Author: Tiff Packer

5 Ways to Update Your Space

5 ways to update affordably

My bio is true, I specialize in affordable updates. My client Sandee was so nice to let me share the changes we made in her Kitchen and Dining nook.  Her budget was tight, but that didn’t scare me because they were willing to put in a ton of work themselves, and boy did they.

sandee vision board

This is the vision board I presented to Sandee and her husband.

 

The floor was recently done and beautiful.  A few things they requested to stay were the countertops, major appliances, dining table, chairs, and light/fan.  So here is my recipe for updating this space, which can work for so many of you.

1// Cabinets

If you can and are willing, change or paint them.  I love the options at IKEA (along with their quartz countertop choices), but if that’s not in the budget, which it usually isn’t, then paint them.  Everyone needs to do it at least once in their life. And then never do it again. The transformation can be incredible and worth it.  I give all my clients a tried and true instruction sheet, just be ready for sanding, sanding, and more sanding.  It’s about a 1-2 week process.  Sandee’s aesthetic is pretty contemporary and after showing her two different color boards, she chose black.  Being the detailed (nice way to say perfectionist) person that she is, they look fabulous, especially in person.

img 0763

Kitchen Cabinets Before

 

img 0762

Kitchen Cabinets Before

 

Transformed…

img 6336

Kitchen Cabinets After

 

img 6335

Kitchen Cabinets After

 

2// Wall Color

This kitchen was a sea of brown to me.  Since the cabinets were now changing to black, she needed a nice white background.  Not wanting to commit to pure white, I suggested one of my favorite whites with gray undertones…SW Eider White.  Her and her husband painted it and again, it looks fabulous.  The high contrast is what makes it look so good.  We’ve all heard this before, but it’s so true…if you are willing to do it yourself, paint is the cheapest way to transform a room.

3// Backsplash

So many Texas homes come with brown tile backsplashes in the Kitchen, which can feel dark to me.  Sandee and her husband very carefully removed it and replaced it with very affordable, classic, white subway tile with white grout.  Looks so clean and fresh.  There are so many resources to help you with this (you tube, blogs, Home Depot), the price of tile and grout is so cheap that this is totally doable.

img 6341

Backsplash After

 

4// Window Treatments

Sandee really loves the color red, and still does, but I told her to pick a new accent color to breath some fresh air.  We decided on blue.  Goodbye red.  I first suggested replacing the blinds with custom roman shades, but that wasn’t in the budget and I’ve never successfully sewed them myself to recommend a DIY project.  So we went with Pottery Barn linen drapes in blue.  They are gorgeous!  She told me her husband helped find affordable hardware online for the unique hardware angles (instead of doing custom), and when the drapes came he ironed them.  So Cool!  She loved them so much, she also splurged to add them to the adjoining family room.

img 0767

Dining Nook Before

 

Transformed…

img 6346

Dining Nook After

 

5// Accessories and Art Work

This is where a designer (like me!) can really make a difference and help pull it all together.  I am very anti cluttering up above your fridge if you have empty space.  My first suggestion was to buy a pre-made upper cabinet, or the more affordable choice was a floating shelf.  I’m so glad she chose this option because it allowed for self expression with  accessories.  We went shopping at Home Goods together and I put everything that “speaks to you” in the cart.  I like to help guide, not necessarily pick, accessories so that the space reflects you not me.  Before we checked out, I re-evaluated everything with her and made sure there was balance and scale.  If there was a splurge in the space other than drapes, it would be the wool rugs.  I love them.  The art on the wall is also a favorite of mine.  The pictures were taken by her husband who is a hobby photographer, from their recent trip to Italy.  They picked their four favorites, framed them in white IKEA Riba frames, and grouped them together.  I remember looking at me funny when I said get the white frames…she was so used to black and she thought that white would wash away on the new light walls.  I told her to trust me, and luckily she did because now the art is whats showcased and not the frames.  So Lovely!

img 0770

Accessories and Above Fridge Before

 

Transformed…

img 6337

After: Accessories edited and floating shelf above fridge added

 

img 6339

Sandee painted her Kitchen Aid! Did you know you could do that? It was red before.

 

img 6332

I wish I took a closer picture of the wall art because its fabulous and original.

 

img 6327

New Drapes and accessories in the adjoining family room

 

img 6347

Here is the hard worker herself! I love this girl. And by the way, she is an amazing baker, and I’m glad she’s my friend.  The only thing she hasn’t done is add the pendant lights above the sink/bar area.  If I had a #6, it would be to update the lighting.

