Laura Rennie

My home

Nursery inspiration for Chloe Mae

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As someone who loves decorating and has always wanted to be a mother, you can imagine I've planned dozens of nurseries in my head over the past decade! I had Pinterest boards set up during both of my pregnancies, and the room we designated as a nursery went from being an exciting place to one of grief and dashed dreams when both pregnancies ended in stillbirth. I eventually made the space my office last August. Happily, my husband and I adopted a baby girl nearly nine weeks ago and now I have a nursery to plan again!

I had one week to prepare for Chloe's birth — yes, you read that right! We then spent the first seven and a half weeks of her life living with my parents in Virginia until receiving permission to take our baby over state lines. We were finally able to bring our girl home a week and a half ago. Guess what was waiting for her in her nursery?

A crib.

That's it!

For now, a crib is all we really need — the rest of the nursery will come together over the summer. It's extremely difficult to plan out a room in your house when you're not actually living there! Still, some things are falling into place.

I decided right away that I wanted a navy accent wall. I LOVED everything about Levi's nursery reveal. It has my favorite colors — blue and green — and wood and brass and plants... swoon! Basically, it's the same idea of my office, except the furniture is for a baby instead of an adult. 

I created a Pinterest board pretty quickly and searched for art and decor ideas whenever I had time, which wasn't often. Still, I managed to come up with a general plan: three white walls, one navy accent wall, a white crib and white IKEA picture ledges for bookshelves. I also knew I wanted to find something to reflect Chloe's first nickname — sweet Georgia peach.

Between my husband's job change and the cost of adoption, I knew I'd have to restrain myself in terms of nursery spending. I unexpectedly received several nursery items as gifts: our crib, a crib mattress, several crib sheets, an area rug and a luxurious glider that I optimistically put on our registry but would have never bought for myself. (A group of my mom's friends who have known me since I was an infant/small child went in on the glider together and gifted it to me. I cried! I can't wait to snuggle up with my girl and read.)

I searched high and low for my dream dresser. I wanted to give Chloe an heirloom piece (like this) that would last her for years and years. The thing with heirloom pieces is that they aren't cheap! I gave myself a max budget of $250 for a dresser, but I wanted to spend less than $200. I ultimately decided to go with a painted dresser I found on Craigslist for $100. I don't normally purchase colorful furniture, so this is a bit out of my comfort zone — but I think it will look really cute in the room! It's the exact shape I was wanting. I plan to either spray paint the handles or change them out, but the dresser color will stay. It's not an heirloom, but it's a fun and affordable piece that will work for now.

Here's a look at some of my pins:

nurseryinspiration

Clockwise from top left: Little Castle glider (can't find a link), IKEA picture ledge shelves, Target floor lamp, art from Society6 (this and this), embroidered peach from Etsy, Craigslist dresser, IKEA clothes storage bin (for the closet), Little Unicorn crib sheet, and fabric from Joann's (for a crib sheet).

I've already purchased (or received) a few of the items above, and I have a few items in my possession that will remain a surprise! I'm trying not to buy anything else until the furniture is all in and I can see where I want to hang things on the wall.

The guys in our small group blessed us by painting the room and setting up our crib! 

chloenurserypaint

How sweet are they?! They did a beautiful job. My first order of business when we arrived home was locating Chloe's bedding and running it through the wash before making up her crib. I adore these "I love you" sheets from Target. (These are really sweet, too.)

I thought it would be hard for me to have so little of her room decorated, but I've been so happy to simply be home that it hasn't bothered me one bit! Of course, I am excited for it to come together over the next month or two. I'll keep you posted!

My home // The great closet purge of 2016

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Earlier this week I posted a few pics of closets around our home that were in need of some TLC. I've been jokingly referring to this project as "the great closet purge of 2016" but there are three other closets I haven't even touched. Ack!

Between my mom (who is a professional organizer) and my Real Simple subscription, I've received loads of great tips on how to purge and organize. My mom's number one piece of advice when it comes to any organizing project is to avoid buying bins or baskets. You most likely have plenty already, and by the time you do a significant purge, you'll have an empty bin or basket to work with! I've found this to be true for myself.

I knew going into my closet purge that I didn't want to spend any money. I wasn't after trying to make my closets look super snazzy — I simply wanted to get rid of items I don't need and re-arrange my "keep" items in a way that makes sense for my lifestyle. Here's what I found worked for me:

1. Setting a timer. My time included getting everything out, vacuuming and wiping down dirty/dusty areas, putting my "keep" items back in AND finding a place for the items I took out (whether it was the trash, a bag for Goodwill, or giving an item a new home somewhere else in the house). This last bit is always the hardest part, in my opinion! The entry closet took one hour, the master closet took an hour and a half and the guest closet took only half an hour. Using a timer helps me stay on task, plus the more I've used a timer the more I've learned how long projects actually take. I used to dread chores because I thought they'd take forever, but now I can deep clean a bathroom in twenty minutes or vacuum the whole house in half an hour!

