garage entry

My sister-in-law recently purchased a new home (super exciting) in Carlsbad, blocks from the beach… and yes, we plan to visit a lot! :)

Walking through her new home she mentioned that she’d really like a place for the kids to keep their back packs, jackets, etc… to keep things organized (and since there are 4 kiddo’s it’s even more important to keep a handle on all the “stuff”).

Her original idea was to do some sort of a locker system, built-in style, near their main entrance. The house has an alcove already there, however my sister-in-law wasn’t sure of the cost and she wants to be budget friendly until they’ve had some time to actually live in their new home.

Upon walking around the house I saw a strange yet perfect space, just off the main living room and near the door to the garage entrance. I pointed it out and mentioned that I thought the space would be perfect for her backpack/jacket/locker area. She was a little thrown at first but as I explained that most of the time they’d be coming in through the garage and not the front door, this may be a better place. In addition to that, this area may become somewhat cluttered, and that kind of mess wouldn’t be nice next to the front door.

Here is the picture she sent me of her space, in it;s current state:

Her living area and kitchen are open to this room. The garage entrance is to the right of this photo, and her dining table is going to be to the left of this photo (if that helps to give you a better idea of the space… maybe not).

And here is what I came up with for her… as a starting point for this area.

#1  - Need a bench! I advised that she could make a simple farmhouse bench and it could be the exact size of the space for a reasonable price. I especially love this plan here. Paint it or stain it… almost any color would work here. I think a stain like this would look really cool.
#2. – Chalkboard paint (I am thinking less than half the wall, want to make the hooks easily accessible to the kids).
#3.  - Trim for the hooks – Purchase 1x8x8 and get it cut to size (length of your wall, it’s only one cut and they will do it for you at Home Depot or Lowes, etc.), then paint it the same color as your baseboards (you’ll already have the paint, so that’s a freebie… whoo-hoo!). Sample piece of wood is like this.
#4.  - A picture or canvas – I think a nice, large canvas print of the entire family (or framed photo), above the hooks, nice and high, will look great!
#5.  - Hook it up! – The hooks I put up are from Room and Board, they come in multiple colors, but you could do any hooks. I think 5 is good, always nice to have an extra hook for yourself or a guest and I like to decorate in odd numbers! lol! :) These hooks are fun and will be easy for the kids to use, large and wide. See the hooks here.
#6.  - Storage – Some baskets for under the bench, maybe one for each kid. I just used plastic ones from here.   These baskets are sturdy and come in multiple colors (that could be fun for the kids), I just used white. BUT, if you do a white bench, do colored baskets.
#7. – Personalize It – Those letters are faux metal letters like these, that you can make. Or these would work too! One letter or number for each kiddo would be fun & makes it personal.
#8. Label It! – Cute chalkboard tags for the baskets. I am loving this store on Etsy with all the super cute chalkboard tags like these.
#9. – Rug – Last but not least, a runner or rug for the area, to help define the space and give the gids a clear boundry of where they need to remove their shoes. I love this rug. And I love this one too (fun colors for the kid space).
That’s my idea! :) Kel said she loves the idea and REALLY loves the space I picked out. She would have never thought to use that space in that way so I guess it always helps to have a set of fresh eyes! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.
Total Cost for this project would be as follows:
Chalk Paint – free, already have
1x8x8 board cut to size for the hooks – $22
White paint – Free, already have
Bench (by Ana’s plans, for all materials and stain) $57.00 (10% added for misc. doesn’t include tools)
Chalkboard Tags – $24 (or we could make these for Free, but going to include them in this estimate)
Baskets (set of 4 ) – $40
Hooks (5 hooks) – $20 ( I used these hooks instead. They are functional, easy for kids and more cost effective for this project)
Rug (Kel’s space is just under 5 feet so a runner is too long, I thing this one in a 2×3) $33 (and wait for free shipping deal)
WOW!! A fun, functional space that will be used every. single. day. AND for under $200!! That’s a steal!
Make it a great day!

