Category Archives: Home

One room down, three to go

I’ve been wanting to share our new and improved living room since our furniture arrived last week, but I haven’t been able to get a good shot in natural light that accurately represents the paint color. The light from that dang window is just too bright. I would also benefit from a camera class, but I digress.

This is the best I’ve been able to do anyway. The overhead lights throw the color off a bit in the corner, but if I turn them off, the rest of the room is too dark with the light from the window. At first, I wasn’t sure about the color. I think I just stared at it too long while paint, though, because after a few days, I grew to love it. The room is so much lighter and airier, and I can definitely feel a difference in my mood now that I’m not staring at those dark orange walls every day.

We love the furniture. The recliner closest to the camera is left over from our old furniture, and I can’t decide what to do with it. I don’t love it there, but the extra seating is nice for company. We tried it out in the master bedroom, but the awkward shape of the room just made it not a good fit there. I originally wanted it in the den, but now with the couch back there, there’s really no room for the chair. (That’s a post for another day, though … when we finally get brave enough to paint the den.)

We’re in the process of searching for inexpensive wall art to perk up those bare walls. Wall art suggestions are welcome. Stay tuned!

Why didn’t anyone warn me?

Our original plan was to start painting in mid-March, but that was when our furniture was scheduled for a late March delivery. Last week, I received a surprise phone call from Pottery Barn — our furniture was coming early! I really wanted the living room painted before the furniture arrived, but Tony had a stack of essays from three classes to grade, so it wasn’t a good weekend for him to devote to painting. “How hard can it be?” I said. I decided to go for it and get started, even if it meant I’d be doing a lot of it by myself. Big mistake.

We chose a pale blue for the living room and hallway, so I figured it would make sense to do both at the same time. Since I knew painting was going to be harder with a toddler running all over the place, I thought I’d take it “easy” and take a whole weekend to do each room. Most of our work was done after Judah was in bed and late into the night. Tony painted large walls with the roller while I worked on detailing and trim. During the day, Tony graded papers while watching Judah, and I taped, primed, and painted the hallway by myself.

After taping everything and applying the first coat (primer tinted to 25% the shade of the final coat), I didn’t get to bed until 3:30 on Saturday morning. I love our huge living room, but GAH. Painting it took FOR.EV.ER.

I was surprised at how well the primer covered the dark orange color on the walls. We bought a fancy “high-hiding” primer, because I was hoping to avoid a second coat of paint, which was more expensive than even the fancier primer. Despite everyone and their brother warning me that I shouldn’t even bother trying to paint with anything but Sherwin Williams paint, we went with Valspar primer and paint from Lowe’s. I was happy with its coverage, and I really don’t believe that fancypants Sherwin Williams could have done much better on the dark orange, only we would have paid a lot more.

We used this contraption at the recommendation of my parents. We loved it for the first coat. After disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling it, though, it was more hassle than help. Maybe I broke something when I took it apart, but the stupid thing was falling apart as I tried to paint with it and splattering paint EVERYWHERE. We’ll probably try an ordinary roller and tray when we paint the rest of the house.

A hard lesson learned: even if you have laminate floors, invest in drop cloths. I’m going to be scraping tiny splatters off my floors for weeks. Ugh.

Another piece of advice: don’t forget to factor in prep time and the expense for supplies. We went through almost three rolls of painter’s tape to prepare the room, and it took over 2 hours. I didn’t add up the cost of just the supplies, but after buying the roller, a nice trim brush, tape, replacement rollers, and plaster patch, it added to our total substantially.

Tony and I pride ourselves on our ability to work through stressful situations as a team without taking out stress on one another. All of that went out the door this weekend. During my ugliest moments, I’m pretty sure I would have dunked his head in a bucket of paint if I thought it would fit. It wasn’t his fault, but I was just done, and all I could think about was the fact that we still had another coat, and three rooms to paint after that.

In the end, I’m happy with the color. It probably needs another coat, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it this weekend. I may try to go over a few visible streaks with a brush instead of taking out the roller again. Or I may go back over it in a few weeks if it continues to bother me. Tony swears he doesn’t think it needs another coat. I think he’s just afraid I’m going to make him paint it again. I’ll share some after pictures after our furniture arrives on Wednesday.

