Archive | our house

the progression of my favorite room

I was asked by my friend Melissa of The Inspired Room to help celebrate the launch of her newest book with a quick peek at my favorite room.  I knew right away that I would share my office.  If you’re a reader of Melissa’s you know she is all about loving the home you have rather than wishing and waiting for something better and using what you have to make it feel more like you.

This is totally the story of my office.


When we moved in a little over nine years ago, this is what the office looked like:


It sits off to the right when you walk in the front door at the front of the house. The big window gets the best light of the house and it’s the perfect mix of open to the rest of the house and its own space (the french doors help with that). When we first moved it, this was Ryan’s office, but once I started the blog and began working more consistently, I took over the front room. The initial transformation was so much fun and exactly what I needed at that time in my life.

As a mom of many small children, having a space in the house that was just for me felt like the greatest gift. I could go in the office and be surrounded by things that made me happy and inspired apart from who I was as a mom. I will forever look back on this time and feel grateful that I found EMILY. I don’t know that I lost myself, but there is such potential when you spend your days loving and caring and protecting and nursing and cooking and picking up and forgetting to do things that make you feel alive and beautiful and creative.  That is what this office has represented in my life.

From the first version in 2010 until now, this room continues to be a place of inspiration and function. Let’s take a look at the many changes and updates that I’ve made over the years to my favorite space.


This was right after I completed the room makeover. I still love the painted wallpaper (see the tutorial here) and chalkboard wall. The drum shade was a simple diy (glue some fabric to a drum pendant and you’re done!) and I did like that dresser in there.


After a while, Ryan decided to move in with me. We put two matching desks back to back and I went a little crazy with the wall of pictures/art/etc. Ryan and I liked working together, but he values function over form and his metal file and shredder just didn’t cut it in my pretty space so he moved back upstairs to work.

A new, longer desk was needed as was more storage for all of my envelopes, files, etc, so those changes were made sometime in 2012. In December 2012, Better Homes + Gardens came to photograph my office (see it in publication here) which was beyond thrilling. To see our very average builder-grade home in a magazine was pretty affirming that we were indeed loving the home we had (even if it was/is not our dream house!).




For about a year, not much changed in the office except my style which gradually became much cleaner and neutral.


When I could take the carpet no longer, my boys and I pulled it up one day and I painted the chippy plywood subfloor white.



I actually really, really loved the white floors. They were not practical (especially because of the chippy subfloor that couldn’t be mopped), but the white was so bright and a great backdrop in there.


In November 2014, we had new hardwood floors installed throughout our house. It was a major undertaking and we love the results.  I miss the white floors, but having one consistent surface throughout the downstairs keeps things really open and visually clean.

Better Homes + Gardens photographed our house again in January 2015 for the Christmas Ideas issue (out on newstands now!). I’ll share photos soon!

So all of this leads us to today. This is the current state of the office:


It’s a total mess.

This summer, Ryan moved back in. The boys needed some space and so we moved them into their own rooms which meant Ryan’s office up there became a bedroom. Plus, we work together and it makes sense to be in the same room.

The not so wonderful part is that form vs function issue.

You may notice there are now three computers. My humungous one is fantastic and what I work on, the smaller mac (my old one) is for the kids, Ryan’s is on the other side on this gorgeous table that I love and gave up so he could use it for his desk (the true sign of love, perhaps).

I’m not a fan of the mat under my chair, but the floors were getting scratched so function wins.

We pulled in a console table we weren’t using in the living room to hold all the printers, paper, wires, modem, ugly things that are just necessary. Again with the function.

The files and garbages and piles of stuff is just life.

And I am switching out the brackets on the shelves for gold ones but only made it through the first shelf.

Even with all of this ugly/practical/messy mess, it’s still my beloved favorite room. I like it better when it is clean and pretty, but the feeling is still the same: it’s my place to be creative.


Do you have a favorite room in your house? What do you love about it? Is it how it looks? Or what it means to you? Or how it makes you and your family and guests feel?


Maybe you need some encouragement and visual inspiration to help you on your way to loving the home you have. If so, you will love, love, love Melissa’s newest book, The Inspired Room. You guys, it is so beautiful.


Her style is so good (and the photos!), but so are her words. She’s such an encouragement and wise and practical in her approach to creating a home. You will read this book and feel encouraged to love your home and make it feel like you.


If you want to join in and share your favorite room, you can do so here and be entered to win $300 from Anthro! More details here.

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why I found a new rug for the living room

moroccan shag rug in the living room / jones design company

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted about rearranging the living room. While creating the design board and editing the post photos, I kept feeling like everything was just so monotone.

shop the room / jones design company

Gray rug, beige sofa, taupe chairs, dark floors, dark coffee table, gray stone on the fireplace.

