The Lowe’s spring makeover wrapped up not that long ago, and today, we’re excited to share the entire story with you! From start to finish, the experience was exciting, exhausting, challenging and celebratory all at once, but isn’t that always the case when something is worth it? We landed late on a Friday evening at the Orange County airport, began…
  • Stacy - May 10, 2016 - 6:28 AM

    Fantastic! You guys did a great job with Lowe’s. I’m sure the family will be thrilled for a long time.ReplyCancel

  • B&C @ DIY Playbook - May 10, 2016 - 7:39 AM

    This space is absolutely G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!! As always, you guys totally knocked this out of the park! xo, Bridget & CaseyReplyCancel

  • Carrie - May 10, 2016 - 7:57 AM

    GOR-geous!!!! Love how this space turned out. I’m still bug-eyed thinking about how quickly it came together, too!! WELL DONE!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 9:06 AM

      I’m still bug-eyed thinking about the exact same thing, haha. Worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Matthews - May 10, 2016 - 8:13 AM

    So heartwarming! This came out beautifully and I love everything in the room, especially those planters and the couch. And permaheart eyes for the Timber Wall!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 9:05 AM

      The planters at Lowe’s are great right now! Love all the clean lined options they have right now, too.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - May 10, 2016 - 8:29 AM

    Wow!!! You two knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s gorgeous and completely functional as the family wanted/needed. Love everything about this room.ReplyCancel

  • Treana B - May 10, 2016 - 8:41 AM

    Where oh where, are those gorgeous blue/gray chairs from!?ReplyCancel

  • Carol - May 10, 2016 - 8:49 AM

    LOVE IT! You guys are amazing!!ReplyCancel

  • Teri - May 10, 2016 - 8:52 AM

    I am in love with this room! SO good!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - May 10, 2016 - 9:15 AM

    Wow! This is an awesome fransformation!!!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 10, 2016 - 9:16 AM

    I could live here forever so happily. You guys did an amazing job. Those curtains look so, so expensive. And that rug! What a happy, happy place to live.ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - May 10, 2016 - 9:17 AM

    Love everything!! Where are the side chairs from?ReplyCancel

    • Steph M. - May 10, 2016 - 9:19 AM

      Oh. Maybe I should read comments before asking..haha!!! Just saw!! My friend has that same chair. So excited to see they have a darker color!!ReplyCancel

  • E B - May 10, 2016 - 9:50 AM

    This is my favorite Lowes Spring Makeover reveal ever (including past years)!! The before and afters are stunning! You guys did such a great job.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Heart Tree Home - May 10, 2016 - 9:52 AM

    I so wish this rug was more affordable! You guys did an amazing job!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - May 10, 2016 - 10:13 AM

    Gorgeous! I’d love to pick up the whole room and plop it in my living room! Since that isn’t possible, where is that gorgeous coffee table from?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:17 AM

      We often wish the same thing – wouldn’t that be so much easier?! The coffee table is from Target!ReplyCancel

      • Amanda - May 10, 2016 - 10:22 AM

        Wow Target? You guys are such pro’s at scoping out treasures from all over! I was sad to see the black lamps linked are already sold out from Lowes!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:35 AM

          Oh, no, what a bummer! We loved those so much, we were thinking of getting them for ourselves, too. And yes – that coffee table! It’s VERY affordable, and we found it hidden in the wrong spot behind other boxes in the final seconds of the makeover. It was meant to be.ReplyCancel

  • Anna Kristina - May 10, 2016 - 10:23 AM

    This is an amazing makeover!! I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this reveal, and your timing is impeccable. We had submitted an application for our kitchen, and writing it made us realize we didn’t want to relegate the space to the bottom of our (lengthy) project list – we just finished painting the ceiling/walls/trim this weekend. I’m tired and sore and we still have a long ways to go, but this post was just what I needed to remember it’s worth it! Thanks for the double inspiration – to start our own spring makeover project AND to finish it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:36 AM

      You got this! It can always feel so overwhelming, but try to enjoy the ride and remember to take your time. It will always be so worth it, especially knowing you did it yourself. :DReplyCancel

  • Ann - May 10, 2016 - 10:42 AM

    Fabulous! And your heart must have skipped a beat when you saw the penguins.
    What a rewarding weekend it was.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - May 10, 2016 - 10:52 AM

    So gorgeous! That looks like the perfect place to spend time in. Comfortable, yet so good looking. And could their family be any cuter?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 10:56 AM

