Operation Add Character

We are all about adding character and charm to our projects. The Sage Thrasher project has a lot of good bones, a great floor plan, but it was a vanilla as it comes. We removed everything in demo and then started loading in the character. All five fireplaces got a new look, some with shiplap, some with reclaimed wood mantles, but all with brick, we went through more cases of brick than our supplier could believe. But oh does that brick work. Note that everything in these project pics that is pink is our primered shiplap, it will all be a nice crisp white after it’s painted. The tile floors are all in and the place is starting to really come together.

Where in the heck is the house?

When we pulled up to see the house my first thought was “where in the heck is the house?”. The landscaping was so overgrown you literally could not see the house from the street view. So, once we spent about two weeks getting all of the overgrown landscaping pulled out we could finally see what we had to work with. We just could not wait on the outside, even though it was hot, we needed some instant gratification on this project. Once we cleared out the trees and bushes we then freshened up the rocks and mulch and planted new bushes to replace the old ones that were taken out. And best of all, the power of paint, now the house is painted a warm dark grey and you can actually see it perched at the top of the lot from the street.

More exterior details to come, like a beautiful new glass front door, custom-made cedar awnings and new lighting, but this is a good start…

Sage Thrasher

Once we are done with a project the search begins for the next. We found a home that was a custom home from the early 2000’s, which is much younger {like about 3 decades younger} than our other projects, but we decided to schedule a showing just to have a look and see. Have you ever seen the movie The Princess Diaries? This house was that movie in a nutshell. It was, as I said, a custom home, but builder-grade would describe it best. It sits on a charming wooded lot with open space behind it, in a neighborhood that is quintessential Colorado, The Timbers. This house had potential, in a great neighborhood, on a great lot, and good bones. Tell me where to sign on the dotted line and let’s get started…

Unfortunately, my computer crashed and with it went most of the before pics, but here’s a few of the kitchen to just give you a general idea. Not bad, but not peaked at maximum potential either... These cabinets will all be salvaged and will go to a new home, so don’t be too upset, they will get a new life elsewhere. Stay tuned this one is going to be breath-taking…

Jamison Project Reveal

I'll keep this post sweet & sappy.

We worked so hard on this house and could not be happier with the way it turned out or the sweet family that has bought it to raise their family there. For me the process is so much fun, I truly love watching the transformation take place, putting all the sweat equity in, and then decorating it, but the real satisfaction comes when you see the family living in the space you created. When you see pictures of them entertaining on the deck or the baby boy hiding under the kitchen sink and then crawling across the floor that we laid, I mean it can just make a girl misty.  Just last week the family (who we adore) that bought our first project brought home their second son from the hospital and when I went to visit them at the house my heart could just burst. I was just taking in all the life that is happening within those walls and it just makes me grin from ear to ear. We've been so fortunate to maintain relationships with the families that have bought our projects and it's truly the very best part, it's the motivation to do the next one. These people are more than just clients, they are part of our story, and we're so happy to have them as part of our lives!

Little Films, a local videography company, came in and shot a little sizzle reel for us on the Jamison project, here's a peek for you...

Dream Kitchen

Immediately upon entering this project, we knew that the kitchen and family room were going to need to switch locations. We opened up the partial wall blocking what was the family room from the existing kitchen space. Removed the bay window that was in the family room and replaced it with 3 large windows. We sealed off and canceled out the existing fireplace and started with a clean slate in what was the family room. The room had a vaulted ceiling (the only vault in the house) with a beam running down the middle of it. We sanded the beam down so it was back to its former glory. Once we had the blank canvas set we started in on the kitchen design. I wanted the kitchen to feel cozy but light and airy all at the same time, a hygge kitchen if you will. This kitchen is full of texture, but none that competes with the next. So we added crisp white shiplap to the walls, an organic (aka looks handmade) white subway tile, cream shaker cabinets, warm wood floors, oak butcher block countertops. A custom-made island that can seat 5 (or even 6) comfortably for everyday meals and hanging out. The range hood and island end caps are just stunning and tie the whole thing together. Then we added some great lighting and reclaimed wood open shelving for the grand finale. It is truly all that I imagined it could be. 

If that's not a dream kitchen then I don't know what is!

If that's not a dream kitchen then I don't know what is!