 

There you have it! 5 affordable updates everyone should and can make, especially if you are willing to do a lot of the work yourself.  IF you want to hire it out, I always suggest getting three reputable bids.

I made all of these suggestions to a friend recently who wanted to sell her house fast and for top dollar (which they did), and her only complaint was that she didn’t do it sooner to enjoy! Now if that’s not motivation, what is?!

 

150 is a Magic Number and Cash is King

MOST of us have very little expendable cash. We get by every month paying the bills like a good American, with very little left over, if any. How people afford lavish vacations seriously boggles me. I’ve always been under the impression that budgets are great, yet realistically they can be super difficult to stick by. I’ve learned that in every relationship there is usually a spender and a saver. I bet you can guess which one I am.

When it comes to furnishing your home, for most it falls near the bottom of the priority list OR it just seems to expensive. I have a solution for you. I know it works, because I’ve tried it, and I am currently doing it.

My husband asked me, how much is a reasonable amount for home furnishings per month? Knowing that we are a modest one income family, I said my magic number is $150. Now, this is what is doable for us (everyone is different). He actually smiled and was happy I didn’t go too overboard. My thoughts…You mean I get $150 a month to spend on home furnishings without you questioning???!!! Sweet!!! So this is what we have been doing, and it works well for us so far. I have been wanting to update my master bedding for a while now, so here is the progress:

Month 1:  3 new Euros from Anthropologie.  It just so happened to be my birthday month and they give a discount on your birthday month, so that is why I bought these first. But for you, they are now on sale, so yippee! They are a beautiful, crisp white, in person.

b38063954 010 b

 

Month 2:  Organic Blanket from West Elm.  I mentioned how much I love it in this post. I got the white as well (much needed after 10 years with cream colored bedding).

organic plisse blanket o

West Elm White Blanket

 

Month 3: Belgian Linen Duvet Cover. Because I had a little left over from the previous month, I saved it for this bigger purchase and of course, as always, bought it during a sale. I went for the color “platinum”. Contrasts with the white well and looks worn-in comfy, yet luxurious, triple folded at the end of my bed. If I was more daring I would get the blush color.

belgian flax linen duvet cover shams c

 

Month 4:  I had to take a break from the master bedroom. I re-stuffed my 2 back couch cushions. This was not a fun purchase, but definitely needed. I have a cool story about this….why I called this post “Cash is King”.

About 5 years ago Phillip and I took the Financial Peace University course and learned so much. I’ll go into more detail about that in another post. One of the classes taught us the Power of Cash, so I decided to use that power.  I was nervous that when I took my couch cushions in to be re-stuffed that it would exceed my $150 limit. So I decided to go to the bank and withdraw $150 in cash and walk in the upholsterers with confidence. I have used a very trustworthy upholsterer that is very reasonable several times. As I was watching him measure my cushions and plinking in some numbers on his calculator he said each cushion would be $85. I also knew that did NOT include tax. So that would be $170 +$15ish for tax. That’s $185, or in my current calculation, $35 too much. So I pulled out of my wallet $150 Cash and placed it on the table. I said with pure confidence, How about $150 Cash? Without even hesitating he said YES, counted the cash, rolled it up and put it in his pocket. I smiled and said great, but, give me a receipt saying “Paid” on it. I was out of there in less than 5 minutes with a paid receipt and smile on my face. He was so nice to me, had my cushions done in 4 days, and kept asking me to come back. Don’t worry, I will. Cash is King. Try it.

Month 5:  This is the month I am currently in. Since I have all the bedding basics, it’s time for the statement pillow(s).

Here is my current, lucious, comfy, white, relaxed, bedding (the picture doesn’t do it justice)…

img 3338

 

Here is what I’m currently trying to decide for the statement pillow(s)…

A// Group of Danielle Oakey Pillows

screen shot 2017 07 20 at 5.04.35 pm

screen shot 2017 07 20 at 5.03.57 pm

screen shot 2017 07 20 at 5.21.02 pm

B// Group of Studio McGee Pillows

screen shot 2017 07 20 at 5.14.26 pmscreen shot 2017 07 20 at 5.15.55 pm

screen shot 2017 07 20 at 5.17.07 pm

C// One Large Lumbar Pillow- Keeping it Simple with a big splashy art piece above the bed
reem 1 960x960
What do you think?  A, B or C?

