DIY

Oh, BABY!

Hi everyone! 

Yes, we are still here. I must apologize for the absence of posts lately. We've had a whirlwind of events (including Christina visiting gorgeous Iceland!!! We'll have that post for you soon), but that's no excuse for neglecting our baby, Ends In Style.

SPEAKING of babies (how was that segue?!). I, along with my co-host, Amanda, threw a baby shower for my sweet friend Suzanne last weekend just before her first Mother's Day. She is such a dear friend! We grew up right around the corner from each other, played on the same volleyball team in high school, and were just acquaintances until we bumped into each other in college and decided to be roommates. Now I cannot imagine life without Suzanne in it. She's the kind of friend everyone needs. Caring, sweet, genuine, funny, and full of life! It was an absolute joy to host a shower for her!

Styled by Susie Roupe

Styled by Susie Roupe

Baby Charlie is already so loved! We showered Suzanne and Charlie with gifts and also with lots of yummy snacks, because no party is complete without snacks. My sister always says that if you've had children, you love lemon desserts. She has to be right even if you haven't yet had your child because when I asked Suzanne what kind of cake I should make, lemon was a top choice. I made a 4-layer "Luscious Lemon Cake" with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. Here's a recipe for a similar cake and filling via Southern Living. My recipe is from a very old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (couldn't find it online) and I frosted it with a simple dyed-blue cream cheese frosting in a star-tipped piping bag. Topped with cute letter candles from Target's party department, it was really a cute cake! I love Target! Great prices and really good selection of stylish party decor.

Styled by Susie Roupe

Styled by Susie Roupe

I made coffee punch, which is an absolute must if you're having a party for a coffee lover. It's about 50% ice cream, 50% coffee. Here's a great recipe if you'd like to try it!

COFFEE PUNCH

  • 1 pot very strong coffee, cooled
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together coffee, milk, and vanilla. Float half of the ice cream on top until it melts in. Just before serving, float the other half of the ice cream on top and enjoy!

We also enjoyed some Baby Boy Blue punch made from Hawaiian Punch, Pineapple Juice, and Lemon/Lime Soda. It was blue sugary heaven! Keeping all of the snacks pretty simple and keeping the decorations cute and easy makes for a more fun party for the host, guests, and most importantly, the mother-to-be! If you're not sweating and worrying about too many little details and how many dishes you'll have to do after the party, you'll definitely have a better time and be a better hostess. 

After snacking and talking, we took the time to play some games. One gross one not-so-gross. I'll spare you images from the dirty diaper game! We melted various candy bars in diapers and had party guests guess which candy bars were in them. The winner got a little gift bag and the pride of knowing which candy bar looked the most identifiable when looking mostly like poop!

The second game we played didn't turn any stomachs. We guessed the size of Suzanne's pregnant tummy and the closest guess won a prize! Suzanne was a great sport!

Adding little cute touches of decorations (like this polka dot table cloth, the pennant banner and chalkboard food markers, and the baby bootie mixed nut cups) adds a touch of whimsy to the party. And who doesn't love a little whimsy ;) By the way, if you're interested in making the baby booties, here's a good tutorial. We made ours with little ketchup cups, tissues, cotton balls, and ribbon. 

And no baby shower is complete without a diaper cake! I made one by just tightly tying rolled up diapers together in a 3 layer cake shape without any glue or cardboard, but if you like instructions, which most sane people do, here's a tutorial for making a diaper cake!

To thank everyone for coming, we made little bags of popcorn as favors with gold and silver rimmed tags we labeled "Ready to POP!". Cute, right? 

We hope you had a great Mother's Day and feel inspired to take on throwing a shower sometime! Keep each thing sweet and simple and don't worry too much about all of the little details--it's about enjoying the moment with your loved ones. 

Flower Power

Last spring, we had the pleasure of working with Floral Designer, Amy Osaba of Amy Osaba Events as well as Annette Joseph, stylist and producer, and writer of her style blog, Annette Joseph Style

As we get excited for the beautiful colors of spring, we hope you'll feel inspired to put together a nice lunch or dinner with friends to enjoy this perfect weather!

