from builder-basic to bright + efficient: a laundry room diy makeover

i have a confession to make: i'm kind of a procrastinator. when we bought our house almost eight years ago, everything was builder-beige. it was nice, but it was beige. all of it. every inch of the house was blah-beige. so, of course i started painting, and adding some color. but there has been one place, one single place in our house that has scared the living you-know-what out of me to tackle: the master bathroom. and because of that, i look for other spaces in the house to tackle first. 

like the laundry room. here's what it looked like (please ignore that horrific looking ironing board!): 

and, here's kind of how i felt walking into it + trying to do laundry for our family:

so, i decided to take labor day weekend + improve my mood laundry room....enter two trips to ikea + two trips to lowes, and i was on my way to a cleaner, happier, more organized laundry room. which i should also mention, makes much, much, much more efficient use of the space! 

the first step: i took out all of the rubbermaid, builder-installed wire shelving (which there was only one of these, which was problem #1). i had to patch up all of the gaping holes in the walls from the shelf, and then i was ready to paint.

the laundry room was also builder beige. i went for a clean, bright white. because it's not a huge space, and white always makes a room feel bigger and cleaner and brighter. no joke, this was one of the hardest paint jobs ever. i painted around the large utility tub and the washer/dryer, and not to mention, there is no air flow in that tiny little room. but i survived. 

next up was prepping + hanging all of our ikea finds. like i mentioned earlier, the storage in the laundry room was totally inefficient. there was probably three feet of unused space between the ceiling and the rubbermaid shelf, and i knew it could be done better! enter lots of ikea shelving....

the kallax in white, in the four-by-one cube. i wanted this mounted to the wall, flush with the ceiling, to bring storage up higher in the room, but also to create the illusion that the room is taller than what it is. and, by mounting this up at the ceiling height, it also gave me another big (huge) benefit: more hanging space above the washer/dryer for clothes to hang dry. (oh! and don't forget the new light fixture from ikea as well! isn't it cool?!?!) 

then, we also added a couple of the ikea ekby shelves to help store laundry baskets + laundry detergents. we went with the stainless steel finish so it all blended together for the room. 

and, of course because this is me doing this, i couldn't let the laundry room go by without a few decor touches. :) 

a new ironing board cover + a quick, easy cover for the ugly laundry tub helped give some more color + pattern to the space (ironing board cover is threshold from target; grey + white arrow fabric from hobby lobby) the fabric cover was super simple to make; i just hemmed off the edges, and attached it to the tub with some heavy-duty, adhesive velcro. and honestly, i love how it turned out....and it was much, much less expensive to do this than to try and put in a new, better looking tub!

i also managed to hang on to my three laundry hampers (from crate + barrel outlet!) + just added a little bit of something to them. i'm loving stencil fonts these days, and used my three kraft board tags from paper source to label each hamper. with a simple "1-2-3", our family knows that 1 = clothes, 2 = towels, and 3 = dry cleaning. and, i tied them on with a little white tulle, because it added a little extra softness! and, the cork board was re-purposed from the former laundry room...it was fabric covered + held spare buttons. i pulled the fabric off + stenciled a cute "laundry" label on it! it's hanging on the wall now, with a little white tulle too!

and, probably my very fave part: i'm obsessed with heidi swapp's marquee love letters from michaels, and i had the perfect space to add these to the laundry room! little mr. re-nest #1 + i put these together with alternating paper designs with grey, white + light turquoise! 

i'll admit, it looks pretty girly (as mr. re-nest says), but i love it. i love it, i love it, i love it. it's made doing laundry a totally different experience for me. it's organized, it's efficient, + stuff is put in its place! 


behind-the-scenes: paint + pegboard = dorm life, redefined!

okay, hopefully by now, y'all have seen on facebook that my latest issue of invironments magazine is out (oh, you didn't? well, first...go to facebook + like my re-nest studio page! then, click here!)

now you know that my september/october issue was all about using pegboard (a garage staple) to bring organization inside your home. but this article + project was so much more than just the how-to you got to see in the amazing article, and i wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes with you!

