Another Beut

Sorry, not sorry guys. I know y’all know I’m afflicted by the need to obsess over every little listing that hits the Raleigh real estate scene. Call it market research ๐Ÿ˜‰ I found this gorgeous home (in one of my favorite neighborhoods, to boot) and had to share.

It’s so, so cute!! Right?!

Craftsmen Bungalow in Raleigh

I love how this homeowner stayed true to their style with leopard print in the foyer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Foyer Leopard Print

The house opens right up to the dining room and a cozy little sun room.

Ghost_Chairs_Dining_Room

Those bamboo shades got me glaring at our cellular shade blinds that are energy efficient but y’all – they be ugly.

Tufted_Leather_Sofa

The focal point of the living space downstairs is the lovely seafoam (mint?) colored kitchen. Again, so original to the homeowner – I love how their style shines through!

Custom_Seafoam_Kitchen

Here’s another beauty spot of this space.

Seafoam_Kitchen_Cabinets

The other side of the house has a great Living space.

Eclectic_Living_Room

With drool worthy built-ins (makes me want to get the husband shakin on some projects kids!)

Built_In_Bookcases

And this styled corner by the fireplace. I mean – I’m starting to judge these people their house is so nice!

Living_Room_Slate_Fireplace

The bedrooms have a similar feel, but love it all the same!

Classic_Bedroom_Design Upholstered_Bed_Master

Ok, I judge these people a little more when I see they have not one but TWO infants, lol!

Nursery_Design_Boy Nursery_Design_Girl

I love how the spaces are not overly feminine or masculine, but still have little touches that personalize it for each kiddo.

Master_Suite_Marble Guest_Bath_Marble

The bathrooms carry the same cabinetry (I think) as the kitchen – but if it is the same it reads much grayer here.

Laundry_Room_Drop_Zone

The mudroom we all have pinned on pinterest.

Back_Deck_Raleigh

And a backyard that’s just missing my margarita and some BBQ.

Anyone want to buy it and move to Raleigh so I can come visit you and swoon at your casa?

Radiant Barrier in Attic

I love NC. I love that winter lasts for 2-weeks and that people freak out when there is a chance of snow. I love that the flowers start blooming in February and we can enjoy living outside and being outside a lot more often than when we lived in Michigan, because y’all – it gets COLD up there. But here is the thing, July in NC, it’s like January in Michigan. There might be like 1-nice day and the rest are a bit of a doozy. Like multiple days above 100 – yikes.

We’re always trying to find ways to cute down on our energy costs and summer heat is obviously a bear for our AC bill, so in addition to our insulation we already have in our attic, we thought it would be a good idea to add in a radiant barrier for some extra heat repealing goodness. Ever installed one of these? Ever heard of them?

This is what it looks like – a massive roll of tin foil.

Radiant Barrier Attic

And this is what your husband looks like after installing said radiant barrier. Does that smile look forced? I feel like he didn’t want to be cheesin at this moment in time. Not transmitted via photo – stank. Lots of it. DIY_Attic_Insulation

Our attic is actually pretty well suited for this install since 1) our hvac runs up there and 2) we have a pretty accessible peak where Jay can easily stand up and get to all of the nooks and crannies without bumping his head or having to stretch up too much.

Side note – all of my life I just hand things to husband and send him up the attic ladder and say – Jay – can you put this up there. Coming UP to the attic, I see that once things cool off in the temp zones that I may need to ahem – organize said things vs just landing them at the nearest locale at that precise moment in time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Adding_Radiant_Barrier_To_Attic_South

So here you can see our HVAC running through the ceiling, and before, when it was getting hot as hell up here, all of our system equipment was prone to the same temperature fluctuations as this very warm, unconditioned space. Not ideal.

Radiant_Barrier_In_Attic

The DOE recommends hiring someone out for this, since they say proper installation = success, but Jay’s been meticulous about following the guidelines they outline to ensure you have a working product. Here is the website page we read, and we found it pretty helpful for our install process.

Adding_Radiant_Barrier_To_Attic

Overall, this should reduce cooling costs by 5-10% in warm, sunny climates (which NC definitely qualifies as!), so at $160, I’d say we’re looking at about a 4 year ROI – but I still need to go through and crunch the numbers and track them over time to see where we’ll land.

