We’ve been looking to add a little extra oomph to our corner of the web, a way where we could connect with you on a fun and more personal level. And so over the last few weeks, we’ve been giving vlogging a go! We started with a mini introduction on our about page, and we even shared a few snippets on Instagram last week.

Today, we’re taking you with us on our first flea market adventure of the season to Elkhorn, Wisconsin! The Elkhorn Flea Market is one of our seasonal favorites – worth the 1.5 hour drive from Chicago, for sure – and we pick up a couple treasures along the way. I overuse the word cool, Scott can’t understand the importance of CC’s play kitchen, and we eat fried cheese before 10 AM. (Plus, we give you the inside scoop on the one thing we buy anytime we find ourselves in Wisconsin.)

It would mean the world to us if you let us know what you think of this new-to-us format, and a huge thank you for all the kind words and feedback so far! You can subscribe to our YouTube channel here, and we’re all ears (um, eyes?) for any suggestions you’d like to see in the future. We’ve also added a YouTube icon in the menu, up there on the right. We’re excited to start sharing our projects in this way, and we hope you enjoy the first official episode!*

What other videos would you like to see?

 These are the show dates for the Elkhorn Flea Market
 Our favorite booth: Rivich Antiques (and the chairs we bought from them 2 years ago!)
 I love vintage photos, but I promise I was kidding about the baby
• DIY light kits: Snakehead Vintage
 For sugary, yummy pastries, go to Roeser’s Bakery
 Our favorite backpack (it holds everything)
 Best easy-drinking beer!
• Still in the flea market mood? Let’s go!

Edited by our talented friend Hannah Stephans
Music: Moi Je Joue

*All the exclamations can’t be helped. We hope you’ll love the spontaneous video from time to time!

  • jannike - June 2, 2016 - 8:11 AM

    Love the vlog. So nice to see and hear you in action. I think the flea market is the perfect place for this format, where you’re moving around a lot and seeing different things. Too bad you didn’t find any great deals at the flea.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 8:14 AM

      Thank you! It’s all the thrill of the hunt… Our little things were still worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Steph - June 2, 2016 - 8:20 AM

    I loved this! It was fun to see you two interacting and the flea looked amazing, I want to go now! I’d love to see more videos from you guys in the future :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley R. - June 2, 2016 - 8:39 AM

    I love your youtube so much already was subscribed from the first time you released a video. There is just something about video that photos lack to capture but I also super enamored by your style. Both of you have a wonderful eye and have really inspired me to diy and thrift finds. My family and I are looking to purchase a house and are also looking really forward to renovating it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 9:33 AM

      So sweet, thank you, Ashley! And best of luck on your house hunt! What an exciting time.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - June 2, 2016 - 9:20 AM

    Definitely excited for future videos!ReplyCancel

  • Sheila - June 2, 2016 - 9:28 AM

    Sounds like fun! Slow internet connection here so I can’t watch videos. Maybe some day!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Matthews - June 2, 2016 - 9:59 AM

    Loved this! There were so many things I saw that I wanted to but but you guys definitely found good stuff! Hope you do more of this!ReplyCancel

    • Sarah Matthews - June 2, 2016 - 9:59 AM

      *buy :)ReplyCancel

      • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 10:17 AM

        Thanks, Sarah! This flea market takes a lot of restraint, haha.ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - June 2, 2016 - 10:07 AM

    Love it! I usually skip video tutorials, but this was really fun to see you guys in action. I liked the alarm clock and all the extra details you put in.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - June 2, 2016 - 10:15 AM

    Ugh, I got serious flea market fever watching this video. I’m going to have to find one to go to this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - June 2, 2016 - 10:36 AM

    This is my new favorite thing! You both are adorable and we’re booking our tickets! Tell CC that play kitchen will become a reality when I get there.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 11:01 AM

      Yes! Chris and Julia: WILL TRAVEL FOR KITCHENS. Done.ReplyCancel

      • Hannah H - June 2, 2016 - 6:30 PM

        Ok – well now you know we’re all going to want to see the CLJ dog play kitchen. I see some brass pulls in the shape of a dog bone, perhaps?ReplyCancel

  • Sally - June 2, 2016 - 12:05 PM

    Loved it! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • cHeRyL - June 2, 2016 - 12:50 PM

    OMG are you blinds remote controlled??? Those are sooo cool. Where can I get some too for my bedroom?ReplyCancel

  • Charla - June 2, 2016 - 1:09 PM

    I can’t stream at work and I like to catch up on blogs on my breaks, so I’d love to see these vlogging posts have a couple photos and maybe a short write-up of highlights as well! Sounds like such a fun day!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 1:22 PM

      Thanks for the feedback, Charla!ReplyCancel

  • Katy - June 2, 2016 - 1:23 PM

    You guys are adorable and I love your jacket! Is it still available?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 1:32 PM

      I actually tried to look it up to see if it was, but I bought it a few years ago, so sadly, no. If it helps, it was from Zara! There are some similar ones currently, but they all seem to be a bit longer in length.ReplyCancel

  • julie - June 2, 2016 - 2:05 PM

    Love, love, love seeing the flea and the road trip. So may great Sundays are spent that way. Agree on the best part being the New Glarus (especially Totally Naked version). Well worth the trip and watching your video until the end ;)

    thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 2:19 PM

      Dang, we will have to try that! My other fave is their coffee stout. Good grief, is that delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Trilby - June 2, 2016 - 2:05 PM

