Jon and I recently moved across the country (again) and this time it was during a pandemic. All things considered, the move went pretty well- but it definitely was not easy to adjust living in a new home and in a new city during “lockdown.” When we left Texas, we left a lot of the big things behind, only bringing a truck load of our “necessities” with the intention of replacing big items, such as furniture, later on. We are so grateful for the help we had from family with our move during the pandemic, truly, everyone helped us out- from the house to kitchen, living room and bedroom furniture. But as we were “quarantined” in a home filled with other people’s things, after a few months it started to feel like we were just living in someone else’s house.
A few weekends ago we made the nine hour road trip home to PA and I spent a majority of the time on Pinterest and online shopping, looking for inspiration and picking out little details I thought would make our space feel like home. Jon and I are people who generally don’t like “things” we would rather spend our money on experiences than have something physical sitting around. When I moved into the bachelor pad in Texas, I really let a lot of my style go- we used all of his “garage sale” furniture and decor was basically just car posters everywhere. I didn’t mind it too much, I had moved into his place and didn’t feel the need to take over the space. However, starting fresh in a new home made me want to brighten up the space a little bit.
One of the biggest, yet simplest changes I made was incorporating greenery in every room. It’s kind of magical how adding plants around the house can brighten things up, especially your mood. I typically have a terrible green thumb, taking care of plants is not my specialty- but I found I have some extra time on my hands now that we’re staying home a lot more. I wanted to start with something simple and relatively cheap, I hate wasting money on plants, so I used different mason jars I already owned as vases in each room and mostly decorated with spider plants. If you’re looking to refresh your home decor I suggest trying this before spending money on knick-knacks, it added a nice pop of color in each space.
You’ll also see the theme throughout our home is storage and organization. I love when a space is functional and tidy, things are tucked away neatly and everything has a home. We also have a lot of natural light through the house which helps set a light and airy vibe, especially with the extra plants around.
Some of the inspiration I found from Pinterest were small details that I could incorporate easily without making any big changes. You can really go down a rabbit hole in the home decor section and think you need to do these big elaborate projects to change things. We love our home, we just wanted to add a few finishing touches to make it our own.
We already had tableware that we loved- the neutral tones of the table cloth and the colorful place settings made a huge difference in brightening up the dark kitchen. I upgraded the space with a few simple wire baskets and filled mason jars I already had with risotto, coffee and protein powder. This elevated the empty space while also keeping our necessities at hand. I’m also in love with the beautiful hutch in the dining room, we are taking good care of it for Jon’s Sister in Law until she has room for the family heirloom in her own home.
One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing cords and wires coming out of the Television (honestly, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t even own a TV- I rarely watch it and when I do I just fall asleep) which is why we decided on a corner TV stand instead of the mantle. There really is no good way to mount the TV on a brick fireplace anyway. I love the hardwood floors and brick fireplace in this space- the rest of the features in the room are kind of dark. I already had most of the decor on hand, the small touches to the mantle and TV stand brightened the space up a bit and look really nice with a touch of natural light. The only additions to the room were the blanket ladder and adding wood for our functional fireplace. This space is proof that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to upgrade a space, we utilized things we already had and made two purchases on Amazon to bring the room together. I will eventually add a touch of greenery to the mantle as well, my spider plant is still propagating 🙂
Office & Entryway
This is the first room you enter from the garage, so it doubles as an office/ place to store our coats and shoes. We have a beautiful oak library table on one side where Jon works from home and on the other I utilized this eight drawer dresser from IKEA I already owned. It’s not necessarily traditional to utilize a bedroom dresser and mirror in an office, but I was able to organize all of my crafting supplies like my Cricut, heat press, vinyl and blanks in this space. We also created an “adventure wall” in the hallway using different sized and colored frames (most of which we already had) with photos of us from our adventures in Europe, road trips across the US and even maps from the National Parks we explored. The front door opens into a small mud room where the stairs lead up from the hallway, it’s actually a pretty open space with the living room branching off to the left. I utilized another piece of furniture we already had, storing books and photo albums in this cabinet was a functional way to display some items while also having them tucked away at the same time. I utilized a letter board (one of my favorite things) and a few knick knack from home to create a welcoming space. What I love most about decorating these rooms is that we utilized everything we already had, no purchases were necessary and just adding a touch of greenery makes the space feel fresh and clean.
