Before & After

Before & After Home Decor/ Interior Design

Kitchen Updates

Hooray, it’s May!!! (And for all you Star Wars fiends, May the 4th be with you!)

So you guys may remember (but probably not) wayyyyy back in August of 2015 when I talked about us FINALLY getting around to updating our kitchen a little. You can see more about that here.  Well, I’m here (21 months later) to give you an update!!! Better late than never, amirate??!?

As a reminder, here’s where we started when we moved in.

It looks like the blah patrol threw up all over everything.

After we moved in, we did a couple of quick updates – namely paint and a new fridge.

The green definitely spiced things up, but I got tired of it after approximately 3 days. Yet it stayed that color for approximately 4 years. *Oops*

But I am thrilled to say that we have actually made some *real* progress now that I’m super stoked about.

So far, we painted the kitchen in one my favorite shades (Semi Sweet by Valspar), got a new table and chairs, took down a couple of the cabinets to replace them with some open shelving/mug rack, painted the remaining cabinets white, and upgraded the stove, dishwasher, and microwave.

Here’s what left on our checklist: hardware for the cabinets, new countertop, and adding a subway tile backsplash. Can.not.WAIT. until this project is officially checked off the list!

Before & After DIY Uncategorized

I’m Tim Gunn-ing It

I’ve mentioned  a few times before that when JP and I first got married, we purchased a matchy-matchy bedroom suite that I almost instantly regretted and quickly grew tired of. But I’m not about to shell out a bunch more money to get new stuff. So I’m doing my best Tim Gunn on that bedroom suite and I’m going to “Make it work.”  And I started with my headboard.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life

Just as a refresher, here’s what I started with:

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life

Yawn. Bored.

My inspiration was this dress I came across on Pinterest:

painterly dress

I love all things painterly and the bold black and white pattern is perfection!

And I decided rather than try to purchase fabric (expensive),  I decided to try my hand at making my own. So I picked up 2 yards of white duck fabric from Hobby Lobby, along with some black fabric paint. I love duck because it’s SO thick, kind of like canvas. I measured my headboard (which was approximately 25″x60″) and then cut a piece of fabric that left plenty of wiggle room (about 30″x65″).

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life

I have to admit, my first couple strokes were kind of scary..I was afraid I would mess it up.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


But I got into a groove pretty quickly.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life

There really was no rhyme or reason to my method..a brushstroke here, a brushstroke there…here a stroke, there a stroke, everywhere a stroke stroke.

I let it dry for about an hour, and then I taped the fabric to my headboard to try and get an idea of what it was going to look like.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


And. I. Loved. It.

So I whipped out my staple gun and got to work.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life

Oh hey, look at me pretend staple-gunning with my left hand for photographic purposes. Just as a side note, pretty much any time you see my using my left hand in a picture, it’s totally staged because I need my right hand to take the picture. Blogger problems.

Once it was stapled, I trimmed off the excess fabric as close to the staples as I could get. And then it was time to cover up those staples. I decided to use some black fabric trim.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


My trim was pretty thin (3/8″) so one row wasn’t going to cover it. So I just added a second row.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


And with that, I called this project D-U-N.

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


And just because we know everyone likes a good before and after:

I'm Tim Gunn-ing It | Lemon Drop Life


I think Tim would be proud.

Before & After DIY Uncategorized

Our Nursery: The Source List

  • By
  • February 18, 2013

Thank you all so much for all the nice feedback on our nursery…I’m so glad you all liked it!

Today I’m going to break down the budget and source list for you guys so if you’re wondering where we got something, look no further!


