Big House? Then These Decor Items Should Be Big Too

By | Haus Hacks, Wallace Woods House | 6 Comments

This post could also be titled, “Confessions of a Scale-Obsessed Decorator.” Here’s the things about the “rules”—sometimes they’re meant to be broken. Love something but it’s not the perfect scale for the space? Well embrace it and love the things you love anyways. It’s a good lesson for me too. Sometimes doing everything right isn’t the right thing, if that makes sense. 

I’ve written a little bit about what it’s been like to move from a 800 sq ft home to a 1600 sq ft home, but I’ve yet to hit on the revelations I’ve been having with the difference in scale. When our home went bigger, so much of what we had from the old house didn’t work—things like art, pillows, rugs, lamps, curtains—they were too short, too small. It all looked like dollhouse furniture in our current home, especially with the tall ceilings and the more open floor plan.

Our first home:

Rug Switch

Our current home:

Deconstructing the Living Room Sectional

I guess it’s all common sense, right? But as I’ve slowly been working to furnish this house, I’ve realized that it’s launched me into a specific category of home decor (giant everything) that I didn’t see coming. For example, curtains. Nine and ten-foot ceilings have stuck me firmly in the 105″ length category. I can’t even pretend to get away with 95 inchers these days.

This era of “bigger scale” in my home has had a ripple effect in two major ways.

  1. Bigger decor pieces also means a bigger cost. It has made bargain hunting an absolute necessity for me, whereas before, if I didn’t find a deal it wasn’t a huge loss. Luckily, I kick a major kick out of finding bargains.
  2. It’s made “in person” shopping nearly obsolete. I love to shop in stores and be able to feel and measure things before I bring them home. But one problem—stores in my price range like Target and Home Goods don’t carry 105″ curtains, carry very few 9′ x 12′ rugs, etc. That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve turned into such an online shopper for the bigger items. Luckily, things usually work out. And plus, those stores are still great for accessories, blankets, baskets, etc.

Tracking with me? Good. Here are the 5 surprising home decor items that, thanks to the bigger house, also demand heftier square footage.


Deconstructing the Living Room Sectional

Big rooms mean big rugs. I’ve learned that, no matter how hard I squint my eyes or wiggle around furniture, I’m almost always going to need an 8′ x 10′ rug or larger in all of my spaces. The rug in the living room is 9′ x 12′ and it really could go a smidge bigger even. I tend to follow this rug size guide when it comes to my spaces, which basically means all furniture (at least the front two legs) should very much be on the rug if not completely on top of. (Pssst…. the rug shown above is this one from Wayfair.)


Polyfill vs Feather Pillow Inserts - Go Haus Go
Oh yes, even pillow size matters in a big room. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve learned that in rooms with 9 and 10-foot ceilings, or even in spaces with open floor plans, the smallest I can go is 20″ square. I learned my lesson in the nursery just recently. I tried to get away with a 18-incher to save some money and womp, womp. Too small!


I know this feels like a random one, but hang in there. A big house begs for a big welcome mat outside the front door. Most welcome mats sold at stores are 30″ x 18″. They’re too small! I’m firmly stuck in the 4′ x 2′ welcome mat space, which limits my choices at the stores. Which is probably why I keep buying the same oversized mat from Target over and over again (this one is #4). Haha!


Tall and chunky is the name of the game for lamps in a bigger space. The sweet spot for me in this new house has been at least 24″ tall and 15″ wide. Yep, I’m the nut at Home Goods with my tape measurer trying to find ones that fit these specs, because most of the time, the standard lamp size is quite a bit smaller. Here’s a perfect example of lamps from Land of Nod (from the old house) in our current bedroom. They look so tiny!

It's Starting to Feel Like Home: Part 3

While in the old house, they looked just fine…

Bamboo Roller Shades

This is also the secret behind why all of the lamps who’ve traveled over from the old house are now stacked up on books and other accessories—they just need a little height boost. 🙂

Fast Track Online Auctions



Bigger walls require bigger things to hang on the walls! I feel like my choices when it comes to what I can hang on the walls is now giant and extra giant—ha! Mirrors for example. In the old house, I could get away with a simple, sweet little mirror.


