The Dollhouse: Master Bedroom Before & After

It’s all about the pillow talk! The before and after of The Dollhouse’s master bedroom will have some of the biggest changes in the home. We had to make a lot changes to ensure I have plenty of space, safety and room to breathe. I am very lucky to find a master bedroom in a 1930s home that is as large as this one is. Lots of change, lots of function and lots of color!

The biggest change I made for the master bedroom was taking out the exterior door that led to the sunroom. You’ll notice that most older homes have a door that opens up to outside because the homes didn’t have electricity and needed airflow. While I totally understand the need for the doors, I have central air (bless it) and just really wasn’t loving having an exterior door in my bedroom from a safety aspect. It was also just in a wonky spot that really messed with where I could put my bed. Once this door was covered – the room truly came together!

THE MASTER BEDROOM

Can’t you see how big of a difference it made to close in that door?! I was able to make ample space for my bed along with two larger bedside tables and just make the flow so much better than it originally was. The door just really took over the wall and needed to go. I have another door to my sunroom that’s in my office, so there was no need for two.

One of my biggest wishes for my master bedroom was to have a tall, velvet headboard (mainly because I didn’t want to find decor for above it), but so I could have a crazy and fun pop of color. I waited months for this headboard… but it was totally worth the wait! Having a bed that was a statement on its own made it easier for finding simple bedding and pillows.

Two other important spaces for me were a vanity area and sitting space. I am a hair and make-up gal and love my glam, so I really wanted a designated space for this – that way I can keep it tidy. I also wanted a space for friends or family to sit if we’re hanging out in my room and luckily enough my striped chair I had from when I lived in Houston worked perfectly! It helps that this is such a large room that I was even allowed to have a vanity area and sitting space. People don’t want to lounge around on your bed and like a more structured space to hangout and chit chat.

If I would have kept the wall, my bed and bedside tables would have needed to go on the wall where my dresser and TV are located now. I mean… talk about a tight space. I’m so happy with the new arrangement I have in this room. There is the perfect amount of space for my dresser and TV and I can see my TV if I want from my office – which is ideal! I’m also so, so in love with all the natural light that continues throughout my home into my master. It helps brighten everything!

The now shoe closet was originally a smaller coat closet that backed up to my bathroom storage. My Dad (being the amazing girl Dad that he is) had the most amazing idea to cut the close in half and make this a dedicated shoe and purse closet and have more space in my bathroom (it had such a small amount of storage). Just like I did with bringing spices for my spice cabinet to measure, I brought my booties, heels and boot boxes for my carpenter to measure the space. We left plenty of room at the top of the closet to store my boot boxes and keep them hidden and easy to pull out when needed. No worries… my 5’2 self has a step stool.

The master closet was the most creative and frustrating process of the whole home, in my opinion! My initial problem with purchasing this home was that the closet wasn’t large enough (I mean if you know me… you know). The original closet was snug, but there was hallway storage that I was able to take from on the right and a built-in book cabinet on the left side that I closed in to make space for the washer and dryer. If you’re not following the flow of my home, the master closet backs up to the kitchen, which is where the washer and dryer originally was so it was only natural to just put a stackable unit in my closet. Luckily, they make larger stackable units that can fit a normal load versus the older versions.

While the closet isn’t huge, it gets the job done! I knew when mapping out hanging space that I wanted room for short sleeve blouses at the top, long sleeve blouses below and a longer hanging space for jumpsuits and maxi dresses. There is nothing more frustrating for me in a closet that not being able to see my long dresses – when I hang them folded, I forget what I’ve got. I also lined up my pants storage with lots of space for my different types of pants from shorts to skirts to jeans. This is a space that works for me and that’s the way I designed it.

A COUPLE MORE PRETTIES…

Each one of the rooms in The Dollhouse has a fun pop of color and shows a big piece of my personality. I really enjoyed making my master bedroom vibrant and colorful because I wanted to really have happy room for me to enjoy! I made a functional space with my closets (yes – I’m using closets in my other rooms and I have a built-in storage space upstairs – don’t judge me) and have specified spots for certain clothing and they have their place. Your bedroom should be your happy place and mine is!