    LOVE it! I’ve never been able to sit through an entire vlog before – kudos to you guys for keeping it fun (it was a mini movie!) & interesting (super fun subject that hasn’t been done before)!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 2:18 PM

      Hooray! Here’s hoping we can continue to keep them interesting, ha!ReplyCancel

  • Ariella - June 2, 2016 - 2:38 PM

    I was there myself, but didn’t see you guys (no surprise). I came down from Madison and didn’t really end up buying anything. It’s a great flea market, though, and I’ll go back in the fall. It was cold!ReplyCancel

  • Emily - June 2, 2016 - 3:00 PM

    Oh my! You two are super cute. Love the video. Fun to watch thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kari - June 2, 2016 - 3:41 PM

    This was great! My husband and I don’t have any flea market buddies (we go often, but always alone), so I’ll file you guys away as our pretend virtual flea market companions.ReplyCancel

  • Lynne - June 2, 2016 - 4:08 PM

    Absolutely hands down my most favorite post ever! I love hearing your voice and I loved seeing that flea market!! How could you leave that amazing swivel chair??? It would be perfect in my house! Love the vlog! Keep it up! Btw- I read them all but I’m a lurker and usually don’t comment- although now with blog app I can ❤️ Your posts so you know I like them!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 4:13 PM

      Lynne, don’t remind me about the swivel chair! Can we all gang up on Scott so he realizes the err of his ways!ReplyCancel

  • Kate ann - June 2, 2016 - 4:29 PM

    Great job! That was fun to watch. Any flea market, thrifting videos would be great.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah H - June 2, 2016 - 6:27 PM

    Add me to the love the vlog list! This is why I’ve appreciated Mr. Kate so much – a well produced video is such a nice break from just words and photos when you scroll through your feed. Also – very nice willpower re: that chair. Super cute! I might have been taken down by that one.

    (ok, now hand the video camera over to CC and Jack!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 2, 2016 - 8:51 PM

      I’m still sort of mad we didn’t get it! Not that we have a spot for it, so… it’s okay, I’ll survive. :DReplyCancel

  • Kelcey - June 2, 2016 - 9:17 PM

    Love! Really like that it was edited down too (some vlogs drag on which can be painful) and the music was perfection!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 3, 2016 - 8:42 AM

      Thanks for the feedback! We tried to keep it to 10 minutes, so that’s the goal in the future, too.ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie H. - June 2, 2016 - 10:42 PM

    Oh man, these videos are dangerous! I’m way too obsessed, in a totally non creepy way, I promise! 😆🐈🐶🐶ReplyCancel

  • Leah Prevost - June 2, 2016 - 10:48 PM

    I love it! It’s nice to see and hear your personalities. It makes you more “real” if that makes sense. You two had me smiling the whole video, I would love to see more of these!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 3, 2016 - 8:43 AM

      Aw. Made my day. Thank you so much.ReplyCancel

  • Nina - June 3, 2016 - 12:39 AM

    Great job. I love this new element. It definitely adds a new level of connection even though you’ve both done a fantastic job writing where I felt like I could hear your individual voices in your posts. Feel free to add oodles of Libby, CC, & Jack to all future vlog posts. I mean, you guys are awesome, but I’m a sucker for those 4 legged cuties.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 3, 2016 - 8:45 AM

      If it were up to me, we would just have hours of Jack and CC snuggling, Libby rolling around, and we would’ve had Miss Maddie judging us from her perch. We’re suckers for them, too!ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - June 3, 2016 - 7:50 AM

    LOVING the vlog! You guys are too cute…and I’m so jealous of that flea market trip! Great finds!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - June 3, 2016 - 7:53 AM

    I loooooooove it!!! CanNOT wait to see more =)ReplyCancel

  • Megan - June 3, 2016 - 12:38 PM

    I love, love, love this post! The production details made it (that French song? Golden!) but it was “real” and totally reminded me of a thrifting adventure I’d have — namely, I end up with stuff totally NOT on my list. ;-)

    Can’t wait to see more! Hope you were able to warm up.ReplyCancel

  • Jordan - June 3, 2016 - 1:42 PM

    A lovely video! It’s making me want to go to the next flea market in my area. Maybe I’ll find some good deals!ReplyCancel

  • Jane - June 3, 2016 - 2:51 PM

    “Do we need another chair?”

    . . . this is the story of my life with my husband! I had to laugh at that. I loved that chair, too!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 3, 2016 - 5:45 PM

      I’ll never let him forget. That chair will go down in history. MwahahaReplyCancel

  • Cindy - June 3, 2016 - 5:38 PM

    Coming out of lurk-dom to tell you that you’re really good at making videos. My husband has video editing in his background, so I know it’s a lot of work to make videos look really good, and the videos that look really good look like they were effortless. The biggest high five from Houston, Texas! Looking forward to more videos.

    (These projects are in our future, and therefore I would love to see videos on these topics: installing backsplash with an un-level countertop, and installing cabinets with no space between the cabinets and the ceiling)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 3, 2016 - 5:46 PM

      Thanks, Cindy! We did all of the filming, but our friend Hannah took care of the editing. She is a WIZARD, I tell you! :DReplyCancel

  • Emily - June 3, 2016 - 6:06 PM

    Reading blogs has become a bit of a chore for me now. I do it out of habit. I don’t say that to be negative, just didn’t realise until I was watching the video and noticed how much I was enjoying it. We live in a society where we want everything quickly. Just look at how popular snap chat is. You’ve appealed to that market and I’m sure it’s going to be a great success. Will be subscribing for sure as it was very entertaining.ReplyCancel

  • Kate Bu - June 3, 2016 - 6:56 PM

    Great vlog! I’m not usually much for watching video rather than looking at photos, but you guys really had some interesting tips/suggestions for how you go about flea marketing, and it was fun to see the cool stuff you found.ReplyCancel

  • Anna, Sydney - June 4, 2016 - 3:50 AM

    I normally never watch videos because it’s too noisy around me all the time (loud family) and I just don’t have the time. But I love you guys so much I at least had to give you a fair shot. And I loved it! The length was great, I wouldn’t even have considered trying if it had been 20 minutes unfortunately.

