Downstairs Bathroom: Cottage House Flip Reveal

Out of all the rooms in the house, you probably saw and heard the least about the downstairs bathroom. With more urgent matters to attend to, it was left largely neglected until the final days, and I wasn’t convinced it’d be anywhere near ready by the Open House.

But this little dark horse came out of nowhere and surprised us all. Click to watch the Before & After…


Based on the Before situation, this is one of the more drastic transformations:


It was a tough decision to part with this wallpaper. I mean, how energized and refreshed would you feel waking up to this every morning?


But in the end, I figured it had a good 50 year run, and I had to let go of the past. So this is what I came up with:


Starting with the carpet and shower tile removal…


And the beginning of tile


Some updated lighting…


And then after a crazy one-week blitz of plumbing, finishing the tile, wall retexturing & accessorizing… we have our completed “Vintage Global Glam Bathroom”…


Sigh. In love.



I was debating on vanity and mirror colors up until the very end. Do I paint? Leave natural wood? Whitewash? Stain? Distress?


I wanted a balance of wood tones and paint, so I ended up giving the vanity a light sanding and white wash treatment for a gently aged look, then painted the mirror in a matte black shade (using Maison Blanche’s wrought iron).


I could have done a number of various combinations with great results, but I’m digging the contrast here—and the way it turned out for the very limited time I had to work with.


As usual, I took way more photos than necessary. As small as this space is, the details are so fun to capture.


The amber glass sconces were a crazy inexpensive eBay find


As was the faucet, which is also the same one I used in my last home (and in the upstairs bathroom… I may have a slight addiction).


Fun fact: this coat hook was made from a scrap piece of wood found in my dads garage, just hours before the Open House. No second wasted!


I’m a huge fan of this crystal chandelier. I see more of these in my future (please don’t run out, Wayfair!)

You can barely see the brass toilet sign on the door, but I just love that fun little touch. It matches the door handle too!


Patterned tile is the best, isn’t it? Especially when it’s affordable.


It does look greenish in the product photos but it’s definitely more of a neutral gray.


It’s the smallest room in the house, but it sure does make an impact!



Floor Tile

Shower wall tile

Sink faucet




Mirror: Craigslist

Vanity: Thrift Store

Shower/tub faucet

Lace curtain

Hand towel

Shower towel

Basket: already owned

Door toilet sign

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.

And that should cover everything! What do you think? Turned out almost identical to the Bathroom Plan photo, right? I’m just relieved we were able to pull it off in time at all! This was a fun space to plan, and I’ll definitely be borrowing some design features in future remodels.

That’s it for this week—don’t forget to watch the Before & After video for the full experience, and come back next Tuesday for the first of the upstairs reveals! Lots more on the way…


The Living & Dining Room: Cottage House Flip Reveal

It’s Week 2 of the Cottage House Flip Reveals—and today we have a big one! Click below to watch the Before & After:


As the largest and most open space in this home, the living room arrangement didn’t make a whole lot of sense when I first stepped foot in the house back in September:


It was dark, dated, and had a random assortment of furniture (along with archives of books, vhs tapes and games and memorabilia dating back to the 50’s) collected over the years.


After selling and donating everything, it was time to come up with a plan that made sense for this space and how it would most likely be used.


There was no dining area, and in my opinion—in a six bedroom home where there will often be larger crowds—a place for everyone to gather around a table and share a meal is essential.


So I split the room in half, designating one side (across from the kitchen) as the new dining area, and the other half next to the fireplace as the lounging spot.


The first project tackled in here was the fireplace.


I loved the brick but didn’t love the random green, yellow and black painted areas nor the unfinished look without a mantel.


So I beefed it up with a reclaimed wood mantel surround and tried a new DIY technique with a mortar wash, which both covered the undesired bricks and enhanced the rustic qualities, giving it an old world European flair:


Next it was time for the carpet to go. Sadly, though the walls and ceilings were built with beautiful original wood, I didn’t get so lucky with these linoleum floors.


The living room became my DIY workshop with a makeshift saw table station for several weeks.


Then came the real game changer…


Valspar’s Bistro White along with recessed lighting eliminated the dark, heavy feeling and made it feel like a completely different home.


A wall of built in cabinets (in the same style as the kitchen) brought extra storage space.


And wide plank Pergo flooring grounded the room and set the stage for the furniture.


With the essential building blocks out of the way, I was finally able to start making this space feel like a home.

Four months later, and I’d sure love coming home to this…


By keeping the color palette light, the room is brighter and feels much more open than before.


The large picture windows looking out into the trees also help to visually expand your surroundings.


Using furniture and accessories from my last home, I was able to keep the staging budget extremely low in here (thankfully, because I went way over budget on labor costs!)


The wood burning fireplace puts out a lot of heat and makes the whole house warm and cozy.


By using a variety of different seating, everyone can find their own spot to curl up on.


This oversized upholstered bench was a fun alternative and contrast to the metal dining chairs.



And the dining table? A quick and easy DIY using Ikea legs and reclaimed lumber. I was so close to painting it, but all of my instagram story watchers talked me out of it (good call, guys!)


My favorite item in this room? Has to be this chandelier


I didn’t know I’d love it so much, but once it was installed, I fell in love with the room and have been ever since. The gold on the inside is just the best thing ever.


Sorry, I have an overload of pictures here. I couldn’t help it—the dining room is so photogenic.


Thank you Country Living for these beautiful hydrangeas (that died within a matter of hours after taking these):


Also, these windows? I never thought I’d see the day where I’d leave wood window trim unpainted, but they are one of the best features of this house. My design style is evolving.


My favorite cozy spot goes to this chaise lounge…

I love the graphic detailing on this lumbar pillow from PureHomeLA. And of course, my repurposed copper vintage side table. Lots of fun styles/textures/finishes going on here.

These inexpensive Ikea frames filled with old black and white photos from my travels are so diverse—I had them hanging all over my last two homes and they fit perfectly here too.



On the other side of the room, straight ahead from the front door I set up a makeshift entryway.


I borrowed my parents awesome black carved mirror, added a shelf with vintage style brackets, and reused the coat hooks and a bench that came with the house.


Sweet & simple!

The mantel was topped with a DIY antler plaque, white pillar candles and tree clippings from the yard.


Interactive photo time! Hover your house (or tap on mobile) for direct links to sources:

And so concludes today’s tour of the Cottage House Flip Living/Dining space! Tell me, what is your favorite part? Aside from the chandelier, I’m all about those wood windows and chaise lounge nook.


Paint:  Valspar’s Bistro White (eggshell)
Jute Rug (natural)
Sofa (with a Comfort Works slipcover)
Chaise lounge (with a Comfort Works slipcover)
Wicker chairs
Gray settee
Dining table: DIY w/Ikea legs
Dining chairs
Dining bench
Sheepskin rug
Table lamps
Black floor lamp
Pillows & blankets: Ikea, Wayfair, PureHomeLA
Black mirror: borrowed
Picture frames: Ikea/DIY
White floor mirror: Ikea/DIY
Rustic shelf sign
Pitcher, candles & candle sticks: local flea/thrift

Just one more room downstairs until we head to the top floor next week! Tune in this Thursday for the downstairs bathroom reveal. This little space really came together in the last week before the open house, and I am such a huge fan of the transformation. See for yourself in two days…!


