Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Playroom Reveal

Hi Friends!
Well we've been back in our home {post-renovation} for nearly three months now.  And - let me tell you- with two babies, it's been a painfully slow process to bring our unique style and personality to each space.  I still feel overwhelmed with all that is unfinished; but we're taking it room by room and enjoying a turtle's pace transformation around here.
My mantra for the year is: "Progress not Perfection"
{Believe me when I say, it's on repeat in my brain every. single. day.}
So instead of waiting until this room is absolutely PERFECT- I thought I'd show you a little glimpse of our downstairs playroom and share with you my favorite part of it!
Just to remind myself of PROGRESS....here's where we started:
{I know I'm kind of cheating here... I chose the ugliest of the ugly "before" pictures to get more bang for my buck on the progress front}

So that's where we were 4 months ago or so.  
And today....

It isn't quite complete yet; but it is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house.   We've already made so many wonderful memories in this room. . .filled with baby giggles all day long.  Minus the occasional toddler melt-down, of course.

{Elle is EXTRA talented in the area of "Frozen" these days}

But let me just share with you my absolute favorite secret design element of this whole room.  
You won't see it in the pictures above; but somehow it makes all. the. difference.

Prior to this move, I have never been a big believer in rug pads.  Truly, I thought I could live without them and never know the difference.  (I usually like my money where I can see it.)
Well... I am eating my words! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

This cushy pad from Rug Pad USA has made all the difference.  It really is just like walking on a memory foam mattress.  I can't tell you how many compliments we've gotten on our "super comfortable rug."   And while it is a very soft rug (thanks, West Elm) the real hero is that sneaky pad hiding beneath the jute - getting absolutely none of the glory until now. 

So I just had to sing the praises of this guy and the company he hails from.  
Rug Pad USA is a high-end rug pad retailer specializing in eco-friendly pads.  I didn't realize this until recently; but most rug pads that you'll find out there on the market are made with PVC or plastic and are filled with chemicals that could be potentially stain or discolor your floors.  And after sinking a lot of money into our new hardwoods, we couldn't take this risk.  Another bonus.... these pads have excellent grip (not even the fiercest of wrestling matches have moved this bad boy around! And trust me, we've had some doozies lately.)

So if you want to add a little luxury to your master bedroom or need to soften the blows in the playroom a bit, a rug pad is the way to go. 
We chose THIS one:  the 8x10 Eco Comfort Pad in a 1/2 inch thickness.  BY FAR the best design decision I made in this new playroom of ours.
{I think baby Beckham would agree!}

Cheers to cushy rugs and happy babies,

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Havenly's Master Bedroom Reveal

Thankfully our renovation is complete.  Well...."complete" seems like a strong word choice here.  Let's  just say we are living in the house :)  I have a feeling it will be a work in progress for many years to come.  But truly I wouldn't have it any other way.  The projects along the way are what keep my creative juices flowing and Michael's garage living up to its full potential.  (Though he might disagree)

Sadly, though, one of the incomplete spaces in our home right now is the master bedroom.:
Clearly there is work to be done! A sad, sad state of affairs. 
First order of business : remove the chevron! (I believe your day has come and gone, "Chevi")
Obviously we need a headboard, a rug, window treatments, new bedding....what DON'T we need, really?
But I've tried my very best to overlook all that these past two months; and tried, instead, to focus on the real reason we renovated this sweet little home . . .
. . . the view from these windows!  It's a dream come true to wake up and see the fog lifting off of the lake each morning or the sun setting over the water in the evening light. 
The best designer in the world couldn't hold a candle to God's gorgeous creation.  So each day as I walk into our room, I have been intentionally choosing to look left towards the view and focus on all that's RIGHT with our home instead of all that is undone. 

That being said, I think it's time that this room gets a little love and attention.
This is where Havenly comes in!  Have y'all heard of this?  If not, I can't WAIT to let you in on the best kept secret in the design world. Havenly is an online design firm that takes the intimidation out of hiring an interior designer and makes it absolutely affordable for everyone.  It's all done online and really is so simple.

With a busy schedule and two little babies at home, I decided to let the designers at Havenly take the reigns on our master bedroom design.  (I loved getting to be the client on this project.  It was a refreshing and eye-opening reversal of roles!)  

Let me walk you through the process:

1. First I visited Havenly and took a SUPER FUN online picture survey about my own individual style (This was my favorite part!  Seriously I learned so much about myself here.)

2.  Upload pictures of the room in your home that needs some TLC and even links to inspirational pictures that you love or your Pinterest boards!
These were some of my inspirations:
{via BlackB & Design}

{via House of Jade}

{via Studio McGee}

3.  Choose a Designer that speaks to your style (you can even see examples of their individual work and preferences in the design world.)