    Loved being taken along on a thrift trip, and hated you a little for taking me on a thrift trip… :)

    Loved seeing you and hearing you guys. I would definitely watch more videos from you.ReplyCancel

  • Barb - June 4, 2016 - 12:14 PM

    Finally got around to watching your vlog. Love it! Looks like it was a lot of work to polish up but I would love to watch more!ReplyCancel

  • Tanja - June 5, 2016 - 12:26 AM

    I love this format. I felt like I was going to the flea market too! I worked at a flea market when I was a kid. I picked up the garbage at the end of the day, I got paid $10/hr, which was a LOT of money 30 years ago.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - June 5, 2016 - 8:04 PM

    I LOVE the vlog!! How on earth did you leave that beautiful chair behind? So amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 6, 2016 - 9:20 AM

      That chair!! It will haunt me forever. I promise you.ReplyCancel

  • Josh @ The Kentucky Gent - June 6, 2016 - 1:10 PM

    You guys are too cute on camera! And it’s NEVER too early to eat anything fried, or at least IMO.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 7, 2016 - 3:02 PM

      Agreed! (About the fried part, haha)ReplyCancel

  • Tara C - June 7, 2016 - 8:34 PM

    That was so fun, thanks for making a video!! I’d love to see videos of you refinishing a piece of furniture, debating paint colors and sharing what goes into that process, debating other design elements and seeing your process for finding a compromise that could satisfy both parties. It’s often most difficult to know what should go into the process of consideration so you don’t end up making an impulsive choice that might look wrong later and getting insight into how you make design choices would be so great.

    I’d also love to see a video where you take us through your favorite room in your house and share why it’s your favorite and what design elements you love or might change of you had the chance and the money.

    Thank you! Love your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 8, 2016 - 9:51 AM

      These are all great suggestions! Thank you so much. I’ve added them to our list.ReplyCancel

  • Sondra - June 9, 2016 - 5:11 PM

    I love that you are doing vlogs now. Videos are such a fun way to see your faces, hear your voices and get to know you even more! I’m a big fan of videos and general and am excited to see where you go with this. Love!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 10, 2016 - 9:31 AM

      Thanks for the great feedback!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - June 10, 2016 - 2:56 PM

    I’m WAY behind and just watched this adorable video. It made me smile so much. It’s so you guys! ALSO we have that GLOBE!!! We’re globe twins now :DReplyCancel


Our bed and laundry rooms are slowly making their way, with our bedroom at the point where everything is cozy and functions well. I’m still anxiously awaiting the arrival of a pretty sconce for a lonely corner (this one!), and we’re (read: I’m) debating on a few more framed photos or artwork. The laundry room, on the other hand, still has a ways to go, but we’ve made huge strides in the last couple of weeks! Here’s another little progress report, long overdue.


First, we got a new washer and dryer! We. Are. In. Love. We chose this washer and this dryer by LG, both picked up during an appliance sale. They play a cute melody when initially turned on (to which we sing, I-am-a-washing-machine! to the tune), they’re pretty, and most importantly, our clothes are, well, clean and dry. We sold our old set on Craigslist, making back almost enough money to cover one of the new machines.

Second – and the main reason for this update – we finally have cabinets picked out! You might remember when we first shared our laundry room plans, but the ultimate goal for our cabinetry is to hide soaps and stain sticks, towels, bed linens and odds and ends (like cat stuff, old yearbooks and photo albums). As much as we love the look of open shelving, we have come to terms with the fact that we all can’t be open shelving people. We need a hiding spot for the kitty litter, you know?

After initially thinking we’d go with IKEA cabinetry, we eventually had to nix the idea due to a lack of range in cabinetry height. Our goal has always been to take the cabinets all the way to the ceiling, but the math wasn’t checking out in their standard 20-inch, 30-inch or 40-inch options. A few months ago, however, I stumbled across TheRTAStore.com, which specializes in ready-to-assemble cabinetry with all the bells whistles you could hope for – soft close hinges, a wide selection of sizes and finishes and, the best part, one-on-one customer service! Scott and I devoured this review from House Updated, and after checking out their selection online, we were relieved to see that we would be able to create, essentially, a floor-to-ceiling wall of cabinetry. Super organized laundry room, here we come!

To this point, TheRTAStore.com has been awesome to work with, and they’ve since come on board to partner with us on our laundry room renovation! We’ll be sharing our experience with their ready-to-assemble cabinetry from the user side of things, which’ll hopefully provide you with more options when it comes to renovating your own laundry room – or kitchen or bath. (Stay tuned for the results, because we’ll also be spreading the love to you, too!) To start, we chose a variety of sample doors. Below, from left to right: Dakota White, Aspen White Shaker, Newport White, Brilliant White Shaker and Grey Shaker.

rta-laundry-cabinets-02 rta-laundry-cabinets-03

You can see right away that we were leaning towards the shaker style (just like our kitchen), but seeing the doors in person helped us to eliminate a few styles right off the bat. Our two favorites were the most simple in design, Aspen White Shaker (left) and Brilliant White Shaker (right):


I’ll fast forward and quickly say that we landed on the Aspen White Shaker, due to the size options available; that said, the styles offer a variety of sizes and options across the board. Here’s a specific example: While considering the Brilliant White, we found that it wasn’t available in a 24″ deep x 30″ wide cabinet for above our washer and dryer (this will make more sense in a minute). In our case, the Aspen White Shaker did offer a deep cabinet, and because we liked both styles similarly, it was what made our decision.