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Who Doesn't Love A Dropzone

This home started out with a very traditional floorplan. As you walked in the front door you could go either down the narrow hall to the back of the house, right to the living room, or left to the dining room. Now, in a perfect world if one could have a dropzone and an dining room then all of the stars have aligned and you are all set. But that's not the case here, we needed to make a decision and the decision was to ditch the dining room and build a kickass dropzone. We re-oriented where you came into the house from the garage, closed off the entry from the front door to what was the dining room and the transformation began. We added 4 cubbies where you would have a place to throw jackets, backpacks, shoes, etc. We added a pantry for cleaning supplies (complete with an outlet inside for charging) and washer & dryer hookups, and a laundry sink with more cabinets and a folding table. There's still plenty of room in the middle of the room to add another table if desired. Lastly, we added a barn door to close it off from the main part of the house as the final touch.

The Great Room

After the big "switcheroo" of the family room and kitchen, we now had a large space that could be transformed into the great room. With french doors leading to the deck and skylights for some added natural light, we knew this room (along with the kitchen) was going to be where everyone would spend their time. We closed up a window and added two to flank the sides. We added a double sided fireplace so it could be enjoyed from inside or out on the deck. We continued the gorgeous wood floor throughout the entire main level to make the space feel cohesive and expansive. Since we nixed the dining room for the dropzone/mudroom, the dining table now resides in the great room flanked by a wood-bead chandelier. Built-ins on either side of the fireplace add some character and storage. And of course we wouldn't forget about the tv, so it can squeeze in the spot just above the fireplace. Off of the great room we have a wet bar for entertaining.

Powder Bath Bliss

I LOVE this powder bathroom!  Lucky for me I can show the hubster an inspiration pic and explain to him what's in my head and he figures out how to make it happen. I gathered all the materials and wallah, here it is! Wall-to-wall shiplap, wall-mounted faucet, vessel sink, cement tiles, sconces, and a custom vanity top (thanks Tim), it's honestly just dreamy! 

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Let's Go Outside

This lot was one of the things that attracted us to this property. It's a wide, corner lot with a side load garage, great big mature trees and just the right amount of yard. We cleaned up the overgrown landscaping a bit, pulled some things out (like 28 railroad ties), and took down the original shutters and original front doors. We wanted to simplify the look really. We added some Karl Forester grasses, a new tree to the front and 28 Colorado moss rock boulders. We painted the house a warm grey, added a new, glass-paned, mahogany front door, and new cedar shutters. The boulders just made all the difference in the world, if you are on the fence about adding boulders to your landscaping, do it! Lastly, we added the double-sided fireplace to the deck so now it can be enjoyed from inside or outside. 

It's All About The Layers

It's all about the layers. Layers and texture add interest and design to a space. We do not skimp on texture. We like to add brick to walls, more than our fair share of shiplap (some in every single room in this project's case), warm tones in the woods, crisp white on the walls, adding color on the interior doors (same color as our exterior paint)

Progress Is Happening At The Jamison Project

When you are in a renovation project the demo, mechanical, electrical, and drywall phases of a project can last for what seems like forever, and while I understand that patience is a virtue mine gets tested in this phase. Initially, demo is a blast, and by that, I mean the first day of demo. Then the reconfiguration of the layout always gets me excited because my vision starts to come to life. And then the monotonous work begins, the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and while I get that these things take time, they seem to take a really long time! When we finally get to phase where we can start installing the finishes is when I get excited again. I love seeing that the plans I have in my head look just as good in the space as I thought they would. Sometimes I even surprise myself and like them even better, like the tile I choose for the powder bath. Be still my heart, I LOVE that tile! It was a last minute change because the tile I had ordered was out of stock and on delayed delivery, I got turned the corner in the tile shop and there was this beauty with a new arrival tag on it and it was love at first site. Last week was the best, it was like instant gratification over and over again... Tim was transforming the walls by installing shiplap, lots of shiplap! While I'm sure he was cussing me all along the way I couldn't hear him because I was happily working with my headphones in. He has a love-hate relationship with shiplap, he loves the way it looks but hates that he has to install it all. But truly, shiplap is honestly what I dream of. My friend Summer gifted me a mug that says 'I dream of shiplap' and it could not be truer. While Tim was busy ship-lapping our tile guys were busy installing the brick wall, fireplace, and bathrooms. Talk about instant gratification, those fellas can transform a space in a matter of hours, it's great fun to see it all coming together! Here's a sneak peek at the progress...