The Dollhouse: Dining Room & Breakfast Nook Before and After

Now that you’ve seen all the glory of The Dollhouse’s kitchen, it’s only natural that I reveal the two rooms that are attached to it – the dining room and breakfast nook! These are two rooms that simply just got a cosmetic facelift. It really is wild, though, how some paint and the right decor can add to a space.

After tearing down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, the biggest challenge for me was how to fill up the dining room with furniture and decor that allowed enough room to roam. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m all about the flow from room to room! It was most important to me to have ample seating space that didn’t go against what I chose with bar stools on the kitchen island, but also leave space to potentially have an additional table in the dining room for future Friendsgivings or Cookie Exchange parties.

The biggest pieces that were my statements for both the dining room and breakfast nook were the light fixtures. I wanted the mid-century vibe and charm that comes with an older home. A little updating goes a long way!

THE DINING ROOM

What a difference a torn down wall can make! I’m so lucky that there are huge windows throughout the home to give so much natural light, but also that it takes up wall space and means… less decor needed! Yes, I can get lazy with it sometimes. I found the half sputnik light to be the perfect pop to the dining room, without overpowering the space. The ceilings aren’t tall enough for me to allow a full rounded sputnik or really any type of larger light fixture. It’s an attention grabber, but not overwhelming!

When it came to choosing a table, I really measured it ALL out! I wanted an oval shape as a rectangular table just would have felt too overpowering. I do wish the table could be a little wider, but there’s nothing saying I can’t keep the base and replace the top.

One piece of furniture that I was most excited to find a space for was this beautiful antique record player. This was my Grandmother Nolan’s record player and I remember it from my childhood and have always loved it. It was originally going to go in the entrance of my home where you saw it as soon as you walked through the front door, but it sat too low. We transitioned it to the dining room and it was like it was meant for that spot, especially with the Ken and Barbie picture! I mean… how fun is that print?!

The doors that go from the dining room to the living room are the originals – including handles and all! I thought they were so pretty yet so perfect to close off a space, if needed. During the quarantimes, my older sister would come do webinars in my office space and I could close myself off in the living room by shutting these doors and we wouldn’t hear a peep from each other.

I also knew that with my very minimal space for storage in The Dollhouse, that a bar cart would be a necessity! They’re cute, but also can store quite a bit of bar essentials instead of being hidden in a drawer and never used. Big shoutout to big sister Ilissa for getting me all the cute accessories and setting it up! We do useful gifts for each other around Christmas and I told her I wanted her to outfit my bar cart and she crushed it!

THE BREAKFAST NOOK

This breakfast nook is just the cutest little space. I was so lucky that it already had its built in storage that I could take advantage of – it just needed a little TLC from paint to handles and I had the electricians add in plugs hidden in the bottom cabinet so I had a place to charge my electric wine opener and potentially add in holiday decor. I’ve learned – the more plugs in a home, the better. I’m still finding spaces where I’m like “aghhhhh I should have put a plug there!!”

The cabinets in my breakfast nook needed pretties to be displayed so I decided that would be a great space for my wine and cocktail glasses along with some of my colorful coffee mugs. Since the cabinetry was going to match the kitchen, the furniture needed to be simple. I really, really wanted acrylic chairs somewhere in my house and it really helped make this room look and feel a little more open than it really is. If the cabinetry wasn’t already in this room, I would have loved to make this a booth style space with build in seating and cushions with a much larger table, but I totally love the way this space turned out!

I do still plan to add in wallpaper, but all of the ones that I love are peel and stick only. My father refuses to put in peel and stick as it’s not permanent and will roll up over time. I get it, so I’m just being patient until I find the perfect print!!


My dining room and breakfast nook are such a fun space that just needed a little bit of love and lots of fun decor. Now that you’ve seen all of my entertaining spaces… what do you think will be next?

The Dollhouse: Kitchen Before and After

This reveal may just be my favorite one to share with you! When determining what I wanted my kitchen to be like… the main priority was entertaining friends and family. I wanted to be able to see from the kitchen to my living room and enjoy all guests, or ya know just watch TV while I’m cooking. It’s the little things, y’all.

The previous layout of the kitchen when I bought The Dollhouse made it feel so closed off from the rest of the home. There was a wall between the kitchen and dining room that I knew had to go! Once the wall was gone, it made a WORLD of difference for the flow of the living room to dining to the kitchen. I love, love that I can see straight through the house and when I do entertain, I can see all my guests in each room.

