ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 6 – FAMILY ROOM REVEAL!

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SO EXCITED TO POST THIS! My first One Room Challenge is officially in the books. It’s been a rough past few days but we made it through to the end; the family room refresh is complete & the entire family is in love! Many of you thought I was crazy to take this on with a full time job and a 4.5 month old (and I admit, I didn’t factor in teething, itchy baby eczema, and sleep regression), and you were all correct. I was crazy. Definitely could not have done it without tons of help and support. But this room is crazy, too – crazy GOOD, and crazy affordable thanks to lots of lucky thrifting, talented friends, and sponsored (FREE) furniture beauties! In case you’re just joining in, here’s a quick recap, with links to the first 5 weeks’ posts if you care to peruse. Long story short, our most-used room in…

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 5 – HOME STRETCH!

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Yikes. Five weeks has flown by and I gotta be honest, Mama is TIRED. I knew when I signed up for the One Room Challenge that it would be a lot to manage even a simple room redo with everything going on, but factoring in a very itchy and sleepless four & a half month old with eczema has taken away so much of our energy & made this a heck of a stretch for us. Milo is definitely first priority, and normally I’d just let a project like this wait until we’re all in a better place, but free stuff means deadlines so we’re in it to win it, sleep or no sleep! The good news is – this past week was huge! The three biggest “brightening” elements are officially in place – the new carpet, the gorgeous new Interior Define sofa, and my crazy hare-brained faux wall (which…

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 4 – DISTRACTIONS & DISAPPOINTMENTS

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Week 4 of the One Room Challenge is here, and I’ve got a bit of practical progress to share, as well as some thoughts on – how’d you guess? – distractions and disappointments. Since I don’t have a great image depicting these terms, I’m throwing it back to one of my OG wood paneling pics to show how I originally convinced myself that this wood was too good to paint over or get rid of.  And dear sweet Jerry the giraffe is always a crowd pleaser, even if he HAS retired to the basement at the moment for an indefinite sabbatical. So back to the ORC. In terms of practical progress, NO, I don’t have any fun alien lamp progress to show you cuz #didnthappen. BUT, we did get the carpet issue worked out and installation is happening next week HOLLA, and we got a finalization on the sofa delivery…

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 3 – THE “LIGHT” WEEK

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Well friends, if you thought last week was light in content, you’ll love this week. We are SUPER light in content this week, and by that I mean we’re focusing on getting that room brightness at max exposure wherever we can, using every trick in the book. Some of these tricks include: 1. ALL the mirrors 2. Lamps lamps and more lamps 3. Get rid of shady stuff 4. Go back and forth a million times on where to judiciously use a little white/light paint… You can see what I mean about mirrors and lamps in this glamour shot here: Getting rid of shady stuff was a fun step for Scott this week. The french doors at the front of the room lead to a little covered porch on the far end of the front of our house. We’ve primarily used it for storing wood, and the sizable stacks of…

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 2 – OWNING IT

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[ interior inspo via Eaton DC hotel ]   The first week of the ORC has flown by, and not only is this post late (had every intention of posting Thursday morning), it’s also a little light in content – at least in terms of appealing images! It’s that awkward stage of the project where you’re waiting on one or two key things before everything else can follow (for us, it’s waiting for the carpet install)…so it’s a bunch of hurry up and wait in terms of big-picture room design stuff. Regardless, we’ve been busy with lots of prep work, finalizing plans, and apparently procuring lamps – my two faves from Brightech arrived on Saturday, and they’re just as awesome as I hoped they’d be. And then I found a real weirdo lamp on Craigslist that everyone hates but for some reason I SUPER love…which brings me to the “meat”…

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 1 – FAMILY ROOM REFRESH

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  I’ve posted about our family room before, so if you’ve been around for a while, you know it’s got some “unique” characteristics that tend to inspire a love/hate reaction. The wood paneling is gorgeous, solid, and….well…not for everyone, the room only has technically ZERO windows, and the floor currently sports a nice yellowy-tan wall to wall carpet situation. So I’m forever trying to dream up ways to brighten and lighten the room without going for the nuclear option of painting all the gorgeous wood white! The idea of a lighter sofa was appealing, since it’s the largest piece of furniture in the room, and we’ve been talking about replacing the carpet since we moved in, so when I found out Interior Define was interested in a collaboration, I jumped at the chance to get this room in a happier, brighter state. And call me crazy, but when I found…

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MILO’S NURSERY: CUSTOM SARAH HARSTE WEAVING & GIVEAWAY!

