Kitchen update: We have no more wall, no more holes in the floor, and the drywall is up! We deviated from our project plans just a tad and asked the electrician to add recessed lighting instead of figuring out which fixture to put up. Dedicated lines have been run to the backroom, and we have tons of new outlets! Might sound a little crazy since it’s a dusty mess, but I was almost sad to see the cabinets be installed. The openness is so nice, especially since it felt so cramped for the year we lived here, but big changes are about to start happening every day and all the decisions that I’ve lost sleep over are coming alive!
The countertops, picking out paint colors, choosing a sink and the faucet are all on the horizon and I am happier than a kid on Christmas morning! I’m notorious for making quick decisions– and learned that quick decisions aren’t always the right decision, so I’m feeling reassured that this design process has taken some time. All these decisions are expensive choices to get wrong, so getting them right is important.
Here’s a few more of the choices I’ve made…
Color scheme: As you’ve learned from this post, the color scheme is my favorite of all time… black, white, and gray. Simple and clean.
Appliances: We went primarily with GE Cafe appliances. I’m most excited about counter-depth fridge that is super squared off (read not rounded) and a flat front. Since you’ll see the fridge in the distance as you enter our front door, I didn’t want any water or ice makers butting out. (The GE Cafe fridge still has a filtered water dispenser inside the door which is amazing!) I’m also giddy to use our slide in range. We went with a dual-fuel, six burner range with two ovens. …Yes you read that right, two ovens! With our small footprint, double wall ovens wasn’t an option at all but the GE Cafe range gave us the ability to have two ovens to make future Thanksgiving dinners a little less stressful!
Hardware: All of our appliances are stainless steel including our sink and faucet. I spent many a night looking at different knobs and pulls and decided confidentially to go all black everythannnng. It’s my favorite color and I love the edginess it adds.
Shelving and Decor: During the design phase we went back and forth on open shelving and ultimately I decided to go with shelving in the backroom in addition to adding a piece of my artwork to add dimension. (I’m currently working on a DIY project to frame a canvas – stand by!) The shelf is black, and three tiered and I’m planning to “decorate” with some of my cooking books, glassware, and wood accents.
Paint: Right now most of our house is painted Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. It’s a good neutral, and I’m sure as heck glad that the sellers painted it that shade instead of some crazy colors we saw on our house hunt, but since our kitchen and dining room are in the middle of the house, I’m leaning more toward painting a shade of white. Not stark, but a softer calm shade to brighten the space up.
There’s all the updates I can think of for today but follow along my Instagram for more live happenings! Wish me luck and patience!
Another house project checked off the ol’ never ending to do list! Completing projects are always satisfying but this DIY project turned out exactly how I imagined. The before and after of our backyard is night and day so I’m super excited to share!
First let’s start with a little before action (look below). How sad!!! Behind our house there’s an alley and vacant brick building. A lot of our neighbors park their cars behind their house so sitting out on the back patio area was never really that relaxing. We watched cars and people go by, and felt like everyone was looking in on us. It wasn’t private, it wasn’t relaxing, and if/when I was sitting out eating dinner at our little bistro set, I was just staring at a line of trash and recycling bins. Not really my first preference of scenery!
In December I started looking at the cost of replacing our fence. Given that we want to start planning our kitchen remodel soon, the $$$$ estimates coming in weren’t really feasible. I started thinking. And googling. And pinteresting. I knew that I could figure out a way to make this chain link fence not so chain link fence-y. I considered purchasing more of the bamboo cover that the right side fence is covered with, but considering I don’t love the look, I opted not to. After running by a few other options with J, we decided to give covering our chain link fence with a wood plank facade a go. So spoiler alert, the chain link fence is still there, you just can’t see it!
So our backyard went from this:
Wondering how we did it? Don’t worry, I’m about to share!
6 – 1″x3″x6′ boards
2 – 1″x10″x8′ boards
8 – 1″x8″x8′ boards
12 – 1″x6″x8′ boards
1 gallon – BEHR DECKplus Waterproofing stain (Transparent Cedar)
Exterior Wood Screws
12 – 1-1/4″ Electrical Metallic Tube 2-hole Straps
*Disclosure: I would recommend having two people assist in the actual putting together.
Since it’s two swinging doors, and ideally we wanted to still be able to open the doors if needed, we measured each “door” and figured out we needed two sets of 72″ H x 81″ W for each. (We had Home Depot cut the planks to the length that we needed to save a step at home plus it’s free.)
We picked out the stain that we liked, and stained. And stained. And stained for a total of 3 coats on each side. We realllly didn’t want water to warp the planks so we made sure we used up the gallon of stain and then purchased this Thompson Waterproofing spray to seal the deal.
