May 22, 2018

Memorial Day Shopping

memorial day sales are ramping up and i put together a few things i've had my eye on that are all 20% off right now!

above the line, left to right: rug | planter | cloche | basket | vase | chair
below the line, left to right: chair | pillow | lumbar | ottoman | tassel pillow | sham

random aside - i also have been in a shoe rut lately (mr. r would likely disagree) and found some cute options i also thought i'd share. plus a random pair of earrings that i've worn for the last 3 days straight!

May 14, 2018

My House: Laundry Room Reveal

alrighty! it's that time to finally share our renovated laundry room here on the old blog. thank you to everyone who followed along on my instagram stories as i went through my design process. i went completely dark on you, sorry! similar to the hall bathroom project i shared, this room was pretty hard to photograph with the one window and narrow space. i did my best!  *all sources are at the end of this post*


and another iteration of BEFORE! pretty, but not me.


our laundry has had several iterations of "before" - it started as the most blah, boring space imaginable complete with formica countertop, a small over mount sink, and a faucet that moved from side to side when you turned the handle. the finishes weren't up to par with the rest of the house which was odd and annoying. the first thing i did was replace the counter with white quartz, add a big undermount sink, sleek faucet, and add a marble hexagon backsplash probably about 3 years ago.


i painted the walls, even wallpapered them, but still was never quite satisfied. basically i was trying to put lipstick on a pig and not tackle the real issue which was the flooring. here's the original flooring:


sometimes it looked blue, sometimes purple, but every time it looked UGLY! anyone who followed along on instagram likely knows that in the end i went with a honed black slate and laid it in a herringbone pattern. the tiles are 3x12 and i love how it turned out.

(yes we have an old school telephone!!!)

but if you're going to change the floors, you might as well take the opportunity to really change the whole space. 😉  in addition to flooring, my list included paint, a wall treatment, shelving, additional cabinetry and lighting.

the decision that plagued me the most by far was the paint color for the cabinets. i knew i wanted to paint them - they were that same cream color as the rest of the house and to me that color just looked dirty, especially with the white quartz counter - and i wanted to have some fun with the color so i opted not to do white. but i went around and around from beige to blue/green to dark green and then finally greige. i didn't want straight gray cabinets - that to me felt too cold and lacked depth. the color needed to feel light and warm and interesting. knowing that black slate would be on the floor, i was hyper-focused on ensuring that the rest of the space had plenty of warm elements to balance out all of that black. the winner was agreeable gray by sherwin williams and what's funny is that i originally eliminated it because i thought it was too gray but i'm so glad i took a second look - it really does read that perfect greige color.

as with our hall bathroom, everything in this space was sprayed. i wanted that no-brush-mark finish which spraying delivers.

another big design decision was to add vertical boards to the walls (like shiplap but hung vertically). i knew going in that i wanted to add some millwork for interest and found these mdf boards that were pre-milled to create about a 1/8" gap between the boards. they were called nickel gap boards but the space is definitely larger than a nickel. after adding the vertical planking, we realized that we needed to add crown moulding to finish off the ceiling - our ceiling had a small angle at the top and the crown hid that perfectly.

another big piece to the project was adding functionality. the space above the washer/dryer before didn't have any cabinetry - there was one long open shelf that i couldn't reach. i opted to add two cabinets on each end and a white oak floating shelf in between. the new shelf doesn't add much function but it adds texture and warmth plus a space to style. :) it also gives the rod something to relate to. there wasn't any light on this side of the room, so we added one that feels perfectly utilitarian to me.

the new shelves are white oak and i love how they came out. i added one to the nook under the window to add a little folding station there and have a spot to tuck our rolling hamper underneath.

i toyed with adding a cabinet to the left of the washing machine but didn't love the imbalance that would create with the right side so i left it open. it turned out that the double steele laundry cart fit perfectly in that spot!

the hardware was a bit of a labor of love. i wanted the warmth of brass but i didn't want it to feel overly modern or shiny. so i took unlacquered brass knobs and pulls and aged them myself instead of waiting for that natural patina. i'm very happy with how they turned out!

i'm still waiting on fabric for a roman shade for the window and when that comes, i'll share that final touch! but even without it, i'm SO happy with this spot now. goes to show - don't cheap out and do it right the first time!