We gave you the behind the scenes look at this late spring/early summer, and now we're showing you the gorgeous photos Christina took for Muses and Visionaries Magazine with styling by Annette Joseph and florals by Amy Osaba. It's a beautiful story! Enjoy!

We hope you feel inspired by this gorgeous shoot! 

Simple and Relaxed Valentine's Day

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

A few Valentines ago, Victor and I had reservations at a nice restaurant in the city. It was a place where we had one of our first dates and so it was special to us. Unfortunately, it must've been special to everyone else in Atlanta also, because even though we had reservations at 8pm, we waited for our table for over an hour. Once we sat down to eat, the entrees we each wanted to order were sold out. 

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

This year, I think we'll keep it a little more low-key and have the entrees we pick to make at home. While going out is nice, keeping it simple at home can be just as special, if not more. Christina came up with this nice meal and how to enjoy it with the one you love, or with your closest girl friends! 

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Dinner doesn't need to be fussy to be special. Make your favorite salad, appetizer, and pasta dish for a hearty meal that isn't too heavy. Making multiple, simple courses gives dinner a fancy feeling without having to spend hours in the kitchen. More time to make moony eyes at each other!

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Make dessert fun and unexpected by dipping yummy snacks in chocolate! Refreshing orange or clementine wedges and pretzel sticks hit all the sweet, salty, and tart notes you crave!

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Having a Galentine's night instead? Pick up some cute V-Day tags like these from Target for serve as wine charms for your best friends.

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Keep things simple and make it buffet style. Everyone will appreciate that you've made a delicious meal, even if it was super easy to make! Using basic pieces you already have and adding in some sweet Valentine themed accessories add a really special touch. You can find these pretty heart napkins at West Elm.

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Dress up easy appetizers by making them bite-size and individual! Who doesn't love a ball of cheese on a stick, right?!

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Easy pasta keeps it low stress. Make your favorite one-pot pasta dish to make clean-up a snap so you and your friends can enjoy more time chatting and eating and less time scrubbing pots and pans. A fresh salad is a breeze to make and will add brightness to your dinner. 

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

Photo and Styling by Christina Wedge

What's better than a cupcake? A NAKED cupcake! Cupid goes around naked, so it's only fitting your dessert do the same on Valentine's Day. Top some rich chocolate cupcakes with these pretty little hearts from Target for an extra special presentation. 

We hope you have a sweet and Happy Valentine's Day!

DIY Sugar Scrub for Your Sweetie

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! What could be sweeter than making something for those you love to let them know you're thinking of them? Chocolates are a sweet gift, but what about something that pampers a little more? What about if you just want to pamper yourself? The perfect gift for your Valentine, Galentine, or yourself: DIY Sugar Scrub!

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar (we used white sugar, but you can use raw sugar, organic, or brown as well)
  • 5-8 drops essential oil (we used lemongrass)
Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and oil. Add in the essential oils one or two drops at a time for the level of scent you desire. 
  • Put in an air tight jar and wrap with a utensil to scoop the scrub and you're done!
Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Style by Susie Roupe, Photo by Christina Wedge

Personalize your gift with a pretty tag, ribbon, and instructions for use. Use about 1 tablespoon in the shower to exfoliate by gently rubbing in and rinsing away excess. Dry by patting with a towel rather than rubbing. Use caution in the shower as the coconut oil will be slippery!

We hope you'll love making this sweet pampering treat for your loved ones and for yourself this Valentine's Day!

DIY Christmas Tree For Small Spaces

I recently (5 months ago) moved from my tiny one bedroom apartment into a small mid-century style house. It's much roomier than my apartment, but with two apartments merged into one house, we're somehow still bursting at the seams. Eventually, we'll cull the furniture collection and have just what we need, but in the meantime, we're short on space but I still want to decorate for Christmas!

If you, like me, love decorating your home for the holidays but are struggling to find the space for a big Christmas tree, I've got a great solution for you. And it's something you can do easily yourself!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

Introducing....THE LADDER TREE!

