5 ways to bring your family history into your home

5 ways to bring your family history into your home

If you don’t follow along on Instagram, I shared about how I got to attend Roots Tech conference in March after I had spent some time talking about how our family heritage influenced the design of our home here on the blog, which was then featured here and here. I’ve been hearing some requests about how to do it in your own home so I’m sharing 5 ways to bring your family history into your home.

 

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A post shared by Brittany Jepsen (@houselarsbuilt)

 

 

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A post shared by Brittany Jepsen (@houselarsbuilt)

I realized I haven’t shared it with you here.

Why bring your family history into your home

Let’s start with the why. Now, of course you don’t have to bring your family heritage into your home in order to love and honor your family. You don’t even have to do anything big. For me, my grandparent’s home was so crucial to my aesthetic development that I have always hearkened back to it and wished to bring it in.

My grandparents built their home in Los Angeles in 1951 and were known for their hospitality and hosted showers, weddings, out of town visitors. My grandmother had a small sewing room behind the laundry room with a cabinet full of fabrics that she had collected from all around the world. She taught me to sew all sorts of things. That room was magic.

The kitchen was French-inspired. It had hand-painted tile with delicate flourishes and little toile scenes. It was placed on the counters, on the kitchen hood along with beautiful accessories. The family room had a high cup rack around the ceiling of the room where mugs were displayed. It was covered in a beautiful wood treatment. All around the house was furniture and paintings that my artist uncle had designed and painted.

By hearkening back to this time, I feel like I am able to capture my grandparent’s essence. Like they still live on through me. They were the loveliest.

I know we do always know those who came before us or have great relationships with them, and I’ll get to that, but they do inform who we are and finding a way to honor it can get us in touch with our soul.

1. Look back to your family history origins

If you don’t have a specific idea of how to bring your family heritage into your home, look back to where you came from. Here in the States we all came from somewhere else and so there’s quite a bit to look to.

Growing up, I was told stories about my Irish and Danish ancestry and grew up really interested in learning more about it. And in school, I always selected Denmark if given the choice, for a country project. Denmark always made its way into the stories I wrote. I was fascinated! So learning about the aesthetic history of the country was something that I was always interested in and it happened to align with what I naturally gravitated to.

On a trip to Denmark to visit Paul’s family, I snuck away to the National Museum of Denmark and stumbled across this cabinet below middle. I loved it so much that I used it as the inspiration for our fridge in the kitchen. You can see how I used all three traditional Danish wedding cabinets to inform it.

 

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Of course, you don’t have to actually go to the country in order to be inspired by it. Look at books, videos, movies. There are more resources than ever to help you get familiar with your heritage.

You can read more about the fridge in this post about the kitchen.

2. Identify the people in your family tree

A large storyline in our episode of In With the Old was my ancestor, Patty Sessions, a Mormon midwife who delivered babies along the plains as they came over to Utah in the 1840s. I grew up on stories about her and learned to love her for her grit, business acumen, and strength. Being able to talk about her on the show was very special and we found ways to honor her throughout the house.

The staircase is one place where we honored her. I was inspired by traditional flat sawn balusters in Scandinavia, then had my friend, Jill DeHaan carve our flowers onto a few of them. We used the birth flowers of our family members along with the birth flower of Patty Sessions on them. Hers was the rose (June) so we featured it here on the balusters and on fabrics throughout the house.

Learn about them, find things out about them, make them your own!

You can read more about the staircase in this post here.

3. Work in the family heirlooms into your home

We don’t always get to inherit the things that we were really hoping for or the things that matter most to us. In fact, when my grandmother died, I inherited her globe. I LOVE the globe, but there were so many other things that reminded me of her and that I was really hoping to have. Slowly, family members have been giving us some things that didn’t fit into their own homes and I’ve been treasuring them.

One of them is this painting of my grandparent’s house. It’s actually my mom’s that she received as a wedding present and it’s just on loan, but I placed it in the kitchen where I think about my grandparent’s every single day. It’s a beautiful memento. You can see it better here:

 

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This coo-coo clock was also my grandparent’s that they got in Germany. It’s also on loan, but I will cherish it while I have it!

That

I know not everyone has the same style as their grandparent’s mementos and that’s fine! Work it in a place where it can be read as an heirloom and not necessarily the focus of your design.

You can see more of the kitchen renovation here.

4. Blend in your heritage with your personal tastes

Jasper’s bed was inspired by traditional Scandinavian built-in alcove beds, but I didn’t want it to read too historical. I wanted it to be slightly modern so we removed some of the decoration and left a few details here and there. We added in that mural and wanted it to shine.

We also painted in yellow as an homage to the traditional color of Danish homes, but also one of my favorite colors and the color that I use for Jasper. (I’ve more or less assigned the boys an unofficial color).

in with the old Brittany Jepsen room reveal

You can see more about Jasper’s bedroom here.

5. Create what you don’t have with your family history

I know it can be hard to secure items of importance like family heirlooms. In that case, create what you don’t have. My great grandmother’s favorite flowers were fuchsias so I always make sure to have at least one pot of fuchsias in the garden. And without fail, I think of her every time I walk by. It can be simple and cheap!

You can read more about our drought tolerant cottage garden here.

Bringing your family history into your home

Weaving in your family heritage into the design of your home can seem daunting, but with a bit of research it can be simple to add in some mementos of those who have based on before us. I LOVE having these reminders because it fills my soul. I actually feel things inside of me stirring.

I’d love to hear if you’ve done anything special to bring your family heritage in. Tell me in the comments! 

Becoming Danika Herrick

Becoming Danika Herrick

My company is Danika Herrick, Inc., I’m a Surface Pattern Designer located north of Boston, MA and I create and design fabric and wallpaper.

What do you consider yourself? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

Designer seems to be the “umbrella” that covers everything I do.  I’ve worn a lot of hats from Interior Designer, Decorative Artist, to Surface Pattern Designer.  I am always “designing” something!

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

I grew up in a little town called Highland Mills, NY.  It was about an hour north of NYC.

My parents always encouraged my sisters and I to be creative. This was during the 70’s and 80’s- so we would use whatever resources we had and put on neighborhood plays, had fashion shows (our entire line was made from Shop-Rite paper bags, staples and tape) and had plenty of entrepreneurial endeavors like selling grapevine wreaths and painted rocks to the neighbors.  I think our neighbors hid when we would come knocking!

Our house was always under construction, and my love of  DIY stemmed from this. My Mom would come up with the design and My Dad would build it. In 1st grade I asked my teacher if I could go home because my Dad was digging a foundation and I would much rather be doing that.

We also took lots of art classes.  To this day I am so grateful my Mom encouraged us to do this because it really helped to build my confidence. It also fostered my love of learning.  When I find myself stuck or not knowing how to do something I will seek out answers on Google or Skillshare.

Oh, one more thing that shaped me was that my parents would drag us to antique stores, flea markets, and the family trips were more Colonial Williamsburg than Disneyland.  While we weren’t thrilled as kids they definitely made an impression.  I find my patterns have a nod to the past and timeless design, and all the years of staring at shelves and shelves of Flo-blue plates and ginger jars can be seen in my work. Thanks Mom and Dad!

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

A Nun! I went through a phase when I was about 3 or 4. I would dress up in rosary beads and shrouds of lace doilies.  My Mom had a bag of big of vintage crocheted table runners she bought at a yard sale and I would wrap myself in them and make my own habit.  She was a great sport, and I went everywhere dressed in my elaborate headdresses and beads for a while.

What is your educational background and how has it shaped or changed your current career?

So despite having a really creative childhood and always taking art classes, I went to college for Biology.  I loved AP Bio in highschool and thought “I’m good at this.  Maybe this is what I am supposed to do”.  Fast forward to the end of my sophomore year. I had lasted one day as a Biology major. The long 5 hour labs killed it for me. I bounced from Communications to Psychology, and finally took a required elective art class. It felt natural.  I was plugged into my creative side, but also terrified!  How was I going to make a career out of this?  The stereotype of being a starving artist haunted me. I called my Mom in tears one day, afraid of failing and that I had no idea what I was doing.  All my friends seemed to know what they wanted to do.  She was so supportive and calmly told me that I have always been creative and what works for one person isn’t going to work for me. If I was passionate about something, I needed to pursue it.

Have you ever made a big career switch? If so, what prompted that? Are there aspects of a prior career that you incorporate into what you do now?

My career feels like a long road full of forks… I have had several career changes but they felt really fluid and natural. One would lead me to the next.  My first job was working as a Decorative Artist in New York.  I got to work on so many beautiful spaces and I really became bitten by the world of interiors.  I wanted to do more than just paint the walls and floors, and I went back to school in Boston to study Interior Design.

While in school I had a few internships with fabric companies and fell in love with patterns- but it would be a while until that seed would sprout.  I worked as an Interior Designer for two decades and during that time I met so many inspiring people and had lots of little side projects from blogging and starting a fretwork company.  I discovered Spoonflower while I was blogging and was instantly smitten.  I had always wanted to create a fabric collection, and here was this platform that allowed me to design, print and sell my own patterns.

I had to brush up on my Photoshop skills and learn how to put my artwork into seamless repeats, but I would spend all my free time from 2011-2014 doing this.  I began creating collections and designs were selling.  I slowly added more and more designs and it suddenly became my full time business. I retired from interior Design in 2012 and gave it my full attention.

How do you make social connections in the creative realm?

I have made so many great friends through Instagram and Zoom.  I am an introverted-extrovert, and very content to be alone and work, but when I find like minded creatives I am so excited! Quite often I will be DM-ing with someone and it will lead to a Zoom chat with drinks.

What is your workspace like? Has it changed at all since the beginning of the pandemic last year?

I work from home and have slowly taken over several rooms in our house.  I have a main office on the first floor where I do my painting and computer editing, and I took over half of our guest room as a studio space where I store all my art and sewing supplies. Designing patterns requires testing out scale and color, so the surfaces of our home are my constantly changing canvas. 

Describe some habits that keep you motivated and productive. How do you climb out of a creative slump?

Do one thing and do it well.  I have a highly distracted ADD brain, and I love to multitask and do ALL the things, but it’s usually at my own demise. I would always find myself with so many unfinished projects and just feeling overwhelmed as many creatives do.  I looked at my strengths and weaknesses and realized I was great at hyperfocusing on things I enjoyed. I did a little experiment and decided I would just focus on fabric design for a month.  I drew, took classes, expanded my website- and almost immediately I saw so much growth!  I also felt less chaotic.  I realized that while I was good at doing several things at once, I was great at doing just one.  To this day, I really try to map out that one thing I want to accomplish- and if I get in a slump I take a class and learn something new. That almost always triggers new ideas.