Now I’m all about neutrals, but part of doing them well is making sure you have a nice mix of contrast. Different shades, different sheen, different textures. I’m no decorating expert, but I’m learning to trust my design instincts and something felt off.

I looked around at my favorite rooms on my pinterest living room board and noticed a recurring theme:


White walls/ceiling (check)

Linen or white upholstered pieces (check)

Natural wood tones (check)

Light rug (hmmmm).

Maybe that was what our living room needed.

So I kept my eyes peeled for a light rug and found this one on sale for 70% off. I took the plunge and called it a birthday gift :)

The rug arrived this week and I couldn’t wait to unroll and rearrange (once again).


Everything was put back together and now looks like this:

moroccan shag rug in the living room / jones design company

After a few days of living with it, here are my thoughts:

  1. Love the soft, cushy feel of the new rug.
  2. Love the light color.
  3. Not sure how well it will hold up with our busy household.
  4. It was very inexpensive, so I don’t feel like it’s precious and can’t be replaced.
  5. The zig zags are more brown than gray, but I think it’s okay.
  6. There’s a lot of pattern happening in this room. Maybe too much.
  7. The rug smells so chemically. It needs to be aired out.
  8. The gray rug hides dirt and gives a nice, cozy texture, but sheds so much it was driving me crazy.
  9. I’m undecided on which one is better.

So that’s where were at.


I’d love to hear your design thoughts … gray rug or light rug?

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rearranging the living room furniture

Rearranging the living room / jones design company

Sometimes a good furniture rearranging is all you need to make a room feel fresh.

Our living room is our everyday hang out space, where we watch tv and read books and our main entertaining spot when friends come over.  It is open to the kitchen with a wall of windows (that looks out onto our tiny backyard and neighbors you could practically touch – but we’re not talking about that) and has a vaulted ceiling which gives it a big, airy feel.

Rearranging the living room / jones design company

This room is a little tricky for furniture placement since there are no walls, but I keep trying to switch it up just to make our same stuff feel different.

So the other day, with Ryan at work, two of the kids at my parent’s house and the others occupied upstairs, I played furniture rearranging for an hour or so.

rearranging the living room process / jones design company

I’m not great at visualizing a space; I really need to see things in place to figure out if it works or not. That’s the great thing about rearranging what you already have – you just move it around until you find a spot where it works.

Rearranging the living room / jones design company

The couch was previously along the window wall, with the tufted chairs opposite and the thrift store leather (vinyl?) chair facing the fireplace. That setup worked fine (probably better than any other), but its been that way for months and I was ready for a change.

Rearranging the living room / jones design company

Now the sofa faces the fireplace with the tufted chairs flanking it. We’ve had the room this way before, too, so it really isn’t all that original. The only thing we haven’t tried before is that thrifted chair under the window.

Rearranging the living room / jones design company I like the placement this way for now. It feels cozy and open and different.

Rearranging the living room / jones design company

And the best part is that all it took was some shifting of furniture to freshen up the room.

Rearranging the living room / jones design company

Are you a perpetual re-arranger? Or do you feel bored of your same old room? Maybe try switching things up a bit for an hour and see what other arrangement you can make!
Shop the room / jones design company

TUFTED LINEN SOFA: Yes, I still love it. Yes, it has held up really well. Yes, it will stain if you spill on it, so we just keep the kids in the kitchen with food. I am a big fan of the tight back and cushy down-filled cushions.

TUFTED SIDE CHAIRS: These were the first pieces of new furniture we bought for our house over 9 years ago. Classic style, comfortable, quality construction and fabric (I chose a mohair-look-alike in a taupy color).

WOOL RUG: Great color, very soft, hides dirt, love the texture it adds. BUT it sheds so much. So, so much. Even after a year. I would still buy it because it is a great price and looks great, but I’m slightly tired of the fuzz balls it creates.

INDUSTRIAL COFFEE TABLE: This one is from Wisteria years ago. It’s super heavy and I love the casters. This one is similar.

METAL SIDE TABLE: A great deal for a sturdy, but delicate side table.

WHITE FLOOR LAMP: Go ahead and get one or two or three of these for your house. They come in the floor lamp style, a desk lamp or sconces (which I have in my office). The cord is the best part.

PUMPKIN PAINTING: I painted this white pumpkin a few years ago on a canvas and pull it out each fall. I do offer reprints in my shop (although not as large, they are still wonderful!) Use code GRATITUDE for 15% off.

WOOD VASE: The natural warm wood color and modern texture of this vase is just so good. It is not water, safe, so either use faux branches or just wrap a clipping in a baggie filled with water.

BLACK + WHITE BLANKET: This wool blanket is such a classic and will work for any season. It was a splurge for me, but so worth it.