      Right?! Bruce was the best little helper.ReplyCancel

  • Missy G. - May 10, 2016 - 12:48 PM

    The whole run looks so good, but I am mega crushing on that rug!ReplyCancel

  • Jess - May 10, 2016 - 1:23 PM

    This is so motivating! I am looking to install some new shelves soon – what type of wood did you use for the 2x10s? I always end up spending so much on wood and I wonder if pine is just a solid best bet (at least some of the shelves will hold books/records, so kind of heavy stuff). Any thoughts appreciated!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 1:37 PM

      We used just regular pine 2x10s! The thickness of a 2×10 (1.5″) would be super sturdy for records and books. Sometimes the wood isn’t always the prettiest, so be sure to dig through the pile and find a piece that isn’t warped or too knotty!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - May 10, 2016 - 3:08 PM

    Love, love, LOVE! Such a great transformation. I am sure they will be enjoying their new room for many days and nights to come! Happy to see that you painted the stone fireplace — I just did the same thing to a similar on in my den because I couldn’t take looking at the 70s (?) stone anymore. Happy to know I wasn’t alone in my choice. I was surprised how much paint the stone sucked up.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 3:23 PM

      Before we started painting, we held a group meeting and I confirmed that EVERYONE was on board with the painting. It can be such a polarizing topic! It seems that a fireplace like that was pretty commonplace where they’re from, even if to us, we rarely see that. As it turned out, all was on board, and we’re happy that we pushed through on it!ReplyCancel

      • Jillian - May 11, 2016 - 9:59 PM

        Wow, gorgeous room! I never thought about painting our stone fireplace but now I want to! The white looks great!ReplyCancel

  • Brynne @ The Gathered Home - May 10, 2016 - 3:10 PM

    Wonderful job, you guys!!! Oh my word, what a transformation! And they look absolutely thrilled – so much joy radiating from those photos!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Shank - May 10, 2016 - 3:16 PM

    Beautiful! The rug is lovely. Would you please comment on its softness?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 3:24 PM

      It’s soft! It’s also really thick. We laid a rug pad underneath, but it has a nice weight and feels great on bare toes.ReplyCancel

  • Angee - May 10, 2016 - 4:00 PM

    What a beautiful room! So inspired. I do have a question. Where did you get that doggie door? It looks like it’s built in to the sliding glass door.ReplyCancel

  • Staci - May 10, 2016 - 4:03 PM

    You guys never cease to amaze and inspire. I love this so much! The rug, especially. You really captured the easy, breezy SoCal style for this family. I love the family pictures. You can really see the joy that’s there.ReplyCancel

  • Wilma - May 10, 2016 - 5:10 PM

    I love this makeover. What I especially love is the attention to detail (doggy door for katsu, touching up screw heads with paint, cable management, etc.). It’s always a bit disheartening to hear about persons who go on an hgtv show for a makeover and then come to find out after that the work was poorly done (such as allegations against love it or list it that have recently come out). this seems to have been done properly (and it looks fabulous!!!)

    a couple of quick questions: why did you choose not to hide the cable directly under the black sconces? and also, did you consider painting/staining the white mantle, or painting the tile hearth?

    I really, really love this makeover.

    ps–sorry for the poor capitalization–typing too quick, and it’s a bad habit :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 10, 2016 - 5:20 PM

      All great questions, and I love YOUR attention to detail!

      We went back and forth on the cable directly beneath the sconces for a good 10 minutes. It’s not actually cable – it’s an oil rubbed bronze rod that covers the cable, and it’s pretty nice looking. At first, I was adamant about taking off the ORB rod and covering it up with a cable cover (painted the wall color), but once the boys held it up, we all started to like the contrast it gave! So, it stayed.

      We did consider painting the tile hearth, but after the new tile floors were installed, it practically blended right in, which we ended up liking!

      We also considered taking off the mantle completely and adding something else, but sadly, that was one thing that got nixed due to time constraints.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - May 10, 2016 - 7:10 PM

    The snake plants with the stained wood shelves are so YOU GUYS. It reminds me of back in the day when you guys first put together your studio workroom, and that pairing is always going to make me think of you guys. Haha is that strange? Anyways, really loved this makeover and it’s given me PLENTY of ideas for how we’re going to be putting our house together in the future.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 11, 2016 - 8:58 AM

      Aw, that’s awesome! You just can’t go wrong with a snake plant. We very recently moved that snake plant out of the studio because it wouldn’t STOP growing, and that room is very, very small! We re-potted it into something larger and tucked it into a corner in our bedroom.ReplyCancel

