Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall Patio | Reveal

This post is sponsored by AE Outdoor.

I'm so excited to share with you our fall deck! Come on in!

First, here's a before shot taken last winter. Our deck was in horrible shape! You can see our first phase makeover here.

The most glaring issue left was the railing below the roofline. Placed to prevent bumping your head, but WOW was it ugly!

Our solution was to cut the supports to seat height and build a bench.

It's built from extra cedar from the siding on our house, so I love that it has that connection. Plus, cedar weathers well outside! We tested it - so when getting up and down you don't hit your head - it's pretty and functional! 

The star of the show is our new Camilla sectional from AE Outdoor. I've wanted an outdoor sectional for a long time and this fits perfectly in our space! The Manhattan, Wright, and Cooper were close contenders, but the L shape of the Camilla fit so well with the deck.

The quality is SO good - the cushions are made from durable Sunbrella fabric, the side weaving is durable and the perfect grayish brown color. It's SUPER comfy too!

We also built a tray to hang from our tree! Love having space other than the railing to rest things while we grill.

We love making s mores on the grill. It's super easy!

The girls always love watching - hoping to get a taste!


The Camilla stools have removable cushions - perfect as a tray for drinks and then a comfy foot rest or dog bed.

AE Outdoor also offers a free swatch service, so you know exactly what the fabric will look and feel like. The neutral cushions (bottom) make it easy to mix and match new pillows as the mood strikes.

We finished the railing on our deck and David built a door to keep the puppies enclosed. Previously, Charlotte has run off several times, so it's nice to not worry about her!

I know we'll be spending lots of time out here until it gets too cool! 

Thanks so much to AE Outdoor for partnering on this post! As always, I only share products and companies that I've had a great experience with and love! Also, be sure to check out the AE Outdoor blog - to see tips and how other bloggers have styled their spaces!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Blogging 101 | How to Grow Your Blog

My sweet friend Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Co. invited me to be a part of the Blogging 101 series - I'm so excited to be participating! I'll be sharing a little about my blog story and how things have changed and grown over these few years!

First up - developing my brand.

Here's how I started out. I started my blog on a whim in 2012 right after we moved to California. So, what lead to starting a blog? 1. No where locally was hiring Interior Designers - we lived about 3 hours from both LA and SF, and there wasn't too much around. 2. Plus, I knew that we would most likely be moving every couple years - not ideal for employers. 3. For the first few years of our marriage, I held off on doing much with our apartment because I knew we'd be moving and I didn't want to invest in a lot of stuff that we couldn't move with us (easily). I reeeeallly wanted to make our apartment our own.

So, starting my blog was really an organic process for me - I wanted to make our apartment our own. DIYing and repurposing things was a great fit for us because we both love designing and building. Plus, using things from the thrift store and other materials was relatively inexpensive, so when we moved, we could sell and get our money back. It was also turned into a job! Between designing, DIYing, writing, photographing, editing, sourcing - I was easily working 40+ hours a week. Of course, I was making zero money at the beginning, but gradually, I started making some. Over the years, I've developed friendships and a community within blogging - having that really helps me feel connected and makes me want to stick around! I've met everyone (in person) participating in this series - they are all amazing and some of my favorite people ever! (neat how doing what you love works out like that!)

Recently, we've been transitioning from apartment DIYs to larger home renovations since we purchased our first home. So in addition to smaller DIYs - we'll be sharing lots of larger renovations like bathroom and kitchens. I'll also be moving over to Wordpress - so look for a new an improved site soon!

Our Maryland entry 
Current Maryland living room
If you're looking to start or grow a blog - I recommend doing what you love (your passion will show through), creating something different and unique, don't be afraid to turn things down, if it isn't a good fit, don't feel like you have to participate, and be honest with yourself and readers.

I think what has helped me was doing and sharing what comes naturally and things that I LOVE. I hope that translates here! Feel free to share comments below with your tips or questions.

Be sure to stop by With Heart, Emily A. Clark, The White Buffalo Styling Co. and Bliss at Home to hear their blog stories and their tips!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Reno Update - Kitchen Demo 1st Phase

Wow! Does our kitchen need help!

This was taken right when we moved in. It's dark, has horrible lighting, it's cramped for one person - two you're constantly bumping into each other. It feels like you're on a boat, every nook and cranny is used - awkwardly - cabinets are cramped and hard to access (mainly the right corner which you can't see in this photo)

In preparation to extend the hardwood into the kitchen - we're removing the tile! First, why we're running the hardwood in .. currently it's cut off on an angle from the rest of the space - I hate hate hate that look .. also, it makes the kitchen feel even smaller. With the open floorplan, it just makes sense. I know hardwood isn't the best choice for areas with moisture, but it really is the best option for the floorplan, so we're willing to take the risk.

Demoing the tile in the entry was not fun, so we were happy that this was MUCH easier. It was just attached with construction adhesive instead of thin set and it popped right off with our new tools (purchased in preparation for super tough tile) regardless (even though it was pretty easy) it made the job super quick and easy. You can see a short video demoing the tile here

Here's what we used.

Dewalt demolition hammer

Bosch tile chisel 

We took our oak floor sample to Exotic Lumbar in Frederick - love this store, drool worthy live edge and the owner really knows wood. He said it was white oak - looking at the rest of the floors, we're thinking that it might be a mix of white and red oak because some of the wood looks pinkish. If we get another sample, we'll take it there to look at. We're also thinking about getting 2" oak stair treads (from Exotic Lumbar) to replaced the pine that is currently on our stairs up.

We're hoping to install the hardwood in the kitchen in the next week or so! After that, our kitchen will be kind of pieced together temporarily until we can do the full remodel. The nice thing is that it will be approximately in the layout that we're planning for the remodel, so we'll get to live with the spacing before making permanent decisions. Hopefully we will get to the full remodel in the next few months!!

Here's my first take at the new layout! Definitely still working on it ..

Also, to keep you updated on our #dorseyreno progress. This weekend in addition to partially demoing the kitchen and removing all the tile floor - we, finished sealing the floors upstairs (hopefully next weekend we will get the MBR painting so we can move back in!) and finished our fall deck, the weather has been so crummy this week! Reveal will be this Friday!

Also, this Wednesday, I'm participating in a new series with a few of my favorite bloggers!! Come back to hear a little about my story :)

See you Wednesday!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Five | 10.02.15

Happy Friday! :) I hope you had a great week! 

My friend Brittany opened an online shop, you MUST check out the Vintage Rug shop!

Please pin from original source here, thanks! 

the vintage rug shop 

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