Our Vertical Garden

Moving into a new home there are always big projects to tackle! (At least when you are Kindred Vintage!) The basement hosts many rooms, one of which is a utility room. The utility room was a damp useless space and something practical had to be made out of it! There was definitely potential to brighten up this gloomy room. With a little hard work and love and after a fresh coat of paint, some artwork, and a couple of new lighting fixtures, the room already looked much better. It just needed a little more life and the idea of adding plants to just about any space is always a great idea. Not only do plants bring life into a room, but they also add some fresh air. This was just the thing for such a dull space.

Photo taken by: Sharon Hughes Photo

There is a wall in the utility room, right between the window and door, that needed some extra love. The vision was to add some plants, so we knew we had to use WallyGro! They create simple plant hangers that mount right onto the wall! The plant hangers gave such character and charm to the once lifeless and plain small space. These planters were the perfect solution to add some life and love there!. Considering this room was already small because it houses some utilities, these planters helped save on space while adding such big transformation. This was a win-win!  This vertical garden deserves to be in every home!

Photos taken by: Sharon Hughes Photo

This idea to create a wall covered with plants came to life because these planters were able to deliver just that! Not only do plants provide a pretty lively ambiance, but they deliver fresh air to this once motionless space, and also provide a relaxing soothing environment.  I’m in love with how this room turned out, at least for now! My daughters are obsessed with crafts and painting, so with the addition of an artist’s desk, this room is now transformed into something usable, and quite frankly, a place we like to spend some quality family creative time!

Photo taken by: Sharon Hughes Photo

Kipton for the win!


Thanks for joining me over on the blog today! I really want to talk to you today about our family and chance encounters.  Rob, the girls, and I love, love, love to sit and watch movies, or talk about our days, or to simply gather and relax. 

To me, the most effective way to do that is to set up the opportunity for those spontaneous gatherings.  With Rob’s job, my continuous work, and the girls chaotic school/gymnastics/playdate schedule we just never know when we’re all going to randomly be together.  And really, it’s those in-between moments that a mom lives for you know?  So why not give yourself as much of a chance to enjoy time together as you can? 

So as you read this I imagine you’re probably envisioning gathering around a table or possibly a kitchen island.  And yes!  You’re right those are great gathering places.  Rob and I have enjoyed many moments gathered together with friends and family. But I believe the next best gathering place after those two is a couch.  And Arhaus has outperformed itself again with this amazing Kipton four piece sectional. 

As is usually the case, Arhaus is top of the line in terms of quality, look, and options.  Let me tell you about a few.  Firstly, I did a bit of research when I was choosing my forever couch to find out what everything was made of.  (Definitely not going to tear apart this beautiful couch once it’s put together). After doing all the research I then had the amazing opportunity to visit the Arhaus factory in North Carolina to see gorgeous couches and sectionals being handmade! And when I say handmade I mean every detail was carefully put together right in front of our eyes from the frame to the upholstery it was super impressive!

The back cushions are composed of an encased poly foam fiberfill, with a (very handy) removable cover.  The fact that it’s removable has already come in handy as any mom knows exactly what I mean and more so exactly how I felt.  They’re lucky they’re cute.  🙂 The seat cushions are a little softer to help cushion the tooshion.  😉 They are made of a pocketed coil and foam core surrounded by a layer of feathers and down.  So the support is there as well as the softness.

For our sectional, I went with minimal wooden legs.  This option helps to give perceived height to our short-ceiling basement as well as stops some of the many kid toys from ending up lost under the couch. 😉

Lastly, I’d love to talk about the solid hardwood frame.  This bad boy will last for-ev-er.  The wood used to build the frame is sourced within 300 miles of the North Carolina facility, in efforts to help reduce carbon footprint. This means, with every Kipton purchase, you’re subconsciously making a contribution to sustaining our earth! It also means my husband has to muscle up every time I change out the rug. Poor him. 

So I hope that gives you some idea how sturdy, comfy, and usable this couch is. Next though, let me tell you about the options!!!   Holy cow, there are 86 different options for upholstery, not to mention it also can come in leather.  We went with Stanton Frost, a beautiful gray with blue undertones.  The color switches back and forth in different lighting, but no matter when I look at it, the couch is stunning. 

