Farmhouse Table + Flowers

Our house was pretty landscaped when we moved in a year ago, and with a 2-year old, and an interior I wanted to get cracking on, we’ve literally done nothing – like nothing – to the outside of the house. Well I guess Jay did trim the bushes once last year – ha! But that’s been it! Oh and he’s built this table, which I’m obsessed with. Plan from Ana White, here.

Farmhouse Style Table

So this planter and been growing away over time … by now, it’s a bit overgrown. We had some basil in there that we transplanted into a small planter we keep in the kitchen for cooking.

Brick_Planter_Landscaping_Before

I’ve always loved the look of houses with tons and tons of hydrangeas all over the place. That or peonies but now that I have a kiddo and ants like never leave my life (ummm food crumbs all the time), the thought of a plant that attracts ants is not something I’m mojoing for too much.

We have a tiny little courtyard around our house, so I’d really like to give it a bit more of “us” character over time, and get rid of some of these tall wacky trees we have planted all over the place.

Tall_Bushes_Landscaping

These are some of the images that I swoon over when thinking about designing our backyard space.

Couryard_Patio_Plantings

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Do you think I could get away with turning our house into a tree, a la the photo above? I think Jay might fa-reak out ๐Ÿ˜‰

Or what about turning the house into a bush, like this photo? Maybe I should just paint it green with a faux finish ๐Ÿ˜‰ Something about that ivy/plantings growing over the wall just makes a space look old and lived in, I think. I love it!

Courtyard_Plantings

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Or this one (that table is a bit too weathered for my liking), but the droves of hydrangeas is definitely something I can get behind. And that charcoal shed tucked in the corner – mmm hmmm. Nice. Hydrangea_Backyard_Courtyard

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So one small step toward this oh so lovely vision was to turn our planter introduced at the beginning of this post, into a small spot for some hydrangeas to grow. We picked up two from Home Depot this weekend, and y’all I am so excited to watch these babies grow. Down here in NC things do grow pretty fast, so hopefully they take off quickly!

Hydrangea_Bush_Starters

I’m desperately hoping I don’t kill these beauties – I found this article helpful – and others attempting to grow hydrangeas may as well!

Next up, a porch swing (?) and some dark navy paint perhaps a la this photo. It hurts my heart I love this photo THAT much.

Outdoor Porch Swing

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Library Lights

So for all of you with an eagle eye, you probably noticed that although our dining room is much improved from before, that there are still something missing from the picture below:

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

If you noticed that a million dollars sitting out on display on our fine new buffet line was missing, I noticed that too, but alas this is not the item from the picture that we’re talking about replacing on today’s post. Bummer.

It’s the light sconces missing from above the bookcase. Notice it? Yeah, those fancy electrical boxes chilling up above our new crown.

I’ve hunted high and low and up and down for some good old library lights so our joint could look snazzy, like this picture. Swoon.

Builtin_Bookcase_with_Grasscloth

Or this one… wish I had the guts to paint our trim dark blue – amazingย (but perhaps a tad darker would be even better – more charcoal?)

Blue_Painted_Builtin_Bookcsae

So since I’ve looked all over this green earth for lights, I thought I’d share with y’all some of the best (and most affordable) options I stumbled across during my hunt. I noticed that two of them popped up over $50 (must have been on sale when I started the search), but these are all super affordable options compared to some of the fancier brands out there where a library light can run well over $300 (!)

Affordable Library Lights

Electric LeClair Light |ย Vintage Retro Cage Light |ย Industrial Edison Sconce |ย Clear Glass Shade Swing Arm Sconceย | Brass Finish 1-light Wall Sconce | Modern Vintage Industrial Loft Sconceย 

Right now I’m leaning toward the 5th one. Any thoughts/votes? I want it to compliment our existing light fixture in there, and I like how it would bring out the brass details! Decisions, decisions! Help me decide!

Drum_Chandelier_Dining_Room

 

Good Lookin Breakfast Nookin

Rounding out our downstairs updates after our first year, we’ve also got a breakfast nook with a few changes. Really the main changes to this part of our house was adding furniture, since it was empty for nearly half of the first year (if not more). I tried to stay true to buying everything for this house used, and waiting for it to come along on craigslist or thrifting – really, it’s never a rush to add a second table to your house – kinda embarrassing to me that we have a house that fits two tables. It’s a bit excessive IMO…

Eatin_Kitchen_Dining_Room

We found the table for $40 on craigslist and I really love how much it matches the chairs! These 3 cross back chairs are probably the only piece of furniture (that I can think of) downstairs that were purchased new – turns out it’s really hard to find (3) matching chairs used. I’m obsessed with these beauties though. They’re extremely sturdy, good looking and not wobbly at all (does anyone else have a problem with chairs having a wobble?) Between buying used or cheapo furniture most of my life … I feel like our chairs are usually defective, lol.

