Archive | our house

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.

our-house-then-and-now

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!

ENTRY THEN

entry-then

ENTRY NOW

entry-to-office

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

LIVING ROOM THEN

living-room-then

LIVING ROOM NOW

living-room

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

KITCHEN THEN

kitchen-front-then

KITCHEN NOW

kitchen

kitchen-then

kitchen-to-eating-area

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.

DINING ROOM THEN

dining-room-then

DINING ROOM NOW

dining-room

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.

LIVING ROOM

jones-design-company-living-room

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

KITCHEN

jones-design-company-kitchen

stools / striped towel

kitchen-to-sitting-area

THE L WALL  

jones-design-company-l-wall

(details on the L wall here and here)

SMALL BATHROOM

jones-design-company-bathroom

shelf / step stool / hand towel

OFFICE

jones-design-company-office

wallpaper / chair / sconces

MASTER BEDROOM

master-bedroom

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

new-hardwood-floors

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.

floors-arrive

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.

open-box

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

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.

white-paint-sample-pots

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.

hall-living-kitchen-extras-sources

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

blogger-stylin-home-tours-jdc

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.

entry-bath-office-dining

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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sources for entry, office, bath & dining room

The first half of the fall tour was fun, right? I loved pulling my house together and giving it a fall look (if you missed the tour, you can see it here). There were many questions about sources for items shown and I’m all about sharing!

sources-grouped

Not that you are going to go out and purchase everything you see here, but hopefully it helps show what can be done without spending tons and tons on furniture and accessories.  For the fall tour, I mainly shopped my house – rearranging furniture, moving around accessories, pulling out a few fall decorations I keep stored. Like I said on the house tour, I recently quieted the house and striped it of all of it’s ‘stuff’. It was the best thing for me! I actually had a semi-difficult time putting things back out because it was just so nice to have clean surfaces, bookshelves, walls. But it was time to put things back together and I like the more edited version of our house this time around. I’m sure things will change (as they always seem to do around here), but for now, this arrangement suits us. Continue Reading →

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fall house tour

Fall is my favorite. Truly it is. So naturally, I like a cozy decorated-for-fall home. This year, I am just coming off of quieting the house and it felt really good. When putting accessories back in to each room, I was really selective and picky – nothing made it back that is not practical, pretty or meaningful.

It was a mad dash to get the house photo-ready, but I made it (just barely!).

jones-design-company-fall-house-tour

I’m so pleased to be joining an insanely-talented group of bloggers on the Finding Fall Home Tour. You can start at the beginning here and I’ll link below to the next stop. If you are coming from Rhoda’s lovely tour, welcome!

Finding-Fall-2014-Button-Corrected

Today I’d love to show you the front of our house (the entry, half bath, my office and the dining room). Next week, we’ll continue the tour with the living room and kitchen (I’ll give you a few sneak peeks of those rooms today because I’m terrible at waiting). As you will see from the photos, I’m slightly addicted to neutrals and try to keep things interesting by adding a ton of texture. Pattern, sheen, metal, varying wood tones – all of these elements are the base of how I love to decorate.

Shall we begin?! Welcome to our home … Continue Reading →

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quieting the house

I couldn’t take it any longer.

There was just too much stuff cluttering up the visual space in our home. I’m in a weird spot in my emotional life – deeply craving light and calm, direction and needing a deep exhale – and it has translated into this crazy lady pulling off and packing up every accessory just to let the house (and me) breathe a little.

plants

My friend Myquellyn calls it Quieting The House.  By removing all of the stuff (the accessories, pillows, picture frames, cute things!) it reduces visual distractions, clutter and loudness that I just need gone right now. I’m an accessory lover, but sometimes it gets out of control and quieting the house becomes necessary to help figure out what I like, what is just there for the sake of being there, what works, what doesn’t and why I insist on putting so many pillows on the couch.

So this past weekend, I shushed the house. Mostly just the living room and entry/hallways. The kitchen is next. Continue Reading →

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open shelves in the kitchen

When we tore apart our perfectly fine, but utterly boring kitchen, one thing we knew we wanted were open shelves.

We love the classic, casual, slightly industrial, slightly country look of shelves and it remains one of our favorite parts of our kitchen.

open-shelves-in-kitchen-dishes

There are a few regular questions people ask about living with open shelves in the kitchen, so I’m here to answer. Here are the top three questions:

1. Do the dishes get dusty?

open-shelves-in-kitchen-silver

Yes. They do. But not any dustier than anything else in the house. We use most of what lives on the shelves on a fairly regular basis, so the dust doesn’t accumulate too much. I just wipe them down every week or so (who am I kidding … it’s probably more like once a month) with a damp paper towel and that takes care of it.

2. How do you keep the stuff on the shelves looking nice?

open-shelves-objects This is totally personal preference, but I like to group like items, and keep everything neutral.