      • Kathy - May 12, 2016 - 6:06 PM

        Yes, I saw! I was totally loving the way it was juuuust brushing that huge mirror.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - May 11, 2016 - 1:47 AM

    So incredibly beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - May 11, 2016 - 9:42 AM

    WOWWW!!! I’ve been waiting to see the reveal…and it’s 1000x better than I even anticipated. I can’t believe you all did this is 24 hours!! I’m amazed. It’s perfect, and I’m sure the family LOVES it. I know I would. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 11, 2016 - 10:56 AM

      We sort of can’t either! It really was a true 24 working hours with a little sleep mixed in. :)ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - May 11, 2016 - 8:17 PM

    Well done everyone! And I am so glad to see the fireplace painted out of the picture, as it were. That is such an improvement.ReplyCancel

  • Moira - May 11, 2016 - 10:39 PM

    This is GORGEOUS!!! Where is the black frame with the map in from? I have the same map (or very similar), and I am having a hard time framing it, since I’ll want to take it in and out to scratch out the countries!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 9:41 AM

      We had a tough time framing that! I believe the frame came from Target, but we picked up a piece of black art paper to put behind the map, which helped to fill in the gaps that would have shown on the sides.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - May 12, 2016 - 5:37 AM

    So so good! You outdid yourself. I always get a little jealous when I see a couple working together so well. My husband and I just simply don’t. We could never tackle this together. Love everything that you did and it looks like it was a for a truly special family.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 9:40 AM

      To be fair, we don’t ALWAYS agree on everything though! But I do consider myself lucky that he’s so willing to dive right in, usually coming up with clever solutions I didn’t think of!ReplyCancel

  • Daniel @ Manhattan Nest - May 12, 2016 - 10:10 AM

    Jesus Lord to thee I pray, send Film Crew guy from photo #3 to my makeover too. Amen.

    You guys, this looks GREAT! I’m so proud of you!! That family must be thrilled to death. Job. Well. Done!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 11:52 AM

      Thank you, Daniel! We can’t wait to see how yours turns out. Can. Not. Wait.ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - May 16, 2016 - 2:24 PM

    It’s so gorgeous!!!

    And that rug! ReplyCancel

  • Marcia - May 17, 2016 - 9:58 AM

    Truly a beautiful room. That herringbone wall is to die for. I personally would not have painted the stone, but I don’t live with it everyday! Loved all the beautiful details.ReplyCancel


We’re slowly chugging along on finishing up the bedroom, while also planning for laundry cabinets and drawing up ideas for the backyard this summer(!). Today, I wanted to share a super simple IKEA hack – with the term hack being used lightly – for a perfectly sized, slim floating vanity using the EKBY ALEX. Stepping back quickly to…
  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 3, 2016 - 9:06 AM

    I’ve never known a sweeter vanity. This is all turning out so amazing. I’m not surprised, just really inspired.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - May 3, 2016 - 9:20 AM

    I listened to the Marie Kondo audiobook while driving from Cleveland to Pittsburgh with my best friend last November. I tell you this because a) I’ve been reading your blog for many years, and you were clearly living like Marie Kondo long before Marie Kondo’s method became a thing, and b) I saw your Pittsburgh book and was immediately taken back to the city which blew.my.mind. I won’t get into my opinion of the book (except to say that it could have been more, umm, succinct), but I wanted to say that I admire your ability to keep things in your home EDITED. It takes mad skills, which I don’t have!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 10:07 AM

      Amy, so funny, thank you, but where do I begin?! First, yes, Pittsburgh is awesome (the entire side of my dad’s family still lives there), and GO PENS. Second, I love how polarizing Marie Kondo’s book can be! We got the most helpful information out of the clothes organization and getting rid of BOXES – like, boxes for our old smart phones, boxes for my billion year old laptop, etc. And third, I’ve never been a fan of clutter, but don’t be fooled – we have an entire room that we lovingly call ‘The Scary Room,’ which has a constant rotation of items we need to sell, frames and miscellany from our last home (still) and boxes for donation. Once a year, our block has a big yard sale where we toss it all out there, and every year the room gets better. One day, it will be completely free of ‘stuff’, and we will weep with happiness.ReplyCancel

      • Rachel - May 3, 2016 - 12:59 PM

        yay pittsburgh! i’ve lived here for 7 years now, and i’m getting to be quite fond of the ol’ girl. i’ve lived in lots of other places, and my husband and i are glad we’ve chosen the ‘burgh. it’s got character.ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 1:10 PM

