Goodwill finds and project updates

Goodwill finds and project updates

laundry room cabinets

Hi Friends, homers, decorating peeps, our housers… still working on the nickname for you lovely crew. I grew up in southern California where addressing a group as “hey guys” regardless of gender was the norm. Also the use of “shut-up and dude” was standard vocabulary. Here in the Midwest I get weird looks if I say “Hi guys” when addressing ladies. So my natural greeting hi guys is not ok on the inter-webs. I don’t want to lump together guys, ladies, and/or dudes. Now that I had that completely unimportant conversation with you guys (see, did it again) I am ready to talk all things  Goodwill finds and project updates. 


The above picture is on reveal day, the below picture is every other day. Still functional containing the mess, but a little less than perfect.

organzation station mess

I share so much of my home with you, you would think by now I have run out of things to talk about. Have no fear, I have a ton of projects in the works. Some I introduced to you last year and have yet to complete. I am sure you have seen the organization station in all it’s organized glory. I love this little nook in our laundry room and it really does get used all the time. It also lessens the chaos and keeps my kids from misplacing their homework. They walk in the door after school and empty backpacks, putting all homework, papers, or books from school in this basket. Dale and I along with the kids all know how to check if there is homework that night or what the rest of the week looks like with school. I am a firm believer in giving the kids the “right” way to organize and they will upkeep it. Of course it does take some prodding and reminders from me, but with them being 8, 6, and 4, they have the concept down.

This organization station is done, that’s a wrap, pretty after pictures shared. There is however a whole other side to this room, the laundry room side.

upper cabinets

Last I shared was almost exactly one year ago, which makes me cringe. I was not aware I was a home improvement procrastinator, or a home decor blogger slacker. Which apparently I am both, go me! I shared how I repainted these upper cabinets and hung them. I also did my first floor tiling job which is something I still love about this room. The white tiles are beautiful and brighten up the room soooooo much!

laundry room floor

There is so much more to do with this space in our home. The first thing is change the door hardware in this room, which I honestly forgot has not been done yet, whoops. Once that is done the next step is to add more storage in the laundry room, I want to add open shelving to surround and be in the center of these upper cabinets. I am also planning to tile with a bask splash to have behind the tile. I will also be making a ton of custom wood boxes to fit size wise with what I need.  A place to hide missing sock pairs, clothes pins, band-aides, rolls of toilet paper, it all will be stored and hidden in these shelves. For now I all sits on the washer and dryer which I move off when the washer and dryer are in use. Please tell me I am not the only one to move things around from one place to another, just rotating the mess? The definition of insanity…. but in my defense I have no place to put it until the shelves are created so the rotating of mess continues. Be kind with the judgement of the messy picture, this is me sharing the good, the messy and the pile of toilet paper and clothes that are wreaking havoc in my laundry room right now. I will say this, I will have a great  “before” picture to my storage issue in here.

messy laundry room

I also am going to add some kind of shelf on top of the washer and dryer. I say “some kind” because my original plan of a full shelf from the wall to the fronts of the washer and dryer might not work. I know I want a work space, a place to fold clothes, set baskets, or where my kids will pile on anything and everything. Either way I need a work space in here. The how’s of it are still coming together. I have shifted from a full counter top to a full one on one side and a partial one that is more narrow on the other side. Allowing for utilities to be moved with ease when needed. I have some thinking and planning to do still. Any recommendations are much appreciated, I would love some extra opinions on the space.

small kitchen solutions

The next big project around here is our kitchen. Dale and I are seriously planning to put in new counter tops, I am thinking quartz with a marble appearance. I have a love/obsession with marble but know that the practicality of it is questionable. I also want to add a custom wood hood above the stove and get rid of the tiny cabinet above it. Lastly, turning a cabinet that is on the right of the refrigerator into a legit china cabinet look going from ceiling to counter top. Hiding the microwave inside it. Also creating a place for our trash and recycling to fit in the cabinets as slide out drawers would be amazing.

doorway into kitchen

Here are the two entryways into the kitchen, one from the living room and one from the dining room. I think some bulky wood trim would be amazing here. Also, take note of the horribly ugly black trash can. I want to hide that for sure!

doorway no trim

Most of this was can do ourselves, however we will be bringing in professionals to measure and install the counter tops. I want to make sure it is done right, and that is way over my head. I have so many ideas for this space, adding crown molding and small beams in the ceiling, new window treatment, and even wood casings around the two doorways that go into the kitchen. I can never improve the tiny space in here, that is just the bones this home was born with. But, changing it up and making it feel more fancy will go a long way.

study with old valance

This is my life, at least one child or dog in the picture, always. How I roll around here, I have a entourage that is 5 people and two dogs deep. Just one kid in the shot if a win for me! I did bribe him with tablet time, I am taking my Mother of the year nomination to come in the mail any day now. Here is the valance I made when we first purchased the house. I was in my super country phase and this fit perfectly, not so much now. I go back and forth between a custom wood valance or some light and airy curtains hanging in here. This room we call the study was designed as the eat in part of the kitchen. Since I do not need two dining room tables we use this room as the kids “big kid” playroom.

kitchen cabinet

The above picture shows our overly cluttered refrigerator, which I would not change for the world. It is filled with kids art, notes and friends & family pictures. I will keep my clutter. What I could like to get rid of is the microwave sitting out on the counter top, creating a custom cabinet to look like a china cabinet. Having it go from the bottom of the upper to the counter top itself. I love the look of those and drool over them when I am Pinterest stalking.


