House Tour- Organizing our Kitchen

Last week, as part of my house tour posts, I shared with you the design and layout of our Kitchen and adjacent Breakfast Area.

Now, I am going to take it all a step further and explain how we keep our kitchen organized.

Sure, it has its moments when you can barely see the island when it’s covered in bags, Autumn’s artwork from school, coupons, dog leashes, and freshly washed dishes. Not gonna lie, the random sock sometimes finds it’s way on there too.

That’s real life! But the best way to combat the mess is approaching the kitchen from several different ways from when you design it to move in and live in it.

As well, finding products that best suit your needs. We have incorporated various products from various brands but the biggest things that really revolutionized how we organized the things in our kitchen came from Rev-A-Shelf. They carry products big and small that will help you better organize your kitchen, as well as improve its functionality.

When designing or remodeling a kitchen, I highly suggest starting out by planning out what you have to store away and what you feature to strategically plan where things go. Like we have a our coffee area where the coffee maker is located on the counter, by an outlet, and directly above is a cabinet that stores our mugs, coffees, teas, and to-go cups.

By having specific places for things throughout the kitchen, things can get organized and cleaned up again rather quickly. There is a spot for everything so things can easily put right back in their spots. And it certainly makes finding things a lot easier.

Some of the ways that we have it well organized is the way that we actually designed the kitchen. We made changes to the style and size of cabinets and the arrangement of them. For example, on the ‘active’ wall of our kitchen, we have a 30″ wide microwave cabinet, a 18″ wide cabinet with a door and drawer above, our stove, another 18″ wide cabinet with a door and drawer above, and a 30″ wide cabinet with 3 drawers. The symmetry looks good and after awhile you get used to taking a certain number of steps to each cabinet that your body gets a nice rhythm to each location.

On either side of the stove we have tools that help us use the stove from oven mitts to spatulas. Being able to reach them from the stove is key. It helps functionally and with safety.

Below those drawers are things that we also use often. Our various cutting boards and baking sheets are stored on the left side of the stove. This makes grabbing a sheet for baking up french fries easy, as well as grabbing a cutting board for making a salad. This location worked well, but the items got mixed together and would fall over making the cabinet a mess. The 18″ High Tray Dividers (597-18-50) has allowed us to store and organized our wooden and plastic cutting boards and our baking sheets and cooling racks separately.

On the right side of the stove, we installed an 14″ wide Tall Base Cabinet Pull Out  (4WDB7-18SC-1) that allows for the cabinet to be stocked full of bake wear, but still be well organized and easily accessible. Had we not used the cabinet pull out, it would have meant that things would have been haphazardly stacked up and jammed in there, which would just mean that over time things would get messy. This pull out makes baking a breeze.

Even our decorative floating shelves serve a purpose. They hold gifts, memorabilia from trips, and other things that are special to us. Plus, the lower shelves have various sized small bowls on them that we use for misé-en-place when preparing a meal.

The large cabinet that is directly next to the refrigerator is the work horse of our kitchen. It has 3 drawers that is the work horse of the kitchen. The top drawer is our drawer for all our tools ranging from can opener to pepper corer, the drawer in the middle is for Autumn’s stuff, and the bottom drawer holds our Tupperware.

 

As the top drawer holds so many tools of various sizes we upgraded the drawer organizer that I picked up from Ikea. I believe that since Ikea has their own line of cabinets, they size their organizers to fit their cabinets, which meant it didn’t fit in the cabinet. It resulted in a lot of wasted space around it (picture on the left), so we swapped that out for the Trimmable Cutlery Tray (4WCT-1).

 

The middle drawer holds all of Autumn’s plates, bowls, cups, and straws. I would try to keep it nice and organized but it would just end up in a jumbled mess when things would get tossed in there or pulled out for use.

The Medium Trimmable Pegboard System (4DPS-3021) allows us to partition the drawer out into different sections, creating specific spots for the different things store in the drawer.

Besides it staying super neat, Autumn can now easily find stuff so she can help get her own cups of water or snacks. She can even help put things away when we are unloading the dishwasher since she can easily stack the things she is added to the drawer to the things already in there.