It's easy to do and you probably already have most of the items you'll need to make it happen. The best part? You are only temporarily changing a ladder into a tree. It will still work as a ladder and fold up for easy storage when Christmas is over and you can still use it to change light bulbs in your ceiling fixtures!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP ONE

Gather your materials.

  • Wooden ladder (I found mine Grandmama's shed)
  • Table saw
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Wood (we used plywood) + blocks for cleats
  • Painter's tape
  • Primer 
  • Green paint (I used Rust-O-leum "Spruce")
  • Good quality garland
  • LED Christmas lights
Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP TWO

Give the ladder a good sanding. If there are globs of paint, give those a little extra attention. Even if your ladder is new, sanding is a good idea as it will help the paint to stick and go on smoothly.
TIP: Paint your nails with OPI nail polish if you want them to stay looking decent after you complete this project. I am astounded by this, but even with sanding AND spray painting, my nails still look fine! 

Photo by Victor Prince

Photo by Victor Prince

STEP THREE

Tape off all of the metal parts on your ladder to keep them from getting painted over. Keeping the working parts from being painted will keep your ladder more able to open and close and it also looks much prettier with the metal details in the end!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP FOUR

Have your handsome partner in crime (or you can do this yourself!) trim* down your wood planks to fit across the steps of the ladder. We measured for a 5 inch overhang on either side to best fit our space. You'll want the wood to fit snuggly between the steps, but not be so tight that you can't remove them.

*We do not have a table saw, so we used a circular saw but this is not the best way. Please use a table saw if you have one!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP FOUR AND A HALF

Check to see if your board will sit level across the step to the rungs on the other side. If not, you'll need to add some simple cleats for your board to sit level. We cut some small blocks, measured for levelness, and screwed them into the side of the ladder. The board will now sit level on these cleats, but will appear to sit on the rungs!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP FIVE

Prime it! I love spray primer, but I'm also a huge spray paint fan. Use whichever primer you feel most comfortable with, and go to town! Watch for drips and get the most even coverage you can, being sure to get the underside sprayed as well. At the same time, prime your boards. You'll have two sides to do on those, so be sure they get nice and dry before flipping. Let it dry until it's no longer sticky to the touch.

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP SIX

Paint your ladder and boards your desired color. Again, I used spray paint because I love it. My ladder took two even coats to be completely covered. Always get one more can of spray paint than you think you need. Remember to spray your boards green now, too!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP SEVEN

Remove the painter's tape, place the boards on the rungs/cleats and begin wrapping in garland! Wrap however you like! I did a criss-cross pattern on mine. Be sure to fluff, fluff, fluff your garland! Look up photos of live garland to see how it lays naturally if you think yours is looking a little funky. 
TIP: Do your garland wrapping and other messy decorating over a drop cloth to make clean up easier. You can shake out a drop cloth easier than you can sweep up every little piece of stray garland.

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP EIGHT

Wrap your garland in lights, following the same pattern you did earlier. Pretty!!

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP NINE

Decorate with ornaments! 

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

STEP TEN

If desired, get a shimmer blanket/batting and make a soft surface of fake snow on each plank. How festive! We used a white blanket with a snowflake pattern under our tree instead of a tree skirt. You could use fabric, or even go no tree skirt! 

Photo by Susie Roupe

Photo by Susie Roupe

Pile presents on each step and even under the ladder. This tree is a great solution for small spaces. Not only does the ladder itself take up less space than a traidtional Christmas tree, but it offers tons of storage for your presents all throughout AND under! Don't forget to pin these photos to your Christmas Pinterest boards!

Happy decorating!

 

Home Free Episode 4: Before and After

If you've been reading the blog for a while now, then you know that I (Susie) was featured on a reality show on FOX that filmed outside of Atlanta this summer.  

Each week, a team of hundreds of carpenters, laborers, designers, and experts in many other renovation related fields descended onto a home somewhere outside of Atlanta to begin a major renovation that would be completed in just five days along with the help of two teams of contestants competing to win a home! 