Okay, so on to the plans! The cabinets will go wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling in our laundry room. Eventually, our washer and dryer will be stacked to allow for lower cabinet space.


The lower cabinet space is very, very important for a very, very important girl. We’ll be installing a kitty door into the cabinet so that Libby will have a private space to eat and potty in peace. Let’s just say that the pups don’t always make this easy on her, so we wanted to keep things behind closed doors!


Let’s talk about how everything will shake out! I signed up for a ‘free kitchen design‘, which basically put me in touch with one of their in house designers to work with one-on-one. After filling out the form, I was emailed by Chrissy the same day(!), and I sent her dimensions of the room, my ideas, and a quick sketch I made in Photoshop to give her an idea of where we were headed. Below are the plans from point A to point B, and the thought process along the way:


ONE. I told Chrissy that we were toying with the idea of dark lowers and white uppers, but how would that look with a white side panel along the washer/dryer? As it turns out, we weren’t fans. Wanting our wallpaper to be the star of the show, Scott and I both agreed that the tuxedo look was too busy for this small room.

TWO. For the second round, I asked if she could bring the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. You’ll notice a slim drawer below the upper cabinets. The idea for that was a DIY drying rack, like this!


THREE. We liked the direction we were headed, but we asked her to eliminate the decorative crown in favor for something more streamlined. Also, could you even out the trim along both sides of the washer /dryer so that the side panel isn’t so thick? Regarding the side panel, this turned out to be our only pain point. Because our ceilings are 9′ tall in this room – and because side panels are typically only 8′ tall – you can see that we broke up the panel with the countertop. Once all of our pieces arrive, we will have to see how this plays out!

FOUR. In our final rendition, we did decide to take out the drying rack ‘drawer,’ and in its place, we added a taller upper cabinet. This makes all of the upper cabinets 24″ high, which we felt looked more pleasing (less cluttered!) overall. In the meantime, I ordered one of these retractable clotheslines!

Although our laundry room is a cute little thing, we did make the bold decision to have all 24″ deep uppers. Our lower sink cabinet will be pulled flush with the appliances (roughly 32″ deep), which will still give us the allowance we need to keep our heads bump-free. The extra deep uppers – typically reserved for above-the-fridge – will give us extra storage for larger blankets and linens, but it shouldn’t look out of place since you’ll never, ever see them from the side!


With everything finalized, Chrissy added all of the items to our cart for checkout (including an extra filler piece and touch up paint), and she sent along detailed dimensional drawings so that we knew how to trim all of our filler pieces once everything arrives. We haven’t yet received a shipping confirmation (it could take up to 2 weeks), but we can’t wait to cross this massive to-do off the list!

Has anyone else opted for extra-deep cabinets in unique situations? In our minds, it will work out, but we’re also crossing all our fingers and toes.

A huge thank you to TheRTAStore.com for sponsoring our laundry room, and all the same to you for supporting the brands that support us. xo

  • Justynn Yagiela - May 24, 2016 - 7:43 AM

    Ok dumb question.

    Do you guys worry at all having the clothesline to hang items and the occasional drippy item dripping onto the wood floor? I know generally items are not THAT wet, but occasionally I find hand wash items are not “wrung out” enough and they drip as they hang.

    Just wondering, when I saw the clothes line I had to go back to see what floor you had and seeing the wood brought up that question.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 7:53 AM

      Totally valid! Right now, we use a folding drying rack (that’s old and wobbly and we can’t wait to get rid of it!), and we set it on our hardwood floors. We’ve never had an issue with dripping, but our clothes are never THAT wet once they come out of the washer. Just damp, I guess? Also, we’re not big into hand washing items, haha. If something is too delicate, I usually don’t buy it in the first place! :)ReplyCancel

    • SLG - May 25, 2016 - 6:17 PM

      Pro tip: after you hand wash a piece of clothing, put it in JUST the spin cycle in your washer. It’ll air dry much faster! (Reading this tip on some blog somewhere pretty much changed my life. :) )ReplyCancel

  • Kitty Person - May 24, 2016 - 8:04 AM

    Please please please don’t make your kitty eat and poop in the same cabinet…ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 8:10 AM

      The cabinet is quite large. We always have her best interest in mind. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kristy - May 24, 2016 - 9:42 AM

      I came here to say the same thing. The plan looks gorgeous and your hearts are in the right place. But it rubs me the wrong way that you insist that a 32″ deep enclosed cabinet is “quite large” for eating and excreting. I’m not sure that this is the best solution, either, but what about two separate cabinets so that at least the spaces are separated?ReplyCancel

      • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 9:50 AM

        Hi Kristy, we did consider 2 cabinets, but we quickly tossed that idea aside. With 2 cabinets, we would then need to put another cat door on the inside, and we feared that our elder kitty might get confused. The thought of her feeling trapped just breaks our hearts. (She’s a very small cat!) I see where you’re going with this though, so we may consider a little divider at the very least. I actually really like that idea! And for what it’s worth, our girl wouldn’t be hanging out in the cabinet all day long… She’s not one to lounge with her food. This idea is simply to keep her business away from the dogs so she can eat in peace.ReplyCancel

