Master {BED}room

I’ve posted about our master bedroom before, here, but now we’ve finished a few things and thought I would share “real” photos this time instead of iPhone photos. My most favorite part of the room? Hmm. That’s hard, I love so much of it . . . but, I’d probably say that one of my most favorite things is the series of moon prints. In my first blog post those weren’t hung yet.  Thank goodness my husband is a picture hanging genius that actually measures, with a tape measure and a level, to make sure the picture frames are perfect! I probably would’ve given up on the second frame, but he didn’t, and I love them!

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We’re always changing things around here . . . Just since I’ve taken these photos we’ve added another framed print on the left side of the room and that is probably my second favorite thing in the room. If you follow me on Instagram you can see that photo here.


Navy Blue {POWDER} Room

This powder room is everything! I do have dreams to replace the tile with marble or white and black penny tiles, but that has to wait to we replace all the main flooring flooring.

I did everything myself and thrifted all of the framed art, except the large flower photograph in the middle. That was my first, and only, photograph that was featured in an art show back in 2007.

Chan to Mars | Home Tour | Dark Navy Blue Powder Room | Small Bathroom Design

The walls are a cheap version of board and batten, using hard board instead of pine. I was able to have Lowes make all of the cuts for me, which is good, because this board is not easy to cut without it fraying. Then, I simply glued and nailed it to the wall, patched the holes, and painted it a glossy white to match the trim.

Chan to Mars | Home Tour | Dark Navy Blue Powder Room | Small Bathroom DesignThen, I removed the towel bars, have I ever told you that I cannot stand towel bars? At our last house, I removed them immediately and patched the holes. At this house, it took a little longer to get them gone. But, I think we only have one towel bar left in our entire house and I’m okay with that. Hooks is where it’s at!

The last thing I did was change out the silver farmhouse modern light fixture for an industrial caged light fixture, which dramatically brighten the bathroom and made the dark navy color so much richer.

The {HEART} of the Home

It’s amazing how the kitchen has evolved from something that was unsightly and hidden a century ago to being the heart of everyone’s home today. Where everyone gravitates to. Seriously, everyone! We have a hearth room, dinning room, and family room on our main level, but all our guests gather around our little peninsula. We even keep two other bar stools in the basement that we bring up when people visit.

Once again, almost everything in this kitchen is thrifted and/or DIYed. When we moved in the kitchen was painted all beige with latex painted cabinets in chocolate-brown. Latex paint was a temporary fix of the previous owners and it did not take long for the cabinets to begin showing wear, plus, we thought the brown was too dark. We’d moved from a condo that had dark wood and we were ready for something lighter. We started by removing the cabinets on the right wall, painted them with white chalk paint, distressed, and waxed them with dark wax for an aged look, then polyurethaned them. Then, a year later we decided that we wanted all the cabinets on the left wall painted white. Then, we decided to add bead board and paint all the lower cabinets. Skip forward to this summer (Eight months, yes EIGHT, after the second painting session began) and we’re finally done! If my husband and I were on Renovation Realities on the DIY network, we’d be the ones that would NOT finish in the allotted project completion time.
Chan to Mars Blog - Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets

The cabinets are painted with Maison Blanche Chalk Paint in Magnolia and Renaissance Chalk Paint in Ultramarine. Then waxed with a dark wax. However, I still need to poly the lower cabinets to hold up to water and food stains. The chalkboard wall was a homemade formula I found on Pinterest, you mix flat paint with dry grout. The bar stools were thrifted from Goodwill, but are originally from Target. The copper chevron hardware is vintage, they were found at in Estate sale in CA, I bought them on Etsy. The matching copper knobs are amazing reproductions, also bought on Etsy. The pendant lights are DIY and all the materials are from Lowe’s.

Chan to Mars - Eat-in Kitchen Details

Our table and chairs are from Goodwill. I sold the chairs that came with the table, then painted the table and cut the legs slightly shorter & found these three chairs at a different Goodwill and recovered them with fabric from Joanne’s. The chandelier is from Lowe’s. One of my most favorite thing in the kitchen, besides the vintage chevron drawer pulls, is the vintage Aunt Jemima bottle that adorns the table. The pillows are DIY project as well. I stamped canvas with fabric paint and then sewed envelope pillow covers. The aloe plant is planted in a utensil caddy from Target. The tea cart was in the trash at a friend’s house, I painted it the same color as the cabinets and added a little copper paint too.
Chan to Mars Blog - Eat-in Kitchen with Couch & Chalk Painted Navy Blue Cabinets Chan to Mars - Homemade Chalk Board Wall