          Rachel, yeah! We always joke that it feels like we’re in a spaghetti bowl when we head back home – so windy and twisty, especially coming from flat grid-like Chicago! But we love it so much, as long as we don’t take the wrong bridge and get stuck going 10 miles in the opposite direction we intended…ReplyCancel

      • Haley Hepburn - May 12, 2016 - 2:44 PM

        Okay this is SO good to hear! One of the things I’m so impressed by is how your home is so pared down! It’s very aspirational to me. Can you do a post on the scary room? Where even is that in the floor plan?!ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 12, 2016 - 4:19 PM

          The Scary Room has a long way to go, but we hope to start on it towards the end of this year! I may just have to do a post about it though since we get a lot of questions about all of our “things.” If you look on the floor plan post, it’s labeled “guest room #2” on the second floor: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2013/08/02/the-floor-plans/ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Coleman - May 3, 2016 - 9:23 AM

    You guys are magic!ReplyCancel

  • Leah Prevost - May 3, 2016 - 9:40 AM

    What a great idea to float it. I need to do this in my room! Your bedroom is looking mighty fine!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - May 3, 2016 - 9:57 AM

    Hi Kim! Can you source the fan? (Weird, right, but hard to find a good looking one!! And you’ve done it, of course.) Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 10:03 AM

      Yes!! It’s the Vornado from Rejuvenation! It comes in a few sizes (and colors), although we have the mid-size one. It is so quiet but really powerful, and I can already tell we’ll be using it a lot this summer.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - May 3, 2016 - 10:18 AM

    Looks great!! Where is the giant standup mirror from? It’s gorgeous!!!ReplyCancel

  • Miranda Bouck - May 3, 2016 - 12:23 PM

    Awkward comment for an awkward photo, but is it possible to get a shot of what it looks like from the bottom after it’s been attached to the wall? I think I can visualize it in my head, but I want to be sure “I’m sure.” I can see myself using this hack and I want it to work! LOLReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 3, 2016 - 12:26 PM

      Hi Miranda! The bottom looks exactly like the top! Once it’s been attached to the wall, we attach the bottom (identical to the top piece) and slide in the drawers. Does that help?ReplyCancel

  • Maria D Miller - May 3, 2016 - 6:22 PM

    Just an FYI – over the years I’ve made a few floating/wall vanities with various products – many being IKEA. The main issue is this – if you at ALL lean on/rest your elbows on said surface, in time, it will pull from the wall – no matter your anchors. Forewarned is forearmed. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - May 5, 2016 - 2:36 AM

    Ahhh I absolutely LOVE your house. Your design aesthetic is so simple but still visually interesting. Makes me more excited to move back to the States and buy a house. ^^ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Dupuis - May 6, 2016 - 7:36 PM

    What a great idea! I rent in Boston so I can’t have something like this but as soon as I move I’m doing this.ReplyCancel

  • Denise - May 8, 2016 - 8:44 PM

    Love this! And paired with the navy wall elevates further. http://www.decoraid.comReplyCancel

  • Decor Aid - May 8, 2016 - 8:45 PM

    Love this! And pairing with the navy wall elevates further. http://www.decoraid.comReplyCancel

  • Dakwerken - May 10, 2016 - 2:21 AM

    That’s a very good job done by you Kim! Inspired from your works. Even I’ll start doing such DIY stuffs in my home :)ReplyCancel

  • Nile - August 28, 2016 - 6:06 PM

    After having installed it for a few months now, how has it held up, structurally? Have you had any problems with it coming off after using it? I’m plannine to do the exact same (already bought the ekby alex) but am torn whether I should get the brackets (safety, but not too keen on look) or to do this one… let me know!! It’s really beautiful btw! :)ReplyCancel

  • Nile - August 28, 2016 - 6:07 PM

    After having installed it for a few months now, how has it held up, structurally? Have you had any problems with it coming off after using it? I’m planning to do the exact same (already bought the ekby alex) but am torn whether I should get the brackets (safety, but not too keen on look) or to do this one… let me know!! It’s really beautiful btw! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 28, 2016 - 6:12 PM

      Thanks, Nile! We’ve had no issues whatsoever, and it’s firmly in place. Make sure you’re able to hit a couple of studs in the wall – that’s the most secure you can get!ReplyCancel

      • Nile - August 28, 2016 - 8:14 PM

        Ah, that’s really good (and reassuring) to know especially now that we went ahead and bought those corner bracket plates! Working on it as we speak! Wish us luck! :) Thanks again for this DIY post! :DReplyCancel


Over the last several days, your kindness was, and still is, overwhelming. After a medical emergency for our Maddie girl, we had to make the heartbreaking, yet compassionate, decision to allow her go to a pain-free place on Saturday. She was thirteen. It was the absolute worst, but we know it was the right choice, something I’m only…
  • Steph M. - April 26, 2016 - 3:43 PM

    I’m at workeystone holding back tears. It is so hard losing them, but she, obviously, had a fantastic life and was so well loved. Sending you all the good thoughts I can!

