The Exterior: Before + After

We did it! It was the busiest summer ever but we managed to change the exterior of the house enough to where i actually think it looks good now! Cars slow down and look at it! Neighbors have commented on how nice it looks! It's come a long way.

One of my neighbors loved how the house looked so much that she wanted to show us how far it had come in the past 70 years. She's a realtor and was able to find the FIRST photo of our little house when it was built. I love it. 

Look at the trees! 1954 vs. 2015

 

Back to 2017! Here's what we had done in the past 2 years before the summer started:

  • painted the front door teal  (it used to be red- MY LEAST FAVORITE COLOR ON EARTH)
  • changed the door handle
  • added mexican beach pebbles in the garden box
  • new mailbox
  • new house numbers
  • painted light fixture black
  • modern patio furniture

Here's how it looked at the beginning of the summer:

Clearly the two bushes are hideous and the teal door (WHY) made the house seem more yellow than it really is. I cut one of the bushes down and that made a HUGE difference. You could actually see the house now! The door became the focal point and thats when i decided that i had to invest in a new one. 

At this point i was deciding between these three doors. I absolutely love the door i ended up choosing! It made the biggest difference in the curb appeal. I posted tons of details about it here.

Let's get to how it looks now after a few more improvements!

 

My dad custom made the window box and it made the biggest difference! It's the exact same size as the strip of glass in the door. It creates a cool & unexpected balance! The plants in the box are fake but i think they look pretty good! No plant has been able to survive the harsh afternoon sunlight in that spot. 

I'm pretty happy with everything! The high contrast charcoal paint color really helped modernize the house. I think the entire exterior update from start to finish cost about $1300. That includes the door, doorknob, paint, mexican beach pebbles, mailbox, and the house numbers. Not too bad right?!

Next summer my goal is to DIY a modern horizontal-slat fence! We'll see! 

What do you guys think of the before & after?

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Mini bedroom makeover

Last week i completely changed how the bedroom has looked for two years! Our bed used to be covering the air vent and it would be a little hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I sucked it up because i thought it looked the best but when Trent mentioned that our little girl would get cold this winter i was like OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO MOVE THE BED RIGHT THIS SECOND!!

We put the bed on the other wall and the room looked SO much bigger and i was excited to decorate the new large corner we had! I knew i wanted one piece of statement art so when Point Two Design offered to send one of their prints i was thrilled! We had just gotten back from Amsterdam (which we FREAKING. LOVED. by the way) so it was a no brainer to get a reminder of our wonderful time there!

Point Two Design is different than other city map companies because they are architecturally trained and are able to make prints of any city, town or neighborhood on earth! You can also choose the crop, colors, and words on your print! Christmas is coming up very soon and i cant think of anything better than getting everyone on my list a unique and meaningful piece of art. You could get the old neighborhood in Italy that your grandma is from, or your dad's college town that he always talks about- the options are endless. 

Below are some of the cool maps and satellite prints they offer! So beautiful!

I love the wood nightstands we used to have here but i saw these white nightstands from Target's new line Project 62 and had to get them! I love that the brass pull ties into the light fixture and closet knobs!

I still need some sort of simple headboard. I want something different, like two large flat pillows or a cool slice of wood grain. I'm not in a rush. I'll know it when i see it!

I found the ladder at a vintage store and i think it adds a cozy feel and compliments the art perfectly! The room is bigger, more simple and ready for the baby!

I hope you liked this mini makeover and thanks for reading! 

Front Door Details!

The front door has been in for 2 weeks and i love it more every day!

TONS of you voted on the door in this post and it really helped me make my decision! It was between option A or B and i ended up choosing B because it broke up the horizontal lines on the exterior. 

Below is the before incase you forgot...

 

There are a few more exterior updates i want to make that aren't finished yet; so this post will be all about the door details (exterior reveal coming soon- huge difference).

The door we chose is by ThermaTru from Home Depot. It's fiberglass and very customizable. In the door/window department there is usually a person at a computer and they were really cool about letting me play around for a while and look at all the options like the placement of the window panel, number of windows, and the type of glass. There were about 20 different glass choices, and we went with chord glass.  The handleset is also from Home Depot. I considered a black or brass finish, but brushed nickel looked best on the dark background.

Ok. Let's talk paint. I bought the door unpainted because i wanted a bigger selection of paint colors (you only have about 6 choices if you order the door painted). I've bought paint hundreds of times and i usually just get something from Home Depot because it's convenient. The photo studio i work at uses only Benjamin Moore paints so when i was there one day i decided to grab a bunch of swatches and hold them up to the house. Black Beauty made our off-white house look slightly more white. It's the darkest, prettiest charcoal color. I had seen commercials and read tons of reviews on their Grand Entrance paint. Apparently its the best damn paint on the market. I found out the price and was like "WOAH IT BETTER BE!" A gallon of paint is normally between $25 - $35. A gallon of this magical liquid costs $160. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS. INSTEAD OF TWENTY FIVE. Guess what. The price intrigued me even more and i bought it. Luckily it comes in quarts so i paid $80 for 2 quarts and used 1.5 on the door with multiple coats.

So was the price of the paint worth it?

Absolutely. It applied like a dream. It reminded me more of water than paint. The brush strokes blended together for a seamless glass-like finish. It never got sticky when re-applying coats like most paints do. My contractor couldn't believe that i painted the door myself. It looked professionally done. The paint is SO worth it and i'm never going back!!

 

Alright guys! Those are the basic door details! I can't wait to show you the exterior! Let me know what you think about my door choice!

 

Help me choose our new front door!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to: THE SUMMER OF THE EXTERIOR!! 

As you know, the inside of our home isn't finished yet, but we've decided to stop all interior renovations for the summer and work on something equally if not more important: the exterior. 

I feel like people are SHOCKED when they walk inside our house because the exterior is very underwhelming and they're expecting the interior to be the same. We've been here for almost two years and it's time to get things rolling. My biggest MUST: a new front door.

Oh my GOD our door does NOTHING for our house. One bit. Also. Before i continue i think i need to let you guys know something personal about me... I am OBSESSED with doors. I GASP when i see a beautiful door. I stop and take pictures. I have made my husband do a U-turn at 50 MPH because i HAD to see this door again.  I love them. 

Okay. Back to our exterior. 

Here it is the house right now with the work we've done so far:

  • painted the front door (it used to be red- MY LEAST FAVORITE COLOR ON EARTH)
  • changed the door handle
  • added mexican beach pebbles in the garden box
  • cut down a huge bush (there used to be two of those massive guys in that tiny garden box)
  • new mailbox
  • new house numbers
  • painted light fixture black
  • modern patio furniture

I will eventually do a post on the before + after of the exterior but today is not the day. Today is about CHOOSING THE DOOR. 

Let me preface this by reminding you that the home was built in 1954. The siding was probably added in the 1990's. I want the door to stand out, but not look out of place if that makes sense.

HERE WE GO! 

OPTION A:

I love this one but wonder if there are too many horizontal lines. The level of safety also concerns me a bit. 

OPTION B

This one is my husbands favorite. Simple but dramatic. However, it wouldn't let it as much light as option A.

OPTION C

I really like this one too. It's super interesting to look at, but probably doesn't let in too much light. Not concerned about safety/privacy with this one at all.

I don't know guys  I REALLY DO NOT KNOW!!

I wish i could get them all and change them out every once in a while like a handbag.

Please help us by commenting your favorite!

thank you!

xoxo

Farah

 

 

 

The never-ending bed saga of doom

The bed saga started in November... and it still isn't over. I had been wanting a new bed for a while. Our original bed wasn't a real bed. It was a mattress sitting on a couple of wooden pallets.

see the pallets?

The headboard was gorgeous, but i had gotten sick of it after a couple of years. I did a photoshoot at work in Novermber where i used the most beautiful upholstered bed. Since that moment, i was on the hunt for the perfect upholstered bed.

here's the beauty that started it all. 

A few weeks later, i was scrolling on instagram and i saw a little bed-making tutorial Emily Henderson posted and i FELL IN LOVE with this grey tufted bed. As soon as i saw it, i pulled the trigger and bought that bed.

It's adorable right??!

The reason it was so hard for me to find a bed in the first place is because i wanted it to be very low to the ground.

1. I didn't want my dog jumping off a high bed and breaking his little arms.

2. I HATE the look of a high bed in a small room. It completely takes over and makes the room feel smaller.

3. Lower beds are more modern

4. Our mattress is 12 inches thick (average is 7) and huge... but its a heavenly cloud of memory foam and we sleep like babies.

When the bed arrived i got a sinking feeling becuase it was much darker and bigger than the photos online. I put it together anyway because we had already sold our headboard and becuase i didn't want my husband to say "i told you so" because when i showed him the photo online after i had already bought it, he said it wouldnt work. It's crazy how he's right sometimes. I love a challenge, and i have tons of experience mixing different styles from my job, so i was convinced i could pull it off. Girl. No. Nothing i was doing was working. I bought BAGS AND BAGS of different pillows and accessories and tried all of them and nothing was helping. It just looked like it didn't belong in the house. After a few days i admitted my defeat and sold the bed on KSL (Utah's version of craigslist).

Here it is. My most successful attempt at styling it. Not worth photographing with a real camera.  

1. it's too dark for the room

2. the headboard is too close to the window. (unfortunate because it was low enough)

3. didn't blend seamlessly with my scandi-boho style

4. it stuck out a foot further than the previous bed.

I KNOW. I don't know what i was thinking!! I knew it was neither scandinavian NOR boho! I don't know. Sometimes you just see a photo and get a crazy hair. 

We put the mattress back on the floor and lived with it for a few weeks until i came across a gorgeous bed at an outlet store. I loved it. The color was perfect. The legs were so cool. I bought it, so blinded by the beauty and the price, i didn't think about how high off the ground it was. Nothing crazy, about 12 inches of space underneath. When we put the mattress on top, the entire room transformed from an open airy bedroom to just BED. It came up almost to my hip. Trent tried to convince me that it was fine. He really liked the bed. He never likes anything. I decided that our huge amazing 12 inch mattress was the biggest problem of all. I ordered the six-inch version of the same mattress and it came two days later.

IT WAS PERFECT. 

I shot the bedroom with my photographer friend and all was right with the world. 

 

It was a fun shoot! my cute off-the-shoulder pom pom top is from Gray Monroe! I think it goes with the decor!

I loved the bed!

That is... until Trent complained of back pain the first night. I told him to give it another chance. Maybe he slept in a weird position. The second morning i woke up and could barely move my neck.

THE AGONY.

Normally i put style before comfort but an uncomfortable mattress is a whole different ballgame. I think we're so used to our amazing mattress that anything feels horrible.

I sold the mattress and the beautiful bed on KSL. Our original mattress is back on the pallets where we started from.

I'm done for now. I've wasted too much time and money on this. BIGGEST LESSON: Just because you like something doesn't mean you should get it! especially if its a 180 from the rest of your decor!

Other equally important lessons:

  • a low bed looks more modern than a higher bed, and makes the room feel bigger
  • get someone else's opinion before buying something if you're not sure (or overly confident in my case)
  • if you've got a good thing going don't screw it up

And thats it for now! It probably made me sound a little crazy but as long as someone learned anything from this then it's worth it. Hopefully i find the answer soon because this bed saga SUCKS.

Photos by Jen Palmer

shirt  // similar bed // wall hanging // 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open shelving in the kitchen!

I'm so glad the open shelving in the kitchen is finally done! We had a few roadblocks we had to wait for but it's better to wait and do it right!

This is what we were working with. Those modern glass cabinets came with the house. You might ask "if they looked out of place in the kitchen why didn't you just take them down?" I wish it were that easy! The previous owners didn't measure correctly because they actually cut into the door frame to get the cabinets to fit. If we had just removed them, we'd be left with a giant hole in the doorframe. We had to hire someone to remove the doorframe and and drywall a new passthrough. 

Here it is with the doorframe removed!

Ready for shelving!

We found a really cool reclaimed wood warehouse just a few miles away from us and chose two gorgeous 4 foot pieces of wood. I found these brackets at World Market!

We figured out the placement with blue tape. One thing we can't ever change is the placement of the studs. We found the studs and then played around a little bit to find the best height and spacing between the shelves. We take a ton of pictures during this process and that allows me to look back and compare the different options side by side. 

After months of waiting for these, here they are!

I'm glad we did it! i think they add a lot of texture and interest in the kitchen!

Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

blush crush

I have been so drawn to blush pink lately! It feels happy and organic and looks amazing with plants and greenery. I recently did a project at work and incorporated this gorgeous pink color! 

I think the pink completes the room! The paint i used was "conch shell" by Benjamin Moore, and those pretty pink sheets are from Target. More pink inspiration below! 

Half bath reveal!

WAHOO! 

Finally our tiny 26 square foot bathroom is done! It took forever. It was expensive. Things went wrong. Things got super messy.

Exhibit A:

 

Renovating an old bathroom is HARD LEMME TELL YOU... especially when you don't know what you're doing and you have to search it on Youtube every 10 minutes. But we did it!!  Actually Trent did it and i tried to calm him down when water was spraying out of the pipes and on to his cute face. Good thing we live 2 minutes from Home Depot!

Incase you forgot, here's what the bathroom looked like when we bought the house:

Definitely not my style haha. The "before" post on the bathroom is here

Ok. Here it is!! 

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First things first. THE TILE. I have been in love with this tile forever. I almost cried when i got it. It's so pretty and not a single piece was broken. (hallelujah emoji hands). I also love that it's a traditional middle eastern pattern. This house is truly becoming a representation of who we are. 

Since the tile is so bold i kept the rest of the room really simple. The mirror is from target, spray painted matte black. 

The sink is the same one we had before. I thought about getting a different one with storage, but it would make the bathroom seem even smaller than it is. I updated the faucet and i think it looks SO cool with the tile. There is an unexpected vintage vibe in this room that i kinda love! 

I absolutely love the light fixture, especially how it looks next to the mirror. Oh, and it was like $400 cheaper than another one i was going to buy. 

The towel ring and toilet paper holder are the coolest things ever. I love them. I know, i love everything. There is a DIY on the turkish towel here. 

The toilet caused the most trouble. I bought this amazing new sleek toilet.. and it didn't fit. I was SO sad. We would have had to move the gross waste pipes a few more inches away from the wall... yeah. It was a fast nope. We put our old one back and realized the tile didn't cover enough of the floor under the toilet. It's only an inch or two but it drives me insane. Thats why i put the basket in the pictures. We have to take out the toilet again, take out the two pieces of tile that were cut too small, and put two new ones in. Luckily we have extra. 

Even though it took forever and almost everything went wrong, i still think it was worth it. It's just the prettiest little bathroom ever. <3

 

thanks for reading! 

 

Holiday Gift Guide

Don't know what to get the person that has everything?? Look no further! I guarantee they won't have anything on this list! These gifts are for the lover of all things unique, handcrafted and beautiful!  

I carefully chose every one of these items, so of course i'm in love with everything here! I want to buy it all!

Happy shopping & happy hoildays!

 
 

The half bath: part one

Ohhh my goodness!! This tiny 26 square foot bathroom took WAY more time than it should have; even more than the kitchen! It's not even done now as i write this. There is still some finish work i have to do. 

Trent didn't agree with me that this bathroom needed to be redone. It's super small and the tile before was not horrible. But almost every person that comes into our house ends up using this bathroom and i wanted it to look like it belonged! By some miracle i convinced Trent it was worth it and he actually agreed to do it! Whew!! 

Here's what i was working with.

When we bought the house it looked like this:

The. worst. wallpaper. on. the. planet. ALSO. BEIGE WALLS AND TILE. 

I remember when we got the keys to the house when the realtor was still there the first thing i did was start to peel away the wallpaper. I painted everything white, changed out the mirror and towel ring and it stayed like this for a year:

Not horrible, but not amazing. Here are some bathrooms that i used as inspiration:

the things they have in common are: 

  • black and white color scheme
  • round mirror
  •  bold statement tile

 

Check back soon for the reveal!

 

 

 

DIY planter

Today i'm showing you guys how to make these fun planters! I get SO many questions about them and people are shocked when i tell them that they are an easy DIY!!

You will need:

  • a pot
  • craft paint
  • super glue
  • wine corks

 

Step 1. Paint your pot with the color of your choice! I already have two white ones so i used black this time!

Step 2. Cut your corks in half and glue them to the pot!

Step 3. paint the corks and let dry

 

Step 4. Put a plant in and get ready for all of your guests to ask where you got that amazing planter! 

That's it! I experimented with black this time, but i think it looks better in lighter, natural shades. It will look more organic, like real pottery. 

This is not limited to corks either! You can glue things like blocks of wood and those marbles that are flat on one side! (what ARE those called?!) 

Hope you liked it!

xoxo

 

Things i'm loving right now

Green and Black

Cowhide rugs

currently searching for one for my own living room..

Stacked wood and wood nooks

More beautiful than art! Our next home will have a wood nook. 

 

Oversized leaves and branches in a vase

This is not easy to get right. Try out different shapes and sizes of vases. When in doubt, remember the 1/3 rule. The vase should be 1/3 of the entire arrangement.

 

Moroccan tiles as accents

DUH! Do more beautiful tiles even exist?? No. I love them, ESPECIALLY on stairs. 

The Mudroom: Part one

Holy crap! I can't believe we're finally tackling the mudroom! It's bad. Real bad. Don't believe me?

exhibit A:

The mudroom is right off the kitchen and has two doors that go outside. It's definitely the ugliest room. The washer and dryer are there, and its also a utility room because of the water heater and fuse box. I have got to find a way to hide those things!

When we moved in we painted the walls white. There was no point in painting the cabinets because i knew i would rip them out eventually. 

 

Those cabinets are original to the house! Crazy! The first thing we did was rip those suckers out! During the demo process we found the original vinyl floor in the house. SO. BAD.

After removing the old shelves we put beadboard on the wall that will be the back of the closet. Then we secured these Ikea shelves to the wall.

This is where we're at right now! We're at a standstill because:

  1. we need a custom closet door frame and barn doors built
  2. Our powder bathroom is currently torn apart so we need to finish that up first. Trent made a point today when he said "THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME. WE'RE HAVING EVERYONE OVER FOR THANKSGIVING AND WE HAVE ONE TOILET. TURKEY. CRANBERRY SAUCE. POTATOES. COFFEE. ONE TOILET." 

I'm planning on going a different direction with this room... farmhouse! Here are some mudrooms i'm using as inspiration. I love the white shiplap and black accents. A perfect representation of modern farmhouse.

 

We still have a long way to go but i think it already looks better! What do you think?

The kitchen reveal!

We've had our new kitchen for a month now and i absolutely love it! It's not completely done yet; it still needs a new dishwasher and some floating shelves. More on that below.

Just incase you blocked the ugly image out of your mind (click here for part 1 of the kitchen update), this is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house:

And... after lots of blood, sweat, and DIY tears... here it is now!!

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drumroll....

