Contain your clutter – Part II

As the saying goes, “A place for everything, everything in its place.”  – Benjamin Franklin

This slogan holds true in our household.  Each and every room in our house seems to have a basket, bin or tote to put items.  And in case you missed the first edition of “Contain your clutter” from Erica check it out here.

Storage items can be found in all shapes and sizes, colors and textures.  A quick cruise around the house I spied these items in which I think I hit on Erica’s tip number 1 – Baskets and bins EVERYWHERE.

In the living room, perhaps inspired by the popular color blocking trend, is this $12.99 textured bin I found this past weekend at Home Goods (it should be illegal to have one within 5 miles of your home – we do and it is dangerous let me tell you).  This newest addition to my storage items holds Dax’s toys.

Living room basket for Dax's toys

Living room basket for Dax’s toys

On the other side of the bookshelf is Liam’s toy storage bin for his “big boy toys”.  This bin hits on the very popular chevron print and black and white combo.  I found this puppy at Target for under $20.

Living room bin for Liam's "big boy" toys

Living room bin for Liam’s “big boy” toys

Also in the living room because lets be honest when a diaper needs to be changed I don’t want to go upstairs to the other diaper changing area.  (Moment of confession, I don’t even have a changing table…eek!)

Living room bin for diapers, baby socks and baby products

Living room bin for diapers, baby socks and baby products

This textured “diaper” basket holds diapers, wipes, little shoes, socks, lotions, creams and other baby creams that are used on a frequent manner.  Throwing all these items in a non-baby like bin helps it fit into the living room decor.  This was a Hobby Lobby find years ago for super cheap.

Moving to the basement…

In the media area we have storage to disguise magazines.  I dig the graphical print and again the strong black and white combo.

Downstairs - Media area storage for magazines

Downstairs – Media area storage for magazines

Also, in the basement I have these great vintage storage trunks that I found at the Rose Bowl Flea Market when I lived in California.  You betcha I was going to drag these puppies all the way back to Kansas with me.  This was years ago before the vintage trunks were really back in and “cool” so I scored each of these for under $25!

Downstairs - Media area storage for blankets and pillows

Downstairs – Media area storage for blankets and pillows

These trunks help infuse color while storing blankets and pillows for movie viewing.

Downstairs open play area -toy bin specifically for books

Downstairs open play area -toy bin specifically for books

With our basement split in half with media area and play area, these bins are used for books in the basement.  I like to keep books on each floor in the house that way there is always a story to read easily accessible.

In the nursery, I went a bit untraditional with these locker room inspired storage bins.  I splurged a bit on these knowing that I can use these for years and years.  Now they hold baby blankets, bibs and extra diapers.

Locker room inspired storage

Locker room inspired storage

Of course all storage doesn’t have to be out and about for eyes to see.  This round basket holds my bangles and bracelets in our master bathroom.

Under the cabinet storage found in bathroom

Under the cabinet storage found in bathroom

Also found under the sink is this textured basket to hold beauty supplies and necessities.

Store beauty items and necessities in this beautiful basket

Store beauty items and necessities in this beautiful basket

And the most obvious of places to have storage – a closet.  In our master room closet I have these storage items to add pops of color and great pattern.

Storage ideas - closet

Storage ideas – closet

I scored these puppies during the craze of Missoni for Target last year.  Or maybe it was longer than that – I tried to block that out of my memory.  People were CRAZY about that line.  But I do adore these bins – that store hats and scarfs.

Again, baskets and bins EVERYWHERE can help contain your clutter…Yep, I think I have that covered.

Master Bedroom Inspiration

I’m super excited that the time has finally come to redo our master bedroom! I mean, we have been living with carpet in our bathroom (why do builders do that???) for almost two years!! We had several other things on our list to get done before tackling the master, but we’re ready! So I’ve scoured Pinterest for ideas and want to share the direction I’m going to get your feedback.

