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Category: our home

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!


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!


House of Earnest Out and About

It’s been quite a weekend! I tweeted a little hint last weekend about the photo shoot that we were doing for Houzz, and tweeting about a month ago for a style shoot I was working on for a (then) undisclosed project.  Today I’m here to show you whats been going on behind the scenes! Firstly, our ‘Houzz Tour’ went live yesterday and I’ve been flooded with wonderful questions and comments ever since (except one nasty comment, but that’s just how some people are). Shooting my own whole home in a day was a little hectic, but with my return from India, I was up against a deadline. It’s surprising the things you see in photos that you don’t even realize on an everyday basis (cords, namely) but it was a fun experience nonetheless.  Below, is a slideshow filled with the photos only, but you can click through to read the full interview!

The undisclosed project, is a style shoot I was working on to reflect my style, esthetic and work for a curated collection on Joss & Main, which goes live tomorrow!  The first photo and this last one are just a little peek of the lifestyle look book that we’ve put together to highlight the theme of the event (which, of course, revolves around entertaining) and I’m just indescribably excited about it.  I choose a full collection of products that really showcase the House of Earnest style and I hope you love them.  If you’re new to Joss & Main, it’s a flash sale site which features mini-sales full of common products.  You can join the site HERE so that you don’t have to wait on an invite!

Have a WONDERFUL Monday!


The Well-Rounded Entry

All my life, I’ve envied the grand entryways that have a large round table with a large vase of flowers.  You know the ones – welcoming guests and looking chic through the glass front door? I never thought I’d have the pleasure of having the type of ‘foyer’ that could accommodate this design feature, but I was wrong (as I am here and there!).

I’m always toying around with various rooms in my house and after a rug purchase in India for our entry, I got to thinking about the round table (complete with flowers) that I’ve always wanted to have in an entry.  The rug sat there for about a week before I starting moving tables in and out to play with the scale that would be appropriate.  I needed something tall and skinny.

I borrowed a side table from our living room and a marble table top that I’d found thrifting a few years back to combine them into something very simple, but grand enough (thanks to the marble) for the entry I was envisioning.

I piled it with two sturdy design books and a small (gotta keep that scale in mind) vase of flowers.  I know I’m clearly biased, but I love it.  And sometimes it’s just the little details that make you smile and feel wonderful in your home.

Have you done anything lately that you’re exceptionally proud of? Let me know!


Have a SUPERB Monday!


Our Home: Sprucing Up a Summer Living Room

I love sprucing up a room to make it feel seasonally appropriate.  My previous living room textiles, although not too specific to winter, were a few years old and I felt like the room needed a little pick-me-up.  A little trip to West Elm yesterday was all my living room needed! I went with light and bright shades of yellow, chartreuse, and green for an airy, summer feel.  The green-yellow cushion cover in my little nook has a really pretty embroidered chevron detail.

I also wanted to bring some of the green from outside into the house, and a pair of succulents in a pretty planter along with a larger plant in a woven basket do just the trick. I also added a smaller votive holder in a bright grassy green.

On the couch I added some new cushion covers in a hand embroidered grey and a brightly colored silk.  A greenish-yellow fuzzy blanket gives the perfect pop and will come in handy for cool summer nights.

The new additions are definitely brightening up my Monday!  What do you think?  Do you like the color direction?

NOT TO BE MISSED… I have a secret surprise for you (that relates to this revamp) coming up tomorrow at 8am.  Be sure to stop back by!


Our Home: Front Porch Updates

Happy Monday!  I’ve been up to so much these past couple weekends at home that I thought I’d give you a little update from the homefront. 

I’ve written here and here about the plans we have for our homes exterior, and we’ve been spending the last couple weekends at home getting ready for summer and sprucing up our front porch.

The project started by ripping off the old lattice that surrounds the opening under our porch and cleaning out old brush, weeds, and debris.  We then worked to paint new lattice, a seriously painstaking project.  KEEP READING BELOW for more pics and the complete story on our front porch facelift.


Continue Reading…


Spring into Action

When it comes to having an old farmhouse, some things need much more maintenance than others.

I was planning on kicking off this past weekend with a little landscaping and hanging some big boston ferns on the porch, but when I walked around to the front of our home, I realized that I should probably get a lot more serious about the exterior than just some pretty plants.

Our porch is in poor shape.  The lattice is broken and falling off, there are floorboards that need repair, and the whole thing needs a good scrub and new paint.

Last fall, I posted about the exterior as a whole, and painting and fixing the porch was a big chunk of that to-do list.  We did get a new roof and I updated our house numbers and porch light, which made me feel accomplished, but with summer looming, I can’t ignore the porch anymore.  I need to get myself in gear!

Four years ago we painted the porch ourselves, but this time I am really thinking about outsourcing the work and leaving it to the professionals.  Have you guys ever had your exterior painted?  Did you hire out, or DIY?

I hope your Monday is off to a great start!

P.S. how about my little hostas poking out of the ground?! I’m pretty excited about them.



Light, Bright, and Airy Dining Room Update

With the new dining room chairs and the art update, I wanted to show you guys the progress of the dining room as a whole. Another major change I made was swapping out the darker, patterned curtains for something airy and white. Although they pool onto the floor, the gauzy texture and tab top design keeps them from looking too formal.

There are still a few things I’d like to do – mainly some additional art and accessories, but I really love the direction that it is moving.

Light, springy, and serene!

I hope your Monday’s bright!


Handmade Nailhead Upholstered Headboard

The final layer of my master bedroom project is complete!  I finished my headboard this weekend, and I am so excited about how it turned out.  After the initial planning, measuring, and cutting of the base wood, the upholstery went really fast.  And if you’re curious about using nailhead trim, use it.  I’ve done traditional nailheads on a project before, and it was painfully tedious.  Nailhead trim, however, was actually really fun to apply.


Whenever I have a vision like the layering of shelf, headboard, side table in my mind, I’m always just a little worried that I’ll work really hard on one of the pieces of the puzzle and then not like the way it fits in.  The entire time I’m covering and hammering there was about 5% of me that was worried it just wouldn’t look right in the room.

I’m happy to say that not only do I love the finished product itself, but I love it in the room as well.  To see more of the actual headboard creation process, keep reading!

Continue Reading…


Our Newest Nook

With all the action that has been going on with the bedroom shelves, I almost forgot about the perfect find that I scouted for my living room.

I wanted a mid-century, natural, simple chair for a corner in our living room for a while now.  Before, I was using a dining chair swung out into the spot as a placeholder until I found the mythological chair of my dreams.  I honestly thought I would never find something that met all of my criteria, but I did.  That is what patience and perseverance will get you.

It is exactly what I was looking for; an accent chair with enough personality to win me over, small enough to fit in our little nook, and comfy enough to easily seat an evening guest.

Have you had any new additions lately?  Found something you had been searching for?

It’s off to another week!  Have a FABULOUS Monday out there, guys!

p.s.  If you’re craving a bit of fun in the sun, see my dream spring break and 5 tops things I would pack over at Modern Eve!

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