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It’s been a bit of a funny week, as I’ve been out of town for the first half traveling to gorgeous Kohler, Wisconsin! (Every year, Scott and I make a promise that we’ll leave the city for the weekend and take a drive north to see the changing leaves, and although he wasn’t able to make it – boo! – those leaves are no joke. So colorful!) I was invited to check out the insane Kohler factory and showroom, but it was much more than that – I enjoyed late nights with new friends, toured their amazing campus-of-sorts and spent the days imagining bathrooms without duct tape on tiles. (We may or may not have duct tape on our tiles; that is all.)


Long story short, my love of pedestal sinks and apron sinks and all things brassy and shiny has grown tenfold – as if that was even possible in the first place. And did you know you can go on a factory tour, too? And then we can talk about our love of sinks and tubs and faucets and motors and all things powder coated together?


Gah, it was amazing.

But! That post title wasn’t meant to be misleading. Today, let’s talk about the guest room! It’s a long, skinny room on the first floor off of the dining room:


It’s been re-shaped and re-configured over the years, no doubt, and duct work has been boxed out with poorly done drywall. A closet was added (we’re wondering if this was ever really intended to be a room at all?), and although it’s on the small side, it’s nothing some reconfiguring and new shelving won’t solve.


But as the guest room, we have no plans to change up all those funny (and mostly sloped) angles. We had no desire to touch those baseboards, and we wanted to see how far paint would go! As it was, the ceiling was never fully painted, and old tape, tacks and staples were stuck in the walls. I took these photos before we really got into the spackling, which involved long nights and weekends over drinks, a big bucket of joint compound and a lot of power sanding.


And our attempt to fix a moldy, wonky window sill (the mold issue was a quick fix by our contractor that has since been resolved – phew!) with a little bit of new trim, of course, turned into a full blown let’s-see-if-we-can-take-apart-this-whole-f*@ing-window ordeal. On the plus side – and during the process – we realized that there were entire sections around the window with no insulation, so we were able to remedy that as well!


Let’s just say that painting, prepping and some-new-trimming turned into an entire week’s worth of work, but you guys. What a difference – surprise, surprise – paint makes! We wanted something very clean and bright, as that one window allows a flood of natural light, and we landed on White Pistachio by Valspar. We tried out Valspar Optimus in an eggshell finish, which is one sheen higher than we would normally use, however, it felt appropriate for a guest room – you know, with well-traveled luggage. It’s a super soft green-gray that changes with the light like a chameleon, and it’s just so, so pretty.


For the windows, we ended up opting out of a sill due to the tight quarters, but we were able to successfully use pine to replace the casing and trim to frame it. The door got an instant facelift with trim as well, and everything was painted Ultra Pure White semi-gloss (Behr) to match the rest of our home.

On the back wall, we used wallpaper primer because – wallpaper! As mentioned here, we picked up a roll of Cities Toile in black and gold, and I hate to be a tease, but we just finished installing it and, my goodness. Photos to come soon, but just know, swoon.


The closet doors were removed completely (we’ll be adding curtains, as the doors prevented full use of the storage space), and although there’s an immobile gas line in the way, we were able to conceal it with the same paint as the rest of the room. The thermostat wire will get tucked up along the length of the closet casing, which, while unavoidable, is no big deal.


Because the room is so small, and because the paint color we chose was so light, we painted the ceilings, too! Every drywall surface with the exception of the wallpaper accent was painted in White Pistachio, and the natural light plays with it so well. It’s even a little tough to tell that the ceiling is the same color as it reflects the daylight differently, and it just works. We also replaced the heating vent with something that would properly blow the forced air into the room (how novel!), added a dimmer switch, and that fixture will absolutely be replaced.


We have a really funky headboard that’ll get a coat of paint in the coming weeks (you can see it in the very first photo), and we’ve slowly been accumulating a few items that are necessities in a guest room (well, some are just for fun!). We’ve asked past guests what makes a guest room comfortable and happy for them – blinds, a spot for luggage, a small desk and warm sheets – and we’re taking it all to heart.

