5 Ideas for Creating Custom Features in your Home

5 Ideas for Creating Custom Features in your Home

Have you ever looked around your home and wondered, “How can I make this space feel a little more like mine?” Well, I’m right there with you, friend. If you’re anything like me, you’d like to avoid the cookie cutter, builder-grade, straight-out-of-the-showroom feel. You want unique … custom. 

I’m hosting the kick-off of November’s new topic, “Customizing your Home” for the House to Home Haven Blog Link Up!

Organized by an amazing group of bloggers from the Haven Conference, this link-up’s purpose is to connect and share amazing design and renovation ideas to make the most of your biggest investment: your home! 

If you haven’t met my friends, you’re missing out: meet Danielle and Michael at Clark & Aldine, Sarah and Nick – owners of Nestrs, Lindsey at Building Bluebird, and Morgan and Jamie from Construction2Style

We want to see your ideas too! To get in on the blog link action, drop a link your your IG post, blog post or video at the bottom of this post!

Here are the House to Home Haven Blog Linkup Rules:

  • Link to relevant content
  • Link to a specific post, image, or video
  • Share the love!

5 Interior Design Ideas to Customize your Home

Book Storage – Make a DIY Book Rail

You can easily (and inexpensively) create storage for displaying in your kid’s bedroom or playroom. I particularly love the style of shelves where the covers are forward facing, like the ones we made for our Girl’s Bedroom Makeover.

This was a super simple project and cost a total of $64 and 3 hours total time. Definitely worth it for this space. 


Installing trim moulding is a moderately easy customization project you can use to customize your space. There are many different types ways to use them.

Crown moulding, for example, can be used to bulk up or accentuate the look of otherwise bland cabinets. Just look at the difference a little paint and trim made in our office upfit! 

The Progression
Painted the cabinets in Chantilly Lace by BM & installed a custom trim up to increase the fancy factor – a moderately easy DIY project

Another idea is adding a strip of trim above your basic base molding (or skirting, as the Europeans say) – a simple project that will make your home feel custom.

For more trim ideas on how to go from builder-basic to custom, I suggest following this guy, Phillip on IG – his ideas and work are super educational and impressive.

Paint Selections

You simply can’t beat the impact a few cans of paint can make, even if it is just white on white. There’s something about walls with generous moulding all painted in the same color. 

Image background by @leclairdecor

Seriously, paint selections make a BIG difference. Although I must admit that I am in the neutral paint fan club, we shouldn’t be afraid of color either. A tasteful paint selection will give you a custom look.


Built-ins are one of those custom features that make high-end homes feel like high end homes. Fortunately, there are tons of tutorials out there for how-to build them in all different styles. 

Take some inspiration from this week’s #housetohomehaven winner over on Instagram – Simply Aligned Home

Make a Unique Return Vent Cover 

I know HVAC returns are necessary, but goodness gracious, they are hideous. Thankfully, there’s this super cute tutorial by Simplicity in the South that will help you get a custom look and improve your HVAC vent situation.

What are your home’s unique or custom features that you just can’t live without? 

Drop a link to your Instagram post, blog post, or video below and don’t forget to use #housetohomehaven in all your inspiring spaces!

Until next time, Inspiring friends

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

5 Ideas to Make a Statement with a Feature wall in your Home

5 Ideas to Make a Statement with a Feature wall in your Home

EEEKK!! I’m so excited to be hosting this week’s blog link up with a stellar group of people I met at Haven – all husband & wife teams who have similar interests in home renovation, design, real estate – just like Uriah and I! We’re working together to pool ideas on a different topic each month and take turns hosting the House to Home Haven Blog Linkup every week.

It’s now week 5 AND a whole new month, which means a whole new theme, which means a TON of home design inspiration for you! October’s topic is Statement Designs! Think accent walls, feature walls, entry vignettes, a wallpaper focal point or other inspiring design. The possibilities are endless!

To get in on the fun, simply drop your link at the end of this post (or any of this other host’s posts), that way anyone else who stops by can see your ideas and projects, too!

House to Home Haven Blog Link Up Rules:

  • You must link to a relevant topic
  • Must link to a specific blog post, not a homepage
  • Share the love! (Pin, IG, FB)

Oh and by the way – you should join the party over on Instagram, too! Use #HousetoHomeHaven and win a chance to be featured on all our accounts AND co-host the following week!

Speaking of hosts, let’s meet the other hosts, shall we?

Allow me to introduce Morgan and Jaime from Construction2Style, Lindsey over at Building Bluebird, Danielle & Micheal from Clark & Aldine, and Sarah and Nick from Nestrs!