The banquette was $100 on craigslist – Jay always grumbles that the people before us stripped the screws assembling it, haha, so he thinks it’s going to come crashing down on us sometime we’re sitting there eating our ice cream bars. I’ll keep you updated on that one ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love that it sits a few people at once though and it’s been a perfect locale for sharing popsicles and ice cream when it’s time for a post dinner snack :)

Child_Artwork_Display

So, rookie parenting mistake, but when H started bringing his artwork home from school I didn’t really know what to DO with it. Our fridge doesn’t take magnets well (stainless) so I would just recycle them after they sat on the counter for a few days and I felt the need to declutter. You guys – this kid was literally dying when I first put up his art. He is so darn proud of it that it makes me feel pretty bad for recycling the rest of his artwork master pieces. He loves telling you all about his art when you point up at them and ask about it – he’ll tell you an entire story (more and more) about what he did that day, and who he made the artwork with. You guuysss – it’s so, so cute. So anyway – don’t scar your child like I did mine. Just hang up their artwork y’all, apparently they like it.

The table actually perfectly matches the chairs, which was a happy mistake, but they look really nice together. As you can see, the table has a few nicks and scratches, but it just gives it a little bit of a vintage touch. :)

Antique_Kitchen_Table

This room is right next to the kitchen, and you can see through into the Dining Room as well, so it feels nice to have the space a bit more finished.

Eat_In_Kitchen_Table_Options

This light fixture was actually one of the very first things I bought for the house, before we had even closed on it I grabbed this on craigslist! I remember it sitting in our 1-bedroom apartment, waiting for moving day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just couldn’t wait to get back to designing a space for us – after being out of a house for a year, you’re usually ready to go!

Capital_Lighting_Chandelier

Overall, I really like how this room (can you call it a room?) came together! I’d love to add some lumbar pillows (similar to the ones in our master) at some point, but there is no rush, and I should probably avoid spending the money anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eatin_Kitchen_Table

Living It Up

So now we’re a few weeks into this house update over in Sell Casa 4.0 and I thought I’d share how our Living Room is looking after a full year under our belt in the new house. We have not made a ton of updates in here, but my favorite change is probably the feature trim work we added to the fireplace wall.

Living_Room_With_Layered_Rugs

This is an up close view of the detail. This project was very similar to this DIY, if you’re looking for a step by step BTW, we just decided to double up each strip to make it thicker and a bit more substantial looking.

Fireplace_Builtin_Trimwork

And now a Rafiki, look haaarrrrdddeerr.

This project was really quite cheap all things considered, just some plywood (that we doubled up to give some more depth to the wall). The total cost was under $40 since we already had the trim paint purchased. Score!

DIY_Fireplace_Surrond

This is what the fireplace wall looked like before.

Family Room off of the Kitchen

Here is another angle of one of my favorite walls, with some new etsy artwork up and looking oh so fine.

Persian_Rug_In_Living_Room

This summer we went to the HGTV Smart Home (which was in Raleigh this year) and I spotted a really cool, considerably larger, artwork piece that was broken into (9) frames if I remember right, at the base of a stairwell landing. Having slightly less space to work with, I decided to go with a 4-frame art option and I really like how it turned out!

I found an etsy print online that I loved and approached the artist about dividing it up into quarter segments – voila! Pretty cool statement wall now and the artwork really helps to ground this wall a bit (which had been completely bare for over a year).

Tree_Trunk_Artwork

We spend a ton of time in our Living Room these days with Mr. H running around, and we’ve found this layout works really well with us. The sectional tucked against the wall prevents furniture from blocking the flow – great for running around (and through) the room.

Layered_Living_Room_Rugs

This room opens right up into the newly renovated kitchen – we love it. We’ve loved all our houses in different ways and for different reasons, but y’all, this one feels the most like home.

Faux_Marble_Counter_Tops

Welcoming Entry Way and Hall

Keeping up with my last few posts of providing an update on the abode, now that we’ve been in it 1-year, I thought I’d share small changes we’ve made to the entry of the house over time as well.

