{home & garden} house update!! finally!

You know when you buy a “fixer upper” and you get all the paper work signed and then you walk into the new house and the first thought in your head is…

“OMG what have we done!?”

Thankfully, that’s not the thought I have on our current remodel, but it is the thought I have on this blog.  I can’t believe this past year has taken me on such a hamster wheel of craziness, that the blog is in such disarray.  Things are so out of date, it’s beyond sad. I would love to say that I’ll get it all spruced up in a jiffy, but that’s not going to happen either.

But if we can look past the confusion, I am going to try and get more updates out for you on the house. I’ve had lots of requests for what state the house is in. (Myself included!)

We’ve definitely had our share of set backs, more than any other project we’ve worked on. In this case, it took almost 5 months before we could start working on anything. BUT after 6 more months of A LOT of hard work by my sweet husband, we are now 11 months later, finally getting to the point that everyone wants to know the updates.

We finished drywall and mud last week, and today they started working on the window casings.  We need to get the wood floor installed before they hang any doors or do anything fun like PAINT.  But it’s all coming! Stay tuned….

We’re at the point of all hands on deck for sure!

A Great Room shot. This is the room you enter into from Front Door. It is basically the addition we did to the current home. Not thrilled about the new fireplace rules, since it means no more wood burning fireplace, but I think we’ll still be able to make it look inviting.  That open area to the right is the open kitchen.  Really excited to see this finished, mostly because these two rooms are where we will be 99% of the time.  The skylights MAKE the space!

I like to use closet spaces for beds, and in turn build new closets. I don’t know why, but this always makes bedrooms feel better and more spacious to me.  These are the new closets in Piper’s room. The section in the middle is for a new dresser that should make the the whole closet unit appear as a built-in. Cross your fingers.

This is looking into the New Master Bedroom. It used to be the Living Room in the original house. The light to the left is coming from doors to a side yard.

This little cutie pie is Piper.  She’s 3 years old. Can you tell?  She found an open bag of dry wall mud powder. The girls used it to pretend they were playing in the snow. Good times.

This is the new front porch. The trellis went up last week and really changed the whole from of the house. Love it.

We debated over different materials to use on the chimney exterior, but in the end, we went with my love of white houses. It was the last expensive material route to take and I thankfully really like the ship-lap painted white.  We’ll see how it goes.

And these little monkeys…they are just sooooo excited to move back into their house.  Soon little ones, soon!

**For more updates: Remodel Update #1,

{home & garden} guest room reveal ~ tiny oranges

So here we go with the third and final room reveal for Jennifer from Tiny Oranges.  If you’ve missed the last couple, here you go…

Check out her 3 year old little girl’s big girl green room

And her 6 year old little girl’s girlie pink palace

Both rooms were such fun to pull together and we think fit the girls personalities and wishes perfectly.

Of course it all started with picking out the perfect mattress for Jen’s girls...oh the fun of dominos!!

The final room we did was turning their home’s current 3 year old little nursery, into the new Guest Room. Jen and her husband choose to focus the majority of their budget in the 2 girls rooms, but we still needed to updated the Guest Room with little changes. Their guests aren’t that frequent, and are typically family. So we chose to keep the focus on that.

Having the bed look out at the beautiful backyard made if feel more resort like in the room. We added chevron panels from Urban Outfitters to the windows, along with Ikea sheers and hardware. On either side of the window we used our favorite Ikea bookshelves.

Ready for this, $40 each!

I’ve seen them on Pinterest sprayed out gold and yellow too. So fun!  We shopped around Jen’s house a bit to help accessorize with coffee table books and shells.  In addition, I tore open some older framed floral prints they had, and asked Jen to print black and white photos of family that would be staying in the room, replacing the prints.

I also re-used the shell prints they had, by replacing the matte inside the frame for an updated look.  Then we used an existing child’s book rack as a magazine shelf next to the bed for guests.

We took 2 red bedside tables from the orginal Guest Room and spray painted them black, adding two Ikea lamps for $19/each.  Jen found a white headboard on Wayfair for $99…wow!  (Not gonna lie, I’ve used this headboard 3 times since this room, for new clients.) Bargain!!

