Our Tuff Shed Build

Hey World!

Rob here.  Susan asked me to write about the Tuff Shed installation process since she’s received so many questions about how everything came together.  Here we go!

First off, Tuff Sheds are awesome.  Putting that out there front and center. They’re awesome because they offer 1,000 different customization options but despite that, they are still perfectly manufactured since the entire building process is done at their factory.  This pre-development allows Tuff Sheds to be built under perfect conditions, with pre-cast materials that are specifically designed for each individual customization option.  Thus, the build-out is as near as perfectly efficient as possible.  Waste is limited as raw materials have been studied, examined, and worked in such a fashion as to maximize the quantity of finalized output.  Honestly, the argument can and has been made that all buildings should be pre-manufactured due to this vast increase in efficiency, quality, and the time needed to assemble.  But that’s the sustainability policy analyst coming out in me.

The starting point for building your own Tuff Shed is their website.  On there, you’ll see a ‘Build-A-Quote’ section on the bottom left.  Click that, type in your zip (because pricing differs per region) and you’re taken to the 15 building types and styles they offer.  Susan chose the Premier Pro Tall Barn.  (Note, I liked the Premier Pro Barn Weekender because there is a sweet front porch but I lost out because I couldn’t counter the argument that we couldn’t use the outside space 10 months a year.  But if you’re in a nice climate seriously check that one out!)

Once a style is chosen the details are then determined.  The number of options to choose from will require some thought.  You’ll want to specify everything from the roof to the floor.  Walls, windows, paint, height, and a multitude of loft options for the second floor (if applicable).  Susan and I had to sit down and go through this together in order to figure out which options best suited our space.  Additionally, depending on your specific town’s zoning you’ll want to learn whether the larger sized sheds are considered garages and thus, are required to meet additional specifications.

In our case, the 18X14 size required a concrete slab foundation and that was it.  I’m not in any way a construction expert so I relied heavily on the Tuff Shed staff to provide the engineering and assembly plan to help satisfy our town’s permit guys.  And seriously, Tuff Shed was awesome.  They were patient through all mine and the city’s questions and we had absolutely no issues with the permitting process at all.

From there, the Tuff Shed guys take your instructions and engineer a shed together.  Thankfully, we were completely out of that process altogether.  But I asked one of the Tuff Shed guys how long it takes to actually build a shed in the factory and he said most can be fully built out in less than a day.  That’s freaking fast.

Lastly, we scheduled an assembly date.  We had to wait a bit between our online submittal and the actual on-site assembly of the shed because we needed a few good weather days  in a row for the concrete slab to dry.  The Tuff Shed crew was fully accommodating for all that. Once we began the assembly took two days, which was much faster than I had thought it would take.  Most sheds take only a day to assemble but due to the larger size and breaks for Susan to record the process for y’all, our assembly took an extra day.

After that, we had a fully functioning Tuff Shed.  Everything additional was Susan’s creativity and design. Stay tuned for more of this to come!

Our 1940’s sunken patio reveal!

I clearly remember the day I first saw our house. It was actually a few years before we moved. We drove past to look at another one across the street and when we got there I remember wing captivated by this one. Aside from the fact that it was a white Victorian Farmhouse I was so intrigued by the sunken patio off the side of the house! Around here you don’t really see many patios like this! It was such a cool feature.

Home sweet home

Flash forward a few years. We were still searching for homes in my dream neighborhood. My mom and I jumped in the car and went for a neighborhood drive. We drove aimlessly around when she pointed out a “coming soon” sign in the distance. As we drove closer and I realized it was the same home I loved before I was so excited!! The house was ours a few months later. 👏🏻 Things have a way of working out, don’t they?!

Reece helping plant the boxwoods

After a year and eight months of working on the inside of our home, then adding a play-set, a tuff shed and porch swing to the exterior of our home, we finally got around to tackling that same sunken patio that had me at hello! It was a huge undertaking and I could not have done it without Rob and the help of family. It was a straight month of power washing, racking up old pea gravel, laying down landscaping lining, adding new stone, weeding, planting a ton of boxwoods, hanging lights and painting I was finally able to get to the good part, decorating!!

We worked with Arhaus designer Gracey Snow to give our dream patio a dream design makeover!

I want to start off by saying every Arhaus store offers this complimentary design service! Whether you decide to shop indoors or have your consultation online this service is completely free and oh so helpful! It’s so reassuring to have someone work with you to make sure items will fit into your space. Or help you with an awkward layout or provide ideas you may not have thought of yourself!

