Living Room Progress

mandimakes living room

Slowly but surely, some really fun changes are happening in my home, and the living room is becoming transformed to a place of peace, rest, and fun! Most importantly, it’s a place where we all enjoy spending time together, and while I attribute that to familial affection, I also like to think that my recent decorating decisions have something to do with our enjoyment of the space. Check out this post from a month ago to see what I had originally planned for this room’s little makeover.

I’ve been focused on limiting the color palette of the room, and actually severely decreased the amount of art on the walls. In turn, the space feels calmer and the decor more intentional. The most dramatic change so far has definitely been the installation of shelving around the television in lieu of a gallery wall. I love the balance this wall of shelves has given to the room, and the additional surface space for houseplants allows for more chances to add life and in turn more calming, natural elements.

mandimakes living room

mandimakes living room

mid century boho living room details

links to above products: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / rug

This little living room refresh has turned into a bit of a bigger deal than I had originally planned (should’ve seen it comin’!), which prompted the selling of some of my old beloved home accessories in order to buy new things. (If you follow me on Instagram, you most likely caught wind of the sale, and you can still check out available items here!) I sold furniture, art, lamps, rugs, and more, which allowed me to buy some new things that aligned better with my vision for the space. See the link list under the image above to check out some of the new additions to our living room, though the toy storage credenza was a DIY project as featured on A Beautiful Mess, and my live-edge coffee table was part DIY/part Craigslist sourcing, and I’ll share more about that later.

Deciding to put doors on our toy storage situation was a huge change to my own enjoyment of this space! It’s minimized a lot of the plastic visible in the room, which makes the everything else feel more put together, even when there are toys all over the floor. Bonus— the kids don’t drag out as many toys because there are now doors between them and the toy bins!

Also, opting for a more organic shape coffee table was a great way to break up all of the angles and straight lines of most of the items in this room. Thank you, to those of you who suggested a different coffee table for this space! I’m in love! Adding a couple of knit poufs also helps with this, and is a great place for kids and extra guests to pop a squat next to the coffee table.

I did move the art (ski jumping guy) from the fireplace wall to over the sofa, and now there is nothing by the fireplace except for some plants— including a big ficus tree, all of which fill out the space quite nicely. So I’m not sure if I actually want to hang anything above the fireplace, or just leave it up to the plants to adorn this corner of the room. I’m digging the more minimal vibes of that white brick fireplace wall, so for now, plants it is! (Check out the new ficus in this recent post about houseplants.)

 And finally, the limited color palette really helps tie together everything in the room, which encompasses the media wall, the seating area, the play area, as well as the office area that all coexist in this room, which is actually a decent size for such a small ranch. (Keep in mine we have no other living space nor basement in our home.) Choosing something besides off-white for a rug helps ground the space, considering all the walls are white, and the dusty pink rug in the seating area provides contrast against the taupe terrazzo floors elsewhere in the room.

mandimakes living room

Things are coming along quite nicely in here! I’m just waiting on the new sofa slipcover from Comfort Works and a couple of styling touches, and then I’ll be ready to share the grand reveal with you all! I can’t thank you enough for your input on my last post about the living room, and all the helpful comments and encouragement on Instagram. The living room would be looking mighty different if it wasn’t for the input, and it definitely wouldn’t be coming along as well. So, thank you! -Mandi

Planning Kitchen Updates

Wood floating shelves kitchen


Okay, I know what you are probably thinking… “Update?! Didn’t she just give her entire kitchen an update?!” Well, yes, yes I did. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have the blogger itch to make changes every couple of years! Nothing big this time, but some superficial changes that will hopefully be an upgrade to my inexpensive choices the first time around, and in turn gelling better with the general style of my home. So, yeah! I’ve got a couple of projects in mind for the month of August! And I wanted to share it with you and get opinions before I throw myself head first into them. (The above image is a rendering of the changes I plan to make.)

First, let’s review. My kitchen has been through quite a transformation already! When we moved in, our kitchen looked like the one below.

kitchen before and after

Now it looks like the image above. Much brighter and more fitting to our style. But some of the finishes and installations I had chosen simply for their budget friendliness, and I’m ready to upgrade them now. Check out the link list below to view my detailed posts about each step of our budget kitchen reno. And read on to hear about the new updates I’ll be working on this August!

kitchen white circle tiles


This one is nonnegotiable. I’ve been wanting to tile my kitchen walls since I first did a facelift to this space two years ago. But instead I chose a shiplap treatment that was incredibly budget friendly, in turn helping my entire ktichen reno log in at under 2K total.(Read about the shiplap process here, with details on the cost of each material used.)


