Budget Kitchen Refresh

I’ve been putting off sharing this post, because my kitchen isn’t exactly where I want it. I was hoping to remove the bulkhead above the sink and change out the light. Instead there is a hole in the bulkhead and a light (that I’m not even sure I love for this space) sitting in a box. But I’m here, sharing and celebrating the in between and taking a cue from some of my favorite bloggers, Chris Loves Julia, and loving my home as it is.

This kitchen refresh, completed at 5 1/2 months pregnant, 95% solo, was really meant to be just a little lipstick to marry the kitchen to the spaces I’ve already tackled - the living room and the sunroom. Eventually I would like to gut and rework the whole space to give the kitchen more square footage, but for the time being, I am happy with the progress made.

Budget Kitchen Refresh


Budget Kitchen Refresh Before
Budget Kitchen Refresh


  • painted the cabinets using Valspar Cabinet Enamel in Origami White by Sherman WIlliams

  • switched out the hardware

  • removed cabinets on either side of the sink

  • added open shelving

  • painted backsplash - Ultra White by Sherman Williams

  • painted walls - Polar Bear by Behr

Budget Kitchen Refresh
Budget Kitchen Refresh
Budget Kitchen Refresh

I am no stranger to painting kitchen cabinets, this is my fourth, yes fourth go round, including a budget rental makeover, our last house, and my mom’s kitchen for the One Room Challenge. This time around it went very smoothly. I cleaned them really well with TSP, then gave a light sanding. Next I primed with Valspar bonding primer and rolled on the Cabinet Enamel in Origami White.

For the back splash I also used the bonding primer directly on the tile. Then I used a semi-gloss gloss paint in Ultra White on top. It’s only been two months, but it’s holding up really well.

Floating shelves - Target / hardware - Amazon / bowls - World Market / plates - World Market / pottery plates - World Market /


Light Wood Dresser Round-Up

Over here on the hunt for the perfect light wood dresser for the baby room. I thought I had found it in the Morris Dresser from Urban Outfitters. It’s the perfect size for a changing pad, modern lines, light wood color and the price is right. It was the first piece I pulled the trigger on for the nursery and it arrived broken. I also ended up thinking the color was more yellow than I liked, so I decided to return and restart my search. This wood tone is definitely trending, but it is not out there in a big way, especially in real wood furniture. You see this tone a lot in cheap MDF furniture. The tone compliments neutral color palettes not only for nurseries, but I could absolutely see it in a California modern guest or even master. For the room I’m working on, I haven’t made any official decision, but I am leaning toward the Nash from West Elm.



Modern Front Porch Updates

I have a lot, and I mean a lot of projects that I want to tackle on our exterior. At almost 30 weeks pregnant, I am running out of steam, especially for big jobs like staining our two story wrap around deck. This summer is all about the little things. I started with our front porch. There are still things I want to do here, don’t look too close at the stairs. But I removed the dated corbels, added some modern elements and pops of black to update this grey, 80’s porch. There will always be more to do, but loving the direction things are headed.

Modern Front Porch Decor


Front Porch Before
Modern Front Porch Decor
Modern Front Porch Decor

Baby #2 Nursery Plans

I am super excited to share my plans progress and plans for the baby nursery. It took me some time to find the starting point for this room, but it is moving in the right direction.

One of the things that is staying as we transform this room from the playroom to the nursery is a daybed I made. I cannot believe I never shared this amazing DIY with you. It is based on this tutorial by A House In The Hills. I made this day bed to be both a cozy hang out spot and a guest bed. After I finished I bought a cheap-o mattress from Ikea, as I didn’t know how much use the bed would get, so I didn’t want to invest. Autonomous invited me to try out their mattress and I knew just the spot that needed an upgrade. And upgrade it is! This mattress is about four times the thickness of the Ikea mattress we had! The quality is a dream! I am picturing myself napping here with a baby in my arms in a few short months. One of my favorite details is the anti-slip pad on the bottom. It is a great feature for a house with a four year old and a slick wood platform bed.

Autonomous Mattress
Autonomous Mattress
Autonomous Mattress

The room is starting to come together, and here is what I’m working toward. You may remember some of the inspiration photos I shared a few weeks back.

Here is my design plan for the room. I am planning on making a few special details that aren’t pictured here, but this is the vibe, neutral and relaxed with lots of sunny touches.

Nursery Plans


Awesome Deck Update

I’ve been working my butt off getting the inside of the house up to snuff, I have not had much of a chance to tackle the outside. That and the weather here in Michigan was cold until mid April, then raining since then. My decking out the deck was set back a little. This past week I finally got around to assembling my new outdoor furniture. My one big outdoor furniture purchase this summer was an outdoor sofa. I love the one I found at World Market for a really great price. 20% right now for Rewards members. No seating area would be complete without a table top set your summer cocktail and prop your feet up. I partnered with Autonomous for this beautiful teak wood table. I loved the beautiful wood and the detail of the curved edges. Our deck stretches across the entire back of our house and this section is directly outside our master bedroom. Thanks to Autonomous, this is the perfect spot for a drink, or hanging out after dinner. This is also the place where I’m going to set up our outdoor movie night and I picture a lot of baby snuggles happening here this fall.

