DIY

DIY pantry door with chicken wire

When we bought our house, the pantry door was heavy, solid wood. The pantry is tiny and inevitably messy and has no interior light. The electrician said it would be tough to wire electricity to the pantry–I forget why–so I wanted to find other ways of letting light in. And then one of the kids had an accident with the door. Three of them were chasing each other in circles around the main level of the house, and the youngest girl ran into the door and fell down the basement stairs. It was horrible, one of…

DIY

from photo to painting

Every once in a while you snap a picture that is just awesome, right? Among the thousands of candid shots on my phone there are a handful of really great ones. The picture below is one of those. In August 2019 we were on vacation with all four kids when I snapped a pic of all of them jumping off a dock. I love so many things about this photo — the carefree image of childhood, the idea of jumping as a group into the unknown, and, of course, my memory of watching overjoyed kids hurl themselves into a freezing…

DIY

renovating an old secretary

My parents recently gave me this antique piece that’s been in my family for decades. Would you call this a hutch or a secretary? We’ve always called it the secretary, but maybe that’s a regional thing. At any rate, I absolutely love this piece and the memories it carries, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit. I used Jolie Paint (fantastic paint for furniture!) in Palace White. This paint is sort of a cross between milk paint and chalk paint, and you have a lot of control over the final look. (I…

Glacier National Park: tips for an amazing adventure

Glacier National Park in Montana is one of my favorite places in the world! But it can be a little daunting to plan a vacation to such a remote place, and I’ve certainly learned a few lessons about traveling there. Hopefully some of these ideas will make your vacation less stressful and more fun! Planning is absolutely key when it comes to enjoying Glacier! I recommend having a solid plan but also remaining flexible. Sometimes the National Park Service closes trails because of bear activity, the parking lots fill up earlier than you expected, or wildfire smoke makes…

DIY

rearranging the kitchen shelves

Our kitchen and dining room is the heart of our home. One of my favorite views in this room is the open shelving we mounted above a sideboard that contains our cocktail supplies. We made the shelves out of very, very old wood we bought at a shop in the country, and we spray painted the brackets gold. Over time the shelves had gotten cramped, and I wanted a new look. We removed everything from the shelves and decided to rearrange them with a moodier vibe. Here’s the finished product! The large art is from one of my…

DIY

bathroom renovation

When we bought this house, the bathroom on the main level was absolutely terrible. There was no toilet seat, there were dead bugs in the tub, and the whole room felt disgusting. I still remember my youngest daughter teetering on the edge of the toilet, trying to use it, while I hovered and reminded her over and over not to touch anything. And this was our home!! I loved the vintage pink sink and tub, but the plumbing was in such bad shape that it wasn’t cost-effective to keep those fixtures. Because there was so much work…

DIY

living room update

We’ve lived here for almost four years now, and I’ve never been completely happy with the living room. When we bought the house, the living room (and everything else) was painted a sickly shade of mint green. If you look to the left in the photo above, you’ll see a very green fireplace. I had a devil of a time scraping all that paint off the bricks! Ugh. My mom and I used so many terrible chemicals that I lost count. When the chemicals splattered on my arm, I got burns on my skin…

DIY

dining room refresh

The dining room had gotten a little stale, to put it mildly. We’d had a Christmas drawing framed on our wall for over a year. Plus, two of the dining room chairs my family used when I was a child finally bit the dust. We moved the two intact chairs to other parts of the house and bought four inexpensive wood chairs online. Although assembling them was a pain, I’m happy to report that they’re very solid and comfortable. A great deal! I moved the chairs to the driveway and applied stain and polyurethane. And…

spring house tour

After spring cleaning, I just had to bust out the camera and take some pictures! Grab a cup of coffee, and come on in. Azaleas are a divisive flower, don’t you think? Are you pro- or anti-azalea? Every year I threaten to dig them up, and then they bloom and all is forgiven. John built the outdoor couch, and I stained it with Varathane white wash. The outdoor white chair and the coffee table are from Article. I absolutely love the chair, but in my opinion the coffee table isn’t worth the money. The finish…