Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday House Tour 2015

Merry Christmas Week everyone!!

I am so excited I actually have a house decorated for Christmas to show you this year! With us moving in the middle of October and my due date quickly approaching (tomorrow!!) I honestly didn't know what we would be able to pull off in the holiday decor department this year. BUT thankfully, my mom is half Christmas Elf slash the Christmas decorating Queen (she typically has 8 trees of her own!) and swooped in to town to help us get our Christmas life together.

This is our third married Christmas and as you all know we decorated our house last year and the year before, so we really tried to use a lot of the decor we already had and then added to it as necessary.

Front view:

From the side:

I really love the  magnolia + the green & red on the wreaths... isn't it so southern and festive?

The formal living room:

We have the prettiest bay window just begging for a tree, so we bought a pretty flocked tree for this space and I love it. Snowy branches, red balls and a fuzzy happy. 

The foyer:

Brenta the horse head is holding down the fort alone in here right now, but I love how even the back sides of the wreaths bring a little Christmas cheer to this space.

The den:

And one more shot of the outside at night....

Christmas is going to be very interesting this year. I will have either just had the baby or be waiting for the baby to come at any minute, so needless to say we can't travel. Instead, Christmas is going to be AT OUR HOUSE! That's right,  our house is command central for Christmas, which is just SO exciting!! Now in all reality our entire family may be spending Christmas at the hospital as December 25th is a full moon. The first full moon on Christmas since like Jesus I'm pretty sure....lucky us...oyyy ;)

All photos are my own. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nursery Reveal

It is absolutely blowing my mind that Brent and I are weeks, days or maybe even hours away from welcoming our baby into the world. OUR BABY.....what?!? It is so crazy and exciting! Luckily some time over the past 5 weeks, since moving into our new house, we got the baby's room put together and I am so excited to show it to you today.

We don't know if we are having a boy or a girl, so our main goal for this space was to create a bright, colorful and happy room suitable for any child, or grown up for that matter. The red crib was our jumping off point and from there we really just layered on the happy. 

Brent free-handed the wording on the wall with a pencil and then went back and painted it; he has skills coming out his ears, I swear. And those hot air balloons...we made them! Can't wait to show you our DIY tutorial on those soon. 

The room gets great natural light, making the mornings some of the prettiest times to be in this space. We kept the curtains super simple so as not to fight some of the other louder pieces in the room. 

One of my favorite spots in the room is the bookshelf. We bought those fun brackets and shelves at IKEA and loaded them up with all of the books we received at our showers. The stuffed animals you see were center pieces on the tables at our first shower and look so cute sprinkled amongst the books. 

Over on the other side of the room... 

We kept things simple on this wall with the changing table and glider, both of which we customized. We added those aqua feet to the changing table which not only give it some pizazz, but it made the piece higher overall which we hear is a plus for taller people to change diapers with ease. Hey, just trying to make any and everyone who might be willing to help me change diapers' life a little easier. I'm a giver like that..;) My Grandmother & PapaJack gave us the glider as a baby gift and we were able to pick the fabric and piping. I love how the lime green piping pops off the cream fabric. OH, and the icing on the cake? It is THE most comfortable chair I have ever sat in, which is probably very much ideal seeing as how I will likely be utilizing it a lot. I hear babies like to be held and fed and rocked, all of which I can do from this big, beast of a chair. 

And because it is Christmas, we set up the cutest nativity scene on the side table. This was a gift from my Aunt Kathy and we were so excited to add a little Christmas cheer to our born-around-but-hopefully-not-on-Christmas baby's room! 

Well, there you have it. Baby Shearer's nursery. WE HAVE A NURSERY! WE ARE HAVING A BABY!! Somebody pinch me.....

All photos are my own.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - November Recap

It's December 1st and do you know what that means? It's the baby's BIRTHDAY month!! I'm officially due on December 22nd but the doctor will only let me be 7 days late meaning between now and December 29th it's ON! December is going to be a fun month on the blog too! We are thiiiiis close to being ready to reveal the nursery AND we will be decorating our new house for Christmas for the first time. But before we get into all of that let's dig into my kitchen articles from November.

