A few weeks ago, we were sitting on our front porch, and our next door neighbor told us she was thinking of putting a brick paver pathway in her yard. After talking with a local contractor, she said, did you know they have to dig down at least 10″? For a 2″ thick brick? We had to laugh, because yes, we’d been researching the same project for our yard! Scott and I knew that a paver patio wasn’t as simple as laying down bricks and calling it a day, as any paver option we chose would need a proper drainage layer. Not to mention, our backyard boasted more dips and valleys than all of Chicago has ever seen.

When we told her we were about to start our backyard paver project the coming weekend, she said, oh, good! I’ll wait to see how that goes before I decide to do mine. (Ha!) She followed that up with, but – wait a minute – you’re not doing it yourselves… are you? Again, we had to laugh! She’s always asking about the latest scoop on our home renovations, and we’re happy to fill her in with any projects-of-the-moment. In this case, though, we admitted that digging up 10″ of earth and grading our yard would take us far too long to do alone (never mind the research and understanding of how to grade our yard), and we wanted to enjoy the backyard at some point before summer’s end. With an incomplete laundry room still on our hands and several future yard projects before season’s end, we hired out the prep work to the same contractor that laid new concrete for us years ago. We felt more comfortable if someone else could get that sub-layer prepped more effectively, efficiently and with more knowledge, and we’d jump in once All That Digging was done. By the way? Best decision ever.

  • Kathy - July 28, 2016 - 8:16 AM

    The brick looks gorgeous and l love the last image in your GIF where Kim is like, “Oh thank God it’s done!” Herringbone patterns are so beautiful. How did Scott make it without kneepads?!

    Totally agree and understand Sherry’s philosophy on where the middle of every project doesn’t make sense, but that is where the magic happens. It’s “almost” my favorite part of a project (demo is first) where things are still kind of wonky, but the creative juices are flowing!

    Great job you two!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2016 - 10:10 AM

      That’s what I thought (about Scott!). We have a second pair of knee pads, but it was really only necessary when we were going around or under the stairs. The demo is one of our favorite parts, too!ReplyCancel

  • CC - July 28, 2016 - 8:51 AM

    I’m so excited to see this transformation! Our backyard is still incomplete because we just can’t seem to get that final image in our heads of what we want. You guys always do such fun projects that are so inspiring. Maybe it will give us the push we need to get going already!

    We also wrestle with DIY vs. Hiring Out. Husband and I both have bad backs and I’m pretty sure this would kill us. I pulled mine earlier this year and, I swear, it hasn’t been the same. It hurts to get old!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2016 - 10:11 AM

      Not gonna lie. Our backs hurt for days afterwards, and we had claw hands from picking up those heavy bricks for so many hours! Strangely, it was also kind of fun. Like an intense workout with a really pretty goal at the end. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - July 28, 2016 - 9:05 AM

    It looks SO great!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 28, 2016 - 9:13 AM

    LOVE the brick pavers. My husband and I have been talking about doing something similar but wonder about the cost. Our backyard is about the same size but has a much larger slant that would make grading a pain in the butt. Are you comfortable sharing how much you spent on contracting that out?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2016 - 10:14 AM

      Hi, Kim! Definitely be sure to grab a few quotes. We loved Antonio from our concrete project, so we knew what to expect. The cost of the labor came to 1600, which included ALL the gravel and most of the sand. (We contributed 15 bags of sand for about $50, but it wasn’t nearly enough. He just ended up using his own!) The amount of time and back breaking labor it saved us is invaluable.ReplyCancel

  • Kari - July 28, 2016 - 9:35 AM

    It looks gorgeous. Your DIY skills are out of this world, would have never known you did it alone. And is it crazy that I was really excited to see this was sponsored by Lowe’s? We’re at a standstill renovation wise due to budget and are at awe with the rapid succession of (big) projects coming out of the blog world. It’s great to know companies get behind you and help to make things happen quicker. It makes me feel less crazy for having to take things “slow.”ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2016 - 10:16 AM

      Thanks, Kari! Try to not give yourself a hard time for going slow – even though I certainly understand. Going slow allows you to make more mindful choices after living in a space for a while, too! Totally worth it. We have been itching to makeover this yard for 3 years now, and we still have entire rooms untouched in our home! Just think, we only started painting our master bedroom after 2.5 years of living in this house, and our kitchen took almost an entire year to renovate. You got this!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney @ Foxwood Forest - July 28, 2016 - 9:53 AM