In the new house, I’ve had to go huge, like this mirror in our entryway makeover.

Entryway Makeover Reveal After

And even beyond mirrors, this is where the DIY gene really kicks in, because I’m always wanting to cover a large amount of space with not a lot of dough. I love this wall of frames in our entryway for that reason—covers a long wall but only cost us around $90 to create.

How have you adjusted your decor from house to house? My goal will always be to “make things work” (after all, our old house wall full of stuff we loved), but in a lot of cases, it required a new (and bigger) purchase.

Also… it’s been fun to see how my style has changed from house to house. Our current living room is soooo traditional at the moment. I actually like our old one better! It’s just a matter of getting the right furniture and accessories in there, which will come in the next year or so. I’ve got lots of other things to tackle first!



Switching Up How We Watch TV/Get Online with Cincinnati Bell Fioptics

By | Cincinnati Finds, Haus Hacks | 2 Comments

Pssttt… thanks so much for your sweet notes regarding the arrival of our son Otto! I cannot wait to share his story with you all. He’s a special little guy and we are enjoying him so much. Before I go, I have a quick sponsored post to share with you all. 

This is another post for my Cincinnati readers! And sponsored by the lovely people at Cincinnati Bell.

One of my favorite parts about blogging is sharing tips and tricks to make life a little easier. I mean, that’s what this is all about right? I’m all about shortcuts and life hacks, whether it be DIY-ing something for less or making an intimidating project seem less so. And something really cool has happened along the way on this blogging journey—people seek me out to tell me their own tips and tricks. I feel like I’m in a secret club, where people pull me off to the side and whisper the location of a hot, new furniture warehouse in my ear. That’s how I found out about the Cincinnati online auctions, for example.

CincyGive and Cincinnati Bell

So where am I going with all of this? Let’s talk cable TV. I swear there is a connection—LOL! I have prided myself in being cable-free for 4 years now (I even wrote a post about it!). It’s saved us a ton of money and we were glad to be rid of the giant cable/internet provider here (ick). A lot of people think going cable-free requires some compromise, and while that is true (especially when its the celebrity award season, or if you’re into sports), we’ve generally done OK without it these last few years. I mean, I have to wait 6-8 months to get the latest KUWTK episodes, but I’ve managed to survive. Barely.

CincyGive and Cincinnati Bell

Anyways, just like I hear about secret rug dealers and clearance sales, I had started to hear rumblings and whispers of a new, better TV/internet provider in town—Cincinnati Bell Fioptics. Cincinnati Bell has been around forever (140 years!), but Fioptics was the shiny new tool in the box with it guaranteed to be the fastest internet in town. It hasn’t been available in our neighborhood until just recently. You know what made me say “yes” to Fioptics service and all of those channels in about 5 minutes flat? Knowing maternity leave was right around the corner. 🙂 Ah yes, I knew from last time that trash TV would be a perfect companion to those late nights and lonely days.

CincyGive and Cincinnati Bell

There was another reason why I wanted to support Cincinnati Bell—it holds a special place in my heart. Being a part of the advertising/marketing community here in Cincinnati, nearly all of us have worked on Bell as a client. My husband, for example, worked on their marketing and advertising for years. Tons of happy hour conversations, which nearly always include lots of good behind-the-scenes Jeremy Piven and Nick Lachey stories. 😉 It’s just a part of the fabric of this little community I’m in. And I’ve been so proud of them lately and all the work they’ve been doing to help support their home base. Cincinnati Bell, as a part of celebrating and supporting this crazy community we’re all in together, is working on a special campaign called CincyGive. CincyGive supports several local charities, like The Dragonfly Foundation and SPCA Cincinnati, via the proceeds of the HOME t-shirt. You can purchase your own shirt right here.

Mine is on my way to me! Major props go to Cincinnati Bell for being so supportive of this community we’re all in together. It’s hard to be Cincinnati Bell without Cincinnati and they’ve been working hard to keep that connection going. (Pssstt.. speaking of secret tips and tricks… if you’re a Cincinnati Bell customer, the Connect Cincinnati app gets you free WiFi all over town… awesome!)

