Drink your cup of joe and get inspired with things that got my attention this week on MMC.
Transitioning from weekend to weekday is hard. Its always a little bit more of a struggle to wake up on a Monday morning for me. I like to ease into my work week buy taking my time on Monday mornings, drinking a hot cup of coffee and browsing pretty things that inspire me online. I’ve been thinking- instead of just inspiring me to get moving on the work week, I’d like to start sharing my Monday Morning Coffee routine with you too. So, grab your cup of coffee (or tea if that’s your thing.. ) and settle in for my new weekly series “MMC”.
You have to click through Sean Anderson’s beautiful interior design portfolio. He creates stunning spaces that fuse together layers of textures, natural elements and just the right mix of old and new that is timeless. His portfolio seems to have two main styles to it: light and airy spaces or moody masculine rooms.. and I am totally digging both.
I am taking a lesson in pattern mixing and bold color combos from this fun designer portfolio! Sarah Bartholomew combines several different design styles and lots of fun to make a very unique combination that I am really loving!
Thanks for checking back with me on the progress of our new home. We moved in over a month ago now, I can hardly believe it. September came and went in the blink of an eye.
Thank you for the wonderful feedback on the progress of our living room. It is nowhere near done, but it feels so good to see how far it has come over the last month! today I wanted to give you an update on how our kitchen is coming along. Remember, these photos are not going to be cute or pin worthy. Please don’t judge me!
We stayed in our house with the previous owners over the summer for a few days so they could show us around the area. They have been so wonderful to us and so very welcoming. Here is our kitchen before when we stayed with them (Sorry for the humans, they didn’t realize they’d be featured on the blog):
I knew right off the bat that I wanted to paint the cabinets. The dark wood with the dark counters felt so… dark. It needed to be lightened up a bit. I also hated the bulkheads. Especially the one floating in mid air above the countertop. I knew if we painted the bulkhead and the cabinets the same color throughout the rest of the kitchen it would make the ceilings feel taller without having the cost of buying new cabinets (aka the big bucks). We took on the task of painting these babies ourselves. Huge shoutout to my mom who lost a week of her life painting these with me- I love you, you’re the best. We started by making a huge mess on the counters removing the doors and drawer fronts. We laid them all out on the porch to sand and paint separately. We sanded each with 220 grit sandpaper then washed them with TSP. We propped the doors up on 2×4 so we could paint the edges. We decided to use the same bonding primer on the cabinets that we used on the walls. It took 3 coats of primer and 2-3 costs of paint to get the dark wood fully covered. I also took this as my chance to remove said bulkhead above the counter, rip out the cabinets and bulkhead above the stove and take out the backsplash beadboard… and really piss off my husband. We’d decided to paint and not do anything else for a bit. I got ahead of myself on this one. Its not pretty, but its progress. The kitchen looks amazing with the cabinets painted white and even kept the same hardware. I want to add a decorative range hood over the stove top, with floating shelves on either side to house our every-day-dishes. This is the closest thing I could find that kind of get the idea across:
So now the debate is on to find the right backsplash tile that has the look we want but the price point we can afford. I picked up a few options from Lowe’s and Home Depot. I love the look of the white/grey marble mosaics but these four options got the boot because they all run from $10-$15 per square foot. We’ve got some ground to cover so that number has to be cut in half, yikes.
These two options are from Floor and Décor. They are between $6-$9 per square foot but are much smaller scale than the pervious options. It hard to tell but the actual individual tiles are less than 2 inches long x .5 inches. It seems so tiny on such a huge wall.
I’ve ordered a few more choices. I’ll hopefully find one that is perfect in both style and price here shortly!So that is where we are at!
We still need to:
Build a DIY faux range hood with under mount light. The stove top has a built in fan so we do not need it to be anything more than pretty
Find and install the marble mosaic backsplash.
Hang new light fixtures. I’ve had two electricians in here this week to get me quotes. I’d like to add some recess lights and hang oversized pendants over the “island”.
Find and install a new faucet. I’d like something a little bit more modern-farmhouse style
Long term: Replace counter tops and install a farmhouse sink. That will have to wait a few more years.
Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out the progress on the kitchen. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Right?!
