Tour Our Home

Born and raised in Arkansas, southern living is part of my family heritage. It’s about simplicity. It’s about living small while feeling like you have it all. It’s about family. Just because you don’t live in the South doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a slice of this great style of living!

My name is Mindy and I have a wonderful husband, two comical daughters, and a little shih tzu that thinks she is just as much a part of the family as the rest of us (and we’re kind of fond of her too!) I love DIY remodeling and decorating (on the cheap, of course!). You will be able to find a ton of ideas and instructions here! I’ll share other insights and ideas as I find them as well.

Okay, so let me introduce you to my home! We are your “normal” family (okay so maybe we aren’t completely normal) living in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath stock house. Let me just say upfront that I hate stock houses. You know, the kind that are built for the sole purpose of a quick sale? They’re all the same. So, this is my just my attempt to transform the ordinary into something unique and extraordinary. Here’s the catch: like many people, we are on an extreme budget. My husband is a high school math teacher and I am a stay-at-home-mom. If you’re looking for budget-friendly ways to make your house your home, you’ve come to great place!

Let’s start with pictures! (All before pictures are immediately after moving into our home in December 2009.)

This is our living area before:

The living area is very small. We hope to add about 3 feet to the entire length of the room, but that’s a topic for a future post. I loved the combination of color of the mango and soft blue pillows, so it has become the inspiration for the room. The chair was a bargain find at Target for half price. Since we have no way to install a real fireplace, we decided an electric fireplace was the next best thing. We’ve been really happy with it!

UPDATE: About a year ago, we decided to enclose our garage (which was of no use to us at all) into an area we could use as a large living area. The room isn’t quite finished, but you can have a look into our new room.  You can find out more about the brown paper flooring we tried here. Check in later to see how this room is coming along!

This is the kitchen before:

I really wanted new cabinets but when you are on a budget, you have to work with what you’ve got.We painted the cabinets and added new hardware. I went with a light cream for the upper cabinets because I wanted an airy feel. The lower cabinets were painted a darker color to ground the room and prevent the room from being overrun by white (since the appliances are white as well). Hopefully, we will be replacing the appliances with stainless-steel in the future. Coordinating pendant lighting was a super easy way to give the room a more high-end feel on an extremely scarce budget. Here is our current kitchen:

This is the dining nook before:

I wanted a table that would match the rest of the house. I found an Ikea table on Craigslist that was love at first site. The cushions on the chairs were an old, worn orange but with just a couple hours of my time and $30, I was able to recover them to fit the color scheme. (You can read about this here.) The room was painted a neutral tan to give the room a peaceful feel that would allow the table to be the main source of attention. This is our dining nook:

UPDATE: Remember the original small living room from before? We have transformed that area into a “large” dining area for our cute shabby chic table. It’s now the first thing you see when you walk in our front door. Notice the picture frame collage-in-progress? You can read about that in this post.


This is the master bedroom before:

It wasn’t bad but it was so dark that it was hard for me to get up in the mornings. I want something fresh that makes me feel like jumping out of bed! My husband wanted a “high-end” hotel look. So, here is the mash-up… The night stands are part of a great trade that happened over the summer. The headboard is a DIY yourself project that we happen to LOVE! The bedding is a sale item that I fell for while shopping around in Target. Here is the current master bedroom:

This is the master bath before:

Again, it was very dark and not at all relaxing. The bath should be something that begs you to stay and soak your worries away. We lightened the color scheme and added wainscotting for some texture. The waterfall shower curtain was purchased from Amazon for $29. These types of shower curtains are outrageously expensive! The next best price I was able to find was in the $80 range. Here is the current master bathroom:

The second bedroom belongs to our 2 daughters. This room is still a work in progress. This room sees its fair share of hardship, so it also sees the least attention. This is our daughters’ current room:Update: Lots of work has begun to take place in this room! Check it out!

If you want to check out what is going down in the laundry room, you can check it out here.


After: Well, there is an introduction to our home. I hope you enjoy cruising the site and pick up some great ideas. I would absolutely love to hear your ideas as well! If you ever have a question, just leave a comment and I’ll get back with you. Thanks guys!


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