This is probably one of my favorite spaces in the house, the master bedroom and upstairs guest bedroom have these beautiful built in shelving units. Who knows what Jon is storing in those cabinets, but I added a bunch of pillows to the top and created a comfy reading nook! Believe it or not, this entire room was actually painted teal when we moved in, including the doors… We FINALLY upgraded our Simmons Beauty Rest queen mattress for a king size memory foam bed (whoever sleeps in the guest room is going to LOVE my queen beauty rest). I was hesitant to try a memory foam mattress and a low profile bed fame, but so far I’m loving it. We got both pieces from Wayfair and I think they make a nice addition to this large space with a ton of natural light. Aside from the new bed and frame, which we knew we would be purchasing when we moved, the only additions were the pillows for the reading nook.
I ended up turning the upstairs guest bedroom into my walk in closet, utilizing every space for storage. The closets in the bedrooms aren’t very big so we got creative with the built ins and dressers. All of the bedroom sets we have in the house have come from our grandparents and are unique and beautiful pieces, we love them! I decided to organize shoes, scarves, bags and other accessories on the built ins and hang my hats on the wall. In the closet I utilized dividers, a shoe rack and a night stand for extra storage. I also hung up a few tension rods and “S” hooks to hang hats and belts. This space was completely organized by utilizing things we already owned, including the baskets, “S” hooks and tension rods, which are pretty inexpensive anyway. Fun Fact: this was the “John Deere Room” the walls were painted with yellow and green horizontal stripes… I’ll just let that one sink in.
Our second guest bed room is storing furniture for Jon’s SIL, the pieces are beautiful and belonged to her grandmother. The only addition to this room, besides the touch of greenery, are the two tiny pictures from Italy. This room gets a lot of natural light as well, we love how simple and clean this room is!
There’s really nothing special about our bathrooms, they are the oldest features in the house and will be remodeled at some point- but the biggest challenge is lack of storage. There is one small closet outside each bathrooms to store linens, and that’s about it. I purchased this three tiered ladder shelf on Amazon for storing toiletries and makeup and styled it with trays, baskets and mason jars I already had on hand. The real MVP is the utility cart from IKEA, it’s such a great investment and can be used to store many different things (I’ve seen it used as a craft cart and as a bar cart). I like that it tucks away in the corner of our small downstairs bathroom and organizes toiletries nicely.
Our basement has been remodeled and serves as one half storage and laundry and the other is our game room. Downstairs you can find the bar, home workout gear, TV and all of Jons racing stuff (it’s a lot of stuff). I love our bar cart, styling it was so fun- I created a separate blog post with tips on how to style a bar cart . We already had some of the furniture, like the entertainment stand, rug and floor cushions. We ended up buying a futon for an extra sleeping option and some bookshelves to display more of Jon’s car stuff.
Our outdoor area is a work in progress. I’m not an expert when it comes to plants, but I’m learning! One thing I hate spending money on is plants, especially if they don’t bloom year after year, but I do love that you can split and replant them. We have a gorgeous magnolia tree in front of our house that blooms each Spring and we utilized the Hostas that were already planted around the property. I’m not sure what the big plants are called around the back of the deck, but in the Spring we trimmed them down and by summer they grow tall and wide- providing some beautiful privacy around the fence. I get a majority of the plants, bushes, flowers and ground cover from Jon’s mom, she planted a pop of color out front as a birthday gift! We’ve done a lot of work outside already just to clean up the landscape, I eventually would like to start and Herb Garden!
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