The Kitchen: Cottage House Flip Reveal

If there’s one room that I’m most excited to reveal, this would be it. Click below to watch the official Before & After video:


The dream kitchen planning began long before purchasing the house—months spent browsing Pinterest and gathering inspiration and ideas for my next kitchen renovation. I had a general idea of what I wanted it to look and feel like, and shared it back in November, in my Kitchen Plans post.


The only way to get there was a complete gut job of this 60 year old relic:


It was begging for a new life.


So I went to the drawing board, coming up with every possible configuration until landing on one that made the most sense.

Step 1: Take it down to the studs.



Step 2: Remove the door to make way for a new stove & fridge location, and brighten up the walls.


Step 3: More cabinet & counter space.



Step 4: Durable flooring, butcher block counters, farmhouse sink, a DIY range hood and updated electrical.


Step 5: Custom built-ins by my talented contractor:



Step 6: Layer on the unique & unexpected details


If only it were as simple as those six steps… Ha! But the four months of intensive labor have really paid off this time.

Welcome to the Cottage House Flip Kitchen…



I almost chose gold over copper, but I’m glad I went with my gut on this. I haven’t seen another kitchen like it.


Here comes the fun part: hover over the next two images and product info & links will magically appear. Bam!


Pretty cool, right? I’ll be using this feature in a few of my reveal posts, so stay tuned for more.

Can we talk about this sink for a second?


The front detailing gets me every time. It’s actually reversible with a smooth side on the back, but I don’t know why you’d want to use it when you’ve got this awesome sauce on the other side. And that bridge faucet is a match made in heaven for it (affordable, too!)


The brick herringbone accent was a last minute decision because I couldn’t stand to throw away the gorgeous brick pavers I had leftover from the laundry & bathroom floor (PS, they come in several different colors… wish I had discovered these sooner!)

We ran a propane line just to have a gas stove (you’re welcome, future homeowner) and this range is by far the nicest I’ve ever owned. In fact, my contractor who installed it is about to buy one for himself. Sidenote: can you believe these sconces are only $91 a piece?


I wasn’t sure if there’d be room for a table in here but it worked out pretty perfectly. It was a $30 Craigslist find that I refinished (in Maison Blanche‘s Vanille & brown antique wax). The runner is a light weight blanket I grabbed from home and threw on top at the last second.


The open floating shelving is a designers dream. Everything here was pulled from storage (collected over the years from flea markets, thrift stores, some from Wayfair, etc). Artichokes and pistachios courtesy of the Country Living stylist 🙂


And the hardware—I scoured the internet for weeks looking for copper pulls and knobs, and think I found the only set in existence (that wasn’t outrageously expensive or unattractive). I actually used a bit of steel wool to expose more of the copper underneath and they’re a great match to the sconces.


On the right side of the room, we have a nice row of cabinets providing plenty of storage and extra counter space.


The chalkboard (made by the Summery Umbrella) came from my last house, and I designed a quick “welcome home” in Illustrator, printed it out on several sheets of paper and traced it.


And how cute is that little dinner bell? Found it on eBay.


I repurposed a few vintage hooks found in the house and created a little drop zone where the fridge used to stand.


The fun striped apron was an Etsy find (and the shop is offering 20% off with the code jennasuedesign!)


I also borrowed some of Country Living’s props while they were here and had fun switching up the styling…



I wish this flip was 4 months of styling/shooting and 2 days of construction, rather than the other way around. I’d much rather do that all day.


This color palette… I didn’t know if it would all work together, but it just feels so right.


Several meals have already been had around this table, and I plan to take full advantage of this kitchen for as long as I can. Part of me secretly hopes it doesn’t sell for a while.



Can you blame me?


It’s hard to give up your dream kitchen. I’d do it all over again.

Table setting / Cottage House Flip Kitchen Reveal


Wall paint: Valspar’s Bistro White (eggshell)

Trim paint: Valspar’s Woodlawn Colonial Gray (eggshell)


Cabinets: Kraftmaid Durham Maple Square in Onyx

Butcher block counters – stained in Minwax’s weathered oak & sealed with Howard’s Conditioner

Cabinet knobs & pulls

Subway tile (with white grout)

Brick veneer tile (with white grout)

Copper sconces






Bar stools



Dinner bell

Striped apron

Brown tribal patterned pillow

All other pillows: Ikea, H&M

Blankets: already owned

Hooks: already owned

Old bench: already owned

Plates, vases, pitchers, etc: flea market/thrift/already owned

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.

Cottage House Flip KITCHEN REVEAL / Sources in post

I think that covers it all, let me know if I missed anything or if there’s any clarifications needed, and make sure to watch the Before & After video to get a more complete picture! What do you think of the reveal? What’s your favorite part? It’s hard for me to choose, but I think that brick herringbone is the icing on the cake.

Next Tuesday I’ll be sharing the living/dining area, so there’s a ton of photos coming your way! I’m off to enjoy the first weekend I get to spend relaxing at home in a very long time… <3


The Exterior: Cottage House Flip Reveal

These past ten days have been a true transformation, in every sense of the word. It’s hard to remember what life was like before this all began, before this house came along and consumed all of my thoughts and time. I feel as if I’ve just given birth to a child after planning and dreaming and laboring for 4.5 months… and now, it’s finally out in the world—even more perfect and beautiful than I’d imagined—and so begins the phase of equal parts relief, recovery, and celebration.

Between scrambling to finish last minute projects, the Country Living shoot, the Open House and trying to photograph/video/document it all (and that’s just in the past 4 days), I still have yet to pause and take it all in, so it hasn’t quite hit me yet. It has been an absolute whirlwind complete with flooding the day before the stylist arrived, 20 realtors walking through the photo shoot and getting wet paint on their clothing because we still weren’t finished, bouts of delusion and sickness and 17 new gray hairs on a head that has been washed once in ten days. It got to the point of trying to figure out if/how I could reschedule the shoot and the Open House, but pushing through was the only option, so that is what I did.

If there’s one life lesson that continues to manifest, it’s this: the harder the struggle, the greater the reward. This has been the most mentally and physically challenging undertaking I’ve endured, but reaching this point has become my greatest accomplishment, taught me a lot and made me stronger in many ways. Every bit of blood, sweat and tears were so worth it. 

Over the next month, I’ll be posting multiple times per week, revealing each space complete with Before & After photos/video tours, and links to sources followed by a few awesome giveaways at the end. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen.

Let’s kick off the Cottage House Flip Reveal with the logical place to start… the Exterior!


Plenty of cottage charm, needing lots of TLC.

Before & After Reveal






The exterior racked up quite a few costs, including a new foundation along the front perimeter, all new siding on the lower half of the house, two new windows, shutters and lower front door, all new window trim, new railing and a deck refinish, a new porch ceiling, rebuilding the back porch, new retaining walls and staircase, creating an entryway under the house, paint and landscaping.






The biggest hurdle here came from the weather—unseasonably rainy and cold, leading to record snowstorms and power outages.


In fact, it rained for days until hours before the open house, so my contractors still need to come back for paint & stain touchups, deck refinishing and log removal.

This was how it looked just a couple weeks ago, and miraculously there’s only one small patch of snow left now…



Ready for the AFTER?



*Cue the choir of angels*


After a week of rain and darkness, the skies cleared the morning of the Open House and it was the most perfect day.


