Update: We’ve sold out of custom pet paintings for the year – thank you a thousand times for your continued support! We’ve still got you covered with our gift certificates, and in the meantime, continue to take advantage of free shipping for all Print Shop orders through the end of the month with promo FALLSHIP. xx The Pet Shop…
  • Debra - October 11, 2016 - 6:55 PM

    I was just staring at my mini portrait of Ray-Ray with the Julius photo bomb and thinking that I need to have individuals done one of these days. I see by the update that you’re sold out but if anyone is on the fence about a future order, I would highly recommend it!!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 12, 2016 - 9:18 AM

      Debra, that is so kind, thank you! That was definitely one of my more unique paintings, and I love that you had the photo bomb idea! So cute.ReplyCancel


Maybe more than I’d like to admit, I’m digging deep into our own blog archives to remind myself of a paint color we’ve used, where we bought something or – and probably most importantly! – showing contractors what’s behind our walls. The hunt for the exact type of lumber we used for our dining room fauxdenza…
  • SEM - October 6, 2016 - 9:34 AM

    Great post. You two are truly tweaking and finding home along the way. I must really hand it to you for all of your patience and attention to detail…you’ve really built a space that is fully you. As a person who is chomping at the bit to own a home, I really admire how the two of you savor the process as much as the completed project. You really seem content in the process and that is something to be celebrated!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 9:47 AM

      This is so kind and so well said (I’m not exactly known for my brevity, but you hit the nail on the head). Thank you! I don’t know anyone who has regretted savoring the moment.ReplyCancel

  • Mrs Mike - October 6, 2016 - 10:07 AM

    what I love most about your blog is you make me feel normal! I’ve painted, lived with the color a year…and realized it wasn’t the right color. I’ve re-arranged my living room a half a dozen times trying to figure out the right layout. I don’t go out and buy new rooms of furniture, but as I update pieces as my tastes change, I find other tweaks are needed. It’s not that I’m not happy with what I have (my favorite pieces I’ve had for years!) but sometimes I just need to refresh my house. Excepting that homes are a work in progress doesn’t mean I don’t love my home and allows me to make small changes from time to time that keep my home fresh and happy!ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - October 6, 2016 - 10:17 AM

    This is perfectly timed today. Since we bought our house in June it’s been hard to figure out what to focus on first. We also have a hard time of just wanting everything to be “perfect” before doing anything else, but that can also make things feel so incomplete. So now we’re taking a stance of doing what feels right as we live there and working towards what we want overall slowly. We have to keep reminding ourselves this is our home and not a rental that we’ll be moving out of in a year or two.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 11:00 AM

      Absolutely. I remember feeling the exact same way 3 years ago though! It can be tough at times, for sure.ReplyCancel

    • Regine Labossiere - October 6, 2016 - 2:53 PM

      I totally relate on the “what to focus on” conundrum. Sometimes budget has been the deciding factor and that, as much as I hate it, has been helpful in prioritizing what to do. And now that we’re about to end our second year in the house, I’m realizing that it’s okay to go months without finishing – or perhaps even starting a project that you’d thought of a while before. So now I’m creating mental timelines as to what year I’d like to tackle which renovation and what smaller projects can I do on my own on a budget in the meantime.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - October 6, 2016 - 10:44 AM

    Such an encouraging post! As a new homeowner of a 1919 fixer upper, I simultaneously want to enjoy the process of making the house ours and be done at the same time. As people, I believe we are made to be creative and what better canvas than a house to make a home.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 11:01 AM

      Love this, and congrats on your ‘new’ home!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - October 6, 2016 - 11:37 AM

    I totally understand where you are at! I sometimes get overwhelmed with how far I want to go, but when I look back I am so grateful on how far we’ve come! (this applies to life and our home ;))

    I posted an evolution of our living room so far here:

    Thanks for sharing your journey, it is so encouraging to see other people aren’t instantly living in a “perfect” home!


