Last week, we posted a photo tour of our Tree House, and today, we’re looking forward taking you on an actual walk through with Jack and CC in tow! Our little home is a half mile walk from the beaches of Lake Michigan in the small town of Lakeside, a painless hour and a half drive from Chicago. This cabin in the woods (as some family has already been calling it) gained its nickname due to the surrounding old growth trees, and although the guts of the home is filled to the brim with charm, it’s definitely in need of polishing. In this vlog, we’re sharing our favorite details and what’s to come. We’re only a little bit excited (lies – we’re a lot bit!), and we’re looking forward to sharing this adventure with you!

Video Notes

If you’re unable to watch video at the moment and want to learn more, you can always view the full photo tour, which lives on our home tour page, too. (Tip: All our home tours are easily accessible on our menu bar at the top of this blog!)

What we use to film:
Our camera + stabilizer

Music is First Day of Summer by Crescent Music, and this vlog was filmed and edited by us, Kim + Scott. It’d sure make our day if you subscribed to our YouTube channel!

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lounge chair | floor cushion |outdoor rug | fireplace | planter beds This post is in partnership with Homes.com. A few weekends ago, we spent a handful of hours adding landscape lighting to our back patio – the finishing touch we’d been planning for since the day we first mapped out the yard! I was absolutely shocked at…
  • Ashley - September 21, 2017 - 12:58 PM

    Hi Kim! I too live in Chicago and am always interested to know how you guys care for your out door furniture and rugs with two large dogs and weather. Do you leave your jute rug out all season long? What if it rains? Does it smell like a dog?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 21, 2017 - 1:33 PM

      Yup, we leave everything out for warmer months! If we see rain coming, we’ll sort of flip all the cushions up to help them dry out quicker, but if we don’t catch it in time, we flip them up the next day to dry. We have furniture covers that we’ll put on the chairs, table and umbrella in the winter, and we’ll roll up the rug and put all the pillows in the garage until next spring! As far as smelling like a dog… nope, but it’s all open air back here, so maybe that helps? The rug is also outdoor, it just looks like jute. We love it!ReplyCancel

  • Asya - September 21, 2017 - 2:11 PM

    Hi! Do you do anything for mosquito prevention? I.e. special plants or anything? Apologize if you covered this somewhere else. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 21, 2017 - 2:23 PM

      To be honest, we don’t get a lot of mosquitos! Mosquitos LOVE me, and I very very rarely have issues where we live. (The lake house is going to be a different story!) When we have gatherings, we’ll have citronella candles in the corners, but it’s not a huge necessity, luckily.ReplyCancel

  • melbajo - September 21, 2017 - 3:48 PM

    thank you so much for this post! i’ve been saying “this is the year i get over my fear of setting up landscape lighting!” and i still haven’t done it, but your post gives me hope that it’s not that hard or scary. one question though – you described how you buried the wire into the gravel, but what about between and up and into each bed? does the wire just go up the side of the bed and into it, or did you somehow pull the wire through from underneath? your photos don’t show the wires going up and over each raised bed wall, so just curious how you pulled it off!
    thank you!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 21, 2017 - 4:02 PM

      You can do it! I’m usually so pumped to start a new project that I’ve never done before, but this has always scared me. I couldn’t believe how simple it was.

      Between the garden beds, the wire was just run behind the boxes and pulled tightly (with a little slack), since we would never, ever see them. Burying them felt completely unnecessary. This is going to be different for everyone, but my advice is that if you can’t see the wire, hiding them out of sight will suffice. :) Good luck!ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 21, 2017 - 4:04 PM

        Oh, and I meant to add, the wire runs back into the box from behind, but the plants hide the wire completely.ReplyCancel

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We couldn’t be more excited to share with you our newest addition, which we lovingly call our Tree House! If you follow us on Instagram, many of you know (and saw the tiniest of sneak peeks!) that we recently became the giddy, proud owners of an adorable home in Lakeside, Michigan. It’s been 11 years…
  • Stacy G. - September 19, 2017 - 6:17 AM

    Oh yes! What a cute house. I can see why you chose it. It is a treasure wrapped in vinyl siding. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - September 19, 2017 - 7:02 AM

    Yay! So excited to have you as neighbors :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia | Chris Loves Julia - September 19, 2017 - 8:27 AM

    It’s perfect. You found her! Even though we’re still on a frustrating hunt ourselves, this makes me so excited for the possibilities. And for you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:21 AM

      Yours is coming. I can feel it. xxReplyCancel

  • katie - September 19, 2017 - 8:49 AM

    Sooo cute! It looks larger in the photos, maybe it’s the loft? Big enough for a cozy weekends with friends or family, but small enough that it’s manageable – sounds perfect to me!