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HELLO BEAUTIFUL. If you follow me on Instagram (and lets face it, you’re reading this because you clicked here from my IG post or story), you’ve probably seen a peek or two of Milo’s nursery…and if so, you may or may not have seen THIS GORGEOUS WALL HANGING that’s keeping diligent watch over all of his poopy diapers. It’s one of my favorite elements in the room, and it’s even better in person than in pictures! I was so thrilled to be able to collaborate with the talented Sarah Harste, a fiber artist from nearby Columbus, OH, who worked with me to create a custom piece perfect for his room. The process was so easy from start to finish, and I thought I’d share a little bit of my experience with you guys in case you’re interested in a gorgeous one-of-a-kind piece for your home. In our initial discussion, Sarah…

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JOEY’S HOME

By | Food For Thought | No Comments

The title of this post refers not just to a physical place, Joey’s home, but also to a heartbreaking reality – that our sweet Joey Bear is now home in heaven. This past weekend we said our final goodbyes, remembering and celebrating him together with Sam and Sara, friends and family. The pain and the loss blur so many of our thoughts these days, but the fierce and bright light his little life brought – along with so much love and healing and hope – keeps shining. The koala picture hanging in their living room above, a gift to them by our dear friend Melody, is symbolic of Joey (baby koalas are known as joeys, hence his Joey Bear nickname), and a beautiful representation of his sweet and continued presence in their home. Once again I’m fighting the temptation to keep these thoughts to myself, knowing every grief journey is…

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JOEY’S GIFTS

By | Food For Thought | 4 Comments

How do you communicate something when words seem so inept and inappropriate? This is today’s conundrum, just added to the long list of how’s and why’s that have accumulated over the past few weeks. I want to talk about this – or feel like I NEED to talk about this – but it’s so impossible to express. 3-year-old Joey, a sweet little friend who we love so very much, is living out his last days. He’s been sick for a long time, and we’ve known these final days would come eventually, but knowing doesn’t prepare you for it. His parents, Sam and Sara, are dear friends of ours. They’re living a nightmare I can’t comprehend, and their story belongs to them. All I can do is share what belongs to me, how Joey’s journey is changing me and devastating me and healing me at every turn. When I wrote about…

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THE CURE FOR A VULNERABILITY HANGOVER

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No, the toilet pic here isn’t supposed to be a hangover reference, though I admit there are some aspects of this process that make me so nauseated I feel like hugging a toilet bowl. Bear with me. (If you must know…I chose this pic for this post because the lovely painted wallpaper in the botanical baño just celebrated her first birthday, and she’s still so excited about her debut on Design Sponge this past Monday…sorry, her words, not mine.) Thursday’s post about our infertility journey was a big one for me. SO, naturally, I’ve been thinking about it and dwelling on it and mulling it over and going crazy with the “yikes, you said that?”s and the “maybe you went a little too deep”s and, my personal favorite, “what on EARTH do they think of you now??” But being a longtime fan of Brené Brown, I recognize these thoughts for what…

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OUR INFERTILITY JOURNEY

By | Food For Thought | 14 Comments

I’m not quite sure how to introduce a post like this. It’s tough to try to summarize our infertility struggle in a nice neat package you’ll want to read, so bear with me. I’ve imagined writing about this for years, and always thought it would be amazing and beautiful to tell the story of how we became parents, looking back at a long journey of waiting and hoping and praying, with our prayers finally answered. I’ve been excited to write that story, knowing it would all be worth it by then. But this isn’t that story – that story isn’t our story, at least not yet. We are looking back on a long journey of waiting and hoping and praying, but that journey stretches out ahead of us, too. Our prayers haven’t been answered yet.  I hate that infertility is such a meaningful word to us. I hate that we’re…

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WE’RE ON DESIGN SPONGE!

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Eeeks! Design Sponge has been a HUGE inspiration to me over the years (as I know it’s been for many of you), so of course I was beyond elated when they asked to feature a tour of our home. One of the things I’ve always loved about DS is the fact that they embrace REAL homes, featuring “normal” (hehe, until now!!) people living in cozy, inviting spaces. I’m not sure 10-years-ago-me would’ve ever thought our place would be a “Design Sponge” home…but thanks to all of you amazing friends and family who’ve helped make our home what it is today, I’m ecstatic to be able to share this tour of our home with you guys! CHECK IT OUT: Scott & Susie’s Design Sponge House Tour

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…WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

By | Art, Our Home, Women Worth Knowing | 4 Comments

If you know me at all, you know I talk a lot about my friends, and I like to brag about the things they’re up to and how amazing they are. And I know that might become obnoxious to you after a while (THANK YOU SUSIE WE ALL KNOW YOU LOVE YOUR FRIENDS), but here’s the deal – I firmly believe that who we are as individuals is highly influenced by the people we surround ourselves with, those we interact with day in and day out. And I don’t know about you, but I want to surround myself with people who make me better, who inspire me and make me want to be everything I’m capable of being. With that said, let me point out a few of the things in today’s version of the living room that take it from “just okay” to “way freaking awesome” – at least in my…

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JUNGALOW PAD PEEK!