Kalmin coffee table is available at Arhaus

I love how all four of us (and sometimes Reece if Rob’s not around) can be together in one space, enjoying each other’s company.  I hope this blog post gives you helpful information on how amazing Arhaus Kipton sofas are and how they’re of the highest quality possible, stunningly beautiful, and comfy enough to be a bed.  But even more, I hope that this post gives you some ideas on how to give yourself opportunities for chance encounters of your own!

Athens modular media cabinet by Arhaus.

Illuminate wallpaper is from Arhaus as well!

A fun fact about November at Arhaus, it is Upholstery Month! This means:

– Save up to 40% on upholstery

– Purchase a Sofa or Sectional, Get 50% Off a Regular Price Rug!!

– SAME AS STOCK – Custom Upholstery for No Additional Cost!!

– During the month of November, Arhaus will plant one tree for every purchase, in partnership with American Forests! These specific trees are going to help restore fire-damaged areas of California.

Such an amazing company that I am so honored to stand behind!

Kindred Vintage Romabio Paint Collection

Hey World!!!  Rob here.


Sorry.  Had to do that.  I’m really freaking pumped for her.  ;):):)

I’m here today together with her to tell y’all about this amazing paint and her amazing color choices.  I’ll talk about the technical details that is why this product is better than other paint options.  She’ll discuss the colors and why she chose what she did.  Basically, I’m the left brain and she’s the right.

So to be honest, prior to kids I thought all the paint was essentially the same.  I used oil based paints simply because they covered with the least effort.  Essentially I chose anything that advertised one coat coverage.  After a few painting jobs I learned that 1) No paint job is ever one coat.  That’s simply a lie.2)  I hate cleaning up after painting.  I can handle setting up, edging, even taping but I really hate clean off the brushes and picking up.  But most importantly, I learned that 3) I’m really sensitive to the fumes.  Seriously I would have the worst headaches and I felt dizzy at times.  I could handle about an hour of painting but then I’d need to go outside and just breathe.

Then after I had kids I looked for no or low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints.  You know, because I didn’t want to poison them.  Well, turns out that later I learned that to remove VOC’s paint lines have to add another toxic chemical to extract the volatile organic compounds.  Awesome.

So that’s why I’m ecstatic SQ teamed up with RomaBio.  Paints are either oil, water, or mineral (a.k.a. rocks) based.  Obviously oil based paints off-gas toxins that are horrible for you.  Water based paints may exclude the fossil fuel poisons but the colorants can contain stuff you shouldn’t be breathing in either.  In contrast, RomaBio Paints have none of that.  They are derived from silicate rock.  This means that they are natural, asthma free, and hypoallergenic.  (Obviously they’re beautiful too but that’ll be the part SQ describes).  But what really blew my mind when I learned about this paint is that it actively cures for almost a decade.  The means it “breathes”, i.e. absorbs CO2 while never off gassing VOC’s.  Here is an excerpt from their site.

The potassium silicates micro-crystallize onto walls, continuously absorbing CO2, cleaning the air in your home or office. Our paints remain ‘active’ curing for almost a decade as living, breathing paints, with no off gassing of VOC’s.

So yes, this paint cleans your home’s air for 10 years after you paint while getting stronger and more durable.

As far as performance, mineral paints just get better with time.  As they absorb CO2, the carbon it stores makes the paint more and more durable.  The paint literally turns back into silicate rock.  Bad ass, I know.  No other type of paint can legitimately claim to improve over time.

Lastly, RomaBio’s offers three sheen’s to choose from.  Its matte option has a flatter luster than oil or water based paints.  Here in America, we would use the term chalky or possibly patina to describe the finish.  Next, its eggshell finish was developed to mimic an actual egg shell.  If you look super close at an egg (and who wouldn’t want to do that?) you will see a little shimmering.  This occurs because egg shells are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals.  As I copied above, RomaBio’s paint contains potassium silicate, which crystallizes on to the wall.  Hence it shimmers like the crystals found in eggshells.  I’d even go so far as to say that when the light hits it right the paint actually seems to glow.  It’s really awesome to see.  Lastly, there is the satin finish.  This finish has the most shininess to it and is used most often in high traffic areas.  This could include kitchens or the like.  Traditionally, this is an American approach.  In Europe, they see the inevitable wear on the paint as natural, even beautiful.  In my opinion, I’ve seen more and more appreciation of the perfectly imperfect.  From shabby chic to Anthroplogie’s entire furniture line, the trend is towards appreciating scuffs and aged beauty.  We’re even going so far as to manually distressing paint.  However, whatever sheen works best for you taste is the one you should go with.  RomaBio’s paint line will provide you high quality and natural beauty whatever your taste.