        • Kristy - May 24, 2016 - 10:29 AM

          Thanks for the reply, Kim, I do appreciate it! I also appreciate that you’re trying to give the cat some peace in this new design, but you lose me when you indicate that eating and excreting in one small, enclosed space is peaceful. In addition to it being gross, you run the risk of creating litterbox issues with even the most flexible cat, and it sounds like you’re really going to stress Libby out. I like Ariella’s suggestion of closing the laundry room door and installing a cat door, but I know your laundry room door may present a challenge there. Putting the food on the counter also presents challenges if she can’t jump up there. I hate to imply that we readers have any say in the design of your home, but you ordinarily strike me as people who love and respect your animals and I feel like you’re really off track here.

          (Sorry if this posts twice, I’m not sure what I did!)ReplyCancel

    • Ariella - May 24, 2016 - 9:59 AM

      I came here to say the same thing. That’s not cool. Cats don’t instinctively like to eat where they sh*t (nor would you) and you risk either having eating issues or litter box issues, neither of which are pleasant. Why can’t you keep the laundry room door closed and put a kitty door in there? Or keep the food on top of the counters (if she can jump up there)? There has got to be a better way to deal with this issue, and I can’t help but feel that you’re doing this for your own ease rather than your cat’s well-being. Normally I like your blog, but this really turned me off.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - May 24, 2016 - 11:32 AM

    The only place I’ve ever seen a retractable clothes line was in Colombia at a resort we visited in January – so funny to see one again so soon. They work great!

    Love the design – looks great! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - May 24, 2016 - 11:41 AM

    We used the Aspen White Shaker from TheRTAStore in our kitchen and laundry room and have been pleased with them thus far. Great choice! On a different note, like Kitty Person, Kristy, and Ariella, I am gravely concerned for your sweet Libby. Even if she is small and meticulous, even if you use the ‘dustless’ litter, even if she doesn’t seem to mind, this is not a time in her life when you want her to feel that she is being punished when you are actually trying to provide her a peaceful place away from the pups. Such a change could contribute to a number of health issues, the worst of which being an early demise. Older cats are even less able to deal with changes and stress, so I encourage you to use your super creative energies to find an alternative solution that is appealing both to you and to Libby. I’m sure you can figure something out! :)ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - May 24, 2016 - 11:45 AM

    Pretty plans. Does “sponsoring” mean the cabinets are free? Can you share what the cost would be for others?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 11:57 AM

      Hi Meredith, they are providing the cabinets, and we’ll be sharing the experience. They came to right under 1,200, but they tend to run sales frequently. Right now, our cabinet finish is 20% off, so the final price would be $950(ish). For us, that price also included an extra cabinet door, a side panel and a few extra filler pieces as well! Thank you for asking!ReplyCancel

      • Meredith - May 24, 2016 - 12:12 PM


  • Kathy - May 24, 2016 - 1:27 PM

    It looks great! I have mine stacked and love them. No doubt you guys gave this tons of thought and compassion for your kitty Love. It will be interesting to see if she tolerates it. It’s a good idea! But as you know esp older kitties can refuse change. I’m assuming her litter box is in that room now, which hopefully will help. Mine hate the washer/dryer, would not poop in the litter box there. I resorted to one of those walk-through baby gates that has a built in kitty door. Dogs out, mama and kitty in. We love it, but yeah, I hear ya, I’d definitely prefer to hide it in a cabinet. Good Luck, can’t wait to see more!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 6:03 PM

      Thanks, Kathy – yup, the litter box is in that room now, pretty much in the same spot it will go once the cabinets are in (it’s currently just to the left of the washer/dryer). Both Maddie and Libby have been champions during the construction in this room. At one point, we had to move their box and food to the workshop downstairs while this space was down to the studs. We showed them where everything was, and they took right to it! When we moved it all back up here, it was business as usual!ReplyCancel

      • Griselda Johnson - June 9, 2016 - 7:40 AM


  • Mary - May 24, 2016 - 1:43 PM

    I just wanted to alert you to using a liquid fabric softener in your new washing machine. I have the same LG & using Downey gunked up the drawer that holds the little cups. Then it caused mold & leaking on my floor.
    If you need to use a fabric softener, I would suggest you use dryer sheets.
    Also you need to leave the washing machine door open when you’re not using it.
    Otherwise you get mold in the rubber gasket that seals the door.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 2:05 PM

      Thanks for the tip, good to know! So far, we’ve been leaving the door almost closed after laundry, and then I’ll close it before bed.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - May 24, 2016 - 2:31 PM

    Looks like things are coming along nicely! Will you have to nix the gorgeous salvage sink, or does it still fit with these plans?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 2:36 PM

      Thanks, Cait. :) We had to nix it to make enough room for Libs. We have a different sink/faucet in waiting!ReplyCancel

      • Cait - May 24, 2016 - 3:05 PM

        Aww, that’s sad since it’s such a nice find, but totally understandable. Looking forward to seeing your new plan come together. :) (And if you still have the other sink, maybe you could put it to use in the backyard as a potting area for plants or something?)ReplyCancel

  • Katrina - May 24, 2016 - 3:23 PM

    I’m with the others about the poor kitty, eating and excreting in the same box, even with a divider.

