Planning a Playroom Vision Boards

Planning a Playroom

We’re sharing all of our plans for our son’s spaceship themed playroom!

Planning a Playroom

It is time to shake things up at Gray House Studio! As we always say, our home is a work in progress and we are always redefining the function of the rooms in our home to fit our stage of life and the current needs of our family.

So we must now bid a fond adieu to the tropical guest room and prepare to convert the space into a playroom for the little Gray House intern!

Currently our son is into testing his physical limits and putting EVERYTHING he comes in contact with in his mouth so I spend just about every moment when he isn’t eating or sleeping, following him around making sure he is safe.

Seriously, if you combine my energy with Brent’s energy and multiply that by 10, it still isn’t as much energy as is stored up in our son’s tiny little body.

A few weekends ago Brent and I were laying on the couch. We were exhausted from chasing our very active and determined little guy around all weekend. I mentioned to Brent that afternoon that it would be helpful to have a designated play space. He agreed and boom within the next few hours we had everything out of the guest room besides the mattress and a toy box. There was no turning back.

We enjoyed designing and working on the modern outdoor nursery so much that the idea of designing projects for a playroom made us excited and got our creative juices flowing again!

Planning a Playroom / Spaceship Theme

So let’s get to our plans for the playroom. We are designing his playroom to look like the inside of a spaceship! Connor doesn’t understand right now but the two adults in the family are pretty pumped about it.

Our first task is to repaint the walls in the room. Have you ever see a beige spaceship? Us neither. Which means bye bye Utterly Beige walls and hello fresh coat of light gray paint (Repose Gray SW7015).

The room will be broken up into 4 “zones” on the outside walls. We will leave the middle of the room open.


The first area of the playroom will be an art area. It will be in the little inset of the room. We realize he will have to get a little older before he can use and appreciate this spot but we will have it set up for when he is ready to start flexing his creative muscles.

Planning a Playroom

– Floor to Ceiling Magnetic Chalkboard Wall
– Frames for Artwork on Magnetic Chalkboard Wall
– Interchangeable Stations on Magnetic Chalkboard Wall (paper roll, ball run, etc.)
– Wall-Mounted Fold Down Standing Desk (for me because baby loves to grab her shiny laptop)
– Shelving for Art Supplies


The large wall in the playroom will be where he can exert all the oodles of energy he has stored up. The large wall in this room will also be our focal wall where Brent is going to create a spectacular space mural.

Planning a Playroom

– Focal Wall – Space Scene + Faux Window
– Stairs and Slide into a Ball Pit
– Command Center (Busy Board Base + Interchangeable Busy Board Tops)
– TV Built into Command Center
– Mirrors
– Book Storage
– Pneumatic Tube System


Since we are getting rid of a place for our guests, we still need a bed for them to sleep on when they come to visit so our solution is to build a Murphy Bed in this room. But that by itself would be boring so instead we plan on creating a Murphy Bed / Rock Climbing Wall combo. Brent loves rock climbing and I think he hopes that someday it can be a fun past time share by the whole family.

Planning a Playroom

– Murphy Bed / Rock Wall


Finally, a spaceship wouldn’t be complete without a compartment to store all of your equipment (toys). We will build extra shelving in the closet to store and organize toys, books, blankets, etc.

Planning a Playroom

– Extra Shelving for Toy Storage

While having a guest room was really nice, at this point in our life, we decided an extra space that can act as a safe zone for him to climb, crawl, explore and learn is just what we need for our active little boy.

Planning this room has been a fun challenge that has had us scratching our heads at times but we love that there are really no rules for a playroom in terms of design. It can be whatever we dream up!

We designed the space to have elements that he can enjoy now, that he can grow into and hopefully that he will be interested in for quite awhile. We can’t wait to dive in and start some DIY projects for the playroom! Stay tuned!

Vision Boards

Garage Shop Plans: Check out the new floor plan

Our garage is a makeshift woodworking shop when we can wade through the junk. Here are our garage shop plans. We can’t wait to legitimize the workshop.

Garage Shop Plans

We have been using our two-car garage as our workshop for the past two years but it is also the black hole that absorbs anything we own without a home base. Since the garage has no real organization system it’s easier to leave the lights off and toss objects into the garage than try to keep it clean. Often times it might take us 30 minutes to an hour to shove things around enough to work on a project.

Garage Shop Plans
If the clutter isn’t dangerous enough for you there is also several holes and lumps in the concrete slab that will either have you tripping or twisting your ankle. Beware intruders, holes make for a great boobytrap once filled with sawdust.

Garage Shop Plans
In our defense, we have never actually seen our garage clean. We moved into an empty house with a trashed garage.

Garage Shop Plans
It was the shell of a man cave complete with a dart hole silhouette on the wall, cigarette butts in the corner, a dilapidated punching bag on the ground, and untouched supplies from a honey-do-list in a pile. It feels like for the past year every week we put one heavy item in the trashcan in a feeble attempt to whittle down the pile of items that were donated with the house.