 

Everyone knows the Tubberware cabinet/drawer is the messiest place in the kitchen. It’s the random top throw together, no top matching, miscellaneous, “is this even ours?” place for all the plastic stuff to be tucked away and forgotten about.

First we purged out our collection of random pieces. Then then we used another Pegboard System to help create spaces for the different containers. It’s great how they stay put when the drawer is opened and closed. A little organization went a long way with that space but it is much needed and a big time saver for after dinner next day meal planning.

The island is equally efficient for us. Not only is the sheer size (9′ long!) helpful, but the cabinets and things located at the island is very helpful for the overall function of the space. The island has our plumbing fixtures, which makes doing dishes really easy. Rinse a dish at the sink and then put it in the adjacent dishwasher.

 

We even organized the sink cabinet by adding 2 organizers and a towel holder.

The Door Storage Trays (6232-14-11-52) mount to door providing a place for things like sponges, dish soap, and cleaning supplies.

The Door-Mounted Dish Towel Rack (563-32) will help us by providing a spot for our towels, preventing clutter on our counters. Plus, then the dogs can no longer yank the dirty towels off the stove handle.

As well, I do most of the kitchen prep on the island. I work directly to the right of the sink, which gives me plenty of room to work. Additionally, I can swiftly dispose of trash right into the pull out trash can that is located in the end cabinet.

The very first item we installed in our kitchen was the 30-Quart Bottom Mount Wire Waste Container. The sleek design and finish is a nice feature in an otherwise forgotten space. The hardware has a no-slam slow closer feature which makes operating the trash can with ease. It’s just as easy to pull out, which is great for Autumn.

In the drawer located above the trash can, we have our cutlery organizer. Locating it there means we can stand right next to the dishwasher and unload the clean utensils right into the tray.

On the other side of the sink is another cabinet that is the same size as the cabinet that holds our trash can.  Installing our trash pull out in the equally sized cabinet, inspired  us to install another pull out trash container for the dogs’ food. But we actually took it to the next level and got a 2 can pull out (typically used for trash and recycling).

The Double 35 qt. white container Pull Out System (5149-18DM-211) has allowed us to create a doggy station as we have their food in front and all the toys in the back. They are not the kind of dogs that can be trusted with toys just being out in the house as they, especially Kemper, get really focused on destroying and eating them. Let me tell you, a dog eating a rope toy is a mess and a safety issue too. But now everything they need is right where it needs to be. So perfect!

The remaining cabinets and countertop is a 6′ side section where we have the majority of our small appliances.

On the counter we have storage jars for baking supplies. It’s functional but also just pretty. Plus, getting to easily snag a marshmallow every now and then is a perk!

 

All of our small appliances are in the base cabinets. Yes, I have 5 waffle irons which might seem like a lot but I did make waffles every week for a year.  yum!!!

Price modified the ill-fitting utensil tray from Ikea but cutting off one of the short ends so that it would fit. Now we have enough organizational cubbies  for the small baking items; measuring spoons, measuring cups, pizza cutter, lemon/lime zester, melon baller, and teeny tiny rubber spatulas. The remaining space in the drawer is large enough for our larger baking tools like a kitchen scale and rolling pin.

And every house has a junk drawer, which is always a big mess of whatever.  We all clean and sort them at least once a year and then they get dirty and disorganized again in about 2 days.  We minimized out junk area with a drawer divider, allowing us to put all of our foils, wraps, and plastic bags in in the drawer too.

 

Before we put the baking supplies in the drawer were they currently reside, we had our spices in there. This was a disaster as they would roll around and get jumbled up. Some would even spill out the spices out of their twist tops making a mess in there.

Instead we decided to use two 13 5/8″ wide Door Storage Wire Spice Racks (565-14-52) that we mounted on our pantry door.

Use empty space on the pantry door = Win.

Take everything out of a drawer so I now have extra space to store more stuff = Win.

Organizing all the spices alphabetically = WIN!

