Everything we’ve done to our house in one year

To remind you, we started out with a gutted house. Here’s how it looked when we closed on it:

Well, this is how the bathroom looked when we first looked at the house:

But because it took a week to put down our offer they had proceeded with gutting it and took out all the bathrooms:

Which cost us SO much money! We decided to put a basic bathroom in place to start so that we can take our time on a go forward basis.

First step: Flooring

The first thing we did when we moved in was put in flooring. Our friends at Stuga provided all the beautiful wood floors. We went with the warm Tivoli and I’m in love with it. I’ve received so many comments on it from neighbors dropping their heads in (ha! COVID!) You can read more about the process here. It’s easy to clean and looks so so good. beautiful wood floors from Stuga

The flooring brought an immediate warmth to the space acting as a great foundation to the vibe we are going for.

Second step: Bathrooms

Once the floors were in place we needed to get some bathrooms in ASAP. Once again, we wanted to get something basic in before committing to anything long term because I couldn’t fathom designing everything so quickly. I was pregnant at the time and time was lacking!

So we put in some white tile, some in a herringbone style and a classic basketweave in another. They look great and work well! You can read about the process here.

Main bathroom

We worked with a bathroom furniture company on a whole suite of items for the main bathroom so this is the first room that will actually be complete SOON (anytime now!) with the permanent design. I worked with my friend Meta Coleman on it and it’s looking SO GOOD. You can read more about the mood board and concepts here. It’s so hard to get contractors to work on small projects so it’s going as slow as molasses. I thought we’d be done before the baby was born…At this point now we have up wallpaper and are just awaiting a piece of art for the walls and mirrors up. It’s functional and beautiful. Here are some sneak peeks:

Step 3: Kitchen

Ok, the kitchen was challenging as you might guess. The idea was to think of something totally affordable that wasn’t Ikea since Ikea during COVID was SO backed up. Like months backed up. So, we got some of those unfinished cabinets from Home Depot with the intent to get something in fast so we could move in and then spend time on it later. At this point I couldn’t even get anyone to come help us put the cabinets in and counter so my brother in law graciously offered to do it for us. He can pretty much do anything! 

Thankfully, the house came with the dishwasher, oven, and fridge so we had something to start with.

Though it’s VERY basic, it works for now–I literally just left it unfinished! And we’re working on a more permanent design at the moment.

You can read more about the kitchen here.

Because it started to look like we were going to have our “temporary” kitchen longer than I anticipated, I decided to add a bit more to it. 

We painted the cabinets yellow. And I think I’m going to even add a bit more to it. Maybe some floating shelves above too. Just depends on how antsy I get!

My Office

My office is the first room to be “complete” in its phase 1 step. I have long term permanent plans for it, but this one feels the most exciting because it didn’t require much and looks good as is. I used items I already had and we had a sponsor we worked with on a couple of furniture pieces.rainbow calendar home officerainbow calendar blue futon

You can see the office post here. 

Felix’s Phase One Room

We worked with a kid’s furniture company on some amazing furniture for Felix so we hurried to dress up a room to show it off better. Though I love it as is, we are working on a more permanent design for it right now. You can read more about it here.

Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few toys on it. In the background is a wooden dresser.on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

Office Basement

Down in the basement, where we have put Lars, we put in a pink epoxy floor and it immediately set a fun and playful mood.

You can read more about it here. 

Here’s a recap of all the things we’ve worked on or are working on:

Read about our flooring here
Read about our kitchen here
Main Bathroom concept
Current Bathrooms
My office here
Garden mood boards here
Studio mood boards here
House announcement and before photos here
Exterior Inspiration here
Felix’s nursery
Pink epoxy floor in office basement

Ok, put it this way and I actually feel much better about things. This is A LOT especially with everything else going on. Calm down, Brittany!

Rooms we are actively working on and can you show you soon!

  • We’ve been doing a lot to our studio, which we moved down into the basement in November. We have one room that’s quite exciting and we’ll be sharing that in the next couple of weeks.
  • Sounds boring, but we’ve done something with the garage, which is also probably more exciting to me that it will be to you. Ha!
  • The main bathroom should be done any day as well as the closet. If anyone who knows how to install closets wants to come help that would be awesome 😉 our guy hurt his shoulder and is out.
  • We are actively working on a kitchen remodel.
  • Felix’s room has a plan that we just need to implement.

OK! I think that’s it for now. Would love to hear any questions you have!

This post is sponsored by Stuga. All opinions are my own!

Our favorite Gee’s Bend Quilts

I’m excited to share the Gee’s Bend Quilts with you because it’s old news that I’m obsessed with quilted things and the rich heritage related to quilting. You’ve seen my quilted coat fascination (on more than one occasion), the coat that I enlisted Romy of Sew Like Romy to make for me last year, the quilted eye mask that I made from some of the extra pieces, and you’ve found out about the big feelings people have about repurposing quilts. I even quilted a patchwork bandana and scrunchie this spring. I know, I know, we get it! Lars loves quilts!

Gee’s Bend History

Gee’s Bend is a small, Black community surrounded by the Alabama River where families have been passing down a quilting tradition since their enslaved foremothers, who lived on the local Pettway Plantation. repurposed whatever material they had access to into colorful quilts. At different points in history the Gee’s Bend quilters have used deadstock corduroy and discarded work clothes in their work.

Gee’s Bend quilts have gained a reputation for being some of the most vibrant, artistically boundary-bending quilts in the American art tradition. They remind me of some of the best Modernist paintings in that the Gee’s Bend quilts are full of color, geometry, and an acknowledgement of the human hand.

