Master Bathroom Before/After

I imagine back in it's day, this Japanese spa vibe was extremely hip and luxurious.  But the carpeted floors and faux Japanese screens (with fluorescent lights behind them, to make it appear like a window) had to go!


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If you were following along on Instagram, we weighed layout options for a long time, trying to find the best fit for everything we wanted!  Once we settled on a layout, Adam convinced me it was worth it to take out the wall/door in between the vanity and the shower/tub area.  I'm so glad we did!  It makes the whole space feel connected and more open.  These photos below are taken from where the tub is, looking into the vanity area.



We kept it simple and classic, with black marble floors, marble shower tile and black and brass accents throughout.  We switched where the tub and shower were from the previous owners and moved the toilet to the far left corner.


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Now as much as we love the look of this room, this is where we have the biggest regrets.  We wish we would've done more to this room.  This ended up being one of the last rooms to get done, but we should've made it the first in terms of selecting things and planning it out. In fact, we messed up big time on the shower...so much so that we will be slightly redoing it in the next month or two.  Our problem is that in a normal house, you can do an open glass shower like we did because your ceiling is usually a foot or two above the glass, keeping the heat in.  However what I didn't account for was the fact that we have 20 ft. ceilings in there and so all the warm air is immediately sucked up, leaving you pretty cold.  So we will be adding a second shower head (which I didn't do initially because I don't love the look when they aren't on opposite walls) and adding hand held sprayers and possibly a few body sprayers.  We will only have to tear out a channel of tile to add the plumbing and then repair that, so it won't be TOO costly or time-consuming, but still a bummer for sure!

Despite that, we really do love this room!  It's so much bigger than our last bathroom and the tub is a real dream come true.  I especially loved using my tub while I was pregnant.  It gets a 10 in terms of comfort level!



Tile: Floor & Decor

Tub: Whitewater London Tub

Art Print: Hav House

Shower Head: Delta Trinsic in Champagne Bronze via Amazon

Bath Faucet: Homary

Vanity Light: YLighting

Vanity Faucets: Derengge via Amazon

Rug: eBay

**This post contains a handful of Amazon affiliate links of things I bought and like**



Kitchen/Living Room Before & After

Our house remodel has been completed for the last few months so now I've been working on getting this place put back together.  This is definitely all still a work in progress so I have a hard time really calling these the "after" photos, but I thought I would share where we are right now.

The main thing we have left to do is to put in a backsplash in the kitchen.  I honestly got a little burnt out with decisions and was also feeling like I really needed to see the space completed before making a choice on tile.  Otherwise, all the major stuff is complete!  Now I just need to find some more appropriately sized items for the tall shelves (HA) in the living area and to make sure the furniture arrangement is working for us.


The kitchen had a pretty good general layout to begin with and was a great size.  We did gut the whole thing and redid the floors.  I wanted to keep the original floors but they had split the kitchen and living area in half, with wood in the kitchen and carpet in the living room.  Unfortunately, there was no wood underneath the carpet and to make the existing wood match with new was actually going to cost more than just putting all new wood down.  They also had a short, fat island and had left space for a table, but with the dining room just a few steps away, we decided a long island (12 ft) would make the best use of the space and would work well for our family.  The beams are the same except we had the brackets sprayed black (thanks to our realtor @thehomescoop for that suggestion) and I think it helps the whole beam stand out a little more.  I mentioned on Instagram that the railing above the kitchen is a kids play loft that the original owners had put in.  There's a ladder in the hallway to access it. My kids love it!

I found a lot of things on Amazon and eBay, which definitely saved some money.  There were a few faucets I looked at on other sites that were going to cost as much as my fridge! I linked up what I could below.


