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CURTAINS | Tips + Tricks

October 3, 2016

Besides lending privacy and warmth to a room, curtains have a way of helping a space feel pulled together and complete. They help control light, affirm your style by adding texture and color. Below I’ve outlined some tips for how to hang curtains and some do’s and don’ts for maximizing their benefits to help your room be all it can be.

Tip #1 | Do Hang your Curtains High


Source: Skonahem

The higher the rod, the taller the window will appear, so fix your curtain rod closer to the ceiling than the top of your window. The rule of thumb is that they should sit 4-6 inches above the window frame. Below the folks at HomeBunch maximize the length of their window by using drapes that are a similar color as the walls and picked a contrasting curtain rod in oil-rubbed bronze. The contrast causes your eye to travel up the length of the curtain and gives to illusion of a taller window.


Source: HomeBunch

Tip #2 | Don’t Go Too Short

Fabric should fall to the floor. Please don’t make the mistake of having your curtains be too short this is the equivalent of high-water pants not a good look. A little puddling of fabric can be nice if you want a romantic feel, if you worry about them dragging and getting dirty, then stop the fabric just before they hit the floor — a little under an inch is good. See below for my high-water guestroom curtains –eek! They were in our last house but not that we’ve moved and have higher ceilings they are too short. Oops! I’m currently to practical to buy new ones, especially since you can’t tell from just looking into the room.

Tip #3 | Do Choose Appropriate Fabric

Choose fabric that suits both the mood of the room, and its function. In our Master Bedroom I wanted a more easy and casual look that would filter light so we used light-weight chiffon because we currently have pull-down shades for privacy. In our main living areas we used a thermal-backed linen curtains from here. Having a denser fabric which feels more formal and provides privacy. Fabrics like velvet or adding a thermal suede lining adds body to curtains and can help with drafty windows.


Source: Homes to Love


Source: Anthropologie

Tip #4 | Don’t Go Too Narrow

Select a rod that is wider than the width your window. This will allow enough room for the panels to hang on either side of your window, and also tricks your eye into thinking the window is much larger than it actually is. The rule of thumb is go 8″-12″ wider than your window.


Source: VISI

Tip #5 | Do Use Enough Fabric

You want your curtains to feel full, and if you plan to close your curtains either occasionally or everyday, the curtains should be roughly between two and 2.5 times the width of the actual window.


Photo: Jeroen van der Spek | Styling: Cleo Scheulderman


October 3, 2016

Since we’ve painted the house I’ve been really excited to purchase some kind of warehouse and/or barn light to update the back stoop. Our home has a farmhouse feel to it with the white paint and our shop has some seriously cool warehouse lights from the 60’s I’d  love to still use. Frankly I have no idea how old they are but they’ve got these little bug catchers under the lights which are pretty full (GROSS!) so they’ve clearly been there a while -but I digress. We need a light for this back porch so I went on the hunt for some warehouse lights that were both reasonably-priced and functional for an outdoor setting. But first, a look at the situation at hand and a few things to know before purchasing outdoor lighting.

Our Situation

outdoor-light-_1 lighting-shop_1 lighting-shop_2



Things to know about outdoor lighting…

Most of the ceiling lights, wall lights, outdoor lighting and ceiling fans sold in the United States have been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product safety certification organization. Conversely, some products have been tested by Intertek and carry an ETL Listed mark. Whether its UL or ETL depends on the product and either rating can help you choose the most appropriate fixture for your needs. Not every light can go outside, be sure that it has a UL Wet Rating unless you plan on putting your light under a covered porch or area where moisture is present but it gets no direct rain -in this case you can use a light that is UL Damp-Rated. I’ve broken down the differences below.

UL Dry Rating: A fixture with a UL Dry Rating may be used in any area, usually indoors, which is not directly exposed to excessive moisture and water.  Any fixture with a UL label that is not explicitly rated for wet or damp applications should be considered a UL dry location fixture.