I’m very drawn to the dramatic tile wall trend that’s happening right now, in particular, tiles with a sixties modern boho vibe. Jonathan Adler designed a beautiful circle-textured tile for his home that would be perfect for what I envision for my kitchen, but I couldn’t find anything like it in my price range. Enter: The DIYer’s Solution! You guys, I’m going to use ceramic coasters to tile my kitchen wall. This is a thing that is actually happening. I’ve ordered the coasters in bulk and am currently waiting for them to arrive. Before I get to work, I’m planning on changing up the shelving situation as well. Let’s talk about that next!

floating shelves options


This is actually the first part of the work I will be doing. I decided to instal floating shelves first, then cutting the tiles to instal around the shelves, making the design fully integrated and visually cohesive (no gaps between shelves and the wall). For my first budget kitchen facelift, I had chosen simple Ikea brackets and used 1x10s and 1x8s with a 1×2 front lip that I glued in place to give the shelves a more substantial feel. The end results was a nice, bright open-shelving look, but perhaps a bit more country than I’d like. Not a big deal, but since I’m redoing the wall, I wanted to take this opportunity to change up the shelves as well.

I purchased some 2×6 and 2×4 poplar boards that I’m edge gluing to make them wider and will be installing them as floating shelves, with no visible brackets. I’ll share all about the easy process later this month! But for now I’m stuck on deciding if I want to paint the shelves white, or stain them. I had to do a mock-up to see how both ways would look with the new tile I plan to do, but I still can’t decide! I love the clean, crisp look of the white. But I love the warmth of the wood too.


I’d love to hear your opinions! I’m very excited to do this little addendum to our kitchen facelift, and am so excited to share the results with you guys! Later this week I’ll share peeks at the progress of our little living room facelift as well. So many little changes that are adding up to a big shift in the look and feel of our home. We’re lovin’ it!

Planning Lucy’s Big Girl Room

Vintage-Inspired Toddler Bedroom Ideasvintage toddler room inspiration

What’s the first thing I thought of when I found out I’m pregnant? I’m going to be totally vulnerable and tell you that among my first thoughts were possible color schemes for the new kiddo’s room. You know, the important stuff. The interior designer side of me stayed up late dreaming of cute color combinations and mentally space planning our spare room for a crib and baby furniture. But one morning I had a redeeming thought pop into my head: Why redecorate a room for a baby who could care less, when I have a toddler who would find the whole process as exciting as I do?

I scratched my plans to makeover our spare room for the new babe and decided to ask Lucy about what she would want for the room instead. And what did my little firecracker tell me? “BOOOOO!” What color do you want the walls to be? “Boooo!” What color do you want your bed to be? “Boooo!” What color does mommy like least out of all the other colors? Bluuuuuue! But I set out to find a fun and fresh color scheme that was Lucy approved and wouldn’t require too many new purchases. I prefer shopping for home furnishings and accessories in our storage shed in the backyard.

Well, as our little girl ran around yelling “Booo woom! Boo wooom!” this week, we got to work at clearing out the spare bedroom and painting it a beautiful shade of light blue. Now we’re just wrapping up the painting, and I’m getting excited to paint and instal moulding this week. But first I thought I’d stop and take inventory of the things I’ve collected to far for Miss Lucy’s new room.

blue pom pom trim 5 yards for $5.50 from Etsy
inexpensive white curtain pair $41.07 for a pair from Amazon
eyeball sconce white $29.00 from Urban Outfitters
valspar la fonda mirage blue Valspar’s La Fonda Mirage #5003-5B
rabbit bunny nightlight $14.99 from Target
puppy sheets $69.00 from Land of Nod
ball finial white curtain rod $14.99 from Amazon
8 $354.76 for 8×10 from Amazon

off white diamond grid shag rug

Lucy’s furniture was either found or given to us, but we’re still looking for a dresser. Her headboard is a beautiful royal blue ironwork piece that will add a nice feminine touch to her room, though I would’ve never chosen that color had it been up to me. Lucky for Lucy, we found it that way and I didn’t feel like undertaking a big stripping and refinishing job, so it sort of forced me to bring royal blue into the mix. Now I’m kind of loving it!

Lucy's Room Before

Lucy's Room Before

I’m planning on adding a picture rail moulding strip to the spot where the color changes on the wall. I’m hoping it will add a nice classic touch to the room, while helping a fickle girl like me keep from making nail holes in the walls as I change out the artwork from time to time. So far we’re loving the changes, but Lucy’s actually been the most excited. I’m just so glad we decided to give her the new room instead of the baby, because that gal sure is enjoying watching the transformation!

This week we’re heading out to my favorite inexpensive antique shops to look for an old dresser with lots of character. If all else fails, we’ll go for Ikea (cheap!), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can find something used. Wish me luck!