If there is one project we have been talking about the longest it would be the garage shop. When we make a list of projects the garage is always next on the list. But inevitably, something more pressing always comes up. First, we re-decorated the guest room so my parents would have somewhere nice to stay while she was in town for her cancer treatment. Then we found out Courtney was pregnant and needed to turn a room into a nursery. So, to free a room we moved Courtney’s office and built a desk, cabinet and wall art. Then, it was all hands on deck to prep the nursery before Connor was born. We even filmed about video back in March, the last time we thought we were starting the garage.


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Garage Shop Plans

Now that the nursery is finished it’s finally garage renovation time. Here is the updated plan.

Floor Plan

Garage Shop Plans
For the floors we are using Rust-Oleum’s ROCKSOLID Metallic Floor Coating in Gunmetal. One wall will be white brick and the other two walls will be painted gray with dark gray cabinets. One set of cabinets will be a miter saw station.

To help contain and organize leftover wood a lumber rack will be built in-front of the garage door we keep locked because it doesn’t have a motor. In the center of the room will be the table saw built into a large work surface with a built-in router table. The outfeed table attached to the back of the table saw will have holes in the top for easy clamp use. The holes will also allow the table to be used as a downdraft table when hooked up to a vacuum.

We can hardily contain our excitement to finally follow through with these garage shop plans, finally making it the workshop of our dreams. Of course, once the realization sets in that we have to empty the garage to get started I’m sure our level of excitement will drop a bit. At least for this post we can focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Planning a Boy Nursery Vision Boards

Planning a Boy Nursery

We are ready to start planning a boy nursery! Today we are sharing our ideas for a modern outdoor nursery.

Planning a Boy Nursery

The time has come to start thinking about designing our baby boy’s nursery! Just the process of cleaning out the room that will be our nursery involved a lot of projects but I got my awesome industrial office out of it so I am not complaining. Although, empty rooms in our home have a habit of collecting items that don’t belong in them so I am guarding this room and making a conscious effort that only items intended for the nursery make their way into that room.

With around 13 weeks to go, it’s probably about time we start shifting our focus to the nursery since we have quite a few DIY projects planned for this room. Brent and I were already on the same page when it came to how we envisioned the design of the room and we are really excited to start actually working on it now.

Before we knew the gender we knew we wanted to work in outdoor elements. When we found out we are having a boy, we both wanted to do a camping style nursery. After a lot of browsing on Pinterest I realized there are a lot of outdoor, camping, adventure styled nurseries out there. But in staying true to our Gray House Studio style, we want to keep it pretty simple. We already have the walls painted Dovetail Gray and really like the color so we wanted to keep it. So my challenge was how to put together an outdoor room with grays.

We finally nailed down our ideas which include a chalkboard wall, replacing the floors, a huge DIY shelving display with a seat and much more. I am so excited to start working on this room now that I have a clear direction, a modern outdoor boy nursery. It should be really fun! Below are some of the items that we would like to incorporate or we are using as inspiration for our nursery design.

CHAIR | Baxton Studio Rocking Chair from Wayfair
I was not aware of just how expensive nursery rocking chairs can be. Yikes! I have my mind set on a chair with an actual rocking base but I guess my taste far exceeds our actual budget so it took a lot of searching to find one that we like the design, is comfortable (which is probably the most important) and fits in our budget. Ultimately, we decided on this wingback rocking chair and I can’t wait to see it in the room.

RUG | Jungle Sheep Skin White Rug from Overstock
We are saying “see ya later” to the carpet in this room and replacing it with either wood or laminate flooring. A big, soft, fluffy rug is on my wish list for this space. I want a comfy spot to spread out and play or let’s be real, a great backdrop for a billion photo opportunities.

PILLOW | Adventure Awaits Throw Pillow Cover from Society6
I love this pillow cover! It is simple, yet fits the vision of the room perfectly.

ART | Woodland Nursery Animals Art from Etsy
The positive thing about woodland themed nurseries being popular is there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to decor. This woodland art is my favorite. I like the neutral background and the animals are so dang cute.

CRIB | Babyletto Hudson Convertible Crib from Target
The crib was the first piece we decided on for the nursery. We like the modern appearance and the gray and white combination.

TABLE | Natural Tree Stump Side Table from West Elm
This stump table, this is one of those pieces I keep telling Brent that I HAVE TO HAVE. Like, it is not up for debate. I will have a tree stump side table and that is that. Due to the price tag being higher than we would like to spend, for this one we are going DIY over buy.

NIGHT LIGHT | Campsite Night Light from The Land of Nod
I’m a fan of this cute little nightlight.

STUFFED ANIMAL | Corduroy Fox from The Land of Nod
How cute is this little fox? I love that he is made of corduroy. We will incorporate woodland creatures here and there throughout the room and I like how the fox decor bring a pop of bright color to the room.

SHELF | Teepee Shelf from Etsy
We have built several shelving projects in the past so I am adding teepee shelf to our to build list. I would love to make a few of these to hang around the room to display a few odds and ends.