Hey everyone!  Susan here.

First off thank you for following our journey along.  I love and adore you.  Also, thank you to RomaBio.  From day 1 you’ve been amazing.  The colors that I chose for our house will forever hold a special place in my heart because they represent not only my family and I, but our style.  Moving into this house I never thought I’d be able to paint the whole thing right off the bat.  But thanks to our amazing relationship with RomaBio, they made this possible.  And not only that they let me choose the colors that represent our family and home.

Chicago Ink is a striking black that will make a statement in any room.

Kindred vintage Romabio Chicago Ink
CHICAGO INK (Limited Edition)

Galleria White is a canvas for creating magic.  It’s soft white glow allows you to pair any furniture or art work with your home.

Kindred Vintage Romabio Gallery White
Galleria White

Enchanted is a moody color that sets a relaxed tone.  Masculine but not overly so.

Kindred Vintage RomaBio Enchanted

Dusty Blush is a white with a subtle hint of pink that cozies up any space.

Kindred Vintage RomaBio Dusty Blush
Dusty Blush

Windy City is a light gray that is personally my favorite color.  I love the cool gray and the way it pops up against the Galleria White.  It’s the perfect accent to so many colors in the collection!

Kindred Vintage RomaBio WindyCity
Windy City

Willow Gray it a chameleon.  In some lights it looks like a soft taupe in others it’s a soft gray.  You can even see this effect, going from lighter to darker as you look left to right.  It’s just amazing.

Kindred Vintage RomaBio Willow Gray
Willow Gray

Pearl White is a creamy white that has a silky appearance.  It’s the perfect soft white.

Kindred Vintage RomaBio Pearl White
Pearl White

Mantra is kind of like a story color.  It’s a beautiful mix between greens and blues but is also very soft and subtle.

Kindred Vintage RomaBio Mantra
Misty Gray

Thank you Sharon for these amazing images.  Here is a link to amazing work!

Thank you so much again RomaBio.  Here are all the links to my color collection.  I chose a few extra paint colors that would be amazing compliments to the colors I put up in my own home.  I hope you love them as much as I do.

The colors in our home are:

CHICAGO INK (Limited Edition)








Some other favorites.  If only I had five houses to paint 😉




ROOTED (Limited Edition)


SILVER LINING (Limited Edition)

STOUT (Limited Edition)





Christmas in our new home – Tablescape

Hi there!

Thank you for joining us on the blog as we share our 2019 Christmas tablescape! Thank you to our amazing host, Kristen, from Ella Claire & Co. for organizing such a fun tour this year!!

I would just like to start out by saying this has to be one of the most fun tablescapes I’ve created. We moved our Bell’arte table into our kitchen to transform what is normally our informal eating area into a glam dinner party for the holidays. A little switch a roo action always makes for a good time! 😉

When setting the table I wanted it to be warm and rich in holiday colors but I also wanted it to have a glam factor. By adding in some tall candle holders, live garlands draped in lights and then paired the plates with champagne flutes it immediately did the trick! As soon as I lit the candlesticks the light they gave off against the warm, rustic tones of the table immediately set the tone for the rest of the decor.

One thing I love about my job is that I get to play around with different look for shoots and posts! I adore Christmas and creating this beautiful and fancy tablescape to share with you this season was so much fun!

Photos of my styling and home taken by Sharon Hughes Photo

Now grab yourself a hot drink, be it a coffee, chai tea or hot cocoa and get your scroll on! These others bloggers are so incredibly talented, you are about to get your inspiration socks knocked right off of ya!


Ella Claire & Co. | French Country Cottage | Craftberry Bush | Julie Blanner

Maison de Cinq | Rooms for Rent | Beneath My Heart | Home Stories A to Z

Dear Lillie | The Handmade Farmhouse | Zevy Joy | Inspired by Charm

Maison de Pax | Keeping it Cozy | Kindred Vintage | My Sweet Savannah

In LLove with LLumar

Hello, Susan here from Kindred Vintage.  As you all know, I’ve recently moved into a 150-year-old home that I love and adore.  I love the nooks and old-world character that often are hard to mimic.  But living here I’ve grown to not love our 150-year-old windows.  They’re beautiful to look at but they let in a ton of cold and heat and being nearly six feet tall I’m pretty sure my neighbors have gotten an eye full once or twice.  Well, today I’m going to tell you about an awesome product that solves my problems and will help those of you who’d like more privacy, help lower energy costs, or simply need to help keep your house cooler.