What is a typical day like for you?

Monday- Friday are all business and then I try to go off the grid Saturday and Sunday. The weekends are when I am my most creative because there are less distractions- it’s when I paint and create the artwork fo my designs.

My average day starts with a pot of coffee and getting my emails and custom design requests organized and prioritized. I am a paper list maker so I like to plan my day and cross things off as I go.  Once I get through that I will Photoshop and work on digitizing my artwork.  Working from home is great, and I love what I do, but I can easily get lost in it.  Quite often I sit down with my coffee and suddenly I’m like “how is it already dinner time?”

What is one skill you wished you learned when you were younger?

Delegating and time management. I am just the worst, but I am trying!

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your business?

Grow slowly and organically if you can.  I hate debt and try to avoid taking loans or racking up my credit card if it’s not absolutely necessary.  As I’ve grown and made extra money I reinvest in myself.  Start with what you need, you will always have wants (for me its art supplies and better computers or software)- just don’t put yourself into debt if you don’t need to.  I set yearly financial goals for myself and when I hit them and have the extra money, I treat myself to that “want” as a reward.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

My goals include collaborations with a few of my favorite designers as well as creating a resort wear collection.  Besides feeling like I work 24/7, I also have a husband, 2 teenage sons and a dog.  My goal is to get better with my time management and be able to spend more quality time with them.  Both boys are both really creative. The older one produces music and has had songs on Billboard and the younger one is an amazing artist/ entrepreneur so I am really excited to see what the future holds for them and the paths they take!

You can see read about Danika Herrick

On her website
On Instagram
On Spoonflower

How to make an alcove bed

How to make an alcove bed

I wanted this bed to happen so much, but when I encountered person after person backing out due to timelines I was willing to go to plan b or plan c or even plan z. THANKFULLY, Handy Nanny Pat came to the rescue and said her magical words “to every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the job and *snap* the job’s a game”. Wait…that’s not it… “I can figure it out.” There, that’s more like it.

SO, I asked Pat if she’d be willing to share how she did it and she agreed. Before we get to how to make it, I wanted to share more insight into the design process.

Designing an alcove bed

I shared some inspo yesterday about what I was going for. I wanted a look that would feel Scandinavian, but knowing our time contraints I knew we would be able to go all out on it. That said, I didn’t necessarily want to. I wanted it to feel modern too. Here was my initial sketch:

An alcove bed with custom seating under the two windows in the corner.

I went through various details to arrive at the final including some with drawers, fancy decorative edges, some more in the scallop/wave direction, which I think would be so so fun still

I also played around with what the decorative detail would look like based on Northern  European antique beds (kind of like Knosen Antique’s amazing sleigh bed collection). At one point I had even bought a sleigh bed for Jasper from Nee Nee Twig and it was so so gorgeous. Had I not found anyone to create the bed for me, I probably would have kept going in this direction.

Eventually, I settled on this simple shape based on this inspiration on the right:

I figured I could bring in patterns to liven it up. And this shape was totally doable for Pat. Ha! Or maybe I should let her answer that.

Speaking of, let’s have her answer that! Pat, how do we make the bed?!

How we built the alcove bed by Handy Nanny Pat

Brittany had several photos of alcove beds to draw inspiration from as seen above. Once we decided on a basic design, we chose to make it a full (standard double) size. We envisioned snuggle time with the family for now, and more room for Jasper, the soon to be Nordic giant, as he grows. We also wanted to include a bookshelf inside the alcove.

  1. The basic framework of 2×4’s is attached to the studs in the walls, and the rafters in the ceiling, for stability. We also reinforced the interior joints with these brackets from Home Depot.
  2. From the dimensions of a full size mattress (75”x54”), we added twelve inches to the length, for the bookshelf, as we determined the size. The actual platform for the mattress has an extra couple of inches around it to accommodate bedding and make changing sheets easier.
  3. We knew we wanted to add the substantial step to the entrance of the alcove, so that determined the height of the platform. Our step is approx 12” high, and the mattress top is about 20” high. The mattress platform is about three inches lower than the main opening, so that the bedding tucks in out of site. Brittany’s idea to add a playful window to the end of the alcove turned out fantastic. The kids utilize it in so many ways. Daydreaming, climbing, hanging toys out of it, puppet shows, the whole bit. Plus, it added another side to add curtains to, making the interior view looking out quite the showstopper.
  4. We used this  ¾” plywood from Home Depot for the outside of the alcove and the platform for the bed.
  5. For the trim at the bottom of the entrance and top of the window, we used a jigsaw to cut out the shape that Brittany designed on the faceplates, and then glued another two ¾” plywood pieces of the same shape to back them. They’re a substantial 2 1/4” thick. As you can see from the progress photos, there is wood filler in the cracks, and we took care to sand them nice and smooth, and round out the edges. We added a bit of definition trim to the exterior, and crown molding to the top of the frame. Also, beadboard to the interior ceiling and end walls, for added appeal. The supports for the shelf were bought at Lowes. You can find them here.
  6. Building the step was fun. It’s built like a Mack Truck, and is not going anywhere, anytime soon. The frame is built from 2×4’s and covered with the same ¾” plywood. You’d be surprised how much it weighs! The boys are up and down it a dozen times a day, as expected.
  7. A bit about finishing work. It took a full week to do the trim, add the interior beadboard, and sand smooth the whole bed. The end result is a piece of furniture that will not only stand the test of time, but has a great base for whatever future paint options may be coming its way. It’s important to do a base coat of oil based primer when you’re working with raw wood. This keeps the tannins from seeping through and discoloring the paint. We used this one here.
  8. We used foam rollers for the paint, to keep the finish smooth. Our final coat of paint is California Hills by Benjamin Moore.
  9. We used standard curtain rods on the inside as the last part of the construction.
  10. The wallpaper mural inside is truly a magical touch. The whole room became the stuff of childhood dreams once it was installed.
  11. Bedding and curtains from Spoonflower finished the transformation, making this corner of the room an inspirational place of comfort.

It’s worth mentioning, again, that all of this was done on timelines to meet shooting schedules of the production company for In With The Old. I laugh when I think about the late night painting and early morning wallpaper hanging we did, just for the show! Nothing like a deadline to keep the pace moving right along.

Would I do it all over again? One Hundred times yes. Even though my initial guess was about two weeks to make it, and it turned out to be five weeks, a house full of sawdust and some late nights! 

Thank you, Pat, for sharing your wisdom with us. I’m waiting for your own show to come out ;).

Carved flower balusters

Carved flower balusters

If you haven’t read about the Scandinavian folk-inspired staircase yet, I recommend you starting there first before digging into this post so you can see how everything came together.

Ok, now that you’ve read up 😉 I want to tell you all about the magic of these carved flower balusters.

It started when I was trying to think of something unique I could do for the balusters. I mean, if you could do ANYTHING to reflect your personality in your home, what would YOU do?! It opens up a new world, no?!

Since I wanted to bring in a lot of Scandinavian folk-inspired elements, I looked for a lot of flat sawn baluster inspiration and there’s a lot of goodies out there.

Baluster shape inspiration

Flat sawn balusters are just like how they sound–they are wood cut with a saw in a fun shape. They were oftentimes used for porches during the Victorian times, but were also found in Scandinavia, which is where I drew my inspiration. Here’s a few that I considered.

I started to narrow in on the above shapes, specifically the middle one. I liked the natural wood and how it would tone done the rest of the patterns and colors that I planned on using around the house (still TBD!).

Finding the right shape

Let me start out by saying that getting the right shape was not as simple as I was hoping. I did it old school by drawing it then coming up with a mock up in paper then cardboard.

And I didn’t love it. It was way too “hippy” and not in the 60s way, but more in a woman’s figure way?

Carrie on the team then put it into Illustrator and worked it out based on the sketch I made so it was much more acccurate–thank you Carrie!

Then we printed it off as an engineer print at Staples and brought that into Tanner’s, my brother in law, workshop where we cut out the shape. You can see all of this on the show. He was so so so helpful.

You can read all about this process of cutting out the shapes on this post, but suffice it to say, it was a much bigger process than we all expected. Tanner brought in Quinn Peterson, to help him cut them out and soon things were rolling.

So pretty all laid out.

This got me super excited.

Decorative balusters

As for the actual decorative carving on the balusters, I recalled some previous inspiration from one of my favorite artist/illustrators, Nathalie L’été. She designed these gorgeous wood chairs in the middle below and I think someone else carved them for her. They’ve been on my inspiration board for years. I wanted to figure out how I could combine the idea of a carved flower into a baluster.

It hit me when my friend, Jill DeHaan posted the image on the right on her Instagram. She was the perfect person to bring on this project! She’s all the best things wrapped into one– an incredible designer, illustrator, artist, and wood carver. She’s got talent oozing out of her pores.

I broached the idea and I think she must have sensed my enthusiasm because she was on board from the get go. I sent her the inspiration above with some sketches I had made.

And then she came back with her own with plenty of options, which you can see here. Notice the top design and bottom designs that I got to pick from.

I decided to go with the three dots at the top and this for the bottom:

But they were all so good and hard to choose from. What would you have done?!

Birth month flowers

As you saw in the show, I chose flowers based on our birth months and their symbols because I wanted to tie in something personal.

  • snowdrop for January for Jasper
  • marigold for October for Paul
  • June for me and Patty Sessions, my ancestor who we dedicated the house and show to
  • Narcissus for December for Felix
  • Poppy because I liked it 😉
  • Tulip because I liked it 🙂

Staining the wood

When I received the balusters in person, I realized that the carved ones were going to be much thicker than the plain ones we were also using. I got nervous that they would really stand out so I had a local carver, Jessica Adams, come in and take down some of the thickness of it.

Jessica also stained them for me. She used a method of setting them by the fire so they would soak in the feed and wax and they came out very dark.

In fact, so dark that I got nervous about how they would play with the wood of the stairs. I talk more about that in this post.

However, I found out that over time they really lighten up. In fact, right now they are so light that it kind of seems like they weren’t stained at all. I’m considering trying out a different technique or maybe doing another onto them.

Staining them a color?

