Vacation, healing, recharging, and diving in

Last weekend we took a quick short-notice trip out to Michigan. We stayed in a farmhouse on a bunch of land, to get away and have some peace and quiet and a little escape from our crazy work lives for a weekend before the fall season is in full swing. It was perfection. And when I say perfection I don’t mean some flawless picture of a ‘perfect’ farm or luxury inn, in a perfectly restored house with big fluffy beds and perfectly manicured lawn or anything like that. But it was perfect for what we were looking for, and what…

Kitchen renovations on a budget: painted cabinets, why that counter probably needs to go and what you need to know for a successful {and good looking} budget refresh

Painting kitchen cabinets has become the go-to quick {and cheap} fix for a dated kitchen. No matter what your kitchen looks like, just paint those cabinets white and ~ voila! ~ you can say the space is updated, and won’t everyone just be racing over? Maybe… not. Here are two kitchen renovations. Both painted existing cabinets, one stopped there, and the other made some additional updates. Personally I think the space on the right looks far better than the one on the left {and so should everyone else who isn’t blind}. The short cheap squatty ‘backsplash’, the stark contrast between…

Shifting energy, making room for more magic, and having more…

The other day a friend of mine posted something on Instagram that totally resonated with me and got me thinking. As she’s getting ready to move back to Chicago from another city, she was talking about magic, and how it took her a long time to find that for herself in her life… and once you do, it’s a completely transformative experience and you can’t help but attract more. We have that in common… for most of my life, even well into my adulthood, I wouldn’t say that I ever felt like things were magical in my life. I felt…

Bathroom Inspiration ~ the patterned floor tile trend

One new bathroom trend I am really loving right now is patterned floor tile. The new super cool look is Spanish influenced tiles that are fairly ornate. And while I do think this is one element that can be done very well and look timeless in it’s own way for a long time, it can also easily be overly trendy and look bad after jut a few years, depending on what you select. I feel like it can be hard to put in words what makes a good patterned tile and what is ‘bad’ or too trendy, that will look…

The 411 on New Construction

Of all of the dream houses I might have, the one type of property that’s never really on my wish list is new construction. It’s not because there’s anything wrong with new construction, it can be a great option, I’m just the type of person who will always want to be doing the updating myself. I’m pretty particular for one, and I just love the design process, and to be the one transforming a space. It’s a thrill and complete joy for me. But what’s the 411 on new construction? What are the pro’s, what are the cons, and what…

At the end of the day, it’s not ‘ours’… and what that feels like

I’m talking about our apartment. Lately we’ve been in a wee bit of a rut my manfriend and I… one of us, I won’t say who {totally him} is a bit way more messy than the other, and it’s caused some friction, to say the least. While we might only be in this space for a shorter time, I still want to make it nice and have it feel as much like ‘home’ as we can. My manfriend is more of the mindset that it’s just a temporary space so what does it matter if it’s messy? And as we’ve trudged…

Things I’m doing to help Mother Earth

Lately I’ve been feeling a little discouraged about the state of things in the world, especially with the environment and planet… I feel like every day I read a new article about melting arctic ice and another animal that’s on the brink of extinction. It’s so heartbreaking and discouraging… I feel helpless and like there’s nothing I can do as a one tiny human on this big Earth to make even the smallest difference to help the environment and our planet. But we all know that’s not true… and while I might not be able to single-handedly reverse global warming,…

Design 101: Listening to the language of your house

So how do you create a great design? There are many many rules of thumb and practical tips… and you can always pay lots of money to go and get a formal education to have all of the official answers for yourself… But maybe one of the most basic things that everyone should remember, and one of the most helpful, above {and before} everything else is to listen to the language of your house. What does that even mean anyway… A while back we helped a couple buy a mid 90’s frame house that was a contemporary style. Pretty clean lines,…

Recipe for a Spectacular Outdoor Space

Happy Holiday week! Hopefully you have some time off this week to enjoy the summer weather and some good company. Maybe you’ve got a bbq on a great rooftop planned? We’re going to be heading out for a lazy rooftop morning on Wednesday before we head out to the suburbs to spend the afternoon celebrating with friends… Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about great outdoor space, mainly how much I miss it and want it! It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything close to amazing outdoor space and man, am I seriously longing for it lately. In Chicago…

Working on the energy of our now space, and our next space…

I’ve been feeling super frustrated this week. I’m so ready to buy our new place and be going full steam ahead on all kinds of fun fixer-upper projects, but we still have a little while until we even start looking for that place {like at least four or five months}. We also aren’t settled into our current {temporary} place either… while we might not be totally unpacking, there is still quite a bit that needs to get put away and organized so that the space feels good to be in and we can enjoy it… and I need to figure…