Category: Home Design

Putting In A Pool: The Process, The Cost, and All The Before & After Photos

It’s been a full year in the making, but OUR POOL IS DONE*! Here’s where I imagine someone saying “and the crowd goes wiiiiild” (and the crowd, in this case, is the five members of our household – including Burger shaking a tiny pom-pom). Today we’ve got one HUGE post full of info about the entire process, the budget, and, of course, the finished result. We’re also answering some of the most common questions we got throughout this project.

*Well, mostly done. More on that later

towels / hooks / wall scuppers /chair / drum stool / sconce / doorknob / tan pots / white pot / lounge chairs / solar path lights

Neither of us have ever lived in a house with a pool or even in an area of the country where residential pools are very common.

Continue reading Putting In A Pool: The Process, The Cost, and All The Before & After Photos at Young House Love.

Did you miss our previous article…

Weekend Reading 11.14.21

We’ve had misty mornings with thick fog for over a week and there’s something so wonderful about wearing a winter coat and taking an early morning stroll in those conditions, like something out of a classic novel. 🙂 This week I’m opening up the Christmas closet and pulling out some favorites. I’ll start with the mantel, then decorate the staircase. I like to do it slow, and in sections, it feels better to take time to decorate slowly and I enjoy it much more.

I like carefully digging through my bins and pulling out objects that resonate with me each season, placing them here and there around the house. I have a lot of decor tucked away in giant bins and each year I donate things that I don’t love and add just a few new things that I do. This year I’m in the mood for natural textures with a dash of whimsy. I’ll share holiday images soon!

Favorite links from the week:

Find many beautiful design ideas in this builder home portfolio.

Blue, white, and bright: this home with coastal style in Queensland decorated for Christmas.

What a difference an arch makes: this kitchen transformation.

Impressive: give and old stove a high end look.

A variety of laundry room shelving ideas.

What happens to your body over time when you…. sit for long periods or stop eating sugar.

Reasons why your fears of what other people think are not worth your mental energy.

Fifty quotes on the subject of kindness.

Vacation destination of the week: these stunning villas in Greece.

Ha ha so good: marketing the Icelandverse.

Did you miss our previous article…

How We Created A Cozy Fire Pit Area In Our Formerly Boring Side Yard

We’ve been enjoying this fire pit hangout spot for months now, but it hasn’t been on the blog… until today. This is basically a lesson in how a fence can make a HUGE difference in defining an area, which can lead to adding some simple outdoor furnishings (in this case, it was four adirondak chairs and a fire pit – which hit the ground and instantly created an entirely new “outdoor room” for our whole family to enjoy).

We hang out here and make s’mores at least once a week (and sometimes a lot more than that), so it has been a very welcome addition. Especially during a time when everyone is spending A LOT of time at home, so something novel and new like this bonus hangout zone feels extra special We even made s’mores for dessert on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, so it’s quickly becoming quite the family tradition.

Continue reading How We Created A Cozy Fire Pit Area In Our Formerly Boring Side Yard at Young House Love.

The importance of fitting new doors within your home

If you are looking to spice up the aesthetics of your interior space, then you may be forgiven for focusing on obvious avenues to pursue, such as a new wall color, furniture, artwork, or a cohesive theme that you can use throughout your house.

While all of these points are worthy of consideration, and can certainly transform the look of your home’s interior, you should not neglect the details which are often forgotten—but actually tie the whole space together. 

For example, anyone who has renovated their home will tell you how difficult it is to choose new doors for each room.

This is because they are such a foundational piece of the house—both aesthetically and practically. Your doors have to match the color and theme of each room, while looking cohesive and minimalist enough to stay standing for years (or even decades) to come. 

Furthermore, given how much you use doors on a daily basis, a dated or awkward one can become a regular annoyance, and even affect how you feel about your house as a whole.

This is what you need to know about fitting new doors in your interior space.