Now excuse me while I go enjoy all of these channels. 🙂



What I Bought And What Kept In Storage For Our Third Baby

By | The Brothers May | 4 Comments

We are in major baby watch mode over here—I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow! Baby watch has been an interesting thing this time around. With the twins, baby watch took place in a hospital. It was actually the best place to be on baby watch because I was literally at the right place, at the right time (I was on bedrest). With this pregnancy though, the uncertainty of when labor will start (and if it’s anything like last time, when it starts, it starts) and where has been interesting! Will I be on a client call? In the shower? At Target? I keep telling people this, but what happens if I’m in line at a drive thru, with cars ahead of and behind me? Tunnel out? Open the door and start running? Sheer ridiculousness, I know, but these are the things that are going through my mind!

We are as ready as we will ever be for this baby. We’ve got baby stations set up all over the house, clothes are washed and put away and the house is somewhat clean and organized. Heck, we even have a new-to-us minivan now sitting in our driveway.

When it came to taking stock of all of the gear, we had A LOT to choose from thanks to hand-me-downs from the twins. I always joke that our third floor rivals the inventory of Buy Buy Baby. Even so, there were a few things I felt like I needed that I didn’t have last time. And probably more interestingly, there were lots of things that I didn’t feel the need/want to bring out again (and are awaiting new homes).

So without further ado, here are some new things I hope we’ll love and some old things we decided to leave behind (to store, to sell, to give to a friend, etc.)

Baby Gear We Loved + What We Left Behind -

What I Bought For Baby #3

These are things that I hope will solve some things we had with our twins, but never quite found the right solution. I think at a certain point with the twins we were so tired of needing new gear (whether we borrowed it, bought it, etc.) that we “made do” on a lot of things.

1 – Solly Wrap in Baltic – We absolutely loved wrapping our twins, especially in those early months, so when Baby #3 came around we knew we would wrap again. We had Boba wraps for the twins and while we liked them, they got HOT in those summer months. The fabric is really thick and sturdy. So this time around, I went in search of a super light, breathable, but still-sturdy wrap. Nearly everyone said the Solly, so fingers crossed it works for us!

2 – Mini Fridge – Don’t laugh! Aaron brought home a mini fridge for me a couple of months ago and set it up in our master bathroom. I did a lot of pumping with the boys and Aaron has “fond” memories of stumbling down the stairs at 3 AM to put the milk in the fridge. And let’s be honest—I’m excited to have more drinks at arms’ reach.

3 – Lanolips – Please tell me I’m not the only one that uses Lansinoh Nipple Cream as a lip balm. It’s amazing! However, whipping out a big tube of nipple cream in meetings and while out-and-about got me my fair share of stares. Plus sticky fingers! I found this stuff called Lanolips that solves all of that for me. Same thing inside, but in lip-friendly packaging.

4 – Books, books, books! – With the twins’, the night feedings were hard on me. They were lonely and was when I most felt the pangs of PPD. I think a lot of that had to do with me constantly staring at my phone and browsing mindlessly through social media and random celebrity gossip sites. I found that when I read a book or listened to a podcast it was a huge mood lift and I actually began to look forward to those night sessions with just me and my babes. So this time, lots of books are at the ready.

5 – Haakaa Manual Breast Pump – While it says “pump,” I hear the Haakaa is less about pumping and more about catching leakage/extra milk on one side while nursing on the other. I am so excited about this little contraption because before I always felt like so much milk got wasted at nursing sessions. Plus, it’s only one piece! Fingers crossed.

6 – Fawn Design Diaper Bag – When I went back to work after I had the twins, I was met with the constant “bag shuffle” every morning, transporting my wallet and other important things from the diaper bag to my work bag. So, I went off to look for something that did both. My parents got me this for Christmas and it’s been awesome! Both as an “adult” bag (I took it to Scotland!) and as a diaper bag.