    We’ve been half looking ourselves, also in the Michigan area. We are in Columbus though so more of a drive for us. I’m jealous that it’s under 2 hours for you – I think we’re looking at 5-6! My husband’s family had a lake house when he was growing up, so we would like to have something similar for our own kids. Many things would need to work out for us, but still, fun to dream.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with it :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:05 AM

      How exciting, Katie! Always fun to dream.

      The loft isn’t included in the square footage, and that extra sleeping space and all around adorableness definitely helped in a huge way!ReplyCancel

  • Jordy Sirkin - September 19, 2017 - 9:13 AM

    This is adorable! I cannot wait to see what you two do with it.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold HIve - September 19, 2017 - 9:14 AM

    This is so thrilling. I have dreams of owning a cabin in the woods, but until then, I’ll live vicariously through you. There’s so much potential here and I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Is there a nearby lake you can hit golf balls into from your front yard – a la your La Jolla retirement goals?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:17 AM

      HAHA! the beaches of Lake Michigan are 1/2 mile away. Do you think we could make it that far?! (La Jolla, you’re next! In… 30 years.)ReplyCancel

      • Ashley - September 20, 2017 - 11:03 PM

        I haven’t seen your swing and I don’t know much about golf, but I wouldn’t put it past you!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - September 21, 2017 - 10:16 AM

          We’re terrible, but that wouldn’t stop us from trying!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - September 19, 2017 - 9:16 AM

    That area of Michigan is my favorite place in the world (my parents have a place in New Buffalo that I go to any chance I get). There is so much to do but also just a great place for relaxing and enjoying nature. I love it during all times of the year and I’m sure you will too! Looking forward to watching your renovation!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:58 AM

      We love hearing this! After sharing a mini tour on our InstaStories, we received so much feedback from others that have a special place in their heart for this part of Michigan. We are over the moon.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - September 19, 2017 - 9:27 AM

    This is so exciting! I can definitely see why you chose it! Looking forward to following along with the transformation :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 19, 2017 - 9:48 AM

    Wow! So much potential. It’s going to be amazing. :D I’m looking forward to watching this project progress!

    Just curious if you’ll get the kitchen floor tested for asbestos?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:53 AM

      Good question! We think that the 80s/90s vinyl is laid on top of the original flooring, which might be hardwood, in which case, we should be safe. However, it’s a great point to bring up that we could get a professional opinion on.ReplyCancel

  • gigi - September 19, 2017 - 9:49 AM

    How exciting and fortunate. A great spot for a family.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - September 19, 2017 - 9:50 AM

    OMG I’m in love. The inside vs. outside of this place is truly magical! I grew up going to a cabin my grandpa built in western Wisconsin that had a sleeping loft, so this brings back SO many wonderful memories. How exciting for you guys!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:55 AM

      Right?! The outside is so unassuming, and then walking in, we were like, whoooaa. And I love that memory, how special!ReplyCancel

  • Daria - September 19, 2017 - 10:36 AM

    This is SO exciting!! Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Eric - September 19, 2017 - 11:34 AM

    Congratulations! Mazel tov! It always amazes me when people find a new house. What they think they like never turns out to be the one, and it’s always for the best. I can’t wait to see what you do with the place and what you decide to tackle first!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 12:43 PM

      Thanks! And right?? On our wish list was at least 3 beds and 2 baths with a bonus space, and what we got was 2 beds and 1 bath – but we DID get that bonus space! Plus, it’s even closer to the beaches along the lake than a lot of the homes we were looking at. We are still pinching ourselves.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - September 19, 2017 - 11:34 AM

    SO CUTE! And those beds??!! Adorable. I love the Sawyer area. I spent a lot of my teen years at Warren Dunes. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 12:44 PM

      Those dunes are the dreamiest! We’re only a few miles down the road. :DReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - September 19, 2017 - 2:05 PM

