the before tour: our new house!

If you saw my post on instagram last week, then you’ve heard the news…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! I can’t believe I finally get to write this post! It’s been almost six months of house hunting for Jon and I, and I think I may have worn him out with all my crazy ideas for fixer-uppers and complete remodels. I fell in love so many times I lost count, but at the end of the day, they just weren’t right for us or our wallet. We began to realize that anything worth flipping was already being flipped or would have a cash offer on the table in a matter of hours. I’m not talking about small projects either! We lost out on a home we lovingly called “the dog house” because it belonged to a dog breeder, and another that was a foreclosure where everything had to be updated…and I do mean everything! With the market being so outrageous here, our main priority became finding a home we knew we wouldn’t lose money on that we could also make our own. As with my wedding dress shopping, I bought something entirely different than what I set out to purchase. Sometimes you just know the right fit when you try it on for size!

If you had asked me back in October, when we first hired an agent, I would have told you we wanted a lot of land to ourselves and that the condition of the home or commute wasn’t as important. Boy was I off by a mile! As soon as our new home popped up on the market, everything just started to make sense. The commute is only 15 minutes for Jon as opposed to the hour each way he was doing before, and the yard is private and big enough to really relax in without needing too much maintenance. The inside is dated and and needs some cosmetic updating, but all the major things (roof, HVAC, etc.) are pretty new, which means more time decorating and less money spent on things like a new roof…yay!

The licensed real estate agent in me wants to tell you how we snagged this house (in an extremely popular neighborhood and seller’s market) as well as some of the things I wish I had learned sooner. I’ll plan a separate post for that for those who may be going through a similar situation, but without further ado…here is the grand tour of our new house!

ENTRANCE/DINING AREA:

You enter off the front porch into the dining room, and although it’s a relatively small home for this area it feels open with the higher ceilings. Definitely going to be losing the heavy drapes and the chain on the front door has to go too! We’re smack in the middle of an extremely safe neighborhood, so it was a little puzzling to see something you might find on a sketchy motel door. With a new light fixture and an expandable  modern table, I think it’s really going to be comfortable hosting a dinner party. While I love gray, this color is really making the space feel smaller as it chops up the rooms. White paint on the walls and ceilings is really going to open the space up and make the rooms feel so much bigger, because your eye will no longer have a transition line to focus on.

LIVING ROOM:

Again, white paint is going to make all the difference here. We’ll be mounting the flatscreen above the fireplace as shown, which creates 2 main focal walls in the room. The first is the one that currently has the “Out- r-inn” sign as it faces the kitchen and main walking area and should therefore be important for creating a conversation zone. The second is the wall that faces the television as it will be used most frequently when we’re not entertaining and just lounging with our fur baby. A smaller u-shaped sectional isn’t a good fit here because it leaves one of the focal walls almost empty. We’ll need to find a sectional that is almost equal lengths on both sides so both of the main walls in the room feel of equal importance.

Our plans for the kitchen include cutting open the wall (with the bookshelves in this photo) almost all the way to the stairs. This will open up the kitchen to the living room and create room for a peninsula with counter height stools. We hope to make the lower ceilings in the kitchen less noticeable by installing recessed lighting and designing an open plan concept that allows for better conversation while cooking and entertaining.

KITCHEN:

Oh, the kitchen! It’s the heart of the home, right? Well, in this case it’s not doing much for me. The cabinets have been hand-painted at some point and the counter tops are a color I’d prefer not to describe. It’s so much more space than we had at the town home, so I’m just thrilled to have the room to work. Eventually though, we do plan to replace the cabinets and upgrade the counter tops. The wall with the stove will be the one that gets cut into in order to open the space up, and we’ll do a built-in cook top here instead with an larger amount of counter top space.

The awkward little cabinet will be replaced with a coffee bar cart that will also house our favorite cookbooks. I’m thinking the space above the cart will get enough sunlight for some fresh herbs in decorative hanging planters. The eat-in kitchen is too small for a 4 person table, but I’d bet a small tulip table and 2 chairs would be just right.

MASTER SUITE:

The master feels really big with the high ceilings, but I think it’ll feel even bigger when it’s all white. Don’t worry, I’ll be adding back in color in all the decor! Adding some double rod curtains at the highest possible point above the window should also help to soften the 90’s style arch.

Through the double doors is the master bathroom. The sliding mirror doors lead you to the walk-in closet, but I’ll show you the closets as I start to organize them. The shower is on the smaller side, so an expansion may be in it’s future. As well, we will update the hardware in here and add a new vanity that’s at the current standard height (it’s currently pretty low). I’m thinking of painting the new vanity in a muted color, but more on that later.

BEDROOM 2: 

A nice sized guest room with a walk-in closet. If you know me at all, then you’ve already figured out the track lighting is on it’s way out. I’ll show you more photos as I redesign this space, because there’s actually a little hidden space in here that I want to make into something special.

