She Loves Happy Home

Hey guys! I wanted to drop in and let you know about something new that’s happening in the world of She Loves Happy!
One of the main purposes of this blog besides showcasing my photography work is to give updates on our home (see examples here) and talk about different home inspiration I find. Well now, I have created a new Instagram account dedicated to home design! From inspiration, to tips, to progress on our own home, it will be all home, all the time. Go check it out @sheloveshappyhome!slhhomewidget2

The Office is Finished!

After much planning and hard work, the office is finally done! What kickstarted this project was the fact that James was going to start working from home more. I wanted him to be able to have a space that was creative and more on the masculine side.
First off, we painted all the walls a dark blue/grey (Calligraphy by Behr). I can’t tell you how much I love this color! It still keeps the room feeling bright while adding a nice contrast to the rest of the house.
Before I go into the biggest part of this transformation, here’s some pictures of a cute baby writing on a chalkboard:
To give you an idea of where we started, here is what the room looked like about a year after we had moved in: This just became the “catch-all” room and the door pretty much stayed closed all the time and you can see why.But now door can stay open! Except when Olive is awake because she likes to crawl behind the computer.
Ok so this desk. This amazing desk. Originally it was just going to be in this corner shown below and stop at about the middle of the window. But then my BIL had the brilliant idea to extend the desk all the way to the other corner of the room so that I could have MY own space (above). I know, I have the best brother-in-law. 
He made the desk by securing sheets of plywood to the walls with wooden brackets underneath. Then James cut all these pieces that are on the top, stained them (which is the part I helped with) and glued them to the plywood creating this really sturdy, rustic-looking surface. It looks incredible in person. The stain is “Dark Walnut” by Minwax. The Wonder Camera poster is from Paper Source and the frame as well as the lamp are IKEA On the other side of the room I just wanted wall to wall shelves to hold all my home/party/crafting supplies. This is the definition of organized chaos. Annnnnnnd another picture of a cute baby by a chalkboard.

Oxidized Wood Entertainment Center

I love my husband so very much and for so many different reasons. One of the things I love most is the passion he has for his hobbies. I mentioned in the post about the DVD shelf his obsession with movies and everything that has to do with them. That includes what he watches them through (notice the difference in TV sizes in the pictures below) and how he listens to them.
Back in January he got himself and new sound system. Then this is what my living room looked like: IMG_6936Beautiful, right? He’s really creative in the styling department… If you look over to the left, that speaker is balancing on the arm of that chair. That takes skill, people!
I knew that the current entertainment center wouldn’t work so I went on the hunt for a new one. I thought it would be more fun (and somewhat cheaper) to build one ourselves. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and loved its simplicity and rustic look so I put James and my father-in-law to work.
For the finish I decided to try a steel wool and vinegar stain.

OW Entertainment Center

For this stain you need the following:

OW Entertainment Center7Fill the jar with vinegar and then take a piece of steel wool, break it apart, put it in the jar, and seal it. What is supposed to happen is your steel wool essentially dissolves and you begin to see signs of rust in the jar within a few days. That’s not exactly what happened to mine. The steel wool floated at the top for 3 weeks. I dipped my brush in and tried some on a scrap piece of wood and it still worked so I went with it. As you can see from the picture above, it all eventually dissolved once I started using it. I used this tutorial for the stain and she explains how it all works very well.

Because the top of the table was a different species of wood, it wouldn’t stain as dark as the frame pieces. This is where you can use things like black tea, green tea, and coffee to bring out a certain color in the wood. The black tea made it darker, as you may have already guessed, so it was my ideal choice for brushing on the top and on the inner shelf pieces.  The interesting thing is that the tea doesn’t actually change the wood color until you put the oxidizing solution over it. This may not blow your mind but it does mine! The outside frame pieces didn’t need any help from the tea, all I used was the oxidizing solution.

OW Entertainment Canter5

OW Entertainment Center2It takes about 20 min for it to get this dark. When it’s completely dry, if it’s too dark for your taste, give it a light sanding to even out the color.


Here’s the living room way back when we first moved in. The shelves are long gone but the entertainment center arrangement pretty much looked like this up until the new speakers came.OW Entertainment Center8 OW Entertainment Center3 OW Entertainment Center4The new piece gives everything a much cleaner look and it somehow makes the living room feel bigger. As you can see, all his speakers (except the sub, not much I could do there) fit nicely into this one space instead of sitting wherever they wouldn’t topple over.

IMG_7137My favorite detail is the criss-crossed sides. It gives it a great dynamic.