Week four was our last week on set, and though I know we could have gone much further and that we have the talent and drive to have continued for many weeks, we were dismayed to be eliminated. Victor and I are both extremely competitive, and me being a designer, and Victor being an engineer, I am very confident we had much more to offer! I was so proud of Victor who proved himself to be a creative and talented guy with leadership skills that inspired great teamwork. Thankfully, in the real world no one else can end one's journey.  We decide our own fate through hard work and a drive for success.  This is just what Victor and I will continue to do as we grow in our careers and show what we’re made of.

Many reality shows leave eliminated contestants heartbroken and viewers feeling sorry for them. On Home Free, things are different. Whenever contestants are eliminated, they are given the home they just completed. I can tell you it is the most confusing feeling to be so shocked and confused to have been eliminated and then be handed the keys to a newly renovated home. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! 

Here are the photos of the before and after of the house we won. It is in Stockbridge, GA, which is about an hour and a half from Atlanta. 

Exterior BEFORE

Exterior BEFORE

Exterior AFTER

Exterior AFTER

This house was supposedly a hoarder or squatter situation when we arrived, FILLED with junk outside and inside, smelly, and just filthy. During our drill down challenge this week, I could barely breathe! With allergies and asthma, inhaling dust and animal urine scent was ROUGH. Look at the transformation! Would you have ever guessed looking at this house that it started out in such a condition? The design and build teams, along with the landscape team did an outstanding job making this house into a Victorian beauty. 

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER

Kitchen AFTER

This kitchen was a total disaster before but is really beautiful now! I'm not really a Victorian style fan at all. I prefer clean lines and modern architecture, but the design team did a great job of making their spaces Victorian-inspired while still maintaining a modern twist that makes sense for a family in this day and age. 

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

I LOVE this light fixture and the media console! Very sleek and modern and a great contrast to the deep teal walls. This room is just off the kitchen and the deep tones are a great contrast to the pale wallpaper throughout the kitchen. 

Dining Room BEFORE

Dining Room BEFORE

Dining Room AFTER

Dining Room AFTER

I love the bar cart and the light fixtures in here! Another room that is a good mix of modern and ornate and lots of houseplants which I always appreciate! Also, the color of this dining room reminds me of the gorgeous blue green that I loved in episode three.

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom Sitting Area

Master Bedroom Sitting Area

Our competition, the green team, was responsible for converting the master bedroom/bathroom/closet into a master suite. The design plan included removing the closet and absorbing one of the small bedrooms into the room to create a GIANT bathroom! Seriously, the bathroom is giganitc! The green team stuck with a much more traditional Victorian style in the bedroom. 

Master Bathroom AFTER

Master Bathroom AFTER

Didn't I tell you it was huge?! And what you can't see here is there is a glass shower and water closet, too! 

Kids Retreat BEFORE

Kids Retreat BEFORE

Kids Retreat AFTER

Kids Retreat AFTER

Kids Retreat AFTER

Kids Retreat AFTER

The kids retreat was our team's responsibility this week. In addition to designing this room and making a bed or fort, we each had to repurpose an item. Victor and I had books and we did two different projects. Unfortunately, only one of them made it to TV. We created a custom wall paper out of story books for the art area of the room and out of encyclopedia pages for the reading nook. In addition to that, I used a jig saw to cut books into letter shapes to create little sculptures spelling out words and put them on the bookshelves. 

This structure in the room was designed by Victor and me and built by our entire team. We wanted to create something ambitious that was Victorian in style. It's a bit of a challenge to make a space kid-friendly and also true to Victorian aesthetics which are ornate and decorative. So, we designed a little Victorian house/bed/fort! It has a queen sized bed on top with all sorts of fun, soft pillows and underneath is a FORT! A trunk door (Ben and Kasey's repurposed item were trunks) leads into a hidden fort with a chalkboard wall, a TV, bean bags, and even a little octagonal window with tiny curtains I made to match the fabric on our pillows and stool cover. 

Custom storybook wallpaper 

Custom storybook wallpaper 

Book sculpture made with a jigsaw

Book sculpture made with a jigsaw

Pretty little octagonal window with kid-sized curtains!