First, I’m planning to redo my DIY upholstered headboard. I currently have black and white stripes, but I’m thinking of going with a grey suede. I’m totally going to add nail heads to it like the one below. The room was designed by Kerrisdale Design. I’m loving the bright creamy walls, white side tables, and white bedding with pops of color. That’s what I’m going for.


This room, featured by Belle Maison, looks so luxurious with the charcoal grey, satin-y headboard, and gold accessories. I adore the simple circle artwork on both sides of the bed, and I’ve pinned this photo because I’m going to do my own version. Who can’t make circles on some paper and frame it? So simple, but I think it’s so fun!


Belle Maison

Belle Maison

What I’m trying to figure out is what accent color(s) to do. I’ve thought about corral, pale blue, rose, emerald green…as you can see I really haven’t nailed that down. This adorable room was featured on House of Turquoise, which is one of my favorite blogs to visit. What accent color do you think I should do?

House of Turquoise

House of Turquoise

I’ll have ”before” and “progress” pictures to show you in the next couple of weeks! Happy Friday everyone!

Simple Note – DIY Art Project

I am all about simple DIY projects and I cherish meaningful art pieces.  Last year Valentine’s Day I wanted to create something unique and meaningful for the mister and to a better job at acknowledging one of  his main “love languages”.  Words of affirmation is a huge “love language” of his – so, I went to work on a very simple DIY that did the trick.

DIY Meaningful Art Project -

DIY Meaningful Art Project –

A simple “I ____ you because…” fill in the blank.  This can be  filled in with “I appreciate you because…” or “I love you because…” or get a little saucy with “I want you because…”  Hopefully not too many “I loathe you because…”  or “I am angry at you because…”

This project is SO incredible simple.  Buy a frame – I love square frames for this project.  Pick up a sheet of scrapbook paper that fits the frame size.  I used 12×12 and in total this cost me 12 dollars.  I have a set of typewriter inspired stamps that I use on many projects and I chose to emboss these letters individually (I have a secret obsession when it comes to embossing – more on this in later posts).  But, if you haven’t tried embossing to make your own thank you notes or stationary you are missing out.  So simple!

Once you emboss or stamp “I ___ you because…” you frame the paper and then you write on the outside glass with dry erase markers.  SO EASY!

I added the “XO” to the end where we usually sign our names and this hangs in our laundry room next to our mail / key drop off.  This is a place where the mister and I walk into every single day and these little notes really make me smile.

DIY Art - Meaningful Art Project

DIY Art – Meaningful Art Project

My favorite to date – which I secretly took a picture of…

[caption id="attachment_380" align="alignnone" width="640"]Favorite " because..." DIY Meaningful Art Favorite “I…you because…” DIY Meaningful Art

While I have a hopeless romantic as a husband this little board is easy for me to leave messages to him so I much better at telling him my appreciation / love by a simple note on a more regular basis.

I have actually gifted this to friends of mine who were getting married as a shower / wedding gift.  If anyone would like to “order” one comment and let me know I would be happy to put my embossing skills to work and send it your way!

Cheers to spreading the love with this simple DIY project and showing your appreciation to your loved ones!


Sunday Spring Art

When I lived in LA and worked for an interior designer I remember the incredible art collections that some clients had and would drool at their galleries.  Of course I was jealous and on a strict budget I figured I might dabble in trying to create my own abstract art.  I had no idea how to paint, what kind of paint to get or for that matter been in a true art store my entire life.  So, I turned to my friend Allie who taught me a thing or two about painting and went to town on Sunday afternoon.

Abstract Spring Art on Canvas - Custom -

Abstract Spring Art on Canvas – Custom –

Being a complete rookie I decided to go with acrylics instead of oils.  Earlier that day I had taken a walk along the gorgeous strand of Hermosa Beach and was inspired by spring flowers blooming.

Now over the years the colors in this painting have evolved – in its most recent edition I decided this painting needed to sit in our master bedroom above the vintage royal blue settee so I chose to add in turquoises, chartreuse, navy and hints of hot pink.  I know those colors may sound add but I think it did the trick.