  • Paint: Rocky Bluffs by Valspar – lightened by 25% and Semi Sweet by Valspar ($54)
  • Crib: BuyBuyBaby (gift)
  • Crib skirt: DIY using this tutorial ($8)
  • Glider: Target (gift)
  • Changing table: Craigslist ($30)
  • Curtains: Target (we got ours on sale for $ can check out how I spiced them up here)
  • Storage boxes under the changing table: IKEA ($21)
  • Rug: RugsUSA ($106)
  • Floor lamp: Target (I can’t find our exact one online but it was $50)
  • Planet mobile: PBKids (gift)
  • Planet wall: DIY
  • Drum flush mount (not pictured): PBKids (gift)



  • Futon: Target (can’t find it online anymore; $110)


  • Art:  here, here, and here ($87)
  • Accessories: various places (~$60)
  • TOTAL COST: $526

Obviously, we were very lucky to have such wonderful family willing to pitch in and help buy some of the big ticket items. If there’s anything in particular you’re curious about that wasn’t mentioned here, just ask!

And BIG thanks to Tatertots and Jello and DIYNewlyweds for featuring my little nursery makeover!!

Before & After DIY Uncategorized

Nursery Reveal!

  • By
  • February 15, 2013

It’s here, it’s here! Finally time to show you guys the nursery, wahoo!!! We’ve spent the last 3 months getting everything together and I am SO happy with the outcome.

Way back when, I shared our plan for the nursery and how we were going to give it an outer space feel as inspired by this mood board from LayBabyLay.


I don’t want to keep you all waiting anymore…let’s dive right into the good stuff: the pictures!





I made the crib skirt using this tutorial from YHL. Wanna know a secret? There was no sewing involved!



Obviously there will be a changing pad on the changing table…hoping to pick it up at our baby shower this weekend!




The ‘3’ was the same one we used in this picture to announce our pregnancy to our families.


Some of the little details in the room are my favorite. For example, check out this adorable nightlight:




This is the view sitting in the glider..the futon will serve as extra seating and an extra place for guests to sleep. We also intend to flank the large print with pictures of our little man once he gets here. And yes, some of you readers might be getting your first peek at his name 😉


I designed this print myself and had it printed at Staples. I am totally in love with how it turned out!

Now that this room is complete, I cannot WAIT to bring home our little dude. And we have our first baby shower tomorrow, so I’m totally pumped!

I’ll be back on Monday with a cost breakdown and source list (if there’s something in particular you’re wondering about, please let me know!) Until then, have a great weekend lemon-droppers!

Linking up at Home Stories A to Z, Thrifty Decor Chick, View Along The Way, Tatertots & JelloDesign, Dining, + Diapers

Before & After Uncategorized

A Pop Of Sunshine In The Nursery

  • By
  • January 21, 2013

On Saturday, hubby and I (along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law) made a trip to Ikea and picked up a few more things we needed for the nursery. I’m happy to say that the nursery is about 85% done, just a few more details (namely curtains and a floor lamp) and it will be totally FINISHED!!! And I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

But first, let me show you guys the latest addition: the changing table. Initially, my plan was to buy a dresser to convert to a changing table and put it in the closet to save space. Like this:


But, I realized that I would probably end up losing quite a bit of storage space by doing it that way, and like I mentioned in this post about the closet, it was really important to me that we be able to store some of the larger things in the bottom of the closet so that I at least have the option of putting them away and closing the door when company comes over. Ya know, so it at least appears like I’ve got my act together. Ha!

So I did a little rearranging in the room and figured out a space for a small changing table. Design-wise, I love the look of using a dresser as a changing table. However, because the nursery isn’t a gigantic room, I didn’t want anything too visually ‘heavy’. I wanted something more open and airy feeling so that the room wouldn’t feel too crowded. Does that make sense?

I stalked Craigslist until I found something that fit the bill perfectly! So for $30 (and a quick stop at a semi-shady house; no worries, mom…JP was with me), I brought this baby home!

changing table before

I really loved all the spindles and that none of the slides were closed in. It’s also real wood, which was a huge plus to me since I wanted to paint it!

So once I Lysol-ed it within an inch of its’ life, I  did a quick once over with some sandpaper and got to work. From the second I saw this on Craigslist, I pictured it in a bright, sunny yellow and it just so happened that we had a sample pot leftover from when we painted the sun on the feature wall. It’s ‘Macaw’ by Behr and it’s a really fun shade of yellow.