    So excited for you guys! This house is so cute and I can’t wait to see how you make it your own!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Andrew Angell - September 19, 2017 - 2:21 PM

    Love that you have a Lakeside cottage. We too have a Lakeside cottage. Our was built in 1883 and is located in Lakeside, OH. Welcome to the cottage owning family!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Hayward - September 19, 2017 - 2:43 PM

    I’m so excited for you all!! and I can’t wait to see what you guys do with this place!ReplyCancel

  • Pat - September 19, 2017 - 6:03 PM

    So many wonderful things happening for you! So much to look forward to – exciting! Do you follow JennaSue’s blog? House #4 has SO many wonderful ideas, perfect for your new little treasure.ReplyCancel

  • Michele - September 19, 2017 - 9:53 PM

    Oh my gosh! It’s so much cuter on this inside! So much potential! Can’t wait to follow the progress!ReplyCancel

  • Nicolette - September 19, 2017 - 10:00 PM

    OMG!! All the heart eyes. I can’t handle how cute this place is! So many things. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!ReplyCancel

  • lsaspacey - September 20, 2017 - 7:40 AM

    So many fabulous details in there to love: the living room floors, the bathroom medicine cabinet (please say you’re keeping that!) the beds in the loft (refinishing the wood?) and those built-in end table/cubbies for those beds! Congrats on a great investment!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 20, 2017 - 9:17 AM

      I had to double check the photo of the bathroom medicine cabinet… and I promise you, it’s not as nice as it looks! (It’s also not a true vintage piece by any stretch!) We’ll be reconfiguring that whole room as well, but anything that doesn’t make the cut and can be salvaged, will (or be donated).ReplyCancel

  • Tracy - September 20, 2017 - 3:36 PM

    I can’t begin to explain my excitement!! We just bought a lake house (we live in PA). It has the same ceilings as yours and I’m dying to copy you! The walls of our house are currently painted dark colors and I’m a bit overwhelmed with what to do. So know that we will going through this together!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 20, 2017 - 3:44 PM

      How fun! Congrats, Tracy!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - September 20, 2017 - 5:01 PM

    Oh my goodness… that place is adorable! I love it, and I can’t wait to see you guys work your magic!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sherri - September 21, 2017 - 1:40 PM

    I cannot wait to watch you transform it! We bought our own lake house last summer, just across the border in Indiana! It was built in the 50s and was definitely someone’s hobby house. We spent a lot of time and money initially just fixing up important stuff like foundation, etc but have also since ripped the 10×12 bathroom down to the studs and created a smaller 6×10 bathroom and created a laundry space. We too have no A/C or furnace, and you might be surprised how much the shade of the trees and cross breezes can keep the house cool on even the warmest days. Congrats!!!ReplyCancel

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sofa | gray pillow (similar) | Xbase pillow | velvet pillow | throw | sconce | table | mini planter At the start of summer, we sold our DIY dino prints for a song, making back just enough to cover our supplies. (Can you believe we made those three years ago? Our living room has…
  • Ashley- At Home with Ashley - September 14, 2017 - 8:41 AM

    Awww- I loved the dinosaurs, I think I started reading around the time you did those. But I totally get moving on and updating and simplifying. I am so impressed with your frame building skills!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - September 14, 2017 - 9:21 AM

    I absolutely love this one-it’s so zen and tranquil. I would totally just sit in the doorway and stare at it. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Brittany W - September 14, 2017 - 9:23 AM

    Thanks for sharing! Your new print looks great. How/Where do you sell your home goods? I’m not a huge fan of Craigslist, so I would love to know if there’s an alternative. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 9:28 AM

      We just use Craigslist! Good photos go a long way, and pricing items to sell does, too. If someone needs to pick it up at our home, we always make sure that we’re both here together, and we’ll usually carry the item to our entryway (or the front porch), so they don’t need to go through our whole home.ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 9:28 AM

        I should also say, we’ve had some success with Krrb as well, but it’s more of a concentrated audience. We’ll list there if we’re looking to get top dollar.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - September 14, 2017 - 11:04 AM

    Thank you for this! I have a wall itching for one big print and I was dreading having to fork over a billion dollars for a huge piece of art. This feels like a much more cost effective way to get the look I want!ReplyCancel

  • erica barraca - September 14, 2017 - 3:02 PM

    damn! i came here with the hopes the dinos would be for sale, but alas someone beat me to it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 3:10 PM

