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House Crashing: Joyful & Happy Go Lucky

Can you believe it has been a month since our last house crashing adventure? And while February’s house tour was from across the pond, this one was local, so we got to stop by and soak up all of the details in person.

Meet Becky and Brian (and their dog Fergie). They live just outside of Richmond with their two daughters and this charming red door. It’s Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore – and she got that charming “Hello” decal here.

When you walk inside, there’s a room to your right that they call the music room. Let’s just say that the yellow piano, which Becky painted herself, had my heart immediately. It was Brian’s grandma’s piano that was passed down to their family (here’s a link to Becky’s post about painting it). Becky also found the swivel stool at an antique store and made the slipcover herself. It was such a fun house to walk through because so many things had a secondhand story or a handmade touch.

Her dresser-turned-bathroom-vanity was another example of Becky and Brian putting their stamp on their home. She got it at a local secondhand shop, painted it and distressed it, and then her dad and Brian cut out the middle and added a recycled sink basin (picked up from the Habitat For Humanity ReStore). Becky also loves to collect old mirrors to hang in groupings on the wall, so she always has an eye out for them at thrift & antique shops.

There’s a first floor guest room which had such a cheerful vibe, even with those moody walls (they’re Gravel Gray by Benjamin Moore). The playful rooster art was a $30 find at the Yankee Candle Store in Williamsburg.

The pretty bedding is a Bed Bath & Beyond find, and the dresser is another secondhand score that Becky painted herself. She also distressed it with a palm sander and filled in the distressed areas with Walnut oil or glaze – and added those cute numbers for each drawer (found at a craft store).

Becky worked in some more personal touches in the kitchen, like a panel of chalkboard paint on the pantry door, and by painting the stools that she got from Ikea red with a homemade chalk paint recipe that she found online.

The master bedroom was a really soft and sweet space. The floral coverlet on their bed is a $20 Rosebowl Flea market purchase from Pasadena, CA. I loved that Brian didn’t mind pink in the bedroom, and the mixture of the wooden bed (from Pier 1) and the pine bench at the foot of the bed (from HomeGoods) was interesting to me (instead of pairing it with painted or distressed wood). Becky doesn’t remember the color on the walls, but Palladian Blue or Quiet Moments by Benjamin Moore might be close.

This homemade jewelry rack is another example of Becky’s ability to see something and reimagine it. She got it at the Junk Bonanza Flea Market in Shakopee, Minnesota as an old crib railing, initially thinking that she’d hang magazines or blankets from it, but it turned out to be perfect for her jewelry.

Her daughter’s room has more feminine touches and the sweetest secondhand hutch that Becky also found in Minnesota. It even came that color so she didn’t do a thing to it.

But possibly the coolest spot in the whole house is Becky’s basement studio. She runs an Etsy shop called Farmgirl Paints, where she sells stamped leather cuffs made from secondhand belts (no wonder she has so many thrift store finds, right? She’s always patrolling for belts) – and everything happens down in her basement studio.

The green wall along the back of the studio is chalkboard paint that Becky had mixed up at Lowe’s in “Spring Green” and she got the shop sign made by American Vintage Inc (she sent her an inspiration picture with reclaimed wood, metal sides, and frosted bulbs and this is the end result).

There were so many creative details in this basement to document. Like this cool twine Farmgirl Paints sign that Becky made – and even posted a little flipagram tutorial on Instagram.

There were a lot of work stations for various shop jobs (making the leather bands, stamping the metal disks that go on them, adding snaps, billing, packing, etc). It was such a fun work environment thanks to all of the color and the playful wall decor. How cool is that old “humble” sign Becky found?

She also mixed in some big box finds, but the funny thing is that I assumed everything was thrifted or homemade due to all of her other pieces. So it shocked the heck out of me when she said this numbered wall cubby was from Target a while back.

There’s also a room that’s tucked away in the very back of the basement that Becky calls her art studio. To make the desk, she and her husband dug through an awesome old salvage yard here in Richmond called Govenor’s Antiques. The owner helped them pick out the perfect doors (there are two of them, joined in the middle, braced along the back wall, and further supported by two legs that they made out of spindles on each end). It’s 13′ long and full of crafting supplies. I was like a kid in a candy store.

That green lamp has a great story too. Becky was antiquing in Charlottesville, Virginia and I fell in love with that HUGE barn light, which was hanging right over the checkout counter in a small shop. So she sweet talked the owner into selling it to her.

Possibly my favorite organizational coup of all was this old school display case made of wire that Becky picked up at The Screen Door antique shop in Asheville, North Carolina. She bought it without having any clue what she’d do with it, but soon realized that all of her little tubes of craft paint fit perfectly. And how cute is the chalkboard camper that Becky drew on the chalkboard wall behind it?

We want to send a HUGE thanks to Becky and Brian for so graciously inviting us into their joy-filled home and allowing us to snap photos to share with the interwebs. You can read more about her life/shop/house over on her blog, but first I’d love to hear what your favorite parts were, or what has you inspired (her whole house made me want to thrift like crazy). Between the decal on that shiny red front door, the yellow piano, and her tricked out basement studio, it’s hard to even pick a favorite.



Some Overdue Office Organization

Let me tell you a tale of a girl who used to be organized, oh…. about four years ago. Since Clara came along, well, it has been a slippery slope. I’ve kept notes to myself in various notebooks, on my phone, on post its, and have scribbled in every square inch of my day planner. I’m almost never sure what I need to do next since there are so many active lists competing for my attention these days. So when John and I were asking ourselves what our home office needs to make it as functional as possible, it was about two seconds before I was pulling a Mary Katherine Gallagher and jumping around and throwing my arms in the air and shouting “command center!”