There wasn’t actually a lot to paint as far as surface area goes, but all those lovely spindles did make for a bit of a challenge. So here’s my recommended spindle-painting method: hold your brush perpendicuar to the spindle and swipe on one side and then the other.

painting spindles


Then just work your way up (or down) the spindle. Be sure not to have too much paint on your brush because you don’t want any globs sitting in any of those nooks or crannies. The paint also has a tendency to want to pool at the bottom of the spindle so just make sure you wipe any excess paint from the bottoms as you go. Nice, thin coats really are the way to go here (and for any other painting, for that matter). It may seem like you can go faster if you slop the paint on, but it will only make for more work down the road when you have to sand all those big globs off.

After the first coat was dry, I gave it a light sanding and put on one more coat. Two coats ended up giving us pretty good coverage for this piece, so once the second coat was dry I just went back through and touched up a few places. When working with lots of spindles or details, just make sure to look at your piece from EVERY angle because you’re bound to miss a spot here and there.

Once the touch-ups were finished, I sealed it a few coats of Safecoat Acrylaq. I figure this baby will need to hold up to a bit of abuse (it’s a changing table..use your imagination) and I like Acrylaq because it’s less harsh than traditional sealants.

But what’s a changing table without a little bit of storage, you ask? I remedied the problem with a few storage boxes that I picked up at Ikea on Saturday. I got 6 Kassett storage bins for $21…not too shabby. So here’s where we stand today!

changing table after


changing table after_2

I LOVE the yellow’s so happy! Oh, and there’s a little sneak peek of the rug and the glider for ya 🙂

In reality, the lids will probably sit under the boxes, because who wants to mess with a lid every time you need a diaper? And as of right now, most of the boxes are empty still. So for all you mommas out there: what are some of the essentials I should be storing here?

And just to save your scrolling finger, here’s the before and after side-by-side.

PicMonkey Collage

Happy Monday!

Linking up at Home Stories A to Z, Inspiration Gallery Party, Miss Mustard Seed, Thrifty Decor Chick, and Design, Dining, + Diapers


Before & After DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Guest Bathroom Reveal

  • By
  • November 26, 2012

Alright, who’s ready for a little room reveal on this blah Monday morning?! I’m so happy to stick a fork in this project and call it “done.” Especially with lots more nursery preparation looming on the horizon!

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty…here’s a before and after for you!

It’s definitely come a long way in the last few months!

You can see the original moodboard I started with here. My jumping off point was the shower curtain, which I got from World Market. The first step of the makeover was painting the walls a nice shade of white. Then I broke out of my comfort zone and painted the vanity a fiery shade of coral.

The next big step was putting up the beadboard wallpaper and chair rail. The magazine rack was a HomeGoods find   a while back. I’m also letting it double as a place for guest towels.

The art is one of my favorite parts. I picked up the Swimming Pool sign at a local antique store, and come to find out it’s actually a sign that realtors would use to advertise a home with a swimming pool. I had no clue when I bought it, but my mom is a realtor and when she saw it she immediately recognized it. So it ended up being kind of a sweet little shout out to my momma. Gotta love those happy accidents!

The fish prints were purchased from this Etsy shop, and they’re vintage illustrations from a book about fish. The coral and yellows of the fish coordinated perfectly with the color scheme, and what’s more appropriate under a Swimming Pool sign than pictures of fish?? And for some reason, the fact that they’re all hanging over the toilet cracks me up.  I’m so cheeky.

There were a couple of other DIY’s involved in completing this bathroom makeover, one of them being the towel hook. {Sidenote: I just realized the mason jar on the  towel hook was empty for all of these shots. Bad blogger.} The hand towel was one I ordered from Anthropologie. I also got my rope on and framed out the builder grade mirror in a more unconventional fashion.

I know most makeovers don’t focus on the trash can, but how cute is the lace cutout detailing on this one? Love!

I also love this basket that I ordered at a Thirty-One party. It’s the perfect spot for a couple of towels and an extra roll of toilet paper.