paint color: sherwin williams agreeable gray
floor tile: honed black slate 3x12
grout color: tec grout in mist

May 8, 2018

Hall Bath Refresh

thanks so much for the love on yesterday's instagram post about our hall bath redo! i'm back today to share all of the details from the project and the decision process that went into creating this space. the saddest and worst part is that i don't have a proper "before" shot. can you believe it?? i feel SO dumb for not snapping at least one before any of the work started. i videoed it a ton on instagram but here is as close as i can come to a before pic.  *all sources listed at the end of the post!*


at this point the new tile is already installed in this shot. the old tile was 12x12 white squares. just plain and blah. also the new knobs are already in here - before they were chrome. and lastly the new mirror was already hanging in this pic - the old one was "built-in" - a piece of glass glued to the wall with a painted wood frame around it. we have them all over the house luckily so there are ones just like it in three other bathrooms.  🙈

in case you're new here, i should add that our home was a spec house and completed by the time we found it so i had no say in any of the finishes. the vanity is the same color and style as every other piece of original cabinetry in our home. it's lovely but gets boring after a while since everything is that same off white tone. the countertop material was crema marble and is also repeated in every bathroom in our home (except our powder room which was just an integrated sink top before i changed that!). it's nice but not at all my taste. the walls in here were green and the original color from the builder - one of the only rooms that i hadn't yet repainted. basically design-wise the whole space had no rhyme or reason or flow.


the funny thing is that this bathroom was never supposed to be included as part of the laundry room project i had planned. it's not a bathroom we use a lot so from that perspective, it was completely fine. however it's a spot i walk by approximately one million times a day and every time i walked by, all i could think was UGH. it was just so blah. so one day 8 or so boxes of tile showed up at our door and mr. r said "what the hell is that" and it all began. 😉 i figured if i had the tile, it would have to be done! more about the tile in a bit!

backing up to the very beginning though, the first thing i bought for the room was the serena & lily shower curtain - i got it on major sale probably a year ago. the whole room took direction from that curtain. it has warm tones and i liked the idea of doing a bathroom that feels warm instead of cold which can easily happen with marble, metals, and hard surfaces. i chose calacatta marble which has gold tones in a penny round shape to achieve that warmth. carrara marble, for example, is a lot grayer and reads a lot cooler.

one thing about calacatta is that it can have some very rust colored veining. when i went through the sheets, i saw about 4-6 pieces on each sheet that i wanted to remove before installing so that the overall look remained fairly light and a bit more uniform. this was an extra step, and my installers wanted to kill me, but it was worth it. i also removed any pieces that were super dark gray. i took a sharpie to all of the sheets to make sure the exact ones i wanted removed were in fact removed - pencil can be erased! you can see in the pic below holes where the pieces i x'd out were removed.

since the budget for this space was small, zero actually, i had to find places to save. a new vanity was totally out of the question so after i selected the tile, the next thing i chose was the new cabinet color. i toyed around with the idea of greige for a while but it was too "safe" and i thought this would be a good place to do something a little out of the ordinary since it's not somewhere we spend a lot of time. i chose retreat by sherwin williams and unlike in the laundry room where the right paint color eluded me for weeks, i knew it was the one from the beginning. to get the smoothest possible finish, i had it sprayed and the painters color matched it to benjamin advance paint which is latex but is meant for cabinetry. i like the satin finish best.

the mirror is also in the budget-friendly category! i liked the idea of wood over metal to again maintain some of that warmth. the deep frame makes it a little more modern. i also bought this a while ago and dreamed that one day it would replace one of our glued-on mirrors. i'm so happy it finally did!

another touch of warmth came from the brass fixtures and hardware. i used brass in the lighting - both the sconce above the mirror and the flushmount - as well as the hand towel hook. the knobs on the vanity in brass worked so well with the paint color.

i changed the countertop to white quartz which always creates a clean, sleek look and the sink to a rectangular shape instead of the traditional oval. i had the original faucet reinstalled, it's by grohe.

the toilet area got a little love with a new toilet paper holder and art courtesy of homegoods! i was browsing homegoods over a year ago and bought these palms without having a place to put them. sometimes it pays to buy something you like without knowing exactly where it will go!

the final touch was a bunch of white paint - i used simply white from benjamin moore here.