Has anyone else tried this in the past? I’m hoping it’s a relatively low cost way to make our house a bit cooler over these very hot NC summers.

 

Serena and Lily Duvet

This post is sponsored by Serena and Lily.

Y’all, I’m irrationally excited about a life development that goes something like this. Serena and Lily sends the nicest, softest, chicestย duvet cover you’ve ever laid eyes on and asks you to pop it on your bed and share what you think of it. Y’all, our last duvet was, well, not nice – and it was pilling already so I think that’s a sign that it’s kind of done for, right?

Serena_And_Lily_Bedding_Review

I was so dang pumped about busting this beauty out of it’s shipping box that I snapped these photos at dawn (basically), right before I carted the kiddo off to school for the day and hit the road for work. Multi-tasking, it’s what parenting is all about! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Serena_&_Lily_Duvet

The duvet has some buttons along the bottom portion that keep the insert in there nice and snug. Plus, it adds a little pop cute factor in my book, compared to the zipper we had on our old duvet. The fabric on this duvet is incredibly soft as well – I absolutely love how it feels after a long day y’all. Like hotel luxury ๐Ÿ™‚
Serena_And_Lily_Duvet_Cover

It’s also got a beautiful satin trim along the sides that make the bedding look extremely tailored and practically custom made. Especially compared to what we had before, you can tell this bedding is significantly nicer and made of much higher quality materials.

Serena_And_Lily_White_Duvet

I’ve always been a fan of a neutral base for the bedding, and then some little accents with blankets and throw pillows. I know this will last us for a long time given it’s super high quality, and the white will go with anything we decide to do if we change things up. Duvet covers in general are a staple for me as a Mom especially since I know we can always just stain treat them and easily throw them in the wash if H comes up with gross hands, or I decide to eat ice cream in bed. Both equally plausible scenarios in the Sell Casa.

Best_White_Duvets

For now, I’m pretty stuck on our current configuration though, and love how this crisp, bright white duvet helps the little accents we already have to pop too. One thing for sure, Serena and Lily hasย luxury duvet coversย like my eyes have never seen you guys. I feel like Kim Kardashian and Queen B. In fact I think I’ll start going by Queen M as I fade into my beauty sleep – I wonder if I can get Jay on board with that?

Serena_and_Lily

Also – for all y’all that may also have a strong desire to get your hands on some decked out bedding, valid for one week only Serena and Lily is offering 15% with blogger code:ย DUVETLOVE-LEMON. Treat yo’ self!!

Tiny Dark Bathrooms

I’ve always had a thing for tiny rooms that are super dark. It’s hard to take a chance on a dark color in a larger space, but for our little downstairs bathroom, I’ve found the color is something I really love.

Dark_Bathroom_Small_Design
It’s actually the same color we used up in H’s room – so that worked out really well for saving some simoleons ๐Ÿ˜€

Dark Blue Baby Room

Another thing I love about this color is that it grabs from some of the rug colors out in the hallway, so it compliments the look of the other rooms downstairs while still maintaining an independent vibe.

Dark_Navy_Bathroom

It’s actually nominally difficult to get any good shots of this room being that it’s small and dark and awkward to shoot at all angles, butย I figured if I was showing the house as it stands one year in, this was a room to include as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

In complete honesty, I have no recollection of what this room was even painted before (maybe red?) but it was not my fav and so we just decided to take a jump and use the extra paint from Henry’s room to tie this space together more, too.

I see us switching this out over time in here (for some fun variety), but I got this oversized painting on craigslist for $20. Maybe you’ll see me on antiques roadshow someday?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oversized_Artwork_In_Bathroom

We also swapped out the light in here for something more updated and put in a new towel rack and toilet paper roll holder, they were both gold before.ย  Dark_Navy_Small_Bathroom

As in all our houses, I had to find a space for the Desiderata print and my friend Emily told me bathrooms are always best, and she’s a wise girl, so I trust what she says. Plus, we had a perfect nook for it right next to the loo, so there ya go. All of the bathrooms in our house have this bump out (bump in) and I’m seriously scratching my head on the builders initial intentions for these. Toilet paper? I don’t know.

