Category Archives: Renovation

Mudroom Transformation

So I created a mudroom! Yes I did! I had a closet at the entrance of our home that I hated. It was not organized or appealing at all, so…we changed it! I am so excited with how it turned out and I wanted to share how we executed this amazing project. Check it out below!

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Here is the original closet

I hate those old fashion folding doors and the wired shelves I just needed to switch out.

Here are the steps and great tips to execute a mudroom transformation

  1. Have a vision & measure! Ensure your measurements are accurate so you can purchase everything correctly.
  2. To have some great contrast either use paint or wallpaper. I prefer wallpaper to give it some more excitement. Also I used peel & stick wallpaper for this project.
I wanted uplifting quotes on the back wall and it also stuck to the color story of teal blue and gold.

3. To have seamless wallpaper application ensure you overlap the seams just a bit so it flows smoothly on the wall.

4. Ensure you have a wallpaper smoothing kit while you apply the wallpaper. It is a lifesaver!

5. At Home Depot we made sure the measure the inside and outside of the doorway in order for us to purchase the correct amount of moulding. I wanted to make sure to frame the door so it will have an amazing finish that matches the rest of the doorway.

6. Finishing nails need to be your best friend! We literally put up the moulding with finishing nails and afterwards we repainting over the nails so it camouflage perfectly.

7. I wanted to add shelving to the space for storage as well as a nice home decor display. I bought the shelf and brackets from Home Depot. The space inside the closet is 34 inches so we decided to purchase a 70+ inch shelf and cut it in half. We did this based on issues with supply and demand. I also wanted to have the shelf be at least 12 inches wide.

8. I then basically created my own bench with purchasing the Target cube storage system. I placed the unit right under the shelf that was hanging. It gives the illusion there is a bench of some sort. I love it because I now have picked up more storage space.

9. To finish off the space I added a gold curtain rod as well as gold hooks for hanging needs. I loved using gold with teal blue wallpaper, it gave the space an elegance.

10. We also added cool baskets to the space for a cool storage feel too. Last, we purchases two of these battery operated light switches. This is a great avenue if you do not have electrical that close.

So there you have it! What transformation have you done recently that was rewarding? Shop the collage below for all the materials used.

xoxo,

Jessi

The Container Store Rolling Racks

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Well these rolling racks changed my kitchen’s life!

We were having a very hard time getting our pots and pans in and out of the drawers and cabinets in our kitchen. I decided to get the chrome rolling rack system that is from the Container’s Store.

Here is step by step how we got organized:

This is where I started! Pull everything out!
  1. Measure! Measure! That was the key for me. I measured the depth, width and height of my cabinets to ensure the rolling racks I shopped for what would fit. *Another tip – if you purchase the 20″ inches rolling rack, ensure your cabinet width is at least 23″ inches wide. You need a little wiggle room so that your doors still close etc.
  2. Took everything out to see what I had. I also gave away older cookware etc.
  3. Whichever rack you purchase make sure the unit is 2″ inches away from the tip of where the cabinets begins.
  4. I purchased contact paper to go down on the bottom of the cabinet but you can also use simple grip prints.
  5. After lay your rack inside the cabinet and pull the rack completely out. There are holes visible where the screws will go.
  6. Ensure you use a black marker and put a dot within the hole where the screw will go into.
  7. After that use an electric screwdriver to install the 4 screw to install the rolling rack.
  8. And you are done! Literally. done.

See my finished product below!

It has made such a difference…Shop my cabinets below:

Happy Organizing!

Xoxo,

Jessi Morgan

Lessons and experiences when buying a first home

I wanted to sit back and reflect on the last 9 months and how we went from renting an extremely small townhouse to living in a 2400 square foot home with a screened in pool.

As we all know 2020 was a tough year for many people and that included us. At the time in April 2020 my husband and I both worked for Macys in different roles. By April 2020 we were both furloughed without knowing what our next step would be.

Thankfully my husband was called back in 2 weeks so at least we had one income coming in. I went on unemployment, focused on my parents, dove into my social media, started my LLC and my blog.

