living room update

We’re done painting the living room and we’ve moved on to the sunroom (just beyond the doorway in the pic below.)

Sean started by removing the old base to replace it with the taller base we put in the living room.

Here’s the view from the sunroom back into the living room.

For some reason, the previous owners of this house had drywalled over one of the windows in this room. I’m guessing they used it as a tv room?

This room used to hold all of our bookcases and desk, but it wasn’t really functional. The plan now is to turn it into a playroom/office.

So much brighter and lighter! The new taller base looks better too.

Unfortunately my floors aren’t looking too hot right now.

I know it’s only temporary, but the dust is making me a little crabby. I feel like I’m constantly cleaning but the house is still a disaster! Another thing that’s bugging me is the windows. The more gorgeous trim we install, the worse our ugly old vinyl windows look, so I’m hoping we can at least get a few new windows installed this fall. The long term plan is to replace all the windows in the house, starting with the first floor. In the meanwhile, I’m on the hunt for a few file cabinets for this room and some kind of toy storage unit (maybe this one from Ikea?) Hope y’all had a nice weekend!


Lightening up.

Today I’m trying to pick new paint for the living room and sharing a sneak peak of the new trim (loving it!) There was no crown molding and we replaced the very basic door trim with casing and small crown.


It’s obviously hard to judge such subtle differences in color on your computer, but do you guys have any thoughts? I’m leaning towards Canyon Cloud, but I could be convinced that Ivory Mist was the way to go. Canyon Cloud is less fleshy than the Linen White and it’s definitely lighter than our existing paint color that you can see on the right side of the first pic. I basically want an ivory or cream color to provide a little contrast for our bright white glossy trim while keeping the room as light as possible.

I still haven’t settled on a paint-plan for the porch either. I hate painting. I know, I know, DIY-ers and home renovators are supposed to love painting and I do love its transformative power, I just hate actually painting. Any suggestions for fabulous white paint?

Hope you all are well,


The Kitchen.

It’s done*.

I love it.

You can see some before pics here.

There really isn’t anything I would change about it. I love our cabinetry (Martha Stewart ‘Dunemere’ in Picket Fence) We saved ourselves a lot of headache and expense by not changing our layout at all. We had already purchased our appliances when we moved into the house, but did buy a new refrigerator, microwave (in the pantry), garbage disposer, and range hood. I’d guess, all together, this kitchen probably cost us about $13k (gulp). That’s for new cabinets, hardware, quartz countertops, sink, faucets, backsplash, light fixtures, the appliances I just mentioned, and some of the installation labor. The biggest functional improvement to the kitchen is the addition of the range hood and garbage disposer. We do a lot of high heat cooking and having a hood that vents to the outside of the house is a godsend, not to mention fewer episodes of setting off the fire alarm. Doing dishes is always a chore, but having a disposer eliminates the always gross job of cleaning out the sink trap. The next functionality award winner is the island. Our stainless Ikea table was great, but low open storage with a toddler was a nightmare! Now there is a (childproofed) place for everything. We also put the island on casters in case we ever need to move a big piece of furniture upstairs. The mini-subway tile backsplash is soooooo much nicer than our grease spattered walls. Choosing cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling makes the room feel taller and gives us great additional storage. The cabinet hardware (Duluth from Restoration Hardware) is just the icing on the cake. Seriously. I love everything about this kitchen. It’s totally worth every penny and such a pleasure to cook in.

What do you guys think? You like? I’d love to hear from you.

* Looking at these pics made me realize that the island would look great if it had bead-board panel instead of flat. I bought some today. We also still have to add quarter round to the base shoe on the cabinets. Sigh.

** Our fridge is incredibly out of level. It’s so out of level that we can’t just use the leveling feet to correct it; we have to deal with the floor itself. Not sure when that will happen.

Partial source list here.

On (the) Vanity

So, do you remember that awesome chair that was across from Ikea Aspelund Wardrobe in our bedroom?

You know, this one?