 

I am so happy with how well our kitchen is organized now. All of the various products that we used has helped us make cooking and living in the space a real pleasure by keeping the kitchen clean, neat, organized, and useful.

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I was provided product from Rev-A-Shelf, but I was not compensated to write this post. All options are my own.

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House Tour- Our Kitchen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and that is really true for us.

One of the reasons we fell in love with the house was the kitchen. We couldn’t get over how open it felt, even with the giant island. Oh, that island. I instantly fell in love with it when we saw a model home of this house design in January 2015.

It’s a 9′ long x 4′ deep island… that was more countertop than our previous kitchen, and that is just the island!

We were 99% sure on the house but still compared other house designs from other builders to the openness and layout of this design, prior to us signing the contract on a house. Ultimately, the Monroe model from Ashton Woods won out and we signed our contract in spring of 2016.

Then the real fun began… selecting options and finishes at the design studio.

I normally like white, white, white but when we saw the grey shaker cabinets of one of the kitchens in the design studio, we were hooked. It wasn’t a typical wood veneer finish and the grey was a great option on incorporating some color into the house, besides furniture and decor.

One thing I would not budge on was having white countertops. Our last kitchen has black ones it while the finishes of that kitchen worked together in that space, I hated the dark countertops. It was really tough to photograph process pictures for food recipes, and I just love the look of light countertops. I think they really help with making a space feel larger and brighter. (They look yellowish in the photos but it’s white- trust me, there is no way I would have picked anything else!)

 

The standard options for both the cabinet style and finish and countertops would need to be upgraded to achieve our desired look.

We picked a blend of upgraded cabinet styles for our kitchen. The grey shaker cabinets that are the majority of the cabinetry in the kitchen was a Level 6 (ouch… $$$), and the white shaker style was a Level 4 (not such an ouch!). Besides the color the biggest difference between them was the drawer style and construction of the door panels.

By blending the 2 cabinet styles we saved $513. The blend works as the white cabinets are only at the island and therefore are primarily visible in the kitchen work area, not particularly visible from the rest of the house, especially from the living room and backyard.

The standard countertop is granite, but the finish options they had were too dark and busy for our preferences. We had the option of upgrading to a composite material or marble. While marble is incredibly gorgeous, we opted for a composite as it was a fraction of the cost. I love how it is bright it is with a nice fleck pattern that is not distracting.

Our builder has a lot of options for cabinet styles to have a custom kitchen that you design to your design aesthetic and needs. Some builders do not have these options so this was one of the reasons we were drawn to them. I really appreciated the ability to customize the kitchen, even when the cost of some of these items we could customize was cost prohibitive.

 

One of the big things that I wanted to do in the kitchen was to remove the standard cabinet mounted microwave that was mounted above the stove for a microwave that was integrated into a base cabinet($130 add). This one thing great transformed our kitchen by having a hood installed over the stove. We were provided with a $1,458 for removing the 3 cabinets originally spec’d for the wall.

Then we further opened up the look of the wall by removing the cabinets on either side of the hood (receiving a credit for this) and installing floating shelves. The wood finished shelves we installed were from Threshold at Target. They are 4″ shallower than the grey shelves we could have installed at by the cabinet builder, but they only provided a flat price per shelf, so a 20″ long shelf would cost the same as a 8′ long one. We were not paying $468 per shelf that was less than 2′-0″ long! Hell no. So our $30 a shelves are working just fine for us.

 

In addition do those custom changes we added a tall filler panel next to the fridge and swapped out a base cabinet that came with doors for base cabinet that has drawers. We had wanted to do an integrated trash cabinet but the price exceeded our budget so we installed a pull out after we moved in.

The builder had plenty of options for backsplashes but the ones that we liked were very expensive (go figure!). We decided to leave the wall bare with just paint as we save up for a tile that we like. As well, we have the option of installing a pot filler above the stove as we have a pre plumbed for an utility sink in the garage, and it worked out that the location of that is almost directly behind the stove. So we don’t want to tile the wall yet, just to rip some of it out for the faucet.

