Next Up: Living Room

We have been chatting “living room” for the past few weeks, with not so much as a curtain decision until this past weekend. We had an epic “fail” with the reclaimed wood we bought for the dining room built in (hello bowed wall). It sort of forced us to made some decisions. That wood is now going to be used in the living room as smaller shelves (we are so excited to share), which lead to the living room being painted before we hang said shelves, which leads to paint decisions, which leads to a lot of other decisions before we could decide on a color.

Time to whip out the moodboard and make some decisions, get inspired, and schedule this out. We spend so much time in the living room, I think it’s been debilitating to know what’s the right choice, because if we don’t like it, we will need to start again.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

We pulled together an inspiration board from Havertys because they are having a big Labor Day sale (ends 9/1), and we like to start with a sale (who doesn’t?). We have a huge leather Chesterfied, so this smaller loveseat was the first pick to lighten up the heaviness of the dark leather.

We loved the rug, and how great it looks with the side tables. We have found the easiest way (besides paint!) to refresh a room is with a rug and side tables. Hands down. you’ll get a fresh update with just a few pieces. It’s why our homes are constantly being worked on – I find rugs, I buy rugs, I switch them around rooms.

How do you keep the decor in your home on trend?

For more inspiration check out their Instagram hashtag #HavertysInspired and #HavertysRefresh, thousands of images on Havertys Pinterest page Twitter page, and their Facebook. Better yet, find a Havertys and get inspired in person.

Havertys helps you bring your vision to life. Visit to find a store near you, detailed product information and design tools to guide you in your home decor purchases.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

Living in Rooms

Our living room is small. We were shocked our couch fit and it didn’t need to join the dining set in storage. We loved this couch. We drove through Hurricane Sandy for this couch. We weren’t going to be happy if things didn’t work. We had to nix the extra large coffee table, which is in storage, and temporarily (?) use the coffee table from our old bedroom’s sitting area.

making a house a home I trunk table, stenciled wall, chevron lampshade, diy master bedroom, modern bedroom I

We don’t love it in the living room, but we also don’t hate it. It’s like a friend you like to see once every few moths because if you saw her more, she would get annoying – so you manage your frequency of time spent. This table is that friend. She’s cool, she’s fun, but she’s high maintenance. You have to keep this metal looking finger-print free, and with a toddler that’s damn near impossible.

making a house a home I living room I

It’s also slightly too small for the extra large couch we love. Did yo gather how much we love love love this beast? Maybe everything is just so “meh” because we are still working with beige walls which aren’t doing anything great for the brown couch, and the brown trim on the coffee table, and the brown (temporary) campaign desk we are letting the TV  live on. Maybe it needs to be….white.

For the past month-ish, things have been looking like this.

making a house a home I living room nashville I


making a house a home I nashville living room I

making a house a home I nashville living room I

So let’s chat. First note, there is no light. I sold it right off the ceiling on craigslist. I hated it, and I wanted it gone, and it sold in five minutes, so I took that as a sign. It took months to fine something, but we snagged a great art deco piece at the Nashville Flea Market this past weekend, and we are so excited to rewire and hang her up. We don’t want to think about the fact the ceiling may need a pain-job before we do that. Nothing like forcing yourself to make progress. All in the name of home, so it’s all good.

Clearly you can see we moved the campaign desk to be in a position where you can sit on the couch with out having that whole sideways pain-in-the-neck thing going on when you have to turn to see the TV. Bonus. We have an idea of what we are going to replace it with, but have no idea where the desk is going!

besta hanging shelf

This lady is using the Ikea Besta cabinets in her office in the same way we want to use them in our living room. Slightly off the ground, and perhaps with a nice piece of wood on top. Doesn’t her office look awesome? And this brings me back to, white.

making a house a home I olympic one paint I

Here is a tiiiiiiny little peek at the white.  We used the left over paint from the mudroom of the Olympic One in Delicate White. We don’t plan on painting the entire house white, promise (crossing fingers behind my back). I mean, we did recently do this, which shows some hope we may go beyond white. White just lets us play with what we have and marry all the collected pieces and are we have without being so combative. And it makes a room look bigger, and bounces light in a dreamy way. It’s just good. For us at least. The master bedroom may be a color because we were chatting about it being warm and cozy, and white usually is not that.