When you enter in the house, the first room you see is our hallway, and dining room to the right. I’ve been pegging for a persian runner in this space and finally found one for a song on ebay – this runner was just over $100.

Sources_Antique_Persian_Runner

Here is a better shot of it, where you can see more details.

Persian_Runner_Sources

Locally I was having trouble finding an option that had the right dimensions on it, so I’m glad I held out and ordered it online (from ebay). Plus the price was an extra incentive!

Speaking of good deals, I knew I wanted to put an art wall up on this long hall way, but I was grimacing a bit at how expensive frames can be. Day after Thanksgiving Target had these frames BYGO, so I stocked up on a bunch of 16×20, with matted 11×14 artwork. It cost around $2 per print at our local print shop to put in a few family photos and I love how it all turned out! It’s so fun to see photos of our little gracing the house a bit more now and Henry will often point up and say “Baby Henry” which is cute ๐Ÿ˜‰

Family_Artwork_Collage

Back to the front when you first walk in, we popped in an antique side table and crystal lamp (craigslist, obvi) ๐Ÿ˜‰ along with some artwork! The bike print is a birthday card from a few years back and the other artwork was something our local newspaper had a high res image of they were encouraging folks to print – I loved the message and though it was a good note to have first thing when you walk in our casa :)ย  Yall_Means_All_Artwork

Another fun craigslist rehab was this bench, which was already black, but had plaid seats prior. The fabric was $6 at Joann’s… Staple gun and 5 mins, done and done!

Entry_Bench_Options

I like how our house is relatively open, but still has some nooks and crannies and hallways to design and make things feel more homey. Plus, H loves that this hall essentially creates a loop/race track/place to hide from daddy-o. Lots of giggles come down this hallway on the daily.

Antique_Persian_Runner_Affordable

Although frames are not cheap – overall I have to say I really do love this hallway and I’m glad I chomped down and ate the cost to make this space feel more like home. I’ll never get tired of looking at the munchkin all swaddled up and staring back at that camera – ready to take on this world.ย  Black_And_White_Art_Collage

 

 

Kitchen Source List

In case you missed it, our kitchen is officially transformed from this:

Small kitchen design

To this!

White_Kitchen_Marble_Backsplash

I’ve had a few emails asking for all the details and sources, so here you go!

Kitchen Source List

Hood | Pendant Light | Paint | Backsplash | Hardware | Counter Top | Cabinets | Oven | Faucetย 

And a few thoughts on the whole sha bang…. First, if you’re local – our counter tops were a great deal, from Stone City – great guys in downtown Raleigh. Super fast and their pricing was just over $50 per square ft installed including a sink. At the big box you’re looking at over $70…

Cabinets warrant an entire additional post :) Overall though, we really like our cabinets! We DIYed the install this time which was much more affordable. We used Cliq Studios (an online retailer).

My all time favorite GE appliances are still cafe, but we saved a bunch doing profile this time. All the functionalities and features are the same – just don’t get the industrial style handles.

Our paint color is Benjamin Moore Pale Oak – we have that throughout most of the downstairs.

I love our little octagon hardware too – such a cute detail!

Faux_Marble_Counter_Tops

Price breakdown:

  • Appliances: $3,890
  • Counter: $1,590
  • Backsplash: $220
  • Faucet: $70
  • Hardware: $125
  • Vent Hood: $189
  • Cabinets: $6,143

If you’d like to work with me to design a kitchen for your home, contact me! :) For $75 I’ll source the whole sha-bang and pick out every last detail so y’all can just get to cooking :) Or get to eating, I prefer the eating part myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

LGI Logo

Dining Room Built-Ins

I love my husband for 1001 reasons – he is literally the best human and I’m forever indebted to him for all he’s done (and continues to do, you better bet that honey do list aint complete) for our family.

So these built-ins y’all. These built-ins are pushing him to the 101/100 level cause they are sweet as sugar and I’m totally obsessed.

