E-Design Giveaway Before + After: Springfield Dining Room

It's time for another project reveal! You may remember that back in the spring, I hosted a giveaway for a full room e-design package, and over on the Mix & Match blog, I'm sharing the before and after! You can catch a sneak peek here, but the full before photos, plan and after photos are over there. :)

The winners, Erin and Ryan, submitted their dining room, which Erin described as "pretty much a blank canvas" that had a $100 table from Craigslist, a dated light fixture and a hodgepodge of other pieces they were ready to let go of so they could make the space into something they really enjoy. They love hosting friends for meals and large gatherings, so they couldn't wait for the room to be done.

Here's what it looked like before:

And after!

This was such a fun project, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. Head on over to the Mix & Match blog for all the details!

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Philadelphia Suburbs Modern Farmhouse Bedroom Reveal

It's reveal time, y'all!

You may remember when I shared the design plan for this modern farmhouse master bedroom in the Philadelphia suburbs a few months ago and I'm excited to show it to you today in its completion! This project was a blast to pull together, and I was thrilled that it was local so I could go snap some photos on a beautiful Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago.

My clients, Courtney and Kit, were going through some big transitions this summer including a move  from a tiny one bedroom apartment in the city to a two bedroom in the suburbs and both starting new jobs, so the last thing they wanted to do was figure out how to furnish their bedroom. That's where Mix & Match stepped in to help - I created a design plan and then all they had to do was purchase the items and install them in their new home.

Here's what the final design board looked like:
And here's the finished room!

To see more photos and read more about the process, head on over to the Mix & Match blog. That's where I'll be sharing full e-design project reveals and more. You can also follow Mix & Match on Instagram in between posts for more design goodness!

If you or someone you know needs interior design help in their home - whether a big project or small - feel free to contact me. I'd love to help!

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Kitchen Renovation: Demolition + Putting It Back Together

The long-awaited kitchen update is here! If you've been following on Instagram (@mayricherfullerbe), you've seen some sneak peeks here and there on our progress, but it's high time for a full blown post on it. I wanted to share about it in real time, but quickly discovered it was almost impossible to take on a full kitchen reno and launch an interior design business at the same time (and still sleep!). Now that we're mostly done with the kitchen, my time is a little less crunched, and that means I can update the blog!

Last time I wrote about the kitchen, I shared the design board and plans, but as a quick catch up, here's a little about where we're headed - we're doing a modern white IKEA kitchen with quartz countertops, brass hardware and charcoal tile floors. It's a complete cosmetic gut job. There are no structural or plumbing changes, but everything else is OUT.

I'm going to break this reno up into several posts starting with the demolition and the beginning of putting it back together. It felt like it took forever, but all in all, it only took three weeks to get the major work done thanks to the amazing contracting by my father-in-law. This was his last job before retirement, and man, we worked him hard and we're so so grateful for his work!

Let's begin, shall we? 

First step: take down all of the old cabinets and remove the appliances. (If you want to see the kitchen before, check out this post.)

The main wall of cabinets had exposed brick behind it, which is pretty sweet, but it was looking totally disgusting from years of grease buildup. After a little bit of deliberation, we decided to simply clean it up and paint it glossy white to match the rest of the trim in the house. It looks like a rustic subway tile now and I love it (photos to come on that!).

Next to go was the old tile. The floors were pretty uneven, so a lot of the tiles were cracked and some had been replaced over the years with non-matching tiles. My father-in-law spent a lot of time scheming and figuring out how to make the floors dead flat so the new floors won't have a tile cracking problem in the future.

One little fun fact - we only went without a sink for two days during this who renovation. It was amazing! We waited until the very last minute to swap out the old one with the new sink and sink cabinet, so those of you who are going through or are planning a kitchen renovation, see if your contractor will work with you to do this. It makes living in a construction zone so much less bad.

After everything was disassembled and cleaned up, we started installing the new IKEA cabinets! I spent many, many hours assembling them while my father-in-law did the skilled labor in the kitchen, but it really wasn't so bad. I had 13 cabinets and 17 drawers to assemble and let me tell you, IKEA has an incredible system that just works. It's pretty difficult to mess up if you follow the directions. And though it's time-consuming, if you break it up over the course of a week or so it doesn't feel totally overwhelming.

Here's an awkward picture of me putting one together. You're welcome.

Ahh! New cabinets! It's starting to look like a kitchen again, right?

We also purchased a new range, microwave/hood and refrigerator for this project. I've never had new appliances in any of the places we've lived and they make me oddly happy. They have all these fancy features that I never knew I needed (ha!), but now that I have them there's no going back. :)

These two tall pantries are amazing. We put a lot of shelves and a few drawers in them and they're perfect for dry goods, small appliances and our coffee station (more on that soon...). These are helping us keep our countertops clear, which was one request from my husband, and he doesn't request much, so you know I had to make that a priority, right?

Once all the cabinetry was set, it was time to take on the radiant heat flooring project. This was on my dream wish list and I'm SO happy we decided to do it. Our kitchen gets ridiculously cold in the winter because it hangs over our garage and the outside world. These radiant heat floors will make a huge difference.

We went with a loose coil system from Warmup (best customer service ever, by the way. I can't speak highly enough of them - and no, they're not sponsoring this post!). You basically nail down these guides and then weave the wire through them, keeping the wire at least two inches apart throughout. You also want to make sure you keep the wires out from under appliances and cabinets.