Jill recently shared on her Instagram how she stained another project in a bright red and this really got my wheel turning. Could you imagine?! I’d have to hold off on making this decision until I thought through the rest of the space, but you better believe that it’s on my mind.

Newel post

Before I share the final photos I want to share a bit about the newel post. The newel post is the post at the bottom of the stairs that is oftentimes more stately than the rest. Based on my inspiration, I was more attracted to something simple. Tanner and Quinn once again pulled through and made it happen. In hind sight, I may have taken the width to something a bit smaller, but I still love it!

I love the slight indentation on the sides which creates a slightly less boxy feel.

Floral carved balusters

Ok! Here are the final photos. I could share them for days, and I just might 😉

Well, there you go! Every single detail you could ever ask for (probably more ;). Jill did such an amazing job as did Tanner and Quinn. It was the biggest labor of love and I am so grateful for everyone who contributed to it. It’s really so remarkable. I can’t wait to finish off all the other spaces so they can really shine like they were meant to!

Let me know what you think! 

Becoming: Jana and Tanner Roach of Beck and Cap

Becoming: Tanner and Jana of Beck and Cap

Currently nestled in the mountains of Northwestern Montana, Tanner and Jana Roach are the heart and soul behind each Beck & Cap piece. Starting as childhood friends, to spouses, and now Creative Designers, in every sense the development of Beck & Cap has been a natural progression of an early dream.

Being inherently artistic people, they knew from the start that any business venture would need to nurture their desire to create. Generating list after list until notebooks were filled, they were constantly dreaming up different pursuits.

In 2016, they were designing a display for Jana’s vintage market when Tanner carved the first wooden mushroom. They knew they were on to something special when dozens of people were asking how they could get one.

Over the next two years, they would carve hundreds of mushrooms, delivering them to California, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and everywhere in between.

Yet those notebooks of ideas grew as Tanner started dreaming up new furniture possibilities. It was undeniable that Beck & Cap as a business was now a reality.

Then in 2020, a whirlwind opportunity came when they were discovered by interior designer Leanne Ford, and then featured on “Home Again with the Fords.” Suddenly, Beck & Cap was no longer just a small business, but internationally recognized and thriving.

Together with a small team, they continue to hand carve organic modern wabi-sabi furniture out of sustainably and ethically sourced wood. Each new design and innovation is inspired by the natural beauty and imperfections of the wood itself. They consistently focus on one of life’s most important treasures – time brings character and beauty to everything.custom furniture

What do you consider yourselves? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business person, educator, etc.?

We consider ourselves artists, creatives and serial entrepreneurs!

Where did you both grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what you do now?

Tanner and I grew up in North Idaho. We were both creative when we were younger, and I think the melding of our minds has only created a more insatiable creative monster haha.custom furniture

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger?

Tanner thought he was going to build houses and I thought I was going into forensic science! WILDLY different career choice, at least for me. I also knew back then that I couldn’t be corralled into one specific profession. I don’t think either of us could! We have to flex that creative, spontaneous muscle whenever we can.

Are there people who have been influential in your chosen career path?

My mom taught me to appreciate beauty and how to put together a room or vignette, and I know that has carried through to what we do now. Tanner’s entire family is extremely artistic as well. We are very inspired by Axel Vervoordt and his impeccable taste. The way he blends the natural and antique with modern is like none other.

What sparked your interest in design?

We’ve always had that spark for design in there, I think. We both love a good end result and appreciate the work/process/dance it takes to get from the before to the after. It sounds so simple, but beauty is what sparked my interest in design. There’s no better feeling than finishing a project or a piece and seeing it in someone’s space. No better feeling!

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

We are so proud of Brittany’s island. I will forever be a lover of antiques with a story attached to them, so when we were tasked with creating her heirloom island that is infused with family history? I could barely wait to see the progress Tanner had made on it every day. We’re so proud to have created such a meaningful piece.

What is your design process like? Where do you find inspiration for new creations?

We typically brainstorm over Pinterest, design books, nature, and late night chats. We’ve found inspiration in the weirdest places, like an ottoman! The shape of it inspired our design for a side table. I love looking to antique furniture for unique shapes that we can incorporate into our signature organic modern pieces.

We would love to hear more about the amazing kitchen island. What was the process like?

We wanted to create something that looked like it had been around for centuries. I’ve loved larder tables and merchandise tables that you’d find in old general stores, so we wanted to have that look. Tanner drew up options for the legs and Britney gave the overall inspiration for sizing and we went to work! Tanner also drew and carved the design you see on the sides that give it such lovely detail.

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present?

There are so many artists and creatives that we look up to – especially Axel Vervoordt, Leanne Ford, Rose Tarlow, Colin King, Hans Wegner, and even set designers like Grant Montgomery (those sets in Peaky Blinders? Incredible).

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a personal motto?

We don’t really have a motto, but we are firm believers (that have to regularly remind themselves) that everything will work out, even if it doesn’t look quite how we planned it to. God knows better than we do, and no matter what happens, we have hope in the goodness of who He is.

beck and cap table made from pineHow do your surroundings influence your work?

We now own the quonset hut and brick building next to it which will be our showroom in the next few months! White brick, old timbers, concrete floors – we are surrounded by beauty which definitely makes us motivated to see each piece finished and set against that backdrop!!

What is a typical day like for you?

Tanner wakes up around 5-5:30, heads to the shop (sometimes plays a little guitar before work), and then carves all day long. I wake up, get the kids to school and then work on emails, posting on social and answering questions! Sometimes I go to the shop to take photos, look at projects and help out there. I pick up our kids after school and then Tanner comes home! We’ve just gotten to that place though. There were many, many months of him working until midnight or later.

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

Tanner won’t tell you, but he’s an incredible artist and baker!! I look forward to the treats he makes during the holidays. I don’t know that I’ve got a secret talent, but I could probably beat just about anybody at movie trivia! We’re both working on learning guitar and ukulele right now which is such a relaxing hobby!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

Just go for it! Don’t worry about if it flops or it’s hard. Just start! Network with people doing that hobby or skill and see how you can help/shadow/be around them.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your  business?

I would say it is SO worth it to find a financial professional before you start that will help you come up with a business plan and strong sense of how to set your pricing. It can be detrimental to your business if you don’t have those things in place. Creative types often don’t think about this before they start and it creates a lot of stress. Ask us how we know 😉

Is there anything more you would like to “become?”

This is a hard question! I think we’d like to become less stressed. It’s so much of a mindset thing for us, so being able to roll with things a little more than we do now would be great!

What is your long-term goal? or What do you hope to accomplish within the next 10 years?

We would love to have a thriving business, be a well-known company and be freed up to travel more! Creating and delivering pieces to people all around the world would be incredible.

Thank you Tanner and Jana! You are the most talented and the best people to work with! Can’t wait to see what else you do! 

You can read more about the custom work table kitchen island they made for us as featured on In With the Old on Magnolia Network now! 

Before and afters of our home renovation

Before and afters of our home renovation

There’s so much to say about the experience of doing a TV show not to mention the experiencing of renovating and the natural conflicts of each. I’ll get to all of that eventually, BUT, we are going to start with the specific rooms we worked on and some basic info about each one along with all the before and afters of our home renovation.

Like I mentioned, I’ll be addressing each room in greater depth in subsequent posts along with our experience of working on the show. I’ll also get into more detail about some of the themes we talk about on the show. If you have anything you’d like me to address, please let me know! I’m doing a Q and A on Instagram tomorrow so if you have specific questions, find me there!

Specs:

  • Built in 1992
  • 4550 sq foot
  • Federalist Revival home
  • 8 bedrooms/5 bathrooms
  • .25 acres (I think? Ha! Can’t remember)

Details:

  • We filmed from February 2022 – July 2022
  • We moved in September of 2020

Brittany and Paul’s Checklist:

  1. Exterior. Improve the exterior with a Scandinavian-inspired plaster-effect to cover the brick and new landscaping
  2. Kitchen. Take our phase 1 kitchen to the next level by honoring Paul’s Scandinavian background and my family history
  3. Bedroom. Make a cozy Scandinavian folk-inspired bedroom for Jasper, my 4 year old son
  4. Staircase. Add a nod to my family history and our Scandinavian roots with a new staircase
  5. Kitchenette. Create a whimsical kitchenette to our studio in the basement

The exterior

First up, the exterior. It was actually the last thing we worked on and possibly the most intensive, although that is very debatable depending on who you ask. To be honest, I wasn’t sure we were going to do anything at all to it because it was too much for my overwhelmed brain to handle with so many other big things going on (and that’s including running a business and two kids). Here’s what we started with:

Before and afters of the exterior renovation

Door makeover

In the fall of 2021 we gave the front door a little makeover (you can see the full post here–it didn’t go according to plan ;/), which you can see here (still my favorite fall display to date!).

The exterior plan

The house is stately but plain and I’d like it to be more true to the historical style of a Federalist Revival home although we are still considering taking it in a more Danish or English direction–still haven’t decided. In my dream world and budget, I would be doing SO much more to the exterior including raising the pitch of the roof along with a new roof, adding dormer windows, replacing the windows, adding in a portico, new lighting, a new garage door, a beautiful garden, but we had to go with what we had time and budget for, which was the following:

  1. Paint the facade
  2. Switch out the address numbers
  3. Add in some more landscaping to the front and walkway
  4. Expand the width of the walkway
  5. New mailbox

After photos of the exterior of our house

Ta da! Of course, these photos represent so much more than a simple ta-da, but a ta-da will have to do for now until I go into more detail about it.

Landscaping for our drought conditions

Utah is a desert climate and we’re in a huge drought so I chose a landscaping plan that was more drought tolerant than what we currently have. The house had existing grass and the existing sycamore trees and some fir and apple trees in the back. While we’d eventually like to move away from grass because it requires so much water (SO MUCH WATER!!!), we had to work with it for now until we can do more with it at some point. We worked with Monrovia on the new plan and they were wonderful! I’ll get to what we did and how we came up with our plan in a follow-up post about our garden (you can read this post for now!)

brick house painted white

Painting our red brick white

I’m going to guess that painting our brick house might be controversial choice. As you might see in your own city, it is super trendy right now to go white because of the Farmhouse trend though it is not why we chose it. I certainly think there can be beauty in red brick, but our red/yellow brick was 90s, not historic, and had funny “worms” in them as –a funny added texture probably made with nails or something. The colors weren’t great (but maybe they photograph ok?). We really wanted to take it in a more old Danish or even old English direction.