Pretty little octagonal window with kid-sized curtains!

Art section

Art section

Here is a view of the art section of the room. Kasey made an easel from a trunk and we recovered a piano stool with the same fabric used on the pillows and the fort curtains! I love the bright colors of this room and the twist on Victorian style that we achieved by mixing fun elements together and building a fort that looks like an ornate house but is appealing and safe for kids!

 

Reading nook

Reading nook

Here is a view of the reading nook, slightly rearranged. When we came back to look at the house a few weeks after our elimination, we met Dave Bohler, the lead of the build team, along with his wife and kids at the house. The kids LOVED our space and did a little rearranging and playing. They did not want to leave and had to be practically peeled out of the room. I consider that a SUCCESS! 

The reading nook features encyclopedia pages in the custom wallpaper. We sorted through many pages and made sure to use the most illustrated pages with specifically Victorian elements' descriptions. We even used a page featuring fish scale tiles like those we used on the playhouse!

Guest Room 1 BEFORE

Guest Room 1 BEFORE

Guest Room 1 AFTER

Guest Room 1 AFTER

Guest Room 2 BEFORE

Guest Room 2 BEFORE

Guest Room 2 AFTER

Guest Room 2 AFTER

Dreamy Tea Room

Dreamy Tea Room

Victor and I are so thankful for this opportunity to be on Home Free. We met so many wonderful people and made great friends. It's so much fun to design within the challenging constraints of the limited time and resources that we had and see that, espeically when we combine our talents and skills, we create beautiful work we can be proud of.  Being eliminated was very upsetting because I knew we were not done and could go further. I was not ready to stop and did not want to stop making these homes more beautiful along with our new friends. Even after we discovered that we had won a home, I still wanted to get back on that truck so that I could make the homes of each of our friends better and better and be a part of the transformations. 

Being on this show gave Victor and me the opportunity to test our relationship in a situation that hardly any couple gets to experience and see that we did not fight ONCE the entire time we were on the show. And lastly, walking away from this experience with the keys to a house is an asset that will put us in a great position to build our lives together and eventually renovate or build a modern style home in the city. And now we know we can do it without breaking the relationship! 

We are so thankful to the generous network and to the production company, to the design team and to the build team! I hope we will have an opportunity to work together again in the future. 

 

If you are interested in having interior design work done, contact Susie here!

Home Free Episode 3: Before and After

As a contestant on Home Free, I was able to design some spaces I am really proud of! We have limited time, limited instruction, limited resources, and limited sleep. Add all that together, and you could get a mess, but what you get instead is a beautiful home that goes to a deserving family each week. 

We got the first hand view, and while we were not able to take our own photos (we had no cameras or phones for the entirety of filming), the Home Free team took a couple photos of our spaces. Some of the spaces I included here were not included in the "before and after" photos of the house, so I had to take screenshots of the show. I apologize for the poor quality of those photos.

Outside BEFORE

Outside BEFORE

Outside AFTER

Outside AFTER

This house was the best of the three so far. Nothing seemed to truly be in terrible condition, it just looked like someone had run out of funds and chose to abandon a project. But honestly, I think we all thought "alright! it's all in once piece!" and we really did see a lot of potential in this property. Not only is the shape of the house attractive, but this house sits on two acres of land surrounded by horse farms. If you're going to live in way outside the city, this is the place to live!

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

Living Room AFTER

This space was done by the design team, The Design Hunters. They designed all of the spaces the contestants did not work on, as well as the exterior of the house on episodes when that was not included in the project list. Originally, this room had a wainscoting treatment at a different height than what we using for the dining room, and the design team worked with us, removing the wainscoting in the living room so that the two did not compete. They were great about working with us and understanding that our designs felt crucial to us!