Yes, my friends, it was even more urgent to this nesting pregnant lady than painting those office walls. Although we realized as we were nailing into them to hang things that it’s sort of an accidentally genius move to hang art before painting because if you make a few bad nail holes you can just spackle them before you paint the whole room, so that’s a nice perk.

We thought this wall was perfect since it would be visible from within the office, but our scribbles would be out of sight from the foyer. And we both agreed that we needed a place to write things that had to be done across multiple categories like “projects”, “house maintenance”, “showhouse/book 2 stuff”, “future post ideas”, “website to-do”, etc. We just knew there had to be a better way than having different lists of each of those things floating around randomly (the website one just fell behind the couch, by the way).

Not only did I dream of having them all in one place in an easy to reference spot for both of us – most of all I dreamed of having a column for “top tasks” so we could lift tasks out of each of those other columns and place in there by order of priority. This will hopefully keep us from bouncing around randomly without really weighing what makes the most sense for us to tackle next.

While we were dreaming, we also wanted a place to work out our upcoming post schedule where we both could see it (so we can see which giveaways are lined up, what posts we’re planning to write up next, etc). We also wanted a smaller spot to jot down what we need to buy/get the next time we’re out (we’re always forgetting random things like new oil-rubbed bronze window locks for the freshly painted office windows).

John and I weighed a ton of options for meeting all of those needs, like: one big dry erase board, one big cork board, using dry erase paint right on the wall, going the chalkboard route, using magnetic paint to hold up small pieces of paper in a grid that we could move and shift, etc. In the end we settled on sort of a hybrid solution. We decided to make two big magnetic frames so we could use smaller dry erase magnets (which we could write on and shift around) to create a multi-column to-do list and a post-planning schedule. We even snuck a “To Buy/Get” list in there on a smaller frame while working in some sweet Clara art, a quote that makes us laugh from our last office, and a favorite family picture.

First we planned the arrangement with some old frames. We continued to shift things around a little after this photo was taken, but you get the idea:

Next we ordered some white dry erase magnets from this site. John found them and I was instantly on board because I love that they’re not small/swallowable magnets (which make my paranoid-mom-heart skip a beat) and also because we can write directly on them and move them around. So placing them in a “projects” column, then moving them to the “top task” column, and even popping them over to our post schedule board if they’re done/shot/written/ready to be scheduled would be nice and simple.

We also hit up Home Depot to see what they had in the “sheets of metal” category. There were some other sheet metal options on an end cap, but we bought a magnet with us just to be sure they were magnetic and they weren’t. Kinda threw us for a loop until we saw these panels hiding in a completely different aisle. And thankfully, these guys were magnetic.

We ended up getting two of them that were big enough to fill our frames (they came in a bunch of different sizes, and thankfully were pretty easy to cut at home with gloves and a metal snip). Here are my supplies all laid out:

First I removed the glass from the frame along with the backing and laid just the wood part of the frame over the sheet metal and used a red sharpie to trace the rectangle that I’d need to cut out.

Then I just slipped on my gloves and started cutting with the metal snip. It took a little while since it makes such small cuts, but it was pretty straightforward and I was left with two metal inserts for my frames in about fifteen minutes.

Here’s one slipped into the frame, with the backing holding it in place. It was pretty exciting to test drive a few of the dry erase magnets up there. #yolo

After I made sure both pieces of metal fit into the frames, John and I chatted about what colors we thought would be nice for the metal and the frames, and decided to draw inspiration from our new desk. And so the idea for a mixture of frames in a soft champagne color, a pearly metallic white, and a flat basic white was born. We had all of these guys in the garage already, so I was ready to rumble.

First I used clean metal primer on both of the sheets of metal we bought, just because I thought it would be a nice uniform look to spray those to match their frames. We figured with all those white magnets on them, things could get busy, so keeping the frames and backgrounds uniform might be a nice touch.

Next I sprayed the frames themselves. This is the pearl mist going on a few of the frames and one of the primed sheet metal pieces (you can see the champagne mist ones drying in the background). I left these outside to dry so long that a rogue leaf landed in the middle of that smaller frame (thankfully it was completely dry by then).

It took about four thin coats of spray paint to get things nice and even, but in the end it’s a really clean look to have the metal sheets and the frame the same color. I even used a little bit of washi tape on the end of the magnetic headers for each category to set them apart along the top of the board.

Oh office supplies, why are you so adorable?

To make our “To Buy/To Get” board, I used a smaller frame with some slightly metallic linen-like fabric slipped that into the frame behind the glass. A black dry erase marker makes it easy to write on the glass, and we just shoot a picture of the list whenever we’re running out for errands so I can remember everything instead of muttering “where’s that list?” followed by some endless purse-searching.

Here’s a closer shot of the post planning board, which got the pearl paint treatment, and some gold and yellow washi tape along those header and side labels. We don’t usually work very far out for posts (we share a lot of stuff within a week of doing it) but it’s already coming in handy for jotting down future ideas, giveaways that have been scheduled, etc.

So that’s how our little command center came to be. I’d really love to upgrade some of the frames eventually (the one with Clara’s painting in it needs a larger mat for example) but for now I’m feeling around 95% more organized. If only I could fit my massive belly behind the couch to retrieve that old website to-do list…

Might have to send Burger in for it. And by that I mean “somehow convince him the list is made of food so he cares enough to retrieve it.”

How do you guys stay organized? Do you have a big family calendar that hangs in your kitchen? We debated doing a calendar board as well, but like using my planner to write down meetings, appointments, parties, etc – so we thought keeping that in there but all the project/home maintenance/book/showhouse/post stuff on the wall would be a good combination. We’ll have to see how it goes…

Update: For anyone wondering what the octopus print says, where we got it, or where the file cabinet is from, that info is all on the first page of comments for ya.