Bits & Pieces

design dilemma

One of my favorite things about interior design is making a space functional as well as beautiful.

A couple ‘challenges’ I’m facing in my studio are: no drawers… anywhere. Kitchen or otherwise.  And: lack of clothing storage.

It’s actually really exciting to figure out ways I’m going to make this space work, these challenges force you to be creative and think outside the box.  Here are a couple snippets of ways I’m getting the creative juices flowing…


{No drawers? No problem.  My gold flatware looks pretty and is easily accessible in this pitcher}


{Not much folding to do around here, pants hang on hooks to free-up space in the dresser}

Thanks for letting me share some bits and pieces of solving my design dilemmas ;)



A Well-Traveled Dresser


After much deliberation about which direction to go with my dresser, I finally settled on the perfect re-do. I simply couldn’t decide on a color to paint the dresser, or even a variety of colors… It felt like too much of a commitment. I thought about just staining the whole thing, but without any hardware it would just be too plain.  I’ve always loved the look of maps, and so I decided to Mod Podge vintage maps to the face of my drawers.

I could not be happier with the result! The project in total only cost me about $30.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I started by sanding down the whole dresser
  2. Then I applied a couple of coats of dark stain – Minwax in Mahogany – to the top and sides (I left the drawers unstained since I knew I’d be covering them later)
  3. I used five different vintage maps all from places I’d like to go ;) I measured the drawers and cut the maps to size
  4. Then I applied a layer of Mod Podge to the face of the drawers and stuck down the map
  5. I cut the maps a little big so I would have a some wiggle room, so after I stuck them down, I trimmed the excess
  6. Then came the final layer of Mod Podge and viola! A dresser transformation :)






20121231_164304-1-1Here’s the final before and after:



This was the most rewarding project I think I’ve ever done. I’m so thrilled with the outcome, I absolutely love my new one-of-a-kind dresser!


Teacup Succulent


I’m constantly looking for clever ways to re-purpose things, especially when I’m scouting out the thrift stores.. ;) The other day I found these adorable vintage teacups. Not needing teacups (but still wanting them) I tried to think of a way to give them new life as something else. I settled on tiny planters for succulents :) I love the delicate look of the teacups with the live green plant inside.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

Simply fill your teacup about 3/4 full with potting soil, making a well for your new succulent. Place your succulent inside the well and fill in with potting soil. Water it a bit, then you can add your moss. I used reindeer moss for a little extra color contrast. These make adorable house-warming or hostess gifts too ;) Enjoy!

Etsy Shop Grand Opening!

I’m so excited to announce that my Etsy shop HappyInHome has officially opened! I’m selling handmade items (including those leather tassel keychains above) as well as vintage finds. Pop by and check it out to browse for yourself or start your Christmas shopping early! ;)

Here are a couple of the featured items you’ll find at my shop:

{Dipped Wooden Kitchen Utensil Set – Blue & Green Spectrum}

{Leather Tassel Keychain – Tan & Brown}

{Pair of Vintage Lamps in Grey & Gold}

{Feather & Bead Clip-In Hair Piece}

I’ll continue to add more handmade and vintage items to the shop, so be sure to check back! :)

Say Yes to the

OK, give me a break for the ridiculous post title, it sounded clever at the time.

I’ve got a little project brewing that I’ve been wanting to do for way too long now, like 5 years too long… and I’m actually a little embarrassed that I haven’t done it yet. That said, I have a dresser that needs to be jazzed up. It was originally my dad’s when he was young, and I took it to college with me when I moved (heaven forbid I buy a new one.. they’re expensive!). One of the drawers has the word “Balls” carved into it. Get your mind out of the gutter! It was my dad’s ball drawer when he was little, baseballs, wiffle balls, what-have-you. Anyways, it was funny and sort-of sentimental, but after enjoying its nostalgia for the last 5 years, I’m finally ready to sand away that carving.

The only problem is I’m a little torn on what exactly to do to it. It’s a tall 5-drawer wood dresser with no hardware…

{Option #1: Grey chevron stripes! I think I would want to sand and finish the wood instead of the white though just because I love the warmth of natural wood and the rest of my bedroom furniture is currently painted}

{Option #2: another trendy look – Ombré! I would probably do a spectrum of teals similar to the first photo}

{Or I could go for a crazy bold color for the whole thing. I love this campaign dresser in kelly green, especially with the brass hardware}

Please help me decide! What’s your vote?

