Decorating for Free- Take 2

Here I am again, e’reone! I hope you were able to squeeze some sort of inspiration from yesterday’s post. If you missed it, you can catch up here.

Now let’s dive in to the next two projects, shall we 🙂

One of my few talents (ahem) is garbage picking. I’m not sure why I love it so, but I do. My kiddos call it my superpower. I’ll take it. But somehow, beautiful pieces of trash end up stuffed in my car. All. the. time. And these chairs were my newest find.


I found them on the way to taking my boys to soccer practice. They were already gold (score) so all I needed to do was cover the seats.


I used some coffee bean bags to cover them. Seriously, this project was done in 10 minutes. And I love how they turned out!



The last project is kind of my favorite. I needed something to hang above my daughter’s bed and because I wanted this project to be FREE, that meant I couldn’t just swing over to Hobby Lobby to grab something. So I made this:


Isn’t it precious!?! I grabbed a birch branch (from a tree we had to cut down) and then literally tied strips of fabric to it. I also added a couple bead strips that were leftover from our entryway chandelier. I hung it from some twine attached to eye-hooks in the ceiling.



Her room is starting to take shape and I just love how it works with her $5 garage sale chandelier. It’s a good day 🙂

Now on to the next project! Would love to hear what you’re working on!

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decorating for free

OK, I know that most of you are thinking “nothing is free”. Of course I don’t technically mean “free” like someone gifted me everything to decorate with. (Although that would be awesome.) What I am talking about is my FAVORITE kind of decorating….the decorating where you use stuff you already own- and whether you’re just moving it around and staging it differently, or DIYing the heck out of it- THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!

If you’re like me, it’s easy to get discontent or impatient with decorating your house. I mean, as you scroll and scroll through IG or Pinterest, there is no lack for inspiration…there is no lack of how-to’s. And it’s easy to become discontent with what you already have because you’re wishing for what you don’t have.  Well, let’s just bring some freedom into this fantasy world for a minute, mmmkay?

You don’t need anything else to bring contentment.



The latest and trendiest decor will not bring you joy. It may bring happiness, but not always joy. Because happiness is based on things/circumstances. Joy is found in the depths of who you are, or your faith.

Now, don’t get me wrong- to have the latest and trendiest stuff does not make you a bad person. On the contrary, you are BLESSED. But if we are finding our joy from whether we have it or not, then there is where discontenment is found.

And this my friends, is why I LOVE to decorate to free 🙂 Because even without $$$, I can still create spaces that my family is proud of and can find rest and safety in.

So stop wishin’ for more stuff, yo! Use what you already have.


This holiday weekend I was gifted with 4 (consecutive) days off. FOUR. Thank the Lawd. And since we didn’t have any major plans, I was itching to decorate. So while my hubby started on building our stove hood, I challenged myself to do as many FREE projects as I could. After meandering through my house to see what I wanted to do, I decided to tackle 5 projects. And I am happy to say that I finished 4/5 of them and I couldn’t be happier! I 1/2 finished the 5th project, but decided that 4 was a good number to end on 🙂

So, today I will be sharing two of those projects and then will share the other two tomorrow.

The first one is a quickie. I’m pretty much addicted to drop cloth curtains. I have four sets in my house. Well, I have this awkward window at the base of my stairs that was naked for too long. So I grabbed an extra set of drop cloth curtains and ta-da! They warm the space up so much. Cost: FREE 🙂




The second project was a little more time- consuming. But the end project (and my boy’s reactions) were worth it. I saw this inspiration on a fellow decorator’s Instagram. I don’t know what it is, but decorating a boy’s space is so hard for me. Maybe it’s all the primary colors that bug me….especially since I can’t commit to color, AT ALL. So when I saw this triangle-stamped-patterned-wall, I was excited to try it.

I used a greyish-army green color (see pic below) and I love how it turned out. My hubby cut me two different sized triangles out of scrap wood, I wrapped them with a drop cloth (stapled it to them) and then drilled a couple screws to use as handles.



