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A Design Plan for The Master Bedroom

Master Bedrooms always seem to be the last to get attention. Mismatched furniture (or lack thereof!), artless walls, and lack of lighting seem to be more the norm than not. At least that has always been the case in our home.

For this new house, one of my goals is to get the master bedroom put together first.

Well, maybe not first since there are a million and a half other things to do, but putting it together is right up there at the top.

Our old bedroom was on the main floor with all of the kids upstairs. We loved having our room downstairs, especially because it meant I didn’t have to see the kids’ messy rooms all the time!

This new master bedroom is at the top of the stairs on the second floor and runs along the back of the house. But we’re actually really loving the idea of being up high and Audrey, especially, is happy to have our room so close to hers.

The bedroom has great windows that look over the backyard and has the prettiest view of all of the changing leaves.  It feels a bit like being up in a treehouse and thankfully, the room gets good natural light. I was worried that everything would feel so dark since the property is surrounded by tall evergreens, but so far, that hasn’t seemed to be the case.

masterwindow It is a good-sized room, but not so big that it feels cavernous.  That is one of my favorite things about our new house; while the square footage is great for our big family, it still has the cozy feel of a smaller home.

master mastertobath There are a few changes we’ll make to the bones of the room – new carpet, paint, remove the phone jacks and a cable outlet from the wall (there are so many!) and we’ll replace the ceiling fan with a light fixture. The ceilings are not super tall, which means ceiling mount lighting is a must. I’m still in the very early stages of figuring out what to do with all of the lighting in the house. I love a good feature light – I wish I could use this chandelier! – but the ceiling height just won’t allow for it.

Our vision for this house is slightly different than how we decorated our previous one. While I will always gravitate toward white and neutrals, this home just feels like it needs to be cozy. Less fancy, less shiny metal, more warm textures and deep, muted color.

You may remember the bed from our old master bedroom, which we have loved for a long time.


We still do, actually. But it doesn’t feel like the right piece for this room.

That’s one of the weird things we’re finding about moving; sometimes the furniture, colors and accessories from one home don’t quite fit in another. Most of our stuff will make its way into the new house, but some things (like our bed) will not.

Here is what we’re thinking for our new room:


Cozy. Slightly masculine. Lots of texture. Mixed metals. Warm neutrals with blues.

And I definitely want to incorporate as many of our travel photos as possible. The one above is from our time at the Grand Tetons and has a moodiness quality that I hope to achieve in our home.

I’m on the hunt for an upholstered bed, those wall sconces feel like an obvious choice and I love the idea of a patterned rug (although the one shown is now out of stock. boo).

When I showed it all to Ryan the only thing he wasn’t crazy about was the scribble art (which I happen to think is fun and modern, but if that’s the only change then I feel like it is a win!).

So that is the tentative plan. There is much to be done before the actual decorating stage and still many decisions to be made (carpet, paint color, lighting), but it is so helpful to have a clear design plan with colors, mood and furniture options right from the start.

Now off to create design boards for every other room in the house …

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We Have A New House!!

It took every thing in me to hold back on sharing but we finally have the keys and now I can officially share our exciting news: we’ve moved!

lexfamily frontofhouse Here’s the story on how this house came to be ours:

While on our road trip this spring/summer, we were actively looking for listings in a couple of different cities in the Seattle area. We knew we wanted a little bit of property. We hoped for a home that had good bones, but needed some cosmetic updating. We dreamed of a place with a big studio for us to work from home in.

Our hope was to buy something toward the end of our trip so that we could get the kids into their new schools at the beginning of the school year. By mid-August, we had pretty much given up hope of finding anything that fit our criteria (in our price range!). While driving to our last overnight stop, a new listing popped up.

Property? Check. Lots of grass and trees for climbing, fort-building, outdoor adventuring for the kids and dog.

Home in good shape but in need of a little updating? Yep. Totally livable as is, but with so much potential.

Extra Studio space? Surprise! 900 sq feet of unfinished space above the garage.

It was located in one of our favorite Pacific Northwest towns, Gig Harbor, where the schools are great, community is established and thriving, there are restaurants and shopping and it is surrounded by the gorgeous waters of the Puget Sound.

The only problem was that we were miles and miles away in eastern Oregon with 10 days left on our road trip and no option of cutting things early to visit the home. So we kept on with our plans, finishing off our trip with a week-long extended family vacation, secretly praying that no one would purchase the house before us.

