#Melroseplacehouse Update No.1


It’s been a LONG time since I did an update, and I could’ve posted some more over here in the prior months, most of it was just gutting the house, putting in new subfloors, and revising my design plan like 100 times. We ditched our original plan to add a bedroom and move the kitchen because it turned out to be out of our budget, so we’re doing a plain ol’ “lipstick flip” (as they say in the biz). So basically, keeping the original floor plan and just updating all the surfaces to be new and prettier. The original floorplan was not bad (minus the odd pony wall that separated the dining room and living room and broke up the whole flow of the space), so I’m not disappointed about the floorplan. The whole idea with adding a bedroom was just to add value to the home (3 bedrooms can fetch a higher sale price than 2), but you can’t add any value if you go over budget, so we scrapped my grand plans and went back to basics.

The other change in plans: we are now living in the house! I’ve mentioned it before in my post about #thebravehouse becoming an Airbnb, but we decided since we have two houses, it makes the most financial sense for one of them to be generating cashflow or at least paying for it’s mortgage and utilities. So even though we’re living in an unfinished house and all my socks have sawdust stuck to the bottoms, I’m very happy to a.) be spending SO much more time with Dan (he used to go straight from work to the house to work on it, then come home, go to bed and repeat. Needless to say, this girl whose love language is quality time was feeling a bit starved for our marriage to have time together), b.) be able to put in work on the house myself while Jack is either playing outside or in his room and during his naps, and c.) be generating an income with the other home I spent years crafting and curating!


So as a little reminder: here is the original kitchen. This photo was taken the day we got the keys. The lower cabinets are the same, we just painted them black (Behr Broadway, the same color we have on the exterior, just in an eggshell sheen. Exterior is a semi gloss). We decided to get new uppers because I wanted them to be taller. The old cabinets felt too short and I wanted something that drew your eye upward and made the room feel taller. I have a couple more to put up, one over the fridge and one on the right side by that window, and then we’ll do a hood over the range and open shelving on either side of that, butting into the cabinets, like so:

melrose mockup.jpeg

We’re gonna pop an island in there because this kitchen is HUGE. The floor is going to be a concrete-look 12x24 tiles, and then I’m thinking of doing a black tile backsplash, which would definitely be a bold move, considering the cabinets are also black, but I definitely don’t want to do a basic white tile. After all the basic stuff is taken care of we can move on to more fun stuff like putting in pendant lighting over the bar/peninsula and replacing the gross fluorescent light in the center of the kitchen, maybe putting in some can lights for optimal light in the space, and wrapping the odd little beam above the peninsula so it looks more intentional and not just a weird bump on the ceiling. Oh and giving everything a fresh coat of white paint.


We’ve got a lot of work to do. We definitely didn’t do this whole thing in the most efficient way and it’s been a huge learning experience, but we’re trucking along and chipping away at each project on our very long to do list.

Boho Bathroom Update

Boho Bathroom Design

Our bathroom is super tiny, so I don’t post a lot about it. It’s hard to photograph, and it’s the room in the house that changes least often, so there’s not a lot of new things to share about it. but I’ve made some little changes since my last bathroom update post which was like 5 years ago!

I took out the old built in medicine cabinet mirror above the sink and put in this round brass mirror from Target. It was only $50 and I love how it instantly elevated the space. We lost a little bit of storage, but honestly that medicine cabinet was so small it was barely worth it. I also added the Pothos hanging plant to the corner (the concrete hanging pot is also a Target find). One of my favorite recent additions is the Moon Phases wall hanging from Vida and Luz! So perfect in here, I love how it looks on the dark wall. I also got the white Mudcloth shower curtain from Target and I love how it adds some interest, but doesn’t make the space feel smaller.

The reclaimed wood hook wall and handpainted herringbone wall are both from my original restyle of this space from when we first moved in, and I still love them both!

Kitchen Before + After

White natural kitchen remodel

I still have a few odds and ends to button up on my kitchen remodel, but I grabbed these shots of the end result and I couldn’t resist sharing! (if you want to see my old kitchen before + after click here!)

Below is the before, as well as my design plan. I ended up going with white concrete skim coat counters instead of the walnut butcher block which was my original plan. We simply skimcoated our existing formica counters with white concrete, which ended up being way more affordable, plus we wanted something durable and low maintenance, as we’re potentially going to turn this house into a rental in the near future. While I love me some butcher block counters, having something that needed regular upkeep and could get ruined by someone putting a hot pan on the counter seemed like not the best idea for a rental.

I took out the east wall upper cabinets and had to do quite a bit of wall repair, but it looks lovely now and I like how much more bright and open it is in here! The remaining upper cabinets I painted white (Glidden Cappuccino white, which is the white in my whole house), and the lowers were painted Behr Iron Mountain. None of the cabinets had pulls, so I added brass pulls from Target.

My original plan was to do white square 4x4 tiles in an offset subway tile pattern but I ended up going with hexagonal white tiles and I’m really glad I did, I love that they are white and neutral, but have a more interesting pattern than the standard subway look.