In July 2020 I was called back to work and kept my salary which was a massive blessing. After that we realized that with the Cares Act and the low interest rates we could afford to buy a home. It was extremely stressful. Here’s what we dealt with:

  1. Competitive Market – As the rest of the country, South Florida’s real estate was hot in 2020 and still in 2021. Every house we looked at had a line backed out the door to view the home. It was extremely intense and disappointing process. Every time we went to look at a place it had a line of people going in to view it. So competitive! One time as we were looking at a space, an offer was put in and accepted. We never even made it to tour the backyard!!
  2. Ran our credit too soon – I regret going with the first mortgage broker/company so quickly and we ran our credit too soon so we really could not leave and move on to anyone else. I just did not want to go with someone else and run my credit again while trying to buy a home. LESSON – try not to run your credit so many times when you are buying…it will hurt you financially when you are trying to get a loan and it may lower my loan amount.
  3. Out of state Mortgage company – We worked with Rocket Mortgage for buying a home and I regret it. They were ok but they did not work hard to get us the best deal and did not advise us on anything. I literally had to ask and find out on my own.
  4. 401K woes – With the Cares Act we were able to withdrew funds to put towards the downpayment. This was by far the most stressful thing for me because usually you are penalized if you take 401K money out before you are like 65 years old. The good thing is, it didn’t penalize us. I just worry with everything when it comes to retirement funds.
  5. Our loan for the house was very low compared to our income – I was extremely shocked and we had decent credit. This just shows that working with a major company virtually with no emotional attachment or real engagement it did not work in our favor. The person we worked with just really did not care honestly and it showed. I knew some friends who made less than us and had decent credit almost received the same loan amount.
Our updated entrance with a ramp for my dad to go in and out easily. Family first!

Well let that all sink in a bit lol. Any moments when you purchased a home that just blew your mind?

More details to share for another blog session! Share your buying home experience?

XOXO,

Jessi Morgan

How we transformed our backyard

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This is by far the biggest transformation we have done with our home since we purchased it in 2020. Our original backyard had great bones but we needed to update severely. I am so excited to share with you the renovation of our pool area.

When we bought the house the backyard originally had the following:

  • Screened in patio
  • Chattahoochee flooring
  • Massive amount of potted plants
  • Much needed resurfaced pool

When we took on this backyard, we had a vision from the beginning. We wanted a mini oasis that we as a family could relax and enjoy at all times. My husband especially loves being outside and he was so excited to take on this project! I wanted more than anything to make this happened.

First, we chiseled away the chattahoochee surface. Chattahoochee is a pebble like rock that was used for deck surfaces in the 1980s & 1990s. It was extremely popular back then, the key was you had to get it resealed about every 5 years or so to keep it looking neat and safe to walk on. When we bought the home, the previous owner failed to reseal it and the pebbles/rocks were loose and you could not walk to the pool without shoes.

Next, we realized that that in order to install turf around the pool we needed to have a border surrounding the pool. The original design had the chattahoochee all the way to the tip of the pool. If you do not have a border or copping around the pool, the surface you have will mildew. See below the difference between having copping around a pool vs not having it.

Next, we decided to redo the entire pool. We replaced the tiles and resurfaced the inside of the pool. We hired an amazing company called Ivero Pools and they literally worked non-stop and completed the pool in less than 3 weeks. The pool transformed the space entirely.

After, the pool was completed we then hired a company to lay down turf grass. Turf will last close to 20 years or more and we wanted a green grass feel to surround the pool. Since turf is expensive and based on square footage if we laid turf in the entire backyard it would have cost over $5500 and counting. Our backyard was 850 sq feet and vs us covering the entire backyard we left about 280 open to lower the cost.

Here is the breakdown of what we did:

  • Having 850 square foot backyard equaled to the turf costing over $5500. To remain on budget we decided not to turf the entire area.
  • We took 280 sq ft and decided to make it our dining space.
  • To give the backyard some contrast we decided to lay deck wood tiles in the space that we did not lay the turf. We absolutely loved it.
  • We are using the same patio furniture that we had before.

I feel so blessed that we could do such an amazing transformation. We cannot wait to host people in our beautiful backyard. Just this past weekend we sat outside and enjoyed the start of the NBA playoffs.

This renovation of the backyard made me realize that I can do anything if I believe and plan. Because of this backyard I am working on returning to school to study interior design. What project have you worked on that inspired you to do bigger and better things?

Shop some dupes and looks from my backyard!

XOXO,

Jessi Morgan

Tips on fixing up a Fixer Upper Home

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We were so excited when we bought our very first home that is a fixer upper. As many people know in the last 10 years “fixer upper” homes have been very popular but at times people underestimate how much it really costs to fix it up.

We completely revamped the entrance to our home. See below for picture before.

