{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}

{Me Time} House Beautiful ~ A Favorite For Sure!

I love House Beautiful. (and I love that you can also look at it online)

I do a little happy jig when I see it in my mailbox.

Being that I don’t really have tons of time for magazines these days (months? years?) I really only get a couple, and I LOVE the mini vaca when I read them over a cup of coffee (while also checking emails, locked in my bathroom ~ the only free 5 minutes in a day…) Ok, maybe not exactly like that, but you get my drift.

So when the June House Beautiful issue arrived last week, it made my day. I thought I would share a few favorite finds I saw….

Great find at West Elm.  It’s tough to find cute drink containers. We have a stainless steel one I found at Costco years ago that doesn’t “sweat”, which is the only thing I wish the West Elm option had. But as far as looks, I’m sold!

{And unfortunately, it looks sold out…oh well, it sure is cute though!}

And of course you know I have a not so secret love affair with Juliska.  Have you seen their new flatware??  So fun!

This looked interesting. iPhone Apps that let you control things in your home…such as A/C, and alarm systems…I have friends that control their TVs and stereos too.  We have not tried any yet. But when I showed to Hubs he said he was already checking into it. Guess we need to stay tuned…

Do you use any home Apps? Would love to know what works and doesn’t for you!

Great little spot in the House Beautiful reader photos.

The reader “took a set of sepai Grand Tour postcards from 1896, framed them in a modern way with wide white mats and skinny white frames…” This is TOTALLY doable!  Pottery Barn sells great modern wood gallery frames that you can often catch on sale.

And how easy is using a postcard set??!? (Or you could use your kids artwork cut to a postcard size…ORRR what about all of your children’s hand prints, one in each frame??  I might need to work on that little project!)

Fabulous idea that gives the kitchen nook SO MUCH character and really defines that space! A great weekend project.

Fun party idea. I love the use of paper lanterns since they add such an easy punch of color to a party…how fun to see them on the end of bamboo stick!

And what about Tyler Florence’s salad below??  It looks so interesting.  I’m not sure how my kids would do with the calamari, but they might just think it was a mini onion ring and go for it!  It’s worth a shot I think…and if not, well then I think onion rings would work perfectly.

Not gonna lie ~ I’m kinda in love with his kitchen too

The article on decorating with color just sucked me in, thank goodness it’s online too. I’m a very visual person and am drawn mostly to using “lights and darks”. Our house is basically all white with dark ebony hardwood flooring. So pops of color really take center stage and define a room. I loved this  home!

Wonderful mix of colors.

Each room really stood out with it’s own personality. Very warm, friendly and inviting.

You can easily see a family living here.

So inspired by the blue painted ceiling! Though I think painted ceilings look best when there is a texture of some form, like the tongue & groove wood pattern (or wainscoting) in the photo. But that’s just personal preference.

And this reading nook is awesome!  It doubles as a sleeping space for guests, but can’t you just imagine curling up in their with your kids??  I would be just as happy to take my mini-vaca here too!  The article says it’s a space in a hallway that they carved out to be a special reading spot. Love it!

I also really like when people use their everyday life in unique ways to decorate their homes. In this case, the books on the wall. No need for a major bookshelf, a ledge will do just fine for displaying (and storing) favorite books. Ikea often has simple book ledges.

(Image: Source)

I forgot to add this when I was reading the article, but I REALLY loved the wallpaper in the office shelves. GREAT way to add more personality to your office space!  And not that tough to change out. You could do these as cork board to.  Definitely read the article and look through the rest of the house images. I’d move in tomorrow (or today if they would take me ~ and my small circus!)

Then this little idea about chicken wire in the cabinets looks cool too.

Love open cabinets since they really seem to “open up” a kitchen visually. I know that all sounded redundant, but you know what I mean, right? It makes the space FEEL bigger.

I’m really into character in spaces, so I think the chicken wire is a fun idea. It wont help with keeping the dust build up inside the cabinets to a minimum, but your cabinets will look cute and your kitchen will look bigger! Sacrifices in the name of design, right!?

OK, so this next space is where my heart has been leading me lately.  We have an all white kitchen, somewhat similar to the photo above, but for some reason I’m leaning towards gray these days.

This is the second kitchen I’ve seen recently with a lighter wood floor and wonderful gray cabinets. It may be our next kitchen.  Now I just need another house to put it in….

What do you think of color in the kitchen?  I’m of the opinion that if it looks classic and is well done in neutral colors, that almost anything works.

Doesn’t it look inviting??  It just makes me want to cook in it all day.

The hallway below?? I always love this look!  It is similar to what our hallway looks like ~ sans light wood floor, sans light fixtures, sans one side of the hall.

OK, so this is SORTA what my hallway looks like. We have wainscoting on the bottom half, but the top half is filled with frames in the same kind of random pattern. I love it, I love how it makes the hall feel, and I love that our kids constantly name the people in the photos. Catch the Arron Brothers 1 cent sale and you’re in business.

The last photo looked so fun to me.  While a green bathroom would not be my first pick, I love the pattern they created from the tiles.  Really, basic & simple tiles are just a giant puzzle. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and create something fun from them!

If you’ve never checked out House Beautiful online, you definitely should. I love “walking” through their site and getting inspired to try new things!

What are your favorite design inspiring magazines??

{Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. HB doesn’t know me, I just love their magazine}

What is the Ikea Rug in Piper’s Room?

Hi C.!

The rug is from Ikea and is their Tarnby Flatwoven Rug.  I used a 5′ 11″ x 8′ 2″ in Piper’s Room, but it also comes in a larger 6′ 7″ x 9′ 10″ size. Unfortunately, not in a 9′ x 13′.

Another idea you could try is Natural Area Rugs.  I noticed them on Groupon recently and their prices looked pretty reasonable. I have not tried them before, but they did have some good free shipping options which would entice me to check them out!

Good luck!