    Also, Spanky shredded his first toilet paper roll last night in his entire life. So maybe she’s passing on this sassiness from kitty heaven. 😻ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2016 - 3:56 PM

      Oh my goodness, that is amazing. Enjoy those shreds, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - April 26, 2016 - 3:44 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. :(ReplyCancel

  • Hannah H - April 26, 2016 - 3:45 PM

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss and my heart is going out to all of you. We have two cats and debated before getting a dog (all rescues). I pulled up your site before we pulled the trigger on the dog and showed my husband Maddy and Libby and how you all manage together. Life has changed since getting a dog because they offer so much more quick, immediate feedback. We have our sweet Sadie (our first fur baby) who is 10 and very much the queen as well in so many subtle ways. We’ve tried to make sure to still leave time for the sometimes finicky, but so worth the wait, love of our kitties. Dog and cat relationships are so different, and it can be easy to overlook all the silly, funny and loving things that cats do on a regular basis. But you miss them so much when they are gone.

    I admire you all so much for all the work you do for animals and the love you give them. It’s so sad that part of the love is the loss. But I know they stay with us forever. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2016 - 3:58 PM

      Hannah, so kind, thank you. The dynamic of our once two-cat / two-dog household was really entertaining, that’s for sure! We always said that the pups and the cats agree to disagree, but it’s been tough seeing how much it is affecting Jack.ReplyCancel

  • Jeannie - April 26, 2016 - 3:47 PM

    Ohhh soo, so sorry. Sending you lots of warm thoughts and love. I’m fighting back the urge to tear up at work!! Aren’t we all better for having these furry friends in our lives? If only they could stay longer…Maddie sounded fiercely loved, and I bet she knew it!!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - April 26, 2016 - 3:57 PM

    I got all teary reading this. So sorry for your loss. Losing a pet, no matter the circumstances, is always hard. They are your babies and important, memorable members of a family.ReplyCancel

  • Cait - April 26, 2016 - 3:58 PM

    Beautiful post, Kim. So many hugs to you, Scott, Jack, CC and Libby.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - April 26, 2016 - 4:04 PM

    Kim and Scott,
    Our hearts go out to you. Maddie was a beautiful fluff and you got an amazing run! Which makes it all the harder. We lost our Lilly bug, also top in the pecking order, last summer, and it was rough on the girls, but especially our dog who she protected from the other cats! The best help advice anyone gave was to allow myself to grieve her loss and not be constrained by the idea of her as a “pet” – ignore what non-animal people might think and just take time for yourself when you feel it welling up.
    Jenn & AlexReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2016 - 4:14 PM

      Lots of time and lots of welling up over here! Thank you. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - April 26, 2016 - 4:09 PM

    Feeling all the feels over here. Kitties are the best. <3 to all of you.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - April 26, 2016 - 4:29 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. We just lost a precious lab to cancer almost a month ago now. It’s so sad and a hard decision to make. I know we made the right decision for our precious Callie girl but the sadness and loss is so hard. Animals make a special place in our hearts that never go away. My little Maltese is still struggling with the loss of her life long best friend. We have to keep her busy and an eye on her when she is sad. Make extra time for the other sweet fur babies. You just never know if and when it’s their last days. Know your sweet kitty is not in pain. I look at it like I wouldn’t want to sit there suffering and slowing dieing if I had the choice. To watch Callie dieing of cancer was to saddest thing especially knowing we can’t do anything to help her. We tried too.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2016 - 6:51 PM

      Oh, Christine. I’m so sorry to hear about Callie! Give extra live to your Maltese today, and we’ll do the same with our crew over here.ReplyCancel

  • Anna Kristina - April 26, 2016 - 4:42 PM

    Sending all of you a big virtual hug. It sounds like she had an amazing 13 years, and I’m glad you got to enjoy all of them. My husband and I just adopted a three-year-old cat, Astrid, after years of landlords not budging. I hope we can give her the same sort of love and joy that Maddie had with you! (And if she spoke English, I’m sure Astrid would be sending her condolences as well!)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 26, 2016 - 6:52 PM