The dream team, the fellas that make the magic happen. And of course my hubby, Tim, who is not pictured because he was taking the shot!

The dream team, the fellas that make the magic happen. And of course my hubby, Tim, who is not pictured because he was taking the shot!

Jamison Project

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There is a neighborhood in South Denver that is loved by many and hardly anything ever goes up for sale in there. It's one of those neighborhoods that when someone buys in there they stay, at least until some major life change occurs and they have to make a change. We scan this neighborhood and the ones around it frequently as it is our preferred locale for our projects. It just so happens that we were looking for our next project and this little nugget came on the market on a Sunday (not the norm, usually Friday is the hot day to list), we scooped it right up and had it under contract before it could get on anyone else's radar. Cute, right? Yes, but it was still firmly planted in the 70's. But the potential is there, in a big way! After closing, we started demo day immediately and have given this baby a brand new fresh design. We've had some unseasonably warm weather in Denver so we were able to get the outside work pulled together pretty quickly. And now that we have walls down, a whole new configuration to the interior, and the new walls up and drywalled we are getting started on all the finishing touches that will make this baby a knockout! Stay tuned... she should be coming on the market sometime in the next few months. 

And an update... Fresh grey body paint, new cedar shutters, a new, gorgeous, mahogany door (that still needs to be stained), a little german schmear on the brick to make it pop, and some cleaned up landscaping. Just imagine how gorgeous she will be when the grass is green and new tree is blooming

And an update... Fresh grey body paint, new cedar shutters, a new, gorgeous, mahogany door (that still needs to be stained), a little german schmear on the brick to make it pop, and some cleaned up landscaping. Just imagine how gorgeous she will be when the grass is green and new tree is blooming

Merry & Bright

Christmas is my favorite time of year (besides summer) but I like the season to start the day after Thanksgiving and preferably end the day after New Years. I feel like when it's stretched from Halloween to mid or in some cases late January (hello neighbors...?) it loses its luster. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, am I right?  We host most of the holidays at our house, and I wouldn't have it any other way, I look forward to the decorating and the preparing of all things festive. At Christmas, I try to swap out our holiday decor with the items we typically have out. That way it doesn't get too cluttered and when you do put away all the Christmas you can replace it with your normal items and your house doesn't look quite so bare. We have two trees, one that is in our kitchen/great room and one that is in our front living room that can be seen from the street outside. I like simplicity. We always only do white lights, it's just my thing, white lights outside, on the trees inside and the mantle. I add fresh cedar garland (which can be found at Trader Joe's, Costco or Home Depot) to the mantle as well layered over a faux pine garland (that's my way of saying a cheapo one from Michael's) but when it's layered with fresh you cannot tell. I bought the trees at IKEA, they have a bit of a Charlie Brown quality about them and I love that. I put them in baskets instead of a tree skirt, it adds some elevation and I think it looks charming. The color cream is my thing, I think it's fresh and cozy all at the same time. We have all the same cream knit stockings and plenty of cream knit pillows and throws throughout the house to pull it all together. Here's some shots of what we think makes our home merry & bright...

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I don't like to have all of the cards out on display because again, I'm not a big fan of clutter. But I LOVE to get Christmas cards so they are all in a little lunch box on our coffee table by the tree so we can look through them. Then at the end of the year, I keep them bundled together so we can look at them in the years to come. It's especially fun to see how each family grows and changes throughout the years. Side note: is that not the cutest Christmas card you have ever seen?! Those two little cuties are my nephews. 

I don't like to have all of the cards out on display because again, I'm not a big fan of clutter. But I LOVE to get Christmas cards so they are all in a little lunch box on our coffee table by the tree so we can look through them. Then at the end of the year, I keep them bundled together so we can look at them in the years to come. It's especially fun to see how each family grows and changes throughout the years. Side note: is that not the cutest Christmas card you have ever seen?! Those two little cuties are my nephews. 

