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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. 

150 dollar bathroom refresh

It’s a very lovely Tuesday around Earnest Home co today.  I am smitten with my new bathroom design and even more excited that it took me under $150 and 3 hours for the whole transformation. After weeks spent renovating our rental property (which happens to be located right next door…) I’ve been feeling like our house was a little left out.  The crisp clean white walls over in the rental and wide open fresh start was reminding me how there are a few places in my own home that could use some serious sprucing up.

Every time I start planning to give our bathroom a facelift, however, something happens.  I start small (towels, shower curtain, accessories) and then keep adding on seemingly innocent extras (wall paint, mirror frame, light fixture, cabinet paint).  Then I think, “Well, if I’m taking everything down to paint, I might as well redo the tile”.  And then, before I know it, the small facelift idea has spiraled into the full renovation that I know is out of the question. So, I revert back to square one and do nothing.

I have to get over this ‘all or nothing’ mentality when it comes to decorating.  Rooms can be changed slightly and upgraded with time, right?  After all, my new slogan is ‘Progress, not Perfection”.  In my mind, there is no middle ground, and I’m trying to change that.  And change, for me, starts with this bathroom.

whitewash finish diy

Usually, in a good before and after post, I would show the ugly ‘before’ at the very beginning of the post and then tease with the promise of a stunning ‘after’, but this post is a bit backward.  I couldn’t bear to put the ugliness on the front page in this case, which I suppose makes me totally shallow, but I’m owning it.

I have had this very cheap teal trunk in my dining room for about 7 years.  I’m pretty sure I got it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels for about $50 back in 2008 when my dining room looked like this.  Every time I look at the trunk, I think about how much I hate it, but for whatever reason, I never felt compelled to do anything about it.  I kept thinking I’d just take it to goodwill, but the lack of another piece to put in that space rescued it every time.  Well… not this time… I have had enough. 

Outdoor lighting can be a little tricky, sometimes you feel like you're sitting in the dark and other times you feel like your yard

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I don’t think I’ve ever talked with you guys before about my love for the Netherlands.  I love the Netherlands… Amsterdam, specifically.  I’ve been three times and could go back each year.  At one point I was searching for jobs there and still would be open to a move there if the opportunity presented itself. When I came across the absolutely gorgeous home of Danielle de Lange located outside of Amsterdam, it really pushed me over the edge.  Regardless of location, I would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful home.  This one checks off ALL the boxes for me… White? Check. Rustic? Check. Global? Check. Feminine, Minimal, and Natural? Check, check, check.

I can’t say enough about this place and all of the stunning touches.  It’s clear that Danielle has fabulous taste which also in showcased in her shop, Le Souk. Let’s dive into all of the details. 

At the flea market last week, I kept finding myself drawn to mid-century pieces, even though it's a style that I consistently feel doesn't really suit

This post is sponsored by Target

styling a pretty bookshelf without a lot of books

I hear it over and over again… bookshelf styling is a sore spot for a lot of people. It can get pretty overwhelming, I’ll admit, but I’ve found a few good formulas to use to kick bookshelf anxiety to the curb forever. I’ve used all of these tricks myself since I have a master bedroom with an entire wall of shelving! I started out with sparse shelves then moved into boring shelves then most recently arrived at another problem… a cluttered mess!

I’ve run the gamut on how to avoid these problems and how to take the guess work out of creating beautiful shelf vignettes.  Ready? Let’s go!

ali cayne for domino 1

Happy hump day, friends!  Boy, do we have a treat today! Never in my life have I ever found a home that so wonderfully captures the exact esthetic that I look for. This home is the perfect combination of way cool and also true to the bones of a turn-of-the-century home. Living in a victorian home myself, it’s often hard to combine a typically ornate and feminine foundation with a minimal, modern, and slightly rustic feel.  Everything from the artwork to the textiles is perfection.

This home is owned by Ali Cayne and is my new standard for the decor in my home… I think you’ll agree even more after you see this kitchen… 

kilim upholstery diy

If you’re here, you probably have a pretty similar design esthetic to me and would agree that the rug pictured above is wonderful. Look at those shapes!  Those colors! The perfectly worn condition! It looks like you could just plop it in a chic white washed California ranch with rustic minimal decor and you’ve got a winner! While that is definitely what it might look like to an outsider.  To me, it started fairly differently.