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Kitchen Cabinets: Custom by Rimrock Furniture

Hardware: Hamilton-Bowes (out of stock but keep checking...the price is great)

Sink: Primart Stainless Steel 

Faucet: Ollypulse

Drinking Faucet: Huntington Brass

Bar Stools: Wishbone Stools

Island Countertop: Honed Black Granite

Perimeter Countertop: Denali Quartz (pure white)

Fridge/Freezer/Dishwasher/Microwave: Frigidaire

Range: 48" Thor

Rug: Vintage via eBay

Paint: Ultra Pure White

Floors: Red Oak with only a water based sealant (light with small hints of red/pink)



I'm so glad this little sitting is right off the kitchen.  We end up hanging out here pretty frequently, even though it's not our main hang out space.  It's great for while I'm cooking or just sitting and chatting.

This area didn't need too much...we ran the hardwood through this area so it flowed a little better.  We painted the built-ins and brick, retiled the hearth and put new doors and hardware on the lower cabinets.  I love all the original brass sconces throughout the house!

The main pieces of furniture were all thrifted from our local Craigslist type site and I reused a lot of items from our last house!  I did try and put links to some of the items at the end.


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Foothill Before After-01

Love Seat/Leather Chair/Club Chairs: Vintage

Coffee Table: West Elm via Craigslist

Rug: RugsUSA

Black + White Pillow/Hex Nesting Tables: Elizabeth Hales Design

Blue Pillow: Loom Goods


**This post contains a handful of Amazon affiliate links of things I bought and like**



Our 70s Dream House

I have a lot of requests for more house stuff so I thought I could start posting a little about it! I'm giving a little backstory on how we got to this house, so if real estate/house hunting is uninteresting, scroll down to all the before photos!

We LOVED our last house...it still holds a special place in our hearts. There wasn't a day I didn't walk up the stairs in that house and think how incredibly lucky we were to live there. It was a great house but after 4 years we knew it wasn't our forever home.  (Side note: our dear friends bought it so we still get to see it.  And we bought it from a friend so I love that the friend tradition continues!)

We had a few things we were looking for in a long term home. We definitely wanted a garage! Our last two houses were both over 100 years old so neither had a garage. After 8 years without one, we thought it was time to stop scraping ice off of our cars every morning! We also really wanted a master bedroom/bathroom. In our last house, the kids' bathroom and 2 of the bedrooms were actually larger than the "master". We were hoping to upgrade to a king bed. And the main thing we really wanted was to get off of a busy street. Our last 2 homes were actually right across the street from each other, so they were on the same busy road. While our backyard made up for the busy street, we wanted to feel comfortable sending the kids out to ride bikes and visit friends.

Other considerations were a good sized backyard, since we were coming from a house with a larger yard, 4-5 bedrooms, room to entertain and something that spoke to us and had character like our last homes.

We started looking in February of 2016. There was a cool house with an indoor pool that we considered briefly and that jumpstarted the search more seriously. If you've been through the process you know it can be long and difficult...and this definitely was for us. I spent every day obsessively looking at the MLS listings and texting with our realtor, Aaron Oldham (@thehomescoop). I have to plug Aaron, not just because he is our good friend, because he really goes above and beyond for every client! He made the whole process so great and was instrumental in getting us our house. He also has an incredible eye for design/remodeling and has great ideas.

Living room from the first house we put an offer on

Living room from the first house we put an offer on

In August, I decided to look at a for sale by owner house that had been on the market for awhile. It had a good sized backyard and had some character. After taking Adam through it, we saw it's potential and made an offer. Unfortunately after stringing us along, we found out they had an offer put in weeks before ours, from someone who was trying to move by their mother. Can I plug having an agent? That whole experience was terribly annoying, all because they were not agents and definitely did NOT know what they were doing.