Happy to be back to check in and let you know about the progress on our new home. If you’re new to the blog- My husband and I just purchased a new home. We moved from Washington DC to Columbus Ohio just over a month ago. The house was perfect and needed nothing done… but you know me… I decided that every room needed to be painted, that we needed new lighting, and some minor demo in the kitchen. We’ve been busy over the last few weeks but still have so much to do. I am excited to start sharing our journey along the way. Lets start with the living room! Let me warn you- these photos are not cute, not worthy of Pinterest, and just to show you where I’m at. Please don’t judge me too bad!
This is photos from the day we got the keys to the house:I love this space. It has beautiful trim details, large fireplace, and wonderful windows. But, the blue paint made the room feel so heavy. I decided to paint it. I feel like some white on the bottom of the walls will help lighten the entire space. We are lucky to have 4 beautiful windows that over look the garden, and the white paint will help to reflect the natural light. I opted to paint the top of the walls a light and airy blue/green color to add contrast and brightness.
The house had all oil based paint, which if you’ve ever moved into a house with oil based paint, you know it is a nightmare. Every surface needed to be sanded, cleaned with TSP, two coats of bonding primer, three coats of latex paint… like I said, nightmare.
Here is the room after a good sanding and cleaning with TSP:Let me tell you, it feels so much happier being painted! We ditched the little dividers in the windows and just painted the window sills black. I am hoping it will be less harsh once we have window treatments. We dropped in our furniture and I tossed in some random accessories to make it feel sort-of-like-a-real-room. Here is the current state:
So what’s left?
Swap out the sconces for something more our style. I am thinking something with a more sculptural aspect to it but haven’t found the right one yet.
Hang some curtains to add texture. I just followed this DIY Tutorial to make my own Lucite rods, I couldn’t be more excited for them to arrive. I really feel like they will add a level of sophistication to the room.
Hang some artwork in the space. I have a bunch of stuff to play with, but I am waiting to hang the curtains so I can get the right heights for the artwork.
Play with the accessories to make it feel like our home.. notice my huge pile in the corner? I said don’t judge me!That’s it for the progress update for the new living room. I’m so happy you stopped by. Feel free to check out my Pinterest and Instagram to see all of the house progress!
Get the scoop and sources from our rustic lake side wedding in Crozet, Virginia
Welcome back! Thanks for being so patient with me as we take a break and move into our new home in Ohio. It has been a whirl wind month filled with demo, packing, unpacking, sanding, priming, painting and a lot of mystery bruises. I can’t be the only gal ut there that gets about 5 bruises a day while doing any sort of project, right? Anyway- the house is moving a long and I cant wait to share some progress updates with you all. Until then, I want to share the final post from our wedding Planning Series.
Brian and I feel so blessed to have had our dream wedding day last May. We opted to go against the grain and have a very small, private and DIY wedding. We rented out 8 cabins around a lake in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, Virginia. We kept it simple by only inviting our parents, siblings, grandparents and my two best friends. We hosted all 20 guests for a three day mid-week wedding. We enjoyed going to wineries, breweries, hiking, fishing and tons of family time. It was such a relaxing week, filled with so much joy and love. Our wedding was truly a reflection of what we enjoy, and I am so happy we decided to get married in our own way.
We stayed at Montfair Resort Farm, which is a family owned and operated property that operates as an eco-friendly and rustic destination for vacations and events. We rented out their entire property for three days allowing each guest to have a beautiful rustic cabin to stay in. Our guests arrive on Tuesday, where they found custom DIY welcome baskets in each cabin. We held a “welcome dinner” that night, which was made my Brian’s brother who is a chef in Pittsburgh. After dinner, we enjoyed a big bonfire besides the lake.
We held our wedding ceremony the following day at a scenic overlook on the property. We woke up early and decorated the isle ourselves, and put up the alter decorations. It started to rain while we were decorating the alter, but we finished up laughing about the downpour. I distinctly remember my friend Becca saying to me “A wet knot is harder to untie than a dry knot!”
We retreated from the rain to our cabin where I did my own DIY hair and makeup surrounded by my mom, and soon-to-be sisters and mother-in-law in our cabin. We laughed, ate and enjoyed the morning together. Brian’s mom made our wedding cake, and we decorated the cake together that morning. Once the rain subsided we made a break for it and had our ceremony just as the fog began to lift over the mountains. Everything was so green and lush after the morning storm, and was the most beautiful backdrop as we said “I do”.
