Category Archives: Design Academy

not pretending

I wouldn’t exactly call this blog “back”. I will say that spring is in the air, and I am more inspired than I have been in a long time. I want to freshen things up in the house and tackle some lingering LARGE projects like Elliot’s bathroom. There is a possibility I will post about it.

D, Elliot, and I are on Society Social’s blog today… with a few AMAZING photos of our home.

All photos by Lawrence Te.

The collected home



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house tour tuesday

I know. I am terrible at showing off house progress. So much has happened, and I’m sure I will forget half of it. It’s so strange to look back at photos from when we first moved in.

Kitchen + back porch then:



2012-04-06 19.08.39-1Now:

DSC_0021 DSC_0022 DSC_0027 DSC_0029

What we’ve done:

Ripped up laminate flooring; patched + refinished original hardwoods

Painted cabinets; replaced hardware

Removed dropped ceiling + lighting; installed new ceiling, recessed lighting, and two pendants over the sink

Installed new butcher block counter tops

New refrigerator; new microwave

New cast iron sink + faucet + backsplash

What we plan to do:

Hang art [we’re thinking of framing some of Elliot’s finger paintings to add color]

Drywall the back porch

Install new windows on the back porch

Install countertop over the washer + dryer

Build personal cubbies for our bags, shoes, coats, etc. on the back porch.

Remove the door separating the kitchen + back porch

New back door

Possibly re-do the kitchen again. We aren’t sure exactly how long we’ll be in this house. We feel like we need to be absolutely sure we’re staying for a long time before sinking a ton of money in the kitchen. Current thoughts: kitchen probably won’t be happening. We hate humidity.


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get muddy

Isn’t it interesting how having everything one color can make such an impact?


20121127-204426.jpgUmm, yes, the nursery looks better with just drywall mud.

That’s a reflection of how bad it was to begin with.

Now, where is that contractor of ours? The beadboard needs to be installed before the painters come later this week…

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fixin up a kitchen [on the cheap]

A few months ago [okay, back in April or so] D and I considered doing a complete kitchen renovation.

The thing is, we found out how expensive it would be to create our dream kitchen, and we decided that we would rather make the kitchen nice and live-able but still have money left to do some other projects in the house that would also make a big impact [have the floors re-finished, paint, etc]. We still plan to totally re-do the kitchen eventually and we have the cabinet layout/floor plan so we are factoring that in now when we make decisions [how to place the electrical, NOT spending major $$$$ on a sink that will inevitably be replaced].

So, from the beginning.

We removed the dropped ceiling and installed recessed lights plus two pendant lights above the sink area. The drywall guy finished up the ceiling on Saturday, so now it’s ready for paint.

I decided that painting the cabinets and switching out the hardware would really help. We bought the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Solutions system, which has been reallllllly nice. The kit comes with deglosser, paint [it requires two coats], glaze [I’m not using that], and a sealer. Rust-Oleum makes a light and a dark tint package – basically you pick the appropriate package based on the color you plan to paint the cabinets [Rust-Oleum lists the color options on the packaging] and have the paint desk at Lowe’s mix the color just like a regular can of paint.

I’m painting our cabinets white, and we ordered brass hardware [from Home Depot. Oops.]

Because the insides had already been crapily painted [thank you people who owned this house previously], I was forced into painting those too, so I’m using a grey Valspar in high gloss.

Painting cabinets properly takes an extremely long time. I think I’ll finish in the next few days, but I’ve been working on it for a few weeks. Multiple steps, time required between steps, ugh…

Anyway, the painters are coming at some point this week. They are painting the walls white.

The floor guy is coming next week.

Then we can re-install the cabinetry and appliances.

We’re getting a super inexpensive butcher block countertop from IKEA. And D [or Ray, our contractor] is likely installing a beadboard backsplash. We ordered a sink [from Lowe’s, not to worry] and a new faucet [from ATG, owned by Lowe’s, still counts]. We’re planning to install a new gas range too, but not until after the holidays.

We are also getting a new microwave for over the range, which I totally forgot about, until right now.


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the trifecta

So, I am a really bad blogger. I’ve been busy – working at my real job, traveling, being preg, and working on the house [that thing I’m supposed to be blogging about]. Plus Lily has been really needy. Yeah, lets’s blame her.

I took photos last weekend for a post… you know, the current state of the house. Unfortunately [or fortunately for me I guess], they aren’t really up to date anymore, so more to come.

Here’s the bottom line: D and I are preparing for what I like to call “the trifecta”.





Okay, obviously the last room [the nursery] needs more than paint. The truth is all three rooms [the kitchen, the back den, and the nursery] are getting the trifecta.

D and I are also prepping our bedroom and the upstairs hallway for paint.

Oh, and I painted the dining room recently.

Kind of a teaser photo for two reasons.

1. I cheated and the painters are going to paint the trim.

2. Our kitchen is living in the dining room and it looks like this:

I’m also in the middle of painting our kitchen cabinets with the help of someone I like to call, “Santa’s little helper”. Here she is in action.


Yeah. So I don’t actually have a helper and that’s why this is taking so long.

Happy black Friday!

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so maybe not exactly what I had in mind…

… but baby real baby is definitely a GIRL.

Girls are so hard.

As in, decorating for one and picking clothes that don’t hurt your head.

After much agony, I think D and I have settled on the direction for the nursery. I say agony because it has been really hard to pick something not too “baby”, something that can grow up without having to re-do EVERYTHING (I’m fine with re-doing things, just not in like… a year), and something that doesn’t make your brain explode from tacky overload.

We’re thinking gingham bedding + blue seersucker roman shades.



Don’t worry – we are working in some pink. In the closet. In fact, I’m painting it today.

We’re planning to pull in some of the red from the bedroom in storage containers + accessories. Kind of Olivia the pig style. No plans to actually use Olivia the pig, but I do admire her style of mixing the pink and red. That fake pig has way more style than Miss Piggy.

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wild furniture chase

I have an alert setup for campaign furniture on craigslist.

This week I hit the jackpot.

I drug D to southpark to pick up a HUGE dresser and nightstand. They barely fit in the car… actually the nightstand had to ride home on the roof rack.


I’ll be painting these beauties… once I figure out where they’re going!

At least D was rewarded for the hard work with dinner [and dessert] at Cowfish.

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