Monday, January 29, 2018

Farmhouse Fun

I had the chance last week to snap some 'after' pics of a farmhouse remodel that I had the privilege of  supervising. This was such a fun experience as I had worked with the homeowners on their previous home and I knew she was super laid back and so sweet to work with! It seems like this remodel came together so quickly, but I'm sure living in the space during the demo and reconstruction makes all the updates seem as if things drag on forever, but we are pleased with how fresh, light and airy the spaces now feel. 

The home, which was built ten years ago, was stunning to begin with, but the new homeowners were after a more mono-chromatic, streamlined look. They loved the farmhouse flair, but wanted an urban feel to the rooms that made the spaces a bit less cottage-like and more clean-lined. I think we achieved this by downplaying some of the more traditional elements.

Rather than me listing the improvements that were made next to each photo, I thought it would be fun to test yourself to see if you can spot the changes we made in each of the rooms. At the end of this post, I'll list them out and you can see how you did!










How did you do? 
There weren't many surfaces that we left unchecked. Here's a list to check your guesses:
* flipped out kitchen counters and back splash. 
*reconfigured and rebuilt the island from table height to counter height.
* replaced the wood back splash with subway tile
*replaced the kitchen faucet 
* painted dining hutch and island dark charcoal grey. Replaced the sink and faucet and lightened up all the walls with 'Grey Owl' paint.
*replaced the hanging pot rack in kitchen with two new pendant lights
*recovered the dining room built-in window seat bench
*re-purposed the dining light by removing the shades and adding Edison style light bulbs
*replaced the flooring in the back entry and half bath to a waterproof luxury vinyl tile
*replaced the red carpet runners with a geometric grey/white patterned runner on stairwells leading up and downstairs
*rebuilt foyer stairwell newel posts and spindles
*added ship lap to foyer wall
*repainted and re-carpeted master bath and bedroom 
*replaced the formal looking carpet in the living room to a looped dark grey berber
*bought new furniture and wall art that reflected the homeowners fun, yet sophisticated vibe.

Thanks for playing!

Stay tuned for pics soon from a brand new farmhouse I'm collaborating on with Bouwkamp Builders.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Image result for minimalist quotes

2018 is off to a restful, yet productive start. Can I use both restful and productive in the same sentence or is that considered an oxymoron? I can't think of any other words to describe it. I am comfortably busy with clients and yet for once, this holiday season has gone by and I feel like I was actually present for most of the events and memories! I'm pretty sure I can attribute this new found focus on my latest obsession with all things minimal. 

That, and the intentional time that I am setting to be in God's word. Both are helping me keep an eternal perspective and are allowing me to be more gracious to myself concerning productivity (or lack there-of) when I'm just not 'feelin' it'. Let's just say, there have been lots of cat naps with my three cats lately! :) (Yes, I really do have three cats now...don't even get me started)...

 I was asked to speak to about my journey into minimalism this Friday morning. I'll be meeting with young moms who are gathering at a local church and I dedicate this blog post to them. Below are some resources and encouragement when considering if you too, could benefit from living with less.

Here is the list of questions I asked myself when debating whether an item stays or goes:

Have I used this in the last year?
If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
Is the only thing keeping me from disposing of this item, that I don't want to waste money?
Am I holding onto it for sentimental value?
Do I have similar items that serve the same purpose?
Do I have a realistic plan to use this?
Does it fit me or my living space?
Am I holding on to the broken item to fix in the future? 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are my favorite books on the topic:

Essentialism-The Disciplined Pursuit of Less-Greg McKeown
Good-Bye Things-
Everything That Remains-A memoir by the Minimalists-Joshua Fields Milburn
The Joy of Less-A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize and Simplify-Francine Jay
The More of Less-Finding the Life you want under Everything you own-Joshua Becker
Minimalism for Families-Zoe Kim
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up-Marie Kondo
Spark Joy-Marie Kondo
Soulful Simplicity-Courtney Carver
The Road Back to You-Ian Morgan Cron (Enneagram)
simplify-joshua-beckerclutterfree-with-kids-joshua-becker5 Books for Aspiring Minimalists: Want to learn more about minimalism? Check out these 5 amazing books. //

The Minimalists
Slow Your Home
Your Move-Andy Stanley
Mosaic-Erwin McManus
Shauna Niequirst

The Minimalists-Joshua Fields Milburn & Ryan Nicodemus
Becoming Minimalist-Joshua Becker
Zen Habits-Leo Babauta
Minimal Wellness-Rebecca Shern
Be More With Less-Courtney Carver

I started my journey with editing my wardrobe. I found Project 333 by Courtney Carver motivating, but far too limiting for the drastic climate changes in West Michigan. I have tried to stay close to around 50 items of clothing in my closet at one time (not counting shoes or boots, or coats). 

I call that my "capsule", but lately my friends have hazed me for all the cat gifts I've received (and worn) lately and may need to have a separate "catsule"wardrobe. :) Anything to justify my creepy cat-lady-ness! 

I wanted to encourage you by showing you that most people wouldn't even guess I have gotten rid of thousands of items of clothing, home goods, books, games, blankets, coats, shoes, etc. (I drop off donated goods at Paradise Bound EVERY WEEK)! My house looks like a normal dwelling (minus the 3 cats), but just because I have discovered the benefits of minimalism, doesn't mean I own one sofa and no accessories. If I find that it still brings me joy or adds value, I give myself permission to keep it. If it doesn't, it goes! 

Here is the blog link to a printable guide to 30 days to Minimalism by "Pick Up Limes" website. Very simple and easy to follow.  To quote the "Minimalists", will it be "ONE DAY or DAY ONE?" for you?

And one of my favorite songs about building our lives and houses on the sand vs. God's love and truth. Take a listen.

“There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.” —Jackie French Koller

This year my heart's cry is to desire little. If that's yours too, let me know. I think a support group might be in order. :)

Happy Purging!


PS-Girls from Community Reformed...I loved being with you this morning! Here are the quotes from the talk if you want to reference those at all. Please feel free to email me if you have questions or need support! :)

"Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it."-Joshua Becker

The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money. 

"What constantly distracts us, will eventually define us". Bob Goff

(Essentialism) by Greg McKeown

"This world has nothing for me
And this world has everything
All that I could want
And nothing that I need
But now I'm waking up
And now I'm breaking up
And now I'm making up 
for lost time." -Caedman's Call