This it it! I was teasing about it on social media and today is THE day! I am sharing my Home tour – filled with DIY, low cost and simple decorating ideas.
As usual, I will be sharing any tutorials for all of the DIY, furniture redos, and crafts I have done in my home at the bottom of this post. Each year I have more and more DIY in my home and with a full home tour it can get a little confusing to find what you are looking for. So if you are looking for a specific tutorial, scroll to the bottom and find it!
I will also be sharing a source list for the majority of my purchased items. If I could not find the exact item I did my best to find something similar. I am hoping to make this all as easy for you as possible to find what you are looking for and take my (hopeful) inspiration and run with it to decorate your home.
Once my holiday decor was taken down I had a fresh and bare bones home. With the recent furniture rearrangement I am still playing around with what works best where. With all of the wonderfully bold Christmas decor I was ready for a calming environment for my home.
I have been such a horrible Mom and have not updated our family picture in almost two years!! Eeek! I mean, I can trick myself into thinking my kids are still these little ones. They are little-ish now, emphasis on the -ish because they are growing way too fast. My gallery wall is one of my favorite spots in my home. It is filled with amazing memories and people we love.
I have a mix of posed pictures of my kids and some casual ones of them in their element. It gives off such a personal touch.
My home is a mix of coastal, casual and rustic. This is the epitome of compromise in our marriage. Since this is our family home, and my husband lives here as well I of course take into account his decorating preferences. His preferred decorating is a rustic style home. My preferred decorating is a coastal style home. This DIY console table I made using a live edge barn wood piece, sprinkling in my beachy items is the perfect happy place for our dueling decor styles.
The casual style of our home comes out of necessity. We have three kids, two dogs…. and a partridge in a pear tree. We are a loud and chaos filled home, which I adore. Our home needs casual and functional, down to the baskets filled with winter hats and mittens for my crew. Our sofa is slip covered which means it is easily washable. As spill proof as you can get without requiring every person to drink out of a sippy cup, never go outside or anything remotely dirty, which cannot happen. The biggest mix of all in our home is the DIY, low cost and simple decorating ideas. This combo is my specialty.
So I work around my need for a stylish home and create the function where I can. The casual style comes actually from other people describing it as that. I love that people feel my home is casual, it is lived in and real. We want people to feel welcome, put your feet on the coffee table, grab a blanket and get cozy. We live here and we want others to feel just as comfortable.
This is the home my kids make memories, I want them to be filled with the throw pillows being used as rocks to save them from lava, I want forts made in the living room, art supplies scattered on the table in the middle of creating something. I want there to be cozy corners for reading, enough room for all of us to get our dance on in the living room to really loud music. This is why I focus on home so much, home is where we are simply us.
Which is why I put all of the effort in that I do. Also because it is my “thing” decorating is it for me. I love scheming, planning, organizing, and moving things around until I find the perfect place for them. Some people paint, fish, or do a ton of other hobbies. Mine is decorating and I am OK making that statement.
A little background of our home for any new readers who have stumbled onto this home tour, we actually purchased my husband Dale’s parents home. They purchased it new in 2000, they lived in it and loved it for a while. Then life happened and they needed to sell it. At that same time we were finally ready to purchase a home of our own, it seemed like a great situation to purchase his parents home. We knew the history of it, there was no hidden mold the previous owners knew about. Nothing shady in the deal, and we were able to make the process quick and easy because of the situation.
We have loved this home and all that is packed into it, but because we went with a solid situation for a first time home buyer over picking exactly what we wanted we both felt the need to make this ours. I also wanted to decorate it beautifully and we were on a tight budget. Being a young family, Dale was just out of college my decorating budget was non existent. I used what I had and we ticked off little projects here and there through the years.
Eventually we were able to start tackling bigger projects like the kitchen, adding wood floors and getting more furniture. It has been a long process which we are not done with yet. Because of our situation I was forced to get creative in making my home what I wanted it to be, DIY style! I crafted, upcycled, got furniture from the side of the road, shopped clearance, eventually landing into this style that feels perfect for us.
Bringing my love of the coast, specifically Southern California where I was born and raised. Mixing in Dale’s rustic sensibilities he gained growing up in Wisconsin. We have works, chiseled away, given a ton of sweat equity and landed with a home we absolutely adore! Not just adore, but it works for us. Even down to the art supplies that are hidden in these bookshelves in the living room. Our living room which on the surface may look formal is anything but.