The only architectural change we made in the kitchen was that we omitted the closet at the door that leads from the kitchen to the garage. We knew we wanted to put the pie safe there and the closet would not have allowed it. The pie safe works really well there as storage for our Pyrex and it’s a feature right at the entry that we use most often.

The walk in pantry is directly opposite the garage door so it makes dropping off groceries in there really easy.

One of the littlest things in our kitchen is one of my favorite things. We had an air switch installed for our disposal. This is a button that is intergrated into the counter that you press when you want to turn your disposal on and off. I like the look of this and I also like that I don’t need t open and close the cabinet below the sink to use a switch every time I want to use the disposal.

We had some issues with the install of the microwave cabinet  which still need to be adjusted by the millwork company, but the responsibility with scheduling them is in my court. Ya know, just been a bit busy lately with a newborn!

We sit at the metal stools and the table in the ‘Breakfast Area’ most often for meals, while our dining room gets used a bit less. As it is getting day to day use we wanted that to look homey and casual. We reused a table and a set of chairs that we had refinished that we had in Boston. I like how both our stools and these chairs are fun colors.

I found beautiful palm prints on Etsy from the WildBOOK store. We wanted something bold on the wall and these worked out perfectly. I had them printed at 24 x 36 and put them into simple white frames from IKEA.

The drapes we have on the slider are from IKEA and also add some fun color to the space. We layered 2 sheers using the VIDGA triple curtain rail system. The inner curtain is FLÖNG, a patterned sheer, and the outer one is AINA, a blue light weight linen. We use the same curtains and set up in our living room as well.

Also, like our dining room, we need a ceiling light junction box relocated. They centered the junction box for the light fixture centered in the space but we prefer the table to be centered on the wall with the palm prints instead. We removed the standard fixture and installed the really affordable pendant that I picked up on an Ikea run recently. The $30 JASSA pendant and the $10 wired SEKOND cord gives the area a more casual look which works well for the feel of the breakfast area that we are going for. When we have the junction box in the dining room moved, we will have this moved as well so that the light is centered over the table and then can hang lower above the table. But the $40 fix works for us now.

I also have high hopes of getting a fiddle leaf fig plant in the corner next to the sliding glass doors, but I am afraid it will feel too trendy and I’ll kill it. I’ll have to figure something out soon. Once I find a great pot for it I will be inspired to get a plant. I am looking for something modern looking. Totally open to suggestions!

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House Tour- Our Dining Room

Ever since we moved I have wanted to do a house tour to show how we have been decorating. How we have been making it ‘home’.

I am kicking off with our dining room!

Referencing the plan, you can see that is is the first room you see when you enter the house. Plus, it’s the first area visible when you are approaching the house. At night when the lights are on, it’s very visible.

We really considered that when we were selecting and locating the furniture and decor in the room.

The furniture and decor in the room is a blend of pieces that we have already owned and ones that we picked up when we moved here.

The main element in the room is the dining table with the combination of chairs and bench. We found these pieces at the Tampa location of Nadaeu, a furniture store that imports really cool handmade pieces.

While shopping with a friend, I fell in love with this table and found chairs and a bench to match. Price and I went back for him to check it out and we scooped it all up. And then they held it for us for months since our completion date was delayed. They rock.

I keep various simple runners on the table, along with a handmade bowl, salt and pepper shakers, and slate coasters to protect the table. The bowl is made by one of Price’s uber talented friends who has a pottery studio, Barrel Maker Pottery, in Portland, Maine.

The other piece of furniture in the room is a gorgeous buffet that was a very generous hand me down from one of my bosses in Boston.  I was quite concerned about it moving because of the value and how much we like it. Thankfully the movers did a great job with it – just 1 minor knick on a corner.

We tried not to clutter the buffet but have it functional and fun too. We have some wine and booze, a slate cutting board from Crate and Barrel topped with a ceramic jar that Price’s brother made when he was in high school. To go with the alcohol, we have a sign that was at our wedding that says, “Trust me you can dance – Alcohol” from the Etsy shop, DodiDoodles. It’s a fun reminder of our wedding.

