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Interior Design

Our Homework Space

Homework Station Ideas for Kids

This post is on homework station ideas for kids and the space we created for my oldest daughter last year when she was in first grade. It started with a little home office makeover (stay turned for another post to come) which gave me the idea (and some open space) to make a corner of our office into a little homework space for her.

I wanted to make her homework station cozy and colorful ~ a place she wanted to spend time in! Most of the items we got at IKEA because we were on a budget. You don’t have to spend a lot to create a fun little area like this.

She loved her own “home office” and I found it to be a great incentive to get her to do her homework.  Having her desk near mine worked out great, as she wanted to be close to me for questions, but had gotten old enough to do a lot of the work on her own. I think it also made her feel grown up to have her very own work area.

I captured the photo above one night as she was working away. The cuteness of her “studying” in her top knot hair and jammies got me! Here is a close up of our space…


Source List for our Homework Station

Desk: Stuva bench, IKEA, white 

Chair: Mammut children’s chair, IKEA, dark pink

Trash can: Filur bin with lid, IKEA, white

Hanging file holders on wall: Kvissle wall magazine rack, IKEA, white

Magnetic board: Spontan magnetic board, IKEA, white

Magnets: Spontan magnets, IKEA

Pencil Holder: Dokument pencil cup, IKEA, pink

Electric Pencil Sharpener: Staples Power Pro Electric Pencil Sharpener (don’t know why it took us so long to buy one of these – best thing ever – pick one up when you have a Kindergartener!)

File Folders: Kate Letter-Size Interior File Folders, Container Store

Striped Rug, Initials on Wall, Mirror & Canvas Print: TJ Maxx Home Goods

Lime Green Lamp: Target

Do any of you have a homework station or homework space for your kids? Any ideas to share?

Easy DIY Holiday Tabletop Decor Ideas

Doing some holiday entertaining this Christmas?  These easy DIY holiday tabletop decor ideas by Meghan Yang Interior Design are something you can do yourself, with items already in your house. Which means it is not only simple, but also free! You can even recruit your kids to help.

Here is a step-by-step on how to create DIY holiday tabletop decor to spruce up your Christmas table!

Gift Napkins

I took simple cream napkins folded them in to a square and then just wrapped them with Christmas ribbon to look like presents.  I then placed them on gold plastic chargers I had left over from New Years.  If you wanted a name tag you could easily hole punch card stock and tie to the ribbon.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I used gold bark holiday wrapping paper and just folded it to size.  I then cut out paper snow flakes that I taped together and placed on top.  This is a great way the kids can help.  You could use both of these ideas together like I did, or use the snow flakes over and existing tablecloth or runner. Or the wrapping paper runner on its own.

DIY Holiday Ornament Centerpiece

I showed this ways.

Centerpiece 1: The first is with a three tier cake stand.  I simply took left over ornaments and ribbon and stacked them around each layer. I just dispersed the color in a way that I felt was evenly distributed from any angle.  You will notice that the ornaments are all different. You don’t have to have a matching set to make it all come together.

Centerpiece 2: For this option I just showed a basic cake stand. You could get the same effect with a serving tray as well.  Since in this option there is only one layer, I clustered candles in the middle for height and then put the ornaments around it.

I used color because it is fresh and I thought it would photograph well. But this would still be pretty in just metallic. Or you could use the same idea for New Years with gold, silver, and black.

You could also add in fresh flowers instead of pine cones on the napkins, or in the glasses. If you wanted name tag a cute idea is to put them on a silver bell or a small pine cone.

Thanks Meghan for sharing these fun ways to make a DIY holiday tabletop!  Have a wonderful holiday weekend everyone!
Fresh & unique OC interior design

[Disclosure: Meghan is a Tiny Oranges Sponsor]

A Gray and Yellow Guest Room Design

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

Welcome to the third and final reveal post of our bedroom makeovers designed by Shanna at MFE Designs.  I am very excited to share our gray and yellow guest room which I think turned out so lovely. For a complete list of sourcing of where Shanna got things, visit her blog here.