2. Distracting myself with music and podcasts. I listened to Carly Simon, songs from the Les Miserables soundtrack and clips from the StoryCorps podcast. Any chore is made more enjoyable when viewed as a form of "me time." Other times I might listen to an audiobook or chat on the phone with a close friend.

3. Being determined to take out things I do not use or need. I refuse to keep things simply to keep them. I'm going to participate in a yard sale this spring and knowing I can try to sell items gave me extra motivation to purge! I'm also a big fan of donating items and have several bags lined up for Goodwill.

Let's get to the pictures! 

The entry closet before:

foyercloset

Entry closet after:

foyerclosetafter

Moving our heavy coats to the basement instantly gave us more room. I took out my two striped bins and consolidated my "keep" items into one bin, which holds our winter gloves and hats. I put a trash can on the floor to store sporting goods and Andy's basketball shoes (which are too big to fit on the shelves). Our plastic bags, which we use for puppy walks, are now hung on the wall instead of haphazardly stuffed into a ceramic jar. I used two little bins I already had on hand to corral things like Andy's wallet and keys (not pictured), packs of tissues, a lint roller, spare lip balm, sunscreen, etc. Lastly, I scooted our shelving unit to sit more in the middle of our closet, giving us just enough space on the right side to store a few cleaning supplies.

The biggest change is that the closet is now clean — no more wispy spiderwebs hanging from the ceiling or crunched up leaves on the floor! Even though none of my organizational items are "pretty" and the space is far from being a showstopper, I'm really pleased with how it turned out! I am toying with the idea of adding a purse hook and/or a piece of artwork. 

The master closet before:

mastercloset

Master closet after:

masterclosetafter
masterclosetafter2
masterclosetafter2

This one was a doozy! The main change for this closet was purging and re-arranging my "keep" items to reflect the change in seasons. I folded a lot of sweaters, weeded out a TON of clothes and put all of my clothes on felted hangers. (I didn't put Andy's clothes on the same hangers. Wire hangers work better for his t-shirts, because they don't pull on the collar the way felted ones do. I was a bit lazy when working on Andy's side of the closet...)

I also moved my clothes around so my tanks, tees and summer dresses are front and center. Skirts, pants, transitional tops and cardigans are on another rack. I also switched my shoes around to display my sandals on the rack over my summer clothes. I tucked sweaters into bins and put them at the top of the closet. Andy's sweatshirts and undershirts are now stored in our dresser. The pictures don't show several other racks we use for shoes and storying my purses. The closet is plenty spacious for our needs, but it's not the easiest space to photograph!

In case you're wondering, the trunk at the top of the closet holds all the cards and love notes we've written each other over the past ten and half years. :)

The upstairs guest room closet before:

guestcloset

The guest closet after:

guestclosetafter

This space took only thirty minutes to conquer. I packaged my linens and blankets up and decided it made sense to store them in this closet where I can easily access them than trying to stuff them under the guest bed, where they always got stuck. I took out any clothing items I want to sell at the yard sale and apparently forgot to move the remaining dresses to my master closet. Whoops! We like using this closet to store dress shirts,  jerseys and out-of-season pieces that we want to keep on hangers. It's also a convenient spot to stick our POÄNG ottoman. Though you couldn't see them because of the huge white duvet cover in the "before" picture, we used to dump duffel bags and backpacks on the closet floor. Now I use the ottoman as a corral for those bags. :) It may be the most ridiculous space-saving trick I've ever used. (Or the most genius?)

That's it! What space or spaces in your home could use a good purging? I hope this post inspires you to get rid of things that are taking up space and focus your attention on the items you love and use often. Go forth and purge, people!! :)

 

 

 

 

My home // Cleaning out my closets

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Does my post title put Eminem in your head? :)

You're about to see what goes on behind my closed doors. AHHH! I can't believe I'm doing this. I don't like people seeing my mess! For some reason I really can't explain, I thought it would be fun to share with you three closets in my home that need some major work. You wouldn't know it from the pics below, but I'm actually good at organizing. I do a purge every 3-6 months to keep my stuff in check. My last round was sometime last fall, and it's become clear to me that it's time for another! I'm having a yard sale soon, so I have motivation to get going!

I'll be working on these closets over the course of the week and then sharing my tips on how to efficiently weed through items, what to do with the "get rid of" pile and how to organize the items you want to keep. I'm going to do it without spending a dime on storage bins, baskets, cubbies or new hangers. 

Are you ready to see my scary closets?

This closet is in our tiny entryway and houses our coats and shoes and a hodge-podge of other items.

foyercloset

It's the only closet on our main floor (other than our kitchen pantry), but it's got plenty of space. I'm not using this closet well. I've played around with different storage solutions and have yet to land on the right one.