    Id put the food in the cabinet so they can access it, but keep the litter box separate. Couldn’t you build a “Plant Stand” or “extra storage” that can encase the litter box in the corner now where you have the food and water?ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - May 24, 2016 - 3:53 PM

    While it may not be ideal for the food and litter to be in the same space, it really is kitty preference. If your kitty isn’t used to that setup, watch for signs of dislike such as soiling outside the litter box. I have the same situation with pups so my kitty has had her food and litter in the same space (a storage bench) since she was a kitten and she hasn’t had any issue. Just try to physically separate them as much as possible (opposite sides of the cabinet). Good luck and I just love your laundry room!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 24, 2016 - 4:59 PM

      Thanks, Kristin! As long as we’ve had our girl(s), their food and litter have never been more than 3′ apart. They’ve always been very comfortable, which is our goal.ReplyCancel

  • aussiebushgirl - May 25, 2016 - 12:14 AM

    I love where you’re going with this. If I can offer one piece of advice to bear in mind it would be that laundries are typically damp, humid environments! You would need to consider ventilation both inside and outside your cabinets to maintain airflow. When I lived in the colder clime of England, I noticed that most linen storage cabinets were built around the old-fashioned padded type of water heater, so I’m assuming this was to combat mildew build-up problems. This may not typically be a problem in your situation (we’re talking older type properties in the UK!), but one very handy piece of information I stored for future reference is shelving! The Brits tend to go with the slatted-type shelves instead of solid ones – again to stimulate airflow. This makes a lot of sense to me. It will be interesting to hear which route you decide to take.

    I’ve just read some of the tips above. Most front loader manufacturers will tell you not to use any form of fabric conditioner. Not only is it unnecessary (because it makes very little difference at the end of the day), but it’s not good for your washing or your machine + it’s an added expense! That said, always VENTILATE your machines!! When your wash is done, open up (and empty excess water from) the panel where your detergent goes; it’s a good idea to leave the panel open until it’s fully dry before closing it. I agree with Mary above – keep both washer and dryer doors open after washing and drying. I leave mine open practically all the time. The rubber seals will turn moldy after a time. Some machines, like my Asko, don’t go moldy, but most other brands tend to. It’s something to do with the sealing. It’s okay to air it during the day and then leave it open about 1-2″ at night, as this will prevent it from smelling. When not in use (and totally dry), I shut the doors completely. Don’t forget to always remove the lint from the dryer door! Very important. I tend to very seldom use my dryer – maybe because I have access to a great big backyard and an awesome washing line and sun! I do sometimes throw the towels in after they’ve been on the line, simply to soften them up a bit (but I like mine to be ‘scratchy’, lol). Same goes for my raw linen sheets. I prefer them softer, rather than sun-baked hard!

    ***Here’s a good reason why not to use fabric softeners and dryer sheets: “Fabric softeners contain toxic ingredients that are bad for your health and the environment.”

    For more info on why not to use these products, pop over here to check it out folks:

    Cheers from Oz ~ heather xReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 25, 2016 - 8:54 AM

      Heather, thank you SO much for all this awesome feedback. Luckily, the fabric softener is a non issue for us – we’ve never used it for the same reasons you’ve mentioned above. We actually picked up these dryer balls, and we’re excited to give them a go! (Haven’t tried them just yet.) We’ve also left the door slightly open with our old front loads, so that process has stuck with us for these machines as well. Can’t thank you enough for weighing in – I’ll be reading it again later as we start set-up with the cabinets!ReplyCancel

  • Lillian - May 26, 2016 - 11:51 AM

    We also have front loading machines, and have found a pretty great solution to the leaving them open issue. We have a fairly heavy duty magnet on the side with a cord attached to it, and then the other end of that cord is attached to a hefty metal s-hook. We hook the cord onto the inside of the washer door so that it stays open, but we don’t have to worry about it swinging too far. We can also adjust the length of the cord or placement of the magnet to change up how far we allow it to open.

    It’s been really helpful since ours is in a high traffic area, so it minimizes it swinging around or getting bumped shut.ReplyCancel

  • Bailey - May 30, 2016 - 9:01 PM

    Very, very jealous of this laundry room and what it’s going to become. Ours is horrible with no light at the end of the tunnel. Yours is going to look amazing — I can’t wait to see the reveal!ReplyCancel

  • Josh @ The Kentucky Gent - May 31, 2016 - 10:50 AM

    Good choice on the final! Can’t wait to see the finished product :DReplyCancel

  • Sabrina Smelko - May 31, 2016 - 3:41 PM

    I love the pocket door! It’s so unique to see one that’s solid wood with that hardware. And that wallpaper? Sooo envious. <3ReplyCancel

  • Yelix - June 1, 2016 - 8:49 AM

    I replaced the toe kick on the bottom of the cabinet with a food station drawer which hold two bowls for my dog PacoReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 1, 2016 - 9:04 AM

      Cute! We saw that in some of our research. Do you have a photo of yours?ReplyCancel

  • Jordan - June 1, 2016 - 9:46 AM

    Seems like a gorgeous plan to me! Hope that you’re able to work out any problems and make something that works perfect and gives you a gorgeous, functional laundry room.ReplyCancel

  • Lavues - June 5, 2016 - 10:58 AM

    Your laundry room is looking really great, and I’m in love with the kitty!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - June 18, 2016 - 3:58 PM

    I can’t wait to see the end result! Coincidentally, I have a big box of sample doors from The RTA Store that I’ve been meaning to ship back for, ohhhh, about two months now… (!) I’ve been going back and forth about whether to go with The RTA Store or with Cabinets.com, so I’m anxious to hear your thoughts about your experience!ReplyCancel



One of the long term goals we had for this house – we’re going back to 2013 now – was to add interior attic access. At the time, we only had a horrific exterior staircase to gain entrance, but now? Attic Access! Inside!

