Details of my new Kitchen

Details of my New Kitchen

The story of my kitchen is a lesson in stubbornness. We are renters and really had no intention of staying here for 5 years, but alas, the longer we live here, the more I approach the space as a challenge to see how rad I can make it. Don’t tell me it can’t be done, because I will set out to prove you wrong! Ha! Well, last week I revealed our kitchen makeover and you guys were just as shocked as me to see the transformation. Our dreary little basement apartment kitchen went from 80s fabulous to timeless and refreshing with mostly small aesthetic changes and switching out some key components.

Today I’ll be taking you through the transformation process and telling you exactly what we did that provided the most impact including notes on the products, tips on how to work with the installers, and my ratings. I’m a big believer in reading reviews so here are my thoughts! It really is in the details, folks!

Lola Dutch Inspired Mobile

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Lola Dutch Inspired Mobile

Have you heard the importance of having a tribe? I’m talking about a close group of friends who support, inspire, and uplift you. It’s a thing and it’s a darn good one. I’m lucky enough to have a great tribe of girlfriends who I’ve known for years, all of whom are super duper creative. My dear friend Sarah Jane, is one such genius! She is an amazing illustrator and her book that she’s been dreaming about for years comes out today! Lola Dutch is a magical tale of a girl who dreams big. It’s written and illustrated by Sarah Jane and her husband, Kenneth. This is such a gem among children’s storybooks and it’s already getting a ton of attention.

Lola Dutch Inspired Mobile

There are quite a few beautifully illustrated chandeliers throughout the book, so we decided to create a Lola Dutch inspired Mobile! Wooden beads and bright pom poms make up this whimsical mobile. It would look adorable in a children’s room, in a craft corner, or any place that could use a fanciful touch. This mobile only takes a few hours to create, making it a perfect weekday project! We were inspired by the stunning work of Galbie Studio. Check out her Etsy shop to purchase one of her lovely creations!

Scallop Wave DIY Pinboard

Inspiration: the moodboard for my pinboard

The scallop/wave trend is hot hot hot right now. Slow undulating lines are visually really peaceful, but since it’s an unusual pattern, it holds your attention. Gustaf Westman is a furniture designer who builds beautiful mirrors that serve as inspiration for my DIY. If you want to buy his beautiful work, check out his page

Another source of inspo for this project comes from Matilda Goad. This self-described “scallop-loving designer” has a fantastic and playful sense of design and color, and her pieces have a certain je nes sais quoi that make a house feel like home. The images below are from here instagram here

My final mood-board item is this picture that I saw on @houseandgardenuk’s instagram. They featured a dreamy kitchen designed by Gabby Deeming and Ruth Sleightholme. I love the zigzag variation of scallops on the kitchen cabinets, and the gentle green is so appealing. 

My Plans

In my head I can visualize you, dear friend, scrolling through until you get to the pictures and instructions for my DIY. Stop scrolling – you made it! First things first, you need a bulletin board. Then, I decided how much of my board I want to cover with paint. Find the full steps below!

DIY bulletin board painted

How to make your own scallop wave pinboard

Instructions
– Measure the bulletin board & decide how thick you want your scalloped border to be.
– Use a ruler to draw guiding lines showing how far the border will extend, based on the thickness you chose. (Our board’s scalloped border was about 5 inches thick from the edge of the board).
– Measure the space left on the middle of the bulletin board between your guiding lines. Decide how many scallops you want on each side and then divide the length of the available space by the number of scallops. This will tell you how large each scallops should be.
– Use your ruler to measure and mark the desired length of your scallop onto a piece of card-stock paper. Once you have the length drawn, create the scallop shape and cut it out. This will be your stencil. (You could trace something round like a bowl or free hand this. Folding the card stock in half is a good way to check that the sides of your scallop are symmetrical.)
– Follow the guiding lines as you trace the scallop stencil across your bulletin board. This will keep your peaks even across the edges.
– Complete the look by rounding the corners into similar shapes, you can use the same stencil if there’s room or freehand it.
– Fill in the boarder with paint, 1-2 coats depending on the thickness of your paint.
-Let it dry and your DIY scallop wave pinboard is complete! Fill it with inspiration picks for the next project you want to tackle 😉

Scallop Wave DIY Pinboard

We would love to see what scalloped creations you come up with! Tag us on Instagram so we can see your works of art!