Our goal is to complete the room fully by the end of the month. There, I said it!

Factory photos via Kohler, taken during our stay.

  • DAF - October 9, 2014 - 10:11 AM

    Seems like the perfect space for a murphy bed on that back wall.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 10:30 AM

      Oh man, we LOVE murphy beds, but since this will always be a guest room, it probably isn’t the best space to do it in. We considered one for the reading nook, so who knows!ReplyCancel

  • Cait - October 9, 2014 - 10:33 AM

    The Kohler Factory/showroom sounds awesome! Did you bring home anything fun? Unless I’m the only weirdo who hoards plumbing fixtures. ;-)

    You’ve made so much progress in the guest room already! I love the color, and can’t wait to see the wallpaper & what light fixture you’ll use! Also, for some reason I’m imagining the eagle from Elkhorn over the door, if there’s room.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 10:39 AM

      First, CONGRATS – your comment made it! (HA.)

      Nothing came home with me, but I have a trillion ideas for our kitchen and bathrooms! I have so much respect for the amount of work they pour into their products. It was really very inspiring!

      And you never know, the eagle may end up there! We talked about a few options, but haven’t decided yet. There might not be enough breathing room above the door, but maybe…ReplyCancel

      • Cait - October 9, 2014 - 11:38 AM

        Woohoo, I made the cut! ;)

        It sounds inspiring!

        Yeah, I wasn’t sure the scale of that spot/the eagle, but I’m sure he will look great no matter what you decide! :)ReplyCancel

  • Megan - October 9, 2014 - 10:37 AM

    I’m super excited to see the wallpaper! Always love your color choices – very inspirational.ReplyCancel

  • Natasha - October 9, 2014 - 10:56 AM

    I love the color you chose for this room. I’m not normally a fan of green/grays but this color, with all the natural light, looks great. I’m excited to see your completed room :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 10:59 AM

      Thanks! It’s such a soothing color – perfect for a serene bedroom!ReplyCancel

  • Lora - October 9, 2014 - 12:45 PM

    I’m glad you love/appreciate Kohler. My dad worked there for 30+ years and I worked there every summer and Christmas break when I was in college (the company is really good about hiring employees’ kids for summer help). I water tested plumbing fixtures – every single faucet is checked. We used to joke that we were like zoo animals on display when tour groups came through.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 1:31 PM

      That’s so awesome! I wondered what it must have felt like. Some of the workers would joke around, which was fun!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - October 9, 2014 - 4:25 PM

    I can’t wait to stay in it and break it in! It’s looking fantastic!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 4:48 PM

      Mm-hmm. I’m thinking… T-Gives!?ReplyCancel

  • Kalli - October 9, 2014 - 5:27 PM

    Put in blinds and I’ll be back in a flash. Because I think when I stayed I may have *flashed* your neighbors… : ) Nice soft color, it’s looking good!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 5:37 PM

      I don’t think you’re the only one. Blinds have been ordered!ReplyCancel

  • Tina S. - October 10, 2014 - 12:39 PM

    I can’t wait to see what color that headboard becomes! Not-so-secretly, I’m hoping it’ll be a pop of color!ReplyCancel

  • Jenifer - October 12, 2014 - 6:02 PM

    I’m obsessed with that wall paper. Can’t wait to see it on the wall.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - October 17, 2014 - 5:08 AM

    Love the color of your door! Cute cat too, what’s her name?ReplyCancel


Remember when we were all, we’re thinking of hanging a pair of these 14″ West Elm lights above our accidental dining table? Or maybe just one of these 16″ Rejuvenation lights? You all chimed in with your input, and you nudged us in the same direction as our guts, the former. We had actually already ordered the WE globe lights, but then our gut had second thoughts, and so they remained in the box because we just could not decide.

And then on the last day we were in Portland, we stopped into Rejuvenation on our way to the airport (with just 15 minutes to browse). Our mission was to check out the latter light – the Sfera – in person to see if we loved it in real life as much as did online. And would the 2″ size difference matter all that much?