The kitchen also had a couple of unique items that older homes tend to have like a washer and dryer in the kitchen and a built in ironing board. There was a lot of creativity that had to be used when designing the new kitchen layout to help fit in all of my needs and wants, while moving items like a washer and dryer to the master room.

If there’s one thing I’m most proud of… it’s the BOLD GREEN I chose for my cabinets. That is one choice that I never thought twice about. Seriously, no regrets! I wanted the cabinets to feel funky and retro and just POP when you walked in with a flooring that really hit the vibe of my 1930s style home. While I have beautiful hardwoods throughout my home, the kitchen had a different type and size of wood that would have never looked right against the rest of the flooring, so I searched hard for the perfect vinyl tile that would compliment the kitchen cabinets.

“Happiness is a small house, with a big kitchen.”

Alfred Hitchcock

THE KITCHEN

I mean case and point for what breaking down a wall can do! It went from being closed and not knowing what was going on in the kitchen to airy, open and happy. I wanted a big, open and level countertop to place lots of foot on for parties and to be able to cook and chat with friends or family. All my life, I’ve always sat and chatted with my mom in our home kitchen while she cooks and it’s where we’ve always gathered as a family – I wanted that, too!

It’s all about that line of sight! I know I didn’t want a vent hood getting in my way, so I really splurged on getting a downdraft oven so that nothing would mess with the open feel of the home. Designing this cabinet layout was TOUGH. I really, really wanted a downdraft oven and microwave drawer, but also wouldn’t budge on a hidden trash compartment and cookie sheet corner. I love to bake and cook, so I designed the kitchen with that in mind and the flow of how I cook!

From the previous layout, I really tried to mirror where the sink plumbing already was. Where I could cut costs from moving lines or wires, I did. If you didn’t know by now, I’m a big lover of all things WINE! One non-negotiable for this kitchen was a wine fridge. I had a couple of cabinetry people tell me I just simply didn’t have enough room, but it’s custom cabinetry y’all… we MAKE ROOM! I’m so happy with all the space in these cabinets and saved the very tip top cabinets for entertaining dishes like charcuterie boards and bowls.

Seeing as I didn’t think I would get much use out of a washer and dryer in my kitchen, I moved a stackable unit into my master closet which is right behind this wall. It took some rearranging, but makes so much more sense! I moved my fridge to this corner pocket and made room for a big fridge that I can hold beverage and long platters in. This wall felt so empty and I couldn’t even start to think of how to decorate such a large space and then BAM a cookbook display came to mind! I love reading through cookbooks and having them displayed and right at my fingertips instead of hidden in a cabinet motivates me more to read through them. Such a fun but useful way to take over a large wall space in a kitchen.

This is probably these greatest use of space YET! While my family and I were looking at this built in ironing board trying to decide what to change it to, my older sister Ilissa had the brilliant idea to turn it into a spice cabinet! I mean… GENIUS! Now I don’t have spices taking over my tiny pantry and I have easy access when cooking. When my carpenter was measuring, though, I brought over all of my favorite spices and sprays to ensure that everything would fit.

Although my pantry is in a back hallway, I still wanted it to match and flow along with the kitchen for access and convenience. We had toyed with keeping the original one and just adding new cabinet faces, but my Dad accidentially tore it down when demoing… so it’s all fresh and new like everything else!

A COUPLE MORE PRETTIES…

The vibrancy and pop of this bold green makes me so happy every time I’m in my kitchen. I made this kitchen work for and function for ME! I truly think everyone should have a bold color on their cabinets and some funky flooring to add a finishing touch! I did try to simplify all other items like my white quartz countertops and subway tile backsplash. It’s fun, funky and colorful. Now I’m going to read through some of my favorite cookbooks and get to cooking some dinner!

Thanks for visiting my Dollhouse!

The Dollhouse is Looking… Livable!

Livable. The Dollhouse is looking like it is L I V A B L E! This is big because for a minute there it looked like the interior would never come to this point. The floors are pretty and stained, cabinetry painted and countertops are installed. We are getting there and I have a countdown for move in day… but we all know that number changes on the daily.

