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Category Archives: Sarah’s House

Laney’s Big Girl Custom Bed

by Sarah on June 3, 2014, 3 comments

A twin bed was most certainly the best option for Laney’s little converted attic bedroom. With way too many “shin walls” (that’s an official term now), meaning walls that are only as high as an adult’s shin–we’re pretty short on space in here.

laney room progress

Not only did we need a twin bed but we needed a bed with added value…storage. So I looked at all the storage bed options out there like,

bed PB oxford captain

PBTeen Oxford Captain’s Bed

bed PB belden

PBKids Belden Bed

bed avery room&board

Avery, Room & Board

These beds range from $799 to $1700, the Belden being the cheapest of the three. I just couldn’t swing that so I cruised around on the internet some more in every place I could think of, Overstock, Target, unfinished furniture retailers –you name it. I came up with no real bargain.

So then I started looking at DIY plans and I found Ana White’s site that had detailed plans complete with material lists for Pottery Barn knockoffs and a lot of other great DIY furniture projects. Now don’t get all excited thinking that I was going to build this bed– that was never the intention. I printed the queen bed plan and the twin plan and had a little chat with my favorite carpenter Joseph. Joseph’s price was right and so he got to work.

bed PB knockoff

Laney’s big girl bed is a fusion between Ana’s queen and twin bed plan because I wanted drawers only on the sides, none on the ends. Because of the dimensions of the room and a small and winding staircase, Joseph had to build the bed in sections that could be bolted together once the pieces were carried upstairs in to Laney’s room. We also added casters on the bottom because if the bed is placed against the short wall an adult cannot make the bed.

To help you can get a better idea of how space challenged we are in this room, here’s me at a whopping 5’2″ standing in the room.

Sarah Laney's Room

Joseph delivered the bed recently and it looks great so far.  Laney gets a bed that’s made from solid pine not MDF and we know the bottoms of the drawers won’t fall out when we load it up with clothes and linens. Now I just need to paint it. It needs a little paint prep like puttying those nail holes and other joints and then the plan is to paint it Benjamin Moore’s Simply White which is the same as the trim color in the room.

I also still need to add a headboard and some drawer pulls and this image stays in my mind.

bed storage inspirationYou can follow the other design inspirations for Laney’s big girl room on my Pinterest board.

Images via Pinterest unless specified


Laney’s Big Girl Room Before

by Sarah on April 4, 2014, one comment

This is Laney’s future big girl room right after the crew started removing the old trim, 5 gazillion phone jacks and repairing the walls. Sorry ’bout the blur.

DSC_0429laney room before small

This is the room after a few days of re-coating the walls with and some new trim. We also added a light.

laney room progress

laney room progress3

This is one seriously tiny and dark closet with no door. I expanded to two hanging bars that are each about 24″ long, it’s a good thing she’s a toddler. We also added those two little shelves in the back for baskets and maybe some shoes.

laney room closet

laney room progress2

laney room progress4

This is the girl that room will belong to,

Laney small

She told me maybe the blanket on her big girl bed “could be pink, then purple then black”. I said we’ll think about it. Then she said not “light blue or dark blue, that wouldn’t be good”. She is not quite 2 1/2 and she’s got some opinions.


Laney’s Big Girl Room

by Sarah on March 10, 2014, 4 comments

“After I get finished with my big girl bed, then I’m gon’ get a boy bed”

These are the types of conversations I have with my 2-year old daughter Laney about her future transition to a big girl bed. She thinks it’s fun to kid with me about wanting a “boy bed”. We are preparing to move Laney to a different room in the house but the room needs a little work before we can do that. I’ll be sharing that room tune up after we begin the work but today I wanted to share my inspiration for the room and a rough plan.

laney amber interiors

laney attic room

Laney Dunham room

laney glow room

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

laney pink stripe

laney suzani room

Laney Tarses roomimages via Pinterest

And here’s a little design board I worked up for the room,

Laney's Room

Feist / Dresser / suzani / hooks / sconce / headboard / sheets / quilt / bed / blanket / stool / fabric / rug