This is before doing anything to it to make it look better besides adding what we had.
Man, has this space changed!!

We worked on our project during quarantine so we met with Gracey Snow online from the comfort of our home. We had a phone conversation and provided dimensions of our sunken patio and what we had dreamt for the space to function as prior to our Skype meeting. And you guys when she showed us her thoughts and ideas on the space she knocked it out of the park!


She provided us with two looks, both stunning, but one just felt more like our family and after considering things like Chicagoland weather etc I knew exactly which one spoke to my heart!

Gracey, was wonderful to work with and actually came up with an idea I hadn’t considered, turning the fire pit horizontally between the two couches to fill up more space. She then added two outdoor poufs to line the side of the fire pit and fill in the empty gap. I LOVE how this looks and how it shows off our built in terra-cotta bench, that now showcases our plants!

Thank you Gracey for your wonderful design and service! You’re amazing!

I am so smitten with how this space turned out and cannot wait to spend many Summer days out here! Would love to hear what you think of it!

Dining area:

1.       Bourdeaux dining table https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/outdoor-dining-and-bar-tables/bourdeaux-outdoor-rectangle-dining-table/

2.       Bourdeaux dining bench https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/outdoor-ottomans-and-benches/bourdeaux-outdoor-bench/

3. Schoonover dining chair

Outdoor living room:

1.       Wyatt outdoor sofa https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/outdoor-sofas/wyatt-outdoor-sofa/?FinishName=WEATHERED%20GREY&FabricName=SAILCLOTH%20SALT&CustomVariant1=108%22

2. Sevilla swivel chair https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/chairs/sevilla-outdoor-swivel-chair/?FinishName=COVE%20GREY

3.       Natural log rectangle outdoor fire table https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/fire-pits/natural-log-rectangle-outdoor-fire-table/

4.       Naples outdoor end table https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/accent-tables/naples-outdoor-end-table/

5.       Carran pouf https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/decor/poufs/carran-indoor-outdoor-pouf/

6.       Capitola outdoor pillows https://www.arhaus.com/furniture/outdoor/outdoor-pillows-and-poufs/capitola-outdoor-pillow/?FabricName=CHARCOAL

Our home LIBRARY!

Here’s a story of a girl and her library.

The library of my dreams!

Let’s start from the way beginning, when 9 year old Susan sat wide eyed in a movie theater watching Beauty and the Beast, which would soon become her all time favorite movie, still to this day.

I was mesmerized by it! And one of my all time favorite scenes was that of Belle soaring through a library on a rolling ladder surrounded by books, and then another when she was gifted a library of her own filled floor to ceiling with pages and pages of adventure!

You know the one 🙂

Since then I always dreamt of having a library in our home. It wasn’t until our second home and 27 years later that that dream would come true for me! But it did and you guys, I’m in love!

Athens storage furniture from Arhaus

Thank you Arhaus for helping to bring my vision to life!

When I seriously started thinking about turning our rarely used formal dining room into a library I initially thought we would do floor to ceiling built ins. I thought about going this route for a few reasons. I wanted the room to feel grand, even though it isn’t a huge space I wanted it to make a statement. After all, I needed floor to ceiling shelves stuffed with books just like Belle. 😉

I was also hesitant with this idea for a few reasons. The built ins would be permanent. They would ruin the plaster walls. If we ever moved we wouldn’t be able to take them with us. It was a huge commitment.

At the end of the day I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with free standing shelving so I took the next step and we priced out having built ins put into our home. Turned out it was even more of a commitment than I was anticipating. The decorative crown on the ceiling would have to be removed and the detail of the vintage plaster ceiling reworked. That gave me the push to keep looking elsewhere.

I adore these shelves

I turned to my favorite home furnishing store, Arhaus and started taking measurements. Nothing seemed right at first but as I kept looking and researching I learned I could reconfigure their shelving units and work with a FREE Arhaus designer to make them look like built ins!!! I’m not exaggerating when I say my heart was racing as I measured for the Athens cabinets and they were just the right height and width for the space! I knew I wanted them to wrap around the room, just like they would if I got builtins on the wall, so that’s where the complimentary Arhaus design services came into play!

