We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to enhance our living room lately. You probably remember this little corner from a post I shared a few weeks back (our speaker DIY – these used to be black!). Leo had put his old records in my mom’s garage for storage 2 years ago – believe me, I got a reminder from her monthly that they were still in there – and we finally found a new home for them!
We all know about the Ikea Kallax shelving system. I’ve seen this thing EVERYWHERE and serving different purposes – as a bookshelf, a cubby at the gym, a storage piece . You can basically transform it to fit any purpose, and in this case, we used it for record storage. The records fit so perfectly in the little cubbies, and we were able to place Leo’s record player (he was very excited about this purchase) on top. It was a nice touch to the retro feel we had going with the speakers. The only thing that we weren’t sold on? The fact that everyone knew this Ikea piece, and that it just kind of looked, you know, basic.
I have a soft spot for anything old – you’re already fully aware of my obsession with vintage clothing (I feel like that’s all I’ve been buying lately!). This obsession also applies to furniture…are you surprised? It all started with my first apartment, where I didn’t have much choice but to take in hand-me-downs. I was 24, after all. I inherited furniture from old roommates after we parted ways, from Leo’s previous apartments, from my mom’s house. The only piece of furniture I actually paid for was my dining table & chairs from Ikea (here are a few Ikea hacks if you’re shopping on a budget!).
Funny enough, Leo is not typically a vintage anything kind of guy, but I’ve sold him in on the few vintage pieces of furniture we do have a the house. It took time, but I broke him down! The first piece was an easy sell, because it was the perfect fit and price…our bedroom dresser.
One thing Leo and I had been debating over for weeks was whether or not we pull the trigger on new speakers. With all of the other house expenses, we wondered if it was worth it to replace speakers that were fully functional…eye sores, but functional. After a lot of thought (& a lot of Pinteresting), we decided with a little love we could make our speakers more of statement piece by painting them. We desperately needed color in the our living room, so we decided to go with a retro mint green color. I secretly love this color so was ecstatic that Leo was into it too!
We wanted to make the process as simple as possible (aka avoiding priming, sanding, sanding again), and decided that chalk paint was our best bet. The end result came out so good I just had to share! Below are the steps on how to paint speakers if you’re looking to try this at home –
Now that we have more space, we actually have a separate room for our visitors. Yes, they even get a door to their bedroom! It’s a weird thing to not default to the air mattress in the middle of the living room situation (which is what I did all of these years). I think you officially become an adult when you have a guest bedroom. Your friends don’t have to change in the bathroom, or have all of their personal belongings out in the open for everyone to see. Yep. Officially #adulting.
Since this is a new phenomenon for me (& Leo), we’ve had some fun brainstorming ways to make our guests more comfortable. Leo has many friends that live outside of Chicago, so we have frequent visitors at our place. It’s basically like a part time Air Bnb…so we figured, why don’t we make it feel like one? Here are few things we’ve done to help visitors feel more welcome in our home…
All of the dishes we have in the house have simple, minimalist designs. I never thought I’d need or want anything else! Until, earlier this year, I came across these adorable salad plates at West Elm. Leo and I both fell in love with the silly portraits of various animals dressed as humans, and we immediately purchased a few that happened to be on clearance (this was right around Christmastime).
Since then, we’ve noticed that with every new season the designer, Rachel Kozlowski, comes out with a new set of plates. The attire changes as the seasons do – from birds in pullover sweaters in the winter, to sharks in bikinis in the summer. She recently released her fall line, and they’re more colorful than ever. We couldn’t help but buy every single design this season, they’re just too cute. We’ve slowly built a collection of about 15 plates – it’s been nice to switch things up and add some color to our kitchen cabinets! You can shop the dishes below –
We hit a big milestone since my last post – our remodeling work in the house is officially complete! We spent the last few weekends finishing up our deck. Yes, we made the decision to replace planks & re-stain our deck ourselves (with the help of a few very generous friends!). Are we crazy? Potentially. If we weren’t crazy before the project, we definitely lost our sanity throughout the process. Let’s just say there were late weeknights spent painting planks using our phones as lights…#homeownerprobs.
The thing I’m most excited about is that now we have time to focus on the more fulfilling home projects (because, let’s be real, the projects never end). I’m talking selecting art, rugs, pillows & throws, indoor plants…just pure decorating. The best part of it all! The first place we’re starting? Finding the perfect coffee table. It’s LONG overdue.
As with many of our other furniture purchases, I didn’t realize all of the intricacies involved with finding the right coffee table. There are definitely guidelines to keep in mind as you shop around – so I wanted to share a few that we are considering in our hunt for our coffee table match! We haven’t found the winner yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know which one we pick. Below are four things we’re considering when shopping for our coffee table – I’ve also linked to a few tables I’m loving currently. Which one do you like the best?
We’ve finally wrapped up construction in the house! YAY! It’s SOOOO nice to not have contractors in and out constantly…and after hours and hours of cleaning, I’ve managed to get out the dust. We’re starting to feel settled, which is an unfamiliar yet very welcomed feeling. There’s so much open space now that we don’t have boxes, equipment, paint and other random stuff laying around. I can’t handle clutter – I was losing my mind towards the end there! Anyway, I’m ready to move on from this stage to more fun, exciting things like home accessories.
Our next project is furnishing our deck. One recent discovery (& a warning for those of you who are as clueless as I was) – outdoor furniture is EXPENSIVE. Like, way more than you’d want to pay for furniture that is going to be sitting outside taking on the elements. Another thing I’ve never spent too much time dwelling on is outdoor lighting. I always thought it was just…THERE. Yeah, not the case. We realized we needed more lighting ASAP after having our first BBQ a few weeks back – we all had our iPhone lights on to avoid face planting down the steps and/or dropping the delicious food/cocktails we had just carefully crafted.
My life has been so consumed with home renovations – between picking out paint colors & tile, to dealing with various stuff that comes with owning a house (roof leaks, broken porch lights – it never ends!!). That said, it makes me all the more excited to share when we actually FINISH something! This time around, it’s our master bath…potentially my favorite makeover thus far.
Our master bath is the room that got the biggest facelift in our house. Previously, it was small, crammed, dark, and even worse…had a single vanity! That wasn’t going to fly. We wanted to open it up and make it a brighter space – this involved some serious construction like moving the door, knocking down storage areas that were embedded in the ceiling, building a completely new shower. The things that come up while your remodeling you can sometimes NEVER expect. Lots of improvising and flexibility is needed…along with the million decisions you have to make (which is what makes it all so stressful). Regardless, it’s so worth it in the end. You quickly forget about those late nights you spent debating between paint colors (the winner was Calm by Benjamin Moore)!
Now…let’s start with a quick snapshot of the before & after, so you know what kind of changes I’m talking!
From the moment we moved into our house back in November, we knew that we needed to get some sort of door for our guest bedroom. Even though there’s a flight of stairs separating the bedroom from the main floor, we wanted people to at least feel like they have SOME privacy when they stay with us. At the entrance of the stairway, we have a massive opening that’s much larger than the standard doorway. That said, getting a normal door was out the window. Leo then had the brilliant idea of putting a barn door there – we had enough space on the right side to allow for a sliding door. It was the perfect solution!
We fell in love with the modern doors at Rustica, but couldn’t get ourselves to pull the trigger on a $2K+ door (we needed a custom size and that drastically increased the price). The other option was getting one at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but they didn’t have that modern look we were hoping for or the color palette we had in mind. Both Leo and I wanted a rustic look but with a modern edge, otherwise it wouldn’t mesh with the rest of the house. This one we found on Etsy couldn’t be more perfect, and they nailed the color too! We wanted a grey distressed color that would make our floor & walls pop (& goes really well with our sputnik light). You can shop the hardware & barn door we bought here – custom made barn door, Etsy | barn door hardware, Home Depot.
PS – remember the dresser in our hallway from my DIY post? It’s looking even better now with the hallway additions!
As most of you already know (I’ve only been talking about it nonstop the last few months!), when we bought our place in August of last year, we knew we had a lot of work to do. The condo needed some SERIOUS love, as it hadn’t been updated in about 20 years. Though remodeling can be exhausting – literally the number of decisions you have to make is mind numbing – I found it to be so so worth it in the end. There is something special about having your place just the way you want it, minus some potentially regretful decisions (which we did have too haha).
I’ve got plenty of projects to share with you guys, but wanted to kick things off with one of our biggest ones so far, the kitchen! When we bought the house, the kitchen was super dark. Dark cabinets, counter tops, a green-ish beige paint color on the walls. We wanted a more modern, minimalist feel, but one that still felt cozy & warm. I feel like coziness can get lost in modern homes, so we kept that in mind as we made our kitchen decisions. Ready for the BIG REVEAL?!!! Here’s our completed modern kitchen remodel…
PS – You can now see our kitchen reveal featured on Shutterfly!