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

We’ve had some practice in this arena with the other houses (like this, and this, and this), but we’ve definitely had learning experiences as we’ve gone along and I do feel like these turned out much better than some of our other attempts. Practices makes perfect, I guess! ๐Ÿ˜‰

If I could hand a few silver nuggets on how to make builts ins look sublime this would be it:

  • Sand the hello dolly out of them (in between every paint coat – sand, too)
  • Add extra pieces of trim to the shelves to beef up the front and make it look chunkier (big difference between our first built-ins here, 4 years ago, and these ones!)
  • Always add crown – gives it the zinggggg :)

Builtin_Bookcase_Styling

We had a counter and cabinets in here before, so we knew we needed to order some to match when we renovated our kitchen a few months back. Although it definitely added to the cost to have a professional style base cabinet (vs the pre-fab options we’ve used in the past from Home Depot stock cabinets) but I think it provides continuity and a uniform look. Since these two rooms (our dining and kitchen) are connected to each other and in the same visual plain, it seemed important to have a streamlined look between the two spaces.

I had lots of fun styling the bookcases – and finally using some of the decorations and picture frames that we’ve had stored in closets for a year +

Bookcase_Styling_Inexpensive

Jay insisted on adding a beer opener, and fridge, hehe. We had a wine fridge here in the old design, which apparently, does not get cold enough for beer ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bottle_Opener_Wall_Mounted

Another favorite new addition is this dining light. which I got on sale for $270 (which is still steeeeepp, but I do love it!). I wanted something classic and understated in this room, and this light fits the bill. We started out with a chandelier I found on craigslist (which you can see here) and it was too low (and people kept hitting their heads on it), so after a year I updated to this light and I love it.

Drum_Chandelier_Dining_Room

Another view. Smitten!

I love the brass detail on it and I think it adds some warmth to the space as well.

Oblong_Drum_Chandelier_Dining_Room

We also added in a kitchen for Mr. H in our dining room. Keeps him busy “cooking” for us while we make dinner each night! This was a $25 craigslist find that we painted navy for him and gift to him this Christmas. So far the paint is holding up fine (we just spray painted it…)

Pottery_Barn_Kitchen_DIY

Right now the bookcase looks a smidge bare, but I figure in a few months we will add to it with thrift store knick knacks and family photos.

DIY_Built_In_Bookcase

This is the before of the dining room – I love the white – it makes the space feel so much more open and bright!

Dining Room with Built in

And the full shot view once more, for comparison:

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

Gutting Kitchens Is My Jam

I know, I know…. I owed y’all an update ๐Ÿ˜‰ For anyone that’s been following along since house 1.0 on the blog (2.0 in real life) you know that we, well, we like renovating kitchens ๐Ÿ˜€ This house is not different – it had some things I wanted to change from day one. I’ve been waiting almost 8-months – in Mary time, this is eternity.

And this is what we’ve landed up with.

White_Kitchen_Marble_Backsplash

Yep, another white on white kitchen, ha! We DID put in some slightly different details in this reno and for the first time, we did everything ourselves vs ordering from Lowes or Home Depot.

First change, we opted to install a marble herringbone backsplash (we used this one). Although I like the texture it adds to the space, it was rather beastly to install. We even went out and bought a new tile saw mid way through since our current version was virtually impossible to useย with tiles arranged in a sheet. We had to go through and basically cut tiles individually for the corners and edges. Funnnn.

Marble_Herringbone_Backsplash

This style landed up requiring that we did a lot of individual cuts which was the biggest pain in the patootie. I’m glad we did this style vs subway tile (although more expensive, too), but yo, be prepared to give it a solid weekend of slaving.

We also added in a fancy pants hood above the oven this round. We cook a lot at home and I wanted a fan to help vent out some of the skillet smoke we get going up in here from time to time. So far, it’s work great – although it’s not silent (are any vent hoods, we’ve never had one before?)ย We didn’t pay much for this, it was around $200, so I’m sure more expensive models are quieter, but I’m usually trying to drown out a child screaming for apple juice come about 5 o’clock soooo, I find it rather soothing.

Marble_Mosaic_Kitchen_Backsplash

Some of my other favorite finds in the space are these cheap as dirt light pendants from amazon. I love the look of the really meaty substantial industrial style ones too (like this), but the thing I love about this model is the clear glass doesn’t block the view from the living room / eat-in area to the kitchen, so it’s nice to have that clear view through.

Industrial_Pendant_Lights

I spotted these barstools on craigslist and jumped into the car stat to get them since they were like 60% off retail and virtually new. I think we paid $100 for both! Woo hoo!

Faux_Marble_Counter_Tops

Here is a photo of what this angle looked like before. The higher counter really cut off the room and chopped up the visual IMO. I much prefer the larger counter across – it’s great for prepping and cooking with H – he comes right up to the barstools to help.

