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April 6, 2011

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Tour our home.

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Madigan made... a home tour!

Are you here for the home tour?

Wonderful! Let me show you around our little abode.

My husband and I live in a small 3 bedroom house and it is perfect for the two of us. When we bought it, we loved the size and the layout. It had a nice big kitchen and a finished basement. And it was new enough that we did not need to do major demo and remodeling (we can handle small DIY projects... but we are not major home remodelers!).

But the house did require a little paint and cosmetic work to add our own touches to make it feel like our home. We've slowly changed each room over the past several years.

My two primary decor philosophies are:  "Keep it simple." and "Make it personal." I hope you can see these concepts in my rooms and projects.

Take a look around! (Warning: I included loads of pictures & links to keep you entertained!)


This white kitchen is still a bit of a work in progress. We've slowly transformed this space over time and someday I'd love new counters. But so far, I painted our wooden oak cabinets white. We also replaced builder basic vinyl with ceramic tile and bought new stainless steel appliances.

I made the red upholstered window valences (with a little help from the hardware store). Above the wooden kitchen cart I also created a red double frame on top of a frame. (You'll see other red accents throughout our first floor.)

I changed up that frame-in-a-frame through the seasons, with printables I made myself (that are available free for you!).  If you wanted to take a look at the kitchen cart decor in each season, check out the fall pumpkins, the spooky Halloween scene, the simple Thanksgiving cart, the silver and white Christmas vignette, the simple Easter decor and the fun patriotic cart. Each scene was simple yet festive.

Aside from changing the kitchen cart, I also add seasonal decor at the other side of the kitchen. I made a really big chalkboard and my own painted creamware for that wall. I try to change the quote on it every month. It's been fun to change that area around for each season, too.

To see what happened with the chalkboard in 2010, read this recap post. You also may be interested in checking out the 2011 Valentine's scene, the spring vignette and the Fourth of July chalkboard.

Guest Bath

Our beach-y guest bath was one of the first rooms we tackled to refinish. We painted the walls, changed the vanity top, mirror and light fixtures. They were small updates, but enough to take the room from feeling very builder basic to a little more custom.

For the decor, I used shells in jars and in shadow box frames to evoke a beach feel. It seemed like the right direction given that the walls were a smoky gray blue (Valspar's Autumn Fog).

Master Bath

I don't have a lot to show you yet for this room...

I plan to show you more about our master bathroom, I do. The color palette was inspired by the above beach scene from the movie Somethings Gotta Give.

Do you see a recurring color palette here? Yep, I love blues and greens for bathrooms! And I love beach inspired baths, too! Hubby commented that we are not allow to have any more beach rooms... but who doesn't love the serene feel of a beach house? Not me! (so we will see...)

The before pictures of our master bath were pretty bad. If you are scared to read that post, just imagine a smeared brown and black faux finish. Yeah: Yuk.

The sad thing is that we lived with the bath that color for many years!

I made some recent changes that helped. So far, the only bits I've shared with readers is the paint color (Valspar Pelican) and the beachy wave inspired art I made with flat glass gems.

There are still some things I'd love to update in this room (the floors, vanity and fixtures). But it is amazing what a difference just a little paint and art can make in a space!


We converted our official 'living room' into a den/office. We have a big desk, a leather chair, a bench and a bookcase in there. It's where most of the bloggy magic happens! (with my sidekick sleeping on the floor)

I love the framed botanicals on the wall. The deep pinks in the flowers remind me of my grandmother's china. (that I display in the bookcase) This is also the room where I plan to hang my sunburst mirror, too. Um... Once I finish and photograph it!

I should point out that the bookcase in this room is not really a bookcase. It is a china cabinet that I found at a thrift store and painted black. It has simple and clean lines and with the books and accessories, I think it does look like an enclosed bookcase.
I restyled the bookcase this year with lots of white covered books with gold 'wax' seals.

I added a few little pink accessories and made my own milkglass by painting the inside of my apothecary jars. I'm pleased that the combination of black/white/pink/red/gold works in the room, including the botanical prints.

Family Room

See if you can follow me here: Our family was converted to an office. Then, we converted our dining room into our family room.

We have such a large kitchen dining area that we rarely ever needed a formal dining space. Most days, we just walked right through our old dining room. The space was almost never utilized. But now that both rooms have a function (office and family room), I love that we use them daily!

