Kate and I have been working together for a few years now. She has a beautiful baby girl, who is just a few weeks older than Margot, so Kate mostly works from home now, but she still does a ton for me and my design business. She is just the best there is – she makes any project more beautiful and infinitely more FUN! Kate and her husband recently were ready to take on some kitchen projects and they were kind enough to document some of the process for our viewing pleasure. I love the cheerful results! Enjoy!
Hi! Kate here. We moved into our house 18 months ago and have been systematically tackling the renovations, room by room. Floors, popcorn ceilings, new fixtures, and a few walls knocked down. The kitchen was in pretty rough shape as you can tell, but a full-blown renovation wasn’t in the budget or timeframe.
We raised the ceiling, painted walls and cupboards, ripped out one set of cupboards, painted our countertops (a post in itself!), laid a super inexpensive gray floor tile and there you have it- livable and neutral until we checked a few more pressing things off our to-do list. This is where we landed:
Since then, we finally got to a good spot with the rest of the house and yard and we set our sights on the kitchen! We brainstormed, Pinterest-ed, and talked through a hundred ideas with the main goal being that our kitchen needed character. Our next natural step was a backsplash. The space between our upper cabinets and counters is small (11 inches) not to mention our kitchen itself is pretty tiny so we knew we needed to find the right scale and layout with a tile. I love subway tile and I am drawn to simplicity and clean lines. But I knew I wanted something different in this house. Something fresh that I hadn’t seen a hundred times! **Pinterest, that’s your cue**
About five seconds after realizing my husband and I were both drawn to any tile in a grid pattern, we were on our way to Floor and Decor. We looked through all different sizes and shapes but ultimately decided to go with this 2″ square tile – we figured the scale would look best in our small space. The huge bonus is that square and subway tile are so well-priced! We spent under $200 for all of our materials at Floor & Decor!
We also had a perfect empty space by our sink for some open shelving and I saw it as a chance to use more backsplash! Thanks to this very professional design drawing you see above (thank you, snapchat) we decided to just go for it and take the tile almost all the way up the wall.
The folks at Floor & Decor were knowledgeable and helpful as we attempted to DIY this backsplash. We went with a pre-mixed thinset to save time and the mess of mixing. We also went with a premixed grout for a number of reasons. Pre-mixed grout has sealer, epoxy, and a water repeller mixed right in. It literally consolidates four steps with one easy mixture! The biggest reason for us though was color consistency. We wanted a true black grout and if we were worried there might be some color variation if we were mixing the batches ourselves.
We used this 1/8” trowel to apply the thinset to the walls, using the smooth edge to apply and the notched edge to even out and hanging only one sheet of tile at a time. We figured out pretty quickly that we needed a pretty liberal spread of thinset and if it was evenly distributed, the tile held and didn’t budge. The working time with this was about 5-10 minutes, so we had some leeway to nudge a tile or two if they looked uneven.
After applying the thinset on the wall, we lined the tile up and pressed firmly and evenly to adhere the tile to the thinset. Because our kitchen is old and very uneven, we eyeballed the spacing so we could adjust as needed. If you live in a newer house I would recommend using spacers– if nothing, to save yourself some time on this step!
Because we had quite a few cuts, we rented a table saw from Floor & Decor. Don’t worry – it’s about a million times easier to use than it looks! 🙂 The friendly workers at the store can talk you through any questions you might have. They’re seriously so great to work with.
We waited a couple of hours to let the thinset dry completely before we came in with the grout. We applied the grout with a small trowel moving in small sections. It’s a good idea to wait a few minutes before you come in with a sponge and scrub the excess grout off the tile. Pro tip: change the water for your sponge often! It might feel like a bit of a hassle but will save you so much time as the excess grout comes off much easier with clean water. This step took the longest because we did the grout in small sections. But it was worth it for consistency and we never had to scrub the grout off the tile- it came right off.
The finished product!!!! We couldn’t be happier with the backsplash! The shape, the dark grout, the simple, retro vibe- we love it all.
I’m glad that we were able to utilize more of the backsplash behind the shelves. Adding more tile was kind of an 11th hour decision and I’m so happy we went for it!
We found a steal of a deal on this new stove via Craigslist (the previous owner switched to gas and just wanted it gone!) and instead of buying a new vent hood when ours was working just fine- we spray painted our old one pistachio! I absolutely love this little pop of color!