So…did this post help you? Are you going to figure out your current Magic Number? I’m just glad I came up with one to start the ball rolling. It requires a little patience, because we want it NOW. I remember watching my design crush, Nate Berkus, teach a lady on how to transform her master bedroom for $35 a month over 8 months. It’s totally doable. You can do it. 

 

 

 

Tiffany’s Tidbits

July 2017

I get so excited about certain things in life that I just want to share with everyone. Here’s what puts a smile on my face this summer:

1// Jenni Gochner.  She is the crazy talent behind the painted Gourds!  I have been slowly collecting them for over 10 years now.  I just recently added Lady Liberty to the mix.  They are my favorite Holiday decor item to put out.  If you are lucky to live in Utah, go visit her Markets.  The best of the best show up.  You’ll thank me.

img 0315

2// Lime Riki Swimsuit.  I first bought the White Rose Peplum Tankini top and matched it with some high waisted blue bottoms I already had.

whiterose pep f 500x

I loved it so much I decided to buy more since I do lots of pool time in the summer. So I also got the Navy Peplum Tankini Top with the Jungle High Waist bottoms (just like the picture below).

navy peplum f8 500x

I actually gets compliments on it.  Makes me feel pretty good with this post-baby body.  The quality is amazing and I love the prints and modesty factor. Plus, you’ll love that they have a self-esteem campaign going, that no matter what size you are, you should feel beautiful. Bam! I love it.  TODAY there is a sale!  25% off you whole order.

3// Summer Blanket.  I’ve been wanting new bedding for my King bed.  That ain’t cheap.  So I have added one new thing every month for the past few months.  In April I ordered 3 new Euro Shams.  In May I bought a new Duvet Cover.  In June I bought a new blanket.  This month I will finish it off with a 14×36 statement pillow, which I haven’t decided on the fabric yet (go bold or serene???).  What I really want to talk about is the blanket.  I love it, I love it, I LOVE it!  It’s just what my bed needed to feel fresh and light.  It’s pretty thin so it’s not hot, crisp white, little stitching, and super soft.  Perfect summer blanket.  When you see my bed made (ha ha ha), that is mostly what you see as I’m tri-folding the duvet at the end to look more luxurious- great designer tip.

screen shot 2017 07 03 at 10.05.33 pm

4// Basil Couscous Salad. My mom made this salad when I was visiting her and I ate it for three days straight.  It was amazeballs.  So fresh and so unique.  Seriously try it.  BTW, everything at “A Bountiful Kitchen” blog looks brilliant.

26220462

5// Wire Brush.  If you have a fiberglass shower like I do, you’ve probably noticed that the bottom can look dirty and dingy.  My friend owns very successful business repairing fiberglass showers and tubs, so I asked him, how do I get it to look brand new again?  He said to use a wire brush.  Best little tool for the job.  With a little Lime Away and scrubbing, the floor looks fabulous now. Also, have you ever wondered how to remove hard water spots off your glass shower door?  SOS pad.  Works every time. You’re Welcome!

screen shot 2017 07 03 at 10.17.29 pm

6// Black and White Please. This shirt is adorable and comes in several different colors if you aren’t a Black and White pinstripe freak like me.

screen shot 2017 07 03 at 10.27.53 pm

I love this store out of Utah that is also online named “Called to Surf”. So many cute and affordable dresses, I want this one.

20170616 called to surf 177

 

Enjoy Your Summer everyone!  What makes you smile this summer that you want to share with me???I have some facelift reveal posts I’m working on, so come on back and check those out soon!

Love, Tiff


 

 

 

How to Make a Fixer Upper Inspired Wreath

Great for the month of June!

slide1

My parents were about to come visit, I cleaned my house, my car, I did everything but I noticed that I had no wreath on my door to say “Welcome” and “I care”. It was one of those in-between holiday times and I had only seasonal wreaths in my stash, nothing that was for those in-between times.  I needed to make an everyday wreath.  I had a left over straw wreath from other projects and I looked through my stash of decorative fabric.  I saw this awesome black and white bird fabric and that’s when I channeled JoJo from Fixer Upper.  Her favorite colors (or should I say shades) are black and white.  I usually go for color, but this felt simple and right.  Then I looked through my ribbon stash and found some natural wire ribbon that I thought would compliment the black and white well.  After about 20 minutes…Oula!  I have an every day wreath.