i am always, always, always up for a new project, a new challenge, and a new way to get a little messy. a couple of months ago, a dear friend (and huge re-nest supporter!) approached me with that opportunity. her son was heading off to college in the fall, and they had been to see what would likely be his dorm room. as any good mom would do, she felt he needed some more space...some more ways to organize his stuff, besides the three small drawers he was getting in the room. so, we had a conversation. about pegboard. :)

and, we landed on this: a custom-made headboard for a twin sized bed, and a very cool wall hanging/organizational piece for over his dorm room desk. now, the challenge was to make sure that both were masculine. 

i think we got there....you see, this upcoming college freshman was headed to ole miss in oxford, mississippi. so, there was really no question when we planned that the headboard would feature a very simple, clean university of mississippi logo. then for the over-the-desk piece, we settled on an american flag. (how cool, right?) and, after all of the creating was finished, these two very special pieces made their way to oxford and are settled in their new home for this academic year! (did you see the pic in the magazine article? isn't that cool?)

of course, before the pieces got to oxford, there were some fun work-in-progress pics i took along the way that i thought i'd share! i'd like to give a big shoutout to lowe's in dekalb for being so awesome (and not staring at me while i was buying pegboard sheets in heels during a lunch hour....see pic below!), and to my dear friend (you know who you are) for asking me to make something so cool, and trusting me with this project! 

and, now...the behind-the-scenes:

this might be the scariest looking thing ever.
the large saw at lowes in dekalb.
big props to the guys for helping get my pegboard
cuts just right!

post-cuts. yep, it was lunchhour on a monday.
i'm at lowes in a dress + these cute, green
kitten heels. no one stared.

wip shot on the american flag. getting the lines
taped + ready to paint!

painting the star overlay. big props to my silhouette cameo +
silhouette vinyl that made a fabulous stencil!

wip pic on the headboard. no joke, this was about 84" tall,
so the studio moved out to the garage for about a week!
the last coats were done on the logo!
what do you think? love it? think you'd try this for your home? i have to admit, little mr. re-nest #2 will be getting a big boy bed in the next year or so + the thought has crossed my mind.... :)


dorm life: top places to outfit that small (but awesome!) space

so, i happened to be at my local target the other night (and this past weekend, and last week too), and i noticed a group of three adorable college students, who were scoping out the aisles for what could only be dorm room decor. no joke, they were carrying adorable cork boards, organizational funness (not a word, i know!) + pillows, which made me: 1. reminisce to those target trips when i was in college, and 2. feel the need to pull together some cool + awesome ways to organize + decorate dorm rooms! i mean, first off, having your own dorm room (all 8' x 10' of it for three people) is kind of the teenage equivalent of having your own 2,000 square foot house. (at least it was for me!) let's just say that you do not need to stare at vanilla painted cinder block all year!

i know my mom spent bookoo bucks at target, every single year of college, because i wanted my room to be "just right." (thanks mom!) but the awesomeness that we have now, that we didn't have then, is pinterest. oh yeah....pinterest. and, not to mention the home décor retailers who are launching college + dorm décor extensions of their lines....trust me, there's no shortage of ways to make that small space feel just like home!

so, here's a little round-up of some of my favorites, and if i was decorating a dorm room today, where i'd go to get lots of inspiration + ideas!

1. better homes + gardens "creative dorm room decor": this is such a great, great resource for capturing some of the basics for decorating that cinder block room that you'll call home. with everything from ideas on bedding, organization, and one of my very faves: softening all of those concrete walls. i absolutely love their recommendation to bring fabrics in to the room (and i don't mean covering the walls with them!) add varying textures to the pillows on your bed, overlay fabric on the top of a bookshelf, or make a fabric covered cork board (which you can see over on my pinterest page....more on that in a minute!)

the re-nest studio pinterest page! which just happens
to include a college spaces board!
2. pinterest (duh): seriously, if pinterest had been around when i was in college, i would have been in t-r-o-u-b-l-e. i'm fairly certain i would have spent the majority of my time making things + not actually studying! but now that college is waaaayyy behind me, i still love seeing what people are doing now with their dorms. which is why i have a college spaces board over on pinterest! (shameless plug!) some of my faves: the fabric covered cork board (super easy!), the wire/clothespin photo collage, decorating with scrapbook paper + if you're really ambitious, a slipcovered headboard!