      Astrid is GORGEOUS! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Emily I - April 26, 2016 - 4:45 PM

    I’m so very sorry. I’ll be thinking of you.ReplyCancel

  • Joanna - April 26, 2016 - 5:54 PM

    Just went full onions while reading this…

    So sorry to hear you lost her after only 13 years, but it sounds like you gave her a wonderful home.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - April 26, 2016 - 6:57 PM

    I’m literally crying over here. It’s a perfect tribute. Aaron, Mojo, Hank and I send all our love your way.ReplyCancel

  • Megan - April 26, 2016 - 7:21 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I had to make that decision five years ago for my dog, Rugby. He was, hands down, the best dog ever and I too adopted him in college with little money of my own but made it work. We’ve since moved on physically after his “sister” showed signs of depression. I think dogs do it differently than cats though, but I’m glad you’re looking out for the pets too.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - April 26, 2016 - 7:41 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. My cat was around 15 when he crossed the rainbow bridge. It has been close to 7 years now and I still miss playing fetch with the ring from the milk lid. I miss that little booger.ReplyCancel

  • Bernadette - April 26, 2016 - 8:26 PM

    Virtual hugs to all of you. This is never an easy time… I can’t even think of the words.ReplyCancel

  • Lynne - April 26, 2016 - 10:05 PM

    Each leaves an indelible mark on our lives. Like Maddie, I adopted my Bear at a young age. A dog, but still my first as an ‘independent’. When boyfriends came and went, there was Bear. He was the only constant. As he aged, I bought one story homes and made flooring choices based on his needs. When his hips gave out, we walked with a sling. Because as a lab, he couldn’t bear being shut out from the world. When he left me at 19, my world momentarily ceased to exist. I believe we end as better people when we recognize the impact sentient being have on our lives. Having seen your ‘pack’ in all your pics, the two of you are amazing people.ReplyCancel

  • Cassie - April 26, 2016 - 10:27 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss :( I’ve read your blog for years and it’s been a constant source of joy and imagination, and a huge influence in my own blog creation as well. Consequently, my fiancé and I also just had to put down our pet, the world’s most lovable dog, Lola, a few days ago. I kept telling myself that this was the last kind act we could do for her, but it was still the worst thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through these emotions as well, but in my opinion, heaven is specifically reserved for the pets who have given all the love for all their lives, and the very few people who measure up to them. Hang in there.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 27, 2016 - 12:32 PM

      I’m so sorry, Cassie! Your words are perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - April 26, 2016 - 10:53 PM

    So sorry about your kitty :(. I had to put my 13 year old down as well. She was only companion for years. It’s been about seven years ago and I still miss her.ReplyCancel

  • Kim B. - April 27, 2016 - 12:29 AM

    I”m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute you’ve written to her here. It’s wonderful to think of the lifetime of love that you and she shared. I’m so sorry she’s gone.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - April 27, 2016 - 9:48 AM

    What a wonderful tribute. I’m not even that much of a cat person, as they say… but your description of her personality and loyalty to you is making me tear up at my desk. I’m so sorry for your loss and for the hole in your household. Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - April 27, 2016 - 10:17 AM

    Oh Kim! I’m so sorry for your loss!ReplyCancel

  • misie - April 27, 2016 - 10:36 AM

    SO much love being sent your way friend. so much.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - April 27, 2016 - 11:40 AM

    I adopted an older dog (8); I live alone and work full time and I knew a puppy would require too much attention. As she ages, I love her SO MUCH and know the day will come when I am saying goodbye as you had to. I mourn that I didn’t get to experience all of her years. I told my vet how hard it was to live in fear, and he said, “Embrace the fear, and the pain when it comes, because it means you had something great in your life.” Which certainly doesn’t alleviate the pain, but I found it to be helpful. I’m glad you had something great, and I’m sorry she’s gone now.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 27, 2016 - 12:02 PM

      Thank you for adopting a ‘senior’ dog! Hold that girl tight.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - April 27, 2016 - 12:47 PM

    I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am to hear this…What a devastating loss, and I’m sending every SINGLE good feeling that I can possibly muster to you guys…Thanks for sharing her sweet story!ReplyCancel

  • julie - April 27, 2016 - 12:49 PM

    Oh Kim, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that in the times when you find yourself missing her, you can still feel her presence with you and that the thought of her getting tangled up or being her sassy self can instead bring you a smile.ReplyCancel