We found this great German company that has a US presence called Keim. They make mineral silicate paint that is meant for masonry. We also used their amazing primer that has a rough texture to it that gives a very authentic European feel. I’m in LOVE with it. Again, I’ll do a follow-up post about it along with a tutorial. I’ve already received many people asking about the product who see it in person.

The Kitchen

Ok! Onto the kitchen, which you can read about it more detail here. I had already begun a direction on the kitchen before we agreed to do the show so I decided to keep on going with it even though I knew there could be problems with the supply chain (spoiler: there was!).

Here’s what the kitchen was like when we first moved into the house. The kitchen is everything past the doors on the left and right side.

Before photos of the kitchen

before and after kitchen

If it wasn’t obvious: there was no kitchen. FUN!!!!!! (sarcasm).

Phase 1 kitchen

We put in a VERY basic kitchen when we moved in so we could take our time on the design afterwards. The previous owners had left a refrigerator and oven range in the garage so we had our basic needs met there. We put in unfinished wood lower cabinets from Home Depot and two Ikea islands together and voila! Ha! You can read more about this phase 1 kitchen here. I didn’t ever bother finishing it up because I was hoping to get to Phase 2 pretty quickly.

At one point we painted the cabinets to add a little bit more interest.

Brittany is wearing a blue dress and holding a baby. She's standing in front of a yellow

But as you can see, we didn’t even finish!

The Kitchen Plan

I wanted our kitchen to have an old world quality to it–like it was original to an old European kitchen, but also have color and a nod to our Scandinavian heritage. Here’s what we set out to do to achieve that:

  1. Replace the cabinets
  2. New appliances
  3. New lighting
  4. More storage
  5. Make it a gathering place

After photos of our Kitchen

Here it is!

We worked with Cliq Studios on the cabinets. I wanted it to feel like a it was working kitchen in a stately manor so we planned on utilizing the whole room by placing cabinets on each wall. We took advantage of the window wall by placing a floor to ceiling pantry, a bench, and some desk top drawers. I love how it feels like it uses the full space completely while also maintaining sufficient room for passing into the next rooms, which are the laundry and pantry and access to the garage.

With another budget and time, I would want to switch the whole kitchen layout around by placing the sink by the window, but I wasn’t ready to spend the additional money so we worked with the existing layout.

Custom work table by Beck and Cap

Do you see that amazing work table/kitchen island? Oh, it’s a beauty! We worked with Janna and Tanner of Beck and Cap on it and it’s unbelievable. It’s completely custom and they are a dream to work with. They even surprised us with that wood carving on the end as a nod to our Scandinavian heritage! More details about that soon along with an interview with this powerhouse duo.

Bringing in antique items

My friend, Meta Coleman is an amazing interior designer and friend (you can read more about her here and here). I consulted with her on our kitchen and she found some old pieces for us to use in our kitchen like this plate rack, which I think ties in that Old World quality we were going for.

We worked with Signature Hardware on the beautiful polished brass faucet, clay farmhouse sink, and hardware and I love them all! I’ll be talking more about it all soon!

We also worked with Forte on a panel-ready dishwasher. I thought the price point is great for panel-ready and it works great!

Kitchen refrigerator to look like an old cabinet

Meta also gave me the idea to transform a panel-ready fridge into an old Scandinavian wedding cabinet. And you’ll never guess who built it…OUR NANNY! Pat becomes Handy Nanny on the show and saves the day multiple times. She built this by herself–she’s incredible. I’ll be talking a lot about her!

Wood kitchen hood

I was looking for a ready made hood and I found a great company that ONLY does hoods called Hoodsly. They just happened to have the perfect size hood for our space in stock, which was so so helpful. I love the sloped shape and how it tones down the wallpaper. I think we might be doing a glow-up to it soon so stay tuned!

Kitchen tile/wallpaper

The kitchen wallpaper/tile situation was a major situation. It went through various plans, but ultimately I had to go with something that I could get done in the short amount of time that we had. I originally wanted a custom tile, but that turned into a lot of money AND time and plus the sample came back not as expected.

I ended up finding an antique tile I loved from Portugal. Jane took a picture of it and Garet turned it into a wallpaper on Spoonflower. It’s got a sheen on it which makes it easy to clean up as a backsplash.

Marble Countertops

However, before the tile/wallpaper was settled on, I had already chosen the veiny marble countertops. I don’t like the way the two work together, but there was no time to change either of them so here they are with plans for a different blacksplash.

Vintage lighting

Meta is a big proponent of vintage lighting for its uniqueness and patina. She directed us to these beautiful French opaline fixtures, which are dainty and gorgeous. I got mine from here, but you have to check back to see what she has in stock.

Antique Looking Kitchen Appliances

We had a great 48″ oven range before our renovation, but I knew we didn’t need something so big and commercial. Instead, I wanted something that would feel and look antique. We worked with Ilve on a duel oven range. The Graphite Matte was in stock so that’s the one we went with in order to make sure we got it in time. But even though we did it out of necessity, I still would have chosen it (a la Claude Monet’s oven range!). It’s a beauty with all those brass details and we love how it works.

before and after kitchen

Notes:

You will probably notice some things ostensibly missing like hardware on the cabinets and that’s because I’m planning on changing a few things and I didn’t want to drill holes into the cabinets before I knew what handles I was going to use. More soon!

In another budget and time, I would want to switch the whole kitchen around completely by placing the sink by the window, but I wasn’t ready to spend that so we worked with the existing layout.

If you want to read more about the kitchen, you can read about it here.

Jasper’s Bedroom

Moving onto Jasper’s bedroom. It’s so funny because as I type I’m remembering all the drama for each room and it’s giving me a bit of PTSD…Thankfully now I only remember the end results!

This is what Jasper’s room looked like when we moved in. Much like the rest of the rooms, right? Nothing in it!

Before photos of Jasper’s Bedroom

A game of Musical Chairs

The secret is that Jasper’s room was actually in the room next door but because of where the closet door was situated, the bed we had in mind wouldn’t fit so we had to switch rooms with Paul’s office. A few months prior, we had made him this upholstered circus-inspired bed, which I still love, but you can see it was completely white. 

Paul’s office on the other hand, had already acted as Felix’s nursery so it was painted green. This is the room that we were moving Jasper’s bedroom into.

Jasper’s bedroom plan

  • Switch Paul’s office and Jasper’s bedroom
  • Build a built-in Scandinavian-inspired bed
  • Wallpaper the room and paint
  • Replace lighting

After photos of Jasper’s Bedroom

Honestly, this is my favorite room in the house right now. I nap in it 100% of the time when I can and will continue to do so. It’s THE coziest place in the whole world. We may start renting it out ;).

Wanna hear another secret? Handy Nanny Pat strikes again on the bed! Now, mind you, I was actively seeking people out to make these custom projects for me, but there was a labor shortage in construction (not sure if there still is because I have taken a LONG break from all home projects) and I couldn’t find anyone in the time frame that I needed. Pat took a look at it and said “I can do it”. Ha! Honestly, I didn’t even doubt it even though she hadn’t made anything like it before.

in with the old Brittany Jepsen room reveal

Custom built-in niche bed

It turned out to be a more intense project than we were both anticipating (6 weeks!) but she completely NAILED it! She even created that adorable puppet-theater style side window along with the custom details because she is from another planet–unreal. in with the old Brittany Jepsen room reveal

Built in bedroom furniture

I found a wood bench on Facebook Marketplace that we painted the same color so it felt like it was built-in too. We added on a pad with this fabric from Spoonflower. It was perfect for the maritime theme that we settled on.

in with the old Brittany Jepsen room reveal

I found this drawer at an antique warehouse in Salt Lake City and I love how beautiful that wood if not a little bit weird with the adornment.

Wallpaper and fabrics

We worked with Spoonflower on ALL the wallpaper and fabrics in Jasper’s room and I’m in love with it all! The wallpaper is by Danika Herrick, who was kind enough to put her star design into a new color for me (that’s one good bonus to Spoonflower–a lot of artists will take on custom work!). in with the old Brittany Jepsen room reveal

Custom curtains for the bed

I wanted the bed to have a Swedish quality and a big gingham brought some whimsy and fulfilled the job. Meta had introduced me to a similar woven but it was going to cost me thousands of dollars. I ended up finding a very similar color and size on Spoonflower, hallelujah so Carrie on our team DIY’d some curtains.

I also found some sheets and a duvet cover in a similar color in a small stripe on Spoonflower, which I thought was nice, though I’m considering switching everything out for the same large yellow plaid.

in with the old Brittany Jepsen room reveal

Mural in a built-in Bed

NOW, let’s talk about that mural, huh? This was Paul’s idea! He thought it would be cool to add one in and I’m so glad he thought of it. I knew exactly where to turn to–Rebel Walls. They are a Swedish company that has a ton of kind of wild wallpapers and murals. I found this one called Safe Haven, which was perfect and added in a deepness to it. I love that it took it in a maritime direction. More about that soon!

before and after child's bedroom

The staircase

Before we ever bought our house, we dreamed about owning it. We would walk by it on walks and I’d dream about what I’d do to it. After awhile I realized that it was vacant so I snapped some pictures from the window. This is what the staircase looked like before we bought it.

And this is what it looked like once we bought it. 

Removing the banister

The banister was removed once we replaced the flooring but I didn’t know what direction I was taking the rest of the house at the time so I didn’t immediately put one in. I knew it was a big hazard for my 2 year old, but somehow, thankfully, we never had a problem with it. Once Felix started crawling we had to act FAST and it coincided with the timing of the show.

We had worked with Stuga on all the wood floors, which you can read about here. We have loved them!

The Staircase Plan

  • Add in a banister
  • Add some Scandinavian folk personality!

After photos of the staircase

Add this to my list of projects that I make as complicated as possible. Ha! But I LOVE the heart that went into it. You can see it all on the show, but it really was a labor of love with so many people involved.

flat saw banister

Flat Sawn Balusters

I went with traditional flat sawn balusters. The problem was, to my knowledge, you can’t just buy them anywhere, at least not in the shape I wanted. So, my generous and talented brother-in-law, Tanner Boyes of Specter Design, took on the project. He worked with his good friend Quinn Peterson, who is also very handy and talented. Together they cut out all the shapes and made the newel posts. I’ll talk more about this process in a follow-up post.

