Hilary’s Challenge

Remember our friend Carla? After her article in November, her friend Hilary contacted me and Jill to see if we could help her out as well. Hilary has a gorgeous home near Kansas City’s historic Plaza. It’s a Tudor with tons of character. I mean, look at her front door???

Hilary and her husband have two young kids, and she’s basically challenged with the same issues that all of us with young families have: how do I make my space fit my style but also really functional for my everyday life?

There are two things we really had to figure out during our time with Hilary.

1. What is their family’s style? This was hard for Hilary to articulate. And that’s OK. Many people can’t really “define” their style. That’s part of the process Jill and I go through when we walk through someone’s house and talk with them about their family. During our tour, we were able to nail down a few design themes in their home:

  • Mission-style furniture
  • Paisley
  • Colors of navy, light blue, salmon, and minty green

2. How do they want their main floor to function that best fits their everyday life? This is always a lot easier for people to articulate because they can really just explain their day-to-day activities. The biggest challenge Hilary had was their family room. The location of their TV sort of dictated where furniture could be placed. And because it is a long rectangular room, they had a hard time defining the various sections of it. They wanted to figure out the best flow for the space.

So in this first phase, we needed to rearrange the family room using existing items around their house. Here are the befores.

When you looked into the room, the couch was blocking the path to the sun room.

And it was pushed close enough to the back french doors, that it didn’t make it very inviting to open them regularly. Aren’t they beautiful? I love her archways and all the woodwork!

Most likely, the reason they did this was because they felt that the couch should sit at the natural end of their long rug. But after talking through it, they were totally fine with moving it in a bit.

And here you can see the TV constraint because their armoire needed to stay where it was located. We talked about the possibility of mounting the TV above the mantel in the future, but they weren’t ready to go there yet.

With the way the furniture was set up, you can see that the fireplace was getting lost. They don’t really use it, but it’s still a focal point of the family room that needed to be brought out a bit.

And here are the after photos.

By simply moving the furniture around and reaccessorizing, we were able to create a natural seating area that highlighted the fireplace a bit better but still allowed for ample TV viewing. We pulled the couch in a bit and moved the table from behind it over next to the fireplace, where it fit really well.

Now what we need to finish off this space are the following: a smaller area rug to bring in some color and help ground this space a bit; a storage ottoman that can act as a coffee table; and new artwork for the right wall (next to the armoire). We’re going shopping with Hilary this weekend, so hopefully we can finish this space off!




Think fast, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!  So, to show you all some love and appreciation for following along we are giving away ONE handmade art piece  ”I…you because…” (first shown here).

DIY Meaningful Art Project - www.middleredefined.com

Shown in great use here by the mister…

Favorite "I...you because..." DIY Meaningful Art

And by me…(yes I did write that I appreciated my husband so I could get my hair done).

DIY Art - Meaningful Art Project

How do you win?  All you have to do is like our page on Facebook – Middle Redefined, and comment on the post that you “liked” Middle Redefined and you will be in the running.  If you have already “liked” our page you are still in the running – simply comment that you have “already liked” and your name will go in the hat.  If you would like for me to mail this to someone else as a gift I will be more than happy to do that as well.  I will pull a lucky winner out of a hat this Friday, Jan. 31st at 5p.m. CST- (this will probably be done by my two year old) and get the lucky winners address at that point.

NOTE: The winner will receive a 12×12 handmade art piece – which does not include the frame – you can find a 12×12 frame at a local craft store for under $10.  I bought mine at Michaels.

Good luck and thanks for following along!



Some of my Latest Pins

I don’t really have time to get on Pinterest very often, but when I do, I always find stuff that truly inspires me. I mean, I know that’s the whole point. But it’s almost like when I feel a lack of motivation to move on to my next project or even finish one, I can get that motivation back by perusing fabulous photography of home decor.

I thought it might be fun to share some of my latest pins with you all in case it might spark some creativity in you as well!

Love the color combo on this bright white mid-century modern TV stand from West Elm.

Mid-Century Modern TV Stand

And the idea of putting multiple open frames on a chalkboard wall.

Chalkboard Wall Gallery

This simple desk reminds me of the Ikea table I bought as a desk for my room. I’ll show you the finished product next week.

Simple Desk

Open shelving with reclaimed wood and gold brackets. Yes please.

Open Shelving

Enjoy, and happy Friday! Have a great weekend everyone! We have two birthday gatherings to attend, and Jill and I are working with a client to help her spruce up her family room. We’ll show you the before and after!





What to Do with Kid Art

Recently I was talking to my neighbor about what to do with kid art. Anyone with kids experiences the same dilemma: What do we do with all the adorable crafts, paintings, drawings, and hand art that our kids bring home from school? We feel awful throwing it away, but then it just seems to lay in a box somewhere for years taking up precious storage space. And frankly, we might look at it one more time in our lives when our kids leave the house and we try and give them all their memorabilia.

So I asked some of my friends how they handle this, and here are a couple ideas:

Display it and learn to purge the rest. Create a gallery wall of the pieces that mean the most to you and your child. You can buy a set of matching frames and use them as art. Or, run a string across a wall and use clothes pins to showcase the latest and greatest. Then, when you replace items, purge some. Think about what a particular piece says about your child at that moment in his or her life. Save a few key items and then recycle the rest. You’ll be OK, I promise.

Gallery wall

Kid Art Wall

My Son, Kingston’s Room

Create a photo book. You could either buy the old photo albums that actually have holders and stick each piece in there. Or, you could scan all the art into your computer and create a photo book through an online site, such as Snapfish or Shutterfly. Doing this would reduce the clutter in your house. And you’d be more apt to pick up a photo book to look through than a box of old art that got shoved under the Christmas decorations boxes.