  • Monica - April 27, 2016 - 1:29 PM

    what a lucky and lovely little one. I’m sorry for the ache her physical absence brings. Ah, and Jack carrying a torch for her… so sweet! Long may he and C. and L. remember her and snuggle with you to give comfort.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - April 27, 2016 - 2:04 PM

    Thank you for sharing the story of sweet Maddie. We have a similar story of our 13 year old cat, Luna. She was found abandoned by friends and was only maybe 6 weeks old at most when we took her in. Our thoughts are with you guys in this tough time. Much love to you and Scott, as well as Libby, Jack, and CC.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - April 27, 2016 - 2:59 PM

    Awwww Kim, so so sad for you, Scott, Libby, Jack and CC! We feel for you so much in your pain of loss. Sweet Maddie was so very loved by all of you! Kim, I remember with gratitude your loving reply when we shared our loss of Ndugu two years ago (his portrait brings us continued joy, thanks so much!).. You told us how Ndugu must be hanging out with Tigers, and no doubt they were fast friends! Love to think Maddie will likewise be embraced by many furry friends in the beyond.. Much love to you guys as you heal.. You’re in our thoughts.. xoxoReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 27, 2016 - 3:18 PM

      Meghan, I remember Ndugu well, and I am so touched that you remembered Tigers! We’re so honored that you reached out. Just after Maddie passed, I told Scott that she looked so calm. Quite a contrast to how we must have looked in the moment. He told me, she just met Tigers.

      I really like to think of all the pets having a BALL (literally and figuratively?) and doing whatever they want to do, 24 hours a day. I can only imagine the happiness and cuteness up there.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design - April 27, 2016 - 4:28 PM

    I’m so sorry Kim. I know how it feels and I recently lost my youngest cat which is still raw and your post bright me to tears again. You gave her such a wonderful life. Thinking of you guys :(ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - April 27, 2016 - 5:41 PM

    This broke my heart, especially when I got the part about the bare window sills. I can’t imagine losing my sweet senior pug, Tyson, just thinking about it… ugh. So I know you must be torn up inside. I don’t even know how you managed to write this beautiful tribute…

    My heart goes out to you.

    <3 Victoria (& Tyson)ReplyCancel

  • Liz - April 28, 2016 - 11:37 AM

    Best. Cat-mom. Ever. <3ReplyCancel

  • Sierra - April 28, 2016 - 4:05 PM

    So sorry for your loss! You can tell through your blog that Maddie was well loved and had a great life! Sending prayers and good vibes your way.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer I. - April 29, 2016 - 12:11 PM

    This post broke my heart. I’ve been following your blog for several years now and can tell that like myself, your pets are your kids. I’m so very sorry for your loss and you gave her a wonderful life.ReplyCancel

  • sandy tompkins - May 1, 2016 - 12:36 PM

    I know how you fee. I lost a beautiful tabby about two years ago. He lived to be twenty. I went down to the local animal shelter and brought home a beautiful short haired kitty. She is the love of my life. There are so many beautiful animals at the shelter I want them all.ReplyCancel

  • Kara - May 4, 2016 - 11:28 PM

    I feel for you. What a great story, and great cat. Clearly a member of the family that will be missed greatly.ReplyCancel

  • Lavues - May 15, 2016 - 5:11 AM

    She’s such a lovely cat, I am so sorry for the loss, but I am sure she is happy that she met you :’)ReplyCancel


One of the biggest perks we get from writing about our home renovation is connecting with like-minded people – you know, you. We receive emails on anything from where we like to shop to who we’d recommend for plumbing and electrical and whole-house-gutting, from paint color favorites to suggestions on Chicago pet rescues. It’s obvious we love discussing all…
  • Carrie - April 21, 2016 - 8:21 AM

    SO well said!! This post was really poignant to read as someone only six short months into their reno…You nailed it—literally!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 21, 2016 - 9:40 AM

      You’ve been knocking it out of the park, Carrie!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - April 21, 2016 - 8:43 AM

    In my experience, almost no one else will even be able to tell the difference on all the stuff you are driving yourself crazy over. I have an eagle eye. My eye zooms right to every little discrepancy and flaw. No one else sees it. And no one else cares. It’s your home and you want to love it, but to do so, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’ll never be perfect unless you’re going to live in it like it’s a museum.

    I’ve made some mistakes along the way and it’s cost me some money too. Sometimes that’s what it takes to learn what works for you.

    I feel like sometime we reno nerds need a gentle slap back to reality. We aren’t solving for cancer cures here. We’re decorating our houses. Such first world anxiety we create for ourselves!