MONGOLIAN FAUX FUR PILLOW: Fluffy and fun and full of texture. And cheap.

BLACK GEOMETRIC PILLOW: I wasn’t in the market for a new pillow, but I couldn’t help myself with this one.

LEATHER PILLOW: I was in the market for a leather pillow. I’ve been eying these for forever and finally found one on ebay for a steal. It is soft and perfect. I wish it was a chair.

METALLIC GEOMETRIC PILLOWS: Again, so many pillows in my life. I just really love switching them out each season. It gives a whole new look to an otherwise neutral room.

BASKET: For corralling books and magazines and remotes and coasters, this basket tray is great for the coffee table.

WHITE CHUNKY KNIT THROW: More texture with a chunky knit throw.

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fall house tour 2015

fall home tour / jones design company

Happy Fall my friends! Each season a bunch of bloggers join together to share fall decorating ideas. The tour is FULL of gorgeous – yet real life – homes with inspiration galore. Laura at Finding Home starts things off (see her home here) and we’ve partnered with Better Homes + Gardens as well! If you are coming from Michael’s home, welcome. Isn’t his home just the happiest place?! He does an amazing job of mixing patterns and color, while still keeping things clean. Love it. If my house is your first stop, be sure to click back to see what you’ve missed (start here).

This year, I have to say, I have been holding on to summer as long as possible and haven’t been quite ready for complete fall decorating with deep colors and traditional autumn colors. I’m sure that time will come as we progress into the next few months, but for now, I was going for a touch of fall with textures and warm/neutral colors, but still fresh and light. So I’m calling this my early fall home decorating.

Enjoy the peek into our home!


living room / fall home tour / jones design company

living room / fall home tour / jones design company
fireplace mantle / fall home tour / jones design company

Our fireplace lends itself so well to fall decorating with the cozy textures of stone and cedar. We usually keep our large iron stag head up there, but I thought I’d switch things up and display a painting I did of a pumpkin (proud moment).  If you’d like a print of the painting for your home, you can purchase one here (use code GRATITUDE for 15% off).

fall home tour fire place / jones design company

The linen couch is the perfect foundation for switching out accessories for any season. This time around a mix of textures and patterns leans toward a cozy, autumn feel.

fall home tour / jones design company

fall pillows / fall home tour / jones design company

fall home tour / jones design company

fall home tour / jones design company
fall home tour fire place / jones design company
sofa / tufted chairs / wool rug / coffee table (similar) / side table / buffalo plaid throw / black geometric pillow / leather pillow / white geometric pillows / brass L (no longer available) / white pumpkin painting



painted piano fall home tour / jones design company

Last summer, I painted our old, dark wood piano bright white. I love it so much more now (even though the keys are so obviously aged-off-white).

piano / fall home tour / jones design company

bench (Target, no longer available) / sheepskin / fall art print (download free below or here)



fall home tour / jones design company
fall home tour / jones design company

fall home tour / jones design company

kitchen chalkboard / fall home tour / jones design company

kitchen / fall home tour / jones design company

kitchen / fall home tour / jones design company

kitchen sink / fall home tour / jones design company
kitchen / fall home tour / jones design company

bar stools / gold dot pillow (Marshall’s) / striped bowls / striped dish towel (coming soon!)



coffee station / fall home tour / jones design company

In between the kitchen and dining room is a little pass-through where we keep our coffee station. It keeps it accessible, but out of the way from regular kitchen activities.  coffee / fall home tour / jones design company

coffee maker / milk frother / metal tray / striped mugs / coffee print



dining room / fall home tour / jones design company

dining room / fall home tour / jones design company

dining room / fall home tour / jones design company

dining room / fall home tour / jones design company

table (no longer available, Restoration Hardware) / chairs / light / shelf / bar cart / striped napkins (coming soon!)

So there it is … the house all prettied up for fall.



FREE fall art print / download at jones design company

To help spread some autumn cheer, please enjoy this free art print. Simply sign in to the freebies library we call The Archive, download and print on your favorite white cardstock. I hope it adds an extra touch of fall to your home!

Free Fall Art Print / download at Jones Design Company

Thanks for visiting!


Don’t forget to visit the other gorgeous fall homes throughout the week.

First stops: BHG / Finding Home Farms / Liz Marie Blog / Inspired By Charm

Next up: Thistlewood Farms

If you’d like to take part in the tour, post your photos and tag them with #BHGCelebrate for a chance to be featured on BHG’s instagram and #FindingFallHomeTour for a chance to be featured on instagram.

Happy Fall!