But I wanted something a bit more to go with the shape. Cue Jill DeHaan, an amazing artist and illustrator. I noticed some of the wood carvings she was doing on her Instagram  and I knew it was the perfect way to add more meaning and depth into our home. I LOVE how they turned out. Again, more about that soon! There’s a lot to tell!

flat saw banister

The office kitchenette

The kitchenette in the basement for my office was one room that didn’t make it into the edit. Actually, we filmed a whole storyline about my team and some projects we were working on that didn’t make it into the edit, which I’m disappointed about, but I’ll tell you anyway!

Besides putting epoxy on the floors and dressing up one room with wallpaper, we hadn’t done too much to the office in the basement. I was getting antsy to make the space totally Lars. I started with the kitchenette because everyone really needed a place to put their food.

Before photos of the kitchenette of our home renovation

Here are some of the before photos of the kitchenette. It’s a three walled space about 8′ wide that you pass by like a hallway into the main crafting room.

Please notice the lovely lighting 😉

The kitchenette plan

  • Add in a kitchenette–sink, fridge, counter, no dishwasher needed
  • Add in shelves to store our props
  • Add in a backsplash
  • Add in seating
  • Replace lighting

After photos of the office kitchenette

colorful tile

Modern kitchen cabinets

I LOVE how the kitchenette turned out! I was inspired by a retro frosted layered cake with piped icing but in a more modern, playful way. Once again, we worked with Cliq Studios on the cabinets in a more modern silhouette. I didn’t add in hardware because I was hoping to create our own hardware, but I couldn’t get it done in time ;).

fireclay tile

Frosting-inspired tile

We worked with Fireclay Tile to create the frosting-inspired tiled backsplash and added in some frosting/scalloped shelves to complete the look. My friends Julia and Evelyn Bigelow made the matching cake–are you kidding me/! So cute!

colorful tile

Kitchen accessories

We worked with Signature Hardware on the brass bar faucet, which I adore, along with the sink.

Sitting area

We didn’t get time for the custom bench that I was hoping to put on the opposite wall so we added in some chairs and table for the time being, but I’m hoping to do it soon!

colorful tile

Before and Afters of our home renovation

OK! That’s all the before and afters of our our home renovation. Like I mentioned, I’ll be sharing more detailed posts of each room so hopefully that will answer some questions, but in the meantime, feel free to leave your questions in the comments section. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Sources

Exterior: Masonry Primer and paint from Keim-USA, address numbers from Drop Cap Studio, all landscaping from Monrovia

Kitchen: Cliq Studios for cabinets, Tile wallpaper from our wallpaper shop, Ilve USA oven range in graphite and brass, Hood from Hoodsly, Dishwasher by Forte, Fridge by Fisher Paykel, bench cushion fabric from Spoonflower, calacatta viola countertops, sconces from Shiny Things London, Work table by Beck and Cap, Faucet from Signature Hardware, sink from Signature Hardware, fridge hardware from Signature Hardware

Jasper’s Bedroom: Star wallpaper from Spoonflower, Blue Paint, Yellow Paint is Benjamin Moore, bed duvet and sheets from Spoonflower, Yellow check curtains from Spoonflower, Mattress, bench fabric from Spoonflower, Mural wallpaper from Rebel Walls, Citra rug from Dash and Albert

Staircase: Floral wallpaper from Sandberg Wallpaper, staircase runner from Textile Trunk, paint by Benjamin Moore

Kitchenette: Cliq Studios for cabinets, faucet and sink from Signature Hardware, tile from Fireclay Tile, Scallop trim, crown moulding, pink dishes from Year and Day

Other spaces of the other spaces

You can read about the kitchen here
You can read more about our antique-inspired oven range here
Read more about the kitchen hood here

In With the Old is on Magnolia Network available to stream on Discovery+ or HBO Max.

A Lars Girl’s Back to School Guide

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Lars-Approved School Supplies

If you look at them the right way, school supplies are the educational version of craft supplies. At least I get excited about them as if they were. Here are some of my favorite ones:

Lars Back to School Shop

Since I love school supplies so much, we had to include a few in our shop, of course! For example, see these these back to school stickers, designed by my friend Michele Brummer Everett. They’d be the perfect addition to your water bottle, notebook, or laptop. For more back to school supplies on our shop, click here.

back to school stickers on notebooks

On the Blog

It turns out we also have quite a few back to school crafts for you to peruse on the blog! You can start with this versatile and oh so adorable pencil case, featuring our very own Spoonflower fabric. Don’t stop there! Another great addition to your back to school supply list is this DIY beeswax wrap and this reusable lunch sack. Oh, and I also put together a list of my current favorite laptop covers and stickers, which you can see here.

Favorites from Around the Web

Here are a whole host of school supplies we love from around the web. This includes notebooks, things to write with, water bottles, desk supplies, and more! We’ve split them up into categories for your convenience:

Planners, Calendars and Notebooks

Desk Organization and Supplies

Things to Write With

Stay Hydrated

Dorm Room Design

In the college town where I live, the end of August means lots of new students being dropped off at dorms for their first-ever foray into living outside their parents’ house. That means that there are LOTS of fresh-faced students moving into drab, depressing dorm rooms and shabby apartments. Check out this post full of rental-friendly interior design hacks to level up your space.

You also won’t want to miss the custom dorm room transformations we took on! See them here, here, and here. Basically, we applied the advice in the post above to make these formerly dull spaces full of color and life (see my thoughts on the importance of color here). It’s so important to fill your life with things that make you happy, and that starts with your living space! It’s amazing how such simple fixes can transform your mood and overall well-being.

Here are my favorite additions to any student housing situation:

Rugs

It’s amazing how the addition of an amazing rug can transform a room! Here are some options:

Pillows and Throws

Again, those pops of color really do the trick to make a room feel more homey and less bland.

Curtains

Another great way to add some color, curtains can also be a great statement piece for a room.

Lighting

As mentioned in this post, lighting can change everything.

Kitchen Essentials

We can’t post about dorm room decor without some kitchen essentials! You do have to live there, after all.

Bedding and Towels

Functional and practical are a must when it comes to bedding and towels, but who says they can’t be cute, too?

Other Misc. Dorm Room Essentials

Here are just a few more things to help add some personality to your dorm room:

Any time you buy something from our affiliate links, we get a small commission at no cost to you! Hooray!

Our New Guest Bedroom Remodel

Where We Started

We knew our guest bedroom needed work. To give you an idea of what we started with, here are some before photos of the space:

As you can see, it’s fairly small (about 8.5×10’) so it can easily feel overcrowded. We needed simplicity, elegance, and something that would help the room feel more spacious, not to mention cozy for our future guests! The guest bedroom wasn’t at the top of my to-do list until we learned that we’d be having a guest stay with us very soon.

Our Guest Bedroom Remodel with Mr. Kate

Because our guest was coming so soon, we knew we needed to get going on a remodel of the guest bedroom if it was going to be done before he arrived. We didn’t have much time! That’s why when Mr. Kate approached us, we were thrilled. The timing was perfect! We were able to use Mr. Kate furniture for so many elements of the guest bedroom, including the desk, bed, and dresser. We went with a lovely deep blue velvet for the Mr. Kate Daphne Bed paired with a Signature Sleep mattress available on RealRooms. We also added in the fun Mr. Kate Winston terrazzo desk and the simple, classy Mr. Kate Stella white dresser. Since the wallpaper is so busy (which we’ll talk more about in a minute!), we wanted pops of solid color to pair with the illustrative details. Those simple, timeless furniture elements paired so nicely with the gorgeous details in the delicate wallpaper.

Trompe L’oeil Wallpaper

Now let me talk about that guest bedroom wallpaper. The biggest thing to puzzle through with any space is what to do with the walls. The guest bedroom is fairly small, so we knew we needed something that wasn’t too time consuming but that would still look amazing. And boy, did we find the perfect solution–Curious wallpaper from Bien Fait!

If you’ve never seen wallpaper like this before, you’re in for a treat. Born in the imagination of Cécile Figuette and beautifully hand-drawn by french illustrator Julie Serre, this classically elegant wallpaper is a surprising and versatile trompe l’oeil.  It’s not only gorgeous and classy, but it also happened to be the perfect solution to our quick wall fix conundrum. It’s so detailed it takes care of all the need for wall decor all in one go! And those little hidden gems are lovely–I mean those little picture frames in the corner, or the painted eyes on the walls?! It’s stunning. Plus the three dimensional nature and open doors peeking into other rooms makes the space feel endlessly spacious and open. And did I mention it’s fully customizable? Doors can be opened or closed, decor elements and even the little kitty can be moved to compose a unique scene, a curious story.

Curtains

For the curtains, we decided to go with a bright pop of golden velvet from West Elm. We paired them with a boho curtain rod from Urban Outfitters. The original one we used is sold out, but this one is similar! We absolutely loved the way they paired with that dreamy blue velvet Mr. Kate Daphne Bed and the detailed wallpaper.

Lampshade

As another pop of color and subtle pattern, we also decided to make a custom drum lampshade. This was such a fun and easy DIY project! Here’s a post where you can learn to make one yourself. We used the tutorial for the DIY fabric lampshade. The wallpaper is almost all the pattern you need in a room like our small guest bedroom, but we couldn’t help but add in a little touch of stripe for the lampshade.

I got the pendant from here and then the fabric from our local fabric shop, Harmony.

How to get the look

Bed  |  Desk  |  Dresser  |  Pendant light  |  Curtains  |  Rug is vintage  |  Curtain rod  |  Plaid blanket Sheets  |  Weights  |

 

What do you think of our guest bedroom remodel? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this guest bedroom remodel and looking for more home renovation inspiration? Here’s everything we did to our house in one year. Also, here’s our interview with Meta Coleman, our go-to for interior design advice. And don’t forget the newly revealed tour of our studio! You can also check out our recent feature in the Living by Design Virtual Showhouse here.

This post is sponsored by Mr. Kate’s new furniture collection

Studio Tour of The House that Lars Built

Where We Started

Remember what the basement looked like when we first bought this house? Totally gutted, and an eyesore, but full of potential. Well, we’ve come a long way since then! We still have a long way to go, but we want to show you our progress. Here‘s a post with the preliminary ideas for the studio. And if you’re interested, here‘s a compilation of everything we did to our house in one year.

How It’s Going

The Space

To kick off the studio tour, we need to explain the space. The entire basement makes up the studio. It’s divided into the following: Jane and Jenny’s office, the main crafting/working space, the kitchenette area, the bathroom, the shipping/packing room, and the archive room. The shipping and archive rooms needed to be more functional than anything, so our choices there have and will be more driven by functionality (with a little Lars flair, of course). But the rest of the space we have had a LOT of fun with thus far! So here’s what we’ve done.