Small_Dark_Bathroom

If I ever start to feel a bit crazy (and like spending $$) I’d love to wallpaper a bathroom someday. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For now, the paint is an upgrade from the original – good enough! ๐Ÿ˜€

Office Inspiration

Learning your husband is actually semi-equipped to build things (like this or this) is a double edge sword. All of a sudden, I’m looking at every nook and cranny in our house and wondering how/if he could build me up some custom bookshelves or a new window seat or another table. The answer is (mostly) yes, I’m finding, especially if I have enough patience to let him finish the project in peace without me nagging him and bugging him to the point he wants to just – well – not build things anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰ What can I say, I’m just so excited for the final product ๐Ÿ˜€

Lemon_Grove_Interiors

So in our office, which currently looks like this, is a room I’ve been tossing around in my head for a dramatic redo/reno.

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

One day when I was at my mom and dad’s I was leafing through their newspaper and it had a write up on a local carpenter and one of his projects really caught my eye. It was a dark navy bookcase (pair of bookcases) flanking a window. And I started to drift off while looking at the picture – thinking of this window and this corner of our house.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

And I thought to myself – hey! We should build a bookcase with a desk in the middle. Jay built a table for our outside, and I was thinking a similar rusticy type of worn wood would look pretty sweet flanked by some dark and dreamy bookcases. Y’all picking up what I’m putting down? Now bookcases (and the wood required to build them) are not the cheapest DIY, so I think we’re in a holding pattern of saving up some dough for this project, but I’m thinking I’d love a final product that had a look and feel like some of the photos below.

Dark_Blue_Built_In_Bookcase

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And I love the concept of this (with the built-in desk) but I think I want to go dark on these cabinets, vs white.

Built in Desk

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And I love this one, but I think slightly darker cabinets? But that rug. I mean serrriiiously – that rug?! The other night, as I was lying awake in bed specing out this bookcase install in my head I told Jay that I thought we should put wood floors in this room and he only kinda mumbled no, so I think I can sway him on this very important detail.

Gray_Cabinets_Office

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Our carpet is actually pretty worn out upstairs, with a lot of spots bubbling up from getting stretched out, so we’re kinda at the point where we need to decide to put new carpet down orrrr put in wood floors, and I’m sorta leaning toward the latter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Carpet_Wearing_Out

It will mean refinishing our floors upstairs (like we did on this house), but I might just be ok with that! Here is a shot of our hallway when we moved in – prior to paint but still the same floor. Leaves a bit to be desired (too shiny and too orange for my taste!)

Hardwood on stair landing

I figure a few years down the road when H is getting toward double digits and wants his own space, then we could always pop a bed in between the two bookcases vs. a desk. Although, in complete honesty, I may wait until he getting on toward high school before I give up the office because I seriously don’t know what we’d do without this dedicated space for a computer – I love it.

Down the road if we ever convert the space to a bedroom. I’d pop something in that functioned/looked like this gorg photo below. I think the black is a bit too dark, but I do love it in this photo!

black walls in library

Lovely Little Cottage

Y’all – I had to share the gorgeous little cottage that popped up down the street from us. It’s listed as for sale by owner, and the couple listing appear to be photo profs, so instead of crappy MLS photos, I give you … some serious gorgeousness coming right up ๐Ÿ˜‰

Charcoal Front Door

I’m obsessed with this light fixture – classic.

Bamboo Chairs in Dining

Cozy Living Room

Perfect light and bright touches throughout the entire house.

Console Table Styling

Eat In Dining Room

Because all of our kitchen sinks look like this (obvi) every day ๐Ÿ˜‰

Farmhouse Kitchen Sink

I love how this budget kitchen renovation looks like a million bucks. It just shows that classic details always make a house look so fine, and really don’t have to break the budget. (butcher top island, less expensive range, etc)

Budget Kitchen Renovation

Open Shelves in Kitchen

Office in Kitchen

Smallish bedrooms, but I’m all about bedrooms as utility space (you just sleep in there, so if there is enough room for a bed, it checks the box for me)

Master Bedroom

Lots of character throughout the house, little details like the antique mirrors in the bathrooms help to ramp up the awesome factor a bit!

Antique Mirror in Bathroom

Another less expensive reno in here with a hex floor tile and subway tiles. They made it look high end with custom details like the bump out (ins?) for shampoo and that linen shower curtain (love it).

Subway Tile Shower

Guest Room

What is it with this fam and sick mirrors. This is their laundry room. Sigh.

