September 24, 2014

Master Bedroom Reveal & Source List

Welcome to our master bedroom! The time has finally come to reveal this room with y'all and I couldn't be more excited! We have never really decorated the master bedroom in any home that we have owned or lived in because usually it's on the back burner. It's a room I used to think that we just "sleep" in but realistically, it should be a place to come and unwind. A place to relax with your significant other… and a space to enjoy together. I wanted a cozy, cottage feel that had neutral, calming colors, something that I felt like I was at a cottage on the beach or on a lake. We wanted something ultimately where we could relax, enjoy our time together and feel at home. And we really love it.

Here's the before of the room from the MLS when we purchased the home.

 Well, there you go! The long awaited master bedroom tour. We felt like we were at a great stopping point for this room but there still are small minor details that I'd like to tweak down the road...We really are enjoying the space that we created for ourselves…and are so happy with it. I will break down parts of our bedroom in posts to come, including the DIY's. Below, you will find a source list of everything in the room that I can remember :-) I hope you enjoyed the tour and please let us know what you think by leaving a comment here, on Instagram, or the Facebook page.

If you'd like to pin this image on Pinterest, please feel free! Just hover over each image and click the Pinterest logo! That simple! Again, thank you for stopping by!

Wall color: Valspar's Oatlands Subtle Taupe in satin (Lowes)
Headboard: Kirklands (here.)
Antique windows: Rennigers Antique Market
Three large back pillows: Ikea (here.)
Ruffled Comforter: Target, Simply Shabby Chic (here.)
Bedskirt: Target, Simply Shabby Chic (Ebay)
Throw Blanket: TjMaxx
XL Rustic Wall Mirror: DIY (Coming soon)
Nightstands & Dressers: DIY (Coming soon)
Quote sign: DIY (Coming soon)
Rustic lamps: HomeGoods
Birdcage Jewelry Holder: HomeGoods
Stripped candle holders: Kohls
Ceiling fan: Lowes Home Improvement

DIY Outdoor Garden Storage

I have to admit. I lost my touch for awhile. And maybe that's not even the right way to explain it. I've been in a funk and haven't been posting. I wish I could say it was because of something greater than me… but honestly, I've been busy with real estate. And the shop. And family. And everything else that life continues to throw at us. And you know what also was consuming my time. Not feeling good enough. I was too busy focusing on the things I couldn't do rather than the things that I could. And the things that were important rather than the things that weren't. I was too busy comparing myself to other bloggers and other people…and their homes. But you know what? I have a home. We own it. That is such a huge accomplishment within itself! Second, we have our health. And I have the opportunity to work and provide along side my husband for our little family. Ultimately, we are more blessed than 75% of people! WHY am I beating myself up?

 I've been searching for awhile now on why I blog. And where did my fire go? Why don't I ever post anymore? Why am I so hard on my house and myself? How come I don't ever post pictures of my house and we've been here a year in a few days? What is up with that? If I don't enjoy it, why am I even doing it? Why would I even devote time to something I have no faith in?

That all needs to change today. You see, this is personal battle with myself. And I vow to overcome it! I enjoy everything about "home" more than anything! And my dream is to one day help people with their homes. I want to be on HGTV. I want to be that person that folks like to look to for inspiration, advice and everything home. I want to be well known for good things about the home. I want things for Home by Ally, large things… things that are not going to come easy. But anything worth having is worth fighting for…and guys, I wanna fight! I won't go down without a fight.

So, today, is my first blog post back here at Home by Ally after a much needed break. My goal for our cute little beachside cottage is to inject as much character, functionality, storage and personality into this home as I can! Today, we are going to touch on storage.

In my head, I love to garden. But mostly, I just love flowers. I haven't tried to really garden yet but that is coming! Since we have a one car garage and we are saving up for a shed out back, I came up with this unconventional but functional garden area for myself out back. I challenge you to look at your space in a different perspective next time you are outside and get creative! Look for unconventional spaces to add storage that will functionally make sense for you and your life.

The planks you see in the background would be part of an outdoor shower we have on one side of our home. My husband calls this "his" space. I have to say its been totally convenient being so close to the beach and coming home not tracking in sand everywhere. We just walk to the back yard, (this is right off of the side of the house.) and wash off all the sand…etc. We also use this outdoor shower to give our puppies their bathes! I love that part! Have you ever tried to bath a lab/great dane mix in a bathtub? And did I mention he doesn't like bathes? This was the best thing ever for us.