There you have it, our plans for a modern outdoor boy nursery. The ideas are flowing now and I can’t stop thinking about working on this space. It is especially hard to concentrate because as I sit in my office and work I directly face the empty nursery and I swear it is calling to me to come decorate. The force is strong due to the combination of me always getting excited to start a new room design and that nesting instinct kicking in.

Stay tuned for lots of boy nursery projects coming your way soon!

*To see more of our boy nursery ideas, follow along on our Nursery Board on Pinterest.

back patio ideas Vision Boards

Back Patio Ideas

We are making over our backyard this spring! Here are our back patio ideas for redoing the outdoor space.

Back Patio Ideas

Spring has always been my favorite time of the year. Mostly because my birthday is during spring (yay for April birthdays) but also because it is the best time of the year to spend outside here in Houston before it gets miserably hot.

One of the features that sold us on our home was the backyard. It is small but it backs up to a greenbelt which means there is not a house directly behind us, just lots of tall trees. It is a gorgeous and peaceful view because we have a low iron-rod fence.

Current Back Patio

Back Patio Ideas

The back patio on the other hand leaves more to be desired. It is just two slabs of cracked concrete with two chairs on it. If you have been following along for awhile now you might remember that revamping our back patio was on our home renovation goals of 2015. Sadly, it didn’t make the cut in 2015 but this spring we are determined to make the space more inviting, comfortable and cozy so we can enjoy our beautiful view.

Currently, our concrete slabs are a mess, there is absolutely no landscaping, and minimal mismatched furniture is scattered on our bare patio so this outdoor space is in some serious need of TLC.

Back Patio Ideas

Back Patio Ideas

We will be giving our concrete a refresh with some stain and add a new fire pit area with crushed granite as well as lots of new flowerbeds and landscaping.

We plan on creating three defined spaces on our patio: a dining area, a lounging area and a conversational/fire pit area. We will also have a separate little grilling area. We feel like by creating these spaces our back patio will feel much more complete and as if the pieces we are adding are intentional. As well as just provide a more cohesive and cozy feel with plenty of space for entertaining. While browsing online, we found a nice selection of bright colored decor pieces on the At Home website that will help us capture our vision.

Dining Area

If you remember from our canopy of string lights, I am a big fan of the backyard in Parenthood. We have our string lights, so now I want an outdoor dining area to gather around and eat outside. We will build our table but the accent pieces in this area will really make the space complete.

Back Patio Ideas

chair  /  lantern  /  plant stand

We would love to put bright wicker chairs from At Home around the table to brighten up the space and add lanterns and a planter to the table. Then round out the space with a bright blue plant stand in the corner with a nice, big plant.

Lounge Area

I love reading and I find reading outside relaxing, so I am really excited to create a cozy lounge area in the far corner of our patio. To refresh this section, we plan on building a sectional and adding bright colored cushions on the seating as well as lots of vibrant, plush pillows. A large offset umbrella would be much needed to provide shade over the sectional.

Back Patio Ideas

umbrella  /  pillows  /  rug  / side table  /  cushion  /  planters

A bold blue rug would be perfect under the sectional and coffee table to define the lounging space and tie in the blue and green colors in the pillows and chairs around the outdoor table. I would love to include some side tables on the side of the sectional. A couple of interesting planters on the coffee table filled with succulents will complete the space.

Fire Pit Area

We will create a brand new space off the patio with a fire pit. We will build our fire pit in the center and put our orange zero gravity chairs around the fire pit with a side table between the chairs.

When it comes to an outdoor refresh for spring, bright colored decor and lots of greenery come to mind. Our house is fairly neutral so the back patio is our chance to incorporate our favorite colors and surround the patio with lots of plants.

We are really excited to start making our back patio ideas a reality and can’t wait to start our backyard projects and to go shopping for decor pieces at At Home to transform our sad outdoor space into a backyard oasis.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of At Home. The opinions and text are all mine.

Planning Our Home Office Vision Boards

Planning Our Home Office

Today is all about new projects and a new room makeover as we start planning our home office.

For as long as I worked in a cubicle I dreamed of having my own office. And not just any office, an office I could design and decorate myself … and preferably at home. When we were looking for our house two years ago the number one item on my list was a room that could be our home office. When we found our house with the perfect room for my office that even had the french doors I wanted, I finally made the leap to starting my own web development business and working out of the office in our home.

Planning Our Home Office

I have been really happy ever since. I still love this room, mostly because it is the room in our home that I spend the most time in during the day. For the most part I had it decorated close to what I wanted. I love the large desk which was the very first piece of furniture Brent ever made me.

But while it was close to what I wanted my office to be, it wasn’t quite there yet. I didn’t have that deep down gut feeling that this room was 100% finished. Obviously because it didn’t have the wood floors I wanted yet but also because of lack of organization. The large black shelves are from my first apartment and while they worked fine in that space and have been okay in this space, sometimes I feel like they are swallowing the room and making it feel smaller than it is.

Planning Our Home Office

My office was at the bottom of the list when it came to rooms to work on (our garage/shop is always at the top but consistently gets bumped, poor Brent) until suddenly we decided to shuffle some rooms around. Just like the guest room makeover, something comes up and the list goes out the window and suddenly we find ourselves knee deep planning a makeover in a room we weren’t expecting. And I couldn’t be happier.