Kindred Vintage Kitchen Table

Recently we teamed up with the LLumar team to help me fix my window issues.  If you don’t recognize this brand that’s okay!  I’ve got your back.  LLumar is from a company that provides window treatments for your house.  Specifically, this means they offer tinted film for installation on window panes to help dampen the impact of sunlight. And yes, they also offer automotive window tint for car windows. 🙂

What’s the best about this collaboration is that both Rob and I love what these films do.  I’ll start with why I like and Rob will discuss what he enjoys.

Kindred Vintage Kitchen Table

As a design influencer I take the look of my house very seriously.  We bought this house for many reasons, but one of them is for how it looks.  I love the large just-off-the-floor to ceiling windows.  And I love the small French panes in the windows.  I really love how they look and the view we see looking through them.  So I really did not want to cover them with curtains or blinds, which is what I thought were my only options before the LLumar team stepped in.

Installing window film on your windows gives you a great third option that doesn’t change a room’s look as the first two would.  Specifically, in my kitchen, there simply wasn’t room for either curtains or blinds since we sit down for dinner right next to our windows.  And that brings me to the second benefit of window film.

Kindred Vintage Kitchen Table

One of my concerns, when I had the film installed in the kitchen, was that I didn’t want to “see” the film.  But my kitchen faces south so it’s noticeably hotter than the other rooms.  For this space, I choose a film that was essentially transparent but blocked something like 50% of the sun’s heat. And just look at the results.  I 100% cannot “see” the tint.  The installers (more on them later) did a perfect job of placing the tinted film directly on the glass that I cannot see an uncovered section to compare.  I am so happy with how they turned out.

Kindred Vintage Kitchen Table

Hey world, Rob here.  SQ asked me deliver my two cents on why I really like LLumar film.

Our six-foot high windows in the dining/living room, which are charming don’t get me wrong, are absolutely not private.  Everyone can completely see into our house from the street.  It’s not cool to wave to neighbors when you’re not feeling social.  Worse, I was really tired of pretending I didn’t habitually make eye contact with my grandma neighbor while I was only wearing undies.  For months we have both been really uncomfortable.  But on the plus side, LLumar film can help with that!

I learned through speaking with the installer, who helps people decide what options are best, that the tint options can help with different scenarios.  For the south facing kitchen we needed radiant protection.  So we chose a film that blocked something like 50% of the sun’s heat.  In the living/dining we used a film that provides a more reflective surface from the outside, thus more privacy and peace of mind.

So needless to write, LLumar window films are the way to go.  Even if you have curtains they are beneficial since it’s an additional layer of privacy and sun protection.

And as far as installers, we really loved ours – Tint To U.  They serve the entire Chicagoland area.  Jeff, the owner, is absolutely the friendliest salesperson ever.  He showed up on time, even texting to confirm the night before and when he left.  His crew and he did the install themselves and put up with my nosey questions.  They even let Reece sleep right in their way and just worked around his lazy butt.  They were just awesome.

One last “done” shot to end this blog with.  🙂

Thank you to LLumar for sponsoring this blog post! All opinions are my own. Photos taken by Sharon Hughes Photo.

Our Whimsical Christmas Kitchen

Hi there!

Thank you for joining us on the blog as we share our whimsical Christmas kitchen! Thank you to our amazing host, Kristen, from Ella Claire & Co. for organizing such a fun tour this year!!

This year I’m especially excited to share with you our Christmas kitchen since it is our first year decorating our new home with touches of the season. We moved into our new home end of November last year, so this year we get to be a lot more intentional on how we decorate our space. As you know from following along, Christmas is our very favorite holiday so we enjoy adding little bits and pieces of decor around our home, even in the places where you may not expect it, like the kitchen. 😉

I know people have their own opinions about how soon is too soon to start decorating for the season, but in my opinion, putting in all the effort to decorate after Thanksgiving to only enjoy it for three weeks seems way too short! In our home especially, we love the holidays so I want to extend it as long as I can!

This nook is our main eating area when we’re not hosting. It is located within the kitchen and it’s less formal than our dining room. We wanted to dress it up by adding some live wreaths and greenery. Since we wanted to achieve a look that can be either winter or Christmas specific, we incorporated these twinkle birch trees from Arhaus instead of your traditional Christmas tree.