did i mention yet that this space was impossible to photograph?! it's super narrow and i don't have a wide angle camera lens so i don't think the photos really do it justice. the only way to get a straight on shot was this!


paint colors: 
cabinet - sherwin williams retreat
walls - benjamin moore simply white

May 7, 2018

Spring Home Tour 2018 Refresh!

hey y'all! hope you had a great cinco de mayo / kentucky derby party weekend! i have to say it felt like the kick off to the spring/summer seasons around here and that always feels good!

quickly before i dive into the main feature today - you have 1 more day to shop truck + barter's signature line of candles and diffusers and get 20% off with code VFMH20. it would make a great mother's day gift!!

ok guys i'm excited for today's post! do you remember last spring's home tour i did with some fabulous bloggers?
well we're back baby (with addition of our girl brynn olson) to share changes since last year.

bria hammel, bria hammel interiors:

you can find bria's home tour from last year HERE. bria has been so busy creating gorgeous spaces for clients that she hasn't made changes to her own home (although that's coming this summer!). but that's not a problem at all when she has such beautiful work to share. her baltimore project is a favorite of mine not only because of the location (holla home town!) but also the details that went into this stunner of a home.

brynn olson, brynn olson design group:

brynn is new to the tour this year but not new to instagram or design in the least. she has an amazing portfolio as well as list of accomplishments. she's beautiful inside and out and her work is refined, chic, and always stunning. her own home is no different - be prepared to pick your jaw up off of the floor!

claire staszak, centered by design:

claire is a new mama to a sweet baby girl and a super talented designer to boot with a great eye for color. she renovated her second floor over the last year and made such a beautiful space for her family. check out her new master bedroom, master bath, and coffee bar (genius!). also check out her tour last year HERE.

doreen corrigan:

doreen is a fellow twin mama and just overall big sweetheart. doreen's house had major water damage this year and she wound up redoing a bunch of things she probably didn't expect to. her new master bedroom and sitting area are right up my alley along with her guest room. how peaceful and calm are these spaces? i love them! see her home tour from last year HERE.

kelsey grose of farmer's daughter interiors:

kelsey is our canadian friend to the north and always has a beautifully organic and fresh approach to design. this year she opened her own design studio which takes major guts and hard work. it's basically any designer's home away from home and the space is so cute. also pictured below is a bathroom she renovated for a client that is so sweet. kelsey's home tour from last year can be found HERE.

and lastly, moi! as you may already know (i've only talked about it 85 thousand times or so), i renovated our laundry room and upstairs hall bath this year which are the main updates to my home tour from last year. i'm going to write separate blog posts on each space to talk about all of the decisions i made, link the materials, and show more pics so look for those later this week. but for now, here are a few snaps!

April 27, 2018

30A Vacation!

ok at long last, here is my recap of our trip to watercolor, florida! we first visited this area two years ago and stayed in watersound and loved it (my recap from that trip is HERE). we skipped last year because of our trip to california and were excited to get back this year. i found out about this area through, where else, instagram! i don't remember anymore what account i saw it on but i was hooked!

30a is a road that runs along the coast of the panhandle. it starts in rosemary beach and ends (some people may argue this isn't the beginning or end!) in watercolor. in between are alys beach, seacrest, watersound, seagrove, and seaside. the areas we know best are alys, watersound, seaside, and watercolor so i'll just be commenting on those. overall we love this whole area for several reasons that i'll quickly list:

1. super family friendly - kids everywhere. people are biking on cruisers and walking and running. there are people of all ages but it's not a "gray hair" population.

2. amazing beaches - truly white sand and in mid-april at least, not crowded.

3. unique and fun eating options and activities - i kept saying "we don't have this at home" and i love that. airstreams in seaside, outdoor movies at the hub, and a donut truck in alys. the list goes on.