We are now starting the process of moving my office across the hall to the open room that is now our “studio” aka empty room we shoot our videos in that is next to our library. I’m saying bye to my french doors even though I will be looking straight at them from my new desk view and I am even saying bye to my current desk. I am super sad about this because Brent built it for me. He is not sentimental in the slightest when it comes to furniture. I’m all, “But you made it for me!” His response, “I’ll make you a new one.” Luckily, I found it a good home where I know it will be appreciated and get a lot of use.

Our thinking was if we are going to spend the time to move everything, we might as well take the time to make it feel 100% right. So that means new desk, new storage solution (custom built cabinets, yay!) and some other really fun projects that we are really excited to tackle.

You may be wondering why I am moving my office out of the perfect office room. Well, that is because… it’s a surprise. Gray House Studio always seems to have exciting things on the horizon these days and we can’t wait to share what we have coming up next. But you will have to wait just a little bit longer to find out…

Planning Our Home Office

Now, sit back, relax and let me walk you through how we are planning our home office. If this were Fixer Upper I would have homemade cookies warm from the oven and freshly squeezed lemonade in mason jars garnished with lemon slices for you. Good thing you can’t see through the computer at what is really sitting on my table right now as I type this (a half eaten package of Twizzlers).

Here are our ideas and inspirations for how we want to transform this room into my perfect work environment.

Planning Our Home Office

Geometric Rug
It is not in the budget or time frame to do wood floors yet, sigh, but one improvement we can make right away is to add a large rug. I plan on having my desk float in the middle of the room. I am not very productive when I stare at a wall but that means cords will have to make their way to the wall somehow and a large rug is the perfect way to hide and keep me from tripping over the cords. I really like this rug, it is neutral but has a fun pattern to keep it interesting.

New Wood Desk inspired by display at Restoration Hardware
I still can’t believe I have to part with that huge desk Brent built me but one weekend when Brent and I were window display shopping, that is where we go around and act like weirdos by taking pictures of all the store displays to get ideas for our home, we came across this really cool wooden table at Restoration Hardware used to display teas. We both instantly knew it was the perfect inspiration for the new desk we would build for our home office. We are pretty excited about this project.

ÄPPLARÖ Wall Panels
These wall panels from IKEA really have me thinking about creating a large indoor plant wall display on the wall behind my desk. I am not sure if we would modify this exact piece or make our own wall trellis of sorts to pull off this look. My web development business is named Naturally Design so I really like the idea of incorporating a lot of natural elements and what is cooler than a plant wall display?

Schoolhouse Pendant Light
We are already ahead on this one. Last year we updated the lighting in the room by taking down the old, gross 90’s fixture and replacing it with our own DIY version of a Rejuvenation schoolhouse pendant light. We still really like how this looks in the room so it will be staying.

Plants, Lots of Plants
Like I mentioned before, I really want to incorporate a lot of greenery in this room especially on the accent wall. I am 50/50 on whether I want to really step up my game in trying to keep plants alive or just get realistic looking faux plants. Maybe I will do half and half.

The cabinets are the first project we will be building and I am really excited about this project. It is the first time we will build custom cabinets, dipping our toes in the water before we do the bathrooms or kitchen I suppose. I can’t wait to finally have a designated space to organize all my office supplies and files. The best part of DIY, being able to build pieces that exactly fit your needs. We plan on painting them a nice gray color and then adding a butcher block top.

Gray Chevron Chair
As you can see in the picture above, I already have this chair in my office. I got it a year or two ago and love it. It is comfy for my clients to sit for long client meetings and it isnt’ too big so it fits well in the space and of course it is my signature neutral with a fun pattern. Because obviously I am slightly afraid of color, well except in the guest room. This chair makes the cut and will be moving across the hall.

Wood and Metal Desk Tray
I love organizing and I love paper so I really love this wood and metal desk tray. I am looking forward to tackling a few smaller DIY organization projects for my office with Brent like building a similar tray, a computer stand, business card holders, and maybe a new iPad stand.

Office Print
I am planning on having the pops of color in this room come in the form of some fun and motivational framed prints to display in the office. This one seems appropriate since I spend so much time here.

That is what we have planned for the next two months. I am pretty excited and thankful that Brent has graciously set aside his long overdue garage makeover to help me make this room feel 100% finished. Be sure to follow along as we post all of the projects we build for this room as well as stay tuned for our final reveal of our new home office.

Behind the Scenes: Cabinet Building Part 1

We have started a vlog! We thought it would be fun to share what really happens during our project building sessions, the good, the bad, the funny and maybe the mundane (Brent gives a short math lesson and then realizes he did the math wrong). In this vlog we are working on the first part of our cabinet building project and Brent gets a little sidetracked.