Our home was built in 1976 so it is over 40 years old…so yes a little dated. When we first saw the home we were overwhelmed with the size of it and we loved some of the great features like the high ceilings and the wooden beams.

Before we removed all the plants and tall grass.

As we started moving in we also paced ourselves on fixing it up. Here are the 10 pieces of advice I would share with you when it comes to renovating a fixer upper home.

  • Pay close attention to the inspection paperwork – This is so important because it gives you the key details of what needs to be fixed and the timeline needed. The electrical panel in our home had paint all in it, the previous owner painted the room and just did not even cover the panel! There was white paint all in it and in order for us to have homeowner’s insurance we had to get that fixed within the first 30 days of moving in. All that detail was in the inspection report. PAY ATTENTION TO THAT PLEASE! It will give you guidelines on what to prioritize first.
  • Appliances – Ensure your appliances work. Check it yourself with the inspector! If something does not work ensure the seller fixes it or lowers the sell price of the home. Important! This should be one of the first things you fix when you enter a new home. The dryer we had was the original one…I repeat the original one. I did not check it when we had the inspection. It took 2 cycles before the clothes were dry. It was frustrating and we had to replace as soon as we could.
  • Paint goes a long way – One of the first things we did was paint the inside and outside of the home. The house was lettuce green so in order for me to mentally be excited about the new house, I had to paint it. As soon as we did that, it felt like a new home! We painted the inside a pure white. White represents fresh and a new start, it is a great color to start with.
Painted the walls completely white to start over. In time we may warm it up but for now it was a great start to see the vision I wanted for this house.
  • Pace yourself – Do not push to get everything done at once if you cannot afford it. It is not worth renovating a kitchen if you have to finance it and struggle to make the monthly payments. Many families save for years before they update their home, it is normal. Do not feel pressured to do upgrades if you really cannot at first.
  • Work your way from the bottom up – If you hate the floors in your new fixer upper, save and get that done first. One mistake I regret is updating our bathroom vanity and not doing the floors first. What happened to us was the tile on the floor is not manufactured anymore, so it was extremely hard to find a tile that matched. So if you want to redo your kitchen and you hate your floors, do the floors first so then you can easily install everything else and your floors are consistent.
Before & After of the kitchen. We liked our floors so we didn’t need to change them.
  • Focus on one room at a time – You will feel that you got a lot done if you completely finish one room at a time when it comes to decorating. I focused first on the office/closet, then the kitchen etc. I literally went from room to room and decorated. I had a theme and I made sure it reflected from one room to the next. It becomes depressing if you do not finish an entire space at a time I feel.
On the day of our closing!

Hope you found these points helpful! Stay tuned for part 2 of my advice on updating a fixer upper! How has your fixer upper Reno going?

XOXO,

Jessi Morgan

The Evolution of our Powder Room

The famous saying that you have to crawl before you walk…well that is extremely accurate with own boho powder room. For those you are not familiar, my husband and I moved into our first home in September 2020 and it was a true fixer upper.

The challenging Space before

First, the previous owner was a nice mother & daughter who lived there for 25+ years. They decorated here and there, but you can tell the two had not updated the decor in years. So when we bought the home we had to have a vision and one of the first challenges was the powder room.

Also, I have an earlier post about the first phase of this powder room, check it out if you like!

Next, for phase 2 of powder room Reno, I was in need of filling the second wall in the space to reflect the rest of my home. I have been decorating my home to fit a boho semi-modern, semi-mid century/industrial feel and I want people to see that in every area of our home.

Here is what we did to elevate this powder room more:

  1. Add Shelving – This was not my first choice, but I came up with the idea after two floating shelves wouldn’t fit in my kitchen. So the result was to put them them in the powder room, and I love it. Since we had white walls adding dark wood floating shelves creates contrast just enough to have an amazing statement. Check out my favorite shelves below…


2. Concrete/cement pieces – in order to have a rustic/industrial feel that I do love to incorporate into my home, I wanted it to reflect in my powder room a bit more. I found some really neat pieces that were inexpensive from amazon for my decorating. See below…


3. Marble bowls & coasters for more contrast – I like mixing materials in a space to give it that boho feel a bit. Check out the bowls I purchased as well as my other favs:


4. Faux Plants & Wooden frames – To top it off and give some height to the shelves I bought some faux plants & wooden frames from Target. I wanted some earth tones and greenery in the space to finish the look. Check out some amazing duplicates from Amazon below:


Happy shopping! Visit my Liketoknow.it page to shop more of my looks. Click picture below:

www.liketoknow.it/bossinfashion

XOXO,

Jessi Morgan

Reno Update: The Kitchen

As some of you know my husband and I bought our first home back in September 2020. The home is a fixer upper and does need some work. Whenever you buy an older home you have to be able to see the potential and have a bit of patience. The first thing that needed to be completely re-done was the kitchen.