The small buffet came from a resale shop, it was also painted with horrible latex paint in black. I painted it to match the white cabinets and I love it so hard now! It’s still a little small for the space, but it works until I we figure out how we want our kitchen reconfigured, we may end up doing a built-in buffet on this wall. I’d love to have a little more serving space. Chan to Mars Blog - Kitchen Home Tour - Details

This kitchen was on a five year plan when we moved in two years ago and it is still on a five year plan . . . so, basically seven years now. We’ve customized it and fixed things up enough for us to love it “for now” and then in several years we plan to reconfigure it. There are just a few things that do not work for us, such as the huge pantry, the fridge location, the countertops, the stainless steel appliances, the floor tile (I’m fine with it, but my husband loathes it and it’s hard to keep clean), and the condition of the cabinetry. In five years, fingers crossed, we’ll re-configure the kitchen to accommodate our family and lifestyle; which will include taking some of the pantry space on the left of the eat-in kitchen area to build-in our fridge, ripping out and replacing the backsplash, replacing the countertops with stone, possibly getting new cabinetry (budget willing), adding a window to the back wall, replace the stainless steel with white appliances, and trying to figure out how to get rid of the peninsula and fit an island in there (super wishful thinking).

Introducing {THE WHITE BEAR}

We’ve owned our camper, also referred to as a travel trailer, for almost a year. This year, after two camping trips, we finally named our travel trailer. I’d like to introduce you to {The White Bear}

Last year I did a few quick updates to the linens to make it a bit more homie. This year, I added a little temporary vinyl wallpaper, new chalkboard knobs, and some light blocking curtains to the boy’s “bedroom”. I have much bigger plans for this little camper, but they’ll have to wait until next year.

Master Suite - Travel Trailer Camper Update

Our “bedroom” is a cozy queen size bed that is surprisingly comfortable. There is a closet on each side of the bed and cabinets above which allow for plenty of storage . . . more than we’ve ever needed. There is also a privacy screen to close off the master “bedroom”. Last year, Mars slept with us in our bed. This year, we knew that wasn’t going to work, so we struggled to come up with a sleeping situation for the boys. They are too young to sleep together in the same bed, but too old to sleep with us. My husband came up with an idea to separate their bed, which is the dinette set folded down, into 2 separate beds by using mesh bed-rails. Somehow, the bed-rails just fit perfectly and it’s working great. But, this sleeping situation isn’t going to work next year, because their toes are almost touching the ends of their beds. So, the plan is to build bunk beds, which scares the crap out of my husband, but I have confidence that he can do it!

Kids Bed - Travel Trailer Camper Update

The kitchen area has a stove top, an oven, a hood, a refrigerator, a pantry, overhead cabinets, and a sink with two cabinets underneath. It’s just enough for us. So far, our longest trip has been four days & most of the time we do not even began to use all of the storage that this little trailer has available. We do generally fill the kitchen though and kept it stocked throughout the camping season with non-perishable items. For easy to access storage, we have some hooks in the “foyer” to hold the boys jackets & hats and a basket to hold our trail maps. I also added a picture of our family with the words “The Wander Years” on it! Almost everything is hung with command hooks, including the moose head & dreamcatcher in the boy’s area. I drew a different image on each chalkboard knob in the camper. Lastly, the vinyl map of the United States is for us to keep track of where {The White Bear} has been. Three states so far, hoping to add many more throughout the years!

Kitchen & BathDetails

Happy Camping Y’all!

The Ultimate {BOYS} Room

This is Chan’s room. The room that has changed the most since we moved in 2 1/2 years ago. It doesn’t have a particular style, it’s very eclectic. We just choose things and colors that we liked . . . there are cars, globes, trucks, trains, a solar system, a jukebox, a basketball hoop, vintage inspired tin sign and pillows, industrial shelving and lighting and a modern rug. Ever piece of furniture in his room is either thrifted or from Ikea. The dresser, which by the way is amazing, came from a flea market for $20. The orange metal shelf is from Goodwill, I think I paid about $25 for that. The desk and chair, also from Goodwill. The car ramp, attached to the bed, was made by my husband for Chandler’s third birthday party. The cool mid century modern inspired wall art is also from Goodwill, but I think they were originally from Target. The loft bed, black & white rug and wall mounted book shelves are from Ikea.

Chan to Mars Blog - Ultimate Boys RoomChan to Mars Blog - The Ultimate Pre-school Boy's bedroom - automobiles, sports, solar system, etc.