To see our home decorated in seasons past:

 Fall Home Tour 2013 / Fall Tour 2014 Part One / Fall Tour 2014 Part Two

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How To Create A Gallery Wall

How to Create a Gallery Wall / jones design company
Audrey’s room has been in it’s incomplete state for well over a year. This seems to be a theme in my life – this starting and not finishing projects around the house – and I’m determined to wrap a few up.  I’ve been collecting art for her room and knew a gallery wall was in order. I finally put it together and I am IN LOVE with how it turned out.

I’ll show you the final wall at the end (it’s super cute!), but I wanted to walk you through my process for creating a gallery wall.

First things first, collect art and frames.


I don’t know why we have so many frames laying around our house, but in this moment I was thankful for the abundant supply.  For Audrey’s room, I chose to do a combination of white, gold and black frames. I like a simple frame and while you can definitely do all matching frames, I find it more interesting to have a mix. Here’s an example of mixed frames from our Wall of L’s. All of the frames I used were from Target, Minted or IKEA, with exception of the vintage gold frames from my grandmother.

As for art, I’ve been collecting favorites for about a year, waiting to put them all together in a gallery. I’ll highlight my exact art below. When choosing art, try to keep to a similar color story and feel. Varying artists, sizes, mediums, dimension is great because it adds interest to your wall. And don’t forget to add in a few photos, too.

Next up is gathering the tools. Here’s the thing about me and hanging pictures: I’m not afraid of an extra hole in the wall. Which basically means, I eyeball it and if I mess up, I just pop in another hole. Therefore, a ruler, level and tape measure do not make it into my list of tools. If this is just too much for you, go ahead and add a measuring device to the list of tools.

Tools you need to hang a gallery wall / jones design company

A few notes:

* Poster Putty. Remember this stuff? It used to be blue and it held up a lot of magazine tear outs on my bedroom wall in my high school days). It now comes in white and is great for tacking up paper, photos and I even put a little ball under the bottom corners of frames to keep them from getting knocked around and crooked.

* Washi Tape. Super cute to use as an embellishment on frames or to hang photos/little notes (tip: you may need poster putty to secure them first and then add tape – it doesn’t hold well on it’s own).

* 3M Velcro Strips. Great for picture frames that don’t have hooks (like the vintage ones I used) and also if you want to avoid nail holes in your walls.

* Picture Hooks. These little ingenious things just poke into the sheetrock and use leverage so you don’t need wall anchors.

* Small Nails. Unless the art I’m hanging is super heavy, I just hang it with a small nail.

* Hammer. This fancy one was invented by Ryan’s uncle. It’s the most handsome hammer in all the land. If you need a gift idea for a man in your life, here are a few for sale.

* Pencil. For marking where to pop in the nail.

So once you’ve got your artwork and frames selected and your tools gathered, it’s time to layout your art.


I start by laying it all out on the floor so I can see each piece and the sizes in relation to each other. I’m a symmetrical girl for most things in life, but prefer a loose, non-symmetrical gallery wall. This is a helpful wall layout guide if you need some ideas for arrangements, but again, most are pretty symmetrical and I think it’s okay to be relaxed and casual with art placement (i.e. not lining up perfectly, not equal spaces between all frames, etc.).  One thing I do like to do is to arrange the art in a rough square or rectangle. This keeps everything relating, but not perfectly lined up.

For the gallery wall in Audrey’s room, I started with the largest piece first (the floral paper – so darling, yes?!) and used it to anchor the left side. Then I just started moving pieces around a little bit like a puzzle. I tried to alternate the sizes and orientation (so not two horizontal 8×10’s next to each other) as well as the frame color. Then I took it one step further and spread out work by the same artist and colors. For example, the mermaid print, cake table and shoe prints all have that pretty teal/minty blue and I kept them separate so that the color was spread out and it keeps your eye moving around to take it all in. The same is true for the gold accents – I placed them throughout the arrangement rather than next to each other.


Once you find an arrangement you like, now you get to mess up your walls and start poking holes in them! Yay! I know this can be scary, but my theory is that they are just walls and are very easy to patch and paint over if you decide to take down the art at some point. So don’t be afraid, let your walls be your canvas.

I pulled the artwork one at a time and followed the same layout I had on the ground.

How to Create a Gallery Wall in animation / jones design company

An hour or so later, here is what I ended up with:
How to create a gallery wall / jones design company

This wall now makes me so happy and Audrey loves it, too.


Each piece is meaningful and has been collected just for her. I just love how it turned out!