So here’s the breakdown of what I spent for this makeover:

  • Paint: $42
  • Beadboard wallpaper: $16
  • Chair rail trim: $8
  • DIY Towel Hook: $13
  • Rope: $10
  • Magazine rack: $25
  • Art: $18
  • Accessories:$60
  • GRAND TOTAL: $192

I’m thrilled to be able to call this finished for under $200! And just to save your scrolling finger, here’s one more look at the before and after.

Linking up at Home Stories A to Z, Design, Dining +Diapers, Tatertots & Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick

Before & After DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Just A Teaser

Remember a couple weeks ago when I showed you guys this picture and told you about how we had begun working JP’s office at the church?

Well, I am happy to say it is thisclose to being finished! The only major thing we have left is switching out the lighting (which we may put off for a little bit anyway). So I wanted to give you guys a few teaser shots, and hopefully I can do the full reveal for you next week!

It’s looking so good, you guys…I’m really excited to show you!

Before & After Uncategorized

Craft Room Storage Is On Lockdown

I owe you guys so many craft room updates it’s not even funny. But in my defense, I have an excuse. I was scouring Craigslist for the perfect storage unit to put in the room to store all of my supplies. And it took me

BUT (clouds parting, angels singing) I finally found the perfect piece. So, let it be known: if you can be patient long enough, your will find what you’re looking for. DON’T settle for something you only feel ‘meh’ about.

Ok, enough guys want to see what I found, don’t you?

I know, she looks rough. But I had totally fallen in love with the idea of some kind of industrial locker-style storage and when this popped up on CL for $30, I absolutely had to jump! And in case you’re wondering, that’s not rust on the bottom-right’s just some dirt!

I had JP drag the beast out into the yard and first I roughed it up with a fine grit sanding block. That helped loosen up a lot of the dirt and general schmutz-iness that had accumulated on it, and then I vacuumed up the big chunks of gross stuff and wiped it down with a tack cloth.

Then I hit it with a couple coats of spray primer.

After the first coat.

After the second coat.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what color I went with and it took me quite a while to decide. I considered a mustard yellow, a tangerine color, a metallic gold, an olive-y green…the list goes on and on. In the end, once I took into account all the things that were already in the room (pale pink walls, silver foil treatment on the wall, the bright floral rug), I decided to go with a teal blue color. And it came in the form of this spray paint from Rustoleum called Night Tide.

Before we get to the big reveal, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. It took A LOT of spray paint to get this thing covered. Four cans to be exact. Maybe if I’d done another coat of primer it might’ve taken less, but c’est la vie. And let me tell you the first two cans were brutal. It was a somewhat windy day (big spray painting no-no), but I was so determined to get this done that I just pressed on. And in the end, there was more spray paint on me than there was  on the locker. Seriously, my hands looked like I had just finished tickling a sweaty Smurf. Not to mention the fact that I had major nozzle finger (I don’t work out much). But then I discovered my saving grace.

Praise be to did I not discover this sooner?! I’m sure all of you smarty pants DIYer’s already own one, but if you’re on the struggle bus like me: GO GET ONE OF THESE RIGHT NOW!! Thanks to this lovely invention, I can actually feel my index finger and my skin is its normal pale, ghostly color.

So you ready to see my lovely Smurfette (What, you don’t give your lockers nicknames? They must feel so unloved.)  in all her glory?

She’s pretty huh? In person the color is much more even than it appears here..the window is causing some weird shadows. And what’s that in the corner of the picture? Uh-oh…someone’s been working on a craft table and hasn’t shared it! It’s coming soon..I promise 🙂 But of course Smurfette wasn’t made to sit empty..she longs to be filled with craft supplies!

Ahh, so much better. I haven’t quite gotten the organization down to a science yet..I just kind of threw everything in there and hoped for the best. So I’ll let you know when that changes.

Part of what I loved so much when I saw this piece was that I knew those long cubbies in the middle would be perfect for storing wrapping paper..wahoo! And now that I see this photo I realize two things: 1) I need more wrapping paper and 2) those storage baskets need to be white. So they will probably be getting sprayed soon.