To see more of our behind the scenes videos, subscribe to our channel ⇾

Planning Home Gym Vision Boards

Planning Our Home Gym

When we moved in every room in the house was painted a neutral off white color except one room. One of the bedrooms in the back of the house was the greenest room we have ever seen. We liked to imagine it was what walking into a Leprechaun’s house might feel like. Three walls were a darker green and there was an accent wall that was a pastel green. It was an interesting design choice.

Planning the Design of a Home Gym

Anyway, it was a little too bright for us so the first thing we did was paint over it with one of our favorite neutral “greige” colors, Utterly Beige. After that we pretty much ignored this room. On our floor plan page we have generously been calling it our home gym but the truth is the only thing that even remotely resembled anything work out related in that room was a few old Wii-Fit Discs (that were collecting dust) and a jump rope.

Planning the Design of a Home Gym

But it was inevitable, as we continued to work on other projects throughout the house, our empty back room somehow developed a gravitational pull and collected all the various left over supplies from other projects, tools we had been missing for months and an unusual amount of cardboard. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think its one of Newton’s lost laws that if a space sits empty, junk will move to fill it.

We finally had enough of the current situation and sat down two weeks ago and had our “dream big” talk about what we would like to do with this space to make it have a purpose. We both agreed a home gym would be the best use of the space for us during this time of our life.

But if you have learned anything about Brent and I, we can’t just have a home gym; we have to completely transform the room so it feels like you are transported to another place entirely. If our breakfast nook takes us to a coffee shop, we want our home gym to take us, stay with me here, to an old warehouse. My inspiration is a boxing gym with worn leather equipment set in a warehouse.

Planning the Design of a Home Gym
Sources: 1 | 2 | 3

I want it to have a vintage and industrial feel but also incorporate a few modern elements. Before we begin sharing our projects for this room, we wanted to give you a look at what we are planning.

Planning the Design of a Home Gym

Brick Accent Wall | Brick Harboard Wall Panels from Lowe’s (which we will be painting to match the brick pictured above)
The largest project we are planning is to create a worn brick accent wall. This feature will be essential in creating the industrial loft/old warehouse look. We will be purchasing harboard wall panels that look like brick and then painting over them to create a more realistic old brick appearance. We have wanted to do a brick wall somewhere in the house and this room is perfect because it makes the most sense in terms of design.

Gym Flooring | Mats from Lowe’s
We had initially planned to use one type of mat and then changed our minds and decided to instead use these foam mats instead. We like the gray color, how easy they are to assemble, fit together nicely for a clean appearance and would be a snap to pull up in the future if we decide to go with different flooring down the road.

Wall Fan | Faraday 14-in Wall Fan from ATG Stores
How awesome is this wall fan? It fits perfectly with the style we are going for in this room. This room currently doesn’t have a ceiling fan so our first thought was to add one but the ceiling is pretty low and we didn’t want anything to hang down low enough where we could possibly hit it while working out. We will instead go with a unique lighting solution. But a work out room without a fan circulating air seems like a bad idea, so having this large wall fan is the perfect solution.

Lockers | Vintage Locker 3-Door Perforated Cabinet from Restoration Hardware
These lockers from Restoration Hardware have a great vintage vibe. I’ll be honest this is one area we won’t be splurging and will definitely be DIY-ing. We are going to be making our own lockers that fit inside the closet in the room so we can customize them. But these lockers provide great inspiration for the direction we want to go.

Rug | Catalina Area Rug from ATG Stores
The overall color palette of the room will be extremely neutral so we wanted to work in a bit of color in our designated yoga area where we plan to place this rug and have a few colorful yoga mats on a yoga mat holder we will be building. I like this blue color because it is different than what we typically use in our house and the material of the rug gives it a relaxed feel that makes it perfect for a gym.

Clock | Industrial Clock from Restoration Hardware
Another DIY project we have planned is to makeover a modern clock into one that looks like it belonged in a gymnasium in the 1940’s like this one from Restoration Hardware. I love the cage and metal that is on this clock. It screams vintage gym. We are hoping to incorporate these elements into our DIY clock project to give it a similar appearance.

Floor Mirror | Baxton Studio Daffodil Floor Mirror from Wayfair
Most gyms have mirrors hanging on the walls and while it was tempting to create a mirror wall, just kidding, we decided that having a large framed floor mirror leaning against the brick wall would be a stylish way to incorporate a mirror into the room without straying from our design concept.

What’s a gym without a treadmill? This will be the large piece of workout equipment in our gym.

Leather Medicine Ball | from eBay
One aspect of making over this room that I am looking forward to is decorating it with unique vintage pieces. We got this old leather medicine ball off eBay that I am excited about because it really completes my vision for this room. We will also have a few more DIY projects planned such as wall art made from old photographs that I am looking forward to working on to round out the room.

We were so excited to begin this room transformation that we actually started before we had time to post what we were planning on the blog. We are already making great progress on it. If you have been following along with us on Periscope you maybe have already seen a sneak peek or two. If you missed it you can catch it below.

Just a reminder we will be sharing our progress Thursday nights at 8PM CST on Periscope. You can find us @grayhousestudio as we share sneak peaks of the updates we are making to our room to transform it into our home gym. It is great fun to meet all of you and hear what you are up to as well so I hope you can join us!