After our short and sweet ceremony, we took photos around the property with the ever so talented Lauren Nevoid, who took our engagement photos earlier this year. Lauren had such great visions on how to transform the surroundings for such breath taking photos. My favorite photos are of us canoeing after the ceremony on the lake.
Later that evening we hosted our “reception” at a local restaurant a few miles away in Charlottesville, Virginia. C&O restaurant was fantastic, and allowed us to rent out the art gallery next door for a private dining room. It was so nice to be able to have all 20 of us sitting down at one table to enjoy such a beautiful meal together. After dinner everyone returned to Montfair, where mostly everyone changed into more comfortable clothes. We then returned to the lake front to cut the cake and enjoy a huge bonfire.
Having only our family as guests made it so easy to be calm and flexible that day. I couldn’t be more excited to share these photos with you guys!
That’s a wrap! It is so nice to be able to re-live our wedding day by looking at these photos. I hope you were able to find some inspiration from our wedding as well! Let me know in the comments below if you’d like a specific source for anything 🙂
Be sure to keep up over on Instagram and Facebook– I’ll be sure to share more images of the moving progress over there, as well as touch base with a post really soon!
Just wanted to stop by real quick to let you know I’ll be taking a tiny break from posting while we are moving into our new house. Words can not express how grateful I am for you guys sticking by me of this first year of blogging. I can hardly believe I’ve already hit the one year mark! Over the last year, I feel like I have really started to grow into my own blown style. I look forward to continuing to make progress and changes to the blog as I really find my own little niche in this huge blogging world. I looked at my numbers today, and I am stunned to see I have over 33,000 views from my pins on Pinterest. Like, I mean I am STUNNED. I can not thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to look at my little blog, it means so much to me.
With the new house, I look forward to having so many more projects and exciting things to share with all of you. This house has a really different feel to me, and I look forward to seeing how my design style changes as we start to transform this into our forever home. I can not wait for what is to come!
I’ll be back soon enough, but be sure to like my Instagram and Facebook pages. I will be posting some quick (and probably not too pretty) progress shots as we start to paint this baby! Wish me luck!
How I saved a boat load of money by doing my own DIY Hair and Make-up for our Wedding Day
Thanks for the love on our new living room designs and the color scheme for our house! I can’t believe the day is here and we are moving! Be sure to follow on Instagram to see some photos as we go! I’ll be sure to post about the progress on the house over here too, but it might take a minute. Moving is pretty crazy.. and we won’t have internet right away. I am hoping to be able to share about the house soon though!
Today I wanted to switch back to our wedding and share how I saved money by doing my own hair and makeup. As you might remember, I was trying to cut some costs and save as much as we could while wedding planning. After doing my research and calling around I was finding that the cheapest hair and make-up artist I could get in our area was $500.00… for just me… Look, I know that being in an artistic job field that people are always expecting you to work for nothing.. I get it, I really do.. but $500 for an hour of hair and make-up seems pretty steep. So, I decided to try and tackle the task by myself. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. I have compiled a list of tips that helped me along the way:
Do your homework. Professional makeup stores will teach you how to use their products. Head to a store like Mac or Sephora and request a makeup lesson. Some places will take walk-ins while others ask you to reserve a spot. Most stores will teach you for free as long as you make a minimum purchase- which is makeup you’ll need for your wedding look anyway! Consider bringing photos of a makeup look you’d like to learn how to recreate.
Go big or go home. My photographer reminded me that my makeup should be darker than I might normally wear it for it to look good in photos. I wore faux eyelashes and much darker eye makeup than I would have normally worn. She also asked me to darken my makeup a few times. It was good to feed off of our photographer to make sure the look was as good on camera as it was in person.
PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. I did my “wedding look” several times in the months before our wedding. I tried out different lip sticks, shadows and blushes before I perfected the perfect look. I also opted to wear faux eyelashes for a super glamorous look. I highly recommend test driving these puppies before the big day- it can take a few tries to really get the hang of it.
Have your hair done a week or so before the wedding. Do not have a fresh cut or dye right before the big day. It helps to have at least a week for the color to fade a bit and the cut to grow out so it looks more natural. I went to my local beauty supply store and purchased clip-in extensions to wear for my wedding look. It was so simple and really helped amp up my look.