To add some more layers to this space, we went ahead and added a tree skirt, faux fur, vibrant pillows, and even wrapped up some empty boxes to add the warmth of the season to this space (all items from Arhaus).

Even though decorating early isn’t for everyone, my hope is to share inspiration for your holiday decor whenever you are ready! 🙂 Be sure to check out my friends below for some more gorgeous holiday inspiration!

Photos taken by Sharon Hughes Photo.

Ella Claire & Co. | Zevy Joy | Inspired by Charm | Maison de Pax

Dear Lillie | The Lilypad Cottage | Maison de Cinq | Kindred Vintage

Rooms for Rent | Home Stories A to Z | Craftberry Bush | French Country Cottage

The Handmade Farmhouse | Boxwood Avenue | Nina Hendrick | My Sweet Savannah

Our Bricked Fireplace: Part 1 The Fireplace

Hey world, Rob here.

Susan asked me to provide details on the DIY fireplace and the brick we had install on the chimney and adjacent walls.  Because we took a lot of pictures and the project was done in two steps I’ve decided to split up the post into two parts, the fireplace and the brick.  Hopefully this’ll help people see the benefits of both projects while giving the choice to focus on one or the other.

Firstly, the fireplace.  I’ll start by admitting that we hired our favorite handyman to frame it and install drywall.  Reason being, I wanted to be sure this was done quickly since we were on a tight timeline with SQ’s partnership with General Shale and Romabio upcoming.  I may be somewhat handy but I work very slowly and more often than not I have to fix my original, mis-measured attempt.  But if you don’t have to have the whole project done in one day or are pretty good with framing/drywall then building a DIY fireplace for an electric insert is absolutely doable.

The first step is to figure out is what fireplace you want.  The one we chose after doing a pretty exhaustive search was the PuraFlame 33 Inches Western Electric Fireplace Insert with Remote Control, 750/1500W, Black.  We went with this one simply based on looks alone, which coincidentally, is the same reason Susan chose to marry me.  The PuraFlame simply looked the most like a real fire.

Sizing of the fireplace itself should be based on the amount of space available.  Our wall was over 15 feet in length so being too big was not a concert.  In regards to depth that wasn’t an issue for us either.  Because the air ducts were 20 inches deep, the 9 inch depth of the insert was not a problem.  So with plenty of space for it and a conveniently placed outlet we were ready to go.

The next step is where Susan’s creativity came in to play.  We used painters tape to give her the visual of how big the fireplace was in relation to the wall.  We knew we wanted a mantel as well so with the typical size of those being around 5 feet wide she went to work.  Initially SQ was going to place the fireplace centered on the wall; however, because the wall itself was so big, that setup made the fireplace look minuscule.  So we moved the tape so the left side of the fireplace (from the perspective of looking at the thing) was on the center line of the wall.  This worked because it allowed the mantle to be centered on the duct work, from where it ends on the left and to the doorway on the right.  Lastly, to balance the sides, SQ added “shelves” on the left.

Here’s a larger panorama of the room with the outline up.  You can see how putting the fireplace in the middle of the wall would make it look really small.

And with those pieces outlined, Gordon went to work!  Look at this stud.

Framing is relatively simple.  The part that Gordon spent the most time on was the base.  He had to ensure that was level and then he had to bolt it into our concrete foundation.  Badassly, he had a tool that was essentially a gun that shot the anchors through the wood and concrete.  Most people won’t have this tool handy so careful measurements and pre-drills are required.

Specific questions I had before this project began were in regard to the weight and the heat given off.  The fireplace weighs maybe 25 pounds so there isn’t any special reinforcement needed to support it.  Further, the unit does not have any screws to hold it in place.  It’s just placed in its opening and sits there.  Additionally, the unit itself doesn’t get hot.  The back and front glass are room temperature and the heat that’s given off shoots forward out the top grill that runs along the top face of the unit.  That’s just hot air that is maybe 90 degrees.

One lesson we learned though is that initially we didn’t outline the back end of the fireplace opening.  On the below image you’ll see that we only had the tape up and a 1*1 board.  This meant Gordon didn’t have anything to hammer the drywall into for the opening.  But he’s a beefcake and quickly solved that.

Notice the boards now on the wall itself.
Another beekcake came to help too.

The fireplace opening is a foot off the floor.  The unit’s face has a lip that extends 1 inch on the bottom and sides, and two inches off the top.  From this stock image you can see how the box sits on the bricks and the facade extends outward.  So again, that means the fireplace insert just sits in the opening, no screwing in required.  It’s back heavy too so it won’t tilt forward unless pulled pretty hard.