    You guys! The patio looks SO GREAT! You have to be so pumped to have it installed!ReplyCancel

  • Kris - July 28, 2016 - 10:25 AM

    I did a huge paver patio and paver front walkway by myself after we built and I can relate to the back ache. I ended up adding onto the patio with a circular pattern around a fire pit. After that I told my husband I was D O N E Done! We have quite a few pavers left over and really need to do something with them.ReplyCancel

  • misie - July 28, 2016 - 10:45 AM

    Wow – you guys are such troopers – looks fantastic! I love how the dogs immediately make themselves at home in every new inch of space.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 28, 2016 - 10:51 AM

      They must be on top of EVERYTHING we do. They watched from the kitchen door all day long, and the second we felt it was safe to let them out, they just lounged on top of the bricks, the mallets, US, everything.ReplyCancel

  • Steph M - July 28, 2016 - 12:13 PM

    Looks great!! Totally inspiring us for our own little patio next year!ReplyCancel

  • Brittany Chinaglia - July 28, 2016 - 12:23 PM

    WOW! it looks incredible!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - July 28, 2016 - 9:01 PM

    Beautiful and such hard work! My husband and I know we have a lot of work to do in our backyard next year once the interior renovation is mostly complete (aka livable). We talk about having brick pavers in a portion of our tiny yard. After reading your post, I think we could actually pull of doing it our selves. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 29, 2016 - 8:43 AM

      Of course! And we totally get it. It took us almost a year to make our home ‘livable’ (aka, we could finally walk in our house without shoes on to protect ourselves from dust and debris). You can do it!ReplyCancel

  • James - July 29, 2016 - 4:56 AM

    Looks excellent! Great work :)ReplyCancel

  • Kayla - July 29, 2016 - 7:23 AM

    I absolutely love this post! I’ve been obsessed with your blog and would love if you would check out mine! The web address is http://www.theuglydresser.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • Kayla - July 29, 2016 - 7:24 AM

    I love this post! I’ve been obsessed with your blog and would love if you would check out mine! The web address is http://www.theuglydresser.blogspot.comReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 29, 2016 - 9:22 AM

      So sweet, Kayla! Thank you for sharing your blog with me. You’re doing so much already – impressive!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle | Birds of Berwick - July 29, 2016 - 11:58 AM

    I have been loving this backyard transformation! Mainly because, well, other than having a bit more land than you, it’s almost exactly like ours! Seriously, the stairs, paver, and even pattern are what we put in place from our house years ago!

    Older post, but there’s a pic that shows what I mean.

    Nice job laying the patio yourselves – it looks great!

    I will say, that I wanted real bricks and not concrete pavers and I let the guy we hired talk me into the pavers. Big Regrets (cap R) that I hope don’t happen for you. They’ve faded, the polymeric sand is poop and it just looks dirty all the time. Fortunately, my boss acquired a building site in Boston and when we remove all the old antique Boston Bricks from the sidewalk he’s going to let me have my fill to replace the concrete pavers on the patio. Maybe next spring I’ll get the real brick patio we’re looking for and it’ll match the brick wall we built better. At least the prep work will be basically done and it’s just a swap!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 29, 2016 - 1:36 PM

      Oh, man, that is AMAZING! Consider us jealous. What a dream. The bricks – not the re-doing. Haha.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - July 30, 2016 - 6:03 AM

    So beautiful!!!! The staircase when painted or stained is going to look wonderful. I have to ask, did you keep grass on the side of the house? If not, do you take the dogs on a walk several times a day to do their business :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 1, 2016 - 12:14 PM

      Thank you! We have a ‘pee pit’ for them under the stairs in the backyard, and there’s also a strip of a pee pit in the front yard, too. We supplement all of this with walks, too!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - July 31, 2016 - 6:50 PM

    What a lot of work Scott and Kim! So well done. We did one of those years ago but it was a quarter of the size, yours is truly impressive. Still it set the scene for the back yard and kept some mud out of the house.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 1, 2016 - 9:00 AM

      Gotta love that! Our yard used to be a mud pit even after the lightest rain, and we’d avoid waking on or through it. It’s SO much more enjoyable now!ReplyCancel