The attic, aside from housing the new furnace for our second floor, is mostly empty. Scary, but empty. We have a few bins for our holiday decor, some college-day art projects (I was into big art back in the day; nothing could ever be simple for me – what else is new?), my wedding dress(!) and old yearbooks. We purchased this aluminum attic ladder, and although we toyed with the idea of installing it ourselves, our contractors (who would be demolishing the exterior stairs – more on that in a minute!) cut us a deal that would save us the time and energy. Done.

attic-access-02 attic-access-03

Installed at the top of our second floor landing, we decided it was the least offensive spot in our home. It leads to the front half of the attic, which is the most open for our stuff, and eventually, we’d like to add shelving up there for a bit of organization. The problem? Once our contractor was complete with his part of the job, it wasn’t very pretty.

We remedied that pretty quickly with thin pine lattice, caulk, spackle and paint! Scott made simple mitered corners with the lattice, using our nail gun to secure it around the perimeter of the door. I followed that up with a line of caulk, spackle for the nail holes, two thin coats of primer (this water-based Zinsser is our favorite) and two coats of regular ol’ ceiling paint.

attic-access-06 attic-access-08

For the finishing step, we replaced the cloth cord for a simple white pull:


Two days a year – you know, taking down the Christmas tree and then putting it back – the pull will make it a little less easy to open the attic door (we’ll need to get a step stool to pull it down), but for the other 363 days a year, it’s practically invisible! Worth it. The ladder can safely extend with enough room at the bottom to maneuver our bins, but that said, we agreed that attic duty will always be a two person job. One of us on the ladder, the other to spot.

attic-access-11 attic-access-12

So, let’s go back to why we needed interior access in the first place! There’s a reason why our backyard never, ever makes an appearance on the blog. For one, we’ve paid it absolutely no attention since the day we moved in – three years ago. More or less, it has acted as a giant puppy potty. And two, there is – um, was? – an unsafe behemoth of a staircase. Because our home was initially separated into two apartments, the stairs acted as a back fire escape from the first and second floor apartments, and all the way at the top was the scary attic door:


If you’ve been with us for a while, you know that we’ve slowly been turning our two-flat into a single family home. We nixed the second floor back door for a wall of windows (what was once a kitchen is now our master bedroom!), and with our freshly installed interior attic access, it was finally time to take down the deteriorating staircase! On a related side note, afterwards, we picked up this safety ladder.


We had been waiting for Operation-Tear-Down-the-Stairs for so, so long, and a small team of three men had it down and hauled away in 4 hours. 4 hours! Despite the backside of our house going from horrible to slightly-less-horrible, we are enjoying the massive amount of light streaming through our windows. The backyard is still very far from pretty, but we’ve completed a massive first step in the right direction. We’ve been working with a local steel fabricator on a new staircase that will lead into our yard, and we have countless paper scraps and napkins with makeshift plans-to-be. We’re in the early stages, but every day brings new challenges – siding repair and/or replacement, for one! – and new ideas. We are excited, overwhelmed and hopeful. Right now, we’re taking this one day at a time.


We’ve been pinning our backyard ideas on this board, although it’s too soon to tell how far we’ll get this year. In our minds, we’ll be done with everything by October. Reality will likely have a different idea, so we’re promising each other to take it in stride. (I say with hesitation!)

  • Stacy@BlakeHillHouse - May 18, 2016 - 6:29 AM

    Exciting! That was quite a staircase. I can only imagine how much more light you have. We took some large trees out last fall, and I still cannot believe how much sunlight pours into the house. We just thought it was always dark on that side of the house. :D

    Looking forward to seeing how the yard shapes up.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 18, 2016 - 8:49 AM

      The back of our house has always been the brightest (where our kitchen and bedroom is), but now it’s on turbo power!ReplyCancel

  • Kari - May 18, 2016 - 7:05 AM

    How amazing! The back of your house looks just insanely better now. I’m sure it’s just a ton of weight off your shoulders. When it comes time for siding repair or replacement, what are your plans? It looks like you have vinyl – do you have any leads on a match for repair? Is your original clapboard underneath? My husband and I recently removed all of the vinyl off our 110 year old home to reveal gorgeous old growth cedar siding. It was one of the most thrilling experiences of our lives to see it there!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 18, 2016 - 8:52 AM

      Kari, color us jealous. Wow! Our house has been through a ton of transitions (even before us), so we’ve gotten peeks of what lies beneath… And it’s not very awesome. We’re still meeting with contractors and going over options, but I’ll tell you this much, we’ve never liked our vinyl. We have talked about residing the whoooooole house someday, but this project is sort of kick starting the back side at the very least! Updates to come as we figure it out ourselves…ReplyCancel

  • Meg - May 18, 2016 - 7:16 AM

    Wow! You two are RELENTLESS. We’d be taking a couple of years off to recuperate if we’d completely redone a bathroom, a laundry room and a bedroom all in one fell swoop! Kudos to you. I’m very impressed with your zeal.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin Dreger - May 18, 2016 - 8:18 AM

    Oh how exciting! It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes not having 3 floors of staircases! So does that final picture mean that you removed the deck off the kitchen and outside access for the time being? Will you put a deck back on the backside of the house for this summer?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 18, 2016 - 8:53 AM

      Yup, for now, we have no backyard access, haha. We’re still figuring out exactly what we’ll do, but we’re in talks with some local makers. The good news is that our front porch (swing!) is The Spot to be in the summer until we can get this sorted!ReplyCancel

  • jannike - May 18, 2016 - 8:54 AM

    I hope you keep a balcony off the kitchen doors. It’s always nice to have space for the bbq close to the kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - May 18, 2016 - 9:03 AM

    Um – we’ve ignored our backyard for fifteen years! (Hanging head.) Actually, it’s not horrible, but it’s not great. We did take our outside access stairs off during our initial demolition when we also converted our home from a two-family to a single-family – it was really rickety and dangerous, although we did manage to get a 400lb cast iron tub up those stairs without losing anyone.