Here's another fantastic picture of me for your viewing pleasure. I'm adding some hot glue to places where the wire wanted to stand up. This helps keep them from popping up when you're pouring thinset onto the system. And no, I didn't do this by myself - my father in law gets most of the credit for making this dream happen!

After a layer of thinset dries on top of the wires, it's time to tile!

Once the tiling was complete, we were done with the major stuff - minus the countertop installation - big high five! 

I'll finish up today's post with a few shots of the cabinets with all the doors and drawers installed:

This little bank of cabinets on the opposite side is probably my favorite new addition. It's kind of like a floating sideboard. We put butcher block on it for a countertop and I love the warmth it brings to the kitchen. Those deep drawers are awesome for storage too! You can also catch a glimpse of the fancy new fridge. Can't wait to share details on that soon!

So that's where I'll wrap up for today. I think that's enough to take in for one day! Our countertops were install this week, so it's looking even better now. There's some finishing work to be done including painting, caulking and installing knobs and pulls, but we're thrilled with how it has turned out so far!

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One Good Thing: Throw Pillow Combinations

A new series started this week over on the Mix & Match (my e-design biz) website's blog called "One Good Thing" where I share a favorite quick design tip or trick. I figured a lot of y'all over here might appreciate the post since this week's topic helps solve a common decorating conundrum: how to mix throw pillow patterns so they look cohesive. I put together five super combos to help show you how to mix patterns.

You'll have to head on over to Mix & Match to see the full post, but you can check out a preview of the combos below!

I've got lots of ideas up my sleeve for other posts in the "One Good Thing" series, but if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears! Feel free to leave a comment on the Mix & Match post or email me at chaney@mixandmatchdesign.com.

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Tracking Budgets + Keeping Projects Organized

As y'all know, we're about to embark on a serious kitchen renovation over here! Last week I filled you in on plans, materials and finishes, and today I'm going to talk a little bit about how I'm keeping this project organized and making sure we're staying on budget.

Since so much goes into a kitchen renovation (or any big house project for that matter), I knew there was no way I could keep everything straight in my head - let alone stick to a budget - without a little bit of help from technology. I found that a combination of two tools, Pinterest and itsums, worked beautifully for me.

The first tool I used, and probably the most obvious one, was Pinterest.

Pinterest is an awesome resource for finding inspiration and keeping track of favorite images you find on the web, but did you know that you can create secret boards that no one else can see? These are perfect for project planning because you can corral not only the pretty images, but the practical things too, like floor tile samples, that you like. You can also invite others to pin to these secret boards (or regular boards if you want to go that route), so if you have a partner in the project, it's a nice way to be able to collaborate together.

I started a secret board (I guess it's not so secret anymore since there's a screenshot of it above!) for our kitchen remodel almost a year ago, way before we knew it was going to happen for real. It was fun to dream about it and allow my plan to develop over time as I honed in on how I wanted things to look and what kind of budget we'd have.

Speaking of budgets, one thing Pinterest can't do is track those. That's where my second tool, itsums, comes into play. This one's a game changer, y'all - for real.

I started using itsums for my kitchen remodel, but now I'm using it for client projects too because it's just that helpful!

It has some similarities to Pinterest in that you can create different "boards," (called sum boards) "pin" from websites, and add bits of information to each image, but where it differs from Pinterest is that it's primarily a budgeting tool. It's much less focused on pretty images and more focused on the practical part of a project - knowing where the money is going.

For example, for our kitchen project, I created a sum board called "Kitchen Remodel" and put in our budget. Then, every time I picked out an item for the kitchen, I added it to the board using the handy little itsums bookmarklet, which, when you click it, pops up in a window like this:

There you add the item's price, how many you need, which board you want to add it to, the category (if you want - this isn't always necessary) and any notes about the item. Once you hit save, you can choose to view the sum board, which looks like this:

On the left, you can scroll through and see all the items you've added, and on the right you can see the sum of the items, your overall budget, etc. Once a project is going and you start buying items, you can hover over them and click "purchased." The "purchased" section on the right will automatically update and show you what you've spent in real time. Pretty cool huh? There's also an option to "hide" the item from your budget if you're not sure you're planning on purchasing it. I've used that option when I've found multiple options for an item (like tile) and I'm not sure which one I'm going to buy yet, but I want to keep track of them all for the time being. I can toggle the hide/show to see how different ones will affect my budget.

And if you're super organized, you can add categories to the project and keep track of how much you spend on each one. I created a bunch for our kitchen remodel like appliances, flooring and cabinets. It can be handy to be able to go right to the board and find out the total cost of a group of items.

Now, could I do this kind of budgeting in Excel or something similar? Well sure, but it's a heck of a lot more cumbersome to do it that way! With itsums, all the information is right there - no math to do, no copying and pasting of links, and no trying to remember what something looks like.

Have I sold you on itsums yet? :)

It really is so so helpful and I've found it to be a lifesaver for staying on track with this project. A kitchen remodel is no small undertaking and this tool has helped keep me sane during all the planning and purchasing!

What projects are y'all working on these days? Have you ever used itsums to help you manage them? Or do you have other tools you like to use?


(P.S. I feel like I should make the disclaimer that Pinterest and itsums did not ask me to write about them - they don't even know I exist! I just love to share about awesome tools and tricks that I find all over the web with you, my lovely readers!)

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