  • Nick H - August 4, 2016 - 2:11 PM

    fantastic work. You guys make it look easy. My wife and I did our backyard patio with some friends last summer and it was truly an epic amount of work. totally worth it though.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 4, 2016 - 3:04 PM

      It really is a lot of work, but I think we gave the hardest part to the contractor! But yes, totally worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Krafty Fix - August 5, 2016 - 7:53 AM

    Looks like a very thorough job, great result though. Was it hard work? I did a small strip of paving slabs for a walkway recently and that was bad enough!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 5, 2016 - 9:52 AM

      It was back breaking, not gonna lie! But now that it’s done, we haven’t given the pain a second thought. We love it!ReplyCancel


think I first fell in love with the ostrich wallpaper in our laundry room  the moment I laid eyes on this pretty bathroom makeover. To be honest, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it caught my eye, because the moment I saw it, I immediately Googled like crazy to find as many photos of the paper in use as I possibly could. I filed it deep in my brain, knowing that one day – fingers crossed! – we’d have the perfect place for it. Scott has known about it for years, too, if only because I talked about that paper incessantly.


We’re both thrilled with how it turned out in the laundry room, but surprisingly, it wasn’t our be all end all choice! When we began laying out the room trifecta, we were still on the fence on whether or not our bedroom should be white or black. (Or, of course, any variation of those extremes.) We couldn’t love our black bedroom more, but because the bed and laundry rooms connect, we knew if we went dark in the bedroom, we’d go light in the laundry room (and vice versa).

Before we landed on Raccon Fur for our room, I began collecting samples of other paper I had also loved over the years – dark paper, light paper, pink paper and blue – and although none of these made the cut, we did give them serious consideration! Or should I say, I gave them serious consideration, and Scott immediately nixed most – ha! Regardless, nothing was initially off the table, and that’s half the fun of the gathering phase. Below is a round up of paper samples that now hang in a pretty little stack in my filing cabinet, but maybe in another lifetime, we’ll have another chance to use one or two.

Most of you know by now that we’re big suckers for almost anything animal or dinosaur themed (apparently we are children), so it should come as absolutely no surprise that our closest contender would have been Dino. (It comes in a magnetic version as well!) We’re also firm believers that every room needs a little – or big – splash of quirk! Which, if any, would you choose? Or maybe you have a wallpaper-in-waiting, too?

  • Crystal Beck - July 26, 2016 - 10:08 AM

    Now I need to find somewhere to put that Dino paper, because I love it.ReplyCancel

  • Heather {AFirePoleintheDiningRoom} - July 26, 2016 - 10:11 AM

    I’m not surprised the dinos were the closest contender. Those penguins are SO cute too! I love that some of them are holding fins… wings… hands?

    I am COMPLETELY OBSESSED with the Watercolor Wallpaper from Black Crow Studios. We don’t have any plans for it right now, but I would LOVE to incorporate this into the firehouse someday.!/HOMEReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 26, 2016 - 10:18 AM

      That is amazzzzing. I can see it in your firehouse! Maybe your master bath?ReplyCancel

      • Heather - July 26, 2016 - 1:21 PM

        Yeah, that could be really, really cool. Originally I wanted it for a wall in the dining room, but we have so much planned for that space that I don’t think it would have the same impact.ReplyCancel

  • ten - July 26, 2016 - 11:04 AM

    Funny that you picked out that Sisters of the Sun paper by Juju Papers! I DIY’d my own version of that! I painted my wall a dark blue, and then ordered some gold vinyl polka dots. I just cut each individual one, so they weren’t perfectly round, and then spaced them as I pleased. I l love how it turned out!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 26, 2016 - 11:11 AM

      Cute! My favorite part about that paper is that the dots aren’t perfectly round. I bet yours looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney @ Foxwood Forest - July 26, 2016 - 11:16 AM

    Ohh, I love them all but especially the penguins! The rose powder puff would be so fun in a powder room.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - July 26, 2016 - 5:04 PM

    I am currently choosing paper for my laundry and I just received a sample of the flamingo paper that you were considering! Love it but still not sure if it is the one. I just papered my closet in Oh, Joy!’s Peddle Pusher in Gold and it is glorious!! Keep up the great work, I am always so impressed with your work!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 26, 2016 - 5:15 PM

      The flamingo paper would be so pretty in a laundry room! The problem is that there are just too many pretty papers and too little walls.ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - July 26, 2016 - 8:47 PM

    Those penguins are SO CUTE! I’m bookmarking that for a future 1/2 bath remodel. I’m totally planning on doing a diy similar to the Sisters of the Sun in our entry way!