Invest in quality products. I wasn’t about to spend a boat load for one day- but I can stomach spending a little as long as I can keep some quality products to reuse. I spent around $150 and purchased some good quality foundation, powder and brushes. It was worth every single cent. I love the new brushes and use them daily. The foundation I selected was Makeup Forever Mat Velvet in color #25 warm ivory. This foundation was made to last- even on a humid and sticky day like ours. Its also great because it helped to keep my skin matte and not shiny. I tend to get oily quick so it was a huge help! After the liquid foundation- I topped it off with Sephora Collection 8 HR Mattifying Compact Powder in color #16 linen. This really set in the liquid foundation and helped even out my skin. My sister in law gave me a Stila eyeshadow palette which had so many shades and options to layer on. It was great! While this particular one is no longer in stock- its nice to have so many options (especially while you’re practicing your look!) Thanks Nellie- I loved this one!
Try out different hair curlers for different looks. I purchased 4 curling irons and tested each one before deciding which I would use on the wedding day look. I also looked at a few youtube videos to perfect the techniques for each one. I settled with a Remington 1/2-1″ Curling Wand which was around $20 online. I loved how my curls turned out with it!Getting help curling those extensions! It was tricky!
Thats a wrap! What do you think about doing your own hair and make-up for your wedding? Would you ever trust yourself for it? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Be sure to check into my Facebook and Instagram for more photos and to stay up-to-date!
How I am creating unity in our home with a paint scheme that works in the entire house.
Creating a unified house can be a challenge. One of the easiest ways to make your home feel like it flows is to use a consistent color palette throughout the entire house. Pick a color scheme, any color scheme, and stick to it. I mean it. Stick. To. It. Emily Henderson, author of the book Styled, says: “People constantly ask me what the number one design mistake is, and 9 times out of 10 your room may not be working because you have not stuck to a consistent color palette. My number one piece of advice for any room is to pick a color palette and stick to it. Buy within that palette and it will allow you to work new pieces in without your space feeling too hodge-podge or disjointed.” While Emily is talking about a specific room having a color palette, I’d like to expand this idea to your entire home. Our last home felt disjointed because I got too excited and picked a different color scheme for almost every room. I do not want our new house to feel like this, so I’m on a mission to fix this problem before it even starts!
On Sunday I shared my hesitations with the Living Room design plans for the new house. Its been causing me a lot of stress and loss of sleep but I am feeling so much better with the new direction. Thank you so much for the love! In that post, I shared the new paint colors for the living room and how I got to them:
I started to lay out huge paint samples (8″x10″) all over the floor. I pulled beige, greys, pinks, whites, navy, greens, oranges and yellows.. I made little groupings that seemed to fit nicely together, then focused on the schemes that worked in nicely to the furniture we already have. I started to pull together a little color scheme that I truly loved and knew I would be happy with for the long haul. Then I let that beautiful little color scheme sit on the corner of my desk for two weeks. I worked next to this color pallet for 14 days and still loved every bit of it. That’s how I knew I was on a better path.
Once I had selected the paint colors, and knew I was in love, I started to “assign” them to each room. I started with looking at the before photos of each room, and looking at the furniture I had already ordered or owned from our old house. I went room-by-room and laid out the large paint chips on the floor kind of in the shape of our house to see how each one would flow into the next. I tweaked the colors as I went to keep the colors consistently used in the house. It was so helpful to have the photo of the current rooms to see exactly how much natural light the rooms got, the trim details, and the way the current paint colors looked in the spaces.
I am keeping the same white (SW7004 Snowbound) in every single room to create a flow from space to space. All of the millwork and trim in the house will be this soft creamy white. I am also using the same black color in every room (SW7069 Iron Ore) on the interior doors and the window frames. We painted the interior doors at our previous home black and I LOVED it. I also want to experiment with adding black to the window trim. I found this photo on Pinterest and really liked how the dark contrasted the white. I am going to move this outdoor porch concept indoors and see how I like it.
So, what else will we paint? Everything. So far, there is not a single surface in this house that won’t be getting a facelift. Here is the breakdown:
Foyer and Stairs: Basically everything that is currently blue will become Sherwin William Snowbound and everything currently white will be painted Sherwin William Balanced Beige. I will add a “pop” by painting the front door in SW Iron Ore, which is a really rich black.