 

Even though the Gee’s Bend quilts are now acknowledged as a vital part of American art history, many of the quilters aren’t consistently paid their worth. When I realized that you can buy Gee’s Bend Quilts directly from the artists on Etsy I knew I had to share! So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite Gee’s Bend quilts and quiltmakers!

Quiltmakers

You can read about lots of the individual quiltmakers here. I love reading up on each artist’s story and seeing the ways that their families have passed on quilting traditions. For example, here’s a quilt by Amelia Bennett, who used to quilt with her neighbors and passed her legacy on to her daughter Sally Bennett Jones.

A multicolored quilt made of concentric squares and rectangles.
Amelia Bennet, Housetop 12-Block Variation, photo by Stephen Pitkin

Many of the living Gee’s Bend artists have work available on Etsy. I’ve linked to each individual artist’s shop, so click on their names for more!

Sharon Williams

Katie Mae

Doris Pettway Moseley

Doris Pettway Hackets

Caster Pettway

Lou Ida

Emma Pettway

Claudia Pettway Charley

Stella Mae

Delia

Mary Margaret Pettway

Kristin Pettway

Loretta Pettway Bennett

I love the ingenuity of these Gee’s Bend quilted masks!

I would love to hear about your favorite artists, especially Black artists whose work you’re loving! Let me know in the comments!

And if you’re interested in supporting women makers around the world like those of Gee’s Bend, consider donating to Nest.

Felix’s New Nursery

Before my first son, Jasper, arrived we raced to get his nursery done and it paid off (you can see it here. I had such a wonderful experience having a fully designated space for him–it felt almost magical. Just him and me having our special place together nursing and me admiring him. We were certainly in a little newborn bubble. I think I even heard choruses of angels around us.

Interior shot of a child's room. Walls are green, A pink checkerboard rug is on the floor. A white rocking chair is central in the image.

With Felix, because of all the new home renovations and normal, if not over, work load, I didn’t get his nursery done, not even close. And I felt the toll! For a while I slept on a mattress downstairs next to his bassinet before transferring up to our bedroom and then we were constantly moving because we’ve been renovating the closet, bathroom, putting baseboards, etc. It’s been wild, uncomfortable…chaotic. Not conducive to a magical experience.

An interior shot featuring a painted green wall with a brightly colored lamp and a toy doll perched on a wicker shelf.

And then we partnered with our friends at Pottery Barn Kids and life got so much better as you might expect when you, well, partner with Pottery Barn Kids. 

Most important to me when creating a space for a baby is figuring out the immediate needs. Number one, especially in the early stages, is nursing. Life kind of revolves around it at this point (you too?): schedules, meals, outings (or lack there of right now, right?!). Everything! I nursed exclusively with Jasper and I’ve done the same with Felix (though I seriously reconsidered that this weekend after my first bout with mastitis–YIKES!).

Interior shot of a nursery. In the foreground, a red toy airplane rests on a white ottoman. In the background is a wooden dresser with a small Danish flag on top and some illustrations on the wall.

Because of my bad back, I like to have a great chair set up in place so I know it will be comfortable and I don’t have to scramble to make something up last minute. Jasper’s rocking chair has almost become a member of our family based on how much we use it. Though I no longer nurse him, we gather around it for stories every day. I knew I needed another one for Felix so we could create the same tradition in his room.

Interior shot of a child's room. Walls are green, A pink checkerboard rug is on the floor. A white rocking chair is central in the image.

Have you searched on Pottery Barn Kids recently? Look at all their nursery chair and ottoman options. I’ll wait….There’s a TON of styles and features. I looked for one that had a shallow back so that it wouldn’t have to strain while nursing. I also wanted one that felt both classic yet modern. I arrived at the Modern Wingback Slipcovered Glider and Ottoman. I got it in their classic white linen, which on first glance seems crazy, but because it’s a slipcover, you can easily take it on and off (velcro!) and wash it. 

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair next to a window and a green wall and snuggles Felix.A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair. Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few pillows, toys, and books on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

It may seem like a funny thing to get excited about, but I need my nursing conditions to be, well, perfect, and their ottoman is the perfect height so I can prop Felix up and be super comfortable. I’m so pleased with my new arrangement I can’t even express it. The magical feelings are starting to reemerge again and none too soon!

A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair.

But there’s more. Have you seen their collection of cribs and changing stations? There are so many beautiful options. I went all white with Jasper, but I wanted something different for Felix so I got an all wood collection–something to feel deeper. I chose the Dawson Convertible Crib, which is somehow even more beautiful in person than it is on a screen. It will grow with Felix into a toddler bed too so it’s worth the investment (two beds in one!). It’s also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, meaning it meets or exceeds stringent chemical emissions standards and it’s made in a Fair Trade Certified facility. I feel really good about their manufacturing processes and love being able to align myself with them.

A wooden dresser with a clock, changing basket, Danish flag, and blanket on top. The wall has a few illustrations hanging on it.

Then for the changing table/dresser I went with the Dawson dresser. Again, it’s a beautiful blend of traditional and modern with the clean lines and fine detailing on the drawers. It comes in a lovely acorn color with the same ethical standards. Again, even more beautiful and illuminating in person. It looks so good against the green walls! Which brings me to my next point.

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair against a green wall and snuggles Jasper and Felix.

Jasper’s nursery at our old house was more light and airy and again, I wanted something where we played with color more. The room is also acting as Paul’s office so I wanted to take his preferences into consideration. Paul loves BRIGHT colors. I’m talking saturated, BRIGHT colors. We settled on a agreen, but what green was the question! He LOVES a classic Jaguar green but then I got this lovely checkerboard pink/magenta rug (used from Hannah Carpenter as spotted by Meta Coleman) and wanted to merge the two colors together somehow.

