Modern Garden Shed

shed with copy copy

This weekend, we started staking out plans for our next big project.  After we renovated and rented out the property next door, we lost the garage that we used as storage for Matt’s landscaping company.  I speak a lot about building a barn, which we need to act as an office for both of our companies, and a warehouse for my shop.  BUT with winter coming closer than we’d like to believe, a full scale barn wasn’t really in the cards for this year.  My inventory is at a warehouse space on the south side of the city, so it’s fine for now, but we still needed a place to house Matt’s landscaping equipment before winter rolled around.

Usually the things Matt wants to build are way more ‘out there’ than what I’d really like to put on my property and look at day in and day out.  But this was different. [Read more…]


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Guilty Pleasures + Life Abroad

southern france

I bet you have a guilty pleasure? Right?  I think it’s pretty normal.  For some of us it’s gossip magazines or bad reality TV.  For some of us, it’s cruising social media and for others its playing that one song on repeat in the car over and over again.

For me, it’s scouring international real estate listings. I search in all of the areas that are a romantic notion to me – Florence, Rome, Paris, Provence, and every now and then, Amsterdam. I dig into the sites, compare square meters, prices, if this one has a terrace or how close that one is to the city center. I speak about them and think about them like I’m really in the market. [Read more…]

DIY Industrial TP Holder (Yes, TP!)

diy industrial toilet paper holder

Ok, so I know toilet paper isn’t a glamourous topic.  And I suppose neither are the ceiling fans we discussed yesterday, but sometimes home design and ownership is about a little more than the pretty things and sometimes about the functional things as well.

For today, I wanted to share the industrial DIY toilet paper holder that I just made to complement my new bathroom redesign which I shared last week.  In the original photos I didn’t have a TP holder at all, because I was looking for something very specific. And that looking turned into a few weeks of web-scouring and coming up empty handed.  So I just kind of neglected the situation.  Well, I realized that ignorance wasn’t bliss and that just because I didn’t find that very specific thing, didn’t mean I couldn’t still have what I wanted.  I’d just have to make it. I was looking very specifically for a black holder with just an arm… no springs, no hinges, no reasons for someone not to refill them (I think you know where I’m going here).

As a side note, I’m not a huuuge fan of the ‘rustic industrial’ design (pipes and pallets and whatnot), but I also think that a little touch here and there can be nice when mixed with some more classic elements.  After scouring shops local and online for a black holder I found a few but they were all in the $50-$120 range.  I though that was a little ridiculous, so in came the DIY.  What is even better about this DIYs $12 price tag is the five minutes it took me to complete.  [Read more…]

Top Seven Non Ugly Ceiling Fans

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 12.54.10 PM

(photo + fan: Modern Fan)

Ceiling fans are the worst.  I have always hated them and up until this week, thought I always would.  When we moved into this house in 2007, I scoured the web for something that wasn’t hideous and ended up realizing that good-looking ceiling fans just didn’t exist.  There were companies trying to make better looking ones, but their better looking versions always ended up looking like spaceships.. so modern that they kind of missed the mark.

When this summer rolled around and we realized that we needed to replace our kitchen ceiling fan, I really really did some hardcore searching this time for the most non-ugly ceiling fans out there. I wasn’t going to settle for something that didn’t bring some sense of style into my house.  I realized pretty quickly, that there were a lot of good looking fans out there, but it was the lights that really either elevated the style or tanked it.  Some fans looked super modern until the light kit was added and then it all went downhill.

I found some fans that actually added something to the room rather than just sucking all of the beauty right out.  After I narrowed it down to seven of my favorites I let Matt weigh in.  Which one do you think we chose? [Read more…]

A Clean Slate: Rental Property Before & After


Did you have a good weekend?  We had a fabulous time getting some downtime in after such a long several weeks of work.  I’ve been talking non-stop about all of the work we’ve been doing to the house next door to ours. For those of you just joining us, here is the back story.  Just a few short years ago, we purchased Matt’s Grandmas house (which was next door to our house) which she had lived in for seventy five years.  We did this so that we could both watch over her in her old age and also so that we could secure the land and keep it in our family for years to come.  [Read more…]