To get you up to speed, this past summer was a game of musical bedrooms for us, one that started when my girls were receiving new larger Serta iSeries mattresses for their bedrooms.

Given that we were going to be receiving larger beds, I had to re-look at our spaces to see what made the most sense, and called in Shanna for help as it was more than I could wrap my head around!

Best decision EVER.

Please click here to see Reveal Post # 1 and fun un-girly blue and green modern girl’s room she did for my three year old daughter.

Please click here to see Reveal Post # 2 and the ultra girly feminine, pink and white girl’s room for my six year old daughter.

So now we are on to the third room, our guest room.

Given that it doesn’t get used that much, we scrimped as much as we could budget wise.  I still can’t believe what Shanna was able to accomplish for us on the amount she did.

This room was previously my youngest daughter’s room. It is a tiny room, and given that we squeezed in many big pieces of furniture always made it feel even smaller.

Here is a before…

And here is how Shanna transformed this space into a lovely, modern gray and yellow guest room

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

On the pillow, she had our last name embroidered on it. Isn’t that a cute idea? Especially because the people that come to stay in that room in our family all share the same last name.

I also LOVED this idea: she took a child’s wall book holder we did not end up using in either girl’s room and mounted it on the wall in the guest room to use for magazines.  I would have never thought of using a wall book holder like this for magazines in a guest room, but it turned out so darling.

To further personalize the space, she took out the prints from two old frames, and had me enlarge two 8×10 black and white family prints showing the people that would be staying most often in this room. Enlarging them to 8 x 10 made them look like an art print (top of the shelving unit.)

 And I am in love with this inexpensive shelving unit. Such a great find. Visit Shanna’s blog for a complete sourcing list for this room.

After the fact, I also picked up a luggage rack for the guest room. I think having thoughtful touches, like a place for guests to put their luggage is a nice touch.

What do you do in your guest room to personalize it and made it more comfortable for guests?

Shanna is an interior designer who I met through blogging and her blog

She has gone back to her designer roots after having three girls under 3 years and is taking on clients specializing in family living spaces and children’s bedrooms.

Having three little ones herself, believe me mamas, she knows exactly where you are coming from!

Shanna blew my mind and our expectations with the project she did for us.

For a complete sourcing list or to contact Shanna, visit

Decorating Ideas for a 6 Year Old Girl’s Room

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

Welcome to design reveal post 2 of 3 on decorating ideas for a six year old girl’s room ~  or what we now affectionately call the “Pink Palace.” This pink and white girl’s room doesn’t get much girlier. It is so her and she LOVES it. I do too. I almost wish I could move in there!

To get you up to speed on this home design project, last summer we redid three of our bedrooms, which all started with the girls’ new Serta iSeries mattresses and the desire to re-do their rooms for the next phase of their life.

It was too much of a project for me to get my head around, so I called in the help of local OC interior designer for families, Shanna from MFE Designs and the blog to help.

You can click this link to see the transformation she did to create the most amazing modern, un-girly, fun blue and green room for my three year old daughter, my first reveal.

Now we are on to Emma’s room, my six year old, who now as a first grader is more girl than little girl. Shanna asked us what we wanted out of her room to which I answered:

1. Storage…  

…storage, and more storage. I wanted to get the bulk of the girls’ toys out of our great room and into their rooms so we could reclaim our living space again after 6 years of looking at ugly plastic toys.

2. Room for imaginary play.  

She loves Barbies, dolls, playing school, etc. so I wanted a cozy area where she could play with her friends in her room.

3. Photos of family and friends.

She is very much into her girlfriends, so I wanted lots of spaces to display pictures so her space was truly her own.

4. Clothes organization.

Like Morgan’s room, I wanted to have a way to organize her clothes in a more efficient way.

