Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Home Plans : Kitchen

Hi everyone!  Today I'm going to be sharing my room plans for my favorite room in the house- the kitchen.

I absolutely love to cook, so finding a kitchen that I liked was a big priority when we were house hunting.  The apartment that I live in now has a tiny kitchen with no counter space and minimal cabinets, so I was excited to have a kitchen where I can actually move around!

While this isn't the biggest kitchen ever, I love the style and the layout.  I'm relieved that I don't have to overhaul the entire room, which could be extremely costly.  It's a great blank canvas, so I'm really excited to add some cosmetic updates!  




- Install under-cabinet lights : This is something that Dan requested, so I'll be adding these ASAP!

- Replace cabinet knobs : The current cabinet hardware is fine, but there are a few missing and I want to revamp the kitchen.  Changing out the hardware is an easy and (potentially) cheap way to change the look of a kitchen!

- Replace faucet : This is another quick and easy way to change up the look of a kitchen!

- Add back splash :  Right now there's no back splash in the kitchen, so I would love to add some.  I'm still deciding on the style and type that I want, so this won't happen right away!

- Organize : I want to do lots of fun organizational projects, like changing all my spices and dry ingredients to canisters.  I also want to add some wall storage to the kitchen (you can see what I have in mind below!)

- Add some greenery : I love when kitchens have lots of plants, so I definitely want to add some in ASAP!


I love the cabinet hardware, and I think the floor would actually make an awesome back-splash!

This is what I have in mind for some wall storage- the Ikea RIMFORSA system looks amazing!

How cool is this tile?!  I'm in love...

We actually have an eat-in kitchen, so make sure you come back next week for my plans for the dining portion of this room!  To check out the other plans I've shared so far, be sure to check out the house plans tag!

linking up with Amanda

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Home Plans : Living Room

Hi everyone!  I'm excited to kick off room tours today with one of the most important- the living room.  In my house, this is the first room that you walk into, so it's important to me to get this room right, right away!  I'll all about a good first impression, so this has to set the mood right.

Today I'm going to be sharing the "before" pictures of the space, along with the projects that I would like to complete (some of these are things that will be completed right away, while others are more long-term), and finally some inspiration that I found for the space.

I hope you enjoy a little peek at the room!  Things are already changing and I can't wait to share all of the "afters"!


 Fireplace and paneled wall

 Selma loves it here :)

 The only window, and the entry way.  Behind the door is a built-in shelf (you can kind of see it in this picture)

 The longest wall, which leads to the two bedrooms and the kitchen

Big blue living room :)


- Re-Paint Walls - we chose the color Morning Fog by Sherwin Williams.  I loved the blue color in the living room, but it was in pretty bad shape and I wanted a more neutral color.  I also wanted to lighten it up a bit to make this small room seem bigger.

- Re-Caulk Wood Paneling - I love the accent wall and definitely want to keep it!  The caulking in between the panels is in pretty bad shape, and I will probably need to re-paint as well.

- Replace Window and Sill - the front window has a rotten window sill, so that will definitely need replaced.  During our inspection, our home inspector also noted that the window should be replaced, so that's on our list too.

- Build a Window Seat - speaking of the window, I'm planning on building a window seat (or buying one!).  Selma loves to look out the window, so we needed a great spot for her to watch the street!

- Add Skylight or Recessed Lighting - since there's only one window and no good place to add more (unless we add one into the panel wall), we're thinking of adding either a skylight or recessed lighting.  Natural light is a huge thing to Dan, so having a skylight would be ideal!

- Built-in Shelves - I love the built-in shelves by the fireplace and front door, so I want to do some sort of fun project with them.  I'm looking for inspiration for this, but I'm excited to get started!

- Clean Fireplace - I love the fireplace in the living room (one of my wish list items when we started to look!) but it's pretty dirty.  I want to clean it out, and I'm thinking about re-tiling eventually to lighten it up and make it look fresh!


I love this color palette and how simple and cozy the room is.  

I really like the idea of adding cabinet doors to the built-ins, and the stone fireplace.

I love everything about this room- the furniture, hanging lamp, rug, painting, plants...YES.

linking up with Amanda, Friday Five

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Design for Less : Crate and Barrel

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited today, because I'm going to be kicking off a new series on my blog called Design for Less.

Last weekend, I stopped in a Crate and Barrel store for the first time, and was completely inspired by all of the furniture that I saw and all of the vignettes that were set up (by the way- how fun would that job be?!).  I fell in love with so many pieces until I looked at the price tags- then I started to feel completely rejected.  The prices were way out of my budget!  Out of that experience came the idea to try to find these amazing pieces for a fraction of the price.