Up first:

It's a good thing we are supposed to keep these articles around 600 words because I could of written a novel on this subject. In a nutshell I wrote up a few guidelines to ensure that if you do decide to spend your hard earned money on a kitchens designer that you don't go and get in your own way. It may seem ridiculous, but it happens all the time and it's such a shame. Especially if I'm the designer in that blue car and you are that giant fuzzy buffalo prancing across the road. 

2. Why an Ice Maker in the Kitchen?

To me ice is a game changer. You know how water is all good for you and everything? Well, I'm 100% on board with drinking water as long as it is ice cold. I do not like lukewarm water. NO! Most kitchens do have some form of ice maker built into the refrigerator but this article is talking about whether or not having a second ice source like an under counter ice maker is a good idea or simply overkill. And if it is a decent idea, in what instances would you even use it? Read on to hear my thoughts. 

2nd sinks, like under counter ice makers can seem like an unnecessary luxury, but in this article I talk about several different scenarios where a 2nd sink doesn't just make sense, it's almost a must! *Fun fact, this topic was a request from a reader, if you have any specific kitchen topics you would like me to cover seriously let me know, I listen!!* 

I truly believe the prettiest spaces are those that are layered with various textures and finishes. Metal is great option to layer into your space and this article talks about several different ways you can do it. Notice the simple, yet powerful brass accent on the side of the backsplash above? SO GOOD!

I am such a sucker for blue, especially navy blue. I rarely meet a navy piece (clothes, shoes, cabinets, accessories) I don't like. In this article I'm dishing on my current top 3 navy picks in the paint department. 


1. Is White Marble the Worst Idea Ever?
2. How to Select the Best Remodeler for Your Kitchen
3. Touch Faucet Love
4. Why Quartz?
5. Spotlight on Style: Shaker

To read more of my kitchen articles click here to go straight to my Kitchens page. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dear Old Kitchen....I Miss You

Warning: This post is full of "first world problems" and content that may or may not bring about feelings of annoyance or rage at me. 

Y'all know I'm super excited about our new house and feel very, very lucky to be here. However, every now and then I do find myself missing our old kitchen.

Photo by Galina Coada.
It's hilarious really, because I literally barely know how to boil water, but there are a handful of things I find myself missing about this space on a regular basis. And I'm not talking about the pretty, I'm talking about real life functional things, like....

A double trash pullout IN the kitchen. 

I realize it may seem a little weird to lead with a trash can (or two) but seriously I never realized what a luxury this was until I didn't have it anymore. I had two 50 quart trash cans that pulled out from behind a cabinet, completely within reach at all times.  Now I have one large trash can around the corner in the walk-in pantry. It is literally ridiculous how annoying and inconvenient it is to have to leave the kitchen to throw trash away. It is equally as annoying and inconvenient to have to take out the trash what feels like constantly. With two trash cans (one regular and one recycling) it took awhile for the bins to fill up. Over here at the new house the trash always seems to be full.

A touch Faucet

Photo from my Instagram page.
I've talked before about my love for my touch faucet, but I don't think I realized how used to it I became. I can not tell you guys how many times I have smacked my faucet over here at the new house to get it to come on. Of course it doesn't, I stare at it dumb-founded and then I remember.

Soft-Close hinges and guides on my cabinet doors and drawers:

I literally feel like such a diva writing this, but once you experience cabinet doors and drawers that do not slam no matter how hard you shut them it is (apparently) really hard to go back. I, like so many people lived with "normal" cabinets my whole life, but after working at Bell Kitchen & Bath Studios (custom cabinet makers) and having those custom cabinets in my own house for almost 3 years I somehow lost the ability to shut doors and drawer gently. 