5. Barbie Dream House Solution.

I never wanted to see the Barbie Dream House in my living room again so I asked Shanna to find a way to bring it into her room!

Now the BEFORES!

Emma moved into our former guest room, which was a beach themed room we decorated about seven years ago and due for a major update. The guest room will be the next reveal!

The first thing we did was tear down the seagrass wallpaper and my husband put up a DIY paneling job on the lower half of the wall.

Next, we replaced our carpet flooring with hardwood, which we love. It completely transformed the look and feel of the bedrooms and hall.

Here was our former guest room (Emma’s new room):

And the AFTERS!

Behold the Pink Palace – a six year old girl’s dream room! Visit Shanna’s blog for the complete sourcing on this room.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

To say we love it is an understatement. I love how Shanna used the space under the white bed frame for cute storage baskets. One is for her stuffed animals, one is for Barbie clothes and accessories, and one is for play school gear.  The deal on this bed was so good, we had to use them in both girl’s rooms.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

Shanna took a photo I pinned on Pinterest of a canopy bed look, and created our own subtle canopy effect by having a piece of wood custom made and then hanging sheers from either side.  I adore how it turned out. Princess-y without being TOO princess-y. But who are we kidding, it’s princess-y!

This vanity is something I never would have thought of, but it is so useful for her hairbrushes and accessories. I also love that we are able to display so many of her photos with friends under the glass top. Shanna made it extra cute by making a little seat cover for the chair to match the bedding and tie it into the design.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

Opposite her bed, Shanna created a wonderful, and functional space with this cube shelf, where the cubes are used to store the Barbies, My Little Ponies, and books.  I love the little girl’s headband display for her headbands, a great way to keep them organized.  Plus, easy to see all of them.

Next to the cubes is a fun board she can write on with washable pens to play school. And of course, what girl’s room isn’t complete without a dress up box?

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

And now, please allow me to show you my TWO favorite aspects of this new design that I love so much I could almost cry. For real.

The closet is made up of two sections, more than we needed for her clothes, which fit easily in the other section, so Shanna took the Barbie Dream House and put it IN the closet, out of sight, easily concealed, and  taking up zero space. Best. Idea. Ever. We put it up on a shelf so the Barbie cars even have their own underground parking.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

And the second idea for a hamper system, which is sheer brilliance.  Shanna took two white pillowcases and made them into custom behind the door hanging hampers!  By taking the same fabric to tie in her bedding, they fit with the design, look cute, but take up ZERO space. Again, brilliant.

Even better, after the fact, I took them to a local embroidery shop and had them embroidered with “Lights” and “Darks” so that she can sort her laundry before putting it in the hamper.  My little one has the same hampers in her room.

I can’t tell you how much easier it makes doing laundry when the kids’ clothes are already pre-sorted! LOVE!!!!!!!!!

Shanna is an interior designer who I met through blogging and her blog

She has gone back to her designer roots after having three girls under 3 years and is taking on clients specializing in family living spaces and children’s bedrooms.

Having three little ones herself, believe me mamas, she knows exactly where you are coming from!

Shanna blew my mind and our expectations with this fun girly pink and white design.  Girly, but more grown up for my six year old.

Look out for the reveal of our guest room makeover. Post coming next week! Stay tuned!

For a complete sourcing list or to contact Shanna, visit

Decorating Ideas for a 3 Year Old Girl’s Room

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

I am SO excited to share these decorating ideas for a 3 year old girl’s room and the recent redesign Shanna from My Favorite Everything did for my youngest daughter’s new “big girl” room which all started with the girls’ new iSeries Serta mattresses.  So here is the BIG REVEAL!

First a little about how this dreamy project all came together. When we first met with Shanna, she asked me what I wanted out of the space for Morgan’s room.  My answers were:

1. Solutions for a small bedroom.  

Her room is small so I wanted to make the most out of it by utilizing the limited space we had in a better way.  The old furniture (cute daybed and dresser with hutch) were cute, but too cumbersome in a small room.