Dining Room BEFORE

Dining Room BEFORE

Dining Room AFTER

Dining Room AFTER

Dining Room AFTER (apologies for the poor quality screenshot)

Dining Room AFTER (apologies for the poor quality screenshot)

This room turned out to be so much of what we envisioned! Victor and I had the idea to use corrugated metal to create a wainscoting treatment. We used reclaimed boards for the chair rail and cut a rebate along the length of each chair rail and baseboard so that the metal would sit down into both pieces being "sandwiched" into place. In addition to that, we used construction adhesive and pressed the pieces against the wall, paying special attention to the seams to be sure they were totally flat and would not pose any risk of cuts. I think it turned out really beautifully and looks much more upscale and smooth this way. If we had used screws to attach the metal as it is traditionally attached in more utilitarian settings, it would have ruined the smooth aesthetic, essential for keeping the balance of industrial and upscale in this dining room. 

Originally, we planned to make a built-in bench with storage for below the windows. I was going to upholster it, and Victor was going to build it. However, due to some codes, we were not able to make that happen in the amount of time we had since the two of us were busy getting the room put together and finishing the water feature, and everyone else was tied up with their projects. We could feel the pressure on week three of being one team short again!

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom AFTER

Master Bedroom AFTER (poor screenshot)

Master Bedroom AFTER (poor screenshot)

I wish we had drapes for the bay window in the master, but unfortunately, there was a curtain rod mix-up and we did not have the appropriate rod for the bay window upstairs and downstairs. So, we used it downstairs and sacrificed drapes in these windows. I really think this room turned out beautifully. It's calming, serene, and still has that industrial farmhouse edge. On TV, they never mention that when you have "wallpaper in the master" or "art installation in the master" that the team is also responsible for designing and styling the entire room as well. We did, and it was a lot of fun! I think we really came together to make this room look like a cozy master retreat. 

Also, I completely disagree with the decision on who won the art challenge in this episode. I saw both pieces up close, and heard the concept behind both, and I truly believe that Siddiq and Aidah's concept and execution was much better. They planned ahead, hung it beautifully, and it looked finished and thoughtful while still maintaining a rustic charm. 

Master Bathroom BEFORE

Master Bathroom BEFORE

Master Bathroom AFTER

Master Bathroom AFTER

Since we were in charge of the master bedroom and the bathroom was open to the bedroom, we were tasked with designing many features in there as well. This large sink was already chosen, so we selected a mirror, accessories, and the lighting and window coverings to complement the fixtures. We wanted the room to be light, bright, and sort of disappear into the background of the room. Having a master bathroom open to the rest of the room is a bit odd, so by keeping things very neutral and subdued, we made sure the bathroom was pleasant to look at, but did not draw the eye.

Guest Bedroom 1 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 1 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 1 AFTER

Guest Bedroom 1 AFTER

This bedroom completed by The Design Hunters.

Guest Bedroom 2 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 2 BEFORE

Guest Bedroom 2 AFTER

Guest Bedroom 2 AFTER

Another bedroom completed by The Design Hunters.

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER

Kitchen AFTER

I love this kitchen! It's a little bit modern, a little bit farmhouse, and a little bit glamorous. This is the room we did our demo in since the dining room did not really require much demo. For some reason, the ceiling was dropped and there was a flourescent light being used there--eek! We removed the ceiling and it was lifted to create more height. That alone made the room feel much bigger. Taking the wall down and opening the kitchen up to the living room made it feel like half of the house is kitchen! It's open and lovely and much more useable now.  

Water Feature

Water Feature

Victor designed this water feature and we built it together. I struggled to get a good screenshot of it as I was playing the show sine none of the photos were included in the before and after shots, so this is the best I have so far. The foutain is made from a clawfoot tub. Victor immediately had a good idea, sketched it out, and then we found some of the main pieces in the reclaimed scrap yard! The idea was to bury about half of the tub as if it had sunk into the ground with the back feet sitting flush with the ground. An old water pump (found) sits on top of a post (also found) and slowly pours water into an old bucket which trickles down into the tub below. The powered water pump is covered with gravel which is pouring out all around the part of the tub that is buried and a hose carrying the water supply was fed up through the post behind the tub, and up into the old water pump. It worked beautifully! We use super-dangerous power tools to grind down the enamel off of the tub to reveal the iron below so that over time, it will rust a little and give the entire feature that rustic old-farmhouse look. We love it and I could not be more proud of Victor! He is an engineer but has worked tirelessly to produce works of art, something that is not in his typical zone. You could say, we are growing by leaps and bounds and while I learned new power tools I'd never used before, he was learning to make art and stretch himself in different ways. 