Oh woe is me, I know, but to be honest it is really helpful knowing what bells and whistles I actually care about and which ones are nice to have in theory, but mean very little to our day-to-day life. As I said in my "Meet Our New House Post" this house has really good bones and while we want to put our own personal stamp all over it, there is nothing that just has to be done. We definitely want to redo the kitchen. What? I can't help myself, it's what I dooooooo. But, with the baby coming in a matter of WEEKS (ahhh) and all of the other craziness surrounding us with the move, work, etc.. we have no immediate plans to begin any renovation of that magnitude. However, we certainly talk about it, scheme about it, draw it and think about it often and in a way it's nice to have this time to really consider what we want to do. If you remember, with our last kitchen remodel we had to dream it up and execute it all before we moved in. This worked perfectly fine then and we were both happy with the finished product, but it's nice to have some time to marinate on all of the decisions and really consider what worked for us the first time around and what didn't, so we can make this next kitchen even better than our last.

Unless otherwise noted all photos are my own. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Before & After - An Island Inspired by a Pot Kitchen Remodel

There really is nothing better than a before and after, am I right? Not only is it fun to see a space transformed but I feel like it really helps get the wheels turning in all of our minds for what could be for our own homes.

A few weeks ago I posted about this kitchen:

I went through the details and thought process behind a lot of the decisions, but one thing I didn't have were before photos. As much as I know you all like looking at a pretty kitchen, I know it can sometimes be more helpful to see where spaces started before they were re-imagined and improved. So, today I thought I would share the before photos of this project with you.

Before we dig in, let me refresh your memory. This whole kitchen remodel began because of the island. The initial plan was to redo the island ONLY. However, over time one thing let to another and it was decided the whole kitchen would be renovated. I say all of this not only to bring you up to speed or refresh your recollection if you read the original post, but also to convey that the project was not just screaming for a makeover when I first met it.  In fact, it had a lot of nice features already, like granite countertops, nice appliances, etc...BUT once the door was opened to improve the overall function and aesthetic, I jumped at the opportunity.



The layout of this wall remained pretty much the same, but the cabinets were switched from painted to stained and the countertops and finishes (lighting and plumbing fixtures) were lightened up in color. 



This side of the kitchen received the most reworking design wise. It's hard to see in the first picture but there was a desk in the corner between the oven stack and the refrigerator. The desk was removed and a series of tall pantries were put in its place. Again, the majority of the perimeter cabinets were switched from paint to stain and those cabinets were taken all the way to the ceiling.



The original glass door cabinetry was switched to paint and really designed to look like a piece of furniture. This area of cabinetry was held off the ceiling to give it more of a hutch look. Wood countertops and a fun custom backsplash really bring life and interest to this piece. 



As you can see from the before photo the island definitely transformed. Not only did the color change but the bulky two-level surface (the original nemesis of the kitchen) was removed and the island was made to be one level. While the overall size of the island didn't change that much the actual continuous workspace quadrupled! 

The floors were updated as was the wall color and the lighting fixtures. All of these changes both big and small really came together to make for a bright and happy space that I would be happy to hang out in any day! 

To read the original post with with all of the material details as well as some more behind the scenes reasoning click here

All Before Photos were provided by the homeowner and the After photos were done by Galina Coada. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Meet Our New House

It's hard to believe we have been in our new house three weeks tomorrow. Overall the house is great, a legit disaster at the moment, but great nonetheless. While we were actually pretty organized on the packing front and have successfully emptied and sorted a lot of boxes, there is still a lot of settling in left to do. But, before getting into all of the things we want to do I thought I would give you a little tour of our house before we really start digging into making it our own. All of these pictures are from the real estate site on the computer, so none of the furnishings are ours. These pictures depict what the house looked like when we first met it +/- 8 weeks ago.

The house is on a corner and actually sits on two lots. Here is a view of the front of the house:

This is the original house that was built in 1920. 

Here she is from the corner:

And here she is from the side: 

AND LOOK!!!! An open air garage!!! You can count this as one of the most exciting things to us. It's very rare for homes in this neighborhood to have a any sort of covered parking.