If you miss any of our scopes, you can watch them on our Periscope playlist on our YouTube channel.

In our next post we will be sharing more about the flooring we chose for the room that will be in our home gym so be sure to come back and check that out!

Breakfast Nook Makeover Mood Board Vision Boards

Planning Our Breakfast Nook Makeover

Have you ever had an idea and then that idea grew and grew in scale until all of a sudden you are planning on building a small coffee shop in your breakfast nook? No? Maybe that’s just us. There were two small problems we were facing in our kitchen/eating area that led us to start brainstorming a new and interesting idea for the space. We eventually came up with a solution that we are really exited about and can’t wait to get started working on, our cozy & eclectic café inspired breakfast nook makeover.

Planning our Breakfast Nook Makeover Mood Board

Problem #1: Unused Breakfast Nook
We really love to make unique choices when it comes to unused spaces in our home. And yes I am kind of embarrassed to admit that the breakfast nook is an unused area in our home and it’s not because we eat in our dining room because we turned that room into our library. No, it is because most nights we eat on the couch. (We don’t have kids yet to have to set an example of proper table manners at home.) The only time we ever sit in this area to eat is if we have company. The space is pretty empty at the moment and the seating is uncomfortable. It’s not a place we like to spend our time.

Problem #2: Not Enough Space for Coffee Supplies in Kitchen
We realized that the small area in the kitchen that we originally designated for our coffee machine and supplies was suddenly not big enough. We have slowly acquired a cappuccino machine, more mugs and our coffee syrup inventory is getting a little out of hand. (They just make so many delicious flavors!) There are a lot of coffee bar ideas floating around out there and they are beautifully styled. We thought a separate coffee bar could be a great plan.

But then we started thinking, instead of just building an extra cabinet for our coffee supplies, let’t go bigger! Why not transform the entire breakfast nook space into our very own small private cafe, one that is cozy and eclectic and a place where we would enjoy sitting and drinking our coffee weekend mornings or having dinner dates every night together.

After many hours spent on the internet looking at photos of the interior design elements featured in coffee shops (talk about eye candy) we finally narrowed down our ideas to ones that fit our style the best and would match the overall look we are going for in our home. We are even incorporating the same style of wood planks that are on the wall in our reading nook on the coffee bar. We created the mood board above to help set the tone, display our inspiration and collect some of the potential pieces we are interested into incorporating in the space.

I can’t even express in words how pumped I am about the future of this space. It seems to be our craziest idea yet but that is what I thought about the reading nook and the library shelves and now those are my favorite place and statement piece in our home. I can’t wait to decorate with all the bottles and jars I have already been collecting that will contribute to making this space “us”.

Be sure to check back often to follow along with our progress in this room. We have several projects we will be sharing that are part of the breakfast nook makeover over the next several weeks. This one is going to be a blast.

*We created our breakfast nook mood board with photos of coffee shops, as well as products we liked from and home inspiration photos from as part of the Maker Mood Board Contest with Porch & If you would like to participate and create your own Mood Board to enter, click here to learn more. Don’t forget to share yours on Instagram and Twitter with the #MMBC!

We nominate the following bloggers to submit their own mood board: Just Judy / Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body / Modish & Main / Fifty Two Weekends of DIY / Fifty Two Weekends of DIY /

Sources For Images Above:

UPDATE: We have completed our coffee bar in our breakfast nook based on this mood board. Check out the finished project:

Guest Bathroom Planning Vision Boards

Planning Our Guest Bathroom

We have family coming to visit and stay with us in less than a month and that got me thinking about our guest bathroom. This room has been marked low priority on our list of home renovation projects because it doesn’t get a ton of use, unless we have company over. But remembering we are having guests come soon, I stood in the doorway of the bathroom the other day visualizing things I could do to make the space more inviting. It was then that I had the realization that we definitely need to show a little (a lot of) love to this room and preferably soon. I’ll just be real and admit there is not a single decoration in there. There is a shower curtain, a soap dispenser and a hand towel and that is it. We are talking very bare bones decor wise. Not to mention it has the same theme as the rest of the house when we moved in, “Bland”. The tan tile, off white walls, white cabinets, white countertops and white tile in the shower all run together and when I stare into this small narrow room my eyes hurt trying to adjust to the bland abyss. Okay, I am being a little dramatic. At least we are working with just builder grade neutral choices and not pale blue tile, floral wallpaper or a pink toilet.

Planning our Guest Bathroom Moodboard Gray House Studio Before

I can’t wait to paint the bathroom. We are planning to use Utterly Beige from Sherwin Williams, which is a tan-gray shade and is the same color we painted the guest bedroom since similar elements will be incorporated into both rooms. We have some bigger scale projects that we would love to tackle right away like replacing the tan tile and redoing the white cabinets to be a darker color but that will have to come a little later when the budget allows. So for now I am focusing on a few smaller scale projects and decor pieces that we will be able to add to the room sooner and will enhance the look of our guest bathroom.

