a lovely apartment with August.  Y’all know I loved my bungalow, but the maintenance and mortgage were just too much for me.  So late last spring, I signed the lease on a two bedroom, historic charmer on Provy’s hip west side.  My ceilings are ten feet high, I have a gorgeous bay window, a huge walk-in closet, large kitchen and free laundry.  All for under $1000/month.  SWEET.

One of the reasons it’s taken me so long to post (besides workin’ and mommin’) is because I had to furnish my new pad.  See, I had a lot of random things in my bungalow because I had borrowed and stole (shhh…) furnishings from friends and family.  It was finally time to get some more permanent fixtures.  But I’m a girl on a budget with more than a mild obsession with thrift stores.  And thrifting takes time, but after two months, my pad is more or less furnished.  Today, I’ll share my living room.



This bookcase, specifically the baskets, have saved our lives.  Each basket has a theme: cars, trains, Leggos and miscellaneous (that counts as a theme, right?).  Only one basket out at a time, and we clean up to the Austin Powers theme at the end of every day.  Teaching organization and responsibility while not being surrounded by toys.  Sounds good to me.  Like my painting above my criminally small TV?   I whipped that up one day during nap time.  Not too shabby for thirty minutes of color-mixing.


The lighting in this photo is crazy bad (I need some photography lessons), but you can generally get the feel for the whole room and my gorgeous windows!  They are south-facing, so we get lovely sunshine all day.  The door on the left goes out to our main entrance.  Our car is parked out back so we only use that door when we walk to our nearby park and playground.

Quick note about the two navy club chairs in the photo above.  You can see them a little more clearly here.



Well, they used to be pink.  I don’t mind pink, but the shade was not quite right for me.  So I decided to make them navy.  Reupholstered?  Are you kidding?!  $$$$!  Slipcovered?  My sewing skills are nowhere near adequate for the job.  So I spray painted them with FABRIC spray paint.  Here they are mid-project.  They turned out awesome!  Way better than the electric peach they were before.


I also updated the $9 thrift store coffee table.  It was a honey color when I got it (after borrowing my friend’s larger car while she was at work because it wouldn’t fit in my Volvo), but I thought it would look pretty sexy if it was dark.  And I just happened to have a can of dark stain in my old basement.  So dark it went.  And yes, my projects took over parts of our communal driveway for many, many days.  Luckily, the other tenants in my building ride cycles everywhere.  Hipsters.

Here’s the general cost breakdown:

  • sofa-thrift store, $30
  • pillows-my old ones and ones I stole from my parents’ house, free
  • white lamp (lamp shade will be painted soon)-thrift store, $8
  • bookcase next to sofa-Target, $12
  • bookcase and baskets under TV-Ikea, gift
  • coffee table-thrift store, $9
  • table under lamp (going to be painted soon)- thrift store, $14
  • rug-Overstock, birthday present
  • curtains-thrift store, $3
  • Mossimo throw-Target, $35
  • TOTAL= $101
I love a good deal.  Next, it’ll be the room I finished within the first week of moving in: August’s room!






When I moved out of my beloved bungalow (but I have a major crush my new apartment!), I knew I’d have to do some things to make it irresistible to future renters/buyers.  I repainted the upstairs hallway and closets (they were in bad shape) and the kitchen wainscoting (also in less-than-ideal shape).  But those projects were boring and pretty straightforward.  The BEST project I tackled was repainting my front door.  Now some people might think this was unnecessary.  But I just couldn’t stop myself after seeing this inspiration image, which I found in a Martha Stewart lookbook at Home Depot.

Navy house with a yellow door?  Yes, please!  So after removing the storm door (don’t worry–it’s in the basement and can be reattached after someone falls for the curb appeal of my little house), sanding and priming my blah blue door, the front of my house went from this (with storm door, so you can’t even see the door’s blue blahness):

To this knockout:

I LOVE it.  We should’ve painted the front door YEARS ago.  There will be more updates for curb appeal: painting the porch and steps (oh–the door was the same color as the porch–blah!) and adding some potted plants.  It’s going to be love-at-first-sight for someone, I hope!

When we moved back into our house 4 weekends ago, I decided to make our old guest room August’s room.  I chose this room for him mostly because the OTHER downstairs bedroom has a closet.  And we all know who needs the closet the most: MOI!