A helpful employee pointed us in the right direction, and to be honest, we were underwhelmed. The white finish felt cold, and we weren’t convinced that the larger size was necessary. And so just as we were about to leave and make our mad dash to the airport, I pointed out the gorgeous Hood light to Scott, and the same employee told us that oh yes! The Hood! It comes in all these finishes you see here. (She points to a wall of metal finishes.) As you can imagine, we both ogled the “old brass” at which point, Helpful Lady says ah! The old brass! I just added an old brass Hood to our clearance this morning – a customer return. Oh, and our clearance is 50% off right now!


Well, you can imagine the happy ending to this story, because we came home with the Hood light!

Okay, technically, we had them ship it to us because we were on our way to San Francisco, but what are the chances? Not only did they have the fixture in clearance, they had the 14″ opal globe we liked, too! At first, my only concern was that the overall 38″ length wouldn’t be tall enough for our almost 10′ ceilings, but for $175 (normally $450 – what!) we took a chance. There was definitely an adrenaline rush coursing through my veins (that’s normal, right?), as we had to make a decision right that second and a plane to catch in an hour.


To show off the entire fixture, I needed to use my wide angle lens (above), which I really don’t think does this light any justice! It appears smaller in these photos, and although it’s technically not as low as a chandelier should be, we think it works. In person, it carries much more weight in the space; it’s thick and large and really, really hefty. Because our dining room is only 15′ wide, and because the fixture has more presence than a single down rod, it feels so good in the space. Plus, look at how pretty it pairs with our brassy curtain rod!


The light was put on a dimmer (we put all our lights on dimmers – worth it), and it gives the softest glow in the evening. And while we definitely toyed with the idea of hanging two pendants, we’ve no regrets on taking that spur-of-the-moment chance. We’re kicking ourselves for not catching the name of Helpful Lady (we were literally running to the car after our purchase), but HL, if you’re reading this, you’re awesome.

PS… We also finally added sills to the two dining room windows! They still needed to be painted when I took these photos, but hallelujah! Trim!

  • Laura @ Rather Square - October 6, 2014 - 7:28 AM

    I love the idea of a large single fixture. And your story of how it can to be yours is the best part. :)ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - October 6, 2014 - 8:55 AM

    Very pretty. Plus the shortness of the fixture just means you can put extra tall flowers or a centerpiece for festive occasions on the table. :) The best part of all this is Jack’s face peeking over the new chairs. I love how you do that.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2014 - 10:40 AM

      Our little photo bomber ;)ReplyCancel

  • Joelle - October 6, 2014 - 10:47 AM

    Love this light!! BUT now you have me doubting the light the i picked for over our kitchen table. the handyman is supposed to come tomorrow to install it…and i’m considering running out at lunch today to get this light in nickel. my husband is going to kill me! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2014 - 11:13 AM

      Oh no! What light do you have now?ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - October 6, 2014 - 10:55 AM

    Sometimes the universe just screws up your plans in amazing ways. That fixture is gorgeous and seems like it a perfect fit for your place.ReplyCancel

  • Staci - October 6, 2014 - 12:16 PM

    This looks so good! The pulled back shot really helps show the large scale of the fixture. The style is really nice for your older home as well!
    What kind of wide-angle lens are you using? I’m in the market for one. (Also, are you canon or nikon people?)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2014 - 1:31 PM

      I use Nikon, and this was a 20mm lens :)ReplyCancel

  • julie - October 6, 2014 - 12:17 PM

    Super choice — it’s a total statement fixture without being a STATEMENT fixture. It fits in perfectly. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy - October 6, 2014 - 12:20 PM

    Hi! I love the light but what I really love is the color of your living room? What is it… if you don’t mind sharing. It’s so fresh, calm, and clean. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 6, 2014 - 1:30 PM

      Thanks! Funny enough, I’m not sure I’m quite sold on it now that we’ve lived in it for a while, although it is calm. Just a bit too blue, maybe? It’s called Pensive Sky by Behr.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica@CapeofDreams - October 6, 2014 - 1:57 PM

    Is there such a thing as too perfect? This is stunning and for such a great price. Way to go!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - October 6, 2014 - 7:27 PM

    So pretty and you just made me remember to get my cat pillow out too.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - October 7, 2014 - 9:38 AM

    What a great light! It looks fantastic with your table & chairs, and like you said, it’s a nice nod to the curtain rod (and the entry light).