Above the buffet is a mirror from Ashley Furniture and a set of copper pots and pans. We picked up the copper pots and pans years ago while at Brimfield, an antiques flea market that is held 3x a year in Massachusetts. We picked this set up for a steal at just $100 5 years ago.

As I previously mentioned, the dining room is at the front of the house so I wanted the window treatment to stand out as it would be seen from the entry, and even the street. My friend, Nichole, and I went shopping at Ikea and stumbled upon the curtains that we felt would look great in the space, while still having an overall connection to the rest of the house by featuring a blue color.

The MJÖLKÖRT curtains are hung closer to the window on the RACKA rod and the denser, thicker SANELA curtains are hung on the outer HUGAD rod. The double rod system allows for the pair of curtains to be hung together but move around independently of each other.

Directly opposite the windows is a tobacco basket with some prints.

The tobacco basket is really old. It used to hang in Price’s mom’s kitchen and we scooped it up from her years ago. I love that it’s a statement piece and it has history to it. You can find old ones at flea markets or antique shops, or you can purchase a new one as many stores have started to recreate the look now.

The art prints are little mushrooms that my grandmother bought for me years ago when we were browsing a small shop, sadly now closed.

On the to-do list is getting a new light fixture. We opted to just install the standard lighting fixture from the builder as any upgraded fixtures from them were $$$ and we didn’t really love any of them. When we find a fixture that we really like we will have that installed. The current location of the fixture is centered in the room, not over the table, as we have the buffet in there, moving the table over closer to the entry. So we will need that relocated which is a bigger deal than just swapping out fixtures so we aren’t in a big rush at this time to take on that project.

Adjacent to the dining room is the entry. There is not much to this area besides a lighting fixture (to eventually swap out) and a side table.

The side table was another piece that was from a boss in Boston. We have located this in various places in our past apartment and condo (entry, bedroom, respectively) but decided that currently works best here now as the wood is similar to the table in the dining room

Above this are 3 prints that feature the town where my husband grew up, Skaneateles, NY. I took the large picture at the bottom of Skaneateles Lake, and the other 2 are professional picture from the north end of the lake, where the town is located.

Besides the light fixture, we are really happy with our dining room. It’s a great place to come together and eat dinner as a family, which we do every weekend. The weeknight dinners are more casual, as we eat dinners at different times, and happen at the kitchen island or at the table in the Breakfast Nook.

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  1. Update lighting as a new lighting fixture can really transform a room. Even changing the existing lighting fixture’s bulb color temperature can make a big change.
  2. Layer curtains for a fun play on patterns and textures.
  3. Display a collection as a focal point. Artwork or dishes make a great feature.
  4. Mix types of seating for versatility and functionality.
  5. Use existing pieces in your home in the room in a new way.
  6. Add a mirror to create a feature that helps brighten the space.
  7. Use a patterned rug to help hide spills and add a fun accent on the floor
  8. Personalize the room with family photos or portraits.
  9. A fresh or good quality silk floral arrangement are great options for bringing nature into the room.
  10. Decorate with wine! Show off your collection of wine or liquor for a fun celebratory feel

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Up next is our kitchen tour!

 

 

 

Our New House!!!!!

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OMG!!!!!!! We closed on our house on Friday!!!!!!

I am so excited and yet do drained from the whole process.

Typical me was more excited about some bushes getting put in than signing for the house, but I just process things in weird ways.

Now that it’s been a few days and the dust has begun to settle I can enjoy it. We have been busting our butts moving our stuff in from my dad’s house to the new house. Thankfully we had awesome help from family while they were on vacation and from friends, who we then got to share our first meal in the house with (pizza!).

So I am just going to do a photo dump of the house that we moved into now, and then I will be sharing updates along the way once we have decorated and moved in.

Let’s begin….

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We selected the ‘Monroe’ model from Ashton Woods (builder) with Elevation ‘C’. We made selections to customize it, like adding in the 3rd car garage option.

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We also selected the 3rd option for the lanai (relates to the length of it), added in a slider (in lieu of a swing door and adjacent window) in the breakfast nook, and a 12′ slider (in lieu of 3 windows) in the family room.