As I said earlier the sofa is all slip covered, which we wash a lot… because… kids. There is stools that are light and easy to move around for feet to rest on, to sit on and draw at the coffee table, kids to jump off of them, or use as a pretend game for them.
I hope that all of my decor encourages relaxing. Sometimes I get very blunt with my goals for my home. 🙂
Throw pillows in bright colors and bold patterns make the sofa extra comfy while also meeting my needs for a stylish home. When I first started decorating I adored the geometric patterns and the mixing of them that people were bale to do. I was scared to give it a try myself. Over time I began trusting my decorating instincts and went with my love of mixing patterns.
Most importantly I began to think in different terms with my home. This space is ours, so if I wanted to do something that maybe others would not like or do in their home that is fine. Decorating is sooooo subjective, as it should be. This is my oasis, our safe haven. You have that in your home as well. Yes, we have people over and I want them to feel comfortable and welcome but at the end of the day this is ours. Gaining that outlook gave me the freedom to decorate exactly how I wanted to.
We all need to find our personal voice in life. Decorating is the same. My first apartment was filled with reds and oranges, with a random European motif. I had no cookware, but I had pictures on the wall and some throw pillows, priorities people.
When Dale and I moved in together we used what I had and added a few random pieces along the way. When we purchased this home knowing it would be our family home I wanted to go bigger with the decorating. I was mindful of what this house would mean to our children, this became our first home. I felt a lot of pressure to make it our dream home, but also such excitement to get it just right. We also needed more items because this 2,000 square foot home was larger than any other place we had stayed.
We got the basics and have built on those from there on. Many of the same furniture items are still in our home almost a decade later. Some have been painted or repurposed, all have been moved around a ton in our home. But those large furniture staples are still the same.
The one thing I cannot quit is my love for blue. It started with a lot of white decor (not trusting myself to add more color). Then turquoise was brought into the mix. Gray became a wonderful way to add some drama and warmth to the space. In the last year or so navy blue is coming in strong in my home. I may choose to one day nix this color scheme and go green or maybe red, but for now this feels like home.
Another way I have made my home be exactly what I wanted is by making a lot of the smaller decoration items myself. To me part of what impressed me with those “magazine ready homes” is that they are decorated from top to bottom. Those little knick knacks and chotchkis get pricey!
So I use recycled items like cans or jars. Paper, rope, twine, yarn, paint and scrap wood have become my go-to for making those smaller decor pieces. This Home tour is filled with DIY, low cost and simple decorating ideas!
I also use items that Dale and I have gotten from our families. His Grandpa collected old camera so we have those amazing things sitting out. My Grandma is all about shells too, where I learned it from of course. So she has given me a lot of blue items and shells. That is what makes our home all the more special with personal touches.
A quick note on these cane chairs of mine, they are one of the easiest furniture redos I have ever done! If you are in need of chairs and come across these, get them! Paint and replacing the fabric onto the cushions was all that was done to make these beauties shine.
Mixing in style with the smaller decor items and then function is the sweet spot for my home. This includes the flash cards, art supplies and mound of paper that is stuffed into these baskets on the bookshelf. Ready for my kids to use when inspiration strikes, but hidden enough to make my decorating heart happy.
Of course, pops of blue and coastal decor is my most obvious sweet spot for my home. Just stating the facts here!
The living room is a work in progress. Since the big rearrangement of furniture last month I am still playing around with what works. We are loving the family room (which I will show you below), but the living room still feels very big and massive. I am so lucky to have this larger living room, and we utilize the space all the time packing in friends and family. Also, those aforementioned dance parties my crew of littles have.
With the living room not having any solid walls to put furniture on it is a tough configuration. We have a fireplace wall, a wall of windows, an entryway and then no other walls because it is open into the family room. I know people are in love with open concept but me, I need a little separation. So I have finally landed on a furniture configuration that works. I do plan to replace the sofa in the living room with two love seats and then adding two larger, big and comfy arm chairs in here to create the best conversation square in a room.
Since there is no TV in here we do a lot of hanging out and talking in here. We are not a big TV family and use it mainly to watch movies on the weekends with the kids. This fact blows my mind because growing up the TV was always on! So the living room is where we do most of our “living”. I want this room to feel as cozy as possible, vaulted ceilings and all. I hope to finalize my plans and then start shopping for furniture in the next few months to get this space done. I also have to organize a rummage sale to cover all of my new purchases!
The kitchen in our home is small, fortunately has a ton of storage and cabinets though. The on downside to our kitchen is the small square of it, making the kids hang out in here while we are cooking feel too squished. We also can have only one adult moving around in here without bumping into each other.