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Guys, I’m so excited about this. I’ve followed design blogs for as long as they’ve existed, and always thought it would be the coolest to be featured on someone’s design blog….but to be featured on THIS particular blog is more than just a little crazy to me! Justina Blakeney and her amazing plant-filled, bohemian design empire, The Jungalow, are constant sources of inspiration to me (yes, you’ve noticed, I love plants, and it was definitely Justina’s work that first got me excited about bringing more greenery into our home several years ago). So when they said they’d like to feature our home on their blog, I pretty much died. But then I got back up, straightened up the house, grabbed one of my best girls Mel to take some photos, and the result is up on their blog as we speak! Go check it out if you haven’t yet!! It…

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BEFORE & AFTER: THE BOTANICAL BANO

By | Bathrooms, Our Home | 4 Comments

In my mind, a good before and after post has lots of nice photos, not too many words, and a very satisfying difference between the yucky before and the fabulous after. So….I’m thinking this is probably a MEDIUM-good before and after post. I don’t have any great pics of the true before, the after isn’t CRAZY different than the before, and I’m very likely to say way too much. So I’m sorry in advance. That said, let’s take a peek at what we had to start off with, yes? Yes. And by yes, I mean – here’s a super blurry shot of just a peek into the bathroom, showing the existing green wallpaper (which was honestly pretty fab in my mind, kind of a taffeta-ish fabric situation with some textural marbling which is almost impossible to see here – you’re welcome), a nice medley of whites and creams fighting each other via…

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A HOUSE WITH WALL-TO-WALL-CARPET & WOOD PANELING

By | Food For Thought, Our Home | One Comment

This post has a lot to do with deeper thoughts, but it also relates to my process in decor and design so hear me out. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things that make us “US” – the processes and facts and influences that inform who we are as individuals.  When I look back on my 35 lived years, there are most of the usual external highlights – school, significant relationships, marriage, moves, jobs, etc.  But when I think about who I am at the core, what makes me tick & what I think about & what I feel, it’s the “lowlights”, the struggles or conflicts of my life, that have carved out so much of what makes me me.  And I have a feeling you can probably relate – because the more people I talk to at a soul level, and the more church services and spin classes I go to,…

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PLAID ROOM PROCESS

By | Art, Our Home | No Comments

When I first posted on Instagram about this AMAZING/GOD-AWFUL wallpaper that was original to one of our upstairs bedrooms, you guys reacted passionately. Some of you were all “THAT’S THE BEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN AND DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH IT!!!” and some were like “uuuurhhhhm, sorry Sus, no can do, and honestly, not sure we can be friends anymore” and others were all sweet and polite and trying to be diplomatic like “so it COULD be nice if you maybe painted over all of it except for a 1×1 square behind the bed?”.  I mean – no one really said that last one, but you get the gist. So of course I’d already had a few ideas in my head – knew I wanted to do some black accents, loved the suggestion my friend Lauren gave to get an assortment of charcoal nudes/sketches and hang them all over the place, plus…

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DINING ROOM GALLERY WALL

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First of all, I’ve got the most amazing friends. Each piece here (except for the thrifted Terminal Tower photo in the center) was created by a woman I know and love. From the black and white portrait of Scott & me (by Melody Taylor), to the blue and green abstract on the left (by Addie Chmura), to the abstract in the center and the painting of women with yellow background (both by Lauren Noel), to every last remaining botanical, animal, and portrait painting (all by Rachel Dewey), each piece reminds me of the woman who dreamed it up, and the wall as a whole makes me smile every time I see it. Secondly, can we talk about the color here? SO YUMMY. I love that the pieces of art are so varied, but still form a gorgeous, cohesive gallery wall. The beautiful bird of paradise plant (from my local favorite,…

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GIRAFFE PRINT

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’re already familiar with Jerry Brown the Giraffe.  But if you missed those posts and want to know a little more about him, this blurb is for you. First of all – his origin story. I dreamed him up when we moved into our current home, shortly after Scott informed me that no, we wouldn’t be painting this beautifully maintained, high-quality, original, not-a-knot-in-sight oak paneling – at least not for a year. He’s a big fan of living with things for a while before making rash decisions, a charming trait that’s heavily influenced my decorating style. I knew I wanted to lighten the room up, so I planned for judicious use of mirrors and as much white/bright art as I could manage. Jerry started out as an experiment, when I figured I’d try to find a huge piece of white poster paper and just…

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THOUGHTS ON INSTAGRAM

By | Food For Thought | 4 Comments

Like so many people, I’m always worried/thinking about what others think about me. I used to pretend I didn’t do this, so not only did I worry/think about it, but then I worried/thought about what people would think if they KNEW I worried/thought about what they thought about me –  especially in terms of my social media activity. Urgh. So you can imagine the convoluted thoughts I’d have when interacting with people on whatever social media platform du jour.  (If you want the detailed run-down, let’s grab coffee for five hours and I’ll tell you alllll about it.) Suffice it to say I hated my struggle, and still battle way more than I should with the whole ‘ugh she’s gonna think I’m showing off if I post this’ or ‘OMG what if no one likes my photo and everyone thinks I’m a loser’ or ‘did I like and comment enough…

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PLANTS & BASKETS

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My first TEST blog post. Which I’ll keep up for all time because it has plants and baskets and very little text substance. A good reference point to look at in a few months to see HOW MANY MORE WORDS I’ve started cranking out!

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