Images via: 1/2/3/4


OK, so I’m pretty passionate about re-purposing and re-using items in your home in a new or updated way. This saves money as well as forces you to be creative while re-cycling ;) (anyone who knows me, knows how eco-conscious I can be). I try to do this as much as I can, not only because I don’t currently have the budget to buy new things all time, but because I enjoy the creative process. While I was at home last weekend, I decided that just one thing was missing in my parents newly re-done mater bath. A fantastic mirror. Luckily, there was a large mirror leaning up against one of the walls in my old bedroom (now the very nice guest bedroom ;)) that needed a new home. Below are the mirror before & afters.. the mirror in the bathroom before was just a wall-mounted unframed mirror..



An update on my sailing trip: We’re scheduled to leave this Monday the 6th from San Diego (we’re sailing down to Puerto Vallarta) and fly home on the 18th. That means we’ll be on the boat (likely in Cabo) for my birthday on the 11th… wohoo!! This also means that I’ll have no internet access for 12 days, so I’ll be back blogging (with A LOT of pictures from the trip..!) when I get home, so be sure to check back! ;) Have a great weekend!!

P.S. This blog post took me waaaay to long to write because I’m trying to write and watch womans gymnastics at the same time. I LOOOOVE the summer olympics!


Images via: ijustlovetoday

You can PAINT fabric on furniture! Am I the only one who didn’t know about this??? I was recently confronted with a project to reupholster 30 office/waiting room chairs and was worrying that with the time + cost of materials, it might be cheaper to just buy new chairs. Then my mom told me that a friend of hers had painted a leather couch… with interior house paint…! I did a little research online and immediately found a few projects on blogs where people had done the same thing. I was totally shocked… this changes EVERYTHING! Oh my… the possibilities are endless! As long as the fabric is in decent condition with no holes or rips, it’s totally paintable. All you have to do to the paint is mix in a product called Fabric Medium. This basically makes the paint flexible and turns any latex or acrylic paint into fabric paint!

I mean really, check out these before and after photos!!

I’ll be testing this out on the chairs this week.. stay tuned for updates!

Wrap It Up

My beach cruiser was given to me a couple of years ago by a very dear friend, and its life at the beach has been a little rough on it. With the moist salty air, the handlebars started to rust, (which made me a little sad, because beach cruisers should be cute, fun bikes). So I decided to spruce it up, totally hiding the rust, by wrapping the handlebars in yarn.

To begin wrapping the yarn, simply secure the end to the starting point on your bike with a bit of super glue. Then just continue wrapping (be patient, this takes some time) while occasionally pushing the yarn toward your starting point (this is just to ensure that you won’t have gaps in-between). After the length you want wrapped is covered, just secure the end of the yarn to the bike with another dab of super glue, and ta-da! Your bike has a whole new look!

5 Projects

It’s summertime and I’ve had a lot of creative energy flowing to finish projects that have been waiting around, and the inspiration to crank out some new ones. Here are a couple quick and easy DIYs that I’m looking forward to trying in the very near future…

1. {His & Her Sharpie Mug set via} (Just make sure your mugs are porcelain, ceramic won’t work!)

2. {Cork & Stone Bottle Stoppers via}

3. {Etched Glass via}

4. {Customized Make-up Brushes via}

5. {Dip-dye inspired kitchen utensils via}

From Table to Bench


Here’s a little before and after project for all of you furniture DIY’ers and re-purposers. This was a super heavy, solid wood, hand-me-down table that we’ve re-purposed into a bench for the living room. The new use for the table was simply my suggestion, Betsy did all of the work to transform it into its new life as a glossy black bench. We’re also going to make a custom cushion for it with a bolster at the back, but we found these temporary cushions at Ikea (for cheap of course) and they fit right in with the rest of the decor, so they’ll suffice as placeholders for now.


A little sanding + spray paint works wonders… This project took only one afternoon, get motivated and you can do anything! :)