Sarah’s House: New Front Door

by Sarah on August 15, 2013, one comment

One of the most necessary repairs at my old house was the replacement of the front door. It was a charming and original dutch door but it was deteriorated, it had a ton of mismatch hardware on the interior, cracked window panes and the icing was a storm door put on maybe in the 90s.

sarah old front doorIt was a love/hate relationship with the door but it’s antique charm couldn’t compensate for the fact that we couldn’t even use it– it’s a good thing we had three other doors to choose from.

I decided early on that I wanted to change the top transom to a rectangular shape rather than the existing half circle. After ordering a door from Tucker for the Grout Cottage project I decided both this new door from them as well.

I needed a little inspiration and after combing through and pinning so many doors I landed on this home designed by LA designer collaborative Commune. The exterior trim went perfectly with the door and sidelights that I chose.

commune door

commune door2So after deciding on a design, the big day came when the crew pulled that old door out and made a giant hole in the living room for a few hours. The replacement on the interior and exterior took about two days.

sarah house new door

sarah house front door2

new door almost finishedShortly after completion,

sarah house front door finishedAnd a longer view,

sarah house front finished2So I’m happy, what a difference we felt once we could walk out the front door again. What do you think?


Sarah’s House: Dining Room Part II

by Sarah on August 13, 2013, one comment

To read the initial post about my dining room click here.

Clearly I needed a new fixture over the dining room table,

dining rm old chandy

 So I decided on this fixture,

bronze chandelierBecause I wanted something linear like this,

linear chandelier4 linear chandelier linear chandelier2 linear chandelier3via Pinterest

In addition to the chandy, there were some old plates that covered electrical boxes for sconces just like in the living room and I knew my electrician could get them working again. And the short version of the story is…he did. But the existing electrical boxes and wiring were old so he had to remove those and install new boxes and wiring. In the process of doing that he had to chip away some of the plaster around the boxes which left a void between the plaster and the electrical box.

Dining Rm paintedThis is the list I left for my electrician Chuck. I can hear him saying “smile Sara” with a thick southern accent, some sincerity and a hint of sarcasm. Chuck always makes it look easy but when you are fishing wire down through plaster walls the job can become frustrating. He didn’t have to cut any holes in the plaster to complete the job AND I think he might be some sort of electrical wizard.


Before ordering the sconces I measured the old plates covering the holes to make sure that the back plate of the new sconce I chose would cover the old hole. But what I didn’t anticipate was some of the plaster being chipped out making a larger hole.

So my carpenter applied some sheet rock mud with a trowel around the perimeter to cover the chipped plaster. Things were looking good.

To save a little money, my Dad and Dan being perfectly capable installed the sconces. So before installation I sanded the mud around the boxes and they looked like this,

And then once smooth, I touched up the paint with a small roller around the box and they looked like this,

And then my Dad arrived and after he & Dan began the install he said he was going to chip out some of the mud because the screw holes in the electrical box were covered over. I got a little worried thinking he was going to re-open the hole. But fortunately my Dad is so incredibly handy– he artfully chipped away the mud to reveal the holes and he and Dan got all six of them up in about an hour and a half.

So here we are with the sconces and chandelier up in my big empty dining room,


Just in case you are wondering, the bamboo shades are from Overstock and they are fantastic and they come in a million different sizes perfect for older homes with odd sized windows. Overstock is a great resource for window treatments.


They came with shades trimmed in brown. I thought the trim was a little unnecessary in this space, so I ordered some shades on sale from Crate & Barrel and they were around $10 each and anyone who has ever tried to track down some affordable & stylish sconce shades knows that is a deal.  Unfortunately I don’t see the shades I purchased on their website any more.

And here is the room with the new chandelier and new sconces.

sarah house dining room