Our everyday dishes are white (see the stacks?) and glassware is clear, which looks nice neatly arranged on the shelves. Mixed in is lots of white serving ware (most passed on from my m-i-l who is a professional thrift-store shopper) and old silver bowls and trays.

coffee-area

The bottom shelves are filled with regularly used dishes and in zones that make sense to our kitchen. The coffee cups sit near the coffee maker; the plates are near the dishwasher for easy unloading; the glasses are grouped together near the sink and beverage refrigerator.

The top shelves are a bit more decorative with cake plates, white pitchers and vases, but are still items that get regular use.

Varying height by leaning silver trays up against the wall, or stacking salad plates on a cake stand give a bit of interest and keeps the eye moving around. There’s no perfect way to style shelves, but keep playing around, moving things, propping things, arranging until it appeals to your eye.

3. Where are the shelves and brackets from?

metal-shelf-brackets

When looking for shelves, we were wanting simple and modern to balance out the cottagy look of the bead board paneling. We bought the metal brackets from IKEA which were both inexpensive and just the look we were going for. There are a few options of shelves also from IKEA, but we went with the birch wood veneer and then sanded and painted them with the same oil-based paint as the lower cabinets. They have held up very well.

If we were to do our kitchen again, we would definitely go with open shelves again. They feel light and add character and provide easy access to our everyday dishes.

What do you think of open shelves in the kitchen?

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summer house tour

Welcome! I’m happy you stopped by! Today I’m joining up with Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage and her Summer Tour of Homes.

stopping-by

Over the last few days I have transitioned our home’s decor to be a bit more summery. What this basically means is that I have switched out pillows, added plants and flowers and rotated art. One of the best parts of having a very neutral foundation (like our sofa, chairs, wall colors, etc) is that decorating seasonally doesn’t require a whole lot. I love shopping our home – borrowing curtains from the play room, art work from the bathroom, and recovering down pillow inserts with an inexpensive shower curtain – to make little changes that give our house a cheerful summertime feel.

Have a peek around!

entry

entry-window

dining-hallway

dining-table

book-page-wall

book-page-wall-close

living-room

living-room-fireplace

living-room-furniture

living-room-gray-pillow       hot-pink-peonies

summer-photo

kitchen-to-sink

kitchen-bar-stools

kitchen-sink

summer-list-chalkboard      office-entry

office-chair

If you’re curious about how our house looked in the fall > click here < and at Christmas > click here <

The Summer Tour of Homes continues with so many great ideas and inspiration for bringing summer to your home. Here’s the full lineup:

Monday, June 2nd

The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Nester
At The Picket Fence (Vanessa)
Thistlewood Farms
The Inspired Room

Tuesday, June 3rd

The Handmade Home
My Fabuless Life
Finding Home
In My Own Style
The Hunted Interior

Wednesday, June 4th

Inspired By Charm
Jennifer Rizzo
Madigan Made
Makely School for Girls
Funky Junk Interiors

Thursday, June 5th

Jones Design Company
Beneath My Heart
The Pennington Point
White Buffalo Styling Co.
Southern Hospitality

Friday, June 6th

At the Picket Fence (Heather)
Desert Domicile
Tatertots & Jello
Home Stories A to Z
Live Laugh Rowe
Thanks for coming over!

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blooming

A large portion of my weekend was spent outside in the back yard. We had yet to do a big spring clean out there, and my goodness it needed it! Ryan’s truck was half full with weeds and clippings just from our teensy back yard. Spring is definitely upon us and everything, it seems, is blooming.

nonna-flowers

Our backyard was once a small strip a grass with a bark perimeter and a small patio (see before & after photos here). Six years ago, we removed all the grass, added to the patio, put in stone paths and lots and lots of tress and shrubs. Those trees and shrubs have finally filled in and they are looking so good this year! Spending the day out there weeding and tidying was surprisingly pleasant because the plants are just so pretty. I snapped a few closeups of my favorites.

hydrangea (hydrangea)

clematis (clematis)

boxwood

(boxwood)

peony (peony)

blooming-ladies-mantle (lady’s mantle)

blue-star-creeper (blue star creeper)

japanese-maple (japanese maple)

viburnem-lace (lacecap viburnum)

viburnum (viburnum)

And I can’t leave out the flower pots the kids gave me for mother’s day.

basket

What’s blooming in your yard that makes you smile?

P.S. That top photo was taken at my mother-in-law’s house where she creates the most beautiful garden and potted plants each year. Many of the plants in our yard came from their old house before they moved which was so great to start our yard with larger, more established trees and shrubs. Robyn has a way with plants and interiors and producing wonderful boys and I’m thankful for her in a million different ways. AND, it’s her birthday today. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA NONNA! xoxo

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a new (semi diy) office chair

I’ve been searching for the perfect chair for my desk for quite a while. I had a list of criteria – style, comfort, no arms and most importantly height – which made finding the right chair super difficult. I narrowed it down to these choices a month or so ago, but never felt 100% about any of them.

(note: I know a ‘real’ office chair is probably the most practical decision with the adjustable seat and ergonomic design, but I just couldn’t do it. My need for pretty won out).

While walking the aisles of Target last week (actually looking for a stool for Ryan’s newly designed office), this swoop arm herringbone chair caught my eye.  The lines are great, the style is slightly masculine which I like, it is petite and comfortable to sit in. BUT, the seat height was off by about an inch.

