tour our old home

Our cute little mailbox!

Let me start by apologizing for posting so sparingly! I got discouraged by several different things and it made me a little poopy feeling for a while about this blog. I felt like I didn’t have the money or time to make a great blog- and maybe I don’t! But I really enjoy doing it so I will not be embarrassed by my tiny house and lack of funds. After all, I know a million other people feel the same way about their homes! Quick note: If you want to subscribe to this blog via e-mail, go to my home page and you will see a bar to enter your e-mail address into on the right. Thanks for reading!


I know you all have been hearing an earful about how we have absolutely no natural lighting and how I keep comparing the house I currently live in to the one I just moved out of. So I figured it was only fair to show you the old house. And by “old” I mean both formerly lived in as well as ancient.

Here are the photos I could find [warning…some of them are terrible quality!]:



Here is the breakfast area off of the kitchen, the way it looked right before we moved out (my favorite). I adored this room so much, but I especially miss it now that the only place to eat in our new home is at the kitchen bar. The floor-to-ceiling curtains were inexpensive from Ikea, $30 for two panels, and added so much to the downstairs. The weird berry stick thing was part of a floral arrangement from Sarah’s grandmother, but I liked it on it’s own in the cylinder vase. The wooden bowls were a gift from the furniture-designer boss I interned under. The folding wood chairs are from Sam’s Club! The wall frames look like they have some cool map in them, but we

never took the stock photo out of them

! If you were to look closely, they have the frame size and everything on them. But the colors worked…laziness prevailed.

Try an unusual centerpiece!

If you are bored of placemats and napkin rings, look around for a knick-knack or two that adds height and texture. Someone told me runners were outdated. Pffft. My friend Eileen made this

DIY ombre runner

and not only is it super simple, it’s gorgeous! You also don’t see runners on round tabletops, which added interest to our simple scrap fabric runner. All I did was cut it to size and fray the edges slightly by pulling threads with my fingers. No ironing, nothing. It also covered up the fact that the leaf was missing from our table and only a crack exists. Did I mention that this table was $15 dollars at Goodwill and has gorgeous legs? Maybe it’s strange to like other people’s history, but I love the drink rings and worn spots on the natural wood.

View from the stairs not long after moving in, meaning not much had been done at this point. Sarah is in the way being a beautiful pretentious hipster; ignore her. You can see that the kitchen table’s centerpiece was currently a stack of textbooks. The rug and side table were from a place in Myrtle Beach that is sort of like a Carolina Pottery, so always look in strange places! The couch was 


 on the side of the road (see the story 


) and we later sold it for $250. HA! The lights are hanging oriental paper lamps you can get pretty much anywhere. World Market, Ikea, online, etc. If you are a renter like me, I would suggest plugging the lights into a switch you can tap with your foot. We never did and had to plug the lights in every time we walked in.

 To continue with pictures of Sarah being more talented than me, here is the piano area with the chalkboard wall. We made the chalkboard paint from a deep brown paint and powdered grout mixed together. Easy peasy. I loved the old-fashioned door knob that led to under-the-stairs storage. On the piano is another Goodwill clock find!

Everybody hates that fur blanket but I love it. I got it at the same place as the pillow and basket…HomeGoods. You are probably sick of hearing that by now. That rocking chair is really beautiful and from Sarah’s family. At the time this picture was taken, the kitchen table looked like it does below.

This is stage uno of the kitchen table, before the gangly berry stick and stack of bowls/plates. Better than textbooks but definitely not my favorite. I do not like staging place settings and placemats because it seems sort of obvious/fake, but this was my first house so cut me slack. That cow was a regrettable impulse buy and Sarah thinks it looks like a calf idol. I sort of agree.



my teensy bedroom 

aka prime example of my indecisiveness

Dresser top. On the left is a wooden vintage shoe-shining kit holder I was drawn to at a Myrtle Beach Goodwill for $5. The middle consists of a candle sitting on old (free) school books from my grandmother. The mirrored tray on the right holds my perfumes and was only a dollar or two at the Greenville Goodwill. The “runner” covers up a multitude of dings and is just folded scrap fabric. Moral of the dresser story: go to thrift stores when you travel! Is it styled well? Not correctly I suppose. However, the shoe shining thing held pens, stationary, and a few hair products, the tray held bobby pins, hair ties, and perfumes, and I loved the candle in the middle (clearance Yankee Candle holla). Storage was important-my room was itty bitty. The whole dresser top fit the theme of the old house and probably cost me $15 tops for all of it.

At first, I had a plain white clothing rack…but then this happened so in came the one below my boyfriend’s mom gave me for free (Thank you Mrs. Strickland!)

