Budget-Friendly Guest Bathroom Makeover

Our guest bathroom has been pretty pitiful-looking for the past 4 years that we've lived in our home. We painted the walls and installed a new faucet and some cheap sconces right away, but otherwise it just kept getting knocked down the to-do list. As is the case with many young families, our time, money and energy have been spent on more important things for our children. During my recent maternity leave, I needed a creative outlet and decided it was time to tackle the guest bathroom. 

Although I have great plans to renovate and reconfigure our guest bedroom, bathroom and laundry room, those plans are on hold for the (distant) future. In the meantime, we have been making budget-friendly cosmetic and decorative improvements to put our stamp on these spaces without breaking the bank. Both personally and professionally, I try my best to be budget-conscious and respectful of my resources. You can read more about that on my Philosophy page

So I set out to design a budget-friendly guest bathroom - full of personality and classic sophistication - without doing renovations. I'm thrilled with the outcome, and I'm excited to share these photos with you! Keep scrolling to see some before and after images - including the original condition of this bathroom when we purchased our house.

The top photo is this bathroom's original condition when we bought the house 4 years ago.

The top photo is this bathroom's original condition when we bought the house 4 years ago.

Why I'm doing what I'm doing...

I've been helping clients with their homes for about 2 years now, but I've mostly provided consultation services and design plans for DIY clients as well as renovation plans for contractors. I have loved offering design guidance and creative ideas that empower my clients to decorate their homes essentially on their own. But I rarely get to see a project through from start to finish... until now.

I recently met with a client who unfortunately struggles with health issues and needs my hands-on assistance from beginning to end - shopping, decorating, installation, etc. I'm thrilled to assist her with making her home beautiful, warm and welcoming. After presenting my ideas to her at our consultation, she smiled and said with excitement that she can't wait to love living in her home. I was immediately able to see a positive shift in her mood, and she shared her enthusiasm to entertain guests in her home once we have it decorated.

That consultation was such a gift for me - I felt God was telling me loud and clear exactly why I feel called to make homes beautiful. Our living environment can drastically affect us whether we realize it or not. And I want to improve people's lives by providing them with well-designed spaces that they love and can be proud to share with their family and friends. My client was grateful for my design ideas and services, but I was even more grateful for the gift that she gave me.

I look forward to sharing the before & after photos with you soon, but until then I'll share the inspirational design boards that I presented to my client...

Change is in the Air...

It's become pretty clear to me - it's time for a change. Although change can be so good for you in the long run, it doesn't always come easily... and I've been resisting this change for a while. Eight years ago, Beth Hart Designs was born - as a custom stationery & invitations business. I've learned a lot as a designer & entrepreneur, and my business has grown so much - thanks to your loyal support. I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity you've provided for me.

Over the past 2 years, my business has slowly been shifting... from Paper Design to Home Design. I've always been passionate about making our own home warm, gracious & beautiful, but I never dreamed I'd get to make a career out of helping others achieve that same goal. I really appreciate those of you who have trusted me and invested in my Home Design services as I've set out on this new journey - you've built my confidence and taught me so much along the way.

I've been trying to provide both services for a while - both Paper & Home Design, but I'm starting to wear thin. I've been working late, late nights and on the weekends just to try to keep up, but lately I've realized that no one is getting the best of me - not my paper clients, not my home design clients, and sadly not even my family. So something's gotta give...

I've been praying for God to show me clear signs for which direction to take my business, and he has answered these prayers in numerous ways. All of which point to Home Design. So change is happening - I'm taking a break from paper to fully invest in my Home Design business. I will still be offering Christmas Cards in October, November & December but no other paper products at this time.

I'm so very excited about this new business opportunity, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous and scared. In some ways, I feel like I'm starting all over again. Choosing Home Design is definitely the more challenging path to take, but I love it - my heart is in the work, and I'm passionate about helping others find peace & beauty in their own homes. You can read more about my love for Home Design & Southern Hospitality here

"Thank You" feels insufficient for how much I appreciate your support of Beth Hart Designs. I hope you'll stick around with me as I dive head-first into Delightfully Southern Home Design.

A photo of our fireplace mantle recently re-posted on  House Beautiful's Instagram Account

A photo of our fireplace mantle recently re-posted on House Beautiful's Instagram Account


Perfect Imperfection...

Making your house a home is a process - it doesn't happen overnight, and it shouldn't happen overnight. In a world that often demands instant gratification, it can be difficult to be patient and take your time when putting together the rooms of your home.

As a designer helping others renovate and decorate their homes, I find it difficult to accept the imperfect and unfinished state of my own home. I'm a designer, my house should be perfect, right? We purchased a 1950's ranch in 2014, and although many renovations took place before we moved in, our house is a never-ending project - which happens to be one of the reasons I love it so much. I follow many talented designers on Instagram, and I love browsing through the beautiful photos on Pinterest and Houzz - mainly to gain business knowledge and inspiration - however I'd be lying if I told you that I leave these Social Media platforms feeling completely satisfied with my own home. 

I'm reading Phoebe Howard's book Room by Room, and she addresses the importance of taking your time. "Always keep in mind that decorating is a complicated process that takes time, planning, and money. It is an expensive undertaking, and it is easy to make costly mistakes. The more planning and thoughtful collaboration that you allow, the better the result will be. Be patient and take your time - it should not happen overnight. Let your house show who you are, what you like, and where you are going." Well said, Mrs. Howard.