On a Sunday, we arrived home after 4 months on the road. On Monday we looked at the house. On Tuesday we bought it. Wednesday was spent enrolling the kids in a new school district, Thursday they met their teachers and they started school the following week. It was a whirlwind!

This new home is 45 minutes from our old house and for about a week we commuted the kids to their new schools before we decided we needed to stay closer. Our long-time friends graciously offered their apartment over their garage to us, and so for the past six weeks, we’ve been living in Gig Harbor, getting acquainted with the area, settling into new schools and working from coffee shops. It’s actually been a really nice way to transition.

We were supposed to close on the house at the end of September, but the closing kept getting pushed out and out until finally we got the keys on Friday!

I can’t wait to show you around …

Here’s the photo from the listing. The one above was taken this weekend during a break in our stormy weather. The one below was from this summer.

houselisting It’s a darling, slightly confused mix of traditional/cottage/craftsman home built in 1992. The previous owners built the home and raised their family here and we can’t wait to enjoy what they’ve created.

walkwayside A view from the walkway to the front door. I like this side of the house.

walkwaysidehouse The garage is large enough for us to park our cars in (we couldn’t fit our big cars in our previous garage!) and has a huge unfinished space above.

garage The back of the house is cute, too. The fence was used to keep the previous owners’ small dogs contained, but our dog would knock that thing right over, so it will come down soon to let the lawn be one expansive space.

backofhouse backyardtrees The yard and trees are so pretty. We love that even though there are homes nearby, you can’t see any of them from the house. It feels private and green and perfect for the kids.

kidsswing Okay, let me show you inside …

The house has a very typical builder-grade layout. To the right of the entry is an office; to the left is a living room. Straight ahead are stairs going up.

livingtoentry The living room looks out onto the front porch, has a wood-burning fireplace and connects to the dining room.

living livingtodining At the back of the house is the kitchen and eating space (you can see how the rooms connect – the oval window is the front door).

kitchentoentry It was probably remodeled within the last five-ish years with new tile floors, granite tile countertops and nice appliances. The windows and french doors look out over the back yard and lead to a patio.

kitchen kitchentowindows kitchenisland Off the kitchen is a family room with vaulted ceilings.

family familywindows Here’s a good shot of how the rooms connect. Through the door on the right is the mudroom and laundry room which leads to the garage.

familytokitchen mudroom Upstairs are three bedrooms and a third floor bonus space that we’ll be walling off to create a fourth bedroom for our oldest.

The Master bedroom looks out over the back yard and has such pretty windows.

masterwindow master The bathroom has been updated (probably when the kitchen was redone) and has fancy things like radiant floors and four shower heads. It leads to a good-sized walk-in closet with a window. Weirdly, I really wanted a window in our closet that could let in fresh air.

masterbath The two bedrooms on the second floor are nearly identical and have a dormer window flanked by two large closets.

audreyroom Audrey’s room is above and the two middle boys will share the one below. They are especially excited about turning one of the closets into a lego room.

boysroom Between the two rooms is a bathroom.

kidsbath Stairs lead to the third floor …

thirdstair … which boasts this large bonus space. We’ll use half of this room as a bedroom and the other half as a play room. The kids are nearly done with toys, so it will probably be more of a ‘hang out’ space, possibly with a pull-out couch for guests.

thirdfloorstairs As I mentioned, there is a big room above the garage that is unfinished with two dormers and lots of natural light. It is going to make the perfect studio space for us to work from.

studiodoor studio I truly can’t wait for this room to come together. Ryan and I work from home and our small office was feeling cramped. This space will allow us to spread out, have a dedicated place for recording coffee chats, meeting with clients, leaving out projects and then closing the door and walking inside to leave work behind. Our little design business is growing and it feels like such a treat to have this space to be inspired and creative in.

walkwaytrees So that’s our new house!

It is everything we were hoping for and has our creative wheels spinning hard. We can’t wait to add our style to every part of it.

Most of all, we are so excited to make memories, invite friends in, host parties, use the yard, swing on the front porch, climb the trees and allow this new home to be the backdrop to this new season of life.

Get ready for lots of inspiration posts, design boards, big and little projects. It will be fun!

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Easing into Fall

easingintofall Last week, when September 1st hit the calendar, my instagram feed blew up with cozy images of Fall.