Painting is hard, grueling, stressful work. Much harder than I thought it would be. I was feeling guilty for derailing my diet by eating pizza for dinner Friday night, and then I Google searched the number of calories burned while painting — over 300 an hour. I spent every waking hour painting this weekend, so I’m sure I burned off the extra calories at LEAST.

One room and hall done — three more rooms to go. I good news is, the remaining rooms are MUCH smaller with less surface to cover and more detailing, which isn’t as exhausting or messy as rolling. I still don’t know how I’ll survive it.

Painting plans

Let me preface this by saying I’ve never painted anything in my life. Unless you count finger paints. But honestly, I don’t think I used those much either. I always preferred crayons, and so did my mom (for obvious reasons). Since scribbling colored wax on the walls and calling it good isn’t an option for our home, I’m nervously venturing into the world of interior paint.

When we bought our house, it had been newly renovated. The paint was fresh, even if it isn’t a shade I would pick myself. I don’t love it, but I could live with it, so we decided to leave it alone for a little while. As you can see in the photo on the right, most of our main living space is orange. Orange. This has become decidedly more obnoxious the longer we’ve lived in the house, so it’s time for the orange to go.

Part of our motivation comes from the fact that we recently purchased new furniture for the living room — a Pottery Barn Comfort Roll slip-covered sofa, armchair, and ottoman. It should be delivered in the next few weeks. While the Pottery Barn furniture of my dreams is light in color, that obviously would have been a really dumb move with a toddler running around. Instead, we opted for the darkest shade they have — espresso. Here is the couch:Because the furniture is so dark, we want something light for the walls. But I’ve lived with off-white walls for most of my life, so I really want some color. The master bedroom is a pleasant light mocha color, so we’re leaving it. Judah’s room, the guest room, and the guest bathroom are neutral off white, so we’re holding off on painting those, too. For now, we’re just doing the living room, kitchen, and den.

The kitchen is super orange right now.

And the den sort of looks orange in this picture, but it’s really kind of an orangey pinkish coral color.

Since we have an open floor plan, I want the colors to coordinate with each other. We’ve pretty much decided on a pale blue in the living room, light yellow in the kitchen, and light green in the den. We’re still looking at swatches and trying to make decisions about shade, which seems impossible with all of the options available to us. But I feel pretty good that we have it narrowed down to those three colors.

Basically, I’m looking for tips, shade selections, favorite paint brands — anything you can tell me about interior paint would be much appreciated. I’m hoping we can get this done without screwing up too badly the first time, so I need expert advice from my readers!

Simplify your household

I always planned to be a stay-at-home mom for the early years of my childrens’ lives. Back when I worked 9 to 5, I remember looking forward to all the downtime I thought I’d have once we had kids. After all, if I was able to manage all of our household tasks in the evenings and weekends when I worked 40 hours a week, how much time would managing a household take when I wasn’t working full-time?

I’m sure all of you find this very funny. I know I do. Because I was so wrong.

I don’t know how such a tiny person complicates things so much, but it seems like my itty bitty 1-year-old son has tripled my housework. Or at least tripled the amount of time it takes to get things done. We have more laundry, more dishes, more things to do during the day, and less time to get them done. I have to squeeze housework in between his naps and after he’s in bed, but it can be so hard to stay on top of things when I all I want to do when he falls asleep is crash myself, or finish work I need to do, or read that book that’s been staring at me from my bedside table, or sew something.

After Judah was born, there were a few glorious weeks when I parked my butt on the couch with my baby in my arms and didn’t worry about the housework. I realize that is probably the last time my butt will be parked anywhere for a long long time. Now I’m all about getting the housework done as quickly and efficiently as possible so there’s more time to chase him and possibly a little downtime for myself when he finally goes to sleep.

Here are some of the ways I’ve simplified my long list of household chores.


I quickly tidy the house three times a day — once during Judah’s morning nap, once during his afternoon nap, and once after he’s in bed. This tidying takes roughly 5 minutes. I whirl through the house picking up things that are out of place, and putting them where they belong. Dishes into the sink, random dirty laundry into the hampers, paper thrown into the recycling bin or neatly stacked, shoes lined up next to the door or put away in the closet. I also sweep around Judah’s high chair as soon as I get a chance after he eats, because those crumbs drive me bonkers. This keeps me sane throughout the day, because I don’t feel constantly surrounded by clutter. Also, keeping everything relatively tidy throughout the week makes deep cleaning much less time consuming.

