...because home doesn't happen overnight.

My boys start school next week so we’re squeezing in a few more fun things before summer break is officially over. As a result, things might be quieter on the blog over the next week. I hope you understand. The good news is that once school starts, my afternoons are freed up for more projects. My goal is to finish tweaking the boys’ room by the end of the month. The last time I shared my sluggish progress in the room, I got a ton of questions regarding the hanging plant(er). I thought I would give it a quick mention today since there was so much interest.

burro's tail 1

The boys requested a “cool plant” for their room. I decided a hanging plant would work best to keep floor space open for play. I stumbled across a sprawling burro’s tail at a local nursery. (Berns nursery in Beavercreek for any locals.) It came in a plastic hanging planter from the nursery but I wanted to dress it up a little.

I found the modern macrame planter on etsy. (I’ll take one of everything in that shop, btw.) Then I returned to my local nursery and found the cracked, glazed pot. To allow for proper drainage, I kept the burro’s tail in its original plastic pot and dropped it into the glazed one. (The glazed pot doesn’t have drainage holes.)

To hang the planter, I installed a toggle ceiling hook. After eyeballing where I wanted the planter to hang, I drilled a pilot hole in the ceiling then inserted and screwed in the hook. I don’t remember the weight capacity but it’s well above that of the planter. My one suggestion for ceiling hooks is to match them to your ceiling so they aren’t an eyesore. The one I used is white and it blends into the ceiling.

I carefully slipped the pot into the macrame planter and arranged the stems then suspended the entire thing from the ceiling hook. The length of the macrame hanger is perfect for standard 8′ ceilings. One thing to be aware of: the plant is delicate and if you manhandle it, it will drop its fleshy leaves. It drops a few leaves each week but they’re super small and non-toxic. I just pick them up when I see them or vacuum them during weekly cleanings.

burro's tail 2

Burro’s tail (a.k.a. donkey’s tail or lamb’s tail) is a succulent and it likes sun, rocky soil and infrequent watering. I hung it in front of an east-facing window and water it every 2-3 weeks. It’s been going strong for over two months. I think I can keep it alive! I love all the different textures going on in this planter and I adore the simple macrame hanger with its natural wood beads. It’s got me scheming for more hanging planters in the house. In the living room? My bedroom?

engineer print frame and mat

And while I’m thinking of it, I added a mat to the framed engineer print. You might remember my conundrum with the $3 engineer print being a few inches too short to fill the entire poster frame. Since this piece will be a mainstay in the room for years to come (I’m going switch out the engineer print each year for a current candid of the boys), I felt like it was worthy investment. It definitely gives the inexpensive, black and white print a polished look. I’m really happy with it!

burro's tail 3

I have a few more fun ideas to bring to life in this room. In fact, today the boys and I picked up samples for the next big project. Can’t wait to share!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



I also have two boys (9 and 6) who share a room (and a feisty baby girl, btw). I wonder, how do you keep toys in check? I feel like I do a good job of purging on a regular basis, and we don’t shower our kids with tons of “stuff.” In fact, I feel like we are very minimalist when it comes to our kids’ toys. And yet, their room just gets out of control so fast. The Legos, the forts, the “good guy bases,” the Legos! I’m sure there was some pick up happening before you shot these pics, but still, the few candid glimpses you’ve given seem organized too. I’d love to see a post on this.


It’s easy to make a modern macrame plant hanger for those that would like to try. I used this tutorial. http://www.deucecitieshenhouse.com/2013/12/diy-modern-macrame-hanging-planter.html


Yes! Love Alison and her DIY plant hanger!! Thanks for sharing the link. Clicking “add to cart” was an easy way out for me ;)


Oh, the Legos. THE LEGOS. I hear you. Some days I swear if I step on one. more. Lego. I will throw them all out. But I never do because the kids love them and they keep them occupied for long stretches of time. If it makes you feel any better, the bunk beds were unmade and the closet was a disaster when I snapped these shots. I am going to write up a post on toys and purging so be on the lookout for that. Also, I’ll be sure to share the boys’ closet innards when I share their new-ish room.


I’ve never heard of burro’s tail but I’ll definitely keep an eye out. Love how the room is coming together (again, ha!).


It is definitely a boys room, and I am surprised at how clean it is!! Beavercreek, Oregon? You live in Oregon?


holy cow, dana!! i have been reading your blog for a couple years now and knew you were in ohio but today, when you said beavercreek, my jaw dropped!! i graduated from beavercreek high school in 1970. my thirty something kids can still sing the entire beavercreek fight song word for word. :) we moved there in 1962 and believe it or not, the intersection where the commons mall is was a four way stop with a flashing red light in the middle of farm fields. my mother lived in the same house there for 51 years until she passed away last fall. it’s a great place to live……..love what you’ve done with the place………


Hi, can i just mention the cord for the window blind being accessible to Mabrey. I am absolutely sure you are all safety aware but there have been a number of accidental deaths in the UK with young children getting entangled. The instructions in the uk actually reference this and show the cord being tied away out of reach of little ones.

Sorry to be such a downer.

Love the boys room and your renovation post of the kitchen area convinced my husband that it is possible to own a ‘bungalow’ without it being small, dark and old fashioned!! Our options for moving from our mid terraced house have expanding wonderfully, thank you!


Love that plant! So much that I have been looking for it. No luck at my local places…yet ;)


I am wondering the same as the poster above. I understand keeping tidy and organized in such a small home, but seriously where do your kids LIVE? Like where do they spread out and play, make messes, build, color, paint…all of those things? My home is small and we are far from messy, but my kids live in our home. They spread out and dig deep in their activities and their stuff gets everywhere. I wonder the most about this shared room of your two boys – the dresser top is curated and the floor is clear. Is there a secret room where they let loose?

Love burro’s tail. I have a small one that I hope will one day become massive. Its so good to see others put plants and live greenery in active kids rooms. My 6 year old son is a budding gardener and loves to cultivate a tiny bed of flowers and veggies. He’s also obsessed with cacti. He loves them and even at such a young age completely respects that they can be painful if touched. I’m planning to incorporate a cactus planter into his new room somehow, per his request, and im thinking a hanging planter may be the way to go with it. Oh and BTW we closed on our “new” smaller old house 2 days ago. Your story encouraged me ditch our plus size builder basic to downsize as well. Thank you so much for your constant inspiration. We are so excited to be small space dwellers.


I love this community of people and how everyone inspires and cheers each other on. Shavonda, I follow you on IG and just wanted to say Congrats on your new home!

And Dana…beautiful room!

Hi Kathy!

How awesome are you! Thank you so much sweets:) This community has been my biggest support system. I just love it so much.


Too cute about your son / gardener! We plan on putting in a few raised beds and growing some veggies next year. I hope my kids take an interest in gardening as well.

Congrats on your downsizing adventure! It might be an adjustment at first but I think you will find it freeing in so many ways.


They drag books, Legos, blankets and pillows out to the living room most days. But they also play and read in their room. They color, paint and draw at the kitchen island. We play board games on the living room rug or at the dining table in the mudroom. No room is off limits!


Ohio…Beavercreek, Ohio. Although, I have a cousin in Oregon!

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