    I’m trying to figure out what light I want to put over our new dining table (the Parker from West Elm, although now they just call it the Mid-Century Dining Table). I keep leaning towards something like the School House Electric Factory Satellite 3 (in brass, with aqua shades), but how would that look with our DIY globe light in the next room? Decisions, decisions.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 8, 2014 - 9:56 AM

      Ooh, we love the Satellite 6, and I wonder if you should lean more towards the 6 than the 3? It might have better visual weight for above a dining room table. I promise you won’t regret it!ReplyCancel

      • Cait - October 9, 2014 - 10:20 AM

        I really love the Satellite 6 in your entry, and I like the idea of more visual weight over the table, but I worry about overwhelming our narrow, pass-through style dining room and making it feel cramped. Especially since our ceilings are only 8 feet high.

        I was wavering between the Factory Satellite 3 (since we’re using similar metal shades for the lights over the bookshelves in the next room) or something linear, kind of like the Pottery Barn Veranda or a less expensive version of this one.

        I think for now I’m going to update the current light with three of these glass shades, sort of in a nod to the West Elm Mid-Century Glass Pendant, and see how I feel after that?ReplyCancel

        • Kim - October 9, 2014 - 10:34 AM

          Okay, makes sense! I like the 3 glass shades idea, and then if you’re still feeling the urge, the Satellite 3.ReplyCancel

  • Trude - October 7, 2014 - 11:14 AM

    I just love seeing how everything is coming together. It helps me to take a deep breath and remember that (unless you’re Emily Henderson) homes do not come together in a week. Half the fun is the growth and the pleasure of finding long-lasting things you really love!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - October 7, 2014 - 8:21 PM

    Maybe send an e-mail or call the store you were in and ask to talk to the manager and brag about helpful lady and what she looked like. Random, out of the blue compliments are always great surprises!ReplyCancel



Our chairs are back from our favorite upholsterers, and we couldn’t love them more! Although there was a bit of an outcry to keep the mustard fabric (and believe us, we have nothing against yellow), we went with our gut and stuck with a durable Sunbrella fabric in Frequency Ash. Not only was the original upholstery nubby, scratchy and well loved, it felt a bit too much like all the colors! when paired with our blue sofa and predominantly red/pink rug.

But look! So streamlined!


We asked the upholsterers to leave the legs alone, but as soon as they made their way back into our home, we buffed out scratches with a touch of Restor-A-Finish, fussed with a couple of the bent metal tips and finished them off by applying non-slip pads. The piping along every seam is truly perfection, and the slight slub texture to the fabric adds a little something extra – just a teeny step up from plain, old gray.


A while back, we also purchased this rug for our nook during a sale, and although it was on back order for over a month, it finally arrived! We had picked it out with our new-to-us chairs in mind, and they play nicely together, don’t you think? My only complaint is that the gray is much more blue in person, which is highlighted by the blue-ish light we receive from that north facing window. We don’t plan on our green velvet chair staying there (that room has had quite a round of musical chairs!), rather, we think it’ll live in the guest room. And although we stuck it in the nook to get it out of our way while we repair drywall, we were surprised that we sort of liked it! So, who knows. That room is very much a work in progress!


The living room is shaping up, but there are still a handful of tweaks/needs: proper end tables, a substantial plant (or two?) and perhaps a lamp (or two). We’ve never been huge fans of having stuff all about, so while I feel like the media console and coffee table could use something, we’re still toying with the idea of what. (Aside from the occasional vase of flowers or candles, you know?)

In any case, we’re being careful to not force anything that doesn’t feel right, which is likely why the large main spaces in our home – living, dining and studio – are evolving so slowly. And we’re okay with that!