Then I just started stamping. I free-handed it all. Not as hard as thought! My boys think it’s “boss” and kept saying, “You’re doing such a good job, Mom!” Music to my ears 🙂




And the cost for this stamping project was, you guessed it, FREE!

Now, go raid your cupboards, armoires and closets and see what YOU can create!

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the white kitchen

Drumroll please…..!!!!!!

The kitchen is DONE….well, about 95% done. But DONE enough to take you on a tour 🙂

If you’re just joining me, you can read older posts here and here and here for more before pictures and the back story.

Get ready for 47 pictures 🙂 I’ve added the resource list at end of this post.



If you forgot what the kitchen looked like BEFORE, here’s a refresher…



The range hood still needs to be built and we will continue the subway tile on the other side of the kitchen by the open shelving. But it’s hunting season now….and the awesome hubs needs a breakie 🙂

So, Phase 1 seems to (almost) be finished. After a quick break, we’ll get back to it by punching through the staircase wall and updating the stair spindles.

But for now…. new memories need to be had in the white kitchen.

Love, Audra



kitchen update

It’s been a while, yo.  But to my defense, soccer started for all THREE of my kiddos and yours truly is coaching Izzy’s team this year. Oh- and I had jury duty too. Mmmmhhhmmmmm.  That’s where I been.

So, in my last post, some walls came down and the walk-in pantry had been started. Below is a picture of where we left off…. and one of where we are today.



The walls have been mudded and sanded and floors have been filled in and restained (still needs one more coat). Next will be texturing the walls, adding base trim and then the shelving. I. Can’t. Wait. for a pantry.  Right now we’re using THE smallest closet in the world- we literally have to send Izzy in to get our food for us.  Quite a sight.

The next update is with the kitchen island. For those who need a refresher, here’s a picture of the kitchen when we bought the house…


And here’s where we’re at today…












We’ve made quite a bit of progress, yet still have so far to go. Yay to us!  The island still has to be painted white along with the lower cabinets behind it. Our counters were delayed by 2 weeks (total sob fest) that’s why you see in some of the pictures our old sink that we put back on the new island. One can only eat out for so many nights. (When you’re kids start complaining that they’re eating out too much = #diymomfail.) The good news is that our counters will be installed this week- thus the reason you see the farmhouse sink installed in some of the pics too. We decided to build the microwave into the island to save counter space. Genius idea. And the counters will extend 16″ off the front and side (where the stools are) to accommodate 5 stools. This gives us seating for 13 in our kitchen area when you add in the kitchen table too. PAR-TAY at the Thurman’s!!

I chose this faucet and I LOVE it. It is from Signature Hardware- same place as the farmhouse sink.


Once the counters are installed this week, we’ll work on the open shelving and then the backsplash…..and then painting the cabinets….and then the custom hood above the range….and then….and then… Yeah. We totally feel like this:


And sometimes find ourselves enjoying the new space like this:


You can pray for us. We’d like that.

No seriously… much work as this is, we I enjoy everything about this. And we can’t wait to actually enjoy the space and start washing dishes in the kitchen versus the upstairs bathtub.  Word.

That’s all for now! Follow me on Instagram for more updates!

Love, Audra

the kitchen pantry

Good news! We are making progress in the kitchen…even though it still “looks” the same. My farmhouse sink arrived last week, HALLELUJAH! (Confession: I sit out in the garage just to stare at it. Don’t judge me.) And we ordered the counters yesterday which was the biggest part of this process. After shopping around, we finally found a great contractor who has remnants in his bone yard that you can choose from. If you’ve ever shopped for counters, most places have you order by the slab. And if you don’t use the whole thing, well, you’re stuck with the rest. That option meant that we would go over budget. Not. gonna. do. that.

