Lower Level Reno Update

So many people love to see a quick before and after. Personally, I love to see a before, during, and after. The transformation from start to finish holds many more real life moments and I love to see the beauty in the process. As I shared the progress last week on our lower level renovation as well as my design board for the bedroom, today I’ll share a little update as well as my design board for the stairway and exercise room.

The stairway to our lower level is right of our foyer. I wanted this space to feel open and inviting so a clear glass door will replace the existing solid 2-panel door. This will also allow extra natural light to flood the stairwell. I selected a neutral herringbone carpet runner to complement the board and batten going down the stairs. The board and batten will be painted a pretty light blue-gray in either Benjamin Moore Pebble Beach or Wickham Gray. Pebble Beach is more of a true blue undertone while Wickham Gray has a slightly blue-green undertone. (I always recommend trying your top two samples in the space.)

STAINMASTER Active Family Apparent Beauty 12-ft W x Cut-to-Length Silver Spruce Berber/Loop Interior CarpetImage result for bm wickham graySee the source image


When I initially saw this semi-flushmount fixture, I knew it was perfect (Under $115!).

Eight weeks in, the engineered hardwood and bathroom tile has been installed. I am SO in love with the look of this flooring. The variation, color and texture are just right in this space. It has a smooth soft finish unlike many engineered hardwoods that are shiny.

This floor carries into the exercise room. When planning our lower level, a workout room was a no-brainer. I love to hop on the elliptical, do some free weights and watch a show. So, this space will be painted Benjamin Moore’s Super White or Chantilly Lace. I kept the lights super simple with 5 4″ LED can Lights. We are wall mounting a tv and we should be ready to sweat!

ProForm Endurance 520 E Elliptical


Exercise Room Inspiration


As always, I will share the after photos as the rooms are completed. Thanks for following along!

Re-Thinking a Space

Hello friends! I am so excited to share an amazing transformation today that is all about making your home work best for you and your family! Do you have a space in your home that just doesn’t function well? This wonderful client had an entry from the garage that led into a small hallway, leaving no dedicated mudroom. Having two young children in various activities, they craved a space to put backpacks, shoes, and gear. The solution here was to add a door from the garage into the current office and turn the space into a combination mudroom and laundry room. The office (to be revealed soon!) was moved to the front of the house in a rarely used living room.

Once the door was added, we were left with a large space with a good size window bringing in plenty of natural light. Bright white built-ins were added to line both walls. One side has cabinets, hooks, shoe storage. The other side serves as the laundry space.

We went bold on the walls, selecting Sherwin Williams Naval which is a true, rich Navy. Pops of brushed brass add the perfect accent. We selected these (super affordable) square pulls, hooks, and this classic lantern pendant. Delta has a fabulous line of brushed brass faucets. This one goes brilliantly with the farmhouse sink.

Lastly, we softened the space with textiles. Woven baskets perfectly fit the built-ins to store detergent, dryer sheets, etc. We added this stunning vintage-style rug to tie the navy and gold together. A woven mat greets you in the entryway. This will be a hardworking and beautiful space for this amazing family! And because everyone loves a good before and after comparison…here you go!


Design Formula Friday – The Entryway

I am so excited to start a new weekly series called “Design Formula Friday”! Every Friday I will be sharing a simple way to style, design or decorate tricky areas in the home. This week is all about the entryway or foyer. We all know the value of a first impression, and if your entryway isn’t giving off the vibe you’re looking for, then I have the perfect post for you today. Being a leftie, I’m creative, but I also love math. Stick with me here…the formula for a well-balanced foyer would be 1 console table + 2 lamps (for symmetry) + 1 round mirror + 2 storage baskets = EXCELLENT 1st IMPRESSION!

Most homes have a wall when you enter, so measure this wall and select a console table that fits. I’m in love with the simple lines and warm, natural wood tone of this one. If you have a larger wall, this one is a great option too.

Next, select your lamps. When decorating a space, make sure to mix materials. For example, a mirrored table, with silver lamps, and a silver mirror will result in a gaudy, uninteresting look. So, with the wood console table, I selected these ceramic lamps, with these shades. They add color and introduce a new material.

Third, add a mirror to make the space appear larger and for that out-the-door check yourself! I love this simple round, gold option.

Round Decorative Wall Mirror Brass - Project 62™ - image 1 of 11

Fourth, this is where fashion meets function. I love the soft woven material of these storage baskets. They are great for umbrella storage, toys, throw blankets, etc.

