DIY Projects

Before & After Renovations

I Stole My Three-Year-Old’s Closet, And I’m Not Even A Tiny Bit Sorry

This is not my closet; it's Ashley Tisdale's. Mine doesn't have a chandelier, alas.

I was talking to a colleague the other day about a very particular manifestation of mom guilt: the home-and-decor-related type. In short: On top of the other ways that you feel like you have to prioritize your children's needs (all of them), you also feel like you have to prioritize them when it comes to how you set up and decorate your house. And if you don't?

Guilt.

Before & After Renovations

Before And After: How We Turned Our Garage Into A Multi-Functional Living Space

Our garage spruce-up was supposed to be exactly that: a spruce-up. Perhaps a coat of paint. Maybe a throw pillow or two.

We did not start out intending to take on a project that would ultimately transform our garage from a cluttered, creepy-ish hole into the most useful (and most-used) room in our home - not to mention one that would add another 500 square feet (at least) to our living space.

It all started in July (SEVEN MONTHS AGO, if you're counting), when we decided that we wanted to move our old couch into the garage rather than sell or toss it. But then once we decided to put the couch in the garage, we thought we might as well redo the floor. And if we were redoing the floor, we might as well paint the walls. And if we were painting the walls, we might as well take down the old shelving. And if we were taking down the old shelving, we'd need some new storage solutions, and oh wait, Kendrick would love to have a dedicated space for his instruments, and shoot, skylights would really make the whole place feel so much nicer, and...

Before & After Renovations

The Dream Room

Crate & Barrel 2-Piece Lounge Sectional | Gray Malin "Viareggio Pool" Print

One of my most frequent recurring dreams: I suddenly discover a series of rooms in my house that I've never seen before, and am overtaken by a sense of simultaneous frustration (why didn't I know these rooms were here all this time?!), excitement (new rooms!) and anxiety (what will I do with all these rooms?!). Apparently dreams like this symbolize that the dreamer is discovering untapped potential, or moving beyond what they previously saw as their limitations.

To me, they've always felt slightly more literal.

Decor

Let’s Have A Chat With Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s Kim Lewis

This is Kim Lewis. You might recognize her from Extreme Makeover: Home Editionor Tiny House Nation. I would like to borrow a) her hair, b) her wardrobe, and c) her freckles, but - most importantly - I would also like to borrow her decor opinions, because I love a good door...and the doors that she designed for Rustica Hardware miiiiiight just be the best. Like, in the world.

Kim worked with me to help pick out the perfect doors to install in our not-quite-yet renovated garage  - you can see her selections here - and while I had her ear I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask her a few questions about how to incorporate super-bold design elements into your decor...and play the Match-the-Kardashian-to-the-Door game (it's a classic).

Hi, Kim! I obviously think you're fabulous and need to discuss all your fabulousness for posterity. Tell me a little about how you got to the designing-awesome-doors part of your life?

Decor

The Christmas House

Give me all the Christmas things

I have never been a big Christmas decorator. But that’s not because I don’t want to be - oh my gosh, I would very seriously like to have my house look like a Christmas explosion, please - it’s because I never really had the space or the materials. When you grow up in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City, there’s not a ton of square footage to allow for high-volume decorating, and if you want to get all festive on the exterior of your place, what that means is stringing some lights from your fire escape.

Which is cool! But…you know. Definitely not the same as being a member of the McCallister family.


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