One thing that I want to note is that I'm going to try to find similar pieces for everything that I share, but sometimes the high price is due to the uniqueness of the item.  In that case, I'll find a piece that would give a similar look or feel to your space, even if it's not identical.  I also think that it's always worth splurging a bit if you really find a unique piece that would be perfect for your space, but that's a topic for another blog post!

Today we're going to be starting with this bedroom/living space that I saw in Crate and Barrel.  Please excuse the picture quality- I wasn't planning on writing this post when I was snapping away in the store.  Next time I'll make sure I get a better picture!

Amazing, right?  I loved all of the wood pieces mixed with metal to give it an industrial feel.  I also like how some pieces are all straight lines while others (like the coffee table/bench) have curved lines.  Everything looks so great together, and I could tell that each piece was extremely high quality.  While I would love to have these amazing pieces, it's a little out of my budget just starting out as a new home owner!

Here is a breakdown of my favorite pieces:

Crate and Barrel

total cost $6,163.94

Brock Tray
Yukon Bench
Yukon Coffee Table - Bench
Ainsworth Media Center
Dexter Arc Floor Lamp
Intarsia Rectangular Wall Mirror

And here is how I found the look for less (almost $5k less!)

Design for Less

total cost $1259.86

Bamboo Square Serving Tray
Entry Way Bench
Backless Wood Metal Bench
Threshold Arc Floor Lamp
Aspire Wall Mirror
Hemnes TV Storage Cabinet

What other stores would you like to see in this series?
What are some of your favorite places to get inexpensive furniture? 

post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!
Linking up with:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Home Plans : An Overview

Hi Everyone and Happy Tuesday!  Today I'm going to be kicking off the home posts on this blog by giving you an overview of my new house (!!! still pretty excited to say that !!!).  Starting next week, I'll be going room-by-room through the house giving you some "before" pictures, project ideas and timelines, and some mood boards.

Here's a little snapshot of some home specs:
- built in the 1940s
- brick ranch
- 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
- half-finished basement
- 1/2 acre of land
- about 900 square feet

In general, I think this is a great starter home.  Dan and I both wanted to live in a particular suburb of Pittsburgh, have some land, and have access to public buses.  We also preferred to have a smaller house so that it's less maintenance (and cheaper), have a built-in garage, and situated on a quiet street.  This house checked off all of those boxes, so we were really lucky to find it!

Here's a look at the general floor plan and lot.  Please excuse my Paint skills, but hopefully you get the gist of the house. (to make it bigger just click on the image)

Even though this is a smaller house, there are lots of closets, a large basement, a fenced-in area for Selma to run around, and a big deck in the back.  What more could I ask for?

I'll see you later this week for some design inspiration, and next week for the first room breakdown!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The First Post

Hi I'm Gretchen!  Welcome to my new blog :)

For those of you who don't know, I recently closed on my first home with my fiance, Dan and dog, Selma!  I wanted to share all of the projects that we're doing as we take this starter home to our dream home.  On this blog, you'll find everything home related- from remodeling to DIY projects, decorating tips to YouTube videos. 

A few things before we get started:
  • I am in NO way a professional designer, carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc.  I'm learning as I go, and I'm going to make lots of mistakes!  I'm hoping that we can all learn together, but please don't take any of my advice as an expert opinion or as the "right" way to do something.
  • I am always open to feedback, critiques, and different opinions.  If you're not a fan of a project or how a room looks, that's fine!  I'm always willing to learn and improve, so please feel free to leave constructive criticism, either in comments or in email.
  • I occasionally will use affiliate links when I share product information.  If you click the link and purchase something, I get a small percentage of that.  I'm not planning on making blogging my full-time career, but I do put in a lot of time and effort into blogging.  I appreciate every penny that my blogs make, so thank you for your support!  (p.s. I will always disclose in a post if I'm using affiliate links.)
  • Going along with that- I'm considering buying a domain for this blog!  I have one for my running blog, and I like the ease of typing in an address that doesn't end in "".  What's your opinion of buying domains?
  • Right now, I'm planning on posting on this blog once a week.  I post five days a week over on my running blog, so for now that will be a good balance for me!  Once I start getting more projects done or have a back-up of posts, I'll start sharing multiple times per week, but for now expect a post every week.
I'm excited to get started on projects, and I hope you all are as well!  Next week, I'm going to begin with a room-by-room breakdown and share my plans for each space.  It's going to be fun!

Before I go, I have a request!  I've been working on a logo for this site, and would love some feedback.  Here are a few that I created.  I would love to get some opinions, so please let me know which one you like in the comments!