The Center House bio picture
  • Welcome!

    My Husband (Chris) and I own our very first house together in Tualatin, Oregon.

    This is where I will (eventually) have all you would want to know about me when I get a moment to decide what to write. For now, this will have to be my reminder :-)

    In the meantime, I hope a little bit of my personality comes out with each blog I post and that you feel at home in our "Center House" :-)

    Have a happy day!

We Own a Condo.

So after much considering on what to do for my February project, it ended up choosing itself.

Chris and I own a condo in Wilsonville and our renters just moved out. They were awesome renters but I have to wonder…did they EVER clean? Anything????

The carpet is just old and needs to be replaced but the whole condo just looked SO grimy, dingy, dirty. More than lived in. SO, February project is now updating our condo!

Here are some Before pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Do you see the shadow on the wall? Yeah…that’s not a shadow. I took a wet warm rag and just wiped straight down the walls. It’s dust. :::Kirsten scrunches nose::::

Doesn’t it look like I’m painting the walls instead of wiping them? crazy! We had to wipe down the entire house and nearly every wall was like this. Made me want to go home and wash down OUR walls!

This is the Kitchen floor (left side of pic) and Dining Room floor (right side). This black grime built up in between the tiles and the only thing that would work to clean it (the left side is done so far) is this grout & tile cleaner/resealer – I sprayed it on the floor, let it sit, then took one of those blue scrubby brushes scratchy side down and scrubbed it with my feet. I felt like I was dancing ballet or tap :-) A pain and a LOT of work but I actually found it kind of fun :-) Especially when you have some dance music going!

Just so you can see the Living Room and how terrible the carpet is! Say bye-bye nasty carpet :-) Fortunately Chris and I won’t be installing the new carpet ourselves! :::phew!:::

Me getting ready to paint some trim! At this point I have already finished the walls….Chris had asked them to touch up the paint where needed and I think that because the walls weren’t cleaned, you can see every brush stroke of where they touched up on the walls. They used the correct paint but so strange how that happened….? So with the same paint colors and clean walls, I went back and painted over again. Definitely looking better already!

Hello friends! It’s me happily painting away! I just figure this is practice for when I paint our own bedroom :-)

Say hello to my husband Chris! I haven’t yet introduced him yet so consider this an official introduction :-) He doesn’t like painting nearly as much as I do (ok, not at all) so he’s happy to be cleaning up ready to go back home.


I will try and post “after” photos for you all to see how much better it will look when we are done!


February 21, 2012 - 7:00 am

Beth Lacey-Snow - Wow, Kirsten….. It looks better in the before pictures with you washing the walls! Are you two for hire? I want to do my bedroom. I know, we can swap rooms. I do yours, you do mine. Yea, that’s it!! Then it won’t be a burden or bothersome chore, lol. What day do you have free? Let me know. Loves to you!!



Chris and I just got back from a beautiful vacation in Hawaii – hence the long silence from me (so sorry) but I have lots of updates and blogs to write now that we are back!

ahh We love Hawaii :-) Chris’ dad lives in Hilo on the Big Island so it was nice to be able to visit him and his significant other Trina. We also went to the Kona side of the island on our own which is where this photo was taken :-)

We were in Honolulu during the Chinese New Year and got to see the Choy Cheng, Traditional Lion Dance Blessings down the streets of Chinatown. SUPER cool but also really, really loud!

LOVE macadamia nuts! One of my favorite places to visit is the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory in Hilo – if you ever get a chance definitely stop by! Also, go to the zoo in Hilo. We went for the first time and found out that it’s FREE! Not a huge zoo, mostly birds and monkeys, but they do have a white tiger there!

At the top of Mauna Kea – Did you know they have snow in Hawaii? Well, they do :-) Absolutely beautiful! We took our dinner up to the top and had a sunset dinner. It was freezing, but a great experience :-)

Mmm…the other “must” is Big Island Candies in Hilo – they make the best (I mean THE best!) shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate that you will ever eat. Everything they make is phenomenal and worth it :-)

Us having dinner with one of Chris’ sisters (Malia) and her husband (Andrew) in Waikiki. All in all a great vacation! Can’t wait for the next one :-)

So many things to do….

Can you believe it?