We are so happy with our kitchen update! It makes the space feel so special and more of a reflection of our style. It was boring and neutral before and it felt like a flip house (which, to be honest, it was!), but now it is such a happy space! It makes me smile every time I walk in.
A big thanks to Kate and Landon for sharing their kitchen backsplash project with us! Floor & Decor is a beloved, long-term partner with LGN. We use their tile all the time and LOVE their price points! If you’re looking for some fun backsplash or bathroom tile check out these favorites we’ve used before and can’t wait to use again!
12×12″ honed carrara // square on square // 1″ hex // herringbone // 2″ grid // limestone chevron // basketweave // 12×24″ carrara // 4×12″ carrara // penny rounds // black and white // mosaic // 4×4″ honed squares
Can you believe it’s already been two years since I painted the guest bathroom olive green? I still love that color, but you guys know me by now. I start to get antsy for changes before too long, and when my sister’s wedding reception was just around the corner, I decided to not fight the impulse to paint again (resistance is futile anyway). This time I went in a completely different direction with crazy abstract wallpaper and the most gorgeous shade of navy on the millwork!
We’re all loving the changes! It feels like a completely different room. One of my girls even asked if she could turn the tub into a bed and make this her bedroom. 🙂
When it came to choosing a specific color for our bathroom walls, my starting point was this gorgeous wallpaper from Eskayel.
I wanted a paint color for the wainscotting that really worked well with the wallpaper, but that could also stand on it’s own. As I’m sure many of you know, navy is a REALLY tricky paint color to get right. It seems like most shades are either way too purple, or too bright, or not saturated enough.
I grabbed a handful of samples from the BEHR Marquee line at Home Depot. I have used the Marquee colors and paint a million times and the colors are SO well-curated. There are still plenty of shades to choose from, but the process of standing there and choosing your paint swatches is actually enjoyable and not at all overwhelming like with other paint lines! You can rest assured that each of the colors are tried and true and are going to be beautiful on your walls.
I landed on these three navy swatches and picked up three sample pots, which is such an important part of the process! (Also – I LOVE that Marquee sample pots come in different sheens! I got my samples in a semi-gloss finish, which can really look different from a flat paint.)
At first I was leaning toward Ball Gown, a really muddy, warm navy that felt unique and interesting to me. But after we hung the wallpaper and painted the samples on the wainscotting, Opera Glasses immediately jumped out as the winner! I just can’t get enough of that dramatic, moody greeny-blue!
There are three things about the Marquee collection that keep me coming back for more – the great colors, the convenience (they can be mixing me a gallon while I tackle the other items on my Home Depot list and hit up the house plants section), and the one-coat coverage. It’s a super high-quality paint that sprays, rolls and brushes on like a dream. Before we hung the wallpaper and started painting, I did some prep by skim coating the walls with drywall mud and giving the wainscotting a really good sanding, which we neglected to do before painting the olive color. We finished this room literally hours before the Domino shoot and the rush job really showed! But it was nothing a little elbow grease couldn’t fix. I smoothed out the inconsistencies in the drywall and sanded down most of the bumpiness in the millwork and now it looks so much better!
I’ve been using a new roller lately that I’m LOVING. It’s 6″ wide, so right in between a 4″ foam roller (which sometimes leaves air bubbles and roller lines :/) and a full-sized 9″ wall roller. I always pay the extra buck or two for the highest quality rollers and I think it really makes a big difference in the ultimate paint finish and helps reduce shedding.
I used my favorite paint brush to cut in and do all the detail work. I love that the Marquee paint self-levels so nicely! The semi-gloss finish is really lovely.
I think the Opera Glasses color pairs so, so well with the brass, marble and wood accents in our bathroom. And I also really love how it looks next to the black tub and door. Black and navy will always be one of my favorite combos.
I really love these changes! The whole room feels so fresh and pretty to me now. I still loved the before, but I’m so excited about the after!
What do you think of the new walls? Would you have gone with Opera Glasses too? My friend came over to weigh in and she was really drawn to the Compass Blue color. It was a tough choice – they’re all so pretty! 🙂
Photos by Tiffany Haynes.