Kitchen layout for small kitchen

We still need to add crown at some point but I’m not hustling too hard on that front these days. Perhaps in a few months! I’ll have a cost break down up in the books for y’all soon. For now, I’ve got some posts coming in the next few weeks to do a holistic update of where our house updates are right now! :)

 

Master Bath 2.0

Isn’t it refreshing what a difference some paint can make. For thirty bucks, you really can’t beat the transformation it helps to bring to a space, y’all. Case and point. Our Master Bathroom.

Double Vanity in Bathroom

Our dark green, dated and well – ugly Master Bathroom. This was actually one of (the?) last room we painted in our house because truth be told, I think we were both just so stinking happy to have a loo that had 2-sinks and a walk-in shower that we really didn’t care that much about the paint color. But if you know me, you know 4-months is actually an awfully long time to sit on my laurels on NOT paint something, so we got to gettin’ and painted that joint!

Updating Exhisting Bath

It came out a bit greener than I thought the color would look (after slapping some samples on the wall), but overall, I’m pleased with pudding with how it looks.

Here is a view of the color up against the floor, which is NOT going to change for at least another year. Hold me to that internet world. See, Jay and I had a bit of a preview on how well this tile was laid when we went to remove the laundry room tile. Yeah. Not a huge desire to do that for the entire room.

Upgrading Bathroom Tile

Not planned at all, but the color actually is sorta matchy matchy with the little accent color we have going on around the shower interior, so there’s that.

Updating Master Bathroom

One nice thing about this bathroom is that it has a little corner dedicated to extra storage for towels and such. I’ve got plans to try and rehab this little looker to make it look a bit more in sync with the updates I plan to make down the line (think crisp and white and bright).

Built-in Bathroom Storage

I don’t want to spend much on the reno, so it’s going to be a work with what we’ve got rendition ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of working with what we have, we’ve been making some subtle upgrades to the space to help the room feel more put together. Like scoring these sconces for 70% off on craigslist.

Bathroom Hardware Update

I didn’t even take pictures of the old lights. Trust me – they were ugly ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is a vantage looking in from the door to our bedroom. The shower needs to go eventually, along with the vanity, but for now the color is so much better.

Master Bathroom Renovation

I’ve also got to get rid of these two-toned faucets. Not working man.

Updating Bathroom Hardware

Overall – things feel much better and it feels really good to finally have all the really dark and outdated colors in the house switched out for colors that feel more like us!

For anyone looking to recreate the look – the color was Benjamin Moore color matched at Lowes.

 

Gourd Lamp Lookers

I have wanted gourd lamps in my house since 1953. Yes. That long. And lucky me, I finally found a set gracing the aisle of HomeGoods. Now normally at HG I can find one… but a set – this is rare indeed.

Gourd Lamp Light Blue

Oh, are y’all asking me to rewind. Saying things like – wait – they painted their bedroom, I thought it looked like this. Well it did look like that my friends – it did. I just doesn’t anymore.

Master Bedroom with ensuite

This actually falls into the category of happy accidents. See I bought (2) cans of Benjamin Moore Pale Oak, thinking I’d need all of it for the downstairs, since it’s a pretty big space. The paint spirits must have intervened because we had a full gallon left over. So although I wasn’t initially planning to paint our room Pale Oak, didn’t want to waste it, and it’s neutral enough that it’s a good “for now” color for the room.

Here is a shot of it further back, with those lovely gourd lamps flanking either side of the bed.

King Bedroom Furniture

Yes, true. It’s a very white bed. BUT – I was thinking economy style here folks. See this quilt. Got it for $3 at the goodwill.

So although I’d really like to get some more color in this room, for $3, this is a good place holder. Kinda like the “free” paint.ย  King Quilt Deal

Another fun find is this vintage bamboo dresser that I got off craigslist for $60. I had to drop want I was doing and sprint to the car, since like 270 people email this chick about it in the first hour of it being posted. I’ve always said – if you price something right on the list you know – cause it will fly.

Vintage Bamboo Dresser

I’m pretty happy with the new addition! I’m thinking of painting it Kendall Charcoal one of these weekends to really make the gold hardware pop a bit more. On the list of things to do.

Kendall Charcoal Painted Furniture

Here is a close up of our bed, which (you guessed it) we also got off craigslist. It was $40. And that, my friends, is why I pretty much only buy furniture used. Deal-o.

King Headboard

Although the room is leaning a bit traditional right now, I am liking the general direction. I think we can liven (a la the gourd lamps) it up a bit with a nice (colorful) duvet and some curtains.