Avoid squeaky or ugly hinges

The most fundamental aspect you need to consider when fitting doors to your house is whether they function correctly. This might sound blindingly obvious, but it can be all too easy to become caught up with choosing particular colors, trying to match them with particular rooms, or searching for examples that come in on budget, that you can forget to buy quality items that will function for years to come. 

For example, there is nothing worse than a squeaky, warped, or stiff door. Some of your guests may not even be able to use them properly, and it can make living within your house on a daily basis an annoyance. 

Therefore, it is crucial that you source the constituent parts from a reliable supplier such as Tradefix Direct

They can keep a draft out

Doors have a far wider-reaching purpose than you might imagine. They are intrinsic in keeping each room at a certain temperature, for instance, which is particularly obvious if you live in a poorly insulated home. 

Not all doors are good at fulfilling this purpose, so it is key that you find examples which block drafts out effectively. To do this, they must sit close to the floor, without any noticeable gaps between the door and the frame. 

High-quality doors give your home a more upmarket feel

Another reason why doors are so intrinsic to your home interior is that they can make or break your perception of the wider space. If you have spent a lot of money on a new kitchen, for example, but the doors are cheap, dated, and don’t match the overall theme, then the rest of the room will be dragged down with them.

Contrast that with high-quality doors which feel good to touch, look in keeping with the rest of the space, and won’t date easily, and you will soon see the influence that doors have on interior design

They match the aesthetic of the wider space

Leading on from the previous point, the doors you choose need to match the aesthetics of the wider space. This sounds easy but is actually incredibly difficult to do, especially if you use bold colors in your interior space.

Like any utilitarian item, it is best to opt for an inoffensive color, such as a white, light gray, or black. 

Did you miss our previous article…

Weekend Reading 9.19.21

Hello friends, how is your September so far? I’m a bit sad having had to postpone my trip to Spain but I’ve been enjoying our California fall weather so no complaints! My birthday is next week and a group of my girlfriends are planning a special outing and I’m not allowed to know the details. 🙂

Today I’m prepping the walls to install the wallpaper in the bathroom at our flip property, it’s so close to being done.  I’ll be featuring that transformed space very soon!

Cozy textiles and the most beautiful paint colors fill this country cottage. (Before pictures here).

Tour the 2021 Real Simple home (loving that green painted home office).

Find calm coastal vibes in this family home on Seabrook Island.

Cool DIY project: how to make a concrete lookalike coffee table top.

Pretty interior plant styling ideas.

11 cities in danger from rising sea levels.

The creation behind the wrapped Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

22 grocery store marinara sauces ranked.

Vacation spot of the week: Es Bec D’Aguila in Menorca, Spain.

Reexamining the impact of our phones and who we follow.

Did you miss our previous article…

Cane Accent Chairs

I was feeling the need for change in the living room so I bought myself some new accent chairs. I’d been searching for a few months having grown tired of my teal upholstered versions. I couldn’t find anything I really liked in an affordable price range until these caned armchairs popped up in my search, so I bought them for their casual style, versatility, and price.


They won’t live in the living room forever. I’ll probably move them to a bedroom in the future, but for now I like how light and natural they feel in this space.

caned armchairs / textured pillows

Cane and rattan have been trending for a few years, but cane furniture has been around for centuries! Because of the resurgence in popularity, we have more stylish choices than ever.

The style is lovely as a dining chair, office chair, or accent chair!

caned rectanglecane dining

rattan diningcushioned armchair



rounded back chairdining chair

black side chairjeannerete



patricia round backvelvet & cane

lula chairlandon chair

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Weekend Reading 9.12.21

Yesterday was a somber one, I remember September 11, 2001 so clearly. My teenagers asked me what it was like so I told them my story.

I was on east coast time, vacationing with Matt in Puerto Rico when I went to the hotel gym to work out in the morning. In the distance on the television I saw a burning building and thought it was the latest Hollywood action movie. It never occurred to me that it was real. Then I watched a second plane hit the World Trade Center. Then I watched the twin towers fall in real time.