It’s nearly February and I still don’t know what house project I want to tackle next. I’ve got painting the master bedroom down for March although I supposed I could bump that up…

Then there’s always the bathroom which is just plain old boring…

but my wonderful husband would prefer that I only paint 1 room per year and that is definitely limiting. But also pushes my creativity too. I’m up for the challenge – at least until I can convince him otherwise :-)

If I had a laundry room (which I don’t I have a garage) this is a great idea from DesingBuildLove’s Blog:

What do you think? If you were going to organize any room in your house, which one would it be?

If you had a choice do you think I should start with the master bedroom, bathroom, or our spare room?


January 26, 2012 - 9:36 pm

carrie - I would go for the Master bedroom! It seems that is always my last place to focus on for decorating or cleaning? Plus, it could help with creating Little Chongs…if you want that. ;-)

January 26, 2012 - 9:44 pm

Kirsten - Thanks Carrie! It’s been on my list…for years! And we are still a couple years away from little Chong’s but they will be in our future :-)

Closet Makeover

This is my closet:

Isn’t it terrible?

This is what I want it to look like:

(click the photo to check out 36th Avenue’s awesome blog and DIY projects!
Pure inspiration :-)

Okay so I know the photo is of a mud closet and not a clothes closet, but this is the vibe I am going for. Clean. Simple. Maintainable.

SO I did what any planner would do: RESEARCH.

Here are a few tips I learned that helped me in my closet makeover:

  1. Everything needs to have a “place”
  2. Use closed bins to store clothes and other items. That way even if they aren’t perfectly folded, they are tucked away unseen.
  3. Avoid putting things on the floor. This includes shoes!
  4. Clear plastic bins are a great way to store and stack shoes neatly and still be able to see them well.
  5. On the upper shelf, avoid stacking more than 2 things high.
  6. If you haven’t worn something for one season, toss it. Don’t hold on to it thinking you’ll wear it next year, because it won’t happen.

So, with these 6 things in mind, my closet went from this:


To this!

I had a gift card to Container store where I got these:

I ordered this dress bag on Amazon Prime, to save a few $
Also, I limited myself to 20 shirt hangers and 10 pants/skirt hangers.

The 6 cube white organizer is from Target
The bins I got for buy 1 get 1 free at Fred Meyer to store my folded clothes
and the black & white bag I splurged at Container store
with the little extra $ on my GC,
which i use to store all my scarfs, gloves, small purses, and other loose accessories

My original plan was to reuse my cute black and white flower bins I got from ikea a few years ago, but when I went to get 3 more, they no longer carry them. So instead I moved them to our front closet to store gloves, hats, scarfs, etc. That closet isn’t finished yet either but the bins helped quite a bit already!

The one thing I didn’t have time to do that I really really wanted to do was to paint! I also need to work on the top shelf a little more. But that will just have to wait for another day and another blog post.

Overall I would say that my January project is complete! :-)


January 31, 2012 - 9:32 pm

jeanette - I LOVE IT!!! It looks amazing! Kelly and I were walking around IKEA and thinking how much we love to organize and decorate… but how expensive it is. I love how everything turned out with your 6 simple rules. :)

I am working on getting my site up for “image consulting” to help with the finding the outfit pieces that work and can be reused so we can simplify our closets as far as our outfitting. :) One of the things I have been sharing with my clients is when you are getting rid of your clothes get them to places like divine threads, transitional youth, or the salvation army. :) Get your clothes to people that may not have choices on selection. :)

Anyway… i love your blog and the fantastic work you are doing sweet girl!! :) Looking forward to seeing what else you do. :) Love ya chica!!!

January 31, 2012 - 11:28 pm

Christine Cho - Heey Kirsten! That closet looks amazing. I am embarrassed of mine right now.. lets say it’s got a pile of clothes in it.. impressed with your follow through!! :)

February 3, 2012 - 1:33 am

Kirsten - Hi Jeanette! I checked out your site and it looks awesome! Yes that is a good point to make about donations, I have actually donated all of my clothes to Divine Threads so far (well, the good ones :-) – it’s a great opportunity to give to organizations who help others in need!

February 3, 2012 - 1:34 am

Kirsten - Thanks Christine! It’s a work in progress but getting more done :-)