    We’re trying to finalize the next phase of our work, which will finally address our back yard. It’s exciting – and expensive! Maybe we’ll be on the same timeline with this project! Best of luck.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 18, 2016 - 9:08 AM

      Ahhh, good luck to you too! Our cast iron tub was carried up our scary stairs too, but our contractor had to repair a few stairs as they went (one cracked in half completely). We are so happy to see this safety hazard GONE.ReplyCancel

  • Katy - May 18, 2016 - 10:10 AM

    That gif is mesmerizing. I’ve watched it about ten times already.

    I can’t wait to see what you guys do!ReplyCancel

  • Tina slocum - May 18, 2016 - 2:24 PM

    Hi Kim and Scott, I want you to know that I’ve been following you for years. You two are the most talented home “fixer uppers?” and designers and so precise in your work. Everything you do is so asthetically pleasing, clean and so gorgeous. Just a note of appreciation and thanks! TinaReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 18, 2016 - 7:11 PM

      You are incredibly kind. Thank you SO much, and thank you for following along and chiming in!ReplyCancel

  • Chance - May 18, 2016 - 7:06 PM

    We had a similar situation with our attic access. We got a dowel rod, added a little hook on the end and that enabled us to pull the stairs down easily. When not in use, the rod hangs on a little eye circle hook thing inside a nearby closet and its out of the way.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 18, 2016 - 7:12 PM

      Genius. We also have hockey sticks nearby that we can use, too!ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - May 19, 2016 - 11:49 AM

    Oh my gosh, I can’t get over how much better it looks with all those stairs gone!!! Wow!!! I am looking forward to what you do with that side of the house.

    Do you guys plan on adding some insulation to the new attic drop down door?? We live in San Diego and even with our super mild winters, I notice a huge difference when we pull down our door to the attic and its that little bit of insulation attached to the door (beneath the ladder) that helps keep that cold air from creeping down into our house (and keeps the warm air in!) I can imagine its even more significant where you guys live since you have REAL winters! Ha!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 19, 2016 - 12:57 PM

      Thanks for the tip! We hadn’t thought to do so, but I suppose this coming winter will help to steer us in that direction if needed. And you’re right – our winters are REAL real. Haha!ReplyCancel

  • Cair - May 20, 2016 - 4:55 PM

    Da–, this is huuuuge! Congrats on it finally happening. Looking forward to seeing your back yard unfold.ReplyCancel

  • Corinne - May 23, 2016 - 12:48 AM

    How exciting with the yard. It looks so different.

    My parents have an attic ladder just like that. They have a long pole with a hook on the end (I think they bought it with the ladder) that they use to pull it down. Saves the step ladder and any potential incidents. Plus much easier to store!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - May 23, 2016 - 1:11 PM

    I bet your renter is happy having the deck removed from over that window, so much more light probably! Have you two done anything with the garden unit? I don’t remember there being much, but I’ve always been curious!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 23, 2016 - 1:20 PM

      Aside from a MASSIVE cleaning, fresh paint and some new lighting, the garden unit didn’t receive much. It was the ‘best’ part of our house when we bought it! Our long term plan would be to replace all the 12″ square tile down there with wood-look tile (to cozy it up), but for now, our renters are happy, so we’re happy. We don’t like to share too much about it for their privacy. :)ReplyCancel

    • Alison - May 23, 2016 - 4:55 PM

      That is what I was thinking too looking at that gif – So much more light for the basement windows! Just curious, do your renters use your backyard for entertainment at all (e.g. grilling or hanging out) or will they in the future when the backyard is renovated? Do you need two functional hangout spots in the backyard with some privacy in between?ReplyCancel

      • Kim - May 23, 2016 - 6:00 PM

        There is so much more light for alllll the windows, really! The renters will be more than welcome to use the backyard when we’re done. Right now, no one uses it (except the pups), but we hope it will be one large communal and happy space. For the most part, our renters keep to themselves though.ReplyCancel

  • Allie - May 23, 2016 - 1:35 PM

    I looks so great! A nice blank canvas to work with! This reminds me of Manhattan Nest and all that Daniel has done to change the back of his house!

    Is your new staircase just going to be from the kitchen and you will completely patch the attic door? Or maybe even more windows will be making an appearance? So exciting for you guys! Also noticed you no longer have the nice blue windowed door to the garden unit. Bummer, I loved that color. Was it clashing with the sliding door? It must be so much brighter in there without the deck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 23, 2016 - 1:47 PM

      Thanks, Allie! Yup, the staircase will only come off of the kitchen, and the attic door will be patched. The blue door you’re thinking of is still there – but it’s only in the front of the house. We have, however, talked about painting the garden unit’s back door once we whip this yard into shape!ReplyCancel

  • Kira - June 17, 2016 - 1:49 PM

    Eeeek I just listened and am so excited for this podcast (and to basically binge-read your entire blog!!!)ReplyCancel