Sources for Artwork / jones design company

1. Mighty To Save by Fancy That Design House

2. No longer available. From Janet Hill Studios

3. Be you tiful. By me

4. Mini card by 1 Canoe 2 from She Reads Truth

5. Little Dresses by Julia Denos

6. Mermaid by Rifle Paper Co from Paper Source

7. Mini card by She Reads Truth

8. Cardboard covered letter

9. Twirl print by Lindsay Letters for Jones Design Company (we have just a few more on sale here)

10. Button flower bouquet (tutorial here)

11. Mint Floral Wrapping Paper by Rifle Paper Co for Paper Source

12. DIY Silhouette (tutorial here)

13. No longer available by Janet Hill Studios (but she has so many other great ones)

14. Flower Shop by Coco + Ollie

15. Paper Crown (tutorial here)


Apparently I had some things to say about how to create a gallery wall! Hopefully the info is helpful and if you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below.

Don’t forget our BIG Summer Sale is going on now. Save 50% on all Art Prints.

50% off all art prints / jones design company



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it’s a miracle … progress on the kids’ bathroom


Friends. You may remember that I started a mini-makeover on the kids’ bathroom last spring. And then it stalled. For a year. Actually, a little over. But who’s counting.

Well you’ll be happy to know that over the past two weekends we’ve made progress. Hallelujah! The funny thing is that it really is not a hard project to finish, it just hasn’t made it to the top of the priority list. Until last weekend.

Here’s where I left off:

Cabinets were painted, walls painted, knobs and pulls added, tile backsplash sort of removed, but mostly just destroyed sheetrock remained. That was the hold-up. I needed Ryan to help remove the damaged portion of the walls and replace to give a sturdy surface for the tile to go back up.

steps for tiling bathroom backsplash / jones design company

In just a matter of a few hours, he cut out the bad wallboard, replaced with wood (we could have used cement board, but it was not necessary for this project), then started putting up the tile. It’s an amateur job, for sure, so don’t go following our non-technical directions. All we know is that it’s an improvement on what was there previously.


I got my hands in on the tiling and actually found it to be really fun. And it also gave me a whole new appreciation for tiling experts because getting it all straight and flush and perfect is no easy task.

The tile sat for a week like this and my job yesterday was to grout it. Again, I’ve never done grout and even though it’s not necessarily hard, it’s harder than it looks!


We debated between gray grout and white and ultimately decided white would hide our mistakes better and blend in with the wall rather than having it stand out. This was a great choice for this particular tiling job because it is far from perfect. The gray grout lines would have made the inconsistencies very obvious. Good thing to think about if you are tackling a tiling job in your home.


Once the tiles were all wiped down, I was actually quite pleased with myself. Maybe up close it is not perfect, but it really does look great and gives the kids’ bathroom a clean, updated look.


So just a few hours worth of diy-ing and the bathroom looks a million times better:

Up next:

  • caulk tile
  • add white frame to the mirror
  • switch out light fixture
  • add art to the walls
  • install towel hooks

We’re almost there! I’ll keep you posted on progress. I’m on a roll, so I’m hoping it will all be finished in a week or two.

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The playroom in Better Homes + Gardens Magazine


In December 2012, a team from Better Homes + Gardens came to our house to take pictures. It was beyond exciting. They shot both the office (featured in the September 2013 issue) and the kids’ playroom. We weren’t sure when they would publish the playroom, but it turns out, it made it into the June 2015 issue!


My kids have been waiting for this one to show up. It makes them feel pretty ‘famous’ to see themselves in a real life magazine. And they look so little!

If you haven’t gathered this, Ryan and I rearrange furniture a lot. Entire rooms, sometimes. So this darling playroom of December 2012 didn’t last that way for long. It morphed into Paige’s guest bedroom for a short while and then I painted over the stripes and moved Audrey in. Just last week we moved the kids around again and now each has their own room (no more cute boy bunk room, but some mini room makeovers are in the works) and Audrey’s room also had a few furniture changes. It’s a revolving door around here, my friends.

Anyway, the playroom looks super cute in the magazine. Maybe we should have just left it alone.

NS-Lex-Playroom-PRINT-1 NS-Lex-Playroom-PRINT-2

When I received my BHG magazine in the mail, these pages where nowhere to be seen. I had to track down a copy and apparently this article only ran in some issues. Maybe based on geographic location? Or something? I’m not sure how it works. Thankfully the nice people at Better Homes sent us a few copies for safekeeping. Because you know the kids want to show these pictures to all their friends :)

I feel so flattered that a professional magazine would deem our house magazine worthy. It’s pretty crazy, really, for a girl who grew up dreaming of living in a magazine house.

(Also, here’s a random story: I called to make a grooming appointment for Atlas and when I told the lady our last name she said, “Oh! I was just reading about your playroom in the magazine. I recognized the name and figured there weren’t many Lex’s so it must have been you!” How random is that?!)

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house tour / summer edition


Sweet, sweet summertime. I’m so happy this new season is upon us. We’re up here in the Pacific Northwest where summer doesn’t officially start until the kids get out of school mid-June, but we are just about mentally there. My kids (four of them ages 11, 9, 7 + 5) have stayed up much past their bedtime all week, we went out for ice cream last night and they have big plans for a new business this summer they can’t wait to get going on. All to say, we’re all ready. I need the lazy days and open windows, Ryan loves the warmer weather and flip flops, the kids can’t wait for all of it.