Planning our Guest Bathroom Moodboard Gray House Studio

Faucets | Kingston Brass Faucets from Amazon
Changing out the silver faucets is a must on our list. We got a killer deal on these Kingston Brass faucets on Woot! last year for our master bathroom and I have been really pleased with them. I will be stalking Woot! from now on to see if they ever offer them again. Amazon also sells them for around $88 dollars which is not bad at all considering some bronze faucets can run you an upwards of $300 for just one.

Pendant Lights | Portfolio 13-in W Oiled Bronze Standard Pendant Lights from Lowe’s
In an effort to rid this bathroom of all that is silver, we plan to change the light fixture as well. However, we already know we are going to have the same problem we ran into in our master bathroom so this will be a more complicated process than just replacing the old fixture with a new one. We would love to rewire the lighting and patch the hole in the wall and then drop these awesome pendant lights from the ceiling, one over each mirror. It is going to be a little extra work but it will definitely be worth it.

Framed Leaf Print | Botanical Palm Leaf Digital Print from RepublicaDeCali on Etsy
We really want to incorporate some bright colors and art into the bathroom to liven it up and these leaf prints are the perfect solution. I want to frame one or two of these and set them on the shelf we will be building over the towel hooks. I love that they are minimal, colorful and will tie in perfectly with the shower curtain without overwhelming the small space.

Wire Basket Storage | Charlotte Lined Wire Baskets from Cost Plus World Market
I have my eye on these wire baskets from World Market. I have been gravitating towards wire baskets for multiple rooms lately but what I like about these is you get the wire look but the lining discreetly disguises bathroom contents. I plan on placing a few of these on the floating shelves we will be building over the toilet to store toilet paper and air freshener. That way it is in close reach and available out in the open to guests but not as noticeable and detracting as the toilet paper tower situation that we currently have going on in there.

Shower Curtain | Rainforest Shower Curtain from West Elm
I purchased this colorful shower curtain from West Elm before we even moved into our house and I am really exited to actually put it to use. It sparked my idea of having a tropical themed guest room and guest bathroom. (I use the term “theme” loosely because Brent is not a fan of themed rooms. I on the other hand had a themed room from the time I was eleven until I graduated college so we have had to strike a compromise and agree that I will add just a few tropical “elements”). This shower curtain is bright and fun and different than most of the neutral items we have in our home.

Floating Shelves | Making our own
We plan on building two floating shelves over the toilet area. This will be really helpful for organization purposes and allow us to utilize all that empty wall space. I like the idea of having washcloths, towels, etc. readily available to guests stored in baskets on these shelves so they can comfortably use it at their leisure and don’t have to ask how to find everything they may need.

Towel Rack with Shelf | Making our own similar to this Wall Coat Rack from Wayfair
I am really excited about building this project. I don’t particularly like the idea of having a towel bar in a bathroom where multiple guests may have to hang up their towels. I would rather have hooks but I wanted the hooks to be displayed in a more interesting fashion than just plain hooks stuck in the middle of the wall. I couldn’t find a great example of exactly what I am thinking (luckily Brent can decipher my sketchy descriptions) but this coat rack from Wayfair is similar to what I am envisioning just with different hooks. I would love to have hooks on a mounted board and then have a wood shelf attached to the top so that I could add a few more decorative items in the bathroom without cluttering the countertops.

Vase with Split Leaf Philodendron Leaves | Vase from Crate & Barrel and Artificial Split Leaf Philodendron Leaf from Quality Silks
Adding a few Split Leaf Philodendron leaves in this really cool white vase from Crate & Barrel would allow me to subtly tie in more tropical elements and add some greenery in the bathroom. I love the contrast of the bright green leaves in the white vase. I could see this sitting on the shelf above the towel rack with the leaf prints.

Framed Mirrors | Making our own similar to the ones we made for our master bathroom
Last but not least we will frame our mirrors that we recently recycled by cutting the original large mirror into two pieces. We did the same thing in our master bathroom. Having two narrow mirrors rather than the one unframed large mirror made a huge difference in the feel of the room and I have no doubt it will be the same in this bathroom as well. We will most likely stain it a lighter color than the ebony stain we used on the frames in our master bathroom. I predict this will be our first project in this space because we currently have no mirrors hung up in this bathroom! They are sitting in our garage ready to be framed.

Over the next few months I suspect we will be sharing quite a few of our guest bathroom projects. There is no realistic way that we will get it all done before our guests come, but any progress in this room will make me feel better about having guests use this space.

*To see more of our guest bathroom ideas, follow along on our Guest Bathroom Board on Pinterest.

Planning Our Home Library Vision Boards

Planning Our Home Library

Gray House Studio Wood Barn Door Plans

At the front of our house we have your typical formal dining room and formal living room but we don’t have much use for a formal dining room and our vision for our house is anything but typical so we decided to think outside of the box with what to do with the space that would allow us to get the most use out of it and fit our needs the best and a formal dining room just isn’t what we need or really want. We are both book nerds and love reading so we decided to instead take the formal dining room and turn it into our home library.