Here are 5 Unique Design Statements to Help Make your House a Home

Make a Statement with Wallpaper

If I’m being honest, each time we walk into a potential flip with floor to ceiling wallpaper we kind of cringe. But, can we all agree wallpaper has come a long way?? This fad that used to be reserved for grandma’s house is very much on trend! You know I’m all about neutrals, but when applying the idea of wallpaper to a feature wall or focal point in a design?? Now, I can get on board with that! (Like, I’ve got about 3 other room projects rollin’ around in my head right now. Guess what they all have in them? Wallpaper.)

Let’s see if I can convince you.

Exhibit 1: my girl’s bedroom makeover – before and after. 

This wallpaper design is grown up, but maintains a playful feel and, I believe, pivotal in accomplishing my goal of creating a room they won’t grow out of any time soon.

If you own an Airbnb, you might consider taking some measures to make your space Instagram friendly. This can be done easily using wallpaper feature wall. Your guests will post and share – hey – it’s free marketing! My friend, Sara, an Airbnb expert, used a local artist’s design to create her own wallpaper and it’s now the feature wall in the living room of her Airbnb! Read about how you can make your Airbnb Instagrammable. #myairbnb 

Make a statement with a Geometric Wood Wall

You may have noticed that a few years ago, the trend was barnwood walls, then white ship-lap walls. Now, we’re seeing geometric painted wood wall designs with unique patterns and bold colors… L-O-V-I-N-G it!

Photo Credit: A House We Built

This wood feature wall is particularly is stunning:

Photo Credit: Simplicite

… I’m picturing a version of this idea on the back wall of our guest bedroom. Hmmm…

Make a Statement with Tile 

My girl Morgan and her husband Jamie at Construction2style. are amazing with unique tile designs. They work closely with Mercury Mosaics to create stunning works of art. Like this post on kitchen backsplashes and how to set your kitchen apart. (and you should also check out this amazing feature wall in their basement bar area!)


Make a Statement with Color Blocking

Have you noticed this trend with color blocking? I first saw this trend with color blocking from a friend and designer I follow on Instagram. At first I wasn’t sure, but I have to say it’s growing on me! Color blocking proves design doesn’t always have to be expensive! It’s just paint and tape!

Make a Statement: A Command Center 

Who says function can’t be pretty? And who doesn’t need more function in their life? Always remember to incorporate the must haves in a command center design:

  • A calendar
  • Storage for school papers or bills
  • A place for keys and other necessities 
  • Something pretty – a picture or a verse or quote
  • Goals: post family goals / workout goals / the year’s bucket list 

Missed the last 4 weeks on organization? No worries, I’ve got you. You can start with last week’s host, Lindsey at Building Bluebird, read her post on organizing a new home. You’ll find a link to week 3’s host and go from there. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
7 Tips to help you Organize & Design your Home Office

7 Tips to help you Organize & Design your Home Office

If you are anything like me, no space is complete unless it is both functional AND easy on the eyes – and that includes a home office. Recently on Instagram, we shared a part of our Office Upfit Project and the process of taking our wood-toned, dated home office – located smack in the middle of our home – into a light, organized and inspiring space for our small team to gather. 

I wrestled through the ENTIRE design and organization process with decisions for this space – so much it was painful! After taking input from our team and a strong collaborative effort with my Inspiring Intern, Kelly, the project is finally coming together.

*** I’ll be sharing before after’s of this project soon! Stay in the loop

Given the challenges I faced with the organization and design of our home office, I thought I’d share what I learned along the way. Regardless of whether you are a mom running your household, work from home by yourself or have a team at your side… your home office should be the central hub of functionality and this post is for you!

7 Tips for How to Organize and Design your Home Office

#1 Organize a Bills & Mail Station

Create a System

We developed a little system to organize our bills, documents, and random notes that collect on our desk. 

First when the mail comes in, we go through and purge the junk mail. Random notes are separated from bills and project related documents and placed in a separate folder. The rest go in the top bin. Uriah doesn’t open the mail until he’s ready to spend a few hours paying bills. 

After bills are paid, they go into the “to-be-scanned” bin. Either Uriah or our assistant will then scan the papers into a cloud based system, according to our digital organization process

Then, if it is a document where the original needs to be kept in our records, such as a HUD, it goes in the “to be filed” bin. At that point, documents are ready to be filed in our Project File Drawers by our assistant.

wire file drawer for home office

#2 Choose a Desk with Storage to Help you Organize

Hopefully your desk has at least two file drawers so you can organize important personal business documents. If not, no worries! You can always purchase file boxes like these at Target and store them on open shelving. You can even use file storage as a part of your styling, like this idea from The Organized Home:

picture of a wooden crate being used to store files in a home office and styled on a shelf with pretty books this design tip also helps you stay organize

#3 Organization is all about labeling EVERYTHING

When I say label everything – I mean everything: your shelving, your bins, your folders, your cubbies and baskets. After all – you’ve spend all this time on organization so everything has a place. Labeling (in conjunction with self-discipline) is the way to keep it that way! It will also help your husband, wife, assistant, or children know exactly where things go. 

