And it was all white

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Kids love to reek havoc on walls. In particular, our little whirlwind, Atlas, is adept at scraping and dragging things along the wall as he either attempts to avoid a diaper change or just see if his Duplo block can pass through the drywall at breakneck speed. We’ve done a lot of painting lately so let me show you how the Olympic One paint has held up so far.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

Here’s Atlas’ room. All pretty and and idealized. Take a look at the changing mat. Pretty close to that vintage car pic and the “It’s OK” banner, right? Atlas thought so too. This is what it looks like when a black picture frame gets dragged across a white wall about 70 times a day.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

On the flip side we can look at it as a lesson for Atlas in creating perfect circles. And although the damage looked substantial to us, it wiped right away. Lana applied mild elbow grease and a Magic Eraser and it was taken care of. I’m sure it’ll be replaced by new skid marks soon, but that is the price we pay for form over function in a toddlers room.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

The living room has held up really well. I made some fun scuffs on the wall when installing these floating shelves.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

Once again, a little Magic Eraser and all was right in the world. It’s also worth mentioning that Lana agonizes over shades of white. The living room and mud room got Olympic One “Delicate White” which I really like. The dining room got a white called “Snowy Mount” which actually has a bit of lavender color in it (especially evident during sundown) which we weren’t expecting, but has grown on us. Atlas’ room is “Horseradish”. 3 coats of Olympic One on each room without a needing a separate primer layer got the job done quickly. Let’s peek at our apparently slightly controversial mudroom.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

This room has been a joy to walk into everyday. Lana and I love it. A bit labor intensive. More of those black spots are hand done than not.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

Flowers never hurt a room either.

Olympic Paint, Olympic One

The dining room paint has held up well. Admittedly it doesn’t see the high traffic of the other spaces, but the walls still look great and await some picture hanging decisions from us.

All in all, Olympic One paint has been #uptothetest. There are only a handful of strange humans out there that truly enjoy painting walls, but if you gotta do it you might as well have quality product on your roller.


How you like me now?

making a house a home I adorns switch location I

This motion switch went in the  bathroom.

Bathroom Motion Light, Adorne Motion Light, Adorne, Legrand That switch on the right has saved me from an early grave. It’s a motion sensor switch by Legrand from their Adorne line. We’ve been outfitting our house with them so this probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen them on the page, but this one deserves some special attention. You see, Our bathroom has an engineering issue. Bathroom Motion Light, Adorne Motion Light, Adorne, Legrand See the light switch? Well, neither can we. You have to come into the bathroom and shut the door before you can turn the light or the fan on. You’re probably thinking, “big deal”. After about a month, it was a big deal. The motion sensor switch eliminated the problem and it looks great doing it. Lemme show you what we had before. Bathroom Motion Light, Adorne Motion Light, Adorne, Legrand Switches on the left controlled the fan and the fan light separately (for some reason) and the one on the right did the main lights. It’s your run of the mill switch plate that we just won’t stand for anymore, mismatched screws and all. She’s a beauty. I almost thought about hesitating for a second before throwing it away. Installation of the new switch is covered in an earlier post so I’ll let you click here if you’d like to read about how insanely simple it is. The only difference here is that I combined the switched for the fan into the Adorne touch switch. Bathroom Motion Light, Adorne Motion Light, Adorne, Legrand

Location hasn’t changed, but my headaches have gone away. Coincidence?

Bathroom Motion Light, Adorne Motion Light, Adorne, Legrand Adorne also has power outlet options which will eventually take the place of the tired old outlet that lives there now. One thing at a time though. So, what switch goes where? For us, we have been taking this question pretty seriously and here is what we came up with. making a house a home I Adorne Lights I We outfitted our home with wave, touch, and motion switches. We picked the dining room for the wave location because you just need a little motion right in front for the light to pop on. This is great when your hands are full. What makes it different than the bathroom motion switch is that the bathroom knows when a person is in the room. It’s kind of creepy how great the technology works. The light doesn’t turn on with any ‘ol movement – it needs a person to be in the room. It’s way more sensitive and perfect for our unique light switch displacement situation. Adorne Wave Light Switch We used the touch switches in the high traffic areas, like the living room (what you walk into when you come in the front door), the switch that’s on the wall that’s between the living and dining room, and the wall shared between the mudroom and kitchen. We have a few more light switches to share after we get some painting done. These things are gorgous guys. Like serious wall beautification.