Small Space: Kitchen Renovation

Blinds.com

This kitchen renovation has been a long time coming. We have a very small kitchen with pretty poor lighting. It always seemed a little sad and drab. A huge part of the problem was our metal, mini-blinds. Yes, like the ones in a college dorm room. They were very fragile, difficult to work with, and cheapened the whole space. Luckily, Blinds.com came to my rescue! Our new blinds elevate the space, keep a clean look, and a perfect for our small windows. You can bet I’ll be spending more time in the kitchen now.

Read on to see which Blinds.com product we used and get a discount code!

We’re moving!

We’re Moving Studios!

In our house looking we intentionally looked at houses where we could potentially put Lars in the basement. It’s very common here in Utah to have a basement and to put renters in the basement. A majority of our neighborhood does that. In fact, our previous apartment was one such arrangement. So when our dream house showed the potential to be for sale (it wasn’t for sale when I knocked on the door!), the large basement was definitely a plus. With three floors at about 1500 square feet each-ish, it would have been WAY too large for just the three almost four of us.

Here’s how the basement was when we first looked at it and basically still is now:

And yes, doors still haven’t gone up! You probably can’t tell with all the blockades, but there is about 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, one larger work room and a storage room along with two bathrooms. One bathroom, in fact, that gave us a sewage flood when we first moved in. How welcoming. I’d share a pic but I don’t want to make you barf. We finally got new walls done there (they had to take them out because the poop hit all the walls) and now we’re working on the flooring.

Pros and Cons to working from home

Of course there are pros and cons to having your work place in your house, but overall, I am STOKED! Especially since I’ll be with a newborn soon and wouldn’t be able to get to the studio much. Our current studio, we were all commuting from the same city to about 20 minutes away, which is fine, but it didn’t make any sense.

Plus, this blog is such a part of my personal life and it was oftentimes SO tricky to work between the two. Sometimes we’d need to shoot at my house and sometimes here at the studio. Being in the same spot will alleviate so much confusion.

Another plus is that all my materials are here at the studio and so I was finding that I wasn’t making anything in my spare time because it was so much planning and execution to bring what I needed home. I’m so stoked to have it all in one place.

I’ve worked from home in the past but that’s when I didn’t really have a designated space for it so it was ALWAYS a mess. Now, the mess will hopefully be contained!

Flooring for our basement

Speaking of flooring, I’ve looked into all types of flooring options for basement apartments that are prone to flooding. We know the sewage flood we had was not the only flood this house has had–we’re hoping it’s the last though. With that in mind, we are wanting a flooring that is waterproof and/or easy to maintain in case of water damage.

We looked at LVP, waterproof tiles, painting concrete, and epoxy. I had looked into epoxy when we first moved in because my friend, Eva, has it on her concrete floors and it’s amazing (you can see it here). It came out this wonderfully shiny texture that I LOVE! But her guy quoted me a crazy high price and I was determined to find something else. THEN, I got a hold of another guy who was MUCH less expensive. He comes on Saturday so I can’t comment on his services yet. We’ll see.

What color should we paint our floor? 

That leaves the question…what COLOR do we do for the epoxy?! And that’s the beauty of it. You can pretty much customize your epoxy to ANY color you’d like. Most epoxy installers do garage floors and that typically means any variation of grey, but I shared a couple of images with him and he said he could do it. I asked him about MINT/SAGE:

And about a blush pink:

So…what would YOU do???

