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Category: our home

A Closet within a Closet

creating a linen closet1

I have quite the little surprise to share with you guys today.  Throughout this entire closet renovation, you’ve heard me go on and on about how little space old homes have and I’m sure lots of you guys can relate. As part of my grand closet scheme, I had another idea for a way to further maximize the space of the odd, unused room.

You’ve clearly seen that in the closet, there was a door which led to the hallway. Here is it from within the closet and from outside of the closet. Odd, right?  Well, we’ve learned not to even wonder why some of the things in the house are the way they are, we just work with it.

linen closet - before

So, what we did about it was create a linen closet.  Keep reading for more photos and details of the closet within our closet.   Continue Reading…

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A place for everything – walk-in closet reno

closet reno 1

We are about halfway through a moderate project in our house – a master bedroom closet renovation.  Originally, the master bedroom had no closet, but instead a little nursery-type room off to the side.  In the 80′s my father-in-law renovated the home and put in a standard wall closet with bifold doors.  Until last week, the little wall closet still existed and I just kept my clothes in the office closet.  I finally got sick of going into my office to get my clothes, but more so, having my stuff in the office displaced the business supplies into the guestroom.  We finally decided to take action and last week we shared in this post how we tore down the wall closet and decided to make the whole adjacent room into a walk in closet with a vanity.  I’m in heaven.

walk in closet renovation

closet renovation 2

master closet renovation copy

master closet renovation

Over the past week we’ve ripped out the wall that made the 80′s wall closet, we’ve repaired drywall and we’ve installed a closet organization system from The Container Store. I’m not going to lie, I’m the kind of person who enjoyed every single second of putting together the organization system.  It was sheer bliss.  I got myself a glass of red wine in the evenings and just organized my little heart out. There is space for everything!  My clutches no longer get piled in a set of plastic drawers, my shoes are no longer in a boxes in my office shelving, and I’ll have a place to do my hair and make up without taking up residence in our single bathroom.

So, now our walls are repaired, we’ve painted everything a nice deep grey/brown – Martha Stewart’s Zinc from The Home Depot – and we’ve put our clothing in.  It seems like the end, but it’s not at all.  I’m just getting into the fun stuff.  I still plan to make a light fixture for overhead, create a vanity space, add some art, put up some window treatments, include a little seating space, and replace the 80′s carpet both in there and in our master bedroom.  So we’re only about half done.

We’re to the point where it’s user friendly, but could really use some decor.  I’m proud of what we’re accomplished so far and I’m even more excited to just keep going in the direction of my dreams.

What do you think so far?

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Creative Master Closet Space

storage solutions

(source)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that it’s been a little over two years that I’ve been talking about renovating our master bedroom “closet”.  I would use air quotes on the word closet to display the sarcasm involved in the word, but we’re online here, so real quotes will do.

Old houses come with their character and other perks, but I won’t be surprising anyone when I say that ‘loads of storage’ isn’t on the list of things we love about our home. Even if your house isn’t over a century old, it’s not too often that I hear people say, “I just have too much storage space”… and that universal need for better storage is exactly why this project has been such a long time coming.  Keep on reading for some ugly before photos, the crazy configuration we have going on, and what we are doing about it.  Continue Reading…

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Secrets + Life in Print

photo

We definitely had some exciting news this weekend, our home and our lives as Grandiflora owners are featured in 614 Magazine. It’s a wonderful article about how path to living in this home and the history of its life before we moved in.