Since the last time I updated you, we were just getting ready for cabinetry and a lot has happened since then. Here’s a breakdown of the big happenings in The Dollhouse and some ups and downs that came along with it.

CABINETRY

To say I love my cabinetry is an understatement! I designed to fit everything I wanted in it from my wine fridge to a hidden trash compartment. I did the installation solo – my amazing mom and dad have come to a lot of installations with me because they’ve done this a time or two and I value their opinion more than anything else! Everything was installed perfectly, but there are some notes/tips I have for first time cabinetry peeps:

  • It won’t all align perfectly. The cabinetry people install doors and drawers but will come back after it is all painted to make sure they’re even and balanced. They know that with painters the doors and drawers will be taken off and put back on so they come back to make sure it looks perfect. I did not know such a thing and was like what is this!!!!  With a quick call to my parents they informed me this is very normal, but for most people doing this the first time it’s not so obvious. The more ya know!
  • Think about your crown molding. You may want the crown molding to line through the top cabinetry to have a flow throughout the room. This isn’t a huge ordeal, but something to think about and keep in mind.

It’s funny that I thought designing the cabinetry was the hard stuff because picking a paint color was even harder! From the beginning I have been dead set on painting my cabinetry green. Not Nolan Green (those that know my family know this is a thing – my parents have everything a particular green at the ranch), but a very jewel-toned, Wizard of Oz Emerald Green.

How did I choose? We did a couple of dry samples of papers and held them up against the cabinetry to help me really visualize the colors. This came with some picking and choosing but I went with Sherwin Williams Ivy League paint color and it DELIVERED! 

Once the color was picked, it took two full coats and some extra time to dry, but the end result was WORTH IT! Going with a bold cabinetry color was always the game plan for me and the green choice was something that I didn’t second guess for over two months (which seemed good enough for all the other back and forth decisions I’ve made). I’m so happy this was the color I went with and just see how bold it looks!

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COUNTERTOPS

Initially, I thought this would be a much simpler option than it was. After gathering bids and comparing quartz versus granite, my choices kept getting slimmer and slimmer with the budget I needed to stick around. I really had to sit and take into account that my vibrant green cabinets and future black and white floor tiles didn’t need a crazy countertop to compete with. I wanted simple and clean, but that’s not necessarily what comes to mind with granite so after lots of looking and online searching, I decided that quartz was my answer.

With some major search by Tim Fielden at Simply Floors and Lights in Gilmer (shop local, y’all!), we found the PERFECT plain, beautiful and simple white quartz countertop called Zen White. I really thought I wanted the calcutta quartz countertops or even the gray granite, but there was just too much movement going on in the countertops to give attention to all the other features I was adding in my kitchen.

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REFINISHING ORIGINAL HARDWOOD FLOORS

This was the TOUGHEST OF THEM ALL!! I am so lucky to have original hardwood floors in the majority of my home and knew from the get go that these would need to be refinished. This is basically one of the last big steps in the remodel process. The original flooring had a very multi-colored effect and you could see in other rooms where previous owners have tried to stain on top of previous stains. It was time for these floors to have a fresh start!

This all started with sanding the floors down which took about two days, picking a stain and being kicked out from peaking at those beautiful floors so they could finish for 3 days. The most challenging part of refinishing these floors for me was the stain color. I looked at an online deck and my refinishing guy put down samples to choose from. I looked at the floor stain options at night and in the daytime to see it differently with lighting.

While the pictures don’t quite do the floor the justice they deserve, I ended up choosing Walnut (middle option on bottom row). Funny enough, that’s the color I originally chose from the stain deck before event seeing it on the floor – stick with you gut kiddos!

While a lot of people will recommend to not go darker, with everything going on in my home from the green cabinets to the potential decor, there has to be dimension to break it up with the flooring.

I patiently waited over the weekend and didn’t even PEAK through windows to see the flooring. I’m so please with how they turned out, especially against my cabinetry. I wanted a very warm vibe and it’s just that!

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I really want to say thank you to everyone that has been so invested in the remodel of my little Dollhouse! I feel like people get just as excited about the littlest updates as I do and that really means the world. There’s so much more to come with finishing up my light fixtures, tile installation and closet completions. Thanks for following along!