The barn was also beautiful. I'm proud of both teams for the work we put into this week. However, again, there were no photos of the barn in the before and after photos from FOX, so I don't have any beauties to show of the barn. If you haven't seen this episode, you should check it out for yourself! The work we all put in is intense! It's amazing what we can all accomplish when we work as a team! Watch this episode here

Simply Chic Fourth of July Entertaining Ideas

This article by Brian Patrick Flynn was originally posted on HGTV.com featuring original photography by Christina Wedge. Take a look and be inspired for your Independence Day soiree!

 

This Independence Day try using red, white and blue in new, unexpected ways to create an American summer soiree. Consider these entertaining ideas to make your gathering both patriotic and practical.

Red, White and Blue Refreshments

Think of cold beverages as a decorating opportunity. Chill berry-flavored bottled juices or sodas in metal tubs filled with ice; you'll not only keep guests cool but also sneak in a few extra red, white and blue touches to carry the party's patriotic theme.

Sun Supplies Station

With the harsh summer heat and intense rays of the sun in full effect, it's important your Fourth of July guests remain hydrated and UV-protected. Keep outdoor essentials nearby with a supply station stylishly stocked with rolled towels, sunblock and ice-cold water.

Patriotic Picnic

Add a little romance to your Independence Day with a red, white and blue picnic. For a true designer look, introduce a mixture of patterns and textures through floor pillows, toss pillows and blankets.

Labeled Sparklers

Instantly turn sparklers into placeholders or party favors with ribbon and paper tags. Once the sparklers are removed from their packaging, bunch them up, then tie them together with red, white and blue ribbon. Before tying and curling the ribbon ends with scissors, slide a hole-punched paper tag through one of the strands with your guests' names proudly on display.

Tasty Popsicles

Popsicles are a perfect treat for an outdoor summer soiree. Make your own Fourth-of-July-style Popsicles by pouring red or blue fruit juices into Popsicle freezer trays. To ensure they taste fresh and are fully frozen, pop the trays into the freezer one night prior to entertaining.

Flameless Party Cracker Treats

Kids and adults alike will love playing with party crackers filled with their favorite treats. Make your own using toilet paper tubes, glue and crepe paper.

Fourth of July Table Setting

Who says Fourth of July decorating has to be all stars and stripes? Give your Independence Day decor a modern update by introducing red, white and blue through modern graphic patterns.

Red, White, and Blue Table Setting

Add layers to your Fourth of July tablescape by mixing patterns in patriotic colors. To keep the different prints from looking too busy, be sure to introduce one large, one medium and one small-scale print through linens.

Fireworks for Guests

Make your placeholders useful, fun and interactive with poppers. Simply wrap the packaging with natural twine and add a paper tag. Guests will not only know where to be seated, but they'll each have their own supplies to kick off firework festivities.

Sparkler Candles

Make a spectacle of your dessert presentation with cake sparklers. Keep in mind that safety is first; only use if your outdoor entertaining takes place in a wide open area.

Ombre Party Tablescape

Give your plain white placemats and napkins a modern and patriotic update. Dip-dye using red- and blue-colored dye for a stylish look that can be used all summer long.

Festive Dessert Basket

Easily serve your dessert outdoors in a simple basket decorated for the Fourth. Place floral foam in the basket to serve sweets on sticks, which can double as a table centerpiece.

Happy Independence Day!



Sweet Succulent Style

On the heels of container gardening with Guest Blogger Jen, we wanted to follow up with one of our favorite summer plants – the lovely and versatile succulent. With so many, and we do mean many, variations in size, colors, and types, succulents are the perfect plants to add some sweet style to your summer décor. They can live inside or out, take very little maintenance and can be potted in endless ways. Take a look of some of these amazing ideas to help inspire your own succulent garden. (Images courtesy of Pinterest.)