I have an obsession with block-printed fabrics and textiles! I love how the patterns are modern, organic and geometric all at the same time. (Some of my favorite fabric pins HERE)
I’ve been wanting to try block printing myself for a long time though and Lucy’s bedroom curtains presented a great opportunity! We started with this gorgeous brass rod and these favorite IKEA linen-look white curtain panels that just can’t be beat at $35/pair. A pretty and simple combo, but I knew we could step it up a notch with a subtle blue stamped pattern. I thought about making my own stamp with a lino block to look something like this Madeline Weinrib print, but then I found a fern stamp at my local art supply store that I really loved.
Amazon also has about a hundred cool block print options if you want to try one for yourself! DYING over that Tiger stamp! I want to stamp Evie’s plain white roman shades with black or hot pink tigers. 🙂
The stamps themselves are pretty easy to use, especially after a couple of practice rounds, so my best piece of advice about the project has to do with the set up. I’ve wanted to try this project for ages, but I didn’t want to have to deal with marking each and every placement of every stamp. And it is SO important to have exact measurements in the pattern drop!
So I cleared off our desks in the studio one weekend (you can just do this on your hard-surface floor if you don’t have a table big enough) and started marking out an 8″ grid pattern.
I started first by making the horizontal hatch marks with a little bit of tape and then the long lines and then the vertical marks and lines. It was SUPER fast and easy to do.
I wanted there to be about an inch of white relief at the top of the header before the pattern started, so I was sure to plan out my pattern marks before I started taping.
I picked a bright blue fabric paint and used this roller to apply the paint to the stamp in a thin, even coat before each application.
It’s really helpful to completely clean off the stamp every fifth or sixth application, just to keep the lines crisp. The charm of the block-printed look is that each stamping will look a little different but hopefully only a little different with practice! I stamped six panels for Lucy’s bedroom and my last four were much better than my first two. We only ended up needing four panels for her room, so it all worked out! 🙂 I just seamed two panels together for each side so there would be enough fabric for Lucy to close her curtains and still have some fullness.
I’m OBSESSED with the final look! The blue is such a subtle touch of color in a room that already has a lot going on with the blush walls and bright pink bed. Claire needs some new curtains in her bedroom and I can’t wait to try another pattern and color! 🙂
Tiffany Brooks was the designer this year and she really nailed the color choices! Every room felt unique and different, but the colors all flowed and worked together. She mixed neutral, calming tones with bold, saturated hues from the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Neutral Nuance Color Collection.
The common area wall color is Sedate Gray and I loved it! It was the perfect goes-with-everything, barely there color.
The art in this dining room was so great! Large and in charge is my favorite size for artwork.
The kitchen cabinets were the prettiest color of bluey gray called Retreat. It paired so well with the brass accents in the lighting and the beautiful patterned wall tile.
How about that cute bird print on the mudroom window shades?
The reason the home is called the Smart Home is the whole place is completely tricked out with the coolest electronics and automated technology, like these skylights that opened and shut with a phone app. So cool!
I love that the bedrooms were a little more dramatic with color, but they still felt in tune with the common areas of the Smart Home.
The nursery walls were the prettiest shade of dark, moody teal called Riverway. I love how the color paired with the orange curtain fabric.
Anonymous is one of my favorite colors in the HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint color collection. It’s a warm, dark gray that looks especially great on cabinetry like this office nook in the Smart Home loft. It pairs so well with pink and brass!
The Master bathroom and the guest bedroom walls were both Dover White – a beautiful warm white! The tiniest pops of color on the walls looked amazing in here.
How amazing is that millwork in the Master bedroom? I love the idea of a grid-patterned feature wall. It looks especially cool with large artwork layered on top.
Such a gorgeous home, right? Believe it or not, I edited like crazy to get the number of photos here down to a reasonable amount, but if you feel like you still want to see more, here’s a full tour from HGTV. (By the way, have you entered to win yet?)
It was SUCH a treat to get to see some of the best parts of Raleigh on this trip! I can see why HGTV chose to build this year’s Smart Home in that beautiful place! A big thanks to HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams for hosting me. I’m hoping for an invite to next year’s tour!! 🙂
A few months ago, we ordered this swing for a client project (hanging above a set of white shiplapped built-in bunkbeds- heart eyes!) There are so many cool swings out there right now. I’m still thinking of a space in my house where I could make this happen but in the meantime, here are some of my favorite inspo images.