I went thrift store shopping a few weeks ago and purchased a few furniture pieces. One of which I already redid and shared, the side table turned play table. I also purchased these two chairs, they are in immaculate shape. I am not showing both of them right now because one is covered with clean clothes and a wide shot of my bedroom is not an option to capture both. There is a limit to my shame and that is piles of clean clothes to be folded, two craft projects in the making, an un-made bed and two dogs lazing around. I can only share so much honesty my friends.  These chairs are in amazing shape, not one single tear on them, they do have a musty smell which I have gotten rid of with a deep cleaning. My gut reaction was to strip them down and re-upholster. Two issues, I am a beginning reupholster person and I am positive this is a seasoned skill set, also time. As I explained I have a newly discovered problem of completing projects. I want to finally finish them all. I also do like the random color pattern on the chairs.

wood detailing

Hear me out, I get that they are dated in the 70’s like crazy. But I am thinking that leaving the material as is and painting the wood a bright white will bring them up to modern times. Dale and I have a dream to eventually get out own bedroom fully decorated. I am thinking a light and bright retreat with minimal color other then a light blue wall color, with lots of whites, billowy curtains, a few dark wood accents and these chairs as the sole bright color in the room. What do you think? Am I insane?  Dale worries I have been looking at Pinterest for too long, I think he does not see the potential. Quick, pick a side! 

side of chair

How did you like the tour of my not-so-Pinterest-ready home? I have clutter, mess, laundry, and mess too! I hope to really buckle down in the next few months and have this all done before summer hits. It sounds like a lot of time, but as you can see with my post from yesterday that even our wainscoting is a few years in the making. I have too many ideas and am always excited to do more! I also have three kids, a husband, two dogs, we have an amazing extended family, and I have this blog which all take up time. Yes, this blog is about decorating my home but I get distracted with fun crafts or holidays. I want to do it all! Seriously, can someone figure out a way to duplicate people, make us not need sleep or slow down time? Anyone? The Goodwill finds and project updates are my favorite kind of conversations, I love a good deal and I will talk home decor to anyone that will listen. Having others jump into the conversation keeps things interesting and makes it less weird then me talking to myself.

So, I asked for some decorating advice, keep the arm chair fabric or redo it completely? Also, thoughts on the counter top in the laundry room? Should it be a full counter top or one that only comes halfway out of the wall to allow appliance moving? Give me your honest opinions, I can handle it. 


Here are some similar posts-

Organization station

Hallway transformation

Kitchen redo

Installing upper cabinets

How to install tile floor

Master bathroom redo reveal



  1. I love goodwill finds & I would say redo the chair! It may be a lot of work, but you will love it more in the long run! Thanks for this great post!

    • I think, although it may be difficult, that if you paint the wood white, it would look fresh and bright. Another option would be to sand the wood and white wash it white or a drift wood color. It might be challenging while keeping the upholstery from getting stained, but I think it would look incredible when done.

      • Eileen, I am not sure how to paint the wood without damaging the fabric but that is something I for sure want to do. I think just that alone would update the chairs!

    • Michelle, I am still on the fence with the chairs…. not sure yet…

  2. Hi Emily,
    Love reading your blog!!!! I, too, live in the Midway, Wisconsin to be exact, and say Hi guys to about everyone, so don’t feel bad!!!
    I love your cluttered frig and kids in the pictures. It keeps life REAL!!!! Sometimes I get caught up wondering how people keep their homes no neat and clutter free ALL the time. (They forget to share they don’t…lol)
    I would change the fabric on the chair. I also like the idea of white wash or driftwood color.
    As far as the laundry room counter….I haven’t got it picturesque in my head yet…lol. but I’m about functionality. I, personally, would go for being able to no e appliances.
    Thanks for keeping your blog fun and real!!!

    • Another Wisconsin dweller, Hi! Oh girl, my home is far from “picture perfect” most of the time. It does clean up nicely, just the keeping it clean part I or more specifically my kids have an issue with. I am about function too and am in need of more work space in that tiny laundry room. Thanks for reading my blog and your awesome comment!

  3. I just love a good project. I get such a sense of accomplishment! Your home is spectacular!!!! I have a serious case of laundry room envy….