I bought the khaki curtains years ago, for Chan’s baby nursery, then when we moved into this home we painted the latitude & longitude of our home on them in red paint and hung them with galvanized pipe. The shelf above Chan’s bed came from Kirklands. The black ceiling light is from Lowes, we got it in the clearance section for $20 because it was missing one of the bolt covers to attach it to the ceiling, at the time it was 50% off, but now you can get it online for $19.99. The paint in the room was here when we moved in, I did not feel like painting over the whole room so instead I got two samples of paint for $3 each and painted some vertical stripes on the wall to break up some of the beige. Also, we have a vinyl decal above Chan’s bed, behind that shelf that looked adorable when his crib was in here, but when we rearranged and hung the shelf we didn’t want to take it down for fear that it would rip the drywall and we’d have to patch and paint . . . so, there it stays, behind a shelf, ha! Unfortunately, the upstairs of our home still has popcorn ceilings, but it doesn’t bother me enough to go through all the trouble to remove it right now. Maybe when the kids get a bit older we can take on that task.

Chan to Mars Blog - The Ultimate Pre-school Boy's bedroom - automobiles, sports, solar system, etc. Chan to Mars Blog - The Ultimate Pre-school Boy's bedroom - automobiles, sports, solar system, etc.

Chan got the solar system, moon and the light up globe on his dresser for birthday presents. He picked out the black globe at Earthbound Trading. The sheet set is from K-Mart, the body pillow cover is from Target. The decorative pillows with vintage cars are from Knollwood Lane. The houndstooth bean bag cover is from Pottery Barn, and we filled it with LoveSac foam. The quilt is from Chan’s great grandmother.

Chan to Mars Blog - The Ultimate Pre-school Boy's bedroom - automobiles, sports, solar system, etc.

When my husband set out to build the Ikea bed, I did not know that you could put the ladder on different sides of the bed, so I didn’t clarify to him that I wanted the closed side of the bed to go against the wall. Needless, to say, a year and a half later and it still isn’t fixed! Within the next year we plan to make it the bottom area into another bed, so maybe I can get him to take it apart and rebuild it then, maybe.

Colorful {LIVED IN} Living Room

Let me first start by saying that symmetry gives me the heebie-jeebies! I love it . . . just in other people’s homes. So, when we bought this house with the fireplace in the middle and built-ins on each side, I knew that I had to play on the symmetry in an unsymmetrical way. I cannot even straighten the stools in front of my chairs because it’s just too much symmetry for me! I actually like it when the kids come in and start moving stuff around.

Chan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomChan to Mars Blog - Home Tour Chan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomChan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living Room

I wanted a colorful eclectic design, but one that we could actually “live” in, something comfy! I love mid century modern furniture, bohemian, industrial, rustic & vintage; which you can see all of that in this one room. My husband & I made this DIY copper & wood light fixture, from this tutorial by Mandi over at Vintage Revivals. She’s a fearless DIYer, I am not, so I had my husband wire this light. I felt like I was in a little over my head with this one, luckily, he came to my rescue. The light fixture took about 3 hours to make, 5 trips to 5 different hardware stores and cost $130. I found these mid century modern office chairs at a local estate sale and talked them down to $8 a piece. They were covered in a thick industrial red fabric, which was in great shape, but not the look that I was going for. I found this linen blend grey fabric at Jo-ann Fabrics and recovered them the same day that I bought them. Quickest DIY that’s ever happened around here! Total cost into the chairs after the fabric is about $30 a piece. While I was at the fabric store I found this amazing Nate Berkus fabric for 50% off and made some throw pillows, then spotted this gold fabric & decided to make foot stools as well. The foot stools were made with a 15″ wood round from Lowes, 4 – 12″ round tapered legs legs from Waddel Manufacturing (which they apparently are sold out of now) & 4 angled plate mounts, a piece of foam, batting & of course the fabric. I’m still trying to decide if I should finish the legs or leave them!?!

Chan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomChan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomThe purple pouf, plaid pillows & white stool are all from Target. Large bear pillow, XOXO pillow and fox coasters are from Knollwood Lane. I bought the paper flowers at a garage sale. The vintage cameras were a gift from my parents. The vintage inspired record player was a birthday gift, bought from Amazon. The vintage suitcase was my husband’s great-grandmothers. Most everything else is thrifted or made by me.

Chan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomThe artwork on the mantel is done by a friend of mine, Curt Bean, who sells art to support his foundation for veterans whom are suffering from PTSD, called Art of War. My husband picked out this piece for me & surprised me with it for one of my birthdays. I made the gold twig lamp from an existing lamp, sticks that I found in our yard, hot glue & gold spray paint. The console table was made from a piece of barn wood from our family’s farm & these amazing hairpin legs from Garden Gizmos on Etsy. He had the BEST prices and they are made right here in America! Every design project that I do is low-budget . . . I mean, I do stay home with my kids 3 days a week, so we’re not exactly shelling out $1500 on a new rug, nor do I want to buy high priced items with a toddler & pre-schooler running around. So, you can imagine how super stoked I was when I found an 8’x10′ rug for less than $200 on Amazon. When I bought this Safavieh rug it was $185, you can definitely tell that it is a cheap rug by the binding along the edges, but overall I am pleasantly surprised by the quality for the price.