Pumpkins, plaid, wool blankets, crackling fires, chunky knit sweaters, golden leaves.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a Fall girl through and through. It always has and always will be my favorite of all seasons. I remember not too long ago when I had to restrain myself from pulling out all my favorite Fall stuff to pepper around the house before September 1st.

Now, however, I’m not quite there. Not quite in pumpkin and plaid mode.

This year I’m feeling the need to ease a bit more slowly into the new season. 

Over the weekend, I did make a few simple changes to our home to gently reflect the upcoming season.  Easy things that help it feel a little cozier without going all the way.

If you need a little inspiration for ways to bring your home into the new season, try out these three steps:


Add freshly clipped greens.

kitchenclippings When we returned from our extended road trip, the back yard was basically a jungle. I spent hours pulling waist-high weeds, trimming overgrown shrubs and spreading a new layer of black mulch. While I was out there, I clipped a few branches off the maple tree to pop into a vase inside. The leaves will be changing color soon (it’s still fun to clip when they are turning!) and I love the organic and slightly unruly look of them up there on the kitchen shelves.

kitchenearlyfall Our home is very neutral and the green just seems to make it all come alive.

While fresh flowers and bright greens are perfect for the spring, deeper green branches feel decidedly fall. Plus, they are free! Head outside, take along a pair of clippers (I like these) and clip off a big, funky branch to bring indoors.


Throw in some cozy texture.

sofatexture There is something about chunky knits that feel absolutely fall-like. This oldie-but-goodie knit throw works in any season because of its creamy white color, but I especially love having it out as Fall approaches.

fallsofa This is our main hang-out area in the house and why I insist on having the couch filled with pillows is beyond everyone in my family. They inevitably end up on the ground and I inevitably put them all back up three hundred times per day. But the combination of texture we have going on right now makes me very happy. It feels fall-ish without being overly obvious and that’s just what I’m looking for as I ease our home into the season.

I’ve heard it said that texture acts like pattern and am always a fan of mixing as many textures as I can get away with.

Mixing a chunky knit throw (like this one) with a graphic woven pillow (from here), soft leather pillow (from here), funky faux fur (found here) makes for an especially cozy feel.


Change out the scent.

lit-candle I was just talking with a friend about how I don’t like smelly candles. And then midway through the statement I had this moment of clarity: I used to not like the smell of candles.

This all started back in high school when all my friends burned sickeningly sweet vanilla ones and I got an instant headache. Since then I’ve told myself I don’t like smelly candles but actually, I do! It just depends on what it is. Candle scents (and packaging) have come a long way since the late 90’s and there are far more options than vanilla.

If you are a candle person and have been burning a summery scent, switch it up! Maybe don’t go quite to the deep fall scents of balsam and cranberry, but try something woodsy and fresh.

One of my favorite candles is this Izola Green Moss candle – half because of the gorgeous green of the glass and graphic label, half because of the rich, pleasant smell. Another good option is this Driftwood + Indigo (I have it in the cute cement container on my desk right now, but I really like the wood version too).

fallcandle The candle shown is a few years old from Anthropologie, which is always an excellent source for new scents and pretty packaging.

candleontable As the month progresses, I’m sure I’ll be switching up more around the house, but for now these three simple changes feel just right.

I’d love to know … are you ready for fall? Are you a fall decorator? If so, have you jumped fully in or are you a little slower like me? Do tell …

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A pair of matching floor lamps – do or don’t?

We don’t argue all that often. But on this particular day, I was feeling feisty and he was being stubborn and so we fought.

Want to know what we were so passionately arguing about?



I know. Ridiculous.

Ryan thought a pair of floor lamps would look great flanking the couch in the living room.

I thought it would be too matchy-matchy and preferred a floor lamp on one side and a table lamp on a table on the other.

We certainly needed more light in our living room and there is already plenty of furniture, so Ryan’s main concern was that adding a side table would clutter things up visually. My main concern was that matching floor lamps just isn’t done.

When he left the room, I immediately opened my computer and pinterest-searched ‘matching floor lamps‘ to see if it was a decorating do or don’t.


I didn’t find a lot (the table/floor lamp combo seems to be most common), but I did come across a few rooms that looked great with a pair of floor lamps on either side of the couch.

So I humbled myself, apologized for my stubbornness (and possible brattiness) and the next day we bought a pair of floor lamps.

And you know what? I actually really like them. They keep things modern, clean and less visually cluttered. The lamps we bought are sturdy, shiny, classic and add a touch of fancy to our casual living room.