This photo is a little better representative of what the color actually looks like. It’s pretty right? I love the boldness of it against the pale pink walls! Getting the storage situation under control is definitely giving me the push I need to get this room finished already!!

Linking up at Thrifty Decor Chick

Before & After Uncategorized

Wax On, Wax Off

  • By
  • November 10, 2011

Before we moved, we bought a new dining table and chairs off of Craigslist. It was a very solid, light reddish toned wood (I’m thinking oak?) but I knew right away that I wanted to do something different with them. And it’s only taken me a little over a month to finally do it..pretty good, right?!

Ever since I saw this tutorial over at Isabella & Max Rooms, I’ve been dying to try out liming wax. So when we picked up a new dining table and chairs from CL a couple months ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to do to the table! We needed a small, round table that would better fit in our eat-in kitchen in the new house. It was a really high quality set and it came with 6 chairs and 2 leaves so that we can extend the table when we have company. Kachow!


So the first step was to strip the old finish off the table. Thus begins the first of many trial-and-errors with this project. I originally thought I could take the easy way out and just use a deglosser. No dice. It didn’t take off any of the actual stain, just the glossy sheen. So when I put the liming wax over it, wayyyy too much of the original stain still showed through.

My next move was to use my electric sander (yayy power tools!) and sand it down to the bare wood. It worked well for the table-top, since it was flat but not so much on the curvy, fluted parts of the table (like the column base).

JP helped quite a bit with the sanding because I am a puny woman-child with spaghetti arms.

SO the third and final component of the stripping extravaganza (which sounds a lot saucier than it really is) was to use a paint and varnish remover. I chose Motsenbocker’s Lift Off..partly because of some good reviews I had read and partly because of its super awesome name. I just glopped it on all of the un-sanded, curvy parts of the table with an old paintbrush and waited about 30 minutes for it to do its thang. Then I used a stainless steel wire brush to remove it. I was actually pretty shocked at how well it worked. It took off all of the previous finish and left me with bare wood with very little effort at all! Yippee for paint strippers with vaguely German sounding names! Now there’s a sentence I’d never thought I’d type.

From there on out, it was smooth sailing. ….HA! I wish. You guys should know by now that very little I do turns out how I want it to on the first try! Long story short..I applied the liming wax (I used the Briwax brand, which I ordered from Amazon) and it just wasn’t giving me the effect I wanted. It was definitely a step in the right direction, but still a long ways off from what I was picturing.

So, I did some googling and found this blog post at Perfectly Imperfect (how did I not know about this blog before..she does some seriously amazing stuff!) which gives some AWESOME tips on whitewashing and dry brushing furniture. I decided whitewashing with a paint mixture was a better way to go for the look I was wanting to achieve so I mixed up about 1/4 cup of paint with a little less than 1/4 cup of water to give something slightly thicker than a 50:50 mixture.

It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it has a consistency sort of like milk. And the second I painted it on, I knew I had chosen right. It. Looked. Awesome.

You can see that the liming wax basically just takes to the grain of the table, which still allows the coloring of the wood to show through. I wanted my table to look more white overall but still allow the grain to show a bit through the finish, which is just what the whitewashing achieved.

And it took me all of 20 minutes to do the whole table. Jackpot! I didn’t even use anywhere close to that 1/2 didn’t take very much at all to get the look I wanted. And as for technique, it’s not exactly something that takes a lot of skill (obviously, since I was able to do it)..basically I just barely dipped my brush in the cup (a little goes a long way here) and painted it on a small section, making sure to try and spread it out fairly evenly. Then I waited about 10 seconds and wiped off any excess. It’s seriously SO easy. And before long, I had a table that looked exactly like what I was picturing!

Sorry the picture isn’t the was nighttime and I had to use my phone because my camera charger has gone missing and it died on me! But I assure it is beautiful!! I used the Varathane sealer that she recommended in the above post to protect the finish. And because everyone loves a good before and after:

Well, hello there you beautiful thang,’re lookin’ mighty fiiiine. Work it, girl. 

I like to compliment my furniture when I feel like it’s looking particularly snazzy. Don’t judge.