At least once a week, I clean the house. Usually when Tony is home either in the afternoon or on the weekend, I let him take Judah into his room for some playtime so I can get the house clean as quickly as possible. I start on one end of the house, and work my way through each room. This is when I scrub the bathrooms, clean the floors, dust, and disinfect.

Thanks to this tidy every day, clean once a week system, our house never looks like a tornado hit it. Clutter doesn’t build up, and the house looks pretty presentable throughout the week.


I am continually amazed at how much laundry there is now that we have a toddler in the house. When Judah was a baby, I didn’t think keeping up with the laundry was so bad. But now that he’s feeding himself and getting so messy, it seems like I’m changing his clothes two or three times a day and constantly washing everything.

Because I like to check things off my to-do list instead of keeping a revolving list, I don’t do laundry every day. I prefer to wash everything once a week or so. I do all of it in one day in the winter when I’m using the dryer. In the summer, I line dry the laundry, so I usually split it up into two days so there’s enough room on the lines.

I have three hampers in the house — one in the closet in the master bedroom, one in Judah’s room, and one in the laundry room where I throw miscellaneous laundry that I pick up around the house during my daily tidying sessions. Because I tidy every day, all of the laundry is condensed to these three spots, so I don’t have to run around hunting for dirty laundry. I dump all of it out on the floor and separate it into whites, colors, towels/linens, and jeans. I put each load into one of the laundry baskets and carry them all into the laundry room. Depending on how much laundry we have, the colors and whites are sometimes double loads.

When a load is dry, I fold it as soon as I can. I hate folding and putting away laundry, so I’d rather get it done in small chunks throughout the day than sit and fold everything for an hour. I separate and stack the folded clothes by person and by drawer. Tony’s sweaters in one pile, Tony’s t-shirts in another pile, my t-shirts, Judah’s pajamas, etc. I stack them in the laundry basket in order so I’m not running back and forth putting things away. I stop in each room once, put the laundry in the proper place, and move on.

I love the feeling of folding and putting away that last load of laundry knowing that I won’t need to worry about laundry again for another week.


I used to be a firm believer in putting a dish into the dishwasher as soon as you were finished with it. Now I’m lucky if I have time to feed myself during the day, and half the time when I put a dish into the sink, I’m holding Judah with my other arm. I still don’t like to let dishes pile too high, though. It makes the whole kitchen seem cluttered when there’s a huge pile of dishes in the sink, not to mention those stuck on messes can be a real pain to scrub out.

To stay on top of things, I wash dishes 2-3 times a day — when Judah is strapped into his high chair for his afternoon snack and after dinner — and sometimes while Tony is cooking if it’s a particularly messy meal. I wipe down the counters and the stove top every time I load the dishwasher. I am amazed at how clean the kitchen feels when I just keep the counters clean and the dishes in the sink to a minimum.

I run the dishwasher every night so the dishes are clean and ready to be put away in the morning. Sometimes if it’s a really light load, I wait and run it the next night to conserve energy and water.


Judah’s toys are the beast that I’m still struggling to find a good system to organize. His toys are scattered between two rooms — his bedroom and the guest room where we sometimes play with him when he’s bored with his bedroom. I try to keep the guest room pretty tidy. There’s a bin where we toss all of his toys when he’s not playing with them, and bigger toys just get lined up next to it. His bedroom is trickier, though. Since my tidying is almost always done when he’s sleeping, his bedroom often gets neglected. One of my big plans for early this year is to invest in some bins and organizers to keep things tidy in there, and move some of the furniture out to make the room more practical for a toddler.

Now share your ideas for keeping things simple and organized in your home. I wanna hear about your systems!



Simplify your life

I’m a sucker for New Year’s resolutions. It’s not necessarily that I think there’s something magic about the first of the year, and I’ll suddenly be able to start over again. It’s just that the start of a new year is a logical time to think about these things, and the time when I’m most likely to feel motivated to make changes, so I try to take advantage of that motivation.

Over the weekend, I downloaded Tsh Oxenreider’s (founder of e-book, “One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler.” I absolutely love the idea of tackling one project at a time throughout the year. I read the whole thing in about 24 hours (mostly in the wee morning hours when Judah was asleep), and when I finished, I felt motivated and ready to make a plan of action.

