She had me at turquoise and white striped walls.   Last week, within 4 minutes of my first stop ever at a blog called Pure and Lovely, I was tweeting the author, Ashley, begging her to show off her home at Nesting Place.  She names her furniture people, like real, vintage names, need I say more?

What I like about her home is that although it is strikingly beautiful, it’s welcoming, comforting, and approachable.  It says “I have style and I also have a family and this beautiful home is an intricate part of our every day life.”  It’s a real home, that is really loved. And used.  Her home gave me hope and inspired and motivated me.  If you have yet to stop by Pure and Lovely/ also lovingly known as Supa Blogga Supreme Mama’s blog,  you are gonna love this guest post.  Here’s Ashley::

If you’re anything like my growing family in this economy, you’re not leaving the space you’re in anytime soon. Reality has literally hit home for the masses. So I thought I would share a snippet of my home. Two changes: one big and one small. Simple solutions we personally used, for expanding (and even adding value to) our little bungalow.

We’re not just learning to be content, but loving where we are in the meantime.

We live in a home with no traditional bonus room or basement. I’m sure that compared to an apartment in Sweden, it’s huge. {Space is relative, after all.} We’re not total ingrates, so we love our (smaller) home. When we first moved in, we had one child. Now we have three, 4 and under. I had never planned on three –I’m drowning in GIANT toys and gear.  My children had their own separate rooms, as I felt their gender, age and birth order warranted it. But our home felt cramped. There was no real room dedicated to their play…no area to let loose with their Spiderman v. My Little Pony wars. I then realized that with change in our family came flexible transition for our spaces.

Who’s preconceived notions of a home was I following, anyway?

After weighing the options, I moved our two boys (4.5 yrs. and 9 mos) in together. It took some bribing in the form of pet turtles for my oldest, but the change was well worth it.

The space needed to be gender neutral and budget friendly. So with a few simple revamps, the “playproom” (dubbed by my daughter) came into being. I wanted it to be expressive with colors and clever in function. For me, color can make or break a space, and aqua was a fun choice.

I carried the color scheme into the furniture and accessories to give it a cohesive look. I brightened reds to a fire engine status, where as before they were an aged barn when they sat in my oldest’s room. I changed the chairs around the table, from barn red, to bright red and yellow. I also spray painted the old star lamp yellow, to give it more of a prominent pop. Tada! A {primary with a twist} color palette.

The window valance is literally old pieces of fabric from some pillows I did a few seasons back, held up with a copper pipe and clips. The framed fabric you spy are magnet boards also made from leftover projects. Once I sewed them, I tacked them around a large piece of metal from home depot and framed them in coordinating colors with some MDF (my bff). I wanted the kids to have a good place to display their art, other than the exhausted proverbial fridge. The star garland you see strung across the top, was inspired by one I spied at West Elm last Christmas, and I decided this would work great as another art display. I’ve already caught my oldest trying to use it as a zip line.

This buffet was rescued and revamped it with a two toned, coordinating yellow and red knobs. It holds toys, along with two spare baskets, and a vintage box originally used for (get this) transporting birds. The room is a combination of vintage pieces from our own childhoods, cherished books, toys, and art from our children. The other frames on the wall were made by me to display their photos. They love their play space. I knew I’d succeeded then they refused to leave for an entire week. Doing this ultimately gave us more space, and made our home feel as though we’d gained a room, rather than lost one.

Our second space saving change came with the idea of building a wall. Our bungalow came fully equipped with a back porch when we moved in. Which, in theory, seemed like a good idea. It was encased on three sides. At first, we created an outdoor oasis. But my visions of a relaxing cup o Joe in the mornings were shattered when someone forgot to remind us that we live in the doldrums of the tropics in South Alabama. And for icing on the cake: our back yard is completely dominated by a killer pecan tree that houses everything from gooey caterpillar nests to wombat man eating spider monkeys. True story.

This spring, we’d had enough. We hired a contractor to build a wall for us. (Take that, evil face eating mosquitoes.) This undertaking was quite affordable. Especially considering the value it brings to our home. I call it the veranda, as Florida room sounds like the place where a leather-esque old lady sits covered in palm fronds, admiring her collection of kitschy hula girls and various bobble heads.

The striped walls are actually siding. We used the natural lines as stripes. I decided since the room was so narrow, it could use something striking on the walls. I adhered to the fashion rule that broad, horizontal stripes make one look wider, and applied it to the room. The application and contrast in real life is quite fun, giving the appeal of a seaside escape.

I refinished the furniture on the porch, a previous clearance find at Target via Smith and Hawken. I also replaced the fabric on the pillows, for something more suiting to the room. I am in no way a seamstress, but I recovered the original cushions to give it a more custom look, to unify the original fabric from the seat cushions, and the new colors on the walls. I also made curtains from linen for the windows. The dresser was a find at a favorite flea market of mine. We refinished it in aqua, and replaced the knobs. This is definitely our family’s favorite room in the house. It added much the needed indoor space to our home, and value, as well. Sometimes, in the afternoons, the kids and I lie on the floor and watch the man eating pecan tree with all the Swiss Family Robinson wilde glory, from the luxury of our cool shelter. Blissful contentment, it is.

Thank you for looking. I’d love to hear…what are some of your ideas for making your space last longer?

Read more about Ashley here, see her dining room here, and stop by her etsy shop, Pure Innovation.