Vaulted living room from the second house

Vaulted living room from the second house we put an offer on

I spent the next 2 months thinking we would NEVER find anything else and that we had missed THE ONE. Ha, looking back I can't even imagine being in that house. In October, another one finally popped up that we were interested in. It had these amazing decks with an incredible view and a great living/entertaining space. We made an offer against several other offers and it was accepted! It was going to take some finagling to get it to work though. A side porch was going to need to be converted into a mudroom and office and then a storage room was going to be storage/guest room/exercise room. And then we got a bid for the yard...it was sloped down the mountainside. To level it out and make it useable, it was going to be at least 100k. Yikes!! And then the biggest blow came...it appraised for 100k LESS than our offer and their list price. We were also able to find out that this same thing had happened a few months prior and the deal had fallen through. The sellers were unwilling to budge and wanted us to still pay what we had originally offered.

In the midst of this ordeal, a house popped up on the market.  I looked at it on the MLS for a week, over and over again.  It was more than we were initially planning on spending and larger than we were looking to buy, but I kept going back to the photos.  It looked incredible!  So we went to look at it "for fun". Adam says this was just like when I wanted to go look at puppies "for fun" and we came home with a puppy.  Ha!  Of course, we both fell in love with the house.  Again, there were multiple offers and Aaron (@thehomescoop) was instrumental in getting us the house without overspending.  Our offer was accepted and the appraisal came back above our offer price!  Hallelujah!  It had everything we were looking for and more.  The yard is large and feels incredibly private, it's on a quiet street, has plenty of bedrooms and entertaining space and has so much character!

The original owners had built the house and lived there for 30+ years and then both passed away.  The house feels so special to us.  We are only the second family to have lived in it!  It has amazing bones and was well taken care of...it just needed a little updating!  It is definitely our 70s dream house and we keep pinching ourselves that it's ours.  I can't wait to share all the before/afters, hopefully in the next few weeks!



Formal Living Room/My Office




Kitchen looking into the family room.


Kitchen. Above the kitchen is a play loft



Master Bedroom and the coolest fireplace


"Japanese Spa" Master bath


Adam's Office


Laundry Room


Family Room



Mini House Tour

As my saga always goes, I really wanted to get a house tour done before we left for the summer. But that never usually happens because things tend to get crazy the month before we leave. I did manage to sneak in a few photos the day before we left. I didn't get to Collier's room because he happened to be napping during the few minutes I had to run around and grab these. I plan on doing a full tour next fall, when I'm not quite as rushed and can really work on styling and taking nicer photos. But I thought I'd at least put a little sneak peek of the house as it is now!   Living Room-3 Blog

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One of the things I was so excited about in our new house was the entryway. Our last house walked right into our living room so having this space feels extra exciting. I fell in love with the Blu Dot Strut Console Table in this awesome watermelon. However, the price jumped up an extra $100 right before I finally convinced myself to splurge. And well, then I really couldn't justify the splurge.

I really liked the metal legs so I searched for something similar. I found this one at JCPenney for under $100 so I snatched it up.

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Adam and I sprayed the legs hot pink because I liked the way it tied in with my persian rug (which I bought from eSale rugs). The huge mirror was from an antique store in Arizona, the lamp was $2 from a local campus sale, red box and candle from Target, plant from Ikea and gold basket from a St. Louis thrift store.

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This area is still unfinished...I want 2 chairs to on either side of the console to help balance out how large the mirror is. The Blu Dot console was probably the better size, but I still don't think it would have been worth the cost. I might also add some smaller pieces of art on the wall as well.


Christmas Mantel

You. Guys. I entered Emily Henderson's Christmas mantel styling contest on a whim last week. And guess what? She selected mine as one of the winners! I feel a little bit starstruck. She happens to be my favorite designer and the one I find my style closest to so I squealed when I saw the winners last night! You can check out the other winners here!
I didn't buy many new Christmas decorations this year just because we were in the middle of moving right before Christmas. I found a few things from Land of Nod...they had some great Christmas decor this year (all on sale now)!  I also grabbed some Dollar Store Christmas houses that I spray painted gold and white. Everything else I found from my Christmas collection from years past!



I toyed with this for a little arrangement for a little bit, but ultimately I thought it was a little too cluttered.