lana katsaros I

Float On

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

Oh TV table. I can’t wait to move you. But this story isn’t about you. It’s about creating some floating shelves on the far wall so we can get some much needed storage and activity space for Atlas.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

This also isn’t about painting so I will spare you the tale of me painting yet another room. I will say though that we really like this white. It is called Delicate White and it’s by Olympic One. Skip forward in time and this is what the newly painted blank wall looks like. We opt for white since it leaves the color palate open for other things to be front and center visually.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

What you’ll need for this project if you are so inclined is (surprise!), a drill. A 9/16″ drill bit that goes deep enough to insert the brackets into the wood. A 1/2″ drill bit to make holes in your wall. Some 1/2″ toggle bolts. We have 6″ brackets (yours may differ in length). A level. And some hand eye coordination to drill straight down into the wood (I’ll get into how I did that in a sec). If you have a drill press it would certainly come in handy to alleviate that issue, but I don’t.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

Here is how I managed to drill straight down into the shelves assuring that the brackets would fit flush. You’ll need to find the center of the pole that will be entering the shelf. You can see the Sharpe lines I drew once I found mine. Then mark the spot on the shelf where you will want the bracket to live. I placed the bracket next to the spot where I would be drilling and used it as a guide for “straight”. Align the drill bit left to right and top to bottom with your trusty eyeballs and then drill down just a little bit at a time checking between each round to make sure you are still on point. As I mentioned before, if you have a drill press you can make quick work of this. I tried a couple other ways to do this, but found this method the best for my abilities. It was extremely hot out and my drill overheated every 15 seconds or so. (not exaggerating) So drilling 8 holes took me about 2 hours. In a shop with a drill press I imagine the same task taking  about half an hour tops.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

This is how the bracket sits after all is said and done. If you are looking to have the shelf sit flush to the wall as most people do, you will want to use a router to clear a space in the shelf so the bracket sits within the shelf. I didn’t do that because we are putting a decorative strip of wood on the back to cover any gap between the shelf and the wall.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

This is a bit unorthodox as an approach to mounting the brackets. Generally, you would want to find the studs in the wall and screw the brackets directly into them. Honestly I wanted to do that, but I couldn’t reliably find the studs even with the stud finder I bought specifically for this job. So I went with toggle bolts. If you are unfamiliar with toggle bolts, they go into your wall and expand to anchor themselves on the back side of the drywall. I got 1/2″ toggle bolts so I needed to drill a 1/2″ hole in the wall. Measure twice. then measure twice again and drill the holes. In my case 4 for each shelf. Use a level to line up the center of the holes before you drill to ensure that the shelf will be level when install it. I put all the brackets into the shelf and then made a platform for the shelf to sit on. Then pushed it up to the wall and marked the spots where the brackets met the wall. That’s the little pencil line you see above the hole. Take your bracket, line it back up to the pencil mark and mark the spot through the hole in the bracket where you will need to drill.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

It may go without saying but you need to put the toggle bolt into the bracket before you put it in the wall. If you don’t you will just fill your wall with toggle bolts. Here’s what that looks like. Excited yet!? I am!

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

Repeat the process and you get this.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

Here’s where things got interesting for us. The top shelf was about 30 pounds. Still, the 6″ brackets I got were more than enough to hold it level on the wall. The bottom shelf however was about 40 pounds and that proved to be a bit too much. Underneath I built a makeshift brace for the shelf to keep it steady and level until we found a solution.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves


DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

Good! We found these hairpin legs on Etsy for 21 bucks a piece and thought they made a great fit. By dumb luck I had installed the bottom shelf 16” above the floor so the standard 16″ leg fit just fine. I put a small sliver of wood between the leg and the shelf to make sure it was perfectly level and then just screwed them in. Easy. I vacuumed later so ignore the dust and wood bits for now. :)

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

As an added bonus the brass cover plates from our new Adorne light switches look amazing with the raw wood shelves. Now let’s take a load off and look at the finished product.

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves

DIY Floating Shelves, Floating Shelves, reclaimed wood floating shelves



Wood from Good Wood in Nashville. $130 total.

Hair pin legs $21 each from this etsy shop.

Brass light switch plate and touch light switch/dimmer light switch from Legrand’s Adorne collection

The brackets were $10 each from here.


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.

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

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

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