We bought cabinet hardware that doubled as a label!

this picture is of file drawers with hardware that doubles as a label - found on amazon
Drawer hardware that doubles as a label. Ignore the fact that I haven’t actually labeled them yet 🙂 This project is still in progress.

#4 Organize and Look Good Doing It – Put Your Processes and Operating Procedures in Pretty, Easily Accessible Binders  

I found floral 3-ring binders like the ones you see above at target – making sure they compliment our brand colors. (The ones linked are similar but not the exact same as mine.)

The binders hold our Office Manual, Company Handbook and Order & Inventory Lists for Open Projects. Notebooks and manuals such as this need to be readily accessible for you or your employees to reference when needed. Because counter space is plentiful in The Inspiring Investment office, we display them in a black mesh rack on the counter.

#5 Design: Home Office

This concept could also be applied for a homemaking office! Have a notebook for meal planning, home or craft projects, or you could even have a Household Manual – a tool you can provide a nanny or babysitters who come into your home. (Would you believe I do this one? #nerdalert)

office picture with blog post title pinterest graphic
Pin this to an organization board on Pinterest! Go ahead and follow us while you’re there.

Start with Neutrals

White space is essential to a visually appealing space – I’m convinced! That’s not to say there isn’t a place for color – or – that walls always have to be white – by no means! Color makes our world interesting and dynamic! But in order for that color to be seen and not overwhelmed by other “noise”, a neutral backdrop is a solid foundation for building a well-designed, balanced space. That is why we chose to paint our cabinets AND walls white. It will be the perfect canvas to put our brand on display.

#6 Design: Home Office Artwork and Decor

Use Artwork and Decor that tells a story 

The story you tell through the decor in your home office should be dictated by the reason you use it. I run a small business, so for the purposes of this post I will speak for business owners and branding, but your brand could also be interpreted as your style or values and therefore applicable to a homemaker’s office. 

Brand colors, your logo, imagery, meaningful art related to your business, or company benchmarks –  all of these things are a part of branding your office. They re-affirm the values of your company and communicate a cohesive message to your employees and even yourself. 

#7 – Design: Seating

Use Stylish, but Comfortable Chairs

Ergonomic design is an important factor in furnishing your home office with comfy, stylish seating.

heathered grey stool with pecan modern legs an example of home office seating
I love this stool from West Elm

(We are actually incorporating a standing desk option for one of the three work stations in our home office, which is why I’m showing a stool option.)

More ideas to design your home office: 

  • Hang inspiring wall art (support local artists if possible)
  • Use meaningful objects to your brand or values to decorate
  • Post your vision & mission statement
  • Display a vision board 
  • Provide a gratitude jar
  • Sprinkle a bit of greenery into your styling, using faux plants if necessary (more tips on styling here)

Ideas for branding your home office:

We plan on putting a vinyl sticker of our logo at the top of our office whiteboard, because no one can reach up there anyway. 

Additionally, we will be using light blue push pins on a black and white maps of Raleigh, Cary, and Durham to mark all flips we’ve completed in our market, kind of like the one you see pictured above.

In Conclusion …

Working from home is certainly a blessing, but I think we all know it can also have it’s challenges. Investing the extra effort into the design and organization of your office can improve functionality, your personal productivity and communicate your brand’s message, unifying your whole team! It’s time to treat your home office like an actual workplace, don’t you think?

Coming Next …

I’m posting all the design choices we actually implemented to tell our brand’s story in our Office Upfit. 

How to Design a Pre-teen Girl’s Bedroom You’ll Both Love.

How to Design a Pre-teen Girl’s Bedroom You’ll Both Love.

Does the thought of giving your pre-teen a bedroom makeover send chills down your spine? Maybe somewhere between the tacky choices, ever-changing interests, and probable arguments that go along with it ….

You. Are. Not. Alone.

Not long ago, on Instagram, I shared that I’ve been working on a little project, aside from our typical house flips. 

… and I employed two new design assistants to help me. 


I’m giving my girls bedroom makeover! 

Today, I’m sharing 5 tips to show you how you CAN design a space for your kids that you will LOVE and your kids will WANT to live in: one you won’t have to re-do they second they’re off to college.