Throw in some Ikea white bedding, with some cute yellow and gray sheets from Target. It’s getting cuter… And what do you do when you can’t find a bedskirt you like? Buy a coordinating sheet the same size as the bed and have a bedskirt made (if you don’t sew…which I do not.)

All in all I think the room turned out really cozy and refreshing for guests to stay in.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity that Jen and her family gave us to work on their home.  The most gratifying part of a project, is seeing a family happy in their home. Thank you Tiny Oranges Family!!

To see more of this reveal, along with before and after shots, hop on over to Tiny Oranges today: “Gray and Yellow Guest Room Design”

Sources ~ Guest Room:

  • Headboard: Wayfair
  • Sheets: Target
  • Duvet & 2 shams: Ikea, ALVINE STRA
  • Personalized Pillow Sham: West Elm, Striped Sham with Monogram
  • Bedskirt: Target sheet, customized
  • Window Treatments: Chevron Panels, Urban outfitters. Sheers, Ikea, VIVAN
  • Bookcases: Ikea, VITTSJO
  • Area Rug: Ikea, TARNBY
  • Bedside Tables: Existing, spray painted
  • Bedside Lamps: Ikea, ARSTID
  • Round Mirror: Ikea, SONGE

{home & garden} tiny oranges design reveal #2

So a few weeks ago I shared these BEFORE shots from 3 of the bedrooms of the fabulous {Tiny Oranges} home headquarters.  Then last week we shared the first of the room reveals for her 3 year old little girl.

This week it’s all about the Pink Palace as Jen’s 6 year old daughter has re-named her room.  Check out Jen’s post today for lots of before and after shots. As well as what Jen’s wishes for her daughter’s room were.

We had some similar requirements with toy storage, space for imaginary play, photos of friends and family, a love for dry erase board art, lots of headband storage, a MASSIVE Barbie dream house, and a love affair with pink.  Jen’s daughter loves the girlie things in life so we knew that was the direction this room would take.

Jen and her husband both also really wanted a bed with storage for their daughter.  They had been seriously considering a bed with under bed storage either with drawers, or cubbies & baskets, and were willing to make more of an investment for the long term. But one of the responsibilities I feel is to give a client options. I loved the bed they were considering, but also knew that is was an investment.  The option I gave was to use the same bed frame we used for their 3 year old’s room, but leave the under bed exposed and use basket suitcases instead.  The first option would be about $800, the second option was $175.  So a no brainer to me! That gave us a WHOLE lot more money to get these rooms completed.

Just like last week’s reveal both HERE and on TINY ORANGES, here’s the source list for this room.  Be sure to check out Jen’s BEFORE pics for this room on Tiny Oranges today too:


  • Bed Frame ~ LEIRVIK, Ikea {$99 for a Queen!!!}
  • Sheets ~ Client purchased
  • Pink Body Pillow ~ Fabric/Joann’s, Form/Target, Fabrication/Custom Workroom
  • White Bedspread & 3 Euro Shames ~ ALINA, Ikea (2 came with set, third came with the set for Jen’s 3yo’s room).
  • Bolster Pillow ~ EMMIE RUND, Ikea
  • Pink Throw ~ Ikea
  • Monogramming – Ann Pyke
  • Boxspring Cover ~ RENATE FLORA, Ikea (Queen Duvet set.  Pillowcases on the bed, duvet tucked over the boxspring)
  • Suitcase Baskets – TJ Maxx
  • Window Treatment Dot Curtains – GRONSKA PRICKAR, Ikea
  • Window Treatment Sheers ~ MATILDA, Ikea (Existing Black out Rollers hidden behind sheers.)
  • Window Treatment Rod, Finials, Brackets ~ Ikea
  • Lamp & Shade ~ Target
  • “E” print ~ Existing (and worked perfectly with the girly room!)
  • Bedside Dresser ~ MALM Drawers with glass top. Added “crystal” knobs from Target.
  • You Are My Sunshine print ~ Client purchased from Etsy (Source in Jen’s post today) / Frame, Aaron Bros 1 cent sale
  • Rug ~ Pink shag, Overstock

Accessory Wall:

  • Storage cubbies ~ EXPEDIT, Ikea
  • Cubbie Boxes ~ DRONA, Ikea
  • Dryerase board ~ KLUDD, Ikea
  • Shelves ~ High gloss shelves, Ikea
  • Brackets ~ EKBY K+NNA
  • Dress-up Box ~ Existing
  • “I love you to the moon and back” ~ Client purchased from Etsy
  • Clock ~ Target
  • Bulletin Board ~ DIYed, white frame, Joann fabric & ribbon, cork board sheet, mini clothes pin clips
  • Towel ~ Ikea

Closet Wall:

  • Vanity Desk ~ HEMNES, Ikea (with a glass top we were able to display lots of friend photos)
  • “Crystal knobs” on drawers ~ Target
  • “Pink Crystal” hooks ~ removed from an existing coat rack & re-used on the desk
  • Beads and Containers ~ Existing
  • Frames ~ Aaron Bros 1 cent sale
  • Vanity Stool ~ INGOLF, Ikea
  • Vanity Stool Cushion ~ Joann’s Fabric & custom workroom

Closet Wall:

  • Laundry Bags ~ Pillowcases made into laundry bags with Joann’s Fabric trim, and hooks for the wall. Jen had them monogrammed “Lights” and “Darks” for the kids to help sort their own laundry. Darling idea!!
  • Barbie Dream House ended up closet bound! I love using a closet super efficiently so you can have a “surprise” play area for your kids, but that you can also close when you want something out of site.

I can’t tell you how much fun doing these rooms for these sweet girls was :-)

{home & garden} home tour ~ great room

So I’m going to try and get more posts up again.  We’ve been living our crazy nomad life since last April when we sold our house. Never in our wildest dreams did we think everything would take as long as it has to get into the new house. I’m crossing my fingers we are in by Christmas….though I also know that’s a tall order…we’ll see.

In the meantime I thought adding more to the plate would keep things exciting (ha!), and returned to my interior design roots.  I started taking on interior design jobs last spring, like this one you read about for Jen’s {Tiny Oranges} sweet little 3 year old daughter.  In the next few weeks we’ll reveal her 6 year old daughter’s room, as well as her Guest Room.  I also have a few other client rooms to photograph and share (Ninjago and Angry Birds anyone?!?) In the meantime I thought I would FINALLY go back and post photos of our house.

Thankfully Todd from Tanker Photography did an AMAZING job of capturing our home. I love having a record like this of where we lived!

For those that don’t remember, this is what our house used to look like when we bought it.

And this is where it ended up when we sold the house last April.  Big, but simple updates.  Looking back makes me miss it….can’t wait to have our family in a house again.  Thankfully the roof was framed on the new house this week….getting closer!

{home & garden} tiny oranges design reveal!

So a few weeks ago, I shared that I had done a design update for a friend. Such a fun project! Be sure to check out the before shots in that post as well as Jen’s post today.

I’ll rewind a bit for you.

When we put our house on the market last spring, quite a few people commented on the interior design of our home during the open houses.  I never really thought of our home as a show house of sorts…but for some reason, lots of people commented and asked if I was still doing interior design.  While my past life, pre-kids, involved large scale interior home design, and hotel resort design project management, my current life and our own home, was certainly not that same level!

What our home is, or was, is an example of a young family with 3 crazy active toddlers, parents that appreciate design, who don’t think that needs to change with kids, and a mom that needs to have her house fully functional and organized to keep up with the chaotic, awesome, and busy life we live.  Wheeewww….tall order. (Here’s a quick shot of our main Great Room).

I got to thinking that there were probably other families out there that could use a little bit of design help along those same lines. So after 16 years in the design industry, I returned to it again last spring under the name, MFE Designs. The primary focus being simple, but creative, family functional rooms.

Along the way, Jen from Tiny Oranges sent me an email asking if I could help with some suggestions for her girls’ rooms.  As is normal when you tackle projects like this, it gets a little overwhelming with decisions!  It’s nice to have some one sort through your thoughts. We met for the initial hour and a half consult and walked through the rooms to discuss the major points:

1. WHO would be sleeping in which room. Jen had 3 rooms, a Guest Room with ensuite bathroom, then 2 little girls rooms. I knew Jen wanted to change the order around. So we needed to talk about what the needs and goals were. As well as what size beds would work for all the rooms.