In a playroom or master bedroom, kids room or family room, indoor swings add such a sweet and playful touch to a space, don’t you think? Here are two great DIYs I stumbled upon if you’re in the mood to make:
And if you don’t feel like busting out the heavy duty yarn or chop saw- here is a roundup of my favorite swings I came across while sourcing for this client.
Do any of you have a swing in your home? I’d love to see it! We have a new email address for sharing projects like this. If you have a space you’d love to share with our readers, shoot an email to email@example.com with photos!
The post Indoor Swings (Or How to Be the Coolest Parent in the World) appeared first on Little Green Notebook.
Our house is the definition of chaos this week! My baby sister, Heather, is getting married this weekend and the reception will be here on Saturday night. (Insert Home Alone scream) We’ve been cleaning and hanging lights and moving furniture and painting signs and making decorations all week. There’s a lot to do still, but most of it has to do with the flowers. I bought everything at the floral wholesale place on Monday, and we’re picking up buckets and buckets of blooms at the crack of dawn on Saturday. We probably should have hired out this part of the party, but it’s way too much fun for me and my mom to give up! We have about 30 large bundles of silver dollar eucalyptus that we’re using for the base of every garland and arrangement and then all sorts of gorgeous peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, poppies and chamomile to layer in. CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED?! I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and share a post next week. You can follow along on Instagram in the meantime!
I meant to post this Mother’s Day Gift Guide earlier in the week, but, you know, the wedding. But the good news is there’s still time to completely nail your Mother’s Day gift! Here are a few of my favorite recent purchases or things that are on my wish list/saved in my Amazon cart. 🙂
They Call Me Mom tee – My friend co-owns a local company called the Lemon Tee shop. I love, love, love their kids shirts especially, but every time I wear this funny tee, I get a million questions. So only wear it when you feel like saying “Lemon Tee shop!” a million times in your day!
Flowers Coloring Book – Brittany is a creative genius (and truly one of the kindest people I’ve met!). I LOVE her coloring book for grown ups. I guess kids can use it too, but I think you’re going to want to keep this one for yourself. Every one says coloring books are a great stress reliever, but I probably put a little too much effort into my coloring sessions. 🙂
Gold Flatware – I have a set of vintage gold flatware that I got on eBay a couple years ago. I really shouldn’t be putting it in the dishwasher, but I do (#lazy) and now I’m paying for it! I’ve been eyeing the West Elm set for a while to replace my corroding vintage set but I like this one even better (the proportions of the big spoon are just SO good) and at $20 for a five-piece place setting, I couldn’t help myself and I bought 12 settings on the spot. Also, it’s officially dishwasher safe! High fives!
Acrylic tape dispenser – because at least six times a month, I find myself yelling out to my art-loving girlies “WHERE’S THE SCOTCH TAPE?!” They might still take my tape, but this one will be easier to find.
Pastel Kilim pillow – just a pretty pillow at a great price.
Tassel pillow – I think these two pillows go great together. You’re basically giving your mom a whole sofa makeover with the set!
Schwinn cruiser – Ivory +caramel leather bikes are the ultimate and this one’s cheap and chic. Nothing’s cuter than a mom on a bike ride with her kids, you know?
Black wall sconce – A pair of these wall-mounted, plug-in sconces won’t set you back too much in the cash department and will completely elevate her bedroom look. Love the brass accents, of course.
Hanging planter – I love a little hanging planter in a back room window. This one would be so sweet with a Maiden Hair Fern already planted inside!
Pink Buildings Print – Reminds me of The Grand Budapest Hotel! I love the girliness of this print.
Green Vintage Style Fan – Fans are a necessary evil here in the desert. I consider it one of my personal duties in life to seek out all the prettiest fans on the market. This green one is SO on my list!
Pink Throw – I have and LOVE this pink throw. It is so, so soft and it truly looks amazing in any room, even and maybe especially if there are no other pink accents in the space. It is bright but super luxurious looking!
Marble and Brass Side Table – a killer deal on a killer table. It’s anything but basic, but the lines are completely classic. This one is worth getting and keeping for a long time to come.
Portable Phone Battery – Cause every mom needs extra phone juice!
Mom Jeans Dish – Low rise is the enemy! Amiright, ladies?
Pressed Flowers Necklace – I really would love one of these sweet necklaces to layer in with my other daintier pieces. These are real pressed flowers!
Plant Stand – This is one of the more affordable plant stands available right now. I love the bullet planter shape and the manageable size!
