Mood Swing: Changing a Decorating Plan

Happy April, fellow DIY lovers! Here in New Jersey, we’re approaching the time of year when you can move projects to your garage/front porch/backyard and actually get things accomplished!  Of course, between balancing my new job, teaching a class, spending time with Dan, family, and friends, and everything in between… the basement still looks, well, a little rough.

You might notice the sheet of plastic over the basement bathroom door, the electric cords and power tools running amok across the carpet, and of course the garbage that’s been piling up over the past few weeks.  Though I’ve been on a mini-hiatus from all of the pressure that a weekly blog entails, I’ve still been doing my best to keep up with the DIY and project-happy lifestyle that Dan and I have built for ourselves.  You may remember my decorating plan for the basement bathroom, featuring some nautical vibes.  It looked something like this:

As much as I love a good nautical theme (for example, my wedding), I decided that I wanted to take the bathroom in a different direction.  It was time to break out of my comfort zone and try something a little bit different.  For those of you who are afraid of coming up with an elaborate plan and then scrapping it altogether, this blog post is for you.  It all started with this beautiful (and on sale!) mirror from World Market.

I talked a little bit about our purchase in this blog post, but when I fell in love with the mirror, I knew it was time for a Bathroom Mood Board overhaul. To me, this mirror evokes a Moroccan feel, with a lot of emphasis on intricate details and patterns.  It’s a little bit floral and a lot more like an antique, so going with more nautical decor was not going to work quite so well.  After a lot of thought, Dan and I made the decision to swap out our original decorating plan for a new one, all because of this signature piece.  I present to you Bathroom Mood Board #2.

1 – Moroccan Color Scheme (Pinterest): I love the bright, bold colors of the Moroccan color scheme presented by Design Seeds.  There’s lots of rich, dark colors and I am feeling totally emboldened by the gold accents.  We’ll see how we can make this work for the bathroom, but I’m thinking a light beige color for the walls with a lot of jewel-toned art and accessories.

2 – Marazzi Montagna Gunstock floor tile (Home Depot): We went from light to dark in this floor tile switcheroo, but I think it’s the right choice for the new look.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the dark floor offsets the light walls.

3 – Elephant Towel Hook (Amazon): Really, how can I say no to an adorable animal bathroom accessory?  Answer: I can’t.

4 – Medallion art prints (Minted) – I wanted to add in a floral element to the bathroom decor without going overtly into flower territory.  These floral medallions are simple and striking, and I love the variety in color tones that Minted offers.  Framing them in this light wood, similar to the color of the mirror, would be perfect for the new bathroom plan.

5 – Mirror (World Market):  I think we’ve discussed this enough.  Signature focal piece, the mirror of my dreams, kind of obsessed… you get the picture.

6 – Bathroom rug (Overstock): I can’t quite decide if adding this rug into the mix will be floral overkill, but for now I’ll keep it.  The light gray and white colors contrast some of the more bold tones we’re using so far.  It might just work.

7 – Light fixture (Home Depot): One lesson I learned while making this Mood Board?  It’s almost impossible to find classy and simple gold toned light fixtures.  I love love love these sconces, but I’m not sure how difficult it will be to make the upgrade from one light fixture to two.  Either way, something that brings a little bling into the bathroom will be just the right touch.

Well, here we are one month later: a completely new decorating plan and a lot less cracked tile on the floor.  Dan’s been spending much of his free time in March working, sweating, and destroying the tile so that we can make some sweet, sweet progress.  We’ll be painting before you know it!  At least hopefully before it’s officially summer… :)


Holiday Spirit Mini-Blog #2: DIY Wooden Houses

Happy December 13th!  I can’t believe it’s less than two weeks until Christmas! I have a lot of mini-blogs and holiday cheer posts still left to share, starting with today’s special guest post by a guy who also happens to be my husband, Dan.  Today, he’s sharing his wooden DIY houses project, which was inspired by a recent trip to Target.  I’ll let him tell you all about it…

Every time Krista says she wants to buy a piece of furniture, I’ll tell her that I can build it instead.  Unfortunately, that piece of furniture will still be sitting at the end of my to-do list months later.

During a recent trip to Target, Krista saw some cute wooden house decorations.  Very aware of the pattern I often fall into with furniture projects, this was one of the few times I was able to confidently say that I could build my own versions quickly, having all the wood and tools I’d need.

For materials, I pulled out an old douglas fir beam that I got free from a home renovation. While writing this, I’m realizing the appropriateness of building tiny houses from a piece of an actual home.

The biggest task with using reclaimed lumber is making sure it’s free of foreign materials that can damage tools.  Using a small metal detector, I found all the nails in the section of the beam that I was going to use, and pulled them out with a beat-up chisel, claw hammer, and pliers.

I then cut the beam to length.  I could have used my miter saw, but I wanted to try out my old crosscut saw that I bought from a garage sale for $2 and then restored and sharpened.  It wasn’t as satisfying as I’d imagined.


Next, I quickly cleaned up the beam with a hand plane.  I wanted the houses to retain some of the reclaimed look so just got it down to a flat, fresh surface on all sides.

Here’s a picture showing the original beam side by side with the freshly planed beam.

The last part was the easiest.  After getting past the thrill of using my handsaw, I decided to finish up on the miter saw.  I cut the beam into 3 equal-ish length pieces, set the blade to cut at 45 degrees, then cut the roofs.

I also sanded the edges and corners down a little so they weren’t so sharp.


I love reading Dan’s posts because his sense of humor is so distinct from mine.  I’m pretty sure you can tell our writing style apart by now!  In any case, I loved these wooden houses on the shelves of Target so much – and I love the DIY version even more.  They make great porch decorations!