      Doh! I feel like we’ve let you down a lot this week, Erica!ReplyCancel

  • AmandaKB - September 14, 2017 - 3:53 PM

    Awe, I loved those dinosaur prints! I totally understand wanting a change, though. It’s sweet you chose a picture that is meaningful to you :) It’s such a calming photo. Thanks so much for the fantastic tutorial!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - September 14, 2017 - 8:55 PM

    Just a tip for those that are WAY less diy handy, art.com has a service called “photos to art” and basically you can upload any image ( I didn’t use a photo I used an image I downloaded from the Getty’s open content site) and get it framed (even with a mat if you want). The best part is that you can select massive sizes.. up to 56″x42″. It looks expensive online but they have crazy 45% off sales on every random holiday with free shipping PLUS coupon codes. I recently got a 33″x48″ framed print for under $100. The print quality is amazing and the frame is sturdy. It literally shows up at your house in a massive box ready to hang. Granted, you don’t get to tell your friends you MADE a frame ha!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 18, 2017 - 10:22 AM

      Ohh, great tip, thank you, Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - September 15, 2017 - 8:36 PM

    We did DIY frames for a project on our site last year and I was shocked by how easy it was! Such a great money saving option since frames can be so pricey!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Gaby - September 18, 2017 - 10:30 AM

    Equivalent of framed wallpaper IMO. Team dino! Great frame tutorial though!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The Gold HIve - September 19, 2017 - 9:16 AM

    This looks so great! I can’t remember if this is the print I voted for. All I remember is I was on team Scott.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 19, 2017 - 9:18 AM

      If you were on team Scott, this was NOT the one you voted for, haha!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - September 25, 2017 - 12:35 PM

    Oh this is perfect! It looks fabulous and so easy to make :)
    Best,
    KellyReplyCancel

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The Holiday Annoucement Update: WOW. We sold out (and then some) within 30 minutes of this post going live. Thank you for being the most supportive, amazing readers a girl could ever ask for. Please excuse me while I let this all sink in. For this time of year, we’ve had an unusual rush of…
  • Kate - September 12, 2017 - 8:31 AM

    Kim! I first got to know you through this lovely blog of yours but I got to know you better through The Pet Shop. You painted three (3!!!) of my dog, Wilson (nobody can ever accuse me of not being utterly ridiculous about my dog). I love them to tiny bits and you were the absolute sweetest and kindest person to work with. Literally the first thing I did when I read this post was go click on the shop to see if maaaaaaybe I should get a fourth. Sadly, I missed out but my sincere congrats to the lucky peeps who got one because these paintings are such a treasure. If life and time brings you back to The Pet Shop, we’ll be here waiting. Otherwise, I’ll still be reading along to see more nursery updates, bookmark paint colors, and remind myself that I’m not handy in the slightest!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 9:02 AM

      KATE! This is so, so sweet of you to say, and I’m honored to have painted Wilson’s many sides. (I think my favorite miiiight be the bunny ears!) Thank you for sharing your experience, because it’s one I won’t forget either.ReplyCancel

      • Kate - September 12, 2017 - 9:42 AM

        I mean – I love them all but pretty much everyone who sees them stops and sighs over the bunny ears. It’s my niece’s favorite in particular! No joke – that painting has inspired her to go AS Wilson w/bunny ears for Halloween (we’ll see if her 4 year old brain remembers that by October).ReplyCancel

  • Leah - September 12, 2017 - 8:37 AM

    I purchased a pet portrait for my mom a few years ago of our beloved little wiener dog Ringo. She adores it and it has a prominent spot on the mantle at home :) I’ve always wanted one of our pup Luna, and sadly just missed out, as they sold out while I was entering my payment info 😭 Thanks so much for your amazing art, it meant a lot to us after Ringo passed! So excited for all of the excitement and changes coming to your life, I can’t wait to keep reading about your sweet family!ReplyCancel

  • Debra - September 12, 2017 - 8:53 AM

    I’ve enjoyed my gorgeous Pet Shop painting of Ray and photobomb Julius for well over a year now. I’ve had it on my dining room buffet and gaze at it during every meal. About a week ago I moved it to the bedroom dresser where I can look at it even more often. I’d have to say it is definitely a prized possession and I feel fortunate to have gotten it. Best of luck in the next endeavor.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 9:29 AM