Photo Book

Hope this helps you showcase your child’s art in a way that reduces clutter around your home but still gives it the props it deserves!






Got Sheepskin?

A sheepskin rug that is.  Hands down, the most versatile rug slash decorative item slash textural element I have purchased.

Use it on a chair.


On a sofa.



Or actually as a rug in any room imaginable.


In a nursery which is where the one in our home currently sits.


1 I 2 I 3 I 4 I

Quick, buy one for yourself, here for $35, and then try and tell me you don’t love you some sheepskin!

You can play “where’s the sheepskin” in your home.  Next stop for ours is the home office chair.

DIY Door Letter

So we just got back from vacation in Colorado. My little man learned to ski for the first time, and we all experienced the beautiful mountains. I haven’t skied since I was a teen, and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought. My idea of a vacation is generally laying on a beach reading a book, but this Colorado vacation ended up being so much fun!

Back to reality though. I’m so ready to get back to our routine. After holiday craziness and then a leap right into vacation, I’m happy to be back at work (does anyone else ever feel that way?).

Jill and I have both had a hard time keeping up with the blog the past couple months. However, we’re hoping to get back on track with the start of the new year. Maybe that means our lives will slow down a bit (not likely). Anyways, my neighbor’s adorable daughter is redoing her room. And I was able to go over and snap a few “before” shots so that I can show you those along with the “afters” once they’re done.

While I was there, something caught my eye. And I thought it was such a cute DIY project, that I had to share – before they’re done redecorating. Her name is Demi, and she created this “D” to hang on her bedroom door. Love it!

DIY Door Letter - www.middleredefined.com DIY Door Letter – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Here’s how you do it:

Materials- cardboard, scissors, decorated paper, modge podge, sharpie

Step 1: draw letter of your choice on cardboard

Step 2: cut out letter

Step 3: cover the letter in modge podge then put decorated paper on the letter (you can add glitter too if so then cover decorated paper in modge podge then apply glitter)

Step 4: let dry

When dry hang on wall or door. My neighbor used Command Velcro Strips and they worked great. Have fun!

2014 Photo Challenge

Happy 2014!  Wow what a whirlwind of a Holiday Season.  Sorry I have been so absent lately – two bouts some nasty cases of viruses through the household makes for some sleepiness nights and eh…I will spare you the rest of the details.  The only one to survive without getting sick (KNOCK ON WOOD) was little Jonah bear (phew!).  Luckily I had days off from “work” so I got to snuggle with my boys and take care of myself but feeding a baby while having this “norovirus” is not my definition of a Happy Holiday.  Bring on 2014 and goodbye sickness!

To kick off the new year I am sharing my 2014 challenge with you all.  They say, one of the more important things when you set a goal – write it down and share it.

Not too long ago I splurged and got a nice DSLR and some online photo classes and more or less self taught myself how to take a decent photo.  Main objective: capture our kiddos and family through the years because time flies!  I leave the professional shots for their birthday each year to the pro (Rusty Wright from Waldron Photography - he is INCREDIBLE!) but I want to make sure 1) I am putting this nice camera to good use and 2) while I am not too sentimental about other items and can purge like no other, I love photos and truly cherish them.  My friends actually give me a hard time because it seems as though we are constantly taking new family photos but like I said, photos are my thing.

2014 Challenge – take ONE photo each week of each kiddo.

Don’t worry – I won’t share each week with you but I wanted to give you Week 1.  How does this tie into decor?  Well I plan to turn this into a great photo book at the end of the year.  Again, I use My Publisher to make my photo books because I think they have great quality and sales.

Also, if anyone is a rookie like I was and still really am and want to learn basic lessons but don’t have the time to go out and take classes at a local university or such, I would highly recommend Nicole’s Classes.  I took the Photo 101 class and plan on taking Lightroom 101 this March.  I am so excited to actually start being able to properly edit photos!  Best yet, I snagged a recent deal so the online class was only $80.  Having the ability to read through the lessons and watch the videos but also have the accountability of completing the “homework” and having a live teacher to ask questions was exactly what I was looking for and need with my busy schedule.  Check it out – they have a TON of amazing classes that are wonderful at Nicole’s Classes – I want to take them all!

This week my viewpoint was pretty standard and basic “headshot” type but I can’t wait to see how these photos evolve over the year and am already looking forward to making my coffee table photo book for 2014!



jonah - week 1

Do share – what have you challenged yourself to accomplish / change / improve on in 2014?


Antler Love

You’re probably so over holiday decorations, but the one final thing I’ll share is my obvious obsession with antlers this year. I had about six sets of antlers that I sprinkled all over our family room and dining room for the holidays. We got them during our picking trip this summer. And I waited patiently for months to be able to put them out. I should probably figure out a way to use them all year long.

Here’s my tablescape for Christmas day dinner.

Tablescape Antler Love - middleredefined.com

Tablescape Antler Love – middleredefined.com

Tablescape Antler Love - middleredefined.com

Tablescape Antler Love – middleredefined.com

More antlers on the shelf.

Shelf Decor - Antler Love

Shelf Decor – Antler Love

And the mantel.

Mantel Decor - Antler Love

Mantel Decor – Antler Love

I won’t show you every single place I used them, but you get the idea.

To round things out, here’s a look at our bar cart for the holidays. The newest additions to our cart were the fabulous champagne glasses I got from my friend Robin for my birthday, and the copper mugs my husband got for Christmas (to enjoy Moscow mules).

Holiday Bar Cart - middleredefined.com

Holiday Bar Cart – middleredefined.com

Happy New Year to everyone! Hope 2014 is your best year ever!