I love that chair y’all. I got it for $30 dollars at a Salvation Army store a few years ago. That wildly embossed Suzani fabric just called out to me. I’m sure in its hey day, that custom upholstered chair cost it’s owner a pretty penny and for a while, it worked in the bedroom. Lately it’s just become a place to throw laundry and since I ditched a dresser in favor of a wardrobe I’ve had no place to put all my little tchotchkes. I’ve had my eye out for a while now, hoping I would miraculously stumble upon a table exactly the right size for my little nook, but no luck. This week, whilst cruising my local Target I stumbled upon a vanity on clearance for $79 bucks, and I couldn’t pass it up!

oh, hi little table. You’re so cute. and empty.

The first order of business was to replace the super basic knobs with some fun ones from Anthropologie. Done.

Then I took all the drawers out of my jewelry box to create drawer organization for the table. I also added my little make-up bag. I don’t usually wear makeup, but for those occasions when I do, it will be so nice to have a proper mirror rather than leaning over the edge of my bathroom sink.

Next, I added some little things to the top, like a couple of bowls  (made by a local potter) to hold my frequently worn jewelry, my super rad ceramic pig iphone speaker set from West Elm, a little glass tray for perfumes, and one of my very most favorite pics of me and Pk.

It’s so nice to have a little spot for all my doodads! It feels a little glamorous to have a proper dressing table too.

Now all I need is a proper chair. Any suggestions? I like the airiness of this one, but I feel a little guilty buying  a knock-off of the real thing. I’m not opposed to color, especially since both the wardrobe and the vanity are white, but it’s a small space, so the scale has to be right.

Hopefully I can tackle some of our kitchen punch list this weekend, but since Pk is out of town it might not happen. Projects involving paint and toddlers don’t mix. Does that ever happen to you guys? You get 90% of the way finished with a major project, but the last 10% takes the longest to accomplish?

Maybe I’ll hit up some of my favorite thrift stores in search of a little boudoir chair instead. The world is my oyster.

Hope you all are well,


the countertops are here!

and I love them.

We went with Silestone Marengo. It’s kind of a charcoal grey. Definitely not black, but dark.

We chose quartz over other materials because it requires no maintenance except cleaning and since there is a lot of wine and messy cooking in this house, that’s a good thing.

I’d love to show off the rest of the kitchen, but there are a few things left to do

  • paint the all the trim and pantry and bathroom doors
  • tile and grout the backsplash
  • touch up the crown moulding above the cabinets
  • replace the outlet covers
  • touch up the ceiling paint
  • buy a window treatment (roman shade? bamboo?) and maybe some cute accessories.
  • clean the bejesus out this place.

seriously. I love them.

Have a fantastic Holiday weekend!



Kitchen update

Hi friends. Sorry for the long pause in posting. I wanted to actually make some progress on the kitchen before I shared here. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

kitchen before. This was Saturday morning.

We spent all day Saturday packing up the contents of the cabinets, only leaving out what we absolutely needed for a temp kitchen. We also got rid of quite a bit of stuff that we don’t use.

Here’s how things were looking Sunday night. The stove, sink and dishwasher are all still connected which is making this the least disruptive kitchen reno possible.

Sean had to run ductwork to the outside wall for the new range hood. Once that was in, the new upper cabinets could be hung!

It’s been slow going hanging the uppers because the walls in this old house are no kind of plumb or level.

Here’s where things are today

A little chaotic, but manageable. The stainless island has become our temp kitchen and Sean is running new electric for the lighted cabinets that will go where the old wardrobe was. The new base cabinets will probably go in this weekend before Pk leaves for another long work trip.

I’m soooooooo excited about the new cabinets. They are 36″ tall and the gap between them and the ceiling will be covered with crown moulding. It’s amazing how much taller the room feels with full height cabinetry. I can’t wait until it’s done!

Neither can Lucy.

Hope all is well with you.


Dear coffee table.

It’s not that I don’t love you. Your reclaimed wood top, and funky, industrial-chic casters are gorgeous. Not to mention your amazing storage shelf that’s perfect for storing toy baskets.

