Carrie Crista Life My Life

First Floor Makeover

One of the fun parts of homeownership is being able to make something your own. It’s also one of the most stressful. I could watch Fixer Upper all day long but, when it comes to designing for myself? I panic. I literally texted my husband and said that I had to stop looking at Pinterest because it was starting to overwhelm me. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything you see on TV and online! After a bit, I was able to ground myself a little and come up with a vision for our living room.

I should mention that our home is a new construction. It’s as clean of a slate as they come. I showed you our cabinet overhaul which completely changed the look of our kitchen but, aside from that, we haven’t done much to make it “ours.” After a busy season of travel, we decided to take the house on one room and weekend at a time. First up? The downstairs.

Yes, the downstairs is more than one room, but it was also the area we made the most progress in so we were able to knock it out in a weekend. The biggest projects:

  1. Livening up Maddie’s playroom
  2. Adding some personality to the downstairs powder room
  3. Putting shelves in the living room.


Maddie’s playroom was probably the easiest of the three projects and we used the vision we had for it to influence the direction we went for the living room.

Maddie’s play area is the carpeted open space.

The playroom is the first room when you enter the house from the front door, so we wanted it to immediately give off the vibe we were going for. I love farmhouse elements but didn’t want to go full Joanna Gaines, so we opted for a more organic industrial vibe. We got some galvanized metal letters to spell out the word “PLAY” for the wall and found a large, canvas fabric map at Hobby Lobby. After hanging those, we decided the wall with the map needed a bit more to it, so we added a homemade shelf and the word “adventure.” You’ll see this later, but the shelf in the playroom is the same shelving we have in the living room and there is paper flower in a wood frame is part of a set that is also in the living room (you can’t see it in these images, but it’s there).

On the farthest left visible wall in the before photo.

On the wall on the other side of the stairs in the before image.

The second project was the downstairs powder room. We were pretty set on no paint for the downstairs (for right now) so we added some decor on the wall behind the toilet. We found the blue pallet with mason jars at Hobby Lobby and decided to tie the galvanized metal look into the bathroom by finding smaller letters that matched the letters of “PLAY” to spell out “WASH” above the mason jars. We added some inexpensive faux florals to give the bathroom a bit more fresh of a feel.

The last, and most time consuming, project was the living room.

The living room when we moved in. Bare walls and all!

My husband has become quite the handyman over the past few months and he wanted to build the shelves for the living room. Keeping with the organic industrial theme, we decided to make shelves out of metal piping and wood. There are tons of tutorials for this on Pinterest, but here’s what he did.

First, we mapped out where we wanted the shelves to go. Our TV isn’t hung directly in the middle of the wall because the stud was a bit off centered. Because of this, we had to find a way to keep the shelves even in a different way. The corner where the Christmas tree is generally has a different lamp in it, so the TV serves as the center of the room when you look at it, so we decided to measure based on the TV. Painters tape is your best friend here. After placing and replacing tape, we finally decided on placement and shelving size. From there, it was time to go to Home Depot.

We decided on 4, 36″ shelves, 2 on each side. Mike went to Home Depot and got wood, stain, and the hardware needed. Now, I won’t lie to you, the rest of this happened while Maddie and I were napping. What I CAN tell you is that Mike was a magician and put all 10 pipes up in about an hour. 8 of them were used in the living room, 2 of them were used above the map in Maddie’s playroom. The whole process involved wall anchor, screws, and other things that he has more patience for than I do.

While the wood stain dried, I went to Walmart and Target to find some decorations for the shelves. I wanted it to stick with the feel we had but also add in some white elements since our kitchen and living room open up to each other.

Our plugs are in an unfortunate spot, so we have more cords showing than one would like, but you can’t win them all. Anyways, back to the little decor items. Adding a couple of white elements would help the two rooms blend together seamlessly, so into this weird world of industrial, organic, white farmhouse I went. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t buy ONE thing from Chip and Joanna’s Hearth and Hand collection at Target. I actually found most of the little things in the kids’ and the art sections. I found the bronze elephant at Walmart and had to have it. Elephants are my thing and this one fit perfectly with the living room idea. I found most everything else at Target and we already had the lanterns. Mike found the gold elephant at Dollar General! I still have a few things to pick up but I couldn’t find what I was looking for when I was out so I decided to hold off.

I loved these porcelain florals! I ended up getting two of them from Target.

Once Christmas decorations come down, I’ll be moving the lantern and the geometric pot to the middle of the shelf.

We got three of those paper forals in the wooden frames. The third is in Maddie’s playroom!

Over time, I’ll add a few more things to the shelves here and there, but I think it turned out great! When it’s not Christmas, we have a lamp that will go where the Christmas tree is.

I’m excited to move on to other areas of the house! Our big projects are really the master bedroom and the guest room. I have some ideas for both, but making those ideas real life may be a bit more challenging. Patience is a necessity with these types of things (I have no patience so I’m in for a treat).

Questions for you:

What’s your favorite space in your house?

What is your home decor style?

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  • Stephanie
    January 3, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Right now everything needs work so I don’t have a favorite space. The current style is too-busy-to-function-clutter. Purging is happening one corner at a time. At this rate, it will be ready for updating in about 2025.

    • carriecrista
      January 3, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Ha! Do what you can, when you can!

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