Those who lived it remember planes were grounded for days. We were stuck on the island, glued to the television. We were unable to get a return flight for five days and finally flew through JFK on our way back to San Francisco. I’ll never forget the mood at JFK, everyone was cooperative but collectively so very sad.

Two months later we were in New York City visiting Ground Zero where the embers were still burning. I’ll never forget the somber feeling in the city yet also the solidarity among the people. I visited the memorial plaza ten years later and it was heartbreaking to stand in that place. It always will be.

Favorite links found this week:

A very cool mottled tile backsplash in this redesigned condo.

Old world meets new plus so many arches in this Spanish style home.

I’m on board with this look: stained wood paneling.

Martha’s visual guide to all the pumpkin varieties.

20 apple recipes for fall cooking.

I’ve got a list of pandemic purchases, good and bad. What were yours?

Plan your trip with the 2021 USA Fall Foliage Map (by date).

Four ways to prioritize rest.

Did you miss our previous article…

Weekend Reading 8.29.21

My kids are happy back at school, it’s nice to see them smiling at the opportunity to be social and sit in classrooms again. Our family has begun looking for a new home to purchase and having serious discussions about selling the home we live in. It’s been a wonderful home and where I raised my kids, but we’re feeling the need to downsize and plant ourselves in a new container. There’s no rush, but it’s an ongoing discussion and a leap we will take when we find the right home.

Everyone in California is closely watching a huge wildfire get closer to Lake Tahoe where several friends of mine live and many cool communities exist. Lake Tahoe is a gorgeous place we like to visit year round and a favorite vacation spot for many Californians, so it’s very sad and scary what’s happening and we’re praying the firefighters can contain it. These are strange days we’re living in.

Favorite links found this week:

Beautiful medley of natural wood tones + black windows and cabinets in this California home.

Classic architecture and modern furnishings blend in this home with neutral tones.

Black and white mix with natural textures in this lovely home renovation.

Get to know the original influencers of mid century modern lighting design.

The beauty of “Covid hair” and the return of natural gray.

How digital addictions are drowning us in dopamine.

Why creativity is key to healthy aging.

 Garbage time v. quality time.

Coco Chanel’s best quotes on life, love, and fashion.

Made me laugh: this satire about the popular “gather” and “live laugh love” signs.

Did you miss our previous article…

Go Blonde: Decorative Ways to Embrace Natural Wood

Blonde wood is everywhere, it’s made a major comeback and rightfully so. Natural wood brings a modern organic vibe to a space, especially when it’s paired with white walls or used to create contrast with dark hues.

I chose a blonde wood floating vanity cabinet for the master bathroom in the house I’m remodeling right now, and I’m looking forward to sharing that space when it’s complete. The pale wood tone is so yummy.

However, you don’t need to engage in major renovations to embrace the return of natural wood finishes. Instead, here are four ways to bring blonde wood tones into your home without major remodeling.

Hang floating shelves, or replace existing shelves in built ins with natural wood

ultra shelf

brandon architects


Swap Metal Frames for Wood Finishes

my scandinavian home


salt & sundry


pottery barn

farmhouse living


Trim Windows, Ceilings, Walls, or Room Transitions

via sf girl by bay

apartment therapy

lindye galloway

flavin architects



Decorate with focal point furniture & art

mcgee & co

lindsay hill interiors


pottery barn

blank spaces studio

serena & lily

Are you on board with the return of natural wood?  Where have you brought it into your home?

Did you miss our previous article…

Tips to Declutter and Organize Before a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel can significantly disrupt your day-to-day life. So, before you start dreaming about improving your kitchen with the perfect kitchen color palette, it makes sense to declutter and organize before a kitchen remodel. 