[caption id="attachment_323" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Vibrant Colors Pop - Hung slightly below top of vintage blue velvet settee Vibrant Colors Pop – Hung slightly below top of vintage blue velvet settee

Spring Art in Master Bedroom above Vintage Settee

Spring Art in Master Bedroom above Vintage Settee

As you can see, the neutral background really helps balance this piece out and every morning this painting makes me smile.  Perhaps because I know it is an original (done by yours truly) and maybe because many visitors have commented on how much they like it.  Of course I would love to have some killer art pieces done by true professionals someday soon but I think I will hang on to my very own custom art that I painted for a very long time.  I think it might always have a place in my collection.

Sunday Spring Art - Custom

Sunday Spring Art – Custom

From Traditional to Glam

Recently, my friend Mia wanted to update her kitchen light. She didn’t just want to replace it, she wanted to create a statement piece. Her dining room had just gone through a remodel, so she had this traditional-looking chandelier laying around waiting for a new home. Many suburban homes built in the past 10-15 years have these exact chandeliers hanging in them – must have been an awesome deal for builders.

Traditional Chandelier

Traditional Chandelier

So Mia asked for my help in reinventing the sad chandelier with no home. Mia’s kitchen has a lot of earth tones along with deep reds. And with all the beautiful curves on the fixture, I suggested we paint it a sexy red and remove the bulb covers to give it new life. Removing bulb covers is one of the easiest ways to give a fresh new look to an old fixture.

And here’s the final product.

Glammed Out Chandelier - Middle Redefined

Glammed Out Chandelier – Middle Redefined


Isn’t it stunning? Mia absolutely adores her new glammed-out fixture, and she definitely got the statement piece she wanted. One thing that proved a bit more difficult were the light bulbs. We wanted decorative bulbs, – the ones that look like flames – but we wanted them to have a more vintage glow. Not so easy to find that kind of bulb in a vintage style. However, Mia ended up finding exactly what she wanted at Watts Up in Merriam, KS. They’re the perfect touch. I love the finished product!

What do you think?

Welcome Home

Curb appeal speaks volume to the overall look and feel to your home. Want a quick fix?  Treat your front door to this easy two step update.

First, slap on a new fun paint color to your front door. In our case, we took an once maroon colored front door and chose a cool navy inspired hue.

Next, add a personal touch with a monogram.  I chose this moss covered letter “H” found on Etsy.  This “H” has adorned our front door now for the past year and a half and it still looks great!

I love the thought of having something green around that doesn’t require watering but still has major “welcoming” impact on a budget!

Front Door - New Blue Hue - Moss Covered Monogram

Front Door – New Blue Hue – Moss Covered Monogram

[caption id="attachment_265" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Welcoming Entry - Monogram Moss Letter Welcoming Entry – Monogram Moss Letter

Welcoming Front Door Entrance

Welcoming Front Door Entrance

Stay tuned for my next front door decor – can’t wait to show it to you!

New Life for Pendant Lights

When we moved into our current house, unlike most traditional newer suburban homes, we inherited really modern light fixtures on our main floor. Nothing wrong with these modern blue pendant fixtures if it fits within your style aesthetic. However, they just really didn’t work for us.

Blue Modern Pendants

Blue Modern Pendants


I researched and researched to find affordable pendant light fixtures and just didn’t happen upon anything in the price I wanted to pay. So, I turned to Craigslist and happened upon these little gems. I could see the hidden beauty right away – can’t you?

Craigslist Pendant Lights

Craigslist Pendant Lights


With a little high gloss black paint and vintage bulbs, such as these, the refreshed pendants turned out to be the perfect addition to our kitchen. I paid $25 for the pair, $5 for the paint, and $9 for each bulb at Lowe’s. I’m obsessed with vintage light bulbs right now, so you’ll hear me talk about them more in future posts.


New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs - Middle Redefined

New Pendants with Vintage Light Bulbs – Middle Redefined


All-in all, I spent $48 on my new pendants. And the best part is, I sold the modern blue ones right back on Craigslist for $40!