I was lucky enough to borrow a twin size bed from the ever-generous Schwartz family (I know, they hook me up with Obama AND beds?  I’m a lucky girl!).  I threw an enormous bookcase that I salvaged the day I moved out of my NYC apartment (someone was throwing it away!) in his room knowing that it was way too big and that I’d be moving it somewhere once I settled in more.  The walls were “Clam Chowder” from Behr, which I think is one of the most unfortunate paint names ever.  I liked the color, but since I’m trying to make a fresh start here in Providence, I knew I’d be painting.

I decided on two colors: cream and dark, dark grey.  But not just dark, dark grey–it’d actually be…chalkboard paint!!  I was inspired by this nursery image that I saved long ago:

So on my first weekend sans August, I got busy painting:

After a long weekend of taping and rolling (I also painted my new bedroom and a small hallway), it was done and just about the raddest room August will ever have!  I put up a little gallery wall with photos and mementos (my old Muppet Show record album and a vintage postcard of Jesus College where August spent the first year and a half of his life.).  He already loves the chalkboard paint.  I hear him in his room drawing on the walls after I’ve put him to bed.  He’s a night owl–like mother, like son.  And no, Dad, he hasn’t drawn on any other walls in my house…yet.

All I had to buy was a gallon of cream colored paint, a little thing of chalkboard paint and a few frames from Dollar Tree.  Maybe $40?  Everything else was borrowed, salvaged or gift card purchases.

I’m SO glad August has his own room again!  And I think he’s going to LOVE it!

Finally decided on a rug.  It was stressing me out because I want to be SETTLED, and I can’t buy fun things like pillows without the rug.  So after seeing these photos:

I decided to go with this ethnic kilim:

Since it was the most expensive option I considered, I’m going to be making the pillows myself, and opting for a cheap-o coffee table from Ikea.  Or maybe I can convince Eric to haul our perfect coffee table across the ocean the next time he visits.

Sorry for being MIA.  Trying to get settled.  Take a look at my living room so far.

I think I’ve decided NOT to paint.  The ceilings are wicked high, and I think the white opens it up.  Of course, there needs to be loads of pictures on the walls.  It’s a-comin’…don’t worry.

But there’s lots of other stuff to figure out.  For instance, I’m thinking of getting rid of (storing or selling?) the large square bookcase. I don’t really need the storage, it’s taking up valuable living room space and August thinks it’s his personal jungle gym.

My favorite thing by far is the vintage credenza on which my TV is perched.  I knew that I wanted a long, low dresser as my TV headquarters.  After missing the perfect one for FREE on Craigslist, I thought I’d have to fork over $400, which seemed to be the going rate on Craigslist.  But since my budget for furnishing this new place is about $400 TOTAL, I knew I’d have to stalk Craigslist or look beyond NYC.  So when we went up to Providence to retrieve our essentials, I stopped by my fav thrift shops.  And that’s where I found it.  For $50.  Sold.  It was a beast to lift, even with all the drawers removed.  Solid piece–guess they just don’t make ’em like they used to.  I LOVE it.  I just need to replace the handles.

Otherwise, all I need is a rug, coffee table and some pillows.  These are my thoughts in those departments:


I’m either going with a bold, ethnic rug like these kilims:

Each rug is $95 from Rugland

Or something more neutral:

$80 from Overstock

$67 from Overstock


$40 from Target.  Two of ’em.  Storage and extra seating.

On sale from Target for $112.  I don’t think it’s quite right for my place, so maybe one of you should go for it.  Because it’s really pretty (I’ve tried to convince Liz to splurge on the matching nightstands for her bedroom new-do…I’ll do another round of badgering this weekend!)

The spendiest option is $250 from CB2, which means it’s impossible.  But I like that it’s clear and rounded–practically invisible and toddler friendly!


I’m thinking orangey-coral and teal.  SO not my usz.  But I kinda love it.  The idea of it at least.  All of these options are from Crate and Barrel, CB2 or Target, and they are all less than $40.  But I’m thinking I can score some cheaper versions at Homegoods or just find some fabric and make ’em myself!

Plus this one from eBay and this one from Urban Outfitters and this floor cushion (two of ’em)–I couldn’t figure out how to save the pictures off eBay and UO websites.

So.  Once I make some decisions, I’ll be sure to show the results.  Until then, more settling…