Pink Epoxy Floor

First stop on our studio tour: flooring. The first thing we did to the basement was the floor. Remember our pink epoxy flooring?? Yep, that covers the floor of the entire basement, except for the bathroom. It’s such a fun, eye-catching detail that you notice right when you walk in! I always knew the studio needed a touch of pink to warm things up.

Stairs

The stairs are next on the studio tour. Now we knew we needed a quick and effective solution for the unfinished stairs. What an eyesore!! And did I mention they had carpet on them previously? It took a little extra time to get them prepped for painting. But it was worth it, because the final product (these big, bold, blue and white stripes) was the perfect way to get our guests’ attention and introduce them to the studio. We may end up altering these amidst our newest wave of home renovations, but it was the perfect temporary DIY solution until we could implement a more permanent situation.

Lighting

Speaking of an eye-catching entrance, guess what we just recently got?! Our very own neon Lars sign, courtesy of Neon 87! To say we’re excited would be a severe understatement. Needless to say when visitors come to the studio they’ll know exactly where they are when they see this sign.

We also couldn’t move on without mentioning the recent install of this schoolhouse light fixture. We loved the gold accent with the bold stripes and colorful art we added to the walls!

Office Makeover

The next step in our studio tour is the office. We did an office makeover! Matching the wallpaper in the office to the pink floor turned out to be an interesting challenge, but we loved the result when all was said and done! Here‘s the post where we explain it all.

Here’s Jane’s desk:

A brightly colored office. There's green floral wallpaper, a pink floor, a yellow chair, a white table, pink-painted doorframes, an orange paper house, a blue poster with colorful abstract flowers, and office supplies.

And here’s Jenny’s:

Jenny's desk

The Craft/Work Space

Next up on our studio tour is the craft space! While far from complete, we want to show you what we’ve done so far. It’s getting cozier by the day! You may have seen the initial improvements we made to our craft space here, with our DreamBox. We’re still crazy about it. But to add to the pleasure of being in the studio, we also recently purchased two things: an AMAZING blue velvet couch from Eternity Modern, and a remote control table with a tabletop that moves up and down from Flexispot. You wouldn’t believe how convenient this is for photo and video shoots!!

We now have a more organized, efficient space that opens up the possibilities. We’re finally versatile enough to host meetings. All we have to do is push two of the large craft tables together and we’re set. Speaking of, we had a veeeery important meeting the other day, the subject of which is yet to be revealed (wink, wink).

Below is our amazing new remote control table from Flexispot (bamboo tabletop on the right):

Here’s that show-stopping Eternity Modern couch:

Blinds

We were ecstatic to add the blinds to this studio tour. I don’t know if you noticed in the pictures of the office makeover, but for a long time, we were literally using paper as a makeshift version of blinds. NOT ideal. We knew we needed something much better, and that’s where blinds.com came into the picture! They replaced our sad, makeshift paper blinds with some classy new blinds, complete with blackout shades. This was a dream come true for Jane–good lighting makes all the difference in whether or not a photo turns out! We installed the blinds in all the basement rooms–Jane and Jenny’s office, the main crafting space, and the shipping room. Blinds are something that need to be functional as well as pretty, and we loved how our blinds turned out.

Here they are in the craft room:

Here’s the window next to Jane’s desk:

And here’s the shipping room!

Bathroom

Now let me preface this portion of our studio tour with a caveat–the bathroom is far from complete. We still want to add wallpaper and so much more! But we did get the flooring in (white tile with a FUN pop of blue grout!), along with the basic necessities, and a touch of color and pattern with this DIY shower curtain. We can’t wait to show you the rest when it’s ready! Hint: the final result includes our very own custom pattern made into Spoonflower wallpaper and much more. Stay tuned!

curtain with floor

Stay Tuned for Much More

That’s it for the studio tour today! Friends, think about it. The combo of pink epoxy flooring, blue velvet, and fresh new blinds?! There’s a reason we’re excited. It’s already looking soo good and we’re far from done! We are beyond ecstatic about all the plans we have in the works. If you hadn’t noticed, the craft room lacks wallpaper. We’re thinking custom wallpaper designed by The House that Lars Built. And the kitchenette?!?! We have BIG plans. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but this year is going to be the year where things come together in BIG ways. We’re so excited!! Who’s with us?!

DIY headboard

Jasper’s New Bed

First, I have to say that this was more of an undertaking than I had anticipated, and I definitely can’t take all the credit. I had a lot of help from the amazing members of team Lars. Carrie, our designer/maker, and Hailey, our project manager, both took on the challenge to design and sew the bedskirt and duvet cover, and I was thrilled with the result. A special shout out also goes out to my brother in law, Tanner, for helping me tackle the challenge of that tricky, atypical headboard and doing such a splendid job.

headboard

It’s amazing what a good bedspread and headboard will do to spruce up a room and make it feel complete. The decision to cover the headboard, duvet, and underside of the bed was definitely driven by the desire to have something distinctive, loud and eye-catching, but also appropriate for a child’s bedroom. It needed to feel cozy, fun, and warm, and the cabana stripe did just the trick for Jasper’s new bed!

I had been challenged by Waverly Fabrics to make something from their collection at Walmart and it was so easy because they have a wonderful collection of stripes and toiles. It was just hard to narrow it down! AND, the fabric is $3.99/yard so all the fabric for the headboard, duvet, and bedskirt cost less than $60! The plywood cost about the same price (lumber right now, amiright?! With the foam, bias tape, and batting it came to about $150 total for everything.

How to recreate Jasper’s new DIY headboard

We had so much fun designing Jasper’s DIY headboard. It was hard to narrow it down! I knew I wanted something I had never seen before so Gwen sketched out a bunch of designs. She sketched one out and that was it–a circus tent-inspired shape that paired SO perfectly with the fun, striped, cabana fabric we chose. With some patience and a little effort, we feel totally confident in your ability to make this children’s bedspread work! The trick is accurate measurements. Let’s do this!

Jasper's bed

Prepping the materials for a DIY Headboard

Fabric

  1. Pre-wash the fabric you’ll be using for the duvet cover. It’s probably not necessary to wash the headboard fabric, as you won’t really be removing it later to wash it again, anyway. You can decide if you want to pre-wash the bedskirt fabric, but it’s probably not the end of the world if you don’t.
  2. After the fabric is washed in warm water and dried on a low heat setting in the dryer, iron or steam out the wrinkles. This makes the measuring process much easier. Don’t forget to get the wrinkles out of the fabric you didn’t pre-wash!

doll

DIY headboard

If you’re not familiar with upholstery, this might be the trickiest part of recreating Jasper’s new bed, but you can do it! We’ll walk you through it.

Prepping the understructure

  1. First, use butcher paper to make a template for your headboard. Use the mattress and bed frame as a reference so you get the dimensions right.

butcher paper headboard prep

  1. Using a jigsaw or handheld router, take your piece of plywood and cut out your desired shape for the headboard. The full width of the headboard should be the same width as the short side of your bed.
  2. Cut out the thick foam piece (it’s a camping foam from Home Depot) into the same shape as the plywood. The bottom of the foam should rest right above the mattress when set up right.
  3. Using quilting batting, wrap the portion of the headboard with the foam and secure with a few staples. Make sure to extend the batting all the way under the foam. We slip stitched it to the foam.

headboard close-up

Prepping the fabric for the DIY headboard

  1. Measure the dimensions of the cut-out, batting-wrapped headboard. You’ll need four sections of fabric: one for the front (this piece will extend from the top of the mattress all the way to the top), one for the thin middle section between front and back, one for the back, and one for the bottom front section below the mattress.
  2. In your dimensions, make sure to add 1/2 in (or desired amount) of seam allowances to all three sections of fabric.
  3. Now, with your desired color of bias tape (we used a periwinkle blue), make piping to line the front and back edges of the headboard. To do this, take your cord (1/8″ wide is good), and wrap it into the center of the bias tape, wrong sides together.
  4. Sew along the open edge with a zipper foot so you can get nice and close the the cord.
  5. Next, align the front piece of fabric with the middle section’s fabric, right sides together. As you pin, carefully align the edge of the piping (the edge without the cord) with the edges of the fabric sections, slipping the piping between the two pieces of fabric as you go. Sew in place with a zipper foot, trying to keep as close to the cord as you can.

Assembling the headboard

Now you’re ready to put everything in place!

  1. To make sure everything is aligned right, line up the point of the fabric with the understructure.
  2. At the base of the batting on the headboard, staple the fabric in place, making sure to pull it taut.

3. Now, pull up firmly and slide the sewn pieces over the front edge of the headboard and pull them towards the back so the corners are nice and taut against the frame.

4. Pull taut at the back and staple in place. Work from both sides and the center evenly to avoid puckering.

5. Now, take the piece of fabric you measured for the back and fold under 1/2 inch. Now line up with the edge of the back and staple in place to cover the raw edges of the front pieces.

6. The headboard is complete! Whew, the hardest part of Jasper’s new bed is done!

 

headboard alt shot

Sewing a bedskirt

Taking the measurements

For the bedskirt on Jasper’s new bed, you’ll want to start with measurements. The measurements you’ll use will depend on the size of bed you have, and whether or not you have a box spring. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Measure the length, width, and height of your bed frame. If you have a box spring, include the height of the box spring in the total height measurement of the bed frame. For example, if your bed frame is 12 inches tall, and the box spring is 7 inches tall, the total height you’d need would be 19 inches. We didn’t use a box spring, so our dimensions were 12 inches for the height, 74 inches for the length, and 38 inches for the width.

bedskirt close up

Cutting the fabric

For the fabric, you’ll need a basic, white (or other solid color that won’t show), woven fabric. You’ll also need the patterned fabric of your choice for the bedskirt, duvet and headboard. Here’s how to cut the fabric:

  1. First, take the plain fabric and cut it into the length and width of your twin bed. Add on 1/2 of an inch to each dimension. For example, since our length was 74 inches and our width 38 inches, we cut a large piece that was 75 inches by 39 inches.
  2. Next, cut out your bedskirt pieces. This takes a bit of thinking, especially if the pattern on your fabric needs to go a certain direction, like our vertical stripes. To cut out the bedskirt, think of it this way: you need one long piece of fabric that has a width of 13 (the height of the bed frame, 12, plus a seam allowance). For the length, you’ll need a piece that’s the length of three of the sides of the bed (74+38+74=186). You’ll also need to add in the length of four pleats, which are 12 inches each (12×4), then (186+48=234). Then add 1 inch to each end, so you can hem it under. The total length=236 inches.
  3. Now, because we wanted vertical stripes on Jasper’s new bed, we pieced together a bunch of pieces of fabric to get that length (the width of the fabric was definitely not long enough). It will look pretty seamless if you just match up the stripes, making sure to alternate stripe colors when you sew on a new section of fabric.