A white rocking chair against a green wall with a colorful lamp in the background. An orange stuffed fox and a pillow are on the chair. The floor is covered by a magenta checkerboard rug with a few wooden cars and an airplane on it.

I figured out that the green needed to be a bit more blue so we went with this Palm Frond color. I thought it was going to be too much for me but with the gorgeous wood furniture, it’s MAGICAL. I tried out a contrasting trim in a light blue, the same color we’ll be using for our bathroom, and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it…I like it sometimes and other times I’m not sure. I’m not sure you can see it too well in these photos so maybe you can speak to that quite yet.

Interior shot of a child's room with a green wall, a wicker shelf with a toy on it, and a crib. The crib has a denim-colored quilt hanging over the side.

I accessorized with the cutest bed sheet/comforter set. The sheets are dreamy soft and play well with the green of the walls. I love the chambray look always. It tends to go with most things.

Then I added in some green gingham curtains to play with the color too.

Shot of the inside of a wooden crib, with a few toys and pillows inside it.

With all the other bright color accessories we own, the color works so well and it’s now one of the few rooms in the house that feels GOOD! I’m still calling it a phase one design because we might adjust some things, but in the meantime, I’m spending all my time in there.

Brittany sits in a white rocking chair against a green wall and snuggles Jasper and Felix.Interior shot of a green nursery. In the foreground is a white rocking chair with a few toys on it. In the background is a wooden dresser.on it and in the background is a wooden dresser.

Thank you Pottery Barn Kids for making our nursery dreams come true and for sponsoring this post!

Lars Shop Highlight: Floral Art Prints

Last month we did a post about spring cleaning and switching out your art prints, and I shared some art from the Lars print shop. This May, though, I’m focusing on flowers (even more than I do year round! Ha!) so I wanted to show you my curated collection of floral art prints.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated, subdued artwork or a playful print there’s something that’s sure to catch your attention in the floral art print shop!

Playful

These prints are charming for children (or children-at-heart)! Ayang Cempaka’s whimsical fairytale-themed prints are colorful and fun, and they are lovely reminders of some favorite stories. Thumbelina’s meadow scene is particularly fitting for Spring, don’t you think?

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

Normandie Luscher’s prints are also inspired by favorite stories. If you’re a reader, these prints are a great way to decorate your space with reminders of your favorite books. You’ll be transported to lovely Avonlea when you look up at Anne’s Way of Delight!

An art print of girls inside and outside a brick building covered with vines and surrounded by trees and flowers. Next to the print are wooden toys shaped like trees and a rainbow. A print of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables walking through a corridor of blossoms against a pink background with real blossoms in front.

Another floral art print that celebrates Spring and promotes literacy is Josefina Schargorodsky’s Reading In the Woods illustration. This artwork would be perfect for a kid’s room or next to the bookshelf.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Painterly

Decorating with a painterly floral art print is a way to introduce some serenity and style into your space. Helen Dealtry’s Secret Garden print feels like a mysterious portal into another, greener world–just like in the book!

A print of flowers in a green secret garden tunnel hangs on the wall in front of a plant and some craft supplies

Lynne Millar’s paintings are not to be missed! The way she treats shadow and light is dramatic in the same way that a really well-planned garden can be, so you can bring the outdoors in with her prints. Check out this interview of Lynne here!

In interior shot of a pink couch with cushions, a table with a plant, a modern lamp, and artwork on the walls. One of the works is Lynne Millar's Rose painting.

Julie Marabelle of Famille Summerbelle makes glorious paper cut art by painting on paper and then cutting intricate floral designs into them. We have several of her works in our floral art print shop and they would look so lovely in any space!

Field of Colored Flowers Papercut By Julie Marabelle is framed and perched on top of a stack of books next to a yellow bed and a blue and white striped wallpapered wall.

A framed paper-cut floral print on a spruce-themed wallpapered wall by a yellow bed and a blue lamp

These dainty prints by Monica Dorazewski and Yas Imamura will bring whimsy into your home. They would be perfect in a space that needs a breath of light, fresh air, and feminine energy.

Seven Flowers Print by Yas Imamura

Adriana Picker also makes gorgeous, bright, botanical prints. Find her dahlia print here, her tulip print here, her cosmos print here, and her rose print (not pictured) here. You can also read this interview from Adriana Picker and find out more about the artist.

Three pink floral art prints on a white mantle next to a potted plant and a green candlestick

Graphic

Would you describe your style as bold and bright? Some of these more graphic floral art prints might just be calling your name.

Lisa Congdon’s style would look great in a super modern space–I love the idea of kids coming into a living room or kitchen to do homework with “Openness is Essential to Creativity” hanging on the wall next to them. How inspiring, right? Danielle Kroll’s Clementine print would also be so cute in a kitchen.

Openness is Essential To Creativity print by Lisa Congdon among plants and books Clementine Print by Danielle Kroll

For floral art prints in bold colors with less geometric designs, I think that Alli Stocco’s Flamenco Flamingos are a great fit. I also love the Mae West quote written on the print: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” Such great words to live by!

Rosie Harbottle’s Iris Apfel print brings bright, bold energy into a space. When I see this print I feel inspired to be daring like Iris, and I think all of us could use some of that oomph in our lives.

Flamenco Flamingos by Alli StoccoIris Apfel print by Rosie Harbottle against a sage wall surrounded by stationary and paper plants.

If you’re like me and you can’t get enough of flowers, check out this roundup of floral interior decor–it would all look great with a print from our shop.

