How I Design a Space: My Notebook

How I Design a Project @

Okay.  So I am going to give you the quick summary of my notebook.  It will give you a overview of what my process is when I am designing a space.

  • Cute cover page.  It’s a must for me. Preferably with a good quote.   Cute + Functional = Perfection.   Also I have notebooks for everything.  They are everywhere.  I’m weird like that.  So I need cover pages for them all or I’d never be able to tell them apart. A great cup of coffee never hurts anything either! 🙂
  • How I Design a Space at
  • Paint List. This doubles as a shopping list for paint as well as a list that I can refer to later if I, “want more of that bedroom paint… It was gray… What was that name again??!” I three-hole punch this one and don’t put it in a page protector because I want to be able to easily write on it.
  • How I Design a Space at
  • Paint Swatches.  I put this one in a page protector so I can throw all my actual paint swatches inside. It’s helpful to have them for matching finishes later!  All your colors in one spot!
  • Shopping List. This one is nice because you can have a running list of things you need to pick up at some point. It’s also nice because you can see what you need for a project but if you’ve got time, you can watch Menards or Home Depot ads for a couple weeks or even months and get what you need when it’s on sale.  We did this for our last house and we got the majority of what we needed on sale between the time we closed on the house the end of December and moved in the beginning of March.  I also just three-hole punch this one.
  • How I Design a Space at
  • To-Do List. Break the tasks down that need to be completed for each project. Some projects will take a lot of time, some not much at all. This is awesome because it takes away the need to think about what’s next all the time. And if someone wants to work on something for an hour, you can look at the list and give them a short task.  If someone wants to work on something for a weekend, you can give them a bigger task.  And you can do all this without thinking, “Oh boy, let me think… What needs to be done next.”  I also just three-hole punch this one or sometimes I just hang it where I can get to it easily!
  • Measurements. This is where you record room dimensions, window sizes, etc.  It’s handy to have all these measurements when you’re out and about. If you’re out at garage sales and you’re getting your thrifty on, you might   find some awesome curtains that you love.  “But what size was that kitchen window?”  Handy notebook to the rescue! I also just three-hole punch this one.
  • How I Design a Space at
  • Plans: Keep all your plans here in one place so when you are ready for a project, you know where to find all your info!  I’ll get into more on plans when I explain hot to do that later. I put this one in a page protector.  I also put all my finished plans in separate page protectors behind this page.  That way if I’m ready to work on a specific project, I can just pull out the plans for that one project and it’s resistant to water, grease, mud, children. 😉
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  • Graph Paper: Keep extra graph paper on hand for sketching out plans. You can buy graph paper or print some of your own.  Google “Graph  Paper” to print some or you can get some on Amazon here. I put this one in a page protector along with several sheets of graph paper so I can sketch whenever I’m inspired!

Here is a free printable of my notebook.  Just in case you have a project of your own coming up! 🙂

How I Design a Space: How I Began

How I Design a Project @


To start off with… I’ll explain a bit where I’m coming from.  Why I am who I am.

At 16, my dad and mom separated. It was a tough age. Soon I found out that if I had interest in home projects, I would need to do it myself.  I started with painting walls in our house.  Sometimes it was special.  My color choices were far from developed. I was sloppy and it was far from perfect.  What on earth my mom was thinking letting me go, I have no idea!  (That’s the kind of mom I want to be!)  From painting walls to painting furniture to whitewashing a brick fireplace to installing tile to planking a living room ceiling to installing and finishing hardwood floors to remodeling kitchens and whole houses.

Questionable design choices as I was developing my style...


People see where I’m at now, they are impressed. (Or something like that??) What they don’t see are all my failures.  All the things I tried that didn’t work out.  All the mistakes. I STILL make mistakes!!! Like EVERY project!!


So just don’t compare your chapter 1 with my chapter 20. I’ve done a LOT of projects since I was 16.  The more you do, the more comfortable you will be. The more aware of YOUR style you’ll be. The more confident you will be in your designs.  My best advice is just jump in and try it!!! What’s the worst that could happen?



I LOVE being surrounded by beauty.  But I also NEED function.  So if something is simply beautiful, but it makes my life more difficult, I won’t do it.   When something is well organized, pretty, AND super functional – That is when it is “life giving” to me.  Fill your home with things that YOU love… Not things someone else tells you to love.  Make your home life giving – Not life sucking.


Questionable design choices as I was developing my style...

Next I’ll be talking about my house notebook… Yes another notebook.  Yes I have a notebook for everything.  Notebooks are my love language.  😉



Questionable design choices as I was developing my style...

Back when I was rocking a flip phone clipped onto my mom jeans! (I was 18. And not a mom.)

The Return:

Ahh yes.  September.  Last year.  The last time I posted.


I feel like the first 12 months of my baby’s lives is filled with being overwhelmed.  I mean I keep them fed… I play outside… I even keep the house relatively together – most of the time.  But I just don’t get a whole lot more than that done.  Blogging fits in that category.


So to kick off my return… In the next couple weeks I’m planning on doing a series on…


How I Design a Project @ I Design a Space- 


So stay tuned!  I’ve got all sorts of good stuff coming up!

Word to the wise:

Never think to yourself…


“Self… You’re just painting a little.  You’re just rolling paint on with a foam roller and a chevron stencil.” - CUTE Chevon!!


“No need to change clothes… I’m SURE you’ll be fine!” - Bad painting experience!

Because it will be at THAT point that you sit on the roller full of paint.




Don’t ask.  I don’t want to talk about it.

It’s THAT time of year…

Yes.  The flu. The colds.



Or in some cases… BOTH.


Poor sick lady!

That’s my poor ‘punkin.

Respiratory Flu.

Usually she’s hands-down a daddy’s girl.  Honestly, unless she’s hungry, she prefers him.


Poor sick lady!

Unless she’s sick.  Then all she wants is momma.

She’s had it for 5 days now.

So for pretty much 24 hours a day, I’ve held her.

Handsome Man had it too for a couple days.

So now there’s dishes filling the sink…

Kleenexes scattered in piles by the couch and chairs…

The living room where we’ve camped out this week is completely trashed…

And we’ve been eating an awful lot of chinese take-out…

And that bothers me.

But I’m trying to learn how mommy-hood is more important than all that.

And so I’ve been snuggling my ‘punkin…

One-handedly surfing Pinterest…

And catching up on Downton Abbey.

(I mean WHO saw Matthew dying???  I didn’t. I’m upset.)

And now… She’s tired of sitting with daddy again.  

So I’ll one-handedly surf Pinterest…

(Maybe I should organize them and  clear out the ones I don’t find inspiring anymore?)

And maybe I’ll get caught up on the last season of Doctor Who…

But most importantly, I’ll snuggle her…

‘Cause I’m pretty sure that’s my most important job right now.

2 years.

2 years ago today I married this incredible man.

DSC_0378I’m so very grateful God gave him to me! He’s not perfect, but there’s no doubt he is PERFECT for ME!


It’s fantastic how his strengths are my weaknesses.

S&N950Samuel Lyon, thank you for who you are!


Thank you for your patience.


For helping me learn to communicate even when I don’t want to.


For happily delving into crazy projects.


And for being so incredibly sexy. (I suppose you can’t really help that last one. But I’m glad you are anyway!)


Looking forward to another year married to you, love!