Living Room: This room seems so dark in its current color. I plan to lighten it up by painting all of the dusty blue color to be Sherwin William Snowbound, and then adding depth to the space using Sherwin William Sea Salt to the drywall above the chair rail.
Dining Room: Again, I will use SW Snowbound on the trim and the exterior of the built-in china cabinets. I will use SW Naval for the inside of the cabinets for a crisp pop of navy in this room. I’ll repeat the SW Balanced Beige from the foyer onto the upper half of the room above the chair rail. Balanced Beige is one of my favorites from our old home, because it changes its tones in different lighting. It can be a warm grey, or creamy beige depending on the time of day.
Family Room & Kitchen: This room also feels so dark to me. I am going to paint the entire fireplace wall, the bead board and chair rail, and all the trim SW Snowbound. I am hoping this will brighten the space up. I am also going to paint all of the kitchen cabinets the same white. The walls will be SW Balanced Beige, and the window trim and french doors will be SW Iron Ore.
Mudroom: The mudroom (and laundry room) are the first thing we will walk into in this house from the garage every day. It is important to me to make it a welcoming and happy space. I want to continue the millwork into this space by adding a chair rail and trim below. We will paint it… you guessed it.. SW Snowbound. Above the chair rail- I want to repeat some of the soft blue tones that I am using as accents in the rest of the house by adding a fun wallpaper. I’ve selected Galbraith & Paul’s Lotus pattern in Cobalt. The cobalt color way is perfect becausse it picks up the navy and light blue colors from the sea salt color.
Thats the bulk of it! We are going to hold off on painting the second floor bedrooms until we are finished up on he main floor. I have to have a project to keep me busy this winter, right? Sorry for such a winded post, but it feels good to show you all what I’ve been thinking about non-stop for the last month. Only one week until we move in! So what do you think of the house paint colors? Let me know in the comments below!
I am changing my mind. Sorry, honey, I am redesigning the Living Room in Ohio before we even get there.
Sometimes I pour hours into a design and truly love it.
Sometimes I pour hours into a design and it still feels… slightly off.
Sometimes the design that feels slightly off is for our new house.
I am changing my mind, so shoot me. Not kidding, Brian might. I spent a ton of time designing the first go at our living room and I really loved it at first. Then I spent a ton more time on Pinterest and then I didn’t love it as much. I wish I still loved it as much as I did at first, but it seems to be missing something. Like it is slightly too dull, or slightly too harsh. Slightly too blue. The design needed some more layers, and needed something to add depth. All of the sudden I hated the fiddle fig tree. Its EVERYWHERE. Its been done a few too many times. Also, I somehow hate the drapery I selected. Truth be told, I was never really sold on the selection from the start. I knew I wanted a big bold blue pattern in there and the drapery fit the bill. But now that pattern seems so dated for some reason. Kind of funny how fast my opinion can change when I take a few steps back and use a more critical eye.
The entire re-design started when I went to finalize the paint selections for the entire house. I am such a huge fan of an entire home having a color scheme so each room flows into the next. My problem was that every room I designed felt too similar. The dining room, the family room and the living room all had the same basics: neutral furniture, beige paint and navy accessories. I want the new house to have flow, and a good color scheme throughout- but I don’t want the same exact color in every single room. So I decided to step back and re-think how I wanted our house to feel. After all- this is supposed to be our forever home.
Somehow I must have known I wasn’t in love with all of it because every bit of the furniture in the Living Room is pretty neutral. Good thing because all of the furniture for the room has been ordered and has already arrived. Luckily I still love the “base furniture” of the room.
I started to lay out huge paint samples (8″x10″) all over the floor. I pulled beige, greys, pinks, whites, navy, greens, oranges and yellows.. I made little groupings that seemed to fit nicely together, then focused on the schemes that worked in nicely to the furniture we already have. I started to pull together a little color scheme that I truly loved and knew I would be happy with for the long haul. Then I let that beautiful little color scheme sit on the corner of my desk for two weeks. I worked next to this color pallet for 14 days and still loved every bit of it. That’s how I knew I was on a better path. After I knew I was in love, I showed the new direction to Brian (and assured him I would not be changing any furniture items we just spent a lot of money on!) He wasn’t totally sold on the new paint color for the Living Room, but I am trying to convince him of how nice it will be.