2. WHAT things were important to each girl. Colors, activities, toys, pictures, books.  What did the girls like to do? What were each girl’s individual interests? It’s important to me that kids really feel like their room is truly theirs.

3. HOW OFTEN would they use their Guest Room? And who were the guests? Family? Or?

4. What did Jen and her husband envision were the priorities for each girl?

From there we talked about ideas and solutions to accomplish the goals. After meeting, we provided a general estimate to complete the project. Once the “Not to Exceed” budget was set, and a few general meetings took place to show them our overall direction, then they were willing to be surprised.  Jen and her family left for a previously planned vacation, and we were able to install all 3 rooms, revealing them all to them on their return….sooooo fun!!! I can’t wait for you to see each of them!

The key points for their 3 year old’s room ~ their daughter liked green, she needed lots of imaginary play space (wanted to keep an existing play kitchen), toy storage that she could keep up with herself, better use of closet storage, moving into a big girl bed from a crib, and needing to incorporate family and friend photos.  Jen also did a GREAT job of leaving us with “piles” grouped for each girl in their front room.  We were able to pick out things we could easily incorporate, or change and use differently.  So the girls were able to walk into new rooms, but also see familiar items. We REALLY loved this design project!  Such a sweet family to work for!!

Hop on over to Jen’s blog to see the full reveal with before and after pictures.

Below is a source list of items.


  • Bed Frame ~ LEIRVIK, Ikea {$89 for a Full!!!}
  • Sheets ~ Client purchased
  • Green Bed Pillows ~ TJ Maxx
  • Blue Body Pillow ~ EVALOTTA Fabric/Ikea, Form/Target, Fabrication/Custom Workroom
  • Yellow Throw Pillow ~ MARGARETA Ikea (I don’t see the yellow anymore).
  • Sherpa Bean Bag ~ Pottery Barn Kids
  • White Bedspread ~ ALINA, Ikea
  • Green Striped Bedskirt ~ NYPONROS Full Duvet set, Ikea custom made into a bedskirt. 2 pillow cases included in the set used on the bed.
  • Window Treatment Sheers ~ MATILDA, Ikea (Existing Black out Rollers hidden behind sheers.)
  • Window Treatment Rod, Finials, Brackets ~ Ikea
  • Mirror ~ STAVE, Ikea
  • Lamps & Shades ~ Target
  • Robin print ~ Existing (and worked sooo well with the bird print fabric!)
  • You Are My Sunshine print ~ Client purchased from Etsy (Source in Jen’s post today) / Frame, Aaron Bros 1 cent sale
  • Rug ~ White shag, Target
  • Storage Cubbies ~ EXPEDIT White High Gloss, Ikea
  • Storage Baskets ~ PJAS, Ikea

Closet Wall:

  • Green Storage bins over closet ~ clearance aisle at Target
  • Vintage Books ~ Clients exsiting
  • Closet Curtain ~ Rod, Rings, Finials ~ Ikea
  • Closet Green Striped Fabric ~ SOFIA, Ikea, Custom made
  • Magnetic Bulletin Boards & Round Magnets ~ SPONTAN, Ikea
  • Book Ledges ~ RIBBA Picture Ledge, Ikea
  • Yellow Clock ~ Target
  • Ribbon Board ~ I DIYed from a Pottery Barn Kids Book
  • White toy box ~ Box, Client’s existing / Fabric ~ Fabric.com, then custom made
  • White Bolster Pillow ~ EMMIE RUND, Ikea
  • Yellow Throw ~ Ikea (I don’t see it now to give you the name)
  • All Monogramming ~ Anne Pyke in Costa Mesa
  • Storage Bins in Closet ~ Container Store plastic storage boxes

Entry Wall:

  • Play Kitchen ~ Exisiting
  • Book Ledges ~ RIBBA Picture Ledge, Ikea
  • Box Acrylic Frame ~ Aaron Brothers
  • “Sweet Letters” ~ Clients Exisiting

I really loved how this room turned out! Playful and young, but easy to grow up with too.  Stay tuned for 2 more rooms in Jen’s house.

Update ~ I’ve had a few requests on how to contact me about our design services, best way is by email, shanna@mfedesigns.com we look forward to connecting with you!

{Photo Credit: All home photos above photographed by Tankersley Photography}

{home & garden} an update for a friend

Oh Hi!!  How are ya!?!?  Been while, hasn’t it….