All of this thinking about what I want to change reminded me of what we’ve already accomplished in the realm of simplifying our lives. I felt really good after I listed all of the goals in the book that I’m interested in taking on, and I realized that we’ve already put a good chunk of them into practice — or our own versions of them anyway.

In the hopes of keeping myself motivated and perhaps motivating some of you to do the same, I’ve decided to write a series of posts on some of the things our family is already doing to keep things simple and organized. Beginning Wednesday, I’ll be posting a 5-part series on simplifying your life — Simplify your Household, Simplify your Menus, Simplify your Money, Simplify your Work/Home Life, and Simplify your Health.

I would love to hear from you if you about your family’s systems for organizing these areas of your life. You guys have been so quiet lately, but I really want to hear from you in the comments, so I hope you’re join in the discussion. I’m feeling motivated to make changes, and hearing your ideas will inspire me to do even more.

Here’s to a productive and simple 2012!

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Resolutions for 2012

My standard resolution for, oh, 10 years or so has been “eat healthier and lose weight.” So far I’ve only stuck with that resolution for 1 out of 10 years. Pfft. I suck.

I’m not giving up on that resolution. Lord knows I have more weight than ever to lose this year. But starting last year, I decided to focus on other things, too. Things that are easier, more fun to accomplish, and will improve my life in other ways. Here’s what I want to accomplish in 2012.

Organize paper clutter.

I have complained about the mountains of paper that stack up around our house for years. I need to finally find a way to keep them organized, keep paper off the kitchen table, and keep it out of my way. I’m working on an organizing station, and I’ll let you know what we come up with.

Start crossing off to-dos around the house.

It’s been over 6 months since we moved into our house, and we haven’t really done anything meaningful to make it our own. We haven’t painted, we haven’t begun any of the projects we’ve talked about doing, and we haven’t even hung anything on the walls yet (I know, it’s terrible). I’m not a good decorator, but I love this house, and I want to make it even better.

Get strong.

I’ve been attending a strength-training class at my gym three times a week, and I have really enjoyed it so far. I’ve never done any strength training before, so I want to stick with it this year so I can get stronger, feel better, and change my body. We’ll see what happens!

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2012?

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Quick and easy ways to feel less cluttered

It seems like I’m always battling clutter of some kind. Papers stacked up on the table and desks; boxes of stuff I’ve been meaning to sell or donate for months; junk mail; random things that don’t have a place, so they just sit out in the open driving me nuts. When my environment is cluttered, even simple tasks can feel overwhelming. With the holidays fast approaching, I’m craving some peace and tranquility. So I’ve been working on getting the worst of my clutter under control.

Here are a few problems I’m looking to solve. Some of them are easy — I just have to motivate myself to do it already. Some of them require some creativity, and I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Get paper clutter under control.

I think most of us struggle with paper clutter to some degree, but our problem is pretty extreme. At any given time, my English professor husband is buried under 50-200 student essays and papers. When they overrun his desk, they end up on the kitchen table, the coffee table, and even the living room floor.

Thankfully, he’s mindful of how crazy this drives me, so he only scatters essays when he’s in the process of grading them, and he puts them away when he takes a break. But with so much necessary paper around, I feel more sensitive about the unnecessary paper. Junk mail, old bills, coupons, magazines, and other junk stack up and make everything seem less tidy. Here are a few strategies I’m trying to employ to get it under control:

  • Deal with junk mail immediately. It’s easier said than done, but I need to start sorting mail immediately when it comes into the house and putting junk straight into the recycling bin. I have enough paper to sort without making things worse by keeping junk around.
  • Create a paper sorting station. As much as I hate it, there is a certain amount of paper I have to keep around at least for a while. I need some sort of solution for sorting and organizing it so I can keep it off my kitchen table. I’ve seen lots of options on Pinterest, and I’m trying to figure out the best way to handle it. If I keep things sorted, it will make it less complicated to organize it and keep it under control.
  • Go paperless when possible. I pay all of my bills online, and I don’t have any real use for paper bills. Just like the marketing emails, I need to be proactive about eliminating this paper clutter completely. In the coming weeks, I’m going to start signing up for paperless billing for every bill I possibly can.

Unsubscribe from marketing emails.

Judah is almost one year old, and I still receive annoying pregnancy-related newsletters in my email inbox. I also receive newsletters for stores where I have no interest in shopping. It’s overwhelming to wake up to 50 new email messages, and 45 of them are junk. Plus I’m always afraid I’m going to miss something important, because it’s buried in the junk. I’m resolving to hit “unsubscribe” on marketing mail that doesn’t interest me rather than just putting it off by deleting it.