So we found a place where you only pay for what you use. Score city. That brought our cost down and after our minds finished exploding, we starting dreaming again. Our first plan was to keep the same footprint of the kitchen and replace counters, etc. But now that the counters are more affordable……muuuuaaaahhhhhhahahahahaha…..we decided to turn the island and double its size. I know, right?! That also meant continuing the counters and lower cabinets on the other side of the hallway (where the microwave sits currently). That brings more of a balance and uses the entire kitchen space. Our genius brains also decided to blow out the small pantry behind the microwave (well, the teeny-tiny closet where we stuffed our food into, but we won’t spend too much time crying about that…trust me, I already have) and the cabinet in the laundry room to add more space in the kitchen and allow for the continuing counters.







Well…..things didn’t go exactly as planned. I woke up at 6:30am this morning giddy to start watch the demo. As my strong husband and his contractor began ripping the walls off, they found a beautiful surprise. Yep. Pipes. Two in fact. Ugh. So we had to regroup. Plan B had chosen us.



After much deliberation, we had two choices in front us. Walk-in pantry or mudroom. Pantry or mudroom. I was really batting for the mudroom- we’d build a custom bench with hooks and cutouts for homework and backpacks and….and….and….But my wise husband knew better. We needed a pantry. I mean, you can only stuff your food into a closet for so long.

So we they continued on with the demo to make a big, walk-in pantry. We also widened the opening to the pantry/laundry room where an old barn door will soon slide back and forth. Word to your mama.






Well, because of said Plan B, we had to do away with removing the wall because of said pipes which would have allowed for more counter space. So I’ll need to find a new solution for that wall. Maybe subway tiles from floor to ceiling with open shelving from top to bottom? Ooooohhhhhh……me likey.

Oh, and I finally found a new ottoman/coffee table for our family room. I’ve been looking online for over a month now. Because we chose a coppery colored leather sectional, I wanted something light but comfortable to put your feet on. Well, Wayfair surely delivered. 🙂


So stay tuned for more updates- and if you feel like having a family of 5 over for dinner within the next 2 weeks, we HAPPILY ACCEPT your invitation!!

Love, Audra

Izzy’s Room

Around 6 months ago, before we moved, I revamped Izzy’s room. Yeah, I know. Well, the WHOLE truth would be that my husband painted, moved stuff around and hung curtains, but I made everything pretty. That counts, right?

Anyway, she had pretty pale pink walls, a queen four post bed with a beautiful armoire for her clothes, a dollhouse, a kitchen set and a desk. See picture below.


When we tried to set up her queen bed in her new room we just about croaked. That’s literally all. That. Would. Fit. Her bed.  That’s it. Her new room is teeny-tiny and a queen bed was not going to  suffice. We knew eventually we’d downsize her to a twin bed but “eventually” came a little earlier than expected.

I lasted about 4 days with her queen bed before I scoured Craigslist for a twin. With all the other expenses in remodeling, I definitely didn’t want to spend a hefty amount on her bed. Thus a Craigslist search was born. I found one immediately for $50 and rushed to get it. (See pic below). From the picture it had good bones and a fresh coat of white paint would freshen it right up! Or so I thought….


Now, besides garbage-picking (see post about my superpower being garbage-picking) I’m also a Craigslist alumni. Seriously. I have sold and bought dozens and dozens of items on this heavenly site. But there are times…..just a few…..where you go to buy something and some unknown force takes over and you somehow give control over to some “thing” and cannot stop yourself. No? Just me? Ugh.

Seriously though, have you ever jumped in your car to buy something and you’re so excited to see it and take it home that everything happens so fast? You get there- you see it- you know that it won’t work- but you still hand them the money- then you load it into your truck- and you pray and pray and pray that it works KNOWING that it won’t and now you try everything to NOT hit your head against the steering wheel because you are STUCK WITH IT!???! Ugh. No? Just me again?

Well, I’m not proud of what happened. Not at all. But it did. So I lived with it for a couple days. Izzy loved it (thank goodness) but I just couldn’t do it. So I did what any normal and sane mommy would do.