Round Woven Basket - Project 62™ - image 1 of 3

Lastly, add a faux plant, ceramic vase or pitcher, and pretty candle in a woven basket for texture. A cozy faux-fur throw draped in a storage basket is a fall and winter favorite to complete the look.

What impression does your entryway give?

Designing for a Designer

If you ask me to pick a paint color for you, no problem…to select a new light fixture, easy peasy…to source furniture, I already have ideas. Now, if I am to do any of those things for my own home, I select, revise, change, re-select, and then repeat until I lose my mind! Haha! I’ve heard many other designers share in this same conundrum. Over the past year, I’ve been designing our lower level renovation, which I shared a little bit about here.

Construction began seven weeks ago and we are so happy with the progress. The plumbing, initial electrical, framing, insulation, and drywall is complete. We are finally to the exciting part…tile, wood, paint, molding, cabinets, etc. I cannot wait to see my designs finally come to fruition. I will be sharing my design boards along with shop-able sources for each space, and then the after photos once it all comes to fruition.

Today, I’m sharing the bedroom designs as this space by far was the easiest for me. Despite this being our technical basement, this room has two large windows.

The walls will be painted either Benjamin Moore Super White or Chantilly Lace.

See the source image

The flooring will be engineered hardwood with a cozy vintage style large rug.

I chose a classic upholstered bed with crisp white sheets, a charcoal striped duvet cover and coastal style throw pillows. I fell in love with a velvet upholstered storage bench at Homegoods (Similar HERE) for the end of the bed, and this nightstand for next to the bed. My favorite trend right now is cane detailing (what’s old is new, right?!), so this chair for the corner was a must!

Woodbury Upholstered Wingback Headboard

As most of you know, lighting is my very favorite item to source. To complement the coastal vibe, I selected this wood bead chandelier for the center of the room, and two wall sconces for reading lights next to the bed.

Antique Whitewash Wood Bead ChandelierSingkil 2-Light Armed Sconce

And there you have it…a guest bedroom designed. Now, who wants to be my first guest?

A Mudroom Refresh

When I was in college, I was the girl rescuing fellow sorority sisters from bad updos. I quickly became the Tri-Delta hair stylist! Well, instead of doing hair, these days I’ve been excitedly rescuing friends from their design dilemmas. I received an SOS text last week asking for an opinion on fabric for a roman shade. What started as a window treatment, quickly turned into a full on room refresh! Today I will be sharing the design plans, and when the space is complete, I will share the “After” photos. The before:

When I see a room, I instantly see the potential. This space needed a little more character, layering of color, and functionality.  This mudroom/laundry room was recently painted my very favorite grey, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, giving us a clean slate. We are adding a custom roman shade and bench cushion (from these curtain panels) in a similar gray for a pretty monochromatic look. Since the flooring is not the homeowner’s favorite, we will be adding this woven entry mat and this affordable vintage style runner.

This space has high ceiling so we will be ditching the old flush mount fixtures for my favorite simple style lanterns and bringing in a second metal to add interest. (In general, I usually mix no more than 2 metals.)

Every space needs a little bit of pretty. We have a large wall on one side, so this rectangular art will fit it quite well. I love adding greenery to nearly every room with a real or faux plant and instead of fighting the color of the countertop, we are embracing the amber trend with this amazing smelling candle. Both will sit on this gorgeous silver tray. This throw pillow will add comfort and pattern to the bench. I can’t wait to show you all the completed room very soon!

Target Home Sale

If you are looking to refresh your home with accessories like lamps, throw pillows, and area rugs, today would be a great day to do that! So many accents in my home come from Target and most everything is on major sale today. I love their Threshold, Opalhouse and Project 62 home lines. Here are some of my favorites:


Lower Level Renovation

We are so excited that today marks DAY ONE of our lower level renovation! When we built our home in 2016 we knew we wanted to live in our home for a bit to determine what exactly we’d need before we finished our lower level. Our home is slightly elevated allowing for a lookout or garden basement, meaning we have windows along the entire back wall, which is wonderful. If I could give advice to anyone building a home, I would say put in as many windows as possible because there really is nothing like natural light! This is especially true in the Midwest where we have long, cold winters.


*Exterior view of our lower level windows

The first step in designing this space was to figure out exactly what our family needed. I workout at home nearly every day on the elliptical along with free weights so an exercise room is a must.


*source unknown

A kitchenette will add extra convenience for entertaining and for guests.


*image via Decor Pad

We also want a great room for movie watching, entertaining, and lounging.