Chan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Gold DetailsChan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomChan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living RoomI knew that I wanted a blue couch when we first moved in. A 50’s style tweed blue sectional sofa. Unfortunately, two years ago there was nothing quite right on the market. So, we had this couch custom made right here in the U.S. I choose a tweed fabric & extra deep cushions, but they couldn’t make the extra deep cushions in the tweed, since comfort was more important that the look I choose this blue patterned microfiber fabric instead. It’s not exactly what I had envisioned, but it is super comfortable. If I missed anything that you are curious about, feel free to ask.

Chan to Mars Blog  |  Home Tour  |  Living Room

{DIY} Canvas Succulents


This morning I was scrolling through my instagram feed and saw some fantastic succulents in milk glass vases. I’ve been collecting milk glass vases for over a year & I’m always looking for ideas on adorning them. So, I read the caption. It said DIY. Could it be? Could I make my own faux succulents? I was totally inspired by Lucy’s post over at Craftberry Bush for Foam Sheet Succulent Tutorial. I was inspired by the project, but also inspired that she used things that she already had around the house. I too have a material hoarding problem in my craft closet. I knew I didn’t have the foam sheets to make these succulents, but one material that I always hoard is canvas. I elaborated with my own hoarded materials; canvas, left over paint samples, bamboo skewers (I’ve been hoarding a box of 1000, you know, just incase).


I’ve never posted a DIY post before. I do a lot of DIY projects, but I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants DIYer . . . so, I don’t waste the time to document & plan out steps. I just wing it. If it works, fantastic! If it doesn’t, it gets thrown in the trash. I debated even boring you with my terrible photos of this project, because the original Foam Sheet Succulent Tutorial is so beautifully thought out and photographed.


I followed Lucy’s instructions, but with my hoarded items. A piece of canvas instead of a foam sheet, latex paint samples instead of acrylic Decoart paint.

1) Paint both sides of the canvas with a yellow & green paint mixture. I wish my paint would’ve had a little more variation in it, but the latex paint blended a little too well.

2) Allow to dry . . . or if you’re super impatient like me you’ll start cutting while it’s still tacky.

3) Cut 2 small leaves, 3 medium leaves, 7 large leaves & 7 extra large leaves.

4) Fold the 2 small leaves & hot glue them individually to the top of the skewer. I did this instead of wrapping the stick.

5) Place the 3 medium leaves around the skewer.

6) Place the large leaves around those, making sure to alternate them or place them in bare areas.

7) Place the extra large leaves on top of those, doing the same alternating pattern.

8) Once glued, pull the leaves down to fill out the plant.

DSC_2747 DSC_2744 I’m pleased with how they turned out. Added a little spring to my milk vase collection. Now, if I could just figure out how to DIY some cotton branches I’d be set . . . I love doing DIY projects that cost me absolutely nothing. But, if you are not a craft project hoarder and were to buy the supplies it would cost less than $10.

The {PLAY} Hearth Room

Continuing the home tour. . . Once again, keep in mind this is a real home, not staged. When we first looked at our home they had this room staged as a perfectly simple hearth room, containing two small decorative arm chairs & a side table. It was charming. Not practical for us though. We immediately knew that this room would be our playroom . . . at least for the next 5 years. This is a sunken room off of our kitchen, past the laundry room and garage entry. This room has been transformed several times since we moved in 2 years ago, toys have been moved in and out, furniture has been moved in and out and a new kid joined the family and took over part ownership of the playroom 🙂 With the addition of the second child we realized that we were going to need seating in this room to be comfortable while we watched our munchkins play.



My husband and brother-in-law made the bench for me. I found a full size Jenny Lind-ish headboard and footboard at a local Restore with plans to use it in one of the bedrooms, but when I got it home my husband realized that I needed special rails that clip into the headboard & footboard in order to use it as a bed. So, I asked him to cut the footboard in half and make me a bench. He made a platform and we use a crib mattress for the seat. The first 2 years we used it outside in the summers, but I think that it’s found a permanent new spot. Ignore the “sheet” I am waiting to order a real buffalo check crib sheet, but in the meantime I threw this table cloth over it.