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Falling In Love With This Boy

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in September and we all watched the devastation unfold there on the television. You feel like you want to do something to help the situation, but what? A friend of ours had volunteered to foster dogs that were being rescued from the Houston area shelters and brought up to Colorado. The girls and I had to convince the hubby that we were only going to foster, just to do what we could do to help out. And then... we met Owen. We picked him off a long list of dogs that needed to be fostered, without ever even seeing a picture of him. And believe me when I tell you we hit the jackpot on this guy! They think he is an English Setter/Pointer mix, and we've decided his birthday is sometime around the 5th of May, a Cinco de Mayo baby. 

I know you are asking "was he someone's pet?" the answer is no. He apparently had been in the shelter his entire life. How is that even possible, how was he not adopted there? I don't know, but I'm sure happy he wasn't! 

So after about a day with this little nugget it became blatantly clear that we were going to be a "foster fail", he had found his forever home and it was with us! Our dog Della, who is a nine-year old Italian Spinone took a little longer to come around, but I think he's found a soft spot in her heart. 

Without further ado, I introduce to you Owen Wilson, just like his name sake he's a blond with a quirky nose and a fun loving demeaner.

This is when we first laid eyes on him, at the rescue, just off the truck from Houston. My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest!

This is when we first laid eyes on him, at the rescue, just off the truck from Houston. My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest!

It was love at first site, I just wanted to scoop him right up, fleas and all!

It was love at first site, I just wanted to scoop him right up, fleas and all!

My favorite basket is also his, for whatever reason he loves to lay on it...

My favorite basket is also his, for whatever reason he loves to lay on it...

If you are in the Denver metro area and would like to be a foster to an animal in need or are looking to adopt a pet, please visit Life Is Better Rescue, these gals put their lives into this work and it shows. https://www.lifeisbetterrescue.org/

Boutique Hotel Vibe In The Master Suite

What's better than a bedroom that makes you feel like your always on vacation? Or maybe that's a "staycation"... The master suite in the Locust house is AWESOME! For starters it's on the main floor, which is so convenient. Shiplapped walls to add character and texture, a wood burning fireplace to keep you cozy in the winter, a set of French doors that open up to the covered patio that can allow the breeze to come through. The barn door fashioned out of shutters gives the master bath a little privacy when needed. Right now we have it staged with a queen bed and a chair and ottoman, but it could easily accommodate a king size bed and a set of chairs or even a sofa for the perfect lounge area. Overall the space feels like you are in a boutique hotel and that is exactly the vibe we were going for.

Locust House Powder Bath

I have a lot of favorites in this house, but this powder bath tops the list. It is in short, kickass! All 4 walls are shiplapped, the faucet comes out of the wall, a vessel sink, cute vanity with drawers, marble counter and herringbone tile floors, what?! Yes, ya'll, the pictures don't even do it justice, it is AWESOME!

Bringing Brass Back In The Bar

Brass is coming back, and I am loving the look, however I'm not quite sure everyone else is on the same train just yet... baby steps ya'll. So I decided to let the bar stand apart from the rest of the house, in part because I was able to salvage a brass sink from demo day and I wanted to keep a bit of the house's past in the renovation. I was able to tie the bar into the kitchen design by carrying over the walnut butcher block countertops and topped the shiplap walls with marble shelves and brass brackets. And to top it all off, I found the most adorable pulls for the cabinets. I love the way it turned out! 

Not All Kitchens Need An Island

So we went round and round trying to figure out how to configure this kitchen with an island. Island are all the rage, right? Everyone wants a kitchen island these days. But with the shape of this kitchen and the step down into the family room there was just simply no way for me to configure it. I literally had sleepless nights over this kitchen, and it's design, but in the end I LOVE it! 

And so... the peninsula stayed, the windows got closed up, the sink and stove got flip flopped, the ceiling got bumped up to 8 foot height, the pantry, pocket door to the dining, and the entrance to the hall all got the boot.  I really like how it turned out and I don't miss having an island in here at all. I LOVE the juxtaposition of the feminine aspects, the marble backsplash, and the off-white shaker cabinets with the masculine walnut butcher block countertops, dark wood floor and stainless steel appliances. The wood and white together is really beautiful. All of the appliances are KitchenAid and have an industrial feel to them, especially the awesome handles. The farmhouse sink is from IKEA, and will from now on be the standard go to sink for us, it's substantial and good quality without breaking the bank.  The custom wooden range hood cover {thank you Pinterest} was a fun project for our buddy Josh, I think he'll be building more of these in the future, it really just finishes off the kitchen design perfectly.