The mantle is 4’8” off the floor.  Susan wasn’t entirely sure how high to put it and wanted to see after the fireplace could be inserted into its opening so Gordon doubled up the 2*4’s where we knew the approximate location of where it was going to be installed.  This gave up some wiggle room to make minor adjustments.

The frame is level, the camera wasn’t

Lastly the drywall.  Because we knew we were going to brick over the frame Gordon didn’t have to be perfect.  This made the job much easier.  And by the way, since the insert doesn’t get hot, you are free to use drywall, wood, or any other combustible material.  Just use whatever you think looks best – which will probably be General Shale’s thin masonry.  🙂

Yea, we casually have $20’s just left out.

Lastly, Gordon installed the mantel.  We used this one.

Joel’s Antiques & Reclaimed Decor 3″ x 7″ Rustic, Mountable Floating Mantel Shelf (Unfinished, 60″)

It doesn’t look as if Joel is selling the unfinished version at the moment so here’s a close substitute.

That’s our D.I.Y. (with Gordon) project.  What do y’all think?  Up next in Part II The Brick, we’ll show how we finished off this project with General Shale and Romabio Limewash!   For now here’s a sneak peek!

Products Used:

PuraFlame Fireplace

Joel’s Antique Mantle

Our Bricked Fireplace: Part 2 The Brick

Hey world,

Rob here again to complete the story behind our bricked fireplace.  As you hopefully read in our last post we recently added an electric fireplace to our basement.  We did this for a few reasons.  Firstly, the original wall was long and plain.  Plus, because the basement itself is open, furniture layout was difficult.  The couch had to face the wall opposite the fireplace because that is where the TV is.  Changing that wouldn’t make sense since that was the only space it would fit.  Essentially, that left a room-wide “hallway” that simply served as a corridor to the other rooms and the outside.

Here is a picture of how Susan has decorated the space previously.  I think she did a wonderful job (love you babe), but you can tell the space is very wide and we if could have turned the couch around without having the T.V. cut off from the rest of the room then we would.

Secondly, being as this house is from 1856, the basement was always cold, even in the summer (especially in the summer).  The space was 5-8 degrees below the rest of the house.  The fireplace we added is enough to add that few extra degrees of warmth to make the space enjoyable.

To expand on that idea of warmth, SQ really wanted to make the space “feel” warmer in terms of visual coziness.  In our opinion the best way to do that is to add brick.  That’s where we are so happy that we partnered with General Shale.  This company is awesome.  The guys who worked on our house were just the best.  Fast, efficient, detailed, and above and beyond friendly.  They even put up with me asking a ton of questions.  Who knew that applying brick required extensive math solving capabilities?  But it does and these guys were masonry prodigies.  And best of all these maestros get to use this ingenious brick that is thin and lightweight so it’s perfect for indoor makeovers.

The problems with normal thickness bricks are many.  It’s expensive first and foremost.  Second, if we installed it we’d lose several square feet of living space.  Lastly, it’s heavy.  That may prohibit its use in upstairs rooms that may not be built to handle the cumulative weight, or in our case, the weight could have prevented us from covering the duct work.  The thin bricks that General Shale offers provide the look of “normal” bricks without these negative attributes.  And they look awesome!  Take a look at these bricks that follow old color schemes used at the turn of the century.  In a word, awesome.

They pretty much chose the perfect name for this thin brick
Here’s how they handle corners.

General Shale came in and installed the brick wall like clockwork.  It was amazing to see the guys handle our wavy walls and sharp corners as if it was just the simplest thing in the world.

Originally we were going to leave the brick its natural color; however, our basement is dark.  And even though we chose a lighter colored brick, anything besides white just darkens the whole space.  So we used a thin layer of lime wash to lighten them.  And then we used a thick layer because that still wasn’t quite right.  Needless to write, I was painting for a while.

SQ was off on a business trip so I recruited some really cute helpers to paint the walls while she was away.

Susan would have closed the door

Here is the view with only a layer or two of limewash.  Awesome still, but our space needed a few more layers to counter the shadows.

Ignore the TP

For comparison here is a side by side image of the same space.  Apologies for the blurry image.  I’m not a good photographer. 🙂  You can see that the original wall was just kind of utilitarian.  Then you can compare that to the unpainted brick, which is very cool, and lastly what one layer of Romabio limewash looks like.  Also, very cool.