In preparation for the craziness that is our next few weeks before summer, I went on a decluttering flurry around the house. While I didn’t go quite to the extreme as last fall by completely quieting the house (a phrase lovingly borrowed from my friend the Nester), I still needed some space to breathe.  If you’ve been around my space of the internet for long, you know that I’m a neutral-loving girl. White. Black. Natural wood. Linen. Sometimes I add in pops of color (like in last year’s summer house tour) and stripes always make an appearance, but this year I just needed neutrals.  Lots of white. Lots of texture. Very little color. And it feels just right for our chaotic lives :)



We live in a builder-grade home we bought 9 years ago. It was just about finished by the time we made an offer, so we missed out on making any design decisions on the fixtures/colors/lighting/kitchen packages. It turned out to be okay because we’ve found great joy in adding personality on our own to our otherwise regular house. We call it Making Builder-Grade Better.

It’s still pretty crazy to me that our home has graced the pages of three issues of Better Homes + Gardens (with a christmas feature coming out later this year!) because it’s truly nothing fancy. We’ve just loved adding our touches, changing out little things like switching out lights and painting all the walls and doing big projects like replacing the floors and updating a perfectly fine (but so blah) kitchen.  We’ve done our best to turn our house into a home.


Once inside, our piano sits nicely inside the stairway niche. I painted this old family piano last summer (it was a total pain, but I’m happy I did it). And Lindsay’s amazing artwork is just perfect over it.


Across from the piano nook is our dining room.


Like most dining rooms, it doesn’t get a lot of use. But when family comes for holidays or the kids need to spread out for an epic game of Risk, it’s just the space we need.

A collection of antique silver platters makes dimension/interesting/pretty artwork. You’ll see lots of old silver around our house – Ryan’s mom is the queen of thrift store shopping and she casts off all her goods to us. I know. Lucky me.


In the corner is this fantastic Target bar cart for a mix in metals. And my beloved book page wreath.

Moving on into the kitchen …


We changed the whole thing about a year after we moved in. I painted all the lower cabinets, Ryan added the beadboard backsplash and built-in seating, we extended the countertop and changed the shape of the island with new granite. And put in open shelves.

I’m asked often about what we think of shelves in the kitchen. We love them. All of our regular-use dishes and glassware are readily available and because we use most of the items, they don’t have a chance to get dusty. The top shelves need to be wiped down every so often.


I like changing up the shelves, adding artwork and lots of greenery.  The ipad mounted to the wall was Ryan’s genius idea.



Connected to the kitchen is our main living area. This is where our family mostly hangs out.


Our fireplace makeover was a fun project (that took forever) but adds so much interest to the room. And the stag (from here) just makes us happy.





Mixing patterns and textures, metals and finishes helps keep a neutral house interesting and adding live plants always keeps things feeling fresh and alive.

Last, we’ll head to our bedroom. The kids’ rooms, bathroom, laundry and bonus room are all upstairs and I avoid the mess as much as possible! Thankfully, our room is downstairs where things seem to stay picked up pretty well.


On a whim one saturday morning – actually, it was the morning Ryan and I were flying to california for the weekend and I should have been scrambling to pack my bags, but instead rearranged our bedroom furniture. So typical.  Anyway, I moved the bed against the window and now the blue wall makes no sense but I’ve been wanting to either plank the walls in here or paint it all white (no surprise there!) so maybe this will motivate that project.


Our bed (from Restoration Hardware – no longer available) and lamps (same) were two of our first purchases of real furniture when we moved in.  I like switching out the bedding, but usually come back to all white. There’s just something so hotel-ish about it.


(I still do print from my shop)



And, of course, texture.


Off our bedroom is a nice-sized bathroom that will someday be pretty like this.

So there you go, my friends! Thanks for visiting and chilling with me for a bit. I’d love to hang out again … you can SUBSCRIBE to the blog for future updates or find me on INSTAGRAM or PINTEREST.

Ready for more Summer House Tour inspiration?


Up next is Wendy from The Shabby Nest and you can see the full lineup here.

(Let me know if you have any questions on sources – or you can check out this source post and this one for most of the main furniture/lighting seen in our home)

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If I were to redo our bathroom, it would look like this


We have no plan to redo our bathroom any time soon, but now that the rest of our main floor is looking all fancy with the new floors and white walls, I’m just itching to inject a little style into our master bathroom. And by inject a little style what I really mean is pretty much change everything.