The painted cabinets did wonders for the overall feel of the space, but cannot help the actual footprint of the room. They were originally a darker wood color (fake wood) and we went with a mint green color. In the pictures it appears very white in color, but there is a hint of mint. I have a few long term plans for the kitchen that involve big construction, contractors… and lottery winnings….
For years we have never actually used the breakfast bar. I worried about my little ones perching onto the tall stools and falling off. Now that they are 9, 8, and 6 I can trust them to no fall off. Unless they are doing crazy and irresponsible things on them, which at this point is on them. Just last night I was cleaning up after dinner and doing dishes. Nora was able to sit on one of these stools and we talked about school, her friends, her crush and how it makes her heart feel like butterflies in it. This is probably my favorite addition in our kitchen for that very reason. Before we were always telling the kids to scram, get out of the kitchen so we would not literally trip over them. Now we just tell them to sit on one of the stools and chill. It has improved how we use our kitchen as a family so much.
The other newest addition is this bar cart off of the kitchen. It sits in what for years was my kids playroom/sun room. Now we have turned the space into the dining room. I love the added cook prep space and storage!
We have put all of my kids dried good and snack items in here and a cabinet on the other side of the dining room. This helps keep the flow of the kitchen for cooking and not kid grazing for snacks. It also encourages a little more independents in my trio of littles, they can get their own snack for school and after school now.
With a small kitchen any space that is given to the counter top and clutter that is removed will always be a big bonus!
This dining room is so bright and full of light! Moment of truth, I edit all of my pictures I share on this blog. I mean, I do not add what is not there, trim off 10 pounds or anything crazy. Most of the time it is brightening up the pictures or fixing the glare from the windows. In the dining room though, I do not have to do much in terms of brightening it up. I love gathering here with my family!
I keep the decor in the dining room and kitchen simple. These two rooms are for better or worse the hub of the home. School papers get piled up here, library books, grocery bags, art projects, laundry is folded here. It gets busy all the time. Lessening that chaos with the decor has become how I manage the small space.
This Ikea cabinet holds a ton of snack foods for my kids, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts… healthy-ish snack options easy for them to grab when it is snack time. It also houses our toaster and my kids school lunch containers and bags. All of that is hidden away and gives me that uncluttered look a small room like this needs.
We repainted this room with what we thought was gray. Once it was on the walls we realized the “gray” was actually a gray/blue. I was unsure of it at first, but I like the contrast of colors in here a lot.
Our dining room is small and we have had to get creative when we have a house full of people here. But that is ok. It is filled with laughter, stories being told, games being played, yummy food shared, and the best memories to fill my kids up with. Keeping the clutter and decorations to a minimum, as well as light color choices is the best way to make this space feel a smidge bigger.
Our newly designated family room! This room was a struggle for years for me. It was a playroom for our tiny ones at first, which was nixed when I opened up the fridge and found a toy. We put the play room in the basement and this became an office. But with three kids crawling and toddling around no one could concentrate when need be. It was a little too open to the rest of the house. For years now it was our dining room.
It only has one small window in the corner so has always been dark. I wanted a light and bright dining room, so moving that into the sun filled kitchen worked out great. With this now being the TV room the darker room is exactly what it needs to be!
It is open completely to the living room and entryway which made Dale worried that it would be odd to have two living rooms right next to each other. I have arranged the furniture in a way to visually separate the two rooms. One thing that is important in dealing with a open concept home is to keep the color schemes and decor style similar. This helps with the flow of the home.
I decided to change up the living areas in my home one Friday night. We had this sofa in our partially finished basement (which we hope to fully finish eventually). It came from our first apartment together 13 years ago. It is extremely comfy but very slouchy looking. I am not loving the color of it and will probably be selling it in a rummage sale in the spring to help pay for new furniture. My kids told me the sofa fits in with our home because it looks like sand next to the beach stuff. Have I mentioned I love them?!!!
The rest of it I got from other rooms. The TV table from the guest bedroom, I simply took out one top drawer to put our cable box and blue ray player on. The chair was from the living room, the coffee table was a bench use in my bedroom, and the art was already on the wall in this room. If you are wanting to change up the look of your home, change around the furniture and use what you already have. It might be just the change you were hoping for to make your home feel fresh without spending a ton of money.
If you are still craving a change for your home painting the walls is a pretty simple update. I painted the ceiling blue in this room. It was my first time painting the ceiling and I am obsessed! I have been looking at the ceilings in the rest of my home, I want to add color, breams or some kind of feature to every room in my home now.