To this day I get compliments on it so I thought it would be a great “Craft and Chat” activity.  On the night of the activity, everyone picked a fabric from my stash and they all turned out so darn cute.  On Facebook I was asked to give directions for those that can’t come to Texas.  If you have any question, hollar.  If you make one, please post a picture in the comments.  That is one of my favorite parts of Craft and Chat, seeing the final project in your home.  So get your craft on! It’s so easy and you’ll love looking at it everyday.

slide1

Steps:

1. After getting all the supplies above, cut and rip your fabric into 2.25″ strips.

2. Secure the end of the first strip on the back of the wreath with glue. Start wrapping.  When you have run out of fabric on the first strip, glue the end to the back and repeat until wreath is all wrapped.

3. Wrap the 33″ wired ribbon around the top of the wreath securing it with glue.

4. Make the bow by looping the 4′ ribbon back and forth, smaller loops every time (refer to picture above).  Scrunch in the middle and secure with wire.

5.  Fold 8″ ribbon in thirds length wise and wrap around bow, hiding wire.  Secure with glue.

6.  Glue bow onto wreath on top of the ribbon.

Done!  Enjoy your Everyday Wreath!

My Top Ten Favorite Baby Items 0-6 months Continued

slide1

If you missed my top five baby items of the Top Ten list, click here.

Alright, thanks for stickin’ around.  Here are the rest of My Favorite Baby Items:

6.  Baby Bandana Drool Bibs-  Cost $19.99.  These are the modern day bib and so dang cute!  Magnolia has pretty bad Acid Reflux, so these are a must because she is a fountain and I don’t feel like changing her outfit 4 times a day.91gf1nr4cel. sx522

7.  Fisher Price Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper- Cost $79.99.  I would not have known about this if it wasn’t for my sister-in-law Heather.  While I was pregnant she sent me a link on Amazon when it was $20 cheaper and said to nab it.  I trusted her not knowing what it was.  You need to do the same!  Nab it!  This bassinet type of bed is amazeballs!  It has the perfect incline, especially for acid reflux, and rocks on it’s own for 30 min. or 6 hours!  It’s compact and the height fits perfectly next to your bed if you want for convenient night feedings or binki duty.  It also has white noise with volume control.  Just plug it in, turn it on, and goodnight.71dpyvxgatl. sx522

8.  Dohm White Noise Machine- Cost $44.99.  It’s a little on the high side for a white machine but that’s because it’s the best.  Not attractive, not ugly, just one sound (airflow) but worth every penny when it keeps your baby sleeping longer.  Not to mention my husband and I get better sleep with it on too.7116d5vggwl. sx522

9.  Lucy Darling Shop Monthly Stickers and Baby Book-  Every month I get excited to take Magnolia’s picture with one of these stickers on her outfit.  It’s fun and sad to see her get bigger.  I also love to measure her growth by laying her next to the same stuffed animal.  Jellycat makes beautiful stuffed animals. The lion was gifted to Magnolia from her grandma and grandpa and special already.  The Baby Book by Lucy Darling is so simple,  to the point and adorable.  Making milestones easy to record and so cute to look at.51k8mnblrol51mp 4pvy5l61qvgjm93rl. sx522 618cdj3+0 l. sx522 61i8mkramul. sx522

71p5+lvrlql. sl1024

10.  Ollie Swaddle- Cost $59, (use my link and get 10% off!). I’m a huge believer in swaddling babies to help them sleep and sleep longer.  Their arms and hands can be a big distraction so I say tuck those puppies in.  The Ollie Swaddle is my favorite because Magnolia can not break out of it, unlike other swaddle blankets.  The material it’s made of is super soft and breathable.  It’s designed very thoughtfully by a mother and the velcro placement makes for a snug swaddle that will last hours.  Just go to the website and you’ll see how amazing yourself.  If you don’t want to “invest” in an Ollie, then my second pick for a swaddle blanket is what I have used for all of my babies.  It mimics the thin flannel blankets from the hospital that have just the right amount of stretch.  It’s called Swaddle Designs Cost: $15-25.  Instructions are on the tag and easy to follow.  You’ll be a swaddling pro before you know it and a believer if you stick with it.

My Favorite Swaddle:sarahshreves.com 6676 grande

smarter swaddle1

My Second Favorite Swaddle:81mkqwz4pql. sx522

(All opinions are my own with no compensation other than affiliate links)