This room sat empty for quite awhile and then temporarily housed our treadmill and gym equipment. After that we stored Brent’s musical instruments in it for a bit. It has been full of mismatched stuff and doesn’t really give the best first impression when guests walk in our front door. This month we are finally ready to start our transformation from a blank catch all room to a cozy home library and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

First things first we our planning our home library and what items we want to incorporate into our home library. So far we have put a fresh coat of paint, Mindful Gray from Sherwin Williams, on the walls and that has already made a huge difference but we are really pumped to add some furniture in this room so it finally feels like it has a purpose.

Shelves | Built by Us
After we painted the library, the first project we worked on was building our large bookshelf that spans the entire length of one of the walls in the room and includes seven large shelves that go almost all the way to the ceiling. This project has taken us several weekends to work on but we love the results. The shelves will be the focal point of the room as they will display our books and collectibles so we wanted to custom build the shelves to fit the exact dimensions of the wall. We will be sharing a whole post dedicated to how we put together the shelves soon.

Pendant Lighting | Rose City 6in. Classic Schoolhouse Pendant from Rejuvenation
How cool is the bronze pendant light? We are wanting to replace our elaborate and ornate light fixture that is currently in this space with something more sleek and simple and I think the Rose City Schoolhouse Pendant light really fits with the style we are going for in our library. We want something unique that adds character to the room without being overly industrial or distracting. We love how this pendant light is simple with a vintage vibe. This one has definitely been added to our wish list.

Coffee Table | Library Coffee Table from West Elm
This coffee table from West Elm is awesome and it is even named the library coffee table, so it seems as if it is meant to be! Honestly, Brent will actually be building our coffee table because we want it to match with the craft cabinet he will also be building in the room next door so it all ties together nicely but I am quite fond of the idea of using this piece as inspiration. I like the simple design, worn look giving the impression our library has been around for a long time and gotten lots of good use and the storage options.

Art | Created by Brent
Brent created this piece for an art show while he was in graduate school a few years ago and it is one of my favorite pieces he has made to date. I think it fits with the style of this room perfectly and I am so excited to incorporate it into our library.

Sofa | Charcoal Gray Nolee Folding Sofa Bed from World Market
We have been back and forth on trying to decide if having a sofa, chairs or a sofa and chairs would look the best and be the most functional in this room. Finally, we decided that having just a sofa would be the most comfortable and fit the space the best as to not overcrowd the room. When I found this folding sofa bed at World Market, it went to the top of our list as the sofa I would like to have in this room because it is modern, a great color and it folds out to be a sofa bed which is always handy to have when you have extra guests come to stay. I wouldn’t mind if we got this sofa sooner rather than later!

Wire Baskets | Wire Baskets from HomeGoods
I bought the wire baskets a week ago and consider them a MAJOR score. Brent has a pretty good sized record collection but the records won’t fit on our shelves so I suggested getting some baskets to store the records in that would fit under the shelves. I browsed the internet for a long time but it wasn’t until a spontaneous trip to HomeGoods that I found these wood/wire baskets that match our shelves perfectly. They are the exact right size to fix under the shelves and hold the records. Plus, they were only $16 a piece which was a lot cheaper than any of the other baskets I had been looking at online were.

Floor Lamp | Warren Pulley Task Floor Lamp from Pottery Barn
Every time we go into Pottery Barn we drool over this floor lamp and we think it would be a perfect addition to our library to add some extra reading light and provide some character. I am hoping this can be the one item we splurge on for the library.

Tree | Blue Ridge Fir Executive Japanese Maple Tree from Wayfair
I would love to have a live large plant in this room to add a some life and color to the fairly monochromatic and neutral decor we are planning in this room but the truth is we don’t get a lot of light in the one free corner where the tree would go and I am horrible at keeping plants alive. So, this realistic Japanese Maple Tree would be a good alternative to add a little warmth to the room.

Rolling Ladder | Antique Original American Library Ladder from 1stdibs
Ah, the rolling ladder, what library wouldn’t be complete without one of these cool things propped up against the shelves to access those out of reach books on the top shelf? This Antique American Library Ladder is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I don’t think our budget allows for spending $1,200 on just a ladder. So we are using this one as inspiration to build our own. Having a rolling ladder will really complete the look and and feel of our library.

Another large project that we want to do is to replace the carpet with hardwood floors. That will transform the look of the room from blank and bland to cozy and interesting. However, we have tile throughout the entire house that we want to replace so it is kind of an all or nothing type of project that needs to take place at one time when we are ready and can afford to rip all our floors up. Hopefully that time is coming up soon.

I love window shopping and planning out how a room will come together. These are a few of the key pieces that we like and will make our library feel like it belongs in our home. It will be a place we want to host guests when they over and visit or just relax and read. We will continue to work on this room and share updates on the space as our projects progress.

Do any of you use a room in your home for a library? What are some of your favorite pieces that you have incorporated into that space? We would love to hear them!

Photo Sources:
Shelves (Gray House Studio) | Sofa | Coffee Table | Art (Gray House Studio) | Sofa | Wire Baskets (Gray House Studio) | Floor Lamp | Tree | Rolling Ladder