...because home doesn't happen overnight.
05.09.14 / Made Me Smile

HT travel

It was another whirlwind of a week! Normally, I’m a homebody and don’t travel much but this year I’ve been itching to visit new places. I’ve been away the last two weekends and will be traveling yet again this weekend. WHO AM I? Anyway, it feels good but I am looking forward to hanging out at home and tackling some projects next week. Until then, a few smile-worthy things…

*Saving Mies van der Rohe’s weekend retreat.

*Boys’ room inspiration.

*I’ve seen plenty of herringbone patterns indoors but this herringbone exterior was a first for me.

*House poor = lack of freedom. Our decision to downsize has definitely given us more freedom in almost every aspect of our lives.

*My sister made Trader Joe’s asteroid naan bread pizza for dinner last weekend while I was visiting and it was SO GOOD.

*The most comfortable dress for traveling. *BONUS* – it’s available in petite sizes.

*I WAS WIFE-NAPPED! (…which explains my absence online this week.)

*Of course I want a design book for Mother’s Day.

Have a good one! And to all the mother’s out there, I’m wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day and twelve hours of sleep Saturday night :)

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

paint boy room 1

Two weeks ago I painted the boys’ room. For anyone keeping count, this is the third time I’ve painted the room. Layne wanted black walls. Everett wanted white walls. (Initially, they wanted orange walls but I put my foot down.) I’m not scared of an all black room but Steve said he didn’t want another dark bedroom. (Mabrey’s room is Benjamin Moore dark pewter.) I painted one wall black and the rest white. It was a compromise but everyone is loving the results.

To keep things cohesive with the rest of the house, the black is Besalt by Ace paints color-matched in Clark + Kensington primer + paint. It was leftover from the mudroom so it was “free.” The white is Benjamin Moore white dove. It’s the color of all the trim in our home including the painted fireplace and planked TV wall. I snapped these pictures in early evening light so they’re reading a bit warmer than I would prefer. In real life, the room reads more black and white. Literally.

Immediately after painting a room, I can usually tell if it has staying power or if I’m going to repaint it in a year. I’m not repainting this room for a long, LONG time.

paint boy room 3

The painter’s tape on the walls is standing in for art. I haven’t finalized anything yet so green rectangles it is! Also, this is what the boys’ beds look like on any given day. Messy. I’m thinking of going with all white bedding and a mix of patterned pillows. The boys are begging for sheepskin body pillows of all things. (?!) I’ll see what I can do.

paint boy room 2

I switched out the chunky feet on the KARLSTAD for these pretty pegs. It was a breeze. Such a clever product! The new feet give the chair a totally different look.

I found the vintage ottoman on ebay for $30. It’s vinyl but is a good leather lookalike. It should stand up well to boy feet. The legs are dreamy – wood with brass tips. I haven’t had a chance to clean them up yet but I’m going to give ‘em a little rub down with some Restor-A-Finish.

paint boy room 4

I’m brainstorming ideas for this bare wall. I think I’m going to hang a few open shelves for display and storage. (The Ikea bag has brackets in it that I’m testing out.) I want to add a trio of hooks for the boys to hang their pajamas, library bag and other crap that usually ends up on the floor. I found the two Nate Berkus baskets at Target yesterday. One basket for each boy. At the end of each day, they can quickly grab a basket and round up all the books, toys, socks, etc. that have found their way into the living room. That’s the plan anyway. I’m also going to hang longer closet curtains from a rod above the closet like we did in the master bedroom.

paint boy room 5

Last but (most certainly) not least, Everett asked me to paint his orange basketball rim gold. Um, okay. I think my obsession with spray painting everything gold is rubbing off on my kids. I haven’t decided if this is something I should be proud of or not.

paint boy room 6

So it goes in the boys’ room. Hopefully, I’ll have more updates to share soon!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Dear etsy,

I like you. Especially your art, handmade treasures, and vintage textiles & knick knacks. I just want you to know that you’re appreciated.


And now for some stuff I recently bought on etsy…

etsy stuff


1 – vintage indigo jar ($20) I store garlic bulbs in this lil’ cutie and keep it next to the stove.

2 – red sliced wood garland ($30) This crazy cool garland is going in the boys’ room. (An update on their room is coming next…) I probably could have made one for less but who has time to paint a wood dowel, cut it into a million pieces, then string and knot each slice? Apparently, not me.

3 – hanging planter ($57) The boys requested more plants in their room. To optimize floor space, I thought a hanging planter would be the way to go. Again, I decided to leave the tedious task of knot-tying to someone else. WHO AM I?

4 – vintage Hmong fabric ($35) I bought two Hmong pillow covers a while back for the mudroom and ever since I dream of covering my house in Hmong fabric. It has the best patterns and patina in a denim-like indigo color. I’m going to sew more pillow covers and fill my house with them. Because I do have time for sewing but not for knot-tying??

5 – vintage kilim pillow ($55) I put this beauty in ‘my favorites’ weeks ago and would stop in daily to gaze longingly at it. Then I decided life was too short to love a pillow virtually when I could love it in real life.

6 – New Zealand panoramic photography print ($145) I’ve slowly been adding black and white photography prints to our home. (I spy three from my desk right now.) I guess I’m into them. The scale and orientation of this panoramic should be perfect for what I have in mind.

I go through phases of browsing etsy and curating ‘my favorites.’ Then every once in a while I pull the trigger on items I’m especially drawn to. I have to have a clear purpose or spot for each item. That’s the one caveat. There’s no room here for buying first, thinking later.

What about you? Any recent etsy purchases? Any etsy shops I should know about?

images: polyvore collage by Dana Miller

05.03.14 / Made Me Smile

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It was such a good week! I’m so grateful for the warmer weather, all of the green popping up outside, open windows, good friends, a chance to travel and new experiences. And more smile-worthy stuff…

*A modest ranch gets an Ikea kitchen that looks nothing like “Ikea.”

*An AMAZING bathroom in the works.

*Tricks for styling your home like a magazine.

*The definition of success is changing.

*I’m prepping a pair of outdoor chairs and using this tung oil. Love it!

*Crate & Barrel has the best kitchen towels. I have this one, this one and this one and I just bought four more because they are soooo good. Plus, free shipping!

*Making out with John & Sherry’s show house.

Have a wonderful weekend! If you follow me on instagram, you already know I’m visiting my sister in DC and hitting up the Young House Love show house. So far, it’s shaping up to be a really awesome weekend. xo

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking