A Boy's Bedroom

I once had a guest bedroom that welcomed my dad, my sister, and my mom to come visit me. Now I do not. One nine year old boy decided he didn’t want to share his room with his brother anymore. His brother monopolized his bedroom. He was always using the TV I had placed there a year ago for his video games, not allowing my nine year old any xbox time at all. And my nine year old was fed up. He pleaded for his own space.

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My Sister's Basement Renovation

From August of 2019 until February of 2020 I drove down to Milwaukee to visit my sister every other weekend (the weekends I didn’t have my boys at home with me). I did this to have someone to be around on the weekends I was alone, but also to help my sister with her big project, which was to finish her basement. My sister often asks for my advice when it comes to decorating her house. She likes the design work I do, and I take this as a compliment. So, whenever she has pictures to hang, I help her. Whenever she has materials to pick out, I help her. So, we’d spend these weekends shopping and then we’d get dinner at a restaurant and watch movies. I loved it. My sister is my best friend and with her company and conversation, I’ve been able to get through being alone. 

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Staging a Kitchen

Once the space you’re renovating is complete, you’ll want to add some decorations to make it look nice or it may look too sterile. Knick knacks, rugs, lamps, trays, picture frames, floral arrangements or nice dishes placed intentionally can really add beauty to your space.

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Window Treatments

I’ve seen window treatments done poorly, and it really bothers me. So, this blog is all about finding window treatments that look great. I have a few tips and what-not-to-dos to share.

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My Old Home

The very first thing I had to consider when my husband and I separated was where to live. I had to move out because I couldn’t afford the house we owned together. He could. At first I thought I’d rent a two bedroom apartment that was simple. No yard to maintain, no broken faucets to fix. I visited a place that had a washer and dryer and was pet friendly. I almost put a security deposit down when this cute little cottage-like house came back on the market.

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Open Shelving

Open shelving has been popular for a while. I’ve seen all kinds of shelves used from modern styles to reclaimed wood. Edges can be straight and clean or raw. Brackets can be black, bronze, or not exposed at all. There are endless possibilities. See my Pinterest board for some great photos and ideas.

Open shelves give a kitchen more space because it’s not weighed down with heavy cabinetry. I think a mix of cabinetry, open shelving, and cabinetry with glass faces looks nice. It adds variety and excitement to a kitchen that may seem a bit boring if there are just all the same cabinets. 

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New Materials for Old Houses

If you own an old house like I do, you want to maintain the charm and character, but you may want to do some updating at the same time. So, what new materials could you use that don’t upset the charm you’re trying to preserve?

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What to do with the Walls

When deciding what to do with your walls, you need to think about all the materials first. Put them all together like a designer would. Put your countertops, flooring, cabinet, hardware, backsplash, and paint samples all together to make sure they all blend. Notice I didn’t say match. They don’t have to completely match to look great. But they should be similar styles…all modern, all contemporary, all traditional. The colors should look good together. Don’t have all one color or all bold colors. Ground things with some neutrals or wood tones. Don’t just use color to add variety, use texture. Think about what mood your colors will invoke. See my blog on being your own designer for what moods different colors will bring out.

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Countertops on a Budget

So, you don’t have enough money for granite or quartz countertops. And maybe you do, but your house wouldn’t support it (you wouldn’t get your money back once it’s sold). Do you have to go with a cheap looking laminate?

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Installation

When I started on my kitchen project, I tried to get estimates from builders and home improvement companies. Many people either quoted me an extremely high price or didn’t have time to fit me into their schedule. I was told by a friend that Lowe’s installs countertops and tile, so I decided to get estimates from them. 

I had installers come to my house and measure. They then sent measurements to Lowe’s, who estimated the cost of the materials with the installation and called me to go through numbers. After learning the estimates, I decided to go with Lowe’s, because, well, I didn’t have many options at that point. However, my experience with Lowe’s was pretty poor. So, I decided to write a blog about what they did well and what you might want to look out for if you decide to have Lowe’s do your installation.

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