Modern Cottage Mood Board

Recently there was a fun design challenge on  As you know, I am a fan of the Olioboard site (see a post on that here). I am a little bit addicted to making mood boards and I tend to get lost in time and pay no attention to the clock when I am making these boards. I try to steer clear of addictions like these but sometimes I just can’t help myself! I saw the contest for a “modern cottage getaway” on the Olioboard site. I was enticed  so I went ahead and entered! Little did I know that I entered on the 2nd to last day of the contest therefore not giving my board enough time to gather hardly any votes. Either way, it was fun. And I am a free member, so the access and items are a little limiting (if you choose, you can pay a small fee and get all kinds of amazing goodies to make mood boards… can you imagine the possibilities?!). Here is what I came up with:

My idea was for a modern cabin in the woods, near the lake but somewhere you could go to get away from it all. Relax, star gaze and share some wine with your family.

Some things I loved about this space:

THE SOFA- it’s the anchor for the entire room, large enough to be comfortable but not overwhelming the entire space. Grey is a neutral color and goes with anything.

BROWN ELEMENTS – I love the wood, and the cow hide. I think it keeps the space from looking cold… it’s inviting and creates layers.

THE DEER ART – This art was the first item I added to the mood board. I love these! I found a link for them here and I think I just might have to get  one! Love at first site, a deer wearing gym socks, so COOL!. Pairing them in the room for symmetrical appearance and on top of those mirrored chain-like drapes… so fun and I thought unique. I could see doing something similar in my house.

THE LIGHT – I would die to have this light (from here) in my house! I freaking LOVE it… need I say more, I think it’s the polish to the entire room.

LAMP, TELESCOPE, COFFEE TABLE – Love that lamp, orange and funky, and so me! That retro coffee table keeps things modern but with a warm feel and the telescope is for the warm nights of star gazing… soooo dreamy!

Check out the entire room and shop for all the items at my Olioboard link here.

**I was not paid or asked to advertise for Olioboard or any of their sponsors. These are solely my opinions and nothing more.

Have a great weekend!


I just wanted to say how much I love creating on Olioboard.

Today I dreamed up a fun, modern yet playful living room. I could totally see myself and the fan-dam hanging out in this space, enjoying each others company or reading a good book… ain’t it grand?!

Here are my thoghts:

#1. I would love a grey sectional sofa. Our current sofa is falling apart. I died it grey a little over a year ago (yes, I dyed it) and it helped for a little while but the sad truth of the matter is we need a new one. Comfort will be a major factor and the narrow living room makes it nearly impossible to have anything large. I love the low back on this sectional, our living room will need something similar. The low back helps make the sofa appear smaller and opens up the room where a normal sofa would block space, valuable space in our loooong, bowling-like alley living room

#2. An accent chair! YES! One in orange? Ohhhhh, that would be dreamy! I would love this bright pop of color and orange ties in well with the many bright aqua-turquoise accents I already have in the kitchen.

#3. Out with our coffee table and in with an ottoman. I need the space and coffee tables (in my opinion) are better served in a large, formal living room. I need something functional, small and versatile. I love the idea that it can be a foot rest or a seat for extra company. I could always slap a tray on it and use it as a temporary coffee table when needed. This is why a small ottoman would be perfect for our space.

#4. An arc lamp because I have arc lamp envy! See more here

#5. I am so totally, completely loving the bright canvas paintings. I think some big, fun paintings of our dogs and the kids would be so great in our living room. We are really limited on wall space but I may have to find a way to get some of these! Talk about a great statement piece, I love these paintings, so creative and unique!

#6. Some hints of brass. Yes, gold/brass is making a come back and I love it.  I even dream of brass fixtures in my future kitchen (that kitchen that dreams are made of… ohhh, I think another Olioboard  idea has come to light). I would love to see some brass as it is warm, inviting and adds a little flair to the space.

#6. Love the rug and I love stripes and I would love a navy striped rug. Not sure if that will ever happen (2 boys and 2 dogs… no white striped rugs). BUt I love throwing in some navy to the space.

#7. I always need some storage and I loved this vintage looking basket. It would be perfect for blankets and/or pillows.


Do you do Olioboard? If so, lets connect!