Jasper's new bed

Assembling the pleats

  1. the first step in sewing the pieces together is to hem the bottom of the long strip of fabric you’ve already sewn together (roll under 1/2 in, then 1/2 again).
  2. Hem one end of the large, rectangular piece of fabric. (Again, roll under 1/2 in, then 1/2 again).
  3. Next, you need to pin the pleats in place. To do this, start from one end of the long strip of fabric and measure in HALF the length of the long dimension (74/2=37). Mark that spot with a pin. Now, keep going in that same direction and measure 6 more inches. Mark that with a pin, then measure 6 more inches and mark that.
  4. Now, take the two pins on either side and bring them to the center pin to make the pleat. Secure the pleat in place with additional pins.
  5. Repeat the steps above for the pleat on the opposite end.
  6. For the corner and center pleats, simply calculate how far over the next pleats need to be, based on your bed’s dimensions. Pin them in place the same way you did the first two pleats.

Jasper's new bed close

Sewing the pieces together

You’re finally ready to sew the pieces together! This is really simple:

  1. To sew the pieces together, line up the raw edge of the long, pleated strip of fabric with the large rectangular piece of fabric all along the border, with right sides together. Sew in place, and finish the raw edge of the underside with a zig zag or serged finish to prevent fraying.
  2. Done! Now you can go ahead and slip this bedskirt on the bed between the bed frame/box spring and mattress.

books on duvet

DIY duvet cover

The duvet cover is the finishing touch of the bedspread that really gives it the oo la la! It also happens to be the easiest to make, which is a big relief after that headboard and bedskirt! Here’s how to make a simple duvet cover:

Taking the measurements

  1. Make sure you have the right size of duvet, then base the length and width off of its dimensions. Our duvet was a standard twin, which was 66″x 86″.
  2. Leave these dimensions as they are, rather than adding on additional seam allowances.  This will make the duvet fit nice and snugly inside of the cover, for a nice, full appearance.

Front view Jasper's bed

Cutting the fabric

  1. If you have custom fabric that’s extra wide or made for bedding, you’re in luck! You’ll just need two, big pieces that are both 66″x 88″ (leaving room for extra hems at the bottom, so you can slip the duvet inside).
  2. If your fabric is like ours was, and is more of a standard width (ours was 44″), you’ll simply need to sew it together to make it wider. Ours has a very subtle seam in the middle that’s hidden because the seam is exactly in line with the stripes.
  3. Once you have your two pieces cut, you’ll prep them for the rest of the sewing by hemming one short side of each piece.
  4. Now you’re ready to sew it together!

side view of bed

Sewing the pieces together

  1. Now, simply line up the edges, both hemmed sides matching up and right sides together, and sew around the three, un-hemmed sides. Backstitch at each end for extra strength.
  2. To finish the seams, zig zag or serge the edge to prevent fraying.
  3. If you’d like to, you can add a few buttonholes and buttons to the open end to keep it closed once the duvet is inside.
  4. The last step is to simply arrange everything and make the bed. Voila!

This bedspread is so cozy and perfect for Jasper’s bedroom, it was totally worth the time and effort it took! We are in love with Jasper’s new bed. We can’t wait to see what you do in your kids’ rooms!

Jasper's New Bed

More inspiration

Did you love this tutorial featuring Jasper’s new bed? You’ll probably love these, as well: Felix’s new nurseryour new closet system, before and after master bedroom, and designing our main bathroom.

We’ve got more plans for his bedroom. Stay tuned!

My Bathroom Remodel Reveal

The road to our bathroom remodel was long and winding, and part of that is because Paul and I have such different sensibilities when it comes to style and design! If he had his way, we’d live in a sleek warehouse with Brutalistic concrete floors. Ha! So you can imagine that we had lots of negotiations and conversations during our ideation faze, which ultimately led to “do whatever you want”. I will, thank you very much 😉

the top of a painted armoire against a red floral wallpaper background. On top of the armoire is a sculptural duck, a candle and candlestick, a paper money plant, and some cute odds and ends.

I get by with a lot of help from my friend, Meta Coleman

Interior shot of a colorful, eclectic dining room with red chairs, wallpaper and blue wainscoting, a green cabinet, and plants.
Hannah Carpenter home by Meta Coleman

I would be sadly remiss if I didn’t start out by singing the praises of my friend and designer, Meta Coleman. Meta is a rockstar designer who’s work is like actual magic. I’m convinced that she knows everything there is to know about interior design because she eats, drinks, and breathes it, and I’m the luckiest to be able to work with her and be her friend. Having Meta at the helm of this bathroom remodel made everything possible. Read more about Meta being my dream designer!

Meta’s process begins with really getting to know the people who live in the space she’s designing, which is part of what makes her work so immaculate. You can see this part of Meta’s designing process through this video of Paul and me talking about our history and design preferences. I really respect how thorough of a designer Meta is, because even though she already knew me and knew my style, she checked in to get really clear on my vision.

Four children lounging and laughing on a green bed with a striped quilt. One is holding a dog and there's a window behind them.
Hannah Carpenter home by Meta Coleman

Then, with my style clearly in mind, Meta brought in so much magic! I was astounded by the way that she totally understood my taste, then surprised and stretched me through her design. All I can say is that I’m super lucky to be close friends with such an amazing interior designer! I highly recommend it.

It’s also thanks to Meta’s incredible interior design that our bathroom was featured in Domino Magazine, which is such a fun honor. Get to know Meta a little bit better through her Becoming interview, check out her website, and definitely follow her on Instagram @MetaColeman_ to keep up with her work.

Our Big Bathroom Remodel

Like I mentioned, our bathroom started out rough. It was a total bare-bones cavern! I mean, look at this:

a blank, unfinished room with sheetrock walls and a dusty subfloor. There's a doorway that leads to a dark, grey space in the imagea blank, unfinished room with sheetrock walls and a dusty subfloor. There's a doorway that leads to another unfinished space in the image. One of the walls has mysterious plumbing coming out of it.a blank, unfinished room with sheetrock walls and a dusty subfloor. There's a doorway that leads to another unfinished space in the image. One of the walls has mysterious plumbing coming out of it.

Depressing, right?

With Meta’s help, we came up with a mood board that both Paul and I loved. As you’ll see, the final design departed just a bit from the mood board while still very much holding on to the essential spirit of Meta’s original design.

moodboard mock up of the bathroom, including red floral wallpaper, a green vanity, our towels and paint colors, and lighting.

I’m a big believer in starting out with a great mood board. It makes everything so much easier and provides an invaluable frame of reference for later, when you’re in the middle of building your design and feel stuck. Check out this tutorial on making mood boards!

Stuga Studio

The very first step was to install flooring, and we fell in love with this amazing wood floor from Stuga Studio. The color we chose is called Tivoli, and it’s perfect–warm but not too yellow. It’s such lovely, high-quality wood, and it has so much personality. We installed it throughout pretty much the whole house, and instantly felt so relieved about our plans to totally update a blank slate fixer-upper. Check out this post to read more about the flooring.

Vertical image of the bathroom. There's warm wooden flooring being laid over light blue plastic sheeting.process photos of Stuga flooring installation

Signature Hardware

Early on in the design process, I got this gorgeous vanity from Signature Hardware. I knew that I wanted an accent piece of furniture, but I didn’t have an overarching design planned out yet, so it was a tricky choice. Still, I had a deadline, so I went for a strong color that also serves as a neutral–the Olsen vanity in a deep emerald green. The green vanity informed lots of the remaining design choices for the bathroom remodel.

I’m so glad I went with the green! I’m a strong believer that green can count as a neutral color in design, and this bathroom is a strong example of that: it grounds the rest of the colors, which is what neutrals do best.

As you can see, I put the vanity to use long before things were finished or ready. Just keeping it real!

Emerald green vanity with clutter around and on it. The walls are mostly painted white, but are very unfinished.

Closeup shot of an emerald green vanity.

I also got a beautiful wooden hutch from Signature Hardware. It had an unfinished surface, so I wanted to do something to customize it and came up with a Swedish Wedding Cabinet as inspiration.

Antique swedish wedding cabinet

So beautiful, right?? I love the intricate floral designs and I think that cabinets make such perfect heirlooms (sturdy and useful? Check and check), so I decided to paint my wooden hutch with flowers. Stay tuned to learn more about that process in a future post!

A painted cupboard. It is burgundy with green, mustard, and white accents.

Signature Hardware also has beautiful towel racks and wall hooks, which are so important for a bathroom remodel. I installed the Vintage Towel Bar and the Vintage Towel Ring in brushed gold, and they land at the perfect intersection between simple and refined.

A yellow striped towel hanging on a brass towel rack.A yellow striped hand towel hangs on a brass ring on the wall. The out-of-focus silhouette of flowers in a vase shades some of the image.Close up of a brass towel ring. A yellow and white striped hand towel hangs from it, and there's red floral wallpaper in the back.

To complete the set, I also got the Vintage Robe Hooks in brushed gold.

A pink and blue batik-patterned bathrobe hanging on a brushed gold hook in a bathroom. You can see a doorway and a red, floral bathroom on the side of the image.

For the faucets I used New York Widespread faucets in polished brass from Signature Hardware. I’m a big fan of ceramic knobs, so I switched those in for the brass knobs to feel super classic.

gold faucet on a marble countertop. The handles are ceramic.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.

The Walls

Apart from all the technical things (like flooring, plumbing, and electricity), the custom DIY wainscoting was a big part of the remodel. Meta presented the concept to me after seeing a photo of it on a door frame in Paris. She directed me to how to make it happen and then I was off to figure it out. I bought square and circular wooden cutouts, painted them in a soft, light, blue, and attached them to wall’s bottom third. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the workmen we hired to paint and install trim didn’t think so. Haha! You should have seen their faces when I explained my plan! Thankfully they warmed up to the idea.