Tidy up.

I’ve gotten a lot better about this in the past few weeks, and it’s done wonders for my sanity. I deep clean the house once a week, and I take a few minutes three times a day to keep it tidy. It’s simple enough to walk through the house and put things where they belong a few times a day, and it makes the house feel clean throughout the week even though I don’t have time to clean intensively. I also do the dishes three times a day instead of once in the evening, which seems to help me feel more organized.

Just do it.

We have things laying around the house that we’ve been planning to do something about for months or even years. There are items that we’ve moved three or four times that we never use. Every time I see them, I think, “I need to donate or sell that.” But then it gets shoved into a closet or under a bed, and I put off dealing with it for another 6 months. I need to suck it up and take care of that stuff already. All it does is take up space.

What strategies do you use for conquering clutter?

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Thrift store furniture shopping: Am I doing something wrong?

Several people suggested that I hunt for the furniture I want at thrift stores. The thing is, I have been searching for furniture at thrift stores for years. I just don’t seem to have any luck.

Thrift shopping is one of those frugal activities that fascinates me, and I would love to do it, but for some reason, it’s never worked out for me. Couponing and gardening both used to fall under that category. I finally figured out how to make them work for me, so I’m fully aware that the problem is probably me.

I’ve been to a number of thrift stores in North Carolina and now Indiana. I’m looking for the perfect piece of discount furniture that just needs a little TLC. Here’s what I find instead.

Overpriced, poorly made particle board furniture.

The thing about refinishing and fixing up furniture is that you need a solid base with which to work. That cheap particle board stuff that costs under $100 new in a million pieces and assembles with a few Allen screws? It’s not really possible to refinish it. It’s cheap when it’s brand new, it doesn’t last long, and most thrift stores price it around 75-80% of new retail value. That would be fine if it was sturdy, in new condition, and assembled properly. It’s usually not. What I see most often is particle board that’s rickety, falling apart, and still way overpriced. I’d rather spend an extra $20 to buy it new so I can be sure it’s assembled properly and safely.

Dirty, smelly, uncomfortable couches.

Some people don’t like the idea of used couches. Our couch was purchased used for just $30 from an international college student who needed to get rid of his stuff before hopping a transcontinental plane to get home. I found it on a Craigslist-style forum specifically for college students at my school. It’s not the most stylish couch ever, but it was clean, sturdy, and comfortable. A major bonus is that it is an unoffensive neutral brown. It’s worked fine for us for 5 years, and we’ll probably be able to resell it when we don’t need it anymore.

Based on what I’ve seen at thrift stores over the years, I wouldn’t buy a couch at a thrift store. Most of the couches I’ve seen are stained and dirty. They often smell of cigarette smoke, or they’re covered in cat hair (my husband is extremely allergic).

Ugly patterns can be covered with a slip cover, but I’d rather avoid that if I can. I don’t much care for the look of slip covers, and they usually drive me crazy because I’m continually straightening them if they’re not fitted specifically for the couch (I had a slip cover on a couch in college that almost drove me to the looney bin).

Most importantly, the thrift store couches I’ve seen are uncomfortable. Wooden arms, wonky cushions, flat cushions. No matter how cheap it is, it’s not worth it to buy an uncomfortable piece of furniture you won’t use.

Overpriced and too ugly to fix.

I lived with cheap ugly furniture throughout college. My college furnishings were a mish mash of furniture that was given to my roommate and me for free. It didn’t matter that it didn’t match. We were broke, and we needed something to sit on, so we didn’t care. I’m a grown-up now, and I don’t really want to live in a place with mismatched furniture.

Most of the solid wood furniture I see at thrift stores is hideous in a way that can’t be fixed. Giant and clunky. Too big to move with anything but a U-Haul, and too dated to match anything in my house. The problem isn’t that it’s worn or needs to be repainted. The problem is with its design.

I’m not at all saying it’s not possible to find beautiful used pieces and furnish a home with them. I’ve done it. 75% of our furnishings are used. I didn’t find them at thrift stores or Craigslist, though. Most of it came from that awesome college classified website where students practically gave away great stuff just because they don’t want to move it. I haven’t had that kind of luck with used furniture since.