    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 12:21 PM

      Thank you for sharing!! What a fun look back at your space. It has come so far! Love your newest chairs.ReplyCancel

  • Laurie - October 6, 2016 - 12:29 PM

    Your house is so fun and I adore the quirky wall art you find! I keep a blog ( and recently tweaked our living room (new couch eeeee!) and guest room!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 1:40 PM

      Loooove your new couch! So exciting.ReplyCancel

  • Meg @ Meg Acts Out - October 6, 2016 - 2:23 PM

    Guys. I SO needed to read this today. We’re thisclose to closing on a new house and the further away from it we’ve been (thanks to, y’know, banks doing bankish things), the more overwhelmed I’ve felt about decorating a whole new (currently outdated) space. Thanks so much for the reminder of a home’s evolution…as well as for the awesome eye candy and inspiration for my own space!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 3:29 PM

      Such an exciting time!! Good luck with everything!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - October 6, 2016 - 2:30 PM

    I’ve never owned a home, and given that I live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, might not ever, but I try my best to make my rentals into a home. I used to think that it was possible to reach a point in decorating when you were “done.” But I’ve realized that even when you get to “done,” that state is just temporary. We all change and evolve, so why would our homes stay static? Sure there are those pieces that will likely be with you for a very long time, or even forever, but there is so much that can, and I now believe, should change as we do (provided those changes are made in a mindful way, verses thoughtless and wasteful way). Part of that mindfulness is really understanding how you use a space and how certain decor choices make you feel. That takes time, and involves mistakes/changes, so I think your home is all the better for the “slowness” and “tweakiness “of the process!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2016 - 3:29 PM

      Thank you, Jen! Every rental I’ve lived in has received all the tweaking and decorating as any other home (minus any permanent fixtures). Rental or owned, home is home. :)ReplyCancel

  • Regine Labossiere - October 6, 2016 - 2:49 PM

    We just bought our first house almost two years ago and we (mostly me) have been in redoing, styling, dreaming mode ever since! I document it on my blog,, and I have just so many ideas and so many projects and so many things I want to do, including tiny tweaks to rooms that are just not done and maybe never will be. I totally understand!ReplyCancel

  • Brandi G - October 7, 2016 - 8:18 AM

    Oh I don’t have a blog to document my progress, but we’ve been working on our house for 9 years. It may never get done between two kids and two full time jobs. It has been a complete remodel, not just small projects. Now living with two gutted bathrooms for over a year!! Kitchen, living, and dining rooms were completed years ago and now I’m wanting new furniture and curtains. It never ends. I’m always looking at pictures to validate all the work.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 7, 2016 - 9:22 PM

      Looking back at photos does help, haha! It never ends, but sort of in the best way.ReplyCancel

  • AlisonG - October 7, 2016 - 11:21 AM

    All homes evolve I suspect. I tire of things and need a change. I have to say your miss matched curtain rings would bug the heck out of me. I am curious, why did you make the finish different from the rod? No offence meant at all, different strokes..Just curious. It really is amazing the difference re painting it white made. I really like your vintage clock. Great before and after.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 7, 2016 - 9:24 PM

      Originally it was because the rings weren’t available in brass, and we ended up loving the look!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - October 7, 2016 - 1:29 PM

    Kim-I love how small changes can have such big impact. I am constantly tweaking my space either by swapping out throw pillows, rearranging the furniture or adding new houseplants. I love how it rejuvenates the space without costing a fortune. I don’t have a blog, but my current home is currently featured in our local New Orleans newspaper. I bought a Mid Century Modern last year and have been making “tiny tweaks” ever since. Let me know what you think! (I hope the link came through!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 7, 2016 - 9:25 PM

      GIRL. Amazing!!! I’ve seen your home before I feel like – has it also been featured by another blog?ReplyCancel

      • heather - October 10, 2016 - 1:13 PM

        Not this one. Dana over at House Tweaking featured my previous home on her blog about 3-4 years ago. You and I have also talked a bit on Instagram when you were picking out velvet for one of your furniture pieces…so you probably recognize some of the furniture!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - October 10, 2016 - 3:45 PM

          Ahhh, I thought Heather + NOLA sounded/felt familiar! I do remember that feature over on H*T!ReplyCancel