What do you look for when choosing art for your home? I would love to see how you decorate with floral art prints, so tag us with #LarsAtHome to share!

In the Mood For Josef Albers

Art-inspired furniture is a great way to bring color and style into your home. After all, we at Lars don’t talk about building an artful life for nothing!

Who was Josef Albers?

Josef Albers was born March 19, 1888, in Bottrop, Germany. His career in teaching art took off in 1923 when Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school, invited Albers to teach as a professor at Bauhaus alongside his wife, Anni. They taught alongside Oskar SchlemmerWassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. When the Nazi government forced Bauhaus to close in 1933, Albers emigrated to the United States. He brought along the ideas formed at Bauhaus as he headed the art department at the newly established and experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Years later, he headed the design department at Yale University where he worked until retirement.

Josef Albers Homage to a Square: concentric red, orange and yellow squares

Josef Albers’ book, Interaction of Color first published in 1971 and remains an essential handbook and teaching aid for artists, instructors, and students to explain color theory principles. His most renowned work, the Homage to the Square series, began in 1950 and lasted for 25 years. 

Jasper playing with an Albers-inspired felt board in a colorful room

Josef Albers Felt Board

Our Josef Albers felt board is a great project for a lot of reasons. It comes together in just 10 to 15 minutes, depending on whether you make a two-toned background, looks incredible hung up on the wall, and cleans up in a trice. Even though it’s technically a toy, this felt board doubles as art-inspired furniture!

A pile of colored felt.

Materials:

¾-yard felt in two colors, colored felt sheets in various colors, rotary cutter and fabric ruler or scissors, thread, sewing machine, velcro, hot-glue gun, hot-glue sticks

When you’re selecting your felt colors, look for a balance of bright and more subdued hues in a few tonal groups that pop well with your bigger background felts

cream and yellow felt pinned together. Sewing the background felt together sewn together felt background Cutting strips of felt for the feltboard

Instructions:

  1. Line up your background felts with about an inch overlapping. Pin them together.
  2. Sew the background together with two straight lines. The first seam should be half an inch away from the edge of the overlap, and the second seam should be an eighth of an inch from the edge.
  3. Trim the edges of your newly formed large background rectangle to make sure they’re nice and straight.
  4. Cut pieces of your felt sheets into rectangles and squares of varying sizes. (For reference, our larger ones are 9-by-10 inches; medium are 7-by-7 inches, and small are 4-by-6 inches and 3-by-4 inches.)
  5. With a dot of hot glue, attach Velcro to the back of the felt background. Use a Command strip or other removable adhesive to attach the other side of the Velcro to the wall—and let the creative color pairings begin!

Can’t get enough of felt boards? I don’t blame you! Check out our Mattise-inspired felt board here!

colorful felt board in a colorful room

Art-Inspired Furniture a la Josef Albers

Whether or not you want to make your own felt board toy/decoration, this art-inspired furniture is sure to make your living space feel extra special.

Rugs

Rugs add so much impact to a room. Remember Brittany’s rainbow office? The tonal rug in there really brings things together and makes the space feel cozy and modern. I was thrilled to find these extremely accurate representations of Albers’ work in rug form! You can really live in a work of art with these amazing pieces.

Even though these other two rugs aren’t perfect replicas of Josef Albers artworks, they really capture the spirit of his work, so I wanted to include them here. The golden tonal rug invokes Albers’ color theory work, and the the color block bathmat is so reminiscent of the geometric patterns he used.

Golden tonal rugA grey, white, black, and gold colorblock bath mat

Don’t forget to check out these other rugs we found, which are all under $1000!

Pillows

Throw pillows are versatile and oh so cozy! Here are some of my favorites.

I also love this one with concentric squares a la Homage to the Square.

Homage to the Square Pillow

Lots of these would pair excellently with our collection of statement sofas. Statement sofas have the same mood as a lot of Josef Albers’ work: bold, color-driven, and designed to stand out.

Blankets and Throws

Contemporary style doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cozy! All these blankets and throws combine beautiful color mixing with bold graphics to make for an utterly luscious and snuggly addition to your home.

Books

Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is still used to teach about color. The 50th anniversary Edition came out a few years ago. I recommend it for every student of color!

Josef Albers

Show us your art-inspired home!

If you make our Albers-inspired felt board or buy any art-inspired furniture from our collections, we would love to see it! Tag us with #LarsMakes and #LarsAtHome to share.

Thanks again to Domino magazine for collaborating with us on this project!

Jasper sits in front of a colorful Josef Albers-inspired felt board in a colorful room

Lars Approved Brand Alert: Marimekko

Many of us are sprucing up our homes and planning to decorate for spring. Our Marimekko roundup highlights many home decor items that are perfect for new additions and finishing touches. You may even consider replacing some items like the old dish towels and oven mitts hanging sadly in the kitchen!

Marimekko for Your Kitchen and Dining

While we’re on the topic of oven mitts, choose from this oven mitt or this pot holder for pops of bright flowers in the kitchen. Or maybe you need a new set of dishtowels. The deep magenta and orange hues add a pleasant statement anywhere they hang.

Switch your current placemats to these bold prints. Add these plates or these and some glass tumblers or mugs to complete the table setting. The magic of Marimekko design is that there is no wrong combination of prints and colors! You can mix and match any design and surprise yourself in seeing that they somehow complement each other.

If you’re heading out for a picnic or plan to throw a party at home, make a theme out of Marimekko and use these paper napkins (1, 2, 3) as the source of your inspiration.

 

For Your Bedroom

Simple additions like wallpaper and new bedding create an entirely new atmosphere to a room. And we love a great accent wall! Use this striped wallpaper or floral mural to create a vibrant mood. Moreover, add these striped sheets on this comforter set and you will have encapsulated our Marimekko spirit.