Your problem is that those gorgeous gams of yours are a baby danger magnet. Lucy’s daily tear inducing encounters with your shapely edges mean that it’s time for us to move on, and for you to go into storage until you can reemerge into the finished basement someday. Whose taking your place, you ask?

Something a little more baby-friendly and  little lighter, not to mention more comfortable for our feet.

It’s from Target online and was pretty affordable due to one of their 15% furniture promotions and free shipping (yippee!) It’s just what our living room needed. Now I just need to go buy a can of Scotch guard to make it a little more “life with a toddler and two pets” proof.


Porch Progress

It’s coming together folks…

New footings were poured and new stringers were cut…

Gorgeous cedar treads were laid (then covered with plywood for protection during the rest of the construction)

Sean is amazing. He works in the cold with a smile on his face!

Down came the old beadboard ceiling. You can catch a glimpse of the new header above Sean’s head.

I love the new posts!

Sean added a box for a ceiling fixture.

Fresh new bead-board!

After some thought, we decided that this little brick bump out wasn’t doing us any favors. Installing the new door will be a lot easier without it and I think Pk had a good time getting rid of it. Once the ledge was out of the way, the boys got busy pulling up the old floor.

There was zero insulation under the porch. Just tar paper. No wonder our basement is so cold!

The subfloor wasn’t too bad so Sean cut new sleepers (why are they called that? Anybody know?) and added insulation.

He started laying the new floor, but took a break so Lucy could nap. I’m grateful. I’m gonna go look at flushmount porch ceiling fixtures now. Hope you all are well!

xx – H


Adventures with iDye

So, whilst trolling the internet one day, I stumbled upon these deeply discounted slipcovers at Worldmarket. 50% off? yes please. I stopped by my local store and picked up a pair to save on shipping. These covers are cotton velvet. Dyeable cotton velvet.

I’ve been hunting for slipcovers for an ugly pair of upholstered dining chairs I picked up at a thrift store for $5 a piece.

See? Ugly. They are so ugly that my camera took an ugly picture.

I grabbed a pack of iDye from my local Dick Blick art supply.

I figured that choosing a gray-ish color would mean that I could simply over dye the slipcovers without color stripping them first. Epic fail.

I ended up with olive drab covers. Not so exciting. So I went a grabbed a couple packs of iDye color remover and set about removing all the color from these ugly ducklings. iDye color remover and dyes are super easy to use. I grabbed a big pot, filled it with water, added the color remover dissolving packet, and my fabric. 10 minutes later, they weren’t looking that much better. My kitchen was a little smellier though (this stuff is noxious, and a little toxic, so be prepared to sacrifice a pot to this because it can’t be used for food once you use it for dye removal.) Also, pk, don’t be mad that I ruined borrowed you clam pot.

I was feeling a little discouraged, but 10 minutes later…

Progress. They were looking alot more like they did when I originally bought them. So I left them in for another 10 minutes.

MUCH better. For good measure, I tossed then in the wash with some bleach. Once I had removed all traces of the dye remover I started the dying process again. I was a little freaked out about dying something in my machine, but its really not that scary. Dye packet goes in, add a cup of salt and enough hot water to cover your fabric.

I set my machine on soak for an hour and then just ran a wash cycle as usual. Then I did another cycle on cold with a little detergent to make sure the dye was totally set.

The final result?

Much more like what I expected. and wrinkly, but we’re working on that. with an iron. The color is better though.

Lesson learned, don’t be lazy with fabric dye, play it safe and make sure you are starting with a clean slate. If you are dying over a vivid or dark color, use dye remover first. I’m still not totally sold on the fit of the covers, but the dyeing process was kind of fun. There’s definitely a few things in my closet that might benefit from a little dye and now that I know what to expect from the process I won’t shy away from future attempts. iDye has a lot of different color options and a whole line just for polyester/nylon fabrics. I was really impressed by how straightforward and easy it was, even if I’m not falling over in love with my chairs.
Have you guys ever dyed anything before? Is it bad that my cheapo thrift chairs make me want to by an expensive new rug for the living room?
Happy weekend!

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