And here’s the final product.  Susan will definitely be taking a ton more pictures so stay tuned for decor updates to this space!

Kindred Vintage American Standard Pretty Girls Bathroom

How to transform a dated, extra small bathroom into a little girls dream.

#Brand_Partner, #sponsored, #ad

This post brought to you by a Kindred Vintage and American Standard collaboration!!

When Rob and I were looking for our dream home in our dream city I knew we were going to have to find a “labor of love” house.  Our little corner of the world is beautifully surrounded by farmhouses and Victorians from the 1800s. Our neighborhood is lovely and just a walk to downtown! There is easy access to public transport, which is perfect for my husband, and great schools which is a must for my girls. Our neighborhood is very sought after and many people want to live here, and I knew that meant we couldn’t afford a perfect, move-in ready turnkey.

Slightly different huh? 😉

Now, don’t get me wrong.  The house we were lucky enough to purchase was already stunning.  The prior owners had done a lot of work to update the décor, but one area that they didn’t get around to was the upstairs Jack and Jill bathroom. This has become our girls’ bathroom, linking their bedroom and playroom. I’m certain the prior owners mainly used their master bath, sharing their tub with their little babe.

Kind of has a 60’s thing going…

The space itself is one of those quirky shaped rooms that seem to only exist in very old houses.  It’s on the southwest corner of our home and seems to be squeezed into the space.  It wasn’t originally a bathroom since in the 1850s there wasn’t even indoor plumbing!  My guess is that it was a storage closet considering how low the ceiling was. They even had to lower the floor to make the room usable! Now there’s a step down into the bathroom, which is a quirk that I love!

Last “before” pic I promise!

Regarding the look of the room, I’m not kidding, the bathroom was sky blue throughout including the tile, the floor, and the walls!  Even more so than the color, the floor tile was loose and often stuck to your foot as you walked through!  The room had one of those 1960’s built-in medicine cabinets, that for some reason, the builders put a light inside.  This was quite inconvenient since there was no easy way to turn on the light from outside the medicine cabinet.

Thank goodness American Standard came to the rescue with many great bathroom decor ideas!  Rob and I cannot say how happy we are with this partnership.  American Standard is just a wonderful company to work with in terms of customer service and making the remodeling process easy.

Bathroom pieces are pretty standard: tub, faucet hardware, vanity, and toilet.  Let me tell you though that updating one can still get overwhelming! The number of choices are daunting so the first thing I had to do was narrow down the number of options.  I did this by trying to be practical.  Like I wrote earlier, the bathroom is small, so I measured the pieces that were currently installed and filtered my web search to show only what fits.  This step is important to do regardless of whether or not the space is large or small.  If the new pieces don’t fit with the in-place water pipes or electric, then project costs can grow pretty significantly.

After narrowing our choices we had several options. The best and most adorable of those was American Standard’s Passage Shower Collection& Grohe products (all the links are below!)  It had the best options in terms of accessories and provided the “look” that best suited a pretty girls bathroom.

Next, I knew I wanted to decorate using white.  To me, that’s the perfect color for a whimsical, feminine bathroom for my daughters.  White is clean and flowy, and the perfect palette to add touches of color and unique decorative charm.

With these two filters alone, size and color, the options became much more realistic. By shopping online through Home Depot’s website, I was able to pick out my dream girls bathroom efficiency and in peace and quiet. Rob and I looked through the list, picked out what would coordinate, and voila! The perfect ensemble was chosen.  Specifically, this options chosen came down to simple design preference.  We like the smooth curve of the American Standard Ovation Bathtub in arctic white so that it gave a bit more room when the girls were in the tub.  Also, we liked the GROHE Tallinn Single-Handle 1-Spray Bathtub and Shower Faucet because it tempered the feminine overall look of the bathroom with a small, masculine-esq square shaped shower head.  But no matter what American Standard offers options that will work with any style.

American Standard shipped these pieces to us and we stored them in our garage until our favorite contractor became available. By the way, he loved how our bathroom was planned in advance.  He kept saying that having everything in order before he started made his job so much more efficient. Seriously, he was able to do the work so much quicker because of this.  Day 1 was demo day and days 2 – 5 he worked!  That was it!  How many of you have ever had a bathroom remodel go so quickly?  Personally, when a part of my home is in disarray the rest seems to go downhill quickly as well.  I was thrilled American Standard made it so easy to complete the job so quickly!