So now I want to (very hesitantly) show you some photos of unfinished spaces in our home - as an effort to accept this perfectly acceptable imperfection. Gulp. First up, the Dining Room: We opened up 4 rooms in the center of our house by knocking down walls - leaving a walk-around, see-through fireplace. I've only posted photos of the kitchen and what's on the other side of this fireplace because the dining space is so very unfinished. The table, parsons chairs and china hutch are from our last house, and like many couples our age, my husband and I are in the process of replacing our "newlywed furniture" with more lasting furniture. I do have a plan for this space which involves buying new chairs, painting the china hutch and the French doors, installing wainscoting on the walls and wood beams on the ceiling, addressing the mantle decor and replacing the table with a rustic trestle table in a lighter wood finish. But until we find the time and save the money to do all of this, the room will look like this:

And here are 2 other areas of this large open room - the Foyer and the "Clock Corner." Both spaces contain furniture that I found at the Nashville Flea Market, and these pieces are in need of some TLC. The mirrors need to be hung on the walls, wainscoting needs to be installed on the foyer wall, and the pair of lamps on the Jackson Press need more appropriately sized shades. The seagrass chair is also from our last house, and I'm saving up for the perfect sweep-arm slipcovered chair & ottoman. Oh and that picture frame needs a family photo asap... the list is long, but there is a plan so I know what I'm aiming to accomplish.

Hopefully, this blog post will encourage you to be patient and take your time when decorating your home. If you need help forming a plan to follow, I'd love to work with you... Nashville area residents can view my In-Home Design Services page, and all other clients can view the Virtual Design Services page. However long it may take, I hope you find contentment in the perfectly imperfect process of making your house a home.

Home Design Consultations in 2016

I'm so very grateful and blown away by the amazing support you've given me in my first year providing Home Design services. I'm thankful to say that I'm officially booked for in-home consultations & virtual design projects through the end of the year. A few changes have been taking place in my business, and those changes will be reflected on my website in January - be sure to check back then! 

I'm now booking consultations & virtual projects for 2016, so please contact me for availability. During this month of thanksgiving, please know how thankful I am for you!

Client home design plans

Hippity Hoppity...

It's Holy Week, the week of Easter, and I love this time of the year because I'm reminded of how much our Father loves us. It's fitting that Easter takes place in the Spring - a time to celebrate new life and resurrection. Nature (in my opinion) is God's way of showing us His own creativity... He is an amazing artist - especially in the Spring - painting canvases full of bright, vivid colors with clear blue skies, spring green grass, pink Cherry Blossom trees, yellow Buttercups and Forsythia, soft white & pink Dogwoods, and so much more. It's a magical time, and I'm thankful for the beauty that surrounds us.

While I realize that Easter holds so much more meaning than bunnies, eggs and pastels. I do appreciate these sweet symbols of this time of celebration. I'm not one to go crazy decorating for the holidays, but I do appreciate a decorative accent here and there.

We have a large L-shaped kitchen island that was desperately needing a focal point. I'm a huge, HUGE fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper featuring the perfectly paired husband and wife team of Joanna and Chip Gaines from Waco, Texas. I'm inspired not only by their show and design style, but also by their love for God, family and adventure. Their business, Magnolia Homes, has flourished and expanded in many ways, including an online extension of their shop called The Magnolia Market. I spotted a reclaimed wooden tray that I knew would be the perfect focal point of our kitchen island. It provides a contained space to rotate seasonal decor throughout the year.

Below is a photo of the tray all set for Easter. The contents are as follows: 2 stacked hardback cookbooks, a white ceramic pitcher from our Juliska everyday pattern filled with flowers, a small green flower pot with fresh Thyme, a metal letter "H" I found at Michael's, a 3-wick candle from TJMaxx/Homegoods, and the rustic wooden bunny I found at the new home superstore, At Home. I look forward to changing out the decor of this tray throughout the seasons, and I hope these decorating tips inspire you to make your home a little more Delightfully Southern! Happy Easter!

Home Design Services Now Available!

Well, it's officially official! Beth Hart Designs is now offering Home Design services... It's only been a work in progress for almost 2 years! Some very gracious clients have offered to be "guinea pigs" along the way to help me figure out what services I would be providing. A huge THANK YOU to those of you who were so patient with me while I worked through your projects!

So what has led me to offering these services? You could say it started when I was a little girl - my favorite thing to do was "play house" by carefully planning my "set-up." This "set-up" consisted of lightweight furniture and decorative accessories that I gathered from around our home and brought together in my own formation to make up my pretend house. I still love the careful planning of choosing just the right items and bringing them together in one warm and beautiful composition. As a designer of paper and invitations which are a key part of Southern Hospitality, I see offering Home Design services as a way of extending my love for hospitality and making our everyday lives a little more delightful.

My husband and I are still working away on our "new" home, so I promise to post photos of before & after renovations along with a virtual home tour soon. I was waiting to have everything "just so" in our house before officially launching these services, but I realized that if I keep waiting for the perfect opportunity to dive in, I'd never do it. So here it is, the beginning of another beautiful and exciting way to make life a little more Delightfully Southern...

Home Design Services by Beth Hart Designs