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What do you think?! I love it.  My favorite thing is the sink and faucet. I knew i wanted this faucet years ago, before we even owned a house. It's so beautiful and i love that it has a  pull-out spray hose built in to the faucet instead of being off to the side! And OMG. This sink is HUGE. I can lay our biggest pans flat in the sink to let them soak! It's the little luxuries. Haha!

We bought our Kitchenaid fridge when we moved in, so we got the matching gas stove. We had electric before and it definitely is a lot easier to cook with gas. However. The installation of the gas line ended up costing almost as much as the stove! Don't be like us: get a quote before you hire a guy and start drilling! We justified the cost though, because my parents actually bought us the stove we wanted (probably because they were so impressed that Trent did everything himself and wanted to buy him a present). It makes the biggest difference and looks amazing on the subway tile!

We still need to update our dishwasher, and i've decided on this one, but i cant decide if i should get stainless or black or white. I want it to blend in with the cabinets more. If i did stainless the fridge and dishwasher would create too much of a dark odd shape because they are right next to each other. And i'm considering a black dishwasher because i haven't ruled out painting the bottom cabinets under the sink black.  

Now for the things i haven't done: I want to replace the modern glass cabinets above the freestanding butcher block with two open wooden shelves with black brackets. I'm hoping it will tie in the butcher block more. I can't take the glass cabinets off yet because whoever installed them sucked at measuring... because they had to cut into the doorframe for them to fit. So i need to get someone to remove the doorframe before i can install the shelves.

I reallyyyy want to do large white or black hex tiles on the floor, but i don't think it will be worth it. This isnt a forever house and it would be a HUGE project.

What do you think?

 

Next up: MUDROOM. 

The kitchen update: before

Okay. Our kitchen was not the ugliest thing in the world. I've seen worse. But it's one of the first things you see when you walk in and i was super embarrassed by it. Also, it was hard taking pictures of the house and always having to crop the kitchen out since it's right in the middle of everything! 

It didn't need a complete overhaul. The cabinets are solid wood and the floor is a neutral grey tile... so not too bad. The countertops however, are a forest green/tan laminate disaster. 

This is how the kitchen looked on the MLS listing:

Bad, i know. We painted the cabinets and fireplace white, and It stayed like that for a year.

Our kitchen update was pretty spontaneous. It was a few days before my birthday and Trent asked what i wanted to do and i said "go to Ikea and see what countertops they have." Trent hates Ikea, but he agreed, and i was shocked when he actually liked the butcher block counters.  I had seen these beautiful herringbone countertops online a few weeks before and secretly wanted them, but they were laminate and I wanted the real thing. Still pretty though, right?

We walked out with two huge slabs of butcher block counters! So exciting! I already knew which faucet i wanted (i had been in love with it for a year) and i ordered it on the car ride home. It took a few hours of research, but i ordered a sink that day too.

We have since installed the counters on one side of the kitchen (the part without the sink) and added a tile backsplash too! Everything is on hold right now until the sink comes! It's ok though, it gives us more time to watch youtube videos on how to install it haha.  Hope it goes well! I can't wait to show off the kitchen in the next post!

 


Some kitchens i love:

 

 

 

 

 

1 year anniversary photos

I know its not common to have one-year-anniversary photos taken, but i really wanted them. Trent and i have been together for eight years at this point, but time has flown by at a scary rate and i wish i could look back on each year and see how we've grown, what we loved, and how we were living at that time. I wish i had pictures of us in our first apartment downtown, when we had frequent parties and walked around the capital every evening, or in his borderline frat house that was never clean when we were in college. It's gone by in the blink of an eye. 

This is a gift to my future self.  You're welcome, me. 


1 year of marriage.

Right now we live in a small home that we bought 1 year ago.  We're both working our butts off but love our jobs. We go boating on our turquoise 1960's boat almost every weekend, and our dog Oliver is the center of our world. 


photos by a great photographer and friend: Jen Palmer