I finally feel like I can start making the living room livable. We spend so much time in there with Atlas, we want it to feel bright and cherry like his bedroom, just not as kid-ish. In the meantime, we also have some gnarly things to focus on.

making a house a home I fireplace I

Hello danger zone! That corner comes up about 3 inches and I would not want to face plant into it. I also don’t want Atlas to face plant into it. And that tile is gross. It needs to go.I don’t want to keep piled sheep skin on the corners of the fireplace forever, so we are gabbing about a solutions for weeks and will hopefully agree on something soon. Vote marble!

If you want to play catch up, we did a “home tour” post from when we moved in. If you are as into good ‘ol white room transformation as I am, check out this post for a solid “after”. Thanks for peekin’ in.


lana katsaros I




A Room for A

If you dig before and after’s, home tours, free stuff and DIY projects, you might want to sign up to get the occasional non-annoying email from Making a House a Home (your email is safe with us, no spumy stuff here. 

Top priority once we finally found a home in Nashville, was to get Atlas set up first. He was just a tad too young to have really enjoyed his first nursery and honestly spent 90% of his time with us in our room.

diy nursery, atlas nursery

His old nursery couldn’t be more different than his new one. We had a lot of situations to overcome with a much smaller space and I think we tackled it pretty well.

Our goals were:

1.) A place to sleep that he couldn’t get to any outlets or anything that could harm him. He loves to grab at things and pull himself up.

2.) Atlas needed a small space to play. He has a playroom upstairs and loves to take over the living room, but a play space was necessary in his room especially of quiet time before bed.

3.) Stttttorage. His closet it pretty tiny this time, so we had to work in storage in a smart way.


We married the campaign dressers we rehabbed and bought a piece of reclaimed wood to seamlessly create a top. The dressers were a $200 find off craigslist in New York and the reclaimed wood was $130 from a local spot here in Nashville. For $330 we got ourselves 12 functional drawers with a ton of storage. It works way better than the chair and a half I was trying to force in this spot.


This tricky spot behind the door housed a changing table when we toured the home. I didn’t want the space to go to waste, and we really needed a spot for our $20 craigslist desk score after we redid the mudroom and didn’t include it in the new plan.


With some imagination, this almost forgotten nook is actually really useful. The elephant is a hamper, and lives where a chair will go one day when Atlas is old enough for homework, or doing research curing cancer. The drawers house toys, and the shelf is “don’t break” stuff for now. Also, I am so excited to say, the air plants I bought at Porter Flea in Nashville are still alive, though keeping the ceramic dear basically deaf.



Atlas has been really into pretending the last few weeks, and it’s been amazing to watch and nurture his growing imagination. He has a tough time with the animal masks (which is fine with me because they look so cute hanging!), but he looooves to wear these tails.




The rug that was in the old-house nursery is now living in the living room, and the old living room rug is now in Joey’s studio, and the old-house guest room rug is what wound up in Atlas’ room for the time being.




We are thrilled with the way Atlas’ room turned out. We were able to check all of our requirements off the list in a way that’s cozy and functional. Atlas loves to play in his room, and read books, and it’s super functional. We have a few more plans for this space (I don’t know if I still feel these curtains. I would like to find a softer rug. We may break down a wall to open up the room as A grows….), but for now it’s working out great.

xo, lana katsaros

Bathroom Plan

Did you get to check out our home tour? We shared a peek of our master bathroom, and have been slowly been making decisions. I think we nailed some stuff down, but you never know with us. I meditate a lot on a room before we take action. The bathroom is now a little country (with that blue again!), and we are painting it white, chatting about wallpaper and even a little chatter has been going on about modern and contemporary bathroom vanities.

Here is where we are today:

east nashville bathroom

We are so excited to have a double sink vanity. This one came with the house, but we have been seeking out alternate double sink modern bathroom vanities because the ware on this is showing, and we are thinking the wood may not be the best option for us if the paint gets chipped so easily in addition to the country kind of feel we want to stamp out.

We changed the pulls to the big brass ones we love, and want to keep them and found an awesome switch plate to match.

adorne brass switchplate

And if we go totally white, I may even go brass sinks. But like I said, we are just brainstorming right now.

brass sinkThe thing we are stuck on most are lights right now. I love (love!) the one we just used in our living room, and think a double like that would work amazing if hardwired like the ones you see now. 

Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce


It’s kind of a dream to have the bathroom all white with brass, and the kitchen that way too. I think if we go in that direction, the black detail tile will need to be removed (on the wall), but the floors can stay the same.