  • Laura @ Rather Square - October 2, 2014 - 6:51 AM

    The chairs turned out great! And I love the blue-green tones going on on the nook – it seems very calming and cozy in there.ReplyCancel

  • Adrienne - October 2, 2014 - 8:01 AM

    Those chairs look amazing! I really love watching your rooms evolve slowly. It makes me feel better about my decisions (and changes and more changes) that I always seem to make to a space. READ: I’m not crazy!ReplyCancel

  • K Frer - cozycapecottage - October 2, 2014 - 8:42 AM

    Great fabric choice! I think you’re totally right, the texture really does make them feel pretty sophisticated. I’ll have to file it away if I take on another upholstery project someday!ReplyCancel

  • ann - October 2, 2014 - 8:58 AM

    love the chairs! and as soon as the guest list has our names on it the parents will come visit.ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - October 2, 2014 - 9:10 AM

    The first photo with the plaid throw draped just so had me. I’m in love.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 9:57 AM

      Nothing solves too many patterns like more patterns! Rug, throw, pillows. Somehow, we think it works.ReplyCancel

  • allison h - October 2, 2014 - 9:13 AM

    Those look amazing! I have a pair of red/orange chairs very similar to these that were my grandparents. I have held off on recovering for sentimental purposes.. but these turned out so great that it motivates me to take the leap and recover!! Love that fabric!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 9:56 AM

      I understand being hesitant to take the leap for sentimental reasons, but I bet it will be worth it, and you’ll love it so much more! We got a chair from my grandma (that was a wedding gift to my grandparents), they recovered it maybe 20 years later, and most recently, we recovered it to a peachy fabric (it used to live in our old studio):

      I showed it to my grandma when it was done, and she almost cried! In other words, go for it, give it a new life, and every time you sit in them, hold on to those memories.ReplyCancel

  • Erin@Suburban Bitches - October 2, 2014 - 10:02 AM

    Those chairs look great! Much better than the original fabric and I am surprised that Sunbrella makes fabric that look so good (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). And since I love to give out my opinion, what about a pair of plug in sconces on the side of the tv? Something cool like ones from Schoolhouse Electric? Though that white thing on the side of the tv might prohibit that.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 10:10 AM

      Haha, I had to laugh at “white thing,” as those are our speakers that was QUITE the dilemma when figuring out the sound system last year! Love the idea of sconces as well, but perhaps we can rethink sconces for the sides of our couch?! That could be neat. (And LOVE Schoolhouse, obviously.)ReplyCancel

      • Erin@Suburban Bitches - October 2, 2014 - 4:09 PM

        Oh yes, sconces on the side of the couch would be great too! I’m pretty much pushing Schoolhouse Electric sconces on anyone who will listen because I can’t find the right spot for them in my house but I LUV them!ReplyCancel

  • Staci @ My Friend Staci - October 2, 2014 - 11:07 AM

    Oh, man! This rules, and the view from the blue couch into the nook, plus the gallery wall, is perfection! I want to hang out in your house so bad!ReplyCancel

  • julie - October 2, 2014 - 11:36 AM

    Everything old is new again — best thing about reupholstering is that you get a classic, well-built piece of furniture and yet with some new fabric it becomes made just for you. Hooray, they look fantastic!

    Thanks for the part in the previous post about the scratch test. I have a couple of chairs that I have wanted two recover but I was afraid to for fear of the furry squatters in my house recreating them in their taste.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 2:37 PM

      No problem! I should also admit… just last night, it survived a red wine spill with no issues! This fabric is a champ.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - October 2, 2014 - 11:44 AM

    The living room looks freaking awesome!! I’m a huge fan of mustard but I agree that with the couch and rug it would have been waaaay too much. Ahhhh I just love your guys’ whole aesthetic so much! The house is looking amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 12:05 PM

      Thanks, guys! Rachel, yeah, it’s definitely an outside-of-our-comfort-zone aesthetic, but we’re having fun experimenting!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - October 2, 2014 - 12:34 PM

    I absolutely adore the chairs and love the fact that Sunbrella is now making such great/simple options. BUT, I’m mainly commenting because I have to know where the cat pillow is from?! It’s unbelievable.