Let me show you it’s current circa 2006 state:


When you walk in from our bedroom, there are two sinks on the right, a toilet room in that little area next to the wall, a tub and shower opposite and then our closet at the back.


Here’s the thing about our bathroom: it works. It’s clean. It functions just fine. But it’s just so blah.

So just like we’ve done with the rest of our house, I just want to inject a little personality into an otherwise builder-basic room.


Again, let me reiterate that there are no real plans to do the room, but in my imagination where my creativity just needs to do it’s thing, this is what I’m thinking:


I love the idea of making the vanity area more of a focal point, of tiling the walls all the way up with classic subway tile, adding tile to the floors and replacing the tub with a freestanding version. The colors, of course, would stay in the white, black, warm brown, mixed metals, neutral family – light and bright, clean and classic.

tub colors

And just for fun, here’s a more detailed design board:


Can’t you just see the vision?!!!

A girl can dream.

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our house: then + now

The house a few doors down from us is for sale. It is a duplicate of ours (don’t you just love how builders do that?!) and looks the same as it did when it was built 8 1/2 year ago. As I was walking by, I peeked at the flyer and it made me smile to see the photos – my how our house has changed over these 8 years.


It’s easy to forget all the progress we’ve made when we still have an ongoing list of what updates to make, so I thought it would be fun to compare a few before and afters just to see the difference.

I’m actually using the professional photos from the current listing (with permission from our good friend who is the agent) because a. they are really good and b. i can not find the original photos we took when we bought the house (boo!). Like all great real estate photos, these make the house look slightly better than it does in real life, and my after photos are quick ones taken by me, so don’t judge too harshly :)

The only difference between the neighbor house and ours is the cabinets (ours were medium-dull-toned), the tile (greenish-gray – which you can see in this post) and we have a second window next to our front door. Otherwise, it’s a match.

Here we go!





changes: painted walls white, added hardwood floors, taller baseboards, changed light fixtures, painted interior of front door, hung curtains for privacy, painted wallpaper in office





changes: painted walls white, added molding to divide tall walls, resurfaced fireplace, added built-ins, new mantle, installed hardwood floors







changes:  removed upper cabinets, added open shelves, painted lower cabinets, added beadboard backsplash, extended counter top and island, granite countertops, under-mount sink + new faucet, changed lighting, added built-in bench, painted door, painted walls and ceiling, added crown molding, new stove, dishwasher, refrigerator and added beverage cooler, installed hardwood floors. Whew.





changes: painted walls, new hardwood floors, wood-wrapped openings in walls, new light fixture, taller baseboards installed

Obviously the before and afters look different because of the furniture and art on the walls, but just going through the list reminds me that we’ve really done a lot with this house! It truly feels like we’ve made a standard builder-grade home into one that reflects our style.  I like to call it making builder-grade better. 

For more photos of our house, click here.

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our house refresh (new floors + white walls)

Over the past month and a half, we’ve done a bit of a house remodel. For years we’ve been itching to tear out the carpet downstairs and replace it with hardwoods. We finally took the big step and finished the work right before thanksgiving.

To start at the beginning, here is the post where I tore out the carpet in my office and painted the subfloor because painted subfloor was better than the worn carpet (I kinda miss the white floors, if I’m telling the truth. But it was not practical, at all).

Several months later, we decided to just go for it and choose new floors. We tried out lots of samples and finally settled on this one from Build Direct.

Then came the fun (and really messy) part: demo. We did that part ourselves – had the kids join in and made quick work of destroying our house.

Once the floors were torn up, we took advantage of the chance to have the walls freshly painted. We’ve lived in the house for 8 years, so it was time to lighten up and give the walls a makeover. We went with white – heron white, to be exact – and couldn’t be happier with how bright and clean it looks.

After a week of painters came a week of floor install guys, then a day of trim and then a whole lot of cleaning and moving furniture back in and ahhhhh … it’s complete!

Do you want to see?! I snapped a few photos on thanksgiving day before our family came when everything was mostly put back together. It looks a little different today with Christmas decorations going up, but those photos will come.

So here it is, our house with white walls and new floors.



sofa / jute rug / cross rug / coffee table / stag



stools / striped towel




(details on the L wall here and here)



shelf / step stool / hand towel



wallpaper / chair / sconces



bed frame / wall color / duvet / coverlet (similar) / sheets

We are so happy with the results. The consistent floors make the rooms flow together and the dark color grounds the space. Add in the white walls through most of the downstairs and it really gave our whole house a new look.  Of course now we look back and wish we did it much sooner!

P.S. I’m over at Build Direct this week answering design dilemma questions. If you have any specific questions, hop on over and the team will be happy to answer (plus you’ll be entered to win $1000 to Build Direct).