BEDROOM 3:

With the right layout, this will become a great little office space. There’s plenty of storage in the closet for all my samples too!

BATHROOM 2:

A pretty standard sized bathroom sits in between the two bedrooms upstairs in the hallway. Like the master, there is certainly a need for some updating of the hardware and vanity. There’s also an additional powder bath downstairs by the kitchen and dining area that I’ll get some photos of for you guys. I’d love to do a wall sink in there with a wall of colorful tile behind it. It’s a tiny little thing as it sits under the stairs, so I’m going to have to get creative on ways to make it feel not so cramped.

BACKYARD:

As I said earlier, the backyard is where the tour ended for both of us and the negotiating began. It’s hard to put into words or photos how park-like it feels back there. There’s privacy and a lot of well-established plants, so someone really took the time to do their homework on what would grow well in each area. The firepit may just be my favorite part, but we’re not a sit-and-wait-for-the-wood-to-catch-fire kind of family. We’ll upgrade to a gas firepit at some point. I’d also like to add some more modern outdoor dining with market lights, more fun seating by the fire pit, and additional plants to the beds.

All-in-all, we’re completely exhausted but totally excited for this next chapter. I can’t wait to start showing you our plans for the place. This little white house is about to get a whole lot whiter on the inside, so check back soon!

trend alert: the blush sofa

It would be an understatement to say I am slightly obsessed with the colored sofa trend. There’s been a lot of talk in design circles about millennial pink, and the verdict is it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. We know you all loved the green velvet sofa post so much (thank you for the 18,000+ engagements on pinterest…and growing!), that we thought it was time for another round-up of our favorite sofas in this oh-so-popular blush. I’ve heard from clients that although they see photos of blush furniture and like the look, they’re afraid their room will end up looking like something out of a Barbie dream home. I wouldn’t steer you in that direction…I promise! The key is to use pinks that have a lot of gray or beige as their base, so the pink becomes an elevated neutral in the room. 

(Image Source: Style Me Pretty)

 

Check out the “Lorelei” or “Duffle” if you like a more casual modern feel. Want something more classic? Try the “Blythe” or “Margot” sofas for a look that will last without being too boring. The “Chamberlin” is that middle ground for anyone who’s more transitional or contemporary in style.

Lorelei  //  Duffle  //  Blythe  //  Chamberlin  //  Margot

target project 62: fall style

We’re loving Target’s new Project 62 collection over here at MMH! In addition to being affordable, these pieces have some serious style. When I started hunting for my favorites, I started to notice some of the items looking a lot like some higher-end designer lighting, furniture and décor. The key is to find deals like these and mix a few pieces in with your larger high-quality furniture and unique finds. I wanted to round them all up so you can grab the designer look for a whole lot less.  Still can’t believe how similar some of these are!

You’ve done it again Target! Which one’s your favorite design deal?

Sources:

Mid Century Coffee Table: Target // Designer

Brass Double Globe Sconce: Target // Designer

Brass Accent Table: Target // Designer

Blue Accent Chair: Target // Designer

White Media Console: Target // Designer

Black Metal Side Table: Target // Designer

Woven Chair: Target // Designer

Blush Chair: Target // Designer

Wooden Bowl: Target // Designer

Wood Arm Chair: Target // Designer

White Marble Lamp: Target // Designer

Brass Rectangle Lamp: Target // Designer

top 5 ikea dresser hacks

Lately I’ve been craving a project. Just something I can look at by the end of the weekend with excitement and say “hey, I made this!” I love our vintage campaign dresser in the guest room, but Jon and I are leaning more towards the mid century modern look these days. I believe in finding quality pieces that will last a long time, but every now and then you just want to add a few fun items without spending a fortune. It’s hard for me to justify expensive furniture when it’s too trendy, which is why I love Ikea. The styles stay current and there are so many ways to transform the basics so you get a high-end look with the smaller Ikea price tag.

Image : Paige Jones

It’s amazing what pretty paint and nice knobs can do, isn’t it? These are a few of my favorites from my Ikea dresser hack hunt. Now if only I could decide on a color…

 

Sources:  Blush // Forest Green // Mint // Sky Blue // Mid Century

I love the pulls on the mint and forest green dressers. Which one are you going to make your DIY project this weekend?

trend alert: buffalo check

Plaid for fall. Not exactly out of the box is it? You may not have noticed though…this isn’t your traditional red or navy plaid flannels! I’m seeing this clean, black and white buffalo plaid on just about everything lately and wanted to share some of our favorite ideas for how to use it this season.