That’s when this little genius idea hit me: add casters!

So off we went to the hardware store. I bought a pack of the smallest casters they had, came home, did a google search and realized there are a whole lot prettier options out there but they are much more expensive and I’m too impatient to wait for reproduction brass casters to ship. So I just went with these.

chair-+-casters

Screwing into the legs made me a tiny nervous – not knowing if they would split when I drilled into them – but then figured I could replace the legs if needed and sometimes you just have to take the risk.

add-casters-to-chair

First, I marked the holes on the bottom of the legs. Then pre-drilled the holes. And screwed in the casters. No splits! It was a proud moment.

casters-added-to-chair

The extra 1.5 inches of the casters brings the chair to the perfect height for my desk. And I actually think the chair looks more proportional with the added height.

new-office-chair-on-casters

Yesterday was my first real work day using the chair and I’m pleased to say, it was comfortable, the wheels are surprisingly convenient and my shoulders didn’t ache.

new-chair-in-office

The search is over.   office-chair

And lesson learned: if you can’t find what you’re looking for, improvise.

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that time I pulled up the carpet in my office and painted the floors white

I’ve been itching to pull out the carpet in my office for so, so long. This weekend, I finally just went for it.

office-with-carpet

With the help of the kids, of course.

kids-helping-with-carpet

This wasn’t just destruction done on a careless whim … the plan is to replace all of the downstairs floors with hardwood or tile or anything other than eight-year-old carpet, so this is the beginning of many carpet-removal days to come.

pulling-up-carpet

It was surprising how quick that carpet came out. The boys helped remove all the staples and perimeter tack strips. I like doing manual, hands-on projects like this with the kids. It’s so good for them. And makes the work go even faster!

boys-pulling-up-carpet-tacks

Since we don’t have a final plan for the floors, I just rolled a coat of leftover white paint on the chippy plywood sub floor.

painting-floors

It doesn’t look great, I’m well aware. Chippy plywood with obvious seam lines and nail holes is not necessarily an ideal floor, but it will do for now. I really like the brightness of a white floor and it just feels cleaner and fresher without the carpet.

office-with-painted-floors

Moving out all the furniture motivated me to do a massive purge/reorganization.

drawer-reorganized

This is how I spent Mother’s Day … folding tissue paper and organizing pretty craft supplies so that when I open the drawer, I’m inspired to create. It’s the little things, I tell you.

And look! I found a new office chair!

jdc-office-white-floors-desk

Details on that handsome fella tomorrow.

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the kids’ bath mini makeover

Some people go to tropical places for spring break. Others spend their week redoing the kids’ bathroom. I wish I was in the first group, but as I look at my typing fingers, I see lots of dried paint which pretty much gives my spring break activities away.

I’ve posted about the kids’ bathroom before with before shots and some inspiration. And then I waited two years to actually do anything about it.  While driving home this past weekend from a little beach trip, I suddenly felt the urge to tackle the room. Nothing too intense, just a lot of paint, some hardware and a new light. My hope was to get it finished this week, for as little money as possible. So far, so good.

Here’s the before:

boys-bath-before

A nicely sized room with decent lighting and everything functions fine. But it’s just so boring. I thought a little bit of color, brighter walls and painted cabinets would make a huge difference and make the space fun for the kids.

So tuesday morning, the boys and I set to work (they only lasted through the priming).

boys-painting-bathroom-cabinets

This is the third time I have painted cabinets in our house; the kitchen was first – which received oil paint for durability and have held up very well and the laundry room was next. I used latex in there because oil takes forever to dry and I just wanted a quick fix. After a year, they are doing perfectly so I decided to go the easy route again in the bathroom and use latex. I shared the process of painting cabinets here.

painting-cabinets-ig

To help the existing laminate countertop blend in, the cabinets were painted gray. I used leftover paint from our bedroom (Bedford Gray by Martha Stewart). The paint makes the cabinets look instantly cleaner and more modern and I’m so happy I finally painted them!

kids-bath-painted-cabinets

The walls are getting a much brighter shade of white (the photo was snapped after the first coat). I never thought of our walls as being dark, but once they were white, it feels so much lighter. The white is admittedly a bit sterile (pure white by sherwin williams) but hopefully once there is art and a few accessories, they will warm up a bit.

Next up:

  • finish up a fun painted wall (if you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen it in it’s first stage!)
  • decide on the backsplash. I’m thinking white subway tile all the way up the wall behind the mirror and on the sides of the vanity walls. I’ll have to enlist the help of my handy husband for it, or learn to tile.
  • add a frame to the mirror. Originally I thought I would replace it with two separate mirrors, but I don’t really want to spend money on new mirrors in here and the big mirror actually works well when multiple kids are in the bathroom.
  • new light.
  • hardware for the cabinets.

My hope was to finish the room this week, but these things always take longer than expected – and turn into larger projects than intended – so I’ll take the next few days off to finish out our spring break doing more kid-friendly things like going to grandma’s house to play with her puppy.

More to come …

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