Back in 2007 the house next door (that probably set where the open air garage is now) was purchased and this house received a giant renovation, combining the existing house with a new lot for expansion. 

Let's go inside, shall we?


You can see the front door to your left. 

Once you walk in the front door, the space directly to your right is a room the previous owners were utilizing as the formal living room. 

This space was likely the one and only living room in the original house. 

Here you can see the view into what I am calling the foyer if you are standing with your back against the fireplace:

Down the hall is the Dining Room:

Beyond this is the first downstairs guest room + bath (not pictured) to your right and the pantry is to your left. Oh, and fun fact? This downstairs guest bedroom is also known as THE BABY'S ROOM!

Right beyond the pantry and the hallway to the baby's room is the Kitchen:

The wall the refrigerator sits on was the back of the original house. Everything past this was part of the 2007 addition. 

Across from the kitchen is the breakfast room:

Oh, and the room you can see with the door open....that is the other downstairs guest bedroom + bath and was the original master. 

Next up is the den which sits directly beyond the breakfast room/guest bedroom:

This room also has a fireplace and french doors leading out to the back deck/yard. 

As you can see you walk down three steps to get into this space so it has a very cozy den like feeling to it. 

Back up the stairs from the den you have the staircase leading upstairs, but before we go up I want to point out the door on the other side of the refrigerator - that is the entry from the open air garage. And down the hall to the right of the door from the open-air garage is the powder room and....THE LAUNDRY ROOM!! There are no photos of either of these spaces but the amount of excitement I have for that laundry room is off the charts. We had a washer and dryer at our first house but it was in the basement. Not only is this laundry room upstairs among the living, but it comes with a sink, a closet and best of all...a laundry shoot from the Master Bathroom!!! Can you even?! 

Alright, let's go upstairs. The first bedroom you come to at the top of the stairs is a ginormous guest bedroom + bath.  This is essentially our new yellow room, you know the giant catch-all room. 

And the other room upstairs is the Master Bedroom:

The double doors you see to the left are the doors to Brent's closet. 

Here is the Master Bath:

The door you see straight ahead is the door to my closet. That's right we each have our own closet and mine is huge and almost as exciting as the open air garage and laundry room...almost.

And finally, this is Luke's terrain, the fenced in backyard. 

Well, there you have it our second home! We got lucky in that this house is in really good shape and there is literally nothing that HAS to be done right now. All of the walls are white and the house has great natural light. It's like one giant blank slate and we are so excited to put our own personal stamp on it!

Saturday, October 31, 2015 - October Recap

Happy Halloween! If you are anything like me you are hanging in at home this evening anxiously awaiting the doorbell rings! One of my favorite things about our neighborhood is Halloween. It is a legit event here with so many kids out and about. They are all so cute and excited and it's so fun to see them all dressed up! Anyways, I thought I would give you a little reading material in the form of my October kitchen articles to fill your time between trick-or-treaters. I'm so thoughtful, no? :)


I love a ceiling fan in the den. In the bedroom. Heck, even on the back porch...but the kitchen?? After a little digging I have come to the conclusion that it CAN work, but only in certain situations. 

I'm really loving Buffalo plaid lately. In clothes AND in interiors. 

The TV is about as annoying as the microwave in the world of a kitchen and bath designer. I understand people want them in the kitchen, but from an aesthetic point of view I die a little each time I have to plan for one. Kidding...kind of. This article is full of advice for where the heck to put one of these suckers if they are a must in your future kitchen plans. 

I love a good focal wall and believe almost every kitchen can have one IF you plan ahead and really dig into the best layout and selections for your space. 

I feel the slab door style is misunderstood so I wrote an entire article about when and where a slab door can really be the best answer for your kitchen. 

Ooooh the "X" it's popular folks! Read a few ways you can pop an "x" into your kitchen design for major impact. 

And just like last month in addition to writing new material (everything above) I also updated 5 articles that were written by the Kitchens Expert before me. 

Thanks for tuning in, let me know if there is a kitchen topic that you are just dying for me to talk about. I'm all ears!