You may wonder if the photo above is our house. It’s not.

I’ll fill you in in the next couple days about all that’s been happening, but in the mean time, I wanted to be sure you didn’t miss out on one of the MAJOR things I’ve been doing and had SUCH FUN while doing it!!

You all know Jen at Tiny Oranges?  I’ve talked about her loads in the past. And thankfully for me, I’ve also gotten to know her in real life over the past couple of years.  Jen’s blog was the first blog I ever read…and truthfully, I didn’t even really know what blogs were.  But I knew I loved hers!

So here’s the FUN… Jen has been talking about choosing a new mattress.  The things you should think about when deciding to do so, what to look for in a mattress, etc. But here’s the thing, there’s always a domino effect when you tackle things like this. You know, when you find a cute pair of shoes, you HAVE to get a new outfit to go with them!! Right??!

And that is EXACTLY what happened with Jen. Deep in the desicion process of what mattresses to get her girls, she felt slightly overwhelmed with the overall switch in her bedroom situation she felt needed to take place. A quick phone call and meeting later and we were brainstorming ideas on what to do with her Guest Room, and 2 daughters’ rooms….and I have got to tell ya, these little girls’ rooms might just be the most fun rooms I’ve ever worked on!!!!  I can’t wait to share them!  For now I have a few before shots to show you, along with a suggestion to go check out Jen’s post on how they selected their mattresses.

Stay tuned for the fun reveal!!!

{home & garden} bedroom thoughts?

Not quite sure what angle the kids rooms are going to take yet. I know we’ll re-use what we have, but with a new twist.

Things will switch rooms.

Something from the kitchen may end up in a bedroom, and visa versa.

Spray paint will most likely be used, and I’ll probably be begging my mom to sew pillows. Well not probably, I will be begging/asking/pleading. The only thing I know is that our 4 year old has requested her own room, and our 2 and 3 year olds are so excited to be new roommates.

So cute.

So the images above are few of the thoughts I’ve had for the new shared room. Something bright and happy, but with fun elements, and places to play, oh, and it needs a bit of a modern & grown up edge.

Can’t wait to see where it all goes.

{Photo Credits: Bed decal, Mirror, DIY Dollhouse bookshelf, Twin Bed ~ Land of Nod, Dollhouse DIY ~ Young House Love, fabric images – iPhone at Joann’s, Yellow Bookcase ~ Pinterest,}

{home & garden} I’m still here!

Oh my goodness! It has truly been so long that I think I’ve forgotten how to upload photos and write a blog post. It’s funny, for so long people would look at us wondering how we made it through a day with 3 kids, 2 years old and younger. Heck, I look back at that year in particular and wonder myself how we survived!

But I have got to tell ya, this year…

This. Year.

I’m pretty sure it’s trying to kick my booty to the highest mountain, and it’s doing a darn good job.

That’s not to say that life is horrible or that something terrible has happened to our family. I mean really, what’s so bad about the back of Daddy’s truck being our current Dining Room? No better place for pizza I say!  And everyone is healthy and all reports on dad have been with flying colors. So life is good.

What has been tough though, is our current life and home project. Meaning we sold our house, bought another total fixer upper, knocked it all to pieces, and moved in with my husband’s unbelievably sweet parents “a few miles” away.

Oh and went back to interior design work.

In a nutshell, that all seems like good times. But it’s the little things that you don’t really think about when you’re planning for it all..

That something you think will take 6 months, is more like 8 months…

That what is normally a 20 minute drive to your in-laws, in rush hour is more like an hour…each way.

That you need to pack (and unpack) 3 different (big) bags for the kids and their activities each day…

That you need to have 3 toddlers (and mom), out of bed, fed, dressed, hair done, sunscreen on, teeth brushed, lunches packed, the house picked up, and everyone in the car before 8:00am each day, and dropped off at 3 different places…

That because you are now driving an extra 150 miles a day, and are in a car around 3 more hours a day more than you ever have been, that you’ve suddenly lost about 15 hours a week (you didn’t really have to give) to do everything else you need to do in a day….

That the 3 current design clients you have are on the furthest, opposite ends of a triangle.