Check back next week for more on giving new life to light fixtures. Have a wonderful Friday!


DIY Goodness: Make Your Own Roman Shades

I can honestly say I’m never really “done” decorating any of the rooms in my house. Every once in a while, I won’t even notice that I’m lost in thought staring at a room, or a wall, or a shelf, and my husband will say, “What are you thinking about changing now?”

And obviously since we live on a budget, we DIY projects where we can. Not only is it easier on our bank account, it’s so satisfying to say, “I made them,” when a friend compliments my new roman shades (don’t forget there’s a comment box at the end of this post).

Speaking of roman shades, I MADE these! Well, my mom did all of the sewing, but I supervised it all. To figure out how to create the shades, I turned to Jenny Komenda’s blog, Little Green Notebook. She is a genius DIY-er, so we followed her step-by-step tutorial to get these babies put together. We had a few tweaks to make the project work for us, so I’ll share our adjustments and my learnings along the way.

Step 1: Buy inexpensive vinyl blinds or use ones you already have. In my case, I already had blinds up, so I just used that existing hardware. I even kept them hanging throughout the process. My first task was to cut all the slats out. However, make sure you DO NOT cut the cords that pull the blinds up and down. Just cut the ones that move them back and forth.

Making Roman Shades - Step 1

Making Roman Shades – Step 1

Step 2: Cut the front and back fabric - measure the size of your window plus the size of the hem. We wanted a 2 inch hem on either side, so we added an extra four inches to the width and the length. I chose a gray chevron fabric for the front and a creamy fabric for the back. After using a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby for both, I ended up paying about $5.99 per yard for each! I’ve been so impressed with Hobby Lobby’s fabric choices lately, and the coupons just make everything such a deal.

Fabric for Roman Shade Project

Fabric for Roman Shade Project


Here’s Kingston trying to help grandma cut the fabric.

Measuring Fabric for Roman Shade Project

Measuring Fabric for Roman Shade Project


Step 3: Pin the edges and sew them (yes, these are my fingers…my mother didn’t do everything). To attach the cords to the back of the fabric, we sewed plastic rings about 10 inches apart all the way down to match up with the three cords – this was because I thought I’d want the folds about 10 inches apart. That didn’t end up being what I wanted, but I’ll explain that later. We then used the old blind slats to help us figure out exactly how far apart the rings should be sewn.



Step 4: Attach a small piece of wood (about an inch wide) to the back of the shades 8-10 inches from the bottom. I got mine from Michaels for $2 a piece. This photo is from Jenny’s blog showing what it looks like. You can attach the wood with fabric glue. Then screw tiny eyelet screws into the wood to which you can tie the cords.

Jenny Komenda Making Roman Shades

Jenny Komenda Making Roman Shades


Step 5: Jenny recommends to attach the final product to the top of the hardware with fabric glue, but I was afraid it wouldn’t end up holding because the whole thing felt kind of heavy, so I used industrial velcro. So far it has worked really well. Then run your cords through the plastic rings and tie the bottoms to the eyelet screws. The nerve-wracking part is when you raise it and see if it all actually worked!!!

Here’s my final product!

DIY Roman Shades - Middle Redefined

DIY Roman Shades – Middle Redefined


I love, love, love the way they help tie my room together. So thankful to my mom for taking so much time to help me out with this.

When planning out the design of this room, I chose to go the Roman shade route instead of curtains because I really didn’t want to screw hardware into my woodwork for curtains. Also, I have limited space on either side of my massive windows for artwork, so I decided I wanted something a bit more tailored and contained within the window frames. The old plain white blinds behind our cream couch (I shared the before photo here) just didn’t do anything for me, so we needed the change.

This entire project cost me $125. When I priced out custom Roman shades for the size of my three windows, they were going to be at least $250 a piece just for one because of their odd size. I was just not willing to splurge when I had a perfectly-good DIY solution.