The new color pallet is still a base of neutral linens, crisp white and navy- but now I’ve also layered in some softer elements. The layers of pale blue green, and tiny hints of blush pink help to add depth to the space. I’ve removed the navy patterned drapery and replaced it with soft creamy drapery, like these from Restoration Hardware. What an instant upgrade that made. I also ditched the accent pillows and went with some softer options like this floral watercolor, navy buffalo check and velvet blue lumbar. I kept the lamps and art the same for now, but swapped out the hide rug for the actual one I got during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. The biggest change to me is the new paint. This room has beautiful trim details already with a great chair rail. We will paint the lower half of the room, below the chair rail in Sherwin Williams Snowbound- SW7004. The top half of the walls will be the soft blue/green called Sherwin William’s Sea Salt- SW6204. This color is so pretty in real life, and helps to break up all of the white.. blue.. white.. blue.. in the previous version of this room. Here is a look at the two designs side by side:Crazy how much and so little changed, right?! I am feeling so much better about this room now. Like, one billion times more ready for this move.. which is in exactly 14 days. HOLY CRAP!! Now- it has me thinking about softening the other spaces using the same concepts. What do you think? Leave them the same or change out some minor stuff for a whole new direction? Leave me a comment and let me know what you would do!
While this post is sponsored by Stitch Fix- As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own.
Every August my family takes a trip down to the shore. I love being on the beach and taking a moment to unwind and enjoy time with my loved ones. Its not too often that I get to spend multiple days in a row with my parents and brother, so it is always something I look forward to. This family vacation is also always something I look back on, as we create so many great memories. Last year we ventured out to Assateague Island. Have you heard of it? It is a National Seashore Park where wild ponies roam free on the beaches. I know, cool right?! You can also drive your car right out on the sand and drive down the beaches for miles. We drove until we couldn’t see anyone else and set up our little “camp”. We saw a few ponies swimming in the ocean and walking the beaches. The island is such fun memory for my family. We are heading out for our family trip this week and I look forward to new adventures this time. My friends over at Stitch Fix are sharing a super fun summer bucket list challenge with 50 ways to create your own great summer memories! I know I will be checking a few of these off on our trip next week!
While you’re checking things off your bucket list, be sure to hashtag #StitchFixSummerStory and #contest with your Instagram photos all summer long to be entered to win a free Fix! How awesome is that?! Stay in touch over on my Instagram to see photos from our beach vacation, and see what items I am crossing off from the bucket list! Now onto my latest box from Stitch Fix! I was so excited to open this box!
1: Loveappella- Zola Knit Dress- Returned This is a cute dress, and was so super soft and comfy! I ended up returning it because it felt a hair too short for me, but overall I loved the look! I paired this striped dress with a red bubble necklace that I got as a gift from my dear friend, Michelle and red pointed toe flats for a nautical look!
2: Mia- Britta Bow Ballet Flats- Returned Did you guys know Stitch Fix added shoes?! How exciting! I got a pair in my last fix that I wear all of the time. I requested some nude flats a few fixes ago, and my stylist remembered! Unfortunately, I already found a pair on my own that I love so I returned these babies.
3: Kut from the Kloth- Jansen Linen Shorts- Returned Truth be told, I have never felt more pale than I did wearing those shorts. Insert the ghost emoji here… I did love the cut and shape of these, and they had a elastic waist band which made them fit perfectly.. but I could’t get past the highlighter-lime-green-yellow color. I paired these with my Papermoon Stanford Mixed Material Top which made the color a little less jarring.
4: Crescent- Romee Scallop trim Chambray Top- Kept This is such a perfect summer BBQ top! I packed it for the beach trip so be on the look out for it on Instagram! It is a tad too big in the sides, but I am hoping a quick trip to the tailor will make it perfect. The scallop detail on the neckline was just too cute to pass up. I paired it with Target White Sandals and White Skinny Jeans with gold zipper detail.
5: Creative Concepts- Kaeli Eyelet Dress- ReturnedLooking back at these photos, I am wondering if I made a mistake returning this dress. It was a great color and a nice shape. I love the detail in the neckline. I just already own a dozen coral dresses. With us moving in a few weeks, I am in a constant “purge” mode right now and sent this one back.