Anyway, scroll down to see the transformation and I’ll put links to the products I used at the bottom!

Backsplash Tile: Daltile White Hex
White Concrete Countertop Overlay: Direct Colors Inc.
White upper cabinet and wall paint: Glidden Cappuccino white in Eggshell
Lower cabinet paint: Behr Iron mountain in Satin (if I did it again though, I’d do eggshell)
Open Shelving Brackets: Ikea
Cabinet Door Pulls: Target
Rug: Rejuvenation

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Living Room Before + After

eclectic living room.jpg

As I'm working on setting up our living room this time around, I'm looking back at the different ways I've arranged it in the past to get inspiration.  This arrangement is pretty close to what I'm thinking of riffing on.  Since our front door opens right into our living room I like how the back of the couch creates a more defined "entryway" space.  This time around I'd like to get a sectional that does that same thing, so I can have that space definition, but also have a cozy living room with a couch that wraps around.  

The before pictures were what the house looked like when the previous owners had staged the living room.  I painted all the walls and trim white, except the big wall I ended up doing in a black chalkboard finish.  I love how a chalkboard wall adds a ton of drama, but the chalk treatment gives it texture and lightens it up a bit.


One thing I learned a while back was that hanging your curtains from ceiling height, versus window height, will make your room feel taller, and since this space isn't terribly large, I wanted to do everything I could to make it feel more spacious.


I love a colorful door, so I painted the inside of our front door a fresh teal blue.  And I painted the neighboring french door that leads to our office space a bright yellow! If you want to paint a door, don't bother grabbing a full quart of paint, just get one of the paint tester size containers.  You'll have more than enough to paint a full door or two!

I painted this hexagon mural wall a couple years ago and while it was fun at the time, I kind of hate it now and am looking forward to reimagining this wall.  I've got a few ideas mulling around in my head that will add functionality to a part of the room that isn't used super well currently.


I'm really looking forward to reimagining this space again and sharing the re-styled room with you guys when I get her finished!

Kitchen Remodel Plans!

kitchen remodel mockup

The Anchorage apartment kitchen remodel just got me even more excited about refreshing our current kitchen.  I've spent many a restless night remodeling this kitchen in my head. Ideally we'd open up the wall between our kitchen and living room to give things a bit more of an open concept feel, but we don't really feel like spending a ton of money on doing a big fancy remodel on this house's kitchen.  She's a small, modest house and dumping a ton of money into a kitchen remodel isn't' going to increase our resale value enough to offset the cost of actually doing it, so we're going to keep thing simple, i.e. not knock any walls down.

This kitchen was new-ish when we bought the house. Our best guess is that someone bought the house to flip, or was trying to renovate it and ran out of money.  The inside had new paint, refinished hardwoods, and the kitchen was new, but the exterior was horrendous (like, my insurance company refused to insure the house because of it horrendous).  So it's a quasi-cheap flip kitchen.  The surfaces are all nice enough, but with a few tweaks here and there, this kitchen could be a fresh and modern space.

The plan:

  • Take down the upper cabinets on the sink wall and replace with open shelving. Honestly, most of our upper cabinet space is just wasted space.  I'm too short to even reach 70% of the shelves, and we've got a built-in around the corner that can house the stuff that lives in them now. 
  • Paint her white.  I do love me some chartreuse, and having a bright colorful kitchen was nice, but I feel ready for a clean slate.  I'm sure some pops of bright color will find their way into my styling, but for this new look (and for resale, I hear chartreuse kitchens aren't most buyer's fave), white is gonna do the trick.
  • Tile that backsplash.  Goodbye nasty, weird, brown Formica backsplash.  I want to do square tile instead of the usual subway tile to give a little bit of a new take on a pretty played out (though still gorgeous) look. I'm sure white subway tile stock won't be dropping for some time, but I'm excited to try something a little different. For a bit of texture, I'm going to do dark grout instead of white.
  • Walnut butcher block counters. The counters are the same brown-ish Formica as the backsplash, and I'm so SO excited to get rid of them and replace them with beautiful wood counters.  I love a butcher block countertop.
  • Paint the old cabinets and give them some modern hardware. The remaining uppers on the stove wall will be painted white, and the bottom cabinets will be a dark charcoal.  None of the cabinets currently have any knobs or pulls (which is actually super annoying, but also great for keeping your baby from opening them), so I'd like to install some in a brass finish to add contrast.
  • We also might get a new sink, but that's not a must-have, but if we do, it'll probably be a white ceramic sink, second hand from a local building material re-store.

Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but this process will likely take a while, since I'll be trying to get this done with a toddler (do you start calling them toddlers when they start... toddling?  Cuz Jack is only 10 months but he's toddling like crazy, soooo baby? toddler? I digress). I think the first thing I'll start with will be painting the bottom cabinets because I don't have to do any demo to get that done. Wish me luck!  I'll keep you guys updated.

kitchen remodel before.jpg