    I love your style.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 12:45 PM

      Isn’t it hilarious?! I got it from H&M a long, long time ago, but it doesn’t look like they sell it anymore, sadly.ReplyCancel

  • Nikky - October 2, 2014 - 12:43 PM

    I love, love, love the fabric you chose for the chairs and how well it coordinates with the blue velvet couch I adore.ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - October 2, 2014 - 1:09 PM

    I love that smooshy-face cat pillow. Remember where it was from?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 2, 2014 - 1:59 PM

      We picked it up from H&M a long time ago – sadly, it doesn’t look available anymore.ReplyCancel

  • Liz - October 2, 2014 - 8:08 PM

    Those chairs turned out incredible! Did they have to replace the seat cushions or were you able to use the ones that were on the chairs?

    I have two 1960s chairs to recover in a threadbare silk fabric but I can already see that the foam has turned orange and is disintegrating underneath and it will all have to be replaced, adding to the cost! Why oh why is it so expensive to reupholster stuff??

    On another note, where did you order the Sunbrella fabric from?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 3, 2014 - 8:59 AM

      Once they got them completely uncovered, it was obvious they needed to replace all the foam as well, which added $50 to the upholstery cost for reach chair. It was a bummer, BUT by replacing all the foam, the old musty smell went away once and for all! We picked up the fabric from, but I don’t see it on their site anymore. At the time, it was much less expensive than the same fabric from!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie @ Pebbledashedpad - October 3, 2014 - 1:19 AM

    I love them!! I have three junk shop chairs I’d like recovered and have been holding back terrified of cost and also a bit at sea regarding what kind of fabric/colours I should go with. I’ve got some pics here….if you have any advice/suggestions I’d be all ears!

    (I’m based in London though so sadly can’t nick the name of your upholsterer!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 3, 2014 - 8:54 AM

      Those are all so beautiful! Because they’re all such classic shapes, I’d stick with a subtle solid colored fabric (in other words, no geometric prints or loud colors) – but that’s just what I would do! Go with YOUR gut ;)ReplyCancel

  • Tori - October 3, 2014 - 8:20 AM

    It looks great you guys! The room is really coming together. I like the green chair in the nook because it is so monochrome with the paint color. Looks cool!ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - October 3, 2014 - 1:17 PM

    the chairs look fantastic!!ReplyCancel

  • Trude - October 3, 2014 - 5:57 PM

    So lovely! The new fabric really helps to show off the shape – the curve of the back when seen from the side is so unusual!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ My Two Pitties - October 4, 2014 - 4:41 PM

    They look awesome! Love the whole room, those are totally my favorite colors! Love the artwork too:)ReplyCancel

  • KRT - October 5, 2014 - 8:58 PM

    Hey guys! Love the chairs so much! Question about pets: do your dogs jump up and put their paws on your nice, new, white window sills? How do you pet proof everything from claws/paw prints? Our dog knows better than to do it when we are home, but when we’re gone the rules go out the window!ReplyCancel

    • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode - October 6, 2014 - 7:45 AM

      Hey KRT – I’m not Kim, but your problem is one I’m so familiar with! Because I’ve always rented, I’ve had to be super careful about dog claws on window sills. Years ago I actually trained my dogs to step their front feet up onto a little foot stool so they could see out without having to be on the window sill. It worked like a charm! I can share a link to a little video post about how I did it, if Kim is ok with that. I don’t want to hijack her comment thread :)ReplyCancel

      • Kim - October 6, 2014 - 10:43 AM

        Jane, please share the link! KRT, we don’t have too many issues, but of course we need to wipe them down when we clean other areas of the home. I like Jane’s idea though!ReplyCancel

  • Jean - October 6, 2014 - 9:50 AM

    I just had to chime in to say I love the shape of these chairs, and the fabric you picked out with that texture is just perfect. Love watching your space come together!ReplyCancel