Tub: Ovation 5 ft. Right Drain Bathtub in Arctic White

Tub / Shower Combo Hardware: Tallinn Single-Handle 1-Spray Bathtub and Shower Faucet in Starlight Chrome (Valve Included)

Toilet: VorMax Plus Tall Height 2-Piece 1.28 GPF Single Flush Elongated Toilet in White with Slow Close Seat

Sink: Portsmouth 31 in. Vanity Top in White with Integral Bowl

Vanity: Portsmouth 30 in. Vanity Cabinet in White

Faucet: Hampton 8 in. Widespread 2-Handle Low-Arc Bathroom Faucet in Chrome with Porcelain Levers

Here are a few options we loved but didn’t end up going with.  These would definitely be good options to use if you would like to create your own personal design!

Walls: Passage 32 in. x 60 in. 4-Piece Glue-Up Alcove Bath Wall in Platinum Marble

Doors: Passage 60 in. x 72 in. Frameless Sliding Shower Door in Clear Glass

Finishing Touches:









A Much Needed Getaway

Hi Friends!

Susan here to talk to you about what every mama here knows so badly – we need a vacation. Let me tell you about one of the best local spots I have come across.


Lake Geneva is a beautiful vacation destination spot located only an hour away from both Chicago and Milwaukee. The town developed around the turn of the century and let me tell you, the houses look like it. They are just so beautiful and ornate and I just absolutely love their charm and character. The downtown is super cute and being as it’s a resort town there are tons of charming restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and all of this is right next to a picture-perfect lake dotted with stunning mansions.

Over Labor Day our family had the opportunity to vacation in this adorable town. We stayed at the Grand Geneva Resort which is located on a beautiful, tree-filled expanse of pristine Wisconsin terrain. Seriously, look at this Google map and see how close it is to town, the lake, and how it’s nearly it’s surrounded by woods.  We spent time wandering around the resort’s property and saw they offered so many amazing options for their guests. They had horseback riding, restaurants, bonfires, pools, hot tubs, and so much more.

For those of you who love sports, there is an 18-hole golf course on their stunning property. They also have The Mountain Top ski and snowboard hill if you’re into that! Personally, I would’ve loved to use their WELL Spa + Salon, but maybe I’ll just save that for next time and sneak in a little private momma time. Something our girls loved was the Moose Mountain indoor water park at Timber Ridge Lodge. We shuttled there from our room and the girls thought it was the best. To add to the list of our injured family, Lorelei was still in her boot, but she was able to enjoy the lazy river and all things relaxing.

The first night at the Grand Geneva we wanted to keep it low key. We knew the next day was going to be hectic with swimming and site seeing, so we enjoyed a delicious dinner and drinks at Brissago. Brissago is an Italian restaurant right inside the main building and 200 feet away from our room. Rob and I splurged and bought ourselves steak dinners. Let me tell you, Rob was in nearly crying tears of joy the food was so amazing. He kept saying he could cut his steak with his fork. It was that good. Later we relaxed in the jacuzzi chatting away while my sister and brother-in-law played Marco Polo with the girls. Rob was sad to not swim with the girls but secretly happy he was only capable of sitting in the hot tub because of his limited mobility due to his recent shoulder surgery.

The next day we were up early as the girls were amped for swimming again.  (Thank goodness there was a Starbucks right in the main building! You mommas know the need for morning coffee!) After an hour or so of pool time, we were hungry and decided to try one of Lake Geneva’s cute little cafes. We took the resort’s free shuttle downtown and found Avant which is this charming bicycle-oriented café with amazing food, and yes, more coffee. Afterward, the girls and I had some girl time with my mom and sister walking around the town to see the sights and boutiques. We found plenty of adorable shops with cozy sweaters, Halloween decor, and all things fall as the season was just turning. We capped the afternoon with a glass of rose in a beer garden covered with beautiful ivy.

That evening we went for one last swim and the girls were just exhausted. After we tucked them into bed we all hung out a bit longer with the intentions of staying up late and enjoying a bottle of wine, but after 20 minutes we all decided to call it a night.

For our last day at the Grand Geneva, we had the idea to set up a little surprise for the girls and decorated the hotel room with a little Kindred Vintage flare (it’s a vacation after all)! This mid-morning celebration was filled with doughnuts, gluten-free cinnamon rolls, wine, local beer, and a few poolside toys! We couldn’t have been happier with our local weekend away!