Lucas and I had a slumber party there the night before and it was like living in a fairy tale in the enchanted forest. I never wanted to leave.


Hats off to my contractors who had guys out there shoveling gravel, building stair railing and doing paint touchups while Country Living was there shooting.


The black shutters and lanterns worked wonders for making it look more finished, don’t you think?

The lower front door leads you underneath the house before heading up the stairs to the porch, so my contractor poured concrete and added a wall with built in shelving for a makeshift mud room.


It was painted the same soft gray as the exterior (Valspar’s Woodlawn Colonial Gray) and accessorized with coat hooks, along with this super fun custom Welcome sign…


It was made by my sweet and talented friend, LZ from The Summery Umbrella. I have a handful of her barn wood frames & signs in the house and can’t get enough.

I told her my vision for this design and she brought it to life. So perfect for this home!


At the top of the stair landing, we have our spacious wrap around deck.


The main stretch was begging for a row of Adirondack chairs, so I grabbed four of them in black at Lowe’s.


Lanterns and pillows pulled from storage along with some greenery bring it all together. You can see more of this area in the reveal video posted above. (Soon the deck will be stained & sealed in a dark walnut shade).


I kept the original front door and gave it a coat of Valspar’s Cracked Pepper, and replaced the hardware with this vintage style antique brass set. Someone’s going to make some great memories out here during those long summer afternoons, sipping tea and listening to the birds. Ahhhh.

How I wish I could keep this beautiful home in my family for generations to enjoy…


There are so many who have worked so hard to create this transformation, and honestly, it wouldn’t have been possible without Lowe’s. Not to this level. I am beyond fortunate that they have trusted my vision and ability to pull this off, and supported me as a sponsor to really make this house extra special, where I wouldn’t have had the budget to do otherwise. Lowe’s has always been my first choice in renovation projects (remember my last house?) and you’ll get to see a lot of their items used in this home as well—which is great news if you’re looking to recreate any of these looks (hello, affordability & accessibility!)


Exterior Body Paint Color: Valspar’s Woodlawn Colonial Gray

Exterior Trim Paint Color: Valspar’s Bistro White

Exterior Accent: Valspar’s Cracked Pepper


Front Door

Front door handleset


Welcome Sign

Adirondack chairs

Deck door handleset


Pillows & lanterns: Already owned

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.

I think that covers it for the Exterior! Make sure to watch the Before & After video as well, which gives you a more complete experience than the photos (and makes you feel almost as if you’re really there!)

The first room reveal will be on Thursday, and we’re starting with the kitchen. Oh man, I’ve never been more excited to reveal anything. Just you wait. See you back here in two days!




The final days of the Cottage House Flip!

Let me just start by saying this is what the living room looks like as of Tuesday. Two days before the Country Living photo shoot:


That should give you an indication of where my frantic/stress level is currently at.

I really don’t even have time to post but I can’t leave you hanging, so here’s a quick run down of as much as I have time to squeeze in.

On Friday morning, my dad and I headed to the flip and got right to work on the biggest remaining project: the DIY dining table. Here’s how the living room looked upon arrival… I feel like it’s actually getting more cluttered with time.


We bought two 2×12’s at the local lumber yard the weekend before so we cut those down to 7′ and used a belt and orbital sander to get them smooth. They were covered in snow last week so they are still drying out, hence the dark streaks.


I brought two $15 trestle legs from Ikea. The legs don’t have holes to attach to anything, so we added cleats on the bottom of the wood for them to sit between, using scrap wood:



We secured it in the middle as well:


Done! Easiest table ever. But this reclaimed wood is quite imperfect, and didn’t exactly line up. So we had to tweak it a little.


We also ended up drilling into the metal to secure the legs to the wood to help with stability. For anyone looking to use these legs, I’d recommend keeping the table top as light as possible to avoid any wobbliness.


I stained the top with Minwax Weathered Oak which is a very close match to the floors, but I’m not really feeling it—too much wood for me. I explained my problem on instagram and hundreds of you chimed in—90% in favor of leaving it wood, 10% said paint it. There won’t be a rug underneath since there’s a rug just to the left in the living room. White washing or a different stain won’t cover up the red streaks (which are a lot more noticeable in person), so it’s down to either painting (and distressing to let the wood show through) and/or covering it with fabric which I’d rather not do… so… it will be a game time decision after I consult with the Country Living stylist.

Meanwhile, my dad built these simple shutters:


They were painted with Valspar’s Cracked Pepper (in exterior Duramax) and attached to the lower windows… what an improvement!

The exterior still needs touch up paint… let’s hope the rain stays away long enough!


And how about these lanterns??


Lowe’s was kind enough to provide them, and they instantly make the house look so much more sophisticated (These are the 17.75″ size)

The biggest transformation award goes to the downstairs bathroom… remember how it looked last week?


I can’t believe how fast my contractors knocked it out… and I just realized I neglected to take a full photo (there were videos on my instagram stories & snapchat), but here’s the best part:



It just needs paint, a mirror, shower hardware and the lights reinstalled. You’ll just have to watch live on my instagram/snapchat or wait for the big blog reveal!

Let’s move into the living room, where we now have a foyer on the side of the staircase:


Side note, the back door trim will be painted white.

Now on to what’s shaping up to be my dream kitchen… folks, it’s basically DONE!


The copper sconces, that gas range!


And the fridge is finally in too!


And after much debate, I finally decided to paint the window trim in the kitchen. All the different types and shades of wood were just too much (they’ll stay original in the rest of the house).

I tested white, but gray was the clear winner:


It’s the same shade as the exterior—Valspar’s Woodlawn Colonial Gray.

Doesn’t it feel so much lighter and cleaner?


I also painted this table (in Maison Blanche’s Vanille) which I plan to use in front of the bench with a few bar stools.


After these photos were taken I distressed it and used a dark brown antique wax, so it’s looking quite different.


I spent Sunday morning setting up the beds for each room and I had so much fun coming up with a “story” for each one. They all have their own unique personality and character, and I can just imagine how fun it would be for kids/grandkids to come visit their mountain vacation home and pick their favorite room. Living out my childhood fantasies with this house, for sure.

With that said, of course each room deserves its’ own number…


Can’t forget about the toilet.


It wasn’t easy to keep these bedrooms straight at first, but now everyone will know which one is which.

A lot of you asked where these plaques were from… both on eBay! The door numbers were such a great find, after scouring the internet for weeks. They’re handmade and completely customizable. I see more of these in my future!

The brass toilet signs were another steal at around $10 each, and I there’s a variety of words to choose from on eBay. Although to tie in with the rest of the house, I aged them using my brass aging solution…


Okay, bedroom #1. The bedding (thank you Wayfair!) was a complete game changer for this one.


That chandelier doesn’t hurt either. Nor do those amazing lamps. I’m just so smitten with this room… I honestly didn’t think I would love it this much, but it has risen to the top of my favorite rooms list. So cozy.

Bedroom #2 has become a storage unit for all of the extra pillows and blankets… so no updated photos, but here’s how it looked last week as a reminder:


There’ve been a few small updates in here but nothing too drastic.

Bedroom #3!


So sweet. My favorite part may be the quilted skirt and sconces from last week. Those pillows are not permanent… it will probably change 10 times before the actual shoot. Still need art and accessories too.

Bedroom #4 might actually be tied with #1 on favorite bedrooms… because it’s just so DARLING.