So, back to the storage. In our garage, I had all of my gardening tools and supplies in one little corner and thought they'd be better accessible here in this little storage area off the back of our garage and against our outdoor shower. This space is the location of our A/C unit which is to the right of that irrigation pump. We only had trash cans back here and some other things such as grass feeder, extra stepping stones, watering cans, etc.

So here's what we did. We took a trip to Lowes and got some thick & chunky, pressure treated wood that could serve as the shelves. And then, I re-located this iron brackets from our open shelving in our kitchen to out here. More on that later. I could see it in my head. Here's what you'll need...

Measuring tape
Treated lumber (Pick your size)
Fencing screws
A husband, spouse, friend

I have a really bad habit of getting excited about a project and #1, forgetting to take a before picture and #2, forgetting to take our "steps" pictures. Forgive me just this once ;-) But I will do a quick run through… for y'all and if you have any questions, please ask in the comments section!

The first thing we did was measure our boards (6') to the length of the outdoor shower. They fit perfect.  We then got out our 3ft level (Any size will do) and our measuring tape and marked off where we wanted our brackets placed and also made sure we had a level service to work with.

We then drilled all brackets in and simply placed the wood shelf on each set of brackets. We took our level back on and placed on each wood shelf to ensure we were still level. And that we were! Hubby took more screws and screwed through the tops down to the brackets for extra support.

Up close and personal view of the brackets. I will be painting those screws ORB to better match the brackets. But you can see how chunky our wood was.

This has been a wonderful space for me to store my plant food, watering cans, flower pots and anything else I can think of! I really love that it actually gives just a plain old wall some depth and character. I would love to show you this space with all of my things on it but right now, it's raining cats and dogs in Florida so I hope you can envision my pretty space :-) We also plan to add some hooks for my tools underneath this storage so I will definitely do another post after we add those!

Do you have a spot where you can add some storage for yourself? Just do it! I encourage you again, to think outside the box and create spaces that are beautiful, add storage, are functional and most of all, spaces that you love! 

September 7, 2014

On the horizon...

Gosh, it's been awhile.

And I'm sorry about that. In case anyone is reading this…

We've been working a lot. It's been almost two months since my last blog post and that is definitely not like me. But I felt the need to disconnect and not feel "pressure" of posting to keep up with other bloggers. There should be no competition when it comes to this, at least for me. I enjoy decorating and creating/recreating… and that's just it, that simple. I enjoy it. But I don't ever want it to feel like a job. And I let it get there and shouldn't have. So, I've been on a "blog break" for a little while although the rest of my life unfortunately/fortunately has not slowed down. Real estate is very busy right now and our market here in Florida is definitely seeing more of an upswing and it's definitely beginning to be a seller's market. That is promising after everything that the housing market has been through. 

Ryan finally came home from Afghanistan in the beginning of August. It's been so nice to have him home and have someone to just talk to at night besides our fur babies. You take for granted all the little things when they are here… and seem to miss them more when those little things come around again. We've been in full swing with a honey to do list getting our house where we want it to be. I was so focused for the first 6 months of owning our home with injecting things that would pay us later and help us with re-sale but you know what? Re-sale, sure, does matter… but it shouldn't cause you not to enjoy your home, try new ideas and make it your own. So, that's exactly what we've been doing.

I named this blog post "on the horizon" because I feel like new things are just over the horizon for Home by Ally. For a long time, I've been at a constant battle with myself over being a "good" wife. And have the most "pretty" home. And having a "great" blog. And being the "best" realtor. I've been so caught up in all that I am doing wrong and everything that isn't going well to realize all of the things that go right. For starters, I woke up this morning. Hallelujah! What a blessing to be given each day on this Earth. Wake up and make yourself have a great day. You are the master of your fate. And you control the direction of your smile. And for the longest time, I didn't want to believe that. And I still have my days.  But I have realized that life is what you make of it. And it can be gone in a split second.  

We lost a great man recently and it put a lot of my feelings into perspective and made me realize maybe it would be good for me to share my feelings, my thoughts, my constant and ever changing emotions. Maybe that would help me see that life was worth living, more than I ever imagined.

I'm really excited to share with y'all all of the projects that I have been working on. The house has really started to come together and a lot of things have changed over the past few months. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, I can share how much our kitchen has changed. And we are tweaking a few small details in the master and that will also be ready for a reveal. 

I'm excited for all the things to come and I hope that you follow along the way! Please leave a comment and let me know… how you're doing. What's going on with you lately? 

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