My happy place

I sent over my vision, dimensions of the room and within days I received back plans from an Arhaus designer for a corner unit that would marry the two end bookcases and create my dream library! There’s something so special about having a designer help with your plans, and it’s even more amazing when their services are complimentary!

27 years of dreaming about a home library… it was worth the wait!

I ended up deciding against the Athens bookcase with the sliding ladder because of the space constraints of the room! But they do have that option as well as many other gorgeous designs!

You guys, it was possible to have bookcases that looked like they had always been a part of our 1856 home without ruining any of the other vintage charm of the room! Not to mention, they were stunning, classic and elegant. Exactly the vibe I was hoping for.

Cozy library = Reece approved.

Best news right now all storage from Arhaus is 15% off! So make sure to check it out!

A reminder of how the room functioned as a final dining room.
The same room now as a cozy library

I want to add this in from friend to friend, yes, both the built ins and the cabinetry options were a large investment. At the end of the day both options were actually very similar in price for my space. I couldn’t be happier with any of the items I have from Arhaus their furniture is made to last and it is timeless. I feel good knowing that I will be able to pass these along to our children one day. Yes, that is how confident I am vouching for Arhaus pieces. This library is no different! I’m smitten! Would love to hear what you think!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

It’s almost that time of year to honor the amazing men in our lives. We’ve gathered a few gift ideas to spoil and celebrate fathers! Here are some favorites that we collected for the outdoor dads, some plants for his office, the music lovers, you name it! 😉


They are all linked below! Whether it’s a gift to your hubby, from the kids, or for your own dad, I hope you find something you love! I know Rob would appreciate these since he helped come up with some of this list. 😉


Let me know what you like or other ideas you have this year!





Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Good morning friends!

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it! Don’t worry… I’m here to help! Whether you are shopping for your wife, your mother or if you’re like me, browsing for some ideas to treat yourself, let’s face it we deserve this now more than ever ;), I am sharing some of my favorite things!

I have linked all these beauties below! I love them all so much! Tell me, in a dream world, where there are no restrictions, what would you choose for yourself or your loved one? Would love to know your favorite thing!



Hilton Head & Sonesta Resort

Good morning from chilly Chicago! It’s currently in the 30’s and as I sit here sipping my coffee I’m daydreaming about my travels last month to South Carolina. I’m already thinking about when we can return next!

Traveling to South Carolina was initially organized for a work trip. I was invited to Hilton Heady by HGTV to visit and document Bryan Patrick Flynn’s Dream Home for the 2020 giveaway. And let me tell ya, I was so excited to see this beauty in person! I had heard so many great things about Hilton Head and knew I wanted to stay longer than just a couple of days.  I didn’t know this before but Hilton Head is actually a beautiful island off the coast of South Carolina. There are mossy trees overhanging in the streets which make everything feel so dreamy. There is a charm that I just personally love and cannot get over how pretty it was.  Best of all, I got to invite my sister Catherine, and my mom along with me so that we could extend this trip and make a vacation out of it. Let me tell you, I’m so happy we did!

Aside from visiting the 2020 HGTV Dream Home, (by the way, whoever wins this is one lucky person!) I want to tell you about the wonderful resort we stayed at during our extended stay. Sonesta Resort kindly hosted us on their beautiful property for five nights. We originally planned on staying only three nights but got stranded there.  (More on that below.)  The hotel is located right on the beach and so many amenities to enjoy. Every morning we enjoyed breakfast in their restaurant and appreciated the time to have a slow morning and some great views of the pool and curation of lush trees on the property. Some mornings mom would order coffee for room service since she’s the early riser in the group and we would enjoy sipping from our mugs while sitting on our balcony, or truthfully, from the comfort of our beds, haha!

After breakfast we would walk around the property and then head to the beach to search for any seashells we could find and we would also spot so many sand dollars (they’re known for this!). Hunting for seashells is one of my favorite things to do when vacationing near a beach. The area around the resort was different than most as it was flat and had solid ground. This was perfect for any type of athletics. We would watch so many people run along the water.  Cath, mom, and I took several long walks up and down the beach site seeing and just loving the sound of the waves.  One day we even rented bikes and rode several miles up the coast!   Seriously, it was just stunningly beautiful.

Sonesta Resort offers many types of rentals, from bicycles to paddleboards, and we were so pleased with our bike rental experience. The flat sand made it easy to ride our bikes along the water. It was so refreshing and all three of us said this was a highlight of our stay. I highly recommend it! We rode for hours, and along the beach, you can stop off at other spots to grab a drink or a bite to eat. Another option is to ride the bikes or walk along the paved paths around the island. There are boutiques and restaurants nearby if you like to explore.