4.  Schedule time to chat with your designer online or even on the phone.  My designer (hey Chelsea!) was beyond responsive and helpful.  She brought life to my vision effortlessly!

5.  Approve your personalized concept boards.
Concept 1

Concept 2

6.  Discuss concepts with your Designer.  I chose some elements from Concept 1 and some from Concept 2 to create my initial design:

7.  Discuss any final changes with your designer (I asked for a glimpse of my room with a canopy bed instead of the upholstered headboards.)  Chelsea was quick to oblige!

8.  Finally...bring your vision to LIFE!  All of the products used in your final room design are able to be purchased right through the Havenly website.  Often at better prices than you would find at retail stores.  With just a few clicks, you can have your whole room ordered in no time.  And it will all be within the budget you set at the beginning.  Pretty cool, right?

I can't wait to see it come to life in our home. 
Thank you Havenly for an unforgettable experience.

Happy Decorating!


Monday, December 21, 2015

My $1 Go-To Gift

This might be my shortest post ever.  I have exactly ten minutes before the babies wake up and I just had to share this last minute gift idea with you before it's back to playing dollhouse and trucks. 
{Just in case you are at all like me and are scrambling for a gift at the 11th hour. }

My husband is usually impossible to buy for.  But this year, we have a new home and many, MANY blank walls to be filled.  Several of those blank walls just happen to be in his office.
Although I'd love to fill them with gorgeous abstracts or watercolors, I wanted this room to feel as cozy and "man-cave like" as possible.

GOOGLE PATENTS to the rescue, y'all! 
Have you heard of their patent search?
It's my new favorite past time and my go-to source for artwork for offices or children's rooms.   The best part?  It is completely customizable to what your family loves and cost nearly nothing.

Here's your step by step:
1.  Go here: https://patents.google.com/
2.  Search anything you'd like.  There's a patent for anything and everything you can think of.  And I do mean anything....

{This is a milking apparatus from the early 1900's...you know if you're into milking cows)

3.  Set parameters for your search: I like to set the search older patents for a truly vintage feel.
Since Michael loves sailing, playing the guitar and biking, my searches were easy!

4.  Find your perfect patent & save to a jump drive.

5.  Take this to an office supply store and they'll print any size you like.
(I paid less than a dollar for each of my 11x17 prints.)

6.  Pop your art into a frame, and you're done!
(I used IKEA's RIBBA frames; but any goodwill frame will do!)

**Bonus Tip: If you have extra linen place mats lying around, they add beautiful texture as matting behind black and white prints.

Now all I have to do is find time to wrap them.  
I feel sure that will be the hardest part of this whole project!  

Eventually when they are hung, I'd love to suspend them from the ceiling with big chunky rope something like this:

Thanks Google!

Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

$15 and 15 Minutes

With a toddler and a baby and a recent renovation that ran slightly  WAY over budget, these days it seems like $15 and 15 minutes are all that I have.  I get discouraged some days and just wish my brand new home would come together instantly like it does on reveal day of Fixer Upper.  (Joanna....where ARE you?)  In fact some days, I don't even know where to begin.  That's when I begrudgingly and half-heatedly remind myself that limited resources make DIY projects even more rewarding, right?  RIGHT!
So obviously when I saw those tiny red clearance tags on some of Anthropologie's knobs last night, the wheels started turning.
Usually I can't justify paying $24 for one single knob.
However....$2.99 with an extra 30% off....THAT's a knob I can get behind!

The emerald green was the only one from this collection available at our store; but it didn't matter one bit to me!  I was already decorating a room around them in my head while frantically scouring the bins for the six that I knew I needed to glam up this little IKEA dresser in Elle's room:

Ikea... meet Anthropologie:

Though they pack a big punch in person; truly, it's really nothing earth-shattering....in fact, in pictures you can't tell much of a difference at all. 
I almost wrote it off as too insignificant to even share with you... but maybe this one was more for me.  To remind myself that projects don't always have to wait until I have a free afternoon all to myself and tons of extra cash to play around with.  {Because, let's be honest.... I might be waiting a very long time for those days.}   Maybe the most memorable and meaningful projects come from clearance bins and tiny babies underfoot.
So here's to making things pretty even when it seems insignificant.   
In my opinion, the best homes are created over time, layered with memories and filled with lots and lots of love along the way.

So here's my challenge to myself and to you this season....let's start small; but let's start somewhere no matter what season of life we're in.  If you have $15 and 15 minutes, find something in your home to bring new life to.  It'll be fun.  I promise.  