This home was built in 1976 and the kitchen had the same cabinetry and sink. WOW. The wood was falling a part and I just could not move into this home and not update the kitchen. I was determined to make this happen. Check out the before & after…

When it comes to re-doing a kitchen it can be extremely expensive and we just did not have the budget for that. Here are the key lessons & decor tips when renovating a kitchen for under $8000.

Work with a family owned company

I had the opportunity to work with a family ran business and it was a lot more intimate. The communication was clear and payment was fair from the deposit to the actual work. I dealt with some contractors that wanted me to pay 90% of the money up front and then pay 10% when they start. I didn’t find that good and they could literally just walk away with your money possibly. Also, working with a Home Depot or IKEA is still solid way to go but the price will literally double because of that, so keep that in mind.

Countertops is key

Some people want to cut corners with the quality of the countertops and honestly that should not be the case. We decided to go with white quartz material because it is extremely durable and scratch free usually. White quartz is timeless and for resale purposes it’s the way to go if you ever decided to sale your house.

Cabinets

This is where you can somewhat cut a little bit of corners when it comes to the budget with the cabinets. I went with a grey for the bottom cabinets to compliment the white countertops. The the top cabinets we chose white. I like having a semi-white kitchen, it made the space look much bigger than it appeared when we finished. Last, to stay on budget we went with a simple laminate material for the cabinets vs hardwood.

Backsplash

I prefer a clean kitchen and the best thing I did was use the quartz material to be the backsplash. It actually turned out to be cheaper in cost and to me it looks more elegant. I love the look! Try it!

Go big with the sink

Never go small with your sink. It is always best if possible to purchase a double sink so you can clean and organize your dishes easily. It was one of the best purchases I ever made for the kitchen.

CLEAN COUNTERTOPS are a must

Avoid as much as possible to have a cluttered counter. Try your best to keep your countertops clear. Put everything in a cabinet if possible. It just makes your kitchen more open and it makes you appreciate the look of your kitchen more.

What have you learned when it comes to Reno in a kitchen?

Below shop my kitchen! Most of my kitchen accessories came from Macys or Amazon!



The Master Bathroom Vanity…

This was by far one of the best transformations in our new home! I am so proud of it!

Below is the original vanity that was chocolate brown with flower shaped sinks. It was a sight! When we came for the inspection on the house we realized also that the vanity was 30 inches high. My husband is 6’8″ so a vanity being that low forced him to get on his knees to wash his face! So yes the vanity had to be replaced.

Here are the key things that went into replacing our master bathroom vanity:

  1. When we worked with our contractor he raised the new vanity to 36 inches high. This way my husband would NOT need to get on his knees to wash his face or brush his teeth lol.
  2. To save money we did not install a backsplash. We decided to cover the back wall in a beautiful light blue tinted marble contact paper. It saved a lot of money vs installing backsplash.
  3. Next we ordered the black matte faucets from Amazon. They were literally $65 each vs going to Home Depot where they would have been over $120 each!
  4. Then I wanted black accessories to match my black on black theme. I bought all of the pieces from Target, Home Goods and Amazon. I recently found all of the pieces on Amazon, check it out below.
  5. Also, the mirrors came from Lowes. They were a bit heavy to hang at first, but if you have hooks that can hold 20 lbs then you are set.
  6. Last we made sure we had clear organizer bins in the drawers in order for us to stay organized. It has worked beautifully. See Amazon options below that I really like to use.

Again we are so excited for the change in our master vanity and look forward to doing more with our new home! Do you have bathroom goals or aspirations when it comes to remodeling?

Check out my links below…

xo,

Jessi Morgan

The Powder room…Reno update

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What a process! The Hot Mess Powder Room that died and has gone off to bathroom vanity heaven! As we moved into our first home we were excited to update the bathroom/powder room vanity. It was a necessary fix and it has transformed the house once again.