Oh, and “bargain” or “used” furniture stores? Pfft. I can usually find new stuff cheaper than they sell it there. Go figure.

So tell me your tips for finding great furniture at thrift stores. Do you have any luck at Goodwill? Because I find mostly junk at Goodwill, and other consignment or thrift stores are typically just way overpriced. Teach me! I want to learn.

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Mini home makeover wish list

When we started house hunting, one of the main things on our list of “must haves” was that the house needed to be move-in ready. We weren’t looking for a fixer-upper. We’re not handy enough for that sort of thing, and we knew we’d ultimately underestimate the cost of renovations and get in over our heads.

We lucked out when we found our house. Someone had already done the heavy lifting, and according to our neighbors, his renovation work has made a world of difference. Unfortunately, we don’t have any “before” pictures. But we’ve been told the handcut stone masonry on the front of the house was added in place of worn vinyl siding. Gorgeous dark laminate floors replaced worn carpet throughout the living space. The bedroom carpet is new. The kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room are outfitted with ceramic tile instead of vinyl flooring. The windows are brand new. The kitchen counters and cabinets are new. The paint colors aren’t what I would have picked, but it’s fresh paint, so we’re making it work for now. In short, the house was gutted and redone from the inside out.

We are blessed in that we don’t have any major renovating that we want to do to the interiors. It’s all been done for us, and we love it. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a to-do list, though.

I have a wish list of items I want to makeover our sadly sparse space. I know what I want, and now I’m just saving up the money and keeping my eye open for deals. Here’s what I’m looking for.

One of the things we fell in love with in the house is sort of an odd space behind the kitchen and next to the garage. It’s a narrow room with a fireplace. It’s on the opposite side of the house from the bedrooms, which makes it the ideal spot for us to relax after the baby is asleep. The living room is right in the middle of the house, and the occasional loud commercial has been known to wake the baby. We want to transform the den into a place where we can work, read, and relax without worrying about waking him.

Over the weekend, I found an old sewing table that perfectly fits my sewing machine. It doubles as a laptop desk for me when I close the cover. Tony’s desk is back there as well as our record player and a small bookshelf. The last thing I want is a set of matching small but cozy chairs and an ottoman so we’ll have a place to relax and read by the fire in the evening.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to pick up these IKEA chairs and ottoman when we get a chance to trek up to Cincinnati. At just $99 each plus $139 for the ottoman, we can afford them now. They’re small enough to fit in the space, but look comfy. The ottoman doubles as storage space.

In the kitchen, we have an empty corner that could fit a small table and chairs. What I’d rather do is buy a freestanding cabinet to use as a pantry. Our cabinet space is lacking, and a freestanding shelf unit would give me plenty of space for stockpiling nonperishables.

I envision something like this, but I’m on the lookout for something much cheaper than its nearly $400 price tag.

Our kitchen is also lacking counter space. What we lack in cabinet and counter space we more than make up for in floor space, so there’s plenty of room for a freestanding kitchen island like this one. I love the butcher’s block top and knife storage. I also love that the wheels would allow us to push it out of the way if necessary.

For the living room, I’ve been dreaming of upgrading from our decades-old secondhand sofa. I am absolutely in love with the classic look of canvas slip covered sofas. The designer ones from Pottery Barn come with a hefty price tag, and I’m hesitant to make that kind of investment with a baby who will be a toddler soon and siblings sure to follow. Luckily, I found this considerably less expensive version at IKEA in a darker color that will mask toddler stains. We’re hoping to get the furniture next spring. We’ll also get a matching armchair and ottoman. Actually getting them here from Cincinnati will be an ordeal, but I’ll save that for another post. Hopefully they’ll last us through our young children years and we can get something fancier later.

Finally, for the master bedroom, we desperately need a closet organizing solution. Our house was built in 1970, so there are no fancy modern walk-in closets. For an older house, the closets are a good size, but we need a closet organizing system to make the best use of the space possible. For right now, we’re using the closet in the guest room for our clothes, because our master closet doesn’t even have a rail.

I’m also on the lookout for cheap, do-it-yourself wall art. Our walls are sadly bare, and with all of these other functional items I want, I don’t want to use our budget for expensive wall art. Any brilliant ideas would be much appreciated.

Of course, thus is just my wishlist for the inside. My ideas for the acre of land are endless.

What’s on your wishlist?