the zig zag stripe value comforter set in pool
from pbteen.com
3. pottery barn teen. now, i know that this might seem a little out of range, but after some deep diving into the dorm section of pb teen, there's actually some pretty darn cool stuff, and some great values. first up, if you think you might want something, anything, from here, be sure to sign up for their student discount program. it's 10% off your order with any valid .edu e-mail address or college i.d. presented in-store. that's pretty sweet, right? then, when it comes to bedding, they have value sets....as in, remember "bed in a bag?" it's basically that, but with a ton of color + pattern options. and, i'd super suggest that if you will have a college freshman in the fall of 2016, shop now. and, of course, since it's pottery barn, there's a whole host of other cuteness for your dorm space....lighting, décor, organization. lots + lots of cute stuff to check out!

the danya b bicycle iron book ends from target.com
4. target. can you blame me? on any given day, at any given target, there is more than enough great home decor style to outfit any dorm room. am i right? i mean, there's this adorable chalkboard banner that adds some easy, space-efficient personalization to any room! and, what about these super-cute bicycle book ends? seriously, the possibilities at target for decor + organization are pretty much endless. they were when i was in college, and they are still today!

tell me: what did your college dorm/apartment/sorority room look like?


a rundown: weekend handmade + vintage festivals

to me, fall screams festivals + fairs + totally unique opportunities to start that all-important holiday shopping. but one of the things i love about festivals + fairs is getting to support other handmade artists....whether it's clothing or home goods or food, there's something so special about supporting your fellow handmade entrepreneur who puts their heart + soul into what they make. 

and, of course, i love keeping a pulse on local markets, and thought i shouldn't just keep these all to myself! because if you're in the area, or you have a couple of hours open on a gorgeous fall weekend, why not grab a pumpkin spice latte + head out to support some local artists? (and, maybe, just maybe, start crossing some gifts off your holiday list?)

here's a rundown of some upcoming festivals that i'm super excited about....because i'm either going to them, i'm going to be a vendor, or i have handmade artist friends who will be vendors there! 

photo from urban farmgirl's facebook page
urban farmgirl main street market | rockford, illinois
saturday, 9.12.15

this will be first trip to check out the urban farmgirl main street market, which is right up the way from the studio in northern illinois! but if pics from previous markets are any indication, it'll be a blast! featured as an open-air market, i can't wait to check out all of the vintage + handmade goodness from the 120+ vendors! (p.s. we're making this trip a girls day out! can't wait!)

photo from hobnob market's flickr collection
hobnob market | effingham, illinois
friday, 9.11.15 + saturday, 9.12.15

confession: i knew nothing about the hobnob market until a couple of weeks ago, when a handmade artist that i follow shared that she is a vendor at the event! (p.s. if you get to go check out this vintage greatness, be sure to stop by + say hi to lois pearl designs!) another open-air market, the market also features food, live music, and my personal fave....wine. :) even though i had already bought my tix for the urban farmgirl main street market in rockford for this same weekend, i think i'm gonna have to put hobnob on my list for the next market i attend!

washington street market | naperville, illinois
saturday, 9.19.15 + sunday, 9.20.15

a little shameless self-promotion: i'm a vendor at this event! woohoo! i can't wait to join the other
fantastic vendors at this open-air market, right in the heart of downtown naperville. (have you ever been? it's ad-orable!) hosted by room 363 (an adorable home decor + vintage shop in naperville), this is one market that has literally been on my list for over a year! i can't wait to be able to bring my re-nest designs to a whole new market + see how people a little further east of me take to my creations. it'll be a great weekend + i have to give pre-market shoutouts to my sister, who's joining me for both days; her fiance, for being cool with her hanging out in downtown naperville for a weekend; and of course, my three boys, for supporting me in trying out this new market! i can't wait to share with you how it goes....and of course, if you are anywhere nearby, please stop by + see me! i love visitors + i'll have candy + stickers (who doesn't love candy + stickers?!?) 

tell me: what markets/craft fairs/vendor shows are on your list for this year? and, what kinds of goodies do you love to check out at events? 

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