As for the inside, let’s head in there.

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On the first floor of the house you have the dining room, family room, breakfast area, kitchen, flex space (aka office), and powder room. There also is a walk in pantry off the kitchen, closet off the flex space, and closet under the stairs to the second floor.

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You walk right into the Dining Room when you enter the house. It’s full of light from the orientation of the house and the pair of windows.

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From there you walk towards the back of the house to the Family Room. You have a view of the 12′ widow slider right upon entry into the house.

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The family room is straight ahead, and the open breakfast area and the kitchen are directly opposite that. The room is large- 18′ – 0″ x 18′ – 0″ which will work out for the furniture that we want to put in there. We don’t have large pieces or much but we want the space to feel airy and open.

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The Breakfast Area is the ‘every day’ eating area as it’s right off the kitchen and in the midst of the Family Room. We are putting in the small dining set that we had in Boston here and the larger newer set that we just purchased is in the dining room so that will be used for entertaining, when we don’t want to eat outside.

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Off the breakfast Area is the Flex Space, which will be set up at an office area in the future.
We will add a counter in here in in the future for a worksurface. There is a closet in there for some storage too.

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You enter the Powder Room by passing through the Flex Space. It’s basic now so we need to jazz it up with some linens and accessories. (I had a mirror for this space but now I don’t think it will work so that might go in the guest bedroom upstairs)

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The kitchen is the heart of the home. At much as ‘open concept plans’ are so trendy now, they work for us as we spend so much of our time in the kitchen making meals and just hanging out, so it feels great for this space to be so open and integrated with the rest of the first floor.

We selected a lot of options for the kitchen, which I’ll get into detail about in a kitchen focus post. It was important for us to spend our money on those upgrades for this space since it’s so visible to the rest of the house and how much time we spend in kitchens.

I can’t wait to start cooking in here!

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Across from the garage door entry, is the walk in Pantry that serves the kitchen. We had them remove all of the standard shelving so that we could put in our own shelving (I hate wire shelving!) so this is a big work in process now as we need to get up all new shelving.

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An open flight of Stairs lead you to the second floor…

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Our stairs are nice and open allowing a lot of light to come in from the window that is at the landing of the staircase. This was a design change made during construction. There was some drama related to it, but all worth it for this outcome.

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The first thing you see when you walk up the stairs is the laundry room so we will have to remember to keep the door closed  or deal with some visible messiess. We do plan on adding in some shelving and color to make it ‘pop’ since it is the first thing you see going up the stairs.

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Originally the Family Room on the first floor was a 2 story space but we filled it in (an option) to make this large Bonus Room. This is to function as the kids’ place room and our general lounge around room. We have a projector in Boston that we are going to install here so it will be great for movie watching. But we figure it will mainly be used by kids so (hopefully) their toys and mess will stay up here.

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The Fourth Bedroom (an option we selected in lieu of an open loft space) is the closest to the stairs, and is directly opposite the bonus room. We are going to use that as a guest bedroom as we didn’t want kids rooms that close to stairs. We already have a bed (queen sized) and side table here, but need to get a dresser (hopefully, I can find something cool off Craigslist) for the niche next to the closet. Eventually we think we will add a small TV on/over the dresser so that people visiting can escape the kids and enjoy some of their normal routine, like getting to watch some news in peace.

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Beyond the bonus room is our bedroom. YAY!!!!!

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We already have most of the elements for this room with the exception of bedding and some wedding pictures that we never had printed and framed. We purchased a new bed (king sized!) and are reusing a dresser (for Price). Some other elements that are getting re-purposed are some ottomans and a long side table. I just bought some window treatments that will get blended with some we already had so things are well under way for our bedroom.

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Besides the kitchen, we put some money towards our Master Bathroom Upgrades. So worth it to us. We layered a few options together to get a great bathroom. We each have our own sinks, a large shower, and a gorgeous free standing tub. I don’t love the color of the millwork in the bathroom (eww!) but it was hard to justify even more money towards a finish change in the bathroom that already had so many big and little changes. We can totally live with the ‘nutmeg’ finish, but I have a feeling I might paint them in the future. At least we have a great bathroom I can escape to for some R&R… ha, hardly!