Follow me on Instagram and join the #15and15project hash tag.  What can you create with 15 and 15?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Renovation Roundup: What We Learned

We are done!  The seemingly never-ending renovation is finally complete.
{And by complete...I just mean, we've said goodbye to the apartment and settled back into life on the lake}
There are still MANY, many projects left to be done.  But we're HOME and that's what matters!
In fact, I've put off writing this post for so long; because I thought it needed to be "magazine worthy" in order to show you.  But what I've been reminding myself is that perfection isn't the goal.  We've built the house; now it needs to become our home.  Some parts are still unfinished, unpainted, not quiet yet unpacked.  But it's slowly starting to feel loved and lived in; and that's a much better goal than perfection any day.
Here's a glimpse of where we started:

It was charming and sweet and filled with so much love.
The only thing lacking was space for this sweet new addition:

{Welcome Baby Beckham....we love you so!}

After 6 months of construction, lots of late nights, and dozens of decisions, here is our home today:

So much still to be done...landscaping, grass growing, and perhaps a little darker on the shutters.
But for now.... we're HOME!

Stay tuned for loads more interior pictures; but in the meantime, for those of you about to embark on a renovation or smack dab in the middle of one, here is what I wish I had known before embarking on this journey....
My Renovation 101, if you will:

1.  Document Every Step: I feel quite sure our contractors dreaded the site of me schlepping through the mud with my camera in one hand and a baby in the other.  I honestly started apologizing for going in my own house.  But push through and take pictures every single day.  You'll be glad you did later.
{We used Chat Books as a quick and easy way to turn our renovation into mini coffee table books.  Our toddler and our guests love to flip through and see the transformation.}  Or you could always just start a blog!

2.  Set Realistic Expectations.  I detest even typing those words because I sound like such a "negative Nelly."  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the way our home turned out!  But sometimes the expectations of HGTV and Pinterest set my husband {who also happens to be my builder} up for failure.  Remember that 99% of the time, the dream home you lie awake fantasizing about at night will be a construction zone.  It won't look pretty until the end.  And even then, there is lots more work to be done.
{Our kitchen looked unfinished like this for a whole month! Agonizing}

3.  Early in the process, create a vision for how you'd like your home to feel.  Then stick with it.  You'll be swayed a million different directions in the process.  New ideas will arise, someone will always have a seemingly "better" style and you'll want to change everything at the last minute. Don't.  Stick to what you love and what you've decided before-hand works best for your family.  After framing was complete, Michael told me I MUST stop looking for new ideas. Unfortunately, I didn't listen and then found myself second-guessing a million little choices we'd made.

At this point it's best to celebrate the floor plan you've decided upon instead of thinking of things you should have done differently.

4.  Leave room in your budget for unexpected expenses.  I guess what they say is true: renovations always cost more and take longer than you anticipate.
We encountered far too of these roadblocks to mention without cringing.  Thankfully we were flexible with other non-essentials.  Since we had more electrical work than we bargained on, we put built-ins on the back burner for a while.  The little things can come.  Don't sacrifice on what keeps your family safe....obviously.

5.  Before Drywall begins, take pictures of what's behind your walls.  These will prove to be invaluable later when electricians or plumbers are looking for pipes or wires.  (Smart home building husband of mine thought of this!)
{that's the wall in our kitchen....I think.  Maybe you should label them too?} ;)

6.  Remember that it always gets worse before it gets better.  When we moved out, I thought that was the saddest day of all.  I envisioned forward progress after that.  But it was one step forward and two steps back it seemed.  I wish I had braced myself for someone tearing our sweet little house apart:

7.  Hire an excellent carpenter!  I can't say enough about the miracles of trim and molding details.  This is what will set your home apart from so many others and make it uniquely you.  If you live in the Charlotte area and are remodeling in the near future, email me for the name of an exceptional one.

8.  Dream up details that will make your home memorable and treat them as non- negotiable.  Even though the budget gets tight, you'll be glad you held on to a few key luxuries.  For us it was the herringbone tile in the mudroom and a large marble shower.  Though they both took extra time and money, they're two of my favorites:

9.  Build friendships with your contractors.  Many of these hard working men hear nothing but complaints from home owners.  We wanted to be different.  We made it our goal to make sure each man who stepped onto our property knew that we valued people over production.  The littles and I had so much fun surprising them with donuts, drinks, pizza, and sometimes even the occasional beer.  As a result, the workplace was always so light-hearted and fun!  And, in return, they were always quick to indulge last minute changes or extra requests that popped up.
{Not quite sure how Beckham feels about this camaraderie}

10.  And finally, be OK with the process of it.  Don't expect it to be complete on move-in day.  What would be the fun in that, right?  See it as a labor of love that continues to inspire projects along the way:
{I can choose to look at this picture and focus on the lack of rugs, the need for new chairs, the lack of art on the walls.... OR I can take a deep breath and just start living here!}  

I'll be back soon with a full house tour!
(In between unpacking boxes, of course)

We truly appreciate you following along on this crazy journey of ours!
Honored that you're here,