To tell you all a secret, even with the rich history of this home, our time in this house is limited.  We’ve made improvements and renovations, but all were with the understanding that we wouldn’t be here long-term.  Some of the changes we made were cosmetic, just to get us by living in a place we loved living.  Other changes were totally functional.  We needed to replace a beam under the kitchen floor and put on a new roof. We love this house and it’s such a big part of the family (read the article for more on that!) So what’s the plan? Continue Reading…

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Home (Bar) Improvement

home bar

I’m always switching things up here and there in my house, changing colors, or swapping out pieces that are old (mostly from my post college apartment). I liked having a classic console table as a bar in my home, but the drawers were starting to break and it didn’t have nearly enough storage for my (ever growing) glassware collection.  I had my eye on a bar from West Elm, still a very class dark walnut wood color, but with a more modern shape and loads of space. It’s $599 online but in the store it was on sale for $479 – score!

bar before and after

west elm bar pulp home knobs

pure home knobs

Although I did love the bar as-is, I felt that a little feminine flair was in order.  I added these starburst pulls from Pulp Home for the perfect little touch.  I also changed up the lamp with a light white sculptural one to contrast the darkness of the little hall.

I’m very happy with the swap.  I still have two more things on my list for this room, one being to update the art and the second being to change the wall color.  I’d LOVE to use this wallpaper, but might try to do a paint technique that looks like the paper instead.

Do you like the change? Any changes around your house lately?

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Minted Master Bedroom Art

bedroom art - minted

After updating our bedroom sconces a couple of weeks ago, I was on the lookout for some art to go above the headboard.  With the shelves on both sides and small space of the wall, I didn’t want anything to big or busy.

I usually think of Minted for paper party goods and invitations, but I realized that the same community of designers that create the invites make art too.  I found something simple and unique by graphic designer Annie Clark and featured it in a frame that has a large matting for a little more white space.

bedroom art

master bedroom art

 

I knew I wanted my bedroom to have a curated library look, but still be airy and calming.  I think I’m getting closer!

If you get a chance, look at all of the amazing art on Minted… It was pretty hard for me to make a decision, there were so many great runner ups!

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Media Shelving Update

shelving - 4

In our living room, we had initially created a console out of pallets for our media components and although I loved the idea, after switching to a new receiver and new electronics, they didn’t fit into the openings in the homemade console.  I’ve been on the hunt for something that was unique and had some height to it. Everything else in the living room sits lower and creating contrast in height and leading the eye up was my goal.

I finally found something that I liked, and the bonus was that it was only $70 from Ikea.  I didn’t expect to find something there that had a more unique look to it, but I found that the basic, cubic look of these metal and glass shelves, dressed up with metallic and neutral accessories made all the difference.

media shelving diptych - House of Earnest shelving - 2

It fits all of the media components perfectly and allows for enough storage for my books and accessories to be displayed. The shelves provide a great mix of modern and vintage casual when mixed with the other pieces in my living room.

I’ve actually been thinking of this little nook in my house the whole time I’ve been traveling and I’m excited to get back home and play with it a little more, adjusting some of the decor and maybe adding a pop of color.

What do you use to corral your electronics?  Do you like the change from rustic industrial pallet to the cleaner glass shelves?

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Heavy Lifting

flagstone patio DIY

We spend the better part of this weekend working on our back patio.  With a winter storm moving in (really?) it was a race to get as much settled as possible before the snow started to fall.  I can’t say that I’ve done that much hard labor in a long time.  Most of my more intense projects are manned by my husband, Matt, while I take care of the stylistic part of things (painting, sanding, cleaning, etc).  In this case, since the puzzle that is a flagstone patio had a lot to do with an eye for fitting the stones together, I really had to be involved.  It was nice to get outside for a bit after a long winter and I learned a lot in the process.

flagstone how-to

patio progress 1

Last weekend, Matt had rented a bobcat to dismantle our previous patio, which I posted photos of on Instagram (@houseofearnest), and dug out the four inch foundation.  Gravel and sand were delivered and spread and my dad (an engineer) came over to help with the all important task of leveling.  Saturday morning we were ready for the exciting part – the flagstone!  I ordered sandstone because it had a very smooth and somewhat sparkly surface while other varieties were a little more rough and matte.

We finished by shoveling more of the sand over top of the stone and sweeping it in all of the cracks.  As more and more settling occurs over the next couple days, we’ll sweep more sand into the cracks to ensure that everything is snug!

I confess, this is just a tiny sneak peek of the finished patio – obviously before any landscaping. I am participating in the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge this year and will debut the finished patio next month for the challenge! Are you excited? I am.