          • heather - October 11, 2016 - 2:49 PM

            That was so much fun! Eek.:)
            I don’t know if you noticed, but one of your Pet Shop portraits made it in the shoot! It hangs on my gallery wall in my kitchen- my beloved pooch, The Baron, passed away unexpectedly and your portrait is a wonderful remembrance to my best buddy.ReplyCancel

            • Kim - October 12, 2016 - 9:15 AM

              Aw, I need to take a closer look! Thank you for sharing Baron with me. :)ReplyCancel

  • Cat - October 7, 2016 - 7:58 PM

    I remember a friend (who doesn’t have the renovation-DIY-decorating bug) once asking us (about the constant, work-in-progress nature of it all), ‘but when will you ever be able to just enjoy your house?’

    I said, ‘oh, but don’t you see, this is HOW we enjoy our house.’

    I wouldn’t know what to do in a ‘done’ house except sell it and start again!ReplyCancel

  • Eva Burgess - October 11, 2016 - 11:01 PM

    I don’t think any of my rooms will ever be finished either. I love moving things around a bit. I love looking back and seeing the how much things have changed.
    My fave is the living room, adding the fireplace made all the difference.
    After here:
    Before with plans here:

    Love these before and afters of our cottage living room too.

    Satisfying when you realise how far you have come after all.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 12, 2016 - 9:17 AM

      That fireplace is so pretty! I love the cement.ReplyCancel


To see how we built our patio table, see part I here! Hey, pretty table! Paint looks good on you. After we shared how the DIY build went down, some of you wondered why we didn’t consider staining the table. We both agree that this hunky style would be so pretty stained, but in our case,…
  • Steph M. - October 4, 2016 - 9:23 AM

    LOVE IT! This is pretty much the shade I was thinking for the color. so good!!ReplyCancel

  • brianne - October 4, 2016 - 12:22 PM

    Love the patio postings. But reconsider taking away chairs with arms–arms are SO much more enjoyable!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 4, 2016 - 12:50 PM

      Our only concern is that the arms make the table a tight squeeze, but nothing is off the table quite yet!ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - October 4, 2016 - 2:15 PM

    Very pretty!

    We’ve been wishing for a few rain–free weekends to get projects wrapped up, too.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - October 4, 2016 - 10:28 PM

    Hi, Kim and Scott,
    I have been following your blog for sometime and I love what you’ve done with your patio. I would like to know how your West Elm brass drapery rods are holding up? I am considering the same rods and am wondering how the finish looks after time and if you had any issues with quality. Also, did you use the rings with or without the clips? I worry that the space may be tight if the clip is removed and the drapery pins inserted. Thanks in advance for the update. Keep up the great work! I really look forward to your posts.

    • Kim - October 5, 2016 - 2:43 PM

      Hi Melissa, we still love our West Elm curtain rods! Funny, I just scheduled out a post about our living room with more views of the curtains/rod. Definitely check back tomorrow for that! To answer your question, we used the clips, but I clipped the back of the curtain to give off the illusion of a fake French pleat. The rod itself still looks like day one! The middle extension was always a slightly different color than the outside extensions, but we personally love the natural look that brass provides in that way. There’s no patina for us (yet), but it could still happen in the coming years – something I invite. Hope that helps you out a little bit!ReplyCancel

  • Diana - October 5, 2016 - 8:58 AM

    Looks beautiful! Your whole patio does. How did you finish the table for outside? Or did you use exterior paint?
    Thanks for all of your inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 5, 2016 - 9:09 AM

      Hi Diana, we simply used exterior paint in a satin finish.ReplyCancel


You’ve probably noticed our backyard fireplace in the background of our more recent patio projects (and if you follow us on Instagram stories, we’ve shared sneak peeks there, too!), but we wanted to use it for several weeks before I sat down to write about it. In case you missed our backyard renovation from the beginning, our…
  • Trish - September 28, 2016 - 7:21 AM

    Wow – that is awesome! You guys are just nailing your outdoor style. The fireplace rocks….be forewarned that our fire pit has been nicknamed the pit of truth….many a friend has revealed secrets whilst sitting around the fire pit…people we’ve known for years have told us stuff we just can’t believe! Get ready to have your minds blown by the beauty of your backyard and the power of fire. Would love an update on your front garden too! Are you planting bulbs in the front or in your planter boxes?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 11:33 AM

      Haha, hilarious! I suppose ours has been a pit of truth just between us to this point. These poor pups get an earful!

