I am super duper excited to have you here! The Holiday House Walk is one of my all time favorite home tours and I am beyond honored to be a part of it! A special thank you to our tour organizer Jen, who happens to be an amazing blogger herself, jenniferrizzodesigncompany! If you’re not already following, you must! She’s incredible!
If you’re joining in, from Ella Clare Inspired’s incredible home, welcome! I know you received tons of inspiration there! Kristen is so talented!
And if you are visiting the tour for the first time, you can start from the beginning here, everyones homes this year are so insanely festive and beautiful!
I am so blessed that you stopped by and that I get to share with you a part of my heart… the place I get to call home.
We moved into our 1856 Victorian farmhouse almost exactly one year ago! It has been so fun transforming this beauty from a house to our home! I can’t wait to show you around!
Perhaps it’s the coziness of the season, the excitement from our two sweet daughters, the twinkling of the lights on the tree or the fresh smell of pine that fills the air but this season is my very favorite. It always has been and each year my love for Christmas grows.
Not only is it the time to rejoice and celebrate our Savior’s birth, which alone is reason enough to adore this Holiday. But it is also a time to gather close to ones we love, while doing the things we love, in the places we love and for that I am so thankful, and especially grateful for my favorite gathering space, our home.
Decorating has been something I have been drawn to since as early as I can remember and at Christmas time my adoration for decking the halls was even more profound! My mother and father would get down boxes upon boxes of decorations from the rafters in the garage and my brother, sisters and I would sit bright eyed indoors waiting for each one to come in.
As soon as we got the okay we tore into them, beaming at each old treasure as if it was brand new. We would each be assigned our task and mine was usually putting up the window clings and laying out the trinkets. Thank goodness I didn’t have the job of putting the tree together or stringing the lights! Haha! Oh the things my kids will never have to sympathize about! 🙂
DIY thin fireplace brick provided by General Shale! Such an incredible product!
A special thanks to Arhaus for helping to bring this years vision to lift and to Sharon Hughes photography for capturing it through her lenses! What a fun shoot this was!
Thank you so much for stopping by our home! We loved having you over! Now don’t forget to check out the next stop on the tour, Cassie Bustamante’s home is stunning!
Ever since I was a little girl, we have been putting up our Christmas tree decorations early. My mom used to bring in a box or two of seasonal décor from the garage rafters starting in November, and I remember getting so excited.
My brother and sisters and I loved tearing into ornaments and trinkets from Christmas pasts. We were in awe of the warm glow given off by the holiday candles and the light-up porcelain Christmas village. It set a whimsical, even magical mood that would lift our spirits for the cool season ahead.
The absolute best memory, though, was when we put up the tree.
I am sharing all about a family tradition that has been passed down from my parents to our children over at Balsam Hill! So grab a hot cup of coffee or tea and I’ll meet you over there!!! 🙂
Today I am joining several other talented bloggers to share our living rooms decked out for the Christmas season.
I have been looking forward to sharing this look with you! It is a bit different than my go to light, bright holiday style but I must admit I love it just as much!
This look is definitely more masculine than my usual feminine style, however to me, it still radiates the whimsical, cozy vibe I am used to! It was so much fun picking out items from Arhaus to give the room this vibe!
I centered the decor around this amazing buck artwork! I really wanted it to be the focal point of the mantel so I kept all else simple and structured! Adding these candlesticks was all the mantel needed to make the buck shine! I love how the ‘frame’ fades into the black fireplace and gives the illusion that he is jumping out at us. He really is the star of the show!
We also added in these amazing leather chairs to the space which provide both beauty and warmth to the room. I love how they appear worn and lived in an otherwise polished room. They’re also the coziest ever!
Now let’s talk about this beauty of a coffee table out of all the tables I have ever owned This one may be my favorite yet! 🙌🏻 I am amazed by the way Artisans selected each piece of shell by hand and carefully placed them one at a time onto the tabletop! It’s an art that I will admire and cherish always!
The holidays are such a great time to dream and experiment with your decor! It was so fun testing out a style that I love and admire but don’t get to enjoy often in my own home! It was also so interesting to watch the whole look come together, even though I hand picked and styled each piece, it’s always so cool watching the entire thing unfold! So interesting that although this look isn’t my everyday one it still represents me and my style so very much!
I would love to hear your thoughts on it below! As well as what your go to Christmas style is! 🙂
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Enchanted is a moody color that sets a relaxed tone. Masculine but not overly so.
Dusty Blush is a white with a subtle hint of pink that cozies up any space.
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!
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.
Pearl White is a creamy white that has a silky appearance. It’s the perfect soft 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.
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 😉
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
Lastly, Gordon installed the mantel. We used this one.