2. Toy storage solution.

I wanted a designated place for her toys to make cleaning up easier for a 3 year old. The end goal was to get the bulk of their toys out of our great room and into their bedrooms so we could semi-reclaim our great room.

3. Clothes organization solution. 

Her old dresser drawers were cluttered and clothes would get thrown out and put back into one big messy mix.  Shanna had a brilliant solution for kids’ clothes organization. Keep reading. By far my FAVORITE part of this whole project!

4. Easy way for her to dress herself.

I am big on fostering independence so I wanted to make dressing as easy as possible for a 3 year old.

Other than that, Shanna asked me what her favorite color was, to which I told her GREEN and from there, Shanna worked her magic and the reveal was a huge surprise for us. 100 times better than I ever expected. Like jaw-dropping better.

Without further adieu, here are the befores of Emma’s old room (Morgan’s new room.)

And the first of the AFTERS! I just die every time I go into her room. I don’t know who loves it more – her or me! The transformation was phenomenal. The first thing I should mention is that we took the plunge after years of wanting to replace our carpet with hardwood, so the flooring was the first thing we decided do. Makes such a difference.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

The “You Are My Sunshine” wall print was a fun find on Etsy. I love it because Morgan is like the sunshine to me, and “morgen” in German means “morning.”

The Taut Canvas print of the birds above her bed has also always been a favorite of mine so I was thrilled it worked in the new design. For a complete sourcing list of all major decor products in this room, visit Shanna’s post here on My Favorite Everything.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

The cute bookshelf is the perfect solution for both book and toy storage. Plus it doubles as a nightstand.  The bed frame is high enough so that we are also able to store several toy baskets out of sight under the bed skirt. For a small room, we now have a ton of storage.

Plus, you won’t believe how much the adorable white wire bed frame was - guarantee your jaw will drop too. Visit Shanna’s blog to find out how much she found it for!

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

Shanna was able to fit her play kitchen in the space where the old dresser was allowing for more play opportunities in her room.  I also love the wall shelves with children’s books.  A great way to fill a wall with a cute display, but one that is practical as well!

The mirrored closet doors were removed and replaced with this darling green and white curtain closet door instead.  I love that it not only looks cute, but is super functional.  Her little 3 year old hands can easily get to her clothes for dressing.

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

The ledge above the closet was the perfect spot for more storage baskets.  The display opposite her bed is the perfect solution for her collection of barrettes, family photos and art.

And, now my FAVORITE!!! The closet and kids’ clothes storage solution…

[Photo credit: Tankersley Photography]

Every item of clothing was removed from the huge dresser and put into the closet. The clear bins are Container Store clear shoe boxes, and are organized by category for easy dressing on pre-existing shelving my husband installed a long time ago from Home Depot.  One for leggings, one for short sleeved shorts, one for underwear, one for socks, etc.

She can easily see her clothes (i.e. doesn’t need to open every drawer!) and get to what she needs.  It has also be helpful when putting away clothes, as it is easy to bring the bins to the laundry area for folding and putting away.  My girls are now “bin runners” at laundry time. I LOVE THIS SYSTEM! Shanna is my organizational goddess!

Even better, before our closet space was WAY underutilized, so to have it so functional is the biggest blessing. Plus, it removed the need for the large dresser in her small room.

Shanna is an interior designer who I met through blogging and her blog

She has gone back to her designer roots after having three girls under 3 years and is taking on clients specializing in family living spaces and children’s bedrooms.

Having three little ones herself, believe me mamas, she knows exactly where you are coming from!

Shanna blew my mind and our expectations with this fun green and blue design. I mean, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what she created for us.

I love that her room is feminine, modern and fun, but not too girly.

If you like a pink and girly room however, just WAIT to see what she did for Emma’s room. It is now called the Pink Palace. Post coming next week! Stay tuned!

For a complete sourcing list or to contact Shanna, visit