      We didn’t plant any bulbs (we did that once a couple years ago to sad results, womp womp). and the front garden looks pretty much the same! We will see how it does next spring, but it might need a few small tweaks as we continue to learn.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - September 28, 2016 - 7:40 AM

    WOW! The amount of time and energy you’re putting into this is awe-inspiring. It’s looking phenomenal; it’s hard to wrap my mind around where you started to where you are now after just one summer. Love the choice of black paint and I’m pretty sure my dog would never leave the front of the fire! She (also CeCe…but short for Cecelia) knows where the heating vent is in every room of the house and in front of them is generally where you’ll find her.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 11:34 AM

      So funny. CC is definitely a little heat seeker. She could bathe in direct sunlight ALL day, and being her loyal servant, I’m just good for bringing her fresh water.ReplyCancel

  • Justynn - September 28, 2016 - 7:53 AM

    Off topic- how are you liknig the outdoor poofs/ ottoman/ faux wicker stools?

    They’re just what I’ve been searching for, but I havent pulled the trigger yet.

    Loving the renovations as always and you give me a lot to think about for our yard when we are able to get to it!


    • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 11:36 AM

      We love it! We got this one from Container Store, and it’s great for propping our feet up. The top isn’t completely flat, so we don’t use it to hold drinks or anything, but we did just get this one from Target for storing blankets AND using as a side table! We’ll be putting it to use at an upcoming gathering. :)ReplyCancel

  • CC - September 28, 2016 - 8:52 AM

    Aww CC! Be still my heart that is adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - September 28, 2016 - 8:56 AM

    Oh man, it’s amazing. And I am so jealous that you got such a deal. I’ve had a saved search on my Craigslist ap for this fireplace for months and months, and so far, not a single thing has popped up. Which isn’t really that surprising, since midcentury is crazy popular in Austin and it’s too hot here most of the year for a fireplace. But still! I hold out hope! Nothing makes a backyard more cozy for lounging at night.ReplyCancel

  • Brooke - September 28, 2016 - 9:59 AM

    It turned out fantastic! I can see now why you guys weren’t too worried about the proximity to the surrounding wood. The conversion to gas is really greatReplyCancel

  • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 10:13 AM

    I’ve said it before, but I LOVE the way you incorporate your pups into your blog posts. The video of CC at the end snoozing away has got to be my favorite thing I’ve seen this week. :) Of course, it helps that your fireplace is so beautiful. I am thinking of ways to make this happen at my house now too!

    Separate question: Do you plan on “covering up” the propane tank at some point? I’m curious how it looks with the rest of your beautiful decor!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 11:38 AM

      Thanks, Kim! And yes, we’d love to build a breathable slatted box around it, with enough room to store other outdoor supplies – like citronella candles, dog toys, etc. We had hoped to get to that this year, but it’s looking like that might happen next spring.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - September 28, 2016 - 12:13 PM

    CC reminds me of my mixed breed, Mellie! She’s definitely part chihuahua and lays in full sun just soaking up the rays. Then she comes inside with a doggie grin on her face. They crack me up!

    The fireplace is gorgeous! Now I want to find a place in my yard to install one.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 3:01 PM

      Aren’t those grins the BEST? We call it their Grinch-y smiles.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - September 28, 2016 - 2:53 PM

    Love this backyard! Knowing the winters in Chicago are harsh, how do you plan to winter over the fireplace? Cover it? Move it into the garage? Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 28, 2016 - 3:00 PM

      We’ll be covering it. We have some feelers out there on quotes for a custom cover (because of its unique shape), but we’re hitting some road blocks. Anyone local to Chicago have an upholsterer they love and could recommend for this weird job?