Considering our trip was in January, we weren’t able to enjoy the ocean, but I cannot wait to bring Rob and the girls back here in the summertime! Coming from Chicago’s winter, we still brought our bathing suits and enjoyed their hot tub and even their pool! We may have been the only ones swimming in 60 degrees but the pool was warm to us! In the warmer season, Sonesta Resort also has a restaurant next to the pool for poolside service and offers fun camps and activities for kids. I know Olivia and Lorelei would love that. When I return I’ll also take advantage of the spa on site. This momma would love a massage! There is so much to do on the property that you don’t even have to leave the resort!

The last bit I’ll share is how accommodating and friendly the staff are. From the get-go, everyone was so kind and went out of their way to accommodate us. We always felt welcomed and were happy to have such great service and smiling faces. The day before we were supposed to fly home, we discovered our flight was canceled due to poor weather conditions in Chicago. Instead of getting stuck on a layover, Sonesta Resort gladly accommodated us for two more nights while the bad weather passed back at home. (Thank you!!) We definitely didn’t mind having to stay two more days. 😉

We had such a great time visiting Hilton Head. If you’re ever in Hilton Head, you must stay at Sonesta Resort! We can’t wait for our next trip back!

Merry Christmas to me! Thank you Delta Faucet!


Susan here today.  I’d like to talk to you about a recent cosmetic (well mostly cosmetic but also a functional improvement as well) change we made to our bathroom.  Let me start by writing that we loved the look of our house when we moved in but knew right from the get-go that it wasn’t “our” style.  The touches were more modern and masculine and if you’ve been following me, you know I tend towards a mix of bohemian, romantic style.  Side note, my husband always wants me to call it bohro but I’m just not loving that.

So despite the look being good, it just wasn’t for us.  So we did a few things in here.  First, we painted the room a light bluish/gray.  This color is from our Romabio paint line and is called Mantra.   Next we used the same wallpaper that we hung in our room.  That’s called Anemone Wallpaper in Midnight from Kelly Ventura.  I think that added a nice statement wall.  Finally, we removed the two mirrors that I really did not like much.  In their place we put in the 1800’s mirror that was over the fireplace in our old home.  This slightly quirky layout, without mirrors directly over each sink, works for us.  Rob doesn’t really care what he looks like and I don’t need to watch myself brushing my teeth.  So with those core pieces in place we were close but the bathroom still needed some finishing touches.

That’s why we’re so thankful to partner with Delta Faucet (with products available at Home Depot) to add these amazing faucets and just beautiful shower head.

The sink faucets are called Two Handle Centerset Bathroom Faucet from Delta’s Chamberlain collection.   I really love their sophisticated construct.  The high angled spout, which almost looks like a swan to me, is graceful and elegant.  Plus it’s highly functional as filling up buckets or whatnot is much easier with the added clearance.

Next, Delta’s In2ition two-in-one shower head/hand shower combo is a luxury that is so very much perfection.  I love it, Rob loves it, and little Lorelei insists on using our shower instead of her’s because she just loves the handheld sprayer.  It helps us too since she struggles to get all of the conditioner out of her hair.  Rob or I can just pop that out and make sure that she’s completely rinsed off.  Plus, I have to admit that I have taken advantage of the massager setting more than once.  After a long day of chasing kiddos, working, and exercising that pulsating stream of water really helps to soothe my aching muscles.

So with Delta’s help, I think this bathroom is finally “ours”.  I love how we were able to transform the style of the space from modern/masculine to bohro (there you go Rob 😉 ) with just cosmetic updates.  Since the “bones” we completed by the previous owner our changes were pretty straightforward.

Kindred Vintage x Balsam Hill Holiday Party Table Setting

Hello from team Kindred Vintage! We’re giving tips on everything you need to host an amazing holiday dinner party. Learn the details of how to plan your menu and adorn your seasonal tablescape! Treat your guests to a holiday dinner to remember! 

Please join us over at Balsam Hill for tips on how to cook and decorate for your own beautiful holiday dinner party. Cheers!