Black Herschel bag – A woman can never have too many Weekender bags! Because why bring a single suitcase when you can bring 8 overnight bags?
Chambray Notebook – If someday I decide to go all Steve Jobs style with a daily uniform, a chambray shirt would likely be my choice of top. So naturally I would want a chambray notebook, right?
Le Pens – Always and forever the best writing implement known to man. This color pack combo is my favorite.
Carry-On Luggage – I’m in need of a new smaller sized suitcase, but I hate the idea of spending a bunch of money on something that is going to get completely beat up. This DVF suitcase is adorable and affordable!! Wouldn’t it be cute to give your wife or mom a new suitcase and a cheap flight somewhere fun? Allegiant and Frontier always have crazy deals here like $25 tickets to San Fran!
A Mother is a Story – My friend, Samantha Hahn, is a brilliant illustrator. You have seen her work everywhere – I literally can’t pick up a magazine that doesn’t have at least some of her lettering. She is amazing. Her newest book is a beautiful celebration of motherhood (and therefore, a PERFECT gift for this weekend.) I’ll also be giving one to every pregnant friend from here on out.
Brass and Marble lamp – Still one of my favorite lighting pieces from Lucy’s project. It’s a show-stopper!
Worth It Tee – Subtle and so, so true.
Gorjana Earrings (studs, hooks, bars) – Between Madewell and this line, I am pretty much always covered in the jewelry department. The Grojana pieces are dainty and affordable and really well-made. Also, I learned recently that if any of your Gorjana jewelry breaks or the gold fill starts to wear off, you can just send your jewelry into their headquarters in California (or have Nordstrom send it for you) and they’ll make it look new for free and ship it back to you! Sweet, huh?
Salt and Pepper Cellars – The perfect countertop accessory. Those little brass spoons slay me.
Record Player – My girls are super into records these days. It’s fun to hunt for great albums at thrift shops and teach my kids about good, old music. A little Fleetwood Mac mixed in with their Taylor Swift can only be a good thing. This record player is cute and less expensive than others on market. It looks adorable sitting out on a credenza or on top of the piano.
Cookie Silpat Mat – In case your mother is as much of a perfectionist as mine! 🙂 Hopefully if I give this to my mom, she’ll make her famous Honey Oatmeal cookies a little more often. Yummmm…
Keep Calm Bake On mits – It’s been long enough, right? We can start using the Keep Calm graphics again? These oven mits made me nostalgic for the good old blogging days of circa 2007.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY all of you beautiful women! You are doing amazing work.
Kate’s grandma lives on a beautiful property with tons of gorgeous, mature trees. It was the perfect place to host a low-key girls night last weekend. The weather was gorgeous and the company was even better!
We’ve been working with Target this spring to share some of our favorite ideas for easy entertaining and I love this set up we made with a low lounge table, inspired by all the GREAT throw pillows at Target right now! The weather has been so beautiful lately, we all want to spend as much time outside as possible!
We grabbed a jute rug and an assortment of pillows and throws in different colors and patterns right before the party and threw them out right on the ground underneath the pretty cafe lights we strung up in the trees.
To keep the prep as low key as possible, we hired our friends at 824Pizza to come to the party and grilled some pizzas for us to serve with a delicious salad – so simple!
The purple potato and rosemary pizza was my favorite! YUM.
Kate and I are both soda-lovers, so we set up an Italian Soda station on this cute rattan bar cart. We had a few flavored syrups out with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Some of our favorite combos ended up being Fresca with raspberry syrup and fresh peaches and Diet Coke with peach syrup and cream. I love the hand-blown tumbler and paper straw combo!
And isn’t the low table great? It was Kate’s genius idea. We made it super fast with just a sheet of furniture-grade plywood and a few lengths of 1×2″ trim!
We stained it with my favorite DIY stain color – Minwax’s Special Walnut and then we added some hairpin legs.
It is lightweight but sturdy and makes for a great indoor or outdoor coffee table the rest of the time! You could always make it a little smaller too. We had the hardware store do all the cuts for us to make this project as simple as possible!
The dark stain makes the bright white dinnerware just pop!
I love how easy it was to throw this simple outdoor dinner party! There wasn’t a lot of planning or prep needed – just a memorable setting, good food and pretty decor. We stayed up really late talking and laughing and eating allll the carbs. 🙂 It was pretty much a perfect night!