Antique Mirror in Bath

Mud Room Styling

If the house wasn’t sweet enough, they have a shed out back that is used as an office. I’d add a bath and rent that thing out til kingdom come ๐Ÿ™‚ Isn’t it adorable!

Finished Shed for Office

Sure has a fixer upper vibe, right?

Wood Beams in Office

Fixer Upper Style Office

Pretty sweet little shack, huh? I’m ready to move in! ๐Ÿ˜€

Raleigh Real Estate

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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When I Feel Like Spending Money I Do This Instead

Frugal_Living

So I thought this would be a fitting follow up to the post last week on our financial goals because y’all, the biggest secret to staying on track with our money goals is hands down not spending money. I know – it’s not super excitingย and it’s rather straight forward, but that’s the long and the short of it.

I mentioned in the last post that I’m a firm believer that there are seasons in your life and I think we all know – some are more expensive than others. Not going to lie, the day when my first born starts kindergarten will be a bittersweet day. I mean, my child will be five – he will be more than a quarter done with his days living under my roof – but he will also be out of daycare, and yo, that place is expensive. Seasons where we’ve spent more money than others include: renovating our houses, moving across the country, birthing and raising our children – but I’ve looked to all of these as investments – one way or another, they all paid off in spades.

I’ve learned that there are a few ways to set yourself up for success with money and there are ways to bite it. I’ve actually turned the challenge of not buying things into a bit of a game. Sure – I could go to Chuckie Cheese and make the kid go coocoo for coco puffs or I could go to the park and play basketball with Henry! Sure, I could go out and buy a special dessert for tonight since the weather is so beautiful and it feels like the best idea EVER, or I could look around our cabinets for ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. Or, I feel like my house needs something, I want to go out and buy throw pillows – but instead I’ll wash the floor (lol – does this just make you judge me? Legit, y’all I KNOW if you read this blog that you know that I sometimes go out and buy those throw pillows) ๐Ÿ˜‰

In all seriousness though – it’s truly about finding ways to be happy with what you’ve already got, and challenge yourself and ask – Do I really need X. Or even, do I really WANT X – and the answer to each is totally fine if it’s yes, because truth be told, y’all – I enjoy shopping. I like get a little buzz like the rest of America when I go out and get things. It’s fun! But saving money is super fun too, and there are ways to stretch out your dollar as far as possible by being critical of every purchase you make. Give yourself 24 hours to wait it out for anything that falls into the category of non essentials. And if throw pillows fall into the category of essentials any given day – y’all – I do not judge. ๐Ÿ˜€

Here is a list of 40 things you can do, without spending ANY money. Get it girrrrlll (as my best frugal friend, would say xoxo)

  1. Go outside! Walk/run/stroll/skip – enjoy your surroundings
  2. Clean yourย house
  3. Call your mother. (just do it)
  4. Find something fun to eat/make with ingredients in your house
  5. Explore a new part of your city
  6. Go to the library
  7. Learn how to make something new
  8. Talk to your kids
  9. Write down goals
  10. Do yoga (youtube has free yoga!)
  11. Organize your closets
  12. Weed your yard
  13. Read a book
  14. Find a frugal blog and get inspired
  15. Change the oil on your car
  16. Go window shopping (but don’t buy)
  17. Ride your bike
  18. Purge items you don’t need
  19. Call your dad! (just do it)
  20. Scan pinterest for DIY ideas
  21. Play with your child (get down on their level and PLAY!)
  22. Go through/clean your coat closet (check pockets for goodies)
  23. Organize your garage
  24. Think of ways to make money – write down 5 ideas
  25. Walk the dog
  26. Build something
  27. Do a family plank challenge
  28. Dust the furniture
  29. Organize your junk drawer (you never know what you might find!)
  30. Look around your house for things to sell
  31. Volunteer
  32. Sip Wine on the Porch (does this count as spending money – probs – I cheat when it comes to wine)
  33. Do 20 squats (werk off that wine, y’all!)
  34. Meet your Neighbors
  35. Build Something
  36. Try a New Hairstyle
  37. Clean your fridge
  38. Plan a Frugal Vacation
  39. Write in a journal
  40. Meditate

Pretty Pillows and Curtain Calls

Ok – so remember this post? With our blerg bedroom. And then this post with our slightly less blerg bedroom with some lamp action?