Progress Is…. Progress!

I’m going to say the understatement of the year and it’s that my family has been just a littttttle busy this fall! From having the most beautiful Yamboree Queen (my little sister) at our hometown festival and then running all over for events with our Hereford Association to Fighting Texas Aggie football games, my weekends that are typically my open time to work on my home have been BOOKED! 

Since the last time you had an opportunity to look at my little Dollhouse, it was just vacant and ready for DEMO!! Now we’ve completely gutted the place, changed my ideas here and there and have gotten moving with lots of different things! It was so fun to tear down all the fabric wallpaper and old walls to find all of the wood planks hidden behind. I know a TON of people would leave those wood planks raw and show them to the world but they’re just too wide for my taste and I promise the end result with be worth it! Ya girl over here needs her home to have some insulation and that has to go behind those planks.

So what have we done since the gut job? Here’s a little lowdown:

Foundation: When I bought this cutie of a home I knew that it wasn’t the most level space so getting my pier and beam foundation leveled was priority numero uno before I had any big work done. Luckily, this was an easy fix and Benchmark Foundation came in while I was booked during Yamboree to get it DONE! 

Carpentry: A little carpentry work has made its way in. After the wall between the kitchen and dining was destroyed we waited for the carpenters to come in to install a beam between those rooms and frame up my master closet and the refrigerator area. It was my lucky day when they came because I didn’t need a beam so now it feels like one OPEN space!! The carpenters still came in, though, to frame up room in my closet, close in one of my FIVE exterior doors that was in my master bedroom and more.

Plumbing: Plumbers came in and replaced cast iron and have moved my lines for my refrigerator  (was in where the original kitchen wall was and is now on a separate wall) and washer/dryer combo (was in the kitchen and is now in my master closet). They’ve also been busy, busy taking out all o the cast iron plumbing and replacing it throughout my kitchen and bathroom area.

Electricity: My electrician’s crew is in the works on putting some updates throughout my home – I am very lucky and a majority of the electrical work was updated before I moved in which is not typical for most 1930s homes… that’s what I thought. They actually had to come in and replace just about everything due to it not being correct with different sized wires. People – this is why you do it right from the beginning and hire the professionals! Since it is an older home, I’m also moving around some light switches (they’re in the oddest places) and plugs throughout the home. Most of the plugs are in my baseboards and we are replacing all of those, so the plugs are being pushed up a little and some will even have the USB capability.

Cabinetry: With what seems like it’s been an eternity, we have FINALIZED my cabinetry. I mean I knew I was picky, but WOW! Since I’m working with such a small space, I wanted to ensure I was utilizing every space I could with the cabinetry I am putting in my kitchen. After quite a bit of back and forth we are done and it will be built in the next 2-3 weeks. I’ve realized that what I thought was necessary in cabinetry sometimes isn’t, but I’m still getting room for my wine fridge and trash compartment because those are the little things that make me happy!

Insulation: Once the electrical was complete, insulation was inserted between the wooden boards and brick on all the the exterior walls and throughout my attic area. This will ensure I am warm in the winter and cool in the summers and is SO WORTH IT to get done while I’m down with the bare bones of the house.

Drywall: After insulation was put in, my drywall came in and now I have walls!! It was such an odd experience to walk in the house from being used to the wooden walls to having actual walls and seeing my vision of the home come to life. Big fan!!

A lot has already been completed, but here’s whats next on my list for December: 

  • Tape, bed and texture: I’ll have some guys come in to tape, bed and texture the walls in the home. Once this is complete, it will be paint time!
  • Base boards: The carpenter will add in my new baseboard (trying to keep the original sizes).
  • Paint: Planning to paint the interior of the home with a light gray on the walls and white on all of my trim and the exterior of the home white.
  • Cabinetry: Installation of cabinetry for my kitchen, pantry and bathroom will be put into place. They will then be painted a super fun and funky green color. I promise it’s going to look GREAT!
  • Refinishing hardwoods: My original hardwoods are BEAUTIFUL and I could not be more excited to have them in my home. Unfortunately, they’re all a semi-different color in each room so we plan to refinish those as well to make it uniform. I mean – might as well while we’re working on it!

Hope you’re enjoying following along! A lot of work has been done but there’s still more to come!