Once all the planks were stained we laid them out and picked the sequence. We wanted to make sure we put the best planks with the coolest wood grains at the top, and ones with drips or nicks at the bottom since they’d be covered by the loveseat or other furniture in the future.
I painted the side posts of the fence an aged bronze/black to go one step further in removing that chain link feel.
We then used the six 1″x3″x6′ boards to create the “frame” on the fence. We braced one on each side, and one positioned in the middle with the brackets at the top and bottom to secure to the fence and prevent the planks from sliding.
Then plank by plank, position, level and screw away! (We used a screwdriver wedged between the planks to create a consistent gap between wood planks.) After we had all the planks up, we sat back and enjoyed the transformation for about 5 minutes before I wanted to get started on gardening 🙂
We went back and forth on whether to position the wood horizontal or vertical, and I’m so happy that we landed on horizontal. It gives it a little bit more of a modern feel, and goes with our patio furniture. I’m debating what we should do with the bamboo covering on the right end, and divider fence on the left… maybe paint them black? Or cover with the faux boxwood screen squares?
If you’re renting, this option doesn’t ruin the existing fence so it’s an awesome option for renters too! If you don’t want to put in the effort there are actually a ton of privacy screen ideas to consider if you want something less permanent or even more affordable than covering your chain link fence! I ordered this faux boxwood screen squares and was pleasantly surprised at how great it looked when I covered the single door next to the wood fence.
The total cost of the fence ran us about $450 for the wood, stain, screws, and brackets which is considerably more affordable than having a company put in a new fence.
Here are some additional options:
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*Our firepit & rug are on MAJOR SALE!! Don’t miss out on them!!
Going into staged homes can either be a blessing or a curse. Blessing because you can see what size furniture works (or doesn’t work) and curse because then that set up is stuck in your mind. I kept picturing the staged set up- which I thought worked really well- but I wanted to nail down pieces that were a good mix of feminine and masculine, traditional yet modern, and make a bit more of a punch since it was the first room you see as you walk into our home and sets the stage.
The brick wall was like an obstacle that I had to get past. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I was having the hardest time figuring out what type and shade sofa that I wanted that would look good against the brick. J & I both liked the idea of a leather couch with a fun profile since this space is our more formal, conversational room (read no TV) but finding the leather sofa was difficult. I didn’t consider black leather until we came across this West Elm Modern Chesterfield sofa and we immediately knew the buttery soft, tufted leather in Licorice was exactly the punch that we were looking for! To brighten up the room, I opted for a pair of mid-century modern wingback chairs in a neutral twill, a black and gray overdyed rug, and brass accents throughout the room.
I had everything in place for a couple weeks, minus a coffee table. I debated a few different coffee tables but ultimately decided on this CB2 one. A simple marble slab. At our old place our coffee table was always covered in things, trays, books, mail, etc. so I’m trying to keep the accessories to a minimum and let the white marble show off itself!
Staged Living Room while on the market:
My Living Room Design:
Living Room Reveal:
I was overjoyed when I walked in during our house search to see so much of the original character maintained. The French doors and crystal door knobs make me smile every day!
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Going from a 700 sq ft apartment to a 2100 sq ft row home was a big difference. When we were moving in and transferring boxes from room to room, I literally could not find J anywhere in the house. I called down, no answer. I walked downstairs, no J in sight. We laughed that we passed each other without even noticing! Much different than what we were used to with our one bedroom, one living space apartment! But with the increase of space means more rooms to furnish, which can get a little bit overwhelming, and expensive!
I decided to focus on the furnishing the living room, dining room, back sun room on the main floor and our Master and Guest Bedroom upstairs. The basement, additional bedroom rooms (which is acting as my closet), and office are on the backburner for now.
All the interior doors in our house are painted black- which I love!!- and the majority of the walls are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray (SW 7029). We still loved our bedroom furniture so we brought that with to use, and moved in a floor length mirror that we previously had in our apartment hallway. We changed up the bedding, replaced the ceiling fan, bought two new matching nightstands, a rug that would still showcase the original hardwoods, and added some pictures from our Italian honeymoon above our headboard to give our Master a fresh new feel. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it here and there, re-styling the nightstands, etc. but I am super happy with the outcome! See the progress below!
Staged Master while on the market:
My Master Bedroom Design:
The finished Master Bedroom:
I bought three of these wall hooks/knobs from CB2. I have two next to my dresser to hang purses that are in my current rotation, and J has one next to his closet to hang up any shirts, belts, etc. It’s a great way to keep things off the floor, avoiding things from piling up! (These are the small size)
We’re attempting to keep things simple and not over crowd our night stands and dresser tops. A leather catchall is a great way to keep collar stays, pocket squares, and loose change tidy! I’ve also been much better at my night skincare routine now that I’ve been keeping my creams and oils on my night stand. I’ve been loving this Vitamin E oil. Already seeing a difference in my skin!
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