IMG_7130I tried to balance out the black as much as possible…



You’re probably dying to know where the old entertainment center went! I dragged it down to the playroom and filled the boxes with toys, puzzles, blankets, and purses. The colors are perfect for this room. My heart smiles every time I walk by unless it’s a complete disaster which is 85% of the time. In that case I just focus on the curtains and let them warm my heart. IMG_7142

The cool thing about this room is that everything in it had a different purpose or home at one point. I have never bought anything specifically for this room. The desk was my grandmother’s, the curtains from my wedding, the fabric strip wall from a party, the pillows used to be on my couch, the child is even someone else’s! If that’s not the definition of frugal I don’t know what is! OW Entertainment Center6

Industrial Pipe DVD Shelf

Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (6 of 11)Everyone has their “thing”. The thing they could talk about non-stop, spend endless amounts of money on, and feel the urge to show anyone who walks through the door. For me it’s my house and whatever cute new thing I’ve added to it and for my husband it’s movies.
For a long time now his movies have been tucked away in the boxes under the tv and that was just not ok with him. NOT OK! So for christmas I decided to build him a shelf that was functional (for him) yet flowed with the style of the living room (for me).
I had seen industrial pipe shelving on Pinterest and thought that would be an easy way to bring functionality with a simple modern twist that wouldn’t make my living room feel overwhelmed with furniture. I never found a great tutorial for the kind of shelf I was looking for so I decided to wing it and see what happens.
I didn’t get any step-by-step photos so I hope I explain this ok:
Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (8 of 11)For a 2 ft. high shelf that is 6 ft. long you need: 

  • 3 boards (mine were 6 ft. long and 7 in. wide; the perfect size for movies)
  • Wood stain (I used Minwax: Walnut)
  • 10 pipes (mine were 10 in.)
  • 20 floor flanges
  • Screws (make sure they are big enough to not slide through the hole on the flanges but short enough so they won’t poke through the other side of the wood)
  1. The first thing I did was stain my boards. After I did that, I let them dry overnight before attempting to screw the pipes in.
  2. Next thing I did was position where I would want my pipe legs to go. I did two pipes on each end for extra support and just one in the middle (per level).
  3. Once you have your pipes placed where you want them, take them apart and screw in your first set of flanges. Once those are in, you can screw the pipes back in them (as tight as you possibly can) and then twist the next set of flanges on the tops of those pipes.
  4. Put your middle board on the ground and flip the board and pipes you just put together over and screw them down to the middle board.
  5. Repeat this process with the next level but be sure to match up the pipes exactly.

Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (10 of 11)Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (11 of 11) Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (4 of 11)Then you just have to fill it with movies, style the top, and this simple project is complete! Industrial Pipe DVD Shelf

Geometric Accent Wall

Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (1 of 5)4This week I finally pulled the trigger and painted an accent wall in my entryway. I wanted something that added dimension but wasn’t too crazy since it’s a smaller space. When I found this tutorial on Vintage Revivals I knew this was it!
All it requires is a straight edge and a Sharpie paint pen. It has to be a paint pen and it must be water-based. If you get oil-based you’ll have to primer before ever painting over it again. I found these on Amazon.

Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (5 of 5)Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (4 of 5)1Step 1: Draw the horizontal lines. I measured my wall from top to bottom and divided that number by 5. So for my wall, I drew a line with a pencil every 18.5 in. (be sure to use a level)
Step 2: Decide how big you want your triangles. I made my base 12 inches.
Step 3: Pick the side of the wall you want to start on. Once you’ve picked, at the start of each horizontal line you will alternate marking 12 inches and 6 inches going down your wall (vertically). After you have your starting points, you then can just mark every 12 inches across your horizontal line until you get to the other end.
I really hope that makes sense…

Then you will just take your straightedge and connect the dots!

Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (2 of 5)3*TIP: Don’t go over your horizontal lines with the paint pen until after you’ve connected the dots. Otherwise you will cover up the dots that you measured out. Geometric Accent Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog (3 of 5)2This project was surprisingly fast; I got it done in less than 2 hours. But obviously, if you have a bigger wall it will take longer.

My plan now is to add hooks on the wall as well as a mirror and bench. My goal is to have a more organized space where the kids I watch can hang their coats and store their shoes instead of piling it on the floor.

Here is kind of what I have in mind:

Entryway Board2

Hallway Wainscoting

On the day of our wedding, James gave me a coupon he made that said “You get wainscoting in the hallway!”….One year later it’s finally up! He and his dad (thank the Lord for handy husbands and FIL’s) got it done one Saturday afternoon and I couldn’t be happier!

It definitely does everything for the hallway that I thought it would; it adds character, brings dimension, and makes it feel less narrow. I just need to paint and put some art on the walls to help it not look so plain. We also found some sconces that we think would be perfect for this space. I guess fixing the smoke alarm would be a good idea too….

Hallway Wainscoting. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog Hallway Wainscoting. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog  (2 of 3) Hallway Wainscoting. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog  (3 of 3)

Master Bathroom Update

Back when I first made plans for the master bathroom it included painting half the wall black and that’s exactly what I did. I had a can of black paint leftover from a myriad of projects so I used that and got the walls done in one afternoon. Because textured walls were invented by satan, even though I taped everything, the paint still bled through which meant I had to go through and touch up the edges with white. Besides that, I’m happy with the way it turned out and like how it gives our bathroom a more modern feel.

IMG_0612IMG_0611Master Bathroom Half Painted Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog  (1 of 4)Master Bathroom Half Painted Wall. She Loves Happy Lifestyle Blog  (2 of 4)

We can now scratch one thing off the list of things to do in the bathroom. Here’s what’s left:

  • Paint the cabinets white
  • Update counters
  • Update faucets
  • Frame the mirror
  • Update shower and install tile from floor to ceiling
  • Replace flooring
  • Find curtains for the window
  • Paint the wall half way up (I’m thinking black)