Okay, finally sitting down and working on all things home q+a! You submitted questions a bit ago and I finally sifted through them and wanted to share below. I will continue to either update this post, or write new ones, as we continue with the process. I also have two Highlights saved on my Instagram “Our Home” and “Home Decor” where you can find a bunch of details!
2. Where are you drawing your inspiration from? Was there a particular photo you saw or trip you took that really inspired you? – Sort of all over! Ideas I have saved throughout the years, we also love the way any 1 Hotel is decorated and felt that has been our vibe for awhile. Pinterest has become my best friend for all this stuff.
4. What is your process for designing a room? There’s so many options that I get overwhelmed and not sure where to begin. You are not alone! I tell Matt every day I am overwhelmed, there are just too many choices. I will say, what has helped me tremendously has been creating mood boards. I start with Pinterest and just do a photo dump of all the inspo I find. I prefer to make them in Photoshop and I use this free site to remove any background so you truly just get the piece of furniture or item you are looking at. If you don’t have Photoshop, you could create a mood board in a Word document or even just dragging to the background of your desktop and opening the images and clumping them together to see how they will look. I also think starting with one thing per room and building from there is helpful. If you have your eye on a couch you can’t live without, start there then work you way with other pieces that compliment it.
5. How do you make sure all of the rooms “flow” or “match”? Is there a particular color palette you’re sticking with? – Matt and I have always gravitated towards neutrals, so it’s been fairly easy trying to make things flow. We also wanted to make sure we incorporated enough textures and darker woods/blacks to add some contrast as well.
6. What app do you use to create your style and inspo boards? I use Photoshop!
7. How have you budgeted and prioritized projects? For us, we made a huge “wish list” of everything and then took a good week or two and combed through our wants and needs. We then paired down even further to what we wanted to do before we move in (mainly to make life easier not being in the house during all this with a toddler) and budgeted from there. As for furniture, we tried our best to take advantage of sales. We were in contract this fall so I started creating a wish list of items we needed and then on Black Friday pulled the trigger. Matt and I also knew we always wanted to buy a house in the back of our mind, but within the last two years, after Logan was born, we knew our timeline better and really started saving the best we could.
8. How do you decide what to splurge vs save on? This one is tricky and I am still learning! To be honest, waiting for sales has been the best secret combo. And items that might not get a ton of use (guest bedrooms compared to main bedrooms, etc.) you could go with more budget friendly options as I’m less concerned about how those will hold up!
9. What kind of help/services did you get for your home updates? Designers? Contractors? Mainly a contractor! We were going in blind with living in a rental apartment for the past 11 years. I was so overwhelmed and had no idea who to call for what when it came to house updates. I quickly learned our contractor was the greatest thing as they took charge or coordinating everything! They also get very good discounts on home appliances, countertops, paint, etc. which was a huge savings. I also asked for help from some of my friends at Kathy Kuo Home to design our kitchen nook- more on that in a future post!
10. How did you go about choosing the right contractors/designers? Word of mouth! I think this is the best way (when possible). Our realtor just finished re-doing her kitchen and was very pleased with her contractor (who is now our contractor). After reaching out and also doing a bit more research I discovered a few other people I knew who used him for multiple projects over years. The fact that they kept going back to him was telling.
11. What was the process of describing your visions and wants to your contractors/designers to them executing it? LOTS of detailed pictures, notes, texts, calls, etc. Communication is key and if you don’t like something, say it! Bounce ideas back and forth, they also have great ideas of their own. Just always ask to cost things out for you so you know what you are getting into and not surprised 🙂
12. What challenges, if any, came up with working with your contractor/designer? Any issues with budget, designs, etc? We have actually been very lucky with no major hiccups. Fortunately we had our apartment in the city for several months overlapping so we were not in a huge rush, and things have definitely taken much longer than expected (which is largely due to COVID related delays).
13. What have been your go-to stores/sites for furniture? What about stores for reasonably priced furniture and decor? Go-to: McGee & CO // Saffron + Poe // Kathy Kuo Home // Stacy Garcia // Lulu & Georgia // Restoration Hardware // Serena & Lily More reasonably Priced: Target
14. Will you share before and after photos of all your spaces? What about a layout tour? I wont be doing a layout tour, but will definitely share lots and lots more before/after photos!
15. Will you share more office details? Where did you purchase your table, chairs and shelf decor? Table // Chairs (light grey w/gold hardware), Decor is a mix of Homegoods/TJ Maxx/Marshalls, Target and a few local shops so far. The space has so much shelving it is going to take awhile to get all the decor! I also don’t want to rush it as I love organically picking up pieces!
16. Can you share your kitchen details? Colors, hardware, counter tops, backsplash, etc.?
17. Any plans for your outdoor area? Patio furniture? Yes! We ordered a lot of items from Restoration Hardware. Outdoor furniture was a bit shock to us on the cost, but so many people gave us their opinion of you invest once in something that will withstand time and last and that will help justify the cost. We also are RH members which gives you an amazing discount! Sofas (weathered teak) for fire place area // Dining Table (weathered teak) // Dining Armchair (weathered teak) // Swivel Lounge Chair
18. Can you share your paint colors and floor stains?
19. Can you re-share your hallway bench with the pillows? What about dining table and chairs?
20. What are you thinking for rugs or stair runners? TBD, we need to go in-store and look at a few stair runner options soon, but thinking something lighter in color to contrast the darker stairs. Will share as we move forward with that process!