This floral quilt slays me. And what a perfect match it is to the Maison Blanche Printemps shade on the dresser! It’s hard to tell online if you’ll get the right match, but I got lucky.

Bedroom #5 is clean and simple, with an iron bed frame, fluffy comforter, striped sheets and Ikea bedspread.



There have been a few more updates since this photo was taken Monday… make sure to watch my instagram stories to see more before the reveal!

And last but not least, bedroom #6:


I brought in a jute rug and old chest from my last house, reused the original striped green sheets and pillow cases, and added matching comforters and plaid throw blankets. Love love love.

That’s it for now! The house is changing every 5 minutes and you can watch it all live on my instagram stories or snapchat. I have a feeling it won’t be 100% completed to my satisfaction by Thursday, but I’ll pull all nighters if I have to… whatever it takes! I also have to stop and thank my sponsors, especially Lowe’s and Wayfair for having faith in me and allowing me to create this dream home for a lucky family. It certainly wouldn’t be on the same level without them, and I’m so incredibly fortunate and grateful for their support.


The next post will be the first of the month long reveal. Stay tuned!!

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.


The Home Stretch: Cottage House Flip Episode 12

With just eight days to go until the Country Living shoot, I am so happy to share that the tables have finally turned—this weekend was the best on record for the cottage house flip:

It’s a bit surprising that I’m feeling so positive considering I didn’t complete any of the top three items on my DIY to-do list (build the dining table, build/install the shutters, finish/install the laundry room barn door) but when you survive two weeks of everything going wrong, you’ll take any progress as success!


Perhaps the biggest reason I’ve managed to stay calm is that I have complete faith in my contractor. He understands how important this deadline is and has gone out of his way to make sure we are on track. We have our game plan in place and will be working up until the last second to finish, but it will get done.

The other reason is that Mother Nature seems to have finally decided to play nice. The weather forecast for the next 10 days could not be more perfect—warmer temperatures to melt the snow, rain to help wash it away, and sunny skies on Open House day. Let’s just hope it stays that way.


As of now, the house is still buried in snow and there’s no driveway access or place to park on the road that has become one lane. We had to find a plowed driveway on another street behind the house who was kind enough to let us park there, and carved a path through the neighborhood to get to the back of the house.


The path is long, icy and slippery, so the contractors had to use sleds to transport all of their equipment. Seriously, how many contractors out there would do that?

Here’s the end of the trail, up to the back of the house. One of the guys was carrying a heavy wood beam and slipped and fell… ugh. I felt terrible. Never flip in the middle of a snowstorm, people!


Clearly this situation will not work during the open house, so I am praying that this rain makes enough of a dent in the snow so that we can use the driveway… and that folks actually have a place to park. I’ll have to figure out how to pay the city to plow it if I have to… or I’ll be out there myself with a shovel, either way.

But it sure is pretty to look at.


While the weather was cooperating they wrapped up painting on the porch, and by the time this post is published they should (hopefully) be done with all of the exterior paint. They had to get guys up on the roof to clear off the snow in order to paint the dormers. I can’t wait to see it when I come back in a couple days!

Now let’s head inside…


The house is actually messier than its ever been. There’s half completed projects, tools, paint and sawdust everywhere. 

Visually, it feels like we’ve actually regressed but I can see past the mess and know that as soon as the workers are done and have cleared out their tools and equipment, it will all come together fast—we’re talking just a few days.

Still, it’s slightly overwhelming to think that this must be photoshoot (and Open House) ready next week:


But, do you see that door? Oh man, I am in love.

It all started with this screen door from Lowe’s:


I explained Part 1 last week, and this week I returned with 2 yards of chantilly lace fabric (in white) from JoAnn’s. It was as simple as positioning it onto the back of the door…


Then I borrowed a pneumatic staple gun from one of the guys (although the handheld version works just fine) and began securing the lace. You want to make sure it’s pulled taught so that there is no loose fabric, but not so tight that it stretches and distorts the lace. It’s a nice happy medium.


Once the staples were placed every few inches or so around the entire perimeter, I cut the excess fabric with scissors.


Then I folded and tucked any extra and stapled any loose areas.



Love love love it. I ordered a crystal knob from eBay which will complete the vintage look, and the next time you see this door it will be on a sliding track in front of the laundry room!

Speaking of the laundry room… I finally finished the trim and got the washer/dryer back into place.


The baseboard below the cabinet will be painted black, and I’m also painting the shelf trim on the right (probably white) so the only natural wood in here will be the counter top. The  ceiling needs a bit of touch up paint and then this room will be finito! (after a good cleaning & staging, of course)

While we’re upstairs, let’s look at the hallway…


It’s a little cramped—there’s still doors that need to be reattached and beds that are being shuffled around.


But the wood landing has been painted and it’s coming along.

Speaking of beds, remember my sad story about one of the matching twin bed footboards going missing? Well, that was a blessing in disguise because I walked into the Restore Friday morning and found these:


They had just arrived the night before. Two matching antique Jenny Lind style beds… for $20/each! I was happy dancing all over the place. Restore, you are a designers’ greatest gift.

Anyway, I happily loaded those babies into the car, set them up and gave them a quick update (using Valspar’s Cracked Pepper):


They make my heart sing.



I can’t wait to decorate and photograph this room.


Because I found these beds, I was able to use the extra bed for another room!


This is Bedroom #4, the littlest of them all. Excuse the mattresses in the way.


That morning I had also scored a set of old bronze pulls from another thrift store, which I used to finish this dresser update—which you can only see half of right now, I apologize.


Sometimes I think this will be my favorite room (the bedding is so sweet)… can not wait to show you! If only I could get a decent picture. You’ll have to come to the open house if you want to see it how it’s meant to be shown 🙂

While we’re on the bedroom update tour, here’s #5:


Yep, still a mess, and it’s going to take a few different angles to fit these all in.

Bedroom #3 has come a long way. I finally have the bed in place (thanks to my parents for letting me borrow it!) and installed a couple sconce lights over the weekend.


I bought 5 of these sconces for this house, so obsessed.


I’m also loving this quilted bed skirt from Wayfair (I bought two of these as well):


Bedroom #2 is seconds away from being finished…


I’m still playing around with the bedding (will be changing a few things) and need to update the artwork. Aren’t these buffalo check sheets fun for a mountain home? (or any home, really…)


A couple pillows in this charming reading nook and we’ll be set.


And lastly, bedroom #1, also known as the “master suite”:


This is NOT the bedding I plan to use—I just threw it on for my parents to stay warm when we stayed the night. I picked up this gorgeous toile quilt set so the colors will be very soft, warm and relaxing. There will be black night stands, bronze reading lamps, a white cushy reading chair and probably a different rug, among other things.

Country Living will most likely only include 2-3 bedrooms in their spread, so it’s fun to guess which ones they’ll choose. I’m pretty sure it’ll be the largest room (#1), the second largest with the matching twin beds (#6), but if there’s a third (or 4th) which do you think it’ll be?

Okay, ready for my favorite room of all…?


We’ve got the door back on in the upstairs bathroom and all that’s left to do is stage.


I added some $5 gauze curtains to soften the space and found some artwork to hang on the wall.


A couple hooks, turkish towels, candles and flowers is all this dream bathroom needs.