Have you found any great brass fixtures or have any amazing resources our of the ordinary? Share with us, we are listening!


lana katsaros

A Little Paint Therapy

When we decided to move, I had a couple things in mind. I wanted a home we could be more playful with. Our last house was a little stuffy and stiff and didn’t allow for much fun. I suppose we could have gone a little worldly “fun”, or perhaps eclectic more than we did, but the bottom line was, it’s an English tudor with massive rooms and it could look circus-y very easily. I tried with all my might to make it light and bright and fun and it felt that way as much as it possibly could.

Fast forward to our cute little Nashville cottage. When we bought this home in March, all I could think is “I want to play!”. We have a young child, and a casual house, so why not? At the end of the day, most of the “whimsy” is just paint, and for now I want happy all around me and my family, so naturally we started with Atlas’ room and then the second most used room in the house, the mudroom. Here is what is looked like the last time we did a home tour (or check out a bunch of pics here):

mudroom, small mudroom, mudroom makeover

DIY mudroom, before after mudroom



After the blue-be-gone happy dance, the room looked nice and crisp and ready for spots.


It didn’t take very many tools to accomplish our goal fully.

Cheetah Spots Wall Stencil, Royal Design Studio, Olympic Paint One, DIY Mudroom, Spot Stencil, irregular spot stencil

And today, with the power of a good paint job:






We picked the mudroom because it’s such an active place in our home. We use it as our main entrance and exit, as a pass-trough to bring in our bikes, red wagon, stroller, and drop point for bags. Umbrellas dry in this room, and shoes are flub on and off. It’s truly a mudroom, and it constantly needs to be cleaned. Olympic Paint and Good Housekeeping asked us to see if Olympic One Interior Paint was #uptothetest. We had visited New York and I got to tour the Good Housekeeping facility first hand, so I was pretty confident straightaway that if they say we can scrub and clean this paint and it’s going to last, then it’s going to last. With that confidence, we (and by “we”, I mean Joey) took on the painful task of meticulously stenciling spots on the walls in hopes this room could handle the rough and tumble coming to it.  “It’s backed by Good Housekeeping”, I kept telling myself. “It’s going to look good next week and next year” I promised Joey.

Let me just state that about 1/2 the spots on the wall had to be hand corrected with a tiny paint brush because apparently stenciling isn’t our strong point when the pattern is this small. The much larger one we did in our old house was way easier. Just sayin’.


irregular spot stencil

As for the paint, we used Delicate White in Eggshell and Black Magic in Satin for the spots to allow for a high contrast look. Don’t ask me why we did too finishes, it was more of a curiosity on our part to see if there was an obvious difference. There was not. I was scared it would be too high contrast, but am over the moon with the results. If you come here often, you may remember we were originally going to do this to our dining room, but I chickened out. I am kind of bummed I did. Instead, we used Snowy Mount from Olympic One, which is a little more of a “colorful” white.

east nashville dining room

In Atlas’ room, we used Horseradish from Olympic One Interior Paint. It’s an awesome white that really plays well with the blue curtains, and doesn’t give that “icy” effect. We’ll be doing a where-are-we-now post on his room very very soon.  We are really trusting this paint in the rooms that get hit the most with activity.

atlas' room, diy nursery, cool kid's room

I have to give the Olympic One paint and primer combo of this paint a thumbs up so far. It did a fantastic job of:

  1. covering up blue paint with little effort
  2. covering up beige paint with little effort
  3. covers up spackle great (did you notice the dining room is sans chair rail?!)

We are so pleased with how the mudroom looks, and with a few minor things left to do, we can soon celebrate the completion of another room. Here is what the to-do list is looking like right now:

  1. change the knobs on the sideboard.
  2. swap out the ceiling light
  3. to add art // to not add art
  4. a place for shoes, where I can’t see them (and the baby can’t touch them)
  5. change window dressing
  6. celebrate

Check out the other bloggers seeing if Olympic One is #uptothetest. If you have no idea what I am blabbing’ about, check out this post and hop on our instagram account and catch up.

The Ugly Duckling House
The DIY Villiage
DIO Home Improvements

We are so excited about this partnership and can’t wait to show you what we honestly think! We have been sponsored by Good Housekeeping and Olympic Paint, and promise to continue to be honest about reviews in our posts. 


lana katsaros


Let the Light One In

There is an ongoing debate between Lana and I about whether or not visible wires on sconces are acceptable. You’ll know who wins in about 2 seconds. Or if you are savvy in the ways of married life you already know.

Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce

That lovely brass number is from our go to light people at Barn Light Electric. Lana and I would probably agree to live in a brass house at this point. What can I say… we both agree on brass looking awesome so anytime it comes up we say “yes“. More on that in the not-too-distant future.

Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce

One of the clear benefits of having a sconce like this with the external plug is that you can put it pretty much anywhere and not have to hire an electrician to install a new box to hard wire it in. As you can see here, this is some simple stuff. A mounting bracket to affix to the wall via some anchors and screws, and some screws to attach the face plate of the sconce to the bracket. Uh… that’s it. Here’s what the process looks like boiled down to a couple pics.

Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce


Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce


Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce

Our living room is currently sans a light because Lana sold it right off the ceiling in order to force us to replace it sooner. Funny right? Anyway, the room has been a bit dark for a month or so. We needed some more light in there and we wanted to highlight Atlas’ record player anyway so we decided that would be a superb spot for it. But as I said before, we don’t have to be married to it since we can just move it with only a couple little holes to patch.

Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce

And I’ll give Lana credit where credit is due. The light look great. And having the Edison bulb in there makes it a subtle glow at night and a nice accent during the day. We are still back and forth about a main ceiling fixture, but that is for another day.

Sconce, Barn Light Electric Sconce, DIY Sconce

Pssssst! If you dig that trunk riser, check out how to easily DIY one yourself


Nashville Dining Room Progress

The power of a moodboard. I really respect people who meditate and can focus on not focusing. I am not one  who can easily envision what a room is going to look like when pulled together with the pieces I want to use. It usually works like this:

I pin, pin, pin. Until I find a repeating theme going on and then decide if it’s got longevity or is a flash-in-the-pan trend I am going to tire of in just a few months.

I pull together something visual, enter moodboard, to see if the pieces I picked and the ideas I have actually work together.

I meditate on it for weeks, if not months. I don’t do this process with clients exactly, because we would be in a perpetual state of edit if I treated everyone like this, but I do with our home because well, we are way more flexible with the “when things get done” then the people who pay us to get their home designed.

So, this is what we came up with for our dining room.

dining room moldboard, stag lamp, deer head lamp,I am tired of it already. You can imagine how excited I am that we didn’t take a ton of time to stencil those tiny spots on the wall. Once we painted the walls white, it felt good as is.


Joey removed the chair rail, and we will have a post about how he did it successfully soon. It’s such a tiny room, I felt it just added an unnecessary busy vibe, especially if we were going to stencil spots. Below is a picture while we were house hunting with the original beige and chair rail.

dining room before

Here is where we are at today. Sans chair rail, a nice crisp white wall and many conversations about a chandelier. There are some points we are certainly stuck at. I was wishing, and hoping the table Joey built for our old house would work under the windows are kind of a plant stand. It’s slightly too high, and I am not willing to edit it to fit the space. It was a similar situation to the extra large chair in Atlas’ room. I had to live with it, before committing to “no”. I knew it probably wouldn’t work, but I just had to see for myself. Annoying, I know. At least I am not left with those “What if it worked?” feelings.

small dining room

The rug isn’t really working, but it’s a good temp while we hunt something out. The chairs are the biggest issue. What you see at the table are the chairs from our old dining room set, and they fit great at the table. They are both Restoration Hardware. The chairs we got for $20 on craigslist, stained, and reupholstered we love so much, but they are slightly too tight. They look great, they are just hard to pull out and sit next to another person with any personal space.

east nashville dining room

We are still discussing art, the Buddha will eventually find it’s way outside, window dressings are another stump. The room gets great light, we don’t want to compromise that. It’s so tiny, the vibe is working it’s way towards “fancy breakfast nook” instead of “formal dining room”.

east nashville dining room

engineer prints

These are a couple of the engineer prints I had done for $1,79 each at staples. It’s part of an Instagram project I am starting, #sparechangeproject. We are still deciding how and if to frame them up and where to work them in.


We snagged he most beautiful wood at Good Wood here in Nashville, and are making custom built in’s in this awkward nook. That’s a closet to the left, and a cut out to the right. It makes we wonder what this room really was in the past. The layout is so strange in some areas. The wood was$130 and $10 to cut in half. We are working on finding a credenza of sorts to put under the shelving and help store our not-everyday kitchen items.

good wood, custom built in bar

We may paint the ceiling black (meditating on that!), and have not abandoned spots all together. Remember our home tour series of this new house? The mudroom has been going through some changes to accommodate how we actually use it, and we think the spots would be fun in there. It’s certainly time for an updated moldboard.

good wood, raw shelves

So, thats the update on the dining room. Small steps leading to a big change from the first day we put eyes on her! We are having such a fun time with this house! Can’t wait to share more. Be well friends !


lana katsaros

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