That is, of course, unless you want to.

5 Tips and Tricks to Give your Pre-Teens a Bedroom Makeover You Both Will Love 

  • Set Boundaries Upfront

From the beginning, set the boundaries you feel comfortable with. If you aren’t going to be okay with painting the ceiling, say it. If you would prefer a neutral palate on the walls rather than the bedding, explain that and the reason why. It wouldn’t hurt to use this time to discuss the fact that although it’s important to you that they love their room, you get final say and may not approve of ALL their design choices. As the parent, you are funding the deal, so you need to love it, too. Think of yourself as their guide.

*** Don’t wait until hearing their ideas to set boundaries. If you tell them what you don’t want after they tell you what they do, they may feel a bit of rejection. It’s better to know the rules upfront.

  • Listen to their Input

Your kids aren’t typically going to love a space they have *no say* in, so listen to them! Ask them questions like, what’s important to you to have in your space? Have you thought about how you would like to use your room? For example, both of my girls (they share a room) requested a desk and book storage. 

  • Make it Educational

This can actually become a wonderful way to teach your kids about design elements, pick up new inspiration, and learn what goes well together, what doesn’t and why. You could pick up some books at the library and scour Pinterest together – #bondingtime

  • Create a Vision Board

Personally, I’m a big fan of vision boards for any project. The girls and I had a great time putting this one together for their bedroom makeover. 

Follow us on Pinterest! You’ll love our boards!

You can see more details of their soon-to-be new space, complete with links and sources – coming soon! 

  • Involve them in Implementation

When possible, bring your child into the loop, and let them get involved in ordering that bedding or give them options between two different things like headboards, light fixtures, or even wallpaper.

If there is a DIY portion to your plan, let them help out! Our girls’ bedroom makeover involved a ship-lap accent wall (we followed the plank wall tutorial from my friend Brittany’s over at Pretty Handy Girl) and they LOVED sanding, nailing, and prepping the wood for install. More on that *coming soon*.

(ps. If storage is at a hot comodity in your house and you’d like to add more in your pre-teen’s bedroom makeover, check out this DIY pipe closet post)

This is the first in our girls bedroom makeover series and also the first home improvement project we’re taking on in our new house! Next, will come more details with the design plan and products I have my eye on.

Until next time …


Meet Kelly! Our 2019 Inspiring Intern

Meet Kelly! Our 2019 Inspiring Intern

These past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to host several interns through our Inspiring Intern Program. I created this Inspiring Internship program after purchasing The Internship Bundle by Nancy Ray. Let me tell you, they simply keep getting better and better. (You can meet some of our past interns, here.)

About Kelly…

I’ve known Kelly and her family for quite a while now … to say she’s special to me is an understatement. She’s a California girl, incredibly bright, has a strong interest in business and marketing AND she’s going to Samford in the fall! (where I took my pre-nursing courses!)

To be honest, her internship, which was secured almost a year ago, could not have come at a more ideal time. (if you follow us on IG, you know why.) Talk about God’s providence! Why do I ever doubt that he’s got it all under control? 

Kelly’s presence in the office has already brought me calm in the storm: hello organization! 

This summer is going to be all about creating more internal structure and organization in the office – a valuable real-life experience for any intern who wants to learn what it takes to run a small business.

Get to know our Inspiring Intern!

  • Chocolate or Vanilla?
    • Vanilla 
  • Favorite type of ice cream?
    • Mint chocolate chip 
  • Dogs or Cats (or neither)? 
    • Dogs… specifically puppies
  • The last book you read?
    • Anything by Jennie Allen
    • But, I just started reading The Call by Os Guinness and I am really enjoying it
  • Favorite movies? 
    • Mission Impossible 4, Hitch, The Italian Job, and absolutely any Rom Com
  • Design inspiration?
    • Anything on HGTV, but specifically Joanna Gaines 
  • What is your degree in (or going to be)?
    • Business Marketing 
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    • In 5 years, I will be a college graduate and will have just completed my first full year of working. I hope to be working for some large corporation in a city, whether that be Raleigh, Charlotte, or a city in a completely different state. Organization is something I thoroughly enjoy doing, so my hope is that my job in five years will incorporate that somehow.
  • Where was your favorite place you have traveled?
    • My family and I just got back from a vacation to Italy and Santorini, Greece, and Santorini was easily one of the most beautiful and one of my favorite places I have ever been. 
  • What is your dream vacation spot?
    • Bora Bora
  • What is your favorite sport to watch and play?
    • Basketball
  • Where were you born?
    • Walnut Creek, California (Right outside of San Francisco)

Basically she’s amazing, right?

Welcome to the Team, Kelly!