Ryan was right. Matching floor lamps can be a great choice.

Here are a few rooms with matching floor lamps that helped me change my mind:


Gorgeous brass lamps in a very traditional room. (Source unknown)


Lots of symmetry happening in this room, but the colors keep your eye moving around. And I am in love all that natural light. (Potterbarn)


While not exactly flanking the sofa, I do like how these lamps fill in the space. (HouseBeautiful)


A more modern/Scandinavian approach to the matching lamps. (Source unknown)


As with our room, because of the placement of the furniture, there isn’t a lot of space for an end table. The two lamps keep things clean and streamlined. (Potterybarn)


Keeping things elegantly simple in this rustic meets traditional room. (Source unknown)

Moral of the story:

My husband has good taste. Rejuvenation is my new favorite store. Big windows are a must for our next house. A pair of matching lamps look great flanking a sofa.

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A Classically Cute Little Girl’s Bedroom Makeover (it’s Audrey’s and it’s finally done)

Classically Cute Little Girl's Room Makeover / jones design company

You may remember that I’ve been working on a bedroom makeover for our little girl, Audrey. I just looked back at the initial design board post and it is dated two years to the day that I decided to just be done with it. Two years!  

I was having such a hard time finishing her room. Do you have any spaces in your house like that? You have ideas, but not all are practical or in the budget and so you just wait, feeling this nagging sense of incompleteness every time you walk by.

Well, this weekend I just made the decision that it is done. Not because all of the ideas I have for her room are finished, but rather because it is good enough. It’s darling, actually. And even though the curtains are tacked up and we never got to the builtins, sometimes you just have to leave it alone. Check it off the list. Snap some photos and close this two year makeover chapter.

So here it is, Audrey’s classically cute little girl bedroom makeover. Enjoy a little peek …

(Sources and details after the photos)

Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Buffalo check duvet, striped rug. / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Dresser with lamp, art and framed ballet tickets / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Striped rug, gallery wall with favorite art / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Gallery wall with favorite art / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Close-up of the gallery wall / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company

Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. DIY pinboard, paper flower garland, doll bed / jones design company Classically Cute Girl's Bedroom with mixed patterns and girly colors. Handmade doll / jones design company

Isn’t it sweet? The sun popped out earlier this week and so I hurriedly tidied up her room (let’s not even talk about all the little trinkets a nearly six year old girl loves to collect and scatter about her room) and took these pictures.

When Audrey came home from school that day she was delighted to see her room looking so pretty. It was really sweet. And you know what? She has no idea that I stopped short of all my ideas. She loves her room just the way it is. I suppose I do, too.


bed, dresser, doll crib + high chair: craig’s list finds by my mom

striped rug: Olin rug from Crate & Barrel

buffalo check duvet: Emmie Ruta duvet from IKEA

polka dot sheets: no longer available from Target, similar from Land of Nod

yellow flower pillow: no longer available from Target, but they really should bring this one back

hanging pleated medallions: get the diy tutorial here

wooden sign: Between You And Me Signs – read the post about the meaning here

lamp on dresser: no longer available from target

flower art: The Runner Up by Janet Hill Studio

sequin star pillow: Emily + Merritt for PBTeen, no longer available, similar in dots

gallery wall art: see post with sources and how-to here

valance fabric: Diamonds In the Rough from Minted

bulletin board: read tutorial post here

paper flower garland: no longer available, Target

handmade Audrey doll: see post with details here


Any thoughts or questions about sources? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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If you were to just drop by (a video house tour)

I was thinking the other day … sometimes it’s tricky to understand how rooms flow together when just looking at pictures.  You’ve seen our house from every perspective I can think to show, but still it’s probably different in real life than it appears in images.

Video House Tour / jones design company

So today, I’m giving you a quick tour of our house in video form. Think of it as if you were to just pop by during the middle of the day for coffee and I was showing you around.


I hope you enjoyed your (virtual) visit!

Some things to note:

– Our house is very quiet and mostly clean during the day when the kids are at school. I function better when my space is picked up so I do lots of clearing off counters, picking pillows up off the floor and putting them back onto the couch, throwing random stuff in that basket on the stairs each morning after they leave for school. I do the same neurotic routine after they go to bed. And actually, pretty much the whole time we are home in the afternoon and evening.