Making this kind of effort before the remodel will allow you to approach the renovation in carefully planned out stepsYou will be able to dismantle everything before the construction work starts, but also organize everything perfectly after the kitchen renovation. So, let’s take a look at a few organizational tips to make your kitchen declutter as effective as possible

Remove the kitchen utensils first

A good kitchen declutter may start from the kitchen cabinets and drawers. Interestingly, people usually associate decluttering their home with paring down their clothing or family belongings. As a result, kitchen utensils and appliances tend to pile up without you even noticing. This happens mostly because they seem less expendable than for instance clothes or toys. 

However, just think about the number of old or useless appliances you keep stacking up in your kitchen cabinets. There is really no need to keep holding on to your old bread toaster when you have bought a new one. 

Throw away anything you have not used in a while.

The same goes for kitchen utensils and silverware. Yes, they are an essential part of your household, but you just might have too many to ever find use for. And now is the time to figure out what stays and what goes out. What should you do with those items? Organize a yard sale or a charity giveaway for the items you decide are just superfluous. 

Declutter and organize all kitchen items separately into labeled boxes 

Once you finish the decluttering of the kitchen utensils and appliances, organizing them and packing them into boxes should be a breeze. So, instead of throwing everything into a single box, it makes more sense to have smaller boxes with appropriate labels. 

Hence, designate a single box for pans, another one (with three or four compartments) for utensils, a third one for your mixer. 

At this point this might seem unnecessarily complicated, but you will be thankful to yourself in the end. This kind of organization allows you to find anything you may need while your kitchen is being remodeled. In addition, you will be able to just pull everything out of a box and restore everything to its designated spot after you finish the renovations. Nothing mixed up or lost – less stress for you. 

a woman cooking after a kitchen remodel

With proper organization, you will be able to use your kitchen right after the remodel.

During the home renovations, you may even rent a storage unit if you do not have enough space to keep the boxes in your kitchen or your home. In this case, a short-term solution might be good since you will be able to free up the kitchen and let the workers do their job without any obstructions or distractions.

As for family silverware and other items you might attach certain emotions or memories to, you can pack them securely in an air-sealed box to avoid exposing them to moisture or mold. 

Make categories for similar items

Just as with kitchen utensils and appliances, it helps to have clear-cut categories for other items that you keep in your kitchen. For instance, you may have a cereal box or spices category, or one for canned foods and sauces. 

Of course, you may not have to do this if you have a well-organized pantry or a kitchen island. However, decluttering and recategorizing your foodstuff before a kitchen remodel can be extremely helpful. There are simply no more excuses not to throw away expired food that has been laying in the back of the drawers for ages. 

Also, you may decide to temporarily store your kitchen items in a storage unit. This is something many homeowners make use of when they are remodeling their kitchen. If you decide to do the same, take note that some things shouldn’t stay there for more than a few days or weeks. So, some foods should not be kept in a storage unit since they may rot. Since you surely want to avoid having to clean or pay damages to the storage service provider, make sure you know what you can and cannot store in a storage unit. 

Designate one box for frequently used items

So far we have mainly discussed how to declutter and organize before a kitchen remodel by focusing on the phases before and after the remodel. However, what if you plan to stay in your home during the renovations? 

Essentially, it helps to have a single box for items that you use on a daily basis. Rummaging through boxes to find your vegetable peeler might destroy all of your previous efforts to declutter and organize your kitchen. When you have such a box or cabinet, you will know where to find what you need immediately. This will save you a lot of trouble since it eliminates the need to surround yourself with boxes. 

You will probably need many items from your kitchen, but you might not be able to enter the kitchen while it is being renovated. That is why it makes sense to pull everything out of the cabinets and other storage spaces. 

a newly renovated kitchen

Empty the kitchen cabinets completely to make things easier for you during and after the remodel.

Also keep in mind that your appliances or items might get damaged if they remain in the kitchen during the remodel. So, if you drink coffee on a daily basis, you should place the coffee maker in your living room. 

All in all, we hope this short guide will be helpful when you start to declutter and organize before a kitchen remodel. We strongly suggest you take the time to do so since it will make organizing your newly renovated kitchen much quicker and enjoyable. 

Did you miss our previous article…