Next up is the closet in our top floor guest room. This one makes me laugh...

guestcloset

It looks as though my closet exploded! This poor sweet room is the most trashed room in the house right now. There are piles of clothes underneath the white duvet waiting to be tagged for a yard sale and the linens and blankets need to be folded and put into zippered bags. We are supposed to be using the closet for out-of-season clothes. What happened?

Lastly, the master bedroom closet. I love this closet. It has plenty of space for our in-season clothes and shoes, as well as space on the top rack for spare storage. (Andy's clothes are to the left.) We store our luggage on the floor as well as a laundry basket.

master_closet

With the crazy ever-changing weather we've been having, our closet has been housing both winter and summer items. Our clothes are tightly packed and it's hard to find what I'm looking for. I'm excited to get this space back in order! 

Check back later to see the "after" pics and learn my process. What are your favorite tips for keeping your closets under control?

 

My home // Master bedroom ideas

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We're four weeks into 2016, which means I've been spending four straight weeks itching to get started on my decorating goals! The truth is we have a lot of not-fun purchases to deal with right now (tires, vet bill, blah blah blah), so I need to be extra wise about when I spend and how I spend. I had to put blinders on when I was out shopping for a client earlier this month! 

Our master bedroom has been on my brain for some time now. I already love the room in general, but a few of the decorations are no longer my style. I want to keep it simple and fresh, with a mixture of feminine and eclectic accents. I searched "simple bedroom" on Pinterest and this was one of my favorite results:

This look is more graphic than what I picture for our bedroom, but I do like the simple art over the bed, the wood headboard and the sweet but funky "choose love" banner. I like to keep our bedroom uncluttered and currently display only a few items on each surface, such as a stack of books and a clock, or a lamp and a jewelry box. I do want to add a plant or two, and maybe a smaller piece of artwork.

I put together a mood board combining items I already own and love with the *look* of items I'm considering for the room. My top priorities are curtains and art above the bed. (I'm finally ready to commit to a piece of art for over our bed! It was hard to choose! I'm going with "Tall Grass" by Loree Mayer.)

myhome_master

Unlinked items are ones I already own. Top row, from left to right: macrame plant hanger, "i love you" art, "Tall Grass" art, IKEA curtains / middle row: polka dot sheets, swing arm lamp / bottom row: Windsor arm chair, silver lumbar pillow, brass and glass jewelry box, two-toned glass votive, swan bookends

Those polka dot sheets are SO tempting (they're on sale!) but I think I can find something similar for less if I'm willing to shop around. I wish these flamingo sheets were in my price range! Do you have any recommendations for sheets or white curtains?

I'm excited to make some changes and see the room transform from good to great! Are there any changes you'd like to make to your master bedroom?

 

My home // Main floor lighting round-up

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Last month I shared my list of decorating goals for 2016. One task I'd like to cross off ASAP is replacing (or DIY updating) four of the lights on our main floor — the entry light, hall light, kitchen nook light and dining room light. We also have a huge fluorescent light in our kitchen that I'd LOVE to get rid of, but I have yet to look into whether or not the ceiling repair involved would be worth the time/money (considering this is not going to be our forever home).

I rounded up a bunch of options, but I haven't made any purchases yet. All but two of these 19 fixtures are under $200!

lighting_roundup

I've put together two examples of how to mix and match these lights, but there are a lot of possibilities! Of course, my two favorite chandeliers are the most expensive options! 

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lightoption2

The six light chandelier and distressed rust chandelier would fit in well with the rest of my dining room decor. I could save money by purchasing a five light chandelier instead of six, though it would be less grand. Decisions, decisions!

And of course, I fall in love with more options AFTER I've already created these images. Such is life. I forgot to mention this light, which I compliment every time I see it at a friend's house. I also like this round chandelier, which by the looks of it would work better with my decor than the chunky black one.

Which option (or options) do you like best? There are *tons* of options out there, so I have hope I'll land on something I love!

 


My home // Master bedroom art round-up

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Last week I mentioned changing things up in our master bedroom. I recently won $50 to Minted.com (!!!) and plan to use the money for new art for the bedroom. My favorite thing about our room is how simple and comfortable it is. As much as I love decorating, I appreciate that our bedroom isn’t heavily decorated. I want to keep our bedding and window treatments simple and have the focus be the art over our bed.

I get lost in the beauty on Minted.com and have the hardest time picking favorites, but these are five pieces I consistently ooh and ahh over.

Minted_master

 

 “Above the Sea” by Molly Goodman / “Tall Grass” by Loree Mayer / “Sun seeking” by Eliane Lamb /  “Blossoming” by Stephanie Ryan / “Under Water” by Chelsey Scott

I think it’s pretty obvious what my favorite colors are. 

Which piece do you like best? Do you have your eye on anything at Minted? It’s so hard to choose!