I put it back on Craigslist.

And in 2 days, it was gone. Just like that. Sold for $50.


That began my search for a real bed for Izzy. And I was lucky enough to find this one at Furniture Row. For only $99.


Like all 4 year old little girlies, Izzy is in love with Frozen and thinks this bed looks like Elsa’s. Chalk one up for mom 🙂  The bedding is from (last year). I had a gift card that I needed to use so I scoured their site for white bedding. I think I paid around $50 for the set.

Next up is the gorgeous chandelier. I mean, come on. I want it in my room. It fills her room with such a pretty light. And it’s Izzy-approved too.


What you probably won’t believe is that I bought it last summer at a garage sale. For $5. Yes, I said FIVE. I was doing a drive-by (like I do all garage sales) and my eye caught a bedazzled beauty. Because I am a sucker for chandeliers, this warranted me to take a looksee. Besides being covered in an inch of dust, it was in great condition.  And then I saw the price tag and I snatched it up quicker than my kids can snatch my phone when I’m not looking.

Here’s a “before” pic. There was lots of brass on it and to update it, I just took a white chalk pen and painted over the brassy-gold ssshhtuff.


Surprisingly, there was nothing wrong with the light and it worked perfectly. What a miracle.

I think her room is turning out ah-mazing. The trim still needs to be painted….you guessed it….white. And I would love to find a rug too.  Izzy was (literally) covered in dirt from yesterday when I took these pics. I wouldn’t let her sit on her bed! She is ALL-GIRL and ALL-NOT-GIRL. I. love. her.







I just finished hanging stuff on the boy’s walls- so stay tuned for pics of their “boy cave” 🙂

Love, Audra

before and during…

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’re already in the loop that the Thurman Fam just moved. The process started because of my addiction love for looking at houses. I can’t help myself sometimes. But it quickly turned into something much more of a needed journey than we had realized. The market is really hot over here in the TC so when the market analysis came back on our house it was quite a bit higher than we were hoping for. First confirmation that we were to sell. That continued with our house selling fast. (thanks to the amazing Vicki Monteagudo! We love Miss Vicki!) Second confirmation. Things were quickly falling into place.

The first house we looked at was a foreclosure on an acre of land. Can you say DREAM PROJECT?? After walking through it, we (more Chris than me) realized that it was more than we could take on right now. Realistically, pastoring a new church, working full time, being a mom to 3 kids, coaching two soccer teams, and doing interior design side jobs made our cup runneth ova.  Sometimes too much. So we scratched a HUGE project like that off our list. (Insert ice-cream and Hallmark movies here.)

This process quickly turned into a journey toward health for our family. We had to come to terms that even though we wanted LOTS and LOTS of projects, we needed to be wise and slooooooowwww things down a bit. We wanted to live life with our kids by traveling and making memories. My oldest son, Justus, just turned 10 and (gulp) will be leaving for college in just 8 short years. (I know it’s forever away. Shut up.)  So we changed our search for what “we” wanted and looked for something that would benefit our family and bring health to our already busy schedules. And so we changed our search and found our new/old house. Third confirmation.

This house had been on the market for about a year. Chris was sold before I was. It’s a “sort-of-fixer-upper”. Definitely livable, but could use some TLC here and there to make it our style. It works perfectly with what we wanted to find because we can live in it while we fix it up in phases. We can handle that (hopefully)! As we walked through it, we both knew it was our new home. The neighborhood is established. The trees are mature. The neighbors are so kind. And our backyard backs up to the kid’s elementary school yard. We are finally home.

Phase 1 started on Day 2 of possessing the keys. No time wasted here!

