Welcome! I started writing this blog almost eight years ago. Since then we’ve lived in FOUR different houses, three of them rentals. We recently purchased a fixer upper, but for four years we lived the same rental house and I wrote most of my favorite blog posts there, wrote a book about decorating, and learned to be content to rent. Here are some of the highlights of the rental house…

decorating blog

Read more about our paint colors  our white walls, our sofa, and the gallery wall

When we first moved in our rental it looked like this.  Here’s how I slowly changed out the red without spending a ton of cash.

Then it looked like this with our walls a color called Tobacco Road

decorating blog

Then I went white.  Wondering about the striped drapes?  Find out all about them here.

decorating blog

The lamps, the green leather chair, the wreath

decorating blog

Chalkboard surround fireplace, striped drapes

decorating blog

About our sailfish, the $18 dresser, how our TV paid for itself and the $30 copper twins…

decorating a rental

I painted our hutch two years ago. I’m an impatient, imperfect painter but I learned a few tricks and it’s held up to our heavy abuse…

how to paint furniture like a pro

I painted our table at the same time, and it’s held up great too–even the table top looks great after and my three boys and husband have used it up.

We are not what you’d call “easy” on our furniture.

decorating blog

There’s a tiny room in the front of our house that I think is supposed to be the dining room.  But it’s far from the kitchen and we always eat in there anyway so we use it as a little sitting room.  Basically it just looks pretty.  I layered some thrifted/found white plates on the wall (here’s how to hang them) made a book page shade for an old light fixture, and found a $16 coffee table from a thrift store.  The wall color is Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray.

Here’s what the room looked like when we first moved in.

front room

and todayish….

Moving on to the office…

decorating blog

We put up board and batten (yep even though we are renting, we thought it added some charm to the house) and I found an old dresser and painted it blue. The rug is an Amy Butler by Chandra, but I sold it six months ago. I found the table/desk at a yard sale for $15.  The bird lamps and mirror are from Home Goods. But the office rarely looks like that, it usually looks like this.  I promise it’s worth the click.

And if you are wondering, here’s what the office looked like when we moved in.

decorating with stumps

We use a trio of stumps as tables in our foyer.

And I painted a grandfather clock white for a little update.

laundry room makeover

And here’s our $175 Laundry Room Makeover.


decorating blog

Here’s our bedroom. It looks kind of fancy but it’s not.  The mirror’s made of posterboard, the curtains are sheets, the chair on the right is a $35 thrift store find, I found the lantern at the Habitat ReStore for $30…

decorating blog

Oh and then just for fun I put duct tape on our walls to make diamonds.  Real diamonds cost too much anyway.

decorating blog

That cowhide rug was only $65 because it’s missing a shoulder, you can’t even tell.  I found the parson’s table for $30ish at a thrift store and you can read about the monogram here.  I’m able to decorate my house on a budget because I’ve learned the secret of embracing imperfection.

Not every room in our house looks put together. Some rooms I’m working on right now…

Two of our boys want to turn the bonus room into a shared bedroom so we are working on an easy guest room makeover and a boys bedroom.




family room

I’m so happy you are here and even though I just plastered a lot of photos of my house in front of you, this place on the internet is not about me and it’s not about my ragamuffin/sometimes looking good usually looking used up lived in and loved on house.  It’s a place for you to be encouraged, to find motivation and hope for your home.  It’s a place for you to finally start believing that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Even if you are renting. Especially if you are renting.


Wondering where to read from here?  May I suggest the most recent 31 Day series I wrote on finding your home’s purpose?  It’s 31 super quick posts that help you think about the WHY of your home, kind of a class in pre-decorating…that will help everyone, if you are just starting a home or if you’ve had one for 40 years.  The series is called Home. On Purpose.


Ready to see photos of our current fixer-upper? Here’s the tour as of September 2013, one month after we closed.

farmhouse kitchen

We bought a little white house in the country on 12 acres, every room is begging for our undivided attention. click on the home page to see what we are currently working on.