Here are the little houses I painted.  I tried out 2 different methods with the white houses.  One where I covered the whole thing and the other where I left some color showing through.


We installed 2 pendant lights in the living room (I actually discovered them through Emily's Pinterest board) and we love them!  You can see a sneak peek of them below.


Bedroom Before/After

Before we left, we finished up about 90% of our bedroom! We are still waiting on our rug and I need to restyle the dressers a bit, but I couldn't leave for the summer without sharing it.
Here is the before (you can see more before pictures here):



Here's the scoop on what we did.  We sold our big ol' sleigh bed and opted to make an upholstered headboard.  We already had the wood from a previous project and I found the fabric for about $5 a yard at Home Fabrics.  I bought the foam/batting and the nailhead trim at Joanns.  I think the whole project cost about $60 and was super easy!



We changed the layout of the room so that the bed is centered in the room.  We added legs to the nightstand so that it's the same height as the dresser.  The legs were purchased from Lowe's and then stained to match. I debated for awhile on whether to add them or not, but I felt like it balanced out the room. We really only have the one wall, so our dresser had to double as a nightstand and a dresser.  I posted inspiration pictures here for using a dresser as a nightstand. To create even more balance, we purchased two matching lamps from Home Goods for $30 each.



We bought floor length curtains at Ikea.  Our previous curtains were too short but were hidden by the bed so it didn't matter.  When we pulled the bed away from the wall, the curtains looked so silly sitting a foot away from the floor.  We also added artwork.  We purchased two prints from Nancy Ramirez.  I used frames I bought last summer and then ordered custom mats and glass from Michaels.  I absolutely love them!  We also hung the A + B from our Summer Rental Redesign project in Chicago two summers ago.  I also hung two small needlepoints I found at the thrift store.




We painted the bench that was once in the living room and added it to the foot of the bed.  No one loves it more than Rilo...she likes to stand on it and look at herself in the full length mirror several times a day.



We kept the same paint color and main pieces like the dressers and bedding. Even though there weren't too many big changes, I think that the new layout and headboard plus the other smaller changes make a big impact. I can't wait to see it with an appropriate sized rug...I think it will totally complete the space!



Cost Breakdown:
Headboard $60
Lamps $60
Artwork (with framing/mats) $120
Needlepoint Art $2
Curtains $40
Nightstand Legs $20
8x10 Rug (not pictured...yet) $300
Total Cost: $602
We also sold our bed for $250, so we really only spent $352. Not too shabby I think!


Painted Front Door

Well I finally did it...I painted the front door! The paint swatches are gone and in their place, is a very bright teal door. And after a few hours and 2 coats of paint...I just don't know that I love it. Boo!  I wanted it to be so much deeper and richer. The color in the paint bucket was so beautiful but on the door it just seems SO bright. But oh well...at least it's done. Maybe in the fall I'll contemplate painting it again!

Here is a before shot:



And an in between shot:



And the afters:



On the Docket

It seems like the weather all over has been gorgeous! We loved getting outside every day this weekend. I always feel so much more happy and productive with the sun shining and there is a hint of warm weather. I made a big to-do list for this week and I'm excited to get to work.

In the spirit of keeping things real, here are two "oops" projects going on around here. Back in November when it was still surprisingly nice out, I started to paint some test samples on our door. I decided against all the samples I chose, but by the time I decided on another color, it was freezing. To let the door properly dry, we need to leave it open all day and I certainly did not want to do that during the winter. So our poor door has had these terrible paint samples for the last several months. Oops!




Here's my other "oops". I purchased this shower curtain off of Amazon. On Amazon it says it's machine washable. So late one night I threw it in the washing machine because it seriously needed a good wash. Well when I pulled it out, it shrunk almost a foot on all sides. I checked the tag and turns out it's dry clean only. Oops! So now I'm on the hunt for a new shower curtain!