Green OR Pink?

You’ll have to wait and see what we chose!

Investing into a rental

As for the rest of the basement studio, the idea of it being in my permanent house is SUCH a relief and bonus for many reasons. One, I’m realizing that I have a REALLY hard time with permanence. For example, I had a hard time investing time and money in both studios I’ve rented. I know that your environment plays a crucial role in the overall vibe and well-being, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get behind fixing our current one. We painted a couple of rooms white because we needed them for shooting and changed out some lighting fixtures, but besides that, not much.

SO, I’m excited to DIG in and get the vibe for our studio that it finally deserves! And I’m wanting to go CRAZY on it. LOTS of color and experimenting. I’m talking color on floors and maybe carpeting up the staircase. Maybe something fun with walls and definitely furniture!

Inspiration for the new studio

You can see the inspiration for the new studio up in the first two photos, but I’ll expound here.

I LOVE this restaurant in Moscow by Studio Shoo. I think it’s an incredible blend of playful, patterns, vintage, and color. Check out more of the restaurant here. It’s so good! Love the green drinking fountain. Could you imagine?!

2LG Studio in London is another major inspiration source. They have SO MUCH FUN with their interiors. I love the way they use pattern and color together while adding unexpected details here and there.

This one, below, is a study in careful placement of color for big impact. That staircase is just paint! It’s the studio of @ZilverblauW in The Netherlands. You should check out her account. It’s so good!

And lastly, this one. I found it here, but don’t know who the designer is. Anyone know? Such a great palette and play on shapes and color.

With these inspiration images in mind, here’s what I have in mind:

  • COLOR everywhere in unexpected places
  • Clever use of paint to create frames and shapes
  • Mix of vintage and new
  • Functional but also aesthetically pleasing
  • A place to shoot and video easily
  • An inspirational place to work

Some places will have to be WAY more functional, like the stock room and storage room, but that means we can really play wit the playful rooms.

Anywhoo, I and we are SO excited about the move. The lame thing is that it’s RIGHT in the middle of our busiest time of the year so we’re going a bit nuts. That sounds par for course this year, no? Wish us luck!

And let me know what flooring you’d choose. Would love to hear why!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

She Shed Craft Retreat
One Room Challenge at our old studio
One Room Challenge at Mary’s house

In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design

Home Decor Inspired by Frida Kahlo

How to use decor like Frida would

Consider Color

Casa Azul is aptly named, as the exterior of the house is painted this fantastic cobalt blue. It’s the kind of blue that if you saw it and weren’t expecting it, you’d whip your head around for a second look and say something profound like, “that house is blue!” Or, perhaps the color puts you speechless! It certainly does that for me. Rather than use a ton of neutrals to ground one pop of color, Kahlo did the opposite in her home and it totally works! She employed blue, citron yellow, kelly green, and terracotta red liberally with just a pinch of neutrals thrown in. The neutrals that are used are all natural. One section of the house has greyish walls because the walls are made of volcanic rock and shells!

Image source

For more inspiration on decorating your home with the bright colors of Frida’s hometown, check out my trip to Mexico City here!

Embrace your surroundings

With the use of volcanic rock and seashells, Casa Azul perfectly illustrates how to bring the outside in. This creative yet ancient way of using natural resources works beautifully in juxtaposition to her wild colors and more modern stylings. If you live in a wooded area, use beautiful wood! Same goes for those of you who live in rocky areas or sandy areas or wherever areas! Get outside to get inspired. Another way Frida Kahlo brought the outside in is by adding house plants. She used plants all the time in her paintings, and had plenty to study in her home! Yes, the trick is old as time but never gets old. Bringing in natural elements to balance the color will help you nail Frida Kahlo inspired interior design.