…and a good way to actually photograph it properly. I’m sure Country Living will do a much better job than I can!  This is one room that has turned out pretty much exactly as planned. I still can’t get over the brick floors and am pretty certain I’ll end up using them in every house for the rest of my life.

And while we’re discussing bathrooms, the downstairs bathroom still looks like this…


Slightly nerve wracking, but they’ve assured me it will still get done. This one will be a race to the finish.

Since we’ve made it back downstairs, let’s finish on a high note—the kitchen!

Tile work began on Thursday. I opted for the same white subway tile used in my previous home, because it’s classic & budget friendly:


However… I fell in love so hard with the brick pavers used in the upstairs bathroom & laundry room, and had some leftover, so I decided to not play it so safe and have a little fun. Enter the range hood focal point.


Sometimes you’ve gotta take risks and do something unexpected. I’m glad I went for it.


It still needs grout, of course, which will change the look a bit and I’m dying to see it in person.


Oh, and I’ve officially decided to paint the window trim (both windows). Once the tile went up there was no doubt in my mind that they need paint.

Now the only question is… white or light gray?


White is the safe choice, for sure. I’ll have a better idea once all the plastic is down and the appliances are in (they are currently at the top of a hill buried in snow and can’t be moved until the snow melts).


Here’s the other side of the kitchen…


I’m over looking at this mess and just want to decorate already! WE’RE ALMOST THERE, YOU GUYS!!!

BREAKING NEWS: These just in from my contractor!



Holy moly, I’ve never been so excited to receive a text message. How perfect is that faucet and sink combo? All these months of planning and hard work and it’s finally coming to life!

In two days I’ll be back at the flip and won’t return home until Feb 12th, the day after the Open House. I will hopefully be able to squeeze in a quick progress update post next week before the photo shoot, and plan to begin revealing each space the week of the 13th.

There are still many uncontrollable factors so these plans may change, but I’ll do everything in my power to stick to this schedule and keep you guys in the loop! You can find me on instagram, facebook and snapchat (@jennasuedesign) where I’ll be sharing daily live updates in the meantime.

Thank you all again for the encouragement and support thus far—it really helps keep me going and pushing toward that finish line! Brace yourself for a whirlwind of updates soon…

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.


The Darkest Days of the Cottage Flip

Welcome back to another week of the real life soap opera that has become of this flipping endeavor. I thought the worst was over, but no. Mother Nature decided to bless our thirsty land with a blizzard…


California needs every bit of the precipitation and this winter landscape is a beautiful sight. How I wish I could enjoy these days—cozied up in the cottage by the fire sipping cocoa and watching the snow fall, rather than cursing it for putting me behind schedule. Knowing that all of this work will give one family that dream, to be able to create those memories in this special place, makes it all worth it.

Still, it’s a helpless feeling, being at the mercy of these uncontrollable factors, then having to depend on contractors to work overtime to meet your deadline, from 150 miles away as I stay glued to the live weather updates.

Overall I’ve remained calm by keeping things in perspective, which has become the single most important word to me over the past year. I’m incredibly lucky to even have this opportunity.

And on that note, let’s get into the story of this past weekend, shall we?


My gracious parents agreed to help yet again, and knowing the storm was coming, we decided to spend the night at the flip to save an extra hour round trip to their house, and avoid the potential of blocked roadways getting there.

After packing the car, stocking up on groceries and strapping on the snow chains, we made it up the driveway and stepped out into the deep, fresh powder.

I knew the painters weren’t able to finish on time, but I was also bummed to see parts of it not even primed and still no window trim. But this shade of gray is perfection.


It’s freezing inside, so we turn on the heater and get to work.

I have my dad install the curtain rods (in the living room and Bedroom #1 upstairs):


While my mom gets to work painting the staircase landing:


And her sweet friend even comes by and offers to paint a dresser:


Meanwhile, I start on my laundry door makeover. I found this inexpensive screen door at Lowe’s and thought it’d be the perfect candidate for a new sliding door for the laundry room.


After removing the mesh screen, I painted it black (in Valspar’s Cracked Pepper, the official shade of black for this house):


And then… I wasn’t able to finish, so you’ll have to tune in next week to see Part 2. Hint: it involves lace!

I also gave the floor mirror a quick update…


For my long time followers out there, you may remember the DIY makeover I did to this plain IKEA mirror back in 2014. It is still one of my all time favorite pieces and I’ll never part with it.


It fits perfectly in that corner but between the white walls, ceiling, and white curtains I plan to hang, it was too much and would get lost in the mix. I wanted it to be more of a focal point but still have a soft appearance, so I grabbed a can of Maison Blanche’s dark brown antique wax to see what would happen.


Magic happened, that’s what. I brushed it on…


Then wiped it away as the dark coloring settled into the grooves, beautifully but subtly bringing out the details.


With that out of the way, I turned my attention toward a pretty little side table that came with the house:


Charming, right? It’ll end up next to the chaise lounge under the window, as shown below:


But I wasn’t feeling the red mahogany wood so it was time for an update. Painting is the easiest choice but I was in an experimental mood, so I brought out a can of Maison Blanche’s Organza in Old Penny:


You may remember I used this to make my clawfoot tub legs look like oil rubbed bronze metal and fell in love with the product then, so I figured it earned another shot at making this table unique.

I’m using copper as an accent color in the kitchen and wanted to tie it in to the living/dining area as well, and Old Penny was the perfect color for the job:


I had no specific technique or tutorial in mind, so I just started coating the wood to see what would happen.


It covered nicely but felt a bit flat, so I waited for it to dry and gave it a coat of black paint for some dimension.


Then I came back and lightly applied the organza over it, allowing some of the black to show through for a brushed metal appearance:


Oh yeah, that’s what it needed. And here’s the final product:


A vintage wood table with a metal look—love! The copper accent will be a nice layer to break up all the black, white and wood elements in the space.

Before calling it quits, my mom and I managed to tackle painting one more bedroom dresser and two twin headboards black.


I also aged a few brass hooks and hung them in the kitchen…


I was feeling okay about our progress that evening. My to-do list for the weekend was not yet halfway done but we still had a full Saturday of work planned and could start at sunrise.

As I was mentally going through the checklist while brushing my teeth outside and about to wash my face in the snow (we had no running water because the power had gone out the day before while the plumber was working on the pipes), the lights suddenly shut off. Pitch black and silence. Panic set in. I ran upstairs to notify my parents who were already in bed, then ran to another bedroom, shut the door to try and preserve the heat, grabbed a flashlight and huddled underneath a pile of blankets.

It was a night of intermittent sleep, and I woke up to a dead phone and snow falling from the window, which the car was now buried in.


We bundled up in our snow jackets and hats, grabbed flash lights and tried to finish painting touchups for as long as we could stand it. A call to the power company confirmed that the outages were major, widespread and that there was no way we were getting it back anytime soon. My dad began digging the car out of the snow while I came to the somber realization that I would be making the 3+ hour drive back home to the city after just a few hours of work, and far behind schedule. It was not my best moment.


Fortunately, as of today, the sun is shining and the power has been restored. I’m heading back to the mountains early tomorrow with an extra long to-do list and a positive attitude.


This house might not end up exactly as I had originally pictured, but I’m confident in my ability to come up with new ways to pull it off at the last minute. Either way, it is certainly an adventure and an experience I’ll look back at fondly one day and laugh about these moments (just not for a while 😉 ).