  4. I have found some fabulous things at Goodwill! I love the little nook area for the school things. That is adorable!

  5. I’m a Wisconsin girl, born and raised (and still here by choice) …we say, “hey guys” all the time to girls and guys alike and I’ve never noticed anyone acting like that was not normal. I say stick with it!

  6. With regard to countertops, I definitely would recommend something that is highly durable like Quartz or Granite. Marble is pretty but the upkeep seems to be a lot. Looks like you have a lot of projects you will be keeping busy with for the next couple of months! That Goodwill chair find is great. Love the shape of it!

  7. Hilarious: “Dale worries I have been looking at Pinterest for too long, I think he does not see the potential.”

    so yeah, I take your side! try it! you can always do the fabric after you paint the wood and honestly, you would probably paint the wood even if you picked new fabric, right? I see your vision and think it could totally work with it’s version of chevron and all the light colors you described. I have a couple of thrift store chairs that I always wanted to recover and never did…I’ve been planning to try painting them for years but never get around to it. I paid $5 ea so nothing to lose really. have you tried that? now that I didn’t do it(10 yrs ago when I had time, before married with kids and a 2nd project house) there are lots of tutorials and examples on line of success with various methods. or actually, you could white wash the fabric and paint the wood white and have a beautiful funky, subtle chevron chair! You could even adjust your amount of paint depending on the color in the fabric so you could tone-down a particular color more than others! Worth a shot? After painting the wood first? I agree that they are cool chairs and also that the re-upholstery is not a beginner job on that one!

    as for your laundry room, I love that you showed the other side of that room…I’ve often wanted a 360 view of homes I see online cause without it, it just makes me believe they’ve got it all figured out and perfect all the time! which is not real. For anyone. Or no one I’m friends with anyway. So yeah, I feel your pain with the unfinished laundry room. I apparently said, “I’m not sure yet” while we were building ours so my husband moved on to other projects..I don’t remember saying this…eight years ago!!! Geesh! So we have an empty room with washer & dryer on custom pedastals and cabinetry overhead…the rest of the room is laundry baskets to keep things off the floor. Sad but functional. I have tons of plans/ideas for mine too and someday, maybe they’ll even happen! For yours, I think a flip down “countertop” for folding might be a good option since you want to keep things accessible behind the machines. Or even on wheels so it could slide out into that hallway and to the next room if necessary? I’d add a bar or drying rack of some sort over the sink for things to hang dry and drip into sink. Ooh, if you did the counter on wheels, you could fold and stack on there and wheel it to the bedrooms! Fun! ok, I might be getting carried away now;)

    later dude!

    ps: yes, I’m from Wisconsin and call people dude all the time too:) though it may have started in the 90s when for a short time it was cool to use surfer talk…I didn’t do it then but it became normal in my vocab by college…

    • Hi! Thanks so much for your ideas and insight! That is a great point about just painting the wood and seeing if I like it or not. I have seen the painted fabric projects, never done it myself but the results of those are always amazing!

      About the laundry room, I really try to show that this is a real home, with real kids, real dogs and real mess. Yes I do enjoy decorating my home and showing the lovely after pictures. However, it takes a whole lot of mess to get to the after. I am so happy to know people enjoyed the “real” shots of my home. The flip down counter top is a great idea and one I might work into the plans, thank so much for that! I will definitely be adding a drying rack in there somewhere, I have a ton of plans for that space. I just need time!

      I loved your long comment and enjoyed you “getting carried away”, come here to talk home decor anytime! HA HA about the 90’s I was not are that was thing in other places to talk surfer talk. I have my husband saying it and he was born and raised in the Mid West. Have a wonderful day!

  8. ooh, and I’m super curious of the look you’re going for when enclosing your microwave…do you have an example? thx

    • Oh, so many ideas! I want to keep the look of my cabinets and just create another one under the existing cabinet to sit on the counter top, then a pull put for the microwave.

  9. I love the chair from Goodwill but think you should redo it. It will be a lot of work but it will last for many years to come. I’m also a fan of counter space. There seems to never be enough so I’m going to have to vote on a full counter in the laundry room.

  10. I have cabinets like yours in your laundry room! They are awesome. Looks like you did some great projects!

  11. I love your cylinder-shaped bookcase! Where did you get it? We are bookworms over here and can never have too many bookcases, bookshelves, etc.

  12. Your home looks great! And that chair from Goodwill is lovely.

  13. 1: “Guys” and “dude” are perfectly acceptable. 2: I just love the idea of creating a hutch out of the microwave space! It’s going to be gorgeous!

    • Glad to know others think guy and dude are both ok 🙂 I am excited to get working on the hutch and hide that beastly microwave, they are all so bulky.

  14. I love your pictures that look a little more real and lived in. Most people pick up their kids stuff perfectly to take pictures, but we all know it doesn’t look like that most of the time!

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