Image source

Embracing one’s surroundings goes beyond the literal outside – you should try and bring a bit of your culture and community within your doors. Embracing culture is essential in a Frida Kahlo inspired home. Kahlo has tons of traditional Mexican tiles and Indigenous pottery throughout her house and it gives a sense of identity to both the woman who lived there and the space itself. Frida’s celebration of her heritage is a wonderful thing, but I know many people who feel like they don’t have a heritage to celebrate. That’s just silly! Do a little research on your family, your community, and any other places your family line has been. Then, use interior decorating to remind you of where you and your ancestors have been. That sort of thing is really grounding, and who doesn’t need that right now?? 

Persevere

So, I intentionally haven’t talked much about the messier parts of Kahlo’s life. She will probably haunt me for watering down her deeply complex life into interior design tips, but hey! We’re keeping her legacy going! Frida Kahlo experienced a lot of tragedy that included abuse, tragic accidents, chronic illness, mental health problems, and infidelity. At eighteen, she was seriously wounded in a bus accident and was laid up in the hospital for months unable to move her body. She knew that this accident would prevent her from studying medicine as she had planned, so she took to painting from her hospital bed. Her mother had a special easel made that she could use in bed, and a mirror was placed above her bed. There she painted a slew of self portraits, pictures of her visitors and view. 

In fact, this is one of Frida’s major life events that inspired one of the activities in our Great Artists! course. During week 1, the kids will have a chance to grab a mirror, climb into bed, and see what it feels like to draw a self-portrait exactly the way Frida Kahlo herself started. These kinds of activities are what make history come alive, and teach the children about the lives of artists like Frida in way appropriate for their age.

What Frida did about it

She took inventory of what she could do and what her literal setting allowed, and then did it. Kudos to Frida for transforming a space with limitations into a space where she could create! As an interior design nut, I just love that. In the midst of one of the toughest periods of her life, Frida Kahlo redefined herself as an artist. Rather than allowing herself to be defined by tragedy, she molded it into therapy, self expression, and a new career. 

Towards the end of her life, Kahlo was finally receiving widespread recognition for her innovative work. She was to have her first solo exhibition in 1953, but right before the opening night, Frida was put on bedrest for a chronic illness. Rather than miss her big moment, Frida Kahlo had an ambulance deliver her from Casa Azul to the museum on a stretcher. Once in the museum, she was moved to her own four-poster bed that was brought there earlier that day. Much to the surprise of everyone there, she laid in her own bed at her own exhibition opening. You’ve got to love a girl who just won’t quit, much less miss her own party. 

In your life & home

If you’re needing a little help translating all of this, check out our Great Artists! Course for kids that includes some wonderful crafts/projects cooked special for you by our Lars team. There you’ll find the perfect Frida Kahlo and Casa Azul inspired pieces to perk up your home. Also, we’ve scoured the internet and have found some wonderful pieces that look like something straight out of her paintings (and wardrobe!)

I hope that by reading about Frida and looking at photographs of her home and work, you feel inspired to play a little, especially if life is hard right now. She’d like that. Let your home be both the subject and object of your playing! (I believe that’s called interior design.)

Image source: 1 | 2

Fashion Inspired by Frida Kahlo

 

Accessories

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

 

Moodboard image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

DIY Celtic Knot Pillow

DIY Celtic Knot Pillow Tutorial

You can find the Celtic Pillow instructions in our e-book here.

If you don’t feel up to sewing, though, you’ll want to check out a few of our favorite pillow picks from our roundup! There, we’ll walk you through selecting the perfect pillow accent for any room design. We are ALL about keeping as many cozy, pretty pillows on hand as we can!

Shop the look:

Mustard futon  |  Blue and green artwork by Abby Clawson Low  |  Teal Tea set 

Be sure to tag us with #Luckylars so we can see your celtic pillows!

4th of July American Flag Weaving

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4th of July American flag wall weaving tutorial

Time to pull out the ‘ole red, white, and blue, folks, because we’ve got a birthday to celebrate. America is turning 240 years old! Ashley came up with this gorgeous wall weaving to get your patriotism fix. It’s not a complicated weaving, but it does take some time. Head outside on a lawn chair and get your weaving on!
4th of July American flag wall weaving tutorial

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.