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hardwood floors – the delivery, the demo, the install


We have new floors in our house. We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the right time and finally made it happen. Things have gone smoothly and fairly quickly and we’re now ready to clean out all the dust, move our furniture back in and get ready for hosting Thanksgiving.  I’ll take photos to show you the finished spaces (it looks so good!) once we have everything put back together, but for now let’s talk about the process of replacing our floors.

To recap, we had blonde maple in our entry (see it here), front bathroom and kitchen. The rest was a taupy/gray carpet (we still have it upstairs) in terrible condition from the past 8 years of kids and dog and entertaining and living. It was time for it to go. We ordered a million hardwood flooring samples, narrowed it down to our top picks and after a few days of staring at them, made our choice.


We ordered from Build Direct and the process was super easy. I measured, the customer service guys helped us figure out what trim pieces and overage we needed and it was official: our floors were on their way! Delivery day was pretty exciting … except when the handtruck couldn’t get the pallet up the driveway so Ryan and I had to carry each box one-by-one into the house. Let’s just say it was good exercise (ps. there were two of those pallets).

The second I had the chance, I tore that first box open to see our new floors.


We went with the gray-brown (here is the exact floor) and are very happy with the choice. Yes, we knew going into it that dark floors are a pain to maintain, but the matte finish and dirty brown color will hopefully do a good job of camouflaging dirt. Ask us in a few months if we’re still in love.

With the wood delivered, it was time to rip out the downstairs floors. Continue Reading →

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our process for picking white paint


Our house is a disaster. And I couldn’t be more excited about it.

We’ve been waiting years to do a few big projects to our house and finally took the plunge. The floors were ripped up last week, the walls needed a fresh coat of paint and the new floors will be installed this week. In the meantime, we’re living in a construction zone with all of our furniture moved out and no stove to cook on (which just means eating out or at friends’ houses and I’m not complaining about that!).

I posted about our flooring options and it was helpful to run through all of the choices and hear what you had to say. We made our final selection, placed the order and have let them acclimate in the house for the past few weeks (sneak peeks coming!).  Well, once we pulled up all the carpet and existing hardwoods downstairs in preparation for the floor install, we decided it was the right time to paint the walls. Normally I’m the painter. I really don’t mind it and do a decent job. But the places that needed new paint the most – the stairway, ceilings, hallways and tall walls in the living room – were not areas I was excited about working on. Besides the difficulty factor, it would also take us weeks, and we just don’t have time with kids and soccer and work and the holidays coming up.

So we hired painters. I’ll tell you what, I may never go back to painting myself again. They do such amazing work and they are quick. Yay for nice people who paint houses for a living!

The only problem is that it costs money. And when you’re paying a bunch of money to have nearly every wall in your house painted, you really, really want to make sure you pick the right color. There are a million bigger issues out there than choosing paint colors, I am well aware. I felt ridiculous going back and forth, painting swatches, staring at five whites that looked exactly the same and yet I also didn’t want to waste money on a color that we didn’t love.


We knew we wanted white. I’ve been craving clean, fresh, light, bright. One peek at my living area pinterest board and you’ll instantly see what my eye is drawn to. We moved into our home 8 years ago and the walls and ceilings were all the same khaki-ish color. It’s a fine color, but started feeling dark – especially during our dreary Pacific Northwest winters when the sun doesn’t show up much. So white was the obvious choice. Continue Reading →

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sources for hall, living, kitchen + extras

Did you enjoy the week of fantastic home tours? Thoroughly inspired to bring a little fall into your home? We had dinner with my sister this weekend and she said she was inspired to finally take down her 4th of july stuff and replace it with leaves, pumpkins and cozy textures. Her house always looks great and I’m excited to see what she has done with it now.


So let’s talk about some of the items seen in the second half of our house tour (first half, click here. And for sources, here.) Most of the furniture and accessories are not new which means they are not always still available for purchase, but I’ll share links where applicable. Continue Reading →

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fall house tour: living, hall & kitchen


Welcome to the second half of our fall house tour. We started last week with the front of the house: the entry, small bath, office, dining room and piano nook and today we’ll keep making our way through the main living areas.


If you’re coming from DesignPostInteriors, welcome! A little about me: I love neutrals. Get ready for a house tour void of color, but full of texture. Also, you might not be able to tell from the photos, but we have four kids and a dog and things don’t always look so fluffed and tidy. I try, but in real life you’ll probably see remote control helicopters and lego ships on the coffee table and art supplies covering the kitchen table, random shoes littering the floor and dog toys everywhere you look. I like things picked up, but we also do life here and sometimes that looks a little messy. I’m guessing you can relate.  I love how our house looks in the photos and I do my best to keep things nice around here, but really what we’re going for is a home that is welcoming and grace-filled and warm.

Okay, so let’s start the tour! Continue Reading →

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