 

Marimekko for the Minimalists

For those not so inclined to bold colors, Marimekko also offers neutral pieces that add the perfect amounts of pattern. There are cream colored hand towels or a chestnut colored polka dotted one, a beige polka dotted bath towel, an off-white and beige throw, a black and white floral bed sheet set, and these subtle pink vases (1, 2). Patterns and textures provide subtle accents in neutral pieces.

 

For the Everyday

Maybe you can’t make such dramatic changes at the moment. There are still ways to make big impacts with small changes. Switch up your bath towels for some red florals or red and pink stripes. You’ll feel like you rolled into Candyland! Or you can add these fun slippers to your everyday loungewear and carry a colorful tote bag on your weekly trips to the market. Switch up your makeup bag or create a smaller one for everyday use. Although we may have less reasons to go out these days, when the occasion arises, carry a chic clutch instead of a big purse.

Marimekko Dresses and Fashion

Embrace your inner Marimekko spirit and create your very own wonderland of vibrant colors and prints.

Marimekko Fabrics

One of my favorite parts of this bold Finnish brand is they also sell fabrics! This way you can give your home decor a fresh DIY makeover in full Marimekko style.

DIY Sleeping Mask and The Comfiest PJs

You all know that, up until recently, my Lars uniform was a puffy, flowy dress in any color or pattern I could find. I lived in dresses! In any weather or circumstance, I would never fail to don a dress. However, since welcoming Felix into the world and moving the Lars office into my home – I must admit, I have found a new uniform of choice. LOUNGEWEAR. Who knew I would ever become a loungewear gal?! NOT ME! Ha! 

In fact, this new obsession of mine has taken over my wardrobe so completely that most days I find myself sliding into full-on pajama territory. I basically wear the same thing night to day…and then night again. But honestly, I’m not even mad about it. The latest addition to my PJ drawer is this set from the Sleepy Jones + Purple collaboration. When my favorite sleepwear brand and mattress company put their minds together to create a new pair of PJs, you just know they will be the most comfortable item in your closet. 

How to Complete The Ultimate Cozy Look

My favorite part of these new Sleepy Jones + Purple Pajamas? THE STRETCH. I could go on and on about the stretch. Especially when my time is currently spent feeding Felix and working at the same time (somehow?!). I feel stretched thin, so of course I need my loungewear to feel stretchy too. They truly provide the all day comfort I have been longing for. 

I do need to tell you now though, ordering your own pair of Purple PJs is a fluffy, soft, and slippery slope that will inevitably lead to a full Purple bedtime set up. And that is where I find myself now, wearing my new pajamas, surrounded by new Purple SoftStretch Sheets, and Harmony Pillow. But can you blame me? “Stretch” and “harmony” are suddenly my two favorite words, especially to describe my sleeping situation. 

To complete my night time routine, I decided to add a DIY Sleeping Mask to match my new stretchy goodness made from a quilt (remember our quilted coat tutorial?!)! I am already dreaming of the endless good nights of rest I’ll be getting now and perhaps you might benefit from it as well!

DIY Quilted Sleeping Mask

Items made from quilts (like the now popular quilted coat) is the new black and so I had to try my hand at it. It helped that I had scraps leftover from when Romy made mine. Turns out, it makes the coziest sleeping mask (and you better believe I’ll also be turning it into a face mask!)

Supplies:

Sleep mask template, Quilt/top fabric, .25 yard satin fabric, .25 yard cotton batting, 2 12 inch lengths of .25 inch wide elastic, thread, scissors, sewing pins, fabric pen/pencil

Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out your template. Make sure that your printer settings are set to print actual size.
  2. Trace your template onto your quilt or top fabric, your satin, and your cotton batting. Cut these out. 
  3. With the front of the satin facing up, place the satin on top of the batting and pin in place. Pin the two strips of elastic to the satin/batting layer with the ends lining up where the triangular markings on the template are. Make sure that the elastic isn’t twisting and that they don’t cross.  
  4. With the front facing down, pin the quilt piece to the satin/batting layer. You now have a sleep mask sandwich with batting on the bottom, then satin facing up, then elastic, then your quilt piece facing down. 
  5. Mark two places at the top of your mask about three inches apart where you will start and stop the stitching. You need to leave this space so that you can flip your mask inside out. 
  6. With a seam allowance of 3/8ths of an inch, sew around the outside of your mask.
  7. Grade this seam by cutting the batting layer closer to the seam. This makes it so that the outside of your mask doesn’t have such a bulky section around the perimeter.
  8. Flip your mask inside out from the space you measured out in step 5. Now the end is in sight! You should have satin in the back and your quilt facing forward, with elastic to hold it to your face. 
  9. Gently iron your mask with the satin side down. When you do this, fold the raw edges from the hole under so that they blend in with the rest of the perimeter. Pin in place.
  10. Topstitch around the outside of the mask. This is where you will close the hole you left to flip it inside out.
  11. Following the seams in your quilt, stitch in the ditch to quilt together your layers. Trim all your threads, snuggle up in bed, and start snoozing.

Get Cozy

Once your DIY sleeping mask is complete, pair it with your own Sleepy Jones + Purple PJs for ultimate coziness. 

This post was sponsored by Purple. Thank you for interacting with this content, your support helps us create even more project tutorials and artful resources for you and your family. Thank you!

Introducing…the interior designer for our new house!

Finding our dream designer

It’s rare that your friend is ALSO your dream designer–it’s a serious dream come true. And Meta has always been on board to do it, even when we discussed my theoretical house one day years ago while we were living in a basement apartment. Knowing that she was just as excited about our new house as I was, was such a relief. Meta lives and breaths interior design. It’s truly her passion and calling.