    Also, this laundry bedroom combo may be one of my favorite that you’ve done! It is seriously great!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 27, 2016 - 9:03 AM

      Aw, thanks! We’ve had so much fun with the combo. Now if only the trim would finish itself…ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Go Haus Go - July 26, 2016 - 9:35 PM

    It took me a minute to figure out why my analytics were blowing up—it was YOU! Was catching up on my blog reading tonight and spotted it! Thanks so much for the mention. Glad we can be sisters and brothers of ostrich-ness together!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 27, 2016 - 9:02 AM

      That bathroom in your last house is still one of my all time favorites!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - July 27, 2016 - 4:33 PM

    I was thinking about your wallpaper while my husband and I toured Elvis’s Graceland last week. The bottom bedroom that used to be his parents and then his grandmother’s has a bathroom attached and it features wallpaper with poodles! You should google it, I snapped a pic but no way to upload. Love the laundry room and watching the house transform. Thanks for sharing the journey!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis Payne - July 28, 2016 - 12:40 AM

    Those flamingos are really speaking to me! Also the dinosaurs and that queen anne, is there such thing as too much wallpaper?
    I still think you picked the best :)ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - July 28, 2016 - 12:38 PM

    Ha, before I even got to the end I was thinking “I need to come up with somewhere to put that dino paper in my house.” SO awesome! I love the black with gold polka dots too… I’m a huge fan of dots!!ReplyCancel


Wanting to see how the laundry room would take shape over the course of its renovation, we waited until the cabinets and machines were in place before deciding on a laundry sorting system. For as long as I can remember doing laundry (both growing up and in my adult life), all of our clothes went into one basket. When one could no longer possibly stuff one more sock in the hamper, I’d dump everything onto the ground, and I’d make my piles – whites, darks, delicates – and throughout the course of that day, the family pets would take to those piles like a moth to a flame. (Never mind their cushy beds when they could sleep on the family’s filth!)

This time around, I wanted a true sorting system. Something that would make laundry day more efficient, would take up little to no space in our small room and be easy to use. There’s no point putting systems in place if it’s a pain to keep up, you know? In a few hours, we DIYed this simple 3 bag set up, and we have been loving it – and most importantly, using it. Plus, cute!


3 x medium canvas bags
1 pack of matte gold curtain grommets
6 x hooks
44″ of scrap wood (1″ x 5″ pine board works great!)
Handful of 2″ wood screws
Paint or stain of your choice
Wood filler


Sharp scissors
Measuring tape
Putty knife
Fine sandpaper
Drill / driver
Stud finder (our favorite)
Chamfer bit (optional)



We wanted sturdy canvas bags that could be thrown in the wash if needed, and the medium size felt good for manageable laundry loads. I picked up the bags for a steal, but I needed a way to hang them in the laundry room. That said, the bags only took me 10 minutes to complete, thanks to these no-fancy-tools needed curtain grommets! They have little teeth on one side to hold the fabric in place, and a small template is included with the pack. Tip: Anything larger than a medium sized bag may create too much weight for these grommets. We found these bags to be a good middle – medium? – ground.


I used the top seam of the bag as my guide, and I centered the included template 4″ in from each side of the bag. After tracing all my circles, I used a pair of sharp fabric scissors to get a clean cut. Tip: It was easier to fold each circle in half before cutting, and it’s best to make your cuts on the inside of the circle. Too small is much better than too big! 

DIY-laundry-bags-04 DIY-laundry-bags-05

The grommets snap right into place by placing the ‘prong’ side underneath the bag and clipping the ‘finish’ grommet on top. Those little teeth latch onto the fabric, but if you make a mistake, a small screwdriver on the ‘prong’ side will pop them off if needed.