Have you signed up for Stitch Fix yet? Please share photos of your shipments with me, I love to see what everyone gets! Please feel free to follow along on my summer adventures as I check off bucket list items on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! Talk soon!
Until Next Time,
While this post is sponsored by Stitch Fix- As always, all of the comments and opinions in this post are my own.
Designing Model Homes isn’t always easy, some times you make a few mistakes. Its all about learning from your experiences and making the best of what you have.
Do you ever read a blog and sort of roll your eyes at how perfect everything seems? The perfect photos of their sparkly clean kitchens with fresh flowers casually placed in the white farm house sink…. the perfectly dressed toddler sitting in the sand box next to a six story sandcastle and not a stain on his freshly pressed linen pants… or the stack of fluffy waffles with fresh picked berries and homemade whipped cream?
Seems unrealistic and unreachable, right? Thats because it mostly is… Bloggers put out the best of the best, Pinterest perfect content. Honestly, I can spend hours photographing one little outfit or room and it still won’t look just like I wanted it to. The point is, not everything in a bloggers life is Instagram worthy. We make mistakes, we mess things up, project don’t turn out how we had envisioned them. We can spend 3 hours picking a perfect paint color… then another 5 hours actually painting.. only to realize it is baby-poop-green. Model homes are kind of the same way.
The point of a model home is so simple. Get the people to buy a house. As a model home interior designer- my goal is to show you how Pinterest perfect your home could be, and how Instagram worthy your life could be if you lived here. Seems deceptive, because it kind of is.
But, designing for a model doesn’t always go to plan.
I designed a model home almost a full year ago and honestly in the end it was one of my favorite ones I’ve ever designed. It just took a little while to get it there. Originally this post was going to be just like any of my others from my “Professional Design” series… show you some photos of a pretty model and some of the sources so you could buy items used in the house. But when I started to look back at this model, I remembered what a stressful time it was getting it together. It made me laugh thinking about how a model home looks so picture-perfect, yet this was such a nightmare to get there.
Side note: this model was never professionally photographed. All I got is these horrible iPhone photos, sorry y’all!
My first problem was when I opened the front door on the furniture installation day- I realized the electrician did not hang the two chandeliers in the dining room. I called him to try to get him over to the house and realized that he never got the lights we ordered. Apparently the lights were backordered and no one ever let us know. Yikes. The models open house would be in 5 days, so there was no option but to shop locally for something until the real lights arrived. I ran off to the local hardware store and made the best with what I got.
These beauties were the best lights I could get at such short notice. It is what it is for the opening. Lucky, we were able to get the original lights to the house about two weeks later. They look much better, don’t you think?
You might notice in the first photo that we are also missing an area rug, while the second photo there is a pretty fluffy rug. Yup, you guessed it, I forgot to order all the rugs for the house. All of them. I have no idea how I didn’t catch this, but I did. It was one hundred percent a “my bad” situation. Like I said, designing a model home doesn’t always go to plan. We ordered some rugs and got them out there as quickly as we could and apologized profusely to the client along the way.
Notice anything missing in this Master Bedroom? Yeah, its the beautiful patterned area rug that would have added depth and texture to the space. The worst part is, I don’t even have a “after” photo. Oh well! This model was missing all of the rugs, and the dining room chandeliers. At this point, I’m thinking, well at least it won’t get any worse. Boy was I wrong.
For our design installations we typically use the same moving company every time. For this particular install, our movers sent out a few summer temporary employees that were super nice, but not necessarily cut out for the job. You need to be strong enough to carry a sofa up 3 flights of stairs, yet delicate enough to unbox 12 sets of crystal china and not smash them to bits. Unfortunately we had a few casualties that day. One such item was the mirror for the basement teen bedroom. One of the movers dropped the mirror on the driveway while bringing it into the house. RIP. So, we were left with little options but to leave the wall bare for a few days until we could get a replacement in. The manufacturer was so nice and sent out a new one right away.Doesn’t it feel so much better by just having that mirror!? Funny how such a small detail makes all of the difference (especially when its a light reflecting mirror in a dark basement bedroom). I thought my problems would end there, but this is now the house of horrors… Just kidding, but not really.You might not even notice what drives me so crazy about this room but there are two big things. First thing is that the rest of the house was very “modern farmhouse” in style. We used rustic raw woods and kept the color pallet to black, white and soft blue. Do you see it now? The bed pillows are the soft light blue from the rest of the house while the bed frame is mint green. I should have requested a finish sample from the bed manufacturer but it looked so perfectly baby blue in the photos online that I thought it would be fine.