Next up, sprucing up the front porch!

Awesome Outdoor Deck Update
Awesome Outdoor Deck Update
Awesome Outdoor Deck Update

One Room Challenge Spring 2019 Favorites

The One Room Challenge is kind of like a marathon (I ran one way back 2008), you work really really hard, feel so accomplished when it’s over and come away with feel a real sense of community with your fellow runners at the end. Everyone’s walking around with their medals and you just want to hug them all and tell them they did a great job. So here is my hug to my fellow One Room Challenge participants, a round-up of my very favorite rooms from this season's crop of amazing reveals. Check out my favorite and go take a look at the rest of the rooms here.












One Room Challenge Week 5 // DIY Table Update

We have made it to the last week of the One Room Challenge! If you haven’t been following along, I’ve spent the last 5 weeks renovating my sunroom from log cabin to modern beach vibes. You can check out my progress from weeks 1-4 here. This time around (shockingly) I am not racing against the clock, I am putting the finishing touches on, and will be photographing the final reveal on Friday!! I am THRILLED with the room and I cannot wait to share it with you.

Today I have a couple sneak peeks to share. Last week I talked light fixtures and rounded up 9 awesome woven light fixtures. I ended up going with this classic Ikea fixture, which I actually bought months ago when this room was only an idea in my mind.

One Room Challenge - Sunroom

I did not buy a whole lot of furniture for this space, just the chair you’ll see in the last photo and this credenza from Target. The other pieces were moved from our old house and were kind of homeless. That is the beauty of buying furniture with similar styles and in the same color family, then you can mix, match, move, style and restyle. The piece that stuck out like a sore thumb to me, was this bright gold table bought at Target circa 2011. I didn’t really have the budget to drop another $100 on the table I really wanted here, so in the words of Tim Gun, I “made it work.” I spray painted it with matte black spray paint I had left over from a previous project. I bought a table top from Hobby Lobby and coated it with polyurethane I had from this daybed project. And glued the top to the base with Liquid Nails. Bam! New table!

DIY side table update

I think it fits the space so much better.

DIY side table update


One Room Challenge

Don’t forget to follow along with the other blogger’s progress here!

One Room Challenge Week 3 // Tile Prep

Here we are at the half way point, week 3. If you have not been following along, I’ll quick fill you in. I am tackling my third One Room Challenge, a bi-annual online blogger event where 20 featured bloggers and hundreds of others make-over a room in 6 weeks and document their progress on their blog and social media.

Modern Sunroom Make-over

This week was definitely not the most glamorous or the most satisfying week for the One Room Challenge. This was tile prep week. Last I checked in with you, I was choosing tile. I made my selection, a really well priced porcelain cement-look-a-like by Merola Tile. In fact, I partnered with Merola on this project, but truth be told, this is the tile I would have chosen no matter what.

Back to the prepping, we ripped the carpet up to discover wood subfloors instead of cement, I thought “great, I made the right choice with tile. I will just spread the mortar and start making it look pretty.” WRONG! After consulting with google, I learned that because the wood subfloor expands and contracts, you need to install a cement subfloor, using cement backer sheets.

One Room Challenge Progress

I followed this tutorial to install. I started off by myself, but quickly realized it is not a one person job. You must spread the mortar, lay the cement board, screw it down and get ready for the next board very quickly, before the excess mortar dries. Then as you work your way to the edges you need to score and cut the boards to fit. It was exhausting!! Thankfully my husband was there to help for most of it.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

Once you lay the boards, you need to tape and mortar the seams.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

I am not going to go into all the nitty-gritty details of the how-to, the video I linked to is an awesome resource, but I will give you a few tips.

  • you will need cement backer board to cover the area of the room (I used 1/4”), a trowel, backer board screws, a drill, joint tape, a sharp box cutter, mortar

  • I mixed my own mortar, but buy premixed to save a step

  • I repeat this is not a one person job, it’s much easier to keep things moving with at least two people, but honestly, I think three would be ideal

  • be sure your drill and a back up drill are charged. You will be using it A LOT

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

Here is what the room currently looks like.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

What’s still left to do?

  • Tile

  • grout

  • clean the paint off windows

  • hang the awesome fireplace, I cannot wait to show you

  • hang the light fixture

  • assemble and move in furniture

  • hang art

The tile and grout should be done by next week, then the fun part! Shopping, styling, hanging, arranging and rearranging!

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram!


One Room Challenge