Little Updates (Volume 1)

Grief does really strange things to a person. Even though Murray has been gone for almost a month now, I still am not feeling quite as I used to. Don’t get me wrong- I’m feeling better, but it’s just..weird. I remember the first few days after he passed I couldn’t bend over and touch my toes, and I’d wake up inexplicably sore every morning.

I find that in grief’s place is a furious, frenetic energy I can only control by doing projects around the house. Since most of these little tweaks didn’t merit an update on their own, I’ve created a post that groups them all together just so you can see what’s been keeping me busy.


I’ve temporarily moved my desk and computer upstairs to achieve my lifelong dream of having a “cloffice.” Pretty swank, no? The BF helped me hang the window treatment. which is beautiful, and functional as it helps keep sunlight and heat from pouring into this room. Total cost= $26 for roman shade at Home Depot. Ignore the absolute craziness that is going on in the cloffice photo.

This Little Light of Mine

Before the move though, I spent 2 hours of a weeknight replacing the light fixture. I don’t have a photo of it, but it was pretty much the cheapest one you can get at HD.The light fixture is from the dining room before the chandelier went up, and it does cast a nice glow around the room (which you can see better in the photo above, no more fluorescent prison lighting.  Recycling, FTW!

Total cost of makeover= $0. It’s not the most glamorous option, but few things are better than “free.”

Cloffice light.jpg

Knobs, Knobs, Knobs (Sung to the tune of “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Motley Crue)

I still haven’t completely made up my mind about what I’m going to do with the house yet.  I had a realtor friend swing by and give suggestions on what I could do to make the house a bit nicer if I do intend to sell, so I’ve started checking off some of the suggestions in the “just in case vein,” and also because even if I decide to stay it is something nice to look at and fewer details driving me crazy. An easy fix? All of the brass knobs in the home. And trust me, they’re ALL brass.

photo (2)

Not that brass is terrible, but I upgraded a few back to an “oil rubbed bronze” when I moved in to try and upgrade the home’s historical charm a bit. I only did two and then forgot about it, but it would cost around $300 to do the rest in the house (at 40 bucks a pop no less. No thank you. So I started Pinteresting and got the idea that you could absolutely spray paint old knobs. I paid $8 for a can of Rustoleum Spray Paint in Oil Rubbed Bronze and went to town.

Unfortunately, I can’t show you the same brass knob from above because I forgot to leave a note for my brother to not close the door all the way once the knob was off. He got locked in the downstairs bathroom for three hours on Tuesday and ended up breaking the turning mechanism to get out. So, instead I will show you two knobs from the hallway side by side. One is the one I paid $40 for, and the other is one I painted. Can you tell the difference? (the one on the left is the knob I painted)



If you got down close you could absolutely tell a difference, but for now, the consistency pleases me. I’ve still got a few more to tackle, but hopefully before the end of the weekend, they’ll all be upgraded. Total cost of project= $8 + the $40 I’ll have to pay to replace the bathroom lock. Still, much better than $300.

What cheap/DIY upgrades have you been doing on your place?

  • Michelle

    I’m so sorry about Murray. I can’t even imagine :(

    I have been wanting to spray paint our door knobs after I saw it on Pinterest as well. Seems like a frugal fix.

    • Lauren Bowling

      Do it. Just be sure to keep them upright. And keep some sandpaper near by in case you get a drip or it starts peeling and you have to pull some off. Looks-wise though, you can’t beat the price.

  • Melanie @ My Alternate Life

    I am so sorry for your grief. :( Losing a pet is so hard. That is both hilarious and awful your brother got stuck in the bathroom for 3 hours. My favorite diy thing is to take old wine bottles and put flowers in them.

    • Lauren Bowling

      Love that idea. I know some people paint wine bottles as well.

  • Tre

    I wish I had found out about spray painting knobs before I sold our last house! It would have saved me so much money. I love the little changes you are making :-)

    • Lauren Bowling

      Thanks! It’s only been a week, but they are holding up pretty well!

  • Melissa

    I like the updates you did, especially the cloffice! It looks much more inviting with the window treatment. Slowly but surely you’re remaking that house :)

    • Lauren Bowling

      Slowly being the operative word 😉 But yay progress!

  • debt debs

    Some great ideas. Too funny about your brother being locked away for three hours. 😮 I guess he finally got hungry!

    For me the grief of losing my dog has been very long, but it does get better. I’m pretty sure it would be easier if we got another dog, but our budget doesn’t really have room for it at this point. Never say never, I guess. I still watch the rescue sites. It’s a standard poodle that we would get. For now I’ll just think of Fergus and Murray having a good romp in the field. 😉

    • Lauren Bowling

      That is so lovely! It’s been a month now and I am still upset although it comes and goes instead of being a regular thing. I almost got a new pup this weekend but the one I wanted was already sold. I definitely cried about it like three times.

  • Kendal @HassleFreeSaver

    Spray paint knobs? GENIUS! I’m learning so much from what you’re doing with your home. Thank you!!

    • Lauren Bowling

      You’re super welcome, Kendal!

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