Meta has been designing the home of Hannah Carpenter and I’m all about it! See more here. Photo by Hannah Carpenter.

FAQ

You may be asking WHY I’m working with another interior designer when I studied and practiced it. Simple! And other designers might be able to speak to this too–when you do something for yourself, it TAKES AGES. It’s so hard to design for yourself because I definitely suffer from decision fatigue. PLUS, I haven’t truly practiced it in many many years. I know what I like, but here’s the thing: Meta knows how to push you into new territory and she’s not afraid of risks. I’m not either, so I cannot wait for this ride!

Meta’s philosophy

And here’s the thing–I’m not talking just coping a picture you see on Pinterest and putting it into your house. That’s easy. The magic of Meta is that she takes you and whoever else lives in the house, and uses some sort of design alchemy to produce something new. It all of a sudden becomes an art. She has a number of projects that she’s working on behind the scenes and it’s been so interesting to see her process and her drive to do something new and refreshing. I couldn’t imagine doing this without her.

This is Meta’s beautiful home, which is a beautiful refuge for her and her family. Photo by Meta Coleman.

We haven’t begun the process yet. In fact, she has a thorough questionnaire that she’s having us fill out, and I think we’re going to turn it into a video, so stay tuned! So, we are truly in the beginning stages, but I have a few things in mind already and I know she does too so we’ll see how they align.

Progess of our house

Admittedly, we moved into our house prematurely, but we thought we’d get in with the basics and then move on up from there. So, as soon as the faucet and bathrooms were in, we were too! And now it’s little things like doors…door knobs…things that you don’t realize make a difference but truly do. We’re still a ways away from comfort levels, but all in good time I suppose.

I love this sweet bathroom she designed. Photo by Meta Coleman.

Finally designing the house!

As we continue to wait upon the small things, I’ve found myself sneaking in some “dream” moments, aka moments that get my excited for the next stage because heavens knows I haven’t entered back into that head space since the moment I laid eyes on this house years ago. We got a vanity for our main bedroom that I’m VERY excited about. It’s even better in person (and the quality is superb!) but I’ll be talking more about that later and with such a statement piece as that, it’s lead me down the rabbit hole of…you guessed it, WALLPAPERS! So, yes, you’ll be seeing a lot more soon.

I’ve spent much time in her home office here. Photo by Meta Coleman.

Another thing to note is that her style of designing a home is one that is more organic where we can find out how we live in the space and then enhance its use and function all combined with aesthetics. It’s not FAST fashion, errr: design, but a style that is intentional and thoughtful, which aligns perfectly with my beliefs too.

She worked on the home of our other dear friend, Eva Jorgensen and her husband Kirk. I LOVE this moody room! 

I can’t wait to share the full process with you. Like I mentioned, I don’t promise speed, but I don’t promise beautiful results and I know that will be the case because I have Meta on board. Stay tuned for more! And let me know if you have any questions along the way!

You can find Meta here:

Meta Coleman Portfolio
Meta Coleman Instagram
You can read more about Meta Coleman here in this interview

All the renovations we did to our rental

All the changes we’ve made to our rental

Admittedly, it’s not the tiniest of apartments. In fact, when we first moved in we thought it was ginormous, by Denmark standards. We moved here from Copenhagen 7 years ago and did leaps around with “all the space” we had. We started out renting 2 bedrooms and they had another bedroom in the basement, which they rented out to me after about a year for my home studio. It was the biggest room in the house so it was such a step up for me and Lars at the time.

In 2015 I got a studio space in the neighboring town (I should show you all the changes we did to that space, because that’s also a good one!) and then we had a baby in 2018 and things have become CRAMPED! And since COVID we’ve REALLY been feeling cramped in. It’s probably what motivated us to start looking in the first place. Anyone else experience this?

WHY change your rental?

A lot of people have asked us why we’ve done so much to our rental and sometimes I’ve wondered the same thing, but ultimately, it comes down to this: your environment affects your well-being and I was feeling the need to catch up our space to how I wanted to feel. We knew we wouldn’t move until we bought a house so we wanted to make it a home in the mean time. PLUS, our landlords, who own the house and live upstairs, have become our second parents so we haven’t considered anything a loss. We love the idea that we can improve the space for them.

Kitchen

  1. Here’s the timeline of the kitchen. We started out with the top left photo: oak cabinets, laminate flooring, laminate counters, stainless steel sink and faucet, fluorescent lighting. Everything was functional and nice but not our vibe.
  2. Next, our landlords surprised us by painting our cabinets white. Score!
  3. Then, we did a partnership with Pergo flooring and they replaced all of our flooring, besides the bedrooms, with their wood laminate flooring. We’ve loved them! It really improved the space.
  4. Next, we did a partnership with BEHR paint and we did the two toned painted cabinet trend–white on top and blue on bottom. We also changed out the hardware and our landlords replaced the appliances.

Details of my New Kitchen

Finally, we worked with Caesarstone to replace the laminate countertops with the quartz and we LOVE it so much!

Blinds.com

Living room

Our living room is basically our living and family room combined. It’s definitely where we spend the most time and it’s gone through a transformation for sure!

  1. Once again, we started with beige carpet.We initially replaced the lighting fixture with this gold one from Schoolhouse and that made an impact. We also replaced the vertical blinds with curtains.
  2. Next, we got a new green sofa and that changed the whole tone of the room. You can also see when we switched to the laminate flooring.
    Living Room Reveal
  3. Two years ago we updated the living room with this wildflower wallpaper and got a new sofa to go with it. This is the state we’re currently in
  4. You can see the furniture combos I was looking at for the living room here.
  5. Here’s our first iteration of the gallery to showcase our Frame TV, which we LOVE!!!!My new TV looks just like a painting!