Find out what happens in this weekend’s saga by watching my live instagram stories or snaps! Or just check back here next week for a video & photo recap of the progress.

P.S.—If you are local(ish) and want to come to the open house February 11, shoot me an email at for details! 🙂

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.



Let the Decorating Begin, & An Announcement! Cottage House Flip Episode 11

After hitting rock bottom last week, I was desperate for a nice, calm, disaster-free weekend where I could focus on the fun stuff, like painting and moving furniture around. When you show up to a construction site that looks like the set of Hoarders every week, you start to lose hope that it will ever get done… Watch today’s episode to see what happened:

So the situation on Friday afternoon looked much like the previous Friday, except with a lot more paint.


I was thrilled to see the painters prepping after weeks of rain and snow. We had a 5 day break between storms, and knowing this was our one and only opportunity to get it done, my team jumped right into action.


Goodbye yellow house!


Here are the final exterior color selections:


The siding/body will be Woodlawn Colonial gray, the trim & railing will be Bistro White, and the accents will be Cracked Pepper. I’ll add black shutters on the two lower windows, and the window frames themselves are all black, along with black lanterns and adirondack chairs on the front porch. Sidenote: The white is a pure bright white, and the black is a rich black even though they appear muted in the photo. These are the same colors as I used throughout the interior on the walls, doors and trim (except the interior is all eggshell and the exterior has its own exterior formula).

The original porch had drywall on the ceiling (who does that?) which fell off last week with all of the rain/moisture, so they replaced it with wood siding. I absolutely LOVE it.


And the flooring is all original wood planks which will be refinished and sealed.


The porch is an L shape, and wraps around to the side behind the kitchen:


Can you just imagine this spot on a warm summer day, surrounded by trees… ahhh…


I’m just a little jealous of whoever gets to wake up to this view every day.


As I type this on Tuesday afternoon, the house is still being painted but is scheduled to be done before the next storm on Wednesday. I don’t have any update photos which is driving me a little crazy, but here’s how it looks mid-primed:


So white! Glad I didn’t opt for all white—it’s a bit too stark. Especially in winter.

Alright, moving along! As always, I’ll be jumping around all over the place. First, the kitchen.

Due to lack of time, I decided to have my contractor (Brandon) handle the staining/sealing of the countertops. I mentioned my plans in the last post but hadn’t fully committed to a sealer, and when I showed up on Friday, Brandon had began testing some stains/sealers on a scrap piece. He was using Howard butcher block conditioner, which is the same stuff the counter manufacturer had recommended to me (and it’s food grade!)

He had experimented with a gray stain which ended up being too gray for me, then I we tested the Minwax Weathered Oak and it was the closest match to the floors. Once the conditioner dried, it ended up being a bit of a darker/richer shade than the natural butcher block, which I am happy with.


So the plan is to layer on wood conditioner (this is absolutely necessary for an even stain, trust me!), two coats of Minwax Weathered Oak, and a couple coats of the butcher block conditioner. This is all supposed to happen within the next few days so I should have photos of the finished results in the next post.

Now that the window seat bench is built, I dragged my table over to test the layout:


The purpose of the table is to provide a casual eat in/dining space as an alternative to the more formal dining table, and also extra work space. I have a few stools to set around which won’t take up too much space visually. The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll keep it there… it doesn’t feel too crowded right now but I’ll have to see once it all comes together. The beauty of this all is that it doesn’t actually have to be functional since it’s just for staging. Whoever buys the house can do whatever works best for them 🙂

In the last post you got to see as the floating shelves went in… and here they are:


Love love love. Thank you Silicate Studio for making this so easy! Can’t wait to break open my box of kitchen supplies and start decorating!

Now for the living/dining area. When I first bought the house, this was set up as a living space with randomly placed furniture:



I think a large gathering table is essential for a family style vacation home like this, so I split the room in two and designated one area for dining.

I haven’t built the table yet (plan to do this with reclaimed lumber & Ikea trestle legs), but these saw horses were the perfect stand-in:


And Oh My… this Kichler chandelier from Lowe’s has exceeded all of my expectations:


I’m in love with every bit of it… the round shape to break up all the hard lines, the fun vintage style bulbs, and my favorite part…


It’s gold on the inside! It’s absolutely perfect for this space. I almost went with this wood/black model instead but I am so glad I stuck with this one (it’s $80 cheaper too… score!) No joke, this chandelier was the highlight of my weekend.

I spent Saturday morning moving all of the boxes/furniture into the bedrooms and working on living room arrangements. FINALLY SOMETHING FUN AND STRESS FREE!

It was like a big puzzle, trying to come up with the best configuration with the pieces I had, but I think we’ve finally got it…


The couch will face the fireplace, and opposite that will be two wicker chairs (Ikea Byholma) flanking the fireplace (the second will be where the ladder is below)



The Ikea chaise will be facing them, under the window next to the cabinets…


And the gray settee will sit on the dining room side, under the window as it’s own separate reading/lounge nook:


If any of this doesn’t make sense to you, please reserve your judgment until the end because there’s a lot left to do in here. We’re talking curtains, lamps, tables, furniture makeovers, wall decor, accessories, etc etc. It will look completely different than it does now.

After coming up with a plan for the living room, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders but I couldn’t relax too much, because there’s still this bathroom downstairs…


We certainly have the most work to do in here. Slightly nervous about this one.

My electrician was at least able to get the lighting started…


We’ve got a pretty crystal chandelier and two sconces which will hang above an extra wide mirror. Shower tile is supposed to begin (and hopefully finish!) this week… I have a feeling this will be one of those rooms where the paint is barely dry on Open House day.

Now let’s head upstairs. Wood floors, finally!


Lucas drove up to help and we spent the weekend playing musical beds, shuffling them around from room to room trying to figure out the best setup. Now, bedrooms may seem like least amount of work but when it comes time to decorate/stage, there’s a lot that goes into it. We’re talking rugs, bed frames, head boards, box spring/mattresses, bed skirts, sheets, pillowcases, pillows, comforters, quilts, night stands, lighting, window treatments and decor for SIX different bedrooms, and seven beds total. That amounts to a ton of line items to plan out and coordinate. It’s a process.

Let’s start with Bedroom #1, and a Before photo just for fun.



I reused the bed and gave the night stands a quick makeover, and here we are now:



Still have to do the bedding, add curtains, fix the closet doors, potentially switch out the rug, install the chandelier, lamps, accessories, etc. But so far this is the closest room to being finished.

Next up, Bedroom #2:



And how it looks now…

IMG_7390 IMG_7389

I added the shiplap wall, painted the trim gray and put the bed back in. Still have to add bedding and decor/accessories—this one shouldn’t take too long.

Bedroom #3:



This is my stenciled room. I ditched the queen bed and plan to put a smaller daybed in here to open up the space.


And apparently I neglected to take any actual photos (there’s video in today’s episode) so this is old, but the trim pieces in the corner have been painted white along with new white baseboards:


Now for the littlest of them all, Bedroom #4:


I’m really excited about the bedding and color palette I have planned for this one:


And Bedroom #5:


Lucas assembled the queen bed (from Wayfair) so next up is a dresser makeover, plus bedding/decor/touch up paint/lighting (you can see much more of this room in the video!)


And finally, Bedroom #6:

img_1725 img_1728 img_1729

This is where my saddest moment of the weekend took place.