While I was doing that, Scott got the hooks ready by using a piece of scrap filler from our cabinets. Earlier, I had marked the studs along our wall with tape, and he made a few measurements to determine where we’d want to secure the hook rack into the wall. Although I would have preferred the cleaner look of all the hooks hanging directly on the wall, the thought of using anchors on our precious wallpaper (and possibly messing up!) was enough to make me realize it wouldn’t be the best move. Our rack is 44″ wide, and we made 4 pilot holes total – 2 for each stud we wanted to hit. Using a chamfer bit first (below on the left) would allow our wood screws to sit below the surface of the rack.


Scott used 2″ wood screws to go through his pilot holes and directly into studs. With the rack in place, I used a putty knife to apply wood filler over the screw heads, and once it was dry, I gave it a light sanding and touched up the paint. From there, I was able to screw in our hooks! We chose these pretty cast iron hooks, and we spaced them 8″ apart on center. We left 2″ on each side of the outer hooks, which is how we landed on a 44″ width overall.

DIY-laundry-bags-09 DIY-laundry-bags-10

The rack sits about 38″ above the floor, a height that feels comfortable to throw in our clothes while leaving breathing room underneath. We decided on 3 bags for whites, darks and our reusable rags/mops (we use microfiber towels for cleaning as much as possible!).

DIY-laundry-bags-11 DIY-laundry-bags-12

The sorting bags have been a huge game changer on laundry day. Imagine that! We take each one off the hooks, dump our clothes into the washing machine, and hang it back up! I’ll throw the bags through a cycle every now and then, and they do get wrinkly after a wash and dry, but they eventually relax after being loaded up with more clothes. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we still have the cabinet fillers on our to-do, and then it’s on to the counter, sink install and Libby’s mini kitty condo. But! We’re one step closer, laundry room!

Our longtime sponsor Rejuvenation provided us with the iron hooks to complete this project. Thank you for supporting the brands that support us!

  • Pam Freeman - July 20, 2016 - 10:45 AM

    I just love this idea! Takes up no space and laundry is always sorted. Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - July 20, 2016 - 11:27 AM

    This looks great! I am definitely stealing this idea! (I love the wallpaper too)ReplyCancel

  • Stacy @Blake Hill House - July 20, 2016 - 12:21 PM

    Looks great! With six people in our house, the laundry system looks a little different around here. :D However, at our last house, I made wall pockets hung the same way, for use on the wall by the top bunk of their bunk beds. They used the pockets to hold library books. This DIY could be modified for many different applications.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - July 20, 2016 - 12:35 PM

    Love that, and you’re so right. It can be further modified by size and shape of the bags, too!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - July 20, 2016 - 1:20 PM

    Cute! You can probably not worry so much about sorting darks from lights, advances in materials and soap means I have been washing all my clothes together for years wit out issue. The only exception is something like a red sheet.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 20, 2016 - 2:41 PM

      Right! Libby’s favorite blanket is red, so we like to keep things pretty separate. And new jeans can be no bueno!ReplyCancel

  • Lori - July 20, 2016 - 1:45 PM

    Too cute! I am confused on how you use this, though. Do you put laundry in there as you use it/dirty it up? Or do you still use one hamper and just sort into these three bags on laundry day?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 20, 2016 - 2:40 PM

      We just throw our dirty laundry in the right bag! Instant sorting. When each bag gets full, we do a load.ReplyCancel

      • Kelli - July 24, 2016 - 1:30 PM

        I was wondering the same thing but still didn’t quite get it. Do you bring your clothes to the laundry room every time you change? Is your laundry room really close to your bedroom?ReplyCancel

        • Kim - July 24, 2016 - 3:35 PM

          Hi Kelli, our laundry room is literally 5 steps from our bedroom closet. :)ReplyCancel

  • qlkowa - July 20, 2016 - 3:48 PM

    I love this wallpaper!
    Beautiful laundry room.ReplyCancel

  • susan - July 21, 2016 - 8:11 AM

    I really like this idea. It looks good and makes sense.ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - July 28, 2016 - 9:27 AM

    This is so great! We’re planning our master closet renovation and I’ve been trying to figure out a laundry sorter solution that doesn’t take up so much room. I love this. It would also be a nice solution for toys in the girls nursery.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - July 28, 2016 - 12:42 PM

    I love this!!! So cute and clever. Our hamper lives in a walk-in closet attached to our bathroom, so it would be a great candidate for a similar system when I finally get that closet under control… I’m going to have to remember this :)ReplyCancel