Basement Renovation Reveal!

Basement Renovation Reveal!

I am so excited to finally be able to share the photos of our finished basement! First off, a disclaimer—you will probably notice that it obviously isn’t actually finished yet, since it still needs to be painted! We opted not to pay for them to paint it; instead, we used that money towards having the crew assemble and install the media center into the wall, so that it looks more like a custom built-in. We knew we could do the painting ourselves (even if it may take us a while), so I think this was a much better use of our money. It does make the “reveal” a little less exciting at the moment, but I promise I will post more photos as soon as it’s 100% finished.

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Living Room Series: Future Plans

Living Room Series: Future Plans

Since I showed some images of my “finished” living room in my last post, I thought I would follow up with sharing the plans I have for continuing to work on the space in the next few months/years. These are slightly more long-term plans, but I think it’s always good to be thinking ahead to the next steps, even while we are very much enjoying our living room in it’s current state. So, here are some of my future projects for this room…

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Living Room Series: Final Reveal

Living Room Series: Final Reveal

Over the past few months, I have been sharing a series of posts about my decorating process for our living room, and today I am very pleased to finally be able to show you the finished product!!! Having said that, I have to add the caveat that I believe a house evolves organically over time, so I’m not sure a room is ever really “finished”. There are already so many more things that I want to do to our living room (and I will share more about that in a future post), however, it is at least “finished” enough at this stage, that I am finally ready to share it with you!

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Basement Renovation Progress Update!

Basement Renovation Progress Update!

The long-awaited day has finally arrived!!! After waiting about two months for the media center to be delivered, we were finally able to get started on our basement renovation project this week! This is the first major home project that my husband and I have undertaken together, so it’s both very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. In case this might be helpful to any other first-time-house-renovators, I thought I would share a little bit more about our experience so far…

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Living Room Series: Accessories

Living Room Series: Accessories

Once a room is furnished and all of the major elements are in place, it’s time to focus on wall décor and decorative accessories—the proverbial icing on the cake. However, while this last stage may seem somewhat trivial, it’s actually crucially important. Many people stop decorating once all their furniture is in place, but without these final accents, a room will feel incomplete. No matter how well your couch coordinates with your rug, if you have bare walls and empty shelves, the space is going to look like its missing something… 

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Living Room Series: Framing William Morris Prints

Living Room Series: Framing William Morris Prints

Once a room is “decorated” with the bare essentials, rugs, furniture, window treatments, and lamps, the next major step is to address what’s going on the wall. Blank bare walls automatically make a room feel unfinished, and conversely, wall decor is one of the best ways to make a major statement in a room—in fact, I would argue that artwork is the single most powerful tool to completely transform a space. As an artist (and a gallerist!), this is a topic that I feel very strongly about, and it’s definitely something that I will continue addressing in future posts. Unfortunately, this topic also poses a bit of a quandary for many people; after all, most of us cannot necessarily afford to decorate our walls with real original works of art, and personally, I’m really not a fan of the recent trend for “word art” or any other types of mass-produced “decorator” art.

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The Saga of My Entryway Runner

The Saga of My Entryway Runner

A few weeks ago, I shared photos of my updated entryway, and I mentioned that I had encountered some difficulty finding an entryway runner that coordinated with my existing rug. Today, I’d like to take a little time to go into more detail about this process. While finding a runner turned into a month long saga which resulted in a LOT of frustration, it also ended up being a really good learning experience for me in several ways. To refresh your memory, I already had a beautiful 2 x 4 foot Magnolia Home rug in my entryway, which I absolutely loved, but I wanted to add a coordinating runner, which would extend in front of the door to our garage. I knew it might be a bit of a challenge trying to find something which worked with the rug I already had, and my maximum budget for the runner was $100.

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Living Room Series: Natural Lighting

Living Room Series: Natural Lighting

In one of my previous posts, I covered some aspects of artificial lighting in the home, so now it’s time to talk about natural lighting, i.e. windows! This may not seem like the most exciting element of decorating, but lately I have been realizing just how important windows are to the overall look and feel of a room. Once again, I’m going to focus on my living room as an example, but first of all, let’s consider the issue of windows a little more generally. Here are some important points to keep in mind…

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There's No Place Like Home: Our Home Story Part 2

There's No Place Like Home: Our Home Story Part 2

In my last post, I shared the story of how when my husband and I began our married life in 2016, we were renting our current home from my parents, who had purchased it as an investment property. We were incredibly grateful for the opportunity to live in really nice home, which normally we could have barely been able to afford (my parents were generously renting it to us at a discount). Nevertheless, it definitely was not our “dream home.” As we worked hard to increase our income, we started dreaming more about the kind of house we might actually buy one day. I figured that buying and selling a house is expensive (not to mention moving costs!), so at the time, I assumed our first home would be our forever home…

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There's No Place Like Home: Our Home Story Part 1

There's No Place Like Home: Our Home Story Part 1

This week is the one year anniversary of buying our home (although it’s actually been just over three years since I moved in), so I thought this would be an appropriate time to share our home story as well as some of the things that I learned through the home-buying process. When my husband and I first got engaged just over three years ago, I was living in a small apartment, he was still sleeping on a friend’s couch, and we were trying to figure out where the heck we could afford to live once we got married, considering our very modest income. Simultaneously, my parents had been toying with the idea of buying an investment property for years, and they decided that now was the perfect time to buy a place, which they could then rent out to us after we got married.