Images :: Caitlin Wilson // Maritsa // Studio McGee

This print is understated but classic. You can make a real statement by putting it on a wall or large piece of furniture (which we’re finding all over the place… by the way!), but I also think there’s something nice about having a few decorative accents that can get changed out seasonally. I would usually go straight for the throw pillow or blanket, but I also think the napkins would dress up the table for fall dinner parties. Try using this print in the bedroom for an extra-comfy bed through the winter months. And if this print doesn’t work with your decor, don’t fret! There’s plenty of ways you can wear this new classic…

Sources:: Rug // Crossbody Bag // Throw Pillow // Scarf // Settee // Duster Coat // Upholstered Bed // Wallpaper // Napkins // Top // Bedding // Throw Blanket

We’re loving this print in the home paired with a deep emerald, but it also looks pretty when worn with a ruby red lip!

What’s your favorite way to use this buffalo check?

removable wallpaper round-up

With all the kids going back to school, I still have this feeling that a new chapter is starting. There’s something so nice about the fresh start that the fall brings, and I don’t know that you ever really grow out of that. Now’s the perfect time to refresh your space for the fall and winter months, and removable wallpaper is such a practical way to add style to your walls! Not only is removable wallpaper more affordable than traditional wallpaper, it is also far less of a hassle to remove once the styles change. When this product first popped up, there were only a few companies selling the stuff, and to be honest, most of the prints were pretty awful. Years later, there are plenty of vendors and patterns to choose from.

When I started looking at my favorite removable wallpaper sources and prints, they really came down to three different styles: clean minimalist designs, dramatic prints with dark accents, and then the more whimsical artsy prints. I think it really depends on where these are being used and what your overall design aesthetic is for your home.

The minimalist prints could be used all over the room and wouldn’t distract from the objects within. Try adding one of these with some natural elements around the space for a Scandinavian or modern farmhouse look.

Minimalist Sources:

Circuit / Blurred Lines / Scallops / Retro / Checkers / Spots

While these dark papers would make great accent wall decor, I think they are best used in smaller rooms like the entry or a powder bath. These areas of the home often fall flat with only a little decor, so why not make a statement with a taste of one of these bold patterns.

Dark Accents Sources:

Swansy / Dots / Aztec / Damask Eye / Pinstripe Floral / Diamonds

I love these artistic prints for a nursery or playroom. Bonus: when the kids get older this stuff comes right off the walls! Try using the more feminine papers in a well-organized closet or to line drawers in a pretty vanity!

Artistic Sources:

Daniella Floral / Land of Women / Paint Dot / Confetti / Ink Stripe / Cactus

I don’t like to play favorites, but I definitely have a few I could picture using in future projects. Which prints are you loving?

high-low: modern farmhouse dining room

This modern farmhouse dining area has my name written all over it! The white bright walls and open ceiling bounce light around the room while the wood accents bring texture and warmth. Then you add striking black accents for a modern feel. I’ll take it all please! It’s always fun finding an inspiration photo for your space, but it can be challenging to find similar pieces within a budget. So what pieces should you spend money on and which are you paying too much for? We’ve got you covered! I’ve collected some of our favorite similar finds for this beauty of a dining room in two different price points below.

Image credit: Ana Kamin

Designer rooms can climb into the 5-figure range quite easily when a client wants all high-end products, so when the high end came in under $10,000 I made it my mission to get the low end at around $1,000. If the budget would allow, I would ideally pick items for clients from both ends of the spectrum so you end up with a very well-designed room. There are items where it pays to upgrade to higher quality pieces and areas where the cheaper items will look just as great in the room. In this case, I think the higher end table and lights are worth the higher price. I’d select the less expensive mirror and brass object and would use the cheaper chairs as they give you the same look for a fraction of the price. I think the lower priced prints would look great in the higher end frames. It’s all about balancing what works for your budget and spending your money where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck! (Please note: total prices below include 6 chairs per room)

 

High Sources:

Lights / Table / Chair / Frames / Artwork 1 / Artwork 2 / Brass Sphere Object / Mirror / Grape Wood Branch

Low Sources:

Lights / Table / Chair / Frames / Artwork 1 / Artwork 2 / Brass Sphere Object / Mirror / Grape Wood Branch

 

Which pieces would you pay more for and where would you choose to save?

color mix: blush and prussian blue

It all started when I stumbled upon an article about a new cafe called Moby 3143 in Melbourne. I fell in love with the color scheme of their design and just knew I’d have to do a color mix post on these two hues.

Image Sources:     1  /  2  /  3

If you’re loving these colors too, check out a few of our favorite finds in these gorgeous shades…

With blush being the new neutral, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of this combo in the near future. They make such a pretty pair…don’t ya think?

Prussian Blue: Throw Blanket | Fabric | Paper Tray | Earrings | Couch | Lamp | Dresser | Pot | Dress

Blush: Bowl | Rug | Bag | Trench | Sandals | Pillow | Wallpaper | Chair | Luggage