UL Damp Rating:  A fixture with a UL Damp Rating may be used in sheltered outdoor areas that are protected from direct contact with rain, snow, or excessive moisture (such as ocean spray).

UL Wet Rating:  A fixture with a UL Wet Rating is suitable for outdoor locations that receive direct contact with rain, snow or excessive moisture (such as fog or ocean spray).



What are your favorites? I’m leaning towards the Carson Goose-neck with the 20″ shallow dome, but I would put a smaller light bulb in it. Or should we go red? I plan on refinishing the lights that are over the garage and possibly repurposing the one that is over the garage-doors so that I can have two lights there -one over each garage door which will match the one we decide to place over the back stoop. Part of the problem is that the big green monster that is our shop isn’t white yet and probably won’t be until next summer at the earliest… And green siding + red shade = Christmas.  I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Do any of you have warehouse lights in or around your home? Better yet, have any of you refurbished lighting?

Links to product: 17″ Gooseneck Sconce | Carson 12″ Wall Sconce | Lora Outdoor Barn Light | Urban Barn Galvanized Light | Multi mount Warehouse Light | 13″ NP Barn light | 14″ Porcelain Warehouse light | CANARM Outdoor Aluminum Barn Light

Painting #RENOVATE48TH

September 29, 2016

This is the LONG overdue post on how we painted our house – by ourselves!

If you missed the post on how we decided on our exterior color you can read that here. Today I’m going to unpack how we went about the physical painting of the house and all the nitty-gritty details that everyone forgets about (including me!). When I write these posts I’m ALWAYS shocked by how much work these projects can be,  and how time consuming it is to caulk FIVE BILLION NAIL HOLES!! Okay, I kid. But as you will soon read, paint doesn’t cover a multitude of flaws unless you apply some putty and caulk first.


We picked Pure White by Sherwin Williams for our exterior color. Here Nick is testing out a patch on the West side of our house. The stars happened to align that weekend and we bought our paint the when they had a 20% off deal – this helps when you’re spending $$$$ on paint.

 Getting Down to Business

After deciding on our color we pressure washed the entire house and scraped off paint that was peeling. We underestimated how long it would take to do this part, we spent an entire week of evenings pulling every last nail that had been left behind by the siding that was on top of the cedar. After this Nick caulked around each window and I caulked all the holes and spaces where the boards met so that the paint would make the siding look seamless. The one downside to picking white is that you see various imperfections but I like to think that its an old house and its not supposed to be perfect. We didn’t focus too much on the old windows as they will be replaced within the next year.

We solicited some help from a friend who had a spray gun and the expertise from being a house painter in his previous job. This was truly invaluable, spray guns take a certain skill in operating and cleaning after use. It took us about 2 hours to tape off the two doors, 11 windows and the roof over the two porches which meant lots of paper and tape to get the job done correctly.


The coverage was amazing and because of the rain we didn’t apply two coats. In fact, we only used about 10 gallons of paint total–excellent coverage and the paint sprayer did not suck up a lot of paint like some tend to do.  The paint sprayer has two parts you can connect to the nozzle: one that goes into a 5 gallon bucket and one that you hook up a small one quart reservoir bottle to.  The cleanup was a cinch–just take the nozzle apart and clean each little piece in a sink and stick the jetpack in a bucket of hot soapy water and turn it on to flush the tube.



The house when we bought it in August 2015 – Who would have thought we had windows behind those bushes!?


The house as of July 2016 – After tearing off the green press board siding and shingles, and replacing with new bevel cedar siding and T1-11 on The Skirt.

(read about this transformation HERE).



Pretty impressive, right? My girlfriend recently had her house painted and said it cost her around $6k, so if you have the DIY spirit, you can save a big chunk of change doing it yourself.


This last photo is my favorite. Eventually all of our windows will be like this one with the black frame. It really makes the window ‘POP’ and helps the house have a modern element without detracting from its original 1923 simplicity.