I've only shown bits and pieces of our family room on the blog. The reason for this is because there are many things about it I would love to change. When we first moved into our house, the tan/gold  finish was on the walls. For a faux finish, it was decent so I left it. (normally, I am not a fan of faux)

I did choose to repaint below the chair rail.  As a shiny new home owner, I wanted to be bold with my color choice. The mossy green is OK, but after 5 years, I'm weary of it.
And the brown, cinnamon, 10-year-old couch? The shape is classic, but I'm a little tired of that color, too. So, add this room to my ever-expanding 'to do' list!

Basement Media Room

We have a finished family/media room in our basement. It is where most of the crafting magic happens... and football watching... and video game playing... and movie nights.

I've yet to show you the 'full' space, just lots of the projects. (But I will! Soon! Promise!)

As much as I hate "theme" rooms, there is a theme going on in here: sports! My husband is a huge sports fanatic and it seemed like a natural direction for that room.

And I have to say, I enjoyed working on every little project for this basement. I recovered a coffee table into a bench. I framed my husband's sporting event tickets to make wall art. And many of the other accessories I found at flea markets and thrift stores. (like wooden shoe forms and antique pool balls)

I loooove making my own wall art and I rarely buy store bought, big-box-store art. This basement is a great example of that philosophy! I made subway art with sports sayings (that you can download here). I created a vintage-look soft pretzel sign. ('cause round here in Philly, you can always find a soft pretzel at a game)

My hubby's golf balls turned into modern wall art with a little oil rubbed bronze spray paint and glue. Oh, and one of his  old baseball trophies got a coat of ORB, too!

These project are great ways to incorporate personal touches into a room, don't you think?


When we first moved in, I removed the fussy sheers in the window side panel next to our front door. Then I took stained glass paint and created a simple design on the windows for privacy in the foyer.

Our foyer is big enough for a small piece of furniture. For many years, we had a thin, traditional table that served as a decent welcoming point for our visitors. It was simple, for sure, but a little cold.

Recently we craved a more functional piece of furniture for that area. I wanted a bench, so I could sit to put my boots on in the winter when I walk our dog. I also wanted to inject a little more personality into the space.

So, I put together a black frame gallery wall with silver touches. I repeated more red accents here. (You saw the red in our kitchen, office and family room, too.)

I made a faux aged mirror with a quote that seemed apropo to an entryway. Where ever our little family is in the world - we are home. This inspired some of the 'global' touches. I made my own embellished globes. One globe was covered in thumbtacks and the other with glue gun writing and spraypaint. These little personal accents make me smile every time I pass through that foyer now.


We have a huge deck and we love all the space. I've wanted a lounge-y outdoor couch area for awhile out there, but those furniture sets can be costly. This past summer I decided to make a budget outdoor seating area with some fun apple green Adirondack chairs. They are lightweight, plastic and easy to move around. The chairs inspired the rest of the green accents around the deck. It is a happy and inviting space now.

I made several other apple green projects (with touches of yellow)  that we use out on the deck, too. We have a picnic cutlery caddy ready-to-go with plates and plastic ware. I used an IKEA table top and drink tub to make a low coffee table. I also whipped up some 20 minute envelope pillows to use on the chairs. (Disclaimer: I hate the term: 'I just whipped these up"... but these pillows really are that easy!)  And for waterproof place mats, I decorated cheap plastic chopping mats with decoupage and paper.

I love how all these ideas help repeat the lime colors out on the deck.  Fortunately, all the projects and furniture were done on a low budget, so it will be easy to replace them if I ever tire of the shade.  The apple green is a strong color, but it makes me smile.

The Bedrooms

I realize that there are some rooms I've yet to show you: like our two guest rooms and our master bedroom!
Hmmm. Adding that to my 'to do' list. (Notice how it keeps growing longer?)

These rooms are basically finished, I just need to photograph them, etc.

Want a sneak peek of the bedrooms? Take a quick look:

Whew! I'm a little tired after all this home talk! And writing it down made me realize how many more things I'd love to work on around here!

But that is, in part, why I enjoy writing a blog. Knowing you are here waiting for a new topic is good motivation to get these projects done. So, thank you! (I think!)

I am also learning to love that our whole house is kind of a constant work in progress. (Don't tell hubby, 'cause he hates that fact!)

Things break or need updates. Tastes change. Your needs change. You change... and your house should be a reflection of that growth.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour! I'm sure I gotta get back to a project... or at least go walk the dog! :)

Feel free to come back any time.

Note: I plan to update this post periodically as I share new projects/spaces.