Kindred Vintage Balsam Hill Holiday Party Setting

A Little Family Christmas Tradition

Getting our trees ready for the holidays is just our absolute favorite here at Kindred Vintage! If you’ve been following along, you know that our tradition here is for the family to set up a Christmas tree prior to Thanksgiving.  And in the past few years we’ve actually included a few more trees to the mix.  We just love the warmth and glow Christmas tree lights give off, so in our eyes the more the merrier!! Also by putting up the tree before Thanksgiving we get to expand these festivities an extra week. 🙂 🙂 🙂  With how much we love this season and all the coziness it brings, any extra Christmas time is a win in our books.

If you’re anything like us, you enjoy having a few trees to spread the warmth around the house.  Even better, by having a few extra trees you get to use a variety of trees types or set up trees using a unique styling.  And if you’re as crazy as us, (ha ha) you can set up themes for each room to set different moods!  But however tree happy you want to be, Balsam Hill has you covered.  Just to give you an idea of the options available to you, BH has five different tree shapes, seven lighting types, six height options (up to 30 feet!!!!), three degrees of realism, three ways to buy a tree based on how you set it up, and very conveniently there are five pricing categories to fit any budget.  I feel pretty confident saying that there’s a tree for anyone and everyone here.

With the huge variety of trees we have from Balsam Hill we get to stretch our imaginations when it comes to decorating.  To give you some ideas that perhaps you could use around your home here’s what we did for our family tree, which is the Sanibel Spruce.

For this very personal and sentimental tree we like to use simple decorations such as homemade popcorn garland.  This adds a touch of nostalgia without going overboard and the girls get to help while Reece steals bits of popcorn that fall off the table.  We even added some cranberries to the mix so that little bits of color popped up.

Closer to Christmas we will add our girls’ ornaments (my favorites) that they make in school and the clay ornaments that our aunt sends us with our family names. 😍 And now that we have a new family member, Reece will get his own ornament this year too!  Once those finishing touches are added this tree becomes so homey.  🙂

There’s something so warm about family traditions surrounding the glow of the Christmas tree. But this tradition is one we especially adore. We hope you love this tradition as much as we do! Let us know about any family traditions you share. We’d love to hear!

Beautiful Photos Taken by Sharon Hughes Photography

Cozy Seating with Jonathan Louis

It has been a busy couple of months here at Kindred Vintage because we’ve have been working on some really exciting projects and I’m about to tell you about one of my favorites now! If you follow along on Instagram, you know the decor is always changing, but one of our recent living room setups was one of the coziest! We have partnered with Jonathan Louis to set up our living room with the most comfortable sofa and armchairs ever! They’re a part of the Harris Collection and let me tell you, we’re obsessed!

Jonathan Louis has so many amazing collections with so many seating options to choose from. I just find it so fun to imagine what pieces would work in the space, how we should arrange everything so it flows, and lastly, decide what fabrics best match the room itself. And oh, let me tell you about the fabrics! We chose the Cisco Dove which is such a soft durable fabric. We knew the couch was going in the living room where we cozy up with our cozy main fireplace. I wanted something that would provide a calming tone against the stark focal point of our black fireplace.

What is awesome about this couch in front of the fireplace is that the family gets to utilize the amazing cushion depth that makes it so comfortable and so easy to snuggle up and fall asleep! It is the ultimate lounge couch. 🙂

Another recent favorite is the Sanibel Accent Chairs with the Llama Fur Snow White fabric. These are a Danish-inspired design that gives a beautiful midcentury vibe. They’re super soft and feel like you’re cozied up in a blanket! We love these circled in front of the electric fireplace in our basement to add that extra warmth to our space. Pair comfy chairs, a warm fire, and this beautiful Tibby Blush pillows and I’m snoozing away the afternoon. ☺

The best part of going with Jonathan Louis is that there are hundreds of different colors and fabric options and they will send you a free fabric swatch through their website. (Let’s be honest, for those of us who are indecisive, this is great.) The Tibby Blush is a pretty unique color and may not be quite right for your space. But that’s okay!!! It is so important to choose what you love so that the pillows or couch or whatever you choose is something that fulfills you and gives you joy. Luckily with Jonathan Louis’s options, there is definitely something that is perfect for everyone.

If you’re interested in purchasing your own Jonathan Louis Furniture it’s super easy! Their stores are nearly everywhere. Here’s a link where you may find one. But if one isn’t close by, their website is super user-friendly. I had no problem using it to pick out my perfect couch!

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I decorated the living room with Jonathan Louis furniture. I know I sure did! Thank you again for following along! 🙂