– The kids keep most of their stuff upstairs and while I hound them plenty about keeping it picked up up there, I can’t promise that is what actually happens.  When they were babies we had more toys and books downstairs; now it’s pretty much all upstairs.

– I picked up a little before the video (as I would if I knew a friend was dropping by), but not like I normally would when taking photos of the house. Garbage bags of randomness to donate, storage bins waiting to be expertly organized, our bed unmade – these are daily realities and so I left them.

– What do you put in the middle of a dining room table when it’s not in use? This has been perplexing me for all of my home-making days.

– Our bathroom. Gah. I guess it just serves to remind us how far we’ve come on the rest of the house.

– The battery died on the camera at the end, hence the very abrupt ending. What I was trying to say through my rambling is that we are grateful for our house, thankful for the opportunities it has given us to host parties and small groups and have families live with us, and also the many ways it has opened doors creatively for both me and Ryan. This house is far from our perfect dream home and I could share a list of all the things we would like to be different, but 2016 is the year of renewing my mind and I’m choosing to see the positives :)

Let me know if you have any questions about anything!

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A Simple Christmas House Tour 2015

Simple Christmas Decorations for this house tour / jones design company

Confession: as much as I adore the Christmas season, I have been dragging my feet to put up decorations this year.

For a while now, I have been craving less, simple, clean, bright (hence the all-white walls). Putting out more stuff just felt crazy.  Plus, last year we went all out preparing for the Better Homes + Gardens magazine shoot and I feel like I used up all my good decorating ideas!

We finally added ornaments to the tree this past weekend and put out just a few of our favorite christmas things for a very simply decorated house. It still feels light and clean (at least while the kids are at school!) with a touch of cozy and sparkle. Enjoy a small peek!


Christmas Home Tour / holiday cards taped to the wall in entry / jones design company

We’re taping holiday cards to the wall for all to enjoy. Felt ball garland is from West Elm (which they don’t sell anymore, but this wreath is pretty darling), the mirror is from IKEA for just $49.


Christmas Home Tour / nutcrackers / jones design company

As a girl, I danced in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker. My parents gave me a special Nutcracker each year and so I have a small collection. The kids love them and since we don’t have a ton of decorations out, I figured grouping them all in a tray was a fun way to display them. (Tray is from Target).


Christmas Home Tour / fireplace with garland and stockings / jones design company

The stag always looks so handsome with a wreath around his neck (this pom pom one I made. Here is the tutorial). The garland is fresh and nearly dried out, but it still looks pretty. We get cedar garland at Costco each year and you can’t beat the price. This one is actually doubled up because it is so long and it fills in a bit more.

Christmas Home Tour / stockings with glitter numbers / jones design company

The stockings are from West Elm (on sale for $9 each right now!) and I like to embellish them with tags or numbers or ribbon. The snowflakes are also from West Elm as is our tree skirt – which you can’t really see in photos, but it is the same white felt with pom pom balls all the way around.

Christmas Home Tour / chesterfield sofa with pillows / jones design company

The couch is always piled with favorite pillows. The fuzzy pillow is a steal at $21, Noel pillow is a few years old from Target, graphic pillow is from Target and the ticking pillows I made. That buffalo check wool throw just makes me happy (you can find them all over or try school house electric). Lamp is IKEA.

Christmas Home Tour / pillows / jones design company

We live near a tree farm and cut ours down on Thanksgiving weekend. This one is so pretty!

Christmas Home Tour / christmas tree in living room / jones design company

You may remember my rug debate in the living room. The first light one just wasn’t right for the room, so we bought this linen sisal rug from Crate and Barrel and it’s just what we were hoping for.

Grocery store flowers in modern arrangement / jones design company

Grocery store flowers made to look fancy by cutting them way down (here’s more on that).

Christmas Home Tour / vintage brass deer / jones design company

I found these brass deer at a vintage sale last christmas. I’m very in to mixing metals.

Christmas Home Tour / christmas tree / jones design company


Christmas Home Tour / kitchen open shelves / jones design company

One of the best things about open shelves is the ability to style them differently each season. My basic dishes stay in the same spot, but I like to add in a few items that speak to the time of year. A few things to note: the lampshade is old from Target (it could be a super easy DIY with a plain lampshade, painters tape and black paint), the ipad mounted to the wall was Ryan’s genius idea (more details here), the striped bowls are from IKEA.

Christmas Home Tour / kitchen open shelves / jones design company

Christmas Home Tour / kitchen table and chalkboard / jones design company

The chalkboard (a great diy) reminds us of what this season is all about.