MantleMy husband has had the deer mount at his family farm for years, he was thrilled to be able to bring it home! Of course, he had to be dressed as a proper gentleman to be in our hearth room 😉 The gold animals are plastic animal toys that I spray painted for Chan’s 2nd circus themed birthday party. The coasters, designed by me, are available in Knollwood Lane’s Esty shop. The gold covered cedar box was thrifted and an excellent find! The scrabble tile letters are from Little Acorns by Ro’s Etsy Shop. The gold and white scratch map is from Uncommon Goods. The ombre frames are from Target, but I bought them at Goodwill, as well as, the orange clock. The yellow frame is this fabulous thing bought from Amazon & then I spray painted the back side so it’s super glossy. The little tissue paper bowl was made by Chan. The watercolor portrait of our family was a commissioned piece by artist Kiersten Hansen.

DSC_2363The lamp, from Home Goods circa 2012. The wood slice wall art, designed by me, is available in Knollwood Lane’s Etsy shop. The canvas fox silhouette pillow is also Knollwood Lane. The faux cowhide rug is extradinarily soft! I knew I wanted the cowhide look in here, but I didn’t want something real & I especially didn’t want anything expensive. So, I was stoked when I found this on Amazon. The bear and wolf mask are also available on Amazon. The fire, provided by my husband 😉



DSC_2367These crate cubbies have really served us well. I scored all of these for free from my mom’s company’s storage room. I whitewashed them & then hung each crate individually on the wall. Like I said, none of this is staged, I barely even cleaned this room . . . It’s a complete disaster most of the time! The boys are getting better about cleaning up as they go. Or, we are getting better about reminding them and picking up after them! The worn out ottoman from Target circa 2010 also serves as a place for toys, luckily all of those toys are hidden. The artwork on the wall was all provided by Chan. I made the buffalo check curtains from a table cloth that I purchased on Amazon for Chan’s 4th camping themed birthday party. The tree stumps were also left over from that party. The cotton canvas throw blanket was from Knollwood Lane’s Esty Shop circa 2014.

Gallery1DSC_2399Toes provided by Chan! Burlap floor pillows are from Tuesday Morning circa 2012. We all have a lot of fun in here & really enjoy spending time in this room now that it is also adult friendly. It’s the smallest room on our main floor and on cold winter days we all find ourselves crammed in here, enjoying the warmth of the fire.

Dining {IN}

Here’s the beginning of the long ago promised home tour! You’ve already seen our Master Bedroom and Mars’ Nursery. This is our home, not a house. This is real. We live here. I didn’t stage any of this . . . I did clean up a bit though! Everything was done on a budget & with hand-me-down furniture. The dining table is a solid oak, it was the table that I grew up with! I convinced my mom to trade me dining room tables last year (we had an 8 person pub height table) so I could refinish it. I dry brushed the top of the table with a glaze and latex paint mixture, inspired by Kristen F Davis Designs, then painted the base with white latex paint. The chairs were painted with two different colors of chalk paint, which I also dry brushed because I wanted the wood grain to be visible, then waxed with a dark wax. The wood floors, white paneling & lighting fixtures were in the house when we moved in. I liked them well enough, so we’ve left them!


The gold canvases and white leather bench we TJ Maxx finds! The monogram antler wall hanging was a gift, it came unfinished and a spray painted it with a glossy white paint. As far as the rest of the wall art, two of them were free printables from Pinterest, the Charlie McCarthy Paper Doll has been passed down through my husband’s family since the 40’s. I obtained it and framed it! Framing is expensive, so I’ll let you in on my little secret . . . I found this hideous print in this amazing barn wood looking frame at Kirkland’s on clearance for $19. I promptly ripped out the print that came with it, then I backed the board that came with the frame with burlap and attached the paper doll to it. Custom frame job for $20! The printed wood that completes the small gallery wall is from Knollwood Lane’s Etsy Shop, designed by yours truly!

Chairs-and-CurtainsThe burlap chevron curtains are from Hobby Lobby, wait for them to be 50% off and they only cost $17 a panel, BARGAIN! I made the curtain tie backs from rope and twine, then used a ceiling hook on the wall to hold the twine loop. The enamelware chargers and tray are Park Hill! The napkins are from left-over stock at Knollwood Lane. The collection of milk glass vases have all be thrifted from local Goodwiil stores. The hand-stamped leather CHEERS coasters are from Nora Klotz’s Esty Shop across the pond.


TablescapeI haven’t quite finished the coffee bar area, which you can see to the right of the first photo. We’re trying to decide between tile, stone or bead board as a backsplash. Then, we’ll be painting the cabinet & getting a new countertop. I’d also like to replace the rug with an over-dyed rug, you know, just sometime when we have $500-$1000 to throw down 😉