I inherited those two twin beds, and you can’t see it in the original photos but they were the cutest things with matching footboards and all. I reversed the door swing so that I could change up the layout and place them next to each other, like so:


I sketched it all out, ordered matching bedding and planned to give the beds a painted makeover. Unfortunately, when I went to gather the pieces, this happened…


Honestly I’m surprised more things haven’t gone missing given the constant state of disorganization number of people coming through the house, but I was so looking forward to this bedroom setup and after an hour of searching underneath the house through the remaining piles of rubble and debris, I had to give up and find another alternative. Which is much harder to do on a very limited timeline and budget.

The new plan is to use only the headboards (they’ll just be propped against the wall).


It also means that now I have to buy two twin bed frames and bedskirts (since the old beds eliminated the need for that). Oh well, the flip goes on.

On to some happier news… my favorite room in the house is nearing the finish line!


We finally hung this gold beauty (perfect fit, right? Whew! Only $140 and going out of stock fast, btw):


And I hung this mirror I scored at Restore (and refinished) above the tub…


Picture soft white gauze curtains, a little wooden footstool with soap and a fringed turkish towel draped over the tub… can you see why this is my favorite room?


All that’s left to do in here is one last piece of trim, a white toilet seat and accessorizing. Is it weird that I get goosebumps just visualizing the end result? If that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Well friends… that brings us to the big announcement. This is something that was not known or planned beforehand, it came up just a couple months ago and has added a whole new element to this project.

In less than three weeks, Country Living magazine is coming to shoot the house for their May issue!


Suddenly this is much more than just a flip… the budget has been pretty much thrown out the window and I’ve got to make sure every detail is well thought out and at magazine design standards. The editor has placed faith in me, without seeing the house or even knowing my plans, to pull off the renovation & design of an entire home worthy of a full spread in a few months. No pressure.

But I love a good challenge—and while the weather and luck may not always be on my side, I will find a way to make it all work. I’ve got this 😉

More progress & projects on the way, including several furniture makeovers next weekend (if we can get through this snowstorm!). Find me on instagram, snapchat and facebook where I’ll be updating as frequently as possible, and asking for your input to pull this all together in time! Lots more on the way…

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.


Chaos at the Cottage Flip: Episode 10

I don’t know how else to describe last weekend. It was a whirlwind of setbacks and progress and chaos and I’m so glad it’s over. And much like the worst storm in 10 years that just hit our area, I think the darkest days of this journey have passed. At least we can hope.

But there is a silver lining in this… keep watching/reading til the end:

I try to maintain a positive and uplifting narrative but it’s also important for me to be open and honest, which means sharing the not so fun parts of this experience. And what good is a story without both the highs and lows? The struggles make it so much more rewarding in the end. So thank you, stressful weekend, for making this journey that much richer.

Let’s start from the top… in no particular order, as there is no structure to the madness right now.

It has been an unseasonably rainy/snowy winter, which is great for the drought in California but horrible for productivity. Last Friday the clouds parted for a brief moment, so I had to schedule moving all of the furniture into the flip. I had been planning this for a while, and it was designed to be perfectly timed as the flooring was supposed to have been done the week before, so all of the bedrooms would be clean and ready to start setting up the furniture. The furniture had to be moved in ASAP so that I could arrange it, figure out what I still need to order, and have it arrive by the photoshoot (scheduled in less than four weeks).

Well, we show up and the house is exactly in the same condition as we left it on Christmas. Piles of sawdust and wood and trash everywhere, baseboards not even installed—there wasn’t a single room that was finished or even clean enough to move furniture into.


Apparently the last box of wood was damaged so they were waiting on replacements, and when they tried to drive to the house there was a snow storm and their van couldn’t make it. There was no dry place to store the furniture outside, so we had to pile it on the rubble in the living room:


And just like that, the entire schedule went down the drain. It was a sad day.


At this point I can’t afford to waste time, so my parents and I got to work, doing whatever we could manage to do. My dad put the final pieces of range hood trim in place:


If you watched Episode 9, you may remember that we weren’t quite finished with our DIY vent hood. I’m happy to report that it’s finally done… and looking quite awesome, if I do say so myself. Here’s how we finished it off underneath:


After the final piece was nailed in, My electrician did a sconce test fit to make sure the spacing was all good:


There’s not much room to work with but I’m happy with the arrangement. I think the sconces will look great with my new copper cabinet pulls & knobs:


The reclaimed wood we used for the hood wasn’t quite as uniform as I’d like, so I found this Minwax stain at Lowe’s and thought the color was a good match:


I lightly sanded the boards and dabbed a bit of the stain on:




For those who were asking, I also plan to stain the counters in the same shade and use the water based poly to seal them (along with the hood boards). I came to this decision after reading through numerous bloggers posts and experiences, and weighing the pros and cons of poly vs Waterlox vs Mineral Oil. The only downside to the poly is that it isn’t food grade, but not having orange counters was a better trade off in my book 🙂 I’ve stained butcher block with poly in my previous laundry room with amazing results so I feel confident about going that route again.

UPDATE: I just spoke directly to the butcher block counter manufacturer about this and he’s looking into options for food safe coatings that can be applied to the stain without changing the color. I’ll let you know what happens!

Side note—the appliances were delivered but the delivery guy couldn’t get his lift up the snowy hill and my contractor has to rent a dolly to bring them in, so the fridge and stove are sitting under a tarp up the street. Let’s hope they survive.


While we were working in the kitchen, my mom grabbed a paintbrush and started working on the exterior doors:


Leaning towards painting that door trim white—thoughts?

Meanwhile, my electrician swapped installed the new hallway light fixture:


And a new laundry room chandelier—the lighting in here is SO gorgeous in person. I wish my phone could capture it… ignore the washer/dryer, they’re back in place by now.


And perhaps my favorite… the upstairs bathroom swing arm wall sconce. Yum.


I love this fixture so much I ordered four more for the bedrooms 🙂


A beautiful round gold mirror will be hung there soon!

Speaking of bathrooms, I was pleasantly surprised to find the beginnings of my tile work in the downstairs bathroom:


So pleased with my tile choice. It looks greenish online but it’s really a neutral gray in person, for anyone considering it. It has my seal of approval.

Back upstairs, my dad helped me finish off the trim for the shiplap wall I started a month ago:


I used my easy DIY shiplap technique, and we finished the top with a 1×2″, a 1×2″ shelf ledge, and quarter round strips vertically in the corners.


In the two main bedrooms, we reattached the small closet doors we had removed weeks ago to paint. A quick and simple task, right? Of course not. There were missing screws, the doors were suddenly too big or crooked and didn’t fit back into place properly… or maybe we just didn’t notice it before. Either way, a 10 minute project turned into 3+ hours after having to cut them down and sand them and make another trip to Lowe’s for missing screws and get magnets to hold them in place and repainting…


During this process I asked you guys on instagram and snapchat what you thought about the hinges. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep them black, even after going through all the work to remove the doors…


Every single one of you (except one) said to keep them black. So that’s what I’m leaning towards.

Speaking of door hardware, we went through a similar situation in the kitchen downstairs…


For whatever reason, the doors didn’t want to go back on straight so we had to make some modifications. There were also missing screws, and one missing hinge which I can’t find a replacement for so that’s one more tiny but crucial detail to go on my ever growing to-do list.

