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…

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…

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…

Bye bye subway backsplash… a new trend is in town.

Subway tiles are classic, and ~ if done right ~ are timeless. But they’ve been so popular for enough years now that even these are starting to feel a little tired and overdone. I’ll always love them, but I will admit, there’s another approach to backsplashes that’s been a rare sighting for a long time, but is getting a little more attention these days, and I couldn’t be more excited. The slab as backsplash. Personally I’ve been head over heels in love with this look for a long time. It doesn’t really get more sophisticated than this. And if anything is more…

Where have all the medicine cabinets gone?!

As I pack up, and purge, and daydream about our ‘forever’ {for a reno at least} home… I randomly starting thinking about the strangest part of a house ~ medicine cabinets. Has anyone else noticed that medicine cabinets seem to be disappearing from bathrooms everywhere? what. the. heck?! Does it really even matter if there’s a medicine cabinet in the bathroom? Am I just getting stuck in old thinking about storage and being practical? I don’t have a medicine cabinet in my bathroom now, or any other {built-in} storage for that matter. And maybe that’s why this is weirdly on…

Sofa Dreams

Since we’re doing this sublet through the end of the year that means no big designing and no big furniture purchases for about nine more months, until we find our permanent place. But that hasn’t stopped me from becoming really pre-occupied with what sofa I want in our next living room. I haven’t even really started imagining too specifically what our next space will look like design-wise overall, because we want to be open to different types of spaces and buildings that could work as far as fixer-uppers. I think once we get moved into our immediate next space I’ll…

Brick & terra cotta ~ you’ve stolen my heart

I love a good vintage space. And I love finishes that aren’t necessarily the ‘hottest’ or ‘trendiest’, but are beautiful, classic, timeless or even just unexpected but make a space really stand out. One thing I’ve been seeing pop up here and there a bit lately is brick and terra cotta flooring, and I’m in love. It’s not super trendy {and that’s one thing I love about it}, but it’s beautiful, and moreover, it’s timeless. So a house that has 40 year old {or more} brick or terra cotta flooring is suddenly in again, without changing a thing! I love…

Rethinking {upper} kitchen cabinets

Would you ever go sans upper cabinets in your kitchen? Did you just think to yourself ~ what is this chick talking about?! But  really, think about it, it’s a string of boxes hanging on the wall, floating over that precious counter space… and those top shelves are always so hard to reach! You don’t see a lot of kitchens without upper cabinets, but I’m totally in love with this look and can’t wait to have a space that I can design this way. It might be a little tough to go this design route if you are tight on space, and using vertical…

Minimalist or Maximalist… style, my struggles with purging, and finding balance

It’s super crazy at work these days and we are making {very} slow progress at home purging and combining our things while trying to keep miss Penny from jumping everywhere post knee surgery {we kind of stink at that}. Life these days is chaotic and messy but I’m {mostly} loving it. At first the purging of stuff was pretty easy, but I’ve hit a point where I’m starting to struggle with getting rid of things. Fear of regretting letting something go, feeling obligated to keep things just for sentimental reasons, or possibly needing it later… the list is long. I’ve…

Oak Park renovation ~ progress house tour!

Rebecca and Ryan have made a ton of progress on their house, and I’m excited to share a new video tour with you today! Right now it might not look like they’ve made as much progress as they really have, since all of the kitchen cabinets are still in boxes in the living room, but they have come a looong way since they started, and the project is just about at the point where all the sudden you blink and the space looks almost finished. I’ve even heard whispers that they are even scheduling movers for the end of the month!…