      In the off chance we don’t have a cover before winter, we’ll tarp it and secure it with bungee cords!ReplyCancel

      • Kathy - September 29, 2016 - 8:36 AM

        Check the FB MCM group! I know they have group documents that list a bunch of upholsterers and then I think there is a guy, Davincho or something like that? That does really amazing upholstery stuff. Plus since it’s an MCM fireplace, I’m sure you’d have better luck posting there. Someone always knows something!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - September 29, 2016 - 9:20 AM

          I didn’t even think of that! I’ll have to do that. We actually gave away our extra fireplace parts that we didn’t need to someone through the MCM group. Thanks for the tip!ReplyCancel

      • Mandi - October 2, 2016 - 10:34 PM

        I missed this before. Maybe try a sailmaking company, they are used to working with custom shapes and large sizes. Many of the fabrics which make sails seaworthy, will also serve as weatherproofing for your outdoor item.ReplyCancel

  • Chandra - September 28, 2016 - 6:11 PM

    Have been loving reading about all your projects. Thank you so much for sharing such great detail. Question: did you feel compelled to anchor your fireplace to the ground in any way?

    Thanks again!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 29, 2016 - 9:22 AM

      We thought we MIGHT, but the fireplace itself is pretty heavy, and once we added 60 lbs of lava rock, we felt that was anchor enough! :)ReplyCancel

  • Tami - September 29, 2016 - 7:03 AM

    We rescued a Cavalier King Charles who would run out to the fire pit and bark at it until (magically) a fire appeared! He LOVED hanging out by the fire 🐶🐶ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 29, 2016 - 9:22 AM

      Thank you for rescuing! He sounds ‘magical’, haha!ReplyCancel

  • Karen - September 29, 2016 - 7:21 AM

    I am always so impressed with all you do! You two rock😊!ReplyCancel

  • erin - September 29, 2016 - 8:26 AM

    love how you did this conversion. and i love the shot of the dog at the end!!!ReplyCancel

  • Allyson - September 29, 2016 - 10:50 AM

    Wow, it looks great – what an awesome idea to convert it to propane!

    CC is too cute lounging by the fire – our family dog also is obsessed with laying by the fire and we put ours on just for him a lot too :)ReplyCancel

  • Mandi - September 29, 2016 - 12:12 PM

    What a wonderful project! Repurposed things are probably my favorite DIY to read about, and do myself – but I tend to love all of your projects!

    Do you have a sense of how long the propane tank will last, perhaps in hours? It seems like perhaps it pulls a bit more gas than some of the commercial gas patio fireplace units, but less than (say…) a grill. Is there a mechanism to regulate how strong the flames are – maybe just how much twist you give the tank?

    Hope winter holds off long enough that you get a long, happy fall in front of your flames!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 29, 2016 - 12:36 PM

      Thanks, Mandi! We actually don’t have a very good test just yet of how long we get on a tank. We had a half tank, and it just ran out last night after using it consistently for about an hour a night for the last week, so yes, it definitely burns through it… but it’s not too crazy. :)

      And yup, the key/flange pictured above is what adjusts how strong the flames are!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Chinaglia - September 29, 2016 - 7:02 PM

    Totally amazing, you made this fireplace transformation look like a piece of cake! the end result is impeccable – i would have sworn you got the fireplace re-powder coated!ReplyCancel

  • Brynne | The Gathered Home - September 30, 2016 - 9:10 AM

    I am always blown away by your projects, and this one is no exception! Absolutely brilliant and beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - September 30, 2016 - 9:14 AM

      So sweet, thank you so much!ReplyCancel

  • Lavues - October 1, 2016 - 10:08 AM

    Wow, that’s awesome! That’s why I love reading your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - October 2, 2016 - 9:21 PM

    Looks amazing!! And I am so impressed with your all’s dedication and plan! That was not an easy project – looks gorgeous and so modern and clean:). Enjoy!! And def go get you all some s’mores!ReplyCancel

  • Heather - October 3, 2016 - 1:48 PM

    This is so beautiful! I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick - October 4, 2016 - 8:18 AM

    You guys nailed this project. It’s incredible…makes me want to redo my backyard a bit… :-)ReplyCancel