Another quick fix to freshen up a room is throw pillows and curtains. Leaving the furniture and staple items the same but giving for a new color or pattern on those easy to change items.
This home has always been somewhat of a problem for me with the partially open concept. The kitchen and dining room are through two doorways, but the two living rooms and the entryway are all open to each other. Luckily I was able to make two separate living rooms work in our home without feeling too wonky. Dale has said that he loves the idea of having two living spaces.
We have lego building happening in the living room, music playing and a conversation going on all while someone is curled up in the family room with a book. Having options for that “living” we do in our home is really nice. Also having walls that separate the kitchen from the rest of the house is nice. It hides the mess when we have people over, and walls with vaulted ceilings and wood floors are a good thing, it cuts down on the echoing that three kids and two dogs can make!
The hallway in our home is a whole other beast! It is a long and narrow L shape that is in the center of our home. We pass through here to get to the basement, bedrooms, laundry room and the garage. There is a lot going on in here.
There is also zero windows in here and it is always dark. Which is why Dale gave me major side eye when I said I wanted to paint it dark gray. He came around to the idea when I mentioned making DIY wainscoting, the white color of the wainscoting softens the darkness of the gray color on the wall.
I say it all the time, but growing up in Southern California was such a special place for me. Living in Wisconsin works great for our family, we have family here and have made amazing friends in our small town. The community here is amazing and I would not trade it. I do miss my hometown a lot though. We are fortunate enough to make it back every summer for some beach fun, sand between our toes, surfing, boogie boarding and shell hunting.
This coastal shell display and gallery wall holds those shells along with store bought ones and pictures of my favorite local beaches. Just one of those great ways to personalize our home even more!
Remember when I mentioned that I add function wherever I can? I even managed to squeeze it into our hallway!
I made a big family command center at the end of the hallway. It keeps our family schedule in order, allows my kids to know what is going on without asking us. It also encourages personal responsibility for them because I add when their school library day is, their gym days and the days they need to bring their musical instruments to school. There is no more millions of questions thrown at me every morning, I simply say check the calendar. Boom, Mommy mike drop!
Reality required the barn door. I mean, I do not have it together enough to have my laundry room clean all the time. So if someone stops by I can just slide the door shut and ignore the big mess in there. It also cuts down on the noise coming from the washer and dryer. The laundry room is right by my kids bedrooms and when they were little and napped (the good ‘ole days) I did not want it to wake them up.
I have made the mudroom to have a ton of storage here. All of my kids homework for the week, notes from school or anything I have to go through is put here. Keeping the inevitable pile of stuff out of my kitchen. They also keep all of their shoes in here, since they refused to walk the extra steps to put their shoes in their bedrooms. If you can’t beat them, join them!
The thing I love most about my hallway is that it feels decorated. With it being so big I did not want to ignore this space. Making the barn door and wainscoting for the hallway really made it feel like a part of the home and not an afterthought.
Here is a small peek at my bedroom, well what it used to look like. I am finishing up a reveal of what my room looks like now. Don’t expect anything crazy in here, no walls were torn down, or even walls painted. I got some new furniture and have rearranged some things. I have not shared it here yet, so this is just showing what my room looked like. Check back for the new bedroom reveal soon!
The one place that you have seen a ton I am sure if our master bathroom. No this is not a powder room, there is a shower here. It is hidden by the open door on the right. It is such a small space that in order to get into the shower you have to close the bathroom door. We also somehow magically make our marriage work with only one sink in the bathroom! All of the people from home specific TV shows gasp in horror at this notion.
Since making our bathroom bigger is not an option I did my best to brighten up the space. There is a lot of DIY projects in here and all of the tutorials can be found at the bottom of this post.
Small improvements and low cost solutions is what got this bathroom redo to work out. My plan for it is to get a new tile flooring and remove the drop in shower to replace with tile. The kids bathroom also went through a mini makeover, which I will be sharing soon as well.
Moving on to the kids bedrooms, which were a hot topic last week on the blog. I shared my plans to put all three kids in one room and I got a ton of feedback from everyone! Which I loved hearing, that is what this blog is all about. Hearing what you all had to say has made me alter my plans and do something a little different from what was initially planned.
This is how their bedrooms look right now. Well, to be honest this is not how either of the kids bedrooms look right now. I wish they looked this picked up! Just like other present the best them out to the world and at work, this is my best. This is my picked up, perfect time of day, sun streaming in best my home has to offer.