4. the design!! of course the design! it's a pretty place and you really feel like you're on vacation.

in my opinion, it would be a little chilly, or at least not consistently warm, to visit in the winter. they don't have the temps of south florida. just have the expectation that you might not be wearing shorts or swimming december - february.

i'll start with watercolor since that's fresh in my mind! sooooooo many people asked about the house we rented and wanted the link so here you go.
we chose to stay in watercolor because it's more established with less construction (i'll get into that more later), is close to seaside where we found ourselves going often during our first trip, and had everything we wanted in terms of amenities - pools, beach, bike paths, and play areas for kids. we looked at a lot of houses online and chose this one based on location within watercolor and interior design (are you surprised?). we were thrilled with the house. it was huge - way bigger than we needed - but again the goal was to feel like we were truly on vacation and this house achieved that completely.

you can see all of the photos through the link but i'd say it was better in person. it had a ping pong table and foosball on the the SECOND floor porch. need i say more? also lots of houses have little plunge pools and this one, while still pretty small, had a bit bigger pool that the boys could jump in and a hot tub which was on my parents' list!

watercolor is a planned community which, as a friend and i were saying, sounds gross and old home-ish. but it defies the stereotype. the homes are all lovely, very close together, but we felt had enough privacy. our house came with a golf cart which was huge because we took it everywhere - to the pool and beach, to the grocery store, and the shops and restaurants in the center of watercolor. plus it was a good way to see houses! within watercolor there are five pools, a bunch of tennis courts, cute shops, a few eating options (one was under construction while we were there), a boathouse, biking trails and of course beach access. construction at this point is mostly limited to the newest phases so i'm glad we didn't stay in those areas (these are farther from the beach). our favorite places to eat were the beach club pool for lunch, the wine bar/cheese restaurant, and the boys loved the candy shop, obviously. their main restaurant, fish out of water, was out of commission while we were there.


next door to watercolor is seaside and in fact you can walk or bike pretty easily which is a good thing because parking in seaside can be a pain! seaside is also a planned community but has a more open, "town" feel to it. we often ate here and love all of the airstreams that line the street.


heavenly's is our favorite ice cream spot and on the beach side, bud & alley's taco bar and pizza restaurants were great for quick bites. the great southern is another cute spot. i generally find that the "nicer," more expensive restaurants are not as good as the more casual places. the shopping is seaside is also cute and there is even more behind the main drag if you wander a bit. on the beach side, there is a cute outdoor market and more small shops to stroll through. seaside is just a bit busier which is why we chose not to rent there but the homes are super cute and it would be a great place to stay!

view between a couple of seaside shops!

if you keep driving east, you'll go through sea grove beach. if you're hungry, cowgirl is a fun, old fashioned burger place and the perfect pig is a great spot for breakfast and lunch (they also serve dinner but we didn't have dinner there). also abode interiors is a cute shop next to the perfect pig.

watersound is the next community but is more secluded and actually is also gated. this is where we first stayed. as i mentioned, we loved it but at the time there was a good amount of construction going on so we chose not to return this time. the amenities are a little more limited but they have a few pools and great beach access and some truly beautiful homes. you have to drive everywhere if you stay in watersound but it's about halfway between watercolor and alys. the view below is from the beach walkway looking back at the houses - looks fake almost right?

just down from watersound is a cool place called the hub. it's all outdoor eating, seating, and movie watching. there wasn't a lot open when we went but i imagine during the high spring break season that place is bumping. i have a bunch of pics of it on my first recap.

and last but certainly not least is alys beach (pronounced like alice). you heard me say before and i'll say it again - alys is stunning. stunning! i adore the clean, white architecture and highly manicured greens. it's another planned community but like none you've ever seen. there are a couple of restaurants, the donut truck, an outdoor taqueria type of place, a coffee shop, wine bar, one main pool, and kids play area. plus shopping and the beach, obvi.

the main reason we decided not to stay here though is the construction. this community is still being built up. our waitress at the caliza restaurant (amazing - go!) told us that they have 120 houses built currently and 130 more either going up, breaking ground, or in the design phase. so while the parts that are done are gorg, there are a lot of hammers swinging, trucks going in and out, and just general construction chaos. so i think we would personally choose to wait another couple of years before staying here to let it die down a bit. it's about 20 minutes to seaside/watercolor but next door to rosemary if you wanted to go exploring. for whatever reason, mr. r and i weren't as enamored with rosemary beach but it has some stiff competition and the good part is that it's well established at this point.

i fell hard in love with the interiors shop in alys called mast. it was small but so well curated. i would be totally happy living there in that store!


super cute clothing store as well!


ok i think that's it!! what did i miss? what questions do you have? have a great weekend!
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