      I had so much fun with that photobomb! Thank you for the kind words, Debra.ReplyCancel

  • Jaclyn - September 12, 2017 - 8:53 AM

    Darn! Wish I would have seen this post sooner, I’ve been wanting to commission one of these for our dogs! Oh well, maybe when and if you start painting them again :)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy G. - September 12, 2017 - 9:02 AM

    That last photo, though. sniff sniff. Goodbyes are hard. Doors open. Doors close. This is such an exciting time in your lives. Enjoy it!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - September 12, 2017 - 9:14 AM

    Darn! Waited too long to order one of horse #3!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - September 12, 2017 - 9:15 AM

    I wish I would have seen this earlier. I was waiting until my next paycheck to purchase one. My golden had surgery a couple weeks ago which prompted the strong desire to get a good portrait.

    Hopefully I will be more on the ball in the future.

    Congrats on your baby girl!ReplyCancel

  • Natalie - September 12, 2017 - 9:49 AM

    I will always treasure your painting of our pup, Olive! It’s so special to us, and I know it will be forever. Thank you for all that you’ve done for people like me and for the animal world.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 10:45 AM

      You guys are making me teary again.ReplyCancel

  • Nicolette - September 12, 2017 - 9:52 AM

    Gah! I am so sad! I have been hinting at my boyfriend to get me a portrait of my pup for ChristmasReplyCancel

  • Nina - September 12, 2017 - 10:10 AM

    I’ll never forget my escalating happiness at seeing the box arrive from your studio to the moment I saw Zelda’s amazing portrait inside. I loved working with you on that then and now for Cooper’s portrait (I’m so glad I requested his a few weeks ago). I’ve loved seeing your pet shop reveals over the years. You’ve made a lot of pet parents happy and helped rescues too. That’s a lot to be proud of. Bravo!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 12, 2017 - 10:44 AM

      Zelda! Such a sweet pea! Looking forward to adding Cooper’s portrait to your collection.ReplyCancel

  • Deena - September 12, 2017 - 10:21 AM

    I will cherish my portrait of Vegas FOREVER. Thank you so much for that.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - September 12, 2017 - 10:31 AM

    OH MY GOODNESS! I am so glad I ordered my painting a few weeks ago (and oddly enough, just emailed you the photos before coming over here and reading the news). This is very bittersweet – we were planning to order another painting of our two pups together after Christmas. If you have any favorite pet artists you’d recommend, I’d love to read a post about them. Though none of them can replace you – you have a special talent with capturing personality.ReplyCancel

  • Tim Stephans - September 12, 2017 - 10:37 AM

    If our house was on fire, I would grab your Stiles portrait on the way out.ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - September 12, 2017 - 11:46 AM

    I didn’t know you guys had this shop! Excited to see what new ventures you take on in the future!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Heather - September 12, 2017 - 12:09 PM

    Ugh! I’m completely disappointed that we have not gotten around to ordering a painting of Hank. We absolutely treasure the painting you did of Mojo. I hung it in my cube (while home renovations dragged on) and was frequently asked if it was a photo. Your work is completely amazing!ReplyCancel

  • BEcky - September 12, 2017 - 3:55 PM

    Awww shoot! I had been procrastinating on ordering a portrait of my first “baby” (and had planned to give one or two as gifts this year too), but saw this post too late…as a mom of a human kiddo now too, I totally appreciate your need to scale back though! If you ever decide to re-open the shop I will definitely place some orders. All the best to your growing family!ReplyCancel

    • Hilary Taylor - September 13, 2017 - 9:55 AM

      Ditto! I had it pulled up and was procrastinating. I really appreciate your modern style and, as a reader of the blog, haven’t really looked into other artist. Kim, it is a weird ask but if you know of any other awesome pet artists out there, would you be willing to share?ReplyCancel

      • Kim - September 14, 2017 - 8:26 AM

        Hi Hilary! I admire a lot of different styles of pet portraiture, but I definitely recommend starting with an Etsy search, as there are many talented artists to support there. More specifically:

        Megan makes adorable watercolors (we almost bought a few for our own pets, and still might!): https://www.meganlynnkott.com/
        Lili has been a longtime favorite: https://www.doggiedrawings.net/
        And our friend Claudia does pet work on the side, too: http://www.pupsketch.com/ReplyCancel

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