Jasper’s bedroom

We used Jasper’s room as our office before he was born and didn’t touch it, clearly! So, we had a bit of work to do.

Baby boy nursery mural

You can see the transformation of his mural in this post when we worked with Behr paint.

And then the full nursery reveal here. We changed out the blinds (worked with Blinds.com), added furniture (care of Crate and Kids).

The only changes that have come to his nursery is the AMOUNT OF STUFF that we’ve somehow accumulated. We are bursting at the scenes here.

Master bedroom

The master bedroom was PITIFUL. I’m so sad looking at it.

And I’m still in love with the results. We did our partnership with Spoonflower and I used them from head to toe, well, from the wallpapers to the bedding to the matching curtains. I love this room! I think this is the one I’m most sad about leaving. I just love the vibe. You can see the full transformation here.

Guest bedroom

The last room that we did before we bought our house is our guest room with Crate and Barrel earlier this year before COVID.

The guest bedroom we added in an alpiney feeling and lots of accents of color and art. You can read about it here.

Ok, that’s it! Looking back, that’s 5 rooms we switched up, some larger than others. Some were just decorative like wallpaper and curtains, while others, like the kitchen, were more involved and more expensive like switching out appliances, countertops, sinks, etc. Would I do it again? For sure! Yes, they were mostly all for sponsorships so they were considered work and we were paid to do them, but even then, I definitely would suggest customizing your space in some way or manner even if you don’t plan on being there for very long. A happy space creates a happy space in your mind too and that’s soooo important!

I’d love to hear if you’ve done changes to your rental and what they are! Tell me more!

In The Mood: Hamilton Inspired Home Decor

How to fill your home with the feeling of Hamilton

If you are unfamiliar with Hamilton, you’ve got to remedy that. Allow this piece to be your introduction into the hit musical. It chronicles the life of Alexander Hamilton who was one of the Founding Fathers of the USA. He was born in the West Indies as an illegitimate child, and his parents died before he reached adulthood. Through hard work, sacrifice, and a fair bit of schmoozing, Alexander made his way to New York and befriended Revolutionaries, forever tying his fate with that of the Fledgling United States. Since the play is based on history, spoilers aren’t really a thing… Just to pique your interest, there is a love triangle, rumors, and even a gun duel. Spoiler: it ends in death. Oh and there’s rap. It’s definitely worth the watch. 

Below you will find our tips on how you fill your home with inspiration from this hit musical!

Be inspired by Colonial Style

Before writing this piece, I actually looked up pictures of Alexander Hamilton’s home. It’s  called The Grange and still stands in New York City though it is much changed. It is totally symmetrical with matching piazza patios, stately lines, mouldings, and mantles. As a result, it has an incredibly airy feel. Neoclassical design deeply influence the Colonial Era. That last bit is super important, as it is what separates Hamilton-inspired design from the Farmhouse look. Alexander Hamilton would shudder if someone were to suggest his architectural choices had anything to do with farming.

Hamilton inspired decor for your home’s exterior

Curate meaningful collections

The easiest way to incorporate this kind of design into your space is through careful collection. It might not be realistic to build ionic columns throughout your whole house or rebuild it to be symmetrical. But, you can collect pieces inspired by the Neoclassical Era. Handmade wooden furniture, ornate trinkets, classic colors, statuettes, gold or brass fixtures, and elaborately patterned textiles all have their place in a Hamilton home. I recommend you search high and low. Buy some pieces new from fancy stores, but also enjoy the hunt in antique shops and the exhilaration of winning an eBay or Facebook marketplace bid. If you can curate a collection of similar items, like antique candlesticks, lanterns, or porcelain dish-ware, those pieces will shine together and become showstoppers.

Hamilton inspired decor for your living room

Fill your home with nostalgia

Part of why the musical is so popular is because it plays on America’s own heritage while reinterpreting it. Alexander Hamilton personified the American Dream. He came from hardship but made it through. He also made mistakes and was complicit in the evils of his time. Despite these contradictions, he tried to set up a nation that would build a better future. People respond to that kind of thing. We’re all complicated. As you curate a Hamilton inspired home, think about your personal history. How can you incorporate that into your home? Paintings that remind you of your favorite places, old books you loved long ago, and photographs of days gone by are all great pieces that will make your space yours. Don’t fret  about it all becoming too complex or not cohesive. You are the unifying theme

Hamilton inspired decor for your bedroom

Form a modern interpretation of the past

If you’re worried about this style complimenting modern ones, don’t be!! The contradictions of Alexander Hamilton and within the play are what inspires good design. The play is a contemporary take on Colonial themes. Your interpretation of Hamilton-design will also be a contemporary take. Design inspired by the musical is bound to be lively, yet stately. That combination really excites me. Colonial America is the setting, but the music is totally inspired by contemporary hip hop and rap. Translating all of this into a visual style requires a keen and selective eye. You got this. Be willing to do a little mixing-and-matching as you incorporate Hamilton into your modern home! 

One of our past interns, Jess Whittaker, illustrated these Hamilton inspired prints we love! This is a fun way to add some Hamilton inspiration into your home without needing to embrace full on colonial style. You can find them here in her shop! You can read more about Jess here and find some of her whimsical work in our shop as well!

More Hamilton Inspired Home Decor

For your kitchen

For the bathroom

 

This post is a part of our In the mood for series where we show you how to recreate interior design styles and fashion inspired by people we admire! Click any of the links below to check out the past posts in this series!