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We have an amazing large walk in closet off our bathroom that we will outfit with come custom shelving (ALGOT from Ikea!). I am not going to have a dressing in our bedroom so it stays nice and open (plus we will have a playard that the baby will sleep in for a while so that will just clutter things up too). I am going to store all of my stuff in the closet so I will be getting my shelving and stuff done rather quickly (hopefully).

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Opposite our bedroom are the 2 kids bedrooms, full bathroom, and linen closet.

A linen closet is rather basic, no? Again, we didn’t want the standard wire shelving so we will install shelving in there.

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The bathroom is going to be used by the kids and guests so it will have a neutral feel to it. Right now we are going to recycle a lot of what we had for accessories and linens in Boston so it will have the sail cloth shower curtain (already owned) and nautical accessories that I have picked up over the past few years. Anchor all the things!!!!

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Autumn’s room (Bedroom 3 on the plan) is the larger of the kids rooms. There was no real reason to give her this room as opposed to the other room we are using for kids rooms, but that just worked well for her room. It has a walk in closet, which is overkill for her needs but I think I am going to make a little play nook in there. Her room is a mix of new and old things with a new bed and an old dresser.

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Lastly, is the baby’s room (Bedroom 2 on the plan) that is next to Autumn’s room. We already have most of the furniture for this room- either already opened it or already purchased. We just need to accessorize it with some artwork and get some drapes, but we have time since it’s weeks before the baby arrives and we had Autumn in our room for 6 months, so no real rush anyway.

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I will have updates in the upcoming weeks with process that we have made on the house!

Stay tuned!!!

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Keeping a Piece of Boston in our Hearts

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This past spring we packed up our lives in Boston and moved to Tampa, FL.

We were so eager about the move. It was time for change. It was time for new things. It was something we were excited to do. We took it head on.

So while we have been really excited about this move, we have wanted to bring things that symbolize or remind us of Boston with us since Boston has meant so much to us. We both lived there for 12 1/2 years. Met there, graduated college together there, bought a house there, got our dogs (Boston Terriers!) there, and had our daughter there.

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I have been on the search for fun things to add to our house that will bring I was checking out the goodies at Uncommon Goods and I found the perfect thing in their anniversary gifts section. (looking to get more specific?  Then look for gifts for HER or HIM)

As soon as I saw the Skyline of Love piece or artwork I knew that it was the perfect fit for us and what I was looking for. It was beautiful, cool, and you could customize it.

There is an (almost) endless list of skylines, from US and International cities, to I bet you’ll find one for you too. This is great for giving out wedding and anniversary gifts. Or to just gift one to yourself!

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Don’t want a skyline? Then check out their Silhouette of Love that takes a photo that you send them and they make you a custom silhouette. So cool!!! And the very same artist, Sandrine Froehle, does another custom piece of vintage looking colorful artwork that she creates from your photos. I love her work.

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I was so excited with it’s arrival. Opening up the box revealed a beautifully framed piece of art that features the skyline of Boston. I was so excited to see the Custom House on the right side of the skyline as it’s my favorite building in Boston.

The coolest things is there are different things you can customize about the artwork, besides your name and anniversary date. You can pick from 3 different backgrounds and 10 different colors for the hearts. I liked the contrast of the black and white and I thought the red heart was just so classic.

Right now it’s handing out in the loft at my dad’s house as we are stationed there while our house is being built. It’s right when we walk up the stairs so we pass by it like 500 times a day, you know, when you have to go up and down for toddler toys, socks, pillows, new hair clips, to grab the dogs that ran away with a beloved plus toy… ya know!

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Even Autumn, err I mean Supergirl, likes it. (She also likes the owl that I catch her snatching up and putting in her room! ha!)

I can’t wait wait for our house to be complete so that we hang this beautiful piece of art up so that we can bring a bit of Boston to Florida.

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This post is sponsored by Uncommon Gifts, all opinions are my own.