Secondly, our original nightstand for this space fell victim to our movers being stronger than they thought. One of them was dropped and had some damage that was far to gone to be repaired. These were a pair of nightstands so even though only one was broken, we now needed two matching replacements ASAP. I found two little white nightstands in our design storage warehouse. They work just fine for this space when viewed as an individual bedroom, but they are too mid-centruy for the rest of the house. I still think this is a super cute and playful girls bedroom, and I like it as a stand alone bedroom. I just wish it meshed better with the rest of the house.Some mistakes you just have to live with, but it does’t mean I have to like it.
While we are talking about the problems in the bedrooms of this house- Lets talk about white paint. NOT ALL WHITE IS CREATED EQUAL. I learned this the hard way here, guys.
Its sort of hard to tell from the photo (iPhone, sorry!) but the paint color turned out way too cool and was slightly blue in the daylight. The paint I used was Sherwin Williams SW7007 Ceiling Bright White. This is still a great color but not for the warm tones of this room. Can you see how the creamy white drapery and the stripes in the bedding look dirty next to the bright cool paint? I wish I had gone with Sherwin Williams SW 7002 Downy or Sherwin Williams SW7012 Creamy instead. They are both warmer whites that boarder on the line of cream/beige. Hindsight is 20/20 my friends. We did a fun paint stripe to look like baseball stitching in this bedroom. It would have been to expensive to have them repaint this to another white, so it remained the same. Not a huge deal, but from now on, I will be very careful of the undertones in white paint.
Another big lesson I learned in this house was bulkheads. Always consider bulkheads into he design layouts. Now, if this is your own home and you live there, you probably know where bulkheads are in your house and will never run into this problem. However, as a designer I am almost never see the space fully ready until installation day. I had over a full set of deign plans to the construction team to complete the house including flooring, paint and electrical. I’ll do a walk of the house right after its been framed, just to make sure there is no major changes (builder like to move walls without telling you sometimes). Other than that, I am seeing the house finished the same day I am installing furniture. With this house, I wanted to do a fun little moment above a kids desk area in the basement of the home. I wanted to stagger a few pendants to hang at different heights to create the look of a chandelier for about half the cost. Little did I know that a bulkhead was placed directly where two of my pendants would hang. It ended up being okay. While the illusion that they are a chandelier is gone, I still got a pretty staggered effect. While this turned out to be fine, I’ve learned to double check where bulkheads are in the house before designing to avoid problems in future designs. I just feel lucky that my bookshelves weren’t one shelf higher!
The last thing that went a little wrong in this model was the playroom. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this concept for a playroom. I just wish I added a little bit more, or changed the scale. Scale in design is a hard thing to get right. Sometimes it takes a bit to play with things, or switch items out until it feels right. To me, the stage is a bit too large, or the kid sized furniture is a bit too small. I wish I had used bigger, more comfortable chairs or bean bags as the “audience” seats. I also wish that I had ditched the table and chairs on the stage and gone for something more playful like a microphone or painted the wall behind the stage a different color. Models are hard because we don’t have the luxury to really go back and switch items out until it is just right. Its kind of a one shot gig. Overall, I guess what I am trying to say is- shit happens. Things don’t go to plan. Projects turn into nightmares. Designing a perfect house takes time and a ton of patience. Don’t be fooled by blogs and model homes that look like Martha Stewart is the live-in maid, it takes a lot of work to get there. Learning from your mistakes is part of the path to get there. Trust me, I will never forget to order area rugs for a job ever again! A home takes a lot of time, and adding layers to it is what makes a design great.
Check out some of my other (less painful) model home designs and professional work here!
What design mistakes have you made? Did you have a project go wrong or a DIY fail? Don’t leave me hanging out in mistake land by myself, leave me a comment and let me know what you would have done differently! Stay in touch with me over on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I love hearing from you!