Anne of Green GablesEmma WoodhouseIris ApfelWes Andersonthe Royal FamilyLittle Women, Monet, and Alexander Girard

5 reasons mirrors are essential in decor

Get lit! Use mirrors to light up your life

Aside from the practical use of mirrors (checking oneself out), mirrors have another excellent purpose – they bounce light beautifully. You can make even the darkest corners, nooks and crannies more luminous by adding a mirror. You probably don’t have the ability to knock out an exterior wall of your house and add a million windows, but you can put a million mirrors in your house. I absolutely love seeing a wall covered in mirrors – it’s been popular since the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, and I don’t think it will ever go out. Pick matching, simple mirrors for a minimal look that maximizes your space. If you like the more eclectic look, mix and match ornate mirrors.

Open up (your mind and your living room)

I kinda spoiled this tip in the previous section, but one magical thing about mirrors is their ability to make a space feel larger. In an old house I lived in, we had a gigantic mirror at the top of the stairs. It always tricked guests into thinking there was another wing of the house! Mind you, this house was no manor – it was a pretty basic tract home. Simple tricks like adding a big mirror can make you feel like you’ve built that add-on you’ve been dreaming about. This made a big difference in my small office makeover.

Is that a new window?

Up next is a real trick. I feel like a click bait ad saying that. But this one is pretty genius I think! Have you ever seen a mirror with panes on it like a window? I spied this one on Pinterest and I totally thought it was a window. Brainblast – place a big mirror where you want a window! If you can find one that is similar in size and shape to an actual window in your house, place the mirror next to the window. Boom. extra window. I’m a genius. 

Make a mirror the focal point

Mirrors are beautiful on their own. Ones with beautiful frames or funky shapes and detailing truly look like art and should be treated as such!! I am in love with the idea of a mirror as a focal piece, hung on a mantelpiece or in an art niche. I want this mirror from Anthropologie (sorry to be predictable but they are just so good) hung over an end table in my entryway. If you’re needing some styling inspo, check out this picture I found.

Mirrors are simple to update when styles change

Last but not least are my favorite mirror trends. There are a few trends that I keep seeing and truthfully can’t get enough of! One mirror staple over the last few years has been the circle mirror. The shape is simple enough to not be distracting and it gives the eye a break from hard angles. If you’re tired of too many hard angles, check out this scallop mirror from Gustaf Westman that I adore. I even made my own scallop wave pinboard inspired by that mirror and Matilda Goad! Other trends I love are organically shaped mirrors, ornate antiquey ones, and of course, mirrors with color and pattern. The images below are just a few of my favorites for sale right now! 

 

DIY Mirror

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about all you makers. If you prefer a handmade touch to make your decor unlike any others, check out this DIY rattan mirror!

DIY rattan mirror

Where to make important investments in your cheap renovation (hint: flooring!)

Is there such thing as a quick and cheap renovation?

Here’s the thing–when we were first planning our “quick and cheap” renovation, I was literally going to put the ugliest, cheapest carpet on the market EVERYWHERE in the house. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to get invested in it. I wanted to take the decision making out of everything and go cheap and quick. I spotted some carpet scraps at ReStore and was ready to move forward. End of discussion.

And, though I run a DIY blog, my husband and I are not, how do we say, “handy” people. I mean, like I can nail things into a wall and screw in lightbulbs and such and Paul is really good (talented even) at lifting heavy objects, but ummm, we are definitely not getting a show on HGTV anytime soon. I’m more of a lightweight in the home improvement arena. And Paul is good at cooking.

But…we were going to attempt to do it ourselves. Ugh. I cringe just thinking about it! I don’t know how to put carpet in. But they make it look SO easy on YouTube!

And THEN, you realize ok, if we’re spending even just a “little” bit on ugly carpeting, well, that’s $—- on something when it could be applied to something nice and then it avalanches from there. PLUS, it’s such a waste in general to put in stuff you’ll just be taking out.

This is what I had resolved to do:

You see where I’m going here.

So then we decide, well, maybe flooring is the one spot we should invest in since it’s really the foundation for the whole house. And it’s so bare now and would have to do a lot of work to rip it back up again…

I went on the hunt for some beautiful flooring and came across Stuga and I was smitten. And maybe you can see why: Stuga works directly with Scandinavia’s most innovative manufacturers to curate a selection of sustainably harvested, crafted, and engineered floors that you can easily browse, sample, and buy online.

So, first they roped me in with their Scandinavian angle. Having lived in Denmark for the first few years of our marriage with my Danish husband, this was big a bonus because I know that Scandinavia does floors excellently. They are hardwood fanatics. PLUS, they believed in sustainability long before it became a buzzword and designed their products to preserve forests. They also removed all solvents and toxic glues found in other engineered floors. Plus, they’re beautiful!

I first spotted them over at Chris Loves Julia and I LOVE how it turned out. So beautiful! I especially loved the treatment to the stairs. So I requested a number of samples:

Lighting is always the curse that comes with seeing examples of flooring online, well, in person too for that matter. Here’s what we are considering and I’d LOVE your feedback on which one you would choose. I’ll be walking you through it over on Instastories too.

A few things to note about our preferences: I tend to gravitate towards warmer tones. And though I love wide plank, I feel like our traditional home needs to be slightly more narrow.

Perhaps I’m going too much into the little details. I know most people like a good before and after, and we’ll get there at some point, but because this is such a big project for us and there is so much $$$$ and time and investment on the line, we are going into the nitty gritty. You can tell me when it gets boring, capeesh?

This post is sponsored by Stuga but all opinions are my own.