*image via Studio McGee

My dad is selling our childhood home and resides in Florida much of the time so a guest suite is very important. Despite our sons wanting a ‘Papa sleepover’, he will be much more comfortable in his own bedroom with a walk-in closet and full bath.


*image via Tiffani Harris Design


*image via Lexi Grace Design

My inspiration for this space has come from many of these photos. The style will flow with the rest of our home but will be slightly more relaxed, coastal and modern. (Think Serena + Lilly.) I will be sharing my design boards, along with before and after photos as this process unfolds. As always, I love to hear your feedback and recommendations!

Switch It, Change it, Rearrange It

Today I am sharing our last room reveal with the adorne collection by legrand. You can see the previous posts here and here. Our gameroom/playroom/media room is definitely our boys’ favorite room in the house.

It sits on our main level and you can usually find the kids in there. It’s the perfect space for playing board games, video games, building legos, and watching movies.

I knew that I wanted to add a dimmer for those cozy movie days. Legrand offers a few different options for dimmers, so we chose the the soft-tap dimmer switch. A double tap returns the light to the last dimmed setting. How neat is that?!

The other amazing change to this space was the addition of these USB outlets. We are always needing to plug in a device and this makes it even simpler. Legrand also offers innovative pop-out outlets that can be hidden when not in use.

The light fixture in our playroom is a beautiful dark bronze color so for the wall plates we went with the Antique Bronze. Once again, installation was a breeze with the handy how-to vidoes.

Switching out our switches, dimmers, and outlets with the adorne collection by legrand has made such an improvement to our home. They have added ease, convenience and beauty!


*Thank you to legrand for partnering with me on these posts. All opinions are my own.

Switcher Upper

In last Thursday’s post I shared the wall switches from the adorne collection by legrand that we added to our foyer, eating area and kitchen. They have transformed the space to be more functional and beautiful!

The next space to be adorned was our laundry room. Our laundry room is the first space as you enter our home from the garage.

We knew the motion sensor switch would be perfect as we are often coming inside with our arms full of groceries or sleepy children! This switch notices occupancy and then turns on when entering and off when exiting.

adorne White Sensa Switch

The other two switches in this space are a simple soft-tap switch. Again, legrand offers a multitude of different switch options to suit your specific needs! My favorite part was selecting from the multitude of finishes for the wall plates. As soon as I saw the contemporary brushed brass, I knew that was our winner for the laundry room!

Just as we did in the other space, we consulted the how-to videos provided on the company website and it was easy-breezy!



Later this week, I will be sharing the last space that we added the adorne products to and you won’t want to miss it!

*Thank you to legrand for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Five Friday Faves Under Forty

Happy Friday, friends!! I am so excited to share Five of my Faves (ALL under $40) that I am just loving lately. Good friends share good finds!


These BIRKS are amazing! They are crazy comfortable, waterproof, tts, and cute! I wore them on our last two vacations and received so many compliments. I have the pink, but I love all the colors they come in!

Main Image - Birkenstock Essentials - Arizona Slide Sandal (Women)

Photo Credit: Nordstrom


Super cute TRAYS like this can be found in just about every room in our house. Simply add a vase of flowers and it makes a great centerpiece. They are perfect for bringing snacks outdoors. They also make great coffee table or ottoman storage. For a decorative look, add some coasters, a little plant and your favorite candle.

Galvanized Metal Tray - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia - image 2 of 2

Photo Credit: Target


I have been rocking these BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES over the past week and I swear I can notice a difference as far as computer eye strain. You can read all about the benefits here…I’m a believer. Plus, I think they’re pretty cute!

LifeArt Blue Light Blocking Glasses,Cut UV400 Transparent Lens,Computer Reading Glasses,Anti Eyestrain/Anti Scratch/Anti Smudgy,Sleep Better for Women/Men(LA_Nola,0.00,No Magnification)


In Chicago, we are finally getting some sun! While I love a little Vitamin D,  I don’t like to get sun on my face (just say no to wrinkles!). I use a sunscreen in my makeup in the morning but this is the perfect refresher for throughout the day. It sprays a fine cool mist, sets your makeup and protects you from the sun!

Supergoop! SPF 50 Defense Refresh Setting Mist Sunscreen,1 fl.oz.


After all the Spring Cleaning and the return of beautiful weather, I like to get ready for entertaining season! I love using white plates and then a punch of personality in the tablescape and these napkins are perfect for that!

Floral Napkin (4ct) - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia - image 1 of 8

Photo Credit: Target

That’s all for today friends! I’d love to hear what you’re loving lately!