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Living Room Series: Artificial Lighting

Living Room Series: Artificial Lighting

I’ve been making lots of progress on the living room, and I’m getting close to calling the space done (at least, for now—is a room ever really finished??). I can’t wait to share it with you! However, today I’d like to take a quick detour from showing the progress on the living room to discuss a very important topic, which I think often gets short shrift, and that is: lighting—both artificial and natural. In this post, I’ll cover artificial lighting—i.e. ceiling or task lighting—and in the next post, I’ll discuss the importance of maximizing a room’s natural light source (focusing on our window renovation project). Since I’ve been primarily discussing the living room so far, I’ll use it as my example in both cases.

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My Parents' Summer Home: The Dining Room

My Parents' Summer Home: The Dining Room

I’m really excited to share the progress I’ve been making on our home, however first, I wanted to give a little sneak peak of another project that I’m currently working on: helping my parents decorate their summer home in Maine! My parents have enjoyed vacationing in Maine for the past 10 years or so, and a little over a year ago, they decided to take the plunge and buy a property there, close by the coast. It’s a beautiful, large Victorian home, built in 1889 with a ton of charm and character. However, it also needed a fair amount of restoration, and so my parents have spent quite a bit of time fixing it up—adding/renovating bathrooms, putting on a new roof, re-finishing the floors, and having the whole interior re-painted. They made a ton of progress last year, and it’s finally at the point where they can really begin decorating it. It’s a huge house however, and they were feeling a bit overwhelmed, so they decided to “hire” me to help them with the process! I am incredibly excited for the chance to work on another house besides my own—particularly a space which has so much history and character already.

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Living Room Series: Coffee Table and Side Tables

Living Room Series: Coffee Table and Side Tables

In the last few weeks, I have finally made some major progress on finishing my living room, and I’m hoping to share the final reveal very soon! In my previous post in this series, I discussed my living room seating, so today I am focusing on the accent pieces—the coffee table and some side tables. In selecting these pieces for the room, I felt that it was important to keep the wood tones more or less the same, and since I wanted to create a rich, warm atmosphere, I decided to focus on wood furniture with a dark espresso finish. 

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Faux Floral Arrangement

Faux Floral Arrangement

Sorry for the brief hiatus—I came down with the flu two weeks ago and am only just starting to feel back to normal again. I have made some progress on the home, however, and I will have lots of exciting things to share soon! For today, I just wanted to share this faux floral arrangement that I made to try and brighten the house up a bit, since February is such a dull month.

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Basement Ideas and Before Photos: Part 3

Basement Ideas and Before Photos: Part 3

This is the last installment of my 3-part series on planning our basement renovation, and today I want to talk about our ideas for a new home office! Honestly, while I am incredibly excited about the whole project, the office might be the aspect that I am most looking forward to. Gideon and I don’t have a desktop computer or a printer, largely because we have no place to put one, and our filing system leaves a lot to be desired. So even though neither of us have jobs that necessarily require us to work from home, I still think we are going to get a ton of use out of this new space.

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Living Room Series: Seating

Living Room Series: Seating

Once I had completed the floor-plan for my living room, it was time to think about my living room furniture—most importantly a sofa and chairs, so we could actually sit down. In my previous apartment, I had a very small loveseat, which I got before meeting my husband, who is over six feet tall, so needless to say, this was not comfortable for him to stretch out on. Once again, I came up with a list of parameters to help think through the options when picking out my new sofa…

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Basement Ideas and Before Photos: Part 2

Basement Ideas and Before Photos: Part 2

Last week I shared that my husband and I are planning to have our basement finished this spring, and I also discussed some of our plans for the space. I shared a little bit about our plans for a family room with a built-in entertainment center, and today I wanted to talk about the other half of that space, which we are hoping to turn into a playroom! Now, I know it’s ridiculously premature to plan for a playroom when you don’t even have kids yet, but I thought it would be a fun exercise to brainstorm ideas for it anyway. I promise I won’t actually start decorating it as a playroom until we have kids to use it, but I also don’t want the space to be totally empty in the meantime. So I may move ahead with one or two elements of the “future playroom,” which are not exclusively for kids.

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Living Room Series: The Floorplan

Living Room Series: The Floorplan

In my previous post about my living room, I discussed the importance of developing an overall vision or plan for the space. However, another major aspect of this process is coming up with a physical plan for the space—i.e. the floor-plan! I actually love making floor-plans, and I find them to be incredibly helpful. Obviously, if you are designing for a space that you don’t have ease of access to all the time, they are indispensable. But even if you are designing a space that you live in and can measure any time, it’s still incredibly useful to have all the measurements recorded carefully in one place. This will help you avoid mistakes such as buying a couch and finding out that it’s six inches too big in one direction. Instead, you can have a clear sense of the proportions needed for all of your furniture just by consulting your plan.  

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Basement Ideas and Before Photos: Part 1

Basement Ideas and Before Photos: Part 1

In my last post on home gratitude, I mentioned that my husband and I are grateful for our unfinished basement, and as it turns out, we are especially grateful for it right now because this is the year that we are actually going to FINISH it! That’s right—we are about to start our very first major home renovation project, and we are super excited about it! Of course, with that excitement comes a fair amount of trepidation, but we are really look forward to learning and growing a lot through this experience.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve met with several different contractors and gotten a few quotes for the project. We finally settled on the contractor that we want to work with, and today we put a deposit down for the job! The actual work won’t start for a little while, so I probably won’t have any progress photos to show for a month or so, however I thought I would still go ahead and share the “before” photos, as well as some of our ideas for the space…

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