Painting #RENOVATE48TH

September 20, 2016

The time has come! This old house has been given a fresh coat of paint and we’re going to tell you all about how we did it. I’ll be honest, I have found it easy to walk into someone else’s home and give them ideas about paint colors but when it came time for us to paint ours I was suddenly on the fence about what I had always thought I wanted.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted the monochrome look with some rustic farmhouse touches. I’d had my heart set on a matte charcoal-black house since we purchased the home last summer. But as time passed I just couldn’t see it being black – it didn’t fit. So I decided to go white -a decision that I haven’t regretted. Nick was totally on board when I pitched him the idea of a white house so I while I narrowed the field in terms of inspiration he got to work figuring out how we could most efficiently paint the house.



I love how the white is bold without trying to hard to look modern – our home is almost 100-years old and I wanted it to look fresh without trying to be something it wasn’t.


This photo does a wonderful job of capturing how the bevel cedar siding will look with the craftsman trim. The trim will be the same color as the siding so it’s something to consider when picking our color.


This photo illustrates how the dark framed windows will look interact with the white. Photo credit

Narrowing the Field

Our first step was to bring a few swatches that we thought could work and hold them up against various planes of the house (the front, the side, etc) just to see how they looked in different lighting situations. Here are the three swatches that we brought in:


We painted it on a few sections of the house and decided we liked the Sherwin Williams – Pure white the best. The other two were a bit too yellow once applied.


Here you can see the impact of the new paint.

Stay tuned for the long overdue update on how we went about painting this old house!


September 20, 2016

When we last checked in we had replaced all of the existing cedar shingles with new beveled cedar siding. It gives the exterior of the house a much cleaner look and is congruent with pictures of the house from the late 1950’s.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

This post will outline our plan for the lowest 4-feet of the house, which we fondly refer to as “The Skirt.” In this photo you can see that its covered in wood shingles. This irregular cedar “shake” siding was used in early New England construction, and was revived in Shingle Style and Queen Anne style architecture in the late 19th century.


We will replaced the wood shingles with Texture 1-11, T1-11 or T111 (“tee-one-eleven”), a durable plywood sheet siding with grooves to imitate vertical shiplap siding. There is also a product known as reverse board-and-batten RBB that looks similar but has deeper grooves. We considered used the Hardi version of RBB but we plan to lift the house long-term which would mean ripping it all off again – so we went with the less-expensive option. Both T-11 and RBB sheets are quick and easy to install as long as they are installed with compatible flashing at butt joints.


Step one included tearing off all the existing shingles and pulling all the protruding nails. We found that you could see right into our basement in a few spots so Nick ended up having to rip a few boards to cover them up so that the T1-11 could be securely nailed to the house.


After patching all of the holes and pulling an excessive number of nails we covered everything with Building paper to protect against moisture. You can tell from the photo above Sage was clearly over the project and resigned himself to digging and sleeping his hole the rest of the day.


After stapling the Building Paper onto the house we secured the galvanized flashing underneath the last row of cedar siding to protect against water sitting on the top edge of the T1-11. This proved hard than we anticipated! We took the back of a hammer and attempted to pry the bottom edge of the siding out creating a space for us to slide the flashing into. We found that we had to be very gentle prying the hammer back otherwise the cedar would split and we’d have to replace the entire row. It was slow going, but over the course of the evening we finished the entire perimeter of the house.


img_3913We added some trim where the T1-11 met the lowest row of bevel siding and two trim pieces on each of the corners. It looks so much better all buttoned up!

Materials List

  • SmartSide 48 in. x 96 in. Strand Panel Siding. Found here: Home Depot
  • Galvanized Steel L Flashing. Found here: Home Depot
  • 1-Ply 60-Minute Building Paper. Found here:  Home Depot
  • Dewalt Stapler. Found here: Home Depot


September 9, 2016

In the last post we covered tearing off the first layer of siding, see here if you missed it.  Today I’m going to outline how we went about the process of re-siding the upper and lower parts of the house, some inspiration and the materials we used.




The shingles were in pretty bad shape in spots so instead of saving them we opted to tear it all off (both the top and bottom sections) and continue the lap siding all the way up the side of the house. You can still see where the green press board is stuck under our electrical piping, and if you look hard you can see the outline of the original house numbers over the door.

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

When  we tore off the shingles on the upper half of the house we found that the tar paper stopped at the first floor rim joist. This may have been done to help the attic breath, but it also meant that there was no secondary moisture barrier. House wrap functions as a weather-resistant barrier, preventing rain from getting into the wall assembly while allowing water-vapor to pass to the exterior. If moisture from either direction is allowed to build up within stud or cavity walls, mold and rot can set in and fiberglass or cellulose insulation  will lose its *R-value due to heat-conducting moisture.

*R-value is a measure of thermal resistance for materials such as walls, panels and insulation, it gives an indication of how quickly they will lose their heat. The higher the value of R, the better the thermal performance and heat retention of the material or assembly, and the slower any heat loss.



We covered it with Tyvek home wrap down past the existing tar paper, which meant removing two laps of the cedar siding and replacing it after the home wrap (seen below) so that we’d have a water-tight membrane.


Exterior house - home wrap.JPG

Following the application of the home wrap we continued the beveled cedar siding up the rest of the main house, and the annex off the back of the house.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset




All finished! Please ignore the obscene bathroom window that refuses to close – hence the tape! The new one is sitting in the garage but we’re waiting to tackle the bathroom after the exterior is finished. Stay tuned for how we chose our exterior paint color up next!

Materials List:

  • Pre-primed finger jointed (6 x 1/2) bevel Cedar siding. *Compton Lumber is our go-to for all wood products in Seattle. They are friendly, knowledgeable and the quality of their wood products beat out big box home improvement stores by a long shot.
  • Stainless Ring-shank nailsStainless steel is recommended as Cedar reacts with certain metals. Ring-shank is important because the nail acts like a screw, where once it nailed it will resist backing out. Found here: Home Depot
  • Tyvek Home Wrap. Found here: Home Depot


August 4, 2016

Ever since we bought this house last August we’ve had lots of hopes and dreams for how to transform the drab army green exterior. After a long winter of tedious inside projects, this June we began updating the exterior! It began when we started to pull back the siding from the two windows we replaced in the guest room. Remember the hidden window? Well that was the start of something wonderful for our little Cape Cod. It turns out that our home had two layers of siding! While we didn’t find gold in the walls – straight cedar siding runs a close second and finding it under the green press-board was a great surprise.


Needless to say, we could hardly stop ourselves from ripping off the press-board now that we had seen what was underneath. It came off surprisingly easy, and we realized quickly that with the exception of a few boards that most of the cedar was in good shape.





We found cedar shake that was in poor shape so we decided to tear it off and take the straight cedar siding all the way up.


Thankfully we had some help – it turns out we’re not the only ones that like ripping off siding.


Now time to start over! If you look over the screen door you can still see the old house numbers. We found a picture of the house (see below) that shows the green siding was put on before 1956. The next photo isn’t dated but shows the cedar siding we found – we do know the house was built in 1923 which leave us with about 25 years in-between where its clear from the pictures that there were a number of changes made to the exterior of the house.

1956 House Photo

Old House Photo

Stay tuned for more updates and a post on our inspiration for the exterior of this house!


HOW TO | Mixing Rugs

June 10, 2016

Recently I worked with a client who needed to use two different rugs in a room. So I commenced the search for some great rug combos we could use in her sitting room. Style wise, using two rugs in a room is tricky. I quickly found lots of bohemian options, which works great for mixing because they are similar in weight, material and pattern style.


Source: Green Body + Green Home


Source: Tigmi Trading


Source: 100 Layer Cake


Source: Amber Interiors

By pairing different types of rugs, you can instantly add texture to a room. You can take a rug that isn’t that comfortable and add a cozy, plush one on top and instantly you’ve created a cozy and inviting space. Another option is to look for multiple textures to create dimension.

In the photo below, the stylist added a beautiful, rustic cowhide on top of a muted jute rug which introduces a level of interest to the room. Putting a plain, woven rug down first creates a “frame” for the statement rug and highlights the piece you love.



29dc980e0bf1e212187ee80fe39aa2ebSource: 2 janvier 2016 par Céline

Pairing a solid with a pattern can add warmth to a bare room. Adding a combination of cozy and colorful bohemian rugs warms up the industrial space pictured below.


Source: The Style Files

When in doubt you can use the same rug twice, it can look just as sharp and styled as mixing. It could also be less fussy than mixing if you already have some complicated pieces in your room and want to keep things simple on the ground level.


Guest room | Mood board

June 3, 2016

Once we decided we would be gutting this room I’ve had some time to come up with fun ideas to implement once the dirty work was done. Below is the original product plan for the room. We inherited a neat white-washed bedroom set that I think will compliment the pastel color scheme we have going here. Part of me can’t believe I’m decorating in pastel’s. But I’m so excited to see this come together!


Sabina Shibori Euro Sham | 2. PetalFlynn Single Wall Sconce | 3. Stand Table lamp | 4. Cowhide patchwork pillow | 5. Brace Wall hook | 6. Hex boxes by Sydney based design group Evie | 7. Hanging Curio Cabinet | 8. Marin, curated by Minted | 9. Cut ceramic Planter

Other items that I’ve come across that I love and may find some way to use are below…

Faux Shagreen Tray by West Elm


Trigg Wall Vases at CB2


Totem Candle Holders at Rejuvenation Hardware


This is just a taste of what is to come, I can’t wait to share the reveal once the room is finally put together. Hope this was helpful!

Guest room | Inspiration

May 26, 2016

Things have shifted into high-gear around here with the impending arrival of my girlfriend from college who will be staying with us for a few weeks… We love hosting friends, and are looking forward to having a bright, cozy guest room for them to stay in. Although it is worth mentioning that construction has hardly slowed the traffic through this old house. We still had friends happily bedding down on an air mattress when the guest room was just drywall and boards over the windows. Seriously! You guys know who you are, and you are awesome.


Color: Window Pane by Sherwin Williams

I have been compiling photos and dreaming of our finished guestroom since before we tore into the walls. This weekend we finished up the trim, windows, baseboards, crown-molding and Nick caulked ALL of it. He is a MASTER. Really, caulking freaks me out so I can’t be in the same room as him when he’s working on it. I’d like to think of myself as a relatively calm person, but there is something about the finesse involved in caulking that causes me anxiety. But now that its almost finished we get to move onto the fun stuff, styling the room!



Pink Bohemian Bedroom by Victoria Smith from sfgirlbybay and Bri Emery from designlovefest


Source: Lauren Conrad


Source: Apartment Therapy

feathered collages

Source: Decor8

Also, how amazing is that feather collage in the last photo? It is made by a talented sister due, Clare and Joy from Mondocherry in Australia.

The room is small so I’m keeping it simple. Sheer white curtains, we might do some wood blinds in the square window because that west-facing wall gets SO MUCH SUN. It’s blinding when you wake up in the morning, and lets face it we all wake up a little squinty-eyed anyways and the last thing you need is to be sun-blind when you wake up. So yes, there may be blinds. We’ve ordered these before from Home Depot -the sales people will cut them to size in-store and they easily install in a few minutes. Currently there is no storage, and no room to add a dresser so I plan to get creative with some under-bed boxes and neat shelving. I also have a few prints that need a home and fit the vibe of this room. Stay tuned for the design + product board on here soon!

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