This is the story of an old rug and a series of events that lead to it being in my house and lead even further to it being the perfect candidate for my next project. You know when really great things happen just by chance?  Well that is the story of this rug.  

shop the post // JavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content. In our farmhouse, when we've been through a whole

Earnest Home-Hayneedle09

The big day is finally here!  I get to reveal the space that has me so inspired and I cannot wait to share with you my thoughts and processes to how it ended up the way it did.  I’d like to take a quick moment to thank hayneedle.com for working with me through the whole process, suggesting pieces that went with my inspiration images, and helping to find a desk that was just the right size.  What I had initially wanted they gently veered me in another direction and I’m so thankful they did. Before we get started, let’s take a peek at what the office looked like before.  There is a similar concept going on, but the desk is smaller, coming out of a different wall, and the adjacent walls didn’t have much going for them in terms of storage or workspace.

before office

My biggest issue overall with the was the space used to be, was that I didn’t have enough room to spread out, get messy, and create. We had a fine table for business, but soon after this photo, I got a large monitor and started docking my laptop which took up more space, plus, that little end of the table wasn’t going to work well for photoshoots, messy projects, or creating prototypes for my shop designs. I had my sewing machine, surging machine, and cricut all in a closet and rarely used them because they were a pain to drag out.  Then when I did drag them out, I had to drag them downstairs to the dining room where I had more space (and outlets).

Today, it’s a totally different story, and I am so so happy you’re here to hear it. 

paneling a ceiling

Happy Monday, Friends!  How was your weekend? Mine unfolded somewhat like a novel of epic proportions.  It started out innocent enough.  On Friday morning I took Matty to the airport to catch his flight to Jackson Hole on his annual guys ski trip.  It was an early flight, but that was fine, because it just meant that I got to hit the ground running on my weekend DIY projects a bit early.

After leaving the airport I took my graph paper, pencils, and calculator to Starbucks to get down to business on my weekend project – applying paneling to our office ceiling. I hate hate hate the star-shape textured ceilings we have and have always wanted to do something about it.  The goal was simple enough… I would apply molding to the walls just 1/2 inch from the ceiling, then wedge paneling into the gap, staple to the ceiling, and voila, new ceiling.  I also anticipated the ease at which I would complete this project, alone.  

office inspiration 3

This post should be more appropriately named “while the cat’s away, the mice will play”.  Do you know that most of my big design changes in the house go down in late January?  That is mostly because Matt is out on his yearly ski trip with the guys and some of my more radical ideas can take place without judgement.  Matt doesn’t really care to much about what we do from a design perspective, but his logical side sometimes derails my desire to make a quick change.  This weekend, I’ve got a BIG change in the plans to create a more efficient home studio space.

living room

I’m always a little sad the day that I take down my Christmas decorations and this year was no different. The tree, garlands, and wreaths had been deconstructed and our tree had been planted (we buy a bulb tree with the roots in tact so that we can add it into our one day wooded land). When I was finished putting it all away, it felt stark and without personality.

I remember thinking about when we lived in Vail, Colorado and the cozy feeling of Christmas would stay with us throughout the winter.  Snow stuck around until May and with it stayed the twinkling lights and lush greenery.  I got to thinking about winter decorations vs Christmas decorations.  What is it that keeps us feeling cozy and wintry and keeps spirits bright and warm throughout the coldest months of January and February?

chunky knits

front door

A quick scan of Pinterest showcased some of my favorite winter looks.  Lots of white, twinkling candlelight, natural branches, antlers, and sheepskins.  In my house I began pulling out the sheepskins and draping them on furniture. I put lights under a cloche instead of on a tree.  I removed the tartan ribbon from by boxwood wreath only to replace it with an oat colored one. A feeling began to come together that was decisively non-hoiday, but was still warm and sung. I honestly don’t even think that having a couple of small evergreens flanking the door would be off base.

There was something about living it the mountains that made all that woodsy decor totally ok during the non-holiday months.  I miss that mountain feeling and throughout this week will still make some changes to implement it in my house.

I told you in a previous post about my love for boozy hot chocolate that one day I would tell the story of Matt and My adventure moving to the great west. Today seems like a perfect opportunity because each year the post-holiday time period has me totally missing the mountain life. 

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With Christmas in just two days, it’s the calm before the storm in my house.  Gifts are wrapped, the decorations are all up, fresh flowers are in vases, and the bar and table are set. I’m probably at the grocery store as we speak preparing for the games and dinner we will have at our house tonight with our closest friends.

You guys have seen some of these photos before, but most are new.  I wanted to give you a peek at the big picture and how my personal take on the Colonial Christmas theme this year has played out throughout the house.

Before we get on with it however, I’ll let you know a few things about my decor strategy.  When I litter my house with holiday cheer, I’m usually not so cheerful when it comes to clearing it out.  For this reason, I’ve picked just a few places where I really focus when decorating.  And, don’t get me wrong, I do not skimp on these areas, but it’s much easier to clear out when its all concentrated in groupings.

This year, I went all out on the living room (obviously), the entryway (because I love decorating the stairway), the dining room for the clear tie-in with entertaining, and a little sprinkle in my bedroom.  That’s all! Aside from a holiday floral arrangement and tubs of cookies, there is no evidence of Christmas in my kitchen.  I didn’t decorate my guest room, office, or bathroom.  Now, I’ll probably break down and put some floral arrangements and maybe a cute guest towel in my bathroom tomorrow, but I won’t photo it because it’s the worst room in the house and the lovely shell-shaped sink just doesn’t scream ‘holiday spirit’.  Still without those rooms, it’s a fairly long post with lots of photos, so buckle up!