I adore my daughter’s bedroom! It is so perfectly her. She is into drawing, making stories and reading. Her bed is also such a cozy and magical spot to cuddle up and have some girl talk.
Most of the picture frames in her bedroom are filled with her art work. I really want to give my kids their own personal space. I work with them on colors and themes. Letting them have a voice in what their room looks like. Personal touches are the best way to let it reflect who they are.
I keep in mind that these bedrooms are where their friends hang out, giggles will happen, first phone calls to a crush, dreams of the future…. so much happens in these four walls and I want it to be amazing memories filled with things that are perfect for them.
It would not be a room in my home without DIY projects of course! I customized a lot of the smaller decor items and even painted most of the furniture in her room.
My boy’s bedroom is a whole other saga! We did a ton of DIY furniture build in here, the biggest of them all is their DIY built in bunk beds. I had not changed up Caleb and Gavin’s bedroom from the time they were tiny babies so it was well overdo. The plan is for these beds to grow with them, they have an extra long mattress and enough head room for Dale and I to sit up straight in them. Which should hold my eventual teenage boys just fine.
They are such a cool place to sleep! I mean, I have never slept here. But I am pretty envious of them. They even have their own lights and shelf for them to put their personal treasures. Currently Gavin’s is piled high with rocks and other trinkets he has found, he is my collector. Caleb is the organized one of the two and his has some choice items to be displayed.
The rest of the boy bedroom was planned for them to play. I made furniture to work with their needs of being young boys filled with big imaginations and too many toys in their room.
The play table works for Lego building, train tacks, or even drawing pictures. I Also wanted to keep the floor space available for them to spread out and have space to move around.
Toy storage was a must!
The newest addition to their room was this reading nook. My boys are in second and first grade and I are just really falling in love with books so this space will need to grow even more in the future. For now these wooden crates are the perfect place to store their books. It also allows me to easily add more as their collection grows.
My one Achilles heel in overbuying is books for my kids. I justify it by them not being toys, and Dale reminds me that it still counts as money when I buy them books. But is it to enrich their minds! Truth be told we have always been big time book worms and the love of reading has been encouraged by us since we had tiny babies we rocked to sleep with a bedtime story. Fortunately they all enjoy reading, and still even let me read to them!
Their bedroom is filled with items from Dale’s childhood, old cars, airplanes made by his Grandpa. I loved finding a special place for these items to be in our home. I plan to save these very items to eventually give to my grand kids. Items like this need to be preserved and passed on. The best part is that they have become a part of my sons childhood, so they will hold a special place in their memories too.
I worry I am have gotten long winded with the Home tour – filled with DIY, low cost and simple decorating ideas, but I realized that I share my home on the daily here with you. However, I have never shared the story behind it, explained my though process behind some of my choices. Of course your story and reasons for decorating your home will be different, and I would love to hear about your home story too!
Our home is perfectly fir for us. We have a mix of family passed down items, a ton of thrift store finds, even a few picked up from the side of the road. Filled in with low cost decor and furniture. We are not at the phase of life where fancy and formal furniture is a good fit. My kids still wrestle on the furniture, use it as a foot rest, bring in dirt, sand, and probably stuff boogers in places I don’t even know about. Aren’t kids awesome?
The home has to fit for the people living in it, and where they are at in life. We are making memories, building legos, rushing to baseball practice, hosting kid parties, dancing in the living room, cutting tiny pieces of paper up for the fun of it, glitter art projects, family movie nights. You get the idea. Our home reflects this loud, chaotic and fun filled moment in our life. Because friends, this is simply a moment, a phase of life. Years later, when our kids are grown I know my home will be too neat, too quiet…. I will yearn for this colorful and active phase. I want to cherish it now and make our home encourage these moments.
So put your feet up, get cozy, turn up the music and laugh the loudest you can. This is a home and we love the life we live here! I hope you enjoyed the Home tour – filled with DIY, low cost and simple decorating ideas, maybe got a few ideas for your own home. My goal is never to force my style of decorating onto you but to simply get you thinking outside of the box. Take an idea of mine and tweak it to work for you and your home. I am sharing all of the DIY tutorials on my blog (it is a lot!) at the bottom of this post, packing in as much as I could into this home tour. I am also sharing a massive source list for most of the store bought items in my home. If I could not find the exact ones I shared ones that are similar. I want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to find what they are looking for. With 4 years of blogging there is a lot of content to sift through to find what you are needing, so this big and very long winded post should cover most of what you came here for!