So let’s begin with this Powder Room. This was by far the biggest change. The original space had very old 1970s carpet like wall paper that was on the walls and ceiling. It really made your head spin a bit. Check out the original photo from when we first visited the house. Here were the top 3 reasons this powder had to be re-done:

  1. Wallpaper on wall and ceiling was a major eye sore.
  2. The cabinets were 30 inches heigh – This was not going to work seeing that I am 5’7″ and my husband is 6’8.” He was basically on his knees trying to wash his hands.
  3. No overhead lighting – the previous owner used lamps and tied them to the wall. The cords were neatly attached to the wall, but after our cousin came who is an electrician, told us that that is a fire hazard. So yep…we had to get rid of that.
  4. Countertop – The counter top famously sagged in the middle and we were not fans of chocolate brown color tops either.

Needless to say this set up had to go! So we decided to gut it and start over. The toilet and flooring were the only elements that stayed. My husband and I decided to raise the vanity to 36 inches, plus we wanted a calming color story in our powder room.

We went with a glossy gray finish on the cabinets, and to make the space modern/bold I went with black matte exposed sinks and faucets. I love utilizing simple colors with bold finishes or pieces, I guess you can say I am a hard/soft person when it comes to decor. Here is a before and after picture below:

What a change right? I am a amazon queen so most of these items came from Amazon & Target. Here are some links to items I bought to create this powder room vibe:

  1. Gold Mirror – I love a beautiful brass gold round mirror. It was a nice compliment to the very square like sink, it was a good balance of structure and curve appeal. Bought it from Amazon!

2. Foam Molding – Yes its foam! It was a perfect way to elevate the open white walls in this space. I am looking forward to decorating the corner of my powder room soon!

3. Feature Wall – I wanted to have a accent wall of some kind vs just painting it. Painting takes a bit more time, and we decided to just do contact paper. I found a very nice white brick paper that would go with anything when I finally decorate the rest of the room in the future. I suggest ordering 3 to 4 rolls, but it depends on the size of the wall.

4. Faucets – My contractor got the sinks for me but I ordered the matte black faucets. I just love the entire look and it has elevated this space so much.

These are some of the key pieces I bought to bring this powder room together. I also love the bath accessories which I received from my wedding 2 years ago and the candle on the counter is from Target! But here are so good substitutes for the bathroom accessories and candles from Amazon.

In the end we were so happy with the results and we plan on changing out the flooring in the future and decorate this sweet corner as well. This is by far one of my favorite renovation projects. More to come! Any renovation projects you have enjoyed experiencing or seeing? Share below…

The entrance to our home

How it all began…

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The last 7 weeks moving into our new home has been an experience. We have done already some massive things to the home but on of my most treasured memories will be re-doing the entrance. The previous owner had massive amounts of couch grass that led up to the front door as well as planted cactus plant and poinsettas. I was not a huge fan of it because it attracted lizards to the 100th degree and they were constantly hanging out right by the door. It was challenging so we decided to remove it and oh gosh was it bare. See the before and after.

So the next step was plant something that is low maintenance and pretty to go with the brown and cream color of the house. I work retail and am a Beauty Director for 12+ doors so my time is limited and I need something that does not take a lot of time to keep up with. We decided to go with Green Island Ficus which is a beautiful simple plant with deep color and glossy leaves and Various Bromeliad plants, which are priced pretty well and on budget.

Then last but not least the rocks…this just set the tone. It’s called Alabama White Rock and I love it. I don’t have a link to the exact type of rock, but here is a substitute that should work out pretty well…Click Here The white rock was the most expensive thing to purchase but it was so worth it in the end. It made the chattahoochie entrance look actually better! We were going to remove the chattahoochie but to save some money now, we decided to re-seal it soon and paint it a darker color to match the house.

Finally, the next big transformation was around our mailbox. I totally hated the massive forest we had around it and anything could have been living in there, seriously. We moved all the vegetation there and it was not easy to do since so much of it had deep roots in there for many years. But we managed to pull out the stumps and really start over. See the before & after below.

Day and Night, right? What a difference! The house looks bigger to me with just that change. We used Bags of Cypress Mulch which also won’t attract as many bugs and possible termites. Termites are attracted to mulch and it’s best never to put mulch right up against the home. We planted Wart Fern around the mailbox, it will grow but not at a massive rate like the previous plants that were there. We were so happy with the finished product and I want to thank A Touch of Grass for installing such a simple but amazing entrance to our front yard! Contact them on Home Advisor for the Miami, FL area. Click Here…https://www.homeadvisor.com/rated.ATouchofGrass.2141906.html

Thank you and check back for more home renovations soon!

xoxo,

Jessi Morgan