In the Mood For: Monet inspired Interior Design

First, a special announcement!

I’m writing about Monet for a few reasons – the first you know, the second is kind of a secret…  This summer we are launching an online summer camp to teach kids all about some master artists, including Monet! It will include daily projects (with videos!) to help kids dive deep into new mediums, art styles, and the lives of great artists of myriad colors, genders, and time periods. Stay tuned for more details!!! Sign up for our newsletter here for early access and a huge discount on this course when it is released! Now onto tips for interior design inspired by Monet:

1 – It’s all about lighting. 

Much of Monet’s passion as a painter was driven by a desire to capture light! He would paint the same scene over and over again at different times of day to capture the shadow play and different colors created. Within the walls of your home, you are somewhat limited with regard to natural light. When choosing a place to live, consider how natural light will affect your space! Select fun curtains or shutters (tres French) and outfit the windows accordingly. 

Monet inspired interior design

You may not be able to control the sun, but a lovely invention called electricity does give you the ability to control light! It is amazing how a simple lamp or light shade can transform any space. An old apartment of mine felt dingy and small. The walls were a funny yellowish color that I thought was terrible, but I couldn’t change it! Eventually I got a floor lamp with a bright, white light. Suddenly, I realized the color wasn’t as bad as it had looked before. With just a lightbulb, I achieved the same effect a can of paint would have had. While lighting might not be the first thing you think of when you hear “interior design,” it should be when the phrase is followed by “inspired by Monet.”

Mary’s House Renovation with Crate and Barrel

Here’s what the room looked like before:

As open as the new space was, it still was small; so, Mary wanted to focus on creating plenty of seating options without bulky pieces of furniture. A simple color palette completed her vision, with pieces that were both architectural and artistic.

Enter, Crate and Barrel, the royal family of clean and functional. They partnered with us to make the transformation happen and turns out, they were the best marriage partner for Mary’s more color subdued yet architectural style.

The constraints of the space led to the selection of the Knurl Small Coffee Table. It turned out to be the perfect solution, with thin legs and clean, refined lines that created a distinct but unobtrusive shape. The Fernando Accent Table was an ideal pairing with the Knurl Coffee Table, as it balanced the lighter elements of the coffee table with a solid and interesting geometric shape.

For seating, Mary chose two pieces with distinct shapes and artistic textures. The Gabo Leather Wingback Chair provided height with slender, architectural lines. Lightly colored legs contributed to the wingback chair feeling less bulky in the small space. The Mimi Vegan Lambskin Chair provided contrast with cozy, light upholstery and a low back. A square cutout on the back of the chair creates an interesting shape that adds to the texture of the room. Together, the two chairs fulfilled Mary’s vision for a room that had plenty of seating options without cluttering the space.

Now, this space continues the timeless, sleek style of the kitchen into the living room. Each piece of the room underscores Mary’s artistic intention for the space, while still creating a welcoming environment for anyone who enters. 

Would love to hear what you think of her living room transformation. Are you more of a color lover or lack of color? Dish!

Thank you to our sponsor, Crate and Barrel, who made this transformation happen. 

Bias Tape Weaving Pillow

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Bias Tape Weaving Pillow

We loved our DIY Bias Tape Weaving so much that we knew we had to make something with it! The trick was deciding exactly what to make with it. After much deliberation, the Bias Tape Weaving Pillow was born! This eye-catcher is the perfect puff to grace your couch this summer. In punchy colors, it adds a splash of color and an interesting texture. It would look equally lovely in muted shades for a more subdued look. Just pick your palette, whip out some bias tape using our tutorial, and get weaving!

Bias Tape Weaving Pillow

See how to make your own Bias Tape Weaving Pillow!