7 – Hipp Stage One Infant Formula – I have no idea how breastfeeding will go this time around. I always made enough for 1.5 babies with the twins, so we split it between them and supplemented the rest. I am not a formula snob by any means, but I’ve heard enough about this darn Hipp formula to be intrigued. It’s expensive, but if it means happy babies I’m sold. I figured we’d buy a box (it equals about 1.5 of the tubs sold here in the US) and give it a try.

8 – Baby Bjorn Bouncer – We never were super successful at finding a good “baby holder” for the boys when they were super young (hence all the wrapping), until we were at a friends’ house and we got to try out her Bjorn bouncer. My goodness it was magical. When we saw one pop up at a local online auction for $45, we grabbed it.

9 – Simple Wishes Handsfree Pumping Bra – This is a case where sometimes I get a little too committed to DIY-ing. You see, I attempted to make a handsfree nursing bra on my own, which meant taking a $5 sports bra from Walmart and cutting out holes for the flanges. And then I was so committed to my DIY that I used those bras the entire time. And they sorta worked, but in the end, I wish I would have gotten the real deal, which would have saved me a lot of time and frustration.

10 – Extra Boppy Cover – We always needed an extra cover (one was always in the wash!) with our twins, but never pulled the trigger. I spotted this one from Madly Wish and knew it would be the perfect back-up.

What I Left in Storage (aka Gear I Can Live Without, At Least For Now)

11 – Keekaroo Diaper Changing Pad – I have mixed feelings about this Keekaroo. The positives—cushy and excellent for wiping down (no laundry required). The negatives—it’s HUGE (doesn’t fit on a standard changing table, for example) and the surface gets really cold. I remember my boys always jumping a bit when I laid them down, which bothered me. So it’s in storage for now.

12 – Infinity Scarf/Nursing Cover – I could never figure this thing out. No matter how much I yanked, pulled and twisted, I was always 1″ away from a nip slip. I like to cover up when I nurse, so I’ve learned good ‘ole muslin blankets are the name of my game.

13 – High Chair – This one sort of makes me sad! Don’t get me wrong. We loved this BLAMES chair from IKEA—both its function and how it looked in our house. We used two of them for at least a year. But in the end, we found that our boys were much happier (and much more willing to eat) when they were seated at the table with us. Plus, without the chairs, we’ve been enjoying the extra floor space. With Baby 3, we’ll probably pick up one of those clip-on seats that attach directly to the table.

14 – Mixie Bottles – Oh lord. Yes these things are cool and they spoke to my planner, type A heart. It’s a way to measure out formula and water and store it all in the bottle until it’s ready to be mixed. Yes, they worked, but they were a huge pain to clean. Plus, so expensive. In the end, we kept it simple and stuck with Dr. Brown’s.

15 – Diaper Bag – This is another tricky one! Yup, we liked it. And used it a ton! But it doesn’t meet my need to have an all-in-one handbag/diaper bag requirement. I’m guessing we’ll still use it, especially for trips, but for now it’s retired.

16 – Gathre Play Mat – I bought into the hype with the boys (noticing a trend?) but in the end, it wasn’t the right thing for us. I’m a big fan of spot treating and washing things, which was tricky with the bonded leather material. Plus, it got hot! A good ‘ole blanket or quilt works better for us.

17 – 4moms mamaRoo – I’m sort of already regretting labeling this a retire—haha! We had an older model with the boys and while they loved playing with it, Teller was so-so on the motion. The brand gifted me a newer model several months ago, so we’ll try it again, but I haven’t brought it downstairs and set it up. I’m trying to stick to my “tried and true’s” before I resort to bringing down more gear, if that makes sense.

18 – Fisher Price Bouncer – This little seat is soo cute (ours had a lamb on it) and comfy, but my kids could never get comfortable in it. I think it was the recline angle. We’re covered from a bouncer perspective anyways, so this is another thing that will stay behind.

What about you? What’s the gear that you wish you had, or stuff you loved so much you wanted more of? Would love to hear your thoughts. I guess what this list doesn’t cover is the gear I had with the twins that I really loved and plan to use again. There’s tons! I’m itching to get back to home decor posts, so maybe another day. 😉

Pssst… Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!




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