The wallpaper came next, and at that point things started getting really exciting. It turns out that having finished walls makes a huge difference! Ha! At this point we started shooting some projects in the bathroom. Some of our eagle-eyed readers may have caught onto a few bathroom remodel teasers in the backgrounds of some past projects. For example, you can see some wallpaper and wainscoting behind these paper pansies.

Paper pansies on a windowsill. There's a white lacy curtain next to them, and red floral wallpaper on the other.Paper pansies in a distressed terracotta planter. They're placed on a stack of colorful books on a chair. In the background, you can see some red floral wallpaper and blue wainscoting.

I also couldn’t resist shooting these paper hollyhocks between the sinks, so you can see the countertop, wallpaper, and some of the mirrors in this picture.

paper hollyhocks on a bathroom counter among ceramic odds and ends with a mirror and red floral wallpaper in the background.

Hudson Valley Lighting

Meta selected these light fixtures from Hudson Valley Lighting and I loved the classic feel. For the wall sconces she picked out the Beekman lamps in aged brass, and on the ceiling I got the Flare flush mount light fixture in aged brass. The shower and toilet are in their own separate little space, but I got the Ainsley flush mount in aged brass for that room. The art deco details around the edges elevate it without being too gaudy.

close up of beekman light fixtures.beekman light fixtures above a two-toned mirror.beekman light fixtures against floral red wallpaper.Interior shot of a bathroom. There's red floral wallpaper and framed art prints on the walls, blue textured wainscoting and trim, wooden floors, yellow window treatments, and eclectic styling.Ainsley flush mount light on the ceiling.

Adding Finishing Touches

After we got all the main pieces installed, it was time to style the bathroom. Meta Coleman came back to lend a hand, and I truly love the way she put my bathroom together.

The mirrors are custom made by Meta, and I love the way the two-tone glass reflects such warm, glowing light around the room. She used this two toned mirror technique on her own bathroom and generously gave me the remains. We tried a few different shapes included a wavy design and a flower, but ultimately, I wanted to keep it a simple oval.

Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and a blue custom wainscoting.

Meta also custom made my curtains using Soane fabric. I love the mustard color, and the fabric’s pattern reminds me so much of Matisse’s paper cutouts.

Meta installs the curtains over the window. Meta's silhouette is outlined against a glowing yellow and white curtain.

Our Full Bathroom Remodel Reveal

Whew! So many things came together for this bathroom remodel, and it was seriously so much work. I’m so grateful for Meta’s help all along the way! I truly couldn’t have done it without her.

Shot of a green bench in a red wallpapered bathroom. There's also a blue wainscoting at the bottom and a green painting on the wall.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and a blue custom wainscoting.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop,and brass knobs and fixtures.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and a blue custom wainscoting.A brass faucet with white ceramic knobs on a white marble countertop. The wallpaper behind it is red and floral.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, brass knobs and fixtures, and brown wicker baskets under the vanity.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.Brushed brass faucets on a marble countertop with a periwinkle vase of flowers. There's red floral wallpaper in the background.A yellow striped hand towel hangs on a brass ring on the wall. The out-of-focus silhouette of flowers in a vase shades some of the image.Interior shot of a bathroom with a dark emerald green vanity and red floral wallpaper. There are flowers on the vanity countertop, along with beautifully curated knick knacks.

I have a closet attached to my bathroom, and I updated that, too! I’ve included a few sneak peeks in this post, but you can stay tuned to see more of it soon. 😉

Interior shot of the red wallpapered bathroom from inside a pink and green painted closet.

More Remodel Inspiration

For an overview on our renovations so far, read about everything we did to our house in the first year of owning it. You can also check out our tiled bathroom progress and our kitchen remodel update.

Would love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments!

3 DIY lampshades made with unexpected recycled materials

Next, DIY Louis Paulsen Pendant Light Fixture

Years ago I came across a classic Louis Paulsen pendant. You know the one. We noticed that the pendants could totally be made out of tableware! Yes, tableware, as in all things plates, bowls, and cups. Cue the DIY Lampshade. Originally, we thought to use paper plates but then realized that they didn’t offer us the interesting shapes we were hoping for. So we decided to take a chance and use melamine and plastic plates for our crafting. The variation of shapes is endless, not to mention inexpensive. Each one of our lampshades were made for under $20! Major score!! With the help of a drill, spray paint, and a glue gun, these fixtures came to life, and I’m not going to lie…I absolutely love the outcome!

Materials:
  • Plastic plates, bowls, cups (we got ours from here!)
  • Drill
  • Craft knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Spray paint (this brand is the best for our purposes!)
  • Hanging light cord (we got ours from Ikea but you can find them here)

Instructions:
  1. Play with variations of tableware to plan what your fixture to look like.
  2. Then pick a color palette.
  3. Assign colors to the individual pieces of the figure.
  4. Drill or cut (using the craft knife if the plastic is soft enough) a rectangle big enough to pull the light cord through.
  5. Next, spray paint the individual plates, cups, bowls, etc to the correct colors, you will probably need to apply multiple coats of spray paint and let dry.
  6. Once pieces are dry string the first piece of your fixture to the base of the cord.
  7. Cut a small piece of cardboard, cut a slit in it and wedge the cord into that space to secure the cord. This is an important step, because it will help balance your fixture and help it hang straight.
  8. Hot glue the cardboard to the dinnerware piece so the cord is centered in the rectangle. (This can be repeated periodically if you feel that the fixture needs to be stabilized)
  9. Add the second piece of the fixture and apply hot glue to secure it to the first piece of the fixture.
  10. Finally, repeat step 9 until your DIY Lampshade is assembled correctly!

You can find the original tutorial with more photos here.

DIY Fabric Lampshade

While playing with some funky fabrics, I fell in love with the Playa raindrops pattern from Holli. It tied in beautifully with my wallpaper–like peas and carrots! I’m stoked with how it turned out. Spoonflower has a tutorial on how to make a DIY lampshade from scratch here using a kit, but I ended up using the plain white lampshade that I already had on my lamp. This DIY is one that I especially love because it’s so customizable; choose any fabric you want and use any lampshade. One you already have will work great! 

Materials:
  • Fabric in your choice (about 1 yard depending on the size of the shade). I ordered it in the cotton poplin so it would be easier to work with.
  • Spray adhesive
  • ½” Cotton twilling
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Cardboard
  • Glue gun

Instructions:
  1. First, with the fabric wrong side up, start by bring the lampshade on the side and finding where you want the design to be on the fabric. Then, trace it’s path on the fabric with a pencil (I did a Sharpie so it would be visible in photos for you, but don’t do it as it will seep through!)
  2. Leave ¾ of an inch on each side of the traced path and cut it out.
  3. Follow the instructions on your spray adhesive and spray the area in a well ventilated space.
  4. Then attach the fabric on one end of the shade around to the end. At the end, fold the fabric over about a ½”, spray the end, and then attach securely.
  5. Carefully, fold the fabric around both ends of the lampshade, smoothing out any bubbles.
  6. To complete the look, use cotton twilling and glue it on the inside of the lampshade. This will help secure the fabric to the shade, while also allowing it to have a clean line once the light bulb is on and you can see everything!

You can find the original tutorial with more photos of this DIY fabric lampshade here.

DIY Origami Lampshade

I was inspired by the clever work of UK based paper artist, Sarah Louise Matthews. Luck enough for me, she released a paper craft book called Paper Craft Home which is available now! It features 25 projects to cut, fold, and shape. I already dog-eared the heck out of mine! It’s great for both beginners and advanced crafters so you can find a little something for everyone. Today she’s sharing a tutorial from the book, the origami DIY lampshade, which is actually similar in concept to a project from our book, Craft the Rainbow, with a different spin.

Strictly speaking, this lampshade isn’t origami, but it’s a great project to put your paper-folding skills to the test. Once you break the folding down into a step of valley folds followed by a step of mountain folds, it is fairly straightforward, and when mastered, you will be making bespoke DIY lampshades for every room in the house!

Materials:
  • 3 11¾ × 16½ in. (A3) sheets of light card in marble
  • Cutting mat
  • Metal ruler
  • Embossing tool
  • Bone folder
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue
  • Stapler
  • Self-adhesive Velcro pads
  • Ceiling light fitting * LED light bulb (not pictured)

*Warning For safety, make sure you only use an LED light bulb.

Instructions:
  1. Place the first sheet of marble card in a landscape position on a cutting mat. Use a ruler and embossing tool to score a vertical line 2/5 in. (1 cm) from the right edge.
  2. Measure and score seven equally spaced vertical lines to divide the space between the left side of the paper and the line scored in Step 1 into eight equal sections. Next, use a bone folder to fold each scored line to make a valley fold, then unfold.
  3. Measure 8½ in. (22 cm) from the top of the first, third, fifth, and seventh fold, and make a small pencil mark. Use a ruler and embossing tool to score lines joining each pencil mark to the top and bottom of the fold lines on either side. Rub out the pencil marks.
  4. Then, fold each scored line from Step 3 into a mountain fold. The paper should now form the shape shown (it may need a little encouragement).
Repeat Steps 1–4 for the remaining two sheets of card.

5. Use scissors to cut off the top and bottom corners of the 2/5 in. (1 cm) strip on the right of each piece to make a tab. The corners should be cut at a reflection of the angle of the adjacent folded line as shown.

6. Flatten each piece and turn to the side. Use scissors to make a cut through all layers in the position shown, beginning around 11/5 in. (3 cm) down from the end of the fold and finishing at the top point.

7. Glue the three pieces together: apply a thin layer of tacky glue to the front of the tab, down the right side of the first piece, and attach it behind the left edge of the next piece, aligning along the top and bottom edges.

8. Cut along the second mountain fold from the right end as shown. Discard the small piece.

9. Turn the folded piece upside down. There are triangular folds that stand up from the piece. Work along the top edge of the piece, using a stapler to secure the two layers of each triangular fold together as close to the base as you can.

10. Next, urn the piece back over, then stand it up to make the lampshade shape. Fix five pairs of self-adhesive Velcro pads to the opening, half on the back of the cut edge and half on the front of the uncut edge, in corresponding positions.

11. Last, wrap the lampshade around the cord of your light fixture, then close using the Velcro tabs, and fit in an LED light bulb.

From Paper Craft Home by Sarah Louise Matthews © 2018 Sarah Louise Matthews. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

You can find the original tutorial and more info here.

If you’re a shopper not a crafter

Here are some of the best lampshades available now! Don’t worry about making your own if that’s not your thing!

 

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