My back, arms, and legs are definitely feeling the effects of a weekend filled with hard work (some of the stones were over 75 pounds!) so I might be a bit slower getting around these next few days, but it’s a good thing that doesn’t affect my typing fingers!

I hope you got some good things done this weekend! Isn’t it so satisfying?

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Transformation: Patio Plans

Patio 'Before'

So, I’m going to embarrass myself here for a post and show you my pretty terrible patio.  Dressed up with a nice table and chairs, a colorful umbrella, and some planters, it isn’t quite as noticeable how nondescript, plain, and concrete-y this outdoor space is. In reality, however, with colorful, seasonal accessories stripped off for winter, it’s pretty bad.

This year, that’s all going to change.

We went to a party last fall at a friend’s house who had recently built a new paver patio and I think that was the straw that broke our backs.  While something contemporary like pavers doesn’t quite work with our turn of the century farm house, I knew what would… flagstone.

dining area

 

ONE Flagstones in french vanilla color from MS International, TWO Tarno folding cafe chair from Ikea, THREE rattan french cafe chair from TK Collections. FOUR inspiration patio from Green Wedding Shoes.

This photo really jumped out at me as a feeling we could capture. mostly because I love the idea of keeping a dining area organic, natural and consistent with the age of the house.  I would definitely put the flagstones closer together (wobbly chairs are my nemesis), but love the neutral grey/beige that almost looks like aged wood. Mostly folding cafe chairs with a couple soft rattan chairs are perfect to quickly move into the garage for the very regular midwest summer storms and look darling together.

fire pit seating

 

ONE Hampton Bay ‘Fenton’ seating set from the Home Depot TWO stone fire pit kit also from the Home Depot. THREE Inspiration photo from Dirt Simple

A separate seating area with a firepit is also planned to make an appearance.  In my head, this will also be flagstone (not gravel like in my inspiration picture), but will be a place for us to sit after work, have a glass of wine, and throw the ball for the dog.  We currently do this, we just sit in adirondack chairs placed in the middle of the yard!

The thing that pushed this whole idea forward wasn’t just a case of keeping up with the Jones’s, but the Home Depot has invited me back this spring to participate in another Style Challenge!  If you missed the Holiday Challenge, check it out here, but basically they give me an item to work with, then I have to plan my whole design around that item and submit a post revolving around my decor.

For this Style Challenge, they’re gifting me the Fenton set which I’ll then build my entire firepit area around.

I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and has certainly given me the kick in the buns I need to get going on my patio!  We’ll keep you up to date on how things go, so I hope you’ll join us for the adventure!

 

Have a BRIGHT Monday, guys (spring is right around the corner)!

 

p.s. Want to see more of my patio inspiration?  Check out my Patio board on Pinterest!

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Before and After: Our Exterior

It’s been a little over a year since I went room by room on a house tour to show you guys my home.  I started by showing the most embarrassing part, which at the time was the exterior (do you see those trees growing from the gutters?)

I am very happy to say, that we’ve completed all of our exterior goals, starting with a new roof, replacing the terrible old house numbers, and repainting the facade and the lattice.  It’s been a big job, and I’m so glad it’s complete. It’s almost like driving up to a different house.

Even though we had some flowers and decor out there before, I really love my fall arrangements this year against the fresh and clean backdrop of the completed porch.

Some of these things seem so small, but anyone who owns a home knows how hard it is to complete some of these (seemingly) simple things.  I think next on my list will be to plant some bulbs in my bare flower beds to bloom next spring.  Maybe tulips?

Have a wonderful Monday out there guys!

 

p.s.  As we speak, I am flying over the Pacific for a business trip to China.  Don’t worry, though! I have done a TON of work this past weekend to prepare 4 tutorials, a trio of recipes, and some more updates around the homestead so that it won’t even be like I’m gone! Continue to stop by each day for a little dose of House of Earnest  – I’ve got a lot of fall awesomeness up my sleeve for you!  Follow on twitter and instagram if you want to see snippets from my trip!

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