I could keep going…


The plus to everything is that we have a wonderful place to live while we complete this remodel….

And that we have amazing friends and family helping in so many ways…

SOOOOOO. There you have it. I’m so very, very, very far behind in getting things updated on this here blog that I really need to spend some time cleaning out all the “closets” around here, but for now, I’m just going to be happy with posting as much as I can. I miss you all!! The posts might be short and sweet, but they will be posts about exactly what we are going through. I really want to post our way through the project.

For now, here are a few quick shots from the new house. Need to get our sleeves rolled up!!

Welcome to our new front door! Come on in…

Fab bathroom.

Little demo going on in the current Family Room, soon to be new Master Bedroom.

I do love opening everything up and getting to “see” what will be. Soon there will be a kitchen here. Makes me happy!

Addie & Hay have been great about chipping in. Addie even drew a plan for her Daddy to hang on the wall with her specific plans for the house. She expects it to be red and white, and look like a barn with lots of animals in the backyard. But she’s not sure the hippo will want a pool. Then again, maybe he will to keep cool. Gonna get right on that, Sweet Girl!

Piper on the other hand isn’t so sure about all this. Really mom?!?! This is what you want to get us all into???

Stay tuned….

{home & garden} moving day

Hi.  Yep it’s me.  Been gone a while.

About 3 months I think.

A crazy 3 months.

I’m so sorry to have left you so high and dry. I hope to be back soon.

Hubs thought it would be fun to sell our house. He likes to keep things interesting.

About a week before Hayden’s birthday in February he got a wild hair that we should put our house on the market.

So we did.

The same weekend we had Hayden’s birthday, a Valentine’s Party, and Piper’s Baptism. Then every weekend after that for the next 2 1/2 months we either had an open house, traveled, or hosted a birthday party.  When that wasn’t happening, we were showing the house 2 or 3 times a day. Fun, fun, fun.

At the time, we weren’t exactly sure where we would move to, but thankfully in the process we found another house in need of TLC…..so we’re doing it all over again.

As I type this post, I’ve got our kids on vacation this week, (after hosting swim lessons for 10 days at the house, and moving)….and Hubs is getting the last few things from our house to his parent’s home (where we will live for the next 5-6 months).  The buyers take possession of our home in about 48 hours.

Our new house doesn’t close for another few weeks, and then the remodeling process begins. The hope is that I’ll be able to show you this next house start to finish.

For now, I thought I should at least tell you that we were still here. So many people have sent emails asking what happened and if I had moved the site…nope, still here, just buried as usual.

Hope you are all well! Be back soon I hope!

{home & garden} new favorite dining chairs & table

I sent this photo out on Twitter & Instagram a few weeks ago and was astounded at the number of responses back. I guess I kind of forget that new everyday favorites to me that just seem like a part of life, people want to know about too. Oops. Sorry about that.  I need to get a little better at actually sharing all our daily favorites!!

Anyhoo.  We had some dining chairs that were more traditional. I still love them, and they add a great look to a room. Thinking of painting them an accent color down the road. But there were not serving well as an everyday chair.

These chairs however??  These chairs ROCK our world!!  They do show fingerprints, but that’s OK with me because they are a cinch to clean with a damp rag and a dry rag.  The do not rock forward easily (which I feared) so the kids have never fallen off and split their chins open (something else I feared). The are UBER comfortable for both the grownups and the kids. And they look so much more updated. Also, because of their “ghost like” feature, they don’t seem to take up much “space” in the room allowing your eye to move past them. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them and their versatility and functionality!

I also love that they are from Ikea.  I’ve been eyeing them since last year, but we finally went for it this year. Yea!

I also very much love our table.  It’s Crate & Barrel’s Big Sur Table. A wonderful warm color. Modern and contemporary, yet works great in a traditional setting. We have sanded and refinished it once a year for the past 3 years we’ve owned it (it gets REALLY BEATEN UP with the kids ~ eating, play-doh, art projects, washable pens, crafts, etc.).  And each time we do, it looks like new again.  We may even add the bench to one side one day and leave our “ghost” style chairs on the other 3 sides…

I would buy both the chair and table again in a heart beat!

There you have it.  My FAVORITE Dining Table and Dining Chair.  Would love to know what you have your eye on these days????