A couple final notes: 1) While we did sew the plastic rings 10 inches apart, in the end, I needed a bit more space between my folds, so I ran my cords through every other one – that ended up being about 20 inches apart; and 2) When you raise them, don’t just expect them to fold perfectly. You have to work with them a bit to make sure the flaps are folding under nicely. Otherwise, it tends to bunch on the sides.

What do you think?


Be Our Guest

The coveted guest room…we are grateful enough, well until baby number three is here (yes, boy number three is on it’s way!), to have a guest room for a couple more months.  I view the guest room as a room where you can take chances, have some fun with design but where you want to create a soft, warm space for your guests to make them feel welcomed and not forgotten.  And of course, all on a budget!

With the custom DIY artwork project on one wall, I put the mister to work on my grand plan to have a custom upholstered headboard.  I snagged some great clearance fabric for 9.99/yd, the mister went to “the depot” and built a very sturdy base and 564 staples later we had a headboard. This headboard is massive.  It is comfy, sturdy and sometimes I wish I had it in our master bedroom.

DIY Headboard - DIY Headboard –

Next up, the bedside tables that don’t match and I love them for that.  This black little number is one I snagged at an antique store in Lawrence for $29 dollars!

Guest Bedroom - Side Table Antique Find Guest Bedroom – Side Table Antique Find

The other side is a garage sale find – it is a Baker piece folks – complete score as I got the pair for $75.  The other side table is in Liam’s “big boy room”.

Guest Bedroom - Side Table - Garage sale find Guest Bedroom – Side Table – Garage sale find

Notice the tables are different heights but to even the lamps out I added some decorative books to make up the difference.

Dress up the lighting with some glitz and glamour with a sparkly chandelier.

Guest Room - Chandelier - Guest Room – Chandelier –

Guest Room - Chandelier - Guest Room – Chandelier –

This chandelier was actually a gift from one of my friends – yes, she actually gave me this puppy!  So chalk that one up to good friends and free fabulous lighting – major necessities in life!

Add some more pretty details around the room…including these little beauties that I traded out for the traditional wooden knobs.  Amazing what a little knob can do to dress up and add to a simple little dresser.  All for less than $30!  I HIGHLY recommend this little change to an old or worn out dresser.  Try it, you will be amazed what a new knob or handle can do for your dresser.

Guest Room - Dresser Hardware - Guest Room – Dresser Hardware –

Beautifully covered book and who doesn’t need a candle or two?!

Guest Room - Bedside Table Decor - Guest Room – Bedside Table Decor –

Custom painted tray from recent summer trip to Maui – for guests to rest jewelry.  If you can name the fish you get a prize…

Guest Room - Dresser Decor - Guest Room – Dresser Decor –

Guest Bedroom - Window Treatment - Wall Art - Guest Bedroom – Window Treatment – Wall Art –

A soft roman shade to match paint trim and an unconventional way of hanging wall art and this room is complete…at least for now, until this space has to be turned in to boy room number three.  I might just try and incorporate the chandelier into the design somehow…

Wall Art – Easy as 1, 2,…9?!

Problem – Large wall in my guest bedroom and don’t want to spend a ton of money on the wall art.

Requirement – The wall art has to be big enough to make a statement on its own – so one piece of wall art wouldn’t work.  I also wanted something unique and meaningful.

Solution – Luckily the mister and I took our honeymoon to the fabulous city of Paris, France.  I snagged this clearance linen fabric in the color tone of the room…

FOR 6.99 / YARD!!!

I then grabbed a coupon to Hobby Lobby and snagged some solid black square frames and grabbed my scissors and went to work…

Paris Fabric Art - Paris Fabric Art –


Paris Fabric Art Paris Fabric Art –

NINE square cuts later and inserted in to frames…

Hang and you are done.  Total cost of project – under $40!

Stay tuned for more pictures on this project and the guest bedroom – featuring a DIY upholstered headboard.

Hanging the nine square framed "paris art" Hanging the nine square framed “paris art” –

1 3 4 5