Ah. That’s better. Had I more free time and money and willingness to get off of Netflix, I’d probably have had some sort of DIY industrial pipe/tree branch/made-out-of-pallet wood/recycled toilet paper roll clothing rack, but honestly it wasn’t that big of a deal to me when I wasn’t even sure how long I would need it. P.S. look at my dresser’s cute little feetsies 🙂 AND A CUP! See there is a cup on the dresser because for some reason it’s impossible for me to bring them downstairs when I’m done using them. Sigh. P.P.S. I had to actually dust those heels regularly because this house was so old.

When this picture was taken, I did not have my storage ottomans at the end of my bed, which were being used as seats at my desk. Instead I had my $20 sewing bust form from Goodwill that my mom picked up for me as well as a little bust that I’m not sure how much cost, but was from a thrift store too. The locket was a gift from my aunt who owned a vintage clothing store in Missouri. I’m so lucky! The curtains are lackluster, but were so cheap from ikea and looked great during the day (look at the picture after this next one!) Plus I used the existing tiny metal curtain rods that somebody left up because those old walls are ROCK SOLID and it’s such a pain to screw anything into them. Otherwise they would be hung higher and not be dragging the ground.

Because this blog is about real life design journey, let me show you what that same space looked like for a LONG TIME. An unacceptably long time. My bedroom was dollhouse sized and all my stuff couldn’t fit inside the old, tiny closet (God bless America and our infinite obsession with having “more”). I finally got two 

underbed shoe storage

 organizers from Wal-mart that were life savers and hid this horror. They surprisingly fit my wedges and were easy to get out from under my twin bed since I didn’t have a rug. At $20 for two, it was totally worth it to quit saying bad words every time I tripped over a shoe. Also I like leopard print; sue me.

View from my bed. I miss windows so much it makes me depressed to look at this picture. You can see from the dresser mirror that beside my bed there was another window with yet more beautiful trees outside. Every window in that house had views of beautiful old trees. Just imagine reading your Bible while the breeze blows in and you can hear leaves rustling in the trees and quite literally hear children laughing. Me: “Why God, WHY didn’t I stay there?!” God: “Rent…” Me: “Oh yeah.”

This hot mess of a picture was my desk/vanity/surface that caught anything and everything. It shows how one end of my room was one style and this corner was polar opposite (I don’t even think this is a style as much as it is “this is what came from my old room at my parent’s house”). If I was laying in my bed (pushed up into a corner on the left) and rolled over, to the immediate left was the wall and to the right was this. I could reach over and touch it, no joke. The crooked lamp was broken by my stupid self after I got it for $15 at Goodwill. The mirror does not intentionally match; it was $15 at HomeGoods. The mirrored box with feet holds most of my nail polish (HomeGoods). Mason jars hold makeup brushes and are on top of a flat mirror (both Goodwill). My sweet mom finds so many cool things for me, including the little pin-board on a stand to the right. The clock was another dollar or two Goodwill find (I have a few of those type clocks!) The necklace holder on the wall was made by my awesome now-roommate Christin using lace to hang it up, a slice of wood, and old hooks and knobs. The keyboard tray pulled out and had organizers for makeup. The storage ottomans slid underneath and did not get in the way of the tiny space I had. Those were $20 a piece at Goodwill, if I remember correctly. I would have recovered them, but I didn’t. Story of my life.

I later replaced the glass desk with this fella and a vintage wicker folding chair (I know it sounds weird but it’s adorable). I took this picture while it was on the porch of Christin’s old house. Her landlord told me he would give it to me for $50, but I knew I could wait him out. After a few weeks I told him I would get it off his hands immediately if he’d give it to me for free. Guess who got a free desk that day. My plans were to paint it white and change the knobs because I loved white in my old house, but then we started looking for new places and it didn’t seem sensible. I sold it later for $50 on craigslist.

Sorry for the dark picture, but this is Sarah’s former bedroom. The lamp is her grandmother’s that we added a Target lampshade to. In real life it hung oddly so we went back to the original shade. The custom-made bigger pillows were a gift from my furniture design internship.  The smaller are HomeGoods ikat blue pillows. The quilt and headboard are also from her grandmother. It’s hard to see, but the throw at the end of the bed is also blue and was a Target clearance item that was new in the package at Goodwill for $12.

There ya have it folks! Hope this helps somebody embrace whatever quirks his or her house may have and learn that loving where you live doesn’t happen overnight!


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About Briana

Hey! I'm Briana, the author behind this blog.

I'm a self-taught interior designer from South Carolina who loves sweet tea, cats, and open windows on a nice day.

If you prefer a home with soul and life over a "perfect" home, then browse on my friend.