Confession. I got my shop on y’all. I mean – Homegoods/Target style – but it happened. And it was pretty much a glorious thing. Sometimes the shop gods are just on your side and when they are – you roll with it.

It started with these little ottomans. They’re technically storage ottomans – but that’s just funny talk since they have like 2 inches of interior “storage” capacity. But they’re cute, right? And they cost less than $30 each. WOOOT.

Ottomans at End of King Bed

I love, love, love how they look at the end of the bed and added bonus – the little human thinks they are da bomb for climbing up and snuggling like a ninja. Another added bonus, Mom and Dad no longer have to lift the nugget up since he can climb up all by his big self just like a little dog with their little bed steps. It’s so cute.

So, when you give a moose a muffin… I found these winner winner chicken dinner pillows at good old HG. I lurve them. They are my one most favorite thing that I’ve ever owned in my life. I love how they look up against the white duvet. And that pattern – divine.

Tribal Lumbar Pillow

And then – same trip – I found 96″ curtains! I have only ever found 84″ curtains at places like TJ Maxx and Target so finding out that HomeGoods now carries long curtain was the cats pajamas. Did you all know this? Have I been living under a rock?

Homegoods 96" Curtains

This is what they look like up close.

Sources for Inexpensive Curtains

Here is a view of our little room that could with all our spicy nicey going on.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

Oh and I also got this little blanket for the end of the bed. It was 20 bucks. I couldn’t help it. I could help it, I chose not to help it. I know I have a problem. It’s hard to see from the photos but the blanket has a cool (subtle) geometric pattern on it and it’s incredibly soft.

Here is another view of everything meshed together. I know it’s a lot of different colors and patterns, but so far, I’m liking it!

Revere Pewter in Bedroom

Oh my gosh – it’s so much better than what we had before!

Master Bedroom Before and After

Rugtime

Ok – so for the longest time in our living room, we’ve had a white rug. Which is like dangerous before a child and after a baby it’s just really nutto. I mean – truth be told – the cat was the main problem with all the vom action he had over the years. He would like go out of his way every. single. time. to puke on the carpet. And then along came Henry …

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

This rug has been with us through many a house. As we were recently bidding adieu to it, Jay said kinda nostalgically that it was the first real rug we ever owned. lol. And it kinda was and it’s literally made it into (4) houses now, and really, I can’t say that for many other pieces of furniture. Here it is below in our Master Bedroom in our second house.

Emmie Spets Sheets IKEA

But y’all – I was pegging for a persian rug. I’ve just had it in my head that these beauties like immediately help your house to look lived in and collected. Being a constant mover/purger, that’s something I’ve struggled with the most with our decorating – the concept of a collected over time space. We had a persian in our kitchen up north and I loved it (hides stains like a champ, too)

Antique Persian Rug

So I started the mad hunt. Craigslist, of course. Nothing. Ebay, some options (lots of them actually), but it seemed like all the ones I like were just far enough out of our price range, and I also had some analysis paralysis about spending loot on something I couldn’t see in person first. So one Saturday, I made Jay and H load up into the car for a country extravaganza to hit up an antique store out in the boon docks and it paid off big time. For anyone local to the area, the antique locale is Raleigh Furniture Gallery and they had a ROOM OF ANTIQUE PERSIAN RUGS. And y’all – wouldn’t you know it – right when I walked in, there on the floor in the main room staging some furniture was the prettiest persian I’d laid eyes on with dimensions that worked with our space to boot.

Here are a few shots of the new addition down in our living room.
Persian_Rug_Raleigh_NC

Collected and gathered look, right? It’s got some super dark navy and black in it, which, ya know – the darker the better since baby and voming cat, but also, the dark navy goes so well with our little chair we found on craigslist.ย I love the detail on it, and think once we purchase a seagrass rug to layer underneath it that it will fill in the space perfectly.

Here is another close up shot of the pattern on the rug. Delicious.

Persian_Rug_Living_Room

This is how the room looks now when you come in from the garage.

Persian Rug Sources

It has some discoloring on one of the sides from what look like water damage at some point, but meh, kids, husbands, me – it’s bound to get some additional character marks over time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Vintage Persian Rug Raleigh

Things are finally starting to feel like home!