    If the white is too white, paint it a different white – or don’t. :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 21, 2016 - 8:57 AM

      You’re so right, Sara! Scott reminds us to take a stop back regularly. He will say, how lucky are we that we can renovate in the first place? He – and you! – couldn’t be more right.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Larkin - April 21, 2016 - 2:14 PM

    I so enjoy reading your journey and especially love this post! Thank you, Kim. Living in a 112-year-old fixer in Portland…these are the things I need to keep reminding myself. After 9 years in our house, we’re finally getting baseboards (in keeping with the little scrap of original we have) next month. Woohoo! This little victory will most certainly command its own celebration. Keep on keeping on. It’s looking beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 21, 2016 - 6:50 PM

      HOORAY FOR BASEBOARDS! Game changer. You got this, Ashley!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis - April 21, 2016 - 5:16 PM

    I can’t believe it’s been 3 years! I’ve loved your blog and projects for so long, it’s been so fun watching you move from amazing DIYs in an apartment to your spectacular current home. You’ve inspired me to tackle projects outside my comfort zone and I’ve bought a lot of products based on your recommendations.
    As always, can’t wait to see what’s next!
    Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 21, 2016 - 6:51 PM

      So sweet, thank you, Alexis! Does time fly or what. Madness, I say.ReplyCancel

  • Casey - April 24, 2016 - 7:03 PM

    Great post! I have discovered your blog somewhat recently and have enjoyed getting to “know” you guys and your projects. This post made me laugh because I have always said in every DIY project we have done there seems to be this mid-point where everything is looking it’s absolute worst. The excitement of starting is gone, you’re tired, and it’s looking nothing like a final ta-da. And in that moment I always catch myself looking around and thinking- Oh my god what have we done?!? The terror sort of floats to the surface. But like you said it all works out because it has to. I love following your reno (those stairs!!) and wish you the best of luck!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 25, 2016 - 10:10 AM

      It does, it just HAS to! Thanks, Casey!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - April 25, 2016 - 7:15 PM

    I totally needed this today. I am just beginning to renovate my 1962 brick ranch and keep going back and forth on every decisions. But at the end of the day I just need to remind myself to relax, have fun, and I will get there. Eventually.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - May 4, 2016 - 3:03 PM

    YES! It is so hard not to look back at decisions after making them. I keep trying my darndest to keep it moving forward. The house will not be perfect, it never was. What will I do in 5 years if I get it all perfect this first go around?!ReplyCancel

  • Kara - May 4, 2016 - 11:32 PM

    Timely for me to read – my husband and I just bought a new home that needs lots of love, but has oodles of potential. A good reminder to enjoy the journey!ReplyCancel

  • VerbalGoldBlog - May 5, 2016 - 10:57 AM

    This all looks so great! I love seeing and reading about your journey, even though it does look like a lot of work, but definitely worth itReplyCancel

  • Tina - May 13, 2016 - 10:27 AM

    Wow this about sums up everything I’ve been feeling, going through, dealing with, etc etc in the last month with the new shop. Thanks for sharing, Kim. I needed this boost :)ReplyCancel


This weekend, Scott and I are headed to Mission Viejo, California, where we’ll be diving head first into Akiyo’s family room – with plenty of paint brushes, rollers, lots of lumber and tubes of caulk in tow! We can hardly contain how excited we are to get started. Since announcing the Lowe’s spring makeover campaign…
  • Stacy G. - April 15, 2016 - 7:14 AM

    What a wonderful room to work with. My eyes are not the greatest so I immediately love rooms flooded with light. The more light the better. :) Have a great trip!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - April 15, 2016 - 9:57 AM

      It really is a beautiful room! Almost an entire wall taken up with glass.ReplyCancel

  • Bryce - April 15, 2016 - 11:03 AM

    You couldn’t have picked a more deserving and wonderful family to do this for!! I’m so excited for them!!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea T - April 15, 2016 - 12:57 PM

    What brand are those paint swatches?? My walls are a similar nondescript fleshy beige color, and I’m in the market for a nearly-white grey like those!

    Thank you!!

    • Kim - April 15, 2016 - 1:04 PM

      The one on the left is Sherwin Williams, and I’m pretty sure the other two are Valspar. They were all picked up at Lowe’s though!ReplyCancel

  • Josh @ The Kentucky Gent - April 18, 2016 - 9:30 AM

    Those floors though! Definitely gonna tag along on Snapchat – can’t wait to see the finished product.ReplyCancel