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!

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.

New artwork from Artist Chaunté Vaughn

New work in the Lars Print Shop from Chaunté Vaughn 

Click here to see the full collection!

Chaunté has the unique ability to capture beauty in the mundane. She focuses on the everyday, even decayed or traditionally non-beautiful subjects, but through her use of lighting and composition transforms them into stunning works of art.

Her color series in the collection highlights items from the grocery store and stuff that should be in the trash, but with the magical touch of stylist Kate Stein, they take on a new life where color is celebrated and lighting transforms them into an elegant still life.

Yellow Mustard” is our featured art print for our book club, Yellow by Michael Pastoureau. It’s a celebration of all things yellow–the color of happiness and optimism made even more so through the comical smiley face.

“This collection of photos is an oddball selection of exercises I’ve done thru the last few years. It’s one of my favorite things to be able to uplift someones home with art I’ve made. I’m so happy these might make it to you someday!”
– Chaunté Vaughn

Interview with Chaunté Vaughn

What do you consider yourself?

I consider myself a photographer. I like to do other creative things, but photography is how I earn a living.

How did you get started in your field doing what you do?

I started by taking pictures of my sisters when we were kids. I loved styling them and playing “photoshoot”. It feels like I’m still doing the same thing all these years later.

What did you study? Did you go to school specifically for what you do?

I originally studied painting and graphic design. I moved into photography because it was a faster medium.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My ability to repeatedly carry 50 lbs of photo gear up and down multiple flights of stairs.

What’s your work space like?

I shoot in different kinds of places all the time. Anywhere from big beautiful studios, to cramped offices, to muddy stormy beaches. It’s different every time.

What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in a creative field?

Have fun and be nice. Draw or write what you think about, no matter what your medium is.

What’s coming up for you this year?

2020 has been really hard for everyone. Hopefully we can come out of it with a new and better perspective. 

How has the current situation affected your work flow. Any pivots?

I’ve started shooting more from home. The crew is much smaller:)

 

Where do you live? How does that influence your work?

I live in Brooklyn NY. Luckily, being here provides me with tons of inspiration. The creatives here are excellent, and there is no shortage of galleries to visit and see it all.

What does your dream retirement look like?

A beach, a lime drink, and a cabana boy:)

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to? Both historical or present

Not many- because I’m 5 foot 10:)

How has social media influenced your work?

It’s made me hate squares.

What’s inspiring you lately?

I recently watched documentaries on Andrew Wyeth, Franca Sozzani, and Slim Aarons. I love hearing their stories and looking at what makes their work special. Also, I saw a retrospective for Agnes Denes a few months ago, her work resonated with me and reminded me that all artists touch the divine when they create.

 

Where else you can find Chaunté’s work

At chauntevaughn.com and on Instagram here

And click here to find the perfect print to brighten your walls.