Here’s what it will include:

  1. Refinish/re-stain wood floors
  2. Paint interior
  3. Paint trim throughout
  4. Reno entire kitchen (cabinets, counters, sink, faucet, appliances, backsplash, custom hood, open shelving…)
  5. Replace chandeliers on main level
  6. Paint exterior
  7. Punch through the staircase wall and open up a passthrough

As of today, floors are done, interior paint is done, main level trim is done, chandeliers have been ordered, and the kitchen has started its demo process. Did I mention we’ve only been in the house for 3 weeks?  Yeah…. Thankfully we contracted out the floors and the interior paint. Didn’t regret that for a second. My husband and I and a contractor friend will finish the rest. Our timeline is to finish the kitchen by the end of August, paint the house the first week of September and then punch through the wall sometime this Fall. Anyone want to help!!!!!  HAHAHAHHAHHAHA! No really….

I didn’t want to overwhelm you with 47 before pictures so I’ll just start with the exterior and kitchen area. Aren’t I nice 🙂

Let’s start with the mustard and poop brown exterior, shall we 🙂



Not very good before pictures, but you get the point. The house has great peaks and curb appeal EXCEPT for the color. Like everything else in my house, the house will soon be dark white (including trim) with a taupe-grey shutter and a German Smear effect on the brick. Chris will be making bigger shutters as these ones are too small for the windows. See pics below.



I seriously CANNOT. WAIT. FOR. THIS.  There is such a peace when you drive up to your house and it’s calming and you just want to run inside and cozy up with your family. Yeah….not getting that from this present paint color.

Now for the kitchen area. Lemme explain a little bit first. As you can see from the pics below, the kitchen is teeny-tiny. Our last kitchen was double this size. So this took some careful thought and vision to re-plan this space. Attached to the kitchen is the eating area and then the family room. Here are the before pictures, with the previous owner’s stuff in it.




You can see the floors really well here. Beautiful (and real) hardwood, but not our style. And the paint color is a taupey-peach. Not our style either. Because the space is small, and it’s broken up with windows and doors, it needed to be brightened up. I chose a dark white for the whole interior. Don’t laugh at me. There is such a thing. Technically, it’s called Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams. I wanted to error on being too white instead of being too pink, yellow or taupe. And I love how it turned out!

One of the first things we did after the floors were done and the interior was painted was to switch the layout of the house. The family room doesn’t have to stay the family room. The eating area doesn’t have to stay the eating area. When you enter the house to the right was the formal dining room and to the left was the formal living room. Well, folks round these parts folks like us don’t use formal anything. So we decided quickly that the “dining room” would become the piano/office room. And the “formal living room” would become our family room. (More on those rooms coming later.) That allowed us to use the kitchen, eating area and family room as the new kitchen and eating area. And I don’t know if you noticed it or not….but it has a fireplace. I have always dreamt of a fireplace in my kitchen. Swoon city.

Here are some “in process” pics of where we’re at today. Definitely still have a ways to go, but the changes have made a huge difference already.










It’s getting there, right!!???  The floors turned out exactly how I wanted them to look. Going for a French-Chic look. The ceiling fan will be replaced with this chandelier (coming next week)…


We’ve ripped out the upper cabinets and open shelving will go in their place. A custom hood will go above the range, counters will be a white quartz, the island bar will be knocked down to counter height and extended another 3 inches. A farmhouse sink will go in the island too. The backsplash will be white subway tile with dark grout. Open shelving will continue on the wall above the microwave where the original eating area once was. This helps the kitchen feel bigger and continue on beyond the space it was intended for. The fireplace will get the same German Smear treatment as the brick on the exterior. The kitchen will look something like this…


And the entire look and feel I’m going for in the whole house is this…


White on white on white. I know some of you want to shoot me right now, but I’m also trying to make “good” decisions with the material for our sectional, rugs and so on. Not gettin’ a white sectional y’all. You can breathe now 🙂

Well, if you’ve made it this far in the post I should give you an award. I barely made it.

Thanks for staying the journey with me! I might need a shoulder to lean on in the near future!

Until the next room “before and during”…

Love, Audra