But at least I got to install these fun (& inexpensive!) new handles:


And that sums up Friday afternoon & Saturday. On a stormy Sunday morning, my mom and I trekked up to the cabin ready for a full day of painting the bedrooms. I walked inside, flipped on the light switch, and nothing. Pitch black. The storm had left us without power but the clock was still ticking, so my Plan B was to drag a couple dressers out onto the porch where there was just enough light to see, and attempt to get some furniture painted.


The dresser above came from this room:


The trim work behind it will be painted a light gray, and I was wanting a dark gray for the dresser but didn’t have anything close, so I improvised. Maison Blanche’s Wrought Iron mixed with a bit of Coquille.


Let’s see if this works…


I painted it on as fast as I could before the winds started to pick up…


Meanwhile, my mom was next to me painting this dresser:


Which will go back in this room:


And for this one, I chose Maison Blanche’s Printemps. The most beautiful shade of pastel green you ever did see.



But after the first coat went on, it started pouring. Then the wind came. Then the dressers were soaking wet and we tried to bring them inside but dropped one in the dirt and the paint came off and we gave up. Now they’re sitting outside up against the house because there’s not enough room inside and we’ll have to try again another day.

The bedrooms really needed to be painted, but the light from my phone wasn’t cutting it. Then I found a flashlight and we rejoiced like it was Christmas morning.


We carefully taped and caulked and coated the trim, painting in the dark for hours while branches fell on the roof and loud noises that at one point we swore was someone banging on the window made us consider grabbing our bags and fleeing to the safety of home. But these rooms aren’t going to paint themselves, especially now that we’re a week behind schedule thanks to the unfinished floors.

Just as we were about to call it quits, the power was restored and we stuck it out long enough to paint 70% of the second bedroom (we were supposed to finish four rooms, ha):


I left the middle section wood in case I thought I’d like it better that way, but nope. It got painted.

After a day of defeat, it was a solemn car ride back to my parents house as I came to terms with having to do this all over again the next day rather than return home to the city as I normally do on Mondays. My sweet parents felt so bad for me that they both agreed to take the day off work to come help me. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

We showed up bright and early Monday morning to the welcoming sight of the flooring installers, who weren’t even expected to show up. They assured me the floors would be done in a couple days or so which was the best news I’d heard all week.

While they were scurrying around the house installing baseboards, my general contractor was there with his crew installing countertops and shelves, digging trenches and building benches while my tile guys were wasting no time in the downstairs bathroom and going over kitchen plans.


I was running around trying to film & instagram & snapchat it all while answering contractor questions and helping my parents paint upstairs.

This paint, Valspar’s Woodlawn Colonial Gray, is one of the best decisions I’ve made for this house:


It just opens up these rooms and looks so heavenly with the new floors.


With the three of us working all morning, we finished almost three rooms…


How bout that shiplap?


I wanted to keep some of the original wood so I left this nook unpainted. Still undecided.


Unfortunately, we ran out of paint on the third bedroom so our day ended there…


But seeing those rooms transformed by paint really turned things around for me and brought my spirits back up. Next Friday I’ll be back to finish it off before finally moving the furniture in.

Let’s revisit the kitchen for a sec with some real time updates! As I type this, my contractor has been sending me updates and here’s the latest. First, newly installed countertops over on the living room cabinets by the fireplace. I used reclaimed wood again—may end up staining them, will have to see how it looks in person:


Second, we have our window seat bench!


The top was made using the same butcher block from Lowe’s. It’ll all be stained & sealed with Minwax Weathered Oak and polycrylic. And there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll end up painting the window trim light gray to break up all the wood.

And last but not least… floating shelves! My hardware arrived from Silicate Studio a few weeks ago and I’ve been dying to put it to use:


My contractor was awesome enough to send a quick video of the final install, for anyone wanting to see it in action:

And here they are!


Can’t wait to decorate those babies.

Oh yeah, here’s a fun teaser… I decided to do something a little different with the kitchen backsplash. My tile guy and I worked on a plan and I am super excited to watch it come to life…


You’ll just have to wait and see!

In other news, two major ongoing issues that have been adding stress to this project are the exterior paint and new roof. Because of the nonstop rain/snow/freezing temperatures, there hasn’t been a window of opportunity in months to paint or replace the roof. After talking to several roofers, at this point and with the projected forecast, it’s just not going to happen. The roof is structurally fine, it’s just nearing it’s lifespan and has fallen behind on maintenance, so all we can do is clean it up and hope for the best.

In order to paint the exterior, the weather must be both dry and above 32* for several days for the paint to properly cure. That is not a possible scenario here in winter, so they’ve been looking into renting fumigation tents to cover the entire house and industrial heaters to keep it from freezing. We’re talking every possible creative solution here. They searched the entire state and were unable to gain access to one, so Plan B is to attach plastic tarps from the roof to the ground as a protective barrier. Not exactly a simple mission for this house.


We’ve been constantly checking the weather to watch for any possible openings, and it looks like there may actually be one this weekend—it will be freezing but at least no rain. Send all your positive vibes my way that the forecast doesn’t change—we really need a break here!

Whew…. that was a long winded post. Who wants to get into house flipping? Don’t all raise your hand at once now.

Honestly though, I am eternally grateful to even have the opportunity to be doing this. It certainly adds a lot of pressure when you’re on a deadline for a magazine shoot that will shape your future opportunities and you’re documenting every minute of it for the world to see and judge and your life savings is on the line and it could all go down the drain with a bad snow storm that you have no control over. But I wouldn’t want any other career 🙂

Enough blogging, I’ve got another weekend at the flip to prepare for. If you still want more after this novel of a post, you can catch the daily updates on instagram, snapchat and facebook and watch the madness unfold in real time. Your comments & feedback are appreciated more than you know!

Disclosure: Some of the products listed were provided via sponsorship—all of which I selected and fully approve of.


A Christmas Vlog & 2016 in Review

“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
-Dr. Seuss

As I was wrapping up my Christmas vlog a few days ago, I felt the urge to acknowledge this past amazing year by digging through the archives of 29 vlogs and reliving some of my favorite moments.


First, I wanted to share our Christmas story. It was a memorable one this year, starting with a trip to NYC and a chance to see the city in full holiday spirit, then back home to celebrate a white Christmas in the mountains with my family, followed by a gathering with Lucas’ family in the city. I know these days of having everyone around for the holidays will be fewer and farther between as we begin to move away and start families of our own, so this was a rare and special opportunity. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it:

As for 2016—I knew from the start that it would be full of change and it didn’t disappoint. From starting a vlog, to jumping back into DIY and reigniting that spark, to selling my home and moving to San Francisco, spending time in Cuba, Mexico, Vancouver, Seattle, Tahoe, Boston, New York and California, deciding on my future in real estate and buying my first flip, and finding a partner to who makes every day even more amazing—I’ll never forget this first year of falling in love. Nothing can replace it.

On New Year’s last year I wrote a letter to 2015, with no idea where I’d end up in 12 months. Even though I didn’t continue my solo travels and worried I’d regret it, I know in my heart that I made the right choice.


2017 is shaping up to be an even bigger year, with a few major life changes in the works. I can’t wait to share them with you all soon. But first, I have a house flip to finish. Just four more weeks, you guys… it’s going to be a whirlwind. I’ll be back next week with an update, and you can always follow me on instagram or snapchat to watch live as it all goes down.

May 2017 be your best year yet!