We hope you take the succulent plunge and really create something beautiful you can enjoy this summer and all year long. 



Choosing the Right Rug Size For Your Room

Rugs are a wonderful way to tie a room together. With texture, color, and pattern, you can really make a big statement and also bring more coziness and comfort to both your indoor and outdoor spaces. One challenge that many people have when selecting a new rug is size. It's the classic Goldie Locks situation--this rug is too small, this rug is too large, this rug is juuuuust right! So, what rug size do you need to make your room look just right? 
Here are a few visuals to give you an idea of the size rug you will need for your living room.

This is typically what you see when someone is using a 5x7 rug in a living space. The rug seems to be floating and none of the pieces are connected as they should be. 

This is typically what you see when someone is using a 5x7 rug in a living space. The rug seems to be floating and none of the pieces are connected as they should be. 

This look is typical of an 8x10 rug in a living room. It's comfortable, and the rug anchors the space, creating a real harmony in the room. 

This look is typical of an 8x10 rug in a living room. It's comfortable, and the rug anchors the space, creating a real harmony in the room. 

This look is typical of using a 9x12 rug. You'll get more of a statement from using a larger rug. It often even makes rooms look larger to use larger rugs! Just be sure that you have at 18 inches or more around the perimeter of the rug so that your room does not become cramped.

This look is typical of using a 9x12 rug. You'll get more of a statement from using a larger rug. It often even makes rooms look larger to use larger rugs! Just be sure that you have at 18 inches or more around the perimeter of the rug so that your room does not become cramped.

Cat Eye Eyeliner Tutorial

Makeup can be so fun to play with! I love to try new looks and perfecting old favorites. One makeup trend I love that has been around for decades is cat eye eyeliner. It's so pretty and has a retro feel that I love. However, sometimes it can be very tricky to get a smooth, consistent line rather than a big, clumpy, or uneven line that grows thicker with every pass of the liquid liner brush. Once you know a few little tricks, achieving the cat eye look is much simpler and can even be de-meow-er (couldn't help myself!) enough to wear every day!

Want to achieve this look? Follow these steps below and try it for yourself!

There are a few things you'll need:

Curling Wand Tutorial

I have a secret weapon. Do you want to know what it is? It's the easiest way to feel like a glamour queen!

IT'S MY CURLING WAND!

Nearly every time I wear my hair curled with my curling wand, I get questions about how I get that look. I'd love to "bashfully" say, "Oh, it's natural, thank you.". But it isn't. However, it is very easy to do! Below, we have a photo collage for you with step by step instructions for how to get your curls to look beautiful with the wand. 

The rollers are not essential, but if you want to add extra volume at your roots for a special occasion, it's a good idea. Also, I sometimes skip hair spray before curling for a more relaxed "beachy" wave. When I do use hairspray, I like Fat Hair

There are a few things you'll need:

  • Curling wand (I like a thicker one because my hair is so long)
  • Velcro rollers (optional)
  • Hairspray  (optional)
  • Hair brush

CURLING WAND TUTORIAL

  • Brush out your hair. Air dried works best, as it is a little more coarse and you wont have to fight against hair that has already been worked perfectly straight. 
  • For extra volume, spray your roots with a root lifting spray and use velcro rollers.
  • Section off hair into roughly 2 inch sections and wrap around the wand.
  • Start towards the roots of your hair, wrapping around the wand at the fattest part of the wand and continue wrapping until you reach the ends of your hair and the narrow end of the wand.
  • Use caution because wands get VERY hot! I keep mine on 360 degrees and hold each section for about 10 seconds, but I have very thick hair. You'll need to make sure you do some tests to see how long you need curl the sections of your hair. If you want tighter curls, hold a little longer, but not much (maybe 12-15 seconds).  When in doubt, use the glove included with your wand to protect your fingers!
  • Tousle hair with your fingers to give your curls a more natural look and finish with a bit of hair spray. 
  • Prance around, flipping your hair dramatically because you feel so fabulous!