Christmas Home Tour / bottle brush trees on cake plate / jones design company

Bottle brush trees are from West Elm, cake plate is available on Amazon.


Christmas Home Tour / bedroom in gray and white / jones design company

Just this past weekend I finished painting our room. It previously had a pretty deep teal/blue wall and gray elsewhere (see it here). But like I said, we are craving light! bright! white! so I painted the walls and ceiling the same white as the rest of the house (White Heron by Sherwin Williams).

And look! We put the white rug in here. It’s maybe not quite in the same style as the bed (no longer available from Restoration Hardware), but we’ll live.

Christmas Home Tour / bedroom in gray and white / jones design company

The lamps are nearly 10 years old from Restoration Hardware, duvet is Crane & Canopy, coverlet is Target, gray sweater pillow was made by my mom out of my dad’s old sweater (I love it) and the baby it’s cold outside pillow is from Northernly. We’re working on our nightstand situation.

Thanks for visiting today! As always, if you have any questions on sources I missed, I’m happy to share. Just leave a comment and I’ll comment back.


PS. Here are my House Tours from season’s past:

Christmas 2010 (so long ago! So much red and green! But a sweet message)

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2013

Decorated Play Room 2013

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The Hardwood Floors One Year Later

Update on Hardwood Floors / jones design company

Last November, we finished our biggest house project – new hardwood floors and freshly painted walls.

You can read all about each step:

the process for picking our floors,

picking the perfect white paint,

what the messy progress looked like

and the big reveal.

One year later and both Ryan and I still agree that putting in new hardwood floors and having all the walls painted white was well worth the money, time and mess.


Over the year, I have received a bunch of questions about our hardwood floors. Today, I’m here to answer.


We for months before finally selecting pre-finished, nail-down oak hardwood.

We talked about carrying the existing blonde hardwoods into the hallway and living room (see a before here). We talked about doing tile. We talked about just keeping the hardwoods and replacing the carpet. We considered installing cheap wood and painting it all white. We even dreamed for a second about doing concrete (and then quickly woke from that dream).

At the end of all that talking, we decided to go with the best quality floor in our price range in a dark gray/brown. It’s maybe not our perfect dream floor – I think we would both go with wide-plank, medium tone if cost was no object – but it was a great choice for this house.

The actual flooring that we chose is discontinued, but this one is by the same manufacturer, just a different color.



We’re a big, chaotic family. We live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot. We have a dog. The neighbor kids are in and out. Our home is where we live.

So, yes, after a year of living on them, the floors show some wear.

(See that big scratch in the photo above? That happened on day one when we moved the piano back in. UGH!).

We typically take our shoes off in the house, so that helps keep the floors nice, but Atlas, our labradoodle, has done his fair share of scratching the wood. We just recently added the sisal runner in the hallway to help prevent his nails from scratching when he runs obnoxiously to the door every time someone comes over. I’ve considered putting socks on him, but then remembered that he ate socks like it was his job as a puppy and thought better of it.

One little trick we learned from the floor installers is to keep a Minwax stain marker on hand to disguise any deep scratches.


You just fill in the wood, buff it with a paper towel and the scratch disappears.


We were warned many times when choosing a dark floor that it can be hard to keep clean. Our friends have super dark, glossy floors that are gorgeous, but show dust and footprints and require a bit more attention than what I have to offer my floors.

Part of the reason we went with the matte finish, hand-scraped, gray/brown floors was in an effort to hide dirt, not make it more obvious.  Thankfully, this is exactly what we have in these hardwoods. They get dirty, for sure, but hide it pretty well and clean up nicely.


Ryan bought this industrial dust mop that I run across the floors daily to pick up dust, fur, crumbs and wool from our rug that sheds a lot. We mop with white vinegar + water once every two weeks (and by we what I really mean is Maria, our angel of a housecleaner).  Other than spot cleaning when there is a spill, I don’t do much else to them. I’d say the floors are quite low-maintenance.


Adding in hardwood was a big decision and investment for us and we’re so happy with the results. Having one consistent floor throughout the main level works wonders in keeping things visually cohesive and grounding the space. The color works well with our neutral color palette and we’ve been happy with how they’ve held up (despite our hard-handling of them).

And it’s crazy that a year has gone by so quickly.

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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. You can order a canvas reprint for your house too! Comes in three sizes.

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.

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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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