Hi All! It’s been awhile! Time to catch you up on what has been going on around here. After we announced my TV pilot, My Flippin’ Friends, and poured all of our energy into promoting it, I had to take a little break from blogging while HGTV aired the show (3 times!). This girl was draaaaained, and after the insanity of flipping and filming the show in secret last Summer, while keeping up with the blog, I figured I earned a little hiatus, you know? If you missed the Instagram story, we found out that HGTV decided not to pick up the show for a full season, but fear not! Our team is back out pitching the idea to other networks, so fingers crossed. Also, I wanted to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported and promoted the pilot, it was a crazy, exciting, exhilarating ride, and I am so proud of what we created. I kept my schedule pretty clear this Summer because there was a chance we would be filming, and the time off has been the perfect moment to take a step back from the internet, and spend some much needed stress-free time with my family and friends, which has been absolutely wonderful. The Today Show did a story on the renovation, so the secret is out: we kept the house because the neighborhood is rapidly changing for the better, and we want to sell the home at it’s peek. In the meantime, yup, I am living in the house! (Did I keep that secret well?) When we were filming the renovation last Summer, I had big plans for the backyard, but when we needed to gut the full house, and the interior budget was maxed out, and we had to scrap plans in the backyard. So this year my goal was to finish the backyard and create the perfect oasis to have all my friends and family over for BBQ’s (and also up the property value). It’s FINALLY done, and I am so excited to share it!
Here is what I was working with….a whole lotta nothing. The house is in the city, and my neighbors houses are uncomfortably close (so close our roofs overlap). It was important to build a fence around the property for safety and privacy. I had my buddy Mike (our contractor/realtor on the show) and his guys build the deck and fence. A few of you asked me if I had a tutorial, but it was a bit too big of a DIY project for me to take on, and I was on a tight timeline because I had a break-in and wanted to property secured ASAP.
I got a couple quotes on landscaping, but after watching a million or so YouTube videos, my friends and I decided to give it a go and do-it-ourselves. Leveling the backyard, edging the perimeter, and laying the sod took 3 labor-intensive days. We haul about 2 tons of dirt from my truck to the backyard, and around a ton of sod. I was icing my back for days! Let me know in the comments if you want me to go into detail about the sod process, and I would be more then happy to write up another post. One of the hardest decisions was stain colors, I knew I wanted to go grey with the deck, but the fence is where the great debate came into play. I must have tried 15 different samples for the fence, I debated between a warmer cedar wood stain, more grey or white washing. Since there is SO much fence in a small backyard, and I did not want it to feel claustrophobic, I went with whitewash and I’m confident it was the right choice!
On to the fun part: decorating! I partnered up with Lowe’s Home Improvement to create my backyard oasis, and I could not be happier with how it turned out. I officially have the backyard that friends pop by, bring their pups to play (that’s my Sista’s dog, Maggie!), grill for dinner, and hang out by the fire as the sun sets.
I have been posting some sneak peeks on my Instagram, and the most asked questions is: “What color is that door?!” Paint colors can be so hard to choose, and this is one I have never regretted, HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Desert Lake, I just love the pop of color on the black and white exterior.
How amazing is the herb garden?! I am going to go into more detail in my next post because I love it, and gave it a little makeover to fit the color scheme.
These white planters were a steal at $20, I bought 4 and filled them with Philodendron Selloum and ZZ plants which made the deck feel super lush. I worked with the experts at Lowe’s to pick out all the greenery, they were so helpful and knowledgeable. I love plants, but am not great at keeping them alive, so it was a huge help to get advice on what would work best for my outdoor space.
Figuring out the right couch was a bit of a process. I was so excited to assemble the sectional I ordered because I knew the space would start to come together. Well, it was waaaaay too small, and did not give the backyard the cozy, welcoming feel I wanted it to have. So we packed it up and returned it, and I was a little stumped on how to fill the space, while staying in budget. Then came the idea of getting two of this super affordable conversation set, and since all the pieces are separate, I could create the U shaped sitting space I wanted. It made the backyard the hangout spot I always dreamed of, and after I loaded it up with pillows and blankets, and turn on the fire table (best purchase ever), it’s almost impossible to leave.
More photos and credits after the break!
This Summer, Apartment Therapy came to do a video shoot at my home (check out the story HERE! and the Video Tour HERE) so I wanted to get every nook and cranny of the house looking it’s best! I made a giant list, and finished all those little things I vowed to do “someday”. For those that are new around here, I “flipped” this house a few Summers ago for a pilot on HGTV. I bought this rundown 125-year-old mess for $24,000 and we fully gutted and rebuild in 4 months. I fell in love with the house, so decided to keep it, and have been making it my own with DIY projects! Since it was looking all shiny for the video shoot, I snapped pics of every room to share with you all in one place with credits and shopping links to the items still available. Welcome to I Spy Abode, hope you like the transformation!
KITCHEN & DINING AREA The kitchen started off as the grossest place in the house…think cockroaches and electrical fires….Once we got it all cleaned out, the design gave me all sorts of headaches, the sloped ceiling made upper cabinets difficult and I kept moving around the fridge because I did not want it to be a focal point. In the end, I got rid of all the uppers for more windows on the back wall, then added open-concept shelving, with a bunch of lower cabinets and a pantry around the fridge for storage. I am so happy with the final look, it’s such a beautiful view from the front to the back of the house. I originally designed the kitchen to have butcher block countertops, but my cabinet guy got me a deal on this snowy quartz, which meant a lot of white in the kitchen. To warm it up, I added wood cutting boards, and the raw wood shelves that I love styling with my vintage finds. We opened up the wall between the dining room and kitchen to create an open concept space, letting you see the kitchen from everywhere on the lower level. The modern fixtures and DIY dining table made with the reclaim wood beams from the house, mixed with the warmth of a rug and organic vase create an inviting dining space where I have potluck dinner with friends! Check out more details & photos in the kitchen before & after post here.
SHOP THE KITCHEN:
Rejuvenation Copper Carson 12″ Wall Sconce
The Tile Shop 2″ Matte White Hexagon Tiles
Kohler Matte Black Purist faucet
Kohler Cairn double bowl sink
GlideRite Hardware Classic Cabinet Bin Pull
Cosmas Flat Black Cabinet Hardware Round Mushroom Knob
CR Light Edison Style Industrial Vintage Creative Pendant Lamp
Cali Bamboo Hardwood flooring-Vintage Moonlight
Minted Leaf in Green Art
Schlage Century Single Cylinder Handleset and Latitude Lever
Snow Quartz Countertop
World Market Extra Large Acacia Wood Paddle Cutting Board
West Elm Pink/Copper Vase
Door painted in Behr Black Evergreen
RugsUSA Berta Native Symbols Rug
World Market White Textured Stoneware Bowls
World Market Stone Gray Mugs
Target Utensil Canister
Better Homes and Gardens Copper Hammered Mule Mug
Hearth & Hand Green Stoneware Pitcher
Vintage Copper canisters
SHOP THE DINING ROOM:
Novogratz Chromeo 5-light Pendant
Target Outdoor Chairs
Newgate Cookhouse Clock
Southern Enterprises Elliot Midcentury Modern Bar Cart
World Market Flatweave Jute Kilim Malika Area Rug
Anthropologie Vase (old)
CRAFT ROOM: This room off the dining room has sliding barndoors that open up to the craft room! This is a space were I can store all my supplies and great creative, then slide the doors shut and hide the mess, ha! I love the cork board wall for hanging all my inspiration and creating moodboards for the next space I am designing.
SHOP THE CRAFT ROOM:
Rejuvenation Cedar & Moss 8″ Semi-Flush Light
Target Monet Sheer Linen Pleated Cabana Stripe Curtain Panel
Plankwise Noir Stickable Wall Wood
Sauder Craft Pro Series
Quartet Cork Tiles 12×12”
LIVING ROOM & ENTRYWAY: The living room and entryway started out full of wood paneling and dingy carpet which needed to go immediately. We were able to get rid of the drop ceilings (yes plural ceilings) and raise them to 10+ft which makes the room seem so much bigger. Since there was no character to preserve in the house, I wanted to have a built in on the wall to add some interest. The floor-to-ceiling custom shelving unit displays my favorite tchotchkes. Since I used a lot of white, I really used the decor items to bring in the warmth and character to each room. I have always loved thrifting, so adding those unique pieces throughout makes it feel very much like my home. Check out more details and photos in the living room before & after post here and a livingroom update here!
SHOP THE LIVING ROOM:
Custom Coffee Table
Article Nirvana Dakota Tan Sofa
Article Pendula light
Article Tana Wood Stool
World Market Woven Basket
RugsUSA Jubilee Solid Braided Indoor/Outdoor
Hobby Lobby Blanket
Pillows – Mix of Target, Mudcloth, Marshall’s
Items on Shelves: Mix of World Market, West Elm, Amazon and Vintage
Bull Print by Amy Carroll for Minted
SHOP THE ENTRY WAY:
Plankwise Midcentury White Stickable Wall Wood
Home Goods Mirror
Baxton Studio Nelson Wooden Bench
I am finally upping the curb appeal on my house! When we renovated last Summer, there ended up being so much unexpected work on the inside, we had to cut the budget on the exterior, so we did not do much to the front or back. You saw that I finished the backyard earlier this Summer, and now it’s time to shine up the front porch with the help of Krylon® Brand.
The cedar grayed over the last year, and I was missing that rich wood tone that breaks up the white siding, so started by staining the porch with an Acorn Brown that gave a new life to the wood!
Next up was the welcome mat, I did not really want a saying on mine, and instead liked the idea of a multicolored one that tied together the colors I was using, so I found this pretty patterned one, and used Krylon ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Matte Deep Gray and Krylon ColorMaster Paint + Primer in Metallic Rose Gold to spray the different sections. You can tape off the rubber to avoid getting any paint outside of the lines.
Then the most important part: flowers and greenery. I bought these plastic pots, but was nervous that they would look too much like plastic, so I decided to cover one with a creamy color, Krylon ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Satin Almond , and paired with a smaller pot filled with pretty accent color flowers. Last up, was painting the bench with Krylon ColorMaster™ in Matte Deep Gray so it would pop off the black window frame. The magical thing about Krylon spray paint is that you can change things up quickly